I wasn’t ready to post this last week while I was in Calgary- so here it is now, a few days late- but still better now than never:)….
I am feeling really inspired & in love with life right now. I feel like there is so much beauty all around me. What a fantastic life I am living:) I feel Alive! Theres so many things to talk about, I don’t know where to start. First off- last night was the first of many satsangs I had the pleasure of joining. Lisa Schumaker, one of my mum’s beautiful friends whom she met through Gangaji (my mum’s spiritual teacher), came to spend a week at our Square Butte Ranch (just outside of Calgary). The purpose of her visit was to organize and offer some satsangs and retreats in the Calgary area. My mum and some of her close friends organized a week filled with satsangs, meetings, poetry, love, connection and stillness. I didn’t think I would be able to join in at all- but was oh so pleasantly surprised when I realized I had the last week of July off of work, and could manage a quick escape out to the ranch!
Spending time with Lisa has really opened my eyes to a whole new world… I don’t really know how to explain it. At this moment I also just want to feel it. She is such a special spirit. There is something so grounding and familiar about her, in fact- I really feel as if she is family. I think that’s what happens when you find your truth (or truly, you stop searching)- that connection to everything (nature & all the rest) is so foundational, it’s always there. Last night was a poetry satsang, which Lisa led, accompanied by some beautiful people, musicians, artists and stunning horse paintings and artwork done by Diane Williams (my favorite).
Lisa’s poetry is published in a collection named ‘The Stone I Love’- which is her journey of the past 10 (or so) years, since she first met Gangaji. I absolutely encourage you to find your own copy of this collection- there is something very healing, true, authentic & at times, dark about Lisa’s work. It’s a real depiction of Lisa’s journey (the pain, fear, love & peace). I was so pleased when I realized I could attend the evening & cater it too! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the pizzas I made, which is upsetting- but I suppose I was really focused on being present (all the more reason to make them again and take photos for you)!
Hearing Lisa read her poems, and speaking to specific moments that came up for her (or the group) brought a lot up in me. The whole idea of searching & seeking happiness, is the biggest one for me. I really feel like I am caught in a whirlwind between the authentic surrender of my truth & stillness, and the hectic, mind-blowing search for love. The idea that what you are seeking is already there, is something that really hit me hard last night (and the past few days, since arriving here in at the ranch). I think I have been dancing around this for the past few months, but it hasn’t really touched me, like it does now.
My journey is becoming quite interesting. I am becoming more aware of my patterns, the voice in my head, and my fixations. I’ve spent so much of my life searching for acceptance and confirmation from others- when really that acceptance is truly something I can offer myself. When I find myself in a group, I sometimes get uncomfortable- and anxious. I’ve never really understood why this is. I notice that I tend to absorb the energies of the group, and get slightly overwhelmed. Now, though, I’m starting to realize that these energies are a reflection of my search for acceptance.
What does this person think of me? Do I stand out in this group? Does that person like my clothes?
These questions have always pervaded my mind, when I am in a group setting. Unless I am drinking (alcohol, unfortunately– brings down those inhibitions and dampens anxiety), I have a hard time truly being present, in group settings. My mind is way too occupied with worrying about judgement and acceptance. I am consumed by my search for love.
Something I am trying to do now, is to notice this & witness it. The thing is, there is so much beauty, I am surrounded by it. I want to enjoy it. I want to soak it up. I miss out on an abundance of beauty- because of the games of my mind. I want to witness it. I want to witness love & beauty- in myself, and everywhere around me.
Coming to the ranch is such a special thing for me. It’s such a privilege. There’s something so special about the Albertan countryside. It’s so widespread. Everywhere you look- you see so far & you see so much. There really is such an ancient connection to nature here. So much tradition. When I’m out riding, bareback, in the meadows, surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills- I can just picture the cowboys & the indians, and all the beautiful wild horses. It really is a magical place. If you listen to the wilderness & its stillness, it will tell you stories- it will offer you the chance to witness in all of its beauty and wonder. I may sound slightly mushy gushy- but I can’t help it, it’s just what it does to you!
The thing about nature is that it can bring life back into you. I have been stopping myself from truly living lately. Earlier today Lisa, my mum & I were talking about totem animals & spirit animals. I truly had no idea what my spirit animal was. “An Ocelot!”- Lisa perfectly chimes in. At first I was a bit skeptical, however- once I had a look at an image of one of these wild cats, and reading up on it’s description & meaning, it was so on point- I had to laugh.
Members of this sign have a tendency to push others away when their deepest beliefs and ideals are challenged. They often feel the need to be right in every argument, mostly because they need to believe in themselves and their abilities. Like the wild ocelot, they know they are a smaller hunter up against big odds. While it’s good that they are self-sufficient, they too often miss out on the joys of life, which can only really be gained from interactions with other people.
I can literally see a couple faces of my close circle giggling as they are reading this. Yes, I know- it’s true; I do like to be right in all arguments. That’s an obvious one. I’ve noticed that I tend to push people away when I am feeling unloved & insecure. It feels easier than actually dealing with feeling unworthy of people’s love and attention. For instance, I am terrible at asking for help or accepting help from others.
On the subject of love- this is pretty accurate too: Ocelots need strong partners who inspire them to challenge themselves, not just take on the challenges of the world. Members of this sign often carry unrealistic expectations of others, and therefore end up disappointed, depressed, and lonely. What they truly need is the ability to look at themselves objectively and unemotionally and realize that it’s not the rest of the world that needs to learn to acquiesce to their ways, but the other way around. Only when they can fearlessly look at themselves honestly will they be able to attract the right kind of partner.
If you are interested in learning about spirit animals, I most definitely encourage you to try it out- if you are drawn to it. It’s an interesting awakening to learning more about who you are. I’ve found it very helpful in bringing more clarity, peace and awareness to my patterns of thought and behavior & when and what I do in certain situations.
Please, if you haven’t already and are interested in seeing what I’m up to, cooking & learning about– LIKE my Facebook Page for Chloe’s Countertop here. Much love! xo