The Wilderness Within (Part 4: South)

Ahhh sweet, wild, primal South!
You make me feel,
or maybe just…because of you
I can truly feel.

My South walk consisted of me playing aerialist on the rope swing that was on the hill behind the cabin. I wanted to get a taste of the rope swing at some point, and it just perfectly worked out that it was this walk.

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Is this swing even safe? Many people probably have used it before… Did a certified arborist check it out? Does the branch look sturdy? If I fall, will I hurt myself? What if I fall when I’m out THIS far…will I die if I land upside down?

Was this fragmented North trying to protect me? Or whole North? Aww, thanks, bud! I’m going to play anyway. I’m used to swinging on hanging things. I feel supported by my own physical strength and body awareness. But would the tree say the same?

I tested out the answer to all those questions by swinging on the swing. I started slow. I felt in my body. I felt the bounciness of the rope. I started picking up speed. I’d walk-jump to the other side. How does it feel? How do I feel? THIS FEELS LIKE I WANNA GO ALL OUT! Alrighty, South, hold on a sec. Let’s work our way up to that, said Whole North.

It wasn’t long before I became more comfortable in my body. I experimented with different types of twists while swinging from one side of the tree to the other. I could twist in either direction before landing (not on the same swing though…there were just options on how I wanted to get to the other side). Sometimes I’d jump so far away from the tree that I was able to lean backward and look at the world from upside down. This was the perfect chance for the inner dialogue to say “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! DO YOU SEE THE GROUND UNDERNEATH YOU? DO YOU WANT YOUR HEAD TO LAND THERE?!?!?!” Dear Inner Critic, I DGAF at the moment and want to continue having fun. I loved swinging back and forth on there. Towards the end, I was able to do two spins before landing on the other side. Though, I did kindly/gently smash into the trunk of the tree during the experimentation phase.

It was a dance to be swinging back and forth on the tree. In a way, I felt like the tree and I were dancing together. At times there was even music! Yes, real music. Someone was playing the flute at the bottom of the hill. The wind carried most of the music to me and I acted it out in girl-on-rope-swing form.

I struggle with expressing all emotions and feelings (if they are even the same?). Ever since November 2015 (when my friend was in the hospital for a perceived suicide attempt), I have been trying to be conscious about being open and honest when people ask me about how I am doing. Most of the time “Good” is not a completely accurate way to describe the rich inner world and experience of life. Who wants to hear a novel when they might have just been asking a generic question? (Why should I care…)

South has taught or reminded me to be a raw, expressive self.

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The Wilderness Within (Part 3: East)

“You are me and I am you
I’ll always be with you
You are sun, the rain, and the moonbeams
You are the Divine Goddess of my dreams”
– Shpongle –

reflection

East is the direction or aspect of psyche that I have the hardest time understanding, defining, or explaining.

I definitely resonate with the escapist or addict or even blisshead. I’ve abused drugs regularly in the past, I can latch on to any new spiritual ideology that invites me to leave my worries and problems where they are and transcend them, and I avoid having certain types of interpersonal conversations that I feel vulnerable about. These are all actions my fragmented East takes to bring me closer to the divine. Thanks? Actually…Thanks. You are trying your best with what you have.

What is whole East like? Is it the feeling of walking in a meadow in pitch black night while looking at the stars and getting slightly dizzy at the abundance of stars and perceiving the curvature of the Earth? Is it the feeling of looking into the distance in a forest and feeling “tripped out” by the 3D-ness of the surroundings? Is it the epiphany that anxiety can be felt in different parts of the body at various times?

Elusive

East is elusive and ethereal to me. Maybe it can’t be picked apart into pieces because it would then lack wholeness and unity, its essence.

I have in my notes:

Spiritual love / humbling love:
-brings you to knees in humility
-dissolves defenses
-cuts thru bullshit

When I started writing October 2nd’s entry above, the opening could have said:

I just got off the bus and walked to this spot in the forest. Up until now, I was feeling on edge, about to crack. I hadn’t done my morning meditation yet, so I decided to do it here. I sit down, I start the stopwatch, and immediately tears start rolling down my face. I let it all out now. I’m embraced by the soft, pokey pine needles, the crazy wind, and the sunlight kissing my face and wiping my tears away. This sure feels like the spiritual love that makes me surrender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wilderness Within (Part 2)

October 2nd 2017 12:05 PM

I am sitting in a park near my house. Buffalo Park? McPhearson Park? I’m not sure. I’ve been having a really tough week emotionally. It has had its ups and downs. I’m doing well in school. I’m staying on top of my homework, usually finishing assignments the day before they are due, with the exception of this. I’m making huge progress with aerial silks. My body is getting so strong and graceful.

