I spent the weekend in the house, dealing with a cold, the doors locked tight against the frigid California air. I generally dislike the whole experience of having a cold, but this weekend, I got to sneeze about 347 times and I absolutely love to sneeze. It's like an orgasm for your face, the way it tickles and nudges you, creeping up, if you try too hard to force it, it goes away, but if you just wait and pay attention then all of a sudden BAM! It takes you over, snatching control of your entire body and focus.
I know there are those people who do those quiet, delicate "choo!" squeaks that barely move the air in the room. I am not one of those. When I sneeze the entire house knows about it. I can rock a city block- especially since I stop everything, throw my head back and my arms in the air and roar, "CHOOOOOO!" or "CHAO!" or "ARRAOOOGHH!" It's awesome, I'll be the first to admit it. AND I'm sure I'm the only one who derives as much pleasure from it as I do. It's pleasing to me, so I make sure to celebrate it.
I also usually like to make wishes on my sneezes (and on eyelashes and cat whiskers and Wednesdays and certain flowers and anything else I can repurpose.) I always have things that I'm working on, goals that I'm working toward and prayers that I'm sending out. I think of it like a pond- each prayer we make is a ripple that moves outward from us and into the world. So I figure that as many ways as I can remember to offer a prayer (whether of hope or gratitude), it's a good thing and keeps the energy flowing.
Anyway- so this weekend, rife with cooties and plenty of face-gasms, I got to make LOT of wishes. And I enjoyed noticing how, over the course of it my focus during these sudden, mini prayers deepened and strengthened. By the end of the weekend, it felt like I'd been on a strange kind of retreat. A disgusting, oozing, germy retreat, but a retreat nonetheless. And even though I would much prefer to be healthy and no longer slathering mentholatum all over my chest, back, nose and feet, I'm appreciative for the time I spent (and for the My Little Pony marathon I had with my son).
Also during this weekend, I got a good case of the crazy cleans and started moving stuff around. It was actually that process which inspired this article. I was remembering how, in the past, I would notice in my calendar, that a certain lunar event or seasonally significant day was coming up and would get all excited and ritual hungry "I'm going to cast and invoke and raise and call in and dot dot dot. But first I'm going to super clean my temple and my home and myself to prepare." And I'd clean and freshen and shower or bathe and organize and everything would feel so wonderful that I'd realize that the act of cleaning had been my ritual. And it was good. And there was nothing else that I really felt I needed to do afterward.
A pause for a moment of contextual transparency- I am not someone who was ever a super neat and organized person growing up. I used to wait until my room was so messy that I couldn't think anymore and then I would clean it- and usually even that was a way to avoid working on some piece of homework I was dreading. My parents still look at me a little cock-eyed when I get indignant about people living in messy spaces. This new way of being is just that big a shift.
Now I recognize my cleaning rituals as an important time to move items and energy around, to clear and release attachments so that I can make space for other blessings to enter my life. I can feel the difference, not just in the experience of being in a clean space, but in having cleared away stagnant energy that gathers in corners and under piles and inside of myself when I start avoiding certain areas of my home or mind because I don't want to deal with the clutter I'll find there.
As I cleaned and re-ordered, I also created an impromptu household spell in the process. In our home, I have a gorgeous hand woven basket that tends to become a catchall for clutter and things I don't really have a place for. My mother has a beautiful crystal punch bowl that receives similar use. I cleaned out those two items and set them out so that we each have a physical representation of the power of open space, of possibilities that we are manifesting, and wishes that are manifesting behind the veils. My mission is to keep these spaces open, empty, collecting and holding the energy of blessings to come, and for the spiritual brew within them to spread its charge throughout our home.
Overall, the reminder for this weekend was that when I am focused, any moment can be a moment of spell casting, of manifestation. That means when I sneeze/pray or clean and create. That also includes when I immerse myself in my frustration about a situation or circumstance in my life. It's all spell casting to some extent and the energy ripples have an impact.
Here's to a conscious and gentle week . . .