bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: good reads/recommendations

Stubborn.

Though my intent is to write every day, sometimes I struggle to write about certain topics.

And this topic – and its array of sub-topics – is one of them.

How important is ritual?  How important are offerings?

How – or why –  would anyone do any of this? How important is it to do any of this?

 

And then, this article came across my feed this morning, and I immediately thought to share it.

Why?

Because this part especially, hit me hard:

“Have you ever heard about people who accomplish amazing things, and been jealous? I know I have. There are many ways to be successful. I’m not the prettiest, not the smartest, and definitely not the most talented or luckiest. But the one thing I have always been is as stubborn as the day is long – not in some petty way (mostly), but in the kind of way that makes me get up when life knocks me down.

I’m not the fair-haired hero. I’ve never been the chosen one. I’m that other guy. My power isn’t born of charm or good looks. I was born to wear a t-shirt that says, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”(1)

We live in a cynical age where our fair-haired heroes have revealed themselves as paper cutouts, our leaders have sold themselves to the highest bidder, and the world gets less friendly every day. We wake up and go through the motions and wonder if there’s a damn thing we can do about it.

And you know what? There is.”

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2017/10/the-other-side-of-the-hedge-four-hundred-days/#1Vu07d2lKj39HT1A.99

 

Because, much like Christopher Drysdale, I too, am as stubborn as the day is long.

And yes, I have been jealous of the success of others.

And yes, I have realized that I am not special nor am I particularly disciplined all of the time.

I have wished that my week could be stripped of Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, because sometimes, what I am doing is not easy nor is it particularly rewarding…

But then it is.

And when it is rewarding…when I look back at the trajectory of my Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings

That is when I realize that that is the essence of why I do what I do, and why it is important that I keep doing.

You want the carrot…you gotta chase the stick.

Happy Wednesday.

 

 

Advertisements

Month for Loki, Sixth: Ritual (poem)

Last month, I began reading Elizabeth Vongvisith’s Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, an excellent collection of prayers and poetry she edited for Asphodel Press in 2009.

I’d read some of the reviews on Lulu, and as one reviewer put it, ‘This book is excellent! It sits at my bedside as I read the prayers daily…..

As I have found myself doing that very same thing, I could not agree with zir more.

This is an excellent book, one which I would highly recommend to anyone who seeks to connect to the Norse Gods, let alone Loki.

And today, for my sixth post, I’d like to share this heartfelt prayer-poem by April Ragan, which resonated with me deeply:

Ritual (for Loki)

What need have I for chants

When every rise of my lungs

Breathes for You

A hallowed hymn.

What need have I for music

When every beat of my heart

Drums for You

A sacred tattoo.

What need have I for dance

When every gesture of my being

Moves for You

In a rhythm of devotion

What need have I for magic circles

When every piece of my soul

Burns for You

In a consecrated ring of flame

What need have for these accompaniments

When the essence of my being

Is a life-long ritual to You.*

Loki, Kalari Stance, uploaded to flickr, shivarea31

~~~

*Elizabeth Vongvisith, editor, Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, (Hubbardston, Massachusetts; Asphodel Press, 2009) p. 125

 

Poem

This lovely poem was shared by a friend on my social media feed this morning, and though I was skeptical that its words ‘could change one’s life,’ I will grant that its overall message is rather profound one…and personally relevant.

(Thanks Sarah!)

~~~

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

 

Karma, and struggling.

I found this article by Erin Pavlina this afternoon, and I thought that I would share.

It explains rather succinctly a connection that I’ve been struggling with understanding concerning karma and the Universe.

Mostly, this article inadvertently answers why it is probable that we as spiritual human beings keep running into the same situations in life over and over, and what that has to do with karma.

Check it out.

 

The part that hit me the most profoundly was this:

Karma is about being given the opportunity to change your vibration and attract something different. No one is going to inflict that upon you, but the universe will bring you ample opportunities to choose a different path.

So if you’re holding out hope that something bad will happen to another person, you’re better off releasing, forgiving, and moving on, otherwise you will attract new opportunities that involve you needing to forgive someone. Are you catching my drift here?

If you are constantly wishing negative things will happen to those who wrong you, the universe will constantly bring you people who wrong you so you can continue wishing negative things will happen to them. That’s your vibration. That’s your karma. That’s what the universe thinks you want since that’s what you’re always thinking about.

