Space vs enclosure

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The debate started within me after my last visit to Scotland when one week I spent in the North with vast open spaces, wilderness mountains and the sea and the other week was spent in a tiny cottage in the woods. You can read about my experiences HERE. 
What I thought I preferred turned out to be something else and I was asked to consider other ways and it was a challenge.
Recently after spending a whole day in the woods and ‘overdosing’ on nature but not in a good way I was reminded of my experience in Scotland. It made me think further about spaces, my preferences and how things are changing for me as I continue on my healing and spiritual journey.

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The land is calling yet again…

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The land is calling, but this time the call comes from a specific place. It is heard from the Isle of Skye. My soul is picking up on the spaciousness of the land, strong wind bound in its roar crashing against the rocks watching over rough waters. The voice is beautiful, it is mixture of a whistle, whining and deep bass notes. It has a voice or rather vibration boom boom like a beating heart that reaches my awareness and pulls at my soul’s veil asking to join it in its half melody, half drumming. It is intoxicating.

It is soothing to me to know it is there, it exists and its heart is beating in unison with my own. Loving from a distance is familiar to me. Being separated by space, but nothing else is also known. I have loved from a distance many times over, with all my being, bones, cells, toes, hairs on my arms and senses. The love so big I was breathing for one reason only to keep it alive. That’s where grief also comes in when a love so strong continues to live within me after many years of eternal separation. I feel this is what I experience whenever I am away from the land. Love and deep sorrow of separation are in embrace. Time there though there is a knowing that I can answer the call and I can merge with the land, as it is there, calling, wailing in its windy voice and splashing waves onto my naked feet. I can smell heather, it is warm to the touch. It get tangled in my hair as I lay my head against the moisture of the earth. It is easy for me to become each and everything that land is – rocks, mountains, grass, animals, clouds, the sun and the moon. Words are simply not enough to describe the connection in the soul. It just is so…

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My first experience on the island POST 

Healing powers of the Land and music

Anxiety and panic attacks struck me like an unexpected dark storm and my ground began to slide from under my feet. I found myself in a ball of terror unable to go out and without a voice. I was scared to cry, my chest was constricted and tight. There was fear in the whole of my being.

I felt sadness and grief, but no ability to express it, which is directly linked for me with past trauma. I seem to be hooking into this position for a few years running now about this time of year where such energy becomes dense and concentrated and just strikes me motionless and paralyses all life within me. This is also linked to freedom, family obligations, which in no way align with what I believe in and grief and death, which again don’t really belong to me. In this darkness I seem to be unable to find that light, which contradicts the season and what I should be doing.

I guess what I am describing is a sort of hijacking of my ‘light’ and feeling imprisoned by all things irrelevant and hurtful to me. I am beginning of think that changes must occur and, perhaps, this is going to be the biggest challenge yet for me to transform this insight into a reality where I feel contained and safe. I sure don’t want to experience this again come next year. There is work to do.

We are approaching Yule and I have always loved this festival and I love the darkness but in a different way, in a way of needing to go deeper willingly, not being hijacked by stuff irrelevant, and in that sense being stopped from going deeper on my own terms, in my own time, I suppose. This stuff seems to want to keep me on the surface, on a level filled with fear and immobility devoid of heart feeling. My darkness understanding is the opposite yet I can’t seem to get there for I have to deal with stuff that hits me in the face and demands not just my attention but it demands me being in prison and silenced.

Yesterday I was unable to leave my bed after a sleepless night filled with episodes of anxious unrest and fear. My chest felt like a stone, stuck within a place where it felt like my heart would stop beating any minute. Love was draining out of me and anger was present, tears wouldn’t come and breath was barely present. Trapped.

Lying under my blanket I was desperate for a solution, for some hope I would be ok again. I must mention that these attacks are recent phenomenon, even though they began a few years back, they don’t come often, but in recent years becoming frequent and that is how I am able to recognise it now well. I plugged into music (below) and began my journey. I always remember one thing with trauma is a finding a safe place and I began my search allowing surrender to come in.

MUSIC 

As music played I began slowly connecting with my Warrior self. I realised how grounding, Fire energy type music taps into some strength and reassurance within me. I step outside of my body and witness myself out there. It is like looking into a mirror to see yourself from an aspect, which is most needed. This links closely to the personality model of the elements and this one is a Fire side of me, which is in a balanced and healthy state. I notice my breathing changing and I become more engaged with surroundings.

