Native Americans knew the value and purpose of purification not only of the physical body but of our spiritual selves as well. Before any Native American ritual or ceremony took place it was necessary to cleanse and purify the mind, body, and spirit of impurities and toxins to enter the sacred space of the Creator.
To keep ourselves and our lives healthy and well-functioning, we purify. We wash our hands so we donít get sick. We wash our clothes and clean our houses, cars, and work spaces to keep them in commission. Purification is necessary. Many of us lead busy, stressful lives and even when we do our best to stay upbeat and positive, other people or experiences can leave us with an energy of negativity at the end of the day. Sometimes the struggles of the day be they external such as coming from society, relationships, politics, religion, and jobs, or internal such as fears, phobias, anxieties, anger, or compulsions, can leave us feeling completely depleted. Just as we take steps to cleanse and strengthen our physical bodies, taking steps to purify ourselves of toxic build-up of negative emotions can help us to resolve the conflicts within.
Purification of self before worship of deity is found in many religions. Baptism and confession are two examples from the Christian faith. It is also written in Holy Scripture that before going to God in prayer we are to first forgive. It is often this forgiveness that can be the most challenging for us at the end of our day, regardless of our religious views.
Purification of our emotions is a good way to claim dominion over our minds. Through purification we can clear our minds and become still like the waters of a serene lake in the early hours. Then it becomes not so much about the prayers as it does the stillness. We are then able to receive with an open heart and it is then we are able to listen. Here are three steps that can help with clearing and settling our minds so that we may enter a realm of peace where Creator abides.
To begin, seat yourself anywhere that is comfortable and quiet and where you wonít be disturbed. Set your intention to become aware of your oneness with the Holy Spirit.
Step One: Breathe. Become aware of your inhalation and exhalation. Breathe in peace, breathe out stress. Continue this for at least 5 breathes. Feel your body relax. As random thoughts enter gently let them go with your next breath out. At first it may seem difficult to let go of all of the traumas and dramas of the day but it will become easier as you practice. Donít be discouraged.
Step Two: Identify any experiences or people who may have offered you grief during your day. Although this step may seem like taking a step back, itís not. Itís very different. Before, your thoughts were more of a narrative, usually a negative one sounding more like a broken record. Now that you have cleared your mind of random or compulsive thinking in step one, this step allows you to identify specific areas where you may need release.
Step Three: Release blame and offer forgiveness. If you can manage this, even for a brief time at first, you can reclaim dominion over your life. You are releasing yourself as a victim. Sometimes this even involves forgiving yourself. Whatever the blame stories are, in this moment let them go. Ask for help from above. Forgiveness is healing the self. Forgiveness is not weakness. Visualize the person or situation that needs forgiving. Now release the toxicity of holding a grudge from your mind and body. Know that the only thing that can affect you are your own thoughts. Claim your thoughts and stand in your own authority. At this time you are clear of toxins and closer to your true self. You have purified and empowered yourself and can now become aware of the presence of your Creator.
Approached in a sacred manner these steps to spiritual purification are gentle and healing. What better way to enter into a peaceful nightís sleep? Amen.