I was a sweat lodge virgin so recently I did something about that!! I went to Doreen’s Sweat lodge on Saturday June 14th and it was a perfect day, weatherwise and every other wise. We started out sitting in a circle around a huge bonfire where the large rocks were placed. These rocks would later be placed inside the lodge to provide the heat and steam. We were instructed to journal, to dump out all the demons in our heads, in our lives. One by one we ceremoniously sat in front of the fire and threw our papers into the burning embers with the declaration that this is it, I’m done with you!
Next we spent time writing all of our wishes, filling ourselves up with delicious intent. We were directed to remember those words as we would later be asked to pull them out of our memory banks! Yum.
We were now ready to enter the womb, the actual sweat lodge. It was low to the ground and completely pitch dark, and hot. Before entering the lodge we must stand and be smudged to dislodge (no pun intended!) any toxins that may be found on our skin and clothes. The final step is to kneel down at the lodge’s doorway and offer a prayer before we crawl through that small opening into the ‘womb’ like interior. We are to put our hands on either side of the door way, hold the wooden branches that serve as the arch way……and with hands firmly placed we are to say our prayer. My mind went blank and as always in times of serious prayer offering I want to giggle like a little kid in church (what is wrong with me I ask?!?!??!?). So I did the next best thing, I did a fast prayer. A basic yadda yadda God bless, please and thank you …..
Doreen put her hand on mine, and looked at me, and stopped me in my tracks. She looked me in the eye, gave that all knowing smile and gently said, “pray like you mean it”. Whoa. A HUGE life lesson, right there and it has stayed with me. Pray like you mean it. I bowed my head in shame and surrender. I entered into a beautifully well thought out prayer that was sincerely felt and meant. Yes, I meant it. Yes I felt it. Doreen then said to me, ‘that’s better’ and with that I was granted access to the lodge.
I believe my whole ‘lodge’ experience, followed but much much more was beautifully transformed by my now altered state of engagement. What the hell was I thinking anyway?? Did I actually think I could just fast track my way through these experiences, to enlightenment? Had this become a habit? Intellectually I know that’s dumb, but I realized with humbled depth of character, that that is exactly what I was doing. Oh. My. God. And Thank You.
My experience in the lodge was transformational. I was the caterpillar. I became the butterfly. I felt set free from self-imposed bonds and bindings. I grew wings that day. I lost a very deeply ingrained habit and now I pray like I mean it….