Today’s post comes from blogger, twitter-friend, yogini, coach, mom, and gratitude chick, LaSara. She posted it on Mar. 13, 2009.
Catholicism influences my practice and teaching in many subtle and grand ways, hmmm — food for another post!
Anyway, I am honored to reproduce La Sara’s thoughts on Lenten practices here. Be sure to check out the complete post on her blog as well as all of her other website goodies.
This year in the hustle and bustle, I missed Ash Wednesday, and Lent. You may deduce from this that I’m not Catholic. Matter of fact, I’m not strictly Christian – or for that matter, strictly religious.
But I love ceremony, observation, ritual. I love ages old traditions that allow and offer insight to our daily practices in life. Lent is one of these.
So, this week, when I realized Lent had passed me up, I chose the full moon as my own marker, and Monday as my own Mardi Gras. My husband made Welsh Rarebit with lamb, and I ate the last red meat I will consume until Easter Sunday.
But in addition to this offering up to God, I also take the time to give up something else that is dear to me. Something I cherish, but that would make my life better were I to sacrifice it to the greater power.
A couple years ago my Lenten commitment was to not speak ill of others. (See my addendum here titled 2008). It changed my life. This year my chosen sacrifice is judgment.
Different from discernment – I pledge to just witness what choices people make (self included). My commitment is to be in observation. And to withhold judging.
There’s a short-list in my head of the hardest this will be to practice with. My own name is highest on that list, for sure.
May practice liberate us! And may your Lent serve you, as you serve God.
Enjoy the post from 2008, and the poem that follows. (Also by me.)
I love religious observation. The thought, and feeling, of practicing a right of purification, for example, with millions of other people at the same time fills me with a sense of gratitude, and of being held by faith. Religion is a housing for the heart of what prayer and practice offer. So I enter through the many doors, and into the same room.
I am observing Lent this year. I have decided to give up red meat for the next 40 days, and also have made a commitment not to speak ill of anyone during the Lenten fast.
And today I fast, giving myself the chance to remember, as I do once a week, what it is to choose. What it is to reflect instead of doing what exerts itself.
Self-control. There have been years where that concept even was anathema to my self-expression. My sense of self was all about the raning forth. The destruction of boundary. The surrender to desire. The practice of excess.
I seek a balance point. And practice prayer, practice choice, and lead myself deeper into the heart that is no where localized, and everywhere present.
May your observations serve you. peace.