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In stillness the answer came

forestfireI've been putting a toe into the brave new world of Twitter. It's an exciting place, and offers an exciting opportunity to meet some kindred souls, some kindred spirits.

This morning, I got a message from a new friend on Twitter. It went like this: "Looking forward to hearing what your thoughts are on the soul? Is it an unknown distant aspect of your life or do you have inner guidance? Please share your experiences."

I think this is such a great question. We all need inner guidance in these days, but what is it? How do we access it?

What I have learned in my own life is that true guidance, or wisdom, does indeed come from within myself IF I am still and open to receive it. But I have to really be open – hungry in a sense -- because the nudge that comes from that unknowable source within myself, the impulse, the insight, sometimes appears in a flash and is gone in a flash.

I experienced this process in quite a dramatic way one time when I was a young fellow working on a ranch in the interior of British Columbia. I’d been given a job burning some brush in a meadow. Evidently I wasn’t paying enough attention to what was going on, because I looked up and realized, suddenly, with dismay, that the fire I had started was getting away on me.

It was reaching out in an ever-expanding circle toward some nearby haystacks and the entire BC interior forest.

Of course, my attention re-focused very quickly. I grabbed a shovel and beat furiously at the nearest flames. I put the flames out in one spot in the circle – or so I thought -- and moved on to the next spot. But the trouble was I when I looked back at where I thought I had put the fire out, I saw it was starting up again.

Panic began to loom. What was I going to do? I knew I had to be still if I was going to be able to cope with the situation effectively.

“It’s all-right,” I said to myself. “It’s all-right.” I spoke these words to myself continuously, as I slowed down and began taking a much more methodical, painstaking approach.

I didn’t think about what the fire might be doing anywhere else. Instead, I took one little bit of the circle of fire at a time, and made sure the flames were really out in one spot before I moved on to the next. Finally, after an exhausting process, that also became strangely satisfying and fulfilling, I was able to look around me and see peace in the meadow. No fire anywhere.

I’ve found many times in my life that when I am still, I know what to do. A confirmation appears, or a new sense of direction.

The word “soul” can mean different things to different people. It’s like the word God, that means different things to different people. But there is a source of wisdom and courage and inner peace within us that although it can’t be defined, is infinite and unconquerable and very real.

Not only that. Most important of all is this. I find that the more willing I am to pass through that door marked “stillness” – the more I open myself to stillness – the more I realize that Truth, or God, is not separate from me. It is the very nature of my own true character. It is the very core of my being.

I’d love to hear your own thoughts and experiences on the great question that my friend on Twitter put to me. Please join in the conversation, if you will.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

stephen miracle September 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm

man that is a tough question for twitter. Definitely not one that I would like to tackle on my first twitter experience.. kudos for tackling it so well 🙂

It is interesting how you place the connection between soul and God. In the ancient hebrew tradition, the soul was considered the complete self. You have your body, you have your spirit and your your emotions, and so forth, but the entire you physical and spiritual is joined together with one soul.

In other words, we are never separated from God. The physical and spiritual are so closely attached that one cannot exist without the other. I really enjoyed this idea when my biblical studies professor showed me this original understanding.

look forward to more thoughts

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Corinne Rodrigues September 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Another beautiful post. Tell that friend to ask you some more questions, we’ll get some more great answers!
Corinne

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