I have been diving deeper and deeper into my spiritual journey for almost two decades now. In my early twenties, I thought I might be Buddhist, and then Daoist, as I felt very connected to some of the main tenets of those belief systems. For example, I loved the idea of karma (the law of moral causation, where everything has a reaction) and flow (using one’s natural abilities and intuition to flow with one’s environment). But the more I delved, and the more I read, I realised that neither Buddhism or Daoism were a perfect fit with my soul.
Along the way of this beautiful journey, where the universe slowly cracked me open, I was lucky enough to experience countless moments of awe-inspiring synchronicity, pure inner bliss, and real tangible proof from the universe that everything is interconnected.
But this extraordinary year of 2020 has speeded up my spiritual awakening. I am now in fast forward mode. I have had many profound life changing experiences this year, including the often-talked-about-but-never-experienced ‘long dark night of the soul’.
I always felt uncomfortable when I heard spiritual leaders discuss the ‘long dark night of the soul’, as I hadn’t had such an experience and definitely did not want one. I was actually a little bit mad at one of my favourite spiritual teachers Rebecca Campbell when I read her poem ‘I pray you hit rock bottom’. I thought it was horrid to wish that people break into a billion pieces.
But shortly after reading this poem, I lost my 12 week old unborn baby, and I well and truly experienced the ‘long dark night of the soul’. The deepest pain I have ever experienced at a soul level, where I shape-shifted into a wounded animal. And then, and only then, did I understand her poem. My long dark night of the soul did in fact, as she promised, allow my spirit to triumph.
Shortly after my long dark night of the soul, I went on a ‘soulful connection with trees’ course in the beautiful Dartmoor countryside, surrounded by a myriad of ancient trees. And it was there – with my wounds from the long dark night of the soul still wide open – that I discovered the missing jigsaw puzzle piece in my soul.
This jigsaw puzzle piece has always been lingering somewhere in my soul. Perhaps it was floating in the energetic ether around my soul. I don’t know. But I am sure that there has always been a missing piece, as I could actually sense it. It is a feeling I have had since I was a young child. Something that I had not quite discovered yet, nor held in my soft hands, nor slotted into its correct place in my heart. Like when you are writing a poem and you can’t put your finger on the right word, but you know it is there in the English language somewhere. Except that the search for this word has gone on for decades!
It was the very last experience on the tree course that allowed me to touch the smooth edges of this mislaid puzzle piece of my soul: the introduction to the 2,000-year-old Yew Tree in Dartington Estate. I had already peeled back many layers over the course, and this was the glorious finale. My bare feet sunk into her underworld. There were insects crawling over my feet. But I did not squirm. As I was no longer separate. I was part of her oneness. I wept at her beauty. I wept at the earth-shattering deference that I experienced rippling through my everything. I wept at the bliss of my reverence.
I was sure that I could only experience this in the presence of ‘God’. And there it was. The missing piece. It was she – Mother Nature – that was indeed my Goddess, my source, my love, my deity. This realisation felt like a cog clicking together in my body. I was planted in the earth, cradled by the wet fertile English soil, and I bowed down to the Great Mother.
The ancestor and guides and angels were dense in the ether, as hundreds of the whitest feathers lay scattered around her trunk, bowing at her holy feet. A mystical army enveloping her. There was not a single person that was not moved by the epic consciousness of this ancient Yew Tree. It was clear to me in that moment that all living things have a consciousness and that we need to feel connected to the earth, to Mother Nature, to our Great Mother.
I believe that we need to relearn the old ways of our ancestors, as they understood the sacredness of the earth and our need to rekindle our spiritual connection to it. I believe that land is not a commodity that belongs to humans. I believe that the land beneath our feet is our birthplace, our home, our teacher, our friend, and our resting place. I believe that it is our duty, as souls that have been reincarnated in this majestic age of light, to fiercely honour and protect the wild beauty of Mother Nature and all her creations.
I believe that modern Western societies are at real risk of losing this connection with our beautiful earth. I believe that sitting in front a computer screen for 12 hours a day, five days a week, and simply recovering and completing basic life admin at weekends, is not the way it was meant to be. This is not what it means to be alive. This lifestyle causes an increasing feeling of separateness, which in turn causes deep sadness and pain and illness in millions of people worldwide. I believe that if we can mirror the cyclical patterns of our sacred earth as best we can, we will lead happy and connected and healthy lives.
I have always wondered why I have so many passions, and why I can’t just focus on one thing, like everyone else seems able to do so well. I now realise that just as the earth needs a variety of life in all its forms and all its interactions to survive and prosper, I do too. I practice law and diplomacy to serve the land I call home, I teach yoga from the soul to share its inherent bliss, I allow the wild woman within to paint this mystical world, and I intuitively piece together words by allowing the magic of creativity to flow through me. The more my life mirrors the biodiversity I see in nature, the more I understand that I am not separate. I am complete, because I am nature.
“To be whole. To be complete.
Wildness reminds us what it is to be human, what we are connected to
rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams