January 3, 2014

Reorganizing Daily Practice. Again.

I'm not much for year-end reviews -- I spend far too much time already looking over my past and beating myself up about it, and it always turns back into that -- nor for New Year's resolutions -- I prefer to make small goals as I go, and to try to adjust one aspect of my life at a time so I don't get overwhelmed and then discouraged. A lot of what's going around online seems sort of weird to me, since I abandoned both of those things some years ago.

But I am realigning my daily practice right now. I talked a little about roadblocks to daily practice a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned attempting to start a new job, and how it turned out to be physically too much for me. I also mentioned that I was going back to try a slightly different version that ought to be a little easier. And physically, it was. Emotionally, though, it was unsustainable, and (with my wife's encouragement) I quit that job on the 31st. Not having income is bad, but so is crying every day when you get home, especially when you have a mood disorder.

Anyway, that went, and now I get to shake up my rituals again. I had moved charkha spinning to the evening, but it was, frankly, languishing there. It wasn't so much that when I got home I was too tired to do it as that when I got home I wanted to spend time with my wife, and didn't want to give up any of that time. And alas, there's not much space in our living room for me to spin. So now I need to work out what to do with that component. Perhaps I'll put it back in the morning and move the Purple Thread spinning to night time. I've already added lighting incense for one Woman of the Purple Thread each day, and I could keep that in the morning while moving the spinning to night, perhaps. (I've almost finished the first small batch of wool I dyed purple specifically for this purpose, so soon I'll have a post to show that off.)

Then, too, my brother got me both a pass for drop-in classes at my preferred yoga studio and a video (it's great; it recognizes and accommodates fat bodies, it's got just enough challenge for me, it's got some breathwork, and I feel amazing, if shaky and tired, at the end), and I want to integrate both of those into my practice, admittedly not necessarily daily. I'd like to start doing the video once a week, and perhaps select a few poses I can understand and remember well enough to do on other nights. After a couple of weeks of that, add one drop-in class per week. Then another iteration of the video per week, which will give me three full-hour sessions a week (at least until I run through all the classes my brudder paid for). If I can get to three, or even just two, with maybe a couple of poses a day on other days, I will be happy.

Now that I am once again out of work, filling out evening rituals again should be easy enough. Either the video, or a few poses plus spinning. Although given that I woke up a bit sore, I might wait a few weeks before trying to do poses every day. Gotta give muscles time to recover so they'll build properly.

I think I'd like to add some sort of food offering daily. This is apparently a contentious topic here and there in recon circles just now. I don't have the complete view, so I can't really speak to the argument, but here's my thing. I like to give offerings of food and drink, because that's how I show love to anybody. I haven't been doing so recently, and I don't especially think it's necessary to do so daily in order to Worship The Gods Right or anything. But I like to do it when I can. I don't have wine to offer the gods just now, and offering water seems… too little. What I want to do for now is simply to make rusks, drizzle them with honey or oil, and give those as offerings. When I've got more resources, I'll start making barley bread to make rusks from, and then part of the offering will be the love and time and energy of making them. Right now, it'll have to be whatever we have and aren't going to eat right away. I'll cut up the bagels into bite-sized pieces and bake them low and slow into rusks, to start. Put honey on them when I make the offering. I think I'll also institute morning tea. My wife has a spare electric kettle, I have a little teapot. Boil the water while I set up and lustrate, let the tea steep while I do my oracular studies and spinning, pour it out and make offerings and prayers. I like it. Small, not time consuming, but meaningful. They'll be stuck with raspberry tea for a bit, much like bagel rusks, but it will improve, in time. And it smells nice.

I've been trying to organize further thoughts on this for a couple of days now. I keep trying to add bits, and then taking them off again, and trying to rewrite something about it, and failing. So I'm just going to call it here. But I feel like my daily practice is something I'm going to continue to edit and refine and reorganize periodically forever... and that that's a good thing. My spiritual life ought to change as I need it to, as my life changes, and as my gods require.