There’s a place in North Wales where forest is like no other. Gentle yet imposing, soothing yet dark. It never fails to stir the soul within me. The air is so fresh it speaks of the deepest, most nourishing sturdiness and wisdom and compares only to the most delightful embrace where I bury myself utterly in bliss. Forest bathing is by far my favourite spiritual practice where my body comes alive completely and I feel home.
One such experience earlier this spring reaffirmed my love for the forest yet again and spoke to me loudly of a place of belonging. As I walked deeper into the pine kingdom covered in emerald moss I felt myself coming alive in every cell. Both my skin and soul screamed for exposure, immersion into what I can only describe as the light of spirit, ancient and completely perfect.
Its welcoming voice whooshed through tree tops roaring, inviting me into its body and I became as one with it. Stripping layer after layer till bearing all I gently rested on its moist floor never wanting to be anywhere else ever again. Complete bliss enveloped my senses and pure peace entered my soul. I have never been more in my body than I was in that moment. It felt primal, instinctual and utterly alive. I wanted to stay in that glorious forest house for eternity.
Such feelings are rarely replicated in life. Like a mother the Earth licked my exposed feet with soft caresses and I felt myself melting into the ground. It took a while to awake myself into the world again and sorrow of separation entered me as I left the forest.
When a heart breaks magic happens. It reawakens qualities in us we forgot existed.
Ever since I was young I have been an advocate of feeling. Feeling deeply, openly, letting your pain spill out into the world like a cry from a place of the darkest shade. There’s beauty in suffering and sorrow and that is because something in us awakes when we are broken hearted, sometimes subtly, sometimes profoundly and we all know that nothing can be the same again and we are changed by it. It often goes unrecognised as we are programmed not to feel, shamed and punished for it from tender age and so it goes from one system into another. For as long as I remember I have been revolting against the oppression that is ‘no dark feelings are allowed’ and have been fighting against suffering in silence. It damages the soul to the extent of it being either abandoned or exiled.
Do you know what a gift it is to be able to feel to the deepest places which only soul can touch? Sorrow speaks of the depth of feeling one is capable of and most of the time it speaks of the power of love that is immeasurable and precious. Through the pain it shines like nothing else.
If only we let ourselves feel to the full open capacity, with honour and compassion not only healing occurs but a transformation that takes us to another level of being present in our authenticity. There is nothing more real than a broken hearted being. It’s raw, it’s tender, vulnerable and beautiful.
In my practice I work with feelings more than anything else. It is the work of carving the light out of a dark cave that is pain and trauma. It is hard, labour intensive, emotionally taxing yet when the break occurs and the heart turns to healing through allowing feelings to flow, results are stunning in its beauty. One touches the soul place once more and it speaks of all that’s been forgotten and suppressed. It offers gifts to us that we had always had within and now we can use them.
Feelings are wise. They live in our bodies and attempt to bring us back to who we are truly from the first moment before the world stamped its hard armour onto us. Through opening up to pain we recognise and accept and visit all the places within that had iron gates on them for what seems like eternity. It is that stepping off the predictable, lit and well-walked path into the dark woods where treasures lie and transformation back into the soul beckons.
A vibe of steady pace manifested on this beautiful and gentle Beltain morning. The air was still and fresh and very present through my body. Something landed in me this morning. How interesting the timing yet so divine. I felt something has arrived finally to say ‘this is it’, ‘the time is now’. It was like a door opened into the light of green and as I dug my hands into fresh soil I felt the heart softening and breathing steady itself.
In the society and through centuries for women it has been all about go go go and do do do, the more tasks the better, the more organised and achieving the more valuable you will be perceived. Such a false human race for time, more jobs and tasks, more activities, etc. No wonder maidens coming out of attachment are exhausted and feeling low in self-worth.
This morning the triple goddess stood strong in her message. Being free and spacious is vital for manifestation of the whole within a being. Slower is not lazy, slower is wiser. It is intuitive, flowing, knowing. Rest and reflection are necessary for manifesting true identity and purpose. I felt it jolt and slot in my body this morning like a piece that’s not always acknowledged or allowed. I have been awareness of my self-created freedom for some years now and consciously been practicing my gratitude for all that it represents, for all that it’s given me. The most sacred thing I always wanted.
Freedom is so desirable and often seen as unachievable and a dream and when it arrives we resist it, putting ourselves in prison, overloading ourselves with more to do to contradict it, as it is not something we are used to. The sadness hovers over it within, as we know we truly desire to be free, but can’t allow it.
It takes a lot of practice to feel completely free and in a slow pace of life. It is the most precious gift, it seems, we all seek and now is the time to say yes to it and recognise as truly ours for the taking.
After two hours of working the plot and communing with the soil I felt compelled to relay the energies of today. It is all very new, fresh and to many it will be unknown, but do go with it, embrace it and lessons will be great.
Beltain 2019 is upon us and today is a portal day, which feels like a new opening, a true shift, a push into a slot previously unoccupied. I could feel it at the back of my head and my fingers this morning and it felt good. It was not explosive or buzzing with noise, but subtle and strong like a regular heart beat one might say. The words that I heard were ‘Love, Friendship and Unity in all things’. The spiritual today does seek peace and surrender to a place softer and brighter. It wants connection and true relating for everything and everyone. Even amidst the world’s darkness, fears and wounds today it felt like there is still an invitation to step into your own ‘new’, take a path you haven’t travelled before. The message also was that whatever one chooses to do it doesn’t even have to be big, small steps remaining curious all the way.
Beltain is traditionally a Fire festival of the two joining together and energies rising to bless a forthcoming bounty of the earth and pray for its gifts yet to come. It is the night of dancing, laughter and dropping inhibitions, things that no longer lit our spark and had gone dull. I felt the element of today, however, was Air. Interesting how things shift without having to explain themselves, something we can all take away as a lesson. Hence my altar naturally did not have any candles on this morning or flowers and only incense representing ‘airing things out’ of a space, life, consciousness, etc. It always makes sense to me. However, what I feel will happen later on this week the effect of this year’s Beltain will grow stronger and that is where Fire element will come in, more towards the weekend. I do plan a Fire celebration with friends and family to show love and embrace good, genuine friendships and allow myself be united with everything that this earthly realm can offer. Most of all unity within is an important aspect. Why do we often fight ourselves, hate on ourselves, blame and criticise ourselves – that has to go, as those are obvious blockers to what is possible. Meet your needs, apply self-compassion daily, rest your mind and soul and nourish your body.
Hope everyone has a beautiful Beltain full of renewal energy.
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