My devotions at midday are *always* informal, and if you were to look at me, you might not see that I’m doing anything special. My prayers for thanks for the meal, aimed at the gods and at the spirits of the land, are silent. Most of the time, I bring reading material that is more “study” than “fun” (it’s all fun for me, mind you; “study” generally means more words to look up, and hey, are smartphones not the coolest tool for that?).
I eat. I take time to reflect upon the day thus far, my actions, my mood, my thoughts, and if need be, I haul those wayward thoughts back into focus. During the days that are not miserable, I venture outside to eat. My place of employment does not provide much in the way of break-taking space that allows getting away from the job, but our neighbors have an outside eating area. When I really need to be away from my jobsite, I’ll spend the money, buy a tea, and eat lunch in their cafe. Lately that hasn’t been much of an option.
Or, I’ll journal, instead of reading. Or I’ll bring knitting. The important part here is that I make sure to mentally disengage from the workplace, because I need that barrier, and that I tap back into my path, I realign myself with my gods and spirits.
Maybe someday I’ll have the sort of job where that’s not necessary, but retail is an ugly beast and it’s too easy to get caught up in the drama, to get invested in the stupidity of some of the people we run into, etc.
The above looks an awful lot like self-therapy, right? How is any of that about Poseidon, about Odin, about my life as Their devotee? Fostering compassion within myself is one of Poseidon’s three rules (dare I say Rules?) for my path. The above is how I keep my mind focused on that compassion, how I remember to keep coming at life from that place of compassion.
And I fail at it. All the time. But I keep going back to it, because what else can I do?
It’s possible that the gods and spirits you’re working with want things, physical, tangible things. With me, with Poseidon? He wants — demands even — that I be coming at life with the lenses of compassion, healing, and awareness firmly on. Catching ourselves, bringing ourselves back into alignment with our path is a hugely important step in maintaining any sort of a devotional practice. Before any things being given, for me this has to be in place, it has to be where I’m coming from, or it’s all just going through the motions, and I’ve learned the hard way that Poseidon is not interested in that. Drop the motions, bring the heart.
So, I sit, and I eat, and I read or knit or write, and I try very hard to be patient and compassionate when people stop to talk to me, when all I want is peace and quiet and solitude. It looks like any other person eating and reading or knitting or writing. But living with the gods isn’t always about bells and whistles, and it makes me wonder — how many of the people I’m seeing, eating and reading or writing or knitting, are also communing with the spiritual world in the middle of the cafe?