Living fully in a new less comfortable world

The Great Turning is the name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.   ~Joanna Macy 

Life has always been uncertain. Now that becomes less of an intellectual construct. We KNOW life is uncertain. Every day brings news of more deaths due to a run-away virus (and there could be more to come), possible catastrophic economic collapse, rampant worldwide fascism, and climate change affecting every aspect of life.

Yet, there is so much beauty to be taken in, to be a part of. Tune into the natural world and allow yourself to be a part of that – because you ARE that! Open you heart and connect with all of life – there is so much love available!

Evil seems to be omnipotent. It obviously speaks in the minds of many people who do not have a strong moral compass. No one is immune, however we can tune ourselves to the channel to which we choose to listen. We will still likely receive some interference, but we can turn it off or simply ignore it.

It seems the general prescription for most of us in order to stay tuned to a channel of strength, love, integrity, courage, humor, and all that brings us back to our core, is quiet contemplation. It may be sitting in meditation, it may be walking with purpose in nature, it may be writing out our fears so we can see them for what they are, it may be reading or listening to spiritual guides. Whatever your practice(s) is, this is the most important time in the history of the planet to PRACTICE.

 Silence is the Soul’s break for freedom. ~ David Whyte

Practice self-compassion. Practice opening your heart, over and over. Practice accepting (if not loving) what is. Play, rejoice, be whole, be human. Let your Soul connect with Spirit at every turn, or tuning of the channel.

We must stand courageously in the light. We must be rooted in the bliss at our core. We are the ones who will drive evil out of the hearts of (wo)man.

The short term (and the not so short term) looks scary. We can deny our fears, yet that does not make us stronger. We must face them and allow them to move through us so we can be clear when we turn to the light. There is no denying reality, and we get to choose the reality to focus our energy on.

Fear is an old word that derives from the same roots as “fare,” as in “thoroughfare”. Although is often causes people to run away, fear means “to go through it.” Fear used to be called “the awakener,” for healthy fear intends to awaken the soul and guide it to greater connections to the living Soul of the World. The hidden purpose of fear involves bringing us closer to inner resources and a greater knowledge of what carries us throughout life. In the end, what we fear will not go away, for it indicates what we must go through in order to live more fully. ~ Michael Meade

Choose wisely, for life depends on it! And know, you are not alone; you are loved. You are love.

My Vision Quest Journey by Karen Good

The Pine and Juniper growing together in a small patch of soil told me, “We love and support each other. Together we are stronger than growing alone. We each make sacrifices to keep the other alive.”

 

 

This was something I needed to hear! I found this gem in a letter I discovered this morning that I had written to myself at the end of a vision fast many years ago. The guides had suggested that we write a letter to ourselves at the end of our quest – they would mail the letters to us six months later.

 

Dear Karen,

This letter is to remind you of how important it is to spend time on the Mother- To receive the healing that she offers; To remember the strong sense of connection you feel between all life and yourself, and your commitment to living in a manner that honors and cares for the Earth and all life she supports.

Remember to give thanks for so many blessings and such abundance in your life. 

Remember what you learned about prayer – the power of finding clarity and putting into words what you want. 

Remember your desire to carry these insights to others. If you have not found a way to do so yet, look again. You are in a unique position to share with others.

Remember your strength. You are a very strong woman with a capacity for incredible love and many skills and abilities. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind/heart to do.

Ask for help. The universe is waiting.

Remember that you DID get off the train – and were reborn on the mountain. The choice is yours – no fear. 

Re-read your journal from the fast. There is much wisdom there.

How have you – will you pursue further learning – action?

Love, Karen

 

This Quest had a huge impact on my life. So much of what I asked myself to remember, I actually did incorporate!

One of the biggest ways that I now carry these insights to others is by leading Soul Quests myself. It is such an honor to hold space for other women seeking healing, guidance, and connection. And it is always such a gift to me – bringing me back to such a great sense of connection, inner strength, and gratitude.

One of the blessings of a Quest is the opportunity to really sloooowwww down (the fasting helps this!). The slow pace allows me to see so much that is often missed in our fast paced lives. Those of us without roots have a hard time going slow enough to really see how we are connected in the web that includes us, to see that we do have a place here among all the other beings.

In this slow pace we are able to ask questions and to listen, in stillness, to the wisdom of everything we encounter. In the liminal space of a Vision Quest, everything is a teacher.

