Beltane is not only about looking around us and honoring those persons and places and experiences that have shaped us; it is also about looking within and noting our limitations and our life-giving, expansive well of authentic energy.
One of our on-going summer tasks is to notice and to weed the former (insuring that limitations don’t drain the life force from our potential for fruitful growth) and to nurture the latter by naming it and cherishing it.
Several years ago, my good friend and colleague Brad Berglund of Illuminated Journeys, led a retreat meditation for clergy. He invited us to do a version of the following exercise. I found it revealing and helpful and have done it on my own twice since then, so I offer it to you as a spiritual engagement for this week.
Close your eyes if you are comfortable doing that. Or you may prefer to use the flame of a candle as a focus point to help your mind be still. Become aware of your breathing and simply rest on that breath for a few minutes.
When you feel centered and calm, invite your right brain or your heart to offer you symbols and images of the aspects of your life that are limiting your freedom to be the person you know yourself to be when you are reflecting the inner image of the sacred in you most fully. These limitations may be material possessions, activities, addictions, broken relationships, your own expectations of success or responsibility.
When you can ‘see’ these images in your mind or heart, open your eyes and take a piece of paper or light card stock. Fold the paper or card stock in half. On one side draw (or create a picture from magazine images or old photos) the aspects of your life that are limiting you in living the G-d life, or that are inviting you into unhealthy choices.
On the other side, create an image of what your life will feel like or look like when it contains only what is most holy, most whole, most liberated. This is a depiction of your life when it reflects the life G-d is seeking to pour through you into the world.
You may want to use this visual and tangible reflection as part of your meditation or shrine space – perhaps as the backdrop or in relation to some special object.
Perhaps you will find the pathway prayer below a fruitful one for the days of this week.
I call upon the nine gifts of summer
to teach and enfold me this day:
radiant clarity of sun,
fruitful abundance of earth,
purifying fire of spirit,
cooling wind of G-d breath,
cleansing flood of birth water,
witness of justice bearers,
wisdom of the past,
hope of the future.
Nine gifts to encompass me
as I unfurl into this moment.
Note: You can link to Brad’s website by clicking on his name in the reflection.
Text © 2014, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photo © 2011, Immram Chara, LLC