Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin

"The purpose of life is not to maintain personal comfort; it's to grow the soul."

I clearly recall the inspiration and encouragement I got from Christina Baldwin's 1990 journaling book, Life's Companion. One idea that stuck was that while other people may come and go, your journal writing practice will never abandon you.

Subtitled "Listening to the voice of spirit," this book (2002) describes seven ways of listening to our wise selves. The first is to maintain peace of mind. I love this idea. From what I know of energy, the best we humans can do is to hold a space of neutrality, resist judgments, choose peace. "Peace of mind is a spiritual state waiting for us to find it."

I love the second whisper, "move at the pace of guidance." We can always access that inner voice, which is only a breath away. What wise advice to use this guidance to decide what to do next and when to do it. When an act arises out of our inner conviction, we carry it out with certainty of purpose. This strengthens our sense of direction in life and helps us follow it.

The next offering is to surrender to surprise; the unexpected is a great gift. "When things happen, our underlying faith or doubt is brought to the surface." Unpleasant surprises are opportunities to heal old wounds and toxic judgments.

Next we are told to ask for what we need and offer what we can. It is sad to reflect on how often we neglect such simple forms of communication and kindness.

The next whisper is the exhortation to love those who are in front of us. We are here to practice love, and rather than restricting it to those we choose, we need to love all who cross our path.

Baldwin's final whisper advises us to return to the world. We live in our bodies and on the earth, so we need to spend time there, increasing our awareness of our physicality and humanity.

"I believe the shift in accountability from outside us to inside us is an evolutionary leap." This line resonates deeply. I have long believed humans are in the process of making such a leap. Indeed, it's a necessity if our species is to continue to occupy our planetary home for much longer.

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