Monday, November 9, 2015

Leaping off a Precipice and the First Steps

For about a year and a half, I had been getting a phrase or a picture in my mind about "Leaping off a Precipice." Then, coincidentally, a friend had sent me a greeting card with a quotation on the front that said, 
 "When you come to the edge of all you know, you must believe in one of two things. Either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly." 

The quotation was cited to "unknown", and as I researched a bit, it is said to belong to many possible sources. The quotation has remained on my refrigerator, at eye level, and I read it daily. 

While I knew that the quotation, or mentally "hearing" something about leaping off a precipice are both meant as positive inspiration, I also knew it meant change. When it comes to spiritual change, most of us balk. I am no exception. Fears crop up faster than faith or belief can cope with and are far stronger. My main fear was that my husband, overweight and generally in pain and unhealthy, would die and I would be faced not only with the lack of a husband, but also no way to maintain the lifestyle we had. These thoughts were terrifying. 

Over the course of time, these fears got greater and greater and I was just sure that my husband would no longer be here past his birthday in August. He seemed to be deteriorating in front of my eyes. In May of this year (2015) things truly came to a head. All of this was in my own mind, but I was leaking my unhappiness out to everyone in near despair. My son urged me to start meditation again, seriously. No little dabbles here and there, but to fully commit to meditation, daily; no ifs, ands or buts. My meditations are very often filled with imagery, many times animals. I own a book called "Animal-Speak" (copyright 1993), by Ted Andrews, and the animals I see during meditation will often explain something I am working through at the time.

Long ago when I started meditating, around 1993, I created a "safe place" in my mind; a place I would go to in order to feel totally relaxed and safe while in a state of meditation. My safe place consisted of a small meadow. This meadow was accessed through a cave. Once inside, it was surrounded by high walls of rock, with some snowy mountain tops visible above them to one side. There were tall deciduous trees that rustled gently in a breeze all around where I would sit. There was a little babbling brook that traversed the meadow. On the opposite side of this brook was a dense stand of fir trees. 
quick pencil sketch of what occurred in meditation

On this first day back into meditation, in all my mental turmoil, I entered my safe place and got the sense that instead of sitting down, this time I should lie flat on my back in the grassy meadow. The imagery on this first day was surely geared to put me in the right mindset to want to continue my meditations. With eyes closed, I listened to the breeze in the leaves above, when suddenly I felt something lick my forehead. Slowly opening my eyes, so as not to startle the creature away, I saw a deer standing at my head. Shortly after, I felt a furry rabbit snuggling in against my right arm. Then I felt a bird hopping on my hands, which were crossed over my stomach. Again, without opening my eyes, I "asked" what kind of bird and received the answer, "chickadee." A bit later, I felt a cat of some kind scent marking my feet. When I slowly opened my eyes again, it appeared to be a lynx. While some of these animals are natural predators and prey, I got the sense of complete tranquility and the words came to me, 
"You are surrounded by complete love and trust."

When I finished with my meditation, I created a quick pencil sketch of what had occurred, shown above. Obviously, not all my meditations are either so image-packed, nor so serene and focused. Some days my mind hops around like a flea, landing nowhere. Still, I persevere. So should you...

I have been on a spiritual journey, questing for inner peace, acceptance and nonjudgment for many long years. This blog is the story of how I worked past some of the many issues. Outside of spiritual questing, I am an avid cook. Join me also at "A Harmony of Flavors" Blog, Website, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am an artist since childhood and recently began painting in acrylics.

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