December 21, 2011
This is winter solstice as I sit here typing on my computer by the equator. It will actually be 9:30pm tonight back home,PST, or 5:30 am tomorrow the 22nd over in Europe (GMT). I would normally mark this day to honor the Earth and life with some sort of ritual. Christmas is a good ritual for those you love, the solstice times are important times for the Earth and the natural world.
There is an old saying that I've heard quite a bit over the years: "What you feed grows, what you starve, dies." This has been used by many people and some people shorten it to "what you feed grows". I have heard it used in a religious context too although its origin comes from a Wiccan belief. Many religious ceremonies we have today predate religion and many people go through the motions of their celebration without knowing the true intent. The Yule log for example has its origin in early Germanic Paganism. Christians who practice "Yuletide greetings", sing Yule songs and also put one of those fake Yule logs up as part of their Christmas decorations do not know what it really signifies.
I have also heard some people complain about the use of Xmas saying that it is a modern attempt to leave "Christ" out. What the folks who do not like "Xmas" do not understand is that Xmas is not modern but really many hundreds of years old. The X actually means Christ and that style was invented by earlier Christians. So many misunderstandings and people who do not truly understand the symbolism and rituals surrounding this time of year. Most of which were practices to honor the solstice and have been converted to a Christian based practice.
So many of the religions that people practice around the world are a practice of going through the motions. When we can shift into a heart-centered practice of honoring and respecting those around us and the Earth, then we can begin to understand the real meaning of these holidays. What you feed grows, and I am feeding my respect, honor and love of the Earth and people around me on this solstice. This is a difficult concept to grasp, people want to show all the wrongs in society, all the injustices, all the bad things politicians do. They throw it up in your face to say "hey did you see what they're doing!" The more we expose ourselves to the negative aspects of society the more we feed that part of ourselves too. It is challenging but by focusing on all the positive aspects we can begin to make a shift in the reality around us. Those negative aspects will slowly go away the more people begin to ignore them and focus on all that is good around us. What you feed grows, what you starve dies.
The lives here are very different in many ways from the US. I'm not blind to the fact that they have their problems too but many people here appear to be happier and have an amazing sense of freedom. They tend to be very comfortable with themselves and live authentically. People are generally accepted for who they are and no need to try to put up a facade of any kind, everyone can just "be". I do not sense the same fears as in the US where so many people have fears regarding health care, retirement, government, etc... here people tend to live in the "now" without those fears of the future. I wonder why so many people look at this region of the world as where the shift in consciousness will begin in December 2012? The shift needs to take place in the westernized countries like the US. Maybe it is the energy already present here that will move around the rest of the world allowing others to start to increase their spiritual awareness. A shift toward living in synchronicity with other people and nature.
I am sensing a shift in myself as I feel like I am more in synch with the nature of reality and the world around me than ever before. Maybe it is the energy along this mountain range that is causing this shift in my perception. There are two basic ways to see the world, the scientific, objective reality way or seeing the mystery that surrounds us all and living more intuitively. The objective is to combine both in the way quantum physics has tried to do but not need to study it, rather have an inner knowing of it. Living life seeing and experiencing both worlds in a soul centered way.
How much bigger, faster, better can we get? That is the essence of ego-centered living, it makes us want more at the cost of interpersonal relationships and the relationship to our own soul. Many people have already begun to seek and at times try many methods and never find it. A friend has traveled the world seeking answers, visiting all the sacred sites and "vortexes" and has still not found the answers.
The real secret and the only secret is that it is not outside of us, it is within us all. Sometimes it is easier to find that within us if we remove ourselves from our comfortable surroundings and get isolated away from friends and family who are reinforcing an old identity of who we think we are.
I think we all need to really challenge who we think we are. What is this identity I hold on to? We all cling to some sort of identity that identifies us to ourselves and those around us. What happens when our soul wants us to morph into a new identity necessary for further spiritual development? It is a scary place to be when we find ourselves without an identity but I believe is necessary. This concept of identity has been challenging me for many years as I have morphed into different "identities" over the years and I resist being named by an identity. I did not want to be a "physical therapist", an "outdoors nature person", a "hiker", a "liberal", a "spiritual" person, a "cyclist", etc... or even belong to someone else by family relationships. I only wanted to be me, whoever that is. As the quote suggests on the "about this ride" page, there is no "self", there is no real identity. We create an identity to somehow make us fit into a world that we try to shape to correlate with that perception. But the world we immerse ourselves in shapes us.
Politicians and religions have always tried to shape people to conform to a certain standard. In the US there are social policies and societal norms that we have to conform to if we want to fit in. Some of the cultural norms here would not be accepted in the US and what is normal here would be considered rude behavior in the US. It is interesting to see how much we are being shaped and controlled by the world we live in.
When we change our environment there arises a freedom to allow a change within ourselves.
While I was with my friend/soulsister, Angela, several months ago doing a short exercise of connecting to ourselves and nature much like the vision quest, what came up for me was "nature" and "sharing" as part of my purpose. I only seek to connect with my soul and allow what my true self wants while I still have this life.
For now this is my sharing, I will work toward learning more how to allow true soul expression while allowing my ego mind to keep in check with my soul.
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