Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Ruined City

As you wander through the Otherworld, the road takes you far from places you are familiar with.  It passes through forest, dark and wild.  The road here is cracked and weedy.  As you walk, you begin to notice signs of habitation.  Worn, unreadable way markers stand uselessly by the road. Fences, broken and rotting, now hold nothing back.  This is the pathway to the Ruined City.

The Ruined City is one of the infinite possibilities of your journey.  This a place of reflection, where all of the broken, worn out and unnecessary pieces of you come to rest.  Once, this place was bustling with activity, but now it is silent.  nature is taking back the land as the buildings and roads crumble to dust.  Once neat and ordered gardens have overgrown.  Broken crockery and rotting furniture, once useful objects, litter the ground.  No one used this place in a long while.

Walk around this city.  Explore the buildings and take note of what has been left behind.  These are symbols of things you have left behind in your life- old ideas, people, hopes, fears and behaviors.  Nearly everything you find in this place should stay here.  You outgrew these things, or their time has long since passed, but look closely.  Occasionally, a treasured piece of ourself gets left behind in the Ruined City.  Maybe an old idea, one that you had forgotten, has been waiting for your return.  Maybe memories or good feelings are here, yours to dust off and take back with you.

Spend as much time as you need in the Ruined City.  Remembering is a healthy step towards moving forward in life. This place can be visited periodically, as way to gauge how much you have changed.  It can also be a powerful reminder of what you don't need in your life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The next step of the journey- changing your perspective

During my own journeys last night, I was informed that I needed to write this post.  I had planned it for later, but my spirit guides insisted that now was the time.  This segment of the journey is about discovering your own power.  We are powerful and creative beings; we are all capable of creation, both in the physical world and the Otherworld of Spirit, but there is a catch: you have to accept this power and the responsibility that comes with it. Then you have to get accustomed to using it.  You also must learn to shift your perspective.  Your way of knowing is not the only way.

We'll start gently, just like when you created your safe place.  Start by taking deep, cleansing breaths.  Relax your body and your mind.  Drift to your safe place.  Remember that you are perfectly safe here and that you can control this area.  Life and death are part of the same cycle.  In this exercise you will experience another being's life cycle for yourself. You are still you, don't be afraid.  You are in control and can stp this exercise anytime you wish.  If you need to stop, for any reason, you can try again at a later date, when you feel stronger or safer.

Imagine yourself as a seed, falling from its parent.  How do you begin? Does the wind or water carry you away? Are you helped along in your journey by an insect or an animal? When the time is right, you will join the earth and begin to grow.

Your roots begin a slow, methodical journey into the soil.  Searching, you find nutrients and water, gently pushing aside anything in your way. Just as your roots are reaching down into the earth, you begin to sprout upward, pushing, reaching for the sun and fresh air.  Delicate, green leaves finally break through and the sun begins to warm you. Sun and water and air combine within you to create energy, and you grow, much more quickly than before.

You are strong and healthy and connected to all the life around you. Take moment to determine what type of plant you are.  Are you an herb, fruit, vegetable or tree? What is your role?  Do you provide energy for others or shelter?  What do you need to be healthy?  What other organisms are part of your life cycle? Do you need rich soil or can you survive anywhere?  Is the air cool or warm, moist or dry?  Are you happiest in shade or bright sun?

Focus on moving through the life cycle of this plant.  What do you experience?  Is it many seasons, or just one?  Whatever you are, feel your importance to the rest of the world.  No organism is completely self sufficient.  Everything needs something, sun or water or other beings.  Concentrate on the connections you feel, they are important. Pay attention to how the weather and climate and season affect your health and contentment.  What does time and lifetime mean to this plant?

My own experiences with this exercise have been varied.  The first time, I was surprisingly a tomato in a food garden, accidentally planted by a passing bird.  I could feel ants climbing me to gather food and bees brushing their soft bodies against my flowers.  As a tomato, I had to face my own selfishness, as I choked out other plants for nutrients and water.  I was also vulnerable to being eaten away by insects, birds and animals.  I required a great deal of care from a gardener to produce a bountiful harvest and at the end of the season, I died, rather than patiently waiting for the next spring.  It wasn't a negative experience, in spite of the the seemingly bad things I learned about myself.  I came away from it with awareness about my needs and desires and a lasting connection to the world around me.  I feel more appreciation for the food I eat and the people who grow it.  I worry now about bees and soil pollution.  Whatever you learn, that is part of your journey.  Every time you try this exercise, you may find a new lesson in a new plant, each is as important as the next.