A (surprise!) ceremony of releasing

I wrote the following in a private group chat two weeks ago and it feels right to share it here, now:

Yesterday was amazing and I’m still in awe of the reduction I experienced. I want to document it.

[I had some important papers to find but it doesn’t really matter why. The papers] were safely stored in the fireproof box. Along with a 3 to 6 inch stack of envelopes containing my receipts from the 90s. This is not a metaphor or proxy, I am talking about literal, paper receipts. {But OH MY MAUD is this an amazing metaphor for me!}

These receipts were for books, CDs, clothes, household goods, art & donations. The kinds of things I bought for myself in early adulthood (from college & grad school). And they were sturdy! We apparently used real paper and permanent ink to make receipts in the day. We would clearly read some of these receipts from 1992! I’m in awe.

So 14 yo [offspring] watched as I carefully went through the pile, to make sure no important papers had inadvertently gotten into these stacks of receipts. Of course I reminisced. Told him about college and grad school. And I remembered that basically the first things I bought when I had money of my own to spend beyond rent and food was books and music. And then when I started getting some real money: art. And as I type this I know this is a core part of me, at least in this life {wink}.

14 yo thought this trip down memory lane was pretty amazing and he could not (a) imagine saving receipts and (b) that receipts were once made of such permanent stuff. As I gathered it all up to put in the recycling bin, sweet 14 yo checked in with me, “Are you sure you want to do this? You could reminisce again when you’re 90.” {note to self, ask 14 you just how old he thinks I am…} And I said, “Son, do *you* want to carry these receipts around with you someday? Take them to college with you, maybe?” Laughing, “No.” So off they went. {Reading through this to proofread I am realizing “Laughing No” is a GREAT BIG CLUE}

Walking back inside from the recycling bin, I finally remembered why I had saved these receipts, in the fire safe box of all places. I had saved them so if I ever had a fire or a break in, I could prove to my insurance how much all my preciouses were worth and how expensive they were to replace. (I know! Right?!) I remember getting the fire proof box when 16 yo [offspring] was born, to safely store all the identification papers. And I threw those receipts in there. For safe keeping. Like, literally.

I’ve looked at those receipts every time we’ve needed to get those ID papers or add to them. When 14 yo was born, when we registered them for school, when we bought a house. And each time, I thought, “I need to get rid of these receipts. These aren’t needed. But maybe they’ll distract anyone who wants to steal our identities?” {{Y’all? For real? My monsters are downright odd sometimes.}}

And yesterday. Yesterday. I was able to actually release those mementos of joy (buying my own books!) and fear (someone could steal my books!). Holy Maud I am amazed at the power and grace of this Now Me. It was easy to gently reminisce and let go. My nervous system/monsters softly whined a little, like old dogs dreaming, but they were easily soothed.

{Deep loving sigh for Now Me and Incoming Me. You gals are so awesome I love you.}

My op for today is to revel in this Now Me who can easily release the past and kiss old fears in the most loving and healing way. Astounding. I am astounded.

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Clearing Entanglements

Some background:

For many years I have been working on my entanglements with certain other people, the way that I take on other people’s problems as my own problems, and how my own emotional state can get wound up in the emotional state of others. I also have this tendency to constantly measure myself against other people’s accomplishments, or at least what I envision as their accomplishments. For many years, nay decades, I have measured myself against my image of other people and always found myself coming up short.

But, in constantly measuring myself against others, or allowing myself to get entangled in their work, I neglected my own work both spiritually and materially.

One night I was in my meditation nook, really pondering these questions and the following process / prayer came into my mind pretty much whole cloth. And after said this prayer for one particular individual, I realized how helpful it would be if I repeated the prayer for all of the people within my lineage.

There are certain issues in my family that have been repeated across generations (I believe this is true for most families), and I have found this particular prayer very useful for me in releasing the traumas of the past so that I might fully live in my own present.

So with that, here is the prayer / process. I hope it may be of use to you as well.

