Thursday, July 07, 2011
SpiritQuest has come to a close for this year, and has left us contemplating a significant question as we return to our daily lives—What is important?
It is so easy to go through the habits and rituals of our everyday lives without pausing to think about what is most meaningful and significant in our existence. Quest, whether you joined us physically or spiritually, causes us to pause and consider what matters most to us.
Most of us know as we are flying or driving back home that we will return to quest again because we discovered some part of ourselves that had been asleep or forgotten.
We discovered the miracles of simply being alive and the great joy of living in community consciously. Childhood wounds healed as we found acceptance and worthiness in some significant way. Some of us had peak spiritual experiences that have allowed us to know the wonder of the Divine within us.
Before quest, many of us experience a compulsion to let go of things we no longer need. We might let go of physical belongings or attachments to beliefs, or we might surrender long-held feelings of pain of anger.
In the silent space that we became as we entered quest, we created an opportunity to be re-created, as we recognize the beauty of who we truly are. Now we must decide how we will express that beauty in the world.
Perhaps, you too, have been experiencing the process of letting go of beliefs, feelings or things that no longer serve you. Perhaps you experienced the stillness within you as you meditated with the sacred fire. And perhaps you feel a freshness within yourself as you recognize more of the wonder of life itself.
So now, what will you do?
Before you get caught up in the seeming demands of your usual life, consider asking yourself—What is important?
When you know the answer, begin shaping your life around what matters to you most. Whether it is difficult or easy, acting on what matters to you most is the perfect expression of Spirit within you. It is the expression of your Divine nature.
If you were to follow the advice of the ninth tenant of the Cherokee people, you would “do it now.” You would see what needs doing and do it. You would allow your world to revolve around what you know you are called to do, and you would not wait for a better day, because there is no better day.
The rest of your world will follow your lead. Your resistant spouse, your skeptical children, your doubtful parents, or critical friends, will quiet down when you know what is important and you do it, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.
As you continue with strength on your path, it will cause those that question or doubt you the most, to begin wondering about what is important to them. That is one of the gifts your conviction can bring to others.
Conviction is not something any of us can put on when we need to look strong. It comes from deep within when us know we are doing what is important for us to do.
My prayer for you at the end of this questing time, if you wish to receive it, is that you will know what is important for you and when you will act on what you know, you will be supported financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually in your beautiful service to the world.
We would be delighted if you would like to join us at SpiritQuest, bringing your love and ability to hold life without judging it. Just imagine yourself standing before the sacred fire, offering the fire a pinch of tobacco with your prayer for the world, someone you love or you.
Provided we get some rain in Left Hand Canyon in Colorado prior to quest, we will have a sacred fire burning 24 hours per day. If we can’t have a physical fire, we tend a virtual one. (We have needed to do this during a fire ban in a previous year and could literally smell the smoke from the etheric fire.)
If you like, you can burn a candle during the hours you are at home and awake. Light it with an intention to merge with the sacred fire at quest. Perhaps you would like to meditate with your candle, in the same way we meditate with the fire when it is our turn to tend it. We pay attention to the wisdom of the wind and the gifts of Mother Earth’s children.
The sacred fire, like the sacred fire in the council house of a Cherokee village, is the center and heart-beat of our community during the entire week. Whether we are questing or supporting, the fire is the source of our strength and inner peace—a living reminder of the light of the Divine within each of us.
When we are challenged by something, we go to the sacred fire to gain inner tranquility and clarity. We choose not to gossip or complain about things, but rather find someone to talk to that can help us see our lesson and what we need to do to be in harmony with ourselves and others. Many of those talks take place at the sacred fire.
Nine tenants of the Cherokee people, shared with me by my elder, guide us throughout the week, to live in the noblest way with Spirit, the earth and each other. Perhaps one of these will speak to you as a focal point for meditation during the week.
1. Speak only words of truth.
2. Speak only of the good qualities of others.
3. Be a confidant and carry no tales.
4. Turn aside the veil of anger, to release the beauty inherent in all.
5. Waste not the bounty and want not.
6. Honor the light in all. Compare nothing. See all for its suchness.
7. Respect all life. Cut away ignorance from one's own life.
8. Neither kill nor harbor thoughts of angry nature, which destroys peace like an arrow.
9. Do it now. If you see what needs doing, do it (in a good way). Remember, if you think you are the only one or the one that is always right, wake up.