Yet, inside I feel this intense gloom. Am I just acknowledging it now? Has it finally reached a tipping point from “I can handle this” to “well…shoot. I can’t handle this handle more?” I feel like I’m walking through the world with a mask on, a façade to hide what I’m really thinking. Yay for social likeability; nay for personal truth.

The Mask

 Always a mask
Held in the slim hand whitely
Always she had a mask before her face–

 Truly the wrist
Holding it lightly
Fitted the task;
Sometimes however
Was there a shiver,
Fingertip quiver,
Ever so slightly–
Holding the mask?

 For years and years and years I wondered
But dared not ask
And then–
I blundered,
Looked behind the mask,
To find
Nothing–
She had no face.

 She had become
Merely a hand
Holding a mask
With grace.

–Author unknown

 

This poem was displayed during my scene during Dark Sky Aerial’s TILT production this summer at the Monte Vista. My character was the Oracle: a beautiful, 11-foot-tall woman in a gorgeous white dress. Rose petals and candles were all around me as I held a creepily elegant mask to my face. Yet, I didn’t have a face. I wore a nude stocking on my head to match the essence of the poem, and my own life. In the background, there was a recording of audience members’ confessions and answer to the question “What would you say if you were wearing a mask?” When people bought their tickets there was an opportunity for them to share their inner world. Later during my scene, it became their outer world when they could hear “me” speak their confessions out loud while wearing a mask (technically two…or three if I count my own).

This experience performing public art was powerful for me. I began to challenge my own interactions with other people. Do I really mean what I am saying right now? Is this ME interacting with them right now? I was faced with being exposed to my own conditioning in the world. There are SO many times in our lives that scripts are laid out for us. And almost as many times where we fall into the cycle of following along.

I’ve been thinking this week a lot about what depression is. Is it related to the inner critic? All I hear is judgments, anger, and disappointment. I noticed that I talk crap about myself through other people. For example, I recently got food on campus. I ordered a smoothie at Jamba Juice and went next door to get tacos while I was waiting for the smoothie to be done. When they call my number, I walk up with tacos in hand to grab my smoothie and the guy next to me looks down at me and says “Pig!” He never said a word, or even looked at me. This was all in myself. A part of me is using other people to put down my own self. Has this always been the case? I’m not sure. I’ve only noticed it in the last few months, maybe the last year. Perhaps a part of me is too “nice” to be so mean to myself so it projects it on to other people to make myself seem like the innocent victim.

The Wilderness Within (Part 1)

*This next series was actually an assignment that I submitted for a 1-credit Ecodepthpsychology class that I just took. Depth Psychology explores the subconscious. Ecodepthpsychology is the study of how humans can relate with Nature in such a way that exposes shadows and other aspects of the psyche. Basically, it was a badass weekend full of journaling, deep reflection, rhythm circles, sacred communication, being brave, and being vulnerable. The first parts will be journal entries on my overall experience. The later parts will be specific reflections on the East, South, West, and North aspects of my psyche.


General Impressions and the Rippling Into My Life So far

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 11:22 AM

I’m sitting in the grass underneath the Shawn Skabelund installation art piece outside of the communication building. There is a twinkling sound up above me from the hanging miniature metal disks that dance in the wind.

Ponderosa Tremuloides by Shawn Skabelund

 

I’m growing more and more annoyed by the sound of cars, trucks, and buses driving up and down Knoles Dr. right behind me. I remember back in the forest this most recent time, how much I slowed down my life. Living this way, my senses are truly able to perceive the most from my surroundings. There is a depth, an intimacy that comes with that. Here, I get flashes of that but I am more drawn to the sounds that distract from this intimacy. It feels a little stressful, or maybe I just take it too personally.

I don’t give myself enough of these spiritual retreats. What I’m alluding to here it the opportunity to do some soul work away from my “daily routine.” There is always a feeling of refreshment, returning, recalibrating back to a purer version of my self. It’s like it cleans the windows that my human consciousness looks out of. And dang! I didn’t know it was so dirty!

I just looked around the tree that is directly in front of me and I saw a dead crow in the grass.

In the past, I have learned about the meaning of the four directions. Well, not really. I listened when they were mentioned, but I had no understanding of what they meant. It was just a passing interesting fact. Learning about the map to the psyche was mind-blowing. I was provided a blueprint for another way to understand my experiences of life.

4 High-Impact Choices You Can Make That Will Positively Affect The World

Sometimes science articles are awesome to read. This one touches close to my heart.

