Monday, August 12, 2013

Outdoor Altar

This is a project I started in just one day, simple, easy to start and will continue to evolve over the years.  It was inspired by the Goddess Course I am taking right now but I would highly encourage everyone to think more about using outdoor spaces.  I have an indoor altar, it is small, not as much space indoor for me to create an altar.  But outdoor there is so much space, and I love being outside in my gardens, rocking and knitting, having a cuppa tea.  This altar, although not in the shade is near one of my shaded gardens.  

For this project I used two plant pots and turned them over and just put a board across the top.  This particular board was from a tree that fell in our field.  Jackson harvested a good chunk that was not rotten, or termite eaten and cut it into rough boards, not for anything in particular but just because it was such a beautiful piece of wood, and smelled so wonderful!  That was it, that was how I started and that is how anyone can start.  We did have this old glass door in the garage, been in there for years, so I dusted it off.  I think it is missing at least one glass pane, but that is fine.  I am using the door to hand chimes and decorations as well as to put up pictures that I love.  My altar is under cover just a little bit so it will get some rain, but not a direct hit, I imagine I will have to change out pictures as they weather, or my mood changes, LOL.  I brought out some items I had inside to add to my altar, and I also have a fairy house on my altar, which I will probably move to the ground as I add items to my altar.  We will see how things work out.  The painting to the side is just something I doodled, it was an old cabinet door we had hanging around (have I mentioned I am married to a wanna be hoarder).  

My next purchase is a bench, just something small, I saw some concrete ones down the road, need to stop sometime.  And I also want to make a kneeling cushion.  I think this will be a great place to meditate in the mornings.  When I fractured my ankle back in....oh....2008 I think, my daily meditation practice went by the way side. I know, that was the perfect time to delve in deeper into practice as I was confined to the couch for a good deal of time.  But with all the commotion, surgery, etc, things like "how do I get to the kitchen to make us all some lunch" to precedence over meditation in the moment.  But I am back to daily meditation, it feels so good to be back there.  OK that is the topic for another post.  Here are pictures of my outdoor altar, if anyone decides to make one of their own please post pictures on your blog and let me know, I love looking at what other people create!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I can feel a shift coming!

You know those life moments when you can just feel a big shift coming?  Not the little decisions we make on a daily basis but the big shifts that just change us, who we are or how we see the world.  Yeah those shifts!  I can feel one coming my way.

A month ago I started a Goddess Course, I have taken one before and we studied three Goddesses and it was really wonderful, learned so much, and applied much to my daily life.   This Goddess Course started out working with the Mother Mary, as a Goddess, not with all the religious dogma attached, or maybe cutting through the religious dogma.  I just couldn't feel it, not on any deep or emotional level.  I couldn't relate to the Mother Mary, I wasn't taking anything in, I wasn't feeling her.  And that was OK for me.  I just assumed it was because of my Christian upbringing, we only really thought of Mary at Christmas, didn't really delve into all aspects of her life as an individual, but really only the mother of Christ.  But all this is OK, we all think, feel, and see things through our own lenses, our own experiences, and none of it is wrong or right, it is what it is.  I was content to work through this aspect of the course, listening to what others are feeling and letting my experience with Mary be what it was.

Yesterday afternoon I started thinking about my own mother.  One of those moments that come from time to time, when I REALLY miss her.  As of today, it has been 18 years 2 months 1 day since I was playing with my not yet one year old son on the floor of our apartment on the army base in Augsburg, Germany, in the early afternoon when my dad called and told me he thought my mom was killed in a car accident.  My world changed on that day.  And starting yesterday I cried and cried and am still crying this morning.  I just miss her so much right now and I am feeling sorry for myself.  It will pass, I know it will, it always does.  I used to call my mom and talk with her all the time, for hours.  She knew me from the beginning, knew every inch of me, knew me inside and out, and loved me so very unconditionally, as only a mother can.  I asked her advice on everything.  And since that point in time, when my dad called, I have had to do that for myself.  I no longer have a mother to comfort me, to be able to give me advice from her point of view, as someone who really knew me.  I have great friends, and I also have a great family, and I have had people, over the years, offer to share their mother, to be the person I could call for advice, and I know they love me and mean well, but it just is not the same.

I was never able to share the joys of being a mom with my mother, I never knew her on that level, I was never able to share the experience of buying our first house, of having our second son, or moving back to the states and deciding where to live, watching our boys grow up to such amazing young men.  I have not had her here to ask advice over the years, to share frustrations and losses.  I have not had her here to rub my back or play with my hair and tell me "everything is going to be OK", that "if a good thing is meant to be it will be there in the morning so take a minute and think about it", or :everything will turn out how it is supposed to be".  I miss those things.  When she spoke them I REALLY believed it, after all she knew from the start.

For 18 years 2 months 1 day, I have had to be there person for myself, tell myself that "everything is going to be OK", "to take a minute to think about things because if it was meant to be for me, it will be there in the morning."  I have had to really trust my own instincts on parenting, and relationships.  I have learned to lean on myself more.  I have really had to be my own parent, as best I can.

And now as I sit here crying even more and grieving the loss of my mother, and everything that I haven't had over the years, I think, maybe that is what Mary is trying to teach me.  Maybe it isn't all the religious baggage keeping me from really connecting with her, maybe it is losing my own mother that prevents that.  Maybe I have been my own mother so much over the years I am not ready for Mother Mary to comfort me.  Maybe in the future I will be able to feel her and connect with her on a deeper level.  Or maybe I am feeling her on that deeper level now.

Much to think about, and, as I said before, I know this moment will pass, I just need to sit with it for now and grieve all that I have lost out on.  All that my boys have lost out on. Let this big shift happen in my life, cause I can feel it, whatever it is bringing. It will make me stronger, it will make me a better parent, a better person and in the future, I know, it will happen again.