When you get lost in life, Come home to yourself

Hello loves, today I am sharing with you a guest post from Marybeth Bonfiglio.  When I came across this post she had written, I knew it needed to be shared.  Enjoy.

There was a moment there I felt like I was dying. And I wasn’t dying, I was fine, really, but there were parts of me dying. Parts of me that I loved that I didn’t feel should have to go.

Somehow I had gotten taken away in life by the tsunami of work, errands, kids, clients, relationships- all good things- but I had forgotten something really important, somethine vital and essential, like as necessary as breathing to me. I had forgotten about me.

via bohocollective.com

I am the kind of person who tries to approach everything in life as a spiritual practice so when my own personal spiritual practice started to wane and become non-existant with numerous kids and projects and distractions and getting lost on social media… all the external noise life throws at you and tricks you into living outside yourself,  I noticed I was approaching life less and less as a spiritual practice and it all began to feel like a chore.  Which depleted me.  Big time.  Adrenals a mess. Heart heavy. Nerves out of control. I did not want life to become a chore, something I had to get over with every day.

Life used to thrill me, but somehow all of it was creating weight and disguising itself as “something I had to do.  Instead of feeling the amazing blessing of it all, the miracles, the big, bold, holy beauty and mess that would turn me on and make me remember to love and give thanks, I was feeling like it was all a chore.

via bohocollective.com

The kids.
The man.
The writing.
The creative work.
The activism.
The garden.
The exercise.
The art.
The house.
The books.
The lunch + drink dates.
The yoga classes.

I mean everything.
Everything felt like nothing to me.

And I had this OMG holy moment of “what had I become?” and also “no way in hell”.

I was rushing through everything and not seeing, and I mean really not seeing the beauty in this life.  I wasn’t just rushing;  I was running. Running away from all the feelings. Running away from the deeper places and moments in life. Running away from taking care of myself. Running away never leads to anywhere good.

There is a point in all our lives when we are faced with the decision: will we practice sitting with ourselves in the thick of it and still give good self-love or will we keep giving ourselves away without ever turning inward, to do something that infuses us with healing,  to fuel ourselves, to see our selves, to pay attention to ourselves.  To notice where we are and what we want to do next.

There is something that I keep learning, over and over again in my life and it’s hard for me to hear and hard for me to listen to, but down to the root of it all, I know it’s true.

When we show up in the world and only give our best love, energy, time and compassion to others and to extrenal situations and things, and we fail to sit down and pour it all back on to ourselves - we are not being authentic. We are not living as true and spiritual beings if all we do is outpour.  I personally believe we give selflessly like this because we are actually acting out of fear- showing up for others in love, compassion and all the rest because we:

- want to be loved.

- fear we will not be accepted

- because a dogmatic religion told us to put others first and ourselves last

- because we are not ready to look at ourselves with open eyes and an open heart and truly get to know our own needs

- because we want to be “good”.

But if you want to be true? Like really true and walk your talk? Like begin to show up for yourself so you can show up in truth for others?

Turn the attention back on the self. And start from there.

via bohocollective.com

As much as I thought I could do it by living outward, giving and giving, with love and an open heart, I realized the only way to truth and healing of the self and the world is to turn in. I had to slow the fuck down, sit down, and learn to pay attention to me.

What saved me was finding a simple daily practice + ritual that mean the world to me, that fills me up, starts my day {sometimes it doesn’t happen until the middle of the day and sometimes even before bed, but that’s okay, I have to be flexible and know that each time I do it- the energy lasts until the next time I sit and take care} with it being all about me. And my connection to my inner god/dess.

My ritual and practices consists of 6 easy parts. In total it can take me 15 minutes to 1 hour.  I allow it to happen depending on how much time I have and how much I need in my life that day.

I start out by:

1.  Sitting. I plop down in front of my sweet little altar.  My altars are not fancy and elaborate because I am not fancy and elaborate.  But they are simple and beautiful.  I place things of meaning to me on them.  My altar consists of a funky old milk crate shelf I found on the side of the road.  On top are images of Quan Yin, mother of compassion, Our Lady of Guadalupe, various gems and stones I have gathered along the way.  White sage to burn to clear space when I feel stuck.  A candle. A photo of me in a most relaxed and loving state. And my tarot cards.

2.  Then I chant, using mala beads.  I chant a simple sanskrit chant for spiritual abundance- but I grew up chanting the Hail Mary.  Any prayer or words or singing or just saying your name or a special word over and over again is a powerful chant. Words are divine power.  They are what brings life to the world, manifests thoughts and energy into flesh.  Think about this: In the beginning was The Word and The Word was God. So words hold vibrational value. So I chant around the mala, over and over again, and allow the vibration to have the chance to come to life.

3.  Then I sit in stillness. Eyes closed. Meditation.  No right or wrong way.  I just sit in silence and breathe. And allow. And be gentle. And breathe some more. And go inside and listen to the silence. And feel the beauty of nothingness. And float. And dream. And adore the quiet.

4.  Next I pull a tarot card from my deck, The Wild Unknown.  I ask: What card wants me to embody it today? I sit with the card for a few seconds and lay it on my altar for the day. And just hold the image from the card close to me and try to rememeber it.

5.  Then I get on the yoga mat and stretch.  Sometimes I just do one pose. Sometimes I stay on there for a while and play. Somedays I just lay on my back.  I have no rules, I just get on and see what happens and move my body.

6.  Then I write in my journal- for a few minutes- my gratitude for the day.  Sometimes it’s a list. Sometimes it’s a letter to someone. Sometimes it’s just a word.

And that’s it.

It might feel like a lot,  but my goodness, are we not worth this time?  How much time do you give to work, clients, family, the world every.single.day? Are we not worth slowing down and spending some moments for ourselves, in ritual, in ceremony, in solitude and realness?
This process of spiritual practice literally brought me back home and into my body. I stopped my rushing and running. At first it was hard, my mind and heart were going to fast, it took practice to just take the time. But now I savor it, I can’t wait for it, I am so grateful for it.  My kids now just float around me when I do it, knowing that it’s my time to be with Me and don’t interupt or ask me for anything, and if they do? I just tell them “it’s my practice time now, you’ll have to wait.”  And they sometimes chant and yoga with me, but mostly they leave me alone.

They understand that when I give myself this, I give them more.
This practice has brought me ease in creation, in work, in relationships.
This practice has given me the power of comittment and showing up.
This practice has given me healing and love.
Everything got better when I committed to this, daily.
Magic happened.  The kind of magic I always knew my essence held.
We are the most important people in our lives.
And we need to take the time to infuse our moments with practice, the kind that resonates with us.  We are all unique.  We are all whole.  Ritual and practice us reminds us to care for our wholeness.

If you could think of 6 easy things you can do, with great intention, for you and only you, what would they be?

Maybe walking in nature, singing, painting, making a delicious snack every day.  Maybe writing a prayer.  Or taking a nap.

List some things that feel true to you, that feel right, that feel aligned with your heart.
Let them be whatever they are, as long as it’s about you + you. Nobody else.

We are all worth this love and attention.  We are all worth a practice that fills us, that is all ours, nobody elses.

We are all worth it and by showing up for the self we get to show up as such a great force of power and love to the world.  In a way that is real, not out of fear or obligation or wanting to be accepted and liked.  But instead, we walk our talk, fulfilled and sharing the experiencing of love - a love that roots from the heart of the cared for soul and grows out.

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