Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

state of grace

Somehow, somewhere in the last week or so, I slipped into a state of grace. I don't think you can will yourself into this place. Believe me, I've tried. I've found moments of grace during prayer and meditation--where the mind quiets, the heart beats quietly and steadily, the inner voices are still, and only the voice of Spirit whispers. But it's never been sustainable, and I'm sure it isn't now. But it is a place I've never been before. A place where I move through my day and then something triggers an emotional feeling that pulls me off my center and it feels as if my energy flies out the window. In the past, I would stay feeling energy-drained and emotionally upset for hours, days, even weeks. Now, it is as if a wise witness is observing this behavior. Once noticed, I stop, tune in to what occurred that triggered the response, and once I accept whatever feelings got triggered (usually it's fear of something), I slip right back into the state of grace.

My two biggest insights during this spiritual retreat I began before the holidays is, one, the triggered feelings are almost never about the other person and two, that I've been living my life backwards. I used to try to fit spirituality into it, perhaps a church service on Sunday. Read a spiritual book here and there. Now, I'm trying to fit my life into my spirituality, living from the spiritual place and doing an activity here and there. Trying to live my spirituality during activities.

How do you balance spirituality and living your life? What does grace mean to you?


Karen Jones Gowen said...

This is fascinating to me. I understand what you are saying and it is lovely. I call this state a feeling of peace but I like your term "a state of grace."

Robin said...

I think most of us try to live our lives backward. This was very insightful on so many levels. We need to bring our spiritual selves everywhere... not just to church.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - fascinating to read ... we grow so much as we age - and life's thoughts take a different path, which leaves us feeling easier ... such a great post - "a state of grace" ... good to remember - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Spirituality should be our life, should be present in all things. We often fail at that since we fall short of perfection and grace. Fortunately, God has enough of both for all of us.

Murees Dupé said...

It sounds like a good place to be. I agree with Alex. Enjoy your state of grace.

Karen Walker said...

Karen, peace is a good word as well for this state of being.
Robin, yup, that's exactly what I realized.
Thanks, Hilary
Alex, yes, yes yes
Murees, it is, I hope it lasts.

Anonymous said...

If it doesn't last, you have a hint of how to get back there. -Simona

Stephanie Faris said...

I read recently that religion is sitting in a church thinking about being in a kayak on the lake. Spirituality is sitting in a kayak on the lake thinking about God.

Crystal Collier said...

For me, that balance comes through multiple prayers during the day and immersing myself in the scriptures morning and night, with occasional snatches between. It's hard to keep a balance, but I know what you're talking about.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, I love that one, Stephanie
Crystal, sounds like you've got a good handle on keeping that balance

Arlee Bird said...

Sounds like you have been in a good place. I try to maintain some spiritual connection throughout my waking hours to help keep me on an even keel.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm always so impressed by how open and willing you are to stretch and grow, Karen!

Nick Wilford said...

That sounds like a great way of living your life. I'd like to achieve a state like that.

Misha Gericke said...

It's a wonderful state to be in.

I tend to believe that we're actually always in that state, but that we need to focus on being aware of it so that little things don't upset us as much.