Tag Archives: inspiration

Tending The Inner Garden

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This summer seems to be going by so quickly.  Once again I find myself housesitting in a lovely cabin on the south side of Cortes Island with a beautiful ocean view. I am feeling very blessed indeed. Coco, the cat, comes and goes as she pleases. Yet the smoke in the air from all the wildfires covering this part of the world in a thick blanket of haze, makes everything appear unreal and strange. The thick air paints the sun and moon deep red or glowing orange with temperatures that are surprisingly cool.

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This morning I found myself thinking about the Orcas that I had seen one foggy evening earlier this spring when I was housesitting not too far from here on the same beautiful beach. I was having a deep conversation at the time with someone when we spotted the whales. There was a male with a much larger fin in the distance moving up and down through the water and a couple of other Orca whales much closer to us that seem to be resting or perhaps waiting. I had heard before that the male will herd a school of fish towards the waiting pod. Then my thoughts turned to the Orca mother who had carried her dead baby for over two and half weeks recently. How can one not be affected by this display of love and deep grief? I couldn’t help wondering if it was the same pod of whales.

With my heart aching for these giants that are suffering and struggling, I got up to put my mug into the sink and looked up to see where grey ocean meets the grey haze. In that very moment my eyes discovered in this endless see of grey a big white spray of water. A whale rose from the water in that instance, letting itself fall back into the depth of it. The feeling of deep surprise is hard to describe as I watched the whale breach a few more times. What are the chances to be looking out the window right in that moment! This recognition of our connection and the many events of synchronicity that keep pointing that there is no separation brought tears to my eyes.

P1260020As a tiny spider climbs up my computer screen I wonder what her message is. Perhaps it has to do with the web of life that we all weave together and that every action, every thought effects the whole web. When we open our hearts to those suffering regardless if they are two-legged, four-legged, finned or winged, we are each called to respond just like a mother responds when her child cries out.

A few weeks ago I came across this mushroom breaking through the earth. It made me pause and take in this moment of birthing, watching earth opening, as a new life form pushes through into the light. Isn’t every birth worth stopping for a moment to witness this tremendous miracle of something new being born? And isn’t every death worth pausing to honour the being that is leaving, who has given it’s unique gift to the whole web?

P1250585As the summer’s harvest is in full swing and I watch many around me busily collecting and processing what they have planted and tended since early spring, I have to say I miss my garden, but not the huge amount of work that harvesting can be.

I recognize that right now I am tending my Inner Garden. I feel a softness as I write these words and yes, I can see and acknowledge to myself that I, too, am harvesting from my inner garden. A few days ago I picked up my art supplies from home and spend some sweet time in the garden pulling the long overdue garlic from the earth and tying them onto bundles to dry. What bliss it was to see the towering sunflowers and the abundance of beans…

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Photo by Dancing Wolf

Yet it is also fun to play again with colours like I haven’t done in a long long time. And it is so freeing to not have any goal, to just let creativity express in whichever way it wants. There is almost a childlike pleasure of discovery and joy in the moment. I just watch as something unfolds with no preconceived notion what it might turn out to be. This drawing named Inner Garden Goddess that came into being a few days ago is part of the harvest of my Inner Garden.

Elke's Goddess #1Holding out my finger to the little spider it jumps fearlessly onto it, not just once but a few times, before I carry it outside where it happily climbs onto the clematis leaf. Once again I am reminded “I can trust life” and feel deep gratitude for the whales and what they are here to teach us. May we all open our hearts to receive their gifts!

 

 

 

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Don’t Ask Why

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All day I meant to go to the garden…but I didn’t…putting it off again and again. You know something is up, when on a beautiful sunny summer day you avoid going outside.

All day I wanted to write, be creative…but felt frozen inside…distracting myself with things that give no life nor joy.

All day something is hovering on the edge of my awareness…and as I am trying to finally grasp it, mosquitos decide I am going to be their meal if I want to or not. Feeling torn to stay with what is finally coming to the surface, yet at the same time trying not to get bitten. What a strange balancing act life is!

