At this stage of my life, as a maturing adult woman, as a Scorpio, as one who is constantly transforming, I have arrived at that wonderful time of letting go of past ways: living for myself, my way, more fully and deeply than ever.
It has been a lot of work to get here.
At the same time, it has been no work at all, for I am merely on the slide, the river, the roller coaster of life; I am taking the ride. I am riding it. Life is riding me. It’s happening. I can´t stop this progression and although scary and sobering, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Newly 60 years of age, I have waited to arrive at this moment of freedom and release, of falling forward into the soft wide blossom of my life and Myself.
There is no going back. That’s over. Now, to live to the best of my ability and truly, my imagination, guided by heart and spirit.
My life is my dream. As I dream my life, so it is.
And you, yours.
So, in the language of dreams,
But applied to life during waking hours,
Here is my story.
A month ago I decided to hike up to my special place. It had been several weeks since I’d visited it, since I’d fallen in a hole on another solo hike and torqued my hip. That is another story.
I headed up and the ground was wet with last night's rain, but not slippery. Overgrown, but passible. Then after one turn and climb I looked up and - where was the path? Had I been daydreaming and took the wrong way? I stood still looking all around me for a good while.
Where there had always been the path before me, were now many felled trees. Trees that looked like they had fallen on their own, from too much moisture or age or past fires or a combination. Large old pines with broken and splintered trunks, laying in long pieces from where they´d fallen or broken from up the hill, lying on the ground, covering and crossing and oblitering the path that had been.
There was no path moving forward the old way. Uprooted roots, soft red moist earth, uneven and pitted ground, impassible.
I stood a long time, unbelieving, contemplating whether I could make it through the felled trees, erosion and upturned roots. Perhaps the trail would continue once I passed through. If I dared try.
I didn't feel comfortable continuing forward through the completely disheveled área, reminiscent of a disaster zone.
I accepted that the old path was no longer viable and that maybe the old path up to the ancient lookout place was over now. Or, that it might take quite awhile for the area to be cleaned up, or for a new, higher path created. If anyone decided to take that on, even.
I turned and went back down, thinking, “The old walk is over. What I thought would be forever, no longer is. I will find new paths. New ways. The old way is no longer viable. It doesn`t even exist now.”
The other day, a friend told me she’d gone up to that place that I’d shared with her, my special mirador (lookout).
“You went up that path? I asked, incredulous. “How?”
“It was easy, “ she replied.
“Did you see all the trees lying broken, obliterating the path?”
“I guess someone had been up there with a chain saw since you went. It was really fine. We just crossed through the fallen trees and picked up the path on the other side!”
I was intrigued. And hopeful.
Whose Dream? Take Two.
This morning I decided I’d try the hike again.
I climbed up, breaking spider webs as is the work of the day’s first hiker. I noticed gotu kola growing along the edges of the path. I picked a leaf and munching the stem, walked along, following the familiar meandering path upward. I was half expecting the disaster zone to be virtually non-existent based on my friend’s optimistic report.
Instead. I arrived at the site and perceived it as nearly the same as I’d first seen it.
Still, Margarita had said they passed through easily and continued on the path as usual.
Going against my own experience of the path as destroyed and no longer even existing, I decided to give it a go and do what Margarita and her friends had done.
It didn’t look easy or obvious to me though, at all.
It wasn’t like I could simply step over trunks. No, huge old pines with needle-filled branches rose sideways well over my head. Below, earth torn, showing roots, soft earth, deep ruts and ancient newly revealed boulders.
It was a land I had never seen before, yet a place I’d been through countless times.
I started climbing down into the disordered, pathless, violently disheveled expanse. Unlike Margarita and her companions, I did not see how or where to pick up the path again. I didn’t even see where or whether the disaster zone ended. I saw no path. I edged up the steep mountain, crouching under trunks, climbing over branches.
I ended up in a pretty spot, although strange and other worldly. Giant rough boulders rested all around, as if the falling of the trees had unanchored their long-held spot causing them to roll and tumble and land elsewhere.
I stopped on a little perch for a while, heart beating fast. I looked around. I seemed higher up than usual. I looked down, saw no path in any direction.
Distinguishing Differences Between Dreamers
Why had I tried to do what wasn’t my dream? For Margarita, in her dream, the path wasn’t impassible, only mildly altered for a short while. For me, though, I still experienced the spot as drastically changed and no longer inviting nor feasible.
Trying to be who and how I’m not was the true disaster.
There I was, in a place I knew well, yet without any path. In a sense, completely lost.
