Finding “Home”

French Broad River at Stackhouse Bend, N. Carolina

“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”

~ John O’Donohue

Have you ever found yourself wondering what “home” means to you personally? The mystics say it resides inside and I agree with this. Yet, there is much more to this journey to reflect upon, let go into and be present to. Perhaps this is a quest we are on our entire lives.

I love the term “wild divinity” in the excerpt below – “resting in the house of our own heart”. As we age this somehow becomes easier to do as the striving and outward focused actions fall away and the inner “home guidance system” takes precedence.

Each one of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. Most of the activity in society is subconsciously designed to quell the voice crying in the wilderness within you.

The mystic Thomas a Kempis said that when you go out into the world, you return having lost some of yourself. Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary.

When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality.

In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself.

This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.

John O’Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher

Excerpt from ETERNAL ECHOES
http://johnodonohue.com

Your vision is your home and your home should have many mansions to shelter your wild divinity.”

~John O’Donohue

Crossing the threshold into this wild divinity of our own heart brings a “belonging” that never goes away. This is foundation – the bricks, mortar and rooted earth – that brings with it the freedom to surrender into the next relationship, artistry, move, endeavor, location….life moment.

Having just completed a 7th relocation two weeks ago to Asheville, N. Carolina area I am forced to re-calibrate and go deeper into unknown territory, using challenges as stepping stones for this next chapter of life, while at the same time trusting inner guidance even as ever present uncertainty attempts to take an upper hand. The ever constant details of it all – the “right” and “wrong” – threaten to take away inner knowing and trust and often serve as immense distractions.

On the outside it may look like I have been searching for a home and never quite getting there. This last time leaping from wildfires, air pollution, rolling blackouts and high daily living expense in California to a more elemental earth and water home sanctuary aligns with the “home” inside. Yet the loss of being close in distance to sons, grandchildren and friends is part of the letting go journey as well.

I find the wild beauty and grounding of the natural world always there, serving as guidance whispered into heart and soul as a reminder of building inner resilience, acceptance and trust. When “home” resides in the wild divinity of the heart each place you find yourself – whether staying in a community where you were born and have established community or exploring other cultures and landscapes – will serve as an awakening to life……

Great Smoky Mountains, N. Carolina

Conscious Embodied Relocation: I was not consciously aware of the principles involved in this type of embodied leave taking when I took that first leap over 30 years ago now, but over the last three decades the fine tuning became more apparent.

If you are thinking of finding a “home landscape” that supports your aliveness during this transformational elder time of life here are some keys for doing these leaps that I found integral to trusting the unfolding possibilities:

  • Explicitly trusting the unfolding of life – get out of your own way
  • Taking effective action on the possibilities that show up from that depth of surrender
  • Willingness to reinvent yourself (which is actually a great deal of creative fun!)
  • A sense of adventure (being willing to get out of your “comfort zones”)
  • Listening deeply to intuition and Source messages
  • Connecting transparently with others along the way.
  • Willingness to change your inner & outer conversations

Conscious Embodied Relocation


It’s not realistic to expect to always be thriving.  Life can be messy and we can’t separate the highs and lows or have one without the other.  But we can learn to accept the process, to understand that it’s part of the journey, and to build our own inner resilience.  It’s about  bouncing forward and using adversity as a catalyst to get better and become stronger.  

And we also need to remember that we are part of a community – that when we are vulnerable, we can lean on each other and lift each other up.  And together, we are so much more resilient than we know. ” ~ Green Renaissance 

“This work is not for yourselves – kill that spirit of ‘self’. If you can rise, bring someone with you” – Charlotte Maxeke.  

Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.  

Featuring Mpumelelo Ncwadi.


Copyright by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 4/2021 and Re-Posted from WildlyFreeElder

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Wildly Free Elder

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Aging with vitality, grace, self love and compassion, along with a huge dose of humor, is our greatest accomplishment.  After all, getting older is something many will never experience.

The Japanese say – Shi Bui – which translates as the beauty of aging.

Rather than being a fall away from beauty in all of it’s meanings, aging can be the revelation of beauty, the time when the inner radiance becomes visible for all genders.

Shining from the inside out our natural presence is honored by finding dignity, reverence, belonging, resilience, humor and wholeness – from within.

Not domesticated nor……READ MORE ON OUR NEW WEBSITE:  WildlyFreeElder.com

Wildly Free Elder – The Artistry of Aging places attention on shifting the present mainstream narrative on aging,  providing resources, and building a global community for connection, collaboration and artistry.

Please join our community by signing up for blog posts, submitting an Elder Spotlight or blog post article in alignment with WildlyFreeElder, or joining our global Conscious Aging Conversations via Zoom.

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Created by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, August 7, 2020

EARTH ROOTS – Living An Embodied Life

a-1-1(Written1/21/2018 and Revised 5/8/2020)

Written more than 2 years ago now this piece surfaced as I was looking through my writings.  Though the current pandemic has changed some of this dynamic I observed then, the time is now ripe to NOT go back to this mindless rootlessness that so many live in their daily lives.

