Tag Archives: Reflections

The Long Walk Home

P1260104Change with heart!” These three words were the only thing I remembered as a noise pulled me out of my dream. Yet the clarity and meaning of them stood in astonishing contrast to the grogginess I felt from being pulled out of my sleep. Strangely even though I couldn’t remember a thing other than these words, the meaning was as clear as the raindrops gently falling from the sky: inner and outer change needs to come from the heart!

It also reminded me of the experience of finding a beautiful black and white feather beside my plate one morning a couple of summers ago when my mother was visiting. I still remember the feeling of sweet surprise as I sat down at the table set for breakfast holding the woodpecker feather gently in my hand.

P1100501My love for rocks and feathers was never quite understood by my parents. It was usually made fun of, so it was extra special when I found this treasure by my plate. So strange how a feather can feel like one of the greatest gifts I have ever received from my mother and she has given me so much including my life.

Now looking back at that moment I clearly see that this gesture was her way to acknowledge and honour my love for these offerings from nature despite her seeing them so differently. In that instance the lifelong belief of not feeling understood or seen by her vanished. Instead another memory brought a smile and tears to my eyes: The Spring after my oldest son Magnus was born, my mother and I were taking turns pushing the baby buggy over impossible rough, recently logged, terrain and carrying a magnificent big white rock I had found that I just had to bring home. We still often laugh and remember that long walk home and how much strength it took to bring both the rock and the baby safely home.

 

P1260281That special stone has moved with me from my cabin in the mountains to the ocean and many other homes in between. It holds a very special place in my heart. It reminds me of that powerful time in my life raising my boys in the wilderness and my parents coming every year to help out with so many projects like building a woodshed, or helping me cut the six chords of firewood needed to get us through the winter and the many other amazing things they did for us. My mother who loves the city put aside her own beliefs, fears and comfort, venturing up that “crazy” mountain road where you prayed that you wouldn’t meet a logging truck coming down around each corner especially in the winter.

A woodpecker flies by with its bright red cap announcing its presence and bringing me back into the present moment. I think he agrees it is time lay to rest the old false beliefs and hurt feelings carried from childhood and I thank my dream and my heart for letting me see so clearly how loved I am.

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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!

 

 

 

Embracing Life As It Is

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With summer in full bloom I feel constantly called to try and capture the vibrant beauty with my camera. Some of these moments are only meant to be captured with the heart’s eye like the tiny speckled fawn following her mother into the bushes. While others like the butterfly resting on vibrant blooms or the incredible abundance of berries after the rain may be shared here with you. I have never seen such an abundance of berries and marvel at the green lushness on each walk through the forest.

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Last week a different kind of experience left me feeling rather unsettled for a few days challenging me once again to accept life on it’s own terms. For me dragonflies, like butterflies and hummingbirds, have always felt like messengers of joy and magic, delighting me with their beauty as they whirl through the air.

That perception was deeply challenged when I found a dead (?!?) dragonfly on the path to the garden. Stopping to glance at it briefly after another dragonfly had flown away from it, I intended to just walk by to get to the garden to fulfill my mission of checking on the plants and do some weeding.

However as I was stepping past the dragonfly body, a movement near it caught my eye. Thinking that it was perhaps a spider, I curiously turned back to take a closer look. Crouching down I noticed the spider was turning to look at me. My mind reeled when I recognized that the spider was not a spider at all, instead it was the severed head of the dragonfly with two of its legs attached. For a moment I wondered if I had stepped into some kind of Sci-fi movie.

As I moved around the dragonfly in disbelief, it’s head kept turning so it could see me, which was a bit unnerving. Then witnessing the body starting to move as well, I wondered what was happening here. It seemed liked the two parts were trying to move towards each other. All my concept of life, death, dragonflies, nature and beauty were turned upside down in that moment and my mind (head) did not know what to do with this information. 

