What Now? Reflections on Moving Forward by Sidni Lamb and Genevieve Mitchell

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Learning, Loss and Grief, ritual

2014-1-tamaya-big-sky“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” –Julian of Norwich

In the bigger spiritual picture, “all shall be well” and we are indeed, okay.  The Divine, however we define It, Her or Him, is SO much bigger than us, our community, our nation or our earth.  The Divine is unknowable to us…., knowing that, yes, we are okay.

So, why don’t we feel okay?  Many of us have feelings of pain, distress, heartache, sadness, fear and shock about recent political events in the nation.  There’s grief and a sense of loss that makes us feel wounded and anguished, for our nation and for ourselves.  Both during and as a result of the election, it has become painfully obvious that many of us have not felt heard or acknowledged.  So, how do we move on in this very challenging climate?

What now?

  • Deepen Your Spiritual Practice– Take time to find the core of your spiritual practice.  It could be meditation, ritual, praying, chanting, sitting in circle, celebrating in community. Find and attend to something that connects you to the Divine, to your sacred center.
  • Be In Nature–  The Japanese call it forest bathing.  Connect with the natural world, a tree, a park, go to the mountains, watch a rainstorm, be with the larger, deeper force of nature, the spirit of our holy Mother Earth.
    • “You should sit in nature 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour”– Old Zen Saying
  • Connect to Kindness– Offer or exchange a smile, offer a small act of kindness, ask or give a hug, call a friend.  This is our opportunity to be of service to a world in need of kindness and compassion.
  • Feel Your Emotions–  Be aware of what you are feeling, allow those feelings, honor them, exactly as they show up.  In the same way, allow others to be where they are with their feelings, even if you don’t agree with them. Everyone processes in a different way.
  • Practice Good Self Care– It is time to take very good care of yourself.  Eat well, get plenty of rest, care for your physical and emotional needs. When we have filled ourselves, when we are compassionate and caring of ourselves, we can respond more compassionately to others.
  • Take a News or  Social Media Retreat–  Turn off the news, turn off the radio, take a vacation from Facebook.  Allow time for silence.  Give time to others face to face, instead of digitally.  Allow yourself rest from the outside media influences, allow yourself time to heal.
  • Find Something To Do Right Now–  For some, it will be to write letters, sign petitions, participate in protests.  For others, sitting still, helps us with our creative juices and finding direction for the “what now”.

Taking a purposeful pause to deepen our practice, take care of ourselves and to be kind allows us to get grounded for the hard work ahead.

Sidni Lamb is the founder, visionary and motor behind Mindful New Mexico and the New Mexico Leaders in Mindfulness Conferences.

Sidni’s work and passion focuses on connecting people to their communities and building bridges for collaborative relationships across all sectors and disciplines through mindfulness-based capacity building training, curating conversations for meaningful connections and teaching peace studies courses.

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credit: “New Mexico Sky” Genevieve Mitchell

The Daily Acts of Priestessing

Compassion, Empowerment, Priestess, ritual

The swirl of a cape, the waft of incense, the amber necklace and serpent ring — these are all part of my experience priestessing rituals. In these ritual, I have time to prepare myself to step into the role of priestess, to take up the sacred mantle.

One our recent trip to Mexico of my fellow priestesses reminded me of the daily acts of priestessing. Driving in heavy traffic we passed a car wreck, and she spoke words of ease. I remember thinking that the last thing on my mind were the people involved in the wreck–I was worried about traffic and reaching our destination.

The moments that call for the touch and words of a priestess happen irregardless of my dress and preparation. They happen organically, urging me to swim in the current of life, open to what may happen, rather than my usual habit of driving forward irregardless of what is going on around me. I remember again the words of Jalaja Bonheim:

One of the main ways we (as priestesses) serve our communities is through our daily work….the cashier will sense (that) the thousand daily interactions she has with her customers matter, and have meaning. *

As this morning unfolds, I open to the opportunity of daily acts of priestessing.

Blessings –

Anne

*from “The Path of Priestess and Priest: Initiation into an Ancient Tradition” by Jalaja Bonheim from Stepping into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses.

 

The power of Story

Compassion, Divine, Empowerment, Priestess, Story

shutterstock_250511077“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”– Anais Nin

I’ve spent some time this week thinking about my story, the story I tell myself, and how it is a lens by which I view my world.  I’ve been thinking a great deal about the word “God”, and what that story means in my life.  I’m recalling that Mary Daly, in her writings likened the word God to the word “Man”, by which we then equate man (male) with God…. We also have the story of the of the distant (male) Patriarch, (in my little girl belief was a old white man with a beard), who is all knowing and all powerful who lived way far away, in heaven (not close to us, on Earth).  Males who promulgated such thinking, using their sacred texts to give credence and credibility to their story, disregarded, devalued and allowed the abuse of women using this religious authority.

But what if we extend this story to Mother Earth?  Mother Earth as female, available for use and abuse by those in authority, isn’t that what we are doing now?   Is not that what our consumer driven, environmentally unsustainable economy is doing?

What if we changed the story to honor the feminine, the female, the generative elements of the Earth and “all our relations” (not just human)?  Perhaps it’s time for a new story, to incorporate Mother Earth, Woman and Goddess into the new conversations about how we view and act in the world.  What do you think?

What is your story?

Bright Blessings,

Genevieve

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  Stock Photos

 

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz — finding voices by Anne Key

Empowerment, Mexico, Priestess, ritual

As I prepare everything for the Sacred Tour of Mexico I am leading next week, I am researching Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. She is a name I know well, but as I dig, new pieces appear.

