It’s good to take a few minutes each day to unwind, but I include Sunday evenings to my daily unwind time.
Every culture uses something that pleases the senses to help in their prayer or meditation practices. Incense or some kind of fragrance is helpful, because it alone can set the tone of a room. And smells are one of the things that we remember and associate experiences with often. Lamps or candles are often used too; I prefer oil lamps because the flame is steadier than the flicker of a candle; inviting the witness to slow way down and come home for a little while.
Early on, I developed a way to learn by just observing. What to do, what not to do.. Observing is a way that I try to use to see things around me. Something that I learned about a long time ago has been coming up a lot for me lately; in all areas of life. It’s a statement that goes “People don’t see the world as it is, they see the world as they are”.
I see this showing up all over the place. Mostly between people. One of my favorite exercises to help slow down involves going into the woods and noticing how different all the trees are. And realising that we don’t judge the trees for being tall or short, straight or crooked, thick or thin. We just accept the trees for what they are and move on. We don’t get hung up on the fact that one tree might not have gotten enough sunlight and therefore grew a certain way, we just accept the tree for what it is and we move on.
I think that this is a practice that is desperately needed now with how we’re seeing each other. Chances are, we don’t know someone’s story and how they’re managing their life as a result of their story. All we see is how they’re managing their life.
I think we need to see people more like trees, and less like how we think they ought to be.
There is no such thing as a Hero’s Journey that doesn’t involve entering a dark thicket, battling savage beasts and facing your own despairs.
After all, the Kingdom can only be entrusted to someone who is willing to die for it. In order for any kind of growth to occur, you must be willing to kill off the part of you that is no longer serving you so that something new can grow in its place.
Do you notice a difference in yourself during Springtime?
Before 1582, the Julian Calendar had the New Year beginning on the Vernal Equinox. The New Year used to coordinate with The Spring season. The introduction of the Gregorian Calendar changed the new year to January 1 instead.
One of the things that happened with all of this calendar change is that we began to get less in sync with nature. We began to fall out of rhythm with nature.
You can check this for yourself; if you notice anything different about how you feel during the beginning of January, as compared to when you begin to see new buds forming on trees and you hear birds singing again outside.
Do you notice a difference?
We ARE in tune with nature, biologically.
With the onset of Spring, we want to throw open the windows and air out our house (physically and metaphorically). Spring cleaning happens almost automatically. We tend to want to de-clutter, and get ready to be out of doors more. A new beginning.
As a fundamental part of this Spring Cleaning, its a perfect time to take stock in our lives.
How are we living? How is our health after being cooped up indoors all winter? Are we carrying out our lives in the manner in which we want to? Are we living true to ourselves?
Do we even know what being true to ourselves is? Do we know who we are and what matters to us?
I think that these questions are fundamental for Spring Cleaning. Because if we’re not on a path that supports who we are, we’re just pretending to live; and we’ll end up angry, insulating and generally checking out of our lives.
And let’s face it; there is more than enough evidence of checking out already all over the planet. We needn’t contribute any more.
Welcome Spring, welcome April, and here’s to asking the person in the mirror if we’re being true to them.