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Forgiveness

Forgiveness, a means to clean up a mess?

Forgiveness, a means to clean up a mess?

I’ve been struggling for some time with the concept of forgiveness.  It sounds like such a simple thing.  But as is so often the case, simple doesn’t mean easy.

Part of my resistance to the notion of forgiveness is that I find it patronizing.   I’ve heard all too often the phrase, “I forgive you.” used much the same way a Southern woman might say, “Bless your heart.”  It sounds nice, but it really isn’t.

It seems there are a lot of moving parts to forgiveness.   There is the part about letting go.  Forgive and forget.  But isn’t that a good way to leave yourself open to continued abuse.  A one time thing is great to let go of, but if you let go, really forget, isn’t every time a one time thing?  If you don’t forget have you really forgiven?  Waiting for the other shoe to drop hardly seems like the appropriate state of mind to associate with forgiveness.

Forgiveness makes sense when someone does something to me, without any intent or understanding of the impact of their actions.   A bad photograph that cuts me out of the picture, or a comment on someone’s own life that I read as a judgement on mine are not necessarily meant to hurt.  If I examine my own reaction and recognize that what I’m reacting to was never there in the first place forgiveness comes easily.  But who am I actually forgiving?   The offender, who never really offended, or myself for over reacting?

I didn't realize…….

I didn’t realize…….

There is a piece of forgiveness that is about acceptance.  Many of the things we found “offensive” in childhood become different when our perspective changes.  Sometimes we develop an understanding that whoever needs forgiving was really doing the best they could do at the time.  We forgive them for not being perfect and we accept responsibility for our own feelings.  That was then, this is now, accept and move forward.  This kind of process often requires distance, time and a shift in our own perspective.  The question arises again, who am I actually forgiving?

There’s another kind of acceptance that goes with forgiveness.  The kind that acknowledges nothing I do is going to change the way things are.   This often goes with families, where the option for abandoning the relationship is not acceptable.  The great-aunt who’s always going to pinch your cheek, the cousin that can’t ever remember your name are always going to be who they are.  Of course so is the molester, always going to be who they are.  Sometimes the better option is to let go of the relationship.   Is forgiveness here simply a forgiveness of ourselves for not being able to “fix” someone else?

Some things can't be changed. Does forgiveness imply a blame that never should have been there in the first place?

Some things can’t be changed. Does forgiveness imply a blame that never should have been there in the first place?

That goes back to the arrogance, the patronizing that I often associate with forgiveness.  Is forgiveness really something we do for ourselves?  Is it a way to sooth our own tendencies towards judgement and arrogance?  Is it a means to move past those things and try to experience the world in the moment?

I don’t have a handle on forgiveness.  I admire people who seem to embody it, who can use forgiveness to move past a bad situation and let go of blame.  I recognize that there can be healing that goes with forgiveness, sometimes on both sides.  I guess I have to keep practicing.

Thoughts?

Blessings

The sun is shinning!

The sun is shinning!

As I come into 2014 I recognize that I have a lot on my plate.  There are new adjustments to make in terms of income and diet and services for Orion and taking care of my own health.  I have some big stressors and some exciting opportunities.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed.  When I start to feel this way I’ve learned that the best answer is to shift my point of view.  Instead of listing the “to do” and getting bogged down I find it’s more productive to count my blessings.

1. HEAT   It’s -25F  outside this morning.  There’s also a wind, so the speed at which frostbite happens is equivalent to a temperature closer to -40F.  (THAT’s what wind chill is for those of you who’ve heard the term but never experienced the sensation.)  Last week I woke up one morning to a house that was less than comfortable.  My furnace had gone out.

The fire is warm

The fire is warm

I have a fireplace so I managed to keep the temperatures stable if chilly (55F) until the gas company could come out and fix it.  I called at 830am, they arrived at about 630pm.  I didn’t get my errands run, but I do have a working furnace.  There are plenty of people who don’t and I’m grateful.

2. FAMILY My Aunt Donna died this fall and my Uncle Ronnie died just last week.  Both of them had struggled for years with the diseases that would ultimately take them.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

I am incredibly fortunate to still have both of my parents.  Certainly they are aging, but they still manage to participate in their community, entertain friends and support me in innumerable ways.  I treasure every moment I get with them.

