Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


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Spacious

I sit before Helene, observing, as she moves her familiar, old fear out of her body. Softly, my voice guides her. She pours the energy out with ease. Then she speaks of a new experience of inner spaciousness. 

I feel a thrill, hearing a change in her voice, a new lightness. I ask if there is a word she will be able to return to later, that will remind her of this process, bring her back to this moment of creating new space within her.  

She closes her eyes, quiet, attentive to what arises.

And when she nods, I request that she spell it out loud. Her voice is lilting in its response: U.R.N.  I think, “Urn.”

But her sudden laughter startles me, and she chortles, “Make it a long u, like saying: you.” Then, laughing, Helene says the word. And, hearing it, I laugh, too!

Her Self extends, as a reminder of spaciousness, the spelling of this word that sounds exactly like “yearn.

Together, we laugh gratitude and joy, for the Wisdom that offers this gift!

Photo by Michal Zacharzewski / RGBstock

Photo by Michal Zacharzewski / RGBstock

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Fickle to My Calling

That calling, that pulling, forceful energy that awakens a  yearning inside me, I feel it again. I recognize it. I know that I am meant to move towards it, as it moves towards me.

But when I think I can almost define it, almost close my fingers over it or pull it to me in an embrace, I lose it, the way a soap bubble pops and leaves only moisture behind. And then it’s gone, and even that moisture is insufficient proof that it ever existed.

I remember those stories of olden days that I read as a child, of two young people who recognized something in one another when they met and were then separated by life circumstances. They parted, then, with a soft promise, followed by a long separation, perhaps of many years, without any more connection between them than the fading memory of their encounter and their promise. In those stories, they held faith across vast expanses of time until they were finally joined by life once again.

My first thought is that those stories do not describe me. I know how fickle I can be! I need reminders, reconnections, a gentle wind over red embers. I need that calling held before me continuously, palpably, in order not to fall back again into oblivion.

Or, maybe not?

Is it possible that the fading memory of my encounter with that energy, of the promises I fervently made in its presence are powerful enough to hold me up until life joins us once again?

Photo Credit: John Boyer

Photo Credit: John Boyer


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Another World

I stand on this familiar bridge, looking down through the spaces between the steel, at the place where it seems so recently I spotted a lone turtle swimming through the unnaturally green river water. At the time, I was surprised that anything could survive in there, and I can still feel the warmth of joy spilling through me at the realization. Not long after, as I paused on my way across the river, I saw a great blue heron poised at the water’s edge, still as a statue, unblinkingly observing the flow.

Today, as I look down, it is another world. There is no sign of the electric green water. No sign of birds or turtles. Looking through the steel grid, my stomach does not quiver, there is no inkling of the vertigo that comes of gazing into flowing currents from such heights. There is no sign of movement of any kind. There is only a thick crust of white ice.

It is another world: static, cold, hard.

I yearn to see movement, a turtle surfacing gracefully or a red leaf swirling in the flow. Instead, the only sign of life is the cloud of my own breath.

The hairs on my arm rise, under all the layers of clothes, as the wind rises against me. I cannot stay here any longer, searching.

As I turn away, I remind myself: if I wait long enough, the water will flow again, and the trees alongside it will grow leaves, and, if I am quiet, and patient, I will find wildlife here too.

Photo by Christine Landis

Photo by Christine Landis


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Emptiness

Photo credit: Sandor Bende on RGBstock.com

Photo credit: Sandor Bende on RGBstock.com

Walking in the woods, in the chill shade, I spot a clearing far ahead, illuminated by sunlight. I am overcome with the thought: I want that.  So I make my way towards it at a determined pace, still in shadow, only to discover, to my dismay, a tall, forbidding fence between me and the warmth I can see beyond.

The sunlit clearing seems suddenly more alluring, necessary, urgent.

But there is no crossing to it, and I feel a small hole of want forms in my throat.

Quickly I turn away, from the thwarted path, from the feelings of urgency and emptiness. I spot the lake, then, placidly blanketing the horizon. I want that. A bird calls in a nearby tree and I want that.

The hole in my throat opens into a cavity of longing through my chest, gaping, aching.

What is it that I am needing, I ask. The wanting has turned to yearning, deep, soulful; but for what? For what I cannot have, whatever that is.

I feel the impulse to turn away from the emptiness and longing, to turn to something, anything, rather than have to feel it.

But… I am here, in the shadows of the forest, with the lake beckoning and the birds calling. So I don’t turn away. I sit in silence, allowing the emptiness. I sit in its hollow company.

The sun makes its way through the leaves and rests on my neck. I find, suddenly, that I am full, regardless.


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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