Raising Spirits with St. Theresa of Avila Back to newsletter main
In the fall I stayed at a monastery in Snowmass, CO. I was assigned
The St. Theresa Hermitage. In reading about her I learned she
was a 15th century nun and mystic. She was described as a Spiritual
Director. This was interesting to me, as I have been pondering
getting certification as a spiritual director. On a womens
retreat in January, our minister used this St. Theresa prayer
with us and later used it on the cover of our monthly newsletter.
This is her prayer:
Let nothing disturb you
Let nothing frighten you
All things pass away
God never leaves you
Patience obtains all things
Those who have God lack nothing
God is enough
I decided this was my spiritual direction for this year. So I
decided to take a line a month and empower myself with it. During
the month of January, I used the first line as my breathing prayer.
Repeating it many times a day. It was useful to come back to when
I was loosing my sense of peace and calm. It was amazing to me
how many troubles just seemed to melt away. Once my focus went
back to this lime, Let nothing disturb you. It is
so simple and yet so profound. We make our own misery in how we
decide to react to a circumstance. Saying this phrase kept reminding
me I had the power to let things disturb me or not. What a shift
in energy for me. When Bob, my partner, said or did something
that might irritate me I just repeated this phrase over and over
in my mind. Then whatever had bothered me didnt seem so
big after all.
In February I started using the Let nothing frighten
you part of the prayer. Wow was this very powerful as I
began a close inspection of my financial picture. I learned about
things I had avoided. I called and asked questions about where
I had invested my retirement funds. I made the decision to move
my account to another broker that felt better for me. I got advice
from my son and decided to invest a limited amount of money with
I have always had the feeling that we are to be good stewards
of our money. Unfortunately I have l lost a lot of money sticking
my head in the sand and letting men take care of this for me.
Many women feel that their financial matters are best handled
by men instead of doing it themselves. We women can run a house
and manage a business quite well alone, but I have seen many women
including me, give over the responsibility of handling their money
to men very quickly. For my age group, it may be an old cultural
pattern. I am hopeful this younger generation of women will learn
to take care of themselves in all situations - including their
financial affairs. It takes time and determination to understand
the financial language of retirement , annuity, 401K etc. something
I had been afraid to look at clearly. I am beginning to understand
terms I just shrugged off before. Nothing frightens me. I can
learn this and make good decisions. The man managing my retirement
has the same values as me-no money invested in alcohol, cigarettes
or gambling. Why did I wait so long to get some help? Why did
I let money slip away? Because I was afraid to ask questions,
to admit I did not understand the monthly statements. I thought
I could not possibly learn this language. I wanted someone else
to do it for me. I have learned the hard way that I am the best
steward of my money and it will only grow if I am taking good
care of it. I can ask questions again and again until I understand.
There is no mystery about money, just a new language to learn.
My grandmother taught me to tithe. It is a practice I still do.
Even when money is tight, I still give to my church or to some
agency that I want to support. Suze Orman, a financial adviser,
tells us that we have to spend money giving it away in order to
keep the financial flow going in our lives. I have always found
this true. Even when my money supply is low, if I can spend some
money or time helping someone else, I will see it return to me
many times over. Every time I work in the soup kitchen, I am reminded
how much I have to be grateful for in my life. I am always lifted
up spiritually by being there. Bet some of you have noticed this
law of money too.
Recently I made a trip to NC for my dads 90th birthday.
Several issues came up and I could feel the old buttons being
pushed-only this time I did not react. I kept repeating my phrases-let
nothing frighten you or let nothing disturb you and I sailed through
the visit with no upset on my part. I did watch other family members
getting sucked into that old energy. It felt great to walk away
without any energy loss.
Children are sometimes a bone of contention between Bob and me.
I could feel his energy in a situation involving my son. I let
it go. I didnt want to participate in the discussion. I
am delighted to have the month of March arrive and begin using
the next line of the prayer All things pass away.
Actually I used it some the last of February. Things do pass away
and what is big today is nothing by tomorrow. So this month I
get to affirm all things will pass away. I remember hearing people
tell me-nothing comes to stay-it all comes to pass. So why waste
a lot of energy on it today. Why not stay in a peaceful place
until it does come to pass??
Right now I am gathering information on a money issue that needs
correction. Hopefully I will be in a position to take some action
in a week. I have had a weeks preparation saying,
Let nothing frighten you. Now I am getting into All
things pass away. So I will deal with it and let it go.
Taking appropriate action helps move the energy so quickly. It
will pass away and not be an issue. I am finding so many things
we can just let go without putting a lot of energy into it. One
thing I learned from my 90-year-old father is that he is not going
to change. I have the choice of hitting my head on a brick wall
with him, or letting nothing disturb me about him. I refuse to
let any of his actions frighten me. Eventually all these things
will pass away. I dont have to get involved on the daily
disturbances unless I choose to. I dont get involved in
his life choices even though I may disagree with him. He doesnt
ask for or want my advice anyway. It brings us both a sense of
peace. There is such empowerment in watching a big hole or trap
I have fallen into many times, appear and decide consciously to
go around it. With St. Theresas help I am enjoying watching
things pass away. Feels like I have a found a credo to live my
life by-interesting to note it has been around since the 15th
century, but just came to me in the last few months-when I really
needed it and was open to using it.
Enjoy your spring and let no one or thing disturb you. Let not
one thing or person frighten you. For all things and situations
pass away eventually. We get to choose how much energy to give
it. It will pass away a lot faster if we let it float on by.
Have a great spring choosing to spend your energy and money wisely.
Paula Vaughan is a spiritual counselor, business and medical
intuitive, and medium. She lives in Boulder, CO and can be contacted
at 303-447-0250 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can visit her website at www.paulavaughan.com