Gratitude for life
Coming to the coldest time of the year, with the entrance of Yule almost knocking on the door, the contemplation of death becomes more present to me. Perhaps because, somehow, it is most evident when we look at Nature. The brown leaves fall to the ground and fill the soil with wonderful colors. Mixed with the dampness of the icy nights, they begin to decompose and become a beautiful and so fragrant soil.
This year, in a mixture of burnt trees and bare soil, there are small islands paradise here and there a grand green, full of life and death at the same time. Full of life that you want to transform. Of beings we see and others that not so.
Yes, this is a magical time of transformation. To be with this cold and let it transform what has to be transformed. To let the night show the shadow. From looking at the shadow, (re) knowing it to accepting it. From seeing death as part of this cycle we accept and choose to materialize; from birth until we leave these bodies.
And these life-and-death cycles, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and so on, actually do not have definite time and at the same time they seem to be seasonal! And life is nevertheless, in a constant apparent contradiction, but which seems so logical and normal.
A cycle of life and death that we see outside and that if we pay attention well, we see inside as well.
Observe your body and notice where the transformation is constant. Where something leaves to make room for the new. Or is there no logical reason, but something that happens without thinking that it will happen? Of course, and logically, the body does not think, I will bleed now to let the old man go, because so the new can happen. Everything happens in magical steps, which when observed, felt and accepted reveal a peaceful, mysterious, wonderful and exciting cyclicality.
Here are some practices I love doing during this time of year:
- "On the altar at home, or at one of the sacred places on the land, I build a mini house for Nature Spirits. This year, I will make one in particular for the little mice that are in great abundance in this area;
- I meditate daily;
- Path barefoot in the soil rich in magic and abundant decomposition;
- Rest with more hours of sleep;
- I exercise my body daily in a conscious way (there are days when my body clearly requires more activity and in others where physical exercise is more gentle);
- Hydrate my body with hot drinks (ginger infusions and a dash of cayenne pepper or acorn) or hot vegetable broth (with seaweed, mushrooms and miso);
- Hydrate my skin with good oils;
- I write.
In these practices, I surrender myself without expectations to what we may call cycles of life and death, inside and outside my body. Looking deeply and contemplating what no longer makes sense and what we want to materialize. That which wants to leave, die and what wants to come, to be born.
On a New Moon almost here, and given these delivery practices on Yule, I suggest that you sit comfortably, with your back straight and aware of your breathing. Watch the air enter through your nose and traverse, in depth and in every detail, your interior; oxygenating your cells, your organs. The air comes out carrying what the body has transformed that is no longer beneficial. Do this conscious breathing for a good 15 minutes, having your attention focused on these breathing cycles. Meditate now for about 45 minutes, in silence. After this meditation, pick up your notebook and contemplate:
- "Do I see and feel my inner cycles?" How are? When do they happen?
- In what way do these internal cycles relate to the cycles of Nature, Moon, Sun, Soil, Fauna, Flora?
Simple questions that are deeply contemplative and that can help you feel and observe your body.