Featured in the Huffington Post: Jan. 2, 2018
Ritual has been a part of our lives since the beginning of time. They can be as intricate as a wedding ceremony or rite of passage, or as simple as a morning cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. Some are very specific, and passed down through the generations, while others are self-made. Personally, the most effective in my life are ones where I take what I’ve learned from varied people and cultures and make it my own – thereby creating my own ritual. And while these little rituals take place throughout the year (e.g. taking a bath or shower to “wash away a stressful day”), one of the more important ones happens during the New Year.
The New Year can be time of remarkable rebirth, an opportunity to review the past year, let go of what no longer serves us, and invite more of the good into our lives. By “no longer serving us,” I include physical illness, emotional distress, relationships, habits and thought patterns. By “inviting the good,” I am referring to abundance, joy, like-minded friendships that help us grow, and thoughts and behaviors that promote a happier and healthier life.
I’d like to share my New Year’s burning ritual with you, and invite you to change it and personalize it in any way that fits you. This process can be repeated throughout the year as part of a mindfulness practice. READ MORE
For someone who watches romantic comedies, reads detective novels and books about personal growth, and who largely writes about very practical, tangible things, I can’t begin to tell you why – for the better part of six months – I have been dreaming in science fiction.
My husband, on the other hand, owns every copy of the Star Wars series ever written and prefers movies and reading materials that take place in a galaxy far, far away. Unless his thoughts and memories are somehow creeping into my brain at night during the dream state, I have no explanation.
My Sci-Fi Adventures
Several months ago, I dreamt I was enlisted (against my will) to join an intergalactic United Nations known as TARA. My job was to negotiate peace talks with extraterrestrials living on planets and in solar systems not aligned with our multi-planetary UN.
Last night, I was helping a very important team of leaders escape from a not-so-friendly world. If they were caught and killed, well, they were dead; of course. However, I was a scientist equipped with high-tech tools that would enable me, for a brief period of time, to collect said leader’s soul in a holding jar, so that if his body was killed, we could simply repair it and then reinsert his soul at a later time – good as new. The trick was, knowing when his life was in sufficient danger where we’d have to take such drastic action.
In My Waking Hours
While I may be quite the politically savvy negotiator, scientific genius, and war hero in my dream world, my waking hours are far less turbulent. I get to sit in a peaceful home office with soft piano music playing in the background, surrounded by pets that rub up against my ankles when I’m working. Some days, I teach yoga to a lovely group of people in an equally relaxed environment where slowing down and taking deep breaths is a job requirement.
I’m glad my reality is better than anything I could ever dream up.
*Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net