Look at that face! How happy! Look again! What joy!
I loved seeing this little Being everyday while on a weekend holiday in Koh Lanta, Thailand, back in 2009. I was volunteering in Trang, Thailand, during the week with little kids. I was teaching preschoolers numbers and letters from the English language, and they would teach me their language and dances*! Those children filled my heart and will be something I never forget. They taught me more than dance, they taught me unconditional love, they taught me how to investigate everything with curiosity, and they taught me connection.
*See picture below of our trip to the local middle school when I was taught technique! I get serious with dance! I love it!
Anyway, this toothy, smiling face totally fits the intention from my classes this past week, and I hope you apply it to your life! The intention came from an article I fell upon. Here it is, click HERE! In the article, it talks about something I had not heard of before, Spirit Bathing. The author names it as a form of ‘Soul Care’. In this age of the spread of importance on self-care, may we add this Soul Care to the regiment. Don’t worry! This is not going to take much to add, and actually, you might already be doing it everyday!
This Spirit Bathing can be done anytime, anywhere. The author describes it as “the practice of daily re-connection to that deep gladness, a reassurance of the divine presence in the world.” She, Patricia Adams Farmer, goes on to say, “Spirit Bathing invites the worried and beleaguered into the flowing waters of grace and reassurance. It cleanses and soothes and refreshes our souls with goodness that is still with us, joy that is still in us, and laughter that bubbles up against all efforts to stamp it out.” Maybe it happens when your child smiles at you, or when a stranger offers you a smile. Perhaps it comes up when you notice the beauty of a full moon, the energy of a brilliantly colored sunset, the softness of a refreshing breeze against your cheek, or even in a book or piece of music. It can be in our yoga classes, as we practice together, or the experience of awe when you feel your breath moving with your body.
This is all to say, that when we allow our awareness to open and expand, whether within ourselves, or outside of ourselves, we can see/feel/smell/hear/taste and witness that Divine presence within everything, including ourselves!
I’m wondering if this will help us thru hard times? I think it can.
Right now, the holidays are upon us. Some will be placed in difficult situations they don’t want to be in. I imagine how this observance, the practicing of opening our awareness and witnessing the Divine in all things, could support those moments in life we would rather not be in?
And, again, gratitude comes up. Every time I practice gratitude I feel Spirit Bathed. Whenever I think of how grateful I am for my breath, for this life, for its challenges, for its triumphs, for my children, for my husband, for the experiences I have had, I can feel the energy of the Universe…the presence of the Divine. And, when this happens, I can typically continue on with life in a much better space within myself. This benefits not only myself, but the world around me as well.
Spirit bathing, as Farmer explains, is highly individualized, and yet, has some universal forms. “Forest bathing” is one example; take a walk in a forest, no electronics with you, not even a camera, and just walk, breathe, observe, and feel. What might you do to create your own Spirit Bathing? Walk along a lake, a beach, the desert, or anywhere in nature! What else? When I Google ‘Spirit Bathing’, an entire list of how to make spirit baths comes up! So, maybe you take an actual bath! Add some salts, a candle, a book, or whatever, and soak in the divine! Soak yourself with music and its vibration, chant if you like, or dance! Point is, you can get creative when you open.
Stay open! Receive. Soak. Play. Bathe. You ARE Divine!
Breathe and Believe.