Tag Archives: Satnam Kaur

Year of self-compassion #40 #longtimesun

A blessing for myself, my friends and my world sustains me where there is nothing else to hold me.  In a few days I will start my next lap around the sun on this little blue dot. It has been a year like no other. There are literally no words adequate to describe the process of pain, healing, reclamation, confusion, sadness, disappointment, celebration, loss. despair, relocation, affirmation …. processes have collided, subsided and arrived in gentle waves and in tsunamis.

This trip around the sun is one I had planned as a jubilee year, because my 50th which should have been a jubilee begun with devastating news of my love’s life limiting illness and I needed to prepare for being the sole bread-winner and calibrate my life around what was ahead. We thought it was going to be a sprint and yet it was a marathon, ending as my 59th year started. Jubilee is meant to be a time of celebration, harvest and letting the land lie fallow. In this biblical tradition it is the time when slaves and prisoners are set free, debts forgiven, and mercies of God manifest. Forgiveness is a pre-requisite for freedom. Mercy comes from the French for thank you which is hard to accept when the gifts and invitations to forgive are consequences of breaches of trust.  These are the sunk costs of relationships, the decisions made in good faith for good reasons and gifted with generosity – all good decisions although they didn’t end up necessarily with a good outcome.

In the Longtime Sun blessing, usually sung three times, the first time is for your self. Your Self and it is a blessing of Self Compassion. We are stardust – united in time and space, created literally in the heat of the moment, some kind of cosmic love unfolding in points of light made visible in our life force. We embody the blessing and wait for guidance, to be shown the way forward.  This blessing is my go-to when I have nothing else to give or receive. It brings me back to my essence and invites me to turn inward and outward with equal measure to the Uni-verse – the one voice – calling me to love and light, calling out my love and light and in being shone upon empowered to shine for myself first.

Long Time Sun
May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Within you
Guide your way on
Guide your way on
Making the next trip around the sun with the intention of being a Jubilee experience may reveal new pathways and be lit from within and without.  With insider knowledge about what has been before and with out some of the heartache of the past year.  With freedom and with forgiveness, with gratitude and mercy for myself is how I want to set out on my Jubilee journey.
Making another trip around the sun is a gift and one this pilgrim wants to make with more forgiveness of self. The “if only’s” and “why didn’t I’s” and the “how could I have missed” are not serving me they are sunken costs, good decisions made in good faith, even though they didn’t all end up the way I thought they would, they were still good decisions at the time. This is a lesson from my study this week too in Seth Godin’s alt MBA and  not one I am easily embracing … but it is a truth is … each decision is a new one.
I like the idea of blessing myself and being blessed to go forward and be guided in the knowledge that each decision is a new one. The stardust is the glow and never leaves you and as CS Lewis writes:  There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. But it is Joni singing Woodstock that brings me to take another step in this pilgrim path full of golden stardust, song and celebration and gratitude for having a garden to get back to with family and friends along the path.

Woodstock

by Joni Mitchell

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

© 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company

melissa-askew-678855-unsplash

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Slaves, Doulas, Midwives

Francisca and Moira in Dutton Bay

Francisca and Moira in Dutton Bay

Dear Sor Juana,

The birds have been so loud lately, tweeting and twittering from well before dawn (that’s the rooster up the road who has no respect for human’s sleeping patterns – another reminder of our place in nature’s chain) right through the day. It is in the mornings though when I am lying in bed, squirming my body awake that a frenzy of squawks, screeches, coos and whistles find their way to my ears to welcome me to the day. Moving from dreams to an awake state is something of a birth every day with these mid-wives of the air calling me out.

Between gin and tonics on a summer’s afternoon, I recently learnt about doulas, those women who accompany other women who are with child. My teachers were two unmarried women from different cultures enthusiastically promoting the value of doulas. I have since discovered the word comes from the Greek and means slave, which somehow drew me to your life Juana. Apparently you arrived into the convent with a slave of your own, that your mother had given you. Maybe this woman was your spiritual doula?  What it must be to have a doula, a faithful witness to be there providing assistance, supporting, holding, comforting, coaching without judgement … to say nothing of the cooking and cleaning she would have offered. This woman with no name, Juana, you sell to your sister – it seems to me she has the protection and patronage of the women in your family.   Being passed from one woman to another, from one generation to the next, the witness, the faithful keeper of stories and secrets.

You called yourself a slave, as a way of defining your humility and your service to your beloved in the court, Her Ladyship the Vicereine, Marquise de la Laguna. When we hold close and long to be belonged, to be owned and fully at the service of one we love, the source of that passion surrenders us to slavery.

It is an error of the tongue
when that which is called imperial
and mastered, and of the dominion
appear to be the slave’s possessions.

“My king” declares the vassal,
“My prison” claims the prisoner, 
and the most humble slave
without the slightest offense can claim her master as her own.

Thus when I call you mine
I am not in the least pretending
that you will be adjudged to belong to me, 
but solely that I wish to be yours.

translated by Dia Tsung.

I am reminded of the depth of love can bring any of us to slavery. Love of a person, the divine, nature, our vocation … all might lead us to that …. And if we find ourselves with a doula along the way so much the better.  I am nourished by the purity of Satnam Kaur’s voice who sings of a slave being drenched in the fragrance of the Lord and in doing so has been died a deep crimson – the perfect colour to choose for passion.

Blessings to the slaves and doulas in our life mid-wifing blessings each day

and blessings to us when we are slaves and doulas to our passions and each other.