Finding the Beloved as the Wheel Turns, with Some Resistance, into Fall #LettingGo #healing

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The air is thick with the dying breath of summer. It is holding on before its final surrender. For several weeks, it seemed as though fall had arrived early. Heralding its victory over the fiery season by banishing the heat in mid August. Today, though, it has made a retreat. Or has it asked summer for one final chance to play the game, knowing that it will soon be declared the victor, once again?

This inevitable dance of the elements cycles with the ever-turning wheel of life. Our bodies spin with the seasons, and we can resist or we can give way to the spiral journey. I am not sure I could live comfortably without the outer world mirroring the inner. My body is used to the seasons. I was birthed in the element of earth, but water is where I find home. Winter always calls me back to the inner, but before it does, I must heed the gifts of the seasons that come before it.

Summer’s abundance can overwhelm those that are comfortable in stillness, yet it can also spur us into action. The embers of stagnation are stirred back to life as new growth moves its tendrils into the light. The kinetic energy is fired up and things get done. This summer, I passed the days carting teenagers around, teaching a couple of yoga classes, and working on our home and gardens. I made eleven photo albums. Memories of every family trip we’ve taken outside of New Hampshire are now nestled into the shelves in our living room. I also painted. And sanded. Ten doorframes and six doors that were once stained a deep brown are now brightly donning one layer of primer and two of paint. There is a palpable shift in the energy of our home. And in me. Darkness has moved out of the comfort of shadows.

My birthday arrives in the final weeks of summer, at the time when school starts up again and there is the return of routine. I don’t actually like my birthday. It’s not the getting older that draws reluctance and melancholy, but rather the memory of rejection. Each year, at this time, I am reminded of my yearning to be beloved.

I felt the pull of fall early this year, around the same time its breath of victory filled the air outside. Before my birthday, I dreamt of levitation. The weightless freedom of no gravity. I lifted my body with ease off the ground, and brought others up with me. One by one, I felt their weight before I urged its release. “See,” I told them, “how easy it is to let go.” Earths, by nature, care for others more than their selves.

When my birthday came and went, I realized I had not let go fully of the weight that would be free.  I recalled the frog from the same dream, and how it had clung to my skirt like a parasite. Transformation is often sticky. We must remove the glue from the habits that hold us down before we can lift those wings into a new realm of living. We must understand that only we can choose the release. That we must die to the old to give way to freedom.

The pictures I have from my birthday don’t reflect the day after. The mourning that came after the heavy weight had settled back in. They don’t reflect the struggle with rage and grief as the old pattern tore free in a messy release.

We like to see the beauty of fall, forgetting it is also ugly. Summer’s flames burn the leaves into brilliance before they curl into brittle shades of brown. The last of the ripened fruit that is not consumed for nourishment and more growth, turns mottled and moldy as it slowly decays back into the ground.

The return to Earth to be re-birthed requires a decay. The transformation of what once was must give way to what will be. The seed that comes forth from the decayed body of the fruit does not see the light that it reaches for. It simply trusts that it is there. It knows that one day, as it is feeding and growing, it will break through the darkness to feel it.

Yesterday, I had a woman I barely know over for tea. During our conversation, she told me that when she looked at me she could see the beauty of the work I have done to heal. So I told her about my birthday. Not to refute her, but to show her that I am not done yet. That perhaps I never will be, at least in this life. This is, after all, why each of us are here. To walk the wheel in the spiral inward, back to the light that we are. We might walk it in spurts. We might linger long in the shadows, but the wheel, like the seasons, will keep urging us to turn into the return.

My new friend also told me she could tell that I loved myself, a reflection of this inner work.  It is not easy, always, to be our own beloved. To truly love the dark and the light. It is, though, necessary. We can search endlessly for our ideal of the beloved outside of us, and to hope to be beloved by another, but the one true, complete beloved, must always come from within.

Despair #Poetry

 

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Despair

Last night I watched a ship disappear

one life, followed by another, until the last

was swallowed by water lidded with ice

nothing left behind but despair

They say pay attention to colors

in dreams, the screen before me looming

in shades of gray and white while I stood

a part of the spectrum of rainbow light with my son

in the shadows. This lesson on despair

sinking before us and I feeling only

hope

 

Chocorua Part 3: The Feathered Seer Returns

I had brought one more thing for my journey, which was not mentioned in Part 2. In the pocket of my shorts was a small bag stuffed with tobacco, the procuring of which is a small story by itself. When I asked my friend Darlene what I should bring for an offering, her definitive answer was “tobacco.” There was no budging her, but I tried. The thought of buying a tin of tobacco, or a packet of cigarettes, filled me with mild terror. Irrational perhaps, but a childhood that involved the illegal growing and smoking of “pot” by my parental figures turned me against all manner of smoking. The only cigarette I’ve smoked was in one very vivid dream. That was enough for me.

