Sacredness is often mistaken for politeness, kindness and goodness. I find these days, every time the topic is brought up it’s as a mask used to express Christian and New Age dogma. People use the word “sacredness” to imply anything and everything that they judge as “proper behaviour, proper attitude, proper choice and proper exchange.”
When you leave people to understand “words” through definitions, you’re often left with a medley of perspectives; which don’t have much substance. I remember watching my grandparents do cross-word puzzles every Sunday morning as I was growing up. It seemed to be a popular activity amongst the old folks in the 1970’s. Every time I gave it a try I always gave up because it seemed I lacked the vocabulary. Until one day, my grandfather assisted me with one of the puzzles and said: “It’s not about vocabulary: It’s about experience.”
Like many of the First Nation elders who still speak their mother tongue, my grandfather believed that language wasn’t so much about academic intelligence; but about a deep, empirical connection with the world around us. In the 1990’s when I chose to walk a “sacred path” I started to dream in a language I knew nothing about at the time.
My husband would often tell me: “You talk in a weird language in your sleep.”
It seemed I was fluent in a foreign language we both had no knowledge of. It was only after taking note of a few dozen words, which repeated in my dreams and synchronically connecting to the right people that I was able to identify the language as Mi’kmaq, Wabanaki. It didn’t come as a big surprise that somehow I remembered words; which were undoubtedly used by my ancestors. I figured at the cellular level I had access to this language because it translated my connection to ancestral memories. In some ways it was “my mother tongue” in so much that it revealed how I related to my natural environment: To Mother Earth.
In one of my dreaming classes last year, we spent close to three evenings learning “how to listen.” It may sound somewhat demeaning to some; but the fact of the matter is our modern World leaves pretty much every thing to definition; but doesn’t actually take the time and effort to teach basic skills.
In most cases people will say: “I know what listening means”; but they have very little response to the question: “… but do you know how to listen?”
More and more people are struggling with a lack of basic resources. We live in a World where we have unlimited access to information; but in comparison, limited access to mentors, teachers, experts, masters etc…
I remember between the age of 10 and 16 years old, spending years while in school at the convent, learning about “posture”. Today, people would giggle or frown at the idea of teaching our teenagers about such basic skills as table manners and posture; but what is often overlooked is how “sacredness” comes from giving value to the small details in our life. How does it all come together? Experiencing the irrelevant, the overlooked, the judged and the rejected allows us to grow into awareness and adopt “sacred ways.”
Every Winter at the end of February the sun becomes a hopeful reminder of an approaching Spring. Since this weekend our dogs have been waking up earlier each morning, sensing the sunrise. I remember visiting my mother-in-law in the country when the children were infants. In late February she would always recommend that we take our afternoon naps on lawn chairs, on the back porch; bundled up in warm clothing and a blanket.
“February sunshine does wonders to increase our Vit.D” she would say.
Looking back to the 40+ February months of my life what I remember the most is the presence of the sun. If I were to give this month a name just by the repetitions in my story, it would be called: “Month of Seeking the Sun”. Sacredness for me implies “associating” each inhale and exhale; each connection and relation; and each moment whatever it may be to a state of inspiration or reverence.
For the last two years, I’ve been noting how I’m dramatically, physically affected by people’s stories. 90% of the time discussions leave me drained and exhausted. Plus, I’ve developed the unpleasant attitude of running or hiding away from people. It was only after sitting still with the experience that I discovered “I was lacking in sacredness.” Somewhere along the way, I stopped setting boundaries; pointing bad habits or even sharing “sacred knowledge.” I convinced myself people wouldn’t listen or would feel insulted. My own attitudes and behaviours were showing sign of social influence.
Lately, I’ve been asking people to share the “very best of themselves” with me. I explain to people that if they take the time to come for a visit or give me a call it’s because I’m worth something to them. Am I worth enough, for them to give me “the very best of who they are and the very best of their personal, life stories? On several occasions individuals admitted to me that it’s not so much about how much I’m worth to them; but about how little value they find in themselves and their stories.
One thing I learnt through my years at the convent is how to sit still and find sanctity in myself, and the world around me. Today, young people have a difficult time sitting in silence. Many of them feel they are stagnating if there’s no movement; or they are wasting time. They constantly keep themselves busy with text messages and apps etc… It seems we’ve invented the kind of technology that is mutating our brains and our bodies into small little machines. The fact of the matter is we’re constantly looking for peace, calm, health, wellness, wholeness and happiness. These aren’t realities for most people they are unrealistic goals.
It doesn’t take trips around the World; years of academic studies; big corporate jobs with unbelievable salaries; huge homes overlooking a million dollar view; or cars, motorcycles and all the materialistic gain you can imagine – to be well, whole and happy. All it takes is a clear, loving and trusting, wise, and grateful inner voice that whispers truth, pride and direction to you every day.
It starts by welcoming your personal story.
· Affirming it.
· Expressing it.
· Giving it value.
· Space and Time
· Relating to it.
· Surrendering to it.
· Acknowledging the myth, the truth and the illusion through it.
· Reasoning it out.
· Sitting humbly with it.
· Transforming it.
· Letting your personal story challenge you.
If you do it one Moon / Month at a time – in a year from now, you’ll walk in sacredness.
P.S. Picture: Great Canyon.