Fall As we move into the energies of the fall in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time for gathering, sorting...
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.
We will offer a Natural Communion Lodge on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is a beautiful way to fall into winter, giving thanks for the year and all that we have experienced, the blessings and the challenges alike. A perfect prelude for going into the solstice season and all the festivals of Light in the darkness, as we prepare to enter the long night of winter. for more information contact me or check out my meetup. www.meetup.com/The-Art-of-Soul-Whispering/
The following is an article on Nature Immersion retreats and below that a companion link to a short video you might enjoy. There is another a link to my interview page where you can listen to a couple of in-depth interviews about the retreat. Lastly there is an article on a Release, Receive and Renew Community Retreats I would like to offer here on a regular basis so people have a way to decompress from these nodes of chaos we are passing through. Enjoy!
Nature Immersion Retreat as a Modern Form of Vision Quest.
We had several wonderful Nature Immersion Retreat’s here this summer. Here are some thoughts on the value of this type of retreat.
The Vision Quest and other rituals of initiation generally involve a kind of hardship process that takes the initiate to the edge of life, in order to break through ordinary consciousness to receive a vision. For most modern people who have been uprooted from wilderness, just the experience of being alone with ourselves in wild nature, without our usual distractions can be another type of powerful vision fast.
It often turns out to be a challenging but most fruitful encounter with self/Self and most powerfully restores our connection with our sensory/sensual relationship with life through nature. The lack of this connection is at the heart of many of our modern diseases. Stress is the uprootedness of our modern experience. The times are quite chaotic so we need to plant roots in something larger than our human world.
We discover that it is here in the Wild Garden, that spirit calls us to commune with that which is Mystery and the greater powers of nature, the force of the Sun and the Moon and the Stars, the Forest, the Wind and the Sea. This is the encounter with that which is larger than ego, that context that is our larger inter-being with everything. You will feel the shift when you plug back in. It has so much that we are starving for.
A nature immersion experience is an amazing encounter with yourself. There are no expectations and yet you watch your expectations arise followed by your own self-judgment. Your inner hell realms come up within this larger context where they can be held in nature’s loving embrace, inviting you to also to learn to embrace and witness from the larger context of all your stories; calling you to Truth, examining what is real, examining your heart, who you really are and what you want….
What is the wall within that you flail yourself against? Some “problem” that keeps you from your highest good? Is it for real, or is it an ancient story arising from the unresolved past. What is real? What is around you? Can you feel it? Do you belong here? Deep work in this cocoon of transformation, but also the natural expansion that gently cleanses us and takes us into delight and even ecstasy.
I think the most magical aspect of this form of vision quest is that we actually have an encounter with nature’s intelligence and we directly experience that She is communicating with us personally, helping us through and offering her simple truths. This happens in many quirky and imaginative ways, yet each time it is both a thrill and a deep affirmation that we are not alone. Our modern sense of isolation, is a suffering that is related to our disconnection from nature.
Earthwalk Ways leads us to reconnect and end this isolation, learning how to feel and be a part of a larger whole once again; both the larger earth community and our personal communities. We need human friends who can support and appreciate us, be witness to our journey and share their own passages. We need to re-gather in human community as well, so if you are looking for that, check out the Release, Receive, Renew series of small group retreats which I write about below.
Back to nature immersion retreats. While a three day or more immersion experience is best, you can take good advantage of one day retreats. Even a few hours of “taking in the atmosphere” of the forest is shown to counter-balance our sympathetic nervous system, activating our relaxation response.
You can take a hike down Little Wilderness Canyon, following Enchanting Run, where there are no trails. You make your own way…Your quest begins with the ritual of naming your intention. “I am a pilgrim seeking…..” Now let it go and scan the area around you. Notice what attracts you…., Follow your natural attractions. Discover you impulses and intuitions, move when something moves you and stop and listen and look and breath until something else moves you again.
Lose your mind and come to your senses noticing the sounds, and the play of light and shadow, the smells and even the mood of the place. It is all there when we get present, when we come into our physical interface with our environment and stop trying to figure life out. Try feeling, instead of thinking. When you direct your attention to your senses, you have stopped the mind stream for a moment. Each moment will strengthen the awareness of being and presence; being present to the here and now. Breathing….experiencing the sensations of breathing, walking, listening, watching…no longer thinking, without internal commentary on what you experience, just the direct perception of the heart.
Give your problems to tree to hold for you for a little while and see if it is the same when you pick it back up. Notice how it feels to let go a little while of this imaginary dragon of the future or the past, and just be here in this moment with your surrounding, or you can also just get present to how the problem feels within you right now. Be with it as a sensory experience. Notice how your gut or your neck feels tense or butterflies arise in your stomach. Be with this, breath this, watch it change as your presence touches it. Touch it with love and compassion.