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Later after grounding myself in the garden with weeding for an hour, I decided to go back to the house to do some research. Noticing my deep reluctance to go passed the dragonfly, I made myself stop to look at it again. This time neither the body nor head moved. Part of me was greatly relieved, while another part of me (my head) wanted answers.

At home I looked up all kinds of information on dragonflies. I learned a lot I didn’t know, but only found one other person online speaking of a similar experience of the detached head staying alive for quite some time. Now several days after the event I am able to share this without feeling disturbed by it. It took some time to come to terms with this and now I can honestly say, I am glad that I had this experience. Once again something in me needed to expand, let go of fear and not only accept something that felt so bizarre in the moment, but find the gift and wonder in it.

I even asked myself what this might mirror to me. Reflecting on this, I am now able to see how often my head (logic) is in charge and how we are so conditioned to let it make the decisions in our lives, often not taking our heart, body or spirit into consideration.

Taking the world in through my eyes (like the dragonflies does with it’s 30,000 lenses in each eye) I instantly put reality into certain boxes of reference and sense that these boxes narrow my experience of life. It also made me wonder if life is asking me to slow down, instead of listening to my mind’s constant nagging “but you haven’t done this…” and run around like chicken with its’ head cut off. This saying has a whole new meaning to me now and I don’t say this lightly.

It also made me look at beauty and how my mind keeps it neatly in a box: This is beautiful! This is not beautiful! I am grateful for the many gifts this experience brought me from challenging my perception of life and nature, looking  much deeper into myself and how I meet the unknown and how I meet life, as well as finding beauty in dying and death.

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The greatest gift however is the realization that I can trust life to bring me the perfect experiences I need to expand and welcome life’s gifts with an open mind and heart. That is not always easy like this experiences showed me. Yet I know that as I open to what is different and unknown, I take another step on this journey towards greater love and wisdom.

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In The Garden Of Now

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Leaves are fluttering softly in the ocean breeze singing a song I haven’t heard before with birds adding their own melodies here on the south side of Cortes Island. I am slowly settling into my new very temporary home where I am housesitting, allowing its incredible beauty and expansive ocean views to touch and open me.

My two very affectionate canine companions that I am looking after for six days, have finally settled down beside me. Each is lying curled up on either side of my chair, waiting patiently and often not so patiently for the opportunity to receive more attention, a meal or another outing. I have to admit the sunshine glistening on the ocean and the sandy beach getting more and more exposed as the tide goes out is hard to resist. This invitation to fully experience the dramatic beauty offered here so freely beckons every time I lift my head and look outside.

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Since arriving here on Friday I have noticed myself taking in my new surrounding more slowly and carefully than I usually do, but certainly with as much wonder and delight. It almost feels like I have stepped into a beautiful dream, which I don’t want to wake up from.

The many flowers, the sacred feel of the garden as well as the beauty of the spirit of this land bring me gently but deeply into the moment. I notice an inner response, a feeling of something lifting and finally once again letting go of needing to know how life is going to unfold. What a sweet relief to keep surrendering!

P1240094The exquisite scent of roses, honeysuckle and other sweet smelling plants absolutely captivate me, stopping me in my tracks. There is no way that I can walk by and ignore this heavenly calling to breathe in these potent and yet delicate aromas.

As the clouds come and go, flowers in all stages of blooming and decay declare their place in life, reminding me of something I read recently in a book called “Caves of Power”. The author Sergio Magana Ocelocoyotl  describes how in the Toltec and Mexihca oral traditions “the lines of your face show everything you’ve ever experienced, but above all the way you’ve lived your life on Mother Earth.” It makes me look at the lines in my own face in a whole new way and makes me appreciate each part of the journey.

P1220207I am so grateful that the sun keeps surprising me, despite the forecast which has been anything but encouraging. Yet the artistry of the moving clouds is undeniable as the view shifts and changes from moment to moment. Noticing that as I keep opening to the precious now, the encouragement that I feel to carefully select and plant seeds of what I want my life to look and feel like, while at the same time honouring the dream and love that brought me here and appreciate and be present to what is here now.