My kids are a joy.  I even like it when they grumble at me.  I’m proud to watch As they work to establish their own lives and it’s nice to know I am still a touchstone on bad days.

My sister, the one who hosted Christmas, is so open-hearted, generous and patient it humbles me.  I am blessed by the fact that family is important to her and that she’s willing to work to maintain traditions.  She’s passed those values on to her children.  Even the sister I don’t see much would show up if the situation was dire enough.  Family you can count on is a rare gift and I’m grateful.

extended family

extended family

3. FRIENDS We got to get together with my kids’ “other mother” last week.  Because of Orion’s special needs he had personal care attendants growing up.  When Kauser came into our lives she was new to the country, but she took us all under her wing.  Her oldest is the same age as Orion and they became “best buds”.  We were pregnant together with our seconds.  She went on to have a third.

When Kauser started with us Orion was 3 and over the years had my kids both on and off the clock.  Because of changes in the income stream, and her other job responsibilities everything changed when Orion became an adult.  We still keep in touch, but the day-to-day has slipped away.  Her kids are all away at college and her husband is working out-of-state.

Seeing her and her eldest this week was like coming home.  We picked up right where we left off and spent a long lunch catching up.  This family would do anything for me and my kids.  Friends like that are hard to come by and I’m grateful.

4. FRIENDS I have several clusters of close friends:  my circle, my women’s group, my business support group.  All of these (mostly women) people have supported me in various ways throughout the years.  The women’s group has been a place to explore and expand spiritually and when hard times come they are an emotional support that is invaluable.  The business group is the reason I managed to write my book and dared to see it published.

My circle includes the members of my coven and those friends who identify as Pagan who have supported me in the larger community.  I am not a strong self-promoter and it is these people who know my teaching and presentation style who have helped me make connections stronger and broader than I ever could have on my own.  I am grateful.

Community altar from Earth Conclave

Community altar from Earth Conclave

5. FRIENDS You didn’t think I’d forget you did you?  If you’ve read to this point you are indeed a friend to my blog and therefore to me.  I write for myself, but it is the support and encouragement of you, my readers, that keep me plugging away.  It’s the sharing that makes it delicious, savory, and fulfilling and I couldn’t have that without you.  Thank you so very much.

There is much more to be grateful for.  There are so many more blessing in my life, too many to count.  I am surrounded by generosity and support and warmth.  That’s a good way to start the year, and also helpful on a cold Monday morning.  May 2014 be filled with an abundance of blessing for us all.  And may we remember to stop and count them every now and again.

BB

Persistence

I have often, over the years, complained to my friends that I don’t have any discipline.  I’m usually greeted with much resistance to that idea.  “Oh no!  You have plenty of discipline.” they say, “You write in your morning pages, you feed the kids, you have kept up a weekly blog now for over 9 months.”   There is no point in arguing but I laugh to myself.

I really don’t have much discipline.  Discipline implies an orderliness and consistency.  One of the definitions in my Apple laptop New American Dictionary is: to do something in a controlled and habitual way.  I may write my morning pages, feed the kids and keep up a weekly blog but there is nothing controlled or habitual about it.

What I really am is persistent.  Again with the dictionary: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.  (I think the little detail that I’m also usually the one providing the opposition is a topic for another blog.)    So either with discipline or with persistence I seem to get things done, but somehow I believe it would be easier for me if I could ease up on the persistence and acquire some more discipline.

Now I suppose I have to provide examples to explain my thesis.  This weekend (I think) I have managed to take my blood pressure medications every day.   I dole them out along with Orion’s meds first thing in the morning.  Of course on a holiday weekend this may be closer to noon, but it’s still first thing.  (This counts as discipline except when he’s not here and I forget to do it at all.)

Somehow I can not manage to actually TAKE the medicine when I dole it out.  (Again, that would be discipline.)   Instead I put it someplace (like on the kitchen counter) where I can’t help but see it, often, throughout the day.  Each time I see it I think, “I should probably take those.”  Holiday weekend aside, I’ve taken my meds closer to 8pm than the usual 8am all weekend.  Nagging at myself until I actually do it, that’s persistence.