Call the person who’s entwinement with your path you would like to clear into your mind’s eye. Think about what they look like, what they sound like, how you feel in their presence. Call them into your mind as strongly as you can, taking care for your own heart’s safety.

When you are ready, proceed with this prayer:

This is {name individual}. {Name} has their own path to walk.

{Name’s} path is not my path; my path is not {Name’s} path.

{Name’s} process is not a reflection on my process; my process is not a reflection upon {Name’s} process.

{Name’s} Journey belongs to them. Blessings upon them.

(Let yourself feel a blessing, a kindness on this person, at whatever level that you are capable of at this time).

If you are praying for generational healing, state this at the end of each round, to send the energy of release throughout the generations:

What I say for one, I say for all.

Little Prayers

Many months ago I was driving to Orem to visit a friend. Traffic was significantly slowed down due to an accident with two semis. I was not in a huge hurry and was listening to favorite podcasts, so I was not worried or inconvenienced by the accident. But I knew many people were in a hurry, were likely upset and frustrated by the delay, and wanting to find any opening to allow them to escape the slow down.

I remembered a practice I started while driving back to Salt Lake from Taos. I rarely drive more than a couple miles, so I don’t practice it much. But, I felt inspired to sing a Prayer for Emergency Roadside Asistance. There isn’t a set rhythm or tune. The words are sung plainsong or chanting style:

May everyone give you the space you need to do your restorative work.

Peace and patience to all drivers despite the delay.

Thank you for putting yourselves at risk to clean up our accidents and get us to safety.

Thank you for removing obstacles in our path and keeping our passageways clear.

We are heading into the time of year when there are many workers out in the road, fixing potholes, widening lanes and so forth. This is a prayersong for them:

May all those who drive past you slow down and show respect for your work.

May you be clear headed and do your work correctly, so all who use your work are benefited and held in safety.

Practice

I’ve been listening to the podcast Why Shamanism Now off and on for several months now, at the suggestion of my friend Crysanthemum. The host has a phrase that has really stuck with me: “What you do every day is your practice.”

I’ve been considering what I do every day: drink coffee with honey, cream and coconut oil. Read. Visit with my stones. Say “Hello/Good Morning” “Good Night” and “I love you” to my spouse and two children. Pet my pup. Give them all kisses. Practices of peace, calm & love. Not too bad. 

I’ve also tried to cultivate some additional practices in the past few weeks, focused on holding attention and gathering strength. Sitting on the porch with my coffee and reading material each morning, with the hope of connecting to Spirit before engaging with “the world.” Writing. Praying, or connecting, with my Guides/Spiritual allies. And taking pictures of the moon:

Mars,Saturn&The Moon, 9/7/16

Moon & wire bound electricity 9/6/16

Moon over the neighbor’s house, 8/30/16

Moon through trees, 8/26/16

Early Morning Moon, Butterfly Lake, 8/21/16

I haven’t been able to take a photo of the moon every day – somedays she is just not visible due to mountains, or my inability to wake up early or stay up late. Or she is New and not capturable by my phone camera. On those days – and sometimes moon days as well – I take photos of our garden:

Pollen

Lime Mint in Bloom

I’ve found this new practice has in fact helped me bring my attention more fully to the present. And has gotten me out of doors more, at hours I don’t normally go out of doors.

I think I’ll keep going with this photo practice.

A Prayer for the Inevitable Stepping on of Toes

This prayer was written after I attended a wonderful gathering of women from around the world. All were hoping to share of their own traditions and learn to be sisters with other women. It was beautiful, hopeful, heartful and hard. Damn hard. And so, here it goes.

My own little toes…

A Prayer for the Inevitable Stepping on of Toes

It is a given whenever people gather together~mingle, dance, move~someone’s toes are going to get stepped on. A lot of someone’s. At least as long as we are human, at least as long as we have toes, as least as long as we get lost in our own minds and fail to see the sister/brother/spirit sibling beside us, the stepping on of toes is inevitable.

