The Landscape of My Soul

I believe that many of us search for answers to the deep questions of life. The quest to understand. Why are we here? What is our purpose? These questions often lead us in many directions. Trying to discover that sometimes elusive knowledge and awareness. To find a deeper meaning and connection. It is a lifetime journey. And for me this journey has brought me into the landscape of my soul.

The landscape of my soul is rich and vibrant and wondrous. It is familiar yet mysterious. It is has no beginning and it has no end. It is vast and wide and deep.

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My travels and exploration of the natural world are at the heart of what gives meaning to my soul. It is here in nature where I find my purpose and I understand better why I am here. This realization isn’t surprising. It feels like a truth I’ve known forever. But I had to uncover and rediscover it. It is all there for me I only need to reach for it.

I recognize these landscapes. It has been a journey into the wildness of my soul.

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Like the trees I am learning I can stand tall even in adversity. My roots deep in the soil finding the nourishment I need from the earth.

Like the mountains I scale with determination, strength, and endurance. Because at the top, the view is magnificent and I can see everything more clearly.

Like the wind whispering truths and the rains that wash my spirit clean

Like the rivers that flow with ease and grace reminding me to move through life in the same way.

Like the sky vast and infinite with its storms and rainbows, its dark clouds and bright sunshine, giving me hope that this too shall pass.

Like the ocean full of beauty, mystery and healing. Its ancient wisdom always teaching me what I need to remember.

All these landscape. All these places within me and around me. I see and embrace them all.

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Places of inspiration, places of joy, places of peace, places of light, places of wonder, places of harmony and places of gratitude.

This is a journey that never ends. This journey into the landscape of my soul.

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For now, it is time to wander in a new direction. I will be back here again someday.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement and for joining me as I wandered…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

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I discovered this compass on top of hill near rocky cliffs on the coast of Maine. I have used it frequently in my writing. To me, it symbolizes what my life is all about. The path I’m traveling, and my journey towards myself. The compass reminds me, life takes us in many directions. Sometimes we get lost. And sometimes we get found. And sometimes in getting lost we are found.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Symbol.”

Falling Up

I like to think that instead of falling down…I fall up.

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This life I’m living, this path I am traveling, the things I am learning show me that I am heading into a new beginning, a new place, a new world.

I am uncovering and discovering who I am and what I want.

And as I begin this journey into the unknown I can look back. And I can see that every time I fell down I was really falling upward…moving closer and closer towards the person I truly am.

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Letting down walls and opening windows and allowing life back in and myself out. Fear no longer holds me back.

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I know that falling is an opportunity to rebuild and to grow…up and up and up. Higher than I have ever been before.

With wisdom and resilience at my core, and gratitude and grace in my heart, contentment and serenity are more easily found in my day to day life. I have a solid foundation on which I can continue to build upon. By falling down I now understand how to fall up.

I’m standing on a different sort precipice. And I’m not afraid…to fall.

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Gifts from the Sea

I spent two days by the sea. On the southern coast of Maine. A place full of familiar sights and so much that is unchartered territory. A place to lose and find myself. A place filled with gifts. Gifts from the sea.image

It is a place I love.

A few times a year I make my way there. Because the gifts it offers, are the ones I am longing for. Gifts that replenish and exhilarate me.

The soothing and tranquil waters of the Casco Bay.

The ancient and weathered rocks that create the shoreline.

The crashing waves of the open ocean that ebb and flow.

The fragile and beautiful shells that are left behind to be found.

Time with the sea is my gift to myself.

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A gift that I never tire of receiving.

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And the sea never tires of giving…

My Secret Garden

Someone recently told me that I have a secret garden inside of me. And when I heard this…I knew it to be true.

It is deep in my heart. Deep inside where my spirit lives. Deep inside where it has laid dormant for a very long time.

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I think I had forgotten it was there. Buried under the overgrown weeds and tangled branches. The debris and wreckage that comes from loss and heartache. Piled so thick so that no sunlight could reach it.

