Brahmacharya: Restraint of the Senses

Last year’s post is a reminder of what emerges when we take leave from habitual sensory and social patterns.  An intentional restraint on processing external stimuli, and the choice to instead pay attention to our inner world, greatly reflects the yoga practice of Brahmacharya- the fourth yama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

As living practitioners of yoga, our interpretation of the sutras is what literally brings them to life, otherwise they are simply two dimensional expressions on paper.  And, without a doubt, the yama Brahmacharya has been interpreted many a different ways, with each perspective leading to divergent living experiences.  Yoga International provides a succinct, and relevant to me and this post, definition: “[p]ractically speaking, brahmacharya turns the mind inward, balances the senses, and leads to freedom from dependencies and cravings.” (read more here).

And, reflected in my Camino-in-Writing post of a year ago, it was at this point on my walk that I was gaining good tread towards seeing clearly the shadows of addictive lifestyle patterning that needed to go.  Nothing like a desert to help you face your inner demons.

“It was useful to be in the desert feeling these. These were my feelings, and watching them like the clouds of the Meseta sky, I could see them morph to either take on new shape or shed more light. It was a relief to find this open space, and a gift to be by myself, seeing only me and my shadows.” – Camino-in-Writing 2016

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Fourteen-Hour Fast

For the last three years I have been trying my hand at Intermittent Fasting.  Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle practice that has been found to be highly effective for achieving optimal health, and for decreasing health risks.  It has also been shown to reverse the aging process, as well as improve cognitive function, decrease neuroinflammation and reduce unhealthy body fat.  Dr. Amy Nett has a lot more to say about it here; and Chris Kressner takes Intermittent Fasting to the next level here, with Fasting-Mimicking Diets.

I’m not going to go on at lengths about the pros and cons of these lifestyle choices, as the above links provide ample, succinct, and accurate information.  However, I am going to speak to the power of the metaphor of fasting choices.

The first time I tried Intermittent Fasting was during the year leading to my Camino del France.  During that year, I had also been engaging in a lot of spiritual healing work.  From my perspective, the choice to engage in regular fasting was an embodied expression of the inner transformation I had been undergoing spiritually.  As is often the case with healing work, whether it be spiritually oriented or otherwise, we are often working to undo that which has been done, to unburden ourselves of the heavy facades, shadows, and limiting-beliefs that no longer serve us, and ultimately to de-clutter all the closets and cobwebs in order to regain our vitality.

For me, fasting was an embodiment of the metaphor of breaking ties with addictive patterns, and of de-cluttering my being.  Nutrition is too often engaged as a habit, and less often as informed choice, and either way has major implications for our health.  Extending the daily fasting period by 4-10 hours a day, symbolically and literally gives our being and body the opportunity to focus on deep cleaning and clearing out, rather than on stuffing itself with new wares to manage.

When we fast our bodies get a pause on receiving and organizing new material, and instead, gets a chance to focus on repairing the salvageables, and discarding the burdens.  It’s like having a daily, mini-spring clean, instead of leaving it to once a year, or never getting around to the overwhelming task at all.  As we take the time to physically clean out the house, we inevitably clear things up on all other levels.  That which has been stored deep and unprocessed emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually also finds fresh air and renewed capacity to sort, thin out, and discard.  Fasting is a way to embody the metaphor of transformation, of breakdown, breakthrough, and becoming.

I’ve also noticed a similar correlation between people undergoing major personal development and other significant dietary shifts such as engaging a new hobby of making their own fermented food, such as sourdough or yogurt, or trying a cleanse.  It really is no surprise that when we effect change on one aspect of our being, all others will follow suit, in their own beautiful time and appropriate place in our life.

Have you noticed any connection between changes in your diet and changes in your mindsets, perspectives, emotional expressions, or beliefs?  Or maybe vice versa, the mindset change came first followed by dietary or lifestyle changes.

True Reconciliation

20151011_104018What does it mean to participate in truth and reconciliation?  What does it mean to be true and to reconcile?  I put a quick search “define reconciliation” in the web-address bar, and it spat back two definitions:  A) “the restoration of friendly relations”, and B) “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another”.  Answer A) was expected, but answer B) was inspiring.

The action of making one view or belief compatible with another! I reckon that intention, in action, would seed all manner of restoration of friendly relations.  How many disagreements, whether they lead to war or quiet levels of disconnection, are the result of misperceiving each others’ beliefs as incompatible, and furthermore, taking it personally when we disagree.

