This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in ceremony with several people out here in Colorado. A week earlier I was in Idaho with some beloved friends and my wife supporting the Shoshone Bannock Sundance. In late June I was blessed to have participated in a Summit on Gratitude and Trust in Manhattan, which was its own ceremony of being present, listening and learning as well as giving back. I have been practicing ceremony for over two decades now, and the adventure continues.
Here is something that ceremony has taught me over twenty plus years. We are all in the presence of Ceremony. It's happening all the time, and we can see it once we learn to recognize it.
Ceremony is a conscious act that someone undertakes with specific intent. That intent, at its highest expression, will enable the participant(s) to examine themselves and their relation to Life in such a way as to promote change. For me, that change is something I want to expresses through the opportunity to experience healing within my journey and share what I perceive as positive with the lives that I intersect with. Not all who undertake ceremony do so to embrace the light of what it can bring, however, and I am not so naive as to fail to recognize that. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.
One of the first things I share with everyone I work with is this idea: Whatever path you walk, there must be a practical demonstration of it in your everyday life, otherwise its just a sort of game you are playing with yourself. This path you choose is your call to conscious intent.
We have a choice, and as long as Life is present in us, and perhaps well beyond what we think are the boundaries of that Life, this choice persists. We can be awake, or asleep. We can meet life with conscious intent, or volunteer as victims to circumstance. We may not always be able to overtly influence the circumstances we find ourselves in, however we always have a choice in determining the intent we set for ourselves when dealing with those circumstances.
Life is Ceremony. Ceremony brings Choice. Conscious Choice is owning that Ceremony. What will we choose? Give or Take? Maybe both. In what measure? Faith or Fear? Stand present or run away? Each of these choices along with many others will call us to question the intent with which we meet Life, and we will be responsible for whatever we choose. There will be no avoiding the consequences of our choices. Whether we are Awake or Asleep, the Ceremony of Life is present, asking us to determine the intent with which we respond.
I often say that I take Life a lot more personally than Life takes me. Life's job is to be Life. My task is to be conscious of the opportunity to choose how I live within Life, however limited or unlimited I may feel my options are at any moment, and then execute those choices with clear intent. For me, this intent is to live in the Give-Away.
What is your intent? Every day is Ceremony. You can sleep through it, or Live it, and in Living Life with conscious intent you may come to own your journey. To own who you are is Beauty.
Walk in Beauty. Always leave Beauty in your Trail.