Simul Krampus et St Nick — Day 6 of Simplicity
Day Six — Breathe & Notice — 25 Days of Simplicity
Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas, aka St. Nick’s Day. Nicholas lived around 300 CE. He is known for his generosity, particularly toward those experiencing poverty. There’s a famous story of him dropping gold coins into a poor man’s window at night to save the man from having to sell his daughters into prostitution.
His story grew into legend, and even to this day in villages all over the world, especially throughout Europe, St. Nicholas walks the streets, visiting children, leaving gifts and candies. But Nicholas often doesn’t travel alone. He may be joined by a Krampus, a half-goat, half-demon, who frightens and flogs the naughty ones.
Who is coming for you today?
What’s your story? How are you holding up through this marathon pandemic? Have you been good or bad, naughty or nice?
Do you deserve goodies or nightmares?
The reality is we carry both St. Nick and the Krampus within us. We aren’t good or bad. We are good and bad.
What healing comes when we move beyond all our unrealistic expectations for ourselves and each other — all those moralistic, perfectiontionistic, shame-filled “supposed to’s” and “should be’s!” What transformation comes when we practice compassion for the fullness of our — and one another’s — humanity!
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about not being accountable or responsible. It’s more about method. Love. Gentle acceptance. These create room for healing and change. Fear and manipulation on the other hand — these send us into fight-flee-freeze defense mode.
Are you stressed? Do the constraints of pandemic have your monster rearing its head more often than you’d like?
Next time you feel the horns begin to poke through your skull, take a deep breath.
welcome your monster,
and do the same for the monster in the other.
This is part of our most critical work — paying attention to our bodies and learning to settle them (thanks, Resmaa Menakem for the wisdom around this!). And this takes lots of practice.
Breathe. Patient wise Love.
Come here, Krampus, you need a hug.
May this body relax
May the mind settle
May the breath be comfortable
— A mantra that David Jones (Intertwiner, bike commuter, and scientist with MDH) often engages throughout his day. Give it a try! Coordinate the sayings with deep breaths.
Maybe it will help you be compassionate to the St Nick and Krampus within you, and in turn, maybe you’ll be more compassionate to the other Krampus/Nicholas mashups around you.
P.s., David will be leading a breathing practice at this morning’s Breathe gathering. Join us at 10am Central via the Zoom link below.
Breathe — 25 Days Gathering
Sunday, December 6 (10–10:45am)
Practice and share in community.
We’re hosting a simple Sunday gathering
of poetry, lectio divina, and a breathing practice.
Come breathe together.