For at least that long, there will be times we are dancing along and we will not see this otherself is dancing beside us and we will turn and BOOP~smashed up toes. Maybe even an elbow connected with an eye. Ouch! And our sister/brother/friend is hurting.

This prayer is for what happens next.

With the help of our helpers and the guidance of our guides, we will not say to our sister/brother/friend~

Why are you in my way? Where are your shoes? You know this wouldn’t hurt if you would just put on some damn shoes!

No. We will not say that.

And we will not say~

Oh! I didn’t see you there! Why are you sneaking up on people like that? Don’t you know the quiet ones always get stepped on?

No. We will not say that.

And we will not say~

I’m just making a little joke. Don’t you get it? Don’t you have a sense of humor? You know, if we can’t laugh about our pain we’re never going to get anywhere. Don’t you know humor is a weapon against oppression?

No. We will not say that. Never that.

And when we are so lost in our own dance, when we are spinning and twirling without full awareness of our body’s passage through spacetime…when we are walking along with our head in the clouds, with our thoughts spinning circles in our mind…when we are not aware we have even stepped upon our otherselves toes and our sister/brother/friend says, “Hey! You stepped on my toes! Watch it You!”

We will not say~

You watch it! You look were YOU are going!

No. We will not say that.

And when our sister/brother/friend says “Excuse me, please, you are standing on my toes, it hurts so, will you please move?”

We will not say~

What? Huh? Oh, you were there? Huh. It’s hurts you say? Does it hurt less if I scootch over here a bit? I mean, I know I’m still on your toes, but it’s not as bad, right? It just hurts a little, right? Because you know I really like this spot. Maybe you should remove your toes from under my feet and got sit over there. Yes. That should work.

Oh no Spirits, Elders, Guides. We will not say that. We will not say that.

And we will not say~

I don’t have time for all this! I am in the middle of a great work, a great ceremony! Don’t you get how important my work is! I don’t have time to stop for your little hurt toes, little sister/brother/friend. I have much more important things to do than worry about your poor little toes.

Oh no. We will not say that. Not here. Not this time.

We WILL say~

Oh! My sister/brother/friend! I have stepped on you! You are in pain! I am so sorry my otherself. Let me help you back up. What do you need? What can I do to heal this wound?

Please may I get some salve for your toes? Please, may I place my hands here so I can pray to release all the pain that I can? May I call for your family, your familiars? Those who can support you best, who know the ways of healing among your people?

Yes, this is what we will say. Because we know. We know!

Our elders,

our spirits,

our guides,

our creators,

our holy ones.

Our earth,

our stars,

our moons,

our planets.

Our mothers,

our fathers,

our grandmothers,

our grandfathers.

All of our relations.

We know you love our otherself just as you love us.

And we know, we know, we must learn to love our sisters, our brothers, our friends, just as you all love all of us.

And we know, we know, all the teachings, all the ceremonies, all the prophecies lead us to this understanding ~ We, ourselves and otherselves, are precious. We are each and all as precious and true and sacred as all the teachings, all the ceremonies, and all the prophecies.

Now, we know some pain is inevitable, here in the world of forms….

And much good is brought forth into the light, dar al luz, with the right kind of pain, the right kind of discomfort. We are not talking about that pain.

We are talking about the pain of thoughtlessness, of ill consideration, of forgetfulness, or inattention. Of forgetting.

That pain ~

When we see it, we will know it, we will own our part of it and we will work together to heal it. We will not ignore, minimize, continue the pain of the stepped-on toes.

Because we know we are not talking about just toes, precious as they are.

We are talking about the most sensitive parts of ourselves. The parts that reach out to touch our mother Earth and find our path, our way in this world. The parts of ourselves filled with nerves and connectors to all the other parts of ourselves. The parts of ourselves that are so sensitive. So tender. So flexible. So strong.

And so we offer this prayer, Oh Wise Ones, for blessings upon all of our tender places, all of our wounds and weaknesses, and we pray to be mindful of each and every of our otherselves.

With our prayers and our good hearts we go forth to bless all the broken places so all may be Whole.

So say we all.