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…

Better Late Than Never

Fall was late this year in Vermont. We wondered if it would ever arrive or just go straight from summer to winter. The trees were parched as we had little rain. And we wondered if this would affect their color. We waited. We watched. We wondered.

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Then it came. And it was as glorious as ever. I found myself once again in awe at this amazing natural cycle and rhythm. Nature knows. Nature has patience. Nature follows her own timetable. And it was better late than never.

I am also following mine. In this journey called life I am finding I need to have patience too. For so long I have meandered. I have traveled different paths only to find they ended and I had to turn around. Others paths have led me closer to the answers this heart of mine yearns for. Yet I’m still meandering. I am still learning. And I am still growing.

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It is a beautiful thing, this journey. As I dive a little deeper into who I am and to what my purpose here is, I find surprising discoveries..

I am more present. I am feeling tremendous gratitude for the many precious gifts in my life. I am listening closer to what my heart is telling me. It’s not always perfectly clear, but I’m getting better at truly hearing what’s inside me. It’s a journey of progress. Of steps. Of surrendering. Of opening and expanding and most of all…letting go.

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After 23 plus years of sobriety, I think I’m finally figuring it all out. Better late than never.

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Church

I am blessed to live where I do. All around me are some of the most beautiful and unique natural places. Places that I find wonder and joy. Places that bring me peace. Places that lift my spirit up.

Places…that I call Church.

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I try to go to Church on a regular basis. It has become a huge part of my life and who I am. And so, you can frequently find me at Church.

It is in Church where all things seem possible. Where the stresses from every day life melt away. Where quiet contemplation and reflection remind me of what is most important in my life and where gratitude replaces fear.

It is here at Church where I feel closest to my heart and to my soul.

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It is here where I feel free. It is here where I find grace.

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And it is here where I lose and find myself.

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Over and over and over again…at Church.

Heaven’s Gulch

I tried to get to Devil’s Gulch last year, but along the way I was distracted by Ritterbush Pond and never made it any further.

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This year, I was determined to hike there and to see this unique natural feature on the Long Trail near Belvedere Mountain.

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It was a beautiful day when we set out. Ritterbush Pond appeared, and we did linger there for awhile. How could we not? The calm reflective waters invite lingering.

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But it was Devil’s Gulch that was our destination. The trail there is deceiving. It travels down instead of up. Down, down, down. Deep into a narrow valley.

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A ladder leaning up against a rock face is the first clue that there is more to this place than meets the eye.

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At the top of the ladder you look down into the gulch. Devil’s Gulch. I expected something dark and sinister. But what I saw seemed more like an entrance to a magical and enchanted place. An opening into another time and dimension. It captured my heart immediately and completely.

Huge rocks and boulders lay scattered about before me. Some resting precariously and others seemed as if they had been there forever.

Thickly coated in emerald green moss and lichen. Tree roots embracing and holding them in place.

An altar appeared. Made of rocks and moss. It felt almost church like. And I wondered why. Why was this beautiful place named Devil’s Gulch?

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As the sunlight filtered through the overhead trees and we explored this captivating place, I realized it didn’t matter why. To me, it felt more like Heaven’s Gulch.

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A place of serenity, peace…and a little bit like heaven.

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There’s Something in the Air

Or perhaps it is something inside of me. I feel myself expanding and growing, opening and blossoming.

Last summer I journeyed to the edge. I explored new territory and dark places within me. It was a time of healing.

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This summer I am still journeying. I am still exploring…

but it is with new eyes and a grateful heart

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I have discovered so much that I never thought possible. The world around me is more vivid, more beautiful, more alive. And me…I feel more alive than I ever have felt before.

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I am not sure where or when or why this shift and transformation happened…perhaps it is something in the air.

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Or perhaps it is me.

The true me, finding her way out into the light.

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Thrive

I’ve been thinking about the word thrive lately. Especially as the school year winds down and I feel like I’m merely surviving rather than thriving. But I think it’s more than that.

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This idea of thriving has taken root in my mind and in my heart. It is growing. I am realizing that in life we are meant to thrive. We are meant to flourish and truly live.

Yet I have begun to wonder…am I really thriving or just surviving in my life?

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Perhaps it’s because of this journey I have found myself on. A journey of uncovering and discovering who I am and what I want from this life. There is a deeper purpose and meaning that keeps whispering to me and I’m starting to hear what it’s saying. I’ve dived into the depths of my heart and my soul. I’ve healed wounds and grown in countless ways.

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And now there is a longing, a yearning for something more.

So I’ve begun a kind of transformation…and taken a turn down a mysterious and yet exciting path.

I’m not sure where it will lead. And that’s ok. I have faith in where I am heading.

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I do believe this path is where I will find what it is I am yearning for. And along the way, I will learn what it means to thrive. After all, I have seen how nature thrives…

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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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.

Eternal Spring

As I write this, it is 20 degrees below zero.  Spring, according to the calendar, is just a few weeks away.  Somehow I think it might take a bit longer to arrive here in the north country.

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It has been a brutally cold winter.  Yet I know it won’t last forever.  I also know that inside of me there is hope.  Spring will come and we will welcome her with open arms.

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I like to think that spring is eternal.

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It is within us all.  At any time of the year.

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 At any point in our lives.

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Spring can be felt and experienced and shared.

Spring is rebirth, growth, unfolding, opening.

It is hope, faith, optimism, joy.

 Spring is alive, vibrant, colorful, rich.

It is earthy, sultry, sweet, delicate.

 Spring is so much more than just a season.

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It is how life can be lived…eternally

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