Friday, April 25, 2008

Loving Myself

If I don't love myself, if I don't experience loving myself unconditionally, then I will not know how to love others. I can't give what I don't have.

After reading Talking To Nightlights post this morning, and taking the subsequent link to Anita's NDE interview, this is what struck me the most. It is an amazing story; you will do yourself a service if you read it.

It is so simple, really. I can't give what I don't have.

I have heard this before, but never with the clarity with which I absorbed it this morning. I can be caring and loving...all the right things...but unless I love myself, the whole of myself...body, mind and Spirit, accepting each and every thing about myself, past and present...unless I experience it towards myself, how can I know what love is?

Having recently moved to a different part of the Province, there are myriad appointments that must be made...with a new Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Banker, Massage Therapist...the list goes on. And each of these appointments spawns a whole series of new ones...hospitals, drugstores, and specialists. Then there are all the new services...we have a well and septic system, which requires care; we want to build, which requires new contractors.

And each time I must explain myself and what I require. This is not an easy endeavour for me, at depends upon how I feel about myself, at that particular moment. If I am not feeling loving towards myself, I will project that lovelessness to others, who will feel that negative energy. The whole project, whatever it is, can go sour from that first instant.

I notice, however, if the opposite occurs, if I am feeling good and loving towards myself, I project that same energy to others. Each time, what I give out comes back to me.

Loving myself can change circumstances. It gives self-power. It changes realities.

With arthritis, a disease which can continue to worsen over time, I have accepted the fact it is a part of me...a part of my body, which struggles at times with pain. And I told my doctor ( medical personnel continually want to try a drug or another, to alleviate swelling, etc.) it was not so bad, really...I have grown accustomed to it.

I spoke softly, but with strength, when I gave my new doctor the news that I would continue to monitor pain, use massage therapies and other alternative methods...but I would not try out any more new drugs.

I can still feel the hives from the last experiment.

Had I not read Anita's story, I would have felt apologetic about my body's lack of tolerance...I would have felt sorry for even having arthritis.

Instead, I felt proud and loving of the way my Body, Mind and Spirit had dealt with it. And my new doctor and I have a relationship where we are equal partners.

Once upon a time, I felt loving myself was selfish. And I continued to bash myself, to unequivocally take the blame...for pretty much anything. Even as I write these words, I feel the negativity trying to take hold.

You see, if my belief is that all Beings are One, and if I don't love myself...then I cannot love others, either.

It all goes back to wanting to be able to give what I know I have.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Large Rock

Our property is criss-crossed with game trails. When Snow arrives in the Spring, all the trails are looks very like Hobbit pathways throughout. As cold as it is right now, all over British Columbia, the dogs and I cannot resist following those trails, in the early morning, before Snow melts.

As a result, I have found many paths that I may not have been aware of so easily, had we not had Snow overnight.

And down one of those trails, coming from a hillock covered with Berry bushes and other delicious plants yet to be identified, the dogs and I came upon a very large Boulder, which completely blocks the path.

I noticed immediately that the Boulder had been there for a long was covered in Lichen and Moss, and his base was deeply grounded. I was interested in the Plant life covering it and knew I would have to later bring my camera to take pictures of the configurations all over the surface of this Rock.

In order to go around the Boulder, I had to push my way through Rose Bushes which grew very close to him. I stumbled a bit, and placed my hand on his surface for balance...and received a powerful, very warm jolt of energy. Taking my hand away, and caught in the Roses, I stared at the Rock in wonder.

And then I noticed the ring of Stones, covered in Moss, which surrounded the bigger Boulder.

Oh! Had I stumbled upon an ancient Medicine Wheel?

The Circle was still intact, but the larger Stones, the ones which would have been placed for honouring each direction, were piled off to the side. Old, crumbling branches had been gathered and heaped, barely visible now through Aspen Tree, Rose and Berry bushes.

This large Rock is directly in line with and just below The Bench. There is a distinctive Fir tree close by, his Bark shining golden in Sun's rays, the only Tree which shines like this that I have noticed so far. It is easy to notice the Tree; I had wondered what his kind was, when I saw him from the deck of the house.

Suddenly, all the small pointers, blazes and Altars I have found on the Trails made some sense. Again, these are in a direct line to the Rock. Did they once designate the way to the large Stone? Or were they small offerings to honour Mother Earth along the way to the gathering place?

Long ago, the Native peoples would have followed the game trails, hunting Wildlife and gathering Berries. This land was tended by them, just as a farmer would tend his crops. They were expert at it, pruning the Saskatoon berries, and using the whip-like branches for baskets. They would use controlled fires, close to Rivers and Creeks, to rejuvenate the growth on the land.

The Natives knew their land and what was required to honour it, thereby honouring Spirit.

