About Morgan Day Cecil
Pursuing romance and adventure with grace and peace, one breath at a time. I live in Portland, Oregon with a man I love and our two kids.
One day I’d like to carve out 5 weeks of my life just to go for a long walk. A long walk, or pilgrimage, to refresh the spirit. Last Saturday a small group of us began the Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage together. Maybe you couldn’t join us this time because of financial constraints, or maybe you just prefer a more self-guided pace If you still desire an intentional journey, the good news is, you can totally DIY your own stay-at-home pilgrimage to refresh your spirit. Here is some advice on how….
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of spiritual significance.
One of the captivating elements of pilgrimage for me is how it refreshes the spirit by leading the pilgrim along various terrains and conditions, in order to arrive a sacred center where the pilgrim finds herself lighter in body, mind, and spirit than when she took off.
The Camino di Santiago di Compestela has been on my Romance & Adventure List since 2006, when I was a single mother to-be, pregnant with my son. My kids are now 8 and almost three years. Most likely it will still be many years before I head to Spain with only my backpack.
But I’ve decided I don’t have to wait to go on a pilgrimage of the heart. The journey is as much about intention and prayer as it is about passport and boots.
If you are like me, a woman who desire to invest in something this winter that will leave her heart forever changed; if you are a mom or a wife, who wants to learn how to marvel again, not to escape her daily life, but to enrich it, then consider taking yourself on an adventure with journal and pen.
If you would like to go on a pilgrimage of the heart this year, right from your home, here are some ideas to help you craft your journey:
Last January, I bared my soul and shared these words, “I want to learn how to love more, but in my own strength I cannot; I’ve hit a wall…Will I have to wait for the Camino to learn how to love with more of me?”
Thankfully I did not have to wait for the Camino, and neither do you. One of the most powerful things about pilgrimage is the way the journey invites us into intimacy– intimacy with the world, intimacy with God, intimacy with each moment, intimacy with others, and intimacy with our own guarded heart. That invitation for intimacy isn’t waiting for me, or for you, only in Spain. That invitation is being sent out to all of us each and every moment of our day. All we need to do is open the envelope and say yes.
Wishing you a meaningful pilgrimage, however you desire to go about it…
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Welcome to a holy yoga class brought to you from Puglia, the southeastern region of Italy. Enjoy the sound of the ocean waves as they invite you to calm your mind and engage with your breath. I created this class for my friends who are nursing shoulder injuries. It’s called “Warrior Presence” to encourage us to call out our strength with gentleness. We will run through all the standing warrior poses (Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Exalted Warrior, Humble Warrior, Warrior 3) and devote time and the end to “Warrior 4″ pose, also known as Child’s Pose, to intentionally rest our spirit in His.
This class is perfect for beginners or those who are nursing shoulder injuries. No chaturangas will be performed.
Find more yoga classes here.
Morgan Day Cecil is a registered Holy Yoga Instructor (R-HYI). Holy Yoga is the intentional practice of connecting our entire being, body, mind and spirit with God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Learn more about Holy Yoga at holyyoga.net
In less than 24 hours we will be embarking on the very first Romance and Adventure Online Pilgrimage, a 5 week journey of the heart and spirit to rediscover and redefine, create and restore love, passion and purpose in our life.
Truthfully, the adventure can’t get here fast enough for me. I love the content creation, but the marketing drains me. By now you have read the blog posts, downloaded the free chapter, and seen the dozen instagram/pinterest images. Maybe you have felt your heart spark with the possibility of participating, but you still don’t know if it’s right for you. I want to help you answer those questions, because if it is right for you, I certainly don’t want you to miss it. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. morgandaycecil @gmail.com. My desire is to help everyone who wants to be here find their spot on the pilgrimage with us this winter.
Each week we begin with a theme focusing on one area of our heart. To help uncover what is hidden there I might share a story from my own life and lead you through questions for your own reflection. To help you make powerful discoveries on your own I will be giving you weekly creative and reflective prompts (mini-missions) and journal work.
