Imbolc is here

Imbolc 2020

The feeling that comes from within this week is one of having passed a threshold of something that held us in a static position, almost dragging us back, but failing in its efforts. Nature speaks of forward movement in all its manifestations from a vibrant bird song to snowdrops appearing on the forest floor.

Imbolc carries a subtle yet moving energy and what I love at this point is the knowing that spring will come, flowers will bloom and light will continue to grow with increasing warmth.

Archetypes and deities of the season, Brigit in particular, are all around us on the eve of Imbolc. They are so much more than an imaginary energy of psyche and nature. They are not here only to tell us metaphorically of spring coming but, most importantly to awaken us to our own potential blooming. Its aim is to remind us we look at nature and life from a perspective of moving forward with present moment awareness, with every step, every day, every month. It is uniting in its perspective, whatever we do and whoever we are nature is a form of reflection of what is possible. One can always change perspective, direction and we will be supported on that journey. That is the message. It is a reality that is wide and all-encompassing reminding us that we are all part of the whole, part of the bigger picture. Just as the divinity of the goodness is in everything so are we. Brigit begins her dance in and through the fabric of life. It is like water penetrates every corner and opening she seeks to fill our awareness with the potential of life.

Imbolc is a milestone in Celtic calendar and nature-spirituality beliefs that speaks of a soul needing to be stirred up with every step, a reminder of conditions being present for waking up. It is not abstract but grounded in nature, which is always present, changing no matter what. It is like love that never goes away, a well open and ready for drinking, ground ready to cultivate. She’s in the mud under foot and in copper coloured tree tops that will soon take shape in its blooming canopy.

The light is lit and with awareness of its faint glow through consciously keeping its flame alive we will reap rewards of its power.

Brigit is the most visible deities, goddesses if you like during this time. She comes forward at Imbolc predictable and strong carrying flowers, light, nurturing energy to the land and us all. Incredibly reassuring and for that I am always grateful. Her fiery hair and gentle manner and compassion warms the heart and the earth.

She’s a saint dressed in delicate white and with a soft smile and bowed head watching over the light of divinity. She is also an earth mother goddess, dressed in browns, grey and copper dancing in the woods singing with the birdsong. She is Celtic and Christian loved by so many for centuries.

Blessed Imbolc, everyone! Let this time bring balance into all that is in life and in spirit and open our eyes to possibilities.

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Winter and self-containment

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The lesson, new and fresh and perfectly framed, that I have experienced lately was of a thing called self-containment. It is visual for me, as well as, sensory in the body. I tap more into it when I dance, for example. Self-containment is a space where nothing and no one can access you or affect you to describe it in simple terms, but, of course, it is more than that. It feels wonderful. It is one of those states that bring peace, pleasure, calm and divinity into it. I have known this before in a different way with other things, but this is a new one. Perhaps it is not new but simply another one that has a clear frame, structure, name and vibration. It is soul-centred, but in a very human way and I suspect when in this embodiment of self-containment others around you will get affected and not just that, but they will be able to join in with it in their own way and much easier that through anything else. There is, therefore, huge potential in it for yourself and others around you. I am in love with the feeling of it. It has an orangey/pinkie colour to me like a ball or an egg that has edges, but they are allowing, flexing, moving yet protective. I find that this coming out in winter is very on point and relevant, as what does it mean for us to have a space of our own, a ‘womb-like’ state of ecstasy where we are away from it all yet connected. If we picture winter as our psychic underground space, dark and contained, this comes up in line with that only keeping our connection to our ‘new, birth-like, spring-like’ state alive. It has light in it, sunshine and warmth, but the wisdom of the darkness. We are essentially untouchable once we discover us, as unique us, no one else is like that, nothing else is like that in existence. You are YOU and only YOU. It is original, utterly beautiful and powerful in terms of being a gift towards life. Being able to incorporate this state into our lives, although, I suspect, it does not come up always or willingly, but trust that it will when you need it, can change things. It can slow things down, offer reflection and focus. We could ask for it whenever we feel pushed and pulled and overwhelmed, when things are demanded of us without a thought for whether we are ready to offer. It is that ‘stop’, wrap yourself up in YOU, bring yourself back to the centre, stay there for a bit and decide if you want to come out or not when you decide or not. It is a protective something, a covering, a vessel, a container that we can invoke and settle into it while we figure things out.

Winter is a rich gift. I will not tire of saying it over and over. Things must be dark and quiet and still in order for what needs to be clear and in view to be seen properly, in its naked form, in its broken form, in its expansive form. Like a voice in an expansive space of mountain or a valley, it needs expression, but for that to happen we need ‘the death’ of bubbling life internal and external, we need to see, hear and feel without being overwhelmed.

Image: earthporn.org

Inner silence

Silence is a state where things do happen, but it is subtle. It appears in a natural order and flow of external and internal. It is not the absence of things, it is a different experience and a feeling of everything around.

