With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my past relationships. For a long time, I was attracted to relationships that never progress into places that were ever truly safe, secure, and supported. I found myself captive in this pattern. This karmic love pattern so to speak.
I define karmic love patterns as the cycles that can seem to hold us tightly to a story we tell ourself about what we are good enough for. These patterns can lead us to feel in some way lacking. For me, it was an attraction to partners who always fit the same mold, even if they were painted with different colors. The karma that I was spinning was always left me less grateful, and more angry.
Recently, I was reflecting on how karmic love patterns and the men who held my heart also played part in how I held my own sense of worth. I spent time looking at relationships in Venus retrograde cycles. I charted back in time to the last time Venus was in retrograde (40 day cycles) and then back every 18 months, and connected relationships between a Venus retrograde; who was I with, how did I feel, what was the context of the break up. In each scenario what I discovered was I felt less acceptance of my self. The deeper back I went the less agency, voice, and truth about who I was became evident. Where was the love? It wasn’t that I the partners I was with didn’t love me, it was more that I didn’t know how to accept the love being offered.
There between guilt and shame, was anger, fear and frustration. And somewhere too, was also hope and the Goddess, and dreams of a love with a passion out to use. Yet also were rules imposed by society that painted in broad strokes what felt like a bondage. It became more and more present as I was working through my karmic love patterns, and seeing in a more present way that I was pressing against were physical sensations within the body. I didn’t feel free. I didn’t feel space. I didn’t know acceptance.
I know acceptance is a loaded word with many possible definitions, so for this exercise, acceptance is the action of consenting to receive something offered. I also know that seems so easy to read, and when has life ever been that simple? Whether in relationship with others or in relationship with ourself, coming to accept that which is offered is hard. But when we can find the space within ourselves, we can begin to find true freedom.
This is the freedom from our assumptions about our capacities, and the freedom to be more respectful toward ourselves – just as we are with no judgement. Each of us come into our spiritual belief different, and the practice below offers the invitation to learn to practically observe yourself without judgment. It is the exercise of creating liminal space to release limitations and refine relationship to yourself. As I began my own journey I began to reveal to myself that what I was pressing up against was like a piece of flexible steel and prevented me from fully expressing love. The practice here engages you to build trust and steadfastness in your inner life, and experience more trusting connections in your outer life. I also invite you to add and expand what is offered, because after all, it’s your ritual.
Practice is what we do as ritualist, magic makers, puja makers and devotees of the Goddess. Do this for yourself, Whether for 5 days, 10 days, or every day. Let us welcome knowing more clarity, connection, and relationship with self.
Radical Acceptance: A 5 Day Practice
Day I: Welcome the Pause
Today we welcome the pause simply with one breath. Make special observance to the difference between expansion and contraction in your physical body.
When you notice that we are 1. rushing or 2. doubting (most every negative state falls into one of those two categories), How are those actions contractions in your body? Causing tightness and constriction. In your belly, heart, hands, eyes. Note to yourself the locations of contraction when you rush or doubt.
When we give ourself the permission to observe the contraction, take one breath to shift from contraction to attentive expansion. One breath will engage your interior space, and that space will keep growing as you accumulate experience with this pause. Remember we are moving toward acceptance here, which is an expansion. Breath to Heart.
Journaling: Write down at least three occasions when you noticed a contraction, what preceded it? Where it was in your body? Where were you able to transform it into an expansion using the breath? What did it feel like?
DAY II: Power of Three
Power of Three Mantra: Say Aloud, Think to Yourself, Write Down
“I accept myself who I am, right now. In this perfect moment. I am Goddess.” Take a moment to note any feedback from your body or your mind.
Journaling: In the three instances when you said this, did you feel expansion or contraction. What did it feel like to honor yourself as Goddess? Where you able to notice where you felt “acceptance” in your being? describe it.
DAY III: In The Others’ Eyes
Choose one behavior or choice in someone close to you that is difficult or hard to accept. Three times today say aloud or to yourself, “I accept you fully, and I accept your behavior/choice, with no judgment. You are Goddess.”
Expansion or contraction?
Journaling: Where in you body does this feeling resonate to accept someone else’s behavior or choice? To honor them as Goddess. How did this acceptance shift your day today? Did it bring you to joy another’s situation? Describe.
DAY IV: Fearless Compassion
Find that behavior or quality you find unsavory in others and in yourself. This is your chance to truly, simply awaken, and it will show you the actual meaning of the word compassion. If something in another person repels us emotionally or physically, we have that “something” within ourselves.
Journaling: Where and how does this behavior or quality register in your life and personality? Write it down in yourself. Be brave. When you find this within yourself, can you redefine “compassion?” How did this exercise bring you a new understanding, and acceptance of yourself?
DAY V: Discovering
All day today, say to yourself, or aloud, no matter what the situation, conversation, interaction: THANK YOU. In every circumstance, from Thank You for cutting me off on the highway today to Thank You for loving me deeply.
Get interested in becoming the bigger. literally. Become so expanded interiorly that you can take in this wild moment and transform it into your own internal growth and healing.
Journaling: Describe the feeling when you say “Thank You” and an obviously wonderful circumstance. Now, Describe the feeling in a super challenging moment. Even if you said it to yourself, expansion or contraction? Where in your body?
Now look in the mirror. Here is the hardest part for most of us. Say to yourself, aloud, THANK YOU. Thank you for shining the light on the path towards patience, acceptance, awakening, and gratitude. Thank you. Feel that. Describe.
And thank you for taking time to explore your breath, your patterns and you heart. This is a practice in expansion and exploration of the self. As we invite deeper states of self, we may come up against challenging memories, deep wounds, and some hurt. It has been m experience that we tenderly honor those moments with care and respect for the way our body wisely handles our safety and care. I’ve written extensively about my personal trauma and discovering how magic and Goddess helped my journey in Rooted In the Body Seeking the Soul. In writing the above and discovering how more permission for radical acceptance to invite more space and in turn more love, compassion and deeper acceptance that helped heal. Yet it is never at the expense of righteous indignation for egregious trauma. This practice honors YOU first, and your most sacred truths and justice.
The more we come into community and hold the space for radical self love, we create the space for accepting ourselves and in turn others. To me that is the ultimate gift of embodiment when we come into the presence of Goddess, whom flows in, among, and around us.