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Slowly though, I have pulled away the piles and the layers to uncover what has been asleep and buried. The garden of my heart.

And in this uncovering, a wondrous and amazing thing has happened. The garden has come back to life. In fact it’s bursting with buds and blooms. It’s big and bright and vibrant. It’s rich and earthy and warm. It’s full of hope and joy…

And most of all…love

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As a child, I was enchanted by the story ” The Secret Garden”. Today, as a grown woman, I am discovering my very own secret garden. And I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want to share it with the world.

Because in the words of Francis Hodgson Burnett, author of “The Secret Garden”

It blooms and blooms and every morning new miracles are revealed.

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So I am sharing this garden I’ve found with others. Please come visit it anytime:

http://www.facebook.com/thegardenofrecovery

What better time than spring, the season of rebirth, to discover your own secret garden.

Mosaic

I’ve learned a lot this past year. I’ve learned that things break. Like dreams and hopes and hearts.

Here’s the thing…

Things do break, but they come back together. Rearranged and combined in new and beautiful ways.

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Like a mosaic. The pieces are what make the masterpiece. And each piece has it’s place. Each piece part of the rich tapestry that is me, that is you. That is all of us.

I am grateful for the breaking so that I could put my pieces back together. My mosaic heart. Stronger than before. Stronger because of it. Stronger because what holds it together now, is faith and grace and love.

Works of art don’t just happen. It is through the breaking and the healing and the putting back together…

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Until the pieces all fit…and a mosaic masterpiece is born.

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Shadow Boxing

In AA, as we work Step 4, we look deeply at ourselves to illuminate those things that we need to change or work on. I’ve also heard this called “shadow boxing”. Because it is the darker parts of our hearts and souls where these things reside. In the shadows…

This process is important. For many reasons. It is shining a light on our darkest parts so that we can see them more clearly and so that we can begin to grow in new ways and new directions. Because once those shadows are in the light they have less power over us.

It is said that in the midst of great loss, failure, and struggle we move from unconsciousness to a deeper awareness and consciousness. We feel an inner freedom. We find grace. And we see rightly. From darkness to lightness. A spiritual awakening.

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Our souls grow best in the shadowlands.

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In the light, there will still be shadows. But now they can reflect truth and radiate compassion for others who also have shadows. They allow us to love and be loved. They are what make us human and ever evolving works in progress.

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Shadow boxing…another gift of sobriety.

Wild Hearts

There was a time when I searched for hearts. Every place I explored, every mountain I climbed, every path I traveled. But I never found any. I believed they were not for me to find. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to see them, so I stopped looking.

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And then suddenly they were everywhere I looked.  These hearts from nature. Hearts that you find while not looking for them. Hearts that remind you that life is beautiful and wondrous and amazing.

I have come to see these hearts as symbols. Letting me know that the path I am on, is the right path. The right path for me and my heart.

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After a long period of healing, mending, and then opening and expanding. My heart is once again whole. And once again…wild.

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23 Years

On Thursday, I celebrated 23 years of sobriety. My son Paul, presented me with my medallion. It was a very special and magical night filled with fellowship, friendship, and love.

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This is the gift of sobriety. And while it’s important to celebrate these milestones for our own recovery, it is equally important to share it so others can see that it works. Long term sobriety is possible. And it can be beautiful. Life can be wonderful without drinking. Life is wonderful because I’m not drinking.

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This past year, my journey took me deeper into my recovery. And what I found there is nothing short of a miracle.

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I have written and spoken of my gratitude, my growth, my spirituality and my faith. I have shared the incredible gifts that come because I am sober. Gifts that I needed. Gifts that gave me back myself. Gifts that were lessons and blessings.

And I have experienced the promises. I am no longer afraid of the darkness or of feeling what needs to be felt. I embrace it all. I feel and experience it all. I cherish it all. Because I know now, no matter what crosses my path, it will be ok. I will be ok. It doesn’t stay dark forever. Light and love always shine through.

23 years.

One day at a time.

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