The Gentle Art of Restoration

Ecology concept. Rising sprout on dry ground.

A few months ago I happened upon an article about a seed that had been dormant for around 2000 years, yet when nurtured and tended to, produced a tree.

That seed, the oldest ever known to produce a young tree, was found during an archaeological excavation at King Herod’s palace on Mount Masada, near the Dead Sea in the mid 1970’s. The seed was stored along with other finds from the dig.

Thirty years later, Dr. Sarah Sallon, a pediatrician and researcher, got word of the stored seeds. Interested in the medicinal uses of ancient plants, Sallon asked if she could have some seeds. She was given 3 seeds.

Dr. Sallon then took the three seeds to a botanist, Elaine Solowey, who specializes in tending rare or near-extinct plants back to life. When she received the seeds, she was less than optimistic about their future growth. The first thing Solowey did was to soak the seeds is warm water, and then added gibberellic acid, a potent growth hormone used to induce germination in reluctant seeds. She tended to them daily. Much to her surprise 5 weeks later one pale yellow-green sprout began to show through the soil. The second sprout soon appeared, it looked stronger than the first. Then a third sprout burst through, looking healthy.

I was struck by the first step the botanist took…she soaked them in warm water. Such a gentle step to begin restoration! She then nurtured them daily and patiently waited the outcome.

There are parts of our souls, our lives, relationships, and physical being that may be yearning to be revived. Maybe there is a hobby that has gone by the wayside, is it time to bring it back? Is there a relationship that might be rekindled? Maybe there is dream that was put aside, or a longing to reconnect with nature in some way.

Where is the yearning for restoration in your life? What is a gentle way to begin the process of revitalization?

For furthepalm dater reading on the seed. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Seed-of-extinct-date-palm-sprouts-after-2-000-2628668.php

Just Reframe It

“Let your heart guide you.  It whispers, so listen carefully.”                                                         ~ Littlefoot’s mother, Land Before Time

Depositphotos_50340839_s-2015 ReahSo how do we learn to listen carefully? For me, learning to nurture positive thoughts about who I am, who the people in my life are, and what I feel is a crucial first step. We all have self-doubt and it’s easy to become focused on it. Since our brains are NOT hardwired, they constantly change as we experience life. Negative thinking over time will become a habit and will ultimately transform our brains. The good news is that the opposite happens as well; positive self-talk can also become habitual and transform our brains – in a good way!

A large part of spiritual growth is getting rid of negative thinking about who we are and about the world in which we live. A great way to begin is to learn to reframe things that are happening around you and the thoughts you have about them. In other words, step back and look at things through another lens. Try to positively reframe upsetting events, actions, or relationships. Try to see actions of others as unintentional or motivated by factors other than you. If these explanations clearly do not apply, simply “let it go” to maintain your own inner peace and spiritual wellness.

Reframing can change your body’s response to stress. Learn to visualize what you want to be and how you want to respond. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on positive thoughts and images. Over time, the positive thoughts and images (self-talk) will become “etched” into our brains and our behavior. So, in your quest for spiritual wellness try positive reframing – before long, you will be listening more carefully!

 

Stretching Open

Who am I?

I find this to be a very intriguing question; this search for the “True Self” as it is often called.   I could think of a quite a few words to describe myself, such as: wife, mother, daughter, friend, patient, peacemaker, etc.  One word I typically wouldn’t use, nor do I think others wold use, is “athlete.”  For some reason, that word just doesn’t fit even though in truth, I’m a runner.  I enjoy running for exercise and am currently training for my second marathon.  But since I’m not trying to win any races, I just don’t see myself as an athlete.  (Which by the way, “slow and steady wins the race” isn’t true.)  So I do some running but that’s about the extent of my athleticism.  One thing
I know should go hand in hand with running is stretching and I’m terribly guilty of not doing that!

So what does this have to do with discovering my True Self?

Well, I find that running without stretching causes me to be very tight and inflexible.  When I do take the time to stretch andOpeningtotheHeartofWholeness_small practice yoga, my body opens up and creates space for me to move freely.  This is a metaphor for my spiritual life.  Running without stretching is like living without meditation.  I can give and give of myself; loving others, ministering to those in need, engaging in holy listening.  But if I haven’t taken the time for meditation, then like the physical running, my spirit begins to tighten and I’m in danger of serious injury to my soul.

I believe that within each of us is a holy place where we are at one with the Divine and it is there that we discover our True Self as we are created to be.  This sacred space holds the truth of Love and Grace that gives meaning and purpose to our life.  How do we discover and dwell in this place?  We must “stretch open” our soul.  We must take time for prayer, meditation, and contemplation so we can quiet the distractions of life and loosen all the muscles that contract around this holy of holies blocking our entrance.

So today I will begin a more diligent discipline of stretching.  Stretching my body to open to the wonders of the world and stretching my soul to open to the wonders of the Divine within.

How do you open yourself?

Tapestry

“Wow…I did not see that coming…what a wonderful surprise!”  “Oh my…I did not see that coming…this changes things and will be so hard.”  Life is full of these kind of moments, as well as the routine and predictable periods.  All are sacred and worthy of reflection.

For me personally, life is a tapestry, threads made and woven from encounters, situations, events, and relationships…made sacred by the ever present weavings of the Spirit. In this tapestry there are colors I would not have chosen, patterns I could never imagine for myself, and beauty beyond what I could create.

When I take time to step back and reflect on my tapestry I see things that were missed in the moments. I see weavings, encounters that came together in just the right moDepositphotos_56537483_s-2015ments. I see threads that looked like they were dangling at the time, but were later woven in to complete or add to my journey’s design. I see places, often during difficult times, where the threads grew tighter holding the fabric together and people that were essential in those moments. I see the brightness that laughter and silliness bring to my unique design.

I stand in amazement, often times laughing, at the “threads” that make up the tapestry in my life. It is with great wonderment that I look forward to future threads that will be part of my life’s tapestry.

I have a passion to be with and provide opportunities for others as they discover the beauty and the sacredness in the tapestry of their lives. My experience has been that this awareness of God’s presence influences how we move through our days and wander toward our future.

Maybe you see your journey in the image of landscapes, or a unique tree, possibly even weather patterns. I would love to hear about your images!

Reah’s Blog

Have you ever looked for your glasses while they were on your head? Or asked someone where your phone is while you were still holding it? We have too! And that is the reason for this blog. Well, not to find your glasses, but to realize that the search for Spirituality, the Sacred, is often like looking for the phone we are holding. We are searching everywhere but within…within our self, within our day, within our relationships, within our surroundings. The blogs that will be posted are the musings of people who seek to grow in union with God and all creation. Who seek to recognize the Sacred in the smallest of things, in the lost keys, in the funny moments, in the moments of suffering and so on.

We invite you to journey with us …..