So, here I was faced with one of many tests during this journey, before it even started. How to procure some tobacco. And, as I was thinking about how best to find some, a little voice inside my head came to the rescue with one word, “Etsy.” You can find just about anything on Etsy and sure enough a quick search led me to a source of natural tobacco. Perfect. I could handle buying tobacco safely through the internet with the happy knowing that it would be packaged as pure, unadulterated leaves. My little bag of tobacco arrived within a couple days of ordering, accompanied by a lovely handmade floral magnet. I had my offering.

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Although all of the trees were “young,” no doubt from the logging of the settles, there were those that held the presence of the past, and I left my offering with them. 

Which, as I walked along the wooded trail filled with mosquitos, kept creeping out of my shallow pocket until it finally dropped somewhere not too far away from the white feather. Like the crow, the feather seemed perfectly placed before me, another sign often found during my journeys. And, although I had yet to feel the familiar nudging of spirit through my left hand, which may be because it was too busy grasping a walking pole, I took it as another positive omen that I was on the “right path.”

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The white feather on my path, which appeared freshly fallen. When I passed it hours later on the way down it looked worn and tired. Its fibers matted together.

It is sometimes said that true signs come in sets of three, and number three that day came in the form of a song. Sharp and sudden the voice of the pileated woodpecker pierced the silence surrounding us. Once again I found my breath stop inside my throat. My “feathered seer had appeared. I should not have been surprised, but somehow I had forgotten the dream of this sacred messenger seven months before when it flew before me atop a “Native American hill.” Looking into my eyes with the message, “Don’t be afraid to see.” Weeks later, I had met Chocorua capped in snow. And now, here I was upon its oldest trail.

Funny how the mind works, only now I am recalling the dream through my old blog post. Putting the pieces together as I write. “Do not be afraid to see.” I had been thinking, as I walked, how much I was trying to see with my outer sight. The bent trees to give me clues to the sacred places. The faces in stone. “Are the bugs flying into your eyes?” I eventually asked my husband through frustration as I every time I brought my sunglass to rest atop my head, my eyes became magnets to the swarming insects.

No doubt another messenger, but not a wholly welcome one. Sometimes we try too hard to “see” outside of us. I am thinking of the “ghosts” I glimpsed while walking beside stream that felt sacred at the base of the mountain. I had felt the impulse to pause. To look back as the outer eyes blurred to the inner. And there they were, a small group of people from the time before white men, gathered at the waters, their heads turned slightly sideways towards me. “We see you,” they seemed to be offering in a welcome without judgement.

I did not linger, but took the gift of their presence and tucked it inside. It would be a mostly quiet walk. The other hikers not making their presence known until 2/3 of our way to our destination. Instead, we had one more messenger waiting to greet us as we worked our way uphill through the heat and bugs.

To be continued…

Finding Home in the Body #Yoga #PastLives #Healing

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I am finding my way home through the body. Again, perhaps, but the path always changes as we circle into untouched avenues of the labyrinth of self. There has been the lingering question of home as a physical landscape calling me back. I have labeled it Albion, or what once was Albion, but I have been lying to myself. It is not a mere physical place that draws the deep longing out of me, it is the pure, boundless joy of being.

It is true I find home in the stones that hold the memories of long ago. They speak to me of a time when the stars touched Earth without dimension. I have called it magic, because that is what it feels like inside of cells that have learned to forget. Yet, it is simply the true state of the boundless self that knows that the one self is home only when there is no self defined by matter, space, or time.

We can live attached to concepts of structure as we walk a linear path to a false destination that can never be reached, and I have found this path to be lonely. I have struggled to free the desire to gather the lives around me into my arms and dance us all awake before Earth destroys us in her need to heal the wounds we have inflicted upon her.

The ancient stones remember what we have forgotten and that is why they draw me home to where the hearth fire inside is kindled in a landscape that does not judge or reject. There is only the embrace, welcoming the return.

It is not enough to return, temporarily, to sites that hold the memories of truth. These places are not outside my physical doorstep where I find myself tethered to a life that feels artificial in more ways than I can count. There are thousands of footsteps between me and the stones that call me home. I go to them to return, then turn back again to this physical place I must call home as I search to define it in a language long lost to our tongues. Too often I feel the structure of  nailed together wood painted on the outside to keep the self contained behind walls as though the boundless needs protection.

