I like to publish my posts on Fridays and I’ve found the best way to be sure I have something ready to share is to write every morning — adding, deleting, refining as the week progresses.
Sometimes the words come in a rush and it’s a challenge to keep up. Other times, they need coaxing.
And then there are times there are no words at all.
Or rather, there are lots of words, but none of them do justice to what I’m attempting to articulate.
This is one of those times.
I’m spending far more time staring at the screen than filling it, reaching for and then rejecting those inadequate missiles known as ‘words.’
How does one explain the unexplainable?
I guess one just dives in and begins where they are.
I spent last week in the company of a remarkable group of women.
I emptied my savings envelope and travelled far from my home in search of I wasn’t sure what, with I didn’t know who, in an unfamiliar land. Some mornings, as I looked out at the misty landscape, I felt like I’d been transported to Avalon.
And maybe I was.
Avalon is a magical place and so was Carmen Spagnola‘s Gathering of Souls on Vancouver Island. Carmen is a gifted and powerful guide, whose commitment to Spirit is palpable.
I knew this retreat was for me from the moment I heard about it. And every time I thought about it, I wanted to run for the hills.
Just a titch paradoxical, wouldn’t you say?
Yes. And no.
Because the things that call to our souls are the very things that, when we finally lift our heads and look them squarely in the eyes, snatch our breath away — with their beauty, their power, and their pronouncement that ‘yes, you are equal to the task.’
I started this blog on my oldest son’s first day of high school when it hit me that my full-tilt mothering days were slowly winding down and I had no clue what else I had to offer the world. Writing the blog was my first step into becoming visible in the world, giving voice to the thoughts running amok in my head, despite my fears about what ‘they’ would think (and, believe me, those fears are there every time I push the publish button — especially today.)
I published a couple of books. I started doing author visits in order to erase the debt that acccompanied creating the first one. These were satisfying pursuits, but none of them were ‘it.’
I wrestled with tempting thoughts of slipping into early retirement. No one was requiring me to do anything more than spend my days writing and reading and being present for my family and friends. But something was clamouring for expression. Something I didn’t even have words for.
And then my oldest son graduated and moved to the other end of the world and my youngest son got his driver’s license and was suddenly gone more than he was home. And my angst increased.
Who am I? Why am I here?
If there’s a plan for every soul, tell me mine.
Tell me, damn it!
And it better be valuable and important work because, if it isn’t, I’d rather just go Home. Because, truthfully, in my heart of hearts, that is what I yearn for. Staying here, witnessing the slow death of this wild and beautiful planet while its so-called stewards gorge themselves on mindless distractions is just too damn painful.
I asked and asked — pleaded even — and finally quit wailing enough to listen . . . and act on what I heard.
I’ve been led me to a few things. I still don’t know how some of them fit into the big scheme of things, but I’m trusting that they will. And I’ve been led to people who can only be described as godsends.
Carmen was one of those people. So when she called, I answered.
I knew it would be an initiation. Maybe even a capital ‘I’ Initiation.
But — holy crap — it was an INITIATION.
I was called to release the burdens I’d been carrying. I was called to journey inward and retrieve the wisdom that resides within me. And to share it. I was called to face the Darkness that also resides within me. Not hide from it. Not pretend it isn’t there. But face it and negotiate with it and place clear parameters around ways it could serve me as I moved forward.
And I was called to Be Present to something much bigger than me and to use my skills, gifts, and talents to bring that Wisdom — that Mystery — to other women at every stage of their development.
To the Maiden. To the Mother. To the Crone.
I still don’t know what the heck that looks like as I transition back into real life in this beautiful, fragile world.
But I see how everything in my life has led me to this moment.
And I know that I don’t have to know in advance, or even understand, every single step along the way. I don’t even have to know what the next step is.
My job is to stand tall in this moment. To Listen. To Trust what I am hearing no matter how it looks to my logical mind (or to the people around me). And, above all, to Act on what I hear.
Already the powerful visions I received at the retreat are fading. I have to rely on the words I scribbled in my journal and the memories of the women who journeyed with me to keep me focused and on my path.
Luckily, I have a call with Carmen, my Teacher, Mentor, and Guide, this afternoon. I know she holds that vision for me. Magnificently.
I can hardly wait to speak with her again.
And I want to run for the hills.