this year, amoungest other things, i started to focus more on my spirituality. it is mind blowing to me how things come into your life to prepare you for exactly what you need, and that is not just another coincidence.
sunday mornings at 9am i set my intentions and focus my thoughts for an hour of worship. this time, it is a gift. as i prepare, check in and get myself set up to worship i take a minute to choose a word for my intention. some options are heal, grow, joy and again, not on coincidence, the word i am craving pops right out at me. i have never had to search. i lay that word out in front of me so during my time of worship, i have a focal point to bring my thoughts back to.
it may not be the traditional building, there isnt a steeple, but there is an alter with the beautiful glow of soft flickering candles, a choir that harmonizes the tune of namaste and music that fills the room and my heart while moving me to tears. and those tears, those buckets of tears that are released are camouflaged with sweat, as the temperature in the sanctuary is over 100 degrees.
during the 60 minute service, my hands extend up to the heavens and through my heart to prayer, then all that i am holding within me falls away with every forward fold. as i twist, my heart is cracked open wide and i am filled back up with love and light. friends in close proximity offer a touch of peace when flipping their dog, stumbling from a balancing pose or just crashing down in relief from a challenge pose. as I crash to my belly and my cheek hits the mat from moving through a high plank to low, to high, to low for what seems like an eternity i catch a comforting glance from my neighbor in solidarity and know this is the place where i fit in, these are my people for these 60 minutes.
i am challenged each week to focus my mind from wandering thoughts, sitting in discomfort and allowing feelings of anxiety, pain, grief and fear to move through me and dissolve away bringing me back to gratefulness, happiness and peace.
as i flow with the instructor through the sermon, angels come by sharing their gifts of offering with hands on assist, along with a rewarding stretch, a head and/or neck rub with the holy oil of indu or china gel. these angels never hesitate with a post sermon hug, which includes the tightest squeeze sealed with bodies squelching together in sweat. you can find them hanging out post service engaged in conversation with members of the congregation offering gifts of encouragement, love or most important a healing ear while listening to confession.
settling in for the closing prayer, the heat is released and and a wave of a cooler breeze wisps by while the warm temperatures still enclose me in a hug. soaked with glistening, clean, sweat, i melt into the mat that is filled with all that i left in salty sweat and tears. the prayer allows me to come back to steady breath, and return to that intention, that word that choose me 60 minutes ago and reflect on how how i will preach that within myself moving forward.
the homily from the service sticks with me throughout the week, i focus to bring myself back to it when my thoughts start to get in my head or when i am tired and start to snap at my crew. i come back to that message so that i can get through what is coming at me, as i take the moment to close my eyes and return to center.
as i move through the tasks of the week that fill my time, and my head begins to spiral with thoughts that need to steady and clear, my internal calendar is aware of the day of the week and calculating when i will return to sunday morning service. i crave the sixty minutes with my people, the time to empty out and replenish with hope, faith and gratitude.