My Traveling Shoes

Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality.
I've traveled so many miles in shoes that someone else bought for me, plain, poorly fitted, worn, second hand, hand me downs. Ohh, they hurt my feet and took me places that I didn't need to go, places that I didn't want to go. For many years I put them on. I was told it was my duty, but my heart was heavy and my cares so many.
Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality. I bought these shoes. I own these shoes. They are mine.
by Jeanne leigh...copyrighted...2007


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Thyself

Once when I was studying to be a Spiritual Director, we were asked to take some time and meditate on Psalms 23:5a "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies:" and to then prayerfully and thoughtfully list the enemies in our lives. I was blown away when I got done, because in doing that exercise I came to realize that the majority of enemies in my life were truly things within my own self. Things such as fear, anxiety, poor self image, inferiority, unforgiveness..etc. were the greatest enemies of my soul. I have been using a daily devotion called Radical Grace by Richard Rohr. When I read this meditation, I thought of that experience that I had during those classes. I want to share his meditation with you.

Richard Rohr says, 

There is no way that you can love until you forgive yourself for not being perfect, for not being the saint you thought you were going to be. To use Franciscan imagery, until you've leapt across the chasm and embraced the leper, until you have recognized that really the leper is not on the other side of the chasm but the leper is, first of all, the leper within, you won't really know your passion, or be capable of com-passion.

Compassion comes from a spacious place where a lot of things are put together and coexist, where we recognize, forgive and make friends with the enemy within. There is nothing you hate, there is nothing you fear over there in other people that you haven't met and forgiven in your own soul. The passionate struggle with your own shadow becomes compassion for the struggles of our neighbor.

This certainly rings true in my life. I think this is a major part of our call as humans, to truly know, forgive, embrace and befriend all of ourselves so that we have the power to do that for our neighbor.  Jeanne

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ranier Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian Poet and art critic. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude ,and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose . Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies,; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here are several quotes of Ranier Maria Rilke that I especially love:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.”

"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. "

"Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. "

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to close this with a video of a song called Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Our band, Wise Old River does a version of this song. Hallelujah is a word that can come to us when we are in AWE of something or someone that touches us beyond our normal everyday human existence. These moments are just reminders that there is a deeper life to be lived, a deeper understanding then what we often recognize in our daily living. Rainer Maria Rilke speaks to me in this way. Often certain music does the same. I am grateful for all such moments!!!   Blessings, Jeanne