“The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions”

Summary

There are “low,” “moderate,” and “high”-impact choices that an individual can make if they want to lower their carbon footprint. Historically, governments and schools across the world recommend people to take “low” or “moderate”-impact choices (if we’re lucky). Examples of these include recycling and changing to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

This paper says that high-impact choices are:

  1. Having one fewer child
  2. Living car-free
  3. Avoiding air travel
  4. Eating a plant-based diet

These actions have much greater potential to reduce emissions than commonly promoted strategies like comprehensive recycling (four times less effective than a plant-based diet) or changing household lightbulbs (eight times less).

Check out the article here.

 

Versatile Blogger Award

I woke up yesterday morning to a notification that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

(Where does this even come from?! Haha!)

Needless to say, it lit up my morning like a pot of gold in the sunshine. I barely thought that this website reached anyone…but what I have to write about had made a difference in at least one person’s life.

Thank you MrHushHush for the recognition 🙂 I’ve only been following your blog a little bit…but in this short time, I’ve been blown away by your literary mindfood and personal engagement with readers. Thank you, cyber acquaintance! Keep on creating! 🙂

Rules for Versatile Blogger Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
  4. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 Facts

  1. I have only told 1 person in real life (lol) about this website. I’m a little terrified that I’ll be seen as a crazy idiot person if I open up to the wrong people…which I realize is completely inevitable haha!
  2.  I’ve moved 18 times in the last 7 years. Each place I’ve lived in for at least a month. Gah college. YAY traveling.
  3. I have ALWAYS wanted to make a full-length documentary. Perhaps this little nugget is a fun start?
  4. I researched bioluminescent fungi when I was an undergraduate. Yes. Mushrooms that produce their own photons and GLOW.
  5. I’ve been taking aerial silks classes for about two years.
  6. Like most people on here probably, I am hella introverted.
  7. I’ve played ukulele since I was 16; I used to be in a two-lady band called Black Tarla Fang.

My Nominees / Blogs That Are Meaningful to Me

  1. Angela Fe – Angela is one of my guides on this spiritual path. She is also my Reiki teacher. She has been an incredible help with developing a shamanic practice, recognizing the ego, and loving the self. Thank you ❤
  2. Goddess Within You – I’m flooded with extremely sensual, intimate and feminine posts by you.
  3. Philotheoristic – According to Tumblr, you get 40% of my “love” haha! Amazing photography. Thanks for randomly wishing me a Happy Valentine’s day a while ago.
  4. Astrolocherry – I really enjoy the way you weave together storytelling and astrology ❤
  5. Raptitude – This is one of the very first blogs I started to follow. I enjoy how articulate, reflective, and honest you are. Also, the journey you share with your 30-day challenges is encouraging!
  6. MushroomVision – You are another blog that I have followed for years. Thanks for the grounded spiritual inspiration.
  7. SacredScribesAngelNumbers – This is (always) my go-to site regarding numerology. In the last 4 years I have been noticing numerical patterns around me. Here is where I go to help interpret that information.
  8. gldn47 – Ahhhh Magoots. AMAZING local photographer and visual artist. She makes unique mandala images from her own photos around the Southwest.
  9. String Theory Collection – Jaci makes the most badass geometric string art in the known universe. It’s mesmerizing, precise, and alien-like hehe there is nothing else in the world like it.
  10. Jenny Yates Astrology – She has a treasure chest of astrology-related gems across her site ranging from daily blurbs to in-depth aspect explanations. If I ever feel a little cosmic-y lost, I head over here to check out what’s going on in the stars.
  11. AerialBurd – Nikki is cosmic goddess that moves as gracefully as a hummingbird. Thanks for the support and mentorship ❤

*Not all of these are WordPress users…but it doesn’t mean you still don’t deserve recognition.

Some of these people I check in with multiple times a week to see what they are posting, others I might go months without stopping by. Each one of them stands out to me as being led by someone who is REAL. Some of you I’ve never even talked to (but have an internet crush on) and some I may have lost contact for now (you always have a home in my heart <3). You all mean something to me. Keep doing what you are doing.

Thanks for reading this far.

 

Yoga Addresses Your Whole Being

“Often it’s a stagnation in the body that can begin to create a stagnation emotionally and mentally. Or it starts in the mind and makes its way into the physical. The great part of yoga is that we are addressing our whole being…all of our different bodies: physically, emotional, energetic, mental”

— Kia Miller —

Epic GoPro Adventure at EDM Festival

There has always been a special place in my heart for Hardstyle music. I might even confess that it has indirectly saved my life.

Whether or not you are a lover of the harder styles, we must all admit there is something greatly magical about music festivals.

This video I made represents that.

Insights about life and all the layers within

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