In search of silence

IMG-5025

Edwardian houses line up clean streets with flower baskets hanging symmetrically on doors, as if keeping things in order. It has classic and elegant look to things. Every time I go somewhere I am taken back by just how different each place feels. It evokes particular feelings in me. This place has always drawn me in with its sophistication and class running through the theme of its buildings, streets and the overall posture of the place. It is all standing tall and proud and I find it very reassuring somehow. I am here for two reasons, to see if the feeling I get is still intact and positive, and I am also on a trip in search of silence away from the noises of planes and roads, which lately has been overwhelming me. I find myself struggling with the constant buzzing noise in the air wherever I go.

As I step into the woodland I am full of hope and anticipation of finding a new space where, may be, just may be the buzzing stops. I find none for quite some time going on a path and off at regular intervals trying out different spots in hope of it taking me away from the noise. Eventually I stop and a tinge of disappointment comes over me. There is no silence here, it is nowhere to be found and instantly I begin to crave places in the Highlands where air stands still and silence is ear-piercing. I become nostalgic and sad with an instinctual reaction of wanting to run away. I recognise it well, as we all want to escape sometimes, but the question remains and comes forward strongly, how can we find silence amidst all the noise of life without having to run to the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. I stand still and tune into myself and focus on maintaining the stillness as much as I can and then slowly continue on a path holding on to a sense of ‘don’t give up’. Forest always has the answer in my experience. That I never doubt and today it is no different. I become mindful and finely aware of the details surrounding me, forest floor, most on tree trunks, crow’s calls overhead and scattering of squirrels in the fallen leaves. I touch the ground under my feet, I hold on to a tree and I smell its bark. I close my eyes and here it is – silence!

IMG-5010

IMG-5013

IMG-5015

Silence is at the heart of the earth, inside and around things within the system that is the natural world. Silence is in going off the beaten path. It is inside a tree, on the ground. Nature doesn’t rush or despair, it is as always simply being and in that it holds on to its own silence and peace, in knowing itself inside out. On contact with it all I find silence amidst the buzzing noise overhead.

I also notice often while in a forest that there’s a lot to be said for staying on the path when it feels safe and knowing. Going off the path can also serve well when the familiar is in chaos and direction is lost. Then getting lost can bring you back to what life is like and what feelings one need to acknowledge to find yourself. Nature reflects that perfectly to us wherever we are in that moment in life. It can always find a way of answering questions we carry if we are still enough and willing enough to explore and listen.

I also get an answer to why this area draws me in now and again with its elegant and classic presentation. I get to see that it is a shape of a square, which is curious, and what comes to me is the feeling of complete containment. It is orderly, strong and holding, which I deeply resonate with and often need reminding of.

And at the end of it all, of course, comes gratitude, which is the last word and a paint stroke on everything that I work on. Gratitude has an ability to transmute everything into its natural form and state. It is like the Earth that always leads to the truth of things. It always brings things back into focus and centre within.

IMG-5016

IMG-5021

 

Advertisements

Looking ahead

With Samhain and my birthday now past my new year has officially began. As always it has not been an easy transition in the weeks coming up to this week, to my ‘birth’ and ‘re-birth’ but now things yet again and getting calm and settled and I very much look forward to things to come in my new form, now that I am here again.

On Samhain night I had the ‘big dream’. One of those dreams that come rarely and you know its effects as not only it feels big, it manifests in life big. The overall sense is of arrival, achievement and transformation at its heart.

Ahead there is winter, which I love. It’s the time of year when I come alive, my energy sores to high levels and my creativity explodes. I very much enjoy the chill and crispiness in the air and should we have snow, a lot of snow that would just be a complete blessing. Every winter I pray and wish for snow.

Today my mind turns to goals and dreams for next year. The signature for 2019 is yet to be revealed and that’s what I would normally follow from a collective, spiritual growth and evolution points of view. 2018 has been absolutely wonderful, so new, so fresh and transformative. Full of peace, love, understanding, learning and coming to a place of beautiful simplicity in all aspects. It has been about clearing, moving away from noise and zooming in even more on a few things that matter, feeding my soul and looking after my family.