There are 3 pieces of the pilgrimage: 1). the weekly lessons sent via email to take you deeper into the theme each week 2). a private Facebook group where you can connect to others on this same journey and take part in discussions and share your insights, photos, and/or pieces of writing if you desire. 3). the self-study component complete with downloadable workbooks.
Weekly themes and journal prompts will be sent directly to your email each Sunday morning. The weekly mini-mission/creative assignments are sent out each Wednesday.
Access to a computer and the internet, a Facebook account if you wish to take part in the private community, a google account (if you want to join the live hangouts) a notebook and a pen, a camera (the camera on your cell phone works just fine!), paints/colored pencils, and open, hungry heart.
The R&A Winter Pilgrimage is not a marriage course. I wrote it for the heart of a woman. I am a woman and so I can speak to a woman’s heart. I wholeheartedly believe it is of paramount importance to learn how to connect to your own heart so that you can connect genuinely to another’s. This course if for you. To help you connect to your own heart. The material we cover in this course can benefit your marriage immensely though. As your heart opens and gets clarity around the true meaning of romance and adventure, you will be able to bring more intimacy to your relationships. My husband and I have created a Romance & Adventure Marriage Workshop, and we plan on offering this as a follow-up e-course this Spring.
It is my prayer that will come away with more freedom & hope in your life and a truer sense of what is possible. Every person is different. The content is geared to helping you make personal discoveries that will help you gracefully shift your life into one you feel reflects more of who you are created to be.
If you show up wholeheartdly, you will be wholeheartedly changed. It is not me doing the work. Or even you. Just show up and let the Spirit do what He does best. My hope is that you are delightfully surprised by what you get out of this course.
You can count on this course being a safe place where you can reconnect to the truth and beauty of who you are and why you are here; a safe place to look intentionally at your life and the path you are on and make any “course corrections” to the direction you are heading; a safe place to be curious again and explore what you really want out of life; a safe place to reflect on desire and disappointment and what has held you back; a safe place to renew hope and respark what you think is possible, a safe place to practice overcome the obstacle that have long held you back so that you can step into a new life, a freer life, with more love and joy.
Nothing is a ‘have to.’ All of this is for you. You can do as much or as little of the weekly assignments as you wish. The photo and creative assignments are just tools to help you see things in a new way, exercises to access a different part of your brain and heart than you are normally used to using. It’s not at all about the finished product. It’s about the creative process. Think of the writing and the creative assignments as tools for your toolbox. Just enjoy playing with them. Why not try them out to see how they might help you?
Absolutely not. Entirely up to you what you share with others in the course. We do the work for ourselves, not for validation from each other. It’s perfectly wonderful to keep the work just for ourselves too. Only share if you feel like it will help your process.
Heck no! It is open to all. A pilgrimage is a spiritual discipline valued by people of many faiths. If your heart is open to God, it does not matter what religion you practice. I will be drawing from my personal faith and walk with Jesus, but whatever insights I have to share are meant for everybody, regardless of religion. My Masters degree is in Easter Philosophy. I have a very high regard for the wisdom that transcends religion.
No. But I will be sharing scripture, because I believe it can illuminate our path. I will also be sharing poetry, story and quotes from other texts that I believe will be a gift to you on your journey.
Nope. No set times to be in class. (The beauty of virtual!) I will have set office hours in the facebook group so you can count on me being there at certain hours if you have a question or would like feedback on something.
The lessons and writing exercises will be sent to you each week on Sunday and another mini-mission will be sent out on Wednesdays.
It’s a self-paced course, so you get to decide when doing the homework works best for you. To get the most out of the material, set aside at least one or two hours each week. For some, 20 minutes each day works best, for others 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon is how they get the most out of it.
Depending on the size of the group we might decide to try a google hangout “coffee date” session one of the weeks. This will just be an optional time to hangout and discuss the course material.
What’s Google Hangout?
Google hangout is a way for us to have a live conversation to discuss the weekly topics if we wish. It’s like meeting up at a coffee shop together from the comfort of our own home. Anyone can sign up for a google hangout account. It’s free and easy to set it up:
No way Jose. God isn’t done with any of us yet.
