Waldorf is full of rhythms, and as my dear friend Elisabeth just reminded me the other day, Waldorf education asks the teacher to learn along with the pupil- to take in, digest, and impart with enthusiasm, clarity, and passion the ideas and concepts being shared- (for that enthusiasm, clarity and passion are just as important as the subject content!)- as well as to journey along a path of growth and development. We model inner work, we model spiritual growth.
I’ve been pondering the larger rhythms of life and the lessons I am learning. Right now, summer is giving way to autumn. In the grand scheme of things, we see the microcosm of the day within the macrocosm of the year; Spring dawns on a new morning, Summer is a long afternoon, Autumn heralds the approach of evening, and Winter is the dead of night. My favorite parts of the day are dawn and dusk, those shimmery transitional moments where we hover between two extremes, where we find wonder in the juxtaposition dark and light. In spring, we experienced that “morning” as an opening force of expansion and growth. Now, in the “evening” of the year, we are rounding the bend, about to face the polar opposite, the forces of contraction that help us narrow our focus, shed the extraneous, ground us.
It can be tempting to compartmentalize my life into tiny fragments when I think of narrowing my focus and retaining what is essential- a part of the impulse as we contract- but that fragmenting, in itself, can dim my ability to determine what is essential because it is easy to lose sight of the big picture in all the little ones. How can I think more holistically? Reminds me, the other day my friend was recounting a story- a guest at her house had eyeballed her more expensive, eco-friendly dish soap, and knowing that they are struggling financially, mentioned “You know, people are more important than the environment.” We were thrown into a tailspin- well, maybe a mindspin- considering that statement. How can you separate people and the environment? It revealed a fundamental difference in the way we view things, from the way her friend viewed things. We see our existence as whole, as a unified experience; as, Perfect Harmony composed by Perfect Love. How can the proton say to the neutron “we are more important than the protoplasm”- essentially- “we are more important than the medium which allows us to exist”? The cell is one.
The materialistic mind dissects, tears apart, destroys context, produces disconnected (and therefore dead) units in ever increasing streams of chaos; the spiritual mind unites, weaves together, produces oneness in ever increasing streams of beauty. I think we can all find aspects of both ways of thinking in our thought life, and hopefully recognize them for what they are.
And, incidentally, up to 60% of what you put on your skin, is absorbed into your blood stream (this is why birth control, nicotine, and narcotic patches work so well!); and without the benefit of being filtered through your kidneys and liver first, as in the case of what you take in your body when you eat. Maybe it sounds weird, but I’d rather have “clean” dish soap than organic food, since I wash a lot of dishes and immerse my hands in the suds several times a day. Luckily, there are not many body care and household cleaning products we actually need to buy that can’t be made ourselves cheaper and easier, with better results; but that is a whole ‘nother post!
Reflecting onall this, I had a picture flash through my mind of the Divine breathing out, and from that breath, we appeared as dew drops condensed on the web of life…
Can’t you just see us all… with the majestic purpose of simply being an expression of our Glorious origin and ever reverberating back to the universe Beauty, Harmony, and the Design of Love? Isn’t that my true “essential”?
What is getting in the way of that? What dampens my energy, what slows my life’s heartbeat, what mitigates the broadcast of the Divine Call from radiating out of my life? Maybe it’s an extra object in my house that clutters and distracts me with maintaining it; maybe it’s an error-filled thought that brings me out of sync; maybe it’s a part of my diet that doesn’t suit my constitution and could be replaced by something that better meets my needs. Maybe it’s losing my perspective on the Wholeness of everything. What I do to you, in essence, I do to me; if not for the simple reason that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and I have that imprint, that reflection, that memory of the thing I have done to live with. So, I will send that distracting object out into a path where it can meet with a rightful owner- someone who it will benefit. That error-filled thought pops like a bubble when truth is realized and appropriated. I ask myself what my intuitive appetite seeks. I remember why I am here.
I SHINE AS MY REFLECTION OF THE DIVINE MAGNIFIES THE DIVINE.
Perhaps, within this past season of expansion, we opened so much that we began to dissipate a little. Somehow, in sweet paradox, we can grow in spirit as we follow this coming season’s cosmic contraction.