Thank you

Likewise today’s blog.  Monday was Memorial Day and so I went out on Sunday morning and took pictures for a blog memorial.   I figured I would write it, sit on it, edit it and even if I chose to take the holiday off it would be ready to go Tuesday morning.  I would have done all that too, if I was disciplined.

Instead I decided that the memorial blog was a bummer.  If I was going to continue to court joy I needed something a little more upbeat.  So I changed my focus from a memorial to fond memories.  Sounds almost as nitpicky as discipline vs perseverance doesn’t it?  The change in wording did change the tone of my thinking and I proceeded to think about fond memories.  Then I started to think about photographs.

I have photographs (in theory) for the fond memories blog.  They are probably in my flooded and moldy basement.  They are not in electronic media.  They are not in any particular organization (unless I pull them out of the scrapbooks my mother made for the kids when they were little- her discipline not mine.) This task, besides being daunting, came along with my current frustration with the technology of a new phone.  (Karina and I upgraded to smart phones last week and I’m totally lost.)

The nice thing about persistence vs discipline is that persistence is about the outcome and discipline is about how you get there.  I’ve actually lost friends (and maybe a husband) over this small distinction.   I am very good at fulfilling my promises.  If I give you my word I will do what I said.  I may, however, not meet your expectations of what I meant.

The friend that I lost asked me to come over and help her with prep for a catering event she was running.  She knew it would be an all day affair and I agreed to come in the morning and stay until we were done.  She estimated 8 hours.  I was having what turned out to be a torturous and complicated pregnancy.  The complications started with me throwing up that morning.

I showed up when she asked willing to work.  I was really out of it, really sick (but pregnant sick so doing food work didn’t seem problematic). and still persevered through-out the day.  I did step out to take a nap at one point and the 8 hour day became closer to 14 hours.  I was literally dying (although we didn’t know that at the time.)  My friend was really angry about writing me a check for the hours I’d worked.  This in spite of my saying “I really don’t know how long I worked or how much time I put in.  I know what time I arrived, what time I left and that I took a nap in the middle.  I have no idea how much time I lost napping or running to the bathroom.”  She expected discipline, I persevered.

So here we have a wordy blog going out quite late in the day on Tuesday, not Monday.  The topic isn’t memorial.  The photos are essentially nonexistent.  None-the-less I continue to produce a weekly blog.  Don’t mistake this for discipline.  It’s simply persistence.

Magical Stuff

"medicine bag"

Along with putting away all of the holiday decorations I found myself sorting through my magical “stuff”.   I’ve had several occasions to pull out my spiritual tools.  You know, those symbols, the nick-knacks that for whatever reason have a spiritual connection.  Theoretically I have “stuff” to redecorate the house every 6 weeks (Samhein, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, Mabon).   I have plenty of “stuff.”

The “stuff” in the photo, an altar  I set up for myself, is a collection of things that fit into my little medicine bag.  They are pieces I’ve picked up over the years that mark particular points in my spiritual journey.  And they are also convenient to carry when I’m traveling.

This “stuff” is important to me.  It carries meaning both in symbology and also from the history where I picked up the trinkets along the way.  Some of it carries a very potent charge making it easy to return to the feelings I had when I got it.  Some of it carries it’s own symbology, like the rune or the chinese birth year tag, or even the particular stones.  But most of this “stuff” only comes out on special occasions.  When I’m taking a retreat or doing very deep personal work.

A lot of my “stuff” only gets pulled out when I’m looking to make a point in a public setting.  I brought some of that with me when I did my workshop in October.  I set up a little altar and decorated it with symbols that might be recognizable or meaningful to the people who attended.  It’s all “stuff” I like.  It’s all “stuff” I’ve used for various purposes, some more than others.  Some of it carries fond emotional memories.  Some of it I choose for particular attributes and associations.  But it’s not my every day “stuff.”

