Not the top word on your list for today's "to do's" is it? Sacrifice conjures up images of suffering and giving up the good stuff. But I learned today, at my Writing Life Women's Circle held by circle-maven Mary Ann Moore of Flying Mermaids Studio in Nanaimo, that its original meaning was more along the lines of "giving up what no longer works in order to stay close to what is sacred."

Woah! Much different image than suffering. Now it conjures up images of cozying up to something that brings out the best in me, like walking through the woods, creating a wondrous beaded object, or curling up with a book that introduces me to human-boosting ideas! To my mind, the sacred is aligned with bringing out the best in all of us - characteristics, attributes, talents, goals - and in that way we each contribute, significantly and surely, to our world.

It's odd how words and meanings become distorted, isn't it? This new spin on sacrifice may just switch off a few "nice" people's "yes buttons." It may allow us to say "no, I can't do that today as I've got plans to hike and get close to the sacred in my life, and I don't allow much to come between me and the sacred."

How freeing too, to define "sacred" in your own way. After all, a sacred activity for Fran down the way may include a church service, but for me it may be a trip to the bead store. That may sound silly, but hear me out! My writing circle today brought me in touch with how special the activity of beading is to me.

I use tiny seed beeds mostly, and create mainly two items: bracelets with repetitious patterns, and goddesses that have absolutely no pattern at all, and evolve on their own with no preconceived design from me. That time, spent stringing bead by tiny bead onto the thinnest of needles, is contemplative, restorative, and totally inspired by the sacred. Each goddess, especially, tends to find her eventual home through serendipitous meetings. Her ultimate owner is ecstatic at finding her, and I am grateful for having created something of meaning.

When not beading, you'll find me hiking  with my husband, immersed in a book, or writing resumes for my wonderful clients! Who said we couldn't be multi-dimensional with lots of talents to offer our fellow humans?

What are your sacred activities?