Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I feel a rite coming on. . . . 

We've all got it in us, that desire for ritual.  I believe we've gotten lazy with our expressions of ritual with long established customs taking the place of fresher, and dare I say deeper enactments of what is close to the human heart.

(The one exception I see is the free-flowing rites around the Thanksgiving table, and more power to us for embracing the beauty in that sharing).

We need our own, individually created rites to mark passages, invoke aid, celebrate.  So if you are a far out kind of person, your rites can be reflective of that, and if you are of a more traditional bent, you can borrow from that richness in what you create.  Here's a couple of examples to get the juices flowing:

The Star Celebration
On a clear night, in a location outdoors and away from the effects of electric lights, place yourself standing in full view of the celestial bodies.  Then, gazing up and opening your arms wide, breathe in, celebrating the brotherhood we share with all.

That, in case you missed it, was the far out ritual.

Three Candles
This rite works nicely at the beginning of a new year, calendar or birth:
Place three candles in a row facing you, and beginning on the left, light each candle.  Saying as the first is lit, "I express my gratitude for all that has passed that strengthens me."  Saying as the second is lit, "I honor all that I have become."  Saying as the third is lit, "I embrace all the opportunities that await me in this coming year."

One last note--simple, everyday rituals carry as great a value as big statement rituals if we allow ourselves to put our hearts into them.  So go ahead, greet the sun, wash your hands of worry, blow kisses, post sticky notes, share drinks, save seats, wave good-byes, send up prayers.  Your world will be remarkably enriched when you do.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Grease

During the days I commuted, sitting in traffic and looking for ways to distract myself from time ticking away, rude drivers, and long long lines of cars stretching out in front of mine, I listened to talk radio.  Mostly news and traffic updates and opinion pieces.  Forgettable, really.  Except for one interview with a self-help kind of guy who said things that sounded not too outrageous, with the exception of something about maintaining your chakras, which I didn't know I had, and how to deal with things going badly.  He said, in that cheerful tone early risers use when they genuinely are morning people, "Say, "That's great!'"  I couldn't imagine anything more foolish, saying what clearly isn't, is.  And then I tried it.

Un-great didn't turn into great.  What did happen with this forced bit of optimism was a sort of greasing of the wheels.  New thoughts started coming.  Helpful thoughts.  Moving forward thoughts.  Thoughts about what could be seen as good about the situation that I certainly didn't see when it happened.  So I could move forward, find solutions and not feel like the universe just shat on me. 

I recommend it.  It you find yourself stuck, you've now got grease.  And that, my friend, is very great. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


They're playing holiday tunes in the department stores.  Just yesterday I walked into to a jazzy rendition of holiday spirit in a cozy and inviting setting we all would like to imagine to be at the heart of our seasonal gatherings.  This inspires me, this stage setting, to share what I see as the secret to a truly wonderful holiday in five simple words:

Expect less and give more.

In that order.  Because, get real, we start from our own needs and wants before we move on to seeing what we can give. Get over imagining there is a moral high ground that puts others first and set your expectations at a level that won't get in the way of genuinely enjoying ways to bring joy. 

You're going to have a hella great holiday season!