Tag Archives: stillness

The Days Of The Mess

A New Moon seems to be the perfect day to create another blogpost… especially a New Moon in Leo. Hoping that this time the fire of Leo will sustain my creativity and this post will actually be finished and shared when so many others have been written, abandoned or discarded, not ready to be seen.

With the garden in full bloom, fruits ripening on the trees and the heat of these beautiful August days calling forth in me an almost childlike joy to create and a wish to connect once again with all those who enjoy my photos and read my posts and I give myself once again to this process of natural unfolding.

A big mosquito stops the flow for a moment or perhaps adds to it and redirects it to a new mission as I defend my body. However it got away, which means tonight I either have to surrender and offer my blood or stay on the alert if the famous sound of the “buzz” awakens me. This is at least what my mind tells me are my only two options.

Each day brings new experiences even on days I am not going anywhere. A young buck might come barrelling down the path as if chased by a ferocious predator only to come to a sliding stop at the bottom of the path below my window to lie down for a midday rest, licking and tending itchy spots or bites and eventually going beneath my cabin for an even cooler place to hide.

Earlier this day I came across an interesting article called “The Mystery of the Tidal Phenomenon of Chalkida, Greece” written by Tasos Kokkinidis in which he describes the unique tidal pattern of the famous Evripus Channel. Not knowing much about tides in general I found this fascinating. In this channel that separates Chalkida from the mainland of Greece the sea current moves for six hours in a northerly direction, then becomes completely still for eight minutes before moving for six hours south in the opposite direction. This pattern is repeated four times each day, day after day, except for the 7th, 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th day of the lunar cycle. These days are called “the days of the mess” and the waters may change directions up to fourteen times or not at all and be still for up to eight minutes.

I don’t know why but I love this idea of the stillness of the eight minutes before the cycle changes and the strange predictability of the “messy” days, in which nothing seems to have a rhyme or reason. Just coming out of my own cycle of stillness after chaos which was so needed after a very stressful and crazy spring and early summer it is this stillness that also brought the clarity of necessary changes.

Like a snake who is in the process of shedding her old skin there is no going back. Trying to put the old skin back on is not an option. It takes a while for the mind to catch up and accept that life once again is changing directions. Sensing that this vibrant New Moon is indeed a New Beginning and a turning towards what I love to give the most and what fills me. I see I have been preparing the inner soil and the space so I can move forward in a new way.

It has been a very different summer for me. Remembering so many summers longing for the freedom to deeply enjoy this beautiful season, when it usually ended up being the busiest and craziest time of the year. This summer was different than any other I have known. The first half I spent mostly inside not having much energy for anything and allowing myself to feel the depth of tiredness from all the movement and changes. Now as my energy is slowly returning I am so grateful for this long pause that allowed me to just sit in the exhaustion, feel it and surrender to it. Often sitting out on the bluff I wondered if my own exhaustion mirrored the exhaustion of so many and that of Mother Earth herself and if this pause is absolutely necessary for me/for us to change gears and direction.

In the stillness I felt held by Nature who kept sending me signs of love and tenderness and of strength. Perhaps this new strength is a different kind of strength, one that is centred in stillness which can take a different softer form as it moves back out into the world in a way that is nourishing and nurturing, sustainable and thriving, and able to face the messy days yet to come.

The many blessings and wonder I received in this time especially since I decided to let go of the old skin and the old job and surrender to the Unknown were beyond anything I could ever imagine. Perhaps I will describe some of these in a future post. For now I hold them close to my heart trusting in the messages that came with each gift.

Last night another sweet gift in the form of this little hummingbird arrived who kept me company enjoying the evening breeze as much as I did and was even up to a mini photo shoot. Then we just sat there together, every now and then each of us taking a sip, me from my cup and the hummingbird from the feeder. The peacefulness of that moment is still with me reminding me of those eight minutes when all movement seizes.

Then the dark invited me to the bluff again where I have spent so much of this summer just lying on the moss feeling the firm ground beneath me watching the incredible display of the night sky with meteors flying like arrows through the star filled sky as Jupiter, Saturn and Mars hold space to be – to just be.

Happy New Moon in Leo, dear ones!

May it ignite the spark to shine our unique light in and for us all!

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.

img_1490

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.

img_1144

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 my 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.

P1200034 - Edited.jpg

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

St-ill-ness

p1150023

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. A cold or flu virus had me flat on my back for ten days and it has taken me a while to recover and not just physically. This is my fourth attempt to write a new blog post and it feels like I lost the thread that connects me to not just my writing and creativity, but to the love I have for life. It is hard to describe the disconnection I feel. I wonder if the experience I had during my illness has something to do with this. Perhaps by retracing my steps and telling the story I will gain some clarity or perhaps even find the thread again.

p1140366So here it goes: On the day I got sick, my elderly dog Frodo also showed signs of not feeling well. This didn’t surprise me. We have been sick at the same time before and I wonder sometimes about the strong link between us. Frodo stopped eating that day and did not drink or eat for two days. He was getting weaker and weaker and we had to help him get up and take him outside to do his business. The snow did not help matters, making it even more difficult for him to walk. As I was lying on the couch watching him decline, I began to accept that his time here with us might be coming to an end. The power and phone line went out for a few days as well and when it came back on, I decided it was time to let my sons know about Frodo. Soon after I sent out the message the power went out for the second time and Frodo surprised us by suddenly showing interest again in food and water. As soon as he was getting better, I was getting worse.

Perception of time shifts when you are ill. I was lying there day in and day out watching the snowflakes come down in all their various sizes and forms and transform the world into winter wonderland. p1140900We had a surprising amount of snow, at least eighteen inches over a few days and much more on other parts of the island. Sometimes the snowflakes were as big as feathers. While watching them float gently to the earth I was reminded of one of my favourite childhood fairy tales “Frau Holle” or “Mother Hulda” in which a girl meets and lives with an old woman and when she shakes out her blanket it snows. I always loved the image of a Sky Goddess shaking out her huge feather blanket and somewhere in the world it would snow. In our world many branches and trees were cracking and breaking off under the white weight making our long driveway impassable. It felt like life had ground to a halt.

One morning after the worst night of coughing and headache, and the continues sounds of trees and branches breaking, I woke up and looked outside at the familiar view of the bay. p1140910I noticed right away that something was different: not what I saw but how I saw. The trees, ducks, water, the white landscape all looked the same, yet everything was so clear, like someone had cleaned a really dirty window or lens that I have been looking out of probably most of my life. I gazed at everything intently and suddenly knew what was so different: I was seeing the world before me without any resistance. It was so beautiful to see without any layer of judgement or preconceived notions. I was able to see that being without resistant to life lets love flow freely. It was remarkable to see the trickery of the mind, always wanting to change or improve reality or improve others or myself. It felt like a huge relief and joy to accept reality as it is. It wasn’t like being in the flow of life, but being the flow.

Many days have passed since this remarkable experience. I so wish I could have held onto experiencing life without resistance. But I wasn’t able to. I woke up this morning feeling as grey as the morning that greeted me. Now the rain is coming down heavily and Frodo is sleeping peacefully beside me. I don’t know what the next moment will bring, but in this one I am grateful to be alive and to be able to listen to the rain drumming on the roof. It is up to me to let life’s magic in and it is up to me to accept life on it’s terms not mine. It is in the stillness that I find my way back to the gift of life.

p1150087