Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler
” In every winter’s heart there is a quivering spring and behind the veil of each night is a smiling dawn.”~Kahil Gibran
I’m back after what has felt like a long winter’s nap…
I took on the challenge of giving up something I had worked five years to build. For forty days. A Lenten Sabbatical. During this time I came across a booklet of daily scripture reflections called Lord, Open My Heart by Julie Davis. Here’s what she says that resonated with my need to step back and reflect:
“Lent is about restoring our proper perspective toward God. It is a time for sacrifice and self-denial, a time of prayer and forgiveness, a time for a spring-cleaning of the soul.”
Yes, it was a challenge to step back from social media and I’ll confess I had a few minor relapses where I checked Facebook or my Twitter stream.
But my need to step back was greater than my need to stay in the stream.
I was ready to step back from the buzz and chaos of constant messages and updates. I needed to find a quiet place to rest and reflect. I was hopeful it would bring about a sense of renewal. I wanted to get back in touch with my purpose, my passions so that I could write from a place deep within about the things that mattered the most. I wanted to take care of myself so that I could be all I needed and wanted to be; to explore which road I wanted to take. I wanted to “spring-clean my soul “:
I didn’t accomplish everything I had wanted to accomplish. I did not do as much writing on my next memoir as I had intended. I did not polish the article I plan to submit to Guidepost magazine. Actually, I let go of a schedule where I’d make a to-do list and dutifully cross off each item. Maybe I need to get back in the fray to get inspired about completing these tasks!
Instead, here’s what I did do…
I read what I wanted to read without feeling the need to post a review on Amazon. I don’t think Ernest Hemingway would have minded.
I wrote in my journal daily, a practice I had moved away from.
I stared out the window at the snow-covered woods and listened to the silence.
I spent more time with Wayne, walking with Max, our Golden Retriever and hanging out in the greenhouse as Wayne planted onions from seeds. His farmer’s sense told me spring was coming and I felt hopeful.
I spent time in prayer and meditation about Lent and what it meant to me day-to-day. Here’s one that holds a special meaning to me:
“For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved.” (ISAIAH 30:15)”
We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be…if you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road.
Drum roll please…
I worked on a newsletter-finally-which will go live on Monday, 4/27/15. You can subscribe in the sign-up box on the right sidebar. I will start out publishing this monthly and it will include updates, memoir musings and more of my story, i.e. sharing Max Moments (our big, fluffy Golden Retriever). The theme will be “sharing hope one story at a time”.
Here’s what happened…
In stepping back, I reconnected with my passion to share hope one story at a time. I came back to where I started, only with a renewed sense of purpose and desire to connect with others.
I missed you all and I’m excited to be back.
I love the feeling on being on the right road and look forward to all the ways we will stay connected.
Let’s all keep sharing our stories. We are all enriched, enlightened and inspired when we do.
For me, Lent turned out to be the ultimate season of hope with Easter and Spring being the fulfillment of the promise of hope and new beginnings; stepping from the darkness into the light.
How about you? Have you ever stepped back so you can move forward?
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
“Good Grief! What I Learned From Loss: How a TEDx Talk Brought My Ideas to Life by Memoir Author Elaine Mansfield”
Elaine is the author of Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief. She has graciously offered to give a copy of her memoir to a commenter whose name will be selected in a random drawing.