On mornings when the humidity is low, you will find me on my porch. Cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. It’s my spiritual practice and it has transformed my mind and soul.
I have a thing for hand crafted face mugs. They make me smile and a smile first thing in the morning is always a plus! The guy pictured to the left – with the awesome eyebrows and epic stash -can’t hold liquid. He just holds my pens. But on this day, he held something more. As I looked down at his face of brown clay, I saw something move. Something very, very tiny. In the crook of his nose, a little white spider had made his home. You can see him in the picture – the size of a pin head. And that little spider got me thinking…
Spiders spin webs and then wait. Wait for the perfect meal to “fall” into place. Given his location and size, I think this little guy ended up on an unintentional diet plan. It would take one poorly guided blind gnat to ever end up in that little web.
While most spiders are designed to spin and wait; Humans are not.
There’s the “wring- your- hands- in- worry” kind of waiting. Pacing back and forth feeling victimized by the process. That brand of waiting in despair will not breed faith – only fear. Fear that life holds no good in it. That you can’t catch a break. That your “moment” will never arrive. Fear extinguishes faith into ash and paralyzes a soul.
Don’t be a spider. Don’t play it safe and wait in fear for the “right thing” to just fall into your web of life. We aren’t served by hanging in a corner hoping what we need will “drop in” by surprise. We have a responsibility and a role to play in our own story.
Waiting is not just the hardest part – it’s the most important part.
We can LEARN while we wait. WORK while we wait.
Be active. In motion.
Move forward – inward – upward.
That kind of waiting GROWS FAITH – and soon FAITH grows WINGS and enables us to rise and GRAB HOLD of what is meant for us. To get out and happen to this incredible life we are blessed to be living.
Remember – WAIT is a VERB.
A construction site can get messy. Stacks of lumber litter the exposed dirt. Pallets of shingles are stacked everywhere as the air is filled with the echo of hammers and the smell of sawdust. Always, at
the heart of the action, is a blueprint in the hands of the contractor. That road map – with its perfectly drawn lines and angels, guides every piece of sub-flooring, every stud, and door frame to their destination. A feeling of excitement surrounds the orderly chaos as progress becomes visibly measurable. A skeleton of timber and steel rises from the foundation. A roof and walls, like skin, wrap the frame that will soon provide shelter. The plan, dreamed up in a mind’s imagination, comes to life.
Our inner self, like a house, is constructed, too. Parents, or the lack thereof, are the first to lay the very foundation upon which we erect ourselves. Over time, we become the culmination of various building materials; people’s opinions, positive life experiences, negative life experiences and love gained or lost. We are built – thought by thought, belief by belief. And – if we are honest with ourselves – the structure has sustained damage. The roof might leak, the floor might creak and the walls may lean. This is what it is to be human. To be the sum total of both beautifully crafted pieces and broken parts.
There comes a time when we begin to get tired of the rain pouring in through the cracks in the ceiling. We realize the need to tear down the parts of us that no longer serve the soul we long to become. We don’t have to live in a dilapidated house but we shouldn’t condemn it either. What a waste that would be! Deconstruct it instead. Revise the blueprint – the vision for your truest self – into something bold and breathtaking.
Let creativity well up inside you as you begin the work of disassembling. Pick up the hammer and slowly draw the nails from the wood rotted by regret, replace them with solid beams of self worth. Pull off the shingles of doubt and patch those empty holes with faith. Tear down the walls built by fear and install wide, open windows so love and shine in. This renovation, this un-building, takes time. The work will be labor intensive and painstaking. But it is worth the sweat equity because it becomes the home for your exquisite soul to dwell and dream in.
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
So what’s the deal with the feathers?
For many years now feathers have represented a “Godwink” in my life. A gentle reminder that I am loved.
I have found them everywhere! Behind a milk carton in the grocery store. In a rental car in Texas. The white feather I discovered halfway up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France inspired me to keep on climbing up those 669 steps!
Over the years friends have gifted me with feather journals, jewelry and art. However, the most cherished feathers I ever receive are the ones found on the prison yard. For over 11 years now I have volunteered at The Tennessee Prison for Women as director of Voices of Freedom Choir. The prison yard is a small plot of land crisscrossed by a concrete sidewalk. A bird has to drop a feather at the precise moment for it to land in our treeless prison yard AND it needs to be within reach of the sidewalk. To date, I’ve been gifted with over 70 “Prison Feathers.” They are priceless treasures.
I call the choir members “my girls” and they have been my greatest teachers. I’ve learned lessons about forgiveness, courage and resilience from them. And they are generous to me in unconventional ways – using the most basic materials to create lovely heartfelt gifts. One of my girls actually fashioned a dream catcher made from twigs, day lily leaves and golden string wrapped around beautiful feathers. My dream catcher proudly hangs in my home office and serves as a constant reminder that i can chase my dreams and soar.
Truth is, our physical location or current circumstance does not dictate our ability to “fly.” There is a freedom our mind and soul can achieve if we are willing to do the internal work to change and grow. it’s our choice – whether to stay grounded in fear or bravely rise!
I’m Rising with Purpose to live into the abundant life created for me. I will not quit. I may be utterly afraid when I take that huge jump, but I remind myself – I’ve got wings!
“It’s not enough to have feathers. You must dare to fly.” Cass van Krah