SPEAK: Partnering with Spirit – Spirit “Unplugged”

SPEAK! … By the Spirit™ with Erica Hawthorne

Spirit “Unplugged”

© 2010 Erica Hawthorne

unplug and flow with Spirit

February 10, 2010 – I love the “unplugged” versions of concerts or songs!  In one sense it simply means the musicians will most likely be using more acoustic instrumentation and more attention will be paid to the vocalist if there is one.  But on the other hand, it also means that the artists will be performing in a more free-flowing, different-from-the-CD, vocally authentic way.  Some of my favorite songs are the acoustic or “unplugged” versions of the original.  It’s as if the artist took the structured, set or fixed version of the song and let it out of its pre-recorded box.  I’m always fascinated with how much freer the song sounds afterwards.

I wonder what would happen if we allowed our personal experience with Spirit to be more like the unplugged version of our favorite songs? If we unplugged from all of our daily worries and stresses and gave more room for moments to just let spirit flow in, through and around us?  How much clearer would we hear the voice of Spirit if we toned down all of our mental chatter and allowed the voice of Spirit to come through?  I can already hear the music!

But really, how do we do this? Especially when we’ve become so accustomed to our “original” versions of Spirit; the stories and traditions, the blindly practiced rituals. Those things have become as comfortable to us as the recordings we listen to.  We pray with the same repetitious requests and even our daily spiritual routines have kept the same tempo.  What if we allowed our prayers to be more like free-flowing conversations?  What if we changed up our spiritual practice to a new room, or a different day?  What if we let go of our dependency on knowing where and how Spirit will show up in our lives and instead practice a sort of excited anticipation for how God will move in our lives through challenge and triumph?

In Thomas Merton’s book No Man Is an Island, he stresses that in order to connect with Spirit, we must let Spirit flow.

“Whoever seeks to catch Him and hold Him loses Him.  He is like the wind that blows where it pleases…Your spirit must seek to be as clean and as free as His own spirit, in order to follow Him wherever He goes.”

This takes boldness…and an appreciation for creative happenstance. It even takes a willingness to make mistakes or to face what doesn’t work. No worries! The best thing about an unplugged music set, and an unplugged relationship with Spirit, is that there is room for something new, and brilliant to be created and discovered, even through the mistakes.  Some of our greatest blessings await us in the space we allow for free-flowing, unplugged experiences with Spirit.

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