After a week away house-sitting for my oldest son in Sacramento I arrived back in my home sanctuary overlooking Wolf Creek in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I sat next to the creek where the water coursed down rocks to reflect on what I had experienced in the middle of the city in my time away. My reflections then….

There I found the sidewalks and streets most often paved over burying any connection with the surface of the earth.  Noise and lack of kindness abounding in the disconnection to what gives us life.

Though trees lined the streets, yards contained flowers and other plant life, and a few parks were sprinkled here and there (often with paved pathways), most often I observed city people staying to the man-made surfaces and transportation with cell phones in their hands, technology all around, rubber soled shoes blocking the earth energies and noise everywhere.

Watching life versus living life.

Disconnection to the earth, to others, and actually to themselves.  A disembodiment so profoundly present that the energy was wildly chaotic – over stimulation blasting nervous systems.

Sadly, my strong sense was that many have gone numb to even sensing this change in their bodies and minds.

Yet, we are interdependent with the very elements that create and sustain us.  The elements that we cannot live without. The elements we have taken for granted.  The elements that have been relegated to other.

I understand more clearly now why there is a revival of creating city and roof top gardens and making parks more available to every day use and recreation.  A hunger for connection to something vibrantly alive, real – not virtual – energetically sustaining.

Beauty unfolding in front of us and within us.

Perhaps it was just me – a nature girl in the deepest parts of my being – but I am willing to bet those leading city based lives who don’t take time out to walk barefoot on the earth, wrap their arms around a tree, see shapes and colors come and go in the sky and clouds, place their nose close to flowers and herbs, talk to the animals and insects and generally touch home base on a daily basis are losing a significant part of being human.

I am speaking of Earth Roots here.  When we lose our roots – our deep innate connection to the skin of this planet –  we lose ourselves, it is just that simple.

Roots burrowing into the earth, activating deeper potential – beyond the normal, beyond the habits.  An energetic and heart awareness of something holding and grounding each one of us into our lives.

To a creative lifetime purpose we have come in with.

A purpose of being that has been lost somewhere amidst the scattered attention on meaningless distractions and transitory “things”.  Leading to deep inner sorrow, a sense of being “lost”, un-grounded, and dosed with habitual mediocrity.

Do we trust when we are off course?  How do we even know if we don’t have roots to ground us in our daily lives.  To give us someplace to come home to.  To navigate from like a GPS that is forever there for us without the technology.

Can we find our way “home” by our senses?

That natural way of being that hears the trees breathe, takes note of the wisdom the creek teaches as it flows over the obstacles in it’s path, completely enraptured with the exquisite softness of moss, in a state of awe and wonder watching the miracle of a bee next to the hummingbird, soothed by the song of a bird nearby, aware of earth energy that pours from the soles into the soul.

Collapsing down onto the Earth in praise that we, as humans, have been given these roots to wake up!

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Copyright by Gaye Abbott 5/8/20, Natural Passages Consulting

GAYE ABBOTT lives and thrives in Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains where she communes with hummingbirds, flowers, plants and wild things.  Communing with nature is her favored activity along with ecstatic dance, Wisdom Healing Qigong at sunrise and sunset, volunteering in her community, laughing out loud and enjoying her family and friends with great appreciation and gratitude!

 

 

SURRENDER DOROTHY!

Surrender-Dorothy-2

“If grief can be a doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again”

~Robin Wall Kimmerer

First of all let me apologize to any Dorothy’s out there for targeting you.  You were not meant to be singled out!

One of my very favorite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz.  For whatever reason whenever I hear the word “surrender” I see the Wicked Witch of the West riding her broom in the sky with the words “Surrender Dorothy” miraculously spelled out of the cloud formations.

Little did this very naughty witch realize that “surrender” allows and precipitates all kinds of possibilities to come into our lives, as opportunities and allies that would never have emerged if we did not simply let go and find the hidden power in our own vulnerability.

These days the global pandemic affecting millions of people and economies, as well as planetary shifts, essentially demands that we surrender and acknowledge there is, at the deepest level, no control or certainty. For most this is a vulnerable place where our deepest primal fear of death resides.

We all have woven a tapestry of identity that is familiar, and for the most part comfortable for us.  During challenging times part of the tapestry comes apart and normally we simply “repair” it and go on with our lives.

However, at this time you may have felt that someone pulled hard on one of the threads of your tapestry identity and it all came undone at once.

Perhaps we could call this time on our planet “The Great Unraveling”.

Dorothy in the Oz story ended up being empowered by surrendering to her own innate wisdom, intuition, resiliency and power, and that of her loyal companions.  But it didn’t come without great disorientation and fear.

After all her entire identity and home space shifted all at once! She was forced to see her life from a different perspective and to join with other companions whom she grew to trust.