A Medicine Wheel, put very simply, is the demarcation of Sacred space, a holy place where all are reminded to live in harmony with all life. These Stones, then, mark a vortex of energy where all life is honoured, and joined in the Wheel of Life; the unending Spiral or Circle or Wheel of interdependence. It is a space to honour oneness with all Beings.

In the centre of the Wheel is a large that represents Spirit. And then there are four more Boulders, which are gateways to the four directions...North, South, East and West. These hold archetypes and patterns to life. There would be more Stones, more lines, their meaning clear to the builders of the Wheel.

Each element of the Wheel holds a different meaning...and it takes years, sometimes, to understand the deeper significance. When I built my Medicine Wheel, I felt directed to use Grandfather Tree as representing Spirit. He did not let me down, but I lived there for a couple of years before I understood him and what he was about. I had only begun on the directions and their meanings in my life.

Whether or not this large Stone marks a spot once considered sacred is of small consequence to me. I feel he was utilized for something...he may have given warmth and shelter to travellers through the land, as he is situated at the bottom of two hillocks, giving surcease from the North Wind. Or, perhaps, he was a Stone who children learned to climb upon, sitting on his warm back in the strong Sunshine.

He was left here by Glaciers; I know he has many stories to tell, if he would share with me. I have only recently met him; this morning, in below-freezing temperatures, when I laid my hand upon his back, again, he felt warm...and again, he sends a warm, energetic flow.

And lately, my dreams have been extremely vivid...extremely telling. Have I met this large Boulder before, in another reality? And will he invite me in?

I imagine I will clear the area a little...keep it cut back, when Spring arrives. There are ticks about.

Because I believe I will be visiting this large Rock many times over, during the time I spend here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Bench

On a bluff on our property, high above the tops of the Aspen and Birch far below, sits a small Bench, made out of stumps and a plank, painted an unfortunate green.

The Bench is innocuous, blending in with its surroundings, not noticeable, really, in any way...yet if one should happen to sit upon it, to gaze over the is transported, without noticing a thing, to another realm.

It is a calm journey, not one that would frighten or startle...but suddenly one finds oneself soaring over the treetops, seeing the homes and the fields of the valley below. It is as if one were on a Magic Carpet...a little dizzying, but not a lot to be concerned about.

I first saw the Bench after the former owner told me about, from there, it was possible to view the entire property. But I was below it, and didn't take the time to climb through the Snow to sit upon it.

I remembered it the other day, however. Snow is melting, dripping, gurgling and singing its farewell song, and the Bluff is clear, covered with Kinnikinnick, Roses and other Berries yet to be identified. The dogs and I climbed the small incline towards the Bench.

I sat down, the dogs panting and resting by my side.

It was one of the few warm days we've had. As Sun's golden rays touched my face and Wind tickled my ears, I closed my eyes, in order to listen more closely to Wind's guarded whisper. His caress over my face made me drowsy, like a child being stroked by his Mother.

Watch, said Wind, Listen and Remember...

How odd, I thought, Remember what? But Wind moved on, branches swaying in his path, leaving me to discover whatever it was for myself.

I heard Coyote in the distance, singing his lonely that reminds me of Loon, who once aroused the same feeling within me. A long time ago, by the pond of my childhood.

And as I followed Coyote's call, the land changed. Spring, with its attendant Bird calls and buzzing of Insects, was in full fruitfulness all around me. There were Flowers, colouring the landscape yellow and blue and pink and red, along with bright, young, green Grasses and Leaves.

I flew over the Aspen and Birch, noting the difference in their leaf colours, hearing the whisper of the Aspen leaves, like soft, gentle coastal Rain. I was shown, in the deep gully where the Grove grew, a huge stump, rotting and being further torn apart by Bear in his search for food. I saw where Moose congregated and Mule Deer browsed within their herds.

I heard the warning...Be aware, it is Spring. There are Youngsters about.

I journeyed on. I saw a large Rockery, filled with Herbs...Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme...and Sage. I saw Lilac Trees filling the air with their perfume. I saw Calendula and Clematis, tangling her witch's seed heads throughout the Big Firs. I saw a garden, and realized it was mine.

I saw an Eagle. I watched as he chased Snow Owl, who silently ducked into the Trees, with the prey he had stolen from Eagle. I lost sight of Owl, but my eyes followed Eagle, listening to his disgruntled rebuke. He circled and circled, trying to catch sight of Owl...but then wheeled off, calling once more. I flew with him, so easily, it seemed, from my perch on the Bench.

I flew over the countryside, a different land than the one I was familiar with. Lady Spring had touched her Wand over every Field, Tree and Flower and had painted the Cariboo all the colours of the Rainbow, shimmering and unreal to my startled eyes.

The dogs roused me. A nose nudged my hand. It was time to wander on.

After a deep dream such as this, when I am caught unaware, the colours that surround me are intensified. It is as if each Branch and Leaf, each Boulder, from the biggest to the smallest, have a luminous light that shimmers and shines, delineating each and every Being. The Land, though not Springlike, looked beautiful.

And I realized...each Season in its time.

Spring will arrive in all its glory. So will the warm, golden days of Summer, the crisp days of Autumn, and the cold, clear days of Winter. As sure as anything.

And becoming impatient for the end of Winter will not cure a will not change the cycle Mother Earth has found for herself.

I left the Bench, glancing back in awe and wonder. Had I, after only a couple of weeks, already found the Magical Place? Where journeys transpire, and where one understands the language of the Beings who inhabit this place?

A small, innocent Bench, painted an unfortunate green...who knew?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Histories to Learn

Well. What an odyssey this Move has been.

It seems I have been running non-stop for a week. It seems there is no end to the boxes I so foolishly insisted on unpacking myself. And the boxes are all labelled differently as to what is really inside.

When I want to unpack a box labelled Kitchen, for example, I end up with useless items I have no idea why they were packed in the first place, since these things serve no useful purpose. These items were placed way back in the cupboards, not to see the light of day until we moved. It would be really great if I could find dishes I could use...such as dinner plates. Those might be nice to find.

We moved in during a Snowstorm. But the weather changes so quickly here...Skies are bright blue, with nary a Cloud in sight, and then suddenly Snow starts to fall...

Yesterday we were sitting on the deck, enjoying the warm Sunshine, when out of the blue, Wind picked up and howled up the draw, bringing in yet another Snow shower. I have yet to see Rain fall is always, so far, Snow.

But it is less Icy in the mornings, the previous owner's Tulips are showing their tips, and I believe I can see the Grass greening up. Spring will arrive, even in the Cariboo...and points farther North.

What Heaven it was, on the first few days we moved in! After the cramped quarters of the Motel, it seemed we were living in the Taj seemed as if, as I unpacked, I walked miles placing items in the various rooms.

Previously, our home had been painted a very bright yellow. A very bright yellow. And, since there were a couple of days to go before the Movers arrived, Graham painted over it... a first coat of Greenfield Pumpkin...a warm nutmeg tone. First thing.

And we enjoyed the wildlife! Every animal that wandered through, I rejoiced and greeted...until the Dogs arrived.

But Lucky, who had spent time in a "Spa" in the Cariboo, had grown accustomed to the smells; Moose, Elk, Mule Deer and assorted other beings were not new. On his own with us for the first few days, he showed no signs of chasing or barking, even when Mule Deer walked right beside him. It was amazing.

We were not so lucky when Nate arrived, having spent his time on the coast with Graham's son. All these new smells, when he arrived, became too much for him...and even with the extremely heartfelt reunion between these two kennel mates and the subsequent relief both of them underwent...his tummy succumbed. And we had a few rough days and nights.

Mule Deer wander through at all times of the day. They didn't stop doing this browsing, just because there were Dogs here. There are two huge Stags who rest on a knoll on our property, every full view of us...and the Dogs. Oh oh.

The first day, with Nate on leash, the two Stags taunted the boys and Nate lunged, wanting to give chase. Lucky, who does what Nate commands, Nate being the "boss" between the two, went tearing off joyfully after the Deer...on his own, because Nate was being held back strongly by the leash.

I was horrified. But Lucky realized he no longer had Nate beside him, and only chased the Deer off our property...and came back. Had these two been together...

You see, the Conservation department shoots Dogs who run Deer or any wildlife, especially in the area where I live. It is a ranchers' right to shoot Dogs who come near their herds. I have suddenly been transported to gun country.

Shopping in a feed store in Williams Lake, I was told...Welcome to redneck country. You're one of us now.

I had no idea what to say. Stymied me completely.

So...a fence must be built, to give the Dogs their boundaries. And an excavator is coming in, to level an area for the Woodworking Shop. And a new kitchen is on order. There is much unpacking still to be done. There are items on every flat surface...and every bit of furniture, each dish and cup, has a film of dust on it, from the Move.

But I feel at home here, high amongst Trees I am only beginning to know. I have yet to pick a favourite Tree. That will take time, before one friend will introduce himself to me and become another mentor, just as Grandfather Tree was.

I live in a Forest, on the side of a Mountain. There are many, many Trees here of all varieties. And Boulders...age old glacial till, huge, enormous Beings with so many stories to tell. And Kinnickinnic and Mahonia and Elderberries and Saskatoons. So many Aspens and Birch.

So many histories to learn.

The journey has just begun.