So much of life points to synergestic possibility when opposites are reconciled, and work complimentary with one another.  Creative solutions are quite literally born from synthesis and cooperation (thanks mom and dad).  Interesting that the word Solution can be interpreted as to simple blend or mix (think chemistry class), or as suggesting there was a problem in the first place.  Perhaps the problem is our negative attitude towards tension, differences, and stress, as them being perceived as a Problem in the first place.  What if what we needed was to reconcile our negative relationship with differences, tension, and stress?  What if instead we perceived them as a promise for transformation?  For me, this is what opposites truly are, an invitation to grow, cooperate and find creative solution; a tension that inspires me to find balance, and when approached with trust/truth, respect, and immaculate intention, what results is beauty, creation, and peace.

I see this as the challenge of our truth and reconciliation process, here in Canada, and on our planet at large.  Our mission is not only to be truthful about the wrongdoings of the past, in an effort to make peace and restore friendly relations in the present, but also to recognize that we still have not reconciled “one view and belief with another”.

What comes immediately to mind is the dominant view of our modern culture that science is THE language of truth, where as our indigenous people offer a traditional view of spirit as a language of truth.  How do we reconcile these differences when it comes to treating illness, or honoring sacred tradition?  For me, reconciliation would be respectful integration of traditional views and beliefs, and not only for indigenous people, but also for anyone who sought to be helped by them.  Using healthcare as the landscape of this inquiry, reconciliation of traditional indigenous views with modern scientific ones would have us offering a healthcare system that blended sacred, spiritual medicines with modern, clinical ones.  This would be integral reconciliation, the true integration and mutually respectful practice of our different health care paradigms, I’m talking holistic healthcare.  As long as modern culture stands on a self-fulfilling platform that suggests that its paradigm is right and better than the paradigms valued and practiced by the traditional custodians of this land, than our efforts at reconciliation are halfhearted.

The irony is that now our best science, quantum physics, suggests it as irrational to assume that any reality, no matter how different and contrary, is mutually exclusive from any other reality, and also show that the beliefs of the witness are what most strongly influence its perceived reality.  If science is our platform for belief and truth, than we best be walking the talk and opening to more than what we can see at the tip of our own noses.

The ground is shifting, and its because we’re beginning to see the possibilities of our new landscape on the horizon.  Mutual respect, especially when it comes to differences, cooperation, and celebration of the change we are becoming, together, is true reconciliation, and a truly beautiful and sustainable, rainbow-colored, multi-dimensional solution.

Does the Thinker Own their Thoughts?

Who owns our thoughts?  Is our imaginal world, the space where ideas come together, scenarios are run through, and genius emerges, solely the result of our own creative capacity?  Are our thoughts exclusively constructed within the boundaries of our personal minds?  Or should someone, or something else get credit or criticism for the outpourings of our inner worlds?

As a shamanic practitioner, not only have I personally asked these questions, but as a space holder for others’ journey work I also get asked, often, how do we know it is not our minds “making up” it all up.  I obviously do not know the absolutely answer to this question, and I generally recommend participants allow their own experiences (including that which follows their journey work practices) to either confirm or refute the work.  Shamanic journey work is the scientific method for spirituality, the path of direct revelation and self-empowerment.

But, regardless of that, these questions have recently stirred up contemplation about our curious assumption that we are solely in charge and responsible for our creative thought.  I mean, why do we assume there is a barrier between what is happening in our minds, often termed the psyche, and what is happening outside of us?  We are porous in every other way: (at least most of us are fortunate to have) a sense of smell, sight, hearing, proprioception, interoception, touch, temperature, and why not psychologically?  Is the organ of the mind any less apt to pick up on psychic information floating around its external environment, than our sense of smell is to pick up on scent?  I think not.  It seems most logical to assume that any aspect of us, that builds our conception of reality, including our moment to moment experiences, is behaving similarly, though functionally unique, to all other aspects of us.  We are a collection of capacities that perceive and interpret ‘bits’ of information flowing within and around us.  It is with these bits of information, and the stored reference points created by past experiences (memory), that generate our interpretation of reality, our experience.

