Devote Your Life

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Holy one, 

Let this day unfold in harmony, love, and beauty

Guide me as an instrument of Your grace

Let me be of service

And receive the blessings of merit

Thank you

For the most part, practitioners of all stripes can agree that our lives, come from the Divine. That this body, soul and spirit, the blessings we receive, the beauty in the world around us, comes from a source outside of us. While we may argue about the nature of that source, we generally agree there is one.

I have *always* suffered from believing that what to had to offer wasn’t enough. It stems from childhood, and growing up with an autistic brother. This often made me feel confused and helpless. I remember being unable to understand why, after all we’d done for him, he didn’t get better. Whether it was prayer, medicine, or help with his daily living, it never felt like my family did enough for him, because he wasn’t changing, wasn’t improving. I didn’t understand that his limitations were unlikely to improve, regardless of what we’d done.

Last night in a discussion with a friend, I said, “I feel like giving time to deity X is robbing deity Y.” I honestly wish I could run an International Temple and serve Spirits all day. After hearing myself say it, I realized that this is basically how I feel about everything all the time. I feel like I never have enough to give, whether that be attention, comfort, offerings, altar space, money, time, or anything else.

My friend, lovingly pointed out that my whole life, is basically, a devotion. She told me that I achieve that with a grace that she’s rarely seen. I am a generous person. I share everything, volunteer, donate, sign and circulate petitions. I pray for causes, loved ones, and strangers alike. I leave out birdseed and nuts for the local wildlife. I post a blessing each day usually for a stranger that’s touched me (Frida Kahlo, Henry Rollins, Rachel Carson…)on my Facebook page.

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My issue is, not much of this happens in front of an altar, so it doesn’t *feel* like devotion.

Perhaps I need to encourage more mindfulness into my day. When I feed my special needs kitty, I can offer that to Freyja. When I leave out food for the wildlife, I can offer that to land spirits. When I work with special needs children I can offer that to Obatala. I even learned beekeeping as an offering to Oshun.

I try to live a life in alignment with my ideals. I’m not perfect, I have faults. I make mistakes, I curse more than I’d like, and I procrastinate like a champion. Some of my ideals aren’t attainable right now, like, I can’t always afford to buy everything organic, though I’d like to. When I am more prosperous, I will make that a priority.

Our whole life is all we have to offer. There is no more. I can’t (or haven’t been chosen to) live my life before an altar. I have been chosen to interact and mingle with the world and offer service. I suddenly see this as a calling, as a wonder. Wherever you go, you can be a blessing. You can be kind to the bank teller. You can remember to recycle. You can buy a cup of coffee for someone needy. You can spend the afternoon baking with your kids, decorating cookies, then you can donate them to their teachers.You can offer to help, in whatever way moves you, brings you joy.

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If it brings joy to you, it probably brings joy to your deity. Remember making your parents proud? It’s like that. You’re an extension of your deity, their hands in the world. We use many of the same terms to describe who we are to our gods; “Daughters of Isis”, “Freyja’s Dottir” “Child of God”.

Live your life as if it were an offering to your Gods, because it is a gift from them.

For some of us, this means tithing, showing up at a volunteer gig, something concrete, something we can check off a “To do” list. For others,we can go about it more organically. We can start the day by aligning with our spirits, asking to be guided, to be shown the ways that we can be of service.

Since I began living this way, I find I cast a lot fewer spells. I live with a lot more ease, I have fewer relationships that don’t work for me. My life seems to flow better. I seek divination when I am conflicted or confused, but for the most part, I am led to where I belong, if I pay attention, stay open and am willing to be led.

This path can be scary, it can be uncomfortable. What if your spirits disapprove of the man you married? Your marriage may dissolve. If your job is harmful to you or the world at large, you may need to change positions. You will find that your life rearranges to put your needs first, to make you a secure base from which deity can act.

Do I have everything I want? No. I’d really like a piece of jewelry I admire, my own property to raise bees and a garden on, a job that pays me what I deserve and is fulfilling. I dream of heading my own non-profit and attending yoga teacher training, to develop a class that helps autistic people develop a sense of being in their bodies, a sense of where their bodies are in space.

I have always wanted these things, the difference is now, I know I will have them. I know that they are possible, and that there will be a moment of alignment, and the opportunities will arise, and I’ll be able to take advantage of them. I have faith.

What do I have? The love of my friends and family, a devoted fiance, two kitties I adore, a reliable Subaru, lovely orchids, and a bright future.

A person is truly free, even here in this embodied state,

if he knows that God is the true agent,

and he himself is powerless to do anything.

~Ramakrishna

Here’s to yours.

Tanisha

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About tanisharose

Priestess of Love and Beauty, Witch of the East, Tarot and Rune Reader, Spirit Worker
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14 Responses to Devote Your Life

  1. Sindr says:

    As a mother of a child with autism, I will gladly add my prayers and Work to your goals. All the love.

    Ashe!

  2. bearfairie says:

    I love this! Thank you for the reminder. I struggle with feeling like I don’t do enough for my Beloveds as well. And then I am reminded that I am living by my ita, that in their generosity and wisdom my powers provided me with instructions for how they want my life to be. Ochun wants me to be happy, surrounded with love, beauty, music, good friends and meaningful work. Yemaya wants to hear the happy noise of loved children in my home. Chango wants there to be ease and abundance. Elegua wants me to have an optimistic and gossip free outlook, put away weapons and watch for the quality of my relationships. And my Norse powers want all these things for me because they are the ones who lovingly bullied me into making Santo. It is a wonderful reminder that how we live can be the prayer we offer, and to breathe gratitude into the joy, recognizing it as divinely given and sanctifying it as offering in return. ♡ And thank you, love. I needed to read this today.

  3. Seabhac says:

    Thank you so very much for this – that’s two reminders in the past day that I am doing the Work that They have given me, even if it doesn’t look like devotion in front of my altar. Being (who I am) and doing (what I am passionate about) are just as much offerings as what I set out for Them.

  4. EmberVoices says:

    This is what I’m doing when I’m on the path. I can hear it around me, the synchronicities echo, telling me that’s how I’m living. When I get too depressed, anxious, or stressed, I can’t hear the echoes, and worry I’ve fallen off the path. Often I find, when that happens, They send me an extra loud echo, or a simple task it’s within my current ability to help with, to remind me They’re still guiding me, I’m still walking.

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for such a beautiful description of what walking the path looks like. It’s a reminder I needed this week.

    –Ember–

  5. Pingback: Devote Your Life | EmberVoices

  6. Pingback: Devote Your Life | The Lure of Beauty | Loki's Bruid

  7. Reblogged this on Adventures of a Baby Pagan and commented:
    I absolutely love this piece, most especially because I feel the same way. It has taken me quite a while to realize the same things as what the author has written here (and perhaps it will take the same to let it sink in completely). Anyways, this piece is very beautiful. I am so thankful to have read it. It was exactly what I needed today.

  8. Reblogged this on The Honey-Willow Home and commented:
    This is a wise and wonderful post.

  9. Jo Woolf says:

    Thanks for following The Hazel Tree! I’ve enjoyed reading some of the posts on your blog – this one is particularly beautiful. Best wishes and blessings to you!

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