Reflections – by Heather Frank

REFLECTIONS by Heather Frank

During the past winter, we traveled to sunny Arizona and were able to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures of the Southern United States, visiting sites such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Tombstone and The Sonora Desert Museum.

Like any journey in life however, we had to deal with the unexpected.  We had to make an unexpected overnight stop in Baker City Oregon due to a massive pileup on Interstate 84.  Black ice and fog contributed to the pile up that included twenty semi trucks and fifty passenger vehicles.  Luckily, we were not directly involved, but we still had to deal with the consequences of it.

Dealing with the unexpected has given me pause to reflect on life’s “delays, detours and disasters,”  be they road conditions, accidents, loss of loved ones etc. It is in trying to make sense out of the unexpected, that we are sometimes nudged to embark on a spiritual journey. A journey that has the potential to give us the resources we need to deal with adversity.

The Internet is a marvelous tool and sites such as wikiHow, can give us some simple, “how to steps” on just about any topic under the sun, including “How to Go on a Spiritual Journey.” “Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands” – Pema Chodron.

The site lists five practical suggestions with the first being ” #1. keep in mind that each journey is unique and if one of their suggestions doesn’t appeal to you, skip it and find an alternative that allows you to relax and contemplate your life. #2. keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. #3. read religious texts such as the Bible, the Torah, or the Qur’an.  Reading these books can give you a new perspective on life or open your eyes to other people’s beliefs or thoughts. #4. Take up yoga.  Yoga can be deeply relaxing for many and can also help you focus. #5. Meditate.  Meditation can also help you reach conclusions about your life.  Clear your head of all worry and stress, and allow your clear head to reach decisions about your challenges.”

Interestingly, I have been faithfully keeping a daily journal for over a year now, reading the Bible and have begun a meditation practice with a computer app called “Buddhify.” Although I have given yoga a try, I seem to be challenged by a lack of flexibility that I am sure would improve if I stuck to it,  Like many of you, I am on a spiritual journey, trying to make sense out of life, death and life after death. With this in mind, I thought you might enjoy some photos I took that illustrate others “unique” spiritual journey.  Enjoy!

image6 image3  image4imageimage2