Cloudcatcher 2018 – Day 3 – Elements Path

The rain has arrived…

Writing this blog has a lot in common with how I deal with emotions, with trepidation!

However I made a commitment to share my experience in a blog, and I also made a commitment to myself to lean into that uncomfortable edge when dealing with my emotions.

Water, by knot of one..

I entered today’s path with a certain level of unease, I didn’t like being emotional in front of other people, and I could feel the truth of my quest emerging. I was raised to compartmentalise my feelings and keep my vulnerable side hidden from view. However over the years that attitude never really served me well, so I entered the session knowing that I wasn’t just going to be pushing a boundary, I entered with the expectation that the very foundations of my emotional well-being were going to be uprooted.

By knot of two…

I was already feeling vulnerable from the day before, having carried with me the tenets of the unity statement and how it still in some ways, challenged my sensibilities regarding identity and how I saw the world and me in it.

So, as we prepared for the session, in the centre of our human circle was placed the sacred objects for the day; a bowl of water symbolising the element in focus, a candle to light our way, and a box of tissues!

Oh dear….

Take a breath.

By knot of three…

Our check-in was a little different today, breaking into two groups we entered deeper waters. We were taken through a light trance where we visited a watery place. For me, it was the wintery coastal region of Illawarra in a place called Gerringong. It was a place that I visited with my family as a child, and I enjoyed nothing more than heading down to the beach in the bitter cold winds, and watch the waves break on the rocky fringes of the shore. I would always climb to somewhere complicated and remote – yet close to the rocky ocean edges, and I would just sit, listen, and feel the chilly ocean spray on my skin feeling the slightest chill as it would slowly seep into my clothes.

It was here I returned that day, to enter the water and immerse myself in it.

By knot of four…

We would experience the depth of water in three levels. We were invited into our watery places and experience it. I waded out into the shallowly water and I was buffeted by the swell. I could feel the chill of the salty ocean water wash over me in the gentle churn as it moved with the tidal forces of the earth and the moon. It washed over my face and I could taste the saltiness on my lips. The tension on the surface was evidenced in my struggle to stay afloat in the churn without breaking on the rocks.

Next, we were taken deeper, here the sounds of the ocean crashing on the shore was swallowed up, replaced by gentle sounds reminding me of the perpetual motion of the water all around me. The currents tugged on my limbs, but I wasn’t being carried away, simply moved with the motions. It was a loving embrace, the tension of having to hold myself together on the surface was gone, and I was able to stretch out and allow the movement and churn simply wash around me, and through me.

By knot of five…

But I was asked to go deeper still, and asked what that felt like. Here it was darker, I definitely couldn’t see that well, and the churn above stirred the ocean bed’s sedimentary layers so they obscured my vision, scraped against my skin, and softly exfoliated my body as I laid bare on the ocean floor.

It was here where the shadows lived; the shades that whispered uncertainties in my ear, that reminded me of ancient hurts that I thought were buried deep, they swirled all around me. I was feeling vulnerable and weak.

By knot of seven…

In my deep discomfort I was brought back, and in our groups we formed tight circles around the tissue box and we conducted what was known as a deep check-in.

I cried – deeply, and I hadn’t even said anything yet. The pain, and suffering I saw in the eyes of those around me, in their voices reminded me just how poorly we’d all been treated by the world in some way.

By knot of eight…

It came to my turn, and I wept. I wept for the father I didn’t make space to mourn, I wept for the sense of separation and loss I felt with my family, I wept for that man who never allowed himself to be vulnerable enough to show those he loved, just how deeply he felt – for them, those he cared about, or himself. It was such an incredible moment of vulnerability, yet I have never felt so supported in my vulnerability before in my life. I didn’t see this side of myself as strong, I had never allowed myself to be so raw in front of anyone. But in that moment, in that perfect container of love, of vulnerability and compassion, I allowed myself to be strong in my vulnerability and I let it be known.

A major part of the exercise was to allow each and every one to be vulnerable. We weren’t to interrupt their moment with a hug, a call to support, a gesture, nothing. Just to allow every one of us to have our moment at the depth of our watery place, wherever that was.

Having finished the deep check-in it became apparent what my true quest was, a mission that would reverberate throughout my life: my quest was to ‘allow myself to be strong in my vulnerability.’

By knot of nine…

With our cords of magic that we’d worked into a knot spell, we danced and raised energy to flood our being with watery nourishment, refreshment and renewal with a beautiful chant.

The experience left me feeling raw and exposed, and I spent most of the day quieter, more contemplative than usual. I had a breakthrough in that perfect space, and it needed gentle nurturing to allow the process of integration to commence. It’s going to be a long journey.