At the moment I have several green stripes in my hair, my toenails are painted green, and so are both my thumbnails.
If I had been nervous about my test last night, these things would have been charms to help me do my pattern right, but since I had prepared adequately for a change, I was wearing the green as a celebration, as a badge of confidence.
But when I first planned on my green hair and nails, it struck me that I do little rituals, carry ‘charms’ and call on the universe* for help in a somewhat superstitious way on a fairly regular basis** and I began to wonder why. It’s not an OCD thing (my crazy doesn’t manifest that way, usually), and I can do these things without the charms and rituals so it’s curious but not worrisome. I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction*** so I’m not really thinking that I conjure up success with these things, but they do help me on some level.
The key to figuring it all out came when I reread an email from Marianne Elliot of the 30 Days of Yoga program I’m doing. In her note, she mentioned certain ritual type things you can do (burning incense, lighting candles, playing music) to put you in the right frame of mind for your yoga practice. The email made me think about my charms and the like, and made me realize that the objects and rituals are part of my preparation. They’re anchors holding me in the mental space I need for the activity at hand.
Lighting the candle in my ‘create’ candle holder puts me in a good space for writing, painting my thumbnail green would help me focus on my punches and blocks instead of any nervousness, calling on the universe reminds me that I need to ask for help, or that I need to let go of my need to control, just lean into whatever is going on and trust that it will work out.****
So, my charms and rituals are a way of creating a space for the task, and pulling my concentration back to that task when needed, a way to remind myself about something important.
Now I feel a little less silly about my approach. Creating space to accomplish things is vital, and I should use any tools I have in order to do that.
Do you have rituals, charms or potions to help you with challenges? Does my use of these things still seem superstitious to you? Do you use prayer to help you with challenges instead? How do you view prayer in that context?
*I don’t practice any organized religion, but I believe there is power in the universe above and beyond individual human power. That may jibe with your feelings about God, do with it what you will.
**And I am passing it on to my kids too. I have a little leather bag full of courage/luck charms that they wear when they are feeling nervous, I draw a red dot on their fingers so they can ‘focus like a laser’ when they are having trouble settling, and I recently told The Boy that caffeine gave you extra math abilities so I gave him a shot glass of pepsi before bed so he could be ready for his math test in the morning. I ‘fessed up afterwards on that last one, though.
***I was on board for the positive stuff, in the sense that once you tune in to something, you notice more examples of it (like when you buy a red hat and suddenly the world is full of red hats) so you can take advantage of opportunities that come your way. I couldn’t get on board for the negative though, I can’t buy that rape victims vibrated on a frequency that brought on their attack, and I refuse to blame genocide on the victims either. Glerg.
****So the dots on my kids’ fingers reminds them to focus, anchoring them in the task at hand. Their little bag of courage lets them draw on their own courage without having to ‘find’ it.