I’ve been reminded so much lately about home.
As a place in my heart that I brought with me from a different time, place, plane.
As a physical location where I spent the bulk of my formative years. As a longing to recreate that peace, security, innocent grace of living in a simpler time. As a hope of what I can create in the present and moving forward.
I grew up hearing "you can't go home." Pardon my language, but that's bullshit.
While things may not be exactly the same upon our return to "home," my life is a testament to the ability to return, time and time again, to various versions of home.
Finding my core to begin healing from disordered eating that nearly killed me. The tenacity to learn to walk again after my ankle injury and twice more after surgeries to improve function.
Deep dives into Spirit in walks, meditation, Kundalini yoga, prayer, love making, laughter, dancing, signing, playing.
Moving back to Naples after my divorce, including living with my parents for a time.
Holding the hand of my Popu and mom in illness and as they slipped to their heavenly home.
Relocating to my "hometown" nearly two years ago after 25 years away.
The grief that broke me, repeatedly, and helped me find love time and time again.
The joy of watching my nephews grow. Dinner with family. Hanging out with childhood friends. Making new friends.
I'd assert we are in a constant process of returning home as each of these experiences calls us to draw within to our light and shadows and claim them as our own. To own all of our brilliance, foibles, fears, atrocities, creativity, genius, simplicity, complexity, humor, grace, love...our stories and our Divine nature.
A walk among the trees, up a mountain path or along a shore calls us home to Gaia - Mother Earth/Nature - in all her glory, and ours, as part of the web of life.
When present, living in the moment fully, we are called home to Life.
Whether in grief, joy, peace, turmoil, confusion, when we sit in it completely, we are called home to the power, presence and peace of being immersed in who and what we are in that instant.
All this said, there are times, like today, when I feel distinctly lost and floundering...without a home. Without purpose or direction. Without the solid foundation Home provides.
Clearly, that feeling is a lie. Or at least a myth.
Whether spiritual, religious or not - we are part of something Grander than our cells. We have a level of consciousness that calls us to something deeper...if we allow it.
We are part of the family of humans. An integral part of our earth home. Our lives impact others whether we feel it, are aware of it, or not.
To a great extent, our bodies are the physical homes we inhabit, only slightly more (or less - depending on perspective) evolved than the tortoise who carries a physical home around him.
For me, Home is all of these things and, yet, I'm still constantly feeling pulled inward and outward. Like Anais Nin, "I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again."
Perhaps that makes the most sense as science continually shows us that star dust is in our very DNA.
So, why DO we feel lost? Why do we wonder about our place and purpose if, at every turn, we are reminded that we are Home? That we do belong...we wouldn't be here if it wasn't meant to be. If we at once carry, encounter and create Home each and every moment of the day and night?
I don't know. Our human nature overtaking our spiritual core? Influences from our culture? Ego? Probably these and more.
What do we do to help feel at-home in our bodies, lives, communities and the world?
My heart says to live as authentically as possible. Follow our hearts more and brains less.
Tell the itty bitty shitty committee: "NO!" "Silence!" "F-off!"
Synch our hearts with our minds - let our innate wisdom and intelligence lead. Trust our guts and know that even if we mis-step, make a mis-take, we're still where we need to be and can make corrections as we go.
Ground. Get back to nature...literally and figuratively. Hug a tree. Walk in grass. Take a bath or shower. Advocate and donate to protect this lovely planet that is fighting to stay alive.
Enjoy earthy foods with rich depth...dark chocolate, red wine, our fav "comfort foods" (be respectful to your body and watch overindulging as a way to hide or escape).
FEEL. Allow all our feelings to come up. Sit with them. Let them wash over us - we don't have to act on them (feel angry, just don't punch someone). This is how we heal.
Give back, help others, including the planet; support our friends; reach-out to find the Home within.
Remind ourselves, as I am doing today, that we are always Home.
We carry Home in our hearts. Earth is Home. Our abode is Home. Our loved ones, including the animals we share our lives with, are Home. Memories are Home. Faith is Home. Heaven, whether 'out there' or 'in here', is Home.
Pondering this today, I'm reminded that Home isn't dependent on something always staying exactly the same. If we are honest, we know that things are never the same...every aspect of life changes moment by moment.
