Initiatory Lessons: Focus
I learned three lessons during my journey as my mettle was tested as an ADF Initiate. These lessons were not the lessons I expected, nor are they specifically private to me alone: these are guiding lessons that I must take forward, that must draw me along as I go forth as an ADF Initiate, and by my oath I will use them in service to others. The lessons offered to each Initiate will be different for each individual Initiate, based on that individual's needs and the work they must do.
The first lesson of my initiation is Focus.
As I my journey began, I was instructed very carefully to learn focus. There were specific things I learned I must focus on from the Kindreds, but those things were spoken to me alone, and won't be passed along except to those who are directly affected by things I was explicitly told to fix. I was told, though, that I am not a focused person: I am both poorly organized and highly unreliable. I have difficulty staying on task and greater difficulty in concentration.
I have great trouble focusing on individuals (including myself): often, e-mail conversations will simply dissipate over time; I fail to make phone calls to friends and family "just to say hi;" the membership of ADF has expressed a feeling that I've ignored them; I spent a great deal of the year not doing my sunrise/sunset devotionals; I cannot even keep myself to a set of specified goals for CTP course completion; and my work has suffered from a lack of detail-focus. Yes, the last few months (since about February, when I officially took this job) have been hell, but that is no excuse. I need to learn to focus, compartmentalize, and move forward on projects that need to be completed and be more open to people I need to be available to. . . in my personal life, my spiritual life, and my work life.
Of particular note is that my trancework is not done: there is more to do. Completion of the trancework practicums, Trance 1 and Trance 2, does not entitle me to say I'm done with it. Indeed, it is clear that more work needs to be done, and it must be done in a focused way. I must work the Trance journal I have started and supplement it with additional regular practice, and bring that practice to others.
Another place that I have noticed focus must be brought is in my religious speech, particularly in ritual. I've been strongly bitten by the elusive AwenBug recently, and as a result have been waxing on with a lack of focus, trusting my gut to understand the way an invitation to the Kindreds or a purpose must go. This has become an issue, actually, where even though everything I say in ritual is related, it is not focused. I've been given a charge to start speaking in a more specific manner in ritual.
Some improvements occurred prior to this rite (as the work was completed), but this rite is likely to have induced lasting change in my behavior on this front.
So these are the ways, visible to the community, that I will work to fulfill the first charge the Kindreds placed upon me during my initiation.
On to the second lesson: Center
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