At night I find the freedom I seek in the daylight, flying through the glass that looks inward and outward. I soar easily to the ceiling and will myself back to the knowing that this too is false until the molecules of division give way and rejoin in the opening. Why, I ask, am I allowed to fly boundless only in the dimension of dreams? Why do a live in a time that has chosen to forget?

Days stretch false minutes and I find myself speaking the rote words of the mundane least others think me insane. Sometimes, I ask out loud, “When will this nightmare end?” Because, I must admit, there are days that feel like nightmares. The computer screen pulls me into the vacuum of humanity’s created chaos and I become entrenched in the darkness until I pull myself back to present surrounding me. The living, breathing pulse of the now where chaos becomes a complicated dance of cause and effect; of shadow and light; of the endless cycle of life. Each moment passing into the next, asking only to be let go.

Yet, sometimes we must circle backwards to go forwards. I have found myself once again traveling through lives passed to feel the chain around the black man’s neck before it can release the body’s constricted voice. My womb aches with the rape of the priestess, and so many more that I am surprised that it bore life. I breathe in love to release constriction as I look at the fence of bodies stretching back further than the eyes can see. How long will it take, I wonder, to free them all? Until I remember this pain that becomes a memory for cells constantly renewing themselves need not find a home in my body that wants to remember only joy.

Outside the structured walls of my physical home, I am drawn each day to the weeds beneath the blooms. Digging these hands of mine into the body of Earth to release the tangles of life that suffocate growth. I am not immune to the knowing that life must be taken to feed new life. It is equally cruel and beautiful. This surrender of death to birth.

I find a harmony in the cycle I help to create. Sometimes active participation is required to free the ties that bind, and so I move this body I also call home. I listen to its urgings, feel the lick of its flames as they rise through the belly. Summer allows the shedding of shoes, and I walk barefoot on the body of Earth to feel her heartbeat and the knowing that I am her child too. My cells are made from her elements. Pieces broken to be reformed. I cannot neglect this vital part of me.

Chaos lures the mind to disorder and the body to dance free. Yoga has become a necessity for balance. If a day passes without the body stretching the mind free as it heeds the call of release, I feel the fires inside smolder for lack of air. It is not easy for light to creep through dense layers. Cracks must open. Air must be let in. Prana follows the breath into the labyrinth as the body becomes the dragon raising its wings.  And that is when the soul soars home to itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left Behind #dreamsymbolism

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I woke before the alarm, standing in a room filled with crystals and stones inside a mall. Alone. Left behind by two “friends” and a boyfriend. It is likely they even took my blue Volt with them, driving away in the guiltless pleasure of having deserted me. I had my cell phone with me and took it out while I surveyed the crowded, lifeless space. It was useless to me. I didn’t have any of their numbers. Even if I had, would they have answered?

It had been a strangely vivid dream. So real it felt like life, yet I had not even been thinking of these three people. Remnants from adolescence angst. The two girls who I felt had once betrayed me and left me behind many years ago, I realized were still haunting me with this fear. We dream what we need to heal, and last night I dreamt the fear of being left behind. Again.

If I take the road back further, driving in my blue car, as I did in the dream, I can retrace the routes I once traveled. Those I had left behind, and those who had left me behind. I am not guiltless, as my dream showed me. There was the girl I’ll call Sally, who tried to get into the car with me. Opened the door blue door to squish her way into the passenger seat with me, while my boyfriend drove and those two former friends sat with glee in the backseat. I told her “no,” that there was “no room for her,” before I shoved her out and closed the door, while thinking about the empty space that could have held her behind me.

It was fall when we traveled the roads in my dream. The season of life before decay. I had gazed in admiration at the hills shrouded in color as we crested the top of one to land in a place covered with carved stones. “There’s a goat!” Or was it a wolf? I thought it was real before I became embarrassed by my mistake. Oh, how I wanted to be accepted. Liked. Loved.

Yet, we are all left behind and we all leave others behind. Intentionally and deliberately. Sometimes with love, sometimes for lack of love. Self-preservation can be a cruel need. It forgets that this leaving behind is never lasting, but a necessary part of the growth of the self before it discovers that there is no self. Division, another cruel trick of the mind searching for acceptance. Forgetting that the self divides only to someday return to the ever-flowing river that is Love.

 

Flying into Fear #dream symbolism

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It was an interesting night in the world of dreams. A night filled with a whole lot of flying, but for a very apparent reason. To fly into my fears. It seems my mind had decided to show me every fear I am holding onto at the moment, while my soul decided, you’re ready, let’s go. 