However, a feeling that resides in us may be familiar enough that it feels like things haven't changed to our hearts, our souls.
So, to quote Jon Bon Jovi, "Who says you can't go home...I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take, I know that I'm not alone...You take the home from the boy...But not the boy from his home."
What is your perception of Home? Do think you can "go home'? How to you live Home along your nourished path?
just follow your gps
Today, I spoke to a dear friend who lives about as far south as you can get in the USA, Naples, FL. We met through yoga "back in the day" which wasn't that long ago, but feels like several lifetimes ago.
We were catching-up on the new love of her life, Jack, a wonderful fur-child, our paths and life in general.
Throughout, it seemed we were reminding each other to stay the course and follow the creativity. To share our stories as experiences of hope for others...that you (we) are not alone. That there are forces at work in the universe that are here to help us, support us, heal us.
To share what wisdom we have learned and earned along our journeys. To heed spirit.
To trust that we are guided - whether you believe that it's by The God, gods, goddesses, angels, intuition, Divine Providence, Field of Infinity Possibilities, Quantum Field, DNA codes passed from previous generations or plain old life experience.
It's THERE, HERE.
We are not in or out of flow (perhaps unaware or seeing through distorted lenses). We are not separate from the abundance of life. We are not detached from the web of life that is nature any more than we are separate as the human race as we all share common DNA. (We may not be aware...that's a whole other story).
Because of all this, we are guided...by something Internal.
For some of us, it's largely fear. Fear someone, or thing, will take "what's ours". We fear we will lose what we've worked for. Fear of others who are different. Fear of change. Fear we can't name or describe - anxiety from daily living in the stressful conditions of modern society.
Most of us are motivated and shaped by our past experiences - the blissful times, the traumatic moments.
Some of us catch glimpses of pure bliss and wonder how to get it back when things are so topsy-turvy. Others are blissfully happy in what appears to either be constant states of rage/hate/fear or denial... and, yes, there are some who tread lightly in enlightenment.
All around us are tools to ease the journey. To help us open our eyes. For some, they worked before, but don't any longer. Welcome to growth and change!
For others, they are still working (kudos to you - I'm not there yet).
Far too many of us are not even cognizant of the bounty ripe for the picking as we walk our paths, let alone the forces of nature, love, Life that are guiding, leaning in, pushing out, holding up, removing, restoring, healing, halting, allowing all around us.
Even if you don't believe in God or angels, the forces are there...forms of support.
Some of these forces are literally under our feet - the earth herself provides us a plethora of palatable support in fruits, veggies, proteins from land, sky and sea.
Other powers here for us are the air we breathe, sunshine, water/rivers/lakes/oceans, angels, energies of love we share with loved ones.
But, we are literally bombarded 24/7 by all forms of energy. Slow and low. High and fast. Everything from pure love to hate.
By messages that tell us our bodies are the wrong shape, size, color. That we are not good enough unless we have....this car, that bag, # kids. Or, we are less than without achieving "threshold moments" by a given age, date, time in our lives, etc. That we if only, then. Guilt. Shame. Mixed messages. Confusion.
What if it really is all lies? What if everything we need is here and it's perfectly okay to be behind, ahead, sideways, even up-side-down from the 'norm'?
What if it was okay to practice the pause when you're unsure what to do next? Even if it is fear holding us back? If we are not yet ready to push through, does it matter?
What if our innate wisdom is a fear that needs to be there to prevent us from moving too soon?
I don't know. I could be wrong.
But, when I've thought about, meditated/prayed about stuff and still feel very strongly to pause....I'm starting to listen and pause. Why? Because when I don't listen...I get hurt in some way, shape or form.
Late last year, I took on a new PR client who was referred by a current client who I highly respect and love partnering with in support of the charity's mission. It feeds my soul.
The words were all "right" in our calls. But, I couldn't shake a strange feeling I had. Still, the extra income would be handy, I told myself and heard my brother say.
Having been burned several times before regarding what PR is (vs. advertising and marketing), I made sure we went through the contract, I explained how PR is not given. That results can take considerable time and how my efforts were about building relationships with media, with audiences...telling the story of his business. I knew I could help him/them...that trust doesn't always happen overnight.
