Black creatures flew over the loch at dusk that planted me in watchful anticipation. They had bodies of herons, bat wings and a sense of ravens about them. They swirled beautifully over the water with their sharp-edged wings, circling in perfect harmony and then settled along the shore edge. The sky shone pink and grey and water sparked in approaching darkness. I held my breath waiting for something else to come out of this picturesque scenario. Out of a flock of this bird-like creatures a leader seemed to appear and as it unfolded its elegant, perfectly structured wings it grew in size and I sensed its leadership. It did not feel malevolent or threatening although there was a sense of caution in what was about to come. The creature’s movements were gentle and carefully placed. It was in no rush to reveal its message to me. I felt I had to really listen, but noticed resistance in my body straight away. What part of me was going to defy this creature’s message? Was I crazy? I watched in awe. I could clearly see bright light seeping from under its black feathery cloak. It was well protected and hidden and there was more darkness than light. I felt a stab of sadness remaining mesmerised by this creature’s beauty. It spoke:
“This is not the place for you, not yet, not now. Go towards the light, not darkness and embrace all that your life has to offer. This is not the place, as it drags you into the land’s wounds and you lose yourself. It is not what is meant for you, not at this point. Draw the light from within and move towards it. We are the guardians of the lake and there is darkness that is familiar to us, but it is not for you to dwel in, not yet. See your own light and take the cloak of what sorrows you off your shoulders. Do not come, do not wait, you are not one of us, not yet, may be not ever.”
I suddenly became aware of the amount of light within myself and a huge part just dying to throw itself forward in its rejection. It made sense yet it didn’t. Sadness entered me once more.
The queen bird took her slender body off the shore and into a graceful flight with her flock following in perfect formation over the lake. I didn’t feel relief. I stood bereft watching them fly away still not quite in possession of the insight, resisting it with all I have. This is going to be a continuous struggle and part of me wants it that way. Sad, hopeless, in chains…
The first thing to do when we are overwhelmed is to recognise and acknowledge it’s there. Stop being brave and seek to suppress or control, just step into the chaos. It can be a scary concept and counterintuitive but what if we tried, as fighting it is futile.
We must admit something or someone overwhelms us in a way we are no longer in control. We are being swallowed whole by this force larger than ourselves.
I experience it with nature more and more and with particular landscapes. It has been a useful realisation as I continue on my journey of relationship with nature. Overwhelm in particular places reflect parts of myself that are extremely wild and raw, out of control, even damaging. Very damaging. Like an untameable beast it awakens ready to devour when I am in contact with places remote, derelict and moody. I always fear I won’t come back from it yet unable to stay away until this time I looked it straight in the face and admitted defeat, so to speak.
If some landscapes evoke that energy within me that don’t feel safe, sustainable or ‘in life’, there has to be other lands that tap into a gentler, softer parts that are also there. This is what I’d like to explore for the rest of this year and next. As we approach the end of the year I can already see a particular signature emerging for the collective to explore. Kindness, gentle way of being, softer voice and touch and compassion towards everything around us.
In terms of elements I am craving more earth, more sustainability, connection, rational, solid and secure. Leaving the fire season behind feels soothing to my body and soul and I realise the tiredness of fight and anxiety the wild beast awakens in me. I almost wish to be covered up, all cosy and warm in the Earth under leaves, amidst twigs and moisture of its body. I will go on a search of places that will help me connect with other sides through the body rather than a spiritual understanding of particular landscapes. I need to go in and down rather than up and outwards. In this exploration I would like to find further deeper connections with seasons and elements and what it all means in the overall relationship I continue to cultivate with nature.
Sometimes what once was the centre of your world becomes exhausting, murky and isolating. This year I have opened my eyes to others’ perspectives on that very important thing I had only looked at from my own heart’s perspective. It can be hard to separate heart and mind when the love one feels is all consuming. It is very true what they say about love being blind. Grateful I am for insights and clarity on a picture, which had only ever had one presentation, nothing else compared and something I fiercely and unconditionally protected shutting eyes and ears to anything else in the process. It nearly cost me dearly and took me away in a direction I knew nothing about however much I convinced myself that I did.
Today I looked at that same picture and saw a gloomy, lonely, unwell landscape what before seemed like haven on earth, the only place to live and die. Strikingly it looked back at me as there we both were as if seeing each other for the first time. What an eye-opening experience this summer. I finally admitted and accepted that suffering does not equate eternal bliss, they are polar opposites, yet my attachment to pain, an old pattern, slowly sneaked up into this experience. Being blind was part of the game, part of the lure into a place dark and lonely. Love is a funny thing and that, I understand, relates to all sorts of love, be it for a person, behaviour, place or a certain feeling. We often get blind-sided by what we are not willing to see for the sake of preserving what we think will ultimately bring us joy. When we get out of our heads and step away from this one perspective we can see all the blind spots. The words of others would ring in our ears all at once and suddenly, for the first time, we hear their voices and see their perspective. Being trapped in a love that is projected, idealised can be dangerous, I know it now, as that kind of love will ask you to give up many things and people, who are actually meant to be in your life. Others are like mirrors into our experience, they are there to point out where we are going wrong and take us back into their arms no matter how far we might have strayed. This is a blessing, as what would happen if there was no way back, no one there to welcome us back to a safe shore?
