Tuning into life is a practice — Anna Blaedel, USA

Photo by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

Loving is sharing in beauty.
Living is sharing in the earth’s great cycles–life and death, crucifixion and resurrection, germination and bloom, sorrow and wonder and solace.
Our sorrow is deep. Our connection, pulsing too.
Practicing resurrection is recognizing the love that flows through the heart of the world.
Being alive is a gift. Tuning into life is a practice.

Breathe deep. Pull oxygen and Spirit into your lungs. Breathe deep. Again. Inhale. Exhale. Receive. Release.

Listen to birdsong. Hear the birds greet the day. Hear them greet you.

Watch flowers bloom. Feel the slow pace of growth. Mind the difference one day can make.

Find a tree. Touch it. Lean against it. Offer thanks. Remember your roots reach deep, too. You, too, can root down and rise up.

Find softness. Seek it. Wrap it around you. Let it soften you, too. Softness soothes, and strengthens.

Stay up late. Or wake up early. Whatever your rhythm for resting in the dark. Invite its depth to enfold you in mystery and dream.

Light candles. Watch the flame dance. Move toward warmth.

Wrap your arms around yourself. Hold precious you, being held.

Drink water. Make tea. Taste the sweetness, and the grief. Replenish your tears.

List the beauty you encounter within you. List the beauty you encounter around you. Believe in it.

Place seeds in soil. Wait, and watch, patient and expectant, for what is yet becoming.

Listen to the rhythm of your heartbeat. Sing along to your pulse.

Rub lotion into your skin. Linger anywhere that hurts. Gentle, gentle your care.

Say ‘I love you.’ To yourself. To the world. To anything and everyone helping you stay alive, and tuned into life. Listen for love, in all the ways it sings and resounds back to you.

Anna Blaedel, an ordained minister, serves as theologian-in-residence at ‘enfleshed’ which brings ‘an attentiveness to the intersections of academic, activist, and ecclesial engagement.’ Anna nourishes students through campus ministry for the University of Iowa Wesley Center and is enrolled in a PhD program in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University’s Graduate Division on Religion.

Shared with permission from ‘enfleshed,’ which describes itself as follows:

‘While the world aches for transformation and healing, God is not a distant observer but an enfleshed presence at the margins, in the soil, in chaos and quiet, in pleasure and pain. The Divine is intimately entangled with all aspects of our collective life: The material. The political. The intimate. The sensual. The struggle. The places where they all meet.
With this assurance, enfleshed creates and facilitates spiritual resources for Christian-adjacent communities learning and unlearning dominance in belief and practice. As the Spirit, tender and fierce, calls us all to courage, enfleshed hopes to provide sources of deep spiritual nourishment for the work of collective liberation before us.’

Read this and more liturgical writings on the ‘enfleshed’ website.