Do you ever feel alone? It’s a painful feeling. I’ve felt it many times.
When faced with an overwhelming challenge, when your usual human friends just won’t show up, when the clock is ticking, when you look around and there’s no one there, where do you turn?
Just put this in your back pocket so it’s ready to pull out when that time comes: you are never alone. Please inhale now, and as you exhale, say, “Hello, thanks for being here with me,” and smile a welcome to your ancestors.
I get asked about this all the time, so I’m writing about it. I’ll have a place to send the next person who calls me about it. We’re going to take it step by step.
You are going to read all this and then decide whether or not to do it, right? I’m fine with it; I know how you are.
Still feel alone? LOL no you don’t. If you like this feeling of being accompanied, you can have more of it. You can have as much as you want. Here’s one way to make that happen.
An Altar to The Ancestors
Clear a spot on the north side of any room where you live. Your spot can be large or small, it doesn’t matter. It’s nice if you can spread out a cloth, but anyway just make sure it’s clean.
Place there a candle of any color that pleases you. Many people use white. If you have a particular person in mind, you might use a candle of their favorite color.
Place there a photo of someone in your blood line who has passed over. If you don’t know of anyone you’d like to honor, use a photo of a person whom you admire and trust. Let it be someone older than you are though, that part is important. You want the sense of someone who has gone before you, paving the way.
Place there a small bowl of salt, a small bowl of water, a small knife (a butter knife is fine) OR a feather if you like, a few small coins, and some grains of rice or corn.
The coins and rice are your offering. The salt represents the element of Earth. The candle, Fire. The feather or the knife, Air. The water, Water.
If it pleases you and if it’s easy, you might add any memento of that person. Do not put a strain on yourself doing any of this. Everything you do is perfectly alright. My mother was fond of vodka, so I pour out a little shot glass for her. You will know what to do. And you can change things on your altar whenever you like.
All you have to do now is light that candle and look at the photo. When you’re finished, say something in appreciation and snuff out the candle. It is done.
See how easy that was? Take two minutes to do this meditation once in awhile, and that belief of being alone will stop bothering you. You will never have to feel that way again. Thank me later.
Getting to your destination without any wrong turns
Convincing someone to understand your point
Responding to people who do not understand you
Having the facts
Making someone else wrong
Fixing the world
Making having or spending a lot of money
Belonging to a group
Figuring it out, whatever it is
Wearing the right clothes
Eating the right foods
Doing your duty
Getting a bargain
Becoming famous or even “well known”
Getting agreement from anyone
Staying where you're at
Getting your chores done
You can still do any of these things! As long as you feel good first. Because feeling good is your most important activity.
And when you feel good, doing things is easy.
Props to poet Dory Maguire, author of Urban Swagger, for the basic idea.