I have always had a love-love relationship with food. And, for the girl who was raised to ponder if "Little Debbie" deserved her own food group, I have come a long way in learning to love "real" food. But, chocolate is one thing I simply love. These days I do have a deeper appreciation for food and the good (or not so good) it does for my body. However, chocolate is something I will always love and the research that shows dark chocolate is good for you, gets lots of excitement from this girl!
Anyway, this weekend I had the opportunity to lead guided prayer, lectio divina (meditative scripture reading) and an introduction to a labyrinth walk at St. Mary's Retreat Center in Sewanee, Tennessee on a yoga retreat with my yoga instructor, Leighanne.
It was wonderful to share these tools with others and give them new experiences during our time of retreat. For some time now I have been in a stage of discernment. I have felt God's nudge to learn, study, and journey but now I am supposed to start putting all of this into practice. I have been taking advanatage of opportunities that were placed in my path and really trying to listen to where I am supposed to be. I know that I have a desire to share what I'm learning with others. But, where, how, when, what? One of my professors suggested recently that I ask God to "hurry up" and give me some clarity. My time of discernment is coming to an end and it is time to start "doing" and not just talking about "doing". I thought the idea of asking God to hurry up sounded a little silly. But, this man is wise. So, I've started doing just this and have begun asking Him, "Where am I supposed to be?".
When we arrived on Friday, Leighanne brought along tea lights, some essential oils and a bag of Dove chocolates. So, we planned to prepare the rooms for our guests with fresh scents and a sweet treat. As Leighanne handed me a bag of chocolate to distribute, I immediatly placed one of the chocolates on each of our pillows then headed to the other rooms to complete my task (we couldn't be left out!).
Later we enjoyed some wonderfully fresh dinner and I returned to my room for that chocolate for dessert before we started our evening yoga. I opened the wrapper and much to my surprise, it said, "You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Love, Dove". Wow, God. Thanks for speaking to me through my favorite food and also greatest weakness (chocolate). And, this message from "Dove" is even special since Exploring Peace is symbolized by a dove. Who knew such beauty could come imprinted on aluminum foil? This message seemed to be sent directly to me from above.
Yes, I must admit, I had more than one chocolate. I also had messages that said things like, "Embrace your sense of adventure." and "Calories only count if you count them." Both of those are true for me as well. But, the chocolate on my pillow was meant for me that weekend. It was a reminder for me and for you that "you are exactly where you are supposed to be".
Maybe you are ready to transition to a new place but the place you are in at this moment holds something for you to savor. Even the most desolate of places in our life holds something for us, doesn't it? Where are you? Where are you going? Where are you supposed to be? What is it you can learn from the place you are right now?
Whitney R. Simpson
• author • yoga & meditation teacher • spiritual director • creating soul care resources for exploring the gift of God's peace with breath, body & spirit •
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Whitney R. Simpson,
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