I’m Bringin’ Sacred Back

When I was a little Catholic school girl, I purchased ‘holy cards’ featuring beloved saints from the church gift store and arranged them on a shelf in my bedroom next to my rosary beads, crucifixes and a mini-bible.

That bible was so damn cute. I never did get around to reading it, though. I just couldn’t get past the Old Testament.

I also remember buying a receptacle in which to house holy water. I took it to the priest to be blessed. It amazed me that the water was more special because of that and I wanted it ‘on tap’ in my bedroom for whenever I had a burning desire to bless myself, my dolls or my cat.

Twenty five years later, a lot more of has passed under the bridge (not all of it holy).

I have found myself on a path of discovery which is less informed by a particular religion than the insights provided to me by my own experiences and interactions.

Hosting my online retreat has brought me into close examination of the practices and tools which I have gathered in my spiritual basket and though they are varied, I have noticed that I am leaning toward bringing the ‘sacred’ back into my daily life.

Aside from my Catholic upbringing which was really more about going to school and church and blindly taking the sacraments so I could get a new dress or pair of shoes for the occasion, I was never really guided to discover the sacredness of every day life.

It is something I am only just discovering at 34 years of age and so I need a little help to bring it into my awareness.

Jala Blu altar

The altar at my local yoga studio, Jala Blu

I’ve mentioned that I have started bringing more ritual into my life, though being allergic to routine, my rituals are constantly changing depending on how I feel on the day.

I do find that designing a space for my morning meditation and devotion helps. Not only that, it is really fun for a nomad who doesn’t own a lot of stuff to create a little spiritual haven wherever I go.

sacred space

It is certainly a little more difficult in a crack-den motel than, say, a spacious log cabin, so I am not always successful in creating my sacred space, but I do try.

My beloved cushion that I picked up in Rajasthan, India has survived my many culls of possessions due to this fact.

meditation cushion

It is bright and colorful and reminds me of a wonderful day when our rickshaw broke down and we decided to go shopping! I stuff it with my Nepalese blanket and my shawl from Chiapas, Mexico, to provide comfort to my derriere while I breathe and connect with my inner self.

I’ve also begun creating altars, though today they look a little different than my childhood one.

Altar sacred

Rarely are they fancy, in fact they are often hastily constructed from items I deem of value that day. Almost always they consist of incense, a candle, a crystal and my recovery chips.

Reminders of what is important to me; light, clarity, authentic expression and well… I just love incense because I think if God had a smell she would smell like that.

Sometimes I’ll chuck on some Krishna Das and chant along to really up the ante. He sings ancient Sanskrit chants to modern music which are believed to evoke the Divine in their uttering.

Ganesha

Essential oils create fragrances which feed the soul and make connecting with the sacred more of a sensory experience.

sacred altar

No more boring hymns, scary confessions or penance for me.

I’m taking out the mundane, the restrictive and the rigid and bringin’ sacred back in a way which translates Divinity, love, abundance, fun, femininity and creativity into a language my soul understands.

I also love to burn shit.

Burning ritual

Sage, letters, ideas and old resentments all get put into the fire and their ashes returned to the Earth.

Earth

It’s a powerful ritual that I once would have scoffed at, but now appreciate because I know how much intention matters.

I love that when I open myself up to the sacred, I am constantly met with more ways to connect. The other day a friend happened to send me a link to a Labyrinth locator, and though I had never heard of walking them as a spiritual practice, two days later I found myself at the center of one, seeking clarity about an issue I’d had.

sacred labyrinth

Labyrinth protocol

It was in the next town behind the local cafe and I had no doubt walked past it numerous times without noticing. You’d think I’d be used to serendipitous stuff like that by now, but it still blows me away.

I also get really excited when I find a book on a dusty shelf in the back of a thrift store which I believe has been placed there by the universe, just for me.

Happiness book

I think what I love most about this journey is re-discovering a child-like wonder about the world.

Believing in miracles again and having fun with it. I try not to take it too seriously, but I have a rising devotion to the sacred which makes me feel centered and whole more than any other aspect of my life.

It is the perfect accompaniment to a life spent writing about myself on the internet and the ongoing neurosis associated with that.

Though I am often distracted by the desire for success, security and validation, I know that life is really just one sacred moment after another and it contains far more richness and magic when I am awake enough to experience them.

That is why:

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Comments

I’m Bringin’ Sacred Back — 13 Comments

    • Thanks Amy! It sure does. I think getting clear that spirituality can be what you want it to be and that you don’t have to follow the rules of others makes it a wonderful journey xxx

  1. I recently had an amazing experience where a crossed paths with an old connection right at a time when they could help me the most. It was so serendipitous and things like that really make me excited about all the things we just don’t know.
    Emily recently posted..Local Eats: SchoolMy Profile

  2. Great cushion :) I am so with you… I find myself turning more and more back to having a “sacred” in daily life… whether to explore my connection with God as an adult or to just find a peace and magic in the day to day in spite of (because of?), the mis-steps along the way. Not sure if you’ve ever read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller or Love Does by Bob Goff… but those two books really got me thinking about the God I had learned about growing up in relation to my thoughts on the subject these days. You might want to check them out, Love Does, if nothing else, because it tells the story of the amazing life of Bob Goff.. surely someone who understands embracing each day as a miracle and understanding how different life can be based on very small daily decisions.
    Rhonda recently posted..A SetbackMy Profile

    • Ooh thank you Rhonda! I haven’t read either of those but will definitely be looking them up! Maybe you could join my not-quite-a-book-club in the latest post. Sounds like you have a lot to share and I love discovering new reads! Xxx

  3. Even after a year of following you on your remarkable journey, this post stopped me in my tracks – I really love it, easily my favourite post. I find the modern world takes such a cynical view of religion (and often justifiably so) that they think anything spiritual is to be ridiculed, and people distance themselves from it. I don’t mind what people believe, but I don’t like being forced to accept someone else’s truth – which is what has brought me to where I am today. I am a very spiritual person, and I can’t imagine my life without my faith – it is the nearest and dearest thing for me, and my favourite and most wholesome activity (besides sleep) is pondering it. Thank you for this.

  4. Yes, yes, oh my gosh yes! Everything you said right here. I particularly love, “I just love incense because I think if God had a smell she would smell like that.” I KNOW RIGHT! And then when you walk into a spiritual bookstore or crystal shop you smell it and it’s like, “Oooh, God’s in here!” 😀

    Also labyrinths are wonderful. They are fantastic for doing solitary but can also be used in groupwork too. Once my womens circle and I created one in the back room of the centre we sometimes met at, and one by one we were blindfolded and one of the other women led us through it. It was lovely to put your full trust in the other woman – and also to then be trusted to lead your sister through the twists and turns. Such a metaphor for life.
    Karyn Jane recently posted..Vlog – RawTil4: Don’t Wait For Things To Be Perfect!My Profile