Our Christmas tree went up in a whoosh! of fire as Shaman Guy threw a match into it, under a starry sky. Shaman Boy ran around whooping in excitement. We inadvertently created a fire ceremony!
Our attempt to dispose of our tree transported me to all the Fire Ceremonies that I’ve participated in over the years. Countless times, I’ve thrown in my challenges and dreams into a fire at sacred gatherings.
Now that I’m living the life I dreamt of as a mindful mama and fully shining woman – in suburbia no less – I’ve had to become rather creative to bring ceremony into my busy everyday life.
I’m on a quest to update shamanic skills for modern living. How can we wring some of the magic ju-ju out of ceremony and funnel it toward our workaday lives so they become juicer and more mindful?
Ceremony creates a conduit between the everyday and the extraordinary, the practical and the spiritual. It elevates a mundane activity into the mystery. In ceremony, we create a conscious connection to source and often receive information or a more expansive feeling or point of view in return.
Most of us think of ceremony as a grand, special event – a Presidential inauguration, the Olympics, weddings, funerals, solstice ceremonies, meditation ceremonies. I’ve experienced some doozies – on top of pyramids, in the middle of remote, wild country, and a sizzling one that resulted in Shaman Boy. All incredibly powerful and life-altering.
But I’m a practical shaman. How can shamanize our daily lives? How can ceremony bring play, gratitude, blessings into simple daily actions? Eating, laundry, even exercising are full of opportunities.
Growing up, my parents were not religious or spiritual but my grandmother was devoutly so. When we sat down to eat with her, we’d be forced to say grace. My brother and I would mumble along to my Gram’s rote prayer. While this ceremony had great meaning to her, it felt empty to me. Yet recently Shaman Guy and I instituted grace at our dinner table.
After the hustle and bustle of school and work and getting a meal on the table, it’s lovely to pause for a minute, hold hands, and take a literal and figurative deep breath. We look each other in the eyes – connecting. Ah, yes, I am here, present with my family.
Sometimes we light a candle and sing, “Fire fairy come to us. Blessings on our food,” – a remnant of Shaman Boy’s Waldorf School days. Other times it’s a simple, “Yeah God!” Or one of us makes up a short prayer, “Creator. We are grateful for this food and for each other.” Then we dig in and eat. Simple and sweet.
Ceremony can also make dull moments shine. I make it a practice to look for ways that I can bring more love, awareness, and joy into parts to my life that I don’t typically enjoy. The never-ending task of laundry isn’t my favorite, but when I realized that I could bless each piece of laundry or remember what the most joyous part of the day was when we wore the clothing, it shifts a mundane activity into a meaningful experience. It elevates my spirits and spreads positive energy through myself and my family.
How about using ceremony to amp up your energy and intent while even while your are playing hip-hop, salsa-pop full blast? I love to dance – not just between the worlds – but also in my weekly Zumba class. I make my shimmies work double time.
Not only am I keeping my heart healthy and moving energy through my body, but I also actively intent to let go of whatever’s been bothering me – limitations in my mind or annoyances in my emotional body. Ha-wha! Elbow juts fiercely to the left.
When we throw our hands up in the air as our booties shake, I’ll imagine that my energy is being sent out to touch loved ones who are ill or hurting, or to connect with other Shaman Girls who haven’t discovered our community yet.
I’ll take whatever tricks and power-filled tools are rattling around my medicine bag and put them to good use today, now, with how I navigate bills and stress and kiddos and mealtimes. Makes life a bit more fun and magically meaningful.
What about you? Is ceremony part of your life? How could you add some more love, gratitude, or flow into your daily routine through simple ceremonies?
Do tell Shaman Girls. We’re in this together! You can leave a comment below or drop one off at our Shaman Girl Facebook page.
Shine (and shimmy) on!