At the heart of every longing is a quest for deeper connection. How can I help you make those connections? This is my work and the work of Heather Plett. Gathering in circle, allows us to connect again with each other, ourselves, the sacred, and the earth.
The journey to connection has four paths – self, sacred, others, and the earth. We can’t make connections with any of these four without impacting the others. When we seek connection with the sacred, we must also honour the earth. When we seek connection with others, our connection with ourselves also grows. At the intersection of all four of these paths is a sweet spot, and that’s the place of deepest connection that we all long for.
Feel the sea spray on your cheeks. Sense the wind in your hair. Feel the sun on your shoulders. Feel the sand beneath your feet. Feel the water rush up between your toes and run back down the beach again. Smell the salt air. Listen to the pulsating sound of the waves. Sense the power. Hear the healing energy.
“Like us, the sea is ever-changing. And, like us, the earth’s vast oceans appear at a distance to be stable and homogenous. But beneath the mask of solidity that both we and the sea wear, there lies unpredictability, sensitivity, and power. There is much we can learn from the ocean, representative as it is of our inner landscapes. The rough sounds of the sea’s waves are spiritually soothing, and its salt can purify our physical selves. Yet not everyone has the luxury of living by the shore or even visiting the coastlines where water and land meet. The ocean, however, exists in our conscious minds, put there by images we have seen and descriptions we have read. Wherever we are, we can access that mental image and use it as the starting point from which we can help to heal our emotions by meditating on the sea.
Just as the ocean’s tides sweep the shores free of detritus, restoring balance, so can the waves in our mind’s eye cleanse our souls of what no longer serves us.”
I heard a wonderful documentary on CBC radio today about teaching students to self regulate or quiet the self. I ruminated on it while I was sitting in church.
One very positive thing about participating in organized religion as a child was that even though I was required to sit quietly in church it actually taught me the value of sitting quietly.
That is so rare for children these days. There really is no place they are required to sit still other than perhaps in school. Maybe at a public movie theatre or live theatre performance if they are lucky enough to be taken there.
Of course I was bribed quite often in church with mints, judicially portioned out to me and my brothers by my great Aunt Jean. (My mother always sat way up in the choir loft.)
Or I would doodle on the church bulletin.
Or just maybe flip through the hymnbook once I learned to read.
It was sitting quietly in church that my most creative thoughts would emerge.
Kids are so stressed these days that they are having trouble learning. The documentary with Stuart Shanker sites that when they are stressed their brains actually turn off their hearing. So escalating your voice doesn’t help. Deescalating the situation is more helpful.
Children are being taught to self regulate, to self soothe, to “drive their own bus”.
So I am grateful for an old Aunt who made me sit still in church.