What Your Soul is Missing

writing the first draft of a blessing for "nourish"

Once upon a time, our days were rich with rites of passage.

Withwomen gathered to anoint newborns.
Ministers laid hands on foreheads to welcome confirmation classes to the community.
Mayors cracked bottles on the helms of ships.
Funerals held familiar phrases to help us say goodbye.

Our world was once ripe with ritual. Everyone knew what the gestures meant, what the symbols were, why we were gathered.

To send someone forth.
To ask for protection.
To cover with kindness.
To say “Yes, you belong with us. Let us be a people.”

It’s lonely out there now, in this independent world. Our post-church culture has left us a little bereft. There are few who know the ways we might anoint our children, witness our vows, bless our journeys, ordain us to the work we are called to do.

I suspect that you are feeling the absence of this, somewhere in your marrow–where your ancestory lives. It’s that little bit of let- down when a Really Big Event fails to mean as much as you had hoped. It’s the nervous feeling that things are flying by you too fast. It’s the tears that come up when you feel invisible, unseen.

There are reasons why all cultures have rites of passage — and ours are wearing a little thin. As individuals, and as communities we feel this absence — even if we cannot name it. And when these things are returned to us, we recognize it as Coming Home.

I’d like to rebuilding those things with you. Starting with bringing back the practice of blessings.

Blessing births.
Blessing unions.
Blessing adventures.
Blessing foreheads.
Blessing surgeries, and studio openings,
first days at school, and last days before retirement.

(Holy, Holy, Holy.)

And I’d like to start, right now in the new year with you.

Yes, you.

What do you need in 2014. What word is your guide? What wish is demanding our attention? What hope is in your heart? I’m writing blessings for whatever you most long for this year.

To help you name your deepest desires, in metaphor and poetry.
To call you out and give you and emboldened charge.
Quite simply, to kiss you and say, “Yes, this can be so.”

(That is what the amen is, is it not? May it be so. May it be so.)

I hope you will share your word of the year with me, your hope, your desire. So I can hold it gentle in my heart.

I hope you’ll let me write you a bespoke blessing (just for you.)

And above all, I hope you’ll find the little rituals your marrow is calling forth.

What about you, my magpie?

Are you ready to receive what you desire?
Can you take a risk and try something new? (unfamiliar yet as old as bones.)
Will you say yes and amen to the blessing being extended towards you (from me, and from all the kismet and wonderful signs the universe has to show you?)

I think you are.
I know you can.
I hope you will.

Amen? Amen.


P.s. Please share your word of the year with me in the comments or via email, so I can hold a little space for you and your new year. And if you would like a customized blessing, I have a few Bespoke Blessing bundles here. (Thanks, you.)

kazari January 8, 2014 at 5:41 pm

My word for the year is together.
Because my partner and I are very much in the process of bringing our blended family together.
Because at work there’s been some big structural changes and I need to bring my team together.
Because there’s a lot of niggly things on the home front that need to be done, and that requires ‘getting it together’ – so i can sail my ship more smoothly, regardless of the waves.
Happy New Year!

Rachelle January 10, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Oooo…there’s going to be such good symbiosis and synchronicity in your life with that word at the helm. It feels like velvet, or really good ice cream to me when I think about it.

Thanks so much for sharing. (It’s always so good to hear from you.)

Monica aka The Creative Beast January 9, 2014 at 7:31 am

Rachelle, I love this wonderfully creative way you use your background in ministry to reach out and work with so many of us in the world. This beautiful idea of crafting bespoke blessings is an idea whose time has definitely come!
After a year of struggling to generate ‘creative work’ I believe that MONEY should follow after what turned into hard WORK in 2013 and its time for me to face MONEY head-on by looking at my beliefs and behaviors around MONEY and also to learn how to really accept FINANCIAL ABUNDANCE into my life. 2013 saw a huge dwindling of MONEY as the year progressed and it ended with me moving with my dear boyfriend into a new place together since I could no longer afford my own place on my own. 2014 is definitely starting with some new beginnings (and a few challenges!) Thank you for inviting some us to share our WOTY of 2014 in this space – I know my word (MONEY) is a highly charged one but I feel I am ready to face the challenges ahead and come out of 2014 wiser and financially abundant! Happy New Year to YOU, Rachelle and may 2014 bring you much Joy, Love, Health and Luck!

Rachelle January 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I feel like if you are playful with money (while also getting your systems lined up) good things will start to flow. Shaking off money anxiety is a tough one — mostly because we attach a lot of unnecessary meaning to money — and then make it kind of taboo to talk about. :-P What a brave and important word to work on this year. (Good things will come.)

magdalena January 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

My word for 2014 is strength. It’s strongly connected to endurance because I need to face many difficult things this year. But there is also something calming and reassuring about this word, that I can find strength when I need it.

Yes, I do love the idea of blessings being held in our culture. To mark important moments, to show that our life is holy.

Rachelle January 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

You know, Magdalena, last year my word was “steady” — which has a similar bloodline to your word “strength.” It was really grounding for me, and dramatically effected my relationship to my work, my children, and my home. I think this word will serve you well.

Many good wishes.

Carla January 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm

My word for the year is embrace. I want to embrace change. I want to embrace the moment. I want to embrace my son more, my husband more. I want to feel embraced.

Rachelle January 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Hi Carla! It’s been so beautiful to watch your family expand these past few years. Y’all are just too charming!

Embrace is such a lush and nurturing word. It feels just right for you. And will complement your pragmatic go-get-em side. (So neat!)

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