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Becoming an Invitation ~ Surrendering to the strange pull of what you really love

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 in Featured Writing, Lifeletters & Articles | 0 comments

Becoming an Invitation ~ Surrendering to the strange pull of what you really love

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.”
~Rumi

On Saturday, during the global online event ‘One World Bearing Witness,’ I witnessed something that lit a flame inside my heart. Two beautiful dark haired young women came together for a very simple ritual: one from Palestine and one from Israel. They spoke of their part of the world as ‘the tired land,’ a place exhausted by violence, fragmentation and despair. These two women brought their voices, minds, hearts and souls together in an eloquent prayer for peace. I could feel the sweet depth of their longing, and the power of their shared intention, pouring out of their bodies. At the end of their ritual, each one took a few seeds and filled them with their prayers, their intentions, and their deep desire for peace. They placed these seeds in a simple earthen pot while we watched. Then they asked those of us who were participating with them to take a few seeds of our own, plant them in a pot, and water those seeds with our prayers, our love, and our vision of new possibilities for the ‘tired land.’

The poet David Whyte speaks of ‘becoming an invitation.’ How do we allow ourselves to become an invitation for something greater, more loving and more intelligent than ourselves to enter our lives? I believe there are many ways to open to this evolutionary way of being human–one of them was demonstrated by these two women in the Middle East. A simple ritual like this is much more powerful than it appears to be, if we bring all that we are to it. It anchors us in the body, in the actual feeling of ‘the strange pull of what we really love.’

My pot, in which Jonathan and I will soon plant our seeds, sits on our table, waiting for those seeds to enter into the soil. I have written ‘Israel and Palestine’ on the pot, and every time I pass by the table, a prayer bubbles up from inside my heart. I feel the tug of that strange pull—it is much stronger now than before I prepared the pot for those seeds. When the flowers come up, they will not be just flowers for us. Those flowers will hold an energy: the beauty and sacred power of new possibilities, of restoration and renewal in the Holy Land. Ritual is not really about what we are doing—it’s about how much we can open ourselves to the magnetic power of what we truly love, to what is invisible, but full of potency and grace.

Becoming an Invitation

We become an invitation when we realize how extraordinarily limited our individual powers and resources are, when we begin to turn in another direction for help, for guidance, for strength and support. Ritual is like a golden thread that helps us remember this: we are never separate or alone; but we have to call out, we have to open our hearts and minds and bodies, to receive the grace and clarity that is always ready to descend, to surprise, to awaken us with the promise of new life.

Is this easy? Not at all. It’s easier to give up, to sink into numbness, lethargy and despair. What brought those two young women together was probably heartbreak and desolation, pain and darkness that somehow found a way to quicken and grow into another form, a courageous yes. A strange yes, that keeps burning bright, in spite of how things appear to be.

If you’ve opened your loving to that greater love
you’re helping people you don’t know and have never seen.
Is what I say true? Say yes quickly,
if you know, you’ve known it
from the beginning of the universe.
~Rumi

with love,
Shayla

 

photo credit: Jannaca Chick

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