Word of the Week: SACRED

This week's word is SACRED. The definition is: Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity; or regarded with great respect or reverence; or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person.

To hold something or someone Sacred seems to be diminishing in our American culture. We are so busy doing, texting in acronyms, barely connecting with one another... there is never enough time to accomplish what is expected of us, much less dream of what we really want to create. It takes focus and concentrated effort to devote ourselves to anything.

A deep slow breath can be sacred if done with awareness of what a miracle it is to be alive. To have gratitude on the inhale, to release heaviness with the exhale. So much sacredness can be found if our eyes and hearts are open to making it so.

Michelle Larson -The word Sacred applies to so much and so many in my life; my children, my marriage, my family, my friends and bliss sisters... and more universal elements such as the ocean, mountains, all of nature really. Then there is the sacredness of stillness, prayer, meditation, devotion, love and peace. With all that is sacred to me, I still wanted to choose one theme to focus on for this project.

My Great Aunt Marg, who is 95 years old, holds a sacred place in my heart. She has led a remarkable life that has paved the path for me to live with so much freedom and so many opportunities. Born in 1919, she was raised on a farm in Montana. Her father (my Great Grandfather) homesteaded there, after leaving his family, and his home in Norway, by himself when he was just 17 years old. Marg was the second of six children. (My Grandmother Genevieve was the youngest.) Aunt Marg was extraordinary for a woman of her time. She worked as an executive secretary and saved all of her money to travel the world. She mostly traveled alone, and would meet fascinating people on her journeys. How brave and adventurous she was. She didn't marry until she was 54 years old, which she says, gave her the freedom to do what she wanted. "I'll be the most traveled person in the poor house," she would say.

We will be moving her from her apartment into assisted living next week. The last few times I've visited with her she has asked me to go through her things and take what I wanted. She has saved so many souvenirs and much memorabilia from her many trips abroad, as well every letter and card anyone has ever sent her. I have been working on photo/video collages of different trips and time periods in her life. Here are a few sacred slides that honor Aunt Marg. (excuse the low-res quality... it's a work in progress)

   Julie Cimpko   - Sacred is being still. Mala beads are a set of beads (usually 108) often used for prayer, mediation, repetition of a mantra. For me, they are a symbol of ritual, devotion, concentration, a way to still the mind…creating a sacred moment.

Julie Cimpko - Sacred is being still. Mala beads are a set of beads (usually 108) often used for prayer, mediation, repetition of a mantra. For me, they are a symbol of ritual, devotion, concentration, a way to still the mind…creating a sacred moment.

   Susan Shepardson   - Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means sacred utterance. I choose to doodle (and recite) the most popular Hindu mantra "om namah shivaya". It is believed to be powerful and healing.

Susan Shepardson - Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means sacred utterance. I choose to doodle (and recite) the most popular Hindu mantra "om namah shivaya". It is believed to be powerful and healing.

   Madeline Lovejoy   - "Nature always wears the colors of the spirit."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson  (Photograph taken at El Morro National Monument, New Mexico)

Madeline Lovejoy - "Nature always wears the colors of the spirit."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson  (Photograph taken at El Morro National Monument, New Mexico)

   Chelsea Hipley   - There are many things in my life that I hold sacred. Exploring in nature is one of them. I was camping in Big Sur this weekend and was, again, reminded of the beauty that is all around us. Living is such a fast paced world, it is necessary to slow down and see what is around you. "The earth has music for those who listen." -Shakespeare

Chelsea Hipley - There are many things in my life that I hold sacred. Exploring in nature is one of them. I was camping in Big Sur this weekend and was, again, reminded of the beauty that is all around us. Living is such a fast paced world, it is necessary to slow down and see what is around you. "The earth has music for those who listen." -Shakespeare

   Wendy Hay   - The origin of my being. The beauty in my soul. The undying love she had for me. The passion for my tomorrows. My ray of light and sunshine. My breath from the beginning. Grace came from within her. Gratitude I learned from her. Kindness she shared willingly and reverence was shown in her gentle way. (Photo taken of my Mom in 1948 by my Dad in Glens Falls, New York)

Wendy Hay - The origin of my being. The beauty in my soul. The undying love she had for me. The passion for my tomorrows. My ray of light and sunshine. My breath from the beginning. Grace came from within her. Gratitude I learned from her. Kindness she shared willingly and reverence was shown in her gentle way. (Photo taken of my Mom in 1948 by my Dad in Glens Falls, New York)