Practicing Equilibrium

Release, 12"x16" acrylic on canvas

Release, 12"x16" acrylic on canvas

This week in Conspire class we centered around John O’Donohue’s Poem The Equilibrium, from his book, To Bless the Space Between Us. I offered the questions at the bottom for us to consider and reflect together at the end our meeting. We meet on Sundays from 11:05a to 12:00p in room J-203 in the Jones Education Building on the campus of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Our circle is open and ongoing.

The Equilibrium

Like the joy of the sea coming to the shore,
May the release of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what you said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough,
To hear in the depths the laughter of God.


Which lines stand out to you the most?

Does this piece or certain lines bring up a hope for peace around a certain situation or a pattern in your life?

Can you imagine being able to bring peace and balance to something that you worry about or wish to heal?

Pick one pair of lines to focus on and read them over and over as you long for a lightness, fluidity, release with reverence, respect, or maybe even light hearted laughter. 

Resist the urge to know how to resolve an issue. Stay with the intent of the blessing without needing to know how to fix the situation.

play and purpose, poetry and painting


Toes in rabbit holes,
solid ground under heels.

Lost in rhythms of strokes,
tinted sloshing wave peaks.

Wrestling edges where
shadows meet vibrant light.

Moist roots, lashes touch,
in mystery of night.

Tangled release reveals
forms, shapes, and matter.

What could come to exist
that already hasn’t?

What is mine to wrestle?
What is mine to release?

What is life without product or impact,
the cost of my peace?

The question rhetorical,
drama, vague, and abstract.

The song of my heart
vivid, alive, and concrete.

The Pace of Guidance

Weathered, 12"x16" acrylic on canvas board

Weathered, 12"x16" acrylic on canvas board

Conspire Practice Reflection for Sunday, August 12

This week in Conspire, Lindsay lead us in a Quaker inspired contemplative practice. Longing to move at a slower pace and listen to the wisdom in our lives and our response to them, we opened ourselves to the possibility of moving “at the pace of guidance,” as Christina Baldwin puts it in her book, The Seven Whispers.

With curiosity and compassion, we sat silently as Lindsay offered some questions to help us access our inner teachers. 

When you meditate or pray, what shows up around this matter?
What are your best hopes in regard to this issue?
What are your fears in regard to this issue?
Six months from now, what are your hopes and fears?
When you think of this path, what color comes to mind?
What associations do you have with this color?
What would be most life-giving for you in this situation?
Is there an inspirational song that comes to mind as you ponder this matter?
Where do you feel heaviness, sadness, or draining energy?
What criteria or values are most important to you as you consider this decision?

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

We meet again next Sunday, August 19, at 11:05a, in the Jones Education Building at St. Paul’s Methodist, in room J-203.

May your pace be in tune with your inner guide and the compassion you have for yourself and all those you pass be steady and strong.

Practice with a Tear and a Smile

Cloud, 12"x12" acrylic on canvas board

Cloud, 12"x12" acrylic on canvas board

This week in Conspire / Practice Houston, we practiced Lectio Divina with Khalil Gibran’s poem, A Tear and a Smile.

I found the full poem on this web page,

Here is a link to the practice instructions for creating a Lectio Divina Collage.
If you enjoy this practice, here are some ways to search for poetry to use for your practice. For this poem, I searched the Poem Hunter website for a topic. I also subscribe to a Poem a Day on

Often when I practice Lectio Divina, I also create a found poem or blackout poem. These are the lines I lifted from Khalil Gibran’s beautiful piece.

Flow from every part
hidden things
a tear to unite
depths of my spirit
flower folds her petals
the sun’s kiss
cloud floats
move in the world of matter
a joy to meet
the breeze of death
return the ocean

The idea that felt the most comforting and consoling was an image of a white puffy cloud floating across a bright blue sky, carrying the weight and the depths of the oceans. My prayer of intention became this

Move in the world of matter as a cloud floats
carry the depths of the ocean
with grace and ease, float.