Winged Life Spiritual Direction and Retreats

Clarity. Purpose. Peace.

Winged Life Spiritual
Direction and Retreats

Clarity. Purpose. Peace.

Cheryl Lyon, CPC

Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader and Life Coach

Re-Entry and Re-Creation

Everyone seems to be talking about “re-entry” these days. Now that many of us have been vaccinated and pandemic restrictions are lifting, life is starting to return to some semblance of “normal.”

But what do we want our new “new normal” – our chosen new normal – to look like? Which activities do we want to resume, and which are we just as happy without? How safe (or not) do we feel in larger groups of unrelated people? What grief do we have yet to process? What joy do we yearn for? How do we cope with the uncertainty that now seems to be part of our lives?

For me, the answer to all of those questions comes from Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message paraphrase):

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…

What an evocative and spacious phrase: “the unforced rhythms of grace.” What would that look like for you? What would that feel like? What would it make possible?

For me, while I have much to learn yet about those unforced rhythms of grace, what I have learned so far is that I need to take time to take care of my body, allow myself to rest, and keep my focus on people more than projects. And what I also know is that those are generally the first things to go when I start getting “busy” or feeling pressured, so I need to keep my attention on them.

I need to let go of the small stuff. And I need to pay more attention to the big stuff: justice and opportunity for all, care for our planet, and, especially, nurturing my connection with the Holy One and All-That Is. Because that is the root of any impact I might have in this life, any kindness I can give, any blessing I can bestow.
The passage from Matthew continues:

        Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

The only way I have found to live anywhere in the vicinity of “freely and lightly” is to keep looking in the direction of love, connection and grace, and to keep making space in my life – from 20 minutes in the morning to the pause of a breath multiple times a day – to shift my focus from “doing” back to “being,” from “problem” to “opportunity for grace,” from racing to get things done to listening for how things want to unfold, from focusing on what’s missing to focusing on what I can do, share and enjoy with what I already have.

What about you? What would it be like for you to live “freely and lightly” – if only for an hour? What would it be like to move through the day in “the unforced rhythms of grace”? What would it be like to consider the “unforced rhythms of grace” as you head toward “re-entry”?

Invitation to Action:

1) Journal, write a poem, or make a collage that represents what it might be like to dwell in “the unforced rhythms of grace.” 
2) Meditate on how you might live more “freely and lightly.” What needs to be added? What needs to be let go? What grace might you pray for?
3) Consider your own patterns. What important things are you likely to drop when life gets pressured? What shadow comforts* start to show up? What important things have you dropped, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, intentionally or inadvertently, that you want to pick up again? Which do you need to keep reminding yourself not to pick up?
*“Shadow comfort” is a phrase coined by Jennifer Louden to denote things we do in the name of self-care that in fact deplete us.  It’s the difference between savoring a small piece of chocolate cake and mindlessly eating half the cake, barely tasting it, in an attempt to self-soothe.  It’s the difference between mindfully connecting with a friend on Facebook and aimlessly scrolling. 

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Cheryl Lyon, CPC

Cheryl Lyon, CPC

I’m a spiritual director and retreat leader with a life coaching background. I offer spiritual companioning and retreats for people who want to go deeper – deeper into themselves, deeper into their connection with the Divine, and deeper into that place of peace, equanimity, and connection they sometimes feel in meditation, prayer, nature or the arts.

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