We will be living consciously with the Mother Earth all week. Consider taking a walk each day close to the mother, and breathing in the goodness of the earth. Notice the trees, flowers, grass, and animals. Remember to give thanks for them.
In fact, for a schedule of what is happening throughout the week, visit: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/camp-information.htm
We will also be blessing the water during a special ceremony on Thursday night. You can join us by blessing a bowl of water at home and when you have finished giving your thanks and gratitude for the water, share it with your loved ones, pets or plants. Or even take it to a body of water near you, sharing the blessed water with the waters of your homeland.
It is our practice at quest to laugh often, love deeply, live in gratitude, walk in harmony with mother earth and all her children, and pray with full hearts. We hold space for each other, knowing that each person in camp is doing their best. This is a good way to live life, in general. Perhaps you would like to bring focus to this practice in your life during the week.
As we hold the earth and each other in compassion and love, we also hold the world with that same love. We’ll be holding you too. So as you share this week with us in Spirit, I hope you will find a moment to hold us in your heart, humanity and our precious planet.
Reverend Ariann tells us the prayers from SpiritQuest reach deeply into creation. We would be honored if your prayers joined with ours in a sacred union of love for all of life.
We are deeply grateful for your meditations and prayers for rain in Left Hand Canyon, Colorado, where quest will be taking place, and where forest fires have been burning.
This question came up recently in a discussion I was having with a friend. We were taking a look at whether feeling or not feeling like going to a spiritual event was a reflection of intuitive guidance or resistance to spiritual growth or even awakening.
Some years ago, I remember being hesitant to follow my calling because I didn’t want to seem disrespectful to someone else. A very wise master pointed out to me what I didn’t want to look at. He said, “It is very good to be respectful, but it can also be a great place to hide.”
I wonder how often I denied myself some measure of spiritual awareness because I wasn’t “in the mood” to go, when what was really going on was that some part of me knew I was going to get to meet myself and my truth at some deeper level of awareness?
Thank goodness for my elder. She never let me have an excuse. If I wasn’t in the mood, she basically told me to go tend to myself until I was ready. That’s an important lesson as a ceremonialist, because as I have learned over the years, I’m not always in the mood to facilitate when it’s finally time to do the ceremony.
In the early days, I was nervous, and nervousness has a way of overpowering everything. It’s hardly good for putting you in the mood to stand up in front of a group of people and hold spiritual space for ritual.
The irony has consistently been that once I enter into the sacred space within me, the mood follows. More than once a ceremony, ritual or retreat I participated in, even though I wasn’t in the mood, proved to provide some of the most powerful insights and lessons of my life.
Not being in the mood, more often that not, has been a reflection of my fear rather than my intuitive guidance.
Certainly there have been events that were not mine to attend. The way that I knew I was receiving intuitive guidance rather than reacting in fear was by entering the sacred space within me. When my heart is full and I am at peace, the messages are much clearer.
I discovered that true callings are apparent in the quietness within me, even when I don’t feel up to it. I’ve also learned that following those callings have been worth the effort every single time.
Often times, some judgment or fear came up for me to look at. Because I followed my calling, I committed to be present to the feelings that were manifesting inside me. And spiritual ceremonies and events are such wonderful place for getting to know ones self, and finding deeper love for the broken and fearful places inside.
When the ceremony or event was over, my reward has been greater inner peace and self-love. Because I chose to call myself out of hiding, my life was deeply blessed.
If you have found yourself saying, “No,” to sacred opportunities because you didn’t feel in the mood, I invite you to consider whether or not you might be hiding from yourself. Perhaps, your mood truly is a reflection of your intuitive guidance. Perhaps your body is overly taxed and needs to rest, or emotionally you need to disconnect for a while.
Sometimes our intuitive guidance is leading us to something that is better for us. And sometimes, our fears are leading us away from what will set us free. Entering into the silence of one’s sacred space is a beautiful way to gain clarity about whether your mood might be limiting your freedom.