SIMPLE RITUALS FOR ADVENT

Updated December 2, 2017

“The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and is also the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.

The final days of Advent from December 17 to 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas.”  From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Advent

Here are a few ideas for Advent — simple activities for moving into the true spirit of the season.  The first is a personal memory that warms my heart every time I think of it.

Seeing Jesus In Many Faces

A framed picture of Santa Clause (St. Nicholas) sits on my desk regardless of the season. With his bright smile and sparkling eyes, it still reminds me,  “Yes, there really is a Santa Clause.”  That Santa’s joyful smile and bright eyes are constant reminders of how we look when carrying the gifts of faith, hope and love into the world.   It was a daily reminder from God saying,  “You can make things happen here: I’m present.”  That energy filled our offices with a  joy remarked on by visitors who heard laughter greeting them as they entered.  Laughter is a sign of hearts open to receiving the energy of God’s presence and sharing it with the world.  It was His presence that made us both joyful and successful.

Perhaps you have a favorite Christmas card that reminds you of Christmas all year long.  If not, I recommend discovering one; It brings great joy every time it comes into sight, reminding us how when the Son of God became man, he regained for us our birthright as beings made in the Likeness of God.

For more on this, go to Advent: Preparing Our Spirits for Christmas I and Advent: Preparing Our Spirits for Christmas II.  

Fill your holidays with joy and laughter.  It’s priceless!

Barbara

Set the Stage by Creating an Advent Wreath

This simple family project can become a weekly reminder that we humbly await the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent Wreath All you need is  a natural evergreen wreath and four candles. Place the wreath on a table and stand the  candles at its center.  The candles may be violet and white or all of either color.  Children love to participate in holiday activities.  Depending on their age, they can help by gathering greens for the wreath, putting it together and placing the candles in holders at the wreath’s center.

On the four Sundays before Christmas (Dec 4, 10, 17 and 24) light the candles, say a short prayer and sing a Christmas carol.  Rituals always have added meaning when refreshments are included.  In the spirit of Advent, these should be simple.  

Caution:  Make sure the candles are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended.  If you have concerns about them, there are “candles” that light without an actual flame, still creating a warm glow. You’ll find  them at most  candle shops.

Creating a Spiral Walk for Adults and Children

Several years ago I shared a beautiful experience with a family who have four daughters.  Their dad built a yurt, a round structure surrounded by temporary walls and a roof to protect people from the weather.  The mom and four girls gathered rocks on their daily walks and marked a path in the shape of an infinity sign inside the yurt.  Guests were invited to join them in “walking the spiral” with lit candles, spreading light out into the world. Those who completed their walk joined those waiting their turn, all humming Silent Night.

Not everyone can undertake such an ambitious activity.   Here are instructions for adults, followed by those for children to participate in this sacred activity without leaving your home.

Note: The open circle is one in which the end point does not meet the beginning, but continues outside of it creating the beginning of a spiral.  The spiral signifies possibilities.

An Imaginal Spiral Walk For Adults:

Have someone slowly read these instructions to you — or record them on your cell phone and play them back, no more than three times a day.

Sit in a comfortable position, feet on the floor, arms in your lap or on the arm rests.  Close your eyes, and breathe out three times (breathing out is a long, slow gentle exhalation through the lips followed by natural breathing.)  With your eyes remaining closed, “See, feel and sense yourself standing at the midpoint of an infinity sign and begin to walk in a counter-clockwise direction.   As you walk, think of something no longer beneficial to your life and let it go.  Continue to imagine yourself walking and when you return to the mid-point, see yourself walking around the remaining loop in a clockwise direction as you see something beneficial come into your life. When you’ve  returned to the mid-point, sit quietly for a minute.  Then breathe out slowly through your mouth one time and open your eyes.

