If you haven’t read the blogs from the previous three days, you might want to go to that….this one runs on from the Challenges in each of those. You can find the Good Friday blog here, the Easter Saturday blog here and the Easter Sunday blog here.
So we’ve made it to Monday. I’m always so happy that Easter Monday is a public holiday (at least, it is here in Australia). The Easter long weekend is a four day chance to really enjoy not working and lots of RnR.
But for those o us undertaking the Easter Weekend Challenge, Monday is almost like the morning after the big party. It’s a slow, slightly groggy day, where the reality of what we undertook over the previous three days has to begin. It’s time to plan some action and figure out how things will be different, now that some things will remain in the grave, some things have been resurrected and some are to stay in transformation mode, to be re-sprouted.
I’ve created a few reflective questions to help you begin the journey that now lies ahead. You have a choice – to forget what you’ve felt the Divine calling you toward, this weekend, or you can take the path now revealed to you and see where it leads you.
I’ve also included some worksheets to help you through this process.
Access the worksheets here.
1. How to leave something in the grave – when it’s intent on living
What specific things did you feel were being called to be left in the grave yesterday? I didn’t have too many things, but what was universal across all aspects of my life was that my negativity, worry, fear, judgementalism (about self and others), insecurities etc etc……none of these were in the highest good of me or anyone else, and they had to be uniformly left in the grave.
So today’s first mission is to begin “leaving them there”.
What do you need to do, change, action, in order to truly give up your attachment to these things?
For me, it began through the day yesterday, when I noticed negative thoughts creeping in (or bursting in with all guns blazing). I stopped, I noted them, I questioned them. I watched my own reaction to them. I questioned that too. When something that someone else did or said disturbed me, maybe made me feel down on myself, or maybe made me think they were dumb, or maybe I felt scared about something…..whatever it was, when I became aware of my physical body and the tension that the negative thought brought (and there will always be some physical tension when negative thoughts are entertained), I turned inward for a moment and tried to really get honest. What was really going on? How was I really feeling? Almost always, underneath was some kind of belief about myself that wasn’t true, wasn’t positive and wasn’t kind.
So for me, leaving my negativity in the grave necessitates digging deeper into what gives rise to that negativity. This is hard and honesty-requiring self examination. It’s not always pretty when you’re uncovering true motivation and emotion. But it is always freeing.
So what do you need to do, to really leave stuff in the grave? I’d love to hear what you’re leaving there and where the struggle is to do that. Why don’t you comment below and let me support you in your journey there?
2. The purpose of that which is resurrected
Yesterday, as I went through the list of things I had given up to the grave on Friday, whenever I felt called to resurrect something, it filled me with a great sense of excitement and delight and joy. I started to hear from the Divine, small messages of encouragement and desire. (yes, I believe the Divine desires things for us). And it was very, very clear that everything that was resurrected was being resurrected because it was there for my pleasure, my joy and so that I would enjoy the experience of living.
It was excitement, energy, peace and relief all at once. We are called to enjoyment.
So, for me, the purpose of resurrected elements of my life is that I learn to truly enjoy them. I think, often, we’re taught that we are not really meant to be having a good time in life, we’re meant to be working hard, too busy, always tired…..we’re meant to not love our bodies but be able to put them down easily, we’re not mean to think we are wonderful and we are certainly not meant to pursue our own happiness. In fact, I actually believe that many people actively fight against this in their own lives. I’ve heard members of my own family say to me “what right do you have to be happy when so many others are not?”.
Can you hear the insanity of such a statement? We all have a right to be happy, but if someone else is so committed to unhappiness (because they believe others are also unhappy) then no one will ever be happy. What if that is the only thing stopping anyone being happy – that they believe others to be unhappy and one should not be happy if the others aren’t? Crazy!
This is a pet hate of mine and I could talk long and deep about the quintessential nature of seeking happiness in life. But suffice it to say, I believe happy people are the most able to love, forgive, give generously, support, encourage and do good in the world. They’re also very powerful at spreading happiness. So be an agent of happiness!