Most of us know how pleasant silence can feel on outside. It is relaxing, soothing and spacious. We notice the silence around us especially when we seek it and our bodies welcome it. But external silence is useless if there’s an absence of silence within. To become silent from within is a real skill. It requires practice. When one masters internal silence and, by mastering I mean being able to come back to it over and over, not just experiencing it once, that’s where true pleasure and bliss is. Something I have been discovering over the years. When I am silent on the inside everything on outside slows down and softens. Triggers, hooks and reactions get muted somehow. They still happen but there is no noise or longevity to any of it. That state is truly and genuinely blissful. Body is relaxed in a real sense through the physical, not through mental visualisation of relaxation.

One of the first things I practiced when started exploring inner silence was to remain silent when on outside there was a situation that would ordinarily provoke a reaction or had a potential to trigger an emotion. I practiced not reacting and remaining silent and there it began to happen, the softening, the flow, the non-attachment. It felt freeing and like something new was entering my experience. It felt healing, delicate and utterly compassionate to myself and others. Inner silence is neutralising to any outside turmoil, external wars that we are presented with all the time in life. Furthermore, it appeared to neutralise my own historical wounds that would normally open and start to hurt. Instead it felt balm-like, a gentle stroke or a silky, most delicate feeling of pacifying everything. It didn’t feel false or forced, avoidant or resistant. Everything just was as it was only with the inner silence I remained intact and so did the world around me.

I have been on a life-long journey towards inner peace. Since I was a small child I knew that’s what was missing not just in me but in everyone around me. It’s no surprise for anyone with this physical reality and all we go through and finding peace amidst it all felt important. Remaining silent, taking a sacred pause was something that worked compared to all other methods that I now know came from a mental-state involvement. We simply can’t think ourselves peaceful. It has to be on a feeling level, on a physical body level, on a level that allows a different space to open up. We all have that space within but finding it takes a long time and it is so worth it when one does.

I am looking to further my experience and practice of inner silence and wonder what else can lead there. It needs and wants to be practiced on a collective level almost due to how it feels and effect it has on everything. I invite you to try finding your way of finding inner silence and truly feel it.

Winter stories

The darkest night, oh how rich and comforting your gifts

Like the darkest depth of the earth it contains our sorrows and joys

Care taking all potential

It keeps it, churns it and later

We emerge as new towards the light

We stretch into the sun seeking transformation

~RawNatureSpirit~

Isle of Mull whispers

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Isle of Mull, Scotland 2017

Outlines of Duart castle drew me in with its mossy and slate colours and ancient architecture. Like a hand of times long gone it stretched out to me across water standing in the rain on a ferry. Greens, pale blues and grey surround my senses and my heart leaps towards the land at a distance. I smell pines as I step off the ferry and quiet, oh so quiet. A bird tweets, invisible, and I catch the sound as a welcome home. My feet plant comfortably into the soil and I feel like running towards the forest, sea and be swallowed up by thundery sky overhead. I love the rain here. I barely notice it.

I know the place I want to go to, near Loch Don, not far, a piece of paradise silenced into simple yet magical beauty. A white cottage on a hill with deer surrounding it curiously poking their heads from behind its worn walls. Roses in the garden covered in glistening drops nicely quenched. I take my shoes off and walk towards the garden fence. Silence goes through me and I feel like flying. Next I want to melt into the place and become a stone, a blade of grass or a shell lying on a loch’s shore. Nowhere else I feel more a part of something beyond myself and deeply grounded in my own body. Here I remember who I am. That question gets answered every time the island calls and every time is like the first time I find myself again. It scares me how quickly I get lost when apart from this soul land and every time when it takes me back in I am born again. The process is both painful and ecstatic, distorted and transformational. It can be tiring too yet I wouldn’t change any of it. Wind’s gentle breath brushes my cheek and I inhale deeply the clean air from the land’s lungs. I fear to lose it, not to be part of it always, but I know that I find home here every time and that is hopeful, sweet, ‘balsam to a wound like’.

The house was to be sold and I am here to either say good bye to it or possess it for eternity…

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This came to me this morning just before Yule and I am so glad of it. There’s a promise in my vision.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your visions and intuitive glimpses during this beautiful time of darkness.

Three wishes for Yule

Winter Solstice

Mind is our biggest ‘prison’. There is nothing more our mind wants is to be stuck on the same track over and over, go in one direction. It doesn’t like change, it doesn’t like upgrading, it is in that sense primitive and when questioned will rebel in strong ways. However, we all want to be free, flowing, silent and not-attaching to anything that brings us worries and restlessness. Freeing yourself from thinking patterns is a way towards reclaiming some of our freedom. Thinking also causes our feelings and if you don’t like feeling a certain way and get trapped in a cycle, attend to your thinking. Challenge it, avoid engagement, refuse to listen, give yourself more than just following what the mind says. Remember, the mind doesn’t know any better, only what had been programmed and practiced, it is its familiar territory and until the course is changed, it will continue on the same track. Thoughts and feelings are entwined. If you believe or choose to think something, as it comes, you will feel a certain way every single time as a result of that thought. As you become aware of some of the ways you think, you can then choose how to proceed. Particularly with things that are ‘historical’, i.e. past-created patterns of thinking, you must be careful not to keep repeating the same way of thinking, as it will only bring the same way of feeling.