When I asked the small and very old Juniper growing from a crack in a rock what it had to tell me, the response was “The will to live is very strong.” 

Quests help us to tune into nature’s intelligence and to receive mentoring from the Earth. So many blessings!

 

guiding a women’s quest

The powerful work each of you do when you are simply being with the land never ceases to amaze me!  The courage in each and every woman, the depth women find alone and together, the strength, the joys. . . guiding a women’s quest is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done! 

 

My wonderful co-guide and I spend a LOT of time preparing on the physical plane, and even more readying ourselves to hold the space.  We want you to relax into trusting the ceremony, trusting the land, and coming to know yourself as Nature.

women's quest

guide reading intentions while participants on solo

You can be sure that whatever happens for you out there, that it is not about us, it is the energies of this beautiful Earth that are holding you in her bosom. 

Colorado women's quest

Colorado women’s quest


I am always delighted and sometimes awed by the stories I hear after the solo experience!

If I could write a book about guiding a Colorado women’s quest on the land it would be about the resilience, the courage, the willingness and the love shown by every woman I have ever had the honor to guide in this profoundly transforming ceremony!

If you would like more information about this possibility for yourself, please contact us.

becoming an elder

Wilderness Solo

Solo Bedroom

Four days and four nights alone in the wilderness, no tent, little food; only my monkey mind, my heightened senses, the land and all her inhabitants. What an incredible gift.

 

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” ~Rachel Carson

 

Honing intention before going out is an important part of a wilderness rite of passage, “vision fast” or wilderness solo. After already being out there for 4 weeks with the same 14 people and slowly rotating 2 guides, so much of the busy world had dropped away.

 

Wilderness Rite of Passage

morning circle “pee break”We met every morning at 9:30 for a check-in council under the largest old juniper we could find. Still to find the shade it was an ever-changing dance of the circle. We did not waste any time getting to deep authenticity and the juicy stuff of life. Even though there were only 2 of we 12 participants from the US, we managed the languages pretty well. We had a teaching every day and most afternoons involved a solo time with the land, usually with a specific question.

 

Oh how the trees can talk! And there was/is so much to be learned from the seasoned guides, from one another, and from the land. Once you cross that threshold into liminal space*, one only has to be open and listen. We, as humans, are as much a part of nature as the trees and inter-species communication is not such a weird thing when drop your preconceived notions.

 

I digress. About elder-hood… I did not know when I went on the 33 day training with School of Lost Borders that I was going to be stepping into my elder-hood. Surprisingly I was the eldest of the 12 of us. (One assistant and some guides were older.) The youngest was 30 years younger. We had 6 men and 6 women. By the time we began preparing for our solo I had already let go of the big thing I thought I would be “severing” from in the solo. Wearing a trainee hat and a participant hat simultaneously adds much depth and breadth to the work. So, I found that elder-hood is not about chronological age, but rather a developmental stage. It’s about owning your wisdom; when you have embodied your knowledge and experience and are willing and able to share it to the benefit of your people. It’s when you feel it in your bones and ego is not getting hold of it for any purpose that is not pure love.

 

What an amazing transformation can be gained from time alone with the land with intention. Doesn’t even have to be so long. One young man there did the amount of forgiveness work in 4 days that it took me years of psychotherapy to do! Self-generated ceremony is a powerful tool. It’s about making meaning of personal transformations.

vision fast

view of the Sierra’s across the valley

Sometimes we go out to severe from an old way of life or die to an aspect of ourselves. Sometimes that work has been done and we are going out seeking answers, stepping into the unknown. Other times we are going out to mark a transition, i.e. moving from adolescence to adulthood, stepping into our elder-hood, divorce, death, moves, job changes, etc. It is a powerful way to acknowledge and support ourselves.

 

“It is not about fixing ourselves. It is about living into the mystery of our becoming.” ~Merideth Little

 

When I first began to consider elder-hood, someone called it “yelder-hood,” – young elder-hood; easier for this wild 58 year-old woman to swallow/own at first!

 

Are you an elder, or yelder?

 

What are you letting go of, or what is letting go of you?

 

What is the unknown you are ready to explore?

 

Is there something you are ready to mark, or celebrate in your life?

 

What are the gifts you imagine you could bring back to your people from this type of exploration?

 

Blue sky blessings,

Carolyn

Wilderness RItes of Passage

Guides in the Making

 

*Psychologists call “liminal space,” a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be.

 

(all photos by Carolyn Ringo)