by Nicole Anami Becker
In our hyper-speed world, compressed down to soundbites; conditioned to be impatient; falling prey to the false urgency of #thenextthingonthelist, the ritual art of endings (and beginnings) is something from fairy tales.
Once upon a time we took the time to appreciate and mark sacred the endings and beginnings. Once upon a time we absorbed the timeless wisdom of watching life bloom, grow, mature, die, decompose and renew again.
Once upon a time we ended our days with thanks or prayer and ended our seasons with ceremony. We understood the catharsis of grief and did not hide from death as we do now - neurotically avoiding and sanitizing old age and death.
Once upon a time we began things in a good way, invoking the companionship of seen and unseen forces. We knew the value of setting up a deliberate container for a rite of passage. We knew the evocative power of imbuing meaning and establishing purpose.
Without the punctuation of sacred endings and beginnings, life is like a run-on sentence. It loses direction, lacks meaning, becomes tiresome. Without direction we become impulsive. Without meaning we become apathetic. Without pause, we become irritated.
Check your day for the holy bookends of beginnings and endings. How do you say hello? How do start a meal? How do you leave your house? How do you enter a place? How to you greet a challenge? How do you grieve a lost love?
In Yoga and all of our timeless wisdom traditions, we have been given instructions for every scale of experience. Whether through a simple bow or a remembered exhale; whether through a village-wide ceremony or an "Om Shanti" at the end of personal practice.
On one of these long, dark winter nights... don't turn on electric lights after dark. Pretend the power is out! Turn off your phone and your computer. Fill the house will candles or light the fireplace! Read or take a bath by candlelight. Fall asleep early like when you are camping! Let your worries go in the fire. Awake and go outside to take a fresh breath and appreciate the ground under your feet. Give thanks to whomever or whatever you credit with your ongoing breath.
And if you wish, we welcome you to one of these events with our esteemed wisdom keepers and professional ceremonialists.
Solstice Soundbath and Soul Journey
with Dawn Constantine
Friday, December 20 | 7-9 pm
New Year's Eve Eve: Restorative Yoga & New Year's Blessing Ritual
with Nicole Becker
Monday, December 30 | 7-9 pm
And they lived happily ever after.
Author, Nicole Becker
Yoga Therapist, Retreat Leader, and Heart of Yoga Teacher, Nicole Becker offers yoga and self-care insights and tips.