Tag Archives: Spiritual Self

Coming Home to Myself

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Fall is in full-swing and it feels like winter is just around the corner! Every year I get excited for this slow-down period. As the natural environment edges toward a scene of sparseness and simplicity, so does the calendar of events. However, I cannot say the same for what may be stirring within our household.

This autumn, my husband and I took on a 25 day whole foods detox led by a fellow holistic health studies classmate of mine, Katie Jasper. More on that to come. We are only 7 days in, but so far, the results have been wonderful. As we are home cooking and eating in community, we both feel more energized, clear-headed, and grounded. With this new excitement and clarity, we feel like we started trekking down a path together that is so important and truly rejuvenating. What really is happening is we are simply making the commitment to live a healthier, holistic life. While I can go on and on making it sound all flowery and unicorn-like, I would rather point out that plenty of the purgative experience is dealing with the “mess in the basement” that is not related to the foods we are eating.

The “mess in the basement” is the not-so-pleasant or hip or happy parts of what makes me…me. It’s the parts of myself that I know can be destructive if not handled appropriately or acknowledged. From a big picture standpoint, it’s the greater reason why people get sidetracked on the road coming home to themselves.

The detox has acted as a catalyst and plunged me right into a ritual that happens every year at this time – the practice of going inward, self-reflecting, accepting, and letting go. It is different and yet it is the same – and as the days shorten and the darkness surrounds me all over again, I continue to look forward to what I will encounter this year.

Below is an excerpt from a wonderful book, written by Marion Woodman that pairs well with this time of year and with this post. Her work is appropriately named, Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and SoulI think all people can relate to it, so I hope that this snippet inspires you to take some time to experience what it means to come home to yourself and to explore the “mess in your basement.”

Happy Fall!    

In my dream,

I was a priestess

and had prepared

the altar for great celebration.

The flowers were almost in place,

the roses almost in the center

of the sunlit altar.

(I could not make the roses fit

within the light.)

A shadow the shape of a cross came through a window.

 

An old man came to me and said,

Your hymns will never rise to heaven

until you clean up your mess in the basement.

 

But there’s no basement in this temple, I said.

That’s the problem: there is, he replied.

 

Down the rotting old steps we went

and found a slimy lagoon.

A water wheel,

joining basement to temple, lay still.

 

A huge serpent writhed,

trying and failing and trying again

to center its head on the wheel.

It knew its task was to turn the wheel–

quiet, rhythmic–with its head.

 

I tried to move the wheel towards the serpent

and it struck.

The old man pulled me out of danger,

You can’t move so fast

She doesn’t trust you.

Hasten slowly;

you will make her your friend.

 

For twenty years,

the wheel has creaked but turned;

The lagoon, fresh; 

the serpent, Sophia;

the roses, not yet in place.

 

Everyone is Needed

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As we twirl our way through space on our vast journey aboard the planet Earth everyone is needed.

An idle traveler is not permitted.

The captain without the cook cannot long guide the ship.

 So with professor and craftsman, farmer and city dweller, governor and sanitation worker.

So, too, with the elderly and the youthful.

Everyone is joined in the single human venture.

What is done by each is different.

That is why everyone is needed.

Activities that differ most from each other are most needed by each other.

– Excerpt from Thomas Berry‘s article, The Creative Role of Elders in the Human Community

As I am settling into finding and accepting my place in the world, I recognize now more than ever that everyone is needed, and everyone is important. This belief seems to go well with the subject of compassion–a topic that I have been looking at more deeply in my life.

Many of us cannot find compassion for others, because we sincerely believe that “those people” are less important, smart or worthy than the way we view ourselves and our communities. But we all know deep down, we are connected. We also know that nobody is perfect, including ourselves. So we must cooperate with each other, let go of our egos, and be humble. Our communities cannot become healthy and well until we acknowledge each person for the important role they play within it.

Questions to ponder:

If everyone is needed, how do you contribute? What do you bring to the world?

Do you appreciate your true talents and abilities/place in the world or do you try to be somebody or something that you perceive is more needed, appreciated or fabulous? If you experience the latter disconnect, how does it affect your well-being and sense of self? How does it affect your ability to be part of or contribute to the greater community?

Who do you least appreciate? Why? How might that being be just the person/animal/thing you need to accept, learn from or pay attention to? What would it feel like if you began to appreciate people who are different from you?

How do you feel when you are compassionate or when you receive compassion from somebody else?

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a picture of your soul?”

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This excerpt from Tess Baumberger’s Soul Lifts, was kindly shared all the way from a church service in New Mexico that my mother-in-law attended last week. I think it’s brilliant and thought it must join Mandala Reflections’ collection of inspiring words.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a picture of your soul? Then when your mother wanted to brag about you she could show people the picture and say, “That’s my daughter, doesn’t she have a beautiful soul, all sparkly and many-colored and flowing all around her?”

Wouldn’t it be great if we walked around surrounded by our souls, so that they were the first things people saw instead of the last things? Then people would judge us by who we really are instead of how we look.

Imagine no more racism, ageism, sexism, fatism, shortism, homophobia.

Imagine falling in love with who a person is, just by looking at them. It would be a kind of cloaking device, hiding physical faults, defects, or even perfections.

I’d want it to be mandatory. Then people would work at making their souls more attractive instead of their bodies and faces. Imagine people knowing by your soul that you really need a hug. Imagine people helping each other, and then their souls changing colors or growing.

Imagine soul gyms with exercises to get your sagging soul in shape. Imagine the long lines forming for soul-lifts at churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, or nature’s grand cathedrals.

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