Luminous- Mantras & Words of the Year

Luminous Galia Alena Photography

Right now
Cicadas are the soundtrack of summer
Gardenias it's scent
Mangoes it's taste
It's touch
the constant movement
between the blanket
of warmth which pervades all
the Southerly that gently unwraps
mama ocean cooling my toes.
A gentle laziness
of friends and picnics,
of familiarity
of coming home
& new beginnings dreamed

I love having a word of the year but more and more I'm finding having a mantra of the year works even better for me. In 2012 my mantra was "Go Deep, Stay Light",  inhale, exhale, a gentle reminder to dig deep into the core of all, of authenticity of both self and life while still remaining slightly detached (something I am not so good at) and whimsical. As a Scorpio my natural tendency is for intensity which can lead to drama and loss of perspective, this gentle mantra brings me back to the moment and some perspective. While not shying away from the real work I try to stay carefree and light.

I don't seek out these mantras, they just seem to find me. I found myself whispering with my breath "Go deep, stay light" while out on a walk in the forest one morning. It came up from the earth through my soles and found itself lodged on my psyche and it stayed. I traveled with it for the whole year. The following year I tried to find a new mantra to work with but it never stuck. Then looking back over the year I realise that at some point I started  working with a mantra that just found me. "To pay attention, this is how we pray". I carved it into bowls, I wrote it onto journal pages and I lived it in the moments. At first I thought it was a quote I had read somewhere that I couldn't get out of my head but then I came to know it just as mine. The word pray is one I avoided for the first 40 years of my life, brought up outside religion the word held only connotations of institutions whose dogma cause much grief. A broadening of my understanding of religion allows me to see my walks through the woods as visits to the temples of divine spirit where the mottled light coming through the trees far out shines any light through a stained glass window.
So in any moment, I stop and pause, I notice the shadows moving across my walls, the way the light shifts with the seasons, the soft curve of my daughter's cheek, the warmth of my coffee cup nursed in my hands, the million greens on my favourite path, the shape of a pebble picked up, a treasure, everything. The sheer beauty within a moment paused…
This paying attention, this noticing of the beauty all around in any moment, holds infinite gratitude. This is how I pray. I breath in the beauty all around, I take it deep into my cells, I exhale gratitude.

I wonder what mantra will find me this year...
I have a suspicion it has found me already. We will see, I watch, I listen and I will know.

As for a word of the year...
I've enjoyed the embodiment of a word of the year over the last few years, its always amazing what unexpected gifts they bring forth. My word for 2013 was Generosity and one of the surprises that came out of holding that word was all about receiving, allowing others and the universe to be generous to me and to accept this with grace. As women we don't always remember to be the receivers, we align more often with giving of ourselves. However, receiving is tied very closely with the feminine and it was quite the lesson to learn how to sit in this.
The other aspect of generosity which also surprised me (although it shouldn't have, it just hadn't occurred to me when I had chosen the word) was it's strong connection with mothering. Mothering, and the generosity of that, was a huge huge huge part of my year (turned my life on its head, again).
At the end of the day, Generosity proved to be very much about being open to the flow, to both giving and receiving. As I put it on a blessing bowl I made for myself "GIVE WITH  ABANDON, RECEIVE WITH GRACE."

How did your word for 2013 hold you, what surprises did it carry?
I still feel generosity spilling into 2014 as I sit by the waters edge typing from a boatshed that I couldn't have dreamed up a few weeks ago. And I feel the generosity of family and friends, of home, of place, of trusting in the unknown.
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
Office for January
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
View from Here
I've been musing on what word I want to walk through 2014 with, and I thought for awhile it might be "Visible" but something someone said to me shifted that to "Gentle". Neither really stuck in a way that made me claim or pronnounce them fully. And then last night it came to me, so clear, so perfect and so definately. My word for 2014 is LUMINOUS.

LUMINOUS- light filled, light from within, light giving, radiating, clarity, of comprehension, of wisdom and enlightenment.

If you are looking for a way to work with your word more deeply perhaps you might like to do an art journaling ritual with the word. Pop over here for my Journaling as Sacred Vessel ritual I did last year with Generosity (a free gift to you).
And there is still time to throw your name into the bowl for one of two places on 21 Secrets an Art Journaling workshop in my previous post.

Love and Luminousity