An excerpt from the book I’m currently reading, called Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin. I have only started it but it’s said to be a survival guide for the wild soul at the heart of our civilized life. It sounds perfect and definitely perfect timing.
Many people industrialized cultures of western civilization recognize that a fulfilling life is not about superfluous economic advancement, that modest amounts of security and comfort serve adequately as foundation for a creative and soul-stirring life, and that each of us can bring a unique gift to the world, a world desperately in need of the socially transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. I hear the world itself calling for a Renaissance of the human soul or, as James Hillman says, for a psyche the size of the earth.
I am almost reluctant to mention it, to say it out loud, and to talk about it. I realize that today’s vibes, just like like the pain body can change in an instance and by the time you read this things might have changed already. Still, I find it necessary to record the process, the struggles as well as the highlights, with a hefty dose of the emotional processing. It is my outlet and if I’m lucky it helps someone else.
All I can say is that I am doing my best at any given moment and it will always be enough. And yes I did bestowed myself with that kind of kindness and forgiveness. Life, nor a situation has to be perfect to reap the overall bliss of it all. All it takes is to drop your expectations, go with the flow and be willing to be surprised with what life has to offer. Take joy in the little things and pretty soon everything takes on a magical meaning.
It took about a week and a half to adjust to my new home. The dust was slowly settling and more and more peaceful moments came as a gift bearing bliss and serenity. By now I’ve been here nearly three weeks and the progress continues. And yes there are still emotional moments and it will take awhile, or perhaps will always be this way. For now I recap painful moments, lonely moments, grateful moments, and peaceful moments. All had their place and time, but now that the shock and survival mode was slowly wearing away, retreating once more to hopefully not to be seen for a long time, the peaceful moments nourished my soul and replenished what was so badly needed. I was banking on it healing the pain body and I was hopeful. I even looked slimmer. Surely I wasn’t consuming as many calories and there were only a few times I actually cooked something in addition to just eating salads, but what I truly wanted to believe was that the stress had reduced greatly, lowering the extra cortisol production and bloat.
Wifi was still an issue, but it’s true what they say about the woods not offering wifi, but you’ll always get a better connection. I wasn’t a prisoner to my gadgets, constantly checking email, stats, statuses etc. I had plenty of leisure time to write on my notepad, to copy and paste my thoughts into a post at a later time when wifi was available. By now, I was taking Cinnamon on daily walks to cool at a nearby lake. I had found a nice little spot where the signal was a little stronger. Strong enough to post, but it wasn’t that I had to rush to that spot or felt obligated. It just so happened and it was far from being perfect, in the sense of biting flying nuisances, called mosquitos who love my rare blood type. Ah can’t have it all can you? And with that said I am realizing that I haven’t had chocolate in almost two weeks. 😳
I haven’t even watched TV and staying up until 10PM is becoming a stretch. There just wasn’t anything to do, other than just to be and to go with the flow. It’s a quiet place here and people have embraced me into their routines. Mainly keeping to themselves, respectful, sharing a common passion for solitude and just being. I felt as if a natural balance was slowly being replaced and instilled once more. I believed it was all part of coming home, home to myself. Many deadlines and pressures had fallen off by now. Sure it would be nice to catch the occasional program and TV show, but not as a routine and to replace the current moment, to breathe deeply and to be fully present. Life was beginning to reveal new meaning to me. Once again I was a newcomer, a student, to the adult life I once felt confident about. It’s like a new life all together and my prior life successes such as my career and other accomplishments I once deemed important, became old news, a thing of the past, no longer applicable or relevant. Much greater treasures and meaning was waiting and each day brought new glimpses.
Time for a new word post and our word is Lyan. Pronounced (eye-an) it represents and stands for n. dreamer.
I look at this recent picture of myself. I see a tired, battle ridden self, mustering a faint smile, but I also see a survivor. I see the wrinkles just a little deeper, but hey…I earned them, right? The hair just a little whiter, a gaze that stares into the distance, who has a few interesting stories to tell.
But regardless of what I see, and what I have encountered in this life so far. What battles I have fought and what demons I have slayed. Throughout it all I have always represented this word and I have never stopped being a dreamer. It’s our dreams that keep us alive, that have us looking forward to all the possibilities, and it is our dreams that fuel our heart and soul with fire. So don’t forget to take time out and add a hefty dose of dreaming to your day. And remember that the best dreams are dreamt with your eyes wide open.
Out of the blue I remembered a tarot card I once drew, asking about what was ahead on my journey. This was a few years ago and I don’t remember which card it was that came up, but I remember the message. The memory of it came crystal clear into mind today and told me that I would prevail in the end, but that I would have to use all resources I could muster and then some. Only then would I escape being broken, lost and shattered by a hair. Believe me there are broken pieces, pieces that have been glued back together, pieces that are shattered, but not to point of being lost. I feel that those pieces have enriched me. Those pieces show the journey, the survival of hardship, and that we don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes it actually is those broken pieces that make us perfectly imperfect.
