It’s been crunch week. Working at the local fair for a week leading into the last week to move into our new studio space has been quite the rush. There has been a lot to do with not a lot of time to do it. It can be so easy to let one’s spiritual practice slip in times like these. Once one’s schedule is off, meditation can be an easy thing to sacrifice.
It is in these times, though, when we are reminded the importance of our practice. It is in chaotic times when we need the calm that can be found in practice. Quiet focus and connection can be the saving grace that we need to get through the day, even when it seems like extra work that you don’t necessarily need. I know this is true for me, especially in the role I’ve taken on as a reiki practitioner and shamanic worker. When I have a client, that person needs me to have done the work beforehand. I have to be able to leave my shit behind so I can be fully present with what my client is dealing with.
There’s a sort of dissociation with my outside world that seems to happen when I work with someone. It’s like I need to disconnect from anything that would get in the way of the work and that includes my own bundle of trauma, grief, or general discontent. I have to make room for where my client is at, where we’re working to get them, and a connection to helping spirits and Spirit. For the session, it’s not about me. That’s why I need to make space at other times for it to be about me. If I don’t deal with my own problems, they get more insistent that they get some attention. They will get in the way of healing work.
I’ve had clients come in, expecting to find immediate healing in a session or two. They expect the work to be done within the confines of the session and to leave feeling like they are on the path to living a “true spiritual life.” They leave dissatisfied. Besides missing the truth that a spiritual life is often found in the mundane, they miss one of the biggest, annoying truths in this path.
We call it the work because it’s work.
Remember when I tried defining magic early on in this blog? I wanted to separate the reader’s idea of magic from the magic portrayed in movies. Magic isn’t something created with the wave of a wand or the right words (though that can be part of it, if that’s what you’re into). It’s the result of work. It’s the result of practice. Without those elements, you won’t find solid results.
I think that’s why a lot of the New Age movement seems to fall on its face. There’s a lot of wishful thinking and half truths that pervade that movement, fueled by the wish for something for nothing. They often fall under the wisdom that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Real magic and deep healing requires work and sacrifice.
While there is work, it’s often not more than we can handle. The simple act of creating space to have your own meditation practice can be amazingly useful in our work of connection to something bigger than us. Meditation isn’t just sitting cross legged, trying not to think. There are so many different practices out there, there’s something that will work with you and your beliefs. As long as there is focus in the practice, there is growth to be found.
If you’re a Christian, you can take time to focus on a Bible verse. Read it over a few times. Try to understand the meaning. Be open to Divine nudging. Try to explore its deeper truths. You can apply that practice to other sacred texts as well, depending on how you roll. It doesn’t even have to be sacred! It just needs to be meaningful. Exploring themes like this using a sort of internal monologue is called discursive meditation.
You can also use sound. I would call using my rattle or drum as a sonic driver to dreamtime a sort of meditation. Perhaps you just want to focus on the feeling of a place sacred to you, such as a church, or a forest. The main thing to find is finding focus and internal silence. Make room for root issues inside yourself to arise. That kind of goes back to what I was talking about when problems interrupt to get attention. If you give them space to speak they don’t have to yell.
That’s when those internal issues become problematic, isn't it? When they “yell”. It’s like we’re all on the path to some purpose, but sometimes we become sidelined because of an unhealthy coping mechanism or some sort of pain. Sometimes, we can ignore these problems, but they don’t like to be ignored. They just get louder. So, we try to work around them or drown them out with something external. It’s all bandaids, though. They eventually find a way to get beyond our attempts to silence them and demand to be faced.
I’m certainly not perfect (and I won’t be). I stumble in my practice like anyone else. I have my own shit. I make bad decisions in how I react to the world about me. I don’t always deal with my pain and grief in a healthy way. I’m actively working on it, though, and I will be for the rest of my life. It doesn’t always bear the expected fruit, but it always produces something useful and amazing.
I invite you to explore the work of healing and connection, however you see that path. Do the work. It will be worth it.
On a side note, we will be fully in our new space and ready for our By Donation Reiki Clinic on September 1st. We will be located under POP-M Cafe at 97 Main Street in Littleton, NH. Stop by and check it out sometime. It’s looking pretty cool.
Be well. Do good work.
-The Green Mountain Mage