SomaNews – July/August 2013
“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”
Embodying Ceremony in All Life
Recently I spent many days in ceremony with a community that embodies ceremony in all life.
In our Western culture, we have ceremonies for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, births and deaths. But what would it look like to embody ceremony in our everyday lives?
Visiting us this summer was a wonderful man from Peru. Every morning he would greet me with a kiss on each cheek and then put my hands together and kiss them. This simple ceremony was an honoring of who I am; a recognition of another human being.
While kissing everyone we see may not fit our culture, we can certainly honor them with a smile. When I returned from my New Mexico trip, I observed how people walk past each other without a smile or any kind of recognition. What kind of ceremony are we embodying there?
I also noticed how we tend to take the food we eat for granted. How often do we thank the earth for her unconditional love as she shares her soil so we can grow food that keeps us strong and healthy? Or for the water that flows through her body that nourishes us? A simple thank-you is so welcome.
When we embody ceremony in these ways, we are acknowledging that we are sentient beings, and we are focusing our love and gratitude to honor the smallest to the largest. Taking the time to honor something places it in the heart ― the heart that neither grasps nor pulls away.
My time with this special community, immersed in ceremony, nourished my soul. I believe that many of us are looking for a more personal, embodied, heartfelt connection with Spirit. I witnessed how through ceremony we can take something that is external and embody it to have a direct experience of its essence.
Every day we wake up, and in the sky we see a radiant sun that warms us and lets us see the amazing beauty of the Mother Earth. By taking a few minutes to thank the sun for its life-giving force, drinking it into our bodies and feeling the heat on our face, we can connect from a place of sensation and truly feel what it is to honor the sun.
As we acknowledge Spirit through ceremony every day, we become a conduit from heaven to earth.
A practice for embodying ceremony
Let's take a walk to a quiet place where you can do ceremony for the opportunity of being alive in this moment.
Find a comfortable place with nature around you. Bring a small container of water and set it next to you on the earth.
Take a deep breath, and on the exhale thank Mother Earth for her soil and water that keeps us alive. Take another deep breath and listen. Are there birds nearby? What are the sounds around you?
Thank Spirit (the Source) for the ability to see and hear and to smell the air that fills your lungs.
On the last deep breath, exhale and pour water on the earth, thanking all that is that has made it possible for you to be in this world.
Remember, every moment can be a ceremony when you honor your Self, Others and the Planet.
What are ways you embody ceremony in your daily life?
Please feel to share your practices or rituals on my Facebook page here.
One-Day Retreat Offered
I've developed a one-day retreat that centers around creating and embodying practices to support your intentions, such as losing weight, writing a book, being able to say no, becoming a better leader. We’ll explore using ceremony, ritual, creative expression, guided imagery and other tools to help build connection with self and community.
This fun and rejuvenating retreat gives you the freedom and space to draw on your imagination and creativity. As a powerful reminder of your commitment, you can choose to create a representative symbol — such as a staff, shield, spirit box, necklace, or collage. No artistic skills required.
If you’re interested in bringing this retreat to your area, please contact me.
Cutting Edge Consciousness Show
This week I was surprised and delighted to learn that Barnet Bain and Freeman Michaels discussed my work with them in their Cutting Edge Consciousness Show episode, The Body Doesn't Lie - Tapping the Truth Stored in Our Body.
I was even more shocked to hear Barnet call me "one of the more extraordinary, intuitive somatic bodyworkers on the planet." (Yes, my face is a bit red!) If you are new to somatic bodywork and are curious about the experience, you may want to watch the episode on YouTube.
* Strozzi Bodywork, Washington DC
I plan to return to Washington DC this fall. If you’re in that area and interested in working with me, please let me know.
* Strozzi Bodywork and Coaching, Petaluma
I’m available for coaching and Strozzi Bodywork for clients in the Petaluma/San Francisco area. As always, I'm here to support you in any way I can.
* Coaching Worldwide by Phone or Skype
Not in Petaluma or within driving distance? That's not a problem. We can talk by phone or Skype. Please get in touch if you'd like to explore working together "remotely."
I would love to hear from you. Feel free to call or send an email.
Madeline Wade is a certified Master Somatic Coach with a private practice in Petaluma, California. As a master coach, she helps people increase their effectiveness and unlock their potential by integrating intellectual, emotional and physical components into embodied practices. In her work as a deeply-experienced Strozzi bodyworker, she supports clients in overcoming historical patterns to build a self that can gracefully face change.
Madeline has studied for 15 years at the Strozzi Institute and has more than 25 years of business experience.