She Is

Like mist slowly stretching itself through a vast forest where lichen and mushrooms grow, she pervades the very air we breathe. She is in the blades of grass bending to the will of the wind. She is the feathers that fall from winged’s perched high in the treetops, the earthworm that burrows between the winding rooted road of a tree. She is the tree, the earthworm, the winged, the grass, the wind, the soil.

She is the animating intelligence that stirs all of life into a dance and song.

She lives in the pain of childbirth, in the sweat and tears of motherhood, the death of loved ones, the howl of Wolf, the cry of Whale. She is the Gaian web that tethers each of us to one another. She is birth, life, death and rebirth.

She is a cellular memory of our primordial and primal origins. She is the wild world calling to us in our dreams, begging us to lament what we have lost so that we can draw close once more to the very essence and nature of our Soul.

Known by many names and stretching across tradition and time, she is Yin and Shakti, Innana and Gaia. And though she was dismembered, aspects of her whole form fragmented and scattered along the larger psyche of the world, known to us today as Durga and Diana, Kali and Artemis, Saraswati and Athena, Aphrodite and Lakshmi, Mary and Quan Yin, Persephone and Demeter, Pele and Nepthys, she still grows through cracks in the pavement. Blossoming each petal of her wholeness from a sensual vortex of dusted gold, calling in her melissae to pollinate the Earth with a message of her return.

Though engendered through pronouns of “she” and “her,” she is neither female nor male, but rather both. She is the bursting seed of the Universe; the dark cosmic womb that houses an infinite expanse of galactic potential made visible by the sparkling, vibrant colors that fill the night sky.

She lives in the cellular pulse of life. She is spanda – that eternal and spontaneous vibration. She rides the cyclic wave of the breath. You can feel her, even now, massaging the inner walls of your lungs, the bony chamber of your ribs encasing your heart like a temple. If your ear could press to your own chest, you would hear her voice thrumming through the pounding beat of your heart.

She is the imagination on fire, spiraling through endless pools of dreams. Worlds upon worlds celebrate her through dance, play, and song.

She is the frenzied stomp of bare feet touching down upon Earth, wildly calling in the light of stars with yips, grunts, and groans.

Her hair is both tossed and tangled, as well as filled with streams of silken light. Her eyes are a hall of mirrors that bend like the rings of Jupiter. If split open, her skin would reveal layers of igneous rock, cooled over after a millennia spent diving through deep seas where Orca echoes magical hymns where each note steps lightly along rays of moonlight. And the waves of these seas are those that lift her onto a sinuous bed of green and purple light, stretching across a southern sky.

She is the winding river, and the undertow.

She is the contradiction that bleeds between the lines, and rolls down the softened chin of mortality. She is the one waiting for us inside the wound. The one brewing in the infection. The one burning in the fever. She is both creation and destruction, and lives within the paradox of destruction as an act of creation.

Her medicine is a turning toward the discomfort. A steeping in the pain. A faithful walk through the dark, for she is the darkness; the deep void that births and is home to everything.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved, Wild Earth Medicine; reprinted with permission

The Great Remembering

“Whatever we believe about how we got to be the extraordinary creatures we are today is far less important than bringing our intellect to bear on how do we get together now around the world and get out of the mess that we’ve made. That’s the key thing now. Never mind how we got to […]

Wild Horses, Wild Heart

It’s said that Horses are gate keepers to other worlds. Worlds that rest just behind a shimmering veil of wonderment and infinity. Time slows when you’re in their presence, and moments grow expansive. Holding everything from peace and serenity to waves of tears and pain, Horses invite an expression and ownership of authenticity. Perceiving emotion as neither good nor bad, Horses drink from the endless river of a life felt fully.

This past Tuesday, I ventured out with a group of mothers and daughters for a day-long retreat at the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary. Partnering with GEMS has meant creating a sacred space for humans to experience the powerful and life-changing presence of Wild Mustangs, and to learn about their lives, their struggles, and their need for our help.

Many people don’t know that there are still wild horses roaming the lands of America. Their plight is far reaching, and enmeshed in the politics of a capitalistic system governed by people more concerned with monetary wealth than the wealth of an abundant and healthy Earth. Over the years, more and more wild horses have been rounded up, kidnapped and removed from their lands, separated from their families, and placed in holding facilities that are near the equivalent of Guantanamo Bay. Their displacement is driven by cattle ranchers, politicians, and an uninformed public.

