Lessons from SpiritQuest and the Women’s Retreat
Before you throw out the food left in the serving bowl or the refillable pen that has run out of ink, the pair of jeans that no longer fit, or that old piece of furniture that no longer works in your home, you might want to think about your prosperity.
My husband and I take a walk in our neighborhood nearly every morning and on garbage pick-up day we are frequently shocked by what we see sitting out on the curb to be picked up. While there are certainly items that are simply broken and can’t be repaired, there are also items that really should be heading to a store that recycles used goods.
After several walks where we wondered why so much was being thrown away, I asked myself, “Does it matter? Does is matter whether someone recycles or throws away something? Does it matter if we don’t repair or repurpose items that are broken? Should we be hanging on to things we no longer need or use? Does it make a difference, from a spiritual perspective, if we just let go of things by throwing them away?”
In essence, I was asking myself, “What is the ethical course of action, and how does my choice affect the balance of life?”
It took a quiet, uncluttered moment when I was refilling a pen that I received the insight I had been wanting. And here is what I heard:
Waste tells the universe that you have more than enough. If you are affirming prosperity and throwing away useable items, your actions contradict your intentions.
The answer was clear and simple. Waste affects our prosperity.
Now, there is a difference between wasting something that is useful and recycling it. When you recycle, if you are doing it consciously, you are giving it to someone else in need of what you have stewarded. In other words, if you think about the things you use as temporary treasures in your stewarding, rather than things you own, when you are finished using them, you pass them along to their new steward.
This is a very different energy from giving it away because you no longer like it or you throwing it out because you don’t want it anymore. When you honor with gratitude the object that has served you and allow it to continue its life-cycle in the care of someone else, you maintain an spirit of gratitude. Gratitude combined with clear intention creates an energetic opening for more of what you want to come into your life.
When something is truly not repairable and no longer useable, of course it is appropriate to throw it away if it cannot be recycled in some way. Here again, the energy you hold as you release the object is significant.
If you toss it out as if it is a piece of junk, you are telling the universe that you don’t appreciate what you are given because it isn’t worthwhile. If on the other hand you let it go with gratitude for the joy or service it has provided you, you are telling the universe that you are grateful for the objects that come into your life to give you pleasure or service.
Stockpiling what you don’t need also stops the flow of energy. If you keep things that you don’t use and will probably never use again, you are telling the universe that what you have been given to steward doesn’t really matter to you. So on the one hand you might be praying for prosperity, but on the other you are sending out a message that you don’t truly appreciate the life-force of the items you receive—another contradictory message.
Your energy in these matters makes a difference in whether you are rejecting or receiving abundant help and delight from creation.
In ceremonial practice, you learn to become very attuned to energetic balance because if you make choices that are out of alignment with the prayers you have offered, those prayers are limited in their ability to come to fruition. At SpiritQuest at at the Women’s Retreat we have learned to attend very carefully to these energies. We make an offering and a prayer of gratitude at every evening meal. Questers often discover there are physical items as well as beliefs or emotions that need to be released in preparation for the ceremonies, creating a spiritual opening within to receive new insights and blessings. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/sacred-feminine-women-retreat.htm
When ceremonies are over we offer meaningful gifts to those that have supported us in ceremony. If you have quested, your sleeping bag, sleeping mat—those items you used during your Quest—are given away to others. This is a way in which we recycle the items, the good energy and blessings of the sacred experience.
The next time you are getting ready to throw something in the garbage, you might want to pause and think about it first. By the act of throwing away or the energy that is in your heart, consider whether you are setting up an energy that furthers your spiritual development and your prosperity.