The Need for Rituals

A seat waiting for you

Every morning I have a sacred ritual. I get up around 3 or 4AM, go into the living room, light some candles, and say my prayers. I sit quietly, conscious of breath and the sounds in the room. I feel presence…there is always sweet presence. Some days I sage or light an incense, others I just allow the higher guides to take care of any energy that doesn’t belong in my space. It’s rare that I feel any kind of negativity. I call on my higher self, God, and proceed to enter the space of love. My heart is always the most opened during these times. It doesn’t take long for me to leave this realm. I don’t look at the clock. I allow Spirit and Source to guide me. I might have a long meditation, or short prayers. I make time to ask and be blessed. I might even just sit in the darkness and watch the light outside welcome me home again. Then again there are mornings, when its warm, that I grab a chair by the pond and allow the light of the world to engulf me with its grace.

Rituals and ceremonies are needed as reminders of sacredness, faith, and awareness. You can do this anywhere you want: a bathroom, dining room table, set up an altar in your garage or basement, have space in your garden, make a small labyrinth in your yard, etc. What we do need are moments of conscious awareness, acceptance, letting go, and shifting to Divinity. I am a morning person but if I was a night owl I would be doing the same before heading to bed. The best prayer there is to enter the world every morning is being in full gratitude: you have been given another day in this journey. And, when you get used to a ritual it is hard to be without it. I feel “off” in days that I don’t get my morning time. I need my cup of tea or coffee after my rituals and return to the humanness of the space I get to call my own.

Allow space for guidance and divinity. Carve sometime for you and your higher self to speak…even if it’s in traffic. There is no right or wrong way to connect with the universe. Use your voice. Use your power. Open your heart wide. We need time to connect with our nature, our yearnings, with the little voice inside that pushes and pulls for truth. You are authentic. You are divine. You are light. You are love. You are pure wisdom and you have all the answers you will ever need. It’s important to remind yourself of this every single day. Have a blessed day~!

“The Way to do is to be.” ~ Lao Tzu

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Entanglement

Ientanglement watch the gestures
of sleep
embracing you,
mesmerized by the
childlike peace painted
On your manly face.
I want to enter you
sharing those experiences,

mold into those expressions.
I lightly caress
your face as you wrinkle
your nose and mouth —
that mouth that kisses
throughout my essence.
I smile,
gently teasing your morning
dreams and fantasies.
This is our ritual
as you wake,
closed eyes avoiding sunrise,
“Good morning babe!”
and I dive into the vastness
of your arms for a little while
slipping into my own fantasies.

Getting Lost

lost 3

This morning on the way back from visiting a community college, my daughter and I got lost in the back roads.  She doesn’t do well with adventures, especially after stressing over college paperwork.  I, on the other hand, while the grandbaby slept peacefully in her car seat, dove into the possibilities of finding a new place, exploring my surroundings, and prayed I didn’t run out of gas.  I get lost often.  Things get lost.  Words get lost.  People get lost.  Life can become a lost playground if we aren’t present for the most part.  Each day gets lost into night and so on.  The hardest part of “lost” is never truly expressing it to someone.  When a relationship is over (regardless if it’s of lovers, parents, children, or friends) there is a lapse of time that can mend and then there isn’t.  Waiting for the perfect opportunity is like waiting for a unicorn to swift us away.  It only happens in the mind.

I used to have an amazing sense of direction.  I don’t anymore.  I go into a new trail, a mountain hike, and if I am not consciously present I will find myself in the middle of unchartered territory. Just like this morning, it happens often.  I rarely question the wrong turn.  I somehow know that I will get through the moment.  My daughter said, “Mom, do you know where you are going? (Several times with much expressed anxiety). And, I answered, “Nope…but all roads lead somewhere!” Not an answer that securely assures a fearful person. Complete exasperation came from the passenger side.  What I have found is that in those lost moments I get the chance to enter a new direction.  Beauty unfolds because I am not on track.  Getting lost is never a waste of time in this sense.  The unknown unfolds and opportunities arise in the most awed-stricken ways.  It’s magical and mysterious.  What an amazing ride!

Sometimes losing someone is just like that…you don’t know how amazing they are until you are in a different terrain.  We take people for granted.  We, as divine entities, have those awakening moments of appreciation but the human part of us clouds them.  We don’t know our asses from our heads at times.  My best friend, Bobbie, has a saying, “Get your head out of your ass.  It wasn’t meant to be worn as a hat.”  Getting lost in the world is magical.  Getting lost in our own turmoil, chaos and mind is a dangerous place.  We are our worst enemies.

