The Blindfolded Girl in the Hallway

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Photo Credit: Pexels

It had been easy to plan. Perhaps too easy. My husband’s forwarding of the airfare deal had led to another trip across the pond that had been pulled together quickly and nearly effortlessly. I had two sets of gracious hosts, an almost absurdly inexpensive flight, and dates that fit the family’s schedule as perfectly as circumstances allowed. My feathered seer had appeared to me in dreams, visions ,and physical forms, and I felt I had to go. The pieces had seemingly fallen into place of their own will.

Perhaps too easily.

Life, I have learned, rarely unravels before us in the way we envision it. I had felt the shift. The silence in the weeks before my departure, but had tried to ignore it. The plan had changed, but I wasn’t sure how.

The inevitable test began during the flight to London. I was sandwich in the middle of the airplane, between two men, one much larger than the other. The armrests were taken and I knew I could easily succumb to the feeling of entrapment if I allowed it to cloud me in. There would be no slumber, not that I had planned on it. I rarely sleep on airplanes, even when the flights, like this one was, are overnighters. The large man to my right began to snore before the plane taxied down the runway, so loudly, heads turned from several rows away and looks of pity fell upon my face.

Yet, I was determined to make the best of it. I pulled my headphones out of my purse, plugged them into the seat in front of me, and scrolled through the dismal list of films. Two movies and one granola bar and yogurt later, we arrived at Gatwick. I, surprisingly alert.

The trip through customs was quicker than expected, and my train tickets easily purchased. My only mistake, not buying the combo tube ticket because the agent assured me I would get a better rate if I waited until I got to the station. Turns out it’s not so easy to get a ticket if you don’t already have one, or an Oyster card, of which I am now the proud owner.

After some minor scrambled confusion, I got my tube ticket, found the right terminal, and boarded the tube. My friend was waiting at the “meeting place,” and we set off to buy some provisions before we settled into her flat so she could get a few hours of work in, and I some sleep.

The bedroom was cool and welcoming. After I removed the layers of clothing that had enveloped me for the past night and previous day, changed into PJs, and brushed my teeth, I slipped under the duvet and closed my eyes.

And that’s when I saw her. The girl with a blindfold over her eyes. Standing in the hallway, beyond the closed doors. Waiting for me.

Part 1 in a series of posts to follow that will cover my most recent journey to England to study some of its ancient sites. 

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.

A Reclaimed Forest At the Edge of Dartmoor

After the formal portion of the June 2018 workshop with the Silent Eye School of Consciousness had concluded, my traveling companion and I hopped into our rental car and headed toward Tavistock to continue our adventures with Sue and Stuart. Whereas they had opted to take the winding, more adventurous route through Dartmoor, we wimped out  braved the major roads.

If I could have done it over again, though, I would have taken the long way in the hope of getting a little lost, but more about that in the next post. If you visit the link to Sue and Stuart above, you will get an idea as to why.

Instead, Larissa and I had a rather uneventful drive into Tavistock. Thankfully, Larissa’s phone’s navigation landed us perfectly at our very remote, but incredibly charming B&B, Lee Byre, which sits on the outskirts of Dartmoor and has a perfect view of Brentor , where we would be meeting up with Sue and Stuart the following morning.

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Larissa posing for a picture inside our cosy accommodation at Lee Byre

We arrived at Lee Byre through a narrow gateway of rocks (I wish I had taken a photo), whose chins jutted within inches of our compact car, down an even more narrow hedgerow at least double the height of our vehicle.  Here we were greeted with another gateway, this one fashioned out of wood, which opened to park near our lodging and were greeting by the residents hens.

 

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The resident hens were quite intent on hitching a ride with us.

I could not have envisioned a more perfect place to stay, and as I told Larissa more than once, “I could easily live there.” Even if the forest behind our cottage was haunted. The stone buildings that housed our hosts and their rental accomodations sit admist exquisit gardens and offer, on a clear day, a wonderful glimpses into the land of Dartmoor. Breakfast is served each morning freshly prepared using local incredients that include perfectly poached eggs from the resident hens, freshly baked bread, honey made from the bees that polinate the lovely gardens, and homemade yogurt, jam and granola served on top of a table painted by the propriator. Have I mentioned before I was in heaven?

 

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Our hobo lunches were prepared for us before we set off toward Dartmoor the following day

 

Dinner, though, requires a 24-hr notice, and since Larissa and I were not sure of how the day would unfold, we opted to find our own end-of-day meal. Although I like to eat on the early side, I agreed to wait awhile before venturing out again in the car, and the two of us decided we would take a wander into the forest behind our lodging.

 

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This forest reminded us both of the Pacific Northwest, but felt like it held thousands of years of secrets

I don’t think I’ve felt a more haunted woods. The effect was only heightened by the fact that it was dusk and a trail of feathers preceded our footsteps like deliberately placed breadcrumbs. The crows, it seems, were guiding our entire journey through the landscape of Albion. Although we were the only hikers in the woods that evening, I felt eyes all around me. It was difficult to tell if we were simply being observed or tested. Perhaps it was both. In these haunted landscapes, which seem to occur in abundance in England, I often feel as though I must earn my welcome.

 

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Crow feathers followed our paths throughout our adventures in England and I should not have been surprised to find them here.

Larissa appeared less troubled than I, or perhaps she was just hiding her unease. We both remarked how we felt like Robin Hood and his Merry Men could appear at any moment around the corner. It was that kind of forest. While she delighted in the moss that “looked like tiny ferns,” though, I kept seeing faces in the trees and rocks.

 

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The fern-like moss in all its emerald beauty

 

The only history we learned about this area we were walking in was from our hosts at Lee Byre, who told us, as they handed us a trail map, that there was an old quarry mine near the top of the hill. A not uncommon site in these parts of England.

 

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An old mining road, perhaps

After some venturing off the trails (mostly by my urginings) to look for intriguing views and anything else that might choose to appear, we eventually landed at the abadoned quarry.

 

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An abandoned shack at the old quarry.

The unsettled feeling continued to permeate my wanderings as we explored the long-abandoned site. Thorny bushes hugged the cement walls of the quarry remains and it was clear by looking at the old shed on the outskirts that Nature had reclaimed the site as  Her own once again.

 

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Faces in the trees

 

The presence of elemental beings was undeniably present, and as I walked the hilltop I wondered if the hands of man had left their mark in a way that made our presence suspecious. Were we friend or foe, in this forest that felt like it could both swallow us whole or embrace us wholly?

 

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Larissa standing in a place where one could not help but feel small

 

Larissa and I were walking as Nature’s children, but also as children of man. Here in this reclaimed wild landscape it is both easy, and difficult, to forget that we are made of Earth but have spent thousands of years trying to prove we are not. I was unsettled, but rightfully so. A guilty child looking to earn back a mother’s trust.