Summer and exposure

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As summer energy begins to spread through the land in its blooming attire we have an opportunity to come out, lay bare, expose.

Summer is a time for outer expression, exploring potential and examining inner and outer in its full spectrum. As nature steps into its blooming coat, so do we seek opening up and exploring. This is a ‘Full Moon time’ in its energetic signature, if you like, where things have built up within and without and it is time to show ourselves to the world and to ourselves, warts and all.

My trip to the island of Skomer on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales made me see parallels between how nature comes into its full potential and how it is an opportunity for us to expose all that had been hidden, open up to a more authentic way of being. The insight came through my own experience of fully exposing parts of myself that might not seem favourable, ugly even, yet while in nature I felt it almost necessary to go with whatever was manifesting within and it felt safe. This experience was new and I suspect there will now be more chances for me to ‘show myself’ fully. I have been in ‘hiding’ during summer months for as long as I remember, yet, perhaps, the time has come to make changes in ways of expression and authenticity.

With exposure comes acceptance and an integration follows, which is an important part to bringing us back to whole, back to ourselves. Was I scared I won’t be accepted or be judged? In the moment I didn’t think, I simply was in a state I was in. I did and didn’t enjoy it, as one would expect, but with exposure and real experience comes such clarity and awareness, which is so useful. On reflection when an opportunity comes for an exposure so does fear for not being accepted for who we are. As a society certain traits and behaviours might be looked down on, but there is also a chance that people that you surround yourself with will sit through that ‘exposure’ with you and become curious about sides of you they might not have seen before. If they manage to hold the experience and still feel the same those are the people that are meant to be around you, furthermore it gives others an opportunity to do the same, i.e. becoming more ‘exposing’ of themselves, accepting of others and freer as a result. We are all dark and light, beautiful and less so, hard and soft and the ability to be present with it all makes us stronger in knowing ourselves and connecting even deeper with others. We often fear alienating others and seek to conform, hide and comply, but we all know what that feels like. Sooner or later all of our inner pieces that are yearning to be exposed will spill into an ugly mess.

I felt inspired watching nature in its most open state, in its full blooming capacity. Nature doesn’t think or waits to be exposed it just does it regardless every year. Summer is the culmination of that energy manifesting everywhere. With exposure comes danger, as beauty can be just as threatening as ugliness. On some level we are threatened not just by others’ beauty, but by our own. We often do not see or realise our own beauty and potential, so we remain hidden and silent. ‘Be brave’, summer would say, bloom anyway even when someone might step on our blooming heart or cut us down mindlessly without a second thought. The song we sing might be our last, as we take flight into the summer air, but sing anyway, the more beautiful the better. Exposure of the body, mind and spirit is so necessary and summer is a powerful time to explore ourselves in our most vulnerable, naked state. There is a potential to be fully empowered.

I learnt the only way to be authentic is just that – expose. Summer allows that space and a perfect opportunity to seek acceptance from within. If we can stand our own shadow energies, watch it unfold, manage to contain it post-exposure and still be ok, we become more whole. This process is of freeing ourselves from the thinking that is harsh and judgemental, often coming from within. Take inspiration from blooming flowers and singing birds, vulnerable, but free in knowing they are blooming even if just for a short time. Nature is accepting of itself, it is not critical, shy or seeking approval. It just is. What greater example is there of authenticity of being.

 

Forest overdose

Images: Epping forest
copyright RawPagan

An interesting memory was triggered within me accompanied by a powerful experience when having been out in the forest all day on a workshop I felt extremely unwell.

I began feeling it was too much half way through the day as my vision got fuzzy and I felt pressure in my head. I also found it difficult to connect to others while in nature.

The experience took me back to my childhood when I remember spending long days in a forest either berries or mushroom picking and just how exhausted we all felt afterwards. I experienced the same symptoms yesterday, bright red face with a strong headache, blurred vision and feeling very tired physically. Not a pleasant state to be in. Nature overdose. I am convinced it is possible and spending long periods of time out in nature amongst trees can really alter things within us and it can be a difficult adjustment, experience.

