Saturday, September 21, 2019

Autumnal Equinox and the Purposeful Pause

Recently at work, things have been wild, untamed. We've rearranged our care delivery model in all areas of the organization, we've reorganized our staff (including losing more than I'd like to count to early retirement and severance packages), and even faced the potential for a strike. We have been in GO mode for over a year, and I can tell you: We. Are. Tired.

I found myself meditating on the meaning and purpose of the Autumn Equinox preparing my key offerings. During this time of year, the Ancients held many of their annual meetings. Aligning this with the notion of three harvest, the third of which is at the end of October, I was left puzzled by the hosting of a large gathering in the middle of all that work. I mean, there was so much to do! How could they just stop? And then it hit me: sometimes, in order to finish strong, you have to stop and take a breath.  Sometimes, we need to pause for a moment in order to move on with deeper, renewed purpose.

Those of you who've heard me talk about leadership have likely heard me discuss this idea of the Purposeful Pause--a "purposeful" moment in which we stop, breathe, and find our centers amidst the stress and difficulties of our daily lives. During the hectic time of the second harvest, when everything is coming to fruition all at the same time and we're trying to get everything out of the fields before it turns and is no longer viable, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Burnout is real, and not just now. Burnout comes when anyone pushes themselves beyond when they need rest, whether mental, physical, or spiritual. It seems even the Ancients knew this great truth.

During this second harvest, may the blessings of plenty be with you, and may you find time to take a purposeful pause and reflect on the gifts around you. Sit a moment. Drink some water. Wash your face. Find your center. And get back to it from a place of strength.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Words for the Hunter's Moon

On this night, we honor the Hunter’s Moon, the sage that guides us to prepare and mark sacred that which we hunt. Though not a hunter myself, I have a healthy appreciation for the work and dedication it takes to engage in hunting. I am from a hunting place (adjacent to a hunting place anyway), and I understand the gravity of the taking of another being’s life for sustenance. But, what lesson does this hold for the non-hunter? How can we gather the magic of this moon and make it relevant to our lives?

The art of hunting is not specific to obtaining food, though there is sometimes a surrendering of life as we’ve known it. Hunting differs from searching in the sacrality and purposefulness of the journey. When we seek, we question, we solve a puzzle, we comparison shop. When we hunt, we deeply invest in that which is our prey. Searching is completed when we have obtained something, whether that be knowledge, a price we are willing to pay, or our keys. The act of hunting meets most of our need in and of itself. The need to hunt suggests there is a hunger, a strong desire for something. It suggests all our paths up to this moment have led us to where we are. Hunting begins when we feel the first pang of unrest. This unrest continues to grow until the determination to find what we seek jars us out of complacency and into preparatory action. It is in this moment that the hunt truly begins.

On this Full Moon night, we call out to you,
Sacred and Shining Moon,
Bright face of the starry night sky
Illuminating our paths through the unknown, and
Guiding us on our journeys.
Meet us in this place, Sacred Moon,
Show us the path to what we seek
And let the hunt begin.
Sacred Moon, we honor you!