I have been contemplating the changing of the seasons a lot lately - not only witnessing Spring trying to shake the frozen grasp of Winter, here in the Mid-Atlantic states - but also as I practice trust - by stepping into the unknown (yet again) to start the next chapter of my life.
We can get so wrapped up in hanging onto the past and what is comfortable, that when we start feeling the shifts of change, we resist. I have been the victim and saboteur of my life many times over by not accepting change. By trying to control things I was constantly fraught with worry. Few things in life that remain the same - some things only stay for a season or two - everything is in a state of flux - we must remember to trust and allow flow to happen.
Our intuition can help us, as long as we don’t succumb to fear and worry. There are signs all around us - directing us toward the illuminated path, if we will just listen. GOD - UNIVERSE - SOURCE - whatever you call it - wants what’s best for us - sometimes we just have to get out of the way and do the work that is set before us, rather than trying to control the outcome and live for the future. Instead, we must live for and in the present moment - life is too short for what ifs.
By witnessing nature and listening to my spirit guides, I have learned what a healthy amount of caution is versus the paralysis of fear. Deer have been my greatest teachers. They pause and tune into their senses, then react, continuing to graze or bound off towards safety. For too long, I have been living in a reactive state; much like a scared rabbit running scattered or staying stalk-still hoping to not be noticed.
What follows may be found as offensive to some; however, it is my experience and I believe others may benefit from my sharing it. Why am I adding scripture to my blog post - well that's a good question - because it has taken me a while to regain the joy I once found in scripture and religious music. A hard void to fill, needless to say.
One of my greatest sources of comfort as the winds of change become evident in my life is the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds, based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. During times like this, it plays on constant repeat in my brain. In many ways, these are words to live by.
For those unfamiliar with it, I have added the scripture below - while I do not believe KJV is the most accurate translation it is certainly the most poetic.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I know not all of my mental and physical health struggles developed as the result of trauma I experienced due to my music degree and encounters with organized religion, specifically Southern, Judeo - Christian denominations. It might be hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it, but I know I’m not alone. Why do I mention this? Because, it has been difficult for me to reference scriptures, religious music, or draw on my theological learning without physical reactions happening in my body. Not to mention inherently feeling that I was doing something wrong by listening to my intuition and studying energy healing, spirituality, mediumship, and my other intuitive gifts.
I grew up in the deep South, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. I was homeschooled, K - 12, using the ABeka system developed by Pensacola Christian Academy, which has many great attributes and I thank my family for choosing this rather than the public school system. In my early twenties, I served as a music minister for 5 years. At 25, I had what I call my quarter-life crisis. I left my music degree and position as a music minister for health reasons and to pursue the only thing keeping the ever deepening hole that was forming in my life, from consuming me completely, ART.
During my final years in undergrad and as I entered my Masters of Fine Arts program, I turned to pure muscle, logic, and passion to lead me. No surprise, I felt I had lost something truly meaningful in my life. I had! Without connection to spirit, my mind and body were more out of balance than ever before. The hole was still there and other issues started to appear. My migraines and chronic pain issues in my lower back and extremities increasingly got worse. My fatigue was at an all time high - landing me at the campus infirmary with dehydration and exhaustion at the end of every semester and finally in the ER with total left-side paralysis, believed to be caused by a hemoplegic migraine due in part to stress and too much caffeine.
Modern medicine continued to let me down, time after time. I felt totally disconnected from my body and spirituality. The only relief I felt was during massage, acupuncture, and gentle movement sessions - and with my community which consisted of the other artists and professors I worked with and a small inclusive pagan group that met a few times a month at a coffee shop near my apartment, to explore all paths of spiritual practice. I felt accepted, heard, and welcome. Something I had not experienced often, growing up.
Many changes happened as a result - a few folks have probably thought I’ve lost my mind completely - but everyone’s path is different. It is our duty to humanity to be understanding, compassionate, and supportive of others even if their path diverges from our own. What I do know - is that everything I have gained along my path is far greater than anything I have given up. Through study of movement and mindfulness practices like yoga, chi gong, and cycle tracking, I became more connected and appreciative of my body, something that I had never known before. While seeking to find the TRUTH, I turned to deep exploration of nature and spirituality. In many ways, I feel that I have circled completely around… not to the anxiety ridden, music minister that had no answers, only questions - but rather - to the young, innocent child viewing the world with great wonder with a deep trust in intuition and spiritual connection.
It took learning that spirituality and connection to all of creation is what is most important, not the religion that you practice. By broadening, rather than narrowing my viewpoint on religious practices along with reconnecting to nature and my body in deeply meaningful ways, I started to find my spiritual equilibrium and balance.
One of things that strikes me odd now - in the past, I would never have openly shared about these experiences. Because there were many lessons ingrained into my brain without even noticing (aka. Generational trauma and outdated belief systems)
“we don’t air our dirty laundry”
“skeletons should be kept in their closest”
“keep grinning even if it kills you” and so many more.
But now, I know I’m not alone in my experiences that lead to so much mental and physical turmoil. By sharing my experiences openly, I hope to help others who haven’t found their illuminated path yet.
I have greatly digressed from my original point which was “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Rather than accepting this as a beautiful statement, I now believe it with every fiber of my being. Partially, because of my study of eco-spiritualism and the Wheel of the Year but also just from observing the rhythms of my body and nature.
The further our once agrarian society moves toward technological advancements, we lose our connection with the cycles of nature. Our deep understanding and trust in them may seem irrelevant in our day and age; however, more than ever, we need Earth Mother to guide and teach us. Nature and technology have a place together in our future, if done properly. But as with everything, we must seek our own truth, rather than numbly following those who say they have our best interests in mind. Nature can be our greatest teacher and it is imperative that we do all we can to protect this planet we call home, so our future generations know abundance, peace, and happiness.
My path has taken many turns and I have experienced so many detours - I know there are more to come. But now, I feel more aligned with the path before me - for years, decades really… I have been throwing darts hoping something would stick. Oh guess what… come to find out I’m neurospicy and collect hobbies to follow the endorphins - big surprise there. But instead of continuing to view this as a problem that needed to be hidden or fixed, I have fully embraced all of my learning and life experiences as a superpower. As I fully step onto my path as a creative, healer, teacher… I now know all will be well, as long as I follow the compass inside - trusting my intuition, seeking happiness, sharing love, and helping others find their illuminated path in hopes of creating a better universe for us to live in.
As always TRUST THE INNER KNOWING
and take time to STOP - BREATH - FEEL - CREATE!
If you would like to share your experiences with me, I would love to connect. Feel free to send me an email or friend request on social media. If you have stumbled upon me seeking truth and direction on your healing path, if it feels aligned, I’m happy to assist. Learn more about my healing practice, mindfulness facilitation, and other options for collaboration on my website.
Lots of Love <3 Lauren
Photography credit: Amanda Lucia Photography