Posted 9/2/18 on LifeAtWolfCreek.com,
We are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep. Their life is in their movement, the inhale and exhale of our shared breath. Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the Universe will always come back. “
~Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
In the Haudenosaunee native peoples Thanksgiving Address there rests a constant reminder that we already have everything we need. It recognizes the abundance that constantly surrounds us rather than scarcity – and is a pledge of interdependence and of gratitude for all that is given to us in every single moment, day, year…..lifetime.
What if we started our day with a Thanksgiving Address not only recognizing, but pledging to and being deeply grateful for, the constancy and blessing of earth, water, wind, animals, moon, sun, plants, trees, berries, fish, medicine herbs, birds….all life.
The first two paragraphs of this particular Thanksgiving Address are as follows, spoken aloud every morning at a school for Native children:
“Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living beings. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.”
We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother we send thanksgiving, love and respect. Now our minds are one. “
…and it continues on.
Robin says “What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of species, to raise a pledge of interdependence? No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question: Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?”
Isn’t it time for this pledge of gratitude to be a constant refrain of humans at this pivotal and challenging time we live in? How would it change the fabric of our days, the communities and countries we live in and the lives of the generations to follow us?
As I write this on my deck I drink in the animacy of the natural world embraced by the energy of all living beings. Lavender and healing plants communing with the brilliant pink, purple, red and orange of blossoms on their neighbors. Touched by the gentle sound of bees and hummingbirds who land to nourish their aliveness only to gift it elsewhere.
At times the sound of footsteps below the deck which could be the mama deer and fawn I have spotted recently or the wild turkeys that waddle their way down to the creek as a community – or the sound of the many birds that gather in this neck of the woods and that I awaken to each morning at sunrise.
The tree beings who are communing through their intimate community network above and below the earth. Each one with it’s individual characteristics. Whispering so softly that I have to drop into a deeper state of being to catch their messages – sustaining and protecting each other and at the same time gifting us with rich oxygen.
The creek below that is certainly not shy in voicing passage through the beds of rock, silt, plant life and tiny microscopic beings that dance within the sunlight reflected off of the flowing surface.
How can we live in a mindset of scarcity and separation when nature informs us every single moment that it is a false premise to live by….and one at odds with the survival of all living beings.
How can we forget that we live in an animate universe that is filled with energy enough for everyone, is interconnected – and with every act or word spoken from a place of separateness and not enoughness disconnects us from the very essence of all life breathing.
I invite you to create your own Thanksgiving Address to be spoken aloud before moving into each day, to share it with others and to live by it’s pledge every day of your life by your actions and words.
I know I will…..
Copyright by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 9/2/18
ABOUT THE NEW BLOG Life At Wolf Creek:
Life At Wolf Creek provides a space of sanctuary and peaceful reflection. A stopping place to refresh and renew. To remember what is vitally important in our lives and what is to be cherished in pure devotion.
This is where I thrive. Where I feel most at home. For this environment is the very soil of my being. Each breath amidst the family of trees below me and the flow of Wolf Creek in front of me brings me home. Home to all that I am. Home to all that everything is.
We have forgotten our origins. Our beginnings. Feeling the earth energy course up through our bodies we are reminded.
It is this essence that brings us health, well being and reminds us of the complex interconnection that sustains and connects all life.
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Recently there have been, and continue to be, many trauma’s in our country as well as the world. They seem to be unfolding faster than we can keep up with them. This also includes the devastation of our natural world through global warming and human interference, and our intense grief and fear associated with it.
Our culture in the United States does not advocate taking time for clearing trauma from the tissues of the body and the emotions. Instead we are asked to “carry on” and act as if we are “past it” and “soldier” forward. War language at it’s worst!
Even the recent traumas that have directly affected me – my dear friends in Houston with the floods and devastation; the fires here in Northern California intimately affecting my son, my grandchildren and so many others that are dear to me; and a recent minor car accident I was involved in.
