Crying At The Altar

Last weekend I went on a Yoga Retreat.  This was a truly transformative experience.  I have brought SO much home with me.  Where to start…

One of the things we were asked to do was to bring something for the altar.  We each pulled angel cards and made an altar with our cards and gifts,

 in front of the beautiful giant Victorian sash windows.   

I had struggled a bit with my something for the altar.  I don’t have many “things” anymore.  

So, I took a picture of Henry.  He would never smile on camera and this one day last October we got a clear shot of him laughing.  It has been one of my favourite pics since.  It was the only symbolic precious thing I could find to take.  

As we sat there on the first evening going through our alter offerings I APOLOGISED!  Without even realising I apologised for not having…you know… a crazy symbolic crystal, or dried flower, or piece of jewellery, or lock of hair from a saint, or any number of other far more romantic things than my self-indulgent picture of my laughing baby. 

Oh the Irony. 

It hit me smack in the face as I was mumbling on about us moving and downsizing and things getting lost.  

And then I cried.  A lot.
Because, as we packed up the house in Bushey last September, when it came to the crunch, there was only one thing that was important enough to be left out to bring with me.  Yes, that giggling baby.  

Henry was quite literally my hand luggage.  To be kept on my person at all times. 

I am sure I binned and donated lots of things I had held onto for years in the months leading up to the move.  Things that would have been previously important. Not just physical things either.  A thriving little business.  The comforting closeness of friends.  

And here we are a year later.  It is more familiar.  We know some new people.  I am starting to offer practice again. But all that really matters it that Henry is ok.  That he is healthy and happy.  I don’t need to be a yoga & meditation instructor and coach.  I can cope without a social life for a few more years.   

Henry comes first.  Snotty, teething, rampaging, shouting, Furchester loving Henry. In a strange sort of way he kind of actually is an altar.  Even on the days when I am particularly snotty and poorly myself I have to care for all his needs first. 

And then we had to get up and be ready for Sadhana at 5am.  Ugh. I had not read the small print. Perhaps I should put something that represents sleep on my altar next time.  My precious eye pillow perhaps… 

So now I am thinking lots about Altars.  I am deaf going to make one for myself at home.

                                                    Do you have one? 

                        If I asked you to bring something along to our lovely retreat                                      
                                         for our altar – what would you bring? 

                                 What is your most precious thing?  Why? 

                              In what ways do you express your love for it?
                  Can you visit your precious thing more often to receive some of that
                                       comfort and love when you need it?

With Love
Charlotte xx


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