If meeting your future spouse and traveling the world are what true romance and meaningful adventure really look like to you, I wish I could promise these things to you! My promise to you is that I will give my all to help you discover and connect to the true romance and meaningful adventure of your life right now. If you put your time and energy into the material I present to you, I believe you will end this pilgrimage tremendously informed, empowered and enriched. If for any reason you don’t feel like I fulfilled my end of the bargain, I will happily give you a 100% refund, no questions asked.
If you are ready to save your seat on this winter’s Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage, you can sign up here!
Yes! It’s actually very beneficial to do the pilgrimage with one close friend because you can be each other’s accountability partner and keep each motivated during the course. If you don’t know anybody, know worries! You’ll meet new friends in our private facebook group. We are all in this together. So come with someone you love, or come alone. Either way it’s going to be a rewarding adventure.
The R&A Winter Pilgrimage begins this Saturday! Today I’m sharing with you an excerpt from the Romance & Adventure Guide and if you’d like to download the free chapter, just sign up below and I’ll send it right to your inbox.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on the Winter Pilgrimage, so if you have been on the fence and trying to work it out budget wise, this is for you: Sign up today and you and a friend can be on one ticket. Purchase your seat in the 5-week online course and send us the name of the friend you’d like to join you. We’ll include you both for the same price! You could either split the cost with them or give them the 5-week course as a gift from you. Either way, you won’t regret investing in this opportunity to discover, create and redefine true romance and meaningful adventure in your life.
The danger is that the soul should persuade itself it is not hungry.
In the movies romance and adventure just happen. They are just givens. Because, really, you don’t have much of a story without some kind of both.
In film and literature, and in art and song, beauty and poetry and significance appear to unfold with ease. Not so in life.
Maybe like me, your six-year-old self held an epically awesome view of the world that made joys and hopes and dreams of every kind seem absolutely possible.
But we didn’t stay six.
Somewhere along the way of growing up it happened: we were wounded. Whether that wound happened comparatively early or late, it happened all the same. And the wound devastated us. We were supremely let down, disappointed, heart broken. And we weren’t wounded just once. The wounds kept piling up. From the barrage of hurt we learned that the dreams we carried in our hearts didn’t come with any guarantees. We learned that life, in fact, is hard.
Every story is a yearning meeting an obstacle.
Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author
We lost confidence in our truth and beauty and began to shy away from serving others with our real gifts. We stopped fighting for the things that mattered to us because the battle threatened to swallow us whole. We felt/feel exhausted and stressed most of the time and none of our “fixes” seemed/seem to fix anything. We lacked/lack clarity and mission to truly live out an inspiring story.
These are all side-effects of a wounded heart living in an imperfect world. They can become major conflicts to living a life you love, but—plot twist!–they are also just the catalysts we need to propel ourselves forward in the journey of creating romance and adventure.
Because the truth is: every good story, whether that story be a novel, a Hollywood blockbuster, or a children’s book, has significant tension built in. The only reason it seems to unfold with ease is in the movies is because the storyline is wrapped up in a matter of hours. Not so in our storylines. Our greatest stories might take years, or even a lifetime, to achieve and complete. In every scenario, tension is a catalyst.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman, Theologian 1899-1981
Think for a moment about your favorite book or movie. I’m guessing it goes something like this:
The hero was faced with something that seemed bigger than her. The movie began and she didn’t know her truth and beauty. All that was hard in life seemed to define her. She didn’t know what she really wanted and it didn’t matter much anyway because she didn’t believe she had what it took to achieve anything. She settled for a lesser version of her dreams. She was exhausted and bored and on the verge of giving up on life completely….until…she had enough! Something in her shifted. Her wounded heart became a catalyst. She turned the table on her life and declared to the world NO MORE. No more would the things that had always held her back hold her back any longer. She would be victorious.
You can declare the same thing. Donald Miller says, “A character is someone who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.” You are the main character in the story of your life. Use the conflict and the tension to your benefit.
