6 more days of seed-scattering to go!
A week from today, you will be recieving the last post of our march! Keep putting one foot in front of the other brave scatterers! You're going to make it!
Seed of Inspiration
Each Saturday we will bring you a reading from different religious, spiritual, or philosophical tradition that continues in the spirit of the Women's March. Although many of you may be Christians who have signed up to scatter seeds as your Lenten discipline, our strong commitment to hear women of all faiths and of no faith is vital to our progress as intersectional feminists. This Spiritual Saturday, we will be listening to music from the Hindu tradition. Next week, we will share a seed from a different tradition. Whether or not your are of the featured tradition, we invite you to simply meditate on the seed with an open mind and heart.
For this Spiritual Saturday, we will be playing with Hindu mantras that will be accessible to people of all faiths. Mantras have been used in the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Sufi traditions for many years, but the word comes orginally from the Indian sanskrit word "mantram." The first part of the word "man" means "mind," and the second part of the word "tram" means "instrument" or "tool," so a mantra is a tool for the mind.
Hindu's believe that the universal mantra is "Om" or more accurately, "Aum" (it kinda rhymes with the word "home" if a Southerner with a drawl was saying it) Hindus believe that Om is the sound of harmony itself, the premordial sound of the universe, and the most sacred syllable. It is believed that when one chants the mantra of Om, the vibrations invite harmony.
Psychologist and music therapists now confirm that chanting can indeed have a calming effect on the mind and body. The mental tools of sound and vibration help the body to achieve relaxation.
Below is a video that uses the mantra Om from the youtube channel Meditative Mind - Meditation Music, which has many videos that you can stream for free and use as your background for meditation.
Christians entering Holy Week may choose instead to use this recording of a Taize mantra to prepare for the coming Passion story. Taize is an ecumenical Christian monastary in France that has cultivated its own musical style of singing simple musical "mantras" based on Biblical texts. The song's lyrics, "Stay with me. Remain here with me. Watch and pray," come from the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemane asking his followers to stay by his side the night before his death (Matthew 26, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40-46).
Seed of Action
We are reaching the end of our march. No doubt, you're getting tired like me. Why not lighten your load? Why not let go of some of the things tying us down and holding us back? Take a few minutes this Saturday to choose one category (not room) of your possessions of which to do a purge, and then recycle the excess items by donating them to a non profit. It's recycling AND making a nonprofit donation WITHOUT spending a dime! Triple win!
What may be helpful is to use the mantra of the KonMari method, pioneered by female "tidying" guru Marie Kondo in her amazing book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her mantra is: only keep items that spark joy.
Pick one of the categories below to purge as a seed to scatter:
- Purge your dusty book collection. Pick the book up. Does it spark joy? If not, donate it to the local library.
- Purge your clothing. Pick up each item and ask yourself, "does this piece spark joy?" Would you buy the item again if you saw it in a store today? If not, someone else could probably make better use of it. Donate clothing to your local shelter or Goodwill. (Goodwill will also recycle clothing that has stains or tears.)
- Purge your pantry. Does that unopened can or box spark joy in that you can imagine it being an ingredient in a delicious meal in the near future? If not, drop items off at your local food pantry before they expire. Your local house of worship may also regularly take donations.
- Purge your toys. Depending on the age, this might be best done with your kids. There are no doubt many gently used toys they have outgrown or no longer use that could spark joy in another child at a shelter, children's hospital, or just through a resale shop like goodwill. Involving your kids in this activity will teach them an invaluable lesson about simplicity and generosity.
- Purge your linens are looking less than joyful. Local animal shelters always need linens, no matter the condition!
Self Care Sunday
We have designated Sundays as your day off from marching for an intentional self-care practice of your choosing, so you will not receive an email tomorrow. Those of Jewish faith or with conflicting schedules may wish to take Saturday off instead, which is always okay; simply swap Saturdays and Sundays. The most important thing is not that you take up my self-care suggestion below, but that you intentionally carve out quality time for a life-giving and restorative practice on your day off to refuel you for the march ahead.
Journaling is an incredibly powerful practice of self care that fosters healing and growth not just in talented writers, but in anyone with a paper and pen. You don't have to be Shakespeare to get the ink flowing and start journaling about your day, about things you've read, about your life, or anything you can imagine. Journals also can be visual rather than just words, or a combination of many different artistic mediums. Just type "bullet journal" into your Pinterest search, and you'll find a million gorgeous journal prompts, samples, and ideas.
Oprah Winfrey once said that the most life-changing habig she ever started was start a gratitude journal wherein she listed 5 things she was grateful for every night -- that's it. She just made a list of 5 things every night, turned out the light, and went to bed. My husband has a group of friends who text things they are grateful for to each other every morning. Your "journaling" can be as simple as that.
Here are several prompts you might choose from to get you started:
- What I love about myself most is...
- The emotions that I'm experiencing today are...
- Five things I am grateful for today are...
- One realistic goal I am working towards right now is...
- One way I'm practicing self care now is...
And don't worry about grammar or spelling or the editor in your mind. This is for you. Write what's on your heart.
I'm planning on going on a social media haitus for the season of Eastertide, which is from Easter Sunday (April 16th) until Pentecost Sunday (June 4th), so I'll only be checking our social media accounts on Sunday, but no worries, S2S will be back!
Share S2S by email or by social media with the links below. After our march, I intend to maintain a monthly/weekly blog (haven't decided yet), with another march during the season of Advent, so we still need new scatterers to join us! Thanks for casting a seed back my way by sharing S2S!
Show us your seeds! Share with us images and stories of you scattering seeds by emailing me at email@example.com, posting on our Facebook page, or sending us a tweet @seedstoscatter! If you post as one of your seeds, tag it with #seedstoscatter, and if you donate as part of your march, mark it with Seeds to Scatter! I am so appreciative!
And above all, scatter with love!