Life these days seem to contain more violence and trauma than we have ever experienced before even if we are not directly involved. We are intimately interconnected with all living beings and it depends on our sensitivities how much we feel these traumas….but know that we do indeed feel them…all of us! (especially the empaths among us)
Yesterday a beloved friend and co-workers son fell on the playground and sustained a concussion. She rushed him to the ER where a CAT scan was done and it was determined that he had a head injury. His vision was impaired, thinking slowed and he had quite a headache. This was traumatic for mother and son alike. The medical world pronounced him OK and sent him along home with instructions for mom.
But what of the trauma within the tissues of the body and the emotions that are sometimes forced down because it is not OK to display them openly? Parents are told to keep in control and not “scare” or “upset” their kids, and boys of a certain age are told to “shake it off” and go on – “be a man” – and not cry.
Even if the parent is saavy, as my friend, is open to supporting their child and themselves in releasing the trauma and does not buy into cultural norms….the culture still often keeps our kids (and our parents) captive by unspoken “rules” of behavior that are somehow ingrained in our psyche. Especially if our children are budding pre-teens and male.
What if the prescription for healing quickly, and without keeping residual trauma encased in the cellular structure of the body for years afterwards, was to openly welcome the emotions and the physical releases that simply want to emerge after any kind of trauma – whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual?
Welcoming in immediate assistance in supportive timing from somatic and mind-body therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, energy medicine practitioners and the like will not only speed recovery, but will also make certain that the particular trauma is not carried on within the body/mind/emotions.
What can you do immediately after a trauma such as my friend just experienced if seeking support right away is not possible?
*Stay grounded but real by breathing down into your roots (soles of your feet into the earth) and allowing the body to release the trauma when it feels safe to do so. Releases can manifest in ways such as shaking or jerking of the body; crying or loud sound; a need to express verbally; desire to be held or comforted. Small children are great at this and such teachers for us!
*Give your child or loved one permission to release in whatever way feels right for them in the moment. Stay grounded and open. This may include placing your hands on them with their permission. Simply a loving and supportive touch or gentle massage by someone they trust can signal the body/emotions to let go of the trauma.
*Let your child or loved one know that you also were affected by the trauma and were scared for their well being. Give yourself permission to release too when there is a space and time for you to do so.
*Engage the support of friends who will be real and supportive listeners, as well as healing practitioners of your choice.
*Learn ways to quickly release trauma from the body by holding certain points (as in Jin Shin Jyutsu, acupuncture points, tapping etc.) if this is something that would be helpful for you. There are many excellent practitioners that can assist you and a richness of online resources.
Trauma is not meant to be experienced alone though often times we find ourselves there. Trusting the wisdom of the body/emotions to release naturally and asking for support and assistance is vital for long term well being.
We are a global community…..
NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTING Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Heart of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time.
Gaye Abbott, is a wild and free soul who just so happens to LOVE writing, playing with energy, ecstatic dance and free form movement, living and breathing in nature, her 3 sons and 3 grandchildren, communing with friends and global community, organic food and cooking, small and simple spaces to live within, a lack of material possessions….and laughter every single day!
As a wise elder of 69 years she feels decades younger….and acts it too! Devoted to being of service to the Earth and all living beings Gaye seeks the peace of mind and openness of heart that provides the foundation for effective action in the world and her community.
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here: http://gayeabbott.com/books/
Deep down inside I yearn for the beauty of a breath that takes me into kingdoms of unknowing where I dance free and unencumbered by the trappings of life that oft bind me, if I allow it.
Now with one single breath, and one step, I find a completely and utterly distinct fresh location that seems to be moving into different configurations of life now and now….and now.
I throw my arms up in the air and embrace the clouds entangling a soaring bird in my fingertips. Oh, that you soar free my fine and sacred feathered friend. For you are me and I you.
With an exhale wings expand and I find myself high above the verdant forest below with not a care in my heart or a pain in my mind.
