Patience, patience, patience, and faith

Nautilus-Shell-36The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea. Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Ah the sea! Such a great teacher. If only I could be more like the sea. And herein lies my problem with life. I don’t wait patiently, openly, I’m always grasping, searching. I’m rarely choiceless. I almost always know exactly what I want, and what everyone else should want too, if I could just get my way, everything would be perfect.

I have never been ‘empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.’ I am always digging, wanting more, cutting open the goose that laid the golden egg.

Someone who resides deep in my heart called me on this behaviour during the week.- giving me great cause for reflection. And although it is always hard to be shown one’s shortcomings, I am grateful.

You see, I finally understand where I go wrong with the things I love. Not just with people, but with everything.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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I haven’t seen the gifts in my life as gifts from the sea, as serendipitous presents washed upon my shore. I have seen them as a Christmas present to be opened and devoured in one sitting. And even then found wanting and greedily exchanged for more stuff at the Boxing Day sales.

I haven’t just allowed things to unfold to me in their own time and way, I have always cajoled, pushed, pulled, manipulated, controlled, forced, or tried to anyway.

I’m like the proverbial kid in a candy store. Shovelling in as much as I can. There’s no savouring or appreciation of the bounty. There’s no faith that it will be there if I slow down and appreciate it, and that I don’t need to be so greedy.

But I am glad of the lesson, of truly seeing how my problem is, not so much in manifesting gifts in my life, it’s the lack of respect and faith I show them once they do appear.

I would like to say I’ll be different now, but it’s too soon for that. All I can hope is that I’ll be more aware, more conscious.

Don’t wish me happiness
I don’t expect to be happy all the time…
It’s gotten beyond that somehow.
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor.
I will need them all. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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As I reviewed my last post, through another’s eyes, I saw this greed and grasping. It wasn’t pretty. Here I was commanding that the universe must deliver my intentions, in my way, on my timeline or I would, what? Lose faith, give up?

In the face of a year that has brought gift after gift after gift, my arrogance, my lack of respect and appreciation, was astounding to me.

And in the past I would have beaten up on myself, but that too is not appreciating the gift. This insight, this perspective into my subconscious driving forces is a huge gift. And I won’t disrespect it. I won’t expect it to flood me and change me overnight into some more spiritual version of myself – whatever that means.

I know I can walk through the world, along the shore or under the trees, with my mind filled with things of little importance, in full self-attendance. A condition I can’t really call being alive. Mary Oliver

Even as I write there is the awareness that in a month, or a year, or an hour, this realisation will again shift and break apart into infinite drops of seaspray and become something else. And at some point I’ll hold on too tight to it, I’ll decide it could be improved somewhat, if it was more like this, less like that. And then it will slip through my fingers, like trying to hold onto water. But that’s okay too.

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me. Mary Oliver

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Scott Alexander King writes that spiritual knowledge, and the power that comes with it, must be approached with a committed, objective mindset. We cannot learn true wisdom in a weekend workshop, or a degree course. He says, “Before questing for spiritual attainment we must first dedicate ourselves to becoming a whole person; a process that involves surrendering our familiar self to Spirit, so our authentic self, hidden deep within, can emerge reborn.”

I think this is the real learning I am receiving from this year of intentions. I have been set on a course, but of course I was never going to reach my destination in this year. So rather than trying to tick off the boxes of my intentions, a greater gift is to see where those intentions have pointed me in new directions, where they have allowed my heart and mind to open to new and wonderful experiences, to where I have been fundamentally altered as a human being.

True wisdom must be deserved. It must be gathered over a lifetime of study and embraced as a way of life.  It must become a path of the heart explored with absolute devotion. We must be prepared to face our fears and conquer them and turn our weaknesses into strengths and our darkest hours into gifts of power.  Scott Alexander King

This week in our shamanic community, we have been journeying to connect with an element of nature. As I saw myself stepping outside onto my balcony, in my mind’s eye, a great tidal wave of water rushed toward me.