I had not remembered that she was born out of wedlock, listed as a “child of the church.” What an auspicious beginning for a woman who dedicated her life to the church and helped expand its view of women.

A dedicated and highly self-disciplined student,

Cruz, a youth, cut off a lock of her hair each time she failed to remember one of her Latin grammar lessons because, “It didn’t seem right to me that a head so naked of knowledge should be dressed up with hair, for knowledge is a more desirable adornment. (more here)

Her scholarly pursuits, though, brought her under constant attack. She considered her own intellect a mixed blessing:

“I thought I was fleeing myself, but — woe is me! — I brought myself with me, and brought my greatest enemy in my inclination to study, which I know not whether to take as a Heaven-sent favor or as a punishment.” (more here)

And, in forward-looking reference to Lady Gaga, she reminds her detractors that she was born this way:

“Who has forbidden women to engage in private and individual studies? Have they not a rational soul as men do?…I have this inclination to study and if it is evil I am not the one who formed me thus – I was born with it and with it I shall die.” (more here)

In the 1690, as her patronage waned, Sor Juana was not allowed to publish her work and she was forced to give away her library of books. She died in 1695 after caring for nuns that were stricken with the plague.

Her passionate pleas for the education of women have inspired us all. In 1988, Octavio Paz introduced her to a new generation with his book Sor Juana: Or the Traps of Faith.

And here are a few words from one of her most famous poems, Hombres Necios:

Males perverse, schooled to condemn
Women by your witless laws,
Though forsooth you are prime cause
Of that which you blame in them: (more here)

Memorial Day Reflections on Grief

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Loss and Grief, Memorial Day, Priestess

Today is Memorial Day, a day we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers, our veterans, and those who served our country and died in war.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day).

Today, I want to honor those who have passed.  I also want to honor those who grieve.  I want to honor those who have lost someone to war, who had to go on living after that loss.  For mothers and fathers, who sent their daughters and sons to the military, and lost them to war.  For kids who grew up without a parent, because of war.  For sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends and neighbors, who have grieved because of war. I also pray that the Infinite Source of Light and Wisdom will surround us as we grieve our loss.

Blessings- I send you each a flower with Blessing and Light, to honor your loss and to honor your grief on this Memorial Day 2016.

pink and green

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  All photos by Genevieve Mitchell.

Searching for the Divine by Genevieve Mitchell

contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Priestess, ritual

It seems to me that my entire adult life was a search for meaning, for connection with the Divine and for a path for manifesting the Universal Grace that seems to be omnipresent in my life.  Now, I don’t get me wrong, I made plenty of mistakes, relied heavily on social norms for decision making and have more than a few regrets about decisions I made along the way.

But always, the entire road, I was searching.  I come from a Catholic background.  Mary was a powerful influence.  But the religious norm was He, Him, King, Father God….male domination, male influence and not a female face on the altar, except to clean…. not the stuff that inspires one to be engaged as a strong woman in the Catholic Church.

The wonderful part was I did meet amazing women along the way, powerful women, spiritual women, articulate women, nuns, lay women, political women, creative women who challenged the cultural norms and who spoke their truth even in the face of societal objections.

I hope now that some how, the work I do and the woman I am in my life can inspire others to see the Divine in themselves, in the work they do, in the world in which they live and in the path they walk.

Along the way, I recommend finding companions, groups, friends and colleagues that can support you.  Reading great books is always inspirational to me.  You might find just what you need in our list of Goddess Ink publications.  Or sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  What are you waiting for?

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.  Additionally You can find Goddess Ink on Facebook.

Photo Credits:  All photos above are by Genevieve Mitchell.

 

EXPRESSIONS OF KWAN YIN BODHISATTVA’S COMPASSIONATE ENERGY By SANDY BOUCHER

bodhisattva, Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Kwan Yin, Priestess, ritual

Kwan Yin by Sandy photo 3There’s a woman in Africa whose life brings me to tears because she so perfectly embodies Kwan Yin, the Goddess of compassion. It might seem unlikely that this unassuming South African nurse would manifest as the Chinese goddess, but of course we know that Kwan Yin is no respecter of national boundaries. Her true domain is the human heart.

This woman, named Sister Abegail Ntleko, grew up in a mud hut. When she was a small child, her mother died and her father became an alcoholic so dysfunctional that Abegail was forced to raise herself. In conditions of extreme poverty and neglect, she managed to go to school and become a nurse. She chose nursing because at an early age she knew she wanted to be of use in the world, to do something about the physical and mental pain she saw all around her. This sounds just like Kwan Yin, a “bodhisattva” who seeks healing and enlightenment for all beings.

Abegail, now in her eighties,  adopted and raised numerous unwanted children while working in the medical and social service fields. She has taken in dozens of children orphaned by AIDs and lovingly raised them to be educated and empowered people. She has been  honored by African and international institutions, praised by such exemplars as the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Tutu said of her, “Sister Abegail exemplifies the true heart of South Africa—a heart that overcame apartheid, that sees the best within all people, and that has never closed in the face of suffering.”

A heart that never closes in the face of suffering: isn’t that the precise description of the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion Kwan Yin?

In this month of remembering Kwan Yin, I find so many embodiments of compassion around me—in my family, in my neighborhood, from as far away as Africa.  All shining pilgrims on the bodhisattva path with me.

May you also open your eyes and heart and recognize the everyday acts of kindness, the people who stay responsive to the world, and see in their faces the loving features of the Goddess of Compassion.

Sandy Boucher is Author and Editor of She Appears:  Kwan Yin,  Goddess of Compassion published by Goddess Ink.  You can contact Sandy sandyboucher9@gmail.com. Photo Credit:  Sandy Boucher.