Wilderness Consumes Me Inside & Out

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I am someone who dwells deep in my feeling. There are so many emotions which run deeply beneath the surface. Yesterday I woke up and read a chapter of Glennan Doyle’s book ‘Untamed’. It so happened to be about the ‘ache’. What can we do to allow ourselves to truly feel?

Often we cast this aside in favour of small distractions. Then we add another distraction. And one more. And life can become an array of tasty distractions, all lined up like sitting ducks. I would like to rush a tidal wave all across this line of neatly planned, aligned ideals of perfection, safety and security. We talk about emerging as divinely sovereign, free women and men, separate from constructs of restriction and so on. And yet we continually perpetuate these in our own lives. We are often constantly recreating the prisons we think we have escaped from.

When I left my full-time job in charitable care, I assumed that my daily rhythm of new forms of work would suddenly blossom as freely governed and easy. Quite the opposite, much to my initial denial. This is an experience of how the structures we create out there, are truly mirrored to what is within. I might assert that I am a liberated soul, who yields her life to freedom’s essence. But, but, but, I hasten to add that each day I wake up, and somehow manage to roll out of bed despite all my fears and doubts which surface so suddenly upon waking, I know that I am right there, right in the very epicenter of those things I projected outside of me. All the fears which manifested as finding security in someone else’s governance, giving myself at the feet of others’ agendas, bowing to a ruler-ship, no matter what it might be, so that I might feel provided for, ‘safe’, and…without need to emerge strongly, courageously and brilliantly as my authentic self.

All these preoccupations with fulfilling a society’s idea, which I traded into, of who I should be, what I should do, so that I might do these things foremost… before I might bravely tread the labyrinth inside… To travel down and deep, to emerge in the pools of the hidden soul, of constant presence and indescribable compassion, and, to question: So, what is it I am here to be, who AM I? And then, to pause, to wait silently, opening and listening with all of my senses ~

How difficult that can be! Oh it’s so easy to suggest prayer & meditation, but to align with this will and to just be in it, what a tyranny it can feel like. With thoughts blasting past each side of your head like comets, limbs shaking with nervous tension to move, a sudden desire to go for a jog, or perhaps put on that tune which can elude you from what you’re experiencing in raw, untouched, primal form.

What is it that stirs us from our wilderness, or: our pure wildness? Much like our fear of the natural world, finding ourselves alone in an outstretched forest, the wide-open sea, or the caverns of a mysterious and dark cave. Something has cut us off from our home. Our dwelling place within ourselves, mirrored in our nesting place of nature. We used to make our communities around fire, forest-made homes, herbs and flowers, with the music of a rushing, bubbling stream in the background, and the breeze brushing our skin day by day. When I went on an initiation a little while back, I was asked to find a tree and to sleep in or under it all through the night. Alone, without anything but my layers and a blanket. I was terrified at first. What would I find in the dark, would the sound of rustling in the bushes scare my out of my skin, and would I tumble from branches and be left totally helpless and alone, strewn across the ground?

Much to my surprise I loved it so much, that I often reflect and pray that I am led to do this again soon, with a hint of fear and dread accompanied in my heart! I found myself tuning into what felt right to me; whether a branch or leaf bed, lying down or sitting. I allowed myself to experiment, without judgement. And, in time, I found a few select positions which gave me the comfort I needed. I began to feel the embrace offered to me by the tree, the earth and her inhabitants. I allowed myself to drop just a little bit more, to sit in my place, in circle. I found the natural within me, and allowed this to fully sweep through the halls of my human body. Then, I stargazed. I tracked the movement of the moon, and actually found it to be rather quick… Time passed like a wave of cosmic milk, pouring, pouring, down into my thirsty soul. That, in the nutshell of a fleeting experience, is what it looks like for me to dip my toe in the natural. And in this case: coming from the outside, to the inside.

It is now a few days later that I pick up this writing again. As I reflect on what I wrote, I feel an all encompassing warmth towards myself. I am so thankful for the depth of being which exists within my human being, which unreservedly, reliably, lovingly calls to me. This is the ever constant rhythm of a heartbeat, a softer murmur of gentle, pounding presence. I am here, I am always here for you, I await you. Much like our interaction with Earthly elements, we might become overly preoccupied with actions which create greater harm than good, but yet the beat of the earth still beckons and lavishly welcomes us home. There is indeed a hidden, ready, unending ache of communion which burns intensely within us, and within the heart of Mother Earth. For these are one and the same: there is no separation.

The healing we long for, I believe, awaits for us within our very depths, and mirrored to us in our daily actions upon our shared land and community. This is the depth psychology, the unwavering commitment to journey into each and every horror we might possess, until one by one, these parts of us are consumed in a fiery passion of loving union. The crisis we observe outside of us, is ourselves: only found beneath the surface. We are afraid, but the dark night has provided a tender branch, a soft bed of leaves, and the light of the stars and planets… we truly have everything we need. We have just become unaccustomed to our power, to our natural presence, and to our utter and total security in this now moment, upon this very ground our feet nestle upon. The exhale swiftly comes… And we breathe anew together.

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