Friday, December 21, 2012

On the Winter Solstice 2012

In the dark waiting womb
there is a quiet rhythm,
the sound of intention unmanifest.
It will become with a wail.

To call the first tendril of pink
from beyond the horizon,
a feathered minstrel lifts its head
and trills its morning anthem.

Do not sit silent in the growing darkness.
The universe was not born in a flash but a bang,
the resonance of the heart of the Divine,
speaking its name into all of creation.

Invite the sun with song,
be it frenzied drumbeats,
melodious carols, quiet lullabies
or the echoing sound of om.

All songs are one song,
as all hearts are one heart.
Sing your Divine name
into the creation of a new age.

And when, in the deepest darkness,
your song fades to stillness,
a collective pause for breath,
listen. Listen for the waiting refrain.

Listen for the muted pulse of love.
Listen for the hushed jingle of peace.
Then take up their song, your song,
and roar them into being.

(c) Debbie Philp 2012

As we step over the threshold from autumn to winter, from darkness to light, from violence and hatred into the blank slate of a new day, I wish you peace and love. Sing their song with all of your heart. Pass it on.

Friday, December 14, 2012

This is not my Winter Solstice post

Shakti (Photo credit: rouwkema)
This is not my post. My post, which I spent hours outlining and researching, was about inviting the divine feminine into the celebration of the Winter Solstice. This is not the post I intended to write.

This is not my post because today a man with a gun took the lives of twenty children and six adults in an elementary school and I can't read my outline through the tears that keep flowing. This is not a personal tragedy - I do not know anyone in Newtown, Connecticut - but a universal tragedy that stabs at my heart as I'm sure it stabs at the hearts of all parents.

Over the past few weeks, this mother's heart has been shaken, beaten and trampled by sadness, fear and, with its own way of pounding my insides, joy. But that is what a mother's heart is for. Every change, welcomed or not, is like a birth, complete with expansion, discomfort, movement and, sometimes, seemly unbearable pain. Then there is a new creation, but it's naked and bloody and screaming and demanding. And it will be loved and nurtured with every cell of a battered and bruised heart.

Changes as simple as the reassignment of household chores were uncomfortable. The switch to homeschooling brought fear with the adjustments. Finding out my daughter needs to explore life instead of reading about it in college textbooks is pulling my heart in so many different directions I expect it to tear into pieces. There have been losses in my circle of friends and within our community. Not long ago I watched helplessly as my childhood home was devastated by a hurricane. And then, just as we slip into the final week before the foretold longest night to beat all longest nights, there is the grief of universal tragedy. But that's what a mother's heart is for.

Tonight I lit a candle to mourn the loss of children, but my tears are for their mothers who, when the pain subsides, will have given birth to an emptiness that will need care and compassion forever. And my tears are for a world that is clinging to hatred, violence and chaos and collectively digging in its heels to slow the slide into the terrible pain of rebirth, afraid of what the new creation, ultimate freedom and love, may demand of it. But each and every one of us is the embodiment of Shakti, the female power that creates the very change we are fighting to stop. We all have a mother's heart. We have the strength to bear the pains of sadness and fear and joy, and together we can create a new world. All we have to do is let go of everything except each others' hands.

Perhaps the divine feminine is here for the Winter Solstice, invited or not. Maybe this is my post.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pin This Post

Pinterest makes time disappear. I lose an hour here, an hour there, happily pinning clever ideas. However, like a box full of pages torn from magazines (remember those?), I tend to collect pins of recipes and crafts that I will never, ever try.

Tonight I found myself with some unexpected time. The Reiki Share I was supposed to attend was canceled because our dear Reiki Master couldn't escape the bug that's going around our area. After sending her some energy, I decided the universe was giving me time to try a couple of those pinned ideas.

The first pin, which I delegated to Tristan, was Twiggy Tree ornaments from the blog michele made me. I decided to ignore the fact that the slightly over-achieving Michele was making these in July, leaving her time in December for things such as a nativity made from egg cartons. These ornaments were easy to make and gave Tristan an opportunity to use his tools.

I left him in the workshop sawing twigs into various lengths and headed into the kitchen to tackle the second pin, Apple Cinnamon Dessert Chimichangas from Juanita's Cocina. I got the apples cooking and went to check on Tristan, who was now drilling holes in the twigs he'd cut to size.

After the apples cooked and cooled, I stuffed some small flour tortillas with the filling and fried them in oil.

While the Chimichangas were still warm they got rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Tristan, meanwhile, was threading his twig pieces onto a thin ribbon.

The Twiggy Tree is lovely. He'll be making more.

The Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas were very tasty. I just finished my second one. My only regret was not having any caramel sauce.

And, now that I've proven that I may actually do something with them, I can resume my happy pinning. Come follow me on Pinterest and see how many of your hours disappear.
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Monday, December 3, 2012

The one thing you need to do to have a really fabulous holiday season

It's that time of the year. There's shopping and decorating and holiday parties. There's family gatherings and festive meals. There's spiritual rituals and secular traditions. And it's all fabulous...on paper.

The upcoming holiday season looks wonderful on glossy magazine covers and in thousands of new pins. All the recipes look yummy and gift-buying guides are full of inspiration.

All we have to do is make time for the holiday hoopla. And pay for it.

Got your holiday stress on yet?

I've had some pretty miserable holiday seasons. And I've learned one very important thing from them. It's the thing that has kept me from driving head-on into a house trimmed with perfectly straight icicle lights, right through Santa and his eight light-up reindeer.

Before you deck the halls, trim the tree, wrap the gifts or stuff the tofu turkey, take this little piece of advice.

Get on your mat.

Unroll your yoga mat every day and practice, even if that means twenty minutes in Viparita Karani (Leg Up the Wall Pose) while tears run down your face because you are going to have to choose between the toy your kid really wants and paying the rent. (Been there, done that.)

Take ten, twenty or thirty minutes a day for yourself to recharge. Not only will you feel less like strangling an elf, but in a moment of clarity you might just figure out how to get those antlers to stay on your dog's head.

The truth is, in this time of giving, the greatest gifts you can offer are your presence and your inner light. And you won't find either one unless you crawl out from under that pile of tinsel and cultivate your own serenity. Trust me, when your youngest finally climbs into Santa's lap and smiles instead of running away screaming about the scary red man, you'll want to be here and now. Practice, so you'll be ready for the really fabulous stuff that comes in moments, not in boxes.

And however you celebrate the return of the sun, I wish you a holiday season full of peace, joy and Adho Mukha Svanasanas.
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