Moving the Circle....

This is a wonderfully insightful teaching that comes from Native American women's traditions. It has to do with moon time.

Moon time...the menstrual cycle...was a time when women gathered together
in a lodge set aside for the purpose. It was considered both a sacred and powerful time. During this time, they rested and shared with the other women.
It was an opportunity to air their problems, share their burdens and learn
from the elders.
They sat in a circle and one by one, they shared their lives, their concerns
and problems.
A talking feather would often be passed among the women.
When a woman held the talking feather, she spoke while the others listened attentively. When she was finished, she placed the feather before her
and waited.
Then the elders spoke one by one, offering their wisdom.
Each woman would share as needed. In this way, they learned much.

There was a very interesting thing that took place from time to time
in the circle...
If a woman brought the same problem to the circle three times in a row,
all the women in the circle quietly rose and moved to another place in the moon lodge, leaving her to sit alone.
There they formed a new circle and continued their meeting.
No words were spoken. The action of moving the circle said everything.
The woman who had failed to make use of the wisdom offered would be
left sitting by herself to consider her situation.
A strong statement...

If you asked for wisdom and advice from the other women, you were expected to do something with it, not just return with the same problem month after month, seeking attention or pity.
Three times, three months, three chances.
No more wisdom was wasted on you until you employed what you had
been given.

I have see the same thing so often in spiritual life.
When we are in a jam, when we need is given.
However, if we fail to put the advice to use, things get quiet.
Maybe we found the answer too strong, too difficult, too inconvenient...
Whatever the reason, we have unwittingly set ourselves aside.
We make no more progress until we go back to that moment and make use
of the answer we were given.

For example, let's say you are dating and you meet someone who could be
'the one', but there is just a little something that seems 'off'.
But it is a significant something.
You ask...You receive the answer. 'He's not the one.'
You don't like the answer, so you cast it behind you or ignore it,
hoping for a way around the inconvenient truth.
Then you get in deep with the person.
Marriage, kids, house, commitments...
Well-meaning or not, over time, the problems you feared come to light.
What you KNEW in the beginning comes back to haunt you.
NOW what do you do?!
It is often a long and painful lesson.
Either to extricate yourself and get back on your path or to live
with the consequences of your decisions.
Many others are painfully affected by our missteps.
We see it all around us.
No more light is given until we make use of what we were given at the outset.
That is how Wisdom works...

On a more positive side of the equation, you can use this teaching
when you are trying to help people.
You can assist them once or twice.
At that point, it is important to see clearly what effect your helping
is having on the person who receives.
Does it bring out the best in them? Or is it bringing out the worst?
Do they take your hard-earned advice, money or time and do something
useful with it?
Or are they neglectful and ungrateful, bringing the same problem to your doorstep time and again...
Sometimes you have to move the circle...

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Debra Robinson