hands to work, hearts to God

There are few places in the world that I love more than Shaker Village. IMG_2933

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have taken hundreds of pictures here.

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There is something about this place. The peace that the members of this community felt. The equality. The openness. The ability to cherish their beliefs and still cherish people who believed differently.

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If I had lived then, I would not have been a Shaker. Some of their ideas are just beyond me. But I like to think that I would have attended their worship services. And I would have been a friend.

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As I have started to really study the practice of yoga, I have noticed that I am seeing many similarities in belief and practice of my own religious traditions. I am not embracing spiritual beliefs that are not my own, but I am loving how I am being spiritually challenged and growing my current beliefs.

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I have been searching for jewelry that both reminds me of my yoga mind and my belief in God. It took a little creativity, but I found the perfect thing this weekend.

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The beads are a nice, wrap bracelet that came from a craft fair. (They are actually dried acai berries.) And the charm is from a silver smith in Berea representing the traditional Shaker image, "Hands to work, hearts to God." It resembles the Hamsa, but is strikingly different. And very Christian in origin.

I just adore how connected I feel to this piece of jewelry. It feels like I created something that is mine. That I can explore this balance. That I can be challenged but still at peace and at home.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.