It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
Understanding the Inner Child. It happens to all of us- we get triggered. Some seemingly random event happens, and we go into this crazy emotional meltdown, or blow up, or whatever you want to call it. And part of us thinks, “Whoa! Where did that come from?” like we didn’t even know that we had such strong feelings about- what? What is it that brought on this out-of-the-blue upset? Whenever circumstances trigger a strong emotional reaction, stronger than those circumstances warrant, we can recognize our inner child is involved. If we do this without self judgement we can actually take charge and lead the child out of difficulty. We have to use the reaction itself as a wakeup call. And we have to accept that are not our idealized image with humility and grace rather than self judgement and self-criticism.
Winter is the time of resting in being and waiting. All nature knows this blessed state, even human nature, but in our modern culture we are lost in a great imbalance, idealizing and over-emphasizing the active, doing orientation in life. We have lost touch with receptivity and being. The initiating active principle is of course a necessary power and principle, but if it is not balanced by the receptivity of simply being, if our doing doesn’t arise out of our deeper being, then all our doing and giving and pressured activity drains us. The more we struggle against life’s storms and currents, the more we exhaust ourselves. .
Forest Therapy increases our intake of Vitamin N for Modern Nature Deficit Disorder and Stress related illness. Nature or Forest Immersion experiences are a form of recreational therapy that have a vast array of benefits for human health and wellbeing. Also known as Shinrin Yoku, or “taking in the atmosphere of the forest”, this proves to be the perfect antidote for our stressful modern life styles. 30 years of research in Japan has shown the beneficial effects on all our modern stress indicators; high blood pressure, pulse rate, cortisol levels, immune system balance, creativity and mental focus are all benefited. It is becoming a popular organizational luncheon workshop.
Fall As we move into the energies of the fall in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time for gathering, sorting and reflecting; reaping the harvest of what we have sown, taking time to separate wheat from shaft and set aside the seed corn to plant in the spring. Oh yes, and don’t forget the feasting and Thanksgiving! Here is a link to a song a fall faerie once sang to me. http://earthwalkways.com/harvest-song/
I wish to dedicate this blog to a new teacher of mine, Visionary Activist, Compassionate Trickster, and Keeper of the Mythic Landscape that has been lost to contemporary western culture: Caroline Casey. Please check out her Trickster Training Council and her Pacifica Radio Broadcast, Coyote Network News. http://coyotenetworknews.com/bio/
Toward the end of May Enchanting Run gets ready for a Wedding Feast. Her greenery has been profusely regenerating for a couple months and has gone from the faintest light green to luminescent day-glow greens as bright as little suns. Now the shade is darkening a bit more as the warmth comes to stay and then the Laurels bloom. Mountain Laurel grows everywhere in the forest of the Earthwalk Retreat and along Enchanting Run where they get a little more light, and every year they bloom prolifically, decorating Grandmother Stone’s Lagoon, as if it were a wedding banquet.
Our brains have a strong biological tendency to notice what “is wrong”. Our attention is drawn to what is out of place, or insufficient or irregular in some way and we respond with worry or reaction or resistance to this “arising” out of the field of perception. A large part of our unconscious waking attention habitually seeks out the “problem” and there is a sense of positive reinforcement for noticing and acting on it. On one hand finding a problems is not what we want, there is effort, a disturbance of plans or peace, but there is also accomplishment in this activity. It is connected with our sense of control and mastery in life.
Meditation by the Fire Tonight is another beautiful full moon night by the fire, and again I sit alone. It feels as if I am the grief of the forest all around me, waiting for the people to return. Where are the people, I hear a cry inside! Alone I sing to the fire, the moon and the night. It seems I feel what the forest feels. Why not? If I am part of this earth, then my longing is an expression of the forest’s longing. In my being I carry an ancient memory of others-being-together, sharing the stories, sharing the fire, sharing the other-worldly light of the full moon on the forest floor, crisscrossed with the shadows of the trees. Tonight it is just me under the moon by the fire. Together nature and I celebrate each other. We also miss you. This is a paradox to me. The fire still crackles merrily and the deep peace of the forest abides all around. I see how life continues to hum, to buzz, to radiate, to crackle, to gurgle and to roar, in the midst of its sacrifice, and the continued loss of human wonder. The forest, never losing connection with the ground of being, remains filled with possibility, with new surprises and always celebrates this moment now. But the forest also remembers the pleasures of our ancient communion. The truth is that few people remember that sacred life is more than human and that nature is more than commodity, and fewer still have time for sitting by a fire. Most of us would be too embarrassed to allow ourselves to be taken over by Yansa, the spirit of the wind, as she blows through the treetops. There are only a few who remember the years long past when we came together by the fire, and communed with nature and each other. Remember how it was, grounded deep in presence, listening within, listening to each other, held by the whole, speaking our truths from these depths, with great resonance and intimacy. It was In this way we came to know our own souls and each other, and to know our oneness with the soul of nature. Deep inside we all long to return to an ecstatic participation and a simple connection. Coming together around a fire under the full moon is a simple spell for synergy and magic. I await your return to the forest. I invite you to come and remember. I abide here with the forest. I affirm the emptiness of the Winter.