I see this happening now with so many doing acts of kindness, compassion and donating time and skills to others in need and to our planets health.  A global community becoming more consciously connected and innovative.

The power to transform is embedded in challenges such as we are currently experiencing. Even within the ordinary daily ups and downs on the roller coaster of “normal” life.  Where something seems to be taken away there is always a new possibility or opportunity for change that emerges  in right timing.

Opportunities to surrender and let go seem to be so numerous these days it is easy to be overwhelmed.  We are so intimately connected that a lot of what you may be experiencing is the global fear, grief and at times panic that is affecting us all at some time or another.

In other words, others emotions and energy.  It is important to know this and release what is not yours, as well as face your own simply by acknowledging and then letting go, instead of “something to be worked on”.   Allow this opening and release to transform your inner world and perspective.

Re-weave your tapestry to reflect your innate sense of  belonging and the embodied artistry you are here to express.

Three weeks ago within a 2-day period I experienced a lay off from my job, a necessary move during sheltering at home, and a dear friend hearing her cancer had progressed.

In those moments I realized clearly that I had choice.  Just a breath away was the potential for an active surrender – a dissolution of patterned boundaries and an emptying out.

This conscious decision, amidst all the inner voices directing to mobilize and attempt some control of the situations, allowed the unfolding of circumstances that could not have been planned for, or even seen the possibility of, if staying contracted in fear, doubt, worry, anxiety and re-action.

How does it feel to surrender control and certainty…..and trust the unfolding?

Spaciousness, freedom and release where alternate possibilities emerge with a shift in perspective….

and strength, knowing and resiliency reside.

A return to trusting the unfolding of life.

I now live on 20 wooded acres near to the South Yuba River in Nevada City, California, have been accepted for unemployment benefits, and my friend has heard more hopeful news since the day we talked about having a more intimate relationship with dying,

Yes, these are challenging times. Yes, they take all of who we are, and are becoming, to meet and navigate.  Yet our world is ripe for a consciousness shift on so many levels and in so many domains.  All within cooperative connection with others, and communing with the natural world through our senses.

With surrender comes opportunity partnered with vulnerability.  This has the potential to transparently unlock possibilities for change and increased well being.

With letting go comes a new found strength and resiliency that has been there all along.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

 

Are you ready to surrender?


Free Audio Surrender Guidance:  It is advised that you find a very comfortable space and position to listen to this guidance on surrender.  Either lying down with support for head/neck and low back or sitting in a comfortable reclining chair that feels safe and puts you at ease, or a sacred space in nature. If you have an eye mask or a soft piece of cloth you can place over your eyes to relax them and block out distraction, then do so.   Give yourself this gift of time devoted on behalf of your own well being, and that of others whose life you touch.

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Copyright by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 4/22/20

 

fudFU5HITISbHxdruQsnEg copyGAYE ABBOTT lives and thrives in Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains where she communes with hummingbirds, flowers, plants and wild things.  Communing with nature is her favored activity along with ecstatic dance, Wisdom Healing Qigong at sunrise and sunset, volunteering in her community, laughing out loud and enjoying her family and friends with great appreciation and gratitude!

She is available for guidance/energy sessions via phone, Zoom or Skype.  Contact via the “Contact” tab on this site. Two hands at my heart…..

 

Content Within One’s Own Nature

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“There is no greater calamity for a nation, or for an individual than not finding contentment with one’s own sufficiency.

There is no greater mistake for a nation, or for an individual, than to be covetous. 

Hence, when one is content within one’s own nature, one will always have enough.”

Lao Tzu – The Tao Teh Ching, #46

Were you aware that picking too many flowers in the Spring from a fruit bearing tree will yield little fruit in the Fall?

Though common sense for most this is a metaphor for the senseless use and waste of our natural resources out of a deep discontent and unconscious egocentric gratification that permeates humans on this planet.

Take and use only what is yours – what you truly need –  only what fills you with joy.

Gift the rest and appreciate it’s beauty from the flow of generosity.

When we gaze out into the world – outside of our own inner dialog, filters and standards – do we clearly see and embrace the blessings that contribute to what our life is now and always becoming?

Or do we gaze out from the contracted space of depletion and “not enoughness” always taking action from a scarcity consciousness that never, ever allows the sacred into our heart.

The Swedish proverb, “Enough is as good as a feast.”, reflects on contentment – whether as an individual or a nation – as pivotal to halt, reverse and shift consumerism, unconscious and short sighted use of our planets resources, and the ugliness of racial, ethnic and religious fanaticism leading to tensions, hatred and violence.

Finding contentment within one’s own sufficiency or “enoughness” is powerful. It is an inside job and a community intention.

The striving for more is replaced with compassion in action taken on behalf of the well being of all life – enough.

What a different world we would love in…..

….if we simply lived our life as enough.

 

Copyright Gaye Abbott, 9/19/19

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Other Blogs by Gaye Abbott:

WildlyFreeWoman

LifeAtWolfCreek