Body rooted into the sky and thinking released to the ground below, my yearning lets go into the complete and utter joy of flight.
Gazing down, drawn by the salt of the air there is wave after wave of blue green water tipped with the white foam of mirth.
Suddenly wet with the saline that runs through my veins my flesh is held at the top of a wave. The moment is taken within as a baby held by giant foamy arms.
This ride is one that drenches me with the utter deliciousness of water flight. In one moment lusciously inviting in, and the next catapulting into the air.
In that moment of launch, into the unknowing moment, the sound I make startles me out of the complacency that runs life in moments.
Propels me into waking up as the breath fills my lungs and invades every cell of my body and beyond.
For what is this place but a surrender into God – the Source of all creation – ripe with nothing and filled with everything.
This moment of breath, this life that invites me over and over again to simply be present to the spacious unfolding of life – now…..
Gaye Abbott, February, 2017
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
can be found here:
We often feel that breathing is simply automatic with the ability to consciously “control it” for periods of time. Like other processes in our body we take for granted and most often just forget about them.
Until we recognize that our body innately knows that we are one with the Universe. In that oneness there are still points….a pause for us to remember that what we thought was our individual process of breathing is caught up in the stars shining, the waves moving to shore, the tree gifting us with oxygen, and the sun shining upon our face.
Michael Grab, in the video above, finds those still points as he deeply connects with the living forces of the stone elements he holds in his hands and blesses with water. May you be reminded that in every moment you are simply and elegantly an integral and sacred part of this Universe….
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
can be found here:
The intelligence of the body – if you but tap into it for a moment in time – will bring to light all matter of holdings, contractions, numbed out and hidden places, that are crying out for attention, space and light.
Our instinctual body knows exactly how to breathe and move with optimal grace and fluidity – like the moon shining without telling it to. You, as a piece of the moving, breathing natural world – as the landscape you walk upon. Have you forgotten?
Can you feel the vibration of life force – prana – that is moving through you? If not then the opportunity is here to awaken and enliven the very cells of your being with breath.
If you are still long enough, in your solitude and silence, opening the senses wide – the inner and outer landscape comes alive with sounds, smells, sensation, vision, and perceptive entwined relating. This is your body in primal aliveness. A shifting art piece that is endlessly fascinating and continually changing.
As the ancient contractions release the body opens to a wild inhale of erotic desire – a desire so strong that we realize in an instant why we have shut it down. Permission to inhabit the yearnings of the body to be wild and free has not been granted for so many years….perhaps lifetimes.
These instinctual longings beg for life until Time stands still, bows down before you and prays for forgiveness. Forgiveness for capturing you in it’s sticky net of illusion. That you couldn’t simply embody moments by setting free the uninhibited breath – but instead were coerced to rush breathless into the moments that aren’t even here yet.
What a great loss it is to lose our wild primal aliveness. For it is here that we learn what it is like to be breathed. To lose all sense of control and certainty and deeply, erotically reconnect – like a lover with it’s beloved – to the Divine nature of simply inhaling and exhaling.
Becoming one with the breath that is breathing us all.
Our life force shimmers like a star in the heavens that even many years after it’s death remains brilliant with light.
Must we shut down on the vibrancy of our body that is housed in the soul of our very Being?
Were we really placed here to have our heads down and our eyes scanning a screen….or encased and belted into 3,000 pounds of metal and plastic, so disconnected from the earth that gives us breath…..and is breathing with and within us.
Or….are we here to delight in the simple and wild pleasure of breathing in….
and breathing out.
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
can be found here:
Growing up right by the Pacific Ocean and the sandy Southern California beaches was a gift that I didn’t fully see in all of it’s glory and splendor until much later in life. The memories are now held dear.
I can still close my eyes and imagine being there, the warmth of the sun cooled to perfection by a gentle breeze blowing over the water. Toes crunching in the sand often attempting to skim over the surface of the beach as the very hot grains tortured bare feet.