When we engage in intentional spiritual work, we are choosing to pay attention to specific sources and frequencies of information.  It is true that in any one moment of time we are receiving millions (if not billions) of bits of information coming into ALL of our perceptive organs; however, we can choose to PAY ATTENTION to specific forms of information.  We can choose to be aware of sound in the form of conversation, and although there is a whole world of light, color, and movement we will barely remember or realize what we are actually seeing; or we could be engrossed with light and color in the form of a movie and barely realize the world of scent playing out around us.  And sometimes we are in a haze and are barely conscious of ANY information flowing around us, but that doesn’t mean its doesn’t get in and affect us.  I would suggest the same happens with psychic, and/or spiritual information: it is all there, being picked up by us, but most often rarely acknowledged as having flowed IN and affected us.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Yesterday, my husband had a thought “interesting that spiders don’t get stuck in the stickiness of their own web”.  He didn’t speak this thought out loud, and he had never pondered this reality before yesterday morning.  By lunch, he had collected our daughter from school.  While being driven home from school, she asks “Daddy, how come spiders don’t get stuck in their own web?”.

This example is not any different from when a friend calls you, right at the moment you were thinking of them; or when two people at work come to the exact same, never before thought of solution, on the same morning, to a complex problem that has been baffling everyone for weeks.  These are every day examples of people tuning into the the same “frequency” and transmitting similar “data”.  I’d say its not more a coincidence than two people eating at the same diner both picking up on the smell of burgers being grilled.

From my understanding, when we do shamanic journey work we are intentionally asking to tune into compassionate and wise frequencies, and from those connections we can receive wise and compassion insight, healing, and blessing.  For me, life has confirmed the efficacy of this practice.  But, as any critical thinker would suggest to another, try it before you buy it.20151011_103524

Discerning when to Change

I’ve been wondering why I am continuing this Camino-in-Writing blog series; certainly I am not feeling I have an abundance of time at my leisure; and also I am not feeling any incredible itch to process the memory or etheric perfume lingering from my walk… what and why I am choosing to continue?  Concepts around commitment and leaning into the unknown, empty of clear expectation, come to mind.  There is a potency to keeping at something we’ve envisioned for ourselves, and not derailing from it when rational no longer favors its odds.  Definitely last year, when I re-engaged my Camino process, a whole strew of unexpected gems surfaced that inspired incredibly gratitude and a pat-on-my-own-back for sticking with the process.  I guess, its partially the lesson of last year’s experience, of following through with a goal and allowing it to churn out unexpected insights, that is fueling my choice to continue.  But then, that feels ironic, because I’m expecting/hoping for the unexpected as cause for keeping on keeping on…

Amazing how we can spin ourselves in endless thought cycles…so curious that we can lose our own selves in our own thoughts.

Anyhow.  So, here I am.  I read another day’s entry.  I deleted the other day’s post.  I’ve blogged whatever came fresh and/or frenzied to mind in the posting.  Am I in any way further along, or further behind?  Of course, hindsight will get the last, and still essentially bias, laugh.  So I’ll leave weighing up the choice to NOT change and derail from my Camino-in-Writing path ’till then.

 

Priorities

Good morning!  I’ve attached last year’s Camino-in-Writing post, cuz I like it!

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Today’s reflections highlight the importance of staying wedded to the Self, in order to sustainably make flourish all other engagements.  This was one of the biggest gifts of my Camino, the hard-hitting reality that I had negotiated my well-being, my health, and life force in order to make good on other goals, dreams, and aspirations.  That is an out-dated model that leads to damage, illness, trauma, resentment, bitterness, disconnection…its no good.

Getting clear on the need to make my health my number one priority, inspired me to dream bigger than I had before.  I learned that I could now risk all manor of big dreams, as long as I didn’t lose sight of dream #1: my vitality, and the sacred contract to my own life force I made when I was born.

Of course, life constantly tests my commitment to this priority.  I feel confident, and hopeful, that I’ve learned the lesson enough to be clear on its importance.  So, I imagine I’ll resiliently continue to grow and learn in health.

