A Deep Draught of Nectar
by Tim Keim
Each one of us, no matter where we live on this sacred planet, has had a difficult two years as we hurtle through the speed of our lives. In addition to wars, people fleeing their homelands seeking sanctuary in often unfriendly places, economic dislocation, the divisiveness our country faces, we also continue to endure a pandemic with all the losses it has inflicted.
Something has been welling up in me in the past few weeks, incubating and waiting to be released. I’ve been wanting to tell you all how much I respect the lives you are living. I see how hard you’re trying, and I sense the depth of your struggles every day because I’m right here walking the same path. It matters not to me what you believe, what you say, or how you act or treat me, I love you all and no matter what, no one can quench the fountain of love from the well in my heart.
What is love? It is the simple capacity to care, to smile at a stranger, to greet all those who cross our path each day. It is the commitment to help any and all who need us whether we know or even like them. It is the willingness to visit the imprisoned, to care for the sick and to feed the hungry whether we deem them deserving of our care or not.
In the cold winter of the holiday season it was once a tradition to slow down, remove ourselves from the work-a-day world and celebrate our ineffable connection to the Divine; the Divine in the Universe and the Divine in one another.
Nowadays there seems little rest from the pace that life demands of us. Overdrive seems to be the only gear we know. So I’m offering you an off ramp, a time to make a turn, even if it is only figurative because we have to start somewhere. I’m encouraging you to give yourself permission to say yes to silence, joy, fun and a place of emotional/mental solace and rest that no one can deny you or take from you. This is not a one size fits all proposition. Ask yourself, “what will nourish my soul more than anything else right now?” It could be a simple solitary walk in the woods, on the beach, desert or in the mountains. It could be playing with your children or grandchildren, feeling the glory of their laughter and the unbidden affection they so willingly give. It could be a hug that perhaps you’ve been denying yourself for so many hungry, heart-starving months. It could be sitting in silence in the dark gazing into candlelight, closing your eyes and seeing the image of the flame in your mind’s eye as you breathe in the fire of truth. It could be music or dance, or it could just be the enjoyment of sitting still with your own thoughts.
If you are afraid of sitting with your own thoughts, just remember that they are only thoughts and within you lies the grace to assuage your fear. Just sit without giving them any weight and let them come and go. Inhale into them from your belly and release your breath in a sigh to let them go. Try 12, 24 or even 36 slow breaths. Soon, I promise that your mind will settle into the rhythm of your breath. It may take a while but be patient and you’ll find a reservoir of grounding peace, strength and stillness that is there to nourish you every day.
As we move from the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, let us heart-connect with our ancestors who have left this earthly plane both recent and ancient. Let’s thank them for birthing us into the communion of living souls from whence they came as we give birth to our own progeny to carry forth the Divine work in which we all take part. And if any cross purposes or harms separate us from them or the living let us freshen our spirits with a cleansing act of forgiveness both granted and received.
I offer this simple but powerful forgiveness prayer from our Hawaiian family called Hoʻoponopono. It goes like this:
Please forgive me
I love you
You can also offer this prayer to yourself, allowing your being to absorb it more powerfully with each repetition.
Let us, even if just for a moment, step out of time and drink a deep draught of nectar to bathe us crown to sole, and from skin to the tender innermost being. As we do, I toast your health, long life and holy purpose as you rise renewed with the everlasting liquor of life on your lips.
Tim Keim is an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Health Practitioner