Trying to find the “perfect spot” to lay a towel and still be able to have the best vantage point for the constantly unfolding panorama. Standing guard over delicious morsels of food that the seagulls will nab in an instant if you but take your eyes off of them for a single moment!
The tangy smell of salt from a body of water so immense that there was no seeing to the “other side” of it. If you were fortunate, a dolphin or sea lion would leap out and entice you into the water to play. Tide pools a tempting curiosity that held attention for long moments in time, and oft times a rocky perch would suffice as a vantage point for focused reflection and pen put to paper.
Sitting on my imaginary beach beside a roaring fire the ocean waves crash and race each other to the shore. It is the water that draws me more than any other element here. It appears endless and certainly uncontrollable by a simple human like me. Only the natural elements can commune, shift and transform the tide and the world beneath in harmonious ways. Only humans can destroy the balance here.
So many hours spent in the embrace of the sea. It seems like a moment ago that I was riding the crest of a wave with sea lions racing towards the shore next to me. Riding on top of the ocean current is an exhilarating feeling – whether on boogie board, surf board or within the space of a body. What is essential is to be in contact with the salt filled water. Smelling its tang, feeling the texture next to your skin as the currents push and pull, and occasionally tasting the salty brine that you hadn’t quite expected.
It is definitely a rush to be one with a wave and it is not without an element of overwhelming awe and at times a tinge of fear for good measure. I liken it to how we approach life in any given moment. There is a doing when we take on the attitude of being the most skilled at riding a wave and all that goes into the sport of it. Added into that can be a presence of observing each minute part of this journey, yet somewhat removed from actually what is happening in any given moment. Then there is engagement, where the doing and observation is transformed – a complete and utter surrender into direct embodied relationship with the elements.
Of the latter I will weave a story of such utter engagement that there is no room for focusing on simply observing or doing. Perhaps it is a combination of all three that join together when in one moment you are skimming the surface of foam on the crest of a wave, and in the next find yourself within a watery world where a sense of direction and belonging to any order is obliterated. Where organized elemental chaos reigns.
What is it like to inhabit the inner workings of the sea when a wave has ceremoniously and suddenly dumped you within it’s crashing towards the shore?
Disorientation, panic, fear, physical upset can join each other in a dance that does not have steps. Nor are there any precise steps to learn in those moments. What rides along, resting underneath the human primal urge to survive, is an opportunity to find out what happens in the spaces in between a world of roiling, murky water becoming in an instant calm again. Providing a clear pathway to life giving oxygen and the upper world of a surface landscape.
Yet, in those moments when everything feels blown apart and resembles the experience of tumbling down a rabbit hole, an instant in time suddenly appears where one is requested by forces much greater to simply let go of the struggle. To intimately make love to, and commune in union with, the elements of water, salt and sand by allowing their united collaboration to lead the way.
Can it be that the simple practice of halting the process of breathing for a few moments while making love with the sea can provide a space of unequaled opportunity to know what it is like to surrender completely. A surrender that asks nothing less than to submit your will to the elements that make up the cells of your being.
Breaking free into the world above your private watery womb is exhilarating. Releasing into an anam cara (soul friendship) with the very elements that have just recently captured the space of your body completely. For in an instant, you realize that this merging has brought you home to freedom and a joy in simply being alive.
Suddenly finding the shifting ground beneath your soles brings gratitude. A celebration of now that only the watery embrace just moments ago could have opened space for. What is it to breathe freely once again? To feel so intimately connected with something so powerful is at once humbling and ecstatic.
Take these moments and weave them into the story of You. Know that you have been given a second chance to prostrate yourself before Life and God and all that claims aliveness. For you are among the cells that make up the entire cosmos. That have just moments ago danced with the possibility of a death of sorts, and found on the other side that there is no duality, only a claim to breathe.
To courageously and creatively express the at times painful ecstasy of what it is to be human – traveling towards the shore of Being.
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
can be found here: