Daily Practice, Pockets of Presence, and Being of Service

Many of us may come to daily practice or to a goddess-centered path feeling weary and depleted. We may also come feeling optimistic that this will be our answer and now everything will be easy and there will be no more suffering. While I hold a strain of fierce optimism and trust in inherent goodness, joy and beauty, that permeates my work, I also wish to acknowledge that there is lot of pain, a lot of hardship, and a lot of suffering in the world. There is a lot of conflict and a lot of challenge and a lot of discord. There are also deeply embedded structures of social inequity, systemic inequality, and oppression built into our (Western) society. In the face of all these factors, it can be hard to keep the faith, to hold our trust, and to feel safe enough, to let our spirits have the things that they crave, because we may worry that to do so is to perpetuate a type of denial. We may worry that if we allow ourselves to have space for the practices that fuel us and sustain us and bring us joy, that means turning our faces away from the suffering.

I would like to be very clear that daily practice and goddess-based spiritual paths are not about turning our eyes away from the hardships in the world or the people who need us. What they are about is creating a resource base that fuels us so we actually have something to give. If you become depleted and worn out and spiritually bereft, this helps no one and solves nothing. On the other hand, if you are fueled, boosted, nourished, and supported, this does help you to help other people.

We may have the sensation that we can’t afford to waste time on matters of the spirit. The truth is, however, is that we can’t afford not to spend time on matters of the spirit, because spiritual tending is a necessary and healing balm for the wounding all around us.

Keep trusting in possibility. Keep trusting in the goddess. Keep trusting in your own magic. Please allow yourself space for the practices that fuel you and sustain you. You will find that dedication to daily practice can be an essential factor in still having hope, faith, love, compassion available to pour out to others. We need nourished hearts in order to truly be of service.

Truly, deeply, at the heart, daily practice is about both making a place for yourself and for the sacred in in the everyday, however small. We create smallest possible practices that fit into our lives as they are, not the life we imagine we might have, or the life we see that it seems somebody else on Instagram is living. In daily practice, we nourish and tend to the lives we really have right now with small and simple practices that fit into our own world as it is, whether we’re a parent or business owner or employee or volunteer or a caregiver or are in a high stress environment (or all of these things at once). Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever your life is like, I have faith that you can create soul-sustaining daily practices that fit into your life.

Practice happens day by day, it happens moment by moment, it happens hour by hour, it happens month by month. Practice does not happen 500 days at once. Thirty days or five hundred days or one thousand days still only happen one moment at a time. I am fond of considering our practices in the context of a thirty day commitment, which is how I conceived of #30DaysofGoddess. Each month of practice becomes an invitation into the next thirty days of sacred moments. Each month is an invitation into thirty possible days in which you can build a blessing basket of practices to support yourself and to nourish your life, your spirit, your heart, and your love. In this way, each month of the year becomes a container or invitation and then each day itself is its own container, each day is an opportunity to begin anew, to have what you crave, to listen to the goddess in your world, your life, and to respond to the invitation, freely offered, each day.

Daily practice happens day by day, morning by morning, night by night, moment by moment and each of us have small pockets of presence in our lives in which we can fold small sacredness.

  • Where are those little doorways in your life?
  • Where are the subtle entrances to the sacred?

I find that they are everywhere. When I reference pockets of presence, I’m not talking about all day. I’m as susceptible as the next person to thinking, “if I just had a whole weekend where I was on retreat and nobody was bothering me and the phone never lit up and no kid ever asked me a question, then my life would be bliss!” Or, “my life would be so much more magical and profound if I could go on a pilgrimage somewhere.” This is not to say that pilgrimages are not powerful or that you should withhold “larger” sacred experiences and journeys from yourself—that you should settle for “small” and never any more—but the point of daily practice is to fit what you need most into your life as it is right now. Right now, this actual minute, right now. No need to be any more special, any different, or any more magical than you already are at this exact moment. You’re already special enough. You’re already magical enough. You already have what you need. You do not need to wait for perfect. You do not need to escape from your everyday life to go on that amazing pilgrimage before you’re allowed to have what you need. Definitely go on a pilgrimage if you can, but also believe me when I say that you do not have to have anything different than you have right now.

We all have pockets of presence in our day. We have them when we wake up and when we’re brushing our teeth, when we’re transitioning between activities. Devotional practice can happen in these metaphorical mudrooms in your life, these transition points between activities–in the car, getting ready for bed, lying down to go to sleep, stepping outside and sitting on the porch for a few minutes, pausing before you pick up the phone, or before you open up your computer. There are transition points in all of our lives. Even walking into the bathroom is its own transition point. Each of these pockets of presence or metaphorical mudrooms in your life, is a doorway to the sacred. Yes, even walking into the bathroom can be a doorway to the sacred because doorways to the sacred are everywhere.

In Whole and Holy I wrote about how the moment in which you feel the pang, the moment you feel the tinge of longing, the moment you wish you had some magic, the moment you think, “Molly is full of it, there’s nothing sacred here. There is no beauty here.” The moment you feel that sensation, the moment you feel that sense of longing, that pang, that pulse of desire, that sensation of wishing you could feel like you were walking in the hand of the goddess. The moment you feel the longing, that is the moment, the doorway is right there. The moment of the pang is your chance to offer something, to do something, to pause, however briefly. Instead of looking at these moments of lack and longing as somehow indicative that you are doing something wrong or that your life is terrible, look at that moment, that moment of longing that is your doorway to the sacred. Here, you have your chance to offer something, even if what you offer is as small as your hands in prayer pose and your fingertips to your lips. That’s your doorway to the sacred. That’s your moment. That’s your chance to put your hand on your heart. That’s your chance to say, “Goddess, guide me.” That’s your chance to look out the window and see if you can spot a bird. That’s your chance to notice the clouds, the sun, the sunflower that’s in bloom, that’s your chance. That’s your invitation.


NOTES: On goddess-based paths, the body is usually viewed as a source of wisdom, a teacher, a guide, and a doorway to the sacred. Body-based practices pull us out of the phone, out of the computer, out of our heads and back to where we are. That said, I know that not everybody’s body feels like a safe place for them. If that is you, I’m so sorry that this has been your experience. I hope that goddess-centered practice will help you in reclaiming your body as a doorway to the sacred, as a safe and holy place. With the assumption that we can drop into our bodies and our bodies are safe spaces for us, we find that centering back into our bodies can be one of the most powerful and reliable ways to come back to the sacred.

And, a reminder that creating a prayerbook itself provides a beautiful, tiny temple space that allows you to always have your magic, your practice, at your fingertips wherever you go, a practice of devotion that you can actually hold in your hands that can bring you back to center and into a sense of connection, or sacred communion. We have printed prayerbooks available via Lulu. And, we have print-your-own prayerbooks for free at #30DaysofGoddess.

Resource Reminders:

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