Sitting with Our Choices

(NOTE:  I don't know what happened to my original photo. It looks like Picasa had a hiccup! Please enjoy these calm, stacked stones in place of my hairy ankle!  Many apologies!  Jennifer)

 I like body modification, and in particular, I'm really into tattoos.  I have a few of my own.  I used to date a tattoo artist, and I also have written about body modification in the past.  I'm fascinated by all forms, but ink is my thing.  In dating this particular artist, I learned a lot about tattooing, and together, we developed some ground rules for him to share with his clients.  (Things beyond the hygiene rules.)

For instance, one thing I tell people, even now, when they express interest in getting inked is to find a design that they don't like, but love.  Take that design and sit with it for six months to a year.   If they still love it after a year, then go get the tattoo.   Why?

Tattoos, like most choices we make, are (in theory) forever.  We are marking our bodies, possibly very visibly, and we are probably making a statement.  Is that statement one we feel we will stick by five, ten, thirty years down the road?  It'd better be!

As a Pagan, part of my own learning process has been about learning to sit with all of my decisions.  I don't always manage it.  Sometimes, the desire to get something done or follow through on something is so strong it just eats away at me, but I am learning to just sit with my choices before executing them.

Recent events in my local community have really slammed home how important this is, and it's gotten me thinking about how to do this when one is chomping at the bit to express something or make something or buy something (or conjure something.)

I admit that when I'm excited by something or upset by something or just really want something, it is hard to sit and quietly consider things, so that I can make the best decision.  I struggle.  I become restless. I run up to the edge of the cliff repeatedly, and I scream, "Why can't I just do it NOW?"  (I even send emails from time to time without attachments!  I can't tell you how many time this has happened to me at work!)  But I DO try and take the time.

For me, what works is going outside, ideally early in the morning, and just sitting in my garden.  I just sit and do nothing but listen for a few minutes.  I try and connect with the plants and wildlife in my yard.  I listen to the sounds of my neighborhood waking up. (Cars starting, people walking their dogs past my yard. Birds.)  I just sit.  I find this helps me come back to the Now and set aside the issue in question.  I get on with my day, maybe sleep on the situation for a few nights.  Often, I find that the clearest answer comes to me, quietly, but clearly, as I am doing something totally unrelated.

Taking this time out to rest, listen, and reflect allows the issue to settle in, much like the ink of a tattoo.  In the first few days, the ink is accepted by your skin's top few layers.  Some of the ink sinks in and becomes your new mark.   Some of the ink comes out/off as you clean the tattoo.  What is left is the amazing design that you were hoping to manifest.

Now, breathe...and ground...and be blessed.

(Tattoo by Timebomb Tattooing and Piercing, Frederick, MD)
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