It has been a difficult summer in particular. I found my allies in places I didn’t expect and returning to a home I long forgot provided me with much needed foundation to start rebuilding my experience, anew, in a different way, more kind and compassionate to the whole of myself, not just an isolated part.
Relationships, however, weak, strong, distant or unnoticed are valuable for us all and should be cultivated and cherished even if only for a while, but the most important thing is to notice, to hear, to allow for that hand of help stretch towards us when we don’t know what is good for us. Living in the earthly is fundamental for the spiritual to feel safe – that much is clear. One without the other is limited and it is also the most difficult integration and manifestation there is, the hardest lesson to learn while we remain in this time space reality.
Summer always feels unsafe to me with its unforgiving, merciless sun and the overwhelm of all senses with dense, unpenetrable forests’ paths. I get lost, confused and on edge all of the time, which makes me vulnerable to all sorts of experiences. They hit all at once, relentless dreams, mental states confusion, anxiety, body shutting down its communication. I don’t feel healthy or well during summer and by the end of it I am always exhausted and in a break-down mode in every way. Now with autumn coming, I am finally coming back to myself., back to safety. Relieved I can begin to breathe again. A process of recovery and reconstruction starts all over again, as it does every year. I am yet to figure out a way of working with summer, something, I suspect, is meant to be that exact way, although difficult to tolerate.
I said good bye to the land yesterday and this time it is indefinitely. I need to rebuild myself from, what feels like, ground up, as I am completely broken and exhausted from love. Yes, that is possible and I have been here before with another previous love, a human kind. The land has always been like a living breathing entity to me. Our relationship now needs a break and I hear everything it had ever said to me clearly. I cannot go on for the time being. My edges need softening, my rage pacified and my soul needs peace. All love eventually, I believe, leads to pain after an ecstasy of experience.
Rest in knowing I have given you my all without leaving much for myself, but life needs sustaining, nourishing, building and rebuilding if all is to co-exist in balance. It is hard for me to write this, yet I recognise an immense need to release it out of my being, awareness and constant swirling of it all in my mind.
The land is wise. It knows what needs balancing and often we come to realisations through hardship, illness, losses or experiences that are confusing and painful. This time the land spat me out. Like a wild animal that did not want to be domesticated. I dreamt of walking away with ravens and black roses bleeding out of the tips of my fingers and winds howling. Like a horror movie with my heart in my mouth I felt like a curse was in place and it was about to exclude me out of its working finally, for my own benefit. Too much pain and too much love. The two old friends of mine. Intensity had become difficult to bear and I am tired. Misunderstanding, confusion has occurred in this relationship. I have come to understand the reasons behind what had happened and patterns I entangled myself in. I started experiencing loses, threats to my security, family, health, financial losses and my mental stability and peace began to suffer. Confusion, grief, sadness, intensity, apprehension and fear had all been present in me for far too long with my association that rooted in this relationship. It was a warning for my own good and on reflection I am grateful for that ‘rejection’ that really stemmed from mutual love and understanding.
For now I want to be released and something inside me has broken on this last trip, which feels completely necessary. I have also gained awareness of the outside perspective and how others had viewed the situation for many years, which I had been blind to. It is as if I gained a fresh sight and overview of what’s been happening. “Love, indeed, is blind” would be the right description here. I now crave something softer, gentler and kinder like one does coming out of a storm whether in nature or from an internal emotional one. I would like peace of a different kind where loud sharp spiritual messages come as soft whispers instead and where my body feels warm and intact rather than torn to pieces. Sometimes places call us for a reason and my work is nowhere near done, but huge lessons learnt from this deep relationship of unconditional love, destruction, transformation and personal growth. For now I am ‘kicked out’ and I am glad of it, as it is exactly what is needed.
The sacrificial demands of the masculine still angers me, but it no longer sends me into submission, which then fuels guilt, shame and a deep sense of loss. This is no more, yet the signature of masculine vs soul, external vs internal, still presents itself in my reality. I have learnt to recognise it, it is hard not to, as often it takes on a form of such drama that these days I flop my arms by my sides feeling frustrated every time. Sadness is no longer there and I keep my focus and centre intact. I have learnt not to rush into that automatic reaction to what is a very old patriarchal energy running through veins of so many women for generations and centuries even now. Will it ever go? Perhaps, but it will take a long long time to renew the cycle of what is patriarchal manipulation and abuse.
