Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


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A Reminder

Even though I work this way with others, I have not gone into retreat for a long, long time. I am inspired by the effect of retreating on those for whom I am companion and guide. But I forget how vital this work is for me.

I determine that it is time again, to go into retreat, in preparation for the turn of the year. As is to be expected, this feels inconvenient to do now, hard to find time for, requiring too much from me.  Still, I persevere, and sequester myself in silence, light my candles and bring out my rattle.

The past year floats under the glare of my gaze, and I rescue forgotten blessings, feel my heart tighten with unresolved pains and fears.  I honor all of the energies I find, witness them wholly.

In the smoke of the incense, I release what does not serve me, and feel lightened, heartened.

Then I remember, one last thing.

This year, too often, I have felt disconnected; disconnected from Nature, from the cycles of the year and my body, from awe and from what is sacred in my daily doings.  As this recognition comes to me, along with the question of how to release this large, heavy energy, a movement outside my window catches my eye.

It is a great bird, with powerful wings, gently coasting past, and my mind is slow to grasp, to process, to return to me: owl.  The bird alights in the high branches of a towering tree, the tree that I gaze on as I do my daily practices, the one that reminds me that trees are also my relations.

It can’t be an owl, I think. This is the city. It is broad daylight. Could it be?  The bird is still, imposing, enormous, unblinking. It is indisputably an owl.

My mind is startled into stillness. I remember the thought of disconnection and, immediately, a new thought arises: I could never be disconnected from Nature, from what is sacred, from my Self.

No sooner does this thought rise in my awareness, as the great owl takes flight and coasts away into the white sky, disappears from my view.

I could never be disconnected from my Self; Owl has come to remind me of it.

Photo Credit: Jay Simmons

Photo Credit: Jay Simmons

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Honoring My Self

If I am to honor my Self, I must be willing to feel, willing to become familiar with the dark places, with the shape of my fear. 

Honoring my Self means offering myself compassion, gentleness and generosity, although my habit is harshness and cold.

It means celebrating the myriad gifts that are constantly coming my way.

Honoring my Self means strengthening my energy so that I can choose discomfort when ease, even when I know it harms me, tempts me.

It means committing to my practice of stillness so that the noise of confusion can become quiet, and the Wisdom that resides within me can emerge in my awareness.

Honoring My Self means using the tools I have acquired, instead of simply contemplating them.

Especially, it means remembering that I am greater than my thoughts, greater, also, than this instant, and yet, simultaneously, very much in it.

Photo Credit: Lars Sundström

Photo Credit: Lars Sundström


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Dialogue

self: Am I doing the right thing?

Self: How does it feel?

self: It feels right, but maybe I’m doing it wrong, I think I read, or heard—

Self: Does it work for you?

self: Well, yes…

Self: You doubt what you are Knowing with your body and mind.  Bring in heart, and Spirit, then there will be only alignment.

 

Photo credit: TouTouke (Agnes Scholiers) on RGBstock.com

Photo credit: TouTouke (Agnes Scholiers) on RGBstock.com


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Holding Space

Holding space means clearing the energy of the physical place we are in, but also creating energetic boundaries around us that do away with distractions, often including the ones we bring along ourselves, so that it is easier to feel alignment with our Self and, therefore, our interactions are more authentic and reflect our truths more fully.

Holding space means our thoughts, our feelings, and whatever we choose to share,  are safely contained, without spilling out into the rest of the world, the rest of our lives, if we do not choose to take them there. It means that the energies that are constantly trying to encroach on us are kept at bay.

And it  means, too, that we are safe from judgments,  those coming from others, and also from ourselves. If we are not safe, then we are not free to explore, to allow curiosity to pull us in unexpected directions and insights to arise in our awareness.

Holding space means we can do the soul work we are called to do.

Photo Credit: ©Andrea Friedmann

Photo Credit: ©Andrea Friedmann


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The Soul Calling

As we go about our lives fulfilling the roles that we have chosen to take on, that we may have inherited from the people around us, we are sometime interrupted.  Sometimes the interruption comes through something big, often painful or frightening, something that shakes up our life. And sometimes, the interruption is only a niggling sense, a feeling, an unfathomable itch that gives us no peace.

It is our Soul, calling us back to our essence. It calls us to recognize that which would emerge into the world through us. It calls us to own the fullness of who we are in spite of the apparent contradictions found in that very fullness. It calls us to remember we are more than we seem, more than our bodies and our minds.

Sometimes that calling is present to us for a long time, we keep going as if we didn’t know it is there. But we intuit the potency of it, we are aware that it will not abate, will not release us to continue as we were. Yet, the force of  habit, the familiarity of living and doing as we always have, the approval of our family and peers for continuing as we were, and, especially, the overwhelming power that the fear of change grips us with, all conspire to keep us from heeding that call.

We have not been taught to honor our Soul, not been taught to listen for it. Our world is not built to support this kind of growth, this kind of stretching that feels like taking so great a risk.  Our lives are built around keeping on keeping on.

We all need to be reminded of the great Wisdom of Life, which we are part of, and, more so, of the Wisdom we already hold. We all need a mirror that catches our Light and reflects it back to us, so that our physical eyes can behold it.  We all need someone who has faith in us when we doubt ourselves; who asks what we would gain, when we ask what we would lose; who recognizes our fortitude when we feel weakness; who speaks back to us our own words of Knowing, which we have already forgotten.

We all need support and companionship on our journey to respond to our Soul.

I am that, I am a spiritual companion. I hold up the mirror for you to see yourself in your power and your potential, walking your own path, guided by your Soul’s compass, through the spaciousness of your own making. This is what my Soul calls me to.

A mirror that reflects our Light Photo Credit: Andrea Friedmann©

A mirror that reflects our Light
Photo Credit: Andrea Friedmann©


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The Ways I Serve

I walk among the bluebells that spill over the forest floor, and I think about the ways I serve. For all of my roles, for all the different ways that I could compartmentalize my service, as a mother and wife, a life coach and spiritual companion, a volunteer, a friend, I know this:

When I am fully present and engaging the whole of my Self, I can be a vehicle for others to reach into themselves and to touch what lives most powerfully within them, to reconnect with their soul and recall who they yearn to be. I can be a vehicle for others to discover their voice, to recognize their essence, to own who they are at their depths. I can be a vehicle for them to recognize what is real, and sacred, to them.

And to do so, I have only to see in them their transcendence, only to remember there is that in each person I encounter. Some, I can perceive, know this about themselves, while some waver, and others have no awareness of it. Many who cross my path ache to remember it.

But this process of recognition circles back in a gift for me. For, in order to be that vehicle, I must recognize and claim the same transcendence in myself, and I must grant myself compassion when I waver. To be that vehicle, I must remember that the potential to express that essence and manifest it at all times is always there, within me. That is what I must remember in my encounters with others, and my encounters with myself.

Photo credit: Gramps (Phil Edon) at RGBStock.com

Photo credit: Gramps (Phil Edon) at RGBStock.com


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What I See

I stand at the edge of the lake and stare down at the waves, breaking on the beach again and again, foaming as they backtrack and disappearing anew. This place is tumultuous and loud.

And perhaps I am a mirror of this vast lake, the edge of my consciousness is noisy, frenzied, in constant movement.

I forget that I need only move my gaze beyond in order to behold the slate grey lake, lying flat to hold up the white, overcast sky in utter stillness and quiet.

 

Photo Credit: ©stellab (stella bogdanic) RGBStock.com

Photo Credit: ©stellab (stella bogdanic) RGBStock.com