I have a way of learning.  I need space, nature and time.  I need to be outside and roam endlessly in the freedom of the world.  This is why I love traveling.  I have on a bucket list the places I will visit and explore in order to find me.  With each journey I know something will open up.  Getting lost is not scary (not in my absent-minded little head).  I am not daunted by this and have never been.  I am, however, intimidated by the loss of people who I love and mean the world to me.  I am perplexed at the way folks come into my life and quickly manage to leave without clearing up issues.  This type of loss from humanity aches inside in a way I avoid…but can’t escape.  We all go through it.

An hour later, and many mountain back roads, we found the way home.  Now hungry and aggravated, my 18 year old laughs.  She said, “I wasn’t really worried!  I was just concerned that we would run out of gas or wouldn’t find a place to eat.” (As if we were on an isolated island with Tom Hanks and Wilson).   I know she thinks that I am an airy-fairy hippie.  I get lost in our conversations, laughter, and love.  She knows this part of me well enough to feel that I can get us back on track while singing (horribly) to the great radio tunes.  It was a gorgeous morning.  The haze over the Blue Ridge Mountains was astonishing and seductive.  I kept saying that “as long as I follow the mountains I know we can make it home.”  And, just like that I found home to be right there in the car surrounded by two beautiful souls, bemused by my yearning to be an explorer.  Getting lost never felt so great!

The Gift of Mortality

MysticCertain events cause the nuts and bolts in our existence to tighten, while others loosen our perception. The things we know to be true no longer exist. We begin to question the purpose of life, the reason for our existence, and how everything is related. There are no accidents even the most mundane act has a purpose. For the past week I’ve agonized greatly. I’ve been in a place of pure limbo. The suicide death of a friend rattled and broke me. I understand what she went through. I keep hearing her words echoing in my own belief, tasting my ego and doubting the core of my own existence. I don’t want to continue to explain that I don’t fit because I do fit in the way humans fit into life. When I say “I don’t fit” or “I feel misplaced” I am speaking in terms of my mortality. I have somehow dishonored my purpose, diminishing the importance of me here. And, with such thoughts I take to find answers outdoors.
It’s cold but I ventured into the woods this morning. My cat, Mystic, followed my every move while keeping distance. She moves with steadiness but knows exactly when to stop as to give me the room I need to be alone with my thoughts. Funny little creature! I found a seat by the creek, gathering my winter coat tighter over my head, Mystic jumped on the seat. We sat there watching the morning light twinkle and dance on the water flowing downstream. I am grateful for witnessing such beauty. I forget how beautiful our woods are and how much magic lives there. It is the closest thing to heaven on earth that I have found. In these moments of complete awareness of my present life I am grateful. What happens is when I re-enter life with others that I keep struggling to understand. Why do so many folks martyr and suffer over everything? Where does it all lead into that I cannot see? What’s the point of fighting the current without making changes, while complaining every day about the same thing? It’s insanity.
I do not know how long (in the human need to time everything) it will take for me to integrate into my life again. I don’t know if I will ever “fit” into the life I had. There is nothing I want to do to change this beautiful gift. I know I am beyond fortunate to live where I live and with the people who love me. I also know that only five weeks ago, in dying and returning to this realm, I lost an old part of me that battles with ego in this new life. My struggle is in knowing how others can’t be present. In not being present, especially around me, I am rattled to the core of my being. I can’t relate to the material world, the need to fix things with technology, or the escaping from life with addiction. This is life. I understand it. What I don’t understand is how I will get to the place of adapting into the world. I can’t run off and live in a temple far from the arms of humanity. Let’s be real! I have been gifted the preciousness of being present, a life not fully lived or absorbed with mysteries unfolding every day. It is my duty to follow through with whatever the Divine has in store for me. In the process how I get there is a difficult question. Sometimes the answers are much more meaningful than one question.
creeksideI sat back in the cold forest, embraced by the gift of my mortality. I know this is precious. Each breath brings me to the core of God and all that is mystical. As I walk into the unknown, knowing that it isn’t a place of fear, I plan on keeping it real. I can no longer afford to make excuses for others. When I feel uncomfortable I will excuse myself from being in the place of discomfort. When I am with others I give a 100% of my presence with the love that I can hold in my heart. The rest is up for grab. I find that compassion has become my most intimate ally through it all. I want to take you and hold you, letting you know that this is okay. This too shall pass. The perfect post popped up on my screen this morning, “When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up.” There is nothing else to do. The gift of your humanness is reason enough to keep moving along the timeline. Be present. Be mindful. Be love without judgment. Always…always…be love!

