The Need for Rituals

I’m not a creature of habit, and I have never really made friends with routine. If anything, I found it scary because I usually felt so comfortable with change. But one thing is change, and the other is chaos and I was definitely leaning more in the direction of the second.

My best friend once told me: “Your middle name should have been Chaos, you know!” I don’t actually have a middle name, nor do I think Chaos would sit exceptionally well beside Tamara. However, if I take into consideration the meanings of both names (Chaos and Tamara, which in Hebrew means “date”, the fruit of the date palm), I come to think that I might just be here to find the sweet spot within my thunder, the calm within the storm.

*How do I do that? Daily rituals.

I’m not necessarily only talking about the morning routine, but a night one, and maybe a midday one, and before and after meals. What I’m talking about is Sādhanā. The word comes from Sanskrit, where it means “spiritual exertion towards an intended goal”. I have witnessed Hindus make poojas several times per day, each day, but I never really thought about the whys, until recently. It’s to keep the connection with God/ the Universe/ all that is/ Earth/ yourself/ life at arms’ length. It’s just that. No matter what your religion or no religion is, everyone’s “intended goal” is to be happy, right? In other words – peaceful.

There are certainly different paths to happy. In fact, I will go thus far as to claim that there are as many ways as there are people. It’s true. Blessed be our uniqueness, blessed be our equality.

I said Sādhanā was a spiritual practice. What that means is it’s a life practice, because all of life is spiritual, even taking out the trash, washing the dishes, freaking out, crying out loud, having sex. This only goes to prove that your rituals might include a warm cup of tea drank before going to bed, a blog that you read daily right before you start working, the walk that you take over to the grocer’, a stare at a night’s sky, a massage of your breasts at dawn, listening to that song, pulling those oracle cards, looking yourself in the mirror and saying out loud how much you miss yourself, going to pick up wood for fireplace, a green smoothie, a combing of your hair, a dance to the dark goddess. It may be anything and everything. The only thing that’s important is that you recognize it, and cherish it for it’s here to aid you.

It’s not like we lose the connection if we don’t pray/ meditate/ do breathing exercises regularly. The connection is always here because we are a part of all that is and that cannot be undone. However, if we don’t keep our rituals regular, we tend to forget about the connection more easily because there’s less (no) things reminding us of the sacredness of life.

I think that is what brings us peace in the first place: seeing, and feeling, and smelling, and touching, and tasting the sacredness of life and of ourselves.

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Invitation: Let’s Do This Together

I’m not perfect. I’m not. Quite honestly, I’m highly imperfect. You can ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you how my insecurity gets in the way of my strength and will oftentimes. Or how my fears dare me to trust. Or how the hole from a belly button in my navel literally exploded when I was pregnant with Svarun and now looks like … well, as though it had exploded. So yeah, pretty much imperfect.

I’ve been thinking about “perfect” lately. What is perfect anyway? It means separate, actually. I had a boyfriend with a golden heart, a lot of compassion and an awesomely working mind, who could make a wonderful leader one day. But because he considered himself perfect, he was always in conflict and everybody eventually ran away from him. Us humans can’t relate to perfect because being perfect as we know it is not humane. I said “as we know it” because we use the word perfect as an outside evaluation of an internal criteria. Etymologically, the word perfect comes from the Latin word perfectus, which meant “to bring to full development”. What happens when we bring something, including ourselves, to full development? The end. When we are perfect, there is nothing more for us to do or be, and when that happens, there is no aim, no inspiration, and no path for us to walk. Nothing. Perfect is the ultimate end of the road.

And being human is about the road, it really is. Just think: what happens when you get somewhere you were dreaming or you get something you really desired? There is that initial flow of excitement, sure, but after that? You want something else. And the way you are going to get it will outweigh the thing, or place, or a relationship you’re going to get. It always does.

Before I became a mother, I would turn my back and go away whenever I felt restless. I’d go somewhere else and when the initial excitement there burnt off, I was left with myself, again. And then I’d go somewhere else, but nowhere else was fine, because everywhere else would tell me the same old thing: where you really want to go is INSIDE. And at first, I was left terrified at what I may find. But I’m here now. Are you?

Are you ready to dig deeper? The way within is the way to happiness, wholeheartedness, harmony. To love, to expression. And I’m here, inviting you on this journey with me, because we’re all in this together. Haven’t you noticed that the people around you go through many similar things? The fact that we’re all so intrinsically connected so as to bring into fruition the same sort of things at present … both amazes and inspires me. And forces me to stand up and stand out and share my experience of self-discovery. Through my writing, through my songs and music, through my motherhood, through my food and movement. Through all of it and more, but right here – through my writing. Sara, whom I take for my teacher, says: “Whatever I recognize in others, it’s because I own it, too. There are pieces of me in everyone else. When I realize this, I can be free.”

So. Do you wanna grow with me? Right here, ritually, every day?

 And you know what? Let’s ditch the word perfect for true. True is being able to look at the places in us that we’ve tried to hide. I’m talking about really looking, confronting the shadows. And then alchemically transforming them into … light.

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Bathing in the sunLIGHT at the river Dragonja. Photo courtesy of my dear soul sister Anja Orian, who made the wonderful linen skirt I’m wearing. You can check out her masterpieces on https://www.etsy.com/shop/InteriorHandmade?ref=l2-shopheader-name.