Making Space for Abundance
Saturday, February 16, 2008:
I smell of smoke and I will relish it… for today I took the venom of past pain and transmuted it into ashes. I’m exhilarated!
Between 2003 to early 2006, I faithfully did morning pages as per Julia Cameron’s suggestion in The Artist’s Way. Morning pages – the practice of writing three pages of stream of consciousness journaling every morning before you start your day. Designed to help you tune into any issues blocking you, you pour them out on the page to release them. Once uncluttered, you can get down to the business of getting creative. The Artist’s Way really helped me to overcome the struggle with creativity on the one hand and my self-critical demons on the other.
My morning page ritual was well underway when my life hit a series of very difficult emotional bumps during 2004 and into early 2005. I spewed my feelings into journals – pages upon pages of pain and struggle. So, my morning pages went from a great way to help heal my inner creative person to a great way healing my soul. Sounds a bit melodramatic, I know, but it’s true! I poured out my frustrations, my pain, my hurt and any breakthroughs I had about coping and healing through it all.
It was sometime in late 2005 that I got tired of spewing stuff. I was healing and only came to my journal when I wanted to recount growth moments. I had decided it was time to stop pouring out gunk and then marveling at my solutions and conclusions. I decided to start living what I’d learned and so stopped doing morning pages. There’s something about recognizing your illusions, controlling your ego instead of it controlling you, and living your truth that enables you to have more clarity on a day-to-day basis. I’d unblocked the light and now there’s far more illumination. What is it that Matthew told us Jesus said?
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Okay, so what does all this have to do with smelling of smoke today? Well, even though I gave up morning pages, I have re-committed to journaling this year. However, this time I’m focused on writing about abundance and gratitude. I had a realization yesterday that abundance comes from “creating a perception of my value”. Then this morning I came across some old letters I had stuck in a closet under some sweaters. They were to and from family members regarding past dysfunctions and drama… and were dated almost 15 years ago. They contained long gone feelings and described stages vastly different from where we are now on our journey… some of us still here on Earth and at least one of us now beyond.
A sense of resolve swept over me. It was time to perform a ritual that I knew was long overdue. I gathered these up as well as those journals from 2003-2006, and I shredded them. I started with the letters, and with a solemn determination I destroyed every last word of the past. Then I started in on the journals, peeking at select entries, and seeing my journey through more objective eyes. Boy, was I a mess! As I shredded the journal pages, my spirit began to feel lighter as though a burden was lifting from my body and my heart. I wondered why I had let these missives of pain stay in my physical space so long. As I got to the 2004 journals, I really became buoyant. I begin to sing at the top of my voice, and even turned on some fun, upbeat music to sing along with.
Then when I was finished filling more than three brown paper bags, I took them to the patio and burned them in the barbeque pit. I smiled. I prayed. Over and over I made handfuls of paper to throw into the flames. I laughed aloud at the irony of literally moving my pain around – at moving the paper bags of pain around as I emptied them and as I threw handfuls of pain into the fire. Pain became smoke and ashes. The smoke blew in my direction and washed over me. Between the light and warmth and breath from the fire, which now seemed sacred to me, I felt a cleansing release. And I smiled, I prayed and my heart filled with joy and gratitude. Then when I was finally finished, I stirred the ashes and threw them away. And now my hair carries the aroma of sacred smoke as a reminder of the transfiguration of pain into gratitude. And now, I know that abundance has room to come in now that I’ve moved past pain out of my life.