For the past year, I have been living with my attention focused fully on the present moment, more fully than I have ever been present before. At first, this was by necessity, when I was in so much pain that it took all my attention just to move, being careful so as to not hurt myself. As I have regained the use of my body, for moving around the house, walking in the yard or on nearby streets, I have continued to keep my attention focused in the present moment as much as possible. Of course, this includes making plans for the future during the present time. But the main difference between my way of being in the world now as opposed to over 1 year ago, is that I no longer waste time and energy on fearful thoughts, on worry, or on creating scenarios in my mind regarding this, that, or the other that I have no control over.
In the present moment lies the infinite potential of the Universe, and that is where my attention is. For I know that I am unlimited and that anything is possible (see first post of July 6).
During the week of July 4, I was on my own at home and had the opportunity to have 2-day solo silent retreat in my own space. I had been planning this retreat for over a week, so I scheduled no appointments during this time, did all the shopping beforehand, and told family members that they would not be able to reach me. I planned to turn off the phones and the computer that I use for e-mail, so that I could enter silence on Wednesday July 2 at 5 p.m. and stay on retreat until Friday July 4 at 6:30 p.m. I love to have these retreats at least once every year, but this was my first retreat since the beginning of 2007. My intention in planning the retreat was use the time to figure out how to incorporate writing into my days, so that I could finish my book on the Sunwheel and begin writing one on my journey of the last 1-2 years since my diagnosis.
I picked a Rune just before starting the retreat, and it was the Rune of Wholeness, Sowelu, signifying the availability of Life Force, symbolized by the Sun's Energy. I love this Rune -- it looks like a lightning strike, a zigzag. From the Book of Runes, I read familiar words, "Sowelu embodies the impulse toward self-realization, and indicates the path you must follow, not from ulterior motives but from the core of your individuality." I was reminded that:
- seeking after wholeness is the quest of the Spiritual Warrior
- what you are striving to become in actuality is what, by nature, you already are
- become conscious of your essence and bring it into form
- a Rune of great power making life force available, Sowelu marks a time of regeneration down to the cellular level
- timely retreat is among the skills of a Spiritual Warrior
So the Rune of Wholeness sent me off on my silent retreat, reminding me that timely retreat is among the skills of the Spiritual Warrior. Here it was -- I was taking action and then I was receiving supporting guidance, so I was effectively hearing the guidance before it arrived. That is what I call "Living in Alignment with the Universe."
When I came out of retreat on Friday evening, I saw an animal eating some of my flowers in the back yard, so I ran out into the yard to chase it away. It had the coloring of a rabbit, but I didn't get a good look at it as it ran along the fence. It was then that I discovered a sizable hole and a large amount of dirt under the day lilies in the back of my garden. A creature had burrowed into my flowers and then invited itself to a dinner of wood aster and pholx.
The next morning as I was drinking tea and looking out the window, a crow landed in the yard to watch the cardinals and blue jays and black capped chickadees eat out of the bird feeders. The crow walked around the yard peering this way and that, and then suddenly flew off as the creature wandered into the middle of the yard. I couldn't tell what it was. Its color was light but it wasn't a porcupine because there were no quills. Its shape was large and and a bit flattened but it wasn't a badger because of the coloring. It chewed on some grass, then picked up something from the ground, and as it ate its stance resembled that of a big fat squirrel. I wondered if it was a woodchuck, but didn't really know what one looked like. So I did a Google search on "woodchuck" and up came a picture of the creature I had just seen in the yard. And I learned that woodchuck = groundhog = marmot. I never knew that.
Next thing I did was to go to my book Animal Speak and look up woodchuck/groundhog. This is a burrowing rodent, which symbolically indicates the ability to go deep within an area of interest. In the winter they hibernate for 4 to 6 months, slowing their breathing (to 1 breath per minute), their metabolism, their body temperature (to just above freezing), and their heart rate. Hibernation symbolizes death without dying, and is then symbolically followed by renewal and rebirth. A friend sent me more information about the woodchuck, which is related to the prairie dog. She wrote, "Prairie dog teaches you that, in order to access great gifts of inspiration and renewal, you must be at peace with yourself and rested enough to recognize the blessings being offered. The overall meaning is take a 'retreat'."
So after my retreat, I found a mammal that had come to me to teach me about the value of retreat and renewal in accessing my gifts of inspiration. My intention while on retreat had been to figure out how to make time and space to write, which I did by meditating and then writing. I learned from the woodchuck, after the fact, that being rested and at peace will help me access my gifts of inspiration and renewal. Again, my actions were in sync with the guidance before I received it.
I am just loving living in alignment with the Universe.