Clearing

Clearing

Do you have some heartache or trouble that you wish to have some clarity about? Well, here's a little story about magic and an invitation to try a simple practice that may help you. There is such a thing as magic. I tell my 8 and 5-year old nephew and niece this in all seriousness.

I'll attempt to use words here to communicate my point, and afterward, invite you to try a simple practice for yourself.

Last week, I came upon a little notebook from June 2009, wherein I had recorded an 'exercise' that I did as part of a Soulcentric Developmental Wheel workshop with Bill Plotkin. The group that gathered for the five day training were camped about on Bill's land on the foothills of Durango, Colorado. In this exercise, we were to spend time on the land, looking for a being who would tell us what our soul powers were. Here is what I hastily scribbled in my notebook, just after the exercise, to get it on paper:

I get all my body needs taken care of and sit in each [of the four cardinal] direction[s], feeling which way calls me. A small ridge to the West feels like the place. I hadn’t really seen this ridge before—my tent is pitched too close to its base. I’m drawn to what appears to be a grove of scrub oak on the densely vegetated slope. How to get in? I find a trail to the north, going up the slope.

I find a sort of a way in. I bushwack a bit, looking for the being I’m supposed to talk to. I come upon a small clearing—and am caught by the three scrub oak on the perimeter—unevenly spaced. I think (of course) of the [relationship] triad [in my life at that time] which is perfectly metaphored by these trees.

I sit down in the clearing, facing the trees. I feel very comfortable sitting in the space. Are these trees who I’ve come to speak to? I ask them. They say “no.” With a sigh, I stand up. I guess I have to press on into the woods. Sigh. I decide to leave my jackets and water in the clearing and plunge into the woods.

I’m thrashing toward a grove of bigger oaks. Looking around . . . where is this being I’m supposed to talk with about soul powers!?? All these trees . . . I feel dejected. Should I thrash further to those trees beyond?

Gads.

I need to go back and get my stuff. I thrash back in disgust.

And when I come back into the clearing, it hits me like thunder.

It’s the CLEARING I’ve come to speak to.

Wow.

I was looking for a THING.

It’s SPACE that was calling me to the grove.

It all came together in my brain like a beautiful picture appearing.

I didn’t speak. Silence; we spoke in silence [the space and I].

The clearing wanted to show me my soul powers, through itself.

Space is everything, but most often, it is not seen. I’ve been making space, creating space, working with space my WHOLE life.

 I see it now.I weep.

I have learned to find wisdom (which, looking back, often feels like magic to me) in my sacred relationship to nature. It's subtle and easily missed. It requires that you act on quiet impulses. Noticing what calls you.

OK, truthfully it's all going on in your own head, your 'imagination' . . . but if you listen carefully enough to let the small voice in, the realizations are profound.

Simple Practice:

• Think about the issue at hand. What are you struggling with? Can you put your finger on the essense of the issue? Frame it in a single question, if possible.

• Sense where in nature you are called. It could be driving 2 hours to a wild place out of the city, or simply walking out to the backyard. Go there.

• Sit in the place you have chosen. Take time to look around and get synched in with your surroundings. Feel your body. Listen to the sounds, smell the smells, feel the textures and temperatures. It is important to get out of your head and allow spaciousness to fill your interior. GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE to let the answer bubble in on its own time.

• Holding your question in your whole being, ask to be led to the answer you need. Be open, willing, and listen to quiet promptings. It's a communication, a 2-way conversation going on here. Ask with an open heart and listen with your whole being to what answers come up.

• You may want to reflect on your story . . . what happens. Sometimes the answer becomes clear after the experience.

Have a great time and feel free to share any experiences you have in the comments for this post!