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When death comes…

Mystic-foggy-evening

When death comes I will not shudder before its cold stare
For I have witnessed bluebell woods at spring time
I will not turn my face away from its shadowy presence as my soul remembers the smell of hawthorn flowers
Embrace of a child as sweet as honey is in my skin’s memory, so death’s empty hands can perform its ritual
I will surrender my body. Take it. It’s ready. It has been a precious carrier of love, loss, tragedy and ecstasy, it knew it all, but
I will keep my soul’s essence, as I am led through the darkness into the light of myself
For I know the joy I felt in my life and I have seen the sunset with my sweetheart as the most sacred moment
I touched the earth with my bare feet and felt the sweet song of a morning breeze
I won’t turn away as I know myself just as death knows me who’s always walked
Alongside me
We will walk together hand in hand towards the next adventure with no regrets and only peace for eternal company

Raw Pagan

Celebrating ME

Well-done, you deserve it, you earned it, you worked very hard and did so well

Natures-Majesty

These are powerful validating affirmations that tell ourselves that we matter, we are able and we deserve success. Today I am set on giving myself that validation I have been shying away from all the way through my childhood and early adulthood. Today is an important day when my hard work over many years has come to a completion. Today is a game-changer in how I celebrate myself.

Today made me realise like nothing ever did before in such a clear and almost unbalancing way that I don’t know how to celebrate myself and my achievements. This is no surprise how this insight came about, as this is not the first one this year, which feels like things must change and not only that, I have no choice in the matter, but to redefine it completely anew. My old signature pulled me into a certain familiar way of feeling and instead of feeling elated and satisfied there was this emptiness. I felt like hiding, shying away and holding my breath. Before I would have moved on to the next thing without stopping, honouring and validating what happened as something very important. I must mark it and stay in that energy for much longer than a few minutes this time. I noticed this today more than I ever did before in my life and there was a voice within me, a very distant one yet I heard it, which told me to stop, listen and question and I did. I felt a touch of anger, followed by sadness and a sense of injustice towards myself. I also connected this to an exact event in my childhood that changed my perception of myself and my achievements in an instant.

My mother in response to witnessing my happiness and pride in my achievements told me to stop the display of joy I was feeling inside, be humble and don’t show the pride in the excellent performance I had given. I remember that so vividly like it was yesterday. In that moment my spark went out. I didn’t understand it, but I instantly felt there was something wrong with me and took the message on that being happy was not the thing one did and expressing joy was definitely not for public display. It is profound how a single word, an event can affect someone’s whole life and how instantly I learnt a behaviour that continued through the years.

I now know that what my mother meant was not in any way a reflection on me or my achievements. I now know that her love for me didn’t stop flowing in that moment and her pride in my achievements didn’t disappear. It was just a moment, in which a child introjected words in a way that child could.

Celebrations are a huge part of my culture, always had been, yet I often felt on the fringes of that experience. It was always ‘out there’ and not ‘within’, directed and meant for someone else and never myself. That explains lack of birthday parties and gatherings in my honour and even when it did happen with my parents initiating it, I felt almost embarassed. Disconnection and detachment from the happy feelings that were present when something was achieved, earned and deserved continued throughout my life. Success became my secret joyous flow, which I felt I had to hide. To me success always leads to happiness. It never changed from that day when I was a child, it simply became hidden until now. Success is my primary happiness signature and nothing makes me feel the way that does to this day. I honour it, name it and recognise it when it comes.

So, today, I tell myself openly and unapologetically, I have done it, I worked incredibly hard, always determined, focused and dedicated. I got myself here, no one else, I did it all with unwavering self-belief and commitment to hard work. I celebrate myself today and my intention is to create my own ‘Ritual of completion’ to honour this insight and connection to myself on another level, something that I can carry with me and remind myself I matter, my achievements matter and success feels happy and joyous to me. (details of the ritual to come in a future post)

Today I also reflected on the theme of self and accomplishment in nature. I thought of the Land in a way that I experience it and how it never fails to inspire and bring out sheer admiration in me. The land knows its wisdom and beauty. It adopts, flows and bends with the elements and challenges of fire and floods. It survives and continues to grow in the face of adversity. It falls, it gets up again and basks in its own glory of knowing it is great, it is beautiful, had and soft, silent and roaring, hot and cold, it is whole in its majesty. It is not ashamed, apologetic or shy in decorating itself throughout seasons in celebration of its cycles. It is forever living in the knowledge of its beauty within and without and it honours itself deeply and in return we honour it out there and within us. Whenever I experience that sensation of fulfilment, inspiration and glory in nature I am able to connect with it inside of me and the feeling is utterly beautiful and whole.

 

Spring forest bathing

My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the spring air filling my lungs and the sun caressing my face as gentle as a feather.

The birdsong is wondrous and exquisite in its multi-tonal spiral of a whistle.

I melt into the earth’s awakening feeling and see the mother welcoming me into her embrace.

Trees are smiling with warmth inside their trunks and wave branches about in ecstatic spring dance.