Enter organizations such as The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary. Working tirelessly to educate people about the current state of affairs for wild horses, and adopting as many as the Sanctuary’s land will sustainably house, GEMS as well as others envision a world where wild horses still roam the lands. They envision a world where Horses and the Earth are honored and respected.

So, what does this have to do with a day retreat, you may be wondering?!

Let’s begin with what it looked like. Mothers and their daughters ventured out to the eastern plains to meet the amazing Mustangs of GEMS. They ventured out to drop into their bodies, to unplug from a busying world, and to reconnect to themselves, to each other, and to the wild lands and wild horses. Through yoga and meditation, all practiced outdoors, they opened up their awareness to the natural world surrounding them. They listened to the Birds, bathed in the Sun, felt the nip of Mosquitoes, heard the buzz of Bees, saw the zipping and zooming of Dragonflies, and felt the silken breeze cool their ever-warming skin. They began to feel the land the way the Wild Mustangs felt the land.

After steeping in a morning of mind-body practices, we made our way out to meet the herd. Rounding the bend and ascending a small hill, our eyes met the vibrant blue-sky horizon, and there in the tall grasses rested the Mustangs! We began a slow, quiet and mindful walk towards them. Stirred by our presence, they felt us coming more than half a mile away. Stopped by their arousal, we were gifted with the blissful experience of watching them acknowledge and greet us.

As one collective unit, they began to run to where we stood. Naomi, a lively and curious mare, stepped forward to investigate who we were. To tune into our presence and energy. To sense our intentions, and whether or not we were to be welcomed in. After several minutes of taking our presence in, she turned around, tossed her head through the air with her mane whipping wildly, and eventually reabsorbed by the rest of the herd. All of the horses continued to walk towards us. We had been welcomed in!

From there, all of the mothers watched as myself and GEMS trainer, Kim Zamudio, followed behind their daughters. Each of these young women are not only soon to step into High School, that day they stepped into a whole different world. A world with a language rooted in sensing and feeling. A world that asked of them to engage their multilingual capacities, and to see, hear, feel, smell and taste the world around them as the Wild Mustangs have been for hundreds of years.

All of the mothers watched in awe as their daughters were gifted a rare experience – each of them was touched by the power and wisdom of these Horses. They were gifted an opportunity to not only learn about horses through a conceptual framework, but to also connect with them. To meet them on their turf and feel their expansive presence.

There is nothing like it!

When you look into any beings eyes, you are sure to see the Soul inside each of them. If you look with the eyes of your heart, you’ll not only see their divinity, you’ll likely see your own mirrored back to you. Soul implies purpose and place, and these Horses absolutely have a purpose and place in this magnificent world.

So, what do yoga and horses have in common? Honestly, one could write a dissertation in response to such a question. Instead, I’ll stick to a more simplified response.

Yoga, when translated, means “union.” Horses, for all of their journeying through this world with us, have a demonstrated history of knowing how to connect with human beings. They have become adept at speaking “human.” Horses, whether recognized or not, teach us about connection. They remind us of the interconnectivity of all life, and the overlapping of worlds within worlds. Their presence is not only natural, it’s necessary! Horses, for millennia now, have been a medium to the natural and Other than human world. Translating messages from the Earth, when we’re quiet and still enough while in their presence, we’ll hear it – the call to rise and live into our greatest and most potent potential. To live as beings of the Earth, not as separate from.

It’s my humble opinion, that Horses are key players in what Joanna Macy refers to as “The Great Turning,” as all beings most assuredly are. However, Horses have inherited a unique role from their Ancestors. They stand in multiple worlds – two of which are hopefully quite obvious: human and equine. And one can only hope that such profound relationships will contribute in the balancing of our inheritance, and bring about a future that benefits all. Where freedom reigns, and all beings, human and Other than human, are honored and respected as being a significant part of the grand and mystic whole.

Let the Horses re-wild your Spirit! You’re indigenous at heart. A child of the Earth.

