Day by day, I sense a greater frequency and increasing intensity of self-awareness that is perhaps a growing awareness of God, concentrated.
That word — concentrated — helps me understand it on yet another level, even as I write. Concentrated joy. Concentrated focus. Concentrated orange juice.
Yes, orange juice. We go with the familiar when we try to teach. Growing up, I cannot recall the concept of orange juice in a fresh-squeezed format. My mother bought orange juice concentrate at the corner grocery. Thawing it in time, we mixed it up with two measures water, one measure orange juice. It was delicious … sweet, tangy and with just enough pulp to make the tongue aware that it came from the orange itself.
At points in my life, I spread myself out making as many connections as possible. Church, community, friends, neighbors, family, strangers — I sought them, longed for them and built them. It was a ministry, a life’s work for a season.
In this time, I feel myself drawing inward, like moving through chambers of a nautilus. When I wake from a dream, I often find myself moving through a beautiful structure that I know deeply is my own home. Carl Jung spoke of dreams. A house is an image for the soul. Teresa of Avila wrote of the Interior Castle and movement through the chambers of a manse, the soul itself.
At times, I appear to be functioning out of a scarcity pattern. That is, I do not have enough time, energy or self to spread across realms of interest or commitment. Therefore, I retreat. I choose my sphere of influence. I choose my inner circle with even more care.
On the other hand, perhaps my approach gives the appearance of being selfish. One could argue that it is inhospitable, unkind to draw in and not to extend. If I keep giving of myself (like the magic penny), more will come back and the renewable resources will be refilled.
Energetically, I feel like a hermit or a desert amma. Even more than the necessitating days of a newborn babe in my arms, being at home and sleeping when she slept, I draw into my own immediate community. Outside these small spheres, I have no more to give.
I learn as I write. Maybe, instead of scarcity, this is a mentality of Enough. Or a heartful state of being that “this enough that I have to offer to others, to God and to the world is, indeed, Enough.” This boundary-setting feels necessary, good and right.
Maybe this is a season ... a hermit-season… a soul-season. This is a time of nurturing the core, of recognizing enough is Enough. Maybe that … is holy, embodied, enlivened, Divine.