The Periphery

Draw a mental circle around your life energy.  What lies at the periphery of your experience?   What do you wake to faintly sense at the outlines every single day?

These are my thoughts after a week of cherished alone time while my child is at summer camp and before roommates move in.

I have discovered what lies at the periphery for me are 5 time-resistant features:

1)  Continual questioning of my purpose in this life.  Someday I want to write the full story of the two years during which my purpose was the most clear and not by my own conscious design– saving my child’s life, my boyfriend’s at the time, and my own, while losing job and home.

2)  Thoughts trending toward giving up (depression, suicidal thoughts) when my purpose and gifts feel hidden to my view.   Ah, how I wish this were not such a recurring theme and could keep this great poet’s quote in mind:  “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~ Hafiz

3)  An appreciation for the unseen, the great unknowable, energy as much as matter.  This was aided by my intensive study of music from age 7-20.  There is nothing quite like the trance state of a musician pulling emotion from the ether from sounds composed by a human being hundreds of years earlier.

4)  Meaningful experiences with Native American and other guides both in spirit and in person that have given me much food for thought and support from Earth energies and living community.  I will write the story of these experiences someday.

5)  An unending desire to walk impossible distances.  This feels like cellular memory to me, possibly representing a tie to prehistoric time when ancestors walked out of necessity.  I did walk miles to and from school and work most of my life, but the desire to actually have a life with daily walking at its core has never left me.

Maybe by looking at the periphery, you can determine where your happiness lies.  If money was not an impediment, what would you want to do that inspires your spirit each day?

I know my answer, but precisely because it is impossible in a world dependent upon the exchange of money for basic needs, it exists only in my mind.  What would make my spirit sing is to live a life where I can wake each day, walk in a natural environment until I can walk no more for the day, meditate, write poetry, and cook simple meals from the gifts of the earth.  (Do I forego all material possessions and join a monastery when my child is no longer dependent?)

I glimpsed 48 hours of this a month ago when I hiked in Oregon on my own and for the first time ever in my 46 years experienced a rock-solid sense of self love.  I knew I would be okay and could rely on myself in a way I have not sensed deeply before.   Not a smidge of inner critic or anxiety about being alone or how I was inside my skin, just profound faith in myself.  In fact, I bought an “engagement ring” of sorts for myself, a silver flower and two leaves that reminds me to always honor myself and the Earth’s energies that support me.

As synchronicity has it today, so this poem arrived in my inbox:

On the Other Shore

By Haude Gosain
(1795 – ?)

English version by Deben Bhattacharya

On the other shore
Of the ocean
Of one’s own self,
Quivers a drop of fluid–
As the origin of all.
But who can cross the seas
To reach it?

The root of all
Is based in you.
Explore the base
To reach the essence….

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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