Now for the Children’s Spiral Walk

For children I suggest they walk a single open circle in waking life.  This can be done by tamping down a few inches of snow or marking  the circle with chalk or washable spray paint on a driveway or sidewalk.  Create an entrance/exit in the circle by overlapping the end about a foot above the beginning.  Instruct the children to walk the circle individually, each reaching out their hands and imagining the light of love beaming over the world.  As each child leaves through the open end, have them join the others, as they hum Silent Night.  A hot drink and treat are the perfect ending for this activity.

Children are very creative, so expect to see variations of this.  It’s all perfect in the end.

If you have ideas for Advent/Christmas activities, share them, please.  You can reach me by e-mailing to http://www.fedzie@ptd.net.

Meditate to Enya’s CD And Winter Came, a Classic Released in 2008

This CD is not a collection of traditional carols.  It’s Enya at her best, especially its musical story about the flight of angels on Christmas Eve.  All required of us is to sit back, close our eyes and allow ourselves to be transported by the music.  A wonderful way to hear and sense a bit of what the angels sing on Christmas Eve.

May all the blessings of Christmas shine upon you!

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Barbara Fedoroff

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SYNCHRONICITIES: SEEING IMAGERY AT WORK IN YOUR LIFE

 

WELCOME TO BARBARAH’S BLOG!

The New Education series is a good time to Blog Iconconsider other techniques to support making life changes revealed through our images.  Change is uncomfortable, so we often resist it.

Let’s say that your images show you in a series of short-term sexual relationships that have become unfulfilling.  Soon after, you feel greater fulfillment in an image of you with one who shares your interests, hopes and dreams.  Don’t be surprised if after making the commitment to change, you notice a friend who had been in frequent short-term relationships now is seeking  a long-term commitment.  Or another individual who only wanted “freedom” and is engaged to be married.

At first, we may ignore these synchronicities, often called things that happen by chance. They are, in fact, responses to you commitment to change.   You’ll discover more about synchronicties in a blog posted on August 27, 2010.

Now let’s begin the last group of Imagery exercises in Romantic Love.

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 7

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 8

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 9

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 10

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 11

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 12

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 13

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 14

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 15

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 16

 

Click Below for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 17

Blessings, Barbarah

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ROMANTIC LOVE AS A PATH TO HAPPINESS!!

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Today we experience how romantic love has affected our present or past relationships–and come to view romantic love as a path to transcendence.

 

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 1

 

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 2

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 3

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 4

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 5

 

Click Here for Audio of Romantic Love Exercise 6

Blessings, Barbarah

 

 

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IMAGERS COMPLETE A NEW EDUCATION THIS WEEK

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Change is still in the air encouraging us to see Blog Iconourselves clearly and let go of what we’ve outgrown. Letting go is sometimes difficult, but it opens us to the adventure of new beginnings. As you do this week’s Imagery remind yourself of what Colette tells of A New Education being one of rigor and of mercy and extend that mercy to yourself as you begin to change.

 

Click Below for the Audio of Changes, Exercise 6

 

Click Below for the Audio of Changes, Exercise 7

 

Click Below for the Audio of Changes, Exercise 8

Happy Imaging, Barbarah

P.S.  Love to hear from you in the Comments section.  Your message can remain private, if that’s your choice.

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TODAY’S IMAGERS COMMIT TO CHANGE: JOIN US!

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“The double message is coming to me, one of rigor, one of mercy.”                                           Blog IconFrom Colette’s poem “Counter-Point.”

The chapter A New Education from The Encyclopedia of Mental Imagery feels perfect for us as the season begins to change.  The exercises, called Changes, support the on-going journey of Barbarah’s Blog seasoned Imagers who continue on because they have experienced positive change in their lives–and new Imagers who have recently joined us.

Congratulations to all of you for making a commitment to change your lives through Imagery.  You follow a large group of seekers privileged to work with Colette Aboulker-Muscat, a 20th Century Spiritual Master who created the exercises, and Dr. Gerald Epstein, who made this work available by founding The American Institute for Mental Imagery, where he certifies professionals in Imagery, me among them.

