My familytaught me how to make best use of my gifts, about proper ethics and responsibilities that come with gifts. I have learned that ceremony helps keep me sharp, happy and healthy. I wrote this not long ago, it is just an offering.. it may or may not be of use to you, but for those who feel it would, I offer it with deepest respect for all
imani

Each day I rise, I carry on a simple ceremony. If it's a cold morning, I first bundle myself in a blanket
and make my way to the back yard,
There, I face the East, the place of the rising sun. A new day is beginning, and with it, new opportunity

I ask myself a question, and then I ponder it carefully before returning to my warm kitchen for a cup of
coffee.
The question is this... "What will I create today?
And from that question I become mindful of myself in all four directions.
Will my words today build up or tear down? Will they speak truth or lies?
Will my actions be honorable and will my connection to myself and all others be one of respect today?

After I have thought about my question... I say this prayer:
"I send a blessing before my foot steps, that all who come within my circle this day, will know my
kindness, my compassion and my love. I send this blessing before me, behind me, beside me, above me, below me and all around me, that all who come into my circle today will know my joy that they have come near".
It is not a long ceremony, but by sending this blessing ahead of me... it even keeps negative people from
coming near me.

I was raised by a family who respected ceremony. Some were simple and others could take days, such as moon feasts and clan gatherings. I believe if you look into the past of your own ancestors, you will find they too
had ceremony, both tribal and personal.

What ceremony does for us.
The magic of ceremony is this... it connects us. To our universe, our planet, our creators, our families and ourselves. Ceremony teaches us "The Way of Right Relationship"
It shows us how to set aside a time and place for sacred connection. It teaches us to be mindful of how we think, feel, behave and pray.
It is a continual reminder, that we.. you and I, are an important part in the web of life.
Living in a mindful way, we are thoughtful about how we treat the Earth and everything upon it. including ourselves.

We are born to be in love with ourselves. As babies we cry for attention, as small children we feel no sense of shame until we are shamed by others. Over time, we can fall out of love with who we are, with our own potential for greatness. We carry the wounds inflicted by others and by life in itself.
Leading a mindful life can help us to regain that self love. Ceremony reminds us, that we are sacred and therefore worthy of great love.
We are born with a clean canvas, a brush and a palette full of rainbow colours. We are born to be artists of our own spirits.
While we are small, others pick up our brush and colours and paint that canvas for us. What they paint may be far different from what you might paint. Ceremony teaches us how to reclaim our spirit.

The ancients once painted their hand prints on the sides of caves, on their animal skins and their war ponies.
That hand print said I AM HERE! Not We are here, but it was a personal strong statement by one person saying.. I am here, I have a place in this universe. Once we know this, we will participate in the well being of the planet.
We are all one note in the cosmic symphony.. but without us, the song is diminished.
To be present, to be mindful and to stand tall, we must know this.
And that is why I do ceremony
May you pick up your rainbow palette and paint your spirit beautiful!
May you hear your own heart song and Stand Tall!

Loving you from my place in the web of life
imani

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