I woke up with these line's from David Whytes poem 'Sweet Darkness' on my mind.
"Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you."
Last night I was speaking around the Solstice fire of my love for wild places and how radically different my awareness is when I am hiking alone in regions where humans are not naturally top of the food chain.
My perception is wider and more attuned to the nuances of the environment in every sense. I see more, feel more; as if I am 'plugged-in' in a radically different way, which I am. My animal self is alert and present, I am not in survival mode or hyper vigilant, I am simply much more aware of the web of life and my place in it. I feel naturally energised and awake, curious and engaged.
The numbing effect on the soul of living with constant convenience and comfort is more profound than we would like to admit.
I can think of several consequences of this sleep walking attitude inherent in modern western life.
We fall slowly asleep; anaesthetised by the relentless demands we place upon ourselves to ‘perform’ to the over cultures norms, we become hyper sensitive and reactive to the slightest of frustrations. We waste our energy on superficial matters whilst missing what matters most, in our families, in the world at large. We gradually become passive in our responses, silent watchers one step removed from the world.
In this way we can drift for years around the same trivial circle. We also unconsciously create false crisis that put us in a psycho social scenarios most people talk about using overly dramatic terms like 'intense'.
And, then one day something catches our imagination and we allow new thoughts and possibilities. Something inside us wakes up or the external world presents us with a wake up call of it's own.
So how do we stay engaged? How do we stay awake and plugged into our authentic lives?
It's one aspect of my work...to help people move from healing, that is to say integrating the wisdom of their past, and into growth where they step into and embody new ways of being in the world.
My way is to spend time in wild places, where I am not top of the food chain, where I can encounter the wild and it can encounter me.
Black Bear. Kings Canyon NP. Ca. USA. 05/18. PJH