Unexpectedly two poems land in my inbox, reminding me of a white dove and a black raven, so beautiful and powerful. Then it rises to the surface and the floodgates open: “Don’t ask why –  sometimes there just are no answers.”

P1250474Like the poems a memory now takes me on a journey. I find myself following in slow reverent steps the white Stag through the dark forest. His horns are glowing light illuminating the path. Jaguar and a Grandmother spirit are walking behind me while Eagle flies above. I am being escorted to meet with the one who can help: the Golden Elephant.

Love shatters any remaining shields around my heart when he comes into view. He gently invites me to climb on his back and takes me to where I need to go back to. It is time to release, heal and forgive something very old.

The love that surrounds me holds me in a tight embrace. On this night I will not disappear in the water. On this holy night I will let the sacred water wash away the blood, the tears, the pain. On this holy night my womb is made whole again as I stand waist deep in the ancient sea.

P1240768As I turn and slowly step out of the water, I take off the bloodied gown. I walk up to the man sitting there in silence watching me. It takes courage to look into his eyes, but I know I must. As I spiral down lifetimes I lift my head and with my hands on my womb I let the words come out slowly: “I forgive you! And I release you!”

Eyes meet, something clears, something heavy lifts and evaporates.

“I ask you to forgive me as well!” Once again our eyes meet.

Slowly I turn around and go back to the shore where it all ended eons ago. The Golden Elephant, our witness, embraces me one last time with his trunk. Words are not necessary anymore, love knows gratitude and gratitude knows love. In the end there is only love.

When the drums call me back the white Stag carries me to the entrance of the cave in which I once again disappear into another world.

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The Gentle Spreading Of Wings

 

P1220789Sitting on the beach watching a seagull fly by, proudly carrying her treasure, I smile as I hear the familiar sound as she lets go and the shell hits the rocks with a big “clunk”. With the warmth of the sun gone, she hides above a thick layer of clouds that seems to have come out of nowhere. I shiver in the cool April air as the temperature drops accordingly and the wind happens to pick up at the same time, adding to the chill I suddenly feel.

Grateful that I brought my big warm winter coat, I nestle deeper into it, buttoning up, wishing I had brought my fingerless gloves, which allow me to type in more comfort. Yet sensing that comfort is not really what it is all about, I allow the experience of this moment without following the impulse to retreat and sit by a cozy fire inside instead.

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The gentle lull of the waves coming into the shore brings a different kind of comfort, a peacefulness and sense that all is well and just as it is meant to be. The seagull stops suddenly what it is doing and watches an eagle glide by, then as soon as it is safe continues to enjoy her meal before the next round of treasure hunting begins.

Remembering the big flock of geese flying by just two days ago while sitting in the exact same spot, where coat and sweater was soon discarded to soak in the warm rays of sunshine after the long winter. The hauntingly beautiful calling of the geese announced their arrival long before we could see them. Watching them fly in perfect formation, I remarked on the mystery of how they know exactly where to go and that they surely must have an inner compass guiding them, when suddenly some of the geese started veering off to the left, then changing their mind again and going to the right, creating a bit of chaos in the formation and a loud discussion in the flock. Finally we watched them disappear over the little mountain while their voices soon faded into the distance.

P1220753As I rub my fingers to stay warm, the gentle silence and breeze open the space to notice the feeling of deep content inside, that has been there since yesterday, when I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, which in itself turned out so rewarding.

I read and recorded a favourite poem for a local radio show called “From the Muse’s Garden”, which I had promised to contribute to in some way. And even though I do not write poetry, I certainly love reading and hearing them. If you are curious you can hear the radio show every Monday from 5 to 7 pm live at this address:

https://cortesradio.ca/

It is a delight with many treasures of both poetry and music. One of them read by Dorna Djenab moved me to tears a couple of weeks ago and inspired me to want to try to spread my own wings. 

