Good Friday for Mystics

Today is Good Friday. I’m mindful of it because I grew up in the Christian/Proestant/Presbyterian lineage. I am not much of a Christian (so to speak) anymore. But that’s another story…

Holidays – holy-days – in any religion are event markers. In the case of Good Friday, we mark the death of Christ. But holy days are also symbolic- they are days of intense focus on an important issue, idea, or practice. Yom Kippur, for instance, is a day of reflection and repentance. It is also a day to take stock of where one has been, spiritually and relationally, over the past year and make course corrections for the future.

Because holy days are symbolic they hold the potential for many things. All symbols are faceted- point them in this direction, they reflect light this way. Point them in that direction, the light reflects differently.

The symbolism of Good Friday is to let go. To let die what needs to die.
It is a day of surrender.

Even more than that, it is a day to surrender our suffering.
(This is a Buddhist-y perspective of Good Friday.)

The idea and practice of surrendering our suffering is pretty fucking important.

 

There is something we all suffer with. A psycho-spiritual thing that we grapple with.
It is also known as The Pain in My Heart or The Pain in My Head.
The fuzzy, tangled, bit we can’t seem to figure out that hangs around our necks and does not leave our mind at peace.

On Good Friday, it’s time to let go of that suffering, if only for three days.

Today, Friday, we take that suffering down from our internal cross and we let it rest.
We put the suffering in a safe, dry, sacred, dark space.
And we let it alone.

 

openhandsforlent This is how to let go.

 

One of three things is going to happen when you let your suffering off the hook of your attention.

1- It is going to turn into something else after three days.
(Maybe it will suddenly float away or become an opportunity or the suffering will learn to sit quietly.)

2-  We will see it differently.
(It may become a direction finder or we may be able to laugh at it or the suffering will turn a different color.)

3- We will have rest.
(At the very least, if you take down your suffering for three days, you get three days to rest. And three days of rest might lead to any number of amazing things. Or, just rest- which is amazing enough, yes?)

Today, my Good Friday practice is to let go of the suffering from not knowing the answer. This one problem, I can never decide- do I go this way, or that? And because I can’t decide, I suffer. I get stuck. I feel guilty and stupid. I’m going to let this one ride for a few days.

Good Friday is a time to take three days off from your troubles. Not to figure them out. Not to forget them completely. But to let them be still for a while.

Sunday, you can peek in on them again.
But- I’m willing to bet!- you’ll find something different when you go to take them back.

 

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Here I Am: ‘Turned-On Female Mystic’

This weekend I had the most serendipitous experience ever: I found my name.

And it is this:

FemaleMysticPage

I found it reading Sera Beak’s Red, Hot, and Holy.

In all honesty, I was scared to read her book. My Inner Critic had been telling me it would be painful to read, because if I had started this blog three years ago – like I wanted to – then I could have been her. My ideas out there, helping people, finding community.

But, the Inner Critic just loves to push my ‘What If’ and ‘Be Perfect’ buttons. It’s very good at trying to protect me and keep me safe by unskillful means. Unskillful means called ‘Stay Here in the Pain, Because It’s Known Territory.”

We cannot live by ‘What Mighta Happened,’ now can we? So I got all courageous and decided to read the book. And what I found is not a competitor, but a sister. 

 

She and I are turned-on female mystics.

She calls us ‘Redvolutionaries.’ I call us ‘Alchemystics.’
Same diff.

We have both found this out:

A definition of the female mystic and the divine feminine.

We’ve travelled slightly different roads. I am traveling the spiritual paths of ‘marriage’ and ‘parenthood’ and she is not. She travelled further in academic studies than I. Nevertheless, we are sisters on the female mystic path.

Reading the book has felt like a homecoming. ‘Oh, you read that book, too!’ and ‘Yes, Catherine of Sienna is a soul sister…I know!’ and ‘Who doesn’t feel her sensual, beating heart inside Rabi’a’s poetry?!?’

Actually, it wasn’t a homecoming. It was like meeting someone at the same rock concert and realizing you have a lot of the same tastes and experiences- and then smiling at each other like crazy-fools when you feel the music pulsing through you. We’re at the Mystic Tent and rocking our souls out.

