I recently went away to a weekend intensive hosted by Expanding Inward. It was a wonderful weekend, full of revelations and tears...and not once during sessions was I hugged by another participant.
I was not hugged because I didn't ask for a hug.
Don't be deceived by personal presentation. Some will bite on the front end and you'll never see the kindness coming. Some will bite on the back end - where you expect sympathy you will suddenly get steel.
That is the way of it. Do not confuse softness with powerlessness, harshness with lack of solace.
Do not coddle your own weakness. Listen deeply, and open. There are teachers are all around you.
I recently posted one of Danielle LaPorte's Truthbombs on my Facebook page:
This sparked a discussion of what it means to make a vow, to break a vow, and to hide behind a vow, a discussion that got me thinking about my first marriage and divorce.
When February has been Harsh
It's just one foot in front of the other.
It's just one moment,
then another, then another-
Till the footfalls mark a footpath
and the breathing is a testament.
It's funny how time flies and yet remains standing still. I blink, and we are in the middle of February. I blink again, and the world outside is still covered in ice and deep, deep snow.
The winter, thus far, has been educational.
I've been feeling weird about getting so sick right at the New Year. This time was "supposed" to be my time to fully celebrate my transition into working full-time for myself. I keep fighting the idea that, as I'm recovering, I should be doing more - "Yeah, I'm no longer contagious, running a fever every day, lost in a pile of tissues - I should definitely be up and running around, Doing My Work!" In truth, I'm still very congested, still rocking an intense phlegmy chest cough that would make a Grandpa proud, and rocking a sweet sinus headache. It is no wonder that I am exhausted by doing small things.
Right now, today, my Work is resting until I am fully well. I keep reminding myself of the Fourth Agreement, Always Do Your Best - and my best right now is to take my medications, and do some laundry, and knit a bit, and nap a bit, and watch a movie here and there. As Danielle LaPorte says, "The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel."
What is your work, right now, today? Is it to be restful? To be silent? To speak up? To play hard? Are you doing your best for where you are at right now? How does your journey feel, right now?
I had planned to write this post a few days ago, as a Start The New Year Off Right sort of post...but then I got the flu, and today is the first day I am able to sit upright and focus my eyes on a computer screen for more than few moments, so here we go!
I don't really do New Year resolutions, but I do give each year an Official Title, as a way of calling specific magic into my life for that year. 2013, for instance, was the Year of Accepting All Gifts. (Let me tell you, that called forth a wild ride!)
The last quarter of 2013 was big for me. Most notable: I made the decision to move from working full-time to part-time at my mundane job so I can better focus on my spiritual work in 2014. This felt (and still feels) like a risk, as I have always been a person that needs a lot of financial stability, a person that gnashes her teeth about health insurance and 401K plans and the like. I speak and write a lot about the concept of the role of spiritual surrender in a magical life - surrendering to the Gods, surrendering to one's True Work, surrendering to the flow of life as Teacher. The end of 2013 was a time of letting go of perceived safety to reach for something bigger, tastier, more amorphous and more magical. It was time to practice what I preach....
Who is this flower above me,
And what is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all my parts.
~ Feri Flower Prayer
My work of late has been focused around surrender, specifically, surrendering to the moment and surrendering to the Gods. And first and foremost, I have to surrender to my Self, specifically, to my Godself.*
Danielle LaPorte recently wrote about asking for and receiving cosmic guidance. Her second suggestion really resonated with me:...
I have been focused on the art of surrender lately – I am deeply interested in what it takes for your average modern person to consciously live the Will of the Gods, what the difference is between partial and complete surrender (I have the sinking suspicion the latter feels like sitting between two stools, while the other feels like connected bliss) and what a contemporary mystic’s journey can be like…and in this case, how that journey begins.
When I was first exploring paganism and Reclaiming witchcraft (later coming to the Feri Tradition through Reclaiming) I hand-picked the Goddesses and Gods that I wanted to work with, calling to the energies which sparkled and sparked outside of me, just within the reach of my imagination. I found it intensely powerful to strike up my first Goddess relationship with Brighid, keeper of the forge of my heart. Over the years, I have worked with many Goddesses, as I have felt called…but the deepest relationships I have experienced with the Divine have emerged when I have trusted the Divine to choose me.
A few years back, in the midst of a small crisis of faith, I was feeling very disconnected from my spirituality and practice. I wouldn’t call it a dark night of the soul – it felt more like a gray apathy of the psyche. I discussed this feeling of spiritual disconnection with a trusted friend, and she suggested that I create an altar: barely decorated, with a white altar cloth and a bowl of salt water, she suggested I sit in front of this altar every night and ask to be contacted by gods, being open to Whomever wanted to come through and make contact. This idea intrigued me, as I had never before relinquished so much control of my spiritual connection with deity. It felt like a growing edge, and I love growing edges....