Monthly Archives: July 2013

letting there be room

We are in major summer celebration mode! My family is here in San Diego for my mom’s 70th birthday. Two words: Family. Circus. Loving being together, the conversations that happen because we’re hanging out all day, lingering, lounging.

My friend Jamie is here, too. She showed this to me yesterday. I thought it was exquisite and wanted you to read it because it reminds us that there are seasons for come aparts and seasons for come togethers. And there’s something important for us in all of it. If you need to lean into something today, I hope these words help you do it.

Love upon love, Leeana

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courage

“Life shrinks or expands

in proportion to one’s courage.”

Anais Nin

On Monday night, I spoke at a women’s event at my church, which was such a sweet homecoming for me. I talked about courage, and what it means – to me – to be a person of courage.

Courage comes from the Latin word “cor,” meaning “heart.”

I believe we all want to be people of the heart. We don’t want to be marking time, living in survival mode, eeking life out. We want to be flourishing, living from a very awake and alive heart. We want to live from the broad grace, the expanse, the spacious place.

This requires courage.

Mainly because many of us carry chaos inside us that is unresolved. This chaos creates a level of discomfort, dis-ease. When we hit up against the raw places inside us, we have a choice: numb or respond.

It takes courage to respond. It takes courage to feel. It takes courage to put our phones down and look up at the world. It takes courage to get up off the couch.

It takes courage to make one small step in the right direction.

We get stymied because we assume acts of courage are sweeping declarations or 180-degree resolutions when, I believe, courage is really about taking the very next step in front of us.

When we take that next right step, our one part courage is met with a thousand parts God’s grace. And we can make a long journey that way. One little step at a time.

I’ve seen this truth in my own life. Transformation happens in small steps of courage. One after the other.

Is there a next step in your life that God’s been nudging you to consider? Seeing a doctor. Going to a meeting. Calling that friend. Acknowledging a desire. Surrendering a dream. Taking a prayer walk. Meeting with a counselor. Signing up for a group.

Could you, in an act of courage, turn toward that next step today?

We come into contact with our own discomfort. We respond by taking one small step. We believe (even in our unbelief) that our small step of courage will be met with God’s limitless grace. And we find that we can make a long journey one incremental step at a time.

I believe in you.

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free

“Time spent dedicated to your creativity equals time spent dedicated to creating a more whole version of yourself. It is through the process of listening to your intuition and responding in a fully expressive way that we discover and return to our most authentic selves.” Flora Bowley

Today, on the eve of July 4th, 2013, I’m thinking about freedom.

I’ve been reading this beautiful book called Brave Intuitive Painting in which the author Flora Bowley outlines a process to help you begin painting from a very intuitive place, the kind of place that eludes control or manipulation or shoulds. Along the way, she provides a great deal of encouragement on how to access and loose our intuitive self.

Inside everyone of us, there is a much wilder, freer, and more intuitive version of ourselves. She is where possibilities reside. She is where, I’m convinced, some of our greatest truths reside.

Too many of us have suppressed or denied or ignored her. We’ve gagged her with Doritos and Diet Coke. We’ve covered her up with bronzer. We’ve smothered her with layers and layers of trying-too-hard. We’ve abandoned her in favor of the shoulds.

Sadly, we’ve also allowed misguided thinking in our Christian tradition to convince us that the human “self” is to be treated as a suspect instead of a guide. We’ve been told that our depravity makes us unreliable in every way including our observations, desires, and intuitions.

Have you believed that good Christians silence the self?

My poet-sage Maya Angelou says, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

My intuitive self has a story to tell if I will create the time and space to listen, if I will engage in activities and practices that bring her out instead of stifle her.

She is our soul voice, the spring from which our truest and most prophetic offering will flow. She will guide us toward real living and not just following the crowd.

I don’t want to live with an untold story inside me. No one does. That’s marking time; that’s not being alive.

If you get very quiet, if you flow into a more creative and soulful space, what does your authentic self have to say? Is it possible that we could begin to set her free?

All my love,

Leeana

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