beloved life practices 28: live from your joy

 

REFLECTION: ‘A week rarely goes for me without the company of one version or another of Henryk Gorecki’s Third Symphony (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). One of the many interesting things about this powerful piece in three movements, based on searing experiences of abandonment and death, is a tangible sense of hope within sadness. Gorecki’s sublime composition suggests that even death cannot hold back the human and divine spirit. It seems to suggest that joy may deeper than both loss and finding, stronger than desolation or happiness. Live From your Joy is a stance for all of life, a way to live that we can choose to pursue (however tough that may prove), and a stance that we can nurture with practice…’

beloved life: live from your joy
beloved life: live from your joy

PRACTICE: ‘Find something that helps you relocate the joy within you. For me that’s often around music. I keep returning to ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis, his extraordinary album from 1959. In the track ‘Blue in Green’ anything seems possible as Davis and friends improvise around the theme, surfing the joy (of green?) within the melancholy (of blue?) Find a piece of music – or something else – that opens up the path of joy for you. Let whatever you choose be your call into joy. Keep returning to it during the day. Let it break open the joy within you, and enable you to begin again to run over rocks…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

 

 

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beloved life practices 27: choose abundance

 

REFLECTION: ‘The ascent practice of Choose Abundance brings good to us and good to the world around us. Resources are best shared, not hoarded. This is the teaching of Jesus who of course was steeped in the ancient Jewish tradition of a good world full of the abundance of God. The ancient story of beginnings from that tradition describes a world full of abundance, in which humanity has a role to care for the earth, and in which each element of creation is described as good. So it’s not surprising to discover the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth teaching abundance. ‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over….’ This is not a technique, not some pyramid scam to get rich nor some prosperity gospel, but the simple insight that the more we share, the richer life becomes…’

beloved life: choose abundance
beloved life: choose abundance

PRACTICE: ‘Every day, find a way to give something (away). You could make this an element of your daily Examen, linking this practice to the practice of Discover Your Thankfulness*…’

(*practice 21 in this series from Running Over Rocks)

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

 

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morning bell: with Julian of Norwich

 

In this new series of Morning Bell we will be entering stillness, praying and pondering with a series of insights (or ‘showings’) received by the famous English mystic mother Julian of Norwich (1342 – 1423). This particular revelation came from Julian’s holding ‘something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand’.

morning bell: with Julian of Norwich
morning bell: with Julian of Norwich

The photographs were all taken by Ian in the last month around the coast here in South Devon.  As part of your engagement with Morning Bell you might like to give attention to the small things around you – and so with Julian we may discover that ‘he (the Christ) is everything which is good…’

There are various ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Grace and peace to you….

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beloved life practices 26: live with momentum

 

REFLECTION: ‘If I was fifteen again I’d love to learn the art of freerunning – a practice of negotiating the urban landscape that has emerged from the movement discipline of parkour. This is a literal and exuberant running over rocks in the city. What a brilliant thing! To run and jump, to balance and slide in, on and through our physical surroundings. To discover that walls, ramps and steps can be with us rather than against us. To re-encounter concrete as a landscape of possibility, energy and life. Freerunning harnesses the possibility of continuous movement in an unpromising landscape. The practice of Live with Momentum encourages us to move in, through and within the often unpromising landscape of our lives…’

beloved life: live with momentum
beloved life: live with momentum

PRACTICE: ‘Unless you are a freerunner, Live with Momentum will be for most of us a stance of imagination. It nevertheless contains real possibility for how we live each day. As a way in, take a walk near to where you live or work. Begin to see the walls, paths, ramps and roads as representing both the challenges and possibilities that are coming up for you. Imagine yourself running over them, enjoying how they might give you new energy and direction…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

 

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beloved life practices 25: creative you

 

REFLECTION: ‘When we get deep into the creative act something interesting happens. We find ourselves dancing in the stream of something beyond us. Creativity is one of the ways in which we flourish as human beings, holding us when we are in descent, and releasing us into ascent when the opportunity appears. To be creative is to step into our own mystery, and to sense our deep connection to the sacred. So creativity truly matters…’

beloved life: creative you
beloved life: creative you

PRACTICE: ‘Creative You is a practice for the hard but vital work of rediscovering your creative path. It’s the shaping of a ritual for entering into your creativity. The detail of the ritual you create will be very personal to you. Whatever you choose, make the ritual simple and meaningful to you…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

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