For someone not necessarily attuned with nature, I feel very aware of the turning of the year and the timing of the ancient celebrations makes a lot of sense to me. I am always very ready to celebrate life and wellness when May comes, and so I understand why this time of year was set aside for those very things. I am also a May baby, so this month is of particular importance to me for that reason as well.
Christina at Witchvox writes: ”Beltane marks the passage into the growing season, the immediate rousing of the earth from her gently awakening slumber, a time when the pleasures of the earth and self are fully awakened. It signals a time when the bounty of the earth will once again be had. May is a time when flowers bloom, trees are green and life has again returned from the barren landscape of winter, to the hope of bountiful harvests, not too far away, and the lighthearted bliss that only summer can bring.” And when I can think and feel clearly, between the sneezes of allergy season, I feel this. It makes me understand why students start to get restless – yes, the end of the school year is near, but more deeply rooted in them, their souls are resonating with the new life, and they want to be free, not confined by walls and books and assignments. As my own semester of study winds down, I know exactly how they feel.
This time of year makes me very aware of how far we as a society have strayed from following our natures and our spirits. While I want nothing more, on the spirit level, than to be outside and carefree, I stay inside, full of stress and exhaustion. And that’s the problem. Even when we can feel the pull of nature telling us to go outside, go for a walk, light a candle, watch the sunset, we tell ourselves we can’t. We say that there are too many other things we have to do, and then we spend an hour on Facebook, or watching television, or doing something else that we don’t need to do, but just do, absently, because it’s there.
My goal for this month is to spend more time listening to the inner voice telling me what I want to do, rather than just doing what’s there. While I can’t abandon the very real modern day demands of work, class, internship – I can be more in tune with myself in the other hours of my day, when I am free to do what I will, and rarely do. Maybe I will find myself spending more time on the porch, or going for walks, or doing nothing at all. Maybe I will find more mindful ways to do the mundane tasks that I have to do. Or maybe I’ll just turn off some of the chatter and find a little more peace.
What will you do to honor the merry month of May?
I wanted to write a post for the solstice, so I was wandering around the internet and found this great remembrance from Petrarch of the women bathing in the river at midsummer to wash away the tragedies of the coming year. If only we could…
In some ways, the summer solstice feels more like the coming of new year to me than the winter solstice. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent so much of my life on a “school year” schedule, where June means that you are promoted to the next year of study, to begin in the fall. Or maybe it’s just that the world is so alive at this time of year, and in December, it’s hard to remember that things are just dormant, not dead.
Take a moment today to wash away whatever is holding you back from the coming year – we may not be able to stop the tragedies by washing them away, but we can always rebirth ourselves into a new way of seeing the world. Why not today, on one of the most celebratory days of the year?
The body says what words cannot. ~Martha Graham
It takes great courage and energy to cultivate non-doing, both in stillness and in activity. Nor is it easy to make a special time for non-doing and to keep at it in the face of everything in our lives which needs to be done. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Riding the wave of powerful cleansing energy from my Reiki attunement, I thought I would just continue to feel better. After all 21 days of cleansing and balancing just happens, so why wouldn’t it be possible for me to just feel energized by that? So I continued to do too much, and stress too much, and after the first few days, I fell into bed without doing self-Reiki, and went to work in the morning without doing meditation…and you know what? I feel lousy.
In some ways, even though I do feel less drained than I did before, I feel worse, because now my body is even more aware of what I’m doing wrong. When dinner is cheese and crackers and applesauce, my body knows that something is missing. When I’m too lazy to take my vitamins before bed, the things those vitamins are supposed to be balancing act up. Now, all the messages that my body has been giving me all along are too loud to be ignored. Something has to give, and my health has been that something far too often. Even now I feel the ache in the back of my throat and the dull pain in my temple that means I’m dehydrated and overtired, and last night I was wide awake in the middle of the night with thoughts bouncing around in my head.
Self-care is not optional. I knew this when I began training to be a psychotherapist; I knew that in order to treat and care for others, I had to have a way to care for myself. And yet, as soon as I get busy, it’s the first thing I let slide. I wasn’t going to write today – caught up in the whirlwind of final papers, I thought, I should take this time to write papers, not to write something “frivolous”. But this is important. This blog post may not change anyone else’s life, but it’s a reminder that I am committing once again to changing my own. I need to write. I need to sleep, and meditate, and eat good food, and do yoga, and do self-Reiki and make myself a priority. Because when I put everyone else first, we all lose out, because I can’t give them my whole self until I make sure that I’m making myself whole.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; but spiritual beings having a human experience. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.” ~Jennifer Louden
I am working on self-care. I spent the last week in tech for a show, and my personal goal was to stay upbeat and not get dragged down by stress. For the most part it worked…and I’m way less tired than I usually am after a show, because I didn’t waste so much energy on being stressed out…working on myself continues…