A Ten Second Ritual

I remember mentioning up here already that I have acquired a new habit of doing my morning sādhanā outside in the meadows of our Karst prairie. It’s the best decision I’ve taken in a while because it grounds me like nothing else, connects me to everything else and our beloved, loyal Bora blows all the negativity away. There were times when deer and rabbits were jumping not far away from me, and the top of the cliff with the view of the valley underneath, wrapped up by the immenseness of the Adriatic Sea is sure to reinforce the feeling of freedom within.

I started doing my Peace work outside when Svarun was away on holiday with my parents, but noticing how much better I felt if I started the day out in nature, I decided to keep the habit even when Svarun was back. So the weekends, when he doesn’t go to preschool, mean we’re out and about soon upon waking up, taking the breakfast that was prepared the night before, alongside.

But today was one of the days that we went out really late. My dearest spiritual running buddy came over first thing in the morning for the last chat, hug and a cultural culinary experience (as she put it) while visiting her homeland, so we didn’t manage to get outdoorsy until  almost noon (good thing the Bora was so strong today, so we didn’t feel the heat as much). I did my yoga, whereby Svarun used my Downward-Facing Dog as a bridge to go under, but I didn’t get to meditate; not because Svarun likes to use my silence as a profoundly valuable background for his powerful Bella Ciao* chanting, but because it was time for him to go to bed.

When we were leaving, it was very late, so Svarun’s stopping me every few steps didn’t help my keeping up the pace. First he needed to go pee and then he would order me to close my eyes and look away a few times. Although I knew he was doing that to bring me surprise gifts from the nature, I had been feeling a bit stressed out. I mean, I didn’t get to meditate in a few days’ time and all I wanted was some Peace of Mind. But when he told me to close my eyes and look away, a split second happened. Suddenly, I knew that I had a choice! I could either go on fussing around and wondering what time it was or I could take these ten seconds of time to my benefit. Right there and then, I was offered ten seconds of Peace for me. Peace is what I had longed for but my mind was telling me it was aiming at half an hour, as opposed to ten seconds. I chose to shush the mind.

As Svarun walked away, I closed my eyes and noticed my breathing. Immediately I felt Peace. And I felt teased by the sun that was warming up my face that was softening from the crankiness. And I felt my bare feet on the ground and the weight of the bag, the yoga mat and my flip-flops I was carrying. I checked in, and I felt me. I felt happy I accepted the invitation for this ten-second Peace ritual, and even happier when I realized I was given such invitations all the time. Every hour of every day, we are invited to take moments of Peace, just to plug in more often. Do we accept the invitations? Do we even notice them?

When we know that ritual is not something that requires a specific amount of time, but even seconds … we can make no more excuses.

Svarun returned smiling and shouting: “Surpriiiiiiiiiiise!!!”

He was holding a few flowers in his chubby little hand, and a juniper berry in the other. I felt royal and regal, not just because my soul flourished at the sight of the flowers that were picked for me, but because I had taken the moment for my little Ritual, which made life nothing short of Sacred.

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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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Home

I used to think having a Home was boring kind of the same way I thought having children makes you boring. Instead of having a place to be, I was always looking for a new place to go. I was restless. And while I still love travelling, I also cherish home now.

The first time I ever felt the need to make a home was when I was pregnant. And although the first home I thus created was a room in my parents’ house, it gave me the shelter that home is supposed to give. It was a cocoon, so soft and gentle, where both me and Svarun first learned how to fall and pick ourselves up again, both literally and metaphorically.

The second time I felt the need to make a home is now. I’m talking about the Home inside of me, which is the most important home there is. Because what is home if not a space where you feel accepted, and good, and free … a space where you can just be you and enjoy in all the you-ness? Are you planning on spending the winter somewhere in the wilderness of the other side of the world? Sounds amazing … but be sure to go a-snailing. Like a snail, you should take your true home with you wherever you go. Your true home is the shelter inside you that you create with your morning rituals, which don’t squeeze you into something you ought to be, but holds the walls for you to manifest within. Morning rituals freshen up the body, calm the mind, and ask the soul to dance. And now, after being away for a week of no proper morning rituals, with Svarun using my downward dog as his bridge and my meditation as a wonderfully silent platform for his songs … I can really appreciate the healing nature of … tomorrow morning.

Let’s go home.

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