Winter Feast for the Soul: Day 1 Engagement

It has been a couple of years since I’ve had the opportunity to engage in the forty-day community meditation. I’m not making excuses, but I am saying that it wasn’t a priority that way it is this year. The first day for me usually makes a statement in my heart and soul. It provides me with a direction that will lead me into the depths of my being. It’s not always a pretty journey, but it’s always a worthwhile one.

I’m not the type to sit on a cushion cross-legged and chant. I find my mind is at its most quiet space when I’m engaged in an activity that is repetitive. My meditation takes the form of a quilt piece. I work on a piece every day for the forty days giving my mind the space to allow thoughts and feelings to blossom. It’s a place of reverence. The creation of this work gives me a nonverbal way to show the external world my internal one.

Engagement is something I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few weeks because I feel as if I’ve been in retreat mode. I’ve isolated myself, for a number of reasons including sadness, self-meaning and worth, and identity. The last one reared its ugly head when my unemployment ended and the words, “what’s next” keep coming to the foreground.

The problem with engagement is it opens the door to hurt. It makes me vulnerable and I don’t always have my protective shields up. As I begin a downward spiral and the hamster wheel begins, it’s an interrupter like the meditation for the soul that allows me to break the cycle and engage in a new mindset.

The sadness for me, as of late, is connected to the deaths of a number of people. I understand that I’m not getting any younger and although my contemporaries may not be dying, their parents are of an age when that dreaded phone call begins more likely than not. My meditation today asked me to engage in my relationships in a new way. It is challenging me to connect more regularly and in deeper ways that just social media. It’s imperative that I let those important to me know what that means more than a thumbs-up on Facebook.

A new puppy came into my life this year and she keeps me present. She has no idea about tomorrow. She doesn’t plan her day, week, or month out to optimize her potential. Her potential is in the here and now and she engages with me to make sure I understand what being in the present means.

Join me on this 40-day journey. Who knows, the questions that come up for me may be similar to those rearing their head in your life. The journey inward is a creative adventure and I’m taking the plunge.



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