“Everything teaches us profoundly, if we listen closely.” / Brandon Bays
It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And I cannot agree more. Throughout my journey a teacher in the form of a book, a seminar, a master, a guide, an impulse, has always appeared when I needed one. Today I turn inwards for guidance. As I have grown closer to my heart I have let go more and more of seeking wisdom in the outer world. And I if we really pay attention. Absolutely everything is there to support our growth and to bring us back to love. This is just one example.
One blissful September I went to Ibiza. Me and the man I was with had taken a break from each other and I wanted to discover myself, my body and create a deeper relationship with myself on this magical island. So I joined a retreat along with others who also sought after connecting with the earth, with self, with nature and other open hearts.
One morning we were taken to one of the secluded beaches in the north of the island. We walked in silence along the small beach until it ended by a huge rock that stretched out into the rough sea. We undressed and carried our clothes and belongings on our heads as we descended into the salty water that washed onto our sunburned faces. We rounded the cliff with the water reaching up to our chins and stepped up on a new small beach on the other side that lay deserted.
We were asked to work together in pairs. One of us was supposed to act as a support and guide to create a safe embrace. The other was assigned to seek connection with the earth through the impulses and the momentum the body picked up from the earth. I began to move slowly with closed eyes and my partner was keeping me on the right track and made sure I did not bump into anyone else with small nudges and soft touches.
My fingers dug down into the sand, grabbed it and wanted to get close to the earth that held me, that carried me through life. I had never experienced such intense connection with the earth before and soon I was completely consumed by my inner and outer experience of the elements. The burning sun, the hot and cold sand that brushed against my skin, the wind, the sound of the ocean, the smell of soil, salt and hot skin. Every now I was “told” to change direction, but I had completely lost my orientation and perception of where I was.
Suddenly a powerful wave broke over my body and pulled me out into the salty water. I tumbled around and didn’t know what was up or down. Water filled my lungs and washed into my eyes. I went from having felt held and supported by the earth and by my guide, to feeling paralyzed by fear and abandonment in a split second. All my trust was gone, all the confidence in that somebody or something was there for me or ever would be there for me was gone. I felt totally abandoned and isolated. My guide was no longer there. I didn’t feel her anywhere. After what felt like a very long time, I finally felt the bottom of the sea against my feet and I could get my head above the surface, but by then the horror had turned into desperate tears.
Shivering and shaking, I made my way back onto the beach.
My strong reaction surprised me and it took awhile for me to calm down to the point where I felt ready to go inside to ask what this was all about. And the answers were soon revealed to me. All the responsibilities I had carried myself for so long. Both as a single mother and within my relationships. My lack of trust and support from life itself and how that had ruled me and shaped my life. How little I trusted in anything else but myself. My inability to receive and ask for help. The high expectations I had on myself to be the one to understand, figure stuff out and to fix everything. All of which had lead to so much stress and anxiety.
Through my encounter with the different elements in such strong contrast, the steady earth and the wild sea, I understood how little I really trusted life, the flow, the earth or God to carry me through life. It became so clear to me how I had tried to control everything in my life in the absence of trust in what was greater than myself. I also faced my own vulnerability and my humility as I faced forces that were so much more powerful than myself and that had the ability to destroy me in a heartbeat. And I had to find myself, balancing and trusting these forces and at the same time respecting them. What an awakening. What teacher.
The next day we did further trust exercises in a hot pool. And what the sea had showed me now lead me to the opportunity to have yet another deeper aspect of trust revealed to me. It all went “wrong” in that pool as my guides were more into their agenda of doing things right rather that connecting to me and again I ended up feeling completely abandoned and deserted. But this time as my fear again turned into tears I found the courage, for the first time in my life, to say stop when I didn’t feel cared for and to ask for help when I didn’t feel safe.
When we go on our inward journey and really want to understand ourselves deeply, everything becomes our teacher. We realise that we are guided through this journey by an invisible and caring hand that wants nothing else for us, but that we heal and wake up to who we really are. And we start seeing that we are given that opportunity in every moment, through every event and encounter. If we just open our eyes and pay attention, the opportunity to awaken is always present.
“No one can make you enlightened, There is no other teacher than your own soul.” / Lonewolf