5am: Off on another ecopsychology weekend with the same guides I vision quested with. The seven month journey comes to a close in November (with the peak being the nine day quest in July).
Today and tomorrow, we’ll do short “solo journeys” and I’m looking forward to them, as well as all else done during these weekends to bring this work to our industries (thank you to my husband for waking to make sure he dropped me off this morning — note: I’ll never forget the moment of running to each other at the meeting point post quest, both of us beginning to cry inside the embrace: “Now I can tell you, he said, I was so worried about you, worried that you’d be suffering”).
But contrary to popular belief, there was no suffering. A little pain (expected), but no suffering.
I can’t tell you how much I loved sharing that with him and with Nolan. Especially as I looked into my teenage boy’s face, I was so grateful to have nurtured the ability to calm myself over the years and not just because I’ve learned it in my line of work, but because real life conflict and challenge has given me the option ~ keep suffering or calm yourself…how many ways can you find to calm yourself?
How to nurture a calm nervous system, especially in this day and age, is one of THE greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and teach/model to our kids.
From where I stand at the Alaska ticket counter, I’m evermore convinced that we need, and our kids need, more of all of this…immersions in nature and just more time spent in nature to shower ourselves of the blue light, expectations, likes and comparison, not to mention to get away from electricity and cell towers that cause dis-ease both physically and emotionally.
Just seeing the research we do have and/or talking to today’s teens and knowing the rise of depression should have us all running for the for door — to get outside and also to bring back rites of passage to modern-day culture for our *and* our kids’ spiritual & emotional growth, confidence, connection to self and healing.
This time of morning brings me right back to waking in the wild, remembering how excited I was to start the day, but also wondering how I’d spend another 15-16 hours watching the world go by in my mind, heart and sky (or watching the ants and squirrel-like critters on the ground, which I did a lot of).
But my main question to those who will listen to me share on the experience ~ > how could this all NOT bring joy and peace as predominant feelings, even without food, shelter or companionship?
It was a privilege. Writing that brings tears to my eyes.
It’s true, most days over the last month, I still can’t believe that my four days of only drinking water were not painful. We are so used to food, yes, as sustenance, but also as habit or to feel good emotionally (I don’t unconsciously snack anymore, nor do I reach for the sugar in those bars ~ everything food-wise is much more conscious and this is coming from a woman who believes she WAS aware of how she used food— the fasting was a complete reset).
But, without all the typical creature comforts (or larabars), I felt extremely well-rested, maybe more than ever (because of the fresh scat I saw around my solo site, I know bears were walking near me during the day and/or at night, but, still, the feeling was one of general peace).
How can one explain that, other than to thank a generous mind, heart and nervous system who ALL leaned into joyyyy, as well as to recognize that nature gives, not taketh away?
All of this — the awe — was and is real and reality, despite the feelings of #healthyfear I had a month or so before heading out with my 40+ pound pack.
As I shared at the Greater Good Party, what I brought down from the mountain was not just more light to share with my family, community and inside my work, but the connection to this phrase: nothing true can be threatened.
Feel free to munch on that with me.
A short story for you before this plane takes off:
There is a Native American tale that tells of a young boy speaking with his grandmother. She tells the boy that she has the spirit of two wolves living in and battling inside her. One is vengeful and unkind as he sees the world as a threat. The other is loving, secure and nurturing. The little boy asks, which one will end up winning? The grandmother replies: whichever one I feed.