The recording took many tries, and after a while I let go of perfection and instead entered my heart space as I opened to the incredible beauty and passion of the poem, not worrying about the hammering going on across the bay or anything else for that matter. 

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This letting go and doing something that is most definitely out of my comfort zone, showed me to my surprise how much I enjoyed not only the result, but also the process. Noticing the powerful hold of my inner critic and fear, I decided to enter the place of love instead: love for the poem and love for myself.

There is such a joy in discovering something new, something I didn’t know I would love doing so much and if I had kept listening to those voices, I would have either never tried or given up. Instead I am very much looking forward to doing more of this and who knows where it is going to take me and what surprises and delights are around the next corner. 

P1220351I would like to share with you Dorna Djenab’s beautiful rendition from Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet” and perhaps it will inspire you as well to try something new and spread your wings…. And I am hoping to share with you in my next post the reading of the poem that I recorded. So stay tuned. 🙂

 

 

 

Immersion In The Mystery

IMG_1759 The world was shrouded in layers of fog, as I opened my eyes this morning. Deeply enjoying the view for the last time, I lay there watching the fog shift and change, giving me little glimpses of the hidden inlets, mountains and ocean.

It was time again to pack my bags and let life take me to the next place, as it has for the last three months. Cleaning and packing, while still taking in the expansive and ever-changing view, I took notice of a deep inner calmness of allowing life to unfold without me trying to control it and feeling into the magic of this immersion and trust in the mystery of life.

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Gently I wrapped up the sacred objects I had brought with me and soon the house was ready to welcome back its owners who had build and created this beautiful home. I retraced my steps from a few days ago in the hopes of finding my lost camera. And sure enough, it was exactly where my intuition had told me it would be: at my neighbour’s home. I was very happy to be reunited with this precious instrument, that inspires me to share the incredible beauty all around me.

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Walking carefully on the wet rocky path, the mossy rocks invited me to take their picture, tickling my senses with their vibrant greens and unique shapes. It had been a wonderful week, where I felt my own expansion as both the beautiful spacious home and the wide angle view opened something inside of me. It even inspired me to do Yoga each day, creating a feeling of expansion in my body and breath as well.

Meeting and getting to know some of the neighbours added to the richness of the experience, offering me different views from their homes and their hearts and loving the wonderful and surprising expressions of creativity I encountered, that made me long to enter into that beautiful creative flow again.

P1210392I loved what I saw and who I met, each experience bringing me deeper into the trust that I’ve been feeling since returning from the Big Island of Hawaii, that life is taking care of me and providing me with what I need, not what I think I need. It has taken me to several different homes and unique places, making me fall deeper into love with this mystical island and continuing the lessons about water and flow.

Being here at the very potent time of the Full Moon Lunar eclipse and watching the moon come into her fullness, helped me move towards an inner fullness, where I recognize that home is on the inside and is always with me no matter where I am.

Doing ceremony at Reflection Cove around the fire on the evening of the Eclipse, drumming and singing with two people very dear to me, was so powerful. With each person bringing their own medicine offerings to the fire, we allowed ourselves to be guided and spoke from our hearts.

Sharing space with Boko, the cat, has been another gift and delight. He took a while to warm up to me, but it was so worth the effort, when at last he let me pet him for the longest time and rewarded me with such a deep purr of love. On the last evening while sharing the couch, he even let his paw rest on my foot, which I didn’t dare move. It felt like such precious offering.

P1210453As I walked up the hill to my car with my belongings, I met yet another neighbour who kindly offered me a hand with my heavy bag filled with books, journals and treasures, which I have a lifetime history of carrying from place to place. With each of us grabbing a handle, the weight was shared and so was our mutual appreciation for this very special part of the island.

Driving home to Reflection Cove and Elkenwolf Cottage, I noticed the joy of returning to this place which still feels like home and probably always will, and where my golden companion Frodobear lies in his final resting place with the golden elephant watching over this sacred spot. I still see him curled up in the special blanket we wrapped him in on another Lunar Eclipse last August, as we stood at his grave. Surprisingly his shape looked so very much like an elephant and his huge golden presence is still shining in my life. And I have a feeling he is still teaching me about love from the other side.

