I am officiating a wedding on Monday (my first Christmas Eve wedding). Interestingly, while I’ve been percolating on the ceremony since the groom asked me to officiate early last week (not a lot of notice, I know, but I’m sure I can handle it), I haven’t written much of it yet.
Do any of you do this? Instead of rushing up to my computer, tearing out bits of hair, and gnashing on a fair few pens, I don’t overanalyze or plan these kinds of things anymore. Over the years, I’ve found this method does not work for me. Instead, I have developed a strategy that I have found effective and elegant.
I ask my inner librarian (her name is Edna and she looks curiously like the awesome Edna Mode from “The Incredibles) to start doing (internal) research and coming up with what I will do and say. This happens about a week before the project/item/ceremony/ritual/paper, etc. is due. Then, while I go about my business, snippets of ideas/songs/movies/scripts/writing/rituals/ceremonies come to me during that week. I write down the snippets and then they begin to flesh out almost on their own (with Edna’s help). Don’t get me wrong. The work of fleshing them. The planning on how to develop and complete the ideas that come to me still has to be done. It can be challenging, painstaking, arduous work, but it is made easier if I first take the aforementioned steps of checking in with Edna.
I find that if I try to plan everything out to every last detail, some of the magic of my projects, in this case, my rituals gets lost. So, I no longer try to plan things out like that. Instead, I leave a healthy chunk of them up to my subconscious and the universe. Here’s an example. This week, I priestessed a ritual on Monday to honor the winter solstice. I had not prepared for it at all in part because I didn’t know I was doing it until the day of the event. And I didn’t get asked to do it until something like 2pm that day (and I had a singing gig that evening before I had to head over to the New Deal Cafe to priestess the ritual).
So, I asked Edna (in a sort of meditation is the best way to describe that and at some point, I will write up and post the meditation to getting there) to come up with what I would need to do and the various facets of the ritual itself (as for what I would say, well, I usually leave that part up to the universe. Anytime I try to plan exactly what I’ll say, things go awry. So, I’ve learned that often, I need to let go and let the energy speak for itself).
Throughout the rest of the day, ideas came to me of what I could do and say and what the body of the ritual would be. Part of it would be to bring candles, ask everyone to pick one, and to make a vow in circle about something they wanted to bring into their lives in this coming solar cycle. They would then light the candles one by one off our main central candle that would sit in the center of the circle. By the time, I left for my gig, I knew pretty much what I’d need to do and say even though I had done almost no conscious preparation for it.
Despite the fact that I felt pretty prepared, there was one element missing and that one filled in literally as I was exiting my car to go to the cafe. I needed some sort of music while everyone lit their solstice candles. I also carry a small, plastic recorder in my car so I can play music any time I want. As I left the car, I received the prompt to go ahead and grab the recorder. I did and when the time came for everyone to light their candles, I brought out the little pink plastic recorder and improvised a pentatonic tune while they did so. Water droplets that were burnished by the lights floated on the air currents and turned everything to gold. Everyone stood in a circle and helped each other light their candles (it was windy and their candles kept being doused) and I played and played and channeled as much good energy as that little instrument would allow.
In the end, I’d say Edna saved the day. That little part of my brain kicks my ass often. If I didn’t personify it for the fun of it, I would say it is where my inspiration lives. Edna is also my librarian so that is where my memory lives. I can ask for facts or ideas from Edna and then stop thinking about the question consciously and the answer will come, usually, within five or ten minutes at the most.
I no longer worry about whether or not I’ll have the spark of an idea find me. I know it will. And it’s easy to allow myself to relax about my various deadlines when I know Edna is on the job. I trust her to bring out the very best of me. She doesn’t have any ego or insecurity about me or my abilities. She just knows to get the job done and to do it right.
It’s almost like I have access to a completely objective, egoless part of myself that will tell it to me like it is, help me remember things I need to remember, and bring up little morsels of inspiration that set me firmly on the path to fly to my objectives.