not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Alone....All One.

I am absolutely obsessed with Clarissa Pinkola Estes' book "Women Who Run With the Wolves"!!!!! It's amazing, empowering and totally inspiring. Every woman (AND man) should read this book. Not now, right now. I love all of the stories that it contains, but the one that I identify most with is in Chapter 9 Homing: Returning to OneSelf and it's called "SEALSKIN, SOULSKIN". It's too long to share the actual story, plus I hope that's an incentive to go and buy the book, but I will share the commentary and insight that Estes goes into after the story....

Where is HOME?
Home is an internal place, a place somewhere in time rather than space, where a woman feels of one piece. Home is where a thought or feeling can be sustained instead of being interrupted or torn away from us because something else is demanding our time and attention.

"The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating an incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.

Every creature on earth returns to home. It is ironic that we have made wildlife refuges for ibis, pelican, egret, wolf, crane, deer, mouse, moose, and bear, but not for ourselves in the places where we live day after day. We understand that loss of habitat is the most disastrous event that can occur to a free creature. We know that for creatures to live on, they must at least from time to time have a home place, a place where they feel both protected and free.

We traditionally compensate for loss of a more serene habitat by taking a vacation or a holiday. But for the soul-self-psyche, vacation is not the same as refuge. "Time out" or "time off" is not the same as returning to home. Calmness is not the same as solitude.

Most of woman's depression, ennuis, and wandering confusions are caused by a severely restricted soul-life in which innovation, impulse and creation are restricted or forbidden. maybe we stumble around in the dark for a while trying to find what calls us, but because we have managed to not talk ourselves out of being summoned by the wild one, we invariably stumble over the soulskin. When we breathe up that soul-state, we automatically enter the feeling state of, "This is right. I know what I need." For many modern women, it is not the driving about in the dark looking for the soulskin that is most fearsome. Rather it is the diving into the water, the actual return home, and especially the leave-taking, that are far more formidable. Though women come back into themselves and are all ready to go, it is hard to go; really, really hard to cede, to hand over whatever we've been so busy with, and just leave.

An incompletely initiated woman in this depleted state erroneously thinks she is deriving more spiritual credit by staying than she thinks she will gain by going. Among wolves there are no such divided feelings about going and staying, for they work, whelp, rest, and rove in cycles. They are part of a group that shares in working and caregiving while others take time away. It is a good way to live. It is a way to live that has all the integrity of the wild feminine.

It is right and proper than women eke out, liberate, take, make, connive to get, assert their right to go home. Home is a sustained mood or sense that allows us to experience feelings not necessarily sustained in the mundane world: wonder, vision, peace, freedom from worry, freedom from demands, freedom from constant clacking. Although there are many physical places one can go to "feel" her way back to this special home, the physical place itself is not home; it is only the vehicle that rocks the ego to sleep so that we can go the rest of the way by ourselves. The vehicles through which women can reach home are many: music, art, forest, ocean, sunrise, solitude. These take us home to a nutritive inner world that has ideas, order and sustenance all of its own. Whatever revivifies balance is what is essential. That is home.

Deep home is evoked by silence. Utter Silence with a capital U and capital S. Regardless of your home time, an hour or days, remember, other people can pet your cats even though your cats say only you can do it right. Your dog will try to make you think you are abandoning a child on the highway, but will forgive you. The grass will grow a little brown but will revive. You and your child will miss each other, but be glad when you return. Your mate may grump. They'll get over it. Your boss may threaten. They will get over it too. Staying overlong is madness. Going home is sanity. If you can, it is better to teach your people that you will be more and also different when you return, that you are not abandoning them but learning yourself anew and bringing yourself back to your real life. Most of us cannot always go for as long as we want, so we go for as long as we can. Now and then we go for as long as we must. Other times, we go until we miss what we left. Sometimes we dip in, dip out, dip in again in bursts."

Taking some time for intentional solitude....

"Long ago the word "alone" was treated as two words, all one. To be 'all one' meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. Solitude is not an absence of energy or action, as some believe, but rather is a boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from the soul. In ancient times purposeful solitude was both palliative and preventative. It was used to heal fatigue and prevent weariness. It was used as an oracle, a way of listening to the inner self to solicit advice and guidance otherwise impossible to hear in the din of daily life. If we establish a regular practice of intentional solitude, we invite conversation between ourselves and the wild soul that comes near to our shore. The purpose of this union is for us to ask questions, and for the soul to advise."

Last night when I was writing this, I picked an oracle card from my Goddess Guidance deck. The Goddess was Sige, advising "Quiet Time", which is exactly what this week is all about!

I am so grateful for my life that allows time to return home, so that I can nurture my soul and spirit!

1 comment:

  1. It's really inspiring how profoundly committed you are to your studies of yoga and beyond! Thanks for sharing these posts with us - it's a beautiful perspective of your journey!