Monday, March 11, 2013

Rituals...So Peaceful

A few months ago one of my creative friends explained how someone she knows made an intention candle to light before she creates.  She actually bought one of those really tall, skinny glass candles you can buy at the grocery store by the Mexican food area.  I loved that idea, but I keep forgetting to look for one of those candles to decorate and make it my own. However, I did decide to just buy a pretty candle with a smell I could handle and try to be consistent and consciously light it before each time I sit down to paint.  It's weird how when I just paused to light a candle and said a little something while I did it, it really calmed me.
 I've said things like:  help me create and just enjoy myself; help me create something that may bring joy to someone else; help me create just for fun without worrying if what I make will sell; help me be free and loose when I paint today...

I haven't been 100% consistent with remembering to light it or to set an intention and I plan to work on that especially after reading an article in the magazine Natural Health last night.  It says that rituals work because "they move people into mental states of surrender, gratitude and asking for help."  Rituals are seen as healing as well which I love the thought of that because of having lupus and feeling out of control with it sometimes. They are also powerful because they "rely heavily on establishing bonds" whether with a community or with a higher being someone may believe is out there helping them.  The author says there are four things that help create these meaningful rituals:

  •   have a clear intention...maybe even a question you have
  •  actually state your intention out loud--literally giving your purpose a voice involves your whole  self when said out loud
  • make it tangible for example, lighting a candle, burning a piece of paper with something you want to let go of 
  • give thanks and surrender 

I love this last one because it seems to make the ritual soothing and an attitude that things are out of my hands and what's best for me will happen.  Also, I'm learning that surrender is much better than clenching and grabbing.

So I'm going to keep lighting my candle and have an honest intention and hopefully it will help me relax and surrender some of my worries to "someone" else.

Do you have any rituals that you practice regularly?  I'd love to hear them or how they feel in your life.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Accepting what is (or at least trying to...)

I think anyone who knows me, knows that I have a hard time accepting things whether they are things I think shouldn't have happened--like getting lupus for example.  Or accepting when things I WANT to happen DON'T - like not being able to afford a vacation to somewhere warmer.  I tend to obsess about the way I THINK things should go--maybe you know what that's like?

Well a few weeks ago I was at work and one of our subs who used to teach in the district and I got to talking.  He mentioned Byron Katie.  I've heard of her before, but this time I decided to get a few of her books from my library.  I'll be honest--some of her wording is really hard to grasp, almost how I feel when reading Eckhart Tolle, but the underlying meaning is starting to really resonate with me:
When I accept things, even the "bad" things, I will be happier.  Period.  Wow.  Tough work though, really tough work.  I'm so used to thinking "why me?" or "why not me?" so this is definitely going to be a work in progress, but I'm pretty sure work worth doing.

I wonder if you have any tips or mantras that help you accept those things that either go wrong or don't happen the way you'd like them?

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