{our wild and magical back yard}

Perhaps some of you may have noticed or intuited that I am having a rough time communicating fully this quiet journey I have been on since moving to the PNW. I have found when sharing here that I feel conscious and careful to not offend those in my past or present circles or those precious hearts that come to my space. Mainly because I am fully aware and honor all of the beautiful movements that are transpiring in the online world. I see healing and awakening in the midst of circles gathering and ecourses expanding and widening. I know personally some extraordinary revolutionaries that are empowering women all around the world. And yet while all of this bigness is happening around me, I find myself pulling in and away from the online world. Not in a way to make myself small. It felt so much deeper than that, yet so hard to express because I have been so IN IT and unable to articulate what is happening to me.

Throughout my life I have always tried to be careful to not point the finger at what other people are doing and saying and to really look within at my own reactions or triggers or emotions that surface in any particular social situation (online or in the flesh). I constantly strive to check myself to make sure my need to pull back from a particular person or group of people isn't from jealousy or insecurity and if some of those emotions do rise, to work through them, knowing its all about me and not them. So as much as others have wondered or even me myself have wondered if my need to pull in and let go of so much in my life right now has to do with any of those dynamics, my heart has continued to whisper..."its something deeper, keep looking...keep praying, keep meditating...this is grander and wider and lighter and inner...and more freeing".

So, I have deeply trusted and honored that feeling of not needing to name it yet because when I have tried, I never quite felt satisfied with what came out of my mouth or my fingertips. Until today. Today my friend sent to me a video where this woman, a beautiful kindred spirit that I do not know personally, spoke of what was happening inside of me in words that felt so familiar. I found myself with tears down my face and and my heart opening, expanding and my head nodding "yes. oh yes. this is it." And I saw it in this woman's eyes and how she carries herself, what I too am experiencing.  And I heard it in her story, so very familiar to me, different but familiar.

It has been hard for me to explain to people why when I was approached by a well known publisher, that I did not get right on finishing my book when a handful of friends around me were in the midst of desiring a book deal. It was difficult to express to others why I launched my ecourse that hundreds of people have asked me to do and then shortly after decided I needed to postpone it at a time when so many in my circle were launching theirs. It was hard for even me to fully grasp why when I became part of a beautiful online circle full of extraordinary revolutionary women, that my intuition told me I needed to pull back and be solitary for a while. I deleted my facebook. I deleted my instagram. My twitter is very quiet. My life began to be more inner, more private and less seen. My motivation became less about seeking validation from others and more about seeking wisdom within. It became less about the need to guide others and more about just listening and BEing. Yet still...what was happening to me? Why were so many of my relationships shifting, ending, beginning, renewing? Why was I resisting being a part of a circle or tribe when for years this is what carried me through fertility and grief and adoption and motherhood?

What I did know was that this transformation was on a very deep soul and spiritual level. Me, once associating myself as a Christian and then finally surrendering to my resistance to dogma or organized religion and man-made religious denominations and masculine guided spirituality. I knew I was being drawn to something deeply feminine. I knew I began to hear a very feminine voice of God. I knew this was something I needed to work through on my own without others opinions or ideas or fears filtering in. I was beginning to attract Buddhists and Witches, Goddesses and Native American guides. Yet never fully able to associate my heart with any one way of believing and yet being pulled to my Christian roots despite not belonging or wanting to belong. I've just been gathering nuggets of wisdom that felt good to my soul and resisting boxing myself in. And while my search to connect online began to feel noisy and chaotic, I think it was just my soul's way of wanting to slow down and not seek anywhere but inward.

So much of what Sera Beak shares here in this video (below) is where I am. Particularly this part...

"After my interview with Marion Woodman, the very foundations of myself, my spirituality and successful life were shaken to pieces. I knew that I could not continue helping other women or this planet until I faced and found my soul again. So that is what I've been doing the past three years. And some of you might well know that its extremely painful and incredibly humbling when we finally turn and face our soul. Because we immediately become face to face with the subtle and not so subtle ways we have consciously and unconsciously abandoned her. Like that time we kept quiet when we knew we should speak. Like that time we said yes, when we knew we should have said no. Like that time we took on that project despite the devastating toll it took on our body. Like that time we stayed in that relationship despite how unhealthy it was. Like that time we followed the crowd, instead of our inner guidance.

Entry into the life of the soul demands a steep price. What's that price? Falsity. Everything that is not authentic. You see our souls don't pay attention to the opinions, ideas, beliefs, trends, rules given to us by external authorities, such as the media, politicians, fashion magazines, doctors, spiritual gurus. They don't seek approval, validation or acceptance from external sources. They know that true power does not come from anything outside of us. True power comes from surrendering to the divine authority within us. Embodying your soul is about living from the inside out. And requires that we ask ourselves on a daily, even an hourly, even a minute to minute basis…'Does this person, place project, group, teacher, class, book, TV show…does this feel authentic to my soul?' And then we have to bravely act on that answer. Based on answering these very questions in the last three years, I have broken contract with my big fancy publisher, fired my filmmaker, broke up with my boyfriend and pulled away from about 95% of my personal and professional life. I have let go of almost everything that didn't feel authentic to my soul. I let go of everything that used to define me, so I could allow my soul to start to define me."

Hearing her words, feel so affirming. Like I can almost name the un-namable of where I am right now in my life.  And I appreciate her saying that its very messy.  And it has been.  I am in the messy.  The vulnerable. The lonely part of it all.  But down in these quiet depths is where the answers are and where the light comes in and the clarity comes.

I think what I am learning is the true meaning of soul searching.  Or is it soul listening?