A few nights ago, I sat in a circle with six other women, a clump of burning sage, two lit candles, and all of the positive energy we could muster. We chanted. We meditated. We visualized our deepest selves and tried to hear — in a world full of so much anxiety and so many distractions — what our souls wanted to tell us. We turned our greatest fears into confetti, and willed our strongest desires to be.
And even though it’s almost Halloween, this had nothing to do with witchcraft. There was no blood, just paper. Instead of daggers, we used pens. And rather than kneeling in a clearing in the middle of the woods, we sat on mats and blankets in a yoga studio. (Yes, I realize all of these images are of stereotypical “Hollywood” witches, but at least I didn’t mention pointed hats!)
I’m writing about this because a few years ago, it’s the sort of event that I might have given a bemused smile but passed over. A few years ago, I never would have opened myself up to a group of complete strangers the way I did the other night. Perhaps this change is due to motherhood. Perhaps it’s because two letters have rocked aspects of my life that always seemed like a given. Perhaps it’s because the world is a very scary place right now — or because I’ve reached the age when people realize just how scary it’s always been. Most likely, it’s because no matter how positive I think I’m being, or how often I try to deflect the bad when it rears its ugly head, stress and worry still find a way to seep in. If that doesn’t happen to you, I’d love to hear your secret.
At the end of the evening, after the overhead lights came back on and we gathered our belongings, I went home feeling completely at ease. He didn’t say it, but I know my husband could tell just by the way I was speaking, by the way I was standing, by the way I was walking around the house, that there was a balance I didn’t have when I rushed out the door hours earlier.
I don’t know how long it will last, but now I have a tangible experience to ground me when things get tough. I have the visual of my greatest fears scattered on the floor, commingled with those of six others, proving that no one lives a perfectly charmed life. And most importantly, I have the message that came when I shut my outside mind off and just listened: Everything is going to be okay.
When all is said and done. If we try to make it so. Even if it’s a different version of the word. We are all going to be okay.
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