Living a Multilingual Life

When asked the question of whether or not you speak another language, what might you immediately infer? It’s likely that you equate language with verbal communication, and without hesitation assume the questioner is referring to the communication that occurs between people across culture and country. You might speak French, Mongolian or Swahili. Perhaps one of these is your native tongue. More importantly, the assumption resting within these understandable and expected responses is the unquestioned frame of mind that language is verbal.

Language is a vehicle for communication and connection. Human beings have mastered the skill and art of verbal communication. So much so, we assume that much of our communication is arriving on the wings of what we say, in both oral and written forms. Language is generally associated with human beings, and is synonymous with those funny things we refer to as words. Words are beautiful. They help us materialize our experiences, share our hopes and fears, and express ideas from the quantum realm of Mystery. And yet, they are but one medium from which we communicate. In fact, we “say” more to each through our body language, facial expressions, and energetic impressions, than we do from the spoken word.

Reflect, for a moment, of a time when you were with a friend or family member, and immediately you could sense something from them without even having to ask. You might have felt anxious “all of a sudden” or happy and peaceful just from being in their presence. When, and if, you inquired further, they may have revealed to you that they were having a terrible and wonderful day. You received impressions of this not from what they had to say with words, but rather what they were saying with their body, subtle and gross.

Let’s step outside of the human container, now. Reflect on a time when you were with an Other than human being, such as a cat or dog. Can you think of a time when they communicated something to you, such as needing food or to go outside, and not a single word was spoken? You “just knew” what they needed. And likely, this is all too recurring of an event that you brush off, and don’t even think twice about it. In such moments, you are in fact multilingual.

Language is not restricted to what we say via words. All beings have their own language. There is a language of the Wind. A language of the Sky. A language of the Stars. A language of Horses, Birds, Dragonflies, and Bees. Every being, from the soil beneath your feet to the clouds in the sky, has a language. A language that is spoken through feeling, image and sound. Our very own bodies have a language, and communicate to us through a vast ocean of sensation and sound. From the images you receive in a dream to the feelings of love or sorrow felt towards another, this too is a language.

Though words have their place and function, an unfortunate consequence of relying on words as one’s sole mode of communication is the disconnection we experience from ourselves and the rest of the world. Our capacity to communicate with the Other than human world is an indigenous capacity every human being holds within the cellular makeup of their existence. Indigenous in that we are born with this “skill.” A skill that could be referred to as “inter-species communication.” There is always an opportunity to re-root into the rich soils of such communication. When there is communication, there is understanding. Where there is understanding there is relationship. And where there is relationship, there exists the potential to practice the language of love and respect.

Ask yourself, right now, what languages you speak, and answer from this particular perspective. Do you speak Dog? Tree? Horse? Sky? Hawk? You might be surprised to discover just how multilingual you are!

We are of the Earth. We are made of the same “stuff” that all of life is made of. From the churning and dusted remnants of previously deceased Stars, our world was birthed. The very building blocks of DNA that make up you and I make up every blade of grass, worm, parasite, whale, beetle and frog. Believe it or not, DNA is a language! It communicates shape and form through the sequencing and replication of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. And from the pairing of each, a relationship is formed. From each relationship, creation springs!

My question to you is this: What kind of world do you want to create? We, as contributory beings of this magnificent Earth, hold immense power to facilitate change through the relationships we forge, and the intent of our actions, therein. Do you hope and dream of a world that materializes from a language of love and interconnectivity? Or, are you satisfied with the current state of a world busting at the seems? What would happen if you risked stepping outside, and struck up a conversation with the Bee harvesting honey from a flower in your garden? What might happen if you sat beneath the shade of Tree, and really felt Her speaking to you? I wonder what she might have to share with you?

Intelligence is not exclusive to human beings, and I guarantee that you’ll be wondrously surprised by what the rest of the world has to share if you stop long enough, and listen deeply enough to what the Other’s around you are saying. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to begin, I find that one of the best methods involves feeling your way through the world. Feel your way into conversation. Whether it’s feeling the body when you’re practicing yoga, feeling the breath when you’re meditating, or feeling the grass beneath your feet when walking. Within each there is a dialogue. Can you hear it?! From such conversation, you’ll discover connection. And when you realize you’re connected, you’ll see that you are and always have been living a multilingual life.