Wednesday night, I attended an Art Nite, put on by my friend @Kristin_Boettger. She’s a talented artist, and usually once a month thru the spring and summer she holds space for individuals to tap into their creativity and play with different mediums.
Her motto throughout the night is always the process is more important than the product. Which is always a little triggering at the beginning. Because I want to do it right, I want to make the time that I spent there worth it in some way. I gotta have something to show for it.
But as this mantra begins to resonate within my body as the night goes on, my perception shifts, the strokes get looser, and it feels more fun to just take a chance, screw it up, see what feels good over what makes sense. The embodiment of being present to the process takes over and it no longer matters what the outcome is.
The experience brought me back to something that I teach and we discuss at length in the Embodied Alchemy Method with regard to what Self Care and Ritual actually are and more clearly what they’re not.
When we speak of self-care, it is embodied within the energetics of the Earth Element. It serves to support both your Inner Earth, however that shows up within your Alchemy, as well as each of the other Elements.
Ritual bridges this space between the Metal and the Water Element. The sacredness of performing the ritual is created through Metal within its structure and ability connect us to our presence, making way for us to have a container for Water to reside. It is here that we can be an empty vessel to convene with the Divine and our Authentic self.
There are no objectives or goals to self care or ritual. Aside from caring for the self and honouring the soul as it requires in that moment.
When we choose to do something because it brings us closer to a goal we’ve now entered the realm of the Wood Element. Visioning and projecting out our actions into the future with a cause and effect relationship. If I do this, I get that.
In this realm, the action no longer holds space for us to open up to the unknown, it becomes a task to be done in order to move the needle closer to what you want.
And that’s not wrong, it’s just important that we call it what it is, because it reorganizes our focus and our ability to drop into the appropriate energetic that we require.
My morning ritual is usually a combination of some stretching, meditation card pulling and journaling. Each day one aspect has a greater pull than the others and I do my best to remain flexible to how my body and soul are calling me to tune in.
All while being extra aware of when I start to push, “just do another one and then I can say I worked out today”, “ooh this would be a really good blog post or an excerpt for your book”, which it totally could, however, once the mind has started to project I have moved away from my initial intention of being.
There’s no this is good or that is bad here, just what is.
For me personally, when this happens I’ve become keenly aware that most of the time it’s because I’m trying to avoid something. A Feeling or an invitation to dive deeper into a part of myself that makes me uncomfortable or antsy. It’s easier to just push it into the realm of a goal. I’m comfortable there.
My willingness to get to work will override and judge the awkwardness of just sitting around not getting anything done.
Maybe, there are gifts waiting for me, if I’m just willing to sit still for even just a few minutes longer. I can’t really say… If I hold on to that too tightly again, I’m projecting.
But, past evidence supports this possibility.
With that I invite you to notice when and how often you try to hijack your Self-care or Ritual to be part of your productivity. And when it happens, because we’re human and it without question will happen from time to time, take a breath and see how you may come back to the heart and witness the direction that it leads you.