Steps on the Pathway of Transformation
Over the last couple of weeks, something has subtly changed.
I have come to trust Life and accept all aspects of myself to a greater degree than I ever have. I stand in the world with more confidence than ever before. I have learned that I need this trust and acceptance in order to be able to listen to the signals of my body without fear or avoidance.
Despite this new confidence, I still seem to have difficulty remembering to listen. The habit of just scooting through my life regardless of what my body is trying to tell me is deeply ingrained. Over-riding signals of tiredness or illness in order to get things done is second nature.
Thankfully, the spirits who teach me have a solution. They have presented me with the reality of my garden, and with a way to use it as a training ground for deeper awareness.
Potentially, the Westacre garden could be the living heart of my practice and my life's work. The changing seasons and their gifts have the capacity to shape my days, inspire my writing, and guide my spiritual growth. It could be the centre of my life.
If I am part of this world, an inextricable organism in the greater Intelligence that is this living Earth, then my life is an extension of the soil I live on. And the garden I own is an extension of my own life and creativity: the soil that feeds me and is tended by me.
But the truth is, I'm a little scared of it. It's a big garden. And I am a very inexperienced gardener. So much so that most of the seeds I sowed in the spring came to nothing. The abundance of Westacre's harvest mostly came from the fruit trees, who produced a glut of fruit without any intervention.
So making that the centre of my life would just add too much pressure. Right now, it would even feel like failure.
My teacher spirits suggested, very wisely, that I turn it around. My spiritual life has long been my priority, and it is doing just fine. My year's harvest of the heart is as abundant as that of the fruit trees. So while I slowly get to know this piece of land, I may as well make it an extension of my spiritual practice.
I have begun a new practice of walking around the garden once a day, consciously putting my feet on the ground and being aware of the place. As I walk, I listen intently to my body and feel what the garden is telling me.
And it is beautiful. The first autumn colours are coming out, just as the fruits hang like bunches of jewels in the branches. The air smells sweet and rich. The Earth is soft and moist, ready to embrace the falling riches.
Walking the garden, I feel that same ripe sweetness, that receptiveness in myself. I feel in my body how this time affects me. I feel how the garden calls to me to make it ready for the Winter. And as my awareness stretches to the edges of the garden, I know that I am part of this beauty, part of the wonder of the living Earth.
And so I learn to pay attention, with my garden as a training school. My hope is, that slowly, over time, listening to my body will become second nature and extend into the rest of my life. And if all is well, the garden itself will teach me how to become part of its creativity, and show me how to bring out its potential to feed us and support us.
I am only at the very beginning of this practice. It would be wonderful if you would share this journey with me. Even if you don't have a garden, what does it feel like to walk outside at this time? How does your body speak to you? Can you feel yourself as part of the greater whole?
Do let us know the results of your experiments. Or if you have travelled on this path before, please share your wisdom in the comments below.