My daily practices are always in flux, as I think they are for most of us. As we grow and learn, we drop practices that no longer serve us, and pick up new ones that do. I am gradually returning to regular daily spiritual practice after many years of mostly being a minor kitchen witch. I’ve made a new commitment over the past couple years to find ways to pursue my devotions while integrating my spiritual life with my busy, busy family life.
I’ve been taking T. Thorn Coyle’s Crafting a Daily Practice course this summer, looking for a more structured guide for delving deeper into my self and finding new ways to nurture my spirit. The course has been very helpful, and I’m barely halfway through. I look forward to finishing, and continuing to work with her book.
Currently, my daily practice is focused in the morning, right after I wake up. I keep this chunk of time to myself, hoping the kids don’t wake up early, although they often do! Coffee in hand, I settle in front of the computer to type out my morning pages. I’ve chosen to do this on the computer because hypermobility syndrome and fibromyalgia make it extraordinarily painful for me to write by hand, but I can type almost as fast as I can think. I write for 10 minutes, whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it is a catalog of my dreams, the past day, or my plans for today. Sometimes it becomes a deeper reflection on myself. I keep each day’s entry, like a diary, but I really don’t go back and read them right now.
After my morning pages, it’s time to light up my altar and do my meditation practice. I light the candle on my altar, set the long fireplace match into my salt like a pillar, and let it burn itself out. I take up my prayer beads and say my morning prayers. I found speaking out loud, rather than whispering under my breath, provides much better focus, but I am still working on being comfortable doing this with others around. When I finish with my prayers, I refresh my offerings to Loki. I place and pour yesterday’s offerings outside the kitchen window, and then I wash out the chalice and cup. Usually I leave coffee and a bit of anything I baked or cooked the previous day. Later in the day, if we are having one of our friendly Beer Nights, or tapping a new homebrew keg, I refresh the offering again with some fresh beer.
Next I do my meditation. The course I am taking has been offering lots of variation on this. Currently I am doing a combination of soul alignment, still sitting, candle gazing, and chanting. Where I do this depends on how many people are now up and about. I’ve been known to go hide in my clothes closet in order to sit and chant in peace!
Now it’s time to prepare for my day with the kids. I update their allowance, clear the chore and medication charts, mark off days on the calendar, and provide today’s information. This starts to get my headspace into “dealing with other people” mode, and I think is an important transition for me.
I’m still working on developing a better morning routine with my children. This week, I am waking them up with song once I am ready for them. The 5- and 7-year-olds each get their own Circle Time with me, “lighting” their LED candles and singing songs. We have breakfast together, steel cut oats or eggs, and then we split up and get busy with our day.
This all seems like a lot when I type it out, but it boils down to less than an hour for myself in the morning, waking up, working on my spiritual foundations, and then getting ready for my day. For the next twelve hours or so, finding even 5 minutes of quiet will be nearly impossible.
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