Ever since I was I was a child I remember wanting nothing more than a peace of mind.  I knew on a physical level that it is my thinking that had been causing a lot of things, yes I had to wait to become an adult to figure it out. As an adult through years of practice and healing I have understood what it does and why and have explored ways of reconciling with it, making it work for me. It has not been easy. The reason why I love Buddhism is because it shows us not just what the mind does, but how to become skilful in working with its patterns through observation and letting it be, choosing not to engage at all times. Read my post of my findings related to this Lessons from today’s meditation

The reason why I love earth-based spirituality is because it involves working and being with ‘the whole’. It includes our physical bodies, emotions and spirit and mind becomes a supportive vessel for all the other parts and vice versa. There is less struggle. Mind is not alone and other senses have great value.

This Yule I am wishing for three things:

  • A peace of mind
  • A clarity of mind
  • A quietude of mind

It is possible to ‘master’ your own thinking and there is a distinct sense of satisfaction and control when it is successful. Even if it might often be temporary the fact that it was once possible provides hope for all future attempts. Practice makes perfect. When a change in thinking is introduced, the edge is taken off patterns and beliefs. They no longer rule over everything. One way of thinking that helps is understanding that some things can’t be controlled and any worry or overthinking is futile and, for me, anything that becomes heavy to carry or be with is pointless, as it only adds to the overall hardship of existence and a state of things life often presents. We must quieten does, lighten the load and connect more often through other senses cultivating a sense of peace. Effort is always met with reward in my experience. Continuous striving is what life is and we must never give up on ourselves. We can always choose what we think and what we focus on remembering not to make it ‘heavy’, but make it easier wherever possible.

I am off to find a Yule log this week and will bear my three wishes in mind when being with the log, decorating it and then burning it for next year.

I hope you too will become aware of things you want to come more into your life during this celebratory time of welcoming back the light and go on to manifest your goals with authenticity, passion and integrity.

Blesses Yule, everyone!

New spiritual

Yule log

In the last two months I have found my new ‘spiritual’, ‘other than’ space through writing. I have loved every second of my passion and particularly how it feels when engaged in it. It feels otherworldly and like nothing else. For that I am immensely grateful and feel joyful knowing I can step into that ‘dimension’, yes, it feels like another sphere all together, when I want to. It is not, of course, as simple as just sitting down and write, but I love that complexity, a challenge, which stretches me intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As Yule is approaching I can feel my energy shifting into 2020 goal setting, or a visual and sensory plan I like to envisage. I usually go about this by tuning into my energy and how I feel, which is around, rather than purely looking at physical needs and demands of the outside world, so to speak. What I am discovering is that I feel I would like to step more into my Fire energy. Again, this is not unusual for me with the season of winter, but I think I have forgotten how much I missed it having spent a lot of 2019 in a place that explored more soft, sensitive, quiet ‘me’. You see with writing both are required and I love that. In terms of going forward I would like to step into the Fire of my own inner qualities and run joyfully with that. In the last few days I have had a pep talk with myself, got angry with myself (in a good way) and said ‘enough is enough’ in relation to many things in my life. It felt like an existential shift where I have come to more acceptance of belonging to this earthly world, whether I want to or not, and that I don’t always have choices and neither I should have. There is less discussion, introspection and analysis needed for me at this time and more being present in the physical that I need to manifest. Winter is the perfect time for me to do that, as every year my energy escalates, my mind clears and I become very productive and active. I love it.

In terms of my spiritual practice I would like to implement the elements I am referring to above, e.g. creating more of a routine, consistency and commitment to things I need to be doing. Arriving at what that might be will, of course, be done intuitively, as it is my most natural way of discerning things. The rest will be done in a clean, precise, organised manner. At least I would like to try. Many things have sort of disappeared into the background in terms of practice and I would like raise my awareness more and bring things back into practice, but with a new vigour, in a new way.

My plans are a lot about writing in 2020. That includes literary fiction and poetry and non-fiction on subjects related to earth-based spirituality. I feel excited to have a few projects in the pipe-line. My poetry book ‘Soul Land’ is coming out next year and I am extremely touched and passionate about that collection and in awe of how it came about all together. It was meant to be, the only way I can describe it.

My first step on the way to reawakening traditions will be searching for my Yule log and decorating it for the 21st December celebrations. I love Yule and I love darkness, which always feels super nourishing and comforting to my soul and my body adores cold temperatures. I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating Nature and all her beautiful gifts.

Blessed Yule!