Sept 27, 2016 Blog:

It was today on my Camino I endeavored to dream bigger than I had before. I decided to set my sights on Finesterre as a final Camino destination. This was a big deal for me. Up until now I had felt it was a contraindication to set a destination goal, as my ultimate and core intention was to practice self-care: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

As mentioned in a previous blog, I was walking my Camino because I had hit a crisis point, I had come unstuck. Up to that point in my life, I had not managed to master the essential skill of self-care. And, although as a yoga teacher I perennially professed to students the need to care for self, before one could sustainably meet the needs of others, I was obviously behaving as the exception, instead I was the hypocrite. The default mind-set that limited me was that self-care felt antonymous with motherhood… right?! It felt unrealistic to expect the one (self-care) while engaged in the other (motherhood), thus I resided myself to the reality that I’d just have to rebuild myself once my kids were grown. My crisis made clear to me I had other plans.  My crisis forced a “wake-up” and get real: “I”, and my well-being, were no longer negotiable, there was no “we” with out a healthy “I”.

Thus, setting a goal to get to a certain destination on my Camino was edgy. But the loving crew of pilgrims I was with helped me to realize that if I didn’t allow for the possibility of reaching a certain destination, and set a daily walking plan accordingly, then if and when I did choose a goal-worthy destination, it would be unattainable. Walking 15km/day versus walking 20km/day could be the difference between making it to Santiago, or Finesterre, or not, and I realized I wanted to keep my options open. So, I set my sights on Finesterre, plotted my Camino map accordingly, and continued my walk full of enthusiasm and hope!

Ultimately, I knew it was a win-win, having this mini-daily goal orientation would help me stay focused on my walk, all the while knew that ultimately all I had to do to be successful on my walk was be nice to myself. At the end of the day, as long as I felt I had practiced self-honor and self-care I won!  What did I have to lose in dreaming a bit bigger? Nothing, as long as I had my priorities straight.

Today I walked from Logrono to Najare. It was a 30km walk, and at the end of the day I was reassuringly surprised at my body’s capacity to endure such distance. I felt alive, vital and in stride with my goals. It was a good day.

Integrating the Grim Reaper

“I came to see clearly the invitation to face the mystical, serpent-like beast, not to have my chance at defeating, and slaying her, but instead to take the alchemical opportunity of see her clearly, for the first time, as the promised phoenix of transformation.” -Sept. 26, 2016 Camino-in-Writing.

Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and Buddhism practitioner, offers an equation for suffering: “Pain + Resistance = Suffering”.  I find this simple equation incredibly useful, and true.  Pain is a given in life, pain happens.  Death is a given in life, death happens.  Loss is a given in life, loss happens.  Change is a given in life, change happens.  But, why then do we resist all these givens?  When we resist pain, death, loss, and/or change, suffering happens.

It is true that even if we accept pain, death, loss and change we will still suffer, and feel some hurt and/or discomfort, but we are guaranteed to amplify this innate “negative” reaction to loss or change when we resist it happening in the first place.   Grief, sorrow, sadness, and discomfort are all NATURAL, HEALTHY responses to experiences of loss or change.  There is nothing wrong with these “negative feelings”, they are actually just feelings; and, they definitely do not require our fixing of them.  When we feel elated due to receiving flowers, or a warm hug, or a hot cup of (whatever your drink of preference is), do we judge ourselves and think “oh, I should fix this Joy, I should stop, or get rid of this positive feeling.”?  No, of course we don’t.  We are more than willing to accept positive states and feelings, and we are too often more than willing to move to the other side of the room when sadness rocks up to our internal party.  Of course, it is natural to feel repelled by the negative, we appear to be designed, or at the very least conditioned that way.  But, we have developed a prefrontal cortex for a good reason, and this aspect of ourselves, that which has the capacity for contemplation, consideration, and reflection, can empower us with DISCERNMENT and CHOICE to accept, feel, and all-in-good-time move through and on from of painful feelings.

Unnecessary suffering happens when we avoid, deny, or fight against our natural responses of grief, longing, despair, hurt, sorrow, and pain.  And this is where Rick’s handy “Pain + Resistance = Suffering (I’d like to take it further and say Unnecessary Suffering) is a gem of an equation to remember…especially in tough times.

Happy/Sad and ultimately Empowered Trails!

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Right Meditation

This morning I watched a quick vimeo provided by Kelly Brogan MD, who is a holistic psychiatrist, and a most inspiring health pioneer of our times.  In her vimeo, she mentioned her belief that none of us can truly thrive without a consistent meditation practice (here is a link to her vimeo for those who are interested: Kelly Brogan).  In my 14 years of yoga practice, I must admit to being a late bloomer at meditation.  Although in hindsight, I realize now that my consistent yoga asana practice served as my moving meditation, I’ve come to appreciate the value of a seated/still meditation practice as complimentary to a movement practice.  The contrast of the two provides insights that neither practice on its own brings to fruition.

