How do you accidentally end up in Iona Scotland? In 2015 we were helping facilitate healthy living/Ayurvedic retreat at Harmony Hill In Union Washington. The Founder and visionary Gretchen Schodde, said she wanted to invite me to a thing. I figured it was a luncheon or tea party something like that-at the Hill. I told my hubby Dallas, whatever it is I'm going!
Well...I did have lunch and tea but it wasn't in Union Washington but on Iona Scotland. Gretchen was inviting me to travel on a women's Pilgrimage to Iona Scotland! WHAT? This was exponentially- exclamation point - out of my comfort zone! But I had made my own commitment. So off we went. I invited my mom too. We traveled with a group of 12 amazing women.
Gretchen and Lesley (our co-guides/leaders) had created a book of poetry for us to read from. They also suggested we read a few other books. One was a book called Iona- A guide to the Sacred Isle. By Vivienne Hull. (We met Vivienne Hull on Iona, she was one of our teachers)
Last night, I was reading through our book of poetry and found a list of 10 principles for living intentionally -beautifully- wisely...on this earth. In her book, Vivienne lists 10 practices to live by. This list is a map we can learn into. It reminds me how to live intentionally, wisely, beautifully. Enjoy.
by Vivienne Hull pg 97-98
"One, the practice of spiritual nourishment. through prayer, meditation, solitude, study, poetry, music, and other disciplines that help sustain the strength of your inner life so that you are able to live each day with respect, wonderment, and gratitude."
"Two, the practice of compassion and kindness toward all beings. "Let kindness flow from your eyes" is a common Celtic greeting. Remember the inherent dignity of everyone and remind them of the goodness that is in them and how much they are loved by God."
"Three, the practice of radical generosity by being willing to share, freeing yourself from the fear of not enough. Hospitality to the friend and stranger, as if they were Christ at your door or table, is at the heart of Celtic spirituality.
Four, the practice of forgiveness. to free you from past and present wound and injustices, real or perceived, and so help free those who many have harmed you. Wisdom from the Celts: "If you carry a mighty weight of grievances, your soul is too burdened to sing!" This is one of the more difficult spiritual tasks.
Five, the practice of reverence for the natural world. taking action to protect the integrity, healthy, and beauty of creation, affirming that this wonderous universe is not a "collection of objects" but a "communion of subjects."
Six, the practice of economic responsibility through attentiveness to patterns of consumption and systems of greed, and living on behalf of the health and well-being of all.
Seven, the practice of "doing something" to help bring healing and hope to the world, affirming that all acts of care matter and that nothing you do is too small to make a difference- though the outcome of your actions may never be known to you.
Eight, the practice of community by developing and fostering anamchara relationships, gathering with others for mutual encouragement and guidance, and together creating new rituals of celebration and blessing. As St Brigid supposedly said, "Anyone without a soul friend is like a body without a head."
(Anamchara Definition: spiritual adviser, confidant. (deprecated) kindred spirit, soulmate. google)
Nine, the practice of legacy thinking, learning to live on behalf of the future so that your life will be a blessing to the children and generations to come -- and the Celts remind us that this includes the children of the birds and the animals, whales, and the trees.
Ten, the practice of hope, knowing that hope is a choice you make every day and is not dependent on circumstances or outcome. If you don't practice hope, you will be part of the hopelessness to prevalent in our world.
Happy Travels my Friend,
PS. We visited Iona in May. Lambs were abundant. You can't take life too seriously when you watch lambs play. They were one of my favorite things about our trip.