I was shown how water has always been with me, in childhood dreams I would lift a latch door in my bedroom floor which led me to the ocean, I would swim and meet water beings. I have many dreams of tsunami waves, of being engulfed, claimed by the sea.

This wave took me to the ocean where I swam with fish and sea turtles, and then to a river where I splashed and played with a group of otters. It was a very loving, healing, energy. The message from this water elemental is to be light and flow and play.

Water does not resist. Water flows. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. Margaret Atwood

Nautilus-Shell-34I had a similar message from my upper world guide, who is a light being who took me to the farthest star in the universe. He took me to a crystal cave where there was a pool of water that was swirling in emerald green and azure blue healing waters.  The light being had me swim in the healing waters and told me to play, so I somersaulted and played with other light beings. It was so refreshing to my spirit!

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence. Kahil Gibran

Spirit is telling me to lighten up, to be the light I want to see in the world, to play and laugh and be joyful. There is a time to be serious and solemn, but there is also the need for light heartedness.

In a subsequent journey with water. Water again came up onto my balcony and sucked me into it’s undertow. This time I became water. From water I evaporated into the sky. Raining down into a river, then emptied into the sea. Moving fast this time, I felt a little fearful of the power of water in full force.

Deep and rough ocean waves, huge and gray-green with dark depths beneath, crashed around me. Fear arose strongly in me, and as if in response to my fear, I was washed up on a beach where I sat and talked with water spirit/deity.

They communicated to me that there was no more fear to be felt in rough waves than calm waters. Water doesn’t fear the deep ocean more than the tranquil bay. Ego, attachment to form creates fear. Water has no attachment to form. It flows. It lets go. It trusts. I went back into deep ocean with this sense of trust. The experience became more excitement than anxiety. Deep, dark ocean depths roiled beneath me, and I sensed my unconscious there – there was much more of myself, of life, to explore. I felt a fear of my deepest darkest depths, and yet sensed its untapped power.

The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth, it can lie down like silk breathing or toss havoc shoreward; it can give gifts or withhold all; it can rise, ebb, froth like an incoming frenzy of fountains, or it can sweet-talk entirely. As I can too, and so, no doubt, can you, and you. Mary Oliver

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The weekend heralded the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Solstice literally means ‘standstill’ and for three days the sun appears to rise at the exact same point on the horizon. This week leading to the Summer Solstice has been overwhelming for many. A reminder that the powerful solar fire energy can be harnessed for good or evil.

The idea of a standstill is a powerful one. So often, and particularly at this time of year, life becomes so busy and so focused on getting through the end of the year. and surviving Christmas, that we forget to slow down, to breathe, to check in with our emotional state. If the traffic on the roads are any indicator of this, we are all being thoughtless, impulsive and selfish.

The Solstice is a time when the energies of nature, of the otherworld are closest in communion to our ordinary reality. As such it is a wonderful time to commune with nature. In this way we can stop and stand still and breathe. We can experience that there is more to life than our fabricated sense of reality.

All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better. Mary Oliver

I celebrated the Solstice with a dance ritual on the Friday, Chakradance on Saturday and a druid ritual on Sunday.

We met at the grassy plain atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. Communing with the sun, earth, air and water we honoured the elements, the nature spirits and our own divinity, we made vows for the year to come. Then we feasted and swam in the ocean. It was a beautiful celebration of life’s rich bounty.

Coming home I took a bath and a deep sadness overwhelmed me. “Oh for God’s sake, when will I be free of this grief?” I exclaimed to the water.

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

My heart is opening. What greater gift could love bring me?

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Affirmations for healing your heart chakra by Natalie Southgate, founder of Chakradance

I am open to love and kindness.
I give and receive love freely.
My heart is full.
I forgive myself….
I have so much to be grateful for.
The love that I give comes back to me many times over.
I am connected with other human beings.
I am at peace.

Affirmations are positive messages for our inner self. It is always best to make affirmations personal, so use the affirmations above which really resonate with your inner self or create some of your own. Spend some time each day, either silently or out loud, saying and feeling these positive messages for your heart. Natalie Southgate

Bless!

Images by Kathy Morton-Stanion

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