Hanging out with the Divine can be a giant party of sexy, soulful badassery, and you get a Back Stage Pass to my spiritual adventures here at TheNakedMystic. I hope you’ll find a kindred spirit (or three) here, like I have with Sera.

 

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Wake Up and Be Alive

I have figured out one more piece of the puzzle for keeping to the soulful path.

To Start: Wake Up

Wake up.
Spend a few minutes in gratitude that you actually woke up.

Breathe. 
Enjoy breathing. (Because what’s the alternative?)
The in-breath  -the first thing you did in this world- is so beautiful.

 

Then: Be Alive

Make a few minutes in your day and do whatever is necessary to find that place inside you – that feeling – that you are totally alive and centered. That you are the most you, the fullest you, the ‘fuck, it’s awesome to be alive!’ you.

Whatever it is that gets you there- dance, prayer, smiling, quiet time, doodling, kissing- do it.
(Don’t hurt other people, though.)

Then (the hardest part ever): hold on to that feeling.

Hold on to it as if you were hanging over a cliff and it was your only rope.
Don’t let go.

As if the love of your life was dying and this was the cure.
Protect it.

As if it was the sexiest person you know smiling and leading your toward their bed.
Fall into its arms.

Hold on to that feeling as if it was a bright, blinking light from God’s saloon that said “You’re in the right place! Come on in.”
Belly up and drink it in.

If you lose this feeling, find it again. Over and over, as many times as are needed in any given day. 

Build it like a muscle.

Don’t let the daily bullshit drag you out of the feeling.

If the external bullshit gets you down:

  • make boundaries (say ‘no,’ say ‘goodbye,’ don’t go there mentally)
  • change your mind about X problem
  • do whatever it was that got you to the feeling in the first place
  • call someone who knows your alive self and ask for help

 

If the internal bullshit gets you down:

  • go to therapy/find a way to heal
  • pray
  • ask for help/get support to change
  • do whatever it was that got you to that feeling in the first place

Do whatever it takes to stay with that feeling.

Because it is your soul, being alive in your body.
And that’s what we’re here for.

 

 

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naked gratitude

This is the first post for me here at TheNakedMystic. And I wanted to start it off with the best possible foundation.

Gratitude.

That feeling where your heart is so full of love and support it breaks its boundaries and overflows. I’m not ashamed to show my heart or my gratitude; to stand here open and return the love that was given to me. 

grateful heart as drawn in colored pencils

I sit here, at my black desk, typing on my white computer, with a heart full of hope and gratitude. Hope for what may be, what I will learn, what we can share with each other. Gratitude for all the support, mishaps, insights, and pushes that have gotten me to this day.

My heart (and I) are simultaneously excited and scared. I want for this site to be a place of fun, honesty, exploration, and support. I am scared for how my hope (and what comes of it) might change me- what may challenge me and help me to – or force me to- grow.

“This is just the next step,” I remind myself. Only one step.

This site, which is a place for me to share my Big Spiritual Ideas and Big Spiritual Foibles, would not be possible without the following folks:

My partner and my family: you have helped me grow, though joy and pain, and supported every whim I ever had. You’ve made major karma points in loving me.

My women’s group: you have hooted in joy for me, held me close when I was a heap of tears, and listened as I told the same story for several years in a row. I love you and I know you love me back.

Friends who believed in me: you amazing people, from all over the world, who have shared yourselves with me and said, “that’s a really good idea!” You made me start believing that what I had to share was valuable.

Site designer extraordinaire: Kristy Gardner who makes gorgeous websites that work  (and SheEats.ca, where she coined the term ‘bourbonator’- although I secretly think she’s a buorbonatrix) who was supportive, creative, and provided good boundaries. If only I could keep you around to help me with deadlines. 

The path, the Divine, the messes (especially the messes!), and the joys: This life is about learning. You have taught me well. I am more myself than ever before. 

My heart is open and wise as she can be.
And ready to rock and roll.

What can I do now but move from this foundation of gratitude and take that first step forward?
Here we go!

 

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