I didn’t know how to get down nor how to return to the path I’d taken to get there.
From Comfort Zone to Chaotic Zone
Now that I’d crossed over the line of my comfortzone, I was in a chaoticzone. Nervously, I started clambering further up the incline to manuever through brush and tree ruins. I had no idea where I was in relation to where I had traversed this mountain in the past.
Doubtful that I was heading back in an effective way, I changed my approach and scrambled down steep slopes, bracing myself so as not to slide, skid and land in deep crevices.
After all, I’d recently recovered from the aforementioned fall into a hole on another solo hike. From that experience I vowed to myself and others that in the future when I hiked alone, I’d let someone know where I was going, before I left.
I hadn’t done that today, though, rationalizing that it wasn’t necessary. I thought I was just going up to the mirador, a walk I knew so well. Had known so well, that is.
And there I was, once again, pathless, due to my tendency for reckless decisionmaking when out in nature. Adrenaline was coursing through me, heart pounding, legs trembling slightly. With what tiny bit of spiritual connection I could summon, I asked the angels and guides to please guide my steps and my way home, safely.
From where I stood, I glimpsed a path down below to the right. That was the direction back. I noticed part of the path went right along an edge where the earth had eroded. Edges scare me. I don’t like them. I like lots of earth all around me. But it was a path, and maybe it would take me back to the original path. I promised myself to go very slowly and carefully.
Arriving at that path, I stooped and touched ground as I inched through the scary spot. I was on the path, and feeling somewhat excited, following it.
Within a few meters, though, that path ended. Like so many paths up in these mountains.
I turned back and looked around, not seeing any path. What to do?
A New Vision
I spotted an area that looked more clear and open. I headed in that direction, feeling hopeful, somehow. I noticed little piles of sticks and branches. Someone had been here. “Someone, at least sometimes, comes here,” I thought. “Even if I’m lost or get hurt, probably, eventually I’ll be found.” At least this was unlike the experience when I’d fallen into a hole of eroded earth covered with vines on another mountain. There, with completely overgrown paths, it was clear that noone had been for quite a while.
I followed the clear, light opening, although it wasn’t a path in the way that I’m accustomed. I followed along, trusting. Even though I didn’t have the relaxed “security” of knowing the path I was on, yet, I remembered to try to enjoy and feel the beauty a little bit, along the way.
I kept heading downward. Down was where the fields are, the roads, the town, the church, my house. That felt like security. Even though I was traipsing through trailess brush, there was more light. The way was easier now, and I some farmer’s milpa I recognized was in view, lit bright green by sunshine.
In the way of my own living dream language, my descent guided me down to a fence that had one cut wire, showing me that someone had traversed this way and crossed this threshold before me, making it easier and sure.
I ended up on familiar territory, though I arrived in a way I hadn’t known existed.
I climbed through the conveniently passable chicken wire fence, suddenly feeling nimble and proud of my fitness and adventurousness walking alone in nature.
I was back, thanks to Goodness.
But it had been a hard re-lesson.
An astrologer had once looked at my chart and told me, “Trusting yourself is key. If you don’t, all else will fall.”
I’d not listened to myself on this day.
I’d arrived at the end of the path as I’d known it, and instead of trusting my perception and knowing that this path was not for me any longer and that I needed to turn back, I tried to be like others and it was disastrous. I’d put myself in danger and created despair by trying to fit into someone else’s living dream language, in which the path was still passable and not that much had changed.
Maybe for her the path was fine.
For me, in my life and dream, the old path, the old way of climbing and going to special places had come to an end. That’s my truth, my story, my dream’s language. That’s the metaphor for what is happening in my life. And I had originally, naturally understood and welcomed the meaning of that living dream experience.
Doubting the Dream: Playing with fire
And then I chose to play with fire and doubt my dream.
In the physical sense the path and its changes are what they are. For Margarita, it was a minor alteration. For me, it was a finality. A definite ending.
I like my dream. I like how my life is evolving.
Her dream is different, it’s not mine. It doesn’t feel good. It’s not my reality. It doesn’t work for me. Worse than not working for me – following somone else’s reality is perilous.
The resounding conclusion: I need to listen to my own living dream language and perception.
I need to trust and honor my experience, even if no one else perceives, experiences, and therefore affirms it as such.
I am soley, souly, responsable for my life and perception of my experiences. My living dream.
We may walk the same path, but our experience is unique to us.
Same path. Different dream.
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help people midlife and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow, conscious living
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