Collective praying

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

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I am home

The wilderness possesses me with its air as fresh and sharp as a blade of grass

My senses entwine with the spirit it holds

Precious, powerful, ancient

I walk the place feeling the roots grabbing at my feet

I need it, oh how I need it

Take me whole, I say,

Swaddle me in mystery and myth so I can become the voice as ancient as eternity

Wilderness feeds me with its elements as vibrant and penetrating as a gaze of a loved one

I surrender to the glory of all it is and become myself at once as a native animal at a distance and wild flowers all around

The wind slaps me in the face and I welcome its magic of removing webs of my unseeing

Immersion in the body of its water engulfs me as the loving and nurturing mother

I am home, fed, alive like never before

A trip that freed me

Here are some pictures from my trip to Perthshire, Scottish Highlands this past October just before Samhain. This was a long anticipated trip, not because it haven’t been before, I have, but because I made it there on my own after talking and planning for years. I finally did it and something in me changed forever now, solidified in knowing this is it. This is the place I first came years ago and where my love affair and deep spiritual connection with the land began. The trip that I took was a journey down memory lane and my love is just as strong, if not stronger. It was an absolutely perfect end to a wonderful year where all the through I have been committed to doing things differently  and have succeeded. Enjoy Scotland pics in Autumn.

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Comparing lands’ signatures and emotional healing

North Wales, Snowdonia. So peaceful here. The land lulls you gently into comfort and quiet, soothingly singing a gentle tune. The land’s signature is of a simple life, uncomplicated by any depth of emotion or tragedy, I feel. It is an old land with ancient roots, no doubt, steeped in tradition, but it feels like whatever conflict there might have been it is resolved and the land enjoys a life of simple pleasures. Spirit here is pure and gentle of a colour white. It is felt all around, but ever so slightly. It is in the background and not at all overwhelming. Mostly in the mountains and rocks one would meet the land’s spirits and they are all of a vibration of support and nurture. They continuously tell a story, always talking and if you sit quietly you can clearly hear a narration, which again, like a lullaby, sends you to a place of peace and comfort.

In contrast Scotland’s spirit is rich and troubled, one might say. It carries the land’s history through its glens, mountains and lakes and the strength and power of it can’t be denied. It is in your face penetrating through skin. I am deeply affected emotionally and get sensory overwhelm every time I am in the land. It taps into my shadow signature of violence, loss, grief and bloodshed. Even madness, I’d say, is present in the mixture of what is the land’s spiritual heritage. It stands proudly in its stunning beauty, very protective and wary of strangers. It is anything, but peaceful.

Perhaps, I sometimes reflect it is not a place I ought to be as I align with my past pain addiction when there. I get thirsty for the sensation of attachment to all that the land’s spirit represents. Over the years I certainly understood why I feel the way I do when I am there and why my spiritual awakening had to occur in Scotland. I remember it vividly when all my senses shut down and a strange mixture of deep grief and pure ecstasy entered my awareness all at the same time. I was then given a task to start working it all out and an incredible process of awakening began.

Amidst Snowdonian mountains and forests I feel good. I always had in a way I never do when in Scotland. That place is hard to describe even now, it simply goes beyond me. There I don’t feel safe necessarily, well, perhaps only when on an Isle away from the main land (recent discovery). I feel on guard and bereft but also so incredibly touched and moved in a way I can’t put into words. I feel like my heart breaks when I am there and when I am away from it, both. You can read my other posts about my feelings for the land and my difficulties staying away from it.

Perhaps, I thought this time round while in Snowdonia is that I am aligning more and more these days with the signature of light and peace without needing or wanting to be anywhere else emotionally or spiritually. Perhaps, my light is no longer in the shadow and I have found and settled into the oasis that I had always sought – inner peace.

I can see myself returning to Wales over and over again just to be what I am when I am there, living in the moment with no rush of any kind and a slower way of being in peace and tranquility.

Perhaps, Scotland will remain a mystery for a little while longer and the role of it in my life will become clearer as I continue my exploration and relationship with the land…

 

Coming back to yourself – identity and spirit

russian forest in autumn

As a psychotherapist and a transpersonal approach practitioner the aim of my work with clients is to facilitate making ‘whole’ and help clients get back to themselves, get back ‘home’.

This time of year brings me closer to my roots, to my ancestors of birth and land. I begin communicating with and seeing them more clearly. My food changes according to how they had eaten and I occupy myself with activities, music, books that had been familiar to them. Most of those traditions are closely woven with nature cycles, seasons. My home and people carry nature in their blood. It is as natural to us as mother’s milk. All traditions and customs that we undertake every season is never questioned by anyone. They are observed in a way that flows very naturally between generations, genders and ages. There is this common knowing, understanding and love of nature. We are in a very close relationship with all things nature. Spirit, emotions, intellect and physical sensations can all be linked to our expression through a relationship with nature. There are references to it in literature, poetry, music and language is filled with a variety of descriptions of moods, changes and emotion-evocative experiences. Nature is a living breathing being for my ancestors and myself.

