Agendas are arbitrary illusions that distract from attending fully to what is going on in front of me. When I choose to prioritize the agenda, it is important to be clear about why: I do not wish to fully attend to what is happening in front of me. If it is happening right not, to me, in front of me, etc it is the most important thing to attend to.
This used to drive me crazy when I was working in development in Ethiopia. Time after time schedules would be missed because something happened on the ground that was attended to first.
The relentless drive to meet a timeline was not prioritized in the same way that it is in this culture. My ability to "be a good worker" was hinged in my ability to keep my colleagues and partners on schedule. My priorities conflicted with their culture, and the stress of inhabiting that meeting point was the only consistent outcome.
Fighting what was true.
Now I see the incredible power in this lesson.
Agendas are far more arbitrary than this culture acknowledges. We value meeting a deadline over just about anything. Yet. The deadline is frequently arbitrarily chosen and rushed toward, sacrificing everything in the drive to meet it.
Now, sometimes, I see things a bit more fluidly. There is wisdom to knowing where you are going. It is imperative. And, it is just as imperative to work consciously with what is arising in front of me, daily. They were equally out of balance in that work, respectively.
Power and integrity come from balancing both consciously. Consciously dealing with the friction yields the best results.
And, seeing one's cultural values is so very challenging. It is critical to see the impulses and drives that cause stress, and consciously engaging with the underlying priorities.
I am so very grateful for the experience.
A habitual loss of peace, in any dimension of life, is a call to action. Loss of peace is caused by something being out of integrity (wholeness) within the body. Peace within the body is the truth-teller. Listening to where the loss of peace occurs, and why it occurs, shows where the gap in integrity exists. My power exists in restoring the integrity, one way or another. Integrity on the inside is power, Peace shows me the way.
It's interesting that peace is related to power. But, that's just the way it is.
Sometimes I get confused in the clutter and clamor of the culture. Here is a litmus test: if it is true in the woods, it is true.
The woods calls forth the deepest, biggest, wildest, humblest, most holy and magnificent truth in me. The most alive, the essential essence.
The part that matters most.
No matter what (I think) the outer world says.
To my Little Irish Fighter;
Everybody wants to win.
Winning feels great.
winning is temporary.
Learning is forever.
Despite the disappointment of losing, I'm proud of you for focusing on what you learned during the game. I saw a group of kids that played their hearts out. "Losing" is a short-sighted wrong word to apply to kids that play like that.
OK, nature has spoken. Nature has said that it is time to get back to work, teaching others what I have learned over the past 2 years reconnecting, restoring, and re-wilding in the woods.
Here are the details:
The natural world, the forest, the woods, is our original, and ultimate, mother. The mother of us all. There is no better place to heal ourselves, our wounded feminine, our mother wounds, or any painful part of ourselves, than in the woods.
This is what I have spent the past 2 years doing: listening to my deepest truth, following the revealed path, restoring my integrity/wholeness, trusting my deepest self (re-wilding!), developing simple healing practices, and experiencing regular phases of bliss. Oneness. Unity. Beauty. Whatever name speaks to you, the underlying feeling is, in my experience, the meaning of life. And it is possible to claim and create it for yourself in your life.
Nature is a deeply spiritual experience. This is a spiritual practice. This is not a "one and done" experience of bliss, it is a roadmap for an ongoing practice of turning away from the messages of the culture into the deepest truths within our hearts, and from there experiencing embodied moments of bliss with the Great Creator. There will be healing practices included, as well as recommended readings and time in the woods. Approximately 5-10 hours per week is recommended.
This type of growth feels unnatural at first. Just becomes it feels unnatural does not make it wrong or strange, it simply makes it unfamiliar. This changes with more exposure, as the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Eventually the practices become necessary, and nothing is as important as living in integrity with your deepest truth.
We are all capable of self-healing. This is the most empowering part - an individual path to knowing your truth. It transcends a circumstance, a question, an opportunity, it is a deep-seated joy in living this life. There is no need for an external healer, or guru, or interface to the Divine. It is all within you, all the time. You can access it any time. And, this is not about "raising your vibration," "choosing love," or any other mantra. It is not aspirational in any way, it is simply about touching the Divine that is already within you.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ~Rumi
If this speaks to you, send me a contact form and we'll connect!
"It is within my power either to serve [the Great Creator] or to not serve [the Great Creator]. Serving him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create."
~ Leo Tolstoy
There have been years that have asked questions, and years that have given answers. The funny thing is, every time I think I know what phase I'm in, in hindsight, it changes.
I was recently told of a scientific study in which recordings of a persons voice were played for the person, among other voices. Sensors were attached to the body, including the head, and the impulses of the brain and body were recorded as the subject listened to the recordings. The purpose of the study was to see when the body and the brain recognized one's own voice. The results were fascinating - the body recognized one's one voice before the brain did.
