Posts Tagged With: #30DaysofMay
Something that keeps coming up for me lately is the concept of creating a container for an experience. I feel like this is what I do with my women’s circle and Red Tents and also what I do with my students. And, this is what taking the 30 Days and my Sacred Year class does for me. Today, it was taking an “offering for the Fae” down to the woods. This is not something I would have done on my own, but I’ve made a commitment to responding to the prompts, so by golly, I did it! It was a very sweet experience. My little girl and I went out and searched out some tiny flowers and put them in a blue glass bottle. She was so cute talking about the fairies and picking flowers:
We took our little offering down to the woods and placed it on the rock and then said a blessing together.
When I was a little girl myself, I remember often feeling like I could see glimpses of or feel the presence of fairies in the woods—like if I could just be still enough and look hard enough, I would be able to interact with them. It was fun to bring a little bit of that magic back into our lives together today.
My potential is in your hands.
I love my daughters
And their sons and daughters
I hold your souls…*
I read today’s prompts this morning, as I usually do, and then reflected on the themes all day. One of the most magical things about these 30 Days courses is how very many connections and synchronicities emerge during the day that bring the themes to life. It is really powerful to observe. As soon as I read the theme, a quote came floating back to me and it remained in my head throughout the day, like a refrain in the background of the rest of my thoughts: This is my body; this is the temple of light. This is my heart; this is the altar of love (Sufi song, quoted in Birthrites). Altar of love. Temple of light. Over and over today these words replayed in my mind. I’ve shared the quote here before, but it felt like it wanted to come back again today. At the same time, I was turning over some scheduling details and a few stresses about fitting everything in that I want to do during the coming months. I turned my We’Moon wall calendar over to May to check some dates for classes and this was the quote opening the month:
love these Earthlings every day
bird, insect, cloud
listen, stop, watch
sorrow for species lost
Earth will feel your love
giving you back
My husband and kids are participating in the 30 Days of Bringing in the May course with me. As I have made a commitment to take a photo and to write a blog post each day (however short or simple!) related to the themes of the course prompts or materials, my husband has committed to drawing a picture and my kids to making a video. This afternoon, my husband took his picture:
And, this evening I served as a “videographer” as my kids danced in the living to drum music in the costumes they selected for themselves to represent spring and the temple of love (turtle, mermaid, and king were the selected costumes tonight).
(*poem originally published as part of a post at SageWoman)
I happily anticipate the dogwoods each year. Today, the 30 Days* photo prompt was to photograph a blooming tree. The dogwoods are already waning, the edges of the flowers browning a little, spots on the petals, the centers yellow instead of green. Looking back at previous years’ posts shows me that this happened earlier this year than the two prior years, with early May sometimes holding the full splendor of the dogwoods. We’ve had a warm spring so far and that must be why.
I spent today at an all-day spring retreat with my women’s circle. It was just what I needed. While I was feeling rushed packing everything up to bring and lamenting about my to-do list and upcoming busy week, I really enjoyed myself and felt like it ended up being really important to have given ourselves this time together.
“The tools are unimportant; we have all we need to make magic: our bodies, our breath, our voices, each other.”
“Individually, and in like-spirited groups, we and our culture can be healed; we can come fully alive, and recognize ourselves and others as deeply holy.”
–Seena B. Frost, SoulCollage
(*In case anyone is wondering, the Thirty Days of May class is about ushering in the May, which is why it began prior to May 1st!)
In direct contrast to the sweet contentment I felt on Earth Day, today I have felt tense, taut, stressed, unhappy, unsettled, depressed and discouraged. Yesterday was a hard day for a variety of reasons (primary being a baby that doesn’t like car travel + a long day in town with much ins and outs of the car). The Judgmental Committee in my head not only decreed that I’m a bad mother, but also a bad friend, wife, daughter, and overall person. I feel pulled between the needs of my older children, my baby, my work, and my business and end up feeling like I’m not doing a good job with anything. Today, I returned to an old conclusion/realization: much of life about discernment. I have a tendency to become dualistic in my thinking, either I DO IT or I QUIT IT FOREVER. At the same time, I am very harsh with myself at my perceived inability to “flow” and surrender (even though, when I look at my life objectively, I see that every single day, I actually demonstrate great capacity to adjust and adapt and be flexible).
This morning, I woke up remembering that today is the second anniversary of my grandmother’s death. No wonder I feel a little “off,” sad, and out of sorts. I also was harping at myself about not being able to “unclench my life” and just be with it. Why must I always push and force? Why don’t I know when to stop pushing or grasping? But, then the image of a seed came to me, pushing its way out of the shell and up through the soil. Life, Nature, pushes all the time. And, she refuses to give up. One of the daily miracles I witness in the forest is life’s refusal to quit. The refusal to give up, the tenacity of trying again, even when the ground is rocky and the wind blows fiercely. So, in response to the first prompt for 30 Days of May today, I realized the call of the “May Queen,” to me is of discernment. To find the balance between when to hold, when to fold. When to yield, when to resist. When to coast and when to swim against the current. When to push and when to pull. When to rest and when to keep going. When to laugh and when to cry. When to (temporarily) surrender and when to fight. When to soften and when to contract.
Pushing is not wrong. Sometimes it is exactly what is called for.
These are not unique or amazing revelations, but I needed the reminders anyway. The prompt for today also suggested pulling a tarot card and so I drew a Womanrunes card and it was The Cauldron. In a sweet synchronicity, it reminds me: something is waiting to be blended.
…Be alert for feeling like a stubborn child, who feels cheated because the perfect day at the park is over and digs in her heels, stubbornly turning away from the cool glass of water and the freshly made bed. In other words, continue to give yourself what you most desire – the time to meditate or write, the time to hike in the patch of forest by your house – even if it isn’t the hours you would have on retreat or the pristine wilderness hundreds of miles from humans. Because to follow your desire, to tend them with care, is both the path home and a wonderful place to be right now.
Be alert to telling yourself, “Well that was pointless, why give myself _____ again?” Retreats and deep dives and walkabouts are precious. Period.
When I first led retreats, I used to feel like a charlatan because after the retreat was over, in a few weeks, people were back to regular life. It took me years to understand that’s normal! It’s okay. It is what we do with what we experienced and how we generously share that matters…
I’ve had this feeling before about our women’s retreats—how to “carry over” our sense of centeredness and connection and sisterhood and positivity. Or, how to maintain and hold the sense of personal equilibrium, stillness, connection, and understanding that I feel while sitting along on a rock into the chaotic noise of life with four kids. Maybe it is fine simply to sometimes feel it and sometimes not.
This tree took root over a slab of stone in the woods. At some point it tipped over, pulling the rock up with it. It continues to grow from a prone position along the forest floor. Its huge, strong roots stretch out on either side and you can peek right under it…
And, nearby, redbud flowers bloom directly from the partially split trunk of a storm-damaged redbud tree.