Hello my friends at East Lake Church. I am so grateful I have gotten to meet so many of you over the past few years. So today I am writing a blog JUST for all of you. If you have attended any of my workshops/events you know my main message. Befriend your body, understand how the body works in order to decrease the amount of stress and anxiety you live in. I heartily agree with Psalms 139, ‘We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made’, and God delights in our beings/bodies/matter. Understanding as much as we can comprehend of our human fearful wonderfulness, helps us live in the freedom Jesus came to bring.
The need to be present or mindful is one of the points I repeatedly make. Many of my workshop exercises are geared toward helping people become present (at home) to their bodies and to their experiences. We all need some help with that. There are two modes of being alive, mindful and auto-pilot. When we live in mindfulness we are 100% in the moment and the situation in front of us. We are aware of our bodily responses and thoughts engendered by this moment.
Auto-pilot is more like sleep-walking. We are moving through life but most of our energy and focus is stuck in our head. We are checked out and daydreaming. Or, we are worrying, and stuck ruminating about the past or the future. Another words, NOT present! So here is a question. What do mindfulness and presence have to do with walking in the Spirit, with hearing the God’s voice? This is the subject of today’s blog. I hope you find it interesting and helpful.
My answer is, we need to be mindful and present to each moment in order to connect with God’s presence in that moment. But also, we must be present in order to hear our intuition, which I believe is often a little nudge from the Holy Spirit. I will provide some personal examples to illustrate why this is my answer.
Before I do, perhaps I should back up. Maybe some of you don’t believe God cares enough to communicate with humanity about the little details. Or maybe you think God only speaks in old dusty books written centuries ago. Or maybe you struggle with believing in God at all. But let me ask you this. Do you ever have moments where you just know something and you don’t know how you know it but you do? Or, moments when you see a video, photo, movie scene, or hear a song that just breaks you wide open? At that instant you feel the amazing bittersweet rush of the bigness and vitality that is this life we have been gifted with. My premise is these are examples of God communicating with humanity. Examples of when the spiritual reality breaks through our numbness and walls of mundanity we often live behind. Going through our ruts living in our heads, day by day. We must be awake & mindful to hear God and to feel God’s presence.
God is bigger, wilder, and more attuned to us than we can imagine. The Bible often compares God to a great father (parent). A good parent communicates with children regularly. To demonstrate my point I will give you 2 personal examples of how mindful presence allowed me to experience God’s intention to protect me via intuition or Holy Spirit nudges.
But first, an example of my lack of mindfulness, because that is often the case. A month ago I was driving by a tire shop and I had an intuition (a thought popped into my head) to go in and check my tires. But I was on auto-pilot that day. In a hurry and ruminating about my long to-do list. The car only has 36K and the tires are warrantied for 45K so I totally ignored the intuition (nudge). I just went back to my mental gymnastics and blocked it out of my mind.
Fast forward 3 weeks later. I was once again driving by a tire shop and I got the intuition again, even stronger this time, ‘check your tires’. That day I was present to the moment and my body. I was not sleep-walking, or stuck in the mental noise in my head. I paid attention to this thought/intuition. I could feel the urgency and the importance of it in my belly, because I was paying attention to the moment and my actual bodily experience. So I pulled in and checked. The tire guy showed me some cracks and tears in the tires. 2 of the tires were so bad he was surprised they hadn’t blown. His view was that I was a very lucky woman. My view was I am blessed to have a God who cares and desires my good. I thanked God for being patience with my lack of mindfulness and for keeping me safe even after I ignored the first message. God is infinitely patient with us!
I will end with a final story, about Spikey the bunny, (If you follow my instagram/FB videos you have already met him. I prepared to go surfing this morning and was loading my car. I was present and mindful instead of being on auto-pilot. As I locked up my house and got in the car, I was admiring my new flowers and the beauty of nature. Because I was really aware of my surroundings, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a moving flash of white. Because I was not on auto-pilot, I noticed and was curious. I got back out and walked around the bush to get a closer look. Well to my shock, it was Spikey’s little white tail. Somehow he had slipped out the door when I was loading. He is like lightening when he wants to be. Since there are many large cats and quite a few dogs in the area, locking him outside for 90 minutes could have been deadly. I might have found him dead or just gone. I would never have known what happened to him. I am so grateful for God’s tenderness and care for all creatures. I am also so grateful for the gift of mindfulness and the ability to hear the Holy spirit nudges that come when I pay attention to intuition, to that small voice that we all have access to but must be present to hear.
So please be mindful. Be present to your life. God is here in the present of the present moment. God’s presence is not in the fearful future where we often project ourselves. Notice your surroundings, notice the beauty of your lives. Don’t miss the 100’s of simple tiny joys we are graced with everyday. Mindfulness allows us to live in joy and vitality.
To close I want to especially thank Linda Rankin, whose vision and courage, and passionate drive for growth and wholeness for her people, have opened the door for me to come and share what I know with all of you. And, thank you Wes, Nikki, volunteers, sound people, and all the rest of teams that have supported her and the events that I have presented. We are blessed to be on this journey together.
For more information about ELC, go to http://www.eastlakechurch.com
1.) Which mode do you live in most of the time? When you are on auto-pilot where are you most caught, in the past or future?
2.) Do you listen to your intuition? Do you believe God cares enough to communicate with humanity? If you have a story of how being present enhanced you life I would love if you shared it.