When navigating my way along the path of romance and adventure I use four personal missions as guideposts. These “missions” help me keep moving onward in a positive direction, even when I’m feeling discouraged. They can help you too. Here’s the first one…
Mission #1: Find out your truth and beauty and claim it.
This means spending time getting to know who you are. In the hustle and bustle and daily demands it’s easy for our heart to get lost in the traffic and shuffle. What brings you joy? What lights you up? What are you naturally gifted at? What do people love most about you? Can you name three of your best qualities? Are you confident about your strengths and what you have to offer the world? What do you think it would take to get there? Knowing and declaring your truth and beauty is foundational in creating a life of true romance and meaningful adventure. Never stop getting to know your own heart and what makes it tick.
This is just an excerpt from Chapter 4 of the Romance & Adventure Guide. There are 3 more “personal missions” I’d like to share with you. Download the rest of Chapter 4 on How to use Conflict to Write a Better Story, for free today to read about them. Just sign up with your email below, and I’ll send it right to you.
“There is no less holiness at this time- as you are reading this- than there was on the day the Red Sea parted…In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare…” Annie Dillard
Welcome to 2015! One thing I know for all of us is that this is our most sacred year. (The most sacred things are always hidden in the plain site of now.)
So how do we mark this most sacred occasion? How do we make our entrance into the meaningful new year?
How about we start with a deep and holy breath? (The yoga teacher in me insists.)
Notice where you are. What do you hear right now? Are there any scents in the room?
How are you sitting? Is it comfortable the way you are holding yourself?
If there is anywhere in you body you feel tension or tightness, pay your kindest attention there, and give it a loving breath.
What does it feel like to be held by the chair? Dressed in these clothes? Present to the physical reality around you again?
Now, draw in a breath and curl up the sides of your mouth into a soft smile. Officially welcome yourself to this most holy year. Close your eyes and drawer nearer to the spiritual reality around you. If you hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit, can you hear the Spirit say, “Welcome, this is your most significant year yet.”
“Any instant the bush may flare,” Annie Dillard writes.
Are you ready for it? Would you notice it? What would you do if it did?
We make our entrance into 2015– and any/each moment within it– sacred by paying attention and inviting the sacred to rise from the deep. Every moment is a well, and each of us carry our bucket. A deeper draw is something we can learn, and once we learn it, something we are called to practice. To draw deeper from the well of every moment, to learn how to slow down, pay attention and invite the sacred in– this may be the key thing I’ve learned about how to create true romance and meaningful adventure in my life.
If right now you can feel your spirit quietly raising her hand, as if to say, “I’d like some of that, please” I invite you to join me on a special 5 week journey.
The Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage is an online course designed to help your heart and spirit discover and create what true romance and meaningful adventure can look like this year.
Over December I went through and heavily edited the Romance & Adventure Guide and created a online curriculum based on the material. This was always my goal,because I believe in the power of doing things in community. Along with inspiring weekly lessons and encouraging mini-missions I’ve included two specific components to help you practice drawing from the well of every moment and anticipate with wonder the “bush that may flare”.
“Breathe with Peace” are weekly guided meditations you can listen to from anywhere. “Move with Grace” are simple weekly action steps to help you put what you are learning into practice.
Our journey together will begin Jan 10th and take us all the way through Valentine’s Day. I’m so excited to make 2015 my most romantic and adventurous year yet in the simplest and most meaningful of ways, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you discover and create too. Registration is now open and you can sign up here.
I love quotes. Ever since I was 13 and found the “motivational posters”15 Inspirational Quotes for 2015 (The best!) of the Sky Mall magazine. I collect quotes all year. I write them in my journal, scribble them on pages of books I am reading, and (if I’m feeling particularly ambitious) I keep them in a spreadsheet on my computer.
Here we are in 2015. I’ve been praying about this new year for weeks now. Here are 15 of my favorite inspirational quotes for 2015. Many of these quotes and scriptures are what inspired the Romance & Adventure Guide and the Pilgrimage.
