Reflections on the Daily Practice
As we close out our first month of the Daily Practice Series, I wanted to share my reflections on not just “talking the talk” but “walking the walk”. For the month of January, I have been following my own advice. The daily practice of doing divination, tending my altars, spiritual reading, and having a nighttime ritual (next week’s installment) have made my life calmer and more focused.
In fact, this past week my daily practice was the only thing that kept me going. In my personal life, someone I thought was a respected colleague is trying to take me down. He is trying to ruin my reputation and organizational standing with lies and an obfuscation of professional protocols. As a spoonie, due to a genetic disorder, I’ve already had enough stress and activity to keep me in bed for a week straight. With this piled on top of it, I have been lost in a sea of pain, fatigue, and brain fog. Plus, I have ADD so I am just a whole and complete mess.
But what has kept me grounded is my daily practice.
The Importance of Daily Practice
On the morning of the arbitration, I found myself in front of my altar. I was gripping my tarot cards tightly, desperately. I got very emotional and started crying. However, it was the first morning that I actually felt the power of having a daily practice. I actually felt the magical sacred space, and that I was attached to the Universe at my altar. It was so beautiful to feel all of my chakras open up and be filled with Divine love and energy.
I closed my eyes, held my cards to my chest, and asked them for guidance. The cards I pulled were Magician and 2 of Cups. I felt the message from the cards was that I AM magic, that I need to see the power in relationships, and that I needed to mend the professional relationship from my end. If nothing else, I would leave our meeting with a clear mind and heart.
Now feeling less burdened, I tended to my altar: switching out used candles for new, cleaning dusty items, pouring an offering to my ancestors, and praying to them for intercession in this situation. Sitting down in front of my altars for my reading of the day, I immediately felt comforted when I saw the day’s lesson. A Course in Miracles, Lesson 21 says,” I am determined to see things differently”. The exercise is to hold a situation in your mind and tell yourself that you will see it differently. I did the exercise, and as I practiced it on this and other situations surrounding it, I felt my anger dissipate and my heart open. While I woke up thinking the day was going to be a battle, I walked away from my morning rituals feeling empowered with universal unconditional love.
Empowerment through Daily Practice
I made the decision to see the situation differently (read: not pissed as all get out), and go into it our mediation with the spirit of solving the problem. In other words, I felt resolved in my heart to be the better person. While we do this a lot as women, particularly women of color, I didn’t see how getting into a pissing contest with this man would help the situation. Even if he was walking into our conversation with full armor and weapons to destruct me, I was going to go into it with strength and patience.
I think what also helped me is that the year 2020 taught me the Zen Buddhist concept of detachment or non-attachment. I was not attached to an outcome. And because I am knee deep in A Course in Miracles, I was reminded of the real first lesson of the course: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God”.
Heading into arbitration, I was ready. I had my talismans on. Nikki and Willow blessed me on Zoom before the meeting. I repeated the daily lesson from A Course in Miracles. As I entered the Zoom room, I put a smile on my face and a conciliatory tone in my voice. I tried to set the energy to that of peace making.
Because of my time in Seminary, the Beatitudes also popped into my head: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God”.
The conversation started off stilted and mechanical, but I felt comfortable in being vulnerable but strong. I don’t see vulnerability or making mistakes as weakness. I see them as a place of self-improvement, so I felt resolute in reaching amity. Surprisingly, he was very gracious and vulnerable, and also entered the arena wanting amity. He didn’t try to shame me, or break me down. In sharp contrast to my earlier expectations, he shared his own frustrations and apologized for not supporting me earlier. And to his credit, our arbitrator kept us on task when we got too far into martyrdom.
In the end, we came to a peaceful resolution and I think we all understand each other a little better. The Japanese art of kintsugi is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer with the understanding that the broken history of the piece is not disguised or hidden, but transmuted into something more beautiful. Every situation is an opportunity for growth, and I seized the opportunity. In the end, we grew.
My Last Reflection
Without my daily practice, I would have logged into that meeting ungrounded and unfocused. Because I have a daily ritual to lean into, I was able to repair this relationship and in return strengthen our organization. I encourage you to continue to develop and lean into a daily practice that can shelter you from the storms that life throws at us. Create and tend to that place where you are connected to Universal Love, the Deities, and The Source. Use that space to make your life meaningful, magical, and significant.
I would love to hear how your daily practice has changed your life. Please share with a comment below or in our group on Facebook. See you next week for the next Daily Practice installment, which will focus on our nighttime rituals.