Updated: Mar 7
Yeah, it's not anything resembling an altar for me.
Day 59/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: excitable
If you've been reading my recent posts, specifically the last couple of days, you'll have a pretty good idea that I'm not up for anything that smacks of religion. Not the words, not the rituals.
That doesn't mean however, that I'm completely free of indoctrinated beliefs. That would take a completely new blueprint of the Josie hologram. With a long ancestry of Catholic priests and nuns in my heritage, and my own early beginnings, it's in my DNA, and whilst I know that DNA can and does alter, I'd need a completely new set.
Additionally, there is so much rich history in the teachings and the Bible, and I'm a sucker for ancient history.
This is about perspective. Wanting to set the scene for what no doubt will sometimes sound like contradictions. You will I'm sure, come across these contradictions in my writings from time to time. That's okay. Being human, anything's possible!
Today's suggestion is about considering a place for your inner reflection, meditation or other methods of looking inwards
Set an intention to create a space that is specifically for you. One where you can place inspirational objects, things that bring you joy, that have lovely associated memories. A place that you can come to for periods of solitude and reflection.
Sarah suggests that once you've done that, just wait and let spirit do it's thing.
For me, I'll be opening up to unlimited potentials and waiting for the whichever wormhole activates to bring me inspiration, but spirit is a good name for it as well.
When I was a kid, I was an A grade student of the Catachism. That's the book that introduces children to the doctrines and rituals of the Catholic Church. I had an altar in my home of those little luminous figurines of saints and rosary beads, and picture frame of Angel Gabrielle over my bed.
So learned and interested in Catachism was I, that the nuns in my school decided they might groom me for the convent, and with that in mind, convinced my mother to let me repeat year 7.
That year was spent laying vestments and sewing tabernacle covers, arranging flowers each day for the next mass in the mornings or evenings, polishing brass candelabras and maintaining dozens of candles. When that work was done, it was teaching the years 1 and 2 math with Cuisenaire rods, and studying more Catachism.
Seriously unhappy with this arrangement, and furious that I was losing sight of my brother who had already left for high school, I turned my back on the Catholic Church, never to return.
That picture that I've just painted is why you'll never find anything resembling an altar in my home. Instead, I've learned a rather nifty way of creating a special place that only I would ever find.
In my mind I created a virtual reality. In fact, I have a few virtual realities that I can visit depending on my mood and interest.
When it is time to meditate or enter into some deep reflection, connecting with my most true self beneath the layers of conditioning, I enter into my virtual reality. In this place my senses are broader and I am able to access a deeper intuition and knowing.
The intention of this special place, whether you have an altar in your home with images of your favourite archangel, or spirit guides, of ancestors or saints, gods and demi-gods, or a virtual reality in which you enter a connection with nature as I do, is to have a place where you can feel completely at home with yourself, where you can focus your intention and find peace. A place of solitude.
For me it's never going to be about asking for help from a deity. It's never going to be about handing over the reins to spirit guides or other New Age technologies such as oracle cards and divining devices.
First and foremost, my inner reflections are about exploring the nature of my/our existence. Who am I? What do I stand for? What is my truth? How does this all work, this thing called life? What else is possible? That's it. It's simple and incredibly insightful. I don't have time for anything else.
As I discover myself, and come to realise the impact of the road travelled, the lessons in the scars in particular, what emerges is deep compassion for my fellow travellers in life. Hence my work.
So what about you? What is it that supports you with your deepest inner reflections?
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.