All the way through the year I have been full of gratitude, relationships that truly matter and releasing the last remaining things unwanted and not needed. Simplifying, clarifying, decluttering and creative space for love, warmth and purity to come in. We have paid all our debts and have enjoyed the process of discovering and re-learning new financial ways and realising how little we all need to be content. I have loved the process so much and have felt lighter, brighter and very fulfilled. I feel I have perfectly aligned with the signature of 2018, which was clear.

Signatures normally come into my awareness towards Yule or just after and I will be talking about that just as soon as I know. For now we are in the period of things behind us and things ahead of us, like dusk or dawn, beautiful spaces in-between filled with potential.

Many blessings!

Learning from the Wheel of the Year

unnamed (1)

Mabon Blessings to everyone on this beautiful early autumnal morning!

The air today is ever so slightly chilly and I wholeheartedly welcome it. It speaks to me of the time we start  our slow descent into the misty, chilly and dark. Land, weather and personal transformations are beginning. I love the darker part of the year and my functioning is the most optimum between October and April, however, this year things have been different in a way of transforming the last remaining sticking points as far as summer is concerned. I feel I did well and managed to extract a multitude of useful lessons about myself, the world at large, the idea of life-purpose and where and how things fit in.

The Wheel has turned once again and today is Mabon, the time for harvesting, re-evaluating and giving thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this summer. The summer has been hot, prolonged, dry and often trying. It taught me about withstanding hardships and remaining centred on the heart and present in my life more. I was faced with a quality of tolerance within, which had been invaluable. Just as we wait patiently for the seed to germinate, push through and grow towards its most potential, the summer reflected that to me and I was rewarded with early harvest. Planting happened later this year due to snow and frost in early and late spring, yet things caught up and the heat accelerated growth and made me face things sooner rather than later. I didn’t plant much either consciously, as this year for me is about simplifying and focusing on a few things only, clearing the space for emotional, cognitive and spiritual processing. Bounty came in the summer in small quantities and it felt so good. The message of ‘just enough’ re-enforced the work I start doing back in winter. Another aspect of having enough and sharing with those around you in pleasure and gratitude has always been a blessing. The heat burnt my potatoes, however, earlier in the summer and very quickly dry plants disappeared amidst the blanket of thick weeds, so I had to go on a hunt for produce. That taught me about challenges and things often changing very quickly and being ok with what is presented right in front of us. It is ok to just observe and continue with what we have without necessarily spiralling into judgement, regret and giving up. That clear representation of the quality of observation with tolerance and potential hardship taught me ‘to be with’ yet again and be completely grateful for what we do have rather than focusing on what we think we don’t have. Sensation of that I found very pleasant, releasing and freeing.

I suffered with pain in my legs and back from early spring and found it challenging, however, I also knew that in order for new transformations to occur this year I had to have something to work with and this was one of those things where I had to look at living with physical pain. I wrote about it earlier this year. Through the summer pain continued and so did my life and that was the lesson of things continuing, moving on, changing, the Wheel turning no matter what and we can either fight and resist it or accept and move with it. The release of my associations with pain transformed hugely this summer and just as looking at dead and not ‘very healthy’ crops amidst the summer heat and as I begin to dig them out with love and attention I began giving myself the same. I aimed to understand, accept things as they are without judgement and wanting anything to be different.

At the end my harvest was complete pretty much at beginning of August in terms of produce or so I thought… On my return to the plot in September I discovered a few more gems waiting for me and my heart delighted in it. Seeds were hanging ripe on dry stalks representing bounty and potential in the future and underneath dry and covered with weeds stalks there were plump bulbs of goodness. Again, the idea of ‘just enough’ was clearly present and again it felt profoundly satisfying.

I am yet to dig all my small, but perfectly clean and tasty potatoes out of a patch of land covered with all sorts (treasure hunt-like) and I am taking my time with it applying patience and joy when working on the land. I appreciate everything about it and tend to continue nourishing and nurturing it for years to come. It holds immense lessons for me as seasons change and the Wheel turns every time. Things come and go, start and end and start again and so does our life with all its highs and lows and everything in between. I very much look forward to what the season brings.

unnamed (2)

unnamed (1)

Summer – the time for wilderness, the time for releasing your beast

Anger, physicality, sensate expression of instincts, body merging with the earth in its full expression – that’s what June is all about as we are building up to Litha. Swimming, walking barefoot, lying on mountain tops, communing with wildlife, beasts, bugs and plants alike are all the activities that feed the body and awake the soul.