I hope these quotes remind you of all that is possible within you and encourage you to enter the month of January as a new start. Whatever good 2014 gave you, there is even more of that in store for you. Whatever wasn’t so good, there is redemption, restoration and hope. God isn’t done with any of us yet, not even the best of us. And none of us, not even the worst, are disqualified. “Come what may I will choose to love more, not less.” (A theme I’ll be working on in 2015, and you are invited to work on it with me!)
Pin your favorites inspirational quotes and share these images on Facebook too, to encourage and inspire your friends.
- She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do is move forward and make the whole beautiful. -Terri St. Cloud
- Where there is great love, there are always miracles. -Willa Seebert Cather
- The danger is that the soul should persuade itself that it is not hungry. -Simone Veil
- Where there is ruin, there is hope of treasure. -Rumi
- I am not afraid of the storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. -Louisa May Alcott
- Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. The world needs people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman
- Though we travel the world over to find for the beautiful we find it not unless we carry it with us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Never give up for that is just the place and time the tides will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in it’s essence, something helpless that needs our love. -Rainer Maria Rilke
- Romance is the deepest thing. It is deeper even than reality. -G.K. Chesterton
- We are all fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. -Japanese Proverb
- You once were darkness but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light. -Ephesians 5:8
- You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. -Isaiah 26:3
- Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. -Luke 1:45
- Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us. -Ephesians 3:20
You might notice that the last four quotes are scripture. This is because I believe there is no more powerful encouragement for us than the Word.I pray you are inspired by all of these quotes and scriptures and you step faithfully into all God has for you for this new year! Thank you for spreading this inspiration and encouragement with your friends and family by pinning the image below onto your Pinterest boards.
I wanted to share with you a little back-story about how this desire to help others find and rediscover, create and redefine true romance and meaningful adventure in their life came to be…
We met in Germany and he was Italian, ten years older than me and a million times richer. He would open every door for me and would give me his sweater to lay across my shoulders when the weather turned cold.
When he began to pursue me and confess his undying love, I felt like somebody tossed me a winning lottery ticket then ran out the back door. We began to date. I was in a post-graduate program living in northern Italy and he had a house near Lago di Como, not far from where George Clooney had his. In Marco, the dreams I held for my life– to travel, to buy nice things, to dine and drink with interesting people– felt closer than ever before.
I wanted him to ask me to marry him even after I found out he was having an affair. Finding out he was unfaithful and had been unfaithful the entire time we were together, taught me that sometimes this feeling called love– even when it flooded every pour of your body- could not be trusted.
Still, if he asked me to marry him, I might have said yes. He took me places and my love for seeing the world almost ousted my need for loyalty. I remember standing outside the window of Cartier on the Champs Elysées in Paris, the diamond necklace in the window decorating my reflection in the glass, and him standing next to me with the lover’s threat that he might actually buy it, if I just said the words. I remember snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh and standing on the boat watching the waves of the Red Sea roll.
And that is what I wanted– a life as beautiful as the moving pictures– but I was believing a lie.
Though my heart knew all that glitters is not gold, I thought Marco was my best bet for a life of Romance and Adventure and I considered being his wife, even if it meant he would always have his mistresses.
I didn’t know God, I hadn’t met Jesus, but I was acutely aware of the desire the Creator put in all of us for a life of pursuit and affection, intimacy and excitement. I lived for the promise of this desire fulfilled, and the temptation to trade my heart for it, if not flat-out sell my soul, was real.
I was young, but young is okay when you know the truth about romance adventure. My problem was that I only knew half-truths about romance and adventure, and I believed it was only something that somebody else could give me if I was beautiful and worthy enough in their eyes.
Whether I was 22 or 52, I would have always veered dangerously close to marrying a man I knew was unfaithful if I believed the lie that a life of romance and adventure is a lottery, and only the few win.
What stopped me from getting engaged to Marco wasn’t a sudden moment of clarity or wisdom. It was the unplanned effect of a classically bad decision I made one Christmas Eve years ago, during one of Marco and my “breaks”. A great bottle of champagne, and the company of an old American boyfriend (who worse for me than Marco was), lead to me getting pregnant and getting pregnant lead me to appearing far less desirable to Marco.
