Okay, I’m going to get a bit religious below, so if that stuff doesn’t appeal to you, I won’t be offended if you skip it. You’ve been warned.
I was feeling so overwhelmed yesterday night. I had a two hour meeting with a really unpleasant client who is associated with one of my best clients, and was putting me in a position where I felt pressured to do something I didn’t feel was fair or right. She was so pushy and demanding that I didn’t really realize what was going on until afterward (and hence didn’t have an assertive response in the moment), as I tried to convince her to do the right thing, but not alienate her. I compensated by working into the evening (I’m self employed) and feeling tired and yucky, and like I’d had some kind of workaholic anxiety binge.
When I finally stopped, I hung out with my wife for a bit, and we walked the dog and then I had a bath before going to bed. She and I have been sleeping separately, because she has been having problems sleeping and we thought we could get a handle on it more easily if she slept alone for a week or so. This makes me feel a bit lonely, and frankly, we’re not doing well, relationship wise. She’s sleep deprived most of the time (I think she has sleep apnea, which she’s not taking as seriously as I’d like) which makes her cranky, and well, frankly a bit slow witted. I need her to get this handled so I can figure out if the problems we’ve been having are due to her being so sleep deprived or if we’re really not a fit any more. Divorce would suck, to put it bluntly.
So anyhow I decided to take a bath before bed and realized “I can turn this over”. I have a little ritual I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed, where I take some salt representing whatever problems I have and put it in a bowl of water representing, well, actually, water, which is considered sacred in my religion. So I’m giving my problems over to the waters and to the Goddess, by extension.
So I’m sitting in the warm bath water, holding a bowl full of water with salt in it. I felt so overwhelmed, and prayed to the Goddess and had a cry about my marriage and my life and my client’s troubles. I started thinking, “but the Earth is so under siege by all the assholes that dump oil and garbage and plastic in the oceans, and pollute the air and cut down old growth trees and all that, how can I give her my problems, dump even more on her back?” Unlike the believers in gods you can’t see and touch, I’ve got no illusions about my deity being untouchable and omnipotent. And then it came to me – the Universe is broader than that. What is sacred about the Earth is sacred about the sun and planets and the whole universe. Who is to say that the consciousness of the entire universe isn’t focussed on slowly evolving us on near geologic time toward Good? Maybe things are turning out in the best possible way right now and I don’t have the perspective to see it. I’m just a part of Her, my consciousness is a part of the web of life on this planet, and in the organism that is Gaia, it’s my responsibility to be a positive part, like some sort of special immune system cell, rather than a cancer cell or a virus infected one. (Okay, I realize I’m mixing the metaphors a bit much here, but I’m trying to capture something that wasn’t in words at the time.) I thought about this book I read “The Conscious Universe” which gave some quite credible scientific validation for certain kinds of psychic phenomenon. It showed for example a large series of studies, evaluated by skeptical scientists, that during the Olympics, when a huge amount of people were focussed on the opening ceremonies, for example, random number generators generated non-random numbers, but then went back to being more random after the program ended. So it seems credible to me that our beliefs and mind-sets, what realities we hold, have an influence on what happens. Maybe not a big one all the time, but like that butterfly in Brasil in the chaos theory example, may have a bigger impact than you’d think.
I thought about a tree or plant and how the branches and leaves seem randomly placed and yet are so beautiful. They grow where they grow to share the sunlight that falls, so that each can have it’s share. I thought of myself as a leaf on that tree of life, or a plant in a forest canopy, all growing toward goodness like sunlight. The Goddess creates beautiful families of plants in this way, all self organizing in their reaching for sunlight. It made me feel that all I have to do is grow toward goodness and believe that things can work out well, and the rest will sort itself out.
My shoulders relaxed and I felt the stress melt away into the water. This morning I took a sip of the ‘solution’ my spell had made of the water and salt to accept my responsibility for making it happen, and put the rest down the drain respectfully. I may have to do this ceremony more frequently – I forget how healing it is for me.