Updated: Mar 7
Day 58/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: content.
Reverence. What do you make of this concept? By definition, reverence means deep respect for someone or something.
Right off the bat I can tell you that my sense of self, my self-esteem was highjacked by rules around reverence to parents and adults in general, to religion, to teachers, to nuns and to priests. These people were to be respected no matter what.
Even when those people behaved inappropriately, were unfair, misunderstood, got it wrong, bullied, beat us, humiliated us, abused us, reverence or respect was not to be questioned. This of course has lead to serious problems of abuse and exploitation of children, which ultimately leads to all manner of mental health and emotional health problems in the adult population.
Today is about bringing reverence into your life. Maybe you've never experienced reverence, or perhaps if you have followed some religious traditions, you have an idea of what I speaking about.
Today's inspiration is about restoring a sense of reverence
Reverence, says Sarah, is that altered state of consciousness where you feel awe and wonder in the presence of spirit.
Today search for the sacred in the ordinary, with gratitude in your heart and you will surely find reverence.
My idea of reverence has changed quite a lot.
The kinds of rules that I was raised with leads to the erosion of the spirited gifts and liveliness that children are born with. They shape the habits of young minds, and turn attention away from children's innate goodness and creativity.
These rules constitute a significant aspect of our conditioned mind and mask the truth that before we can truly respect and be reverent of others, we first need to be respectful of ourselves.
By looking inward, by paying reverence to our own existence, we learn of our value, our talents, our natural gifts, and what emerges naturally is how to share those talents and gifts with others.
It also enables us to become more aware of the qualities of others that are worthy of reverence. Dogma is replaced with discernment.
For many children who have been raised as I was, the journey to waking up in adulthood is long and arduous as we meet with the many rules and inner conflicts that questioning those rules raises. I strongly suspect it has also eroded our access to our intuition, which in turn is responsible for shaping our now suspicious minds so that we look outwards to the sciences to bring us every truth.
It was the realisation of how deeply conditioned my mind had become by this upbringing that opened me up to exploring just how thoroughly this conditioning had impacted me. It subsequently lead to my full and utter rejection of anything that resembles a prescription for my life from others.
So, reverence? Is it relevant to me and if so, how do I practice it?
The waking up process has helped me to find my own value. To sit back and allow and enable my inner gifts to emerge and shine. Still a work in progress I have to confess.
In a world that feeds us a continuous stream of dos and don'ts I've found truth, support and thriving in my connection with nature.
Remaining very selective and discerning about the information that is presented to me protects my mind from continued conditioning. My mind is astute to dogma, which nowadays generally comes my way in the form of marketing spin and selective news reporting.
Great homage is paid to the brilliance of nature around me, in my garden and the local bushlands. Other places I experience this awe in the spirit of nature is by the ocean.
There is truth in nature. Observing nature reveals many natural secrets of cooperation, collaboration, communication, presence, awareness, thriving, healing, and creation. These are truths that resonate deeply and remain sound, in spite of human manipulation.
At the end of the day, even as humans interfere with nature in the name of progress, all the elements continue to exert their knowing: wood, fire, earth, minerals, water, and they remember their origins.
In my daily life, I am forming habits around paying deep respect to myself and to the food that I prepare and consume. Focusing with great appreciation on just that one task of preparing food is becoming a practice of connecting with my deep inner self and the nature that feeds me.
My daily self-care ritual is becoming more important to me as I realise that my body and mind benefit from a daily practice that focusses on my physical and emotional needs, and prepares me to give more fully of myself to others.
Whatever reverence means to you, don't leave yourself out of the picture. You cannot give from an empty cup.
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.