Finally, it is one of those weekends again: a weekend full of positive calming and spiritual energy. Energy that you just know is old as time itself and existed long before any human walked this earth. Anyone can connect to it as long as you let yourself, and place yourself in the right surroundings with the right people, or if it’s more your style, by yourself.
Usually when I make some time to connect to these energies I do this in solitude as this is kind of my first nature (sharing is scary). Sometimes it works, but there are probably equally enough times that I stress myself even more because I feel I am not relaxing enough, can’t connect enough, go deep enough. The result? Disconnection from these energies I call upon, even more stress and the feeling I am not good enough a “spiritual person, medicine woman, witch” or whatever tag I give myself that day. Not really the effect I was going for..
Today I am partaking in an ancient, yeah you guessed it! ritual: a sweat lodge.
The Inipi or Sweat Lodge is an ancient ceremony of the North American Indians (Lakota people to be exact) and has been passed down through generations as sacred knowledge.
The ceremony is a purification ritual that prepares for divine intervention and God’s blessings. It’s a spiritual experience that reconnects participants with their oneness with the universe and nature.
With seven other women and two male “keepers of the fire”, we set the scene by decorating an altar and placing an item that is special to the participants (for me a statue of a goddess), build a path towards the hut and covered the hut with blankets. We collected wood, build the fire and placed stones in the fire that were given a certain intention: letting (shit) go, love, forgiveness, ancestors, wisdom, transformation and so on. I must say even though at times it felt a bit uncomfortable (how about getting out of that solitary comfort zone of mine) it was a beautiful ceremony.
After placing the stones, we made little bags of different colours (corresponding to colours that represent the cardinal directions, or female or masculine energy) and filled these with a pinch of tobacco. Tobacco was considered a sacred plant by the Indians. The little bags were given intentions or wishes for someone other than ourselves. The strings consisting of many tiny colourful pouches were tied to the top of the hut by the maker and after the ceremony these bags would be burned in the fire so the smoke could take the wishes into the sky.
The day is filled with a mix of spiritual people (some a bit too much for my taste… very unspiritual to say), laughter, being together, sharing, letting go and setting intentions. These kinds of gatherings can be very beneficial for people that want to get out of their heads and into their bodies.
It makes me connect to my inner medicine woman, my inner wisdom, inner voice if you will and to the wisdom of my ancestors and what I call mother earth. It re-established my belief that we are not to be measured and defined by our job titles, houses, cars or possessions, but by all the bits and pieces that we connect to in life.
Just because I am currently a successful businesswoman, it doesn’t mean I am not also part medicine woman, part child, part mother (even though in this lifetime I don’t have children), part woman, part man and so many more facets of what makes up my complete person.
Just because you are one thing (and we think we checked all the boxes on our to-do and bucket lists) it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t connect to all those other parts inside of us that make us who we are in all our unique diversity.
For all of you that read this and find yourself nodding: you feel me and in some way, we are on a similar path of self-discovery. For the people that think “what the heck is this crazy one talking about”: keep reading my posts and maybe you’ll stumble upon a similar connection in yourself too.
This path doesn’t just come to you. You must open your mind (your brain is not going to fall out) and most importantly your heart, to new and different ways of seeing the world, of seeing yourself. Hey what the heck, maybe you’ll find something useful in all of this, or maybe you won’t. Either way, I’m going to give you the chance to find out for yourself…
Have an inspiring day!