Sensing Our Way Back to God
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
I’m guessing we’ve all experienced this at some point, where we find we have gotten to that place where we don’t connect to God as much as we’d like to. Perhaps we don’t feel like we’re connecting at all. We may know on some level that Spirit is there waiting for us, calling to us, but we might not know where the doorknob is in order to open the door we’ve created. So what do you do when you’re in that place? How do you get back?
I find that it’s kind of like when I wake up at 3 a.m. and I can’t fall back asleep. I try a whole litany of things to slow down so I can fall asleep: breathing techniques, mantras, meditation, putting a pillow over my head (!), anything to help me get back to that place where I let go.
When I’m awake I try going for a walk, being out in nature, that almost always brings me back to my spiritual core, especially on a sunny day. We’ve had so much cold weather and snow that at this point 50 degrees and sunshine feels like heaven. Sometimes I try extended yoga or qi gong to get back into my body and in sync with Spirit, to surpass my mind. It always seems easier that way. When my mind has set up a barrier between me and that constant sense of the Holy, my body knows the way home.
Trusting our bodies and using our senses is a wonderful way to get back to one’s spiritual center. I recently started a practice of mouth breathing where I inhale and exhale with my mouth slightly open (the way some animals do to sense their surroundings). Somehow doing this breathing through my mouth helps me to feel the aliveness of my surroundings. This brings me right back to sensing God.
What’s your experience? How do you get back to your soul’s center? It would be great to hear other techniques since I’m sure we could all use them!