Friday, September 23, 2016

The Dark Forest

Sometimes, writing a book is a lot like life. You are entering a forest. At the beginning there seems to be a path, and you strike off with curiosity, optimism and a hoped-for schedule. At some point, it becomes apparent that there is no path, and that you are not going to get out of the seemingly infinite trees before the sun sinks beneath the horizon. You are here for the night, and the forest is filled with strange sounds and mysterious movements. There is no going back. You are lost, and you realize you have not told anyone where you are going so those who love you will not even know where to look. It strikes me that this could be a metaphor for many of the adventures we choose or have foisted upon us: having a child, studying for and entering a new career, any creative project, entering intimate relationship, getting married, getting divorced, living with a chronic illness. . . And there is no single "right" answer for what to do. Sometimes it is wisest to sit down and wait for the dim light of dawn to filter through the trees. Other times it's wiser to edge forward carefully, making progress however slowly. Sometimes we call out for help, and sometimes we wrap ourselves in silence unti courage and clarity find us. Often help comes from completely unexpected places- a friend carrying a light appears, angels come to our aid. And sometimes we are called to stand up and fight if we want to survive the night. I am deep in the forest now, although I do, at times, stumble upon unexpected clearings. In those places I can navigate by the stars if I remember to look up. ~Oriah A spectacular photo by Karen Davis from Open Door Dreaming of a comet traversing the Milky Way.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Being Lied About

How to be with the reality of someone lying about you? To others. Frequently. For years. Even after you have approached them and explained that what they think you did is simply not true.
I admit it- this is a tough one for me. Sort of graduate work in "getting" that what others do most often has nothing to do with me. And yet, we live in a shared world, so what others do can impact us.
This can happen in families, in groups, in communities and- if you have a public profile at all- it can happen publicly. What a challenge- to let it go, not to step into a fight that would shape our short lives in undesirable ways, to send a prayer for the other. . . . Okay, that last bit might be post-graduate work. 
For me, it is less about reputation (although I am not immune to cringing at the idea that others believe something untrue about me) but the way it makes me feel inside- constricted, shaken, a little frantic. . . helpless.
Ah, there it is- the helplessness- the inability to do anything to stop something that affects me.The illusion of and desire for control arises- the inner child-like wail of, "Not faIr!"
lol- yep, not fair. That at least makes me smile. I sit with the feelings, I imagine creating space around the other's action and my reaction. . . . letting it all be held in something larger. And the constriction loosens, and I become still.
And then I write a little here as a way of sorting what just happened and sharing it in the hopes that it might help us all with our shared human struggles. (And if you think you've heard a lie about me please do not post it in the comments or send it to me. Lies do not need repeating and if it's one I have not heard yet well, I don't need to hear it! ) ~Oriah
This spectacular pic mirrors the spaciousness I imagine as the night sky. Deep gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for her magnificent photography.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Resilience

Our resilience takes my breath away. It stands intimately entwined with our terrible translucent fragility. We are soft and small, brief and biodegradable. And yet, we sometimes flare like a match ignited in darkness Illuminating the moment, revealing the truth we know but cannot explain: How we are sustained By the scent of another’s sun-salted skin, the soft brush of lips on the nape of the neck. . By the blazing dawn- a promise searing the sky, the loon’s lonely wail at the end of the day. . How we are sustained By what we love By that which Loves us. ~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2016 I am often sustained by the beauty of photos like this one from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Courting Kindness*

I've been thinking a lot about kindness, watching to see when it is easy and when it is hard for me to respond to another with an open heart and kind words or actions. One of the things I notice is that when I feel connected to my own, deep centre (and so, clear about my own available energy) it is much easier to be kind, because I don't feel at risk of agreeing to something that I really cannot do without serious consequences to my own health.
To be kind, we need to take responsibility for knowing our own limitations of the moment. This doesn't mean that we cannot, at times, stretch- we can- but if we never really consider our own inner and outer resources, we may become unkind in a desperate effort at self-preservation.
And, of course, sometimes we make a mistake- we think we can be available or helpful to another in a way that it becomes clear, we cannot. It can be tempting to blame the other, to communicate that they or their situation are "too much," instead of letting them know that although we want very much to there for them, our inner resources need replenishing right now.
Healthy self-care enables us to be kind. ~Oriah (c) 2016

Arianna Gray came up with the title for this little piece when I posted it on FB. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dancing Anyway

Wounds can be healed
Some leave a scar
Some leave us walking
with a bit of a limp
We can spend years
trying to walk as if
we'd never been hit
Learning to pass as someone
who has never felt the blade
never been burned by the fire
Trying to fade every scar

Or we can accept what is
and move to the music as we are-
a little lopsided
tilting into the wind
coming to a sudden stillness
when a voice or a movement
ignites an old neural pathway
with the remembered scent
of blood and burning

We pause for just a moment
not breathing
Then exhale
and inhale
and move to the the melody once more

Some wounds
even after they're healed
leave us walking with a bit of a limp

But they cannot stop us from dancing

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2016

Photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming


Monday, June 20, 2016

Time Off-line

Blessed Full Moon and Solstice dear friends. Longest time of light here in the northern hemisphere, and longest night down-under. My heart, body and dreams are telling me to take a break from online life, including Facebook and this blog. I am off this week to a lakeside cottage - and then hope to get further up north to the wilderness I love a little later. Mostly I need to unplug, to step out of the stream of constant information, to go (internally and externally) quiet. And so, I will heed this call on this day of the fullness of the Summer Solstice light. I don't know what it will bring. I do know I will miss many of you. Following inner promptings- Oriah
And if you find yourself missing Karen Davis' spectacular photos like this one, please go to her Facebook page Open Door Dreaming




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kindness

I've been thinking a lot about kindness, about how it is often not my first (or second, or third. . . ) impulse. At some point I realized just how daunting and life-changing it could be to make my moment by moment intention, kindness toward myself, others- family, friends, strangers- and the world.

Kindness, in any specific instance, leaves no one and nothing out. Sometimes kindness requires that we walk away. Sometimes it asks us to dive in. Most often I find it asks me to pause, to slow down, to feel my way into the moment asking, what would kindness look like here?

In a world shouting that you must live your BIGGEST, BEST life, kindness can seem too tame, too quiet, too ordinary. But I begin to suspect that making room for kindness. . . .could take us beyond where we thought we could go, would unleash the breath-takingly wild and generous stuff of which we are made.

 ~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2016

Gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this wonderful photo.