We Are of the Earth

This morning I did another meditation to speak to the spirit of my disease. This is what came up:

World Tree | Breakfast With the GodsThis time when I went into my turret staircase to decent into a deeper meditative space, I found that the walls were not brick anymore, but wood. Not planks of wood, rather smooth wood that went on and on down. It felt like being inside a tree. Inside a tree! I remembered my teaching recently, that the world tree – the axis mundi, is also us. We are the intermediaries between heaven and earth. Was I descending into my own body then?

I saw myself as the tree, with my chakras open and spinning.

Everything was very dark. There were no windows. I spent some time envisioning sconces on the walls with fire in them. Also feeling the air – it was very warm and comforting in there. I sat on the stairs for some time and just rested.

Then, when I asked the darkness, what are you here to teach me? what do you need me to see? I was whisked away to an earlier time in my life, I was around 9 or 10, when I had a falling out at school with my best friend and she turned everyone against me. My whole class ignored me for  months. Being a popular kid with no trouble getting along with anyone, this was a shock to my young psyche. I had the chance to feel what it was like to be the outcast, the ‘other’. Even though my friends and I patched things up eventually, I never really came back from that experience the same. Even my dad mentioned it to me a number of times: “Remember that? You were never the same after that’.

When I asked what this is about – I got ‘change’. The way things can suddenly change in life. When I was young it really took the carpet out from under me. This betrayal perhaps was the beginning of the pattern – anxiety, fear, disease. I was unseated.

When I asked how I could heal things I immediately got, keep doing this – keep asking – keep communing and communicating – keep doing what you’re doing – yoga, meditation, self-love.

But then, a vision of me as a swirling column of light, dancing through the otherworld – and the Earth as a much larger swirling column. What came through was that the world has been unseated. My body is a reflection of the whole – micro to macro. The body of the world is imbalanced, therefore so is mine or vice-versa.

What?? My first reaction to this was to toss it aside. It was altogether too big of a concept for me deal with. I mean, you want me to heal the world to heal myself. How am I supposed to single-handedly heal the world? I literally pushed this vision aside and out of my mind until yesterday. It was my birthday – I took the whole day for myself and went to my favourite bookstore for hours and hours. (Ah what relief, what joy.) I bought a book and this is what it said:

Silencing our deepest responses to the condition of our world not only fosters a sense of futility, but also mires us in it. Each act of denial, conscious or unconscious, is an abdication of our power to respond. It relegates us to the role of the victim before  we even see what we can want to do.

Our pain for the world, including the fear, anger and sorrow we feel on behalf of life on earth is not only pervasive. It is natural and healthy. It is dysfunctional only to the extent that it is misunderstood and repressed.

We don’t break free from denial and repression by gritting our teeth and trying to be braver, nobler citizens. We don’t retrieve our passion for life, our wild innate creative intelligence, by scolding ourselves and soldiering on with a stiff upper lip. That model of heroic behaviour belongs to the worldview that gave us the Industrial Growth Society (modern capitalism).

The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying our world – we’ve actually been on the way quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.

The worldview emerging now lets us behold anew and experience afresh the web of life in which we exist… It lets us honour our pain for the world as a gateway into deep participation in the world’s self-healing. More basic to the Great Turning than any ideas we hold is the act of courage and love we make together when we dare to see our world as it is.

The book is called Coming Back To Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown. Very inspiring read so far.

I am left feeling that my healing is tied to my activism. I have long been following a path of treading lightly on the Earth, but maybe it’s time to take it to another level.

This is the thing: I’ve been asking for my purpose in life for a few years now. I’m in my early 40s and still don’t know why I’m here. I know what I care about, but I don’t have a career as of yet and I have so may interests it’s hard to pick one area to concentrate on.

If disease comes to teach us, then I have to listen. Maybe I’m being directed towards healing the Earth. Maybe that is my calling. And therein lies my own salvation.

How I Found My Shadow

After reading this post from my teacher, I decided to try out asking the spirit of my disease what it was here to teach me. For those who don’t know, I have Graves Disease, which is an autoimmune malfunction where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland (roughly speaking). Symptoms for me, fluctuate. Lately it’s been getting a bit worse.

I feel in my bones that this malaise is energetic, or had an energetic beginning. I have felt like if I could just ask my body what was wrong, I could get an answer. It hadn’t occurred to me before to just, ask.

So two mornings ago I woke up at 6am to get started. I did a bit of yoga – just a little, my body doesn’t like too much vigorous exercise right now so just a few rounds of sun salutations to build up some energy and get grounded – then some pranayama and cleaning out my chakras – then I felt moved to chant a bit, and experimented with some mas (instead of oms). Then I settled in to meditate cross-legged.

I brought myself deeper into trance by visualizing myself walking down a windey staircase. Whenever I do this I end up at the same staircase – it’s in a turret I think, in an old castle or brick building – there are tiny slitted windows through out the turret on the way down, the passage is narrow and the stairs are wooden and steep. I spent time visualizing looking down at my sneakers, looking out the windows, looking at my hands. I did this until I could see details. I find this makes the trance deeper and I get more information. Also, I spent a bit of time stepping out of the reality where I was actually sitting on my yoga mat. To do this I focused in on distracting noises in the room and then mentally pushed them away from me, while focusing in on the stairway.

When I felt myself in a sufficiently altered state, kind of floating in space inside my head, I sent my questions out on waves – what have you come to teach me? Why are you here? What is my lesson?

The spirit of my disease immediately showed up and took me on a little tour through my life, Scrooge style. I found myself back at a time in my life, a period of ten years, when I was very angry, very betrayed and stubbornly hanging on to it. I was told this is where my disease started. Then I was shown what my life could have been like at that time – if I had been happy – how I would have effected people around me, how happy I could have been, the abundance that actually surrounded me then but I was too angry to see it.

Then I was taken back through my past to all of the places that hurt. Most of it was between the ages of 13 and 21. It felt strange to rub against these places – I was surprised that stuff so far in the past still packed a punch.

I did some recapitulation work then, just because it felt natural. Mostly this involves revisiting the past in your mind and rewriting it. It may not be what happened in reality, but your psyche doesn’t know the difference – the healing happens.

I was left at a young age, then all kinds of bad things happened – like death and drugs and guns and just all around badness. Ultimately, I was shown, the problem for me was not necessarily all the stuff that happened, but that I was alone. I was just a kid and I was alone and terrified – and this was wrong. So in my trance I went back to all those places as me now, 41-year-old Sky, and I stepped in and acted like a mom should act. When young Sky was 16 and grieving, I hugged her close, when she was 13 and in danger, I stepped in front of it and told it to fuck off, when she was 19 and terrified, on a basement floor praying to god for help, I sat beside her and told her everything would be OK in the end – that she would survive it. On and on it went until I was exhausted. I came out of trance sitting in a yoga hug position. I stayed there for a while, rocking back and forth.

When I got up and got some water and wandered around my house digesting the whole experience, I broke out in hives all down my throat. This is notable because: a) part of the physical manifestation of my disease has been food allergies, hives and eczema and b) if you’ve been following my blog at all you’ll remember I’ve been led to do work before on my throat chakra, which governs the thyroid and the throat area, and also using Voice to stand up for oneself.

It was very powerful. I was raw and sad that whole day, even still today writing about it, but it’s not a heavy sadness. It feels good. Like rubbing a bruise or an old achy shoulder. There’s a sense of relief and catharsis and revealing. It’s like, that little girl, that pain, was embodied somehow, and then revealed.

Come out little one, I see you now. It’s safe.

What to do with the info? I’m not sure. I think it involves addressing the shadow square in the face. Bringing it all to light. Acknowledging it, looking with completely open eyes. Then taking my part in it all. And ultimately forgiving everything, everyone and myself. I’ve been pulling shadow cards all year, which confirms this for me.

I find it interesting that it’s family of origin stuff after all (I had suspected), when I have a good relationship with both of my parents now. And discovering once and for all that the pattern of betrayal I see looking back in my life, actually isn’t legit. It was me living that original betrayal, being left by my parents, over and over again – maybe even asking the universe to manifest it and energetically dragging people to me that would betray me, just to prove that it ‘always happens to me’.

I will continue to do this work, continue to ask and see if I can be directed towards how I can heal it. I’m marvelling at how disease can manifest in the body in this way.

I highly recommend doing this if you are struggling with health problems, or even if you just want to get to know your shadow. Just be sure to have someone to debrief with afterwards, a friend or therapist – or at least journal journal journal it all out of you.

When something within us is disowned, that which is disowned wreaks havoc. ~The Viking Runes

Doing shadow work? Want to debrief? Please do in the comments below. I love talking about this stuff.

featured image by Nick Kenrick

Listening In

My health and my spiritual studies compete for my time. I have had the message a few times now, via my tarot and runes, that I am out of balance and my connection won’t progress/deepen until my health is back in balance. Since working at my practice, mainly yoga every morning, I’ve been starting to hear things – get messages – like when I’m half asleep or daydreaming – or during yoga or even just during my daily activities. Regarding my heath I have a feeling like there is something I’m just not getting. If all physical ailments begin in the energy body, or energetically, then we should be able to heal ourselves on that level if we find where that blockage is. I’ve been working on this – as well as making changes in the physical plane, like diet and yoga – but I feel like I keep bumping up against an unknown thing – something that is blocking me, or something going on in my body that I am unaware of. I’m missing something.

I tried to go to a medical intuitive this week – but the guy stood me up! Twice! Since I’ve been asking for guidance towards the right person to help me, I have to take that as a sign this guy was not the one. But – it left me feeling quite disappointed and frustrated. I put a call into my naturopath when I was super ill and desperate, he didn’t get back to me for days. Turns out he was away. I feel like whenever I reach out for help with this, I get nothing back. There’s this sludgy feeling – this molasses. The spirits are not with me. I am left to flounder around in the dark by myself. And to get up and do anything about it feels like climbing a mountain. My motivation, my mind, my energy levels – all are effected by this disease. Finding the path to wellness feels impossible, much less walking it. And – am I to do it all on my own? Is this the lesson?

At any rate – I’m going to try to record these little messages when I get them. Try to make a habit of listening in and paying mind to them, instead of letting the thought float in and out of my consciousness. I’ve been asking for guidance – first thing is to learn to hear it.

So I might be posting odd little short posts here an there – just as part of the exercise of listening.

OUP on cutting words from the dictionary …

Sky Bray:

Did you know that Oxford Jr Dictionary no longer has the word ‘beaver’ in it? ‪

Originally posted on Elen Sentier:

Reaction to #naturewords

16/1/2015

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Oxford University Press replies

On Monday top authors, poets and naturalists were among 28 prominent people who wrote to Oxford University Press calling for some of the fifty nature words lost from their Junior Dictionary to be reinstated. The issue first arose in 2007, was not corrected with the 2012 edition, and is now a growing concern as we look for cultural leaders to help resolve a seemingly unstoppable problem – the rapid decline in children’s formative experiences of nature. The letter sets out the problem here, and now we have a response from the OUP.

OUP Statement

PictureWest Oxford School: year 3 prehistoric art

Press and social media coverage since Monday shows that concern about children’s disconnectedness from nature is widespread. The Oxford Times spoke to the Headteacher of West Oxford Primary School Clare Balden, who backed our letter and said the 238-pupil…

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Blundering through the sacred

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