Ready Wisdom: Make like a tree. Or How to live entirely in the moment.
Ready Wisdom: Make like a tree. Or How to live entirely in the moment.
There is pretty much a yoga pose for everything, and I seem to have spent most of the last week in tree pose.
In tree, you can root yourself to the earth, which helps on those occasions when you feel as if you might spin clear off the planet.
In tree, you can find that crucial place of balance between pressure points as you lift your branches.
You can reach up to the sky and wave your arms as graceful branches that move with the wind no matter how strong it becomes.
It has been one of those weeks.
When I wasn’t actually in tree pose, I spent time amongst the trees themselves, listening to the wind through their branches, watching their buds unfold, and smelling that sweet spring scent of flowering growth.
Most walks brought me to animals, and that is a fine place to be right now. There is a herd of Highland cattle in our local nature reserve, and they are huge, majestic things to behold.
A half-hour near a herd of cattle is instant relaxation and reminds me of a special knowledge we have forgotten: How to live entirely in the moment.
You don’t see animals worrying about the future and fretting about the past. You see them, instead, simply inhabiting the moment. If everything is fine in an animal’s direct vicinity, then they are fine as well.
I’m not sure I can sign up for the cow hugging I’m reading about in both the US and Dutch presses, but I can sit on my side of the fence in the field, and remember how to inhabit the moment. Then, for just a bit, my concerns subside so I can hold space in the quiet of my center and ground myself with the tree roots.
Once as I sat there, the cows began to sing for no other reason but joy I suppose, and I marveled to hear how it sounded like whale song.
Earth’s two biggest mammals, one on land, and one at sea, sing a common song of joy.
Ready Wisdom that you can apply right now is the theme of Owl Magic, my toolbox of anxiety-busting strategies created for times exactly like these. The instantly applicable guided meditations, stories, poems, yoga poses, and writing prompts in Owl Magic will help you meet today’s challenges from the life-affirming power of your own intuition, because times of change are the times of greatest transformation.
Have you ever imagined soulless zombie armies, mushroom clouds, alien invasion, and of course, pandemic? We have read about the apocalypse in novels and watched it over and over again on movie screens. We have imagined dystopia and a violent, imminent end to everything we know, and we have probably imagined ourselves amongst the survivors, because who wants to contemplate their own mortality?
These are modern apocalyptic visions. They are rooted in fear, and they always happen to someone else. Except now, perhaps.
The fictional pandemic has suddenly become real, and the political instability is happening to all of us in some way, right now. If we are lucky, we get to sit it out on the couch in our yoga pants. If we are not lucky, we may have been sick, or someone we love may have been sick, or maybe we have to leave the couch because our jobs are essential. We may also be out risking danger to protest for a better world.
It is happening to all of us, and while we are probably all scared and thinking apocalyptic thoughts, we are also experiencing the current moment in very different ways.
It turns out it is not zombies or aliens or nuclear war. It is a virus, a microscopic enemy we cannot even see. It is social upheaval, dredging up all of the dark aspects of this world we need to fix, and it looks like it might have to get worse before it gets better.
Open your owl eyes
Expand your owl vision. Owls always see the truth and are comfortable flying through dark shadows. Summon your owls. Athena is a battle goddess, and the owl at her shoulder protects her in dark places.
This is not the first apocalypse
It has happened many times before, and it is possible to think of apocalypse as more of an ongoing situation than a one-time event. Every time a species goes extinct, they have had their apocalypse. Every time a habitat is destroyed, it is an apocalypse, and the thing most apocalypses have in common is that they are generally man-made.
Are we the apocalypse?
Did the virus jump species to humans because we put so much pressure on the natural environment? Maybe. And is it the nature of the virus to invade a host and drain it until it is exhausted in the same way humans invade the land and drain it until it too is exhausted? Possibly.
While pop culture defines apocalypse as the kind of explosive world-ending event we have seen in the movies, people have, in fact, been predicting the end of the world pretty much forever.
And in some times and places, it did end. But never for long, and often not at all.
Notice the fear behind the apocalyptic vision.
Apocalyptic predictions generally follow times of disruption or uncertainty, often involving war, plague, or the sighting of comets in the sky.
One of the earliest apocalyptic predictions was made in ancient Judea by the Essenes, who thought their battle with Rome was the end battle. For them, it was the end, but it was not the end for everyone.
The world has been predicted to end by antichrist, fire, and flood at different times by different people—yet still, we are here.
Between 1290 and 1335, Joachim of Fiore predicted the end of the world twice. His second prediction was a rescheduling of the first after it failed to materialize, and that was followed by the Black Death, which many considered the real end times.
Cotton Mather predicted the end of the world three times, and Nostradamus was specific in his prediction of July 1999.
We all remember the Y2K predictions and the Mayan Doomsday of 2012.
How many times and ways might the world have ended?
Bad things have happened, bad things are happening now, but the world has not ended yet, and neither have we. Every previous apocalypse has been based on a false fear.
We are living in our own apocalyptic Between Times, which brings us to our next universal law:
The Universal Law of Courage: Own your fear and face it down through direct action.
This is how to make your fear a constructive agent of change in a rapidly changing world.
Read more in Owl Magic: Your GUide Through Challenging Times from Sea crow press.
“ This combination of reassurance that there is still magic to behold, that we still have the power and vision to significantly change our world for the better, combined with practical steps that empower us, is healing. Owl Magic” provides just the right amount of heart to remind us what it feels like to be a human being with hope, and enough history to help us put our lives into perspective.” ~Vashti Stopher Klein, author of The Soprano, the Monster, and the Dragonslayer
Has 2020 taken your sense of magic? Are old stories no longer serving? Channel the season’s magic to change your stories for a better outcome.
Restore Your Magic
When you were small, was the world enchanted? Were you a part of its flow? That’s because everything the adult world declares inanimate is alive to the child. Remember holiday magic? The holiday spirit definitely falls under this category. Children understand the magic of living, and this is something you can reclaim, remember, and retell through story and myth. Try to remember the magical rapture of being alive.
The images of myth are reflections of spiritual and depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.
Rediscover Your Myth
As adults, we become disconnected from our mythic stories because the structures of the adult world value material profit. We forget our inner journeys as we grow up and conform to those structures. When a society forgets its stories and mythologies, or they fail to work, people forget how to live and enter free fall. A lack of story and myth leads to an attraction to extremes in religion, politics, and civic life. This has been the experience of the pandemic year. However, there is magic and story and myth afoot throughout all of December. Let December’s magic lead you into your own personal myth. What are your stories?
See life like a poem, you are participating in a poem, and the root of the poetry is myth.
Retell Your Stories
Do you tell yourself the same stories over and over and end up with the same results? Is it possible the entire world is doing the same thing as the news becomes more and more extreme? We cannot fix the planet right now, but we can look around ourselves and make as much right as possible. One powerful way of doing this involves considering our stories and changing them for a better outcome: Once, I thought I would never find a parking spot for my car. I drove around and around the parking lot, telling myself I would never find a spot. Then I remembered something I had read recently about imagining what you need to manifest it. So I changed my story. I crossed my fingers and visualized myself finding the perfect parking spot. I did another circle back around the parking lot, and not one, but four spots had opened up!
Restore, Rediscover, Retell
Find your way through this pandemic holiday by retelling the familiar old stories and listening to the magic and myth. Keep the parts the work for you. Then, retell your own stories in ways that also work for you. Your highest self is in your stories, so tell them carefully.