The past month has been really hard for a lot of people, and a lot of my friends are mourning losses, enduring conflict and battling hardship. My mother has been sick for many years and now she is facing the potential amputation of one of her lower legs. This is hard stuff, time consuming and draining. As you might imagine, it has brought up a lot of difficult issues for me and also for my family. I am old enough now to know that self care under these conditions is vital, yet I still get tired, irritable and I notice that some of my patterns have shifted. I am finding it a challenge to be the chipper beacon of compassion and delight that I want to be (I know that’s only the voice of my own warped expectations). She’s always there, but some days I have to dig a little harder.
But something that has given me a great amount of joy and emotional relief over the past few weeks is house decorating and playing in the garden. I love my home, and I feel a great creative surge when I get to make it pretty. It also has the effect of engaging my senses and keeping me distracted in the best of ways. I get to revel in color, shape and texture, I can strategize where things should go, and what the next step in the ever evolving project of my home will be. And at the end of the day I have the satisfaction of seeing a job well done.
I am happiest when my spiritual practice is integrated into my life, when I get to experience the sacred in all things and when every act is the simple, unconscious flow of devotion. For me, the decorating of my home is cultivating beauty and joy, and that is how I live my relationship with Aphrodite. My entire home thus becomes a temple built in her honor.
How do you live with your Gods? What seemingly mundane activities do you do which are a direct manifestation of their influence and speak to your dedication to doing their work? What does this sort of integrated practice look like to you?