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Forever grateful!

Beckoning

P1210263Housesitting a quaint little cabin in the forest, I didn’t expect to find a large blue feather lying on the windowsill. My heart fluttered when I saw it, suddenly remembering the little experiment a new friend had encouraged me to make, after sharing some of his own lessons he had learned in Hawaii. He had suggested a couple of weeks before my own journey to Hawaii to envision a blue feather and allow it to come to me.

I went home and held my vision for a while, waiting for a blue feather to magically appear. Every time a Stellar’s Jay announced its presence, I wondered, maybe it would gift me with one of it’s beautiful blue feathers. But that didn’t happen! However a very special poem written by Joyce Rupp found me instead.

Getting caught up in my intense and powerful journey of untethering and discovering, I forgot all about it, both the feather and the poem…until now, when least expected I saw the large blue feather shining on the special cloth on the window sill altar.

Remembering the poem as I held the feather in my hand I felt prompted to share it with you now. As the sun is beckoning me to go outside and explore and be, I send out this beautiful poem with so much love in my heart dedicating it to all my sisters out there and to the Divine Feminine in this time of deep inner awakening….

A Small, Soft Feather
by Joyce Rupp

a small, soft feather,
still warm
from bluebird’s wing,
falls onto the receptive
forest floor.

lightly it lands
under a thick-branched oak;
quietly it waits,
unnoticed, unattended,

until a sister of earth pauses,
beckoned by a flutter
of unseen energy.
she bows her kindled heart

stoops ever so slowly,
and the remnant of the blue bird
comes home
to her generous hand.

days later another earth sister
opens an envelope;
resting inside, waiting,
is the blue of sky
in shape of a feather.

from warm wing
to great oak,
to earth sister
to friend,

comes the soft blue signal,
and in a sparkle of recognition
a woman, weighed down
with too many wants,
remembers how to fly.

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Christmas Spirit

 

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Christmas has always been the holiday I have cherished the most and for me the Christmas Spirit is a celebration of love. As I grew older and moved to Canada, I sadly witnessed it becoming more and more commercialized over the years, with Christmas songs now being heard right after Halloween and shelves full Christmas decorations in the stores and streets.

Growing up in Germany my mother would make a wreath with four candles and we would light up first one, then two, then three on each Sunday before Christmas and all four candles were lit on Christmas Eve. In my family the Christmas tree was not put up and decorated till the day of the 24th of December. Not seeing the tree lit up in its magnificent beauty till after a special dinner, made this event always extra ordinary. The moment of entering our dark living room and seeing the Christmas tree fully lit was every time beautiful beyond words. There were gifts under it, yes, but it was always the tree and the lights, that stood out for me and embodied the Christmas Spirit in its green coat and smell of deep forest and lights that looked like candles. We honoured it with songs before we went closer to receive the gifts, often made with love for each other.

P1200759As I woke up yesterday morning on the 24th, realizing that there would be no Christmas tree this year, my heart sank till my gaze was drawn outside. The magnificent trees outside my window were beckoning and I got up and looked at the incredible view. Each and every one of those trees were holding out their long green-sleeved arms to me and I got it: they were offering me the Christmas Spirit from my childhood: it is living in all of them. Tears filled my eyes, as I quickly threw on my coat and stepped out into the delightful cold crisp winter air and said Hello to my green friends with a heart full of joy: I was home again!

P1200798In the evening as I sat alone in front of the fire, gazing at the beautiful altar and Christmas lights in the room, feeling the Christmas Spirit so deeply and love filled every room in my heart in the stillness of that holy night.

Stepping out that night in bare feet onto the cool white carpet, watching the snow gently falling, I stood there with those trees and told them how much I cherish them and their gift to me.

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Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas!

And may the Christmas Spirit fill your heart with so much love and joy!

