Saturday, February 4, 2012
Open Your Own Awareness
Once in a while I get asked "how" I hear the deities or "how" I know what ingredients to put in a gris gris, or "how" I know I am doing things "right"...
The answer is both simple and complex; I try to be aware.
To truly live a spiritual life we agree and live with the idea that the deities and spirits are all around us, that we are connected to everything. We all agree on that part. The next step in living a spiritual life is where I find people get lost. It's just in their own perceptions really and it is pretty easy to remedy, but they forget to be aware.
If our deities are everywhere then it should be easy to be aware of them, right? Apparently, this is not so for many. I believe our culture and society has caused this. We are so far out of touch with nature and so distracted by all of the technology ruling our lives. It's difficult to see god when you are staring at your phone or computer screen all the time. It seems as if it is almost scrambling us so we can no longer even receive spiritual information.
Spending too much time with these distractions, inhibits your awareness and messages you could receive. I don't know anyone who heard or saw god on their Ipad.
It also comes from trusting your instincts, something we must get back to. There was a time when we used the moon, the wind, and animals to decipher what we should do next or what was coming. Sadly, we have lost this. Organized religion has taught us to depend on doctrine, not on what we feel in our hearts, know in our brains, and root in our guts. Trusting yourself and building your self esteem is the first step to being aware. You will never trust the messages you are receiving if you can not trust your own heart and brain to interpret them.
It is not only gurus and clairvoyants who receive messages, they are not much different than you or I. The difference is those who set aside time to be aware-to receive and trust the messages that reveal themselves. This is where the practice of ritual, meditation, and workings comes into play in a spiritual life. It is a skill you must hone just as any other skill. The more you practice the more adept you will become in this area. It only makes sense. If you do not set the time aside or make room in your life, then spirituality will never fit.
Don't let anyone fool you-living a spiritual life is work. But the gods and your own liberation and salvation are in this work.
The most vibrant stories I have of messages I received happened to me while outside. Not to say you can not receive messages inside, certainly I listen to the gods every day in my home. But, the most memorable experiences will take place standing directly on our mother underneath our father, I can guarantee you this. My point; get yo ass outside!
This happened several years ago. I came to know Maman Brigitte about 10 years ago, she found me through a spirit doll in New Orleans. It was several years later I came to know her Orisa counterpart, Oya. I am now a daughter of Oya. A couple of years after getting to know her well enough I felt ready to wear an ide (bracelet) for her signifying I one of her daughters. So I made one and started to wear it but then I felt it necessary to wear a symbol of her on my ankle as feet are very important portals for energy in our tradition. So that day, after we went downtown to the Water Festival (a festival to celebrate our Great Lakes) I was going to go look for beads to create the anklet-I wanted to get a rainbow bead as it is one of her symbols. My children were dancing in the fountains and running around while musicians performed in the amphitheater and I was thinking about Oya and enjoying my children. My son ran around behind the amphitheater so I went after him (he was 2) and as I whipped around the corner I looked down; there was an anklet with a hand-made glass rainbow bead on it. Nothing else adorned it, just a simple, imperfect tube of the 7 colors. I was aware and I received a sign.
I have many stories like this, from the time I was about 7. Most of them involving whatever I was searching for being at my feet or within my reach after I had spent time and effort thinking of it, relating it to god, waiting and watching in awareness for it to come. That is the trick. You must simply allow yourself to receive and be aware-you can't plan it or you will miss it when it floats past, looking nothing like what you were expecting. If you are only looking for one way, you will miss the millions of possibilities floating by you in the realm of awareness. This is how I found each deity and spirit I work with-they found me I was simply open and aware. I wanted nothing more than to be a vessel from the time I was a child. The point of being a vessel is to be filled but I believe many of us are empty and when our time comes to be filled we miss it because we weren't aware it was our turn. We were too busy with work, our TV programs, or a computer game.
The other trick-believing the signs and messages will come. You can call this instinct, faith, confidence, whatever-they are all related. These are all layers of the same cake. If you have one of these you can achieve the others. If all things are all made of the same chemicals and minerals then, from the ground up, you have as good a chance as anyone else to receive signs and messages. You are as much divine as anything else in this universe-you have as many connections to it as everything else. But you must be aware of these connections and make sure they are plugged in and in good working order. If you don't plug yourself in by being aware and take care of yourself it will be near impossible to hear the deities and spirits speak to you. Consider awareness being your "on switch" and your "on switch" being your awareness.
Start with setting aside 20 minutes a week to do that working you've been reading about, meditating, sitting outside, taking a walk, visiting a cemetery, reading a spiritual book, making an altar, sew a mojo bag, harvest or plant, dress a candle or better yet, learn to make a candle! Get involved to be involved! If you want a spiritual life, you can only achieve that by filling it with activities that lend to your spirituality and if you have an activity that takes away from it, start cutting back or end it all together. Don't grow old wondering what you missed in your spirituality because of your society and culture dulling you. You are bright, shine like the universal divine that is within you.