11/2/2017 0 Comments
"Holy hour" in my life exists in the pre-dawn silence before the kids are awake and the daily demands for my time and attention begin to make themselves known. I cherish this first hour of my day to perform my favorite morning rituals: I bring my coffee into bed and still groggy I write my morning pages. I also read something that inspires me and pray--setting my intention for the day. This has been my practice for as long as I can remember. It grounds me in the midst of life's vicissitudes, it connects me to something bigger and re-aligns me with my own soul. In a word, it reminds that I can come home to myself again and again.
The busier my life becomes, the more imperative it is for me to find ways to return to my internal home place and salvage a portion of solitude so that I can rest, dream, create, and restore myself. In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés writes of home in this way:
"Every creature on earth returns home. It is ironic that we have made wildlife refuges for ibis, pelican, egret, wolf, crane, deer, mouse, moose and bear, but not for ourselves in the places where we live day after day. We understand that the loss of habitat is the most disastrous event that can occur to a free creature. . . .We know that for creatures to live on, they must at least from time to time have a home place, a place where they feel both protected and free. . . .for the soul-self psyche, vacation is not the same as refuge. "Time out" or "time off" is not the same as returning to home. Calmness is not the same as solitude."
Returning to our soul home, then, does not require an abundance of wealth, time, or ideal conditions. It only asks that we give ourselves to the things that bring us true joy and remind us that we are alive. There are no formulas or techniques for returning home yet there are countless ways to do so. In addition to my morning ritual, here are some other ways that I return home:
I know that if I go a little too long without nourishing my soul in these ways, I start to feel as though I am running on automatic and lose my edge of gratitude and wonder. When my life becomes more mechanical than magical, I know that I am in need of return to my home place. These practices anchor me to what I most value and remind me that life is much more than an endless to-do list or tireless self-improvement project. Although these things may sound small, I see them as radical acts of self love and when I make them a priority, the rest of my life reflects this caliber of care.
With the holidays approaching, this time of year can be increasingly hectic and stress inducing. Where does your soul feel most at home? How will you return to your home place regularly? What are the small, radical acts of self-care that you will perform to protect your sacred solitude? This month make your soul a priority by focusing on at least one thing a day that will sustain a connection to yourself in this way. Cut through the excess. Resist the temptation to be overwhelmed. Limit the distractions. Lighten the expectations. The medicine that we naturally offer others is the exact antidote we most need for our healing. Show up in order to give to yourself the most precious gift that you give to others: your own radiating presence.
Welcome yourself home.
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