My intention is to blog once a season about Life Practices in order to share what I am practicing in my life, and to suggest opportunities to join me, as well as ideas to use in your own practice.
Spring Equnox occurs midway between the longest night of the year, at Winter Solstice, and the longest day of the year, at Summer Solstice. It is called an Equinox from the Latin “equal” and “night” because (as on the Autumn Equinox) the night and day are the same length. In 2012, the Spring Equinox occurs at 12:14 am on March 20th.
Spring Equinox reminds us that Spring is on the way. (These Amaryllis from my garden are not blooming yet!) Emerging from wintertime, when we may have had a chance to regroup, to draw nourishment from our roots and rest, we are now being invited into new growth. But even in Spring, it’s not always easy to break open the shell that’s holding us back, to stretch our wings and fly. As the air and soil warms, there is an upsurge of fresh energy and vitality. And yet, even as we breathe this Spring nourishment into our being, it can challenge the comfort of our current way of living, our habits, our ways of knowing ourselves. Just as plants find their way through the soil, rocks, and detritus into the light of day, so must we, too, be willing to meet what is in our path, to experience whatever suffering is necessary to break open the shell and peek out into the light of day. In this way, we, like the earth, can become verdant and flow with new life again.
What obstacles are on your journey this Spring? What ways of being are you being asked to reconsider? What suffering must you risk as you move into the fresh, new light? You may want to write in a journal, or try a short ritual alone or with friends that could include the following:
• Light a candle, yellow or light green in color;
• Place an egg near the candle, sit in silence, and reflect on the journey from life inside this safe, contained, nourishing environment into the fresh, new, growing invitation of Spring;
• Name or make a list of the things that are difficult or that stand in the way of this transition, that may bring suffering;
• Sit quietly and breathe into your roots, into your ground, knowing that they will be there to support you;
• Continuing to breathe into this support, also breathe in the possibility of new, vital, fresh life;
• When you are ready, say thank you and blow out the candle.
After the Spring Equinox, the days continue to grow longer, until at Summer Solstice, we’ll be back to the longest day. Please plan to join us for a Summer Solstice ritual at Unity Unitarian Church this year! May you welcome and find grace in this changing of the seasons.
Singing Body Workshop and Mirabilis in Concert! I’m excited to let you know that my singing partner from out East, Amy Fradon, will be coming to St. Paul to sing with me in March for a workshop and a concert! More details below.
From a few audience members: “Thank you for an incredible evening. You really have the ability and power to bless—truly bless people with love and spirit through your song, voice, and music.” and “Your angelic voices blended so well that I was in a special odyssey of sound. I love your spiritual celtic melodic harmony of prayer ad gratitude to the Big Boss, whoever! May your work continue to lighten the hearts of many earthly souls.”
The Singing Body Workshop, Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th. 7:00-9:30 Friday and 9:00-5:00 Saturday, with Katy and Amy Fradon
Join Amy and Katy to rediscover the roots and soul of your voice. This workshop is mostly experiential, including singing, sounding, mindfulness, processing time, and ritual. Anyone wishing to explore their embodied voice is welcome with no vocal experience necessary. Held at Unity Church Unitarian. $150 or $125 for Unity Members. Read more and download a flyer here.
Mirabilis in Concert, Sunday, March 25th
2:00-3:30, with Katy and Amy Fradon
Enjoy original and medieval chant and song that weaves celtic ornamentation with haunting, mystical chant and prayer. Specializing in the music of Hildegard von Bingen, a capella and simply accompanied, Katy and Amy’s purity of tone and musical depth inspires and transports. Includes some participatory singing. In the Sancturay at Unity Church Unitarian. $12 admission, $10 for Unity Members. Read more and download a flyer here.
Voice Lessons with Amy Fradon, Monday-Thursday, March 19th-22nd
Amy has been singing and performing in the US and abroad in a wide array of musical groups for the past 25 years, from the Woodstock music scene in the 80s to touring with the Broadway hit, Pumpboys and Dinettes, to recording with Alcazar Records and Shanachie Cachet, to touring as the lead female singer with the Vanaver Caravan, as well as bringing music to the corporate world with Face the Music: a team-building medium with clients including Bank of America, Aventis, Pfizer, and General Electric.