Spring, oh so gentle and soft in colours yellow, white and purple. Delightful energy of calmness and tranquility.

I love how everything stops when I lie on the ground looking up to the sky through delighted tree tops and birdsong accompanies me into deep relaxation.

 

It is all about perception…

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We are all familiar with an expression ‘jumping through hoops’. What it often implies is a kind of struggle, difficulty and doing something one is not keen on necessarily. Someone mentioned it in conversation to me recently describing a situation where it looks like there was no enjoyment in actions and tasks, i.e. there was a feeling in that person that the other was having to ‘jump through hoops’. It can be so, however, it got me thinking in terms of how many times certain expressions we are used to imply generalisation for us all. I am not a fan of generalisation due to awareness of just how individually different and unique we all are. Many find generalisations helpful. It makes them feel like they fit in, they feel understood and safe somehow. It offers a quick explanation to what they are going through and their agreeing to the statement in that moment is almost automatic.

I began to think deeper about the concept of ‘jumping through hoops’ and what its vibration offers to us. Does it always have to be difficult and tinted with negativity or something unpleasant? Sure, the hoop can be visualized as an obstacle, covered in raging fire and something very hard to overcome, which requires us pushing ourselves to limits to get to the other side. Is there another vibration in that ‘jumping through fire’? It depends how one looks at it, how one perceives the situation they are in.

As I walked in the woods this morning what came into my awareness was an arch, or a beautiful ring through which one can walk, but it wasn’t covered in angry fire, but blooming roses.

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My consciousness immediately took me back to the conversation I refer to above earlier this week and within my body I felt an opening around my heart. I smiled. The vision of the rose-covered arch became magnified and I could smell the scent of the blooms and feel their tender foliage. It was full of life and hope. For flowers to bloom in its most beautiful manifestation they need nurturing and careful attention, they need love and watchful care. It is not an easy task to keep something alive and thriving. Flowers on the arch are manifestation of spirit in nature. They are filled with sparkling aliveness and sweet scent, which affects our senses. Have you ever tried to merge with a flower? Shapeshift? It is one of the most satisfying and delicious experiences and one of the easiest, as flowers are inviting to the soul in their beauty.

I then imagines what if we switch the idea of ‘jumping through hoops’, which feels heavy and a struggle to walking through rose-covered arches instead. By switching our perception of what we are doing, we align with a different vibration all together. It is still not easy, as to truly walk through the arch of blooming roses we must ensure those roses are in bloom and flourishing, otherwise it wouldn’t walk, but in that vibration we do not forget our efforts and we celebrate our achievements and from one arch to the other we carry the gift of hope and love for ourselves and goals we set out to achieve. We work hard in-between the arches and there are often many to walk through, but it becomes a pleasure rather than a chore, something we need to do to get to the end. It becomes a journey, which then makes the destination ever so more fulfilling and joyful.

This year for me consists of an end goal, which is in sight, however, to reach the destination there are many obstacles to overcome. There is a step-by-step plan, which I have in mind and working through, but instead of making it feel like I am jumping through hoops I choose to walk through rose gardens full of arches alive with love and hope. I choose to enjoy every single step however difficult. I choose to remain at one arch at a time and not rush the journey of achieving sweet results awaiting at the end.

It is all about perception of a task or an event and it always helps to look deeper within allowing for signs and answers to come through. It is all about what we choose to align with and listen to whether it is generalised or highly individual. Nature facilitates that process for me always and there is nothing that I trust more than Nature, which activates my inner voice the most and connects it to the beating heart of what matters in that moment, that day, that week.

Much love

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Nature

 

Nature is an intelligence system of the Source manifesting through rivers, trees, seasons, mountains. They each represent a side of the spirit with unique qualities and purpose to make ‘whole’.

Nature has much to teach us, most of all about ourselves. One might say it is the only teacher we will ever need. It will always lead us back to ourselves.

As we cut off from nature, we cut off from the Source itself and separate further from ourselves.

What is life without soul? Unconscious dwelling, never wondering what else is there? Many often reach the question is this it? Is there more we wonder? You are it, all that u seek is already within. Natures’ elements are parts of you and as you learn to be with her, you learn to be with yourself.

 

Oh how soul craves the Earth bare, moist and deep

The calling drenched in sweetest voice directs oneself to thee 

You are the stars, the Moon, the Sun, the flowers on forest floor

You are the fallen leaves that fly surrendering to her

The Earth’s warmth and calm embrace gives power to soul

To rest, to be, to sing and dance in circle of the coil 

One whole, one complete within, at peace with one’s soul

 

RawPagan