A Fresh Flame

After reading this lovely post from Teo Bishop, I took action to clean off my altar and prepare it for the autumn.

I once had a lovely dedicated space for my altar and dedicated spiritual work. I could open the back door listen to the sounds of birds and squirrels while meditating in the morning, or the thrum of crickets during evening ritual. I could close off from the rest of the house and enjoy a great deal of privacy.

Then I popped out a rug rat, and I had to give up that space because our house is fairly small. (It became our bedroom, not the baby’s, due to the outside door. “The Lindbergh baby was a thing”, as a friend put it).

My altar space became the top of a bookcase in the hallway. Not private. No ambiance, considering the spare TP is stored on the floor next to it. (Perhaps the TP is blessed by its proximity to my sacred things. Some may argue that TP is a sacred thing. I do not disagree).

And thus the tale of my two and a half year falling away from my spiritual practice. I’d gussy it up now and then, but then it would collect dust, spare change, and baby barrettes. I’d ignore it, or at least try not to look at it more than I had to.

But on Friday evening, I cleaned it off, dusted everything, and laid a fresh cloth. And then I put a small votive in an old rose quartz holder and lit it, and left it (safely) lit for the rest of the evening.

Then again last evening, and this evening. As the house starts to darken, I light the votive for the evening. I take a breath, and continue with my regularly scheduled programming. The light reminds me, inspires me, comforts me. But in a small way, the way a daily practice should.

It’s a start.


Slipping into motion

I stare in wonder at my daughter’s trust in her body.

She is almost 2 and a half years old. She is embodied. There is no mind/body split. She carries no negativity towards how her body works or how it looks. She dances, runs (she does not walk!), reaches, bumps against things, falls down,  reaches. She is tabula rasa. She is the embodiment of the Feri Goddess Nimue, the child Goddess who is both innocent and terrifying.

Certainly I started life with the same confidence in my body, but over time it has diminished. I became fearful of other people and their reactions to me. I have always been the sort who wants to be “the best” at something, and when I can’t achieve that almost immediately, I don’t want to to do it anymore. Sadly, I applied this standard to physical activity. I didn’t want others to see me huff and puff during hikes, so I stopped hitting the difficult trails. I didn’t know how to use the equipment at the gym, so I quit going.

I am now moving back into balance with my body. Going to the gym has been a difficult lesson in self-confidence, but I’m realizing that I enjoy overcoming my challenges. Leaving soaked in sweat is a badge of honor, not embarrassment. It means I’m working.

I’ll never be as free as a two year old, but I am recovering a sense of safety.