One lesson I try to embody for my girl is the importance of being self-sufficient when it comes to getting one's needs - and desires - met and in tending to total (mind, body, spirit, soul) self care. "Be a good friend to yourself," that's what I remind her and myself frequently. I own that I can be indulgent as a mother and as my own BFF. Like crow, I have a hard time resisting shiny, pretty things.
Sometimes what may seem like an indulgence is actually a vital piece of soul medicine.
I am immersed in Elizabeth Duvivier's course The Magic of Myth. We don't even have one week under our belts, but oh sisters! Already it is yielding a lifetime of themes, models, and insights as we examine the story of Psyche and Amor. This is The Story of stories; the model for so many fairy tales and archetypal struggles and journeys and is proving to be the template for the Heroine's Journey.
Inspiring stuff in the best of times ... and vital metaphor for the dark, dank and boggy passages we - okay, I - find myself in.
|fighting the fog - interesting I added leaves falling from my hands|
I'm not even sure I can explicate the emotional/psychic/energetic tangle I find myself inhabiting these days. And I can't totally blame the constipation of the seasons for my torment.
Somehow my energetic GPS got set to funk. And I cannot fathom how to change the bloody thing!
I know myself and I know from experience that the only way through some patches is straight through them. Chin up, eyes forward, march. My problem is rarely do I just walk straight on through. No, I wave my machete, attempt a few tricky maneuvers, and otherwise flail, grasp, grab and push away. All the gestures the Buddha has proved lead directly to pain and suffering.
So what am I learning from Psyche's journey? It is such a rich story and really, we need to sit over pots of coffee or tea to discuss all the juicy metaphors but the core of the story is a young woman's transformation from mortal to goddess (and wife of a god and future mother of Joy.) On that path she is given 4 tasks or challenges by Aphrodite (the goddess of Love and Beauty can be a vicious and bloody bitch, but that's another theme!) which are downright daunting, dangerous and overwhelming. What is Psyche's initial reaction to each challenge? To throw up her hands in despair and look for the nearest cliff to fling herself from.
I know, not what we might want in a heroine figure. But each time SHE gives up, a force (ants, an eagle, the voice of the reeds) comes in to assist her. Her first impossible task is to sort a jumbled heap of seeds - lentil, chick peas, millet and poppy seeds - into separate piles. Hello?! Sound familar?
In total despair, Psyche sits "motionless, gazing at the stupendously disordered mass." She does nothing; she just sits there. But then an ant, taking pity upon her, rounds up all his ant buddies and while she sleeps they tackle the job.
Now, if it were left to me, I would have probably ended up rolling around in that seed pile in a fit of total derangement making the mess even worse. The gift - the insight - from this tale for me is to recognize when it is best for me to just STOP.
Do nothing. By not taking action, action (the sorting of the seeds) occurs at a different level. A level, I might add, which lies outside of our sense of control.
I find myself at the point in my journey where I am to forge a new pathway. On my journey, there have been no clear cut routes, no lovely forks in the road and a choice between the left or the right. No, I appear to be bushwhacking my way through and the trick is intuit which direction calls to me, is leading me further and deeper towards the heart of my forest.
To hear, I've got to quiet all the voices, the chattering of the inner mob; to know and recognize MY truth, my fortune cookie wisdom, I've got to be still. Wait. Allow. Trust.
And most of all - stop thrashing about. Cease and decease. Raise a white flag and offer peace to myself. The very best kind of self care and comfort.
Weaving in here a current project with my girl - our Comfort Tin (or a wise soul has dubbed it - heart-aid kit)
When overwhelmed, it can be a source of inspiration and wise guidance ...
new coordinates for one's energetic GPS
And following my own advice, I'm taking time now to re-program my settings, fill in the gems ...
After pausing, it will be time to clear space, check soil conditions, gather my tools and prioritize what exactly I want to grow - and harvest - in the coming months. Thinking clearly about the seasonality of my own life ...
Longing has its own secret future destination and its own seasonal emergence from within, a ripening from the core, a seed growing in our own bodies. It is as if we are put into relationship with an enormous distance inside us leading back to some unknown origin with its own secret timing indifferent to our wills, and gifted at the same time with an intimate sense of proximity, to a lover, to a future, to a transformation, to a life we want for ourselves, and to the beauty of the sky and the ground that surrounds us.
(from David Whyte, Longing)