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I recently finished reading this book.

I began reading this book two days before that.

It took two whole days because Husband made me come to bed.

Everyday Sacred has been on my shelf for a while; I picked it up at a library book sale for $1 and then promptly forgot about it. It’s a beautiful and simple book. Sue Bender captured my heart as soon as she started talking about her love of throwing pottery. I share such a love.

But she made my stomach flip when she spoke of making shattered pots. These are bowls that are lovingly thrown and fired, then smashed intentionally. The pots are then glued back together in an homage to change and impermanence, each one even more unique and stunning because of its cracks and damage.

She tells a story of participating in a sweat lodge ceremony. The leader told her that you go there “to die.” She said she was completely overwhelmed and afraid at first, then, as time passed, she felt calm. Deeply calm.

“Having no place to hide, I had felt my fear and the fear cracked open…the more I was able to stay with, not move away from, uncomfortable feelings, the more I was also able to feel happy and alive.”

Sounds just like a Bikram yoga hot room to me.

I was intrigued by the icon of the begging bowl that keeps coming up in the book. The idea of begging sounds terrible to me. Begging is what you do when you are desperate; when your boyfriend leaves you sobbing in the driveway or you are incapable of taking care of yourself.

But this begging bowl is about receiving, with gratitude, whatever is placed before you.

What an important idea; receiving all of life with grace and thanks, regardless of what is placed in your bowl.

That’s how I want to live my life.

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