I continue to acquire “stuff”.  Anytime I go to an event there is usually some “stuff” to bring home.  Either a special name badge or a token from a ritual or a magical marker to help sort the crowd into smaller groups.  Sometimes I think I’d like to keep this “stuff” as a memory or a tool to reconnect to the energies of the event.  Sometimes I think this “stuff” is just clutter and needs to be disposed of appropriately.

Cupboard of Magical "Stuff"

That’s really the problem with all this “stuff”.  When things carry a special charge, magical or meaningful, it makes it very difficult to just throw them in the trash.  Candles can be burned or remade, as can many of the crafted items (like my vision board from 10 years ago).  Some things break (chalices, bowls, lamps) and can then be disposed of as household items.  But what do I do with a magical blade that I no longer use?  What do I do with the rattles? What do I do with the chalices, bowls and lamps that are still perfectly useful?

This issue becomes even trickier for a teacher.  I have several “collections of stuff” that I pull out for specific classes.  The variety allows students to compare and contrast a variety of tools that could be used for the same purpose.  I have specific items that only come out in particular rituals, rites of passage that don’t come up on an annual basis.

It’s definitely time to clean out my “stuff”.  I am hoping some of it will be useful enough to donate to either the programs supporting servicemen practicing their religions on foreign soil or to prison programs supporting Pagan prisoners.

What is your favorite or most useful spiritual “stuff”?

A few magical tools

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – the expression of gratitude.  Those of us who run in spiritual circles hear a lot about gratitude.  There are numerous books in the market on the topic.  It’s become almost a buzzword.  But there is a huge difference between saying thank you and feeling grateful from the tips of your toes.

Gratitude in an emotional context feels both humble and bounteous.  Gratitude comes with an upwelling of joy and love.  It is a giving back, thanks in love returned for gifts received.  There is a Norse tradition expressed in the rune Gifu.  Acceptance of a gift obligates, a gift for a gift.  But when gifts are exchanged in gratitude that obligation becomes joyful and burden-less.

The holiday this week brings gratitude, thankfulness, into our cultural awareness.  Many of us find ourselves fulfilling family obligations, and often with more trepidation than joy.  Is this a holiday of food and football?  Is this a celebration of white privilege, colonial expansion and manifest destiny?  Even staying in the moment can be difficult as many of us use the day to scan the ads and plan our black Friday shopping expeditions.

In an effort to stay present in the moment and to experience the week in gratitude I have written a short mediation, a prayer if you will, that I would like to share with you here.  If you like it I would ask you to please share my blog, pass it on.

I breathe deeply, in and out.

I can be grateful for my breath in and out.

I breathe in and fill my body with gratitude.

I breathe out and release that which does not serve my greater purpose.

I am grateful for my breath.

I breath into my body.  My chest moves as I breath.  My belly moves as I breath.  

I can be grateful for my body as it contains my breath.

I breathe in and fill my body with gratitude.

My body moves in gratitude.

My body carries gratitude into the world.

I am grateful for my body.

I live in my body, moved by my breath in each moment of my life.

I can be grateful for my life. 

My life is lived in gratitude.

My life is filled with gifts and opportunities for giving.

I am grateful for my life.

Blessed Be.

Sleep

I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  This isn’t entirely uncommon, but usually I can identify a specific cause.  Scary movies have been keeping me awake since I was a kid, so I don’t usually see them.  Pain often keeps me awake and I can’t say I’ve been “pain free”, but I don’t really think it’s been that bad.  Stress will keep me awake going over my “to do” list or worrying a problem, but that’s not what I’m doing.  Drinking a pot a day of really good strong coffee (Jamaica Blue Mountain!) might keep me awake, but that was weeks ago.

It’s certainly affecting the basic thinking process and even more the creative process.  I can’t seem to stay on topic or keep track of my schedule.  I have 3 blog drafts started (this is the fourth) and I can’t seem to figure out where to go with them after the second paragraph.  I had the annual meeting on my son’s care this week which I totally spaced until they called to cancel and reschedule.  (Someone is looking out for me!)

