Part of my exploration of Beauty has been embodiment, that is, living a deliberately pagan life through immersion in the every day. For me (and please forgive any incorrect usage of polythealogical terms, I’m about three years behind the pagan blog world), embodiment has been becoming comfortable in my own body, on the land, and within my practices. It’s about identifying what’s important in my life, and making space to prioritize those things.
Some years ago, a friend and I clashed with a well-known pagan over simplicity — his argument was that abundance is virtuous, as is sensuality, and we shouldn’t constrain ourselves with ascetic practices. But I don’t see simple living as counter to abundance and sensuality; rather, I think it supports it whole-heartedly. When we focus on what we love, doing away with that which does not serve us, we can be abundant and prosperous, and fully allow ourselves to engage in a sensual way with life.
When I step away from social media, from trends, from popular media, I can instead more clearly see seasonal change, can put my attention towards my hearth and home and family, and I become more in tune with hearing the divine. When I make my world smaller by choice, I can better embody that which I want to be.
Perhaps that’s a strange way of stating it; but for me, it is true. Some people just are, but I feel like I have to make a conscious choice to be the person that I want to be. This is a part of my discipline, to be embodied in my physical self, experiencing the joy and beauty of food, sex, and seasons. As I get older, I realize more and more the value of just being, to feel and exist as I am. There is so much that we put in the way of this without even realizing it, that when we strip it away we see what we were missing.
This is not a blanket condemnation of those things; of course, I only speak for myself. I am not a minimalist, not a homesteader, not any of those things from where I draw my inspiration. All I am doing here is focusing my own life, so that I can better embody my virtues and values.