Your Spirit-Filled Practice: Building Your Inner Sweat Lodge
Truth is, we get busy. Too busy in this day and age living in an urban environment inside a technological bubble. We buzz around our life like a bee hurriedly flying from plant to plant to find the sweetest nectar. We do not stop much. We do not rest much unless an illness or ailment kicks our ass to settle, for a moment.
In my current life, my home is split between five locations. I have belongings spread about at all of them. I keep my Honda Element packed with the essentials in a “I can survive anywhere” bin, toting anything from flints, to maps, to extra clothes, and MREs. I bring my baggage everywhere. And just as John Kabbat Zinn explained, “Wherever I go, there I am.” Perhaps this is the life lived as a nomad or Pacific Northwest bohemian. Time will only tell.
The biggest challenge? Settling deep to ground and bringing my church practice anywhere I go. A spirit-filled practice is not just about going to church, but living it wherever you are.
First things first, though. What specifically is needed in tending to the psyche? I believe the same drive and ambition that we type-A personalities dig into to create any meaningful work: fortitude and an inner sense for knowing that we can improve ourselves.
Create yourself. Do it. Everywhere. No matter where you go or what time it is. If you need to go deep inside your spiritual realm while hanging out at a beloved’s home, unroll your mat and get to work. If you happen to be roaming a canyon and you are struck with an epiphany that needs ruminating, get to work. As I see it, church is what you define it as and can be built out of anything, anywhere, like a sweat lodge in preparation for ceremony.
Sometimes the best of life’s lessons are learned on the fly - like a bee. It is absolutely okay to go from task to task, so long as we always remember to stop and smell the roses or we may completely miss the nectar. And the nectar can be rich and decadent. Like sipping a fine mead, one lap of the tongue can satiate a pallet for a while. Lessons, like a bud to bloom, take time to mature and reveal their beauty. It is not that the beauty is not always there, for it is. Some experiences just take multiple trips back to the inward lodge for clarity.
And you should keep going back. Make consistent trips to this place inside you, wherever you are and whenever you need it. Sometimes you do not have time to seek out refuge but must build the refuge around you. This refuge we build, be it a lodge or hive, has one element that will always be present, that you can always trust will come through for you in the greatest time of need. This element is you. You will be there for yourself, to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and forge forward.
But you will not know that you can access and count on your fortitude if you don’t ever step outside the external church-like refuge and step inside yourself. For all of you who crave depth and intensity, take the deepest journey of all - deep inside. Because one day, if you have not yet had to, you may be called upon to elevate yourself, alone, and it is best that you teach yourself how to build your own lodge, wherever you may go. Now.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.