The thought of it sounded scary at the time I drew the card, although it came with a silver lining and that I would make it. I could have not imagined what was lying ahead, how hard the road would become and what huge obstacles fell into my way. I’ve fought like a lioness, I’ve defended where it was needed. I have been patient, forgiving, wiser and compassionate in a situation that didn’t always deserve kindness. I’ve been that Phoenix rising from the ashes and now looking back I fully understand the magnitude of this card. There were times I did feel lost, when I prayed to God, to the universe, to my guides and spirit helpers for help. It’s been a process stretched over many years of experiences and letting go. This poem sums it up nicely as I enjoy the process of becoming.
Me: Hello God
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I’d rather not.
God: Because you’re not a puzzle.
Me: What about all the pieces of my life that fall to the ground?
God: Leave them there for awhile. They fell for a reason. Let them be there for a while and then decide if you need to take any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking!
God: No, you don’t understand. You’re transcending, evolving. What you feel are growing pains. You’re getting rid of the things and people in your life that are holding you back. The pieces are not falling down. The pieces are being put in place. Relax. Take a deep breath and let those things you no longer need fall down. Stop clinging to pieces that are no longer for you. Let them fall. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will I have left?
God: Only the best pieces of yourself.
Me: I’m afraid to change.
God: I keep telling you: YOU’RE NOT CHANGING! YOU’RE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming, Who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light, love, charity, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. I made you for so much more than those shallow pieces you decided to adorn yourself with and that you cling to with so much greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Don’t change! Become! Become who I want you to be, who I created. I’m gonna keep telling you this until you remember.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yes. Let it be like this.
Me: So….I’m not broken?
God: No, but you’re breaking the darkness, like dawn. It’s a new day. Become! Become who you really are!”
We are turning a big fat ONE today and it’s hard to believe it has been 8 month since Cinnamon choose me as her Fur-Momma. What a journey it has been, and if I ever thought it was better to wait getting another fur baby because the timing was off, this and how she came into my life is defying all prior theories. If you look at it from the rational mind, the timing could have not been worse. Look at it from an emotional point of view, I know we needed to help each other through some stuff. And a lot of stuff it has been. Some still ongoing, but we are working on it and I’d say we are making the best out of it and have grown very close.
The bond, the trust, the unspoken words (at least from her) say it all. The cuddles, having to be close, from the protection she bestows on her hooman as a guardian, to her uniqueness and the feisty play when we are out and about or just lounging, everything has its place and time and I couldn’t imagine being without her. There was a time, a scary time I might add, when I didn’t know if she would end up with me. Joint custody seemed so far fetched and out of reach. I love her that much that I was ok with whatever would come, as long as it was in her best interest and a better choice. Even if it meant that she wouldn’t be with me. Luckily that never came into fruition and she ended up with me. So when it’s tough to take her for a walk because I ache so not badly, I remember how grateful and lucky I am to have her with me. All I have to do is watch her run up and down the beach like a mad dog, ears flying in the wind, mouth open, smiling from ear to ear and I am reminded of the joy she brings each and every day. At night I tell her goodnight and that I love her, but not before thanking her for being here, by my side, helping me in every way, and making my days better.
Happy Birthday Cinnamon, beloved Fur-Child and rescue pup. You are priceless and simply the best. I love you.
On the health front this week, and perhaps even something you relate with. It’s really something to think about and I don’t think the connection is coincidental. What we expose ourselves to, and what we eat for nourishment, everything plays a vital role on our delicate bodies and our mental well being.
Narcissist abuse and trauma survivors are often diagnosed with chronic pain and autoimmune disorders because long-term exposure to cortisol and adrenaline (fight or flight chemicals) cause inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation causes pain, or worse, it causes our immune system to attack itself because it thinks the inflammation is caused by a disease it needs to eradicate.
We had the first fire close to home, and all of a sudden fire sirens pierced through the silence and idyllic settings. I was taken by surprise to hear such a sound, here, on a dirt road, and it wouldn’t be the only time a “what the hell” moment was visible on my face for that day.
I turned and could see the plume from the lake where Cinnamon and myself were cooling off. Black smoke rose to the blue sky, coming from the same direction of our new home. I had cooked chicken earlier before leaving and I’m not sure why it even crossed my mind, questioning myself if I indeed turned the stove off. Of course I did, I had cleaned up afterwards and I would have noticed. I would have burned myself. Either way, we cut our visit short and drove back towards home and the direction of the ominous plume. I was relieved to find the fire extending further south, but it was still close and the breeze of the wind could shift and push it through the miles in no time. I had to know where it was coming from and how bad it was.
Apparently it was a downed power line that started the fire in a nearby village. Fire crews were able to get a good handle on it and contain it within a few hours. I’m not sure of the damage but I’m sure glad that everything ended relatively harmless compared to the thousands of acres that burn during wildfires. And it is that season, which brings me to my other “what the hell” expression.
