In my last post I showed a photo of spring parsley sprouting up in my garden. Well, I was wrong and Mother Nature sure fooled me! It wasn't parsley at all, but rather a whole patch of larkspur flowers. What a pleasant surprise, especially as I am not very competent in gardening. I had planted larkspur seeds last summer and absolutely NOTHING grew, so it was another plant I believed I was incapable of growing. Then....voila! I learned that larkspur seeds need cool earth temperatures to germinate, and that didn't happen till this spring.
No human being is ever right all the time. I feel it is actually a sign of both vulnerability and strength to admit when we have made a mistake. It is a "noticing" that shows we are paying attention to ourselves, that we can reflect on our past and make corrections in the present moment. For all of us who practice mindfulness, this practice of acknowledging our mistakes can be both humbling and empowering. I have found this exercise to be very useful with my psychotherapy clients as they are truly the best person to understand their own process, and I sometimes don't quite "get it". This practice is also very healing in our personal relationships, as we take responsibility for our mistakes and begin to repair any relational rupture that may have occurred. So, I bow to Mother Nature for showing me that she knows what is going on!
"Being wrong" and the "power of ritual" aren't really linked, other than I have experienced them both recently. My son just graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and our family was present for all the celebrations. Ritual and ceremony create their own "sacred space" and are clear demarcations of transitions, endings and new beginnings, achievements and moments in time. Participating in rituals like graduations are empowering not only for the graduate, but for all those friends and family that supported the student along the way. It is a beautiful acknowledgement of effort, work, completion and focus.
Graduations, weddings and funerals are big ceremonies and don't occur often. Yet, every day each of us participates in our own rituals of sorts. Our routine in waking up, getting breakfast, making tea or coffee, brushing our teeth and so on, can actually be mindfully experienced. How could your life be more "alive with awareness" if you added in a bit of "ceremony" to your bathing ritual, or your evening meal? What sacred space could we create as we acknowledge the ending of the day, the challenges and beauty it held, and then our transition to sleep? I invite you to try these practices!