It makes me angry, yes, however, that anger is not reactive, projecting or in any way abusive towards the masculine, instead it is a supportive source to myself that lets me know my own strength and containment. It is holding and steady foundation on which my awareness of my needs is built. This anger lets me see deeper into my soul, my heart and what the feminine, individual and collective, really desires. Whatever it is, we are completely and unconditionally allowed to follow. The masculine demands, however, hold on with all its might for what it considers theirs. Voice of the wells, water, and the feminine of the underworld is still a threat no matter what they would tell you in the open. Just like the response of the feminine towards demands to sacrifice herself lives within psyches of so many, so does patriarchal views and expectations continue to live within masculine. There is no getting away from it. What we have these days is that awareness of both and once we have awareness we have a choice about how we speak, behave and treat one another. It all comes down to a choice and a considered response towards another human, male or female.
I could get angry over and over, I can see myself easily going down that path, but it will only weaken me, as that voice will not be heard if we base that dynamic of the very old signature of ‘silencing the feminine’ even through killing her, as we all know. The masculine is solely responsible for a complete absence of trust in my life to a point that trust, as a concept, feeling, and behaviour is completely alien to me, yet I am more than capable of functioning successfully within all relationships. Yep, it is possible. I have never come across masculine energy that spoke to me of honour, honestly, loyalty or devotion. I have seen examples of the opposite multiple times that turned my stomach with disgust and a deep sense of pity. And no, a female doesn’t need to be a victim of abuse to witness this energy in everyday life, which, in many ways, even worse. So, you see, I can easily turn towards hatred and become a persecutor having been made a victim for centuries. This will only hurt me and other women. In many ways we don’t have to fight, as we know who and what we are. Time showed us over and over the ultimate power of the feminine. The most important thing is to remember our souls’ callings whatever they might be, are free to manifest. We are allowed to fly as high as we want and feel glorious about it. If one embraces its own containment, centres their actions around good and kind and exercise personal power daily there is a possibility of coming to a place of meeting one another in our humanness.
If you are experiencing the presentation I talk about above, consider not the why you feel this way, as this is easily recognisable for women, but what you choose to feel instead, what you become fand how you are going to grab your soul in your hands and carry it like the brightest torch in a place as dark as this world can be. Never give up on yourself no matter what voices you hear or forces that visit you when you are weak, hold on to that heart of yours with pride. It is in the softness our strength lies really.
As my father was fighting for his life collective praying began in various corners of the world in ways each individual knew how, unique to them, in churches, at home, with kids, on the forest floor, at the kitchen table, in the mountains, by a river. In Siberia, Russia, Spain, Hungary, UK and Scotland the family joined forces in the collective healing ritual. We are all blood-tied therefore what each and everyone felt would transmit across land, sky, sea and any distance straight back to my father’s heart.
I walked the land and spoke to pines and forest floor so reminiscent of my birth land back in Siberian forest. Memories weaves through plants, insects and textures. Smells are the same, colours are the same, plants are the same and we joined in the language of reverence to spirit and protection for the heart so precious to us all.
I chanted ‘Dishi’ (breathe) as I planted myself firmer into the land taking deep breaths walking higher into hills and saw ancestors rising up, my grandparents, and father turning into a child, newly born. I spoke with conviction ‘not yet, not now’, Breathe, Wake up, and felt the struggle between life and death happening in my awareness and his parents standing ready.
He woke up, started breathing on his own to doctors’ amazement. And to us, it was the collective strength and praying that succeeded in the return of the spirit that is within this man. He wanted to live all along.
I will be grateful to this place forever and the fact that I was here at the time of my needing to be connected to the land that speaks the same language as my soul
Writing gives me this rich, luxurious, extremely pleasant feeling that buzzes through my arms and into my fingers (just like magic does when I am in that dimensional self) and then the feeling settles right in my heart and in my throat and everywhere in between those areas. For those of you who are familiar with chakras you know what I mean about the heart and the throat areas. I think it is a simply perfect alignment and manifestation of the whole thing what is writing for me. Encapsulates its meaning wonderfully.
I can not tell you just how incredibly grateful I feel to have tapped into this dimensional self that had always been there but asleep for sometime now and this summer it’s reawakened. It happened amidst difficult silence that came into my day-to-day when suddenly clients disappeared, things got easier around me and I was staring into an empty space uncomfortably and then boom, it washed over me like a familiar scent. I never grounded it before, I realise now, and just kept it in my awareness but not engaging in any way other than observatory. This time it feels different as the feeling is very present and every day it is reaffirmed and amplified like a beacon of light that is shining from within. Truly wonderful experience.
This coming September I am planning on releasing a book of poems and I am excited to speak the words of my heart into the world. This is what my soul wants and I know it well and the last few months it has all been about what my soul wants. It is going to be my precious gift to my soul, to my craft, everything and everyone I love and the universe that I have experienced differently lately. The main heroine of the whole undertaking is, of course, Scotland.
What a roller coaster but at the same time it feels such a grounded something that suddenly slotted into place. Divine timing they call it and I am so on board with that.
I look forward to more writing magic that is here to stay.