Guest Post by Jane Large, Retreat Attendee & Mentor, Circle Member
As Christmas and the end of the calendar year have been approaching, I have been reflecting on all that has happened in the past 12 months, past 2 years, and beyond… I have been reflecting on all the growth, changes, challenges, and joys.
On Christmas Eve by the light of the full moon, after a day of challenging emotions which had me feeling drained and scattered, I had to opportunity to do a journey, which came from a ritual led by a friend which I had chosen to listen to online earlier that evening. It was a ritual to acknowledge both our dark and light thoughts and feelings about the new year. We were invited to think of something we’d like to explore (do, accomplish…) in 2016 and write both the dark and light thoughts and feelings we have about what we’d like to explore. We were then invited to journey to a thought or feeling we had from the dark side, to ask what message this feeling had to share.
The feeling I wrote down was fear. And so I journeyed to the fear I felt to ask what message, what teaching it had for me. What I learned surprised me. I understood in that moment of listening a deeper truth about the value of everything that is part of me and everything I have experienced in my life so far. As I acknowledged the teachings the fear had shared with me, honouring the gem of learning it had been waiting for me to understand, something magical happened – the fear began to shift and transform into clarity and confidence. I felt a deep shift within, a sense of understanding of a deep heart and soul desire and understanding that I am deserving of manifesting that desire and that it is possible.
In the wake of this experience I realized something so significant for my journey ahead – that there is value I every part of me, in everything that arises from within regardless of whether it is something I’d consider positive or negative. It became clear to me instantly that there is a gem of learning, a nugget of wisdom and beauty in all that exists within me and in my life.
It also became clear to me that for the past few years of my spiritual questing I became intolerant of what I started to consider unspiritual thoughts and feelings – such as anger, grief, fear. I realized I had been putting spiritual pressure on myself, to be spiritually perfect, which really was simply a manifestation of an old habit of perfectionism carried over form the past (just in a new form). I thought that if I were spiritual or enlightened or awakened then I would not have such thoughts and feelings. “Am I not above all this”, I’d say to myself sometimes. I saw a pattern of glazing over or rushing through difficult or imperfect thoughts and feelings, instead of facing them and acknowledging their part in my spiral path of learning and growth. I did not accept these (negative) thoughts and feelings, and thought that they must be irradiated, stomped out, overcome. I rejected the possibility that these thoughts and feelings had value. In doing so, I rejected part of me and rejected the full value of my wholeness. Consequently, these (negative) thoughts and emotions did not go away; they simply manifested again in different circumstances or became stronger and harder to ignore, because I had not received the message they wished to share.
So as 2016 approaches I have made a commitment to be conscious, which in my understanding means to be awake to the present moment. I am making the commitment to be conscious to whatever I am thinking or feeling, and to take that into the warmth and light of my heart space to find the value and gem of wisdom that lives at the root of the thought or feeling.
In doing that ritual and journeying to my fear, I remembered that it does not serve my growth to beat myself up or shame myself for having certain thoughts or feelings, because they are part of my wholeness and are calling to be acknowledged and learned from. I realized that in rejecting certain thoughts or feelings, I reject part of me and block part of me from being illuminated and welcomed into my wholeness. Conversely, as I consciously shine the light of my heart on anything that arises I will find gems that dwell there, giving all of what I am permission to be and to transform into the light of its becoming. It reminded me of a meme I saw recently on Facebook with the caption – World Peace; it was a picture of a black wolf licking a white wolf affectionately. Perhaps both wolves live within me, and I create harmony and wholeness between them and within myself by acknowledging the gems of wisdom both carry.
Most of all, I realized that there are sacred truths in everything and that I am being called to embrace the teachings of these truths. I understand from journeying to my fear that embodying wholeness literally means acknowledging all of me, all that I am, all that I feel, which allows me to transform into what I might become. It allows me to illuminate and embrace that which I had still left in the shadows.
Take time to think about the past year. Acknowledge all of your growth, changes, challenges and joys. Offer gratitude for all that you have experienced. If these is anything that you feel challenged to give thanks for, write it down and give it a name – perhaps anger, fear, or something that makes sense to you. In preparation to journey to that feeling (or experience) and collect the gem of learning that dwells there, connect to your heart space. Breathing into the heart space, connect with the word(s) you have written on the page or hold in your mind. Ask it any of the questions below that resonate with you:
What is the message you wish to share?
What do you need me to know?
What do you want teach me?
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