I see myself on the shores of Loch Drummond, exactly here (images below) looking over the view from above and breathing the air deeply into my lungs. The music connected me to the beating of my own heart and I feel myself collecting my senses into a form that is closer to whole.

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Queen’s View, Loch Tummel

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Looking over Loch Tummel

In the next scene I am on my knees on the shore of Loch Tay praying to the element of water, which is so powerful I am in awe of the scenery and my heart beats more and more love into myself and out into the lake.

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Loch Tay, Perthshire, Scotland

On the shores of Lake Laggan as I stand up to my knees in the water tears come and music changes into this MUSIC   I connect with Water element of emotions looking deep within dark waters of the lake.

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Loch Laggan, Highlands, Scotland

I cry and sob and feel myself finally coming into my body as I become aware of my chest rising and falling with each tear and moan within me. It feels good and releasing.

With emotion also comes that deepest yearning for the land within me that I know so well. In this case it became unbearable, which helped the tears come in outbursts of screams and sobs as if my body needed to be ‘scolded’  from inside out. Intensity of emotion opened up my heart and in that deep love of the land within me healing came, release came. I merged with the aspect of myself that is pure, grounded, simple and peaceful. It is that spirit of the land within me that held my hand reassuring my being for I am ok, I will be. I came to my safe place, to the land where my spirit unchanged and untouched lives always and forever. This journey meant so much to me and it was so powerful I am deeply touched by my own inner spirit and wisdom that can guide me out of the darkness whatever happens.

On reflection I can truly say that nothing ever worked as well as the above did in reawakening my heart back to life.

Music by:
Relaxing Nordic/Viking Music – Ótroðinn (Adrian von Ziegler)
The Mermaids Tears (Jeff Victor)
Photos copyright: taken by Raw Pagan (Natalia Clarke) 
Header image: http://crianlarich-hotel.co.uk/

Ode to the Land 

 
In my dreams you visit me like a deep soulful cry from within

You touch my senses as I sit in solitude in the forest

Water takes me straight to the expansive lochs of your bosom
You contain and penetrate the essence of me

I weep, I run, I stop, I listen to the call that links my soul to thee

My breathing holds its flow as I hear your name and suddenly I am transformed into the old Cailleagh walking the hills and mountains with deer by my side
The smell of pit, bog, pine and vibrant heather feels like blood in my veins, warm and homely

The air in you is essential to my survival

My feet are deeply rooted in your landscape and my heart beats with every changing season. I wish to walk it till the end of time, till it’s my time to have my bones scattered amidst your beauty

Sacred Land Trinity 

Scottish Highlands

Snowdonia, Wales

Connemara, Ireland

I worked with a bereaved client at the beginning of my psychotherapy training called Margaret. She was 83 years old and what a force of nature she was. Such passion for life, such grit, commitment, devotion, determination and inner strength like I rarely have come across in life, perhaps, only of my own mother. She was Irish. I loved her stories of growing up on a family farm in harsh conditions and amidst complicated family dynamics, but a place so beautiful that whenever she spoke of it I heard a song full of beautiful lyrics and melody of her voice changing into a sweet poetry with each breath. Our relationship was pure enchantment.

Ireland, I seemed to love the place without knowing why or how, I felt I knew it on some level. I married an Irishman first time round. I found the accent musically pleasing and lulling to my senses. Margaret spoke of returning to the land at the age of 83 after the death of her husband. Connemara. Perhaps she’s there now.

Years later I find that particular place is calling to me. Ireland. Through very subtle feelings, round about connections and encounters and things I have read it is as if I am weaving a plan, a map that will eventually take me there. I remain in wonder and curiosity with a sense of peace of getting to know that land one day.

Perhaps it is the completion of the sacred Land trinity for me, the first two being Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia, Wales. Perhaps I am on a journey of rediscovering some Celtic heritage of the British Isles, the path of Druidry that yes, lives in my DNA.

What a joyous journey I often stop to reflect, the one with soul at the centre of it all and spirit that is held in the land, in nature.

