I’m sat writing this as we are about to enter Ash Wednesday, which strangely coincided with the last day of my Kali chant, chanting Om Kreem Kalikaye Namah; the ashes of crematoriums are her domain.
It’s been a difficult few days for many people. I’ve heard many people complain they feel stuck. We all feel it sometimes, like every day, you can’t escape that Monday morning feeling. You wear the mundane like a dirty apron, your shoes sticking to the floor of the rut.
Sometimes, as a husband, a father, a shaman, a teaching assistant and even an artist, my life feels like I’m here purely for the service of others. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, in fact, the funny thing is, I dedicated my life to the service of others when I became a shaman. I do love being able to be of service to my family, friends, clients etc, I choose my choice! I choose my choice! (If you know, you know.) So why does life occasionally feel like a rut?
Welcome Cinderella, to your Ashes!
Robert Blyth in his book, Iron John, speaks about the cinder path, a period in your life called The Ashes.
Cinderella is a great architype to work with when you feel stuck in a rut, her name means ‘Little Ashes.’ She was always cleaning the pots and pans, scrubbing the floor and the almost impossible task of cleaning the hearth fire.
So what is your ashes? Once upon a time, I had ideas that I was going to be a famous fashion designer, working with John Galliano or Alexander McQueen, a bohemian millionaire living in Paris…(I can hear my spirit guides chocking on laughter now.) Not that long ago, I took for granted the lay ins and idol hours binge watching Friends or Family Guy. Life changes you, especially parenthood, all these things and more go up in smoke in the sacred fire of transformation.
I often hear ‘spiritual’ people or life coaches speak about ‘Living your best life.’ They question, ‘If money was no problem, what/where/who would you be?’ then, ‘IF THE ANSWER ISN’T RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW, YOU NEED TO CHANGE IT!’ Bullshit.
The life we are living Is our choice, we made it, long before we were born. Our hands may be black with the soot of the ashes of a life we once knew, but, know that it was our choice. We took all we knew, all we were, and we put it on the ceremonial fire to be transformed into the life we are living now, or about to live. The path of cinders is calling us now, it’s time to clean out the ashes. It needs to be done, for how are you supposed to hold any more transformational fires? The fire in our bellies that changes lives, creation itself, needs a clean heath to burn in.
It isn’t about changing your life in dramatic ways, trying to forge your dreams out of the ash heap you own.
We all have dreams, ambitions, desires, the universe knows them, your heart knows them, relax. The only way Cinderella escaped the mundane was the invitation to the mythic through the Fairy Godmother.
Come to peace with your rut through the mythic, step away from your chores for a moment and see what you are doing, find the importance of what you are doing, see that what you are doing is sacred. Can you see the tiny specks of joy in it? can they be made bigger? You are a sacred being, living a sacred life, own it.
Come to peace with your life, claim it, own it, choose it. Nothing can change while you hold on tightly with fear or dread.
You are a human being, not a human doing, practise conscious sitting. Sit, just be, take a moment out of your day and immerse yourself with your own presence. No distractions, no phone, no scrolling, feel what it feels like to be you. How do you know what you really want unless you know who you really are?
Can you see your dreams now? Boil them down, what is the purest quality or feeling of these dreams? Is it freedom? Connection? Adventure? Be that, take smell steps at creating those feelings.
Know that the period of ashes is just a phase, this too shall pass. Your new fire will be stoked, your dreams will ignite and flare, they will burn brightly from the place of the mythic, from a place of peace and joy, then, you’ll know the secret, that you have always been the fairy Godmother.
Shamanism has been a passion and an inspiration for me for many years now.