What happened to me five years ago was a shift, a push towards ‘home’, back to myself. I needed to get back to my roots from which I also needed to cut off for some time in order to survive and fit in. I had to start a process of remembering, re-integration, re-igniting of my knowledge, resonance and love of what roots and home meant for me. This journey also connected me to the land that I currently live on and through finding striking similarities in the landscape and the emotions that it evoked in me, that remembering of ‘home’ journey became very rich and fulfilling. The process happened with nature spirit flowing through me at all times. I connected to my roots through learning and remembering about trees, weather patterns, the elements, magic, plants, my love for certain things in nature and remembering and connecting who I was then and who I am now in terms of what spirit lives within me.

I am writing this after watching a wonderful presentation on ‘Identity and spirituality’ as part of my CPD and it reminded me of my own process of connecting with my roots and establishing a solid knowing and understanding who I am now through who I was then and the process of becoming and evolving. It is the process of finding what is at the centre of my being.

In my practice I feel passionate about working with both issues, identity and spirituality, and both are closely linked in making ‘whole’.

It opens up discussion about your beliefs on whether we are spiritual beings having an experience on Earth or are we human beings with a spiritual nature. It might mean the same to some, to others there are clear differences. It would depend on your own personal experiences regarding spirit and beliefs about life on earth and afterlife. To me, spirit is an integral part of who we are along with our other aspects or functions, cognitive, emotional, physical and all operate together and ideally harmoniously. However, where there is a lack of presence or distorting in operation in one or more of these functions then a ‘whole’ is disturbed. For example, a person struggles to express their emotions or their thoughts are distorted or they manifest their difficulties rooted in the mind or heart through the body or their spirit is asleep or remains unreachable or unknown. In my work as a transpersonal therapist I aim to bring a person into balance, and to get all functions/aspects operating together and in harmony.

Walking with ancestors

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This morning was one of those mornings when I felt my time was well spent. I was called to visit woods, a particular place I know well. Whenever I am called like this I always follow and I got in my car this morning open to what messages awaited me.

A smell of pines surrounded me on the way to the woods and a field of associations opened up in my awareness. Pines connect me to home, a land I was born in and another place where that association is often activated in is Scotland. I love pine trees and I am so familiar with the smell. While driving I craved to see them and realised that was one reason I was called to this particular wood and not any other. This is the only place where I can find pines in a particular corner of that forest I knew well and worked in before.

 

As I walked into the woods with confidence and anticipation I came across a broken pine branch straight away. I picked it up and put it against my face. The smell at this point was constantly around me and I breathed it in deeply feeling connected. I also felt not alone. It took me back to the days when I was young and mushroom picking with my parents and grandparents. I also remembered my encounters with pines in Scotland and Wales, thick, furry canopy in dark green against the purest blue of the sky. Soft carpet of fallen needles underneath my feet and that crunch of dry foliage and sticks that is so familiar to my ears.

And then there it was, a squirrel. It sat still at the foot of a pine tree and I felt energy going through me and tears coming to my eyes. Grandmother. Memories flooded in. My grandmother loved squirrels. She even had a couple of stuffed ones in her flat. I remember them vividly sitting on top of a television. I watched the squirrel and it watched me. I never before witnessed a squirrel be so still for quite some time. It didn’t run or turn just watched me before starting to climb a tree but slowly with shaking her tail in an interesting sort of way. I felt my grandmother near me as she often is. I the sat down on a stump and my granddad came to mine. I didn’t know him too well but I was around him a lot and have so many memories of him painting and care taking his wounded foot. It needed bandages changed every day and he would do it in this tiny stool, looked like a tree stump. I felt him around too.
In a distance I perceived a deer, vulnerable, soft and gentle, innocent and pure. My sister, I thought, and with a fresh breeze I observed a silver beech swaying her long green sleeves in a wind dance. The birch is a maiden tree to me and also strongly associated with my home land. My sister died young and was the sweetest soul.

Pine smell continued to be around me and it felt comforting. My relatives are buried in a pine woodland cemetery far away in Russia, Siberia. Three graves together amidst pines with rows singing their demands and moans into the wind. Don’t you think crows often sound like that they are dissatisfied with it all. I love them, very characterful and unashamed of their nature. My sense of smell took me to that cemetery once again, a place I remember well. I also had an awareness of my father currently being there and perhaps in the actual cemetery as I sat on a tree stump in England communing with ancestors in nature. I created an intuitive ‘grave’ collage on the ground and while in that space it felt like I was in the actual place.

 

They live within us and their ash fertilising our souls and make us grow with each breath and memory of that connection.
I have always associated deep sadness with the land of my birth, yet today I don’t feel it. They have moved on a long time ago and I have known about it for sometime. They are together, but also go on travels of their own to be with their own essence. It is a forever kind of connection like water or air that couldn’t separate itself from one another’s being. Even with letting go the memory is stamped forever on a canvas of their experience. They might become strangers over cycles yet there will always be a certain recognition on every encounter and there are many encounters throughout a life time, I believe.

As I was leaving I came across these three crosses amidst trees. They looked significant and made sense to me.

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This Litha I am incorporating my ancestors’ altar into my main one for the first time. It feels right to perform a ritual in their honour around this time in June, around anniversary dates and what today’s walk taught me was that remembering my blood lines is to be included in my spiritual practice and something that is natural and within me.