The common view of the witches pyramid puts 'To Be Silent' in association with the element of Earth. In my tradition and personal viewpoint, Earth is about embodiment - 'To Know'.
One of the benefits of aging for me is clarity. As I get older, I am beginning to see my life more clearly - what it has really been about and what it all means. It's been quite a journey so far, with many twists and turns, ups and downs, periods of beauty and heartbreak.
I'm on the brink of entering my 40th year. Four decades of adventure on this Earthwalk, and things are indeed becoming clear to me. I began my life on a homestead in upstate NY. We raised a good bit of our own food, hunted for more, and bought the rest from local farmers or an organic co-op. As a family, we spent a lot of time outdoors, hiking, camping, foraging for wild edibles and medicinals, and working in our garden.
As I grew up, outdoor adventures continued in NC and NY. I became a competent paddler, sailor, and navigator with map and compass. I hiked uncountable miles, and taught myself backpacking. I cut my teeth on mountains (and caught mountain fever), forests, rivers, and the ocean. This part of my life was all about school, growing up, and survival.
Then I moved west to CO, and the adventures continued. Now I had a chance to learn about high altitude and alpine terrain - a habitat which felt deeply familiar and right to me. I got into rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking. A lot of my energy during this time was spent on various martial arts. I was training heavily in empty hand styles, as well as Renaissance fencing and archery. This part of my life was about study and becoming a functional human being.
Somewhere during my time in CO, I got lost. I was working at a corporate job, and it was a great one. I learned a lot and made a lot of friends. I attended college for a while during this time. But I longed to live in the mountains, and to do my true work in the world. For several years, I thought and thought, but I couldn't figure out how to get from where I was to where I wanted to go.
I hit a real crisis point, and I decided to make a bold move: to go on walkabout. I planned an expedition to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. I figured that this quiet time in nature would help me think things through, and I would figure out "what to do with my life".
That decision was the turning point in my life so far. While I only hiked half of the AT, the journey was far from over. I spent the next five years studying, building credentials in Yoga, spiritual leadership, and environmental education. I continued to have outdoor adventures, most notably flatwater paddling, which was fairly new to me. This part of my life, as it turns out, was about leadership and community building.
This year, as many of you know, I made another bold move: I retired from massage therapy and became a full-time travelling educator. It was terrifying to contemplate, but it turned out to be *exactly* what I needed on all levels of my being. It's been a tough year in many ways, but also an amazing and transformative one.
All of which I tell you so that I can share what I've learned, and what I know right now.
Here it is:
- Magic works. What you call it doesn't matter: just use your will to shape your reality.
- The Universe WILL support you.
- You get a lot more support when you do what you really love.
- Most things will happen at the last minute, like that job offer you need, or the money to pay an emergency bill, etc.
- The best stuff lies hidden behind a wall of fear.
- Nature is the best medicine.
- One must walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.
- Be vulnerable and ask for help.
- People are what give life meaning.
- I am an introvert. Introverts can be very social, but need alone time to recharge.
- It's ok for your life to be messy.
- All of our seemingly unconnected skills, no matter how obsolete or odd, can come in handy.
- Always be grateful. Gratitude is the gateway to abundance.
- Everything good comes through networking, so cultivate your relationships carefully.
- It's necessary to take the next step without knowing where your foot will land.
There have been many, many articles written about manifestation aka magic, and the power to transform one's life. This one is mine. Do it, it works. Things have a wiggly, unpredictable, and indirect way of manifesting at times, but they happen. Take the risk, be willing to be vulnerable, and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.
The process of magic starts with Air - we get inspired and dare to dream a different reality. Then we move to Fire, where we use our will to begin manifesting our desire. We take a break, so to speak, with Water, where we reflect and allow the whole working to "cook". With Earth, we walk the walk. In our physical space, we act as if our desire is already manifest. We tune our vibration to the vibration we seek to attract. We become that which we seek. Thus, the knowledge of what we seek begins to grow within us.
What I know is that information becomes knowledge. Knowledge with practice and reflection becomes embodied, and this becomes wisdom. That means that it infuses all levels of our being - body, mind, and spirit. This is the lesson of Earth for me, at this time in my life. The Earth will support my growth and learning. It will shelter me, love me, and inspire me. I can manifest my dreams on this Earth. All I have to do is practice, to walk the path, and to be that which I seek. This is what I know.
What I know, deeply and to the core of my being, is that this is the way for me. To envision new adventures, to manifest them through my will, to leap into the unknown. To face my fears and achieve more than I ever dreamed. To continue to learn, grow, and evolve. To trust that Goddess/God/Great Mystery, ancestors, animal totems, and spirit allies have my back. This is my way. This is what I know.
My life has come full circle. My love of nature has been a strong thread throughout my life, and now, it's how I make my living. I also get to use all of my varied, wacky, and in some cases, obsolete skills. I am blessed with a beautiful group of friends, some of whom are my chosen family. I work with many positive, inspiring, and talented human beings. I'm finding more and more of my tribe all the time. It's a beautiful, terrifying, magical, and crazy journey. It's messy at times. I do the best I can, and most importantly, I keep walking...one step at a time. May you do the same.
Hail Earth, our bountiful and loving home! Hail the inner knowing of true embodiment that is our strength! Namaste. Blessed be. Naho!