(note, we often believe those who seek their own happiness first will be selfish, greedy, miserly, hedonistic…..but these are traits of empty people, people seeking to fill the void within by grabbing at any experience that feels like it numbs the pain of the void. It is self abuse by false pleasure. Much like the alcoholic who believes the next drink will solve her problems and help her be happier, so the empty person seeking shallow thrills actually becomes unhappier has time goes own. Truely happy people are calm, they are happy regardless of wealth or excess. They are happy, first, in their spirit. They are secure and connected to the Divine, from which a glorious sense of being loved and enjoyed flows. This is the source of love, self esteem, peace, contentment and happiness. When I don’t “need’ external things for my happiness, I can truly be free to enjoy external things for what they are, without clinging or fearing their removal. This is the purpose of the Easter Weekend Challenge – to let go of all that we use to “save” us and resurrect only what is healthy for us. What we leave in the grave must die – we are misusing that thing.)
So what were the themes coming out as you felt called to resurrect things in your life? What types of things, what emotions were attached to those things and what responses did you have when you knew you could resurrect those things? These patterns will help you see what the Divine wants for you.
And when you begin to get a feel for that, you can move toward it more confidently, more joyously.
For me, knowing I am not only allowed to fully feel the pleasure of my bed, but I’m absolutely called to really love that pleasure, makes it so much more freeing to be in my body, in the moment, present to every bit of the pleasure on offer.
What a lovely way to live!
3. What to do with items to re-sprout
While letting go of things to the grave can be hard, often the things we’re called to leave in the dark transitional space, to be re-sprouted, can be the hardest.
Leaving things to germinate requires patience, some calm trust, perhaps some grieving and a lot of courage. Just like burying a plant seed, we never really know if something will sprout from it. We bury and hope.
So to, with these parts of our lives…..we put aside any direct action or strategy about them, we sit with the uncomfortable unknownness and we wait.
Waiting is never easy. When it comes to things of life, we may need to wait days or weeks, but it can also be years.
It’s easy to give up and assume the seed has died. Or perhaps, to dig it up and see what’s there, before the new shoot has made it to the surface.
But in this Challenge, I want you to instead seek Divine inspiration. Ask for deep, soul-felt inspiration, when the time is right, to revisit this part of your life. Such inspiration is light and joyful and freeing.
I have several things which have fallen into this category.
I am called to put down the tools of a trade and wait for inspiration before picking them up again.
I am called to lay down expectation and push around a relationship, to give it time to mellow and form itself into something naturally.
I’m called to let my creativity swirl in the mysterious darkness and safety of the soil for a while, to be nourished and to find what is next in its expression.
These things are the most exciting part of the ongoing journey of life by Divine guidance. How amazing that there are things germinating, new things forming for me, and how crazy it is that we attempt to make those things into what we think they should be, to control the outcome.
So what are you called to leave in the mysterious transformative soil?
I also encourage you to develop a daily prayer ritual of surrendering these items to the soil until inspiration strikes.
I lay this item, and my attachment to it, into the soil.
May they be broken down and reformed, regenerated and re-sprouted.
May I have the peace to wait and the comfort of hope that the new things is coming, in the right time, in the right way.
Inspire me, please, when the time is right, to the action you desire, that I might see that new thing come to fruition.
4. The final step
With these three categories of forward motion in place, the way forward supported by clear choices, rituals and commitment, I ask one last thing of you.
Sit for just a few moments, somewhere quiet and peaceful. If you can have a view of nature, all the better.
Breathe slowly and deeply for a minute or two and feel the body relax as you do so.
Then undertake a meditation mantra I learned from Martha Beck:
I am infinitely loved
I am always safe
There are no mistakes
This three line mantra beds down the underlying principle of this challenge: that the Divine has it all in order and our role is to embrace the Divine, live into the life of love the Divine has for us, and not to fill our lives with things that are attempts to make us feel more loved, safer and like we are not failures.
For the truth is, we are always totally loved, we are always safe and there are no failures, mistakes or wrong turns. We can not get it wrong……
May you embrace this truth, free your life of all that holds you back from the highest good in life. May the Divine meet you, guide you and fill you.