Yesterday, I felt strongly called back into conversation with the world and the thread that leads me – has always led me – back to my heart.
I started speaking into my iPhone, making a recording, because I was being flooded by images from the world and I wanted to make sure that I was capturing what I was seeing… so I could share it with you.
theres just so much… and it flows so everything-all-at-once.
On a FeatherWalk, I attune to the world around me and I feel for the thread. I sense toward the familiar friendliness that’s been guiding me all of my life.
I know its vibration, it’s signature. I know it when I find it.
And here it is.
As I walked, I began thinking about the email I’d received yesterday. A woman sent me photos of a group of orbs – balls of light – which had started to appear in the rooms of her home. She asked what I thought – seeking, perhaps, some validation. Another set of eyes on her miracle.
I wrote back suggesting that she trust her intuition and notice what was going on in her life when these orbs began showing up (because it’s likely related) and she wrote back and we began to have this beautiful exchange about angels and balls of light.
This reminded me of the amazing ways the angels remind us – remind me – that they’re here and real and that they want to engage with us. I needed that reminder – because even with all that I have witnessed, I sometimes start to doubt.
I was thinking about how, when I doubt, the angels find a way to bring me back into alignment with their message of joy and peace. Which is when I found a feather – and as I bent to pick it up, a white butterfly flitted around me.
I laughed at the way the butterfly seemed to be playing with me, doubling back and ‘waiting’ for me and then, flying ahead and ‘encouraging’ me along. I decided to follow it, wherever it might lead.
Which is when it crossed the road – so I crossed, too. And then, the butterfly flew off. I looked down and right beside my feet, there was the colorful nub of a children’s pencil, decorated with magical symbols, rainbows and unicorns and butterflies. And it was nestled beside a tiny green plant.
Delighted, I felt it was telling me, You’ve worked your magic pencil to a nub. And your work is good and already resulting in growth.
It reminded me, also, that my ‘childlike’ openness is the doorway to the blended awareness that we need to cultivate and practice – this state of open-hearted curiosity and wonder little children have (and we were all little children once) blended with the experience and wisdom of the adult in a kind of braiding.
And we need both of these qualities, and a third thread, the willingness to SEE what is right before our eyes, in order to be open to receive messages like this. I’m reminded that if I hadn’t followed the butterfly, I would not have received that message.
I’d walked about ten steps when, something else caught my eye: some kind of postcard or something – and when I picked it up, I realized it was a label for some sort of game. And what did it say: Orb Factory.
Can you imagine?
This is the kind of thing that happens – all the time – when I connect with the bright thread of awareness that leads me along.
I’ve been reading a wonderful book, The Power of Six , which describes a gentle but powerful process of working with one question – asked six times. As you work, bits of information, which may seem unrelated, begin to gather around it – like iron filings around a magnet. The information begins to ‘iterate’ – as if these bits want to join together somehow- a constellation process which can lead to the emergence of new ideas, new understanding.
The psyche brings them to you for some deeper as-yet-unknown reason – which the psyche knows and, through this iteration process, it’s speaking to you about that through symbols and imagery. (I call this ‘making strings of pearls.’)
And now I’m looking at a sign that says, “No dumping… drains to stream,” a little grate to the sewer system. And so there is something here about not dumping toxic things into ‘the stream’, and a reminder that there is a flow of conversation between me and the world (and me and something which is also here, which is not ‘the world’ but is woven into the world and also woven into me. The sacred. The divine. Holiness. And these signs reminded me that this flow of conversation is always in process – and it matters what I let in and what I ‘dump’ out.
And this is all part of whatever pattern is iterating itself for me this morning. That’s what a feather walk is. See?
I hope you can see this with me. I open and listen. I watch and see. I let my mind play with what is here – and it automatically begins making connections – iterating the one thing to the other, making patterns. Or perhaps, revealing them.
This is what i love about this work that I do. And thats what is resonating for me with this book – it’s about the work of David Grove, a therapist/teacher who worked for 30 years developing this field of inquiry – of counseling – and I think he was also one of the leaders/founders of narrative counseling –
And so he asked this journalist, Philip Harland, who was good at putting ideas into form – articles and books – to come and write about his (Grove’s) work and they spent a lot of time together, and worked together on this book,”The Power of Six,” and it’s wonderful.. .so clear and so beautiful.
I feel as if he’s seeing what I see. He’s speaking my language. I’m discovering there are many other teachers who’ve intuited and articulated, in their particular way, this wisdom that rises from the very earth – all around us in the very air. This conversation that is going on constantly, this call and response conversation that is always here, willing to engage with us.
Other teachers have discovered this – all the way back throughout history – mystics and scholars – and it’s so comforting knowing that there ‘s a community of wisdom leaders before me.
When I first realized others had already spoken and written about this, I was like, OH NO this has been done! But then I was, No, these are your teachers, these are your people .these are the wisdom holders of this work that you are also called toward … and to move toward them not to envy them and push myself separate from them.