When I struggle to get to sleep I often meditate in bed.  That can cause issues for people with both meditating and with sleeping.  I know plenty of folks who train themselves to fall asleep during a meditation.  I also know that sense of needing to get to a meditative state before sleep is even an option.  My trick for dealing with that is positional.  I meditate on my back and I sleep on my side.  It’s enough of a difference so that I don’t fall asleep meditating.  It’s easy enough that I get the benefits of having relaxed in the meditation to fall asleep.

But this week getting to sleep doesn’t really seem to be the problem.  It’s staying asleep I’m struggling with.  The sleep apnea thing is always a possibility.  I’ve been struggling with my panic attacks when I use the mask for a year and a half.  Still can’t get through the night with it on, but I can take a nap for as much as 2 hours and that’s a huge improvement.  So even if I go to bed using the bi-pap machine, I’m awake enough at least once, 2 hours later, to take the mask off roll over and go back to sleep.

I suspect that’s actually part of the issue.  I seem to have taught myself to sleep in 2 hour chunks and then wake up.  Now I wake up plenty even on a good night, but there’s a difference between waking up with, “What time is it?  Is the alarm going off soon?” and waking up with, “pillow, switch sides, sleep.”

It could also be the dream pillow I’ve recently added to my pillow pile.  I don’t remember my dreams well except the occasional dream I’m having as I wake up.  Maybe my subconscious is interpreting making a dream pillow as a cue to make me remember all of my dreams?  Or maybe I’m just allergic enough to the dust and mold on the herbs to make sleeping difficult, back to the breathing issues.

Whatever it is that’s keeping me from sleeping at least I’ve managed to find SOMETHING I can blog about for more than a couple of paragraphs.  Hopefully by next week I will have gotten a good night sleep.  I may have to have a chat with Morpheus.

Teachers

I’ve been thinking about all the teachers I’ve had in my life.  Some have been inspiring.  Some have been dreadful.  Some have been lifesavers.  There is a saying about spiritual seekers that when the student is ready the teacher appears.  That has certainly been my experience and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and study with all kinds of teachers.

The easiest teachers to think about are of course the ones associated with public schools.  I was fortunate to have a high proportion of really good teachers.  Being involved in the arts and excelerated classes probably helped.  But if I had to pick just one it would have to be Miss Suzanne Kelly.  She taught English when I was in 7th grade.  She told me that if I could use a dictionary and learn to type it wouldn’t matter that my spelling was bad and my handwriting illegible.  Best advice I’ve ever gotten.

Then there are the teachers who show up in your life and lead by example.  I have all kinds of those too.  The ones who stand out the most are my ex-Mother-in-Law.  Suz died this year and it was much harder than I expected because I owe so much to her.  She had an incredible ability to find something nice to say about everyone.  She could be sincere and gracious in the most difficult situations.  I worked with her for a year and watched her deal with customers this way.  She was amazing.  She also had the ability to give you her full attention when you were talking with her.  These are talents I’m sorely lacking.  Any skill I have at all in these areas I got from watching her.

My other example is my son.  I know that seems odd, because to some extent I probably taught him to persevere, to look on the bright side and to be kind.  But again, he has a talent that far exceeds any abilities I might have in these areas.  Orion is just a happy guy.  He finds delight in the smallest things.  He knows how to be satisfied.  He assumes everyone he meets likes him and is pleased to meet him.  It’s amazing to watch him struggle so hard and come up smiling.  My favorite part of the day is watching him get excited about something.

My best example of a teacher who showed up when I needed it was Paul.  I’d known him for years in the community.  We’d nod at each other at events.  We were in a group at a bar at a convention one evening.  I announced to the group, “I need to find someone to teach me sword, staff and ballroom dancing.”  An odd combination, and exactly Paul’s skill set.  Who knew?  I can’t say I’m an expert in any of those areas, in spite of Paul’s best efforts.  But I learned a lot of what I really needed to know about moving in my body.

But the teachers that really fascinate me are the ones that show up just for a moment and say just the right thing.  The small bit of inspiration that leads to great things.  I’m writing this blog because of one of those aside comments.  I’m working on a book – for real rather than just in my head – because of one of those comments.  I’ve had people say the darnedest things on the bus or at community events.

