Author: lfw3

Why do we need silence?

Some creative examples are Julio Iglesias, who picked up his guitar in seriousness after an auto accident, or Frida Kahlo, who began her career in art after a horrible accident in a bus. (see:  Julio and Frida ) Both of these individuals were forced to look at what they were doing in their lives in the process of recuperation.  Their creativity flowered from the silence and slowing down forced upon them by the accidents (and illness, in Frida’s case). Many of the saints share this turning point of an accident that drew them to God in silence and a forced slowing down of life.  The first one that JUMPS into my head is St. Ignatius of Loyola.  As a soldier with a serious wound, during his recuperation, subsequent pilgrimage to Montserrat and then time living near it, he formulated his Spiritual Exercises and started what became the Jesuits, a religious order that still works in our world today in about 1534 (Here ‘s a bit more than that.) As a result of silence, pain, and reading, he gave so much more to all humanity then he would have as a soldier! (Cntinue with St. Teresa . . . ) Silence.  Nothing.  Alone with our thoughts. Some of us crave it and are labeled introverts.  Some of us abhor (or don’t like) it and are labeled extroverts.  But we ALL need...

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Would a group pilgrimage allowing individual choice be right for you?

Reviwing the Itinerary is the best way to kow!  Here is the proposed Itinerary for Camino 2018 Humility fact:  Emperor Constantine I invited 1800 bishops to the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  318, or 17% attended.  These were committed people responding to the Emperor! (Of course, they might have wondered about their safety!) How does that relate to this trip? You don’t hurt any feelings by asking about it, and then not going, so ask away! AND more importantly, you will be free to choose what you do since no one will be offended and no pressure will be exerted upon you since you know your own needs. Apart from dates of travel, and time arrival windows, the only agenda is between you and God, so you will decide where to stay, what to eat and even what prayer activities to participate in during the pilgrimage. You might wonder about your safety, too, given the news about Catalunya.  Realize the Camino is on the opposite side of the country.  Sadly, Laura Woford is just your guide and can help you be safe, but cannot make any imperial guarantees about your personal safety! Your decisions will have an eternal impact on your life, on the life of your community and who knows, perhaps on human history, just like the decisions the Bishops made in Nicea (although possibly, the results...

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How can I ease hand pain?

  For those of you who are new to coloring to meditate who are making new muscles, or for those of you who have arthritis or other health conditions that make your hands hurt: Hope of less or no pain while coloring exists! Here are some helpful tips, and questions to ask yourself:  Watch the video, then read. Pressure: 1) How strongly am I gripping the writing instrument I’m using?  Yes, some people hold them in a death grip without realizing they are working extra hard.  This tires their hands.  By paying attention, you can learn to loosen your grip, and be present in the moment to pay attention is what coloring can do for you.  One thought that makes people hold on tight is worrying about making a perfect letter, especially if, like me, you failed handwriting in fourth grade, or maybe never had a class about handwriting at all in school.  Remind yourself that coloring to meditate is not about perfect marks or letters.  Remember, God is merciful and enjoys this time of quiet with you.   2)  How firmly am I pressing the writing instrument on the paper?  Sometimes pressing hard gives great color, when using either markers or pencils.  The same effect can be used by moving slowly with markers or repeating a stroke over and over in the same place with pencils.  Pressing lightly also helps...

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Why isn’t this book available on Amazon? And a reflection on technology . . .welcome 2018!

This book is not on Amazon due to cost in part. However, reasons beyond cost pushed the decision to self-publish a real book and not an e-book.  Self-publishing is fast. It gives complete freedom for content.  It allows me to seek reviews from people in this field of prayer.  Testing the market for this very specialized project is much less expensive.  Obtaining an ISBN is not difficult, nor horribly time-consuming.   Why not an e-book?  They are so much less expensive.  So true!  However, this particular book needed to be published in a traditional paper format with the special binding to allow it to lay flat.  It’s water resistant cover and higher quality paper are the result of private on-demand printing that offered these enhancements unavailable through services like Lulu (a free online book publisher).  In addition, if you are up to date on some of the research, making sure to have some non-digital activities in your daily routine is a good idea.  (Just as an example,see Simon Sinek’s talk on Millennials:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU  And see these counterpoints:  https://www.thindifference.com/2017/01/simon-sinek-got-wrong-millennials-workplace/ )  The Art2Pray meditative coloring books will always be published on paper.  For those of you who wish to integrate them into your digital life, the Facebook group supports you, and you are welcome to post photos on Instagram and tag @art2pray.  Post comments and reviews on this blog and on...

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Trips can be empty consumerism; pursue a pilgrimage to guarantee growth

Recently, an article by Kris Gage came up on the Medium feed. One of the subtitles really caught my attention: “Travel does not automatically expand you as a human being”. Wow, so true! Observe many people on the Camino, and you will come to the same conclusion. It seems that is all about the “Compostela”, the certificate given to those who walk a minimum of 100 km on the Camino and get their “Camino passport” stamped appropriately along the way to show that they have not done anything but walk (or ride horseback or cycle). Many seem to be having aimless conversations, or worse, they plod along with their earbuds inserted ignoring the human and natural beauty around them. The movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen, directed by Emilio Estevez, makes this point well. Watch it if you have never been on the Camino. A pilgrimage undertaken specifically to embark on personal growth in order to bring that growth to bear on all aspects of a pilgrim’s life will take the pilgrim out of everyday life out of the comfort zone and forever change that life by filling it with spiritual strength and prayer. Kris makes that point that this growth can be undertaken within the bounds of your day to day life, and that even travel does not provoke people to try the new things they need to...

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