And an old Indian man sitting on a rock talking with a young orthodox mom with a little stroller and a baby and just before that, a little girl, holding the hands of two little sisters and she wouldn’t meet my eyes…
i don’t know why…
Here’s another feather- marking the symbolic resonance of those three girls: the big sister, holding the little sisters’ hands. which means something to me – of course, as I’m the eldest of three girls.
She reminded me of me, that responsible big sister…
Now I’m turning down the little street where some other little girls live -I think there are three in that house, also. They once saved turkey feathers for me – I used to see them every day as I walked here, past their house.
I walked this path a lot last year, when Dad was dying – I would come out and walk and listen to the world – and those little girls saw me collecting all the big turkey feathers he was sending to me. And the next time I came, they handed me a big pile which they’d gone out and collected for me.
I’ve walked here a few times this summer – but no feathers. I haven’t found really any – except on the day when I graduated from the yoga teacher training. That day, I found many.
Anyway, today, as I’m walking I’m thinking about that… and I had this little fantasy come to me – about how wouldn’t it be amazing and fun if the girls would come running out and say, “We’ve ben saving turkey feathers for you for months!” and then they would hand me a huge bag of feathers.
But they’re not here, and I pass their house…
and oh my! here’s a grey and white turkey feather!
…and here’s another one…
… and here’s another one – huge striped ones. How delightful!
I love these feather walks. I just love them.
I haven’t been down this block – and they haven’t seen me all summer. I’ve been working so hard – feeling like I had to. And going to my mother’s apartment, writing – and trying to write – and making myself focus on my work.
Until this week and last
week I started to let go of having to write, having to work so hard and as I let go, of course, then writing arrives.
It just arrives when I let go.
And oh my! 20 or 30 birds just swooped right in front of me as i passed this house, #1 – number one – and now there are 40 or 50 birds all clustered in this tree – tiny little birds, starlings wrens -I don’t know what they are – little brown birds flying along with me from tree to tree.
“Hello! Good morning to you.” (That was the old Indian man, passed me – said good morning, coming back this way.)
Sometimes, I wonder… when Im gone, if someone will listen to these recordings and think: Was she absolutely insane? Or will they think some other thing and maybe go on their own feather walk.
What got me up today, and out… was this sense of wholeness, when I was doing the six questions for myself — sort of reviewing a question that’s been bothering me for weeks – WEEKS: Should I go to Pacifica? What’s the right thing? Can I trust myself if I don’t go? Can i be trusted if I don’t go? Is it the right school? Is it the right use of my time and money?
All those practical questions that sort of get me tangled in my own shoelaces – literally.
As I was working it out – asking six questions, and then another six and six and six and coming to the realization that the mind argues with wholeness, the mind tries to keep us doubtful- and fragmented into pieces and concerns…
(and here i am passing the ZERO – the symbol of wholeness, of all is one. There’s a signpost on my block which says WELCOME – but also, there’s a picture of an atom, swirling energy around it and the way that the house number, which is number 30, is displayed, is that the three is really faded into the wood but the ZERO is really bright. and it looks like zero as in infinity and this energy symbol right below it and welcome and it’s interesting that I am passing this just as I’m talking about that very thing…
this is what Im talking about… this is the iteration of something in me. showing itself outside of me so i can see it… and here’s a “y”-shaped stick with many branches so it’s a y and each branch is also a y …
it’s a beautiful message to get while Im talking about this as well)
And so i was saying that what got me out and walking was the sense of wholeness and also, the two stories: And how each of us has our own version of the two stories. The story of ” I am part of a wholeness” “I am that. The whole universe is centered in my center. … and here’s a big circle on the ground… and a small one as well..
and i was talking about the two stories, so one is: I am one, I am whole. I am God. God is me. But also the second story: God cannot see itself without creating an other.
And so I am that, too That is what I am.
And that this duality exists in order for the divine to be able to behold itself but that in that first separation there is still, because it’s so close to the wholeness, that first separation sill contains the intimate knowledge that separation is itself is a gesture of love.
I LOVE, so I want to put that love toward something so I separate that part of myself that i want to love so I separate myself – so that I can love it. Knowing that that arose from love and is made of love as I am, too.
And that … each iteration, each separation into more duality, more branching, as it were, as the first duality broke into dualities of their own…
and here’s a white fluffy feather rolling by my feet, as if to confirm that –
and this car passing, a silver car. I’ll say that the license plate was DIE or DTE 7011. Don’t know what that means but I should say it, because I would say it if it did mean something to me…
So each iteration, each branching farther away from the original source, harder for it to sense into that wholeness. God moving farther and farther away, the one moving farther away from the many until it’s just kind of a dream, isn’t it? Once we were, all these separations we’ve become, once we were that one.
When the longing to return to that wholeness becomes a sort of a wistful impossible seeming dream.