This is radical and so very important.
This culture tells us that we can't trust our bodies, that only our rational minds are trustworthy.
Then, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky show us that our brains are actually "predictably irrational." Their work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, resulting in the field of behavioral economics, show that our brains are irrational, hypocritical, and lack symmetry as we make decisions. We actually make decisions with our bodies first, and then justify them with our minds.
My regular energy practices show this at work also. Over and over I see how energy underlies everything - and by that I mean everything. It's fascinating to watch it in action - to watch how energy attracts or repels, under the surface of our conscious awareness.
Yet. It can feel so hard to trust the impulses of the body. We override the information, the truth, we receive because it is inconvenient, not socially smooth, scary. We have no idea where it would lead, and it is unpredictable.
I think this is what the last 2 years have ultimately been about. Coming back home to myself. Learning to hear the truth. Then learning to trust the truth. Following a kernel of truth through to the end, when nothing about the path makes sense. Trusting in the Great Creator. Trusting in the fall. Trusting in the process. Giving up certainty (which isn't very certain after all). Prioritizing and orienting my life around the sacred - this sacred world, this sacred body, the bliss that makes no sense. Seeing the culture for what it is, and what is isn't. Re-wilding. Becoming more alive in sunshine. Hearing the truth in my soul, and honoring it above all else. Learning to trust my body. And so much joy.
Recovering my own identity.
And, ultimately, a turning away from people.
Asking (complicated) people (with emotional needs of their own) to validate my emotional needs, was childish and immature. Paralyzing. Trying to doing the same for them, when I was caught in my own emotional weather patterns, was like a whirlwind of agendas conflicting in a tornado. So loaded. Unreliable, unsustainable, capricious. Exhausting. And, it was like asking yellow to validate blue in in the dark. It burdens other mortals with fulfilling my needs and vice verse - something I was unwilling to do for myself. It burdened my relationships with an agenda, whether overt or hidden.
It is ultimately better, more reliable, and more fulfilling to look to the All Sustainable Source of All for my bliss and truth and fears and needs. The Great Creator can handle it.
This has ultimately resulted in a freeing of the relationships in my life. An enjoyment of who people are, unburdened by what they can do for me.
These two years have seen a "giving up" of so much - my health fell apart, many friendships passed, and my job - including so much of my identity. Just about the only thing that has stayed the same has been my precious family. But even that has morphed and changed.
But underneath it all is the most precious of findings - a path back to my sacred soul, my Beloved, and myself.
Amen. Amen. Amen, amen, amen
To my teenage son:
John the Evangelizer said that, “Your truth is holy. Your deepest truth is the holiest thing about you.” This rings true in every cell of my body.
Which means…if ever you feel social pressure to conform, or hide a part of yourself, that goes against God.
That voice you hear is actually the culture judging you, not the Great Creator. Cultural values are learned or inherited from our ancestors/family. They are not universal, they are created by man to control other people. That is all they are.
It is desperately important to know this, or else you will believe that the holy things about you are wrong. This is actually not possible.
Your deepest truth is the part of you that the world needs more of. True holiness, or living in your truth, is healing to all those that it touches. We heal ourselves, and the world, when we honor our holiest truths. With integrity. With compassion for those that don’t understand. With dignity.
It is ok if people don’t get it. They are not for you. This cannot actually hurt you. And anybody that seeks to judge you is trying to control you. Stop that nonsense at the border. You’re playing a bigger game. God’s game.
(And, that person. Those people. The ones you fear: they are your greatest teachers. They need to see your truth the most, because that's how you show that you're not for sale.)
Here is my commitment to you: I have not always been honest in my deepest truths. I have withheld those most precious jewels from people for fear of being judged. It is my commitment to you, as your mother, to be a better role model. Because you can’t model what you don’t see.
I love you with all of my heart. You dazzle me. But you can’t show that to the world because I haven’t shown you how to do it yet.
So, here I go.
And, if ever I forget, I hope to see your eyes watching me. Reminding me. Coaching me to do things that are scary. I just forgot. But now I know.
God is calling us on.
"Success" is a loaded word for me. For most of my life it has had external connotations. Success was something that consisted in material things or external validation. In truth, sometimes it still does. But more and more my definition of success is shifting to an internal definition - a state of how I want to feel in my life. Not what my life looks like on the outside, or to others. Or how others value or judge me at all. They are not doing what I'm doing, or know what I know, how can they possibly place value on me? That is my job.
My evolving definition of success can be summed by the feeling of laying flat on my back, on the earth, with the sun and wind moving the land around me. That is it.
The words I would use to describe it only do it partial justice, because words are limited in that way. But the words include bliss, joy, peace, connection. Majesty. Dignity. Freedom.
But success is a feeling. And no one else can give it to me.
Norma Van Horn