|Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles|
Meister des Hausbuches (1473) see it at
“Sometimes letting other people serve us can be as profoundly valuable, nurturing, and connecting as giving to others.” David Simon, MD
“The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” -Rona Barrett
I don’t know about you, but it is easier for me to ask Motherfather Spirit for help to get my dreams and goals accomplished than a real person (Zazen Zen Meditation – self growth by meditating on areas of self). Why is this? I find it’s easier for to look up the answers in a book or use Google even if the answers may be wrong rather than ask a real person. And, I’m not just talking about cooking a new recipe; learning a new knitting stitch; or figuring out how to do something in excel. I also have this problem even when it comes to spiritual practice. Oh – don’t get me started on delegating work. And why is this?
1. I was taught that by asking for help somehow made you weak. That you couldn’t be independent, self-sufficient and take care of yourself if you asked for help.
2. There was a whole lot of shame surrounding asking for help.
3. There was guilt in asking for help, because there might be someone else who really needs help and you are taking away the needed resources.
4. I really didn’t have any role models who showed me how to ask for help. And, if I did have to ask for help I felt intimidated and weak (i.e., Organic Chemistry and spelling).
5. I was taught if you want something done right – do it yourself. It is just easier to do it yourself than have to correct someone else’s work.
6. I had a lot of role models showing me that it was better to serve than to be the recipient of that service. This was wrapped up into what I believe as a one-sided interpretation of Christ’s teachings.
Knitting Shop StoryThis past week I went to one of few independent yarnshops in C’Bus. For over a year I have wanted to do the Conceptual Sky Scarf. I thought the pattern was a cool way to bring an urbanite and CCWWW closer to nature. When I first found the pattern, I immediately saw that it could reinforce my connection to the earth even running back and forth between my house to my car to my wherever I’m going.
Pattern in hand, I entered the store and did my typical walk around the store rather than seeking help. There must have been something in my look or how I was wandering around the store because the store’s owner quickly came asking: “Can I help?” Instead of saying my typical response of “I’m just looking,” I showed her my pattern and said I didn’t know where to begin. She quickly moved to the front of the store with the lace weight yarn. This is yarn that I’ve never used because it is so thin and tangles easily. There were two women knitting away in the comfy couches up front. They too became interested in my sky project and dropped their knitting to join us. The choosing of my Ohio sky yarn became a group project. The owner laid out the potential colors on the table and the group gave the thumbs up and thumbs down.
I was reserved about their choice with the thunderstorm colored yarn of blue, browns, yellows and rusts. I said that it looked too much like tornado colors and I surely didn’t want tornados coming to Ohio. They dismissed my fear telling me that my knitting project was also about making a beautiful scarf for myself. The women oohed over the colors and asked for a copy of the pattern.
Yarn to be used:Malabrigo – Azules (bright blue day)
Malabrigo – Bobby Blue (light blue day)
Malabrigo – Natural (clouds)
Malabrigo – Piedras (thunderstorm, snowstorm, tornado)
Isager – Charcoal Gray (gray days, fog, light rain and light snow)
From the Song of the Three Cauldrons
“The Cauldron of Life-Workgives and is replenished,
promotes and is enlarged,
nourishes and is given life,
ennobles and is exalted,
requests and is filled with answers,
sings and is filled with song,
preserves and is made strong,
arranges and receives arrangements,
maintains and is maintained.
Good is the well of measure.”
This law is known by many names: “You reap what you sow” or “What you put out you’ll back 3 times.” When someone talks about this law, I get it. I really get revved up by giving and helping someone out. I find this an essential part of being interconnected with creation and keeping true to my spiritual path (CCWWW). Meaning: my CO2 helps the trees and the trees’ O2 helps me.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about foot washing. Foot washing was considered a form of hospitality back in the day when traveling was done all on foot. Having healthy feet was a necessity. A host would provide water for guests to wash up their feet before joining the meal. This Bible story occurs during the last supper before Jesus’ death. Before dinner, Jesus begins washing the Disciple’s feet (John 13:14-17). Peter, one of the Disciples begins protesting that his beloved teacher shouldn’t be washing his feet; it should be the other way around. Peter demands to take over the task. But, Jesus tells the group: “a servant is not greater than his master.”
How this story has been interpreted to me is that everyone is a servant or a friend to another. This friendliness isn’t dependent on who the person is or who the person is receiving this gift of service. No one is greater than another; and there are no strings attached in this type of action. You serve others because it’s part being active in this earthy cycle of giving and receiving.
What I have realized in this Zazen Zen Meditation is there is another part to this story: allowing others the opportunity to be givers and servants to me. When I don’t ask for help or allow someone to help me out - I’m denying this other person access to this cycle. I’m not allowing them to have a generous giving heart. I turn into a Peter in a sense.
I have been reflecting back on what my big desires are this year. The desires I feel nudged by Motherfather Spirit to get done. Several of them I know that I’ll need to ask for someone’s help. One of my re-solutions this year will be to practice asking for help.
KAL (Knit Along or Crochet Along) 2013 – Getting in touch with the sky and weather.
I don't know if you have this problem in the winter? It is hard to stay connected with the earth from inside during the cold. I think it is so easy in our modern society to be camped out in cubicle land, drive home and camp out in front of the television. I believe when we follow this pattern it leads us to be out of touch with the land and frankly out of harmony with everything. Part of being a CCWWW is walking with nature through the seasons and being observant of her Wowness. Knowing the phases of the moon and sun and watching the trees change their clothes; this is the mystery and magic around you.
I would like to invite you to join me for KAL project for yourself. It is a scarf that will put you in touch with the sky color and weather pattern throughout an entire year. The finished project will be a reminder that you are part of nature and all her Wowness.
Challenge #1: Go into a yarn store with a print out of the directions and ask for help picking out the yarn.
Challenge #2: If you don’t know how to knit or crochet ask someone to teach you.
Challenge #3: If you know how to knit or crochet ask someone to share a pattern with you.
Challenge #4: Ask someone how they would classify the sky for the day.
Feather and Fan pattern:Cast on 40 stitches. Knit 3 rows.
Row 1 (Right Side) Knit to the end of row
Row 2 (Wrong Side) Knit two and place a marker. Purl until you get to the last 2 stitches, place a marker and Knit last 2 stitches
Row 3 (Right side) Knit 2, * (Knit 2 together) 3 times, (yo, Knit 1) 6 times, (Knit 2 together) 3 times *place a marker. Repeat the portion between the **s once; Knit last 2 stitches.
Row 4 (Wrong Side) Knit to end of row.