Amy assisted Kim Rosen and Cathie Malach’s self-transformation work, Interspecies Connection, with voice support and group facilitation, and completed a 3-year certification with Kim called the Delphys Training in alternative counseling and healing modalities. She has since been ordained as an Interfaith Minister with a Spiritual Counseling Certificate at The New Seminary, and has developed a large private practice teaching vocal technique and helping people to find their “voice” using voice as a vehicle for self-discovery. Read more about Amy here. Contact Katy to schedule a lesson.
Collage and Practice. I can’t really write enough about my love of collaging! No matter what my life is bringing to me, collage can help me express and find deeper meaning than the linear thoughts that I’m consciously aware of.
This collage is, again, about exploring different parts of myself. I am in the midst of some healing work that includes learning to slow down, to do less, to rest. The process of collage itself invites me to do the same. I wrote about this collage in a recent blogpost. I am deepening my understanding of Anne Dillard’s oft-quoted phrase: “The way we spend our days is, of course, the way we spend our lives.”
One of the practices thas is supporting me in learning to slow down is that I make sure I take at least one 5-minute break in the day in which I do nothing. I might sip a cup of tea, but otherwise no reading, no music, no talking…I just sit in a comfrotable place and stay with myself for at least 5 minutes. This practice is helping me to actually experience my life more, to find more delight, more connection, more meaning, more joy, more peace right in the midst of it…That is how I want to spend my life, not the way I’ve been filling my days for so long–with work and busyness and to-do lists…
How do you spend your days? Is this how you want to spend your life? What simple thing could you try on to practice dropping into the moment?
Body/Movement. Because of this time of healing, I have been much less physically active recently. I tried at one point to start running again, but it was too soon and it absoutely exhausted me, so I decided to wait. I even had to stop going to the Belly Dancing class I was loving! I am learning to listen to what my body really needs, and she was telling me to rest. I slept 9-10 hours for almost a month on top of immune support and acupuncture! Now my body is feeling more energized and I’m waking up after 8-8.5 hours. I did my first run, only half the distance I normally would and more slowly, and I still feel good. So, slowly but surely, I hope to find my way into more conscious movement that supports my health and is attuned to my body’s needs.
How do you listen to your body’s needs? Do you exercise regularly? Can you tell what is enough and not too much? How does your body let you know, and do you listen?
Summit Hill Laughter Club! I’ve mentioned before that I trained to become a Certified Laughter Yoga leader, and now I’ve started a St. Paul Laughter Yoga Club at Unity Unitarian Church. We’re starting out with meeting one Wednesday per month. Upcoming dates are March 14, April 11th, and May 16th from 7:15-8:15, and it’s free!
Come explore the art of laughter to invite more joy, play, health, and wellbeing into your life! Because of the deep pranayamic breathing exercises and the invitation to become more whole by allowing the lighter, more playful and joyful side of yourself to come forward, this form of practice is also called Laughter Yoga; however, it does not include any physical asanas and can be practiced by people of all ages who are willing to try on being a little bit silly. Please contact me if you have any questions–I would love to laugh with you!
Reverending. I absolutely love performing ceremonies that bring more honoring of our intentions and love into the world! This above laughing picture was from a wedding I performed last year. Let me know if I can assist you in honoring any transitions or special moments in your life. You can read more about my practice of ministry.
The next seasonal celebration will be the Summer Soltice in June at Unity Unitarian church.
Spring Blessings, Katy
5 thoughts on “life practices: spring equinox”
For anyone in the Hudson River Valley, Amy and I are singing a concert in Stone Ridge on Tuesday, April 3rd. You can download a flyer here: http://www.thewingedheart.net/downloads/April_2012_flyer.pdf.
i remember one equinox when we balanced eggs. i’ve been told that you can balance eggs any time, and while that may be true, when the exact time of the equinox occurred, the eggs practically tipped themselves up into place. The power of our gravity here on Earth – spectacular.
Love your collage!
isn’t the egg balancing fun? i have a dear friend who did that on the Equinox, too. i have a great photo! and that same gravity also helps us to be grounded / rooted enough to balance on our earth journey…thanks, mary.
This is a lovely equinox practice! I had not heard of the egg exercise, i love it. Also love all the things you have going on, especially the signing and the laughing club. What a lovey smile/laugh you have:-) I hadn’t realized you were in St. Paul. I live in LA but my family is from the Minneapolis area and are all still there, I visit frequently and am a midwestern girl at heart:-)
thanks, Lisa–that’s cool you’re from the midwest! I’m actually an East Coast girl, but moved here to be wtih my husband and his two boys. let me know if you’re ever in town and have time for a cuppa. 🙂