What I have found most useful for a “successful” meditation practice (which, for me, means committing to daily practice) was the letting go of any preconceived notion on what “successful” meditation, or right meditation, was.  I had previously believed that right meditation meant not only being still with my body, but also stilling my mind.  With that mindset in place, its no surprise that I ALWAYS felt I was failing at meditation.  However, when I came to realize that, for me, right meditation simply means observing my thoughts, busy or otherwise, suddenly I was successful at it.

Meditation can simply mean to intimately observe our self.  The act of committing to a set amount of time to solely be with our selves is nothing short of a deep and meaningful act of self-kindness, of self-love.  Furthermore, to invest in the simplicity of getting to know the Self, free of any intention to judge, change, modify, or adjust is to participate in social activism, be the change.  What would it be like, for you, to spend 5 mins, 20mins, with yourself, non-striving to be anything other than what you are, in each moment.   For me, to simply BE: self-aware, self-intimate, is right meditation.

And, quite honestly, it has been such a relief, just Being.  This daily act instills in me a sense of “I am OK, just as I am”, in an embodied, experiential way.  It is unsustainable to seek that confirmation outside of ourselves: reassurance that we belong, that we are acceptable, or worthy when we are our true selves.  It is dis-empowered, and risky practice to outsource that inner need.  It is sustainable, and self-empowering, to resource it internally, and 5-20mins of self-acceptance meditation might just be the cure that only you can gift yourself…and the research proves its efficacy is more potent than almost all prescribed medication out there for mental illness…ask Kelly!

Who knew we were so powerful!

“I knew what was essential for soul-tending was silent presence: the quiet spaciousness that allows insights to emerge, and ghosts to take shape from the recess of the shadowed garden” -Sept 25, 2016

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Concretizing the Metaphor

I’ve been reading the book: “Dancing in the Flames”, by Marion Woodman and Elinor Dickson.  This book has been very useful for me as I’ve tried to better understand what it means to embody soul work, and how to integrate what I do on a spiritual level in psychological and physical terms.  These two authors are masters at weaving the wisdom of the magical principal in a way that pays tribute to the poetic uniqueness of subtle work, all the while not loosing touch with the reader who perceives the world more comfortably from a linear, logical, and more rational perspective.  For me, one of the greatest gifts I’ve harnessed from the book is what it means to EMBODY versus CONCRETIZE the metaphors that surface as teachings in our life.

Even the sounds of these words suggest an intentional difference.  Embody is soft and round, melodic and shapely; the word concretize is hard and sharp, absolute and cutting.  One sounds harmonic, the other cacophonic.  The difference in sound lends to their difference in function: to embody is to bring holistic awareness and growth into your whole being: body, mind, heart, and soul; to concretize is to instead let the potential teaching take shape as a painful drama happening to you, or outside of yourself.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say you had this clear sense that you needed space in your life, you felt it from the inside out, a yearning for more, but not quite sure exactly more of what.  When we concretize the experience of needing space we fail to understand it is a metaphor for something needed within.  If we don’t consider that the desire is telling us something about our inner world, we will instead interpret it as coming from our external world: as in, perhaps feeling fed up with our relationships, or our jobs, or the size of our house.  We feel hemmed in, constricted, like we can hardly breathe, and we assure ourselves that ” if only I fix…the house, the relationship, the job”, all that live outside of the self, the feeling of constriction or yearning will go away.

Concretizing the inner need often leads to unnecessary pain, suffering, and drama, for ourselves and for others in our lives.  It also generally doesn’t resolve the inner tension of needing to self-express and self-expand, which means down the road the issue will perennially surface until we skillfully learn to resource and resolve it.  Its not that concretizing is bad and embodying is good; in the end of the day, they are both simply choices we can make.  Each choice brings about new information that can lend itself to our growth, our capacity to discern, and the next series of choices to act on in the future.