Your life is the sum total of all your experiences. Your path unfolds from within you and your deepest nature knows the way through the passage before you. Remember the blessings of the Sun and the Moon and the Stars, the Earth and the Wind and the Sea. You are held by all of Nature, and you are cared for. There is a universe inside you as well. Come begin the exploration into nature, the universe and you.
The link here takes you to a video, Bathe Me In Your Light. http://earthwalkways.com/video-gallery/
along enchanting run, here at the Earthwalk Retreat.
Also check out a radio interviews I did for more information on retreats, healing spaces and nature as healer. http://earthwalkways.com/interviews/
My best book suggestion is just published and is by one of my favorite healing teachers, Jonathon Goldman. It is called Gift of the Body and you can get it at Amazon. It is an encyclopedic and deeply practical user’s manual for the human energy vehicle and how it functions as the perfect vessel of transformation. For beginners and advanced healing students alike, to help us understand how to work with these fields of thoughts, intuitions, emotions, and physical vitality, how to raise it all into the heart and to vitalize and clean the channel for life force to fill us for optimal functioning. Here is a link to an interview by him. http://acongruentlife.net/acl-017-jonathan-goldman/
Check out this great internet summit of various speakers who are pioneering this new field! http://healingearthself.com/offer/
Below is the final article on Release Receive and Renew Retreats. A way to connect to Nature, the Light and Each Other. We need to reconnect!
Release, Receive and Renew Retreats – Can you make time for yourself?
I know how hard it is these days, but I also know how hard it is if we don’t. I see many people who are failing to keep up and getting sick and still feel compelled to use all their will and strength at hand to keep going. The fear of stopping is multi-leveled I am sure but I know the cost of this through the many people I see who are really suffering, either physically or emotionally on the treadmill of life.
It is time to ask what is driving us and get to a deeper level than the obvious…. that life demands are increasingly increasing. If we assume that somehow this aspect of modern life is our own attempt to keep up with something that is careening out of control, maybe we can consider stepping outside of the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” channel. There is no pleasure in life in this model only which pain is less.
What are we being called to here? Is life trying to reflect something to us? If so we need to stop a minute. What is it we need to let go of. How can we learn to make room for the taking in, for the being rather than the doing, for the deeper communion with each other our souls long for and are afraid of.
We don’t know how to be-together very well yet….It is probably part of why we keep so busy. We feel anxious around each other. Fearful that we might offend or be disapproved of, or not seen in some way. We want to support and be supported but most of the time we inevitably seem to recreate that old painful dynamic with the next someone else. Or we are happy to put on our masks and appear as if we have connections but unless there is some level of intimacy and exposure of the real self, we do not receive from these kinds of interactions at any deep level.
I run into so many people who feel isolated these days and I know spirit is calling us to come together now. We have to learn anew how to do that. We need to be real and risk ourselves and we need to be held with total love and respect for our journey, the beauty and power of it and the struggles and failures.
So here is what I am proposing. I would love to hold space for an ongoing Spiritual Community and Support Group that would meet on Sundays with the options of a full or half day retreat, beginning with inspirational, devotional, meditative and experiential ways of linking with the Divine within and all around us. Making the vertical connection from 11 to 1pm
Sunday afternoon with a potluck lunch in between, we would come together to share our journeys and do our spiritual work together, within the support of our collective energies and prayers. As we learn to do this with each other, and as we reveal the challenges within each of us we suddenly don’t feel so alone. There are also many many helpers and ways that can help us that we can connect with during this group. Our life is our spiritual path and we just need some useful maps and our magic backpack and we can get off the treadmill and on with the adventure.
So if you are within this region, please consider setting aside at least one Sunday a month for this kind of ongoing community building path-work retreat that will offer each participant an opportunity to release what is with you that no longer serves you and to renew yourselves, by learning to receive from human, nature, and divine connections and to give your gift back.
I am offering a weekly start up campaign through out the month of November hoping we can get a core group and from there decide how frequently we can meet. Please come and give this program a try starting Sunday November 2 at 10 am. If you can’t make the first one we will be reconvening on November 9th and every Sunday in November.
This is the perfect way to balance yourself during the upcoming holiday rush. I know it sounds crazy but you will actually be more centered and in the flow. Things will function more harmoniously and synchronistically and you will be able to relax in the midst of all the doing. This will make everything more pleasurable and efficient. The reports coming in from the astral sound like we are entering another period of chaotic flux with communications and environmental imbalances so we especially need to firm ourselves in the midst of the shaking.
If you have any questions please call 540 752 5540. RSVP on my meetup. Call me for an initial interview. Blessings, Darlene