At this time of year we begin to see the early signs of spring, this is a very exciting and hopeful thing. However, before we quicken our movements into the future, let us pause for a moment to extract all of the medicine that winter offers.
Why do we need to do rituals? Because we feel separate and we long to feel connected to the rhythm of nature, of flow, of life. A flow that is a slower pace in winter, a pace that perhaps brings us closer to earth, deeper inside, more intimate with our rich inner life.
We long to be in flow with the pulse of life and when we use ritual to connect into this flow then we are less likely to feel lost in the chaos to day to day stuff. Through ritual we attune our eyes and minds to perceiving the goodness in the world and feel our belonging in it.
Rituals anchor us to the present moment, to our bodies and to the elements. The added effect of this is the fulfillment of our deeper need to feel connected. Rituals harness our attention and our attention potentiates the magic of the present moment.
Remembering that where your attention goes your energy flows. Where is your energy going without you even knowing? Bring it back into now, into the experience of your body, your senses, your breath.
What if daily rituals like lighting a candle or some incense, washing your face in the morning with tender love and care, sipping your tea, looking up into the sky, could fulfil a deep recurring need for connection, belonging and presence with exactly what is here?
What if we could fulfil our desires by saying yes to whatever is here first? Instead of focusing on our dissatisfaction with, as yet, unfulfilled desires, perhaps we could focus our attention on the beauty of longing and growing. We are always becoming.
What if we could just sit with what is here now, in full acceptance of the ending of winter, knowing that change is bound to come with the growing bulbs and blooms of spring. Let us take this moment to pause and honour the gifts of winter, the darkness, the cold, the introspection.
Our desire for what’s next can take away from the fulfillment that is right here. We can be with both, present with what is and also acknowledging that there is an urge for growth. Let us not rush. There is an urge and urgency, but nature does not rush.
What if your spark of longing and desire was simply a beautiful human experience that you could yield into instead of seeking to annihilate by instant gratification?
Both satisfaction and dissatisfaction are valid human experiences, one is stillness and one is movement. Both are innate in us. Nature does not flick a switch from winter to spring, or from night to day, it is a subtle transition, a dance, a play.
Desire, pleasure and play seem to be condemned in our culture as if a selfish or childish way to be. And, of course, at a superficial, material, consumptive level, it is. But deeper than this is a longing to feel the joy of being here that we know in our hearts can be true.
Empirically speaking, when you allow yourself to feel deep pleasure and joy, how do you behave? Likely, you are self-less, loving and generous. Now, consider how you behave when you feel deeply stressed, burdened and disturbed.
When we allow ourselves to feel deep pleasure and joy in the simple things of life we move beyond ourselves, we expand, we feel overwhelmed with gratitude and this overflows as goodwill toward others.
By filling up your own cup, allowing yourself to say yes to life, you may find there is an infinite well. Your, yes, allows you to overflow and your overflowing naturally becomes medicine to others.
How do you fill up your cup?
What rituals anchor you to your lifeline?
Where do you place your attention?
How often do you allow yourself to feel the spark of longing?
Who are you when you say yes to life?
Follow the link to our latest meditation ATTENTION with INTENTION.