It’s the first day of Spring, and I begin this blog from my dad’s hospital room in the ICU. Within me, I feel the power of the Universe making a finer point on these ‘12 Pillars of Thought’ we are promoting as Our Raw Material (ORM). I am face to face with the concepts of Life and Death in both my personal life and on the news as I watch the needless destruction continue to unfold in Ukraine. At the same time, it is our Spring Equinox and Day One of the Spring 2022 Cycle of ORM, our official beginning, and for a split second, it can feel like anything but… The ‘Set of Intentions’ I had made for the past 12 days was ambitious, but doable, and since I had a few days off work, I felt prepared to make it all happen. Then came the phone call that Duffy was in the ER, and my valued priorities rearranged in an instant.
Spring is generally an opportunity to watch our environment become new again. We feel the anticipation of beautiful days, flowers and farmers’ markets. We begin to plant. Whether we are digging around in actual garden soil, or sowing seeds of thought for future germination, we tend to treat spring as a beginning. In order to truly appreciate a beginning, however, we must find gratitude for the conditions that precipitated the fresh start to begin with… And in the beginning, there were Mentors: the people who set up the conditions that begin our development as human beings. Where we lived, what we did, what we ate and what we liked were all conditioned, directly or indirectly, by our earliest ‘personal influencers’.
The roots of our experiences, known and unknown, mark our growth, as they connect us to everyone and everything that we have encountered in our entire human existence. That may seem like a deep concept (pun intended, but I like to think of it as a ‘fun deep’ :) It is also the primary focus for the Spring ORM Cycle. The network of plant matter and fungi that exists all around us appear to be ‘waking up’, delighting our senses with ‘newness’ and possibilities. Everywhere we choose to look, nature is revealing its magic before our very eyes. Meanwhile, all of the root systems beneath us have been hard at work supporting the entire operation, providing what is needed, and rarely coming up for air without some type of human intervention or natural erosion to disrupt their cover.
As humans, we are all entangled in the same way, with roots connecting under our feet, at every step. We can pay attention to them or not, but they remain constant, carrying the energy of our movements to places we don’t even know we can go. The intricacies of how it all works are fascinating, and the more I learn about the ways we are all connected, the more in awe I become of ‘Our’ collective abilities and what all we might be able to do with them that remains undiscovered. The ‘nutrients’ we hold in our root systems have the power to ‘feed’ our current ‘dis-ease’, whatever it may be, and repair our ‘weak spots’, whether they arrived yesterday or many moons ago.
As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I believe 2020 (read: Post-Pandemic) brought about a change that has affected each of us, from the inside out, and we are only just beginning to see the positive effects because we have been primarily focused on stopping it. We might deny its ‘power’ outright. We might work our fingers to the bone ‘racing for the cure’. We might vacillate between the two because we aren’t in the practice of listening to our ‘inner voice’, so deep down we aren’t sure which direction leads us to the ‘voice of truth’.
There is a vibrant ‘inner uprising' posing challenging questions that, if answered in truth, will surely change our lives. Some of us are here for it and some of us would like to kick it in its teeth and stop it in its tracks. We are changing in ways that lend easy access to the voice that leads us to our passion and purpose. The voice we knew before we ‘let’ the opinions of others dictate our own views. As humans, we feel separate right now because there is no across-the-board measure that could possibly apply to everyone. Even for a small community, or a family, there is nearly always an excepting opinion. At ORM, we call the quiet, inner voice our Soul Voice and we seek to find balance between it and our much louder Ego Voice, offering them equal importance in our lives. Both voices, the one that protects our mind and body, and the one that protects our spirit, are available to us right now, if we are able to listen. Blending them in harmony brings a level of connected awareness that is both felt and thought at once, opening the door to its energetic power. Keys to the door can be found in the roots of our experiences with both our Mentors and our Tormentors.
In terms of lasting out our childhoods, our soul voices didn’t stand much of a chance! Frequently, they were shoved deep inside us by the words of the people who loved us and wanted the best for us. Remember all those choices our caregivers made about our environments? They (likely) came attached to a lot of other people, as well as all of the ideas that those people have ‘chosen’ to share, and that we have ‘chosen’ to take in/on. The words of the people we spent time around shaped our own inner dialogue, for good or ill. Our dreamy, creative selves were on full display when we were young, and we trusted the voice inside that led us to the things that we enjoyed. That is, until someone, somehow, made us feel like we shouldn’t. Most of that came from the simple ‘rules’ that were put in place for us, limiting our ‘need’ to make choices for ourselves, using Soul Voice. Instead, our focus on building our ego so it could be seen in the world prevailed, and the soul voice became something we only shared with a select few, if anyone at all, and that includes ourselves.
Concepts as basic as our approach to health are first experienced through our Mentors, and the way they do things. How many of us have grandparents who recommended hot toddies for sore throats when we were children? Today, there’s a legal threat attached to giving alcohol to a minor, so the cup our grandparents lovingly prepared no longer holds positive value, and consequently receives some harsh criticism, even though the original intention was to be a healing tool. Pick a subject, any subject, and we have probably tangled the roots of intention and perception to the space of distortion, where we can no longer see the things that originally connected us to our ideas as they formed. So many of the things we hold as ‘truth’ are simply the words of our mentors, repeated over and over again until we trusted the memory of what we’ve heard over the soul voice that’s intended to be our guide through this life.
Our early Mentors shaped our world view, no question. When we go back into those ideas with an objective eye, we can not only see the places we became tangled, but also how and why. We can see where we began to feel contempt for something we once loved. We can go to the moments where we were made to feel small or weak, and we can remind ourselves that we have grown and those spots no longer need protecting. We can clear them of energetic debris and use the power of our breath to breathe new life into old ideas that we let go. We can forgive ourselves for our judgment, our behavior, our ignorance, because we know that every single step we take is a step we were supposed to take. We use a concept we call H2Om (water.breath.alignment) to help balance these voices and nurture our roots so that they continue to provide opportunities for our growth. Enough water and intentional breathing, combined with muscle movement, keep our bodies in their prime condition for honestly letting go of the things that don’t serve us and holding the space for the things that benefit from our effort and attention, even if it takes a few seasons to appreciate the ‘fruits of the labor’ that make each of our lives so specifically unique, and draws us together in strange ways to share our ever-changing ideas with the people around us.
Two days later, I’m not sure what is going to happen with my dad, but I keep my thoughts to the positive side, secure in the knowledge that my thoughts play a role in the outcome. My dad has lived an amazing life, and I suspect he will get to enjoy more of it in the near future. For now, I can tell that his belief system is reworking itself as his lungs struggle to supply enough oxygen for his body’s needs. His ‘seeds’ are heirloom strong and his sense of self is solid. This is a man who has woven the roots of my ancestor’s qualities, physical and behavioral, into the current mix of family members, keeping many of his own mentors ‘alive’ for me in his stories. I never knew how special that quality was (to me) until I realized that most people didn’t enjoy bringing the past into the present as much as my family did while I was growing up. I am grateful that I know the names of family friends and the extended ‘reach’ of my family spans out further than I can imagine, reminding me that we are all connected at the root.