What is it that we call “home”. Not the wood, brick and plaster structure that we abide in to protect us from the elements and other seen and unseen perceived “dangers”. But, as Mary Oliver says in “Wild Geese” , “you only have to let the soft animal body love what it loves” to remember who you are.
This is where we come home with compassionate awareness to the natural elements that make up our biology. To the presence of nature in us. Once that happens, we can no longer feel the separateness that contrives to have us believe that we are alone in this life we have been given. This separateness leading to actions that take us even further from the earth we walk on, and the intimate relationships we crave.
With such attention to my life, I realized that the only way to heal and connect to life is to be with nature, to connect to the elements of life —fire, water, earth, nature and minerals. I walked the earth around my area, feeling ordinary, yet filled with the presence of the talking creek and the rustling of wind beneath my dress. I heard in the wind, “Be divine in your own way. Listen and you will know.” Zenju
Each precious moment of this life we have been given calls out to us to feel life fully, and as Louise Erdich says in the quote below, “risk your heart”. This action can only be taken if we are exquisitely honest with ourselves while connecting to everyone and everything surrounding us as we are called. To be “swallowed up” by life, breathing in and out with mindful awareness of the conversations that take us away from love and intimacy with life at it’s very core.
“You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart, You are here to be swallowed up.” Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum
Today, in my private yoga practice, I explored that soft animal body (yes men out there, you have it too) which for so many of us has become rigid with protectiveness, and walled off from experiences and possibilities that have the potential to return us “home” over and over again. That divine nature that is unique to each of us. The sense of wholeness, connectedness and flow.
To be honest I haven’t been feeling so “divine” recently. So, with great compassion I dove into my body this morning in a way that reminded me of what I am made of. With the belly as a focus, and the natural elements my guides, I wove my way into an unraveling of the fears, uncertainties and doubts that stood in my way of recognizing what “home” feels like – the ground of Being. An untainted knowing that we are all continually sourced by and through Source.
That the challenges of everyday life, when interlaced with embodied compassion, can simply be the stepping stones on the unique journey that we walk this lifetime. Stepping stones that trigger actions. Actions that open up spaces for possibility and deliver us into new and unknown territory to explore.
Part of my embodied compassion today is to recognize that I have strayed from that which feeds my soul. Not entirely mind you, but compassion tells me that it is time for passion. A passion that reveals each “stepping stone” as a work of art. Art with purpose and direction, fire and fluidity, rootedness and flight. Shifting the conversations and listening deeply to what is calling forth life.
It is not enough to sit still forever, or endlessly run in a circle of repetitive actions. Allow the soft animal body to love what it loves. With passion (com-passion)….