The Land’s calling

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It is the time of my soul’s bleeding with deep connection to the land, which is calling again and again. It is such a powerful pull that it feels painful and pleasurable at the same time. It is a deep yearning within me that calls me to walk the land’s high hills and smell the soil of the old, moist, fresh wind-swept landscape my soul craves. My heart begins to ache in the feeling of missing my other home, the place that doesn’t let go off me when I am not around. It calls, it sings to me and my bones feel its essence. I miss it so much. I want to see stags gallantly walking the forests and hills and standing still staring, undecided whether to run or continue with their curiosity. They are such beautiful creatures, strong yet vulnerable. I yearn to see them in the land’s autumn dress with trees and grass changing colour and air slowly turning cool with a promise of winter. I wish I could stand at the top of a mountain screaming with delight for I am there, I am alive and the land around me embraces me in its vastness.

Every year it seems I bear the separation with hardly breathing and unable to hold my excitement when I am finally released into the land of my soul. I cry, I ache and spend long hours imagining, smelling, walking the hills and forests in my dreams. At times it is unbearable and I cry uncontrollably and I feel like putting on my boots and running towards the land however far. It feels impulsive with no reason existing in that moment of deep wanting to merge with the landscape, immerse my face into a cold water of a Loch and drink the fresh air of pine forest. The wind, oh how I wish to be swept with it and my face blasted with its force waking me up to my core, shaking all the cobwebs out of my being.

Another year, another period of waiting with a heart that aches and loves oh so deep…

Be careful what you wish for…

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‘Be careful what you wish for’ surprises us, but also when we attach to an expectation we get bitterly disappointed. Expectations carry a trickster vibration, which leads us astray and to places we don’t expect to visit, which often results in pain and bitterness. Trickster is a teacher, but the way it presents its lessons is unconventional. We often dismiss it stoically or escape from it in pain rather than looking at it with open eyes and being prepared to listen, however confusing messages might seem. What I learnt was not to give into the vibration of being tricked into something, but stay with the core lesson hidden behind the energy that feels malicious.

As we turned off the main road from Inverness and onto the country winding lanes, scenery changed and surroundings took my breath away. Its stillness, green lush tapestry with sparkling dark grey rivers sounding beneath and deer wondering amongst bushes – it seemed like a heavenly oasis undisturbed by worldly worries. Peaceful, flowing vibration of the way things should be enveloped my every sense. In that moment I forgot everything and everyone, events that happened an hour ago, words spoken to another, it all became a blank screen on the other side of my awareness. For that moment I was in another world.

Deer is my primary spirit animal and to be able to see it so close to me, in great numbers with huge stags snorting loudly and staring intently in my direction, I could hardly breathe and the smile on my face fixed the joy within my heart. I spent a peaceful week in the Northern Scotland with Highlands watching over me from outside the window and it was not at all what I expected. My expectations turned into a magical experience when I invisaged a fairly uneventful, empty space.

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During my stay near the Land’s End of the Northern coast of Scotland I connected with the Water element the most. The sea produces no feelings in me usually and I have a strong preference for rivers and lakes, however, this time experience opened up possiblities for me to line up with the sea and its vibration. The way I can describe its signature is reassuring, strong, in motion and depth. I weaved my magic on the shore and received messages highly informative and directional for my forward journey.

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The second week, however, I planned and waited for intensely for nearly a year and after the endless speciousness of mountains and the wind gently singing in my hair cooling my spirit and letting it spread my inner wings, I found myself unaffected by my surroundings. Seemingly it was all that I wished for – a remote cabin surrounded by woods, yet, I felt nothing. This produced such sorrow within me, as I find there is nothing worse than no feeling of any kind. They do say indifference feels more painful than hate. Since I arrived I found no peace, rest or consolation in the place and waited for it to end. I felt enclosed finding it difficult to breathe, yes, amongst the trees, my spirit was dormant and I was pushed into the ‘ground’ without being able to spread my wings. I recognised the primary trauma of mine in that vibration – the trauma of entrapment. Again, this was the last place on Earth I would have expected to experience this in.

On reflection I found my experience with expectations and attachments fascinating and what I have learnt is ‘be careful what you wish for’ in its good and bad sense, both. Be careful how and to what one attaches. The land has no intention to make you feel in one way or another. Again it was confirmed for me. It is only me and you, who can vibe with one place or another and immerse into the vibration one aligns with. Finding that oasis on the outside, as well as, within is a process, a journey into the unknown, unpleasant or blissful and full of joy. In any case it feels like an adventure, which leads to discoveries of the soul and I am so grateful for it.