I think this kind of teaching fascinates me because most often this is the kind of teaching I do.  I’m the person who asks the odd question that makes you think about a problem in a different way.  I’m the person who will give a “homework” assignment to anyone who asks “what do you think I should do?”  I’m the person who you sit down with and talk to until you begin to understand what it is that you’re really talking about.

I don’t have any photos for this, other than my spiral.  What goes around comes around again and again.  I’m always grateful for the opportunity to learn a new lesson.

BB

Ancestors and Descendants

It’s the end of pretty autumn and the beginning of dead fall.  Halloween which is all about dressing up as the thing you either most desire or most fear, and eating candy until you’re sick.  Samhein about acknowledging the death of the growing season with the last of the harvest in and the gifts (probably prophetic) of the ancestors.  Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a great time for a picnic with the relatives both living and passed. A chance to catch up on the news of the year on both sides of the veil.   All Saints Day, assuming of course that the Saints are also dead and that they have only positive things to offer.

I find myself starting to plan the annual holiday schedule.  What day is Thanksgiving dinner and who’s going to show up?  If I plan to spend the night do I get the bedroom or a couch or the floor?  Any rum cakes that have been started and will need regular tending.  I’ve received the list of ‘gifts I would like’ from my daughter, “just in case anyone asks.”   The calendar is filling up already into January.

We lost another member of the family this year.  It makes the ancestor part of the holiday a bit bittersweet.  I do find myself reminiscing in the season.  I no longer have my Grandparents, a niece and a nephew and a handful of very close friends, some of whom have been gone over 30 years.  The pets that have come through our lives over the years also check in to my memory around this time.

But life also goes on.  My daughter and her boyfriend are negotiating the family holiday exchange for the first time this year.  It’s likely that the timing will work in their favor since they both come from families accustomed to making accommodations.  But I’m not sure they both will get the time off work they will need to hit everyone’s celebrations.  Like the season demonstrates, part of life is learning about giving things up.

So I do a final weeding and bury the ancestor garden under a pile of leaves.  I’ll need to decide what to add next year to honor this years passed.  I’ll light a candle or two in memory and sit in meditation.  Hopefully I’ll get a pat on the shoulder or even a warm embrace by the ghost of one of my loved ones.

For me this is not the holiday of one day.  I don’t enjoy a dumb supper sitting in silence while the dead are invited to feast.  I am not a vigilant keeper of shrines to my ancestors, so I am not called to tidy them up for the holiday visit.  Instead I take long walks in the dry leaves kicking up ghosts and smiles.  I talk to the wind, light a fire, pull out a hand made blanket.

I am grateful to the spirits of ancestors past.  Those who love me beyond all reason and continue to support me in my life.  I am grateful for the lessons you have taught me in your life and in your passing.  I am grateful for the love that I continue to carry in my heart.

I am grateful also to my descendants.  I hope to also be remembered in love and gratitude.  I hope that I have made a mark on one or two lives that made a real difference.  I am grateful for the opportunity to pass on the few things I have learned so far in this life.

Seasons blessings

Omens

I do believe in omens.  That might need a little clarification.  I’m not talking about the kind of belief that comes out of reading a book.  The owl in the night may not signal the death of anything more than a field mouse.  The bird in the house may be the visitor himself.  A black cat crossing my path is more likely to bring a smile than a worry about impending doom.   

I believe in synchronicity, things going right, falling into place, as an indication that I am doing the work that I need to be doing.  It’s like getting confirmation that I’m going along appropriately on my Spiritual path.  I see synchronicity as encouragement to take a risk or to agree to something without worrying too much about the details.

The other side of the coin can also be true.  When it becomes exceptionally difficult to get somewhere I begin to wonder if I should even be going.  When it becomes extravagantly expensive (hidden costs revealed right and left) I question buying in.  Resistance doesn’t necessarily stop me from doing something, but it often brings the value of the action into question.  Is what I am doing, what I hope to achieve, really worth it?

So, the omens:

The city tagged one of my trees with Dutch Elm and when the tree service came out to take care of it they broke the equipment to grind the stump.

I came down with a nasty seasonal cold the same week I had a business meeting, a presentation and several small jobs with deadlines.

