About 3 years after my divorce I wanted to do a ritual honoring my marriage. I took a piece of paper and a gold pen and started writing out all the things that the death of my marriage had birthed in my life. My hand flew over the paper: new friendships, living in NYC, 7 months backpacking in Asia, living alone for the first time ever, painting, feeling so many more emotions…I wrote and wrote and wrote. 3 columns, double-sided. It wasn’t that my marriage prevented me from any of this, it was that I wasn’t being me in my marriage. So in this new space, in this freedom to explore and research I was in the midst of birthing my true self, honoring my true desires, admitting and owning I did not want to have children and coming to peace with it.
I went to the nursery (plants not babies) and took my time strolling around looking for a pot that felt right- I bought a swirly red one. It reminded me of love and of the root chakra. The energetic center of home, of feeling rooted in the earth, in my body, in my soul. So much of that had happened since the death of my marriage because I was finally growing up. I then found the plant, a sturdy beauty, about 18” tall, lush, deep green.
I drove to my Aunt’s house, headed to her 1/2 acre garden and dug a hole, I’m pretty sure I started crying immediately. I gently divided the plant in two, composting half of it back to mother earth along with my tears. I put my hands onto the earth, onto this plant and the gratitude for my marriage, for my former husband poured forth. For he was the magical person who taught me about unconditional love. I cried, sobbed, and let my love for this man go into the ground, into this plant, just deep deep appreciation for the gift of his love and our time together, for first sweet love.
Next, I put the list of things that had been birthed at the bottom of my new shiny red pot, scooped some fresh, fertile soil and gently planted this new life. I laid on the ground for awhile equalizing my system, feeling held by the earth, feeling the spaciousness after that huge release of emotion, after the honoring of all the beauty and love both my marriage and my time since had birthed.
These are the cycles of our lives. Birth. Death. Birth. Death. Every day. Sunrise. Sunset. Every Season. Do we keep choosing to let go of what no longer serves us and welcome what is yearning to be created in our own lives?
Take time to honor this beautiful cycle.
So what do you need for this ritual? Pen, paper. A pot. A plant. Some soil. Or you could use two flowers if that calls to you, or a leaf…follow your desire and what feels good. If you feel called to first compost the plant then write the list, please do. Or you may want to post the list somewhere you can see it, or burn it…again follow your own wisdom.
Find some time in a place you feel safe and relaxed, so you can move through the emotions which might emerge.
Set your intentions. Mine was to honor the gift of my marriage, of my former husband and that it’s death while sad and painful had been part of birthing my true self. This year it's about the death of my wounded inner teenager who valiantly and much to my exhaustion has been running the show for far too long. Honoring her strength, her fear and offering her great compassion.
What are your intentions?
Close your eyes, breathe, feel your heart soften, sit with this death, this birth and let the emotions and words flow. There is no rush. Perhaps you pause, feel the sun on your face and write some more. Just be present to what emerges both as you write out the birth and honor the death. Be present as you as you lovingly compost this part of your life.
After you finish the ritual lay on the ground or the couch.
Enjoy the breeze on your face, the dirt on your hands. Go for a slow walk, smell some flowers, feel new desires arise, new seeds being planted, turn your face to the sky, take a deep breath and welcome in the new.
Honor this beautiful gift of life, of earth. Honor and celebrate what you are birthing. Honor yourself for your strength, your beauty, your wild heart.