There’s danger, however, when summer is fully alive in its wilderness. Night and day both carry life within and it can feel unsafe. This resonate with my overwhelm of the forest and feeling apprehensive about venturing out during the explosion of life in the land during summer. I tend to withdraw, hence I like the quietness and sleepiness of winter. It is safer. However, by withdrawing a part of me remains enclosed, hidden and that’s what needs to change this year.

Wild-self calls and roars pushing boundaries of a self-created seclusion. It needs expressing and breathing with the rhythms of the season.

A safe place for wild spirit for me is the Highlands of Scotland. There my wild-self is contented, it is allowed to be in its full majesty. It scares me always yet I thirst for it at the same time. There my whole aligns with the wild nature around me. I eagerly drink it into my cells, I merge with it like it is home and my spirit sours into endless skies daily and consumes my whole being with a sense of raw, complete, real and natural. It often manifests with anger, emotional cries and outward expression of raw things. It is unable to hide and sit still. It needs to run, fly, crawl and swim all at the same time. It can feel and look scary and crazy uncontainable and vicious, but it all makes sense and, perhaps, in embracing and allowing that for myself a bit more will also relax others in joining me and not being afraid of a strong bite and a loud screech that it often comes with.

Summer is truly a time for letting go and letting be. It is a time to fly higher and swimming further. Last summer I remember wanting to go on the water in a kayak and the fear that gripped me was so irrational yet it immobilized me. Someone said to me ‘go for it, we only live once, might as well’ and so I did. The freedom of releasing the urge to glide through vast waters released the excitement I had ever felt before. With each push across the lake I went further and further and with each minute I wanted to do more and more.

When I am faced with the mountains of the Highlands I can hear the scream within me telling me to run, scream, be in its fullest. The impulse in me to merge with the land is so strong that I know if I don’t I could easily just stagnate and die through my own fear and a loss of the potentially ecstatic experience. It is like choosing to drink poison and staying in a position of never knowing what it’s like to live fully. When I step on that mountain trail my heart and spirit sour, I want to run and cry and scream, the feeling I have of being as one with the land, a place I never want to leave for as long as I live.

I break my heart every time I have to leave the wilderness behind, because it means my wild-self has to go back into a safe enclosure of my other life, which is managed, contained and often unexciting.

‘Soon’, she whispers…

 

soon
I love the slow coming of spring. ‘Soon,’ she whispers through the naked tree tops and amidst moist hedges awaiting the birth. Spring is like an unborn child in the womb of the earth and in bellies of ewes roaming the land slow grazing. Flowers timidly poking their heads through the soil in colours of purple and yellow. Spring brings hope, gentle and exciting, and nature all around is still in its anticipation to burst into being once again.

Earthly and Spiritual

spiritual and earthly

There is something very sobering about the earthy when it comes about. It puts you in your place, it shakes you out of your imaginary outcome. It is dry, unsympathetic and often ruthless. It is a pallet of dull mud brown and dirty grey. It lacks vibrancy. It is needed sometimes and when it’s needed, it can be very grounding like putting us in front of what we are truly meant to be focusing on at a certain time. Earthly is solid, inflexible, it is how it is. Earthly let you know that choices are limited, it is either this or that and that’s it. There is not much room for manoeuvre or space for negotiating. We often find it hard to deal with, which more often than not causes us stress, anxiety, depression and disappointment. However, it is not always a bad thing. It can also be containing and reassuring when it is needed, when our imagination might have run away with us and we lost touch with the ground, so to speak. Pulling us down can serve a providing a level of safety. Earthly is about what we do and how we do it.

 

Spiritual is about limitless choices, but not necessarily about what we do, but how we are being, feeling, flowing with life. It is full of pure whites, bright purples and emerald greens. It is about feelings we choose to engage with when faced with certain situations, earthly situation, and even when we make a certain earthy choice or given one where we don’t have a say it is that spiritual choice of being a certain way with it that can become our light and saviour in such times.

 

Both earthly and spiritual have their functions and it is often a challenge for a human being to be able to see, be and engage with both if and when needed. Having both running in parallel is not easy all of the time and there is a certain push and pull motion that frequently occurs. It can be confusing, but it teaches are awareness about what we do, how we think, how we react, being and what we feel.

Both can become distorted and go ‘wrong’.

