Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fresh Breezes

Sometimes a window inside your chest unexpectedly opens, and a fresh breeze moves through you in a way that makes you wonder if you have really ever taken a full breath before. Last week, in the midst of a retreat, I arose one morning at five to write and meditate before the group session began, and something shifted. Suddenly the disparate threads of my life formed a coherent whole in a way they had not before. Something inside of me that I did not know was hanging on, let go.

But, it wasn’t only joy and celebration, wasn’t all elation and new found freedom. At the edge of the fresh wind I could hear a long low moan of recognition, a great grief cry for the one wound I had avoided knowing fully, the one soul injury I had not acknowledged needed tending.

Still, there was a great relief in finding myself in a new spaciousness between the rock of denial and the hard place of despair. I felt like my feet were planted on solid ground, and there was a new ease in my breathing, a glimpse of a bigger picture, a deeper knowing of my purpose.

When our noses are no longer pressed up against the tapestry, freed from preoccupation with the individual threads and the knots, the pattern can be seen, and the very particular purpose that has always been there in the fabric of one small life is revealed. And we realize that it all comes down to this: all the struggles and challenges, all the blessings and benefits have all been in the service of the task that is ours.

And the question changes. Once it was- what is my purpose? Now it becomes- how will I live the one word I have taken life to say? How will I deepen the one healing I have taken life to find and embody? How will I embody this so it may help alleviate suffering in myself, others and the world?

It’s not that I have not had this happen before. This discovery of purpose and healing happens again and again, each time at deeper levels of the spiral, each time opening a door to greater freedom and awareness, each time feeling like the first time. And I begin again.

Perhaps this is why I was attracted to a shamanic path- the shaman is always the wounded healer, the one who has been opened by the wound and has gained wisdom that can be shared from the healing journey. It’s not about identifying with our wounding, but identifying with and sharing the magic and meaning embodied in the healing.

When we move past our resistance to seeing what is, stop trying to avoid the truth of our lives, healing and truth-telling can happen on a deeper level of being. That’s when choosing life fully becomes possible. For me, that’s when the real writing begins.

Oriah (c) 2012

(I will be away on personal retreat at a cabin in the woods for the next two weeks. No phone, no internet, just writing. Hopefully I will have a few things to share when I return August  15.)

1 comment:

  1. And so, another layer of the onion gets peeled away. I relate. Enjoy your retreat.