Tired of the grind? Is being stressed and unhappy getting old? Want better in the coming year? Here is a simple way that you can transform your stressful life into a Sacred Life. Check it out.
Pause. Soften. Breathe.
As we embark on a New Year and consider the possibility of making a fresh start, I invite you to pause for a moment. Take a breath, let your shoulders drop, soften your gaze and take stock of all that came to pass (and came and passed) last year.
Take a moment to consider the new babies, the beloveds who died, all those opportunities won and lost, the challenges and lucky breaks, the struggle and the relief, the pain and the fear and the joy and the grace. Remember the life you've lived in the last 12 months. SO much life!
This being a human being living a human being life sure is something, isn’t it? How could something so amazing and wondrous be so deeply upsetting and confounding all at once? It’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge it, to honor the great privilege AND the great struggle that it is being you.
As you consider your experience of last year, I want you to offer that wonder-FULL life your most tender regard, your awe and of course, your deepest gratitude. By pausing to honor the stretch of life that you are completing, you are doing what it is that you can to make your experience of last year Sacred.
The Power to Make it Sacred
What does it mean to make a thing Sacred? Consider that In reality, nothing is inherently Sacred. Whether a thing is made Sacred is determined by the quality of your interaction with it - by how you relate or attend to it.
Did you know that as human beings we have the power to make a person, place, thing, situation, interaction, circumstance, etc. Sacred?
It’s true! Making things sacred is an inherent human being power. It’s a Spiritual Power.
Did you know that YOU have Spiritual Powers? OMG! It’s TRUE! You DO!
You even have the power transform your stressful life into a Sacred life if that is what you want.
I can tell you how to do it. It’s really quite simple.
How it Works: In a Good Way
The process of transforming a stressful life into a sacred life is not mysterious or esoteric or obscure or “holy” or woo-woo (well maybe it’s a little bit woo-woo) or anything like that. It’s a simple and very practical process.
My brother (and teacher) George Bertelstein likes to say that making things Sacred is essentially a “janitorial function.”
Human beings have the power to make a thing sacred quite simply by interacting with and attending to it in a good way.
When you take the time to attend - to soften your gaze, open your heart, quiet your mind, listen and pay attention - the object of your attention will reveal to you how IT likes being attended to.
Offer high-quality attention to a thing and It will reveal to you what IT likes, what makes IT work, what makes IT shine and flourish and function well, how IT likes to reveal and express its beauty and how IT relates best with everything in its environment.
In short, what you attend to in a good way will reveal to you how best to LOVE it ... and as we all know from experience, loved things SHINE! They are also imbued with the power to elevate, create, unite and HEAL.
Becoming A Sacred Janitor
Making sacred is NOT treating things as though they are precious or special or "holy" talismans to be hidden away in fancy "holy" boxes. Remember, the art/craft/prayer of making-Sacred is essentially a “janitorial function.” Nothing precious or special about that.
Attending in this prayerful Sacred-making way is actually quite practical:
Want to make your house or your car Sacred? Clean it. Service it. Enjoy it. Use it. Be mindful of it. Attend to it in a good way.
Want to make your precious baby sacred? Attend in a way that makes that particular baby healthy, happy, growing, flourishing.
Want to make your grandpa’s old cigar box sacred? Find a good and honorable use for it - one that makes you remember the love you have with your grandpa when you see, touch or use it. I keep my sewing kit in Grandpa Werbie’s old cigar box. Werbie (who's been dead for 45 years) and I work together to mend my daughters’ princess dresses. It's how we spend time together. We both love this Sacred time together very much.
Pay Attention. Make it Sacred.
Truth is, you can make ANYTHING Sacred: Your beloved, your cat, the weird creepy neighbor, authority figures, kitchen counters, gravel driveways, unhoused human beings, overly housed human beings, the person who hurt you, customer service, your basketball, your iPhone, your closets, the Los Angeles Dodgers ( ok, maybe not the Dodgers).
Whatever you attend to in a good way is made Sacred by your practical, useful, Sacred-making attention.
The Sacred: What is it good for?
You may ask, why go to all this effort (and it IS an effort) to make things Sacred? Great question.
In my counseling practice, I implore all of my clients to seek the selfish motivation. Selfish motivations are compelling. Altruistic motivations? Meh, not so much. Therefore, in all spiritual endeavors it’s best to ask early on - What’s in it for me?
Here’s the payoff you can get out of this Sacred-making business: When you make the prayer to be in a good way and to make everything in your life Scared, you acquire two great Spiritual Powers:
(1) The Power to heal your own life, live in beauty and move forward as a happy, untroubled person, and
(2) The power to support and contribute to the Self-Healing of others.
Think about it, nobody wants anything from an unhappy person ... other than to be relieved of their presence.
But untroubled, happy, healed up people? They are the bomb! ... AND they are the balm that soothes all that is hard or vexing about being human beings living human being lives.
Happy healed up people are HELPFUL. We want what they have. We are picking up what they are putting down. Being happy gives you the power to heal!
Make Your Life Sacred. Heal Yourself. Heal the World.
Our bodies, minds and spirits are healed through our efforts to perform and master the janitorial art/craft/prayer of making body, mind, spirit Sacred. We become more eligible to enjoy long, healthy, happy life.
Our made-Sacred life radiates healing out into the world and backward, forward and sideways in time and space:
-Made-Sacred babies grow up to be happy and healthy and capable contributors to the creation of a better world. The healing passes down through our made-Sacred lineage (lest we visit whatever it is that plagues us on our descendants).
-Sacred car gets us around for a loooong time - and in style! Sacred weird creepy neighbor or drug dealer on the corner or once feared/loathed police officer are revealed to us as being, in reality, our precious brother/sister.
-Clean and well-maintained toaster makes awesome toast for half a lifetime if we’re lucky!
-Meticulously sharpened and mindfully-stored kitchen knives make cooking meals and feeding our beloveds a safe and joyful and elevating experience.
-The kind and thoughtful gifts and treasures presented to us by friends and relatives fashion themselves, through our loving attention, into a beautiful altar - aka a turbocharged V8 engine powered vortex of healing. (Ask me about making altars. It’s the Wharton Business School of mastering the art/craft/prayer of Sacred-making.)
The Power to Heal
In short, EVERYTHING that we make Sacred becomes an ally to us and gives us the power to heal our own lives, to walk in beauty, to live in joy, to perform effectively and admirably, to be free to support the healing of others and to act in the service of love for our benefit and for the benefit of all our relations.
To make a thing Sacred is to LOVE it up how IT likes to be loved. The practice of making things Sacred, of making your life Sacred, is love in action. It’s love on the hoof. It makes everything better and places you squarely in the middle of your very own inspired, powerful and Sacred life. The burden of your former stressful, troubled life is lifted. You are no longer enduring your life. You are moving forward in love and beauty, joy and grace - a living breathing, healing, happy, Sacred human being
and VOILA! Stressful life >>>> Sacred Life. You can get a lot of the job done in a year if you play your cards right.
If you want to learn more or are interested in joining the Sacred Janitors Union Local 111, let's talk about it. Maybe I can help.