The water heater died Friday morning.  Diagnosis didn’t happen until afternoon – too late to repair that day and planning to be away at a conference most of the weekend.

The “Check Engine” light came on in the car.  Apparently something is out of alignment and it’s making noises like it needs new brakes or maybe a bearing.

And the other side of the story:

The tree guys were half the price of any other bid and were out the next day with the equipment fixed to finish the job.

The cold never become deadly, I had plenty of tea and OTC medicine in the house, and I got to bed at a reasonable time all week.

The side jobs really were small and easy, the business meeting was with good friends and gave me some good leads and the presentation was extraordinarily well received.

The water heater is over 10 years old and I’ve known it was going to need replacing soon for at least the last 2 years.

The car has 250,000 miles on it and I’ll probably drive it into the ground before I put any more money into keeping it going.

Additionally, I have help paying for both the tree and the water heater.  My son is staying at his Dad’s where he can get a bath.  I have a lot of big pots for heating water.

I have learned that it takes a lot of gallons of water to fill up a bathtub.  But that a bath, even when the tub isn’t full, that required hauling the water yourself is worthy of a good soak.  There is something very rewarding about climbing into a tub after doing that much work to prepare the bath.

I have learned that when I really need money it usually becomes available, either through extra work or extra assistance.  Did I mention I won $25 in a drawing through one of my little side jobs?  My work in this life isn’t about dealing with money.  If I am simply contentious rather than careless things fall into place.  Synchronicity happens.

I have learned that omens can be useful markers.  But in and of themselves they don’t really tell me anything.  They are just a reminder to check my point of view and pay a little more attention to the choices I’m making.

Now lets cross the fingers and hope the new water heater gets installed without a hitch!

Daily Practice

Spirituality is such a day to day part of my life sometimes I forget to give it any attention.  I take it for granted.  I don’t stop and appreciate the beautiful weather, or my amazing children, or even the fact that there is enough money to pay the bills and buy groceries.  All of these things are in my life as gifts from the Universe.    

One of the ways I try to remember to spend time on my Spiritual relationships is by doing daily practice.  Now this isn’t something I’m good at.  I struggle to remember to take my blood pressure meds daily, much less any task I may undertake.  To keep myself engaged (entertained?) I occasionally change up my daily practice.  I’m truly a generalist.  Thats not the sort of person who devotes themselves to achieving perfection at a particular task.

Currently my daily practice is reflected in my writing.  I have struggled plenty with journaling over the years.  But for right now I’m finding daily writing, open ended and on any topic, is compelling.  The thing is, if I don’t write about my Spiritual experience does it really serve me as daily practice?

That’s where this blog is supposed to come in.  The idea here is to keep me honest.  If I can find something in my daily writing, in my daily living, that inspires me to write here then I have succeeded in utilizing my daily practice to promote my spiritual journey.

Sadly, last week was a long and boring week.  There was a certain amount of fatigue that contributed to my lack of inspiration.  That was caused primarily from the pain induced from the de-cluttering you read about last week.   It was an avalanche of malaise and it was not particularly inspiring.  In the face of all that I did continue writing.  Perhaps not as much as I might have otherwise, but I did keep up the daily practice.

I also found myself falling back on other spiritual practices I’ve had in the past.  I had a daily practice for a while of an astral temple meditation before I went to sleep.  I did that several nights last week.  I’ve had a daily practice of casting a healing circle.  I did that several nights last week.  I didn’t get out my old prayer beads, but I remembered that prayer and a few others I’ve used over the years.

Last week I ran across a quote, or someone referenced it, or I overheard someone talking.  Don’t you love the way I source my material?  Anyway someone said something like, “The reason we do daily practice is to get us through the times when we can’t do daily practice.”  That’s definitely the way I felt about it last week.

So now I’m back up on the horse, metaphorically.  I’m a day late on the blog, but it’s out there.  I’m still writing daily, more than the minimums I’ve set for myself.  I’m continuing the process of cleaning up and de-cluttering.  (Thank you Tim, Bonita and Karina)   I’m also getting my notes together for a workshop I’m giving this weekend at the Mankato Women and Spirituality Conference.  Can you guess the topic?    Daily Practice.

BB

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