remembrance, fragrance, versatility
Okay, part 3 of our first tripartite spell! Since the mindfulness part was about remembering/forgetting in connection with boundaries and the language part was about the word "remember," you might have expected me to pick "forget-me-not" as the herb for the spell.
But there was never any doubt for me that I'd be writing about "rosemary, for remembrance." It's such a wonderfully versatile aromatic herb, and although it doesn't have as much associated folklore as parsley or fennel do (stories for another day, perhaps), it's been used and loved for millennia.
Keep a vial of its essential oil by your desk and take a whiff if your energy flags. Notice the renewed wave of clarity.
now what do I do?
Identifying threats and getting paranoid; insisting on optimism and burying your head in the sand--it's a daily struggle to find the balance. There are real dangers in all of our environments, some of them undetectable to us, whether an odorless gas, a flavorless chemical, an attacker under the bed, a disruptive frequency. On the other hand, it's possible to become so stressed and doom-laden that we sicken and paralyse ourselves.
You might not have guessed, but my slight tendency is toward head-in-the-sand and hope for the best. Yes, I won't eat or drink out of plastic, but I still use the Vitamix with its "non-BPA-but-still-plastic" pitcher daily (although I'm saving for a stainless steel pitcher for it). I'm aware that electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt our own vibrations but I use Wi-Fi and a cellphone. I've been known to put oil in my car and not wash my hands right after, and to eat food that's burnt brown/black, known to be carcinogenic.
I pay attention, but I try not to be alarmist or strident. This time, though, I caught myself applying standards inconsistently in a way that, if the standard has any merit at all, is potentially dangerous. Sometimes a substance gets a free pass just because it isn't something else. Let's take a closer look at Tetra Pak.
100-Day Gong Day 51
another aspect of habits and the unconscious
Today is about fasting and dreaming.
I've been posting so much of late about creating chosen habits, crowding out habits that don't serve, cultivating practices to enable this, raising our awareness of what we do on autopilot and how to ensure that the "autopilot" habits are the ones that make us who we want to be.
I hope it's clear that I'm making no claim to have it all figured out. I write in a sincere spirit of sharing, my part in a dialogue, my endeavor to help put out the message that we can take steps to influence our own thought patterns.
Here, I take a step further into the unknown, looking at how fasting--largely a physical mechanism --affects the unconscious, as experienced through dreaming.
choosing the channel, digging the well
This past weekend I was on retreat with the Sufis, with beloved teacher Aqdas. It is amazing how much of a teacher's energy comes through in the context of a retreat that rings with silence. It is astonishing how much silence comes through the Sufi practices, many of which involve the vocal cords, repeating prayers and phrases, embodied with physical movements.
On Sunday evening at the end of the retreat, I stood in the courtyard (the edge of cold now gone from the days here) with Aqdas and two others, and she initiated me into the Sufi order. The two witnesses were the regional representative for the Sufi Order, and the gentleman who has agreed to be my guide.
So, within the cycling beginning-ing of the days of my Gong and life, here is another beginning. That's what "initiation" means. What else does it mean?
step creates step, day creates day
I sure wrote a lot about the concept of the 100-day Gong back in November and December. But I've been pretty silent on the subject since starting my Gong on the winter solstice.
I've been more focused on doing/being/embodying the Gong than on writing about it, although the preponderance of posts in the "Mindfulness" category should attest both to the nature of my Gong and to how much it's in the front of my mind and experience.
Today, though, is day 30, and it's time for an update. 30 is a good number for this Gong's subdivisions: not quite a third of 100, it's also at the three-and-a-third point in my own nine-day-cycle subdivision, so that when my third "nundina" ended on Friday, I was already looking toward this 30-day review point.
WIth this "buddy system for days," it's fascinating to see how much more comfortable I can be setting goals in the face of the unknown. If one day doesn't bring it, there are days around it to tauten the focus.
Happy, peaceful holidays to all. "Solstice" means "sun standing"--the day length changes very little for about four days around the shortest and longest days. Time standing stiller. Good time for looking inward and for family festivities. Thanks to Skype, I visited with family long distance; otherwise, I had quiet, inward time, played with herbs in the kitchen, read books. I did no work, for the first time I can remember except when I've had company (which is work).
Doing no work yesterday felt like the sun "standing still," like ignoring what's always on my shoulders. It felt like I'd left undone something I should have attended to. And turns out, there was a client wanting work urgently today, but I got up early this morning and got it done in time, feeling fresh and clear and focused toward the work.