January 2021

Dear Friends,

As we close 2020 and enter 2021, I invite you to pause with me and open up to receive wisdom, strength, courage, insight and blessing from the Inner Wellspring within.

We are swimming in a world of anxiety.  Every time I turn on the news or look on social media, I am aware of layers of anxiety all around us.  It is so easy to get swept into the urgency of anxiety, the pressing nature of anxiety, the force of anxiety.

Anxiety can feel demanding:   “Look at this now!   Do something now!  Be afraid now!”

As my Spiritual Director Doreen says, anxiety can ‘pull us out of ourselves’.  What does it mean to get pulled out?  Perhaps notice your posture.  What happens to your body when you get swamped by anxiety?  Some people recoil and become smaller.  Some bend over as their shoulders lean towards.  Inwardly, one may experience postures of being in a fetal position, being defensive, over-extending while trying to manage everyone, over-functioning while trying to control.  These inner postures and outer behaviours pull us out of a place of inner well-being.

When I feel aware of being pulled out of myself and the waves of anxiety begin to flow, the first things I do is to notice it.  “Here it is again, the wave of anxiety”.  In that moment, I have a choice.  I can distract myself and try to ignore it or I can turn towards it.  Distracting myself is like an addiction. Anything to not look at the anxiety.  But it only hides what is happening and the body begins to store the toxins of this anxiety.  The more difficult choice is to turn towards.

Turning towards anxiety takes kindness and patience.  What is the anxiety about?  I take time to listen.  I allow the anxiety to speak.  And then I invite myself to drop underneath the anxiety.  This is a practice that perhaps will take me a life-time to master.  Sometimes I am able to drop under in a few minutes but other times it takes me a day or longer.  It depends on the situation and the level of anxiety.  What lies underneath is what Brother Roger of Taize called the inner well-springs.  Brother Roger invited, through his writings, the reader to become aware of an inner resource, the resource Jesus spoke of at the well.  There is living water in you, a source of Life, of Wisdom you are invited to know.

What a concept.  Living water.  Living water flows.  Living water moves.  Living water supplies life-giving nutrients, energy, resources and so much more.  When I open to this truth inside of me, I allow my heart to receive truth that is deeper than the anxiety.  A great source of wisdom speaks to me and helps me to hear another rhythm.  A rhythm of a song that sings to me of truth, of beauty, of grace, of a way through the challenge.  This is a song of Love.

Fear constricts.  Love flows.  Anxiety paralyzes.  Love provides and is endlessly creative and full of vitality.

This New Year’s Eve, I invite you dear ones to create some space for dropping down into, opening up towards, and receiving from the rich resource of the well-springs of Love that live within you.

Love Cathy

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