There is that saying that you see all over the place, “Whatever you fear most, do it.” Sometimes, for practical purposes, we simply should not do what we fear most. Say, for example, we harbor an intense fear of fire and being burned. Should we really step into a furnace? Probably not if we don’t want to seriously harm our physical bodies. What, though, of the metaphorical furnace?

If we examine the roots of our fears, we can arrive at a greater awareness of self. Sometimes what we fear can seem irrational until we realize why we are harboring it. An intense fear of being burned alive might lead us to a past life in Pompeii. Whereas an over-whelming aversion to speaking in crowds might point us back to circumstances in this lifetime when we were rejected for speaking our truths. There is always an origin to our fears, and it is worth exploring the roots if we want to heal and release that which is holding us back from living fully.

Fears lead to growth, when we allow them to. When we open the door to our fears and fly into them, examining all their nuances as we face them head-on, we can discover the core of our being. We are not here to live small, wrapped in the cloaks of protection that are so easy to don when life presents us with defining moments.

In each moment, we have a choices. We can live in stasis, or we can allow the true self to spread wide our wings and fly. Recently, I have made two choices that I would have shirked in the past. At the end of the month I will be vending at a local Paracon fair, where I will be promoting my new visionary fantasy series for kids and teens, Warriors of Light, and its companion teachings. This takes me out of my comfort zone, but instead of being afraid, I’m filled with excitement.

Next month, I’ll be flying across the pond. My soul is calling me back again to a place that feels like home, but for different reasons than my previous visits. In what might appear like a whim of fancy, there is wrapped within a nest of fears that I have decided to unweave. I have, over my years of self-investigation, discovered that it is not easy for me to receive. As I work with the truth that “I am worthy,” I have begun to allow myself to accept the hands that extend in offer to me. There doesn’t, I have come to realize, have to be a string attached to it, just an open-hearted gratitude to receive the gifts of love.

I have been so utterly amazed by the out-pouring of love that is offered when the heart is open to receive. It is a huge obstacle to overcome when one is used to conditions. Yet, so wonderful to free the tethered heart and fly into trust. I don’t know what I will meet in the hills of Cumbria standing among its ancient stones, but so many hands have extended their offers of love to help lead me there. My husband and children, who without even batting an eyelash, have accepted that I will be gone for a few days. My mother-in-law, who has offered to clear her schedule to be with the teenagers, should they need her, and the pets. And, once again I am amazed, humbled and filled with gratitude for dear friends who live in the land of Albion, some of whom I have only known for a few years. It is one thing to accept the offers of one’s family, it is quite another to accept those of friends and strangers. Yet, I have come to realize how much love there really is in the world. How much abundance housed within our hearts.

So, I am flying into my fears, literally and metaphorically, and instead of trepidation, I feel joy, excitement, and a wellspring of gratitude for all the hands that are lifting me into flight.

What are the fears that are holding you back from flying into joy? Perhaps it’s worth taking a moment of self-reflection and examination to discover what is weighing you down at this moment. Release is often much easier than you might expect.

The Return of the Feathered Seer #setting #writphoto #suevincent

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The Feathered Seer hovers above the stones. Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Note: I started writing this post and then came across the #writephoto prompt post by Sue Vincent and opened it up to this image. Therefore, the blog post has now become my response to her weekly photo prompt

In April of 2017 I played the role of “The Feathered Seer” during the Silent Eye School of Consciousness’s annual ritual workshop weekend. Although acting is not my element, this role that I was asked to undertake did not feel like acting. It felt like home. Yesterday, I wrote about the concept of home and how I feel most aligned with that state of being when I am in England, walking the ancient lands. I have no doubt I have walked these lands, perhaps many times, in former lives. It’s a knowing so deep it goes beyond the visceral and straight to the heart of the soul.

The Feathered Seer is a part of me, woven into my being. She is my guide, but she is also me. Through the ancient lands she follows me, and I follow her. She takes my hand and leads me so I will remember. And, I believe, so that others will remember too.

In physical form, she adopts the form of the pileated woodpecker. That other-worldly creature who flies through the woods with her red head, calling the soul home to the roots of being, and drumming the language of the ancients back into the heart.

Last night she came to me during dreamtime as I stood atop a sacred Native American hillside. Flying her feathers of darkness before my face to peer into my eyes. Weeks prior, she had arrived in physical form. Flying before my path before the Silent Eye group gathered at Castlerigg.

Do not be afraid to see… she tells me

#writephoto