A few party people arrived the other day. Loud, drinking, partying until the morning hours, with little consideration for the otherwise pretty quiet surroundings and neighbors. It was early evening that a few decided to do some target practice right next to the park. Single shots, and rapid fire echoed through the silence, lasting a good 20 minutes. Now that was a sound I wasn’t expecting to hear, especially here, and it took me equally by surprise. It definitely added a different element to lying in the hammock, relaxing, looking at the trees. It was just the sound I wanted to hear. While a fire was raging just miles down the road, wasn’t anybody thinking about that shooting bullets into a dry, high fire danger, could ignite a spark and therefore another fire, this time far too close to home?
I haven’t cooked all that much in my new home. It’s tiny and heats up quickly, something I don’t need extra of in this heatwave we are currently experiencing. I’ve been eating a lot of salads and the little nutrition I get, I try to make sure it’s somewhat of quality and not all of convenience. We know that convenience and fast is not always the best.
We are starting to settle and find a routine in our days. From lizard chasing to enjoying days filled with less chores. I have been keeping a close eye on Cinnamon and her well being. It appears I’m more concerned with her transition than my own. I’m still not making myself the priority here, and in this case I wouldn’t have it any other way. She seems to do fine and loves running on the beach. We have progressed to off leash time and although I’m watchful for distractions and such, I’m not in so much fear anymore about her running away. And she has learned that when she listens to me, she gets rewarded with the bliss of running free. It’s an equal amount of trust we pay each other.
Other than that we are recovering. Digesting everything that has happened over the last couple of months and yes due to popular demand and especially me, ” I am breathing.” There might have been times it was difficult to breathe and I know the air was choked right out of me, but it always looks different in the moment vs in hindsight. Often my posts, covey emotions already passed, things that happened, struggles, challenges, moments in time. I am trying to breathe through it all, it’s just sometimes a bit clouded when pain rules your every movement, including that of your own breath. And even here I am finding purpose and the lesson.
It was the day after realizing, again, that my pain might come from trapped emotions and unprocessed feelings. How many times had I been here before, in the same situation, with the same epiphany, and yet every time seemed new, like it required some discovery period, finally arriving at that same conclusion. It wasn’t a given, nor was it something already learned, something organic, something that had baked in over time. No, each time was as if the previous times didn’t existed and I was stumbling into the same “aha moment” as if it was for the first time.
Anyways, it was the day after again and it felt like I was turning the corner once more. Perhaps, it’s far to soon to tell if it was really so and the rational mind tries to analyze it and throw doubt into the equation, but for the moment it was enough to marvel in the feeling of seeing a slight improvement. Just a little relief was all that was needed. A night that appeared to be a little less pain stricken. A morning that made it just a tad easier to comb my hair and to get about my basic tasks such as dressing. It was enough to fuel a little spark of hope, of willpower and determination to fight this battle for remission once more. But boy was I getting tired of being strong and fighting, period, no matter what required strengths and a fight. I wished for nothing in my life that required a fight, but for acceptance and just a way to be for awhile.
It would be unbearable hot for the next couple of days, and both Cinnamon and I struggled with the heat. The time had finally come, and avoiding the air conditioner would not be possible any longer. We did something completely new to us this morning and rested. We conserved energy and even got a nap in before noon. How long has it been, I don’t even remember! Later when it’s too hot to be inside, we’d make a run for the lake to cool off a bit and let Cinnamon burn off some energy, giving us both the opportunity to stretch our legs.
A new neighbor arrived at the park again, spending a short vacation and a few days off in the area. Quite a few have come and gone by now, but in my quarters, at the top, it seems like the permanent residents reside. The pirate flag is up and flying, kicking convention to the corner, rebelling against chronic diseases, defying the odds and questioning what is normal these days. It seems to have gotten the approval from at least one neighbor who gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, voicing that she likes it the first time it took its flight.
Inspired and quoted in part by the book Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin
The steps seem to always have fallen in place for me. Perhaps they have always been there. What changed is that I learned to see the signs and eagerly embrace a willingness to learn more. Books, quotes, oracle cards and animal messengers have always found a way to guide me onto the next thing, just waiting to be discovered as the student moved along. Throughout it I have encountered ancestral trauma healing, inner child healing, addressing trauma bonds and shadow work – facing the darkest aspects of myself, energy healing, herbalism, Shamanism and journeying to different roams. Each a powerful tool, bringing more wisdom and knowledge on this journey of finding my authentic self. I have left behind a life of comfort, a predictable life and I find myself amidst the unknown. And it feels good to just embrace the moment, one day at a time, neither controlling it, nor having all the answers and possible outcomes.
In the western world, many are called but few respond. Entry into the life of the soul demands a steep price. This is my soul journey.
Soul work requires the surrender of control and predictability. To go on a soul journey you have to leave your home, your familiar surroundings, the predictable life. Your ego must be shocked or shifted in avoided the extracts you from your surface life.
We each must undertake the journey of descent if we are to heal ourselves at the deepest levels and reach our full and authentic adulthood. To acknowledge that there are powerful and dangerous beings in the underworld who are not particular friendly or attractive, and that we are forever changed by the experience.
In order to heal at the soul level and take a spiritual journey it is not a matter of ascending towards the light into the heavens, but a matter of descending into the darkness and facing the unknown and often feared.