Do not underestimate the power of gentleness.
Gentleness is strength wrapped in peace,
and therein lies the power to change the world.
-L. R. Knost
Welcome to the Reflection for July!
Over the past three years, I have begun the practice of art journaling after watching a video on Facebook by the artist, Laly Mille (click here to view one of Laly’s videos). I never knew that playing around with collage papers, paints and pictures could be so inspiring and cultivate so much joy, patience and creativity.
Last month, I found myself creating a journal spread of images of people who live and lead with a spirit of gentleness. After watching the news about war and disruption, I found myself needing visual images of those who seek to create peace in our world. My journal page included pictures of people like Lynne Twist, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. It also included quotes about gentleness that resonate in my heart.
I write about this because, for me, my art journaling practice has become a way of connecting with and nurturing what is known as the fruits of the Spirit. This practice has a way of calming me, but also filling me up. I find that it is a meditative process and I almost always come away from time spent with my art journal with an inner smile.
Our reflection this month is about allowing ourselves the space and opportunity to do those things that help to replenish our inner reserves of love, joy, patience and kindness, to name a few of the qualities known as the fruits of the Spirit.
Over these summer months, may each of you find the activities, the people and the spaces that nourish your inner being and help you bear the fruits of love in our world.
With flourishing blessings,
I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest teachers.
The audio file below offers a reflection on the Fruits of the Spirit. The reflection is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences around this theme. Please print these out before you listen to the audio file.
You are invited to create a comfortable space for yourself, perhaps light a candle and wrap a shawl around you as you take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection and then answer the questions. May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.
Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions that go along with this month’s reflection.
A Song to Close Your Reflection
You may wish to close your time of reflection with this song by Karen Drucker, called If Love is Why I’m Here. Click the link below to listen to the song.
Spirit Garden Moments
Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection. Below is a Spirit Garden Moment which includes a poem on Traveling Light.
Patience attracts happiness;
it brings near what is far.
These summer months invite us into a time of restoration and nourishment. Many of us are taking vacations and we try not to fill our calendars too full so that there is space for relaxation.
This is the energy of summer at play. In the natural rhythms and cycles of nature, the summer months call for us to set down the tasks and to trust that the seeds we have planted in our lives will take root and grow. This is a season of patience and of allowing life to unfurl.
I have spoken to many people over the past number of weeks who are in need of the slower pace of summer. The past few years have been tiring on so many levels and these summer months invite us into a rhythm of life that is replenishing. I hope each of you find ways to accept the invitations of summer that will feed your soul.
My husband and I love camping and we spent the first week of July at a campground nearby. On Friday afternoon, we watched the weekend campers arrive. Vehicle after vehicle drove by as families sought out their spot for the next few days. Children spilt out of vehicles, almost bouncing with excitement. Hyper with energy, laughter and playfulness – ready for adventure. All around us, people were setting up temporary homes among the trees. Plastic table cloths covered picnic tables. Chairs circled around fire pits. Sighs and exhales were heard as people breathed more deeply and allowed the life they left behind to drop away for a few days. The air was alive with the awareness that it is time for play, relaxation and adventure among the trees, the sky and the ocean.
These memories inspired a poem this week that I am sharing with you. It is called, Traveling Light. I hope you enjoy it. And as these summer months unfold, may you find your moments of lightness, of relaxation and renewal.
With light-filled blessings,
May these summer months be a time of rest and replenishment. May your inner reserves of love, patience, kindness, and gentleness be strengthened and may you drink deeply from moments of joy.
Connect & Share
Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!