Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: spiritual

Steeping in a Tea of Magic

Handsome

Handsome

I used this phrase for the first time over a month ago: steeping in a tea of magic.  I couldn’t describe the feelings I felt of being so grounded and peaceful any better than that.  And these were new, exciting feelings for me to have for any length of time.  Usually I vacillate between “just surviving” and “depression” with a tiny, barely-worth-mentioning dash of adventure thrown in there.  So when these lighter feelings started to stick around, I paid attention.

As some of you may know, Handsome, my horse companion of over twenty years passed away in February.  That experience and transformation on both our parts changed me forever.  Still changes me.  I like to give him all the credit for the gifts he gave me in living as well as dying, but I had an important role too.  I had to be present to the pain and torment I felt in his last months and days.  But most importantly I had to be present to his message and gift of a love so huge, it chokes me up even now.  We prayed for a miracle and it came two days before he died.  He led me to a place where I transcended everything I thought I knew about my life.  My heart broke wide open and I knew we would always be together, just differently.

That’s when I began to steep in a tea of magic.  Our experience two days before he died lit the fire that warmed my tea water.

My mourning began the boil.

And my life as I now know it, is steeping.  And may steep indefinitely.

But what about this phrase, with its magic and steeping?  I liked it well enough.  It felt magical.  Intangible.  Mystical.  Like setting foot on the planet of my life for the first time.  But why did I like this phrase so much?  Why did it capture so well exactly what I now felt?  I turned to the dictionary:

Steep – verb – 1. to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent. 2. to immerse in or saturate or imbue with some pervading, absorbing, or stupefying influence or agency.

Oh yes!  I was all those things!  Softened in heart.  Cleansed by so many tears.  Illusions extracted.  And then imbued, impregnated, with the magic of potential.  How can one word both remove and saturate?  I became stupefied, all right!  And more whole than I’ve ever been – a process I hope to continue with indefinitely.

I look forward to continuing this steep for a long time.  Handsome is forever close, real and strong.  The magic I feel is real and strong and now.  It’s indescribable without cliches; so I won’t even try.  I leave you with a clink of our tea cups and a prayer that you find your own tea of magic to steep in.

Blessings and Smiles, Diane

Handsome and Diane

Handsome and Diane

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Troublemaker, Thank You!

I met a Troublemaker some months back.  He was not a stranger by any means, which made his words and actions all the more troublesome and hurtful.  He snuck in under the disguise of do-gooder with borrowed words, masterful manipulation and do-not-oppose-me forcefulness.  He was able to single-handedly yank the very earth out from under my feet because I did not expect such behavior from someone I professed to be safe and good in the world.

I spent the next couple months lofting about in outer space wondering how this had happened.  I now took him for the enemy, which in turn made me the victim.  I was catapulted deeply and intensely into a downward spiral and right back into old patterns that no longer serve me.

Before this Troublemaker had revealed himself, I felt “on top of the world” which made his devastating arrival all the more alarming.  When I finally got sense enough to take inventory of what had happened, “How did I get here?” I realized two of the most important things were missing from my life at that time – my spiritual principles and practices.

After reviewing the course of events that my Troublemaker put into motion, spiritual principles in mind this time, I was able to realize he was not the enemy.  He did me a huge favor in mirroring what was missing from my life.  I feel confident that if my spiritual practices had been at the ready, this troublesome series of events would have been minimalized if not completely obliterated.

I can now bow to this Troublemaker and sincerely thank him for reminding me never to be caught without my spiritual principles and practices.  And through this process of becoming unhinged and finding my way back to solid hinge, I have been able to heal a very deep wound.  For this gift Troublemaker, thank you!

Am I Sentinel to My Own Thoughts?

Dallas Keeping Watch as Joey Departs

My dog Dallas and I begin our daily morning trek up the snow-blessed hill with zest in our laurels and secrets in our ears.  I am cocooned in three under-layers, Smartwool socks and Carhartt bibs and coat.  Dallas only wears a coat of exquisite strawberry blonde hair with distinguishing gray around his eyes and muzzle.  We follow a trail made by our equine friends – occasional hoof-shaped indents left in the snow to prove they trod here once.  As we round the bend, I notice the horses are blinking curiously at us – having been warned by the movement of Dallas running amok with nose to ground.

In each hand is a bucket for my beloved ponies.  They eagerly leave the comfort of their herd and meander my way.  Lots of stroking, hugging and murmuring greet them.  Their contented munching becomes meditative so I sit beside them on the angelic cover of ground.  Dallas is a few yards off now – sitting – looking out at the world around us.  He is sniffing the air – I wonder what he finds – friend or foe.  He is vigilant to his surroundings as though danger may arrive if he were not.  The horses are alert to the strange squealing in the woods – their ears and eyes swivel to assuage their instincts that it’s nothing life threatening.

In my serenity I am struck by the though that these creatures are sentinels of their own survival.  They are students of their surroundings, making sure nothing of harm will come to them.  If danger should ever arrive, he will be quite challenged by his greeting of fight or flight.  And although I do not have the same concerns of survival as my animals, I certainly have the dangers of my own mind.  It is necessary for my health and perhaps one day, my survival, that I become sentinel to my own thoughts and agreements.

Handsome Approaches

How will I respond to danger?  How will danger feel when I greet him?  Will I even see him coming, disguised a million different ways?  Am I gatekeeper of my own thoughts, experiences and reactions?  Do I sit as Dallas does, with nose to the wind and catch my own scent of self-deprecation.  Are my own thoughts friend or foe?  Am I vigilant even in mundane tasks like my horses with an ear and eye to what may be lurking around in the forest of my mind?

I scratch my horses, pick up their empty buckets and walk with them to the water.  I thank them for what they’ve shown me and walk back down the path with Dallas, pregnant with reflection.  I thank Dallas for his wisdom too as he bounds on ahead of me.  I find that there is room for improvement and I vow to treat myself kindly in order to make room for awareness.  And as I come to the end of my trail, I snort and laugh out loud at the recollection of a bumper sticker, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.”