P1240213As I explore more of this garden of Now, I get to learn and see what needs to be nourished, weeded and let go of, as well as allow myself to receive the gift of the giant bouquet of flowers that life is offering me with wide open arms and heart and so much gratitude.

 

 

 

 

The Turning Of The Wheel

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As I watch the last days of Winter dance and intermingle with the first days of Spring, showing me once again that life doesn’t happen in a straight line, nor can it be predicted or controlled, my mind has a hard time to surrender to “what is” at times. Whereas another part of me is glad, that this is so, for it allows the experience of awe and wonder, keeping us connected to the great mystery of life.

Witnessing the great wheel turning and seasons changing, I open myself to whatever the new day might bring: perhaps another round of snow, or sunshine and the sweet fragrance of Spring, that makes me long to be outside and receive it with every cell of my body, or even hail or thunder announcing both an ending and a new beginning.

P1220674With winter ending in this part of the world, I notice many changes and awakenings around me as well as inside of me. It has been a long journey, that felt a lot like having been deep under water, only coming up for a breath of air here and there. Today as the sun is warming my skin and the birds are singing ever so sweetly, I experience a feeling of lightness, reminding me of what it feels like to float on the surface of the water without any resistance, allowing the current to carry me gently to an unknown destination.

P1220720The last six months have been intense, expanding, beautiful and hard. Letting go of a partnership is a deep process with many doubts, fears and old patterns, all rising to the surface at once, yet giving the opportunity to meet them in a new way, as well as allowing myself to take a deep honest look at myself, the relationship and what is prompting the letting go. Sitting with one another in the love, the pain and the grief, witnessing each other in this process, so unique and different, yet shared with such sincerity.

Today I feel the wheel of life shifting not only the season, but my life into something new. I have no idea of what it will look like. Lying awake in the early morning hours, listening to first stirring of the day, wondering where life might take me and hoping to find that special cottage or cabin, my own little nest in Nature somewhere on this island, that feels right for me, where I once again can immerse myself in the work that I love so much: Vibrational Alignment sessions, transformational coaching, writing, blogging and creating to my heart’s content.

P1220711Feeling the deepest gratitude for the powerful and rich experience of coming together five years ago, following our dream here to Cortes and now shifting into a new way of relating, as we cut the cord and untethered under the Libra Blue Moon, where we offered this relationship to the fire, acknowledging the support we have given each other through the many emotional waves that letting go have stirred up in us on this journey, meeting the deep call of growth. Love has been our guide and has brought us to this point.

Breathing into this turning of the wheel, I allow myself to inhale deeply, allowing the gift of life all the way in, where it expands my belly, my chest, my awareness, before releasing it slowly, channeling it through my heart deliberately, then through my throat and out my nostrils. With each deep breath in and out, I feel the space in my heart expand and a softness in me welcoming this new day and season, holding onto trust that all will be well. Writing this, I remember the dolphins attending our ceremony around the Solar Eclipse, not only supporting us on this journey of untethering, but raising the vibration so high, and that there could only be joy.

P1220016Right now I also feel deep joy in writing and sharing with you once again. It has been a while since this urge to communicate and share got strong enough to break through, whatever resistance or process I was in. Yet in this long pause I have also learned to trust deeper in the Muse to guide me and show me to give room for this inner turning that is going on, much like the seeds in the grounds preparing for the right moment to break through the earth into the light.

And for my dear friends who haven’t heard from me in a while, please forgive me! I needed to give myself this time and space to fully immerse myself and honour the deep process of letting go of my relationship and the expansion that was being asked of me.

P1220166As I looked into my now former partner’s eyes today, I saw the same lightness also reflected in his eyes and I have never seen him more radiant.

I am so very grateful to know and see you and be known and seen by you. To a new way of “relating”! And to Love!

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Daily Prompt: Radiant

 

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!

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