Day 18 - Saturday - I posted that my gift for Friday would be to spend some time with someone. I normally would not devote an afternoon to this individual (that sounds bad!), but I'm really trying to make more of an effort to be a friend. So the gift worked out better than I could have imagined. The plan was to go swimming on Friday, which was my real motivation for going to see him. The weather was a little yucky for swimming, so we went to a movie instead. I went with an open mind, instead of being disappointed that we didn't get to do what I really wanted to do. I even agreed to go back and try again. On Saturday I returned for the swimming and ended up having a really nice time. Simply showing up for someone may seem like a gift at first, but we always get something back for ourselves. I discovered a new place to go swimming that I never would have known about if I had not given two afternoons of myself. A couple of months ago, I am certain that I would not have travelled 45 minutes two days in a row to give that kind of time.
Day 19 - Sunday - Today I visited a new church. Usually, churches send you all sorts of emails and phone calls, even after one visit. Even after just going there yesterday, they were offering to make me a permanent name tag. Rather than avoid any kind of mailing list, I embraced all their lists. This particular church offers several workshops and classes, and I'm sure that there will be one that I will be interested in. So I gave myself the gift of opening up to new experiences in this church, but I also sent an email to the pastor of the church and let her know how much I enjoyed my visit. Her message came to me at the right time. (People always say that.... but this time it was really a message for me from the Universe. It confirmed that some things in my life are happening in the right way at the right time.) So I hope she enjoyed a little personal message letting her know that her sermon impacted someone today.
Both days had to do with water: My day on Saturday was spent at the pool. This is such a typical summer activity, but this is actually something I've been waiting for all summer and so I really appreciated it as a special treat for that day. The sermon at church on Sunday was about the spiritual power of Renunciation. Renunciation is when you gently say "no" to those things that no longer serve you. However, this leaves a void in our lives that we must fill with better, more positive things. A "Mikvey" is a gathering of Living Waters used for a ceremonial cleansing. We can literally enter water (as with a baptism), or enter the water in our consciousness. As I understood the pastor's explanation, the water is used in certain traditions to prepare for a new undertaking: going to war, getting married, reading a holy book for the first time... It's a good meditational metaphor for preparation for a new experience or challenge. So as I'm letting go of things that no longer serve me and filling that space with new and positive energy, it was nice to hear the pastor's message about emerging from the water ready for new experiences.