Beyond the Light

Morning Majesty taken on Blue Ridge ParkwaySunrise –

the world is full of promise,
possibilities still lie discarded
by any illusion of the mind.
I watch light enter day,
erasing the darkness,
breathing hope
through the sounds
of Earth stretching
and clearing the fog
from uncertainties.

The dance between

what was and what is to become

is mystical.

In awed,
I witness the Divine

through the breeze,

ripples of diamonds on the water,

hummingbirds tapping at my window,

a deer feeding in the back field.

Oh yes,

this is sunrise with all its beauty

and secrets

enticing the awareness

that looking for my soul with my mind

will never be found.

Just like the fog, it is separate from the light.

I must look through the heart

to see the morning rise

and allow the mysteries

to paint the way.

Through Joy

california 11-2012 237One morning, near the end of a road trip in California, I woke early to the sound of rain.  I made myself a nice big cup of coffee, dressed in my old jeans and sweater and lit a small cigar my friend had bought for me days prior.  I sat on the cement of the porch in this gorgeous ranch home watching the rain lightly fall all around me.  Pok-a-dots began to appear on my jeans from the residue.  I huffed and puffed on that delicious cigarillo admiring the scenery around me.  I don’t ever get to do this at home with kids around.  I am also very conscious of cigar smell around others.  This moment was for me.  Just me and a messy-dirty-adorable dog name Rufus.

We all have moments for ourselves. Life, in all of its completeness, is occurring right now this very second.  I take my alone times very seriously.  I am asymmetrical.  I do nothing in pairs or with any kind of formation.  I am perfect in my huge imperfections and won’t apologize for them anymore.  This particular moment, sitting in that cold floor, I was wrapped by not only a scarf but the grace of spirit welcoming me to find peace within.  Aha moments are always around… here, there, everywhere.  All I have to do is pick a spot.

There is joy in the simple things of life:  the dog lying next to me snoring, the birds chirping to the entrance of light in the sky, the magnificent sycamore trees erecting towards heaven…so much going on right outside my little head.  I stared far into the gardens of this estate witnessing the fall leaves and their colors dancing in shadow and light and the reflection of water magnifying their intensity.

Needless to say, the memory of that morning still resides in me after nine months.  The simplicity and joy I felt embraced by peace was beyond description.  I need my mornings alone with the Divine.  I need to witness the miracle of every piece of His creation. Whenever I don’t get to do this I feel out of sorts, out of whack, and completely ungrounded.  My feet must touch the dirt at some point.  It is part of me, completing a story of some sort.  In those moments I think of love.  I reflect on my children, my parents, family, friends, and the extension of love from so many.  These are my prayers.  By this time in our trip I was ready to return to my life.  I had done a lot of purging.  I don’t like crowds.  I don’t like busyness, chaos, or any form of superficial energy in motion.  We had entered and exited several big cities.  I needed the mountains.  I needed my children and home.  We were returning in two days.

Almost finishing my cigar and coffee, my best friend came out.  She looked at me and smile, “This is so you.  You in a wrap sucking on a morning cigar!”  I laughed and said something about my “oxymoronic contradictions.”  We shared our early morning laughter.  This is why we are best friends.  The woman takes one look at me and knows exactly what I am thinking.  She can call me out on my bullshit.  She can also hold my hand even when I don’t know that I need to be held.  And, when she sees me in joy’s arms she joins me there with laughter.

Life is not symmetrical.  It isn’t perfect.  It is full of oxymoron characters, messy contradictions, juicy imperfections, tiny scars of pain, but mostly it is filled with the awareness that the journey is always the best part.   Relish those things you enjoy.  Suck on a cigar, drink your wine (everything in moderation), and laugh as much as possible.  In the end, those are the moments that will carry you through the path of joy inside.  It is then that Spirit is holding your hands.   Life is to be attended to through the joy and contentment of simple moments.  Find the balance between this moment and all that awakes in you.  Experience the awakening and let it take you wherever it needs to go!