If, however, we’ve come to realize that the inner experience is a call for inner growth, we can choose to embody whatever metaphor is surfacing.  Choosing to embody is choosing to own the awareness from the inside out.  We can start by reflecting on “what is this feeling telling me about my inner world? About my Self?”  In the “I need space” example, often there is the need for more space for the authentic Self, our individual Self-expression, in our life.  Resourcing this need is hardly ever resolved through external world modification, we need to expand from the inside out, in order to resolve the inner tension.  Finding resource to nurture and grow our sense of Self is what we tend to be looking for.  The specific answer for how to express that sense of Self is best if born from an embodied awareness (yes, this is where yoga therapy, or art therapy, or therapy in general can be useful), but often practices such as journaling, expressive art classes, dancing in a self-expressing way, creative writing classes, or anything that starts to open the door to our individuality, is what will feed our souls.

How is this connected to my Camino?  Well, there were healthy, resourceful aspects of my Camino, that were examples of embodiment, and then there were unhealthy, unresourceful aspects of my Camino, that were examples of concretization.  Healthy aspects were how I realized that each step on my walk helped me embody the metaphor of consistency, and patience with engaging my process; and also of setting goals, following through with them, and eventually arriving at my destination.  Unhealthy aspects were not recognizing my hunger for the divine feminine within, and essentially for my Self, and mistakenly seeking that nourishment though the excessively abundant, and not-very-good-for-me rich food along the Camino (including a lot of red wine).

The beauty is that either way, in the end, I made progress (at times through regression), but ultimately learned and grew; However, a third way to learn is not only through our own trials and errors, but vicariously through the sharing of life lessons offered by those who’ve gone before us.  So, for whatever it is worth…

Thanks for reading.

“I can’t help but wonder: what would the world look like if we assumed our life was a gift and we believed that we deserved it?” -Sept 24, 2016

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Metaphors for Transformation

I was recently asked about my shamanic practice, and how it relates to my work as a yoga therapist.  My Camino post of the past year-to-the-day “Quantum Shifting Camino” is a good example of how I integrate shamanic paradigm with life, and ultimately with my healing practice; and the intentional engagement of metaphor sums it up.

Two years ago today, I walked out of a valley of darkness, sat and wept at the foot of Mary, and eventually crossed the “Queen’s Bridge”, in Puenta La Reina.  Of course, as fate would have it, I’m also from the “Queen’s City”, Regina (sounds like Ra-ji-na…not Ra-gee-na), which is home to the longest bridge over the shortest body of water.  What does all of this mean?  Well, the beauty of self-empowerment is that what is means to me is what truly matters, as it was my Camino, and to engage metaphor for transformation I am the one who needs to perceive my life in a transformative and resourceful way.

Life is loaded with metaphor, in fact, perhaps life is only metaphor.  Current science informs us that particles/waves of information are sensed, and then interpreted by our consciousness, and the resulting translation being what we understand (or stand on) reality with.  Seeing/sensing is believing, AND pre-conceived notions/rut-sacks/beliefs can also determine what our consciousness translates as seen/sensed.  (Remember the “count the number of basketball passes” video that had a gorilla walk through the screen and you completely missed it because all you were focused on was PAYING (or investing) your attention to counting passes…this is a great example of collapsing on the reality you were expecting/looking for/investing in).

Shamanic work is an conscious and intentional engagement with the unsolvable, but responsive mystery.  What is spirit, subtle body, soul??  I don’t know, and I would never assume to be able to solve the essential nature of that mystery.  But, I respect it and am willing to learn how to responsibly engage with the reality of it.  For me, metaphor is my best way of understanding and engaging with spiritual/subtle layers of reality.  I appreciate that using my imagination/active thinking mind to construct through imagery and story-line, I am participating with the seed of reality: engaging creativity.  I also respect the laws of nature, and the dynamic tension, that pre-fabricated/woven/dreamed reality (aka matter) demands.  We can dream all we want, with a certain level of consequence, but if we do not marry it with choice-in-action, than that the dream/thought/seed struggles to find ground, take shape and come to fruition.

If I’m struggling to sound clear, it is likely because I am still working at finding language to frame what still generally feels elusive and lucid to me.  And I accept that.

Anyhow, today when I reflect on my Camino-in-Writing, even more so than I saw last year, I see the profound magic of the metaphors along my walk.  I see that today I was walking THROUGH shadows, greeted by the divine feminine I was waiting to claim in myself, and eventually embodied that integration by crossing the Queen’s Bridge.

We could live life void of metaphor and meaning…but for me, it would be a soul-less one, and I’d be left starving.  Considering the abundance of beauty flowing from the cornucopia of life, I see no need to go hungry.

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