As a single mom, Marco’s pursuit of me stopped. I moved home to a suburb to live with my parents. I took a job at the front desk of a gym where I wore a polyester sport shirt (the most unappealing shade of blue there ever was) and man-slacks.
This was a very low point in my moving-pictures of a life.
But it was also the point I began to change and learn something real about romance and adventure.
Being unchosen and poor as mouse, raising a son and doing whatever I could to make our small life beautiful, I began to learn that love and excitement, intimacy and meaning weren’t things reserved for only the lucky ones. I began to learn that I could create beauty no matter what curve ball life threw me.
On my journey I encountered a God who won me over with His pursuit. His quiet, but loyal, love taught me that I was not disqualified from the desires of my heart, and that I didn’t have to wait for someone else to “pick me”.
I learned that the God of yesterday, tomorrow and right now is always inviting me in to a romance and adventure of some kind, and my prayer is that I may have eyes to see his outstretched hand.
My journey over this last decade has now become my mission. I want to help others learn what I learned. My journey is far from over and all the time I am learning more about what true romance and meaningful adventure really is… But what I have learned so far, I am sharing with you because I know you and I have some things in common. We’ve both been hurt and disappointed. We’ve both believed big lies. However, that doesn’t have to keep us from living the life we are made to live anymore.
Please come check out the Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage, I hope even now you are beginning to see new possibilities for love and excitement in your 2015, and I hope many of you join us for the adventure. Register now and save $50.
I invite you to go on an adventure with us: An adventure of the heart and the spirit to discover and reclaim, create and redefine, the true romance and adventure of our lives.
The RA Winter Pilgrimage is a 5 week e-Course based on the Romance & Adventure Guide, and through the weeks we will work though the four core beliefs that empower a life of romance and adventure and the three action principles of whimsy, vulnerability, and engagement. The Pilgrimage includes the full Romance & Adventure Guide & Bundle of workbooks and audio, and a Members Only Community.
Save $50. Early registration is only $99 (after Jan 6th it will be $149).
What’s right around the corner in your life is bigger and brighter than you can even imagine right now. I see the glint in your eyes: You know this too.
You are ready to turn that corner and make a meaningful shift. This Romance and Adventure Winter Pilgrimage is designed to help you make this shift. Together we will spend 5 weeks working through the Romance & Adventure Guide and Workbooks. We will dream big for 2015 with grace and peace and appreciation for what we already have. We will learn what it looks like to live with elegance and trust and patience as we challenge our comfort zones and press into the more God has for us. We will smile big and breathe deep and we may even cry a little, good healing tears. We’ll have the kind of aha moments that will change the way we navigate through our life.
Check out the FAQ’s for more answers to your questions.
You’ll receive weekly lessons from me that help break down the key principles in the Romance & Adventure Guide.
“Breathe with Love” meditations will help you reflect on each lessons and get the truth down into the breath of every cell of your body.
“Move with Grace” tips will help you put each lesson into bite-size action. You’ll also have time for self-guided study through the workbooks and journal exercise prompts.
Our private Facebook group will be a safe and fun place for you to land and connect to others who are on the same journey.
Also, every week I’ll hold “office hours” in the Facebook group, so I can be there for you to simply listen. Whatever you would like to share about your journey into creating more romance and adventure I will be all ears. You can ask question,s or talk about you wins, or share your challenges and ask the group for feedback.
In my own journey I have learned that there is nothing like the power of community to help us step into the fullness of who we are created to be.
Read on to register and learn how the Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage came to be.
What a year 2014 has been. I pray as you look back over the past 365 days you can celebrate the highs well. I also pray that you can tenderly and compassionately, acknowledge the lows. May you be honest with and good to yourself as you take these 14 questions to your journal, and may you be held by a spirit of hope for the new year. You can download the “Celebrating 2014: Questions for Reflection” PDF for free here. Print from home or simply open your journal and use the questions below to help guide your reflection.