Just as earthly can restrict us whether necessary or not in a way that will serve us, so can spiritual become an illusion. Attachment to a certain spiritual idea or a construct can lead to disillusionment and even a loss of faith. I have touched upon that recently and came close to seeing how and why that might happen. I could understand why people turn away from faith and find it difficult to reconnect. When an idea we attach to, e.g. ‘How can God allow this’ or ‘universe is always on my side’ gets crumbled we get disillusioned. These sorts of ideas, I suspect, get crushed often and everywhere. The reason for that is that ideas, as above, are limited, constructed and do not allow for flexibility, so they become a sort of fantasy with not much bases. Those ideas are not expanded further or looked at from various angles. I experienced the crumbling of ‘it will be fine, the universe is always on my side’ idea recently and it was painful. I found myself questioning a lot of things and it took a couple of days of unpacking through my emotional body and feeling through what was coming up before I again began to see clearly. I can see how, if one allows to surrender to that disillusionment without processing the whole thing, human being can lose their faith in the spiritual. What became clear was the need to redefine of ‘the universe is always on my side’. Do you see how limited that is? Of course it is on your side, but it might not feel like that when certain concrete earthly elements come into play. It can be about an error somewhere along the way, or it can be that some things can only be one way or another. Examples of such earthly ways and they are often inevitable regardless of whether universe is on your side or not (do you see how irrelevant that spiritual construct is here?) are typically when dealing with death, illness, government rules, schools, regulations and law. All of these are very concrete earthly positions where spiritual may not hold much weight when we are faced with it.

Spiritual is a bird’s-eye view, general overall feeling, a flow of energy. It is about lessons we learn as a result of our earthly choices or their lack of. Taking spiritual to heart in difficult times eases the pain and restores the flow. Spiritual helps us keeping our spirit and soul light at times of difficulties. It is hopeful and free. It speaks of things beyond the physical and that earthly is not the whole picture. There’s a bigger and wider view available. It expands the awareness and helps keep hope and resilience in us alive. That is the function of the spiritual, much more expansive and it is felt through the body and seen through a hidden eye available to us all in times of hardship.

The balance of both, therefore, is necessary and cultivation of that unity and collaborative work is a life-long commitment. It is, indeed, possible to navigate life with the heart completely open, soul shining while engaging with all things earthly. The alternative is being either one or the other, which lacks balance and doesn’t promote the wholeness of human experience.

 

 

Relationships – another challenge

relationship break up

What’s popped into my awareness this morning post various nightmarish travels overnight is the vibration of a relationship break-up. There is betrayal, abuse, blackmail, manipulation vibrations all mixed into the message that has come through and it relates to what we need to face next year. This past year has been a difficult one in terms of relationships of all kinds. It has been tense, destructive, ugly at times to the point of no return and the reason it has been coming up quite so strongly is to challenge the ways that we have gone about being in relationships up until now. I feel the test, the challenge is closely related to our vibration of pretending everything is fine when something deep within had been telling us it is not. We do this out of fear, not feeling safe in any dynamic different to where we are, but paradoxically keeping ourselves in a place where it is potentially even more unsafe long-term.

Therefore, what next year and this next cycle is asking of us is to sit with the discomfort of the truth about many of our relationships. Face it head on and bring up honestly into the open about whether they are actually working for us. With the next cycle, new moon in place we have a chance to envisage and plant a seed for a relationship that we do want and start working/manifesting/changing either the one we have, doing some reparation/replanting work or a complete renewal brought through awareness and honesty with ourselves and others.

The most important dynamic and a relationship, of course, that we are asked to look at and revisit next year is the relationship with ourselves. Where do we fail and what do we exceed at? Honestly unpicking and looking at each of our own qualities in detail we can find ways of smoothing rough edges or, perhaps, understanding where we don’t always serve ourselves and others and embrace our true gifts, our beautiful qualities, which can be amplified even more with an aim to benefit many around us and feed our soul.

Ready for another ride? Relationships are the hardest to be in, manifest and cultivate things that we experience here in this reality. We grow through relationships, we get to know ourselves through relationships, we live, love and get exposed through them. It is one of the main functions here on earth. It is not going to be easy, but if we don’t attend to our relationship dynamics we risk to be stuck in a vibration of dishonesty, disappointment and eventually resentment.

Many blessings!