Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Woman's Work



Someone once said a woman’s work is never done.
Someone said that good woman is either underpaid or unpaid for all the work that she does…that a woman who loves her family and lives a simple life is boring or repetitious…unfun and mundane.
I flip through the magazines and I am lead to believe that what we look like is more important than the work that we do…I turn on the t.v. and am left with the notion that if a woman is raped then somehow its her fault and if a woman is beaten she somehow provoked it…
And if we raise our voices we’re angry Black women and if we have lots of sisterfriends we must be gay …if we ask the doctor too many questions we’re a nag and neurotic when we really just want answers and if we’re single and sold out for Christ its because we couldn’t get a “real” man and if we have personal standards we’re selfish and pushy and if we stand up for ourselves we’re aggressive and non-submissive and unlady-like but if we don’t stand up for ourselves we’re typical weak females and if we desire to be married with children we’re looking to trap a man but if we don’t we’re unnaturally feminist…
Women today are still searching for spiritual peace and elevation. We are uber-aware of our hunger and need, but many of us are still in search of what will satisfy this need. In every aspect of our lives, from church to child-rearing, we are more prone to draining our creative springs than to replenishing them. With our great pitcher of water in hand, we attempt to water entire fields as opposed to our own back yards. Instead of slowing down the axis of our inner wheel, we throw ourselves indiscriminately and without pause into committees and causes. Because we do not know how to calm our spirit, we try to muffle its demands in countless distractions that lay at our fingertips.
As a spiritual guide to women clients, I find more times than not that many of us feel trapped subconsciously by our circumstances and situations. I find that when I suggest meditation to my clients, more times than not I am met with a million and one excuses as to why taking the time to find one’s inner Garden of Gethsemane is rarely a conscious priority next to cooking or scandal or Empire...
Many of us feel that life has dealt us a hand and the only option we have is to sit in one place and ride it out. In earlier times women had in their lives more spiritual recipes and ritualistic practices which centered them whether or not they realized it. There were certain things that were inherently passed down to our sisters of old, both consciously as well as subconsciously, that kept them pressing towards the mark. Our foremothers possessed a certain je ne sai quoi about them that was self-sustaining and deeply spiritual. Our Mother’s mothers and their mothers understood that seclusion in the home gave them time alone.
I remember the subtle movements of my mother’s mother around her home…long before the modern mechanization of housework, our foremothers understood that their domestic and familial duties were conducive to a quiet contemplative drawing together of the self. My foremothers understood that nothing feeds our center as much as creative spiritual work. To them creative work was spiritual work, for the handi work of the woman is pleasing to God. Let us consider what the Bible describes as the virtuous woman. In the 31st chapter of proverbs, the 13th verse, The bible uses the following imagery to describe her:
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”

The art and craft of housework has been greatly diminished…
The contemplative moments while baking bread…The candid thoughts of yesteryear as we can the preserves…the colorful kaleidoscope of emotions that dance through our minds as we sew the curtains…as we sing a lullabye to the children…as we wash and dry the dinner dishes…as we arrange a bowl of flowers…as we prepare breakfast at the kiss of dawn for our families…
For many of us these domestic tasks provided a sense of quiet in a crowded day…like writing a letter or saying a prayer. They were times that gave us an excuse to be inwardly attentive.
We currently live in a society in which every trend, every pressure and relatively every aspect of our external world seems to be against the power of inward living…that is, living  from the inside out as opposed to from the outside in. Women of faith are the pioneers of this inward living for strength…mainly because the nature of our deep-seated spiritual convictions force us to look inward. Women of faith understand that looking inward builds the kind of inner strength and courage that the world, in it’s superfluous external pursuit of happiness, cannot find…for the woman of faith knows that the Kingdom of Heaven is within.

From time to time I’ll have a client to liken their current existence to a prison sentence…often feeling like the active years of the 30’s, 40’s and/or 50’s have been long outlived. So much sacrifice, and in the midst of raising children, caring for elderly parents, our aging bodies, losing loved ones and all the other growing pains of life, some of us have grown restless in our respective journeys. Some of us feel emotionally stuck in our efforts to remain whole in the midst of distractions…psychologically bound in our efforts to find balance regardless of the external forces that tend to knock us off center…and an even greater number of women tend to feel like they’re in solitary confinement…despite the fact that they are never really alone, they feel lonely…often misunderstood beneath a web of insurmountable, never-ending responsibilities.  I am no stranger to these dips, valleys and cul de sacs of life…and some of my greatest lessons, epiphanies and revelations I have found here. 
Meditate with me...


Meditation for Busy People
"By meditation upon light and upon radiance, 
knowledge of the spirit can be reached 
and peace can be achieved."
Patanjali, 300B.C.

  • Change into loose,comfy clothing so that your sitting is not restricted in any way
  • Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
  • Sit comfy on the ground, with your legs outstretched or crossed
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing each part of your body
  • Begin at the tips of your toes and envision the blood flowing throughout your body to the top of  your head, the Crown Chakra (Sanskrit) or your Ori (Yoruba).
  • Once you are focused on your blood flow, tune in to your breathing pattern.
  • Breathe in through your nose (if possible) and out through your mouth, making an "Ohhh"or "Ahhh"sound as you exhale.
  • Once your breathing is regulated, channel your attention towards your thoughts and feelings. Let them roam free for a while in your mind, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Next, capture your thoughts and move them to the outer space of your mind. This is called "Clear Your Canvas" meditation. 
  • Expeditiously push all thoughts that race for the center of your mind to the outer edges, far left/far right,etc.
  • Try to focus on your clear canvas, that is, the pure space in the center of your mind, entertaining no thoughts that try to invade that space.
  • Keeping calm and still, continue this exercise daily until it becomes easier to reach your clear canvas. When you can sit amidst your clear canvas for 5 minutes or more, you are ready for guided meditation. ("Clear Your Canvas & Guided Meditations" tutorials coming soon.)
  • Advanced Students: If you are already able to clear your canvas within a minute and sit within your clear canvas for at least 5 minutes, then choose a color for your canvas and create something in the ethereal space. Here, I often create my "To do" list for the week, "research" my next creative project, write a song/poem,or simply hold my peace for up to 15 to 20 minutes in the quiet.

Kreative Pilar