Karma is not punishment, it’s not revenge, it’s not justice. Karma is the universe giving you opportunities to alter your vibration. Do with that what you will.”

How this relates to my present situation is that I have wondered for quite a while now why I keep getting thrown into situations wherein I keep finding myself feeling echoes of the past – people I’ve hurt, people that have hurt me, and the corresponding situations that I would rather not think about.

Perhaps in focusing on the pain of what I’ve been through, I am constantly re-opening the wounds rather than doing anything to heal them.

Perhaps this is what brought Him to me:  my latest spiritual work – in working with the God that I Had Promised Myself that I Would Never Work With – I have been forced to confront all the reasons why I had refused to work with Him for so long.

I began to see that the only way to move forward was to confront the lesson that kept being presented to me over and over in seeing His face, and the echoes of that premise: If you expect a monster, you will get a monster.

Yes, He is still capable of being a monster.

But the only way to move forward in my spiritual practice is to engage with Him.

And I am engaging with Him.

The only way out is to go through.

 

We are all stories

“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”

                                              —  Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human 

Gold.

“At some point in time, I was a new thing. I was a thing that had not been hurt, had not been beaten, had not been cast out, had not been rejected. Maybe it was only for a day or two (or maybe more) but I dare to think that, once upon a time, I was even loved wholly and completely, if even for a moment. 

We all start this way: new. We all start with our hearts in tact, our spirits strong, our connection to soul and self: solid. We start with our ten fingers and ten toes and we hold that newness for as long as we can. Or for as long as life lets us….” – from Meadow DeVor’s latest post.

The above quote is taken from today’s incredibly powerful post from Meadow Devor concerning the Japanese artisan practice of kintsugi (otherwise known Kintsukuroi :(金繕い) [Japanese: golden repair] – the artistic method of repairing broken ceramic vessels with lacquers imbued with gold, silver or platinum…

And how kintsukuroi can be seen as a metaphor for spiritual self-repair and moving beyond trauma toward healing and wholeness.

 

kintsugi

 

3 Thoughts for Empaths Who Are Feeling Drained

“…When you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you have given all your energy out to others and need to recharge yourself, always remember:

1.) You deserve happiness; take time for yourself
2.) Your feelings are no less important than anyone else’s
3.) We are all connected – when you hurt yourself you are hurting others”

(Taken from this article by Hilary Gerstler)

Instead.

I saw this post in my media feed this morning and it got me thinking that I have this issue:

How often I almost reflexively blurt out ‘I’m sorry’ when I mean to say ‘Thank you.’

I hadn’t really thought out the issue, except that I have been made aware of my habit of apologizing for everything – even for qualities, occurrences, and behavior that require no apology.

A friend of mine -who oddly enough, has a degree in psychology even though she now works as an insurance adjuster for a corporate law firm – was the most recent person in my life to make me aware of my ‘sorry habit.’   She was always pointing out how much it concerned her that I would say ‘I’m sorry’ for the most mundane reasons, and she would often challenge me to attempt to go a whole day without saying ‘I’m sorry.’

And as much as I tried, I couldn’t do it.

She encouraged me to be mindful of my responses to various situations, and even though she tried hard to convey all the reasons why I should do it, she never put it quite as powerfully or as succinctly as this simple set of comic strips does:

If you want to say ‘Thank you’, don’t say ‘I’m Sorry’   (From the folks at Mental Floss)

This is just what I needed, and I found this article quite helpful.

Thank you for reading!

 

Sometimes I just need poetry.

As I have had company these last four days, I have not been able to post this lovely poem from The Daily Good, as sometimes I just need poetry.

(If you click in the link below, you can listen to the poet, John O’Donohue, read this poem aloud, along with some rather lovely imagery.)

Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year

–by John O’Donohue, Jan 01, 2016

For Josie

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

[Note: “Beannacht” is the Gaelic word for “blessing.” A “currach” is a large boat used on the west coast of Ireland.]

 

 

this drippy cold rain is bothersome and i admit i am part of the problem

Source: this drippy cold rain is bothersome and i admit i am part of the problem

Whoa.

Though I did not expect this post to go in the direction that it eventually goes, I maintain that this post may give others some food for thought.