The focus of the first group of exercises is on clearing out old failed beliefs and behaviors, making way for new ones aligned with your present consciousness. Colette reminds us in her quote above that change requires rigorous attention and action balanced with mercy for ourselves and others who may be effected as we walk our chosen paths. I have found my journey with Imagery to also be one of joy, renewed enthusiasm for the beauty I see in the world and a commitment to share with you what I have learned and experienced.

Our first group of exercises is called Changes.

Click Below for Audio of the Imagery Titled Changes, Exercise 1

Click Below for Audio of the Imagery Titled Changes, Exercise 2

Click Below for Audio of the Imagery Titled Changes, Exercise 3

Click Below for Audio of the Imagery Titled Changes, Exercise 4

Click Below for Audio of the Imagery Titled Changes, Exercise 5

Happy Imaging! Barbarah

Barbarah Fedoroff 

 

 

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CALLING ALL SEEKERS TO OUR NEW IMAGERY SEASON

WELCOME BACK TO BARBARAH’S BLOG!

What a beautiful summer we’ve had.  Blog IconI hope that the many rays of sunlight helped you see the changes you’ve brought into your life using Imagery–and that you feel ready to expand your horizons once again.

If you’re new to our group, welcome.  Please let me know in the Comment section if this is your first experience with the Imagery of Colette Aboulker-Muscat or if you’ve used other imagery techniques so I can give you some guidance.

If you decide to jump right in,  you’ll hear the instruction “Close your eyes and breathe out three times” in the audio, shorthand for “Close your eyes and take a long, slow exhalation followed by a natural inbreath; repeat this cycle of breathing three times in all.”  Other times you may be instructed to do the cycle once, twice or four times. The breathing may seem unusual at first, but it will soon become automatic. Each exercise concludes with the instruction to “Breathe out one time and open your eyes.”

We begin this Imagery year with Prayer: Creating a Space for Silence where we may hear the divine voice of wisdom and love.  Then the exercises called Gift enable us to move that energy out to embrace our friends, families and others in our circle.

May all the blessings of the divine shower upon you as we continue our journey together.

_________

Click Below for Audio of Imagery called Creating a Space for Silence, Exercise I

Click Below for Audio of Imagery called Creating Space for Silence, Exercise 2

Click Below for Audio of Imagery Called Gift, Exercise 1

Click Below for Audio of Imagery Called Gift, Exercise 2

Blessings, Barbarah

Barbarah Fedoroff

Barbarah Fedoroff

 

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SUMMER: TIME TO INTEGRATE YOUR IMAGERY

 

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Each summer I take time off from whatever spiritual practice I’ve been doing to integrate the self-discoveries revealed through Colette’s Imagery Exercises.

Consider taking a look at what you’ve accomplished with Colette’s Imagery.  Build on the confidence of the beneficial changes–and use them as a jumping off point for next season’s Imagery, which resumes on September 4th.

There’s a series of blogs I posted in 2010 that are as relevant today as they were then.  One will give you specific instructions for Taking a Spiritual Inventory.  You’ll find this posted on June 16th, 2011.  That blog will also direct you to postings on  Synchronicities, Mirroring, Reversing and Dream Reading.  By September, you’ll have a valuable baseline from which you can identify next steps for the new Imagery season beginning on September 4, 2014.

Have a joyful summer.  I hope you’ll join me again in September.  We’re about half-way through The Encyclopedia of Mental Imagery.  Perhaps we can aim to complete it by next Summer.

P.S.  Tell your friends about your experiences with Imagery.  They’re very welcome to join us any time.  The recorded Imagery Exercises are always available for them to use at their convenience.  If they need help, just tell them to contact me through blog Comments.  

Blessings, Barbarah

Barbarah L. Fedoroff

Barbarah L. Fedoroff

 

 

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