A Favorite Practice for Challenging Times
I have a new favorite game, a spiritual challenge that calls to me to be mastered. If I were to name it I would say it’s called “Falling in love with what is”. This game challenges me in so many ways, and yet there is an insistence that I play and learn to play well.
I’m at a strange juncture where ‘new beginnings’ (also known as endings) mix and mingle with the season of rest, of pulling in, of stillness and quiet, and sometimes aloneness.
I know that softening and soothing expectations is an essential part of finding any kind of serenity. To have compassion for the longings while allowing what is here now.
Being in present-time, in my body, embodied and in my senses is the practice. Although we all have pain and memories and beliefs stored in our bodies, there is also the potential for so much transformation when we move past those to find what is available in our senses.
I’ve been slowly reading the gorgeous book “Anam Cara” by the late John O’Donohue. It has to be read slowly because it’s poetry mixed with deep wisdom and so much beauty and truth that it’s almost blinding. I can’t absorb much of it…I really recommend it, especially during the short and sometimes bleak days of winter.
A small excerpt …“The body is the mirror where the secret world of the soul comes to expression. The body is a sacred threshold; and it deserves to be respected, minded, and understood in its spiritual nature.”
I love that.. the body as ‘sacred threshold”. For me, coming into the physical and letting my senses help anchor me into what is in each moment is deeply comforting. It keeps me out of my head. My obsessive left-brain, where the fears want to poke and prod at me when I believe that things aren’t happening, or aren’t going the way I believe they might.
At these moments, I look to my senses to what is. And then remind myself to love it as deeply as I can.
It’s a good game. It works. It’s better than the alternative, there is powerful Medicine here in the present moment and surrendering to love for it, whatever its imperfections might be.
A partial list of what I love in this moment.
- o The greenery around my house in every vase, on every table. Boxwood and 3 colors of Hypericum, and dried Hydrangeas and Eucalyptus. Baby white roses.
- o My smallest Christmas tree ever- with silver, white and pale blue and all sorts of birds.
- o The holiday playlist in the background as I write- sentimental, moving, beautiful. (I love the rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” by Marzipan and Mistletoe from an old Sex in the City episode).
- o Thick brown wool socks, the warmest coziest I’ve ever had, from farmers market in NH
- o Sunday morning quiet
- o Seeing the water and sky over the harbor from my window
- o The hourly gong of the church bells nearby
- o Delicious gluten-free pumpkin bread
- o Tuning up last minute details for Solstice Sanctuary and Soiree tomorrow night here in Newport with my adored friend and future business partner (!!)
- o The peace of writing this to you
It’s the eve of the Solstice. The darkest shortest days. Not typically the ones we love the most. The between times. Uncertainty. That blurriness of not knowing exactly where you are in space and time or what is unfolding. We don’t see well in the dark. We get impatient (Just noticed that I initially typed “inpatient” … whatever that means to me… or you…those unconscious slips always so telling).
To celebrate the Solstice energies which are already here:
With lights out, watch the sun set. Take a few moments of stillness and quiet and give thanks for the return of the light and set your intentions for the coming year. This begins the solar calendar. Light a candle, and imagine illuminating your intentions and wishes. On a small piece of paper, you may want to write a single word that represents what you will release as the year ends and as we turn towards the light. You can burn this piece of paper as a symbolic way to release. Fill your home with greenery and rosemary which is an herb of the sun, and use only candlelight to hold the magic of this time.
Anything becomes ceremony when done with sacred focused intention. Always remember, You Are The Temple. You can buy or gift your copy here. This is a gorgeous time of year to treat yourself to these rituals and retreat…powerful transition into the New Year..and of course I want that for you.
With bright beautiful blessings for the Solstice and for the holidays~
Your Lisa xox