Today I had the opportunity to interview owl of love about reverence.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
i am bi, a priest-in-training, a witch and a Gaia-phile, or earth lover. i’m passionate about sounds and silences, encompassing music, good conversation, and nature. i blog about my MBA and personal growth at blog.sqrt49.com.
How do you approach reverence in your daily life?
To me, reverence and spirituality are the same thing. It’s more difficult in my work life, certainly it is hard to integrate spirituality into a militaristic, production-oriented framework. Which doesn’t mean i don’t still try! i end up relishing having time by myself to do my spiritual practices, both by myself and in community.
One thing that’s important to me is remembering to “change channels”, to move between running around, that is doing, and just being. For example, is yoga a good idea? Yes, but only if it about being, not just one more thing to do. Spiritual practices have to be for the sake of being, not trying to get somewhere. They can’t be things to check off on a to-do list.
How do you stay present when time-crunched?
There’s a “what’s your worthiness?” practice. If i want to feel reverential, then i have to take the time to decide i’m worthy of the practice. It’s reminding myself that we all have an inherent divinity, and therefore an inherently reverent nature. Staying present could mean taking the time for a few deep breaths, a single yoga pose, or staying aware of my sacred nature in the gym. It all has to begin with mindfulness, with the desire to be more reverent with myself and others. Do i really need to get mad, to yell at someone driving or whatever? No. If i approach my own self-worth as being worthy of compassion, then i am more compassionate with others.
i think the flip side to this is mirth. How do i do this, be reverent, without going so far i forget about mirth? i don’t want to lose the joy of some kind of connection. i think this is something people who have grown up in mainstream religions without mirth struggle with. i have only one answer here: to not take myself seriously. As this is just one approach (from “Rule #62” in Recovery,) I think it is good to live in the question further.
What do you think deserves reverence that doesn’t receive it in our culture? How do you respond to that?
It’s heartbreaking, frustrating, and disheartening to see how we respond to what people do- CEOs vs. teachers, for example. Why are teachers and people who do work for nonprofits not revered? Why is their work not financially valued? i wish there was less reverence around the bottom line and more around the meat, the merit of what people do. i put both my intention and my money toward those values. And i cheerlead those things that are under-valued. If i had a friend who was interested in teaching but not sure about the money, i’d tell them to go for it, We have to model the behavior we want to see.
Being the change we want to see in the world?
Why do you feel reverence is important?
The world needs more spiritual practice. More reverence would result in taking better care of ourselves and the world, as we wake up and realize, “Oh shit, we’re all Divine!” When a small child goes to knock something on an altar down, we gently re-direct them because we understand that we need to be careful with objects of reverence. Imagine what a game-changer it would be if we had that same instinctive protection for us all, for the world!
Thank you so much for your time!
It was my pleasure.