At first it was little things...like missed calls or information that wasn't sent to meet deadlines. So, I reviewed things again...and again...and again...and again. I bcc'd myself on emails for backup and kept every exchange, including texts and voicemails. (Semi-listening).
Then it was no responses due to his travel schedule. Finally, it was me working with no additional information and payments that were repeatedly lost in the mail... so I stopped.
After securing amazing coverage for him, I stopped. I sent a letter and left a voicemail that I had ceased services based on our contract and the fact that I had not been paid.
Now, almost 6 months later, I'm in an endless loop of requesting payments and being told they are on their way, that I didn't do what I was supposed to do and several attempts at shaming me.
LESSON LEARNED - DO NOT IGNORE YOUR GUT. DO NOT IGNORE THAT FEELING EVEN IF YOU CAN'T NAME IT or can't logically figure it out.
What was that inner KNOWING that somehow was aware that things were not as they seemed to the logical mind? HOW did I know? I don't know.
Why did I ignore it? Because, honestly, we are conditioned to ignore it. We are taught formally and informally to be logical. To make plans, make contracts and adhere to them. Because I have bills that need paid. Because he was a referral from someone I trusted. Because because because...
But, my inner "voice" was right and this Knowingness works magic in mysterious ways.
Yesterday, Sir Duncan the wonder mutt would not walk one of our traditional weekend routes through the Park. He stopped, leaned the opposite direction. As a gentleman with some years on him (13-14?), I have learned to heed HIS lead.
So, we went back the way we came, in a round-about way. As we were strolling by a fellow pup-pack's house, I see a woman dash through a yard to speak to Josie's human, Gene. The next thing I know, he's up and running calling out to us to foll0w him...and so, we did.
I've been around enough emergencies in my personal life to know - GO.
Duncan and I turned the corner into the backyard slowly as I heard a dog barking intensely...and I saw why. Her "dad" had fallen off the porch. His wife couldn't get him up and this little dachshund was fiercely protecting her family.
After some time, Gene and I were able to get the gentleman up and into the house. We were graciously thanked and I did remember to ask if he was on blood thinners (yes) and suggested a watchful eye for bruising, bleeding, hematomas, etc. Then, we all went our individual ways.
As we headed home I gave thanks that Duncan had once again steered me to where I needed to be! Sometimes its something simple like a glance in a new direction so I can capture a wonderful sunrise photo or see an egret on the pond.
Other times, it's so I don't push him beyond what his back or leg can tolerate.
Yesterday, it was so much more than that and I was aware if we'd gone the other route, we wouldn't have been anywhere near that house when the man fell. I wouldn't not have met this couple or been there to help them.
You'd think I'd know better by now. That at nearly 51 years of age, I'd always follow that inner voice and trust the little detours, blocks or green means go signs given me.
But, I'm human...like you. Sometimes, I don't and its a reminder that when I do life is better - maybe not in ways I'd expect, or not even for me, but for someone...or somehow.
Is everything Divinely organized or pre-destined? I don't know.
For this moment, I do know that listening FOR and deciding to FOLLOW that voice within (our personal, innate GPS) - trusting when someone or something is pushing, pulling, guiding us - is one of the best ways to make sure we are on our best versions of the nourished path.
When have you had the courage to follow your GPS? When have you ignored that nudge? Let us know! Remember, sharing is caring. Comment below.
For help hearing your innate guidance system over everyday noise, email to AlongNourishedPath@Gmail.com.
A reminder that love does not always call us to be gentle. Sometimes, it calls us to be fierce.
Shiva. Kali. Durga. Jesus overthrowing the tables in the temple. A mother bear protecting her cubs. A dog guarding its home. A parent laying down rules and meting out discipline for certain actions.
Love is THE great healing force. It is both the lightest of energies and yet burns the most powerfully.
So, yes, love can heal the world. It does, however, need to be love in ACTION — a verb. Prayers, yes.
But, WE ARE CALLED TO MORE...it’s:
BEING love. It’s not all flowers, poetry, unicorns and glitter.
There are times that call for Love in a deeper, more raw form.
WE are here because THIS day and age is a sacred time that calls for love in all its flaming glory.
The question now becomes how will you live your love today?
I'm Mary Ann. I am a storyteller using skills, interests, education and experience to help others. Together, we'll explore your story and write a new ending for your journey along the nourished path.