 

Daily Prompt: Cherish

 

Clearing The Path

img_1527Waking up at four in the morning from the rain and wind, creating a wild song that reminded me a lot of the rhythm “Chaos” in the 5Rhythms movement practice, in which a wave consists of five rhythms: flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. Chaos has always been my least favorite part of the wave, finding it challenging to move to music that feels jarring not only to my body but my senses as well. Usually I would either resist it or eventually surrender to it. Last night the raindrops hitting the metal roof from the trees above in loud chaotic patterns and fitful waves, combined with the unpredictable gusts of wind making the cabin moan and groan, made sleeping rather challenging.

The sudden sound effects kept pulling me out of sleep again and again, causing my mind to try to identify the unruly sounds of the night and wrestling with the thoughts and fears they evoked. At one point going back to sleep seemed impossible, as my mind had latched onto the question that had been swirling around for a day, of what it means to ascend.

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Earlier in the day I had read about this week’s photo challenge “Ascend”, which had awakened in me that particular question, never mind figuring out a photo that would fit this theme. My first response was wanting to google the word “ascend” as an easy way out, so that my mind would rest and let me go back to sleep. But I knew this wouldn’t be enough, something was prompting me to listen to the answer inside of me. After a while of listening  to the wild noise outside and contemplating the question, I had to admit, that “I don’t know!”, and this opened up a space to see some things I couldn’t see before.

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Remembering how much I resisted having to clear the path to the meditation area earlier that day, which was totally overgrown and the jungle had reclaimed it when no-one was paying attention or using it anymore. Wrestling with spiky leaves from the giant century plant and thorny raspberry canes that would tear my flesh and clothing, adding to the “not wanting to do this” and feeling too tired from the super long bus rides into town, not to mentioned the rain which added to the discomfort and resistance.

P1200108.jpgAs the day was coming to an end and it was getting to hard to see, I suddenly noticed a shift in me. Looking around the space I had uncovered and created, I sensed a new spaciousness inside of me and the resistance that was so present earlier, was no where to be found.

Lying there in bed in those early morning hours, I could suddenly see how removing each thorny bush, thick ferns and weeds was also clearing out my own inner entanglement of thoughts, fears, beliefs and desires, img_1522which is exactly what meditation helps us do. Just as my resistance to the noise of the wind and rain was exactly the chaos I needed to wake up and shake out the last remaining ties or blockages, which is exactly what chaos in 5 Rhythms dancing gives us the opportunity to do, which then can lead to inner stillness even when the wind is rocking my little cabin.

Remembering the work of the last thirty days here, all the clearing and weeding of the jungle, as well as bagging pig dirt (the earth that the wild pigs loosen from the lava rocks and we can then use for planting), I feel such gratitude and can see the perfection of it all. How everything is helping me on my path, repeatedly prompting me to love life and what is, love what I am a part of creating and becoming, even if it looks like pig dirt and embracing this impulse to clear the barriers, to evolve and ascend.

Thinking of what happened after I stopped clearing the meditation area, brought a big smile to my face. Hurrying back to my cabin to get out of my wet clothes and change into something dry and warm,img_1521 I disturbed a gecko, who had been lounging on my chair and promptly escaped into the pile of clothing that were there. Seeing his tail sticking out of my pajama pants, I couldn’t help but laugh at the humour of it all and carried my little friend outside, before he got into more mischief. What better way to remind me of not getting too comfortable or fall asleep, but a Gecko in my pajama pants!

I also began noticing the difference in me now as I listened to the rain and wind’s wildness with a sense of openness and gratitude for waking me up and helping me see, that as I am clearing the path and the meditation area, I am clearing the trail to my own inner stillness and center.

After writing down some of these awarenesses, I turned off my headlamp and for a little while I could still see the light in mind’s eye, even though the cabin was once again wrapped in darkness shaking like a leaf in the wind. I wondered for a moment if the light was perhaps shining from my third eye and showing me the way to ascension. This idea brought a soft smile to my face, as I drifted into sleep, listening to the beautiful awakening sound of chaos.

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In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend