written by Dodde
The thing I like best about Church of the Earth is experiencing other people’s paths and how they walk them. Often in circle I will have a “yes” moment or two. But once in a Blue Moon, I will have a grand “AHA!!!” moment! Such was the case during Kristen’s circle last month.
To give you a bit of background of where I am at these days, last fall I became an empty nester and had to get an actual life. Sigh. What to do? I spent months honoring the hermit inside myself, taking naps, and staring at walls. I gradually came to the conclusion that I wanted to deepen my personal practice. But what would be my focus and how would I go about it? What was ‘important’ enough? Surely there was a book that would answer these questions for me, a guru I could ask to show me the way. But, alas, there were no answers in the pages of other people’s musings. And no fellow sitting on a hilltop with nothing better to do than advise a weary traveler. Nonetheless, I read, I took classes, I searched endlessly looking for someone out there to give me my next mission. I felt restless and ready to get on with it, by gum! But I could not find answers…
…UNTIL Kristen’s fabulous circle! During her circle the answer to my quest came bubbling up from WITHIN MYSELF! All the shiny bits of information I had been collecting in the raven’s nest of my mind coalesced into one beautiful picture!
Shiny Bit One: Kristen’s circle was about cycles of life, nature, moons, self, etc. One of her exercises centered around observing the cycles of nature around us. She had us sit quietly for 5 minutes. She said that humans have very busy energy and when we go into nature everything stops until we leave. But if we take the time to be still, nature would just resume its business like we were not even there. So we sat, breathed, and basked in a beautiful day! It was wonderful! I felt so refreshed. And then I remembered that when I was a tiny kidlet, we lived in a Little House in the Big Wood (a cabin in the Arapahoe National Forest), and my mom and I would do this very thing. Deer and chipmunks were especially receptive to quiet humans. I remember being enchanted. *CLICK*
Shiny Bit Two: Kristen also talked about the Findhorn Garden in Scotland and how they found a way to contact plant beings. I have always had a good connection with animals—but plants, not so much. But now she was telling me there was a way for me to talk with the plants??? *CLICK*
Shiny Bit Three: I had also recently taken a class with Beth Owl’s Daughter about connecting to the unseen world. I had not felt ready to take on such a giant and intimidating task. But maybe the time had come and I really was ready. *CLICK*
So as I am sitting in nature quietly, the clouds part, the sun shines upon me, and angels sing! The pieces fall together and create this picture right out of a psychedelic Peter Max poster: My arms flung wide in joy as my wild hair becomes one with the surrounding vines and branches and I dance with deer and chipmunks to the music of our Good Neighbors!
THIS is the part of my personal practice I wanted to deepen, my connection with the natural world! And I have taken this to heart. I spend time outside every day and have consciously reached out to plants and spirits in my yard and on daily walks in the park. I have been rewarded by visits from deer and toads. I often find feathers and other gifts from my new friends. I am content and no longer restless, waiting to be shown what to do for myself from some guru or outside being. The answers are (mostly) inside myself.
Why did I share this story? What is the moral? Keep your ears and mind open at circle—you might find exactly what you never knew you always wanted!