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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

literally, experiencing God

I have an office space that I share with therapists (they're great - so if you're looking for one and local, let me know) and every other week we gather together for a bit of mindfulness and other things. One popular mindful activity (especially if you're experiencing anxiety) is to stop and take account of your senses wherever you are at in that moment. It helps bring you back into yourself and ground you to what's going on around you.

Our senses are powerful little things and we use them all the time. But I can't help but think they have been put there to create a fuller experience of life than we generally are used to sensing.

This phrase of Psalm 16:11 has been coming back repeatedly throughout my days; "in your presence there is fullness of joy." Read it again, "in your presence there is fullness of joy." Joy to experience a fullness as we experience God in everything we taste, touch, see, hear and smell - whether it's pleasant or unpleasant, sad or happy, just or unjust.

As we live and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28) in the presence of the Divine how can we experience that Presence? There are so many different ways, and they all require one thing. Slowing down. Being present to the moment. Stilling ourselves to whatever else is going on (taking a deep breath helps with that!)

So close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Let go of the thoughts of the day.

Open your eyes.

What do you see? What catches your eye?

Shape, color, light, action, thing?

Sit with that until it brings a thought, word, or emotion up inside of you.

Does it bring up a response?

Take a moment of gratitude for what has been revealed to you through sight.

Then follow with the other senses. It doesn't have to be complicated or long. Or perhaps you just take one sense a day and sit with it longer.

Still unsure of what it all is? Here is an example from my own morning.

I saw the light glistening on the palm tree fronds,

gently moving back and forth - a delicate dance.

And there was a lightness in the movement I saw. So I reflected on the word "lightness" and the feeling of being light and airy within myself. How does that lightness feel in my head, heart and body?

I moved onto taste. Yesterday, i picked a bunch of tomatoes from the garden. As I'm making bruschetta I taste one, it is very sweet and that is slightly unexpected. Unexpected. That reminds me of God, the Mystery of everything. Unexpected as I wait each day for what unfolds. It can be difficult to wait, but resting in the path of life there is fullness of joy.

Now it's your turn.

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