scared shitless

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It’s been very difficult to start writing again after the fire that was Montana. I don’t really want to talk about much of what happened there. It’s simply too precious and too fucking sacred to reduce to words. And of course, there’s a lot of fear about saying the ‘wrong thing’… of revealing too much, effectively giving up the option of ever taking a ‘regular job’ again or of using language that makes me sound like the latest over-enthusiastic member of a fluffy New Age goddess cult.

But at the same time, I feel compelled to honour the retreat – to ‘do it justice’ – by speaking about some of what took place and where I’m left afterwards. Because in truth, this was the least fluffy or ‘New Agey’ experience I’ve had. In fact, it’s made many of my recent spiritual adventures feel like some kind of Alice-in-Wonderland sugar-dusted fantasy… sweet treats, entertaining and a lot of fun but not deeply nourishing, ultimately unfulfilling and absolutely not real.

So I’ll begin with the land. The piece of Montana we were invited to sit, walk and even sleep on for a week started working her magic on me as soon as I arrived at Feathered Pipe. I felt something I’d experienced a couple of times before in different parts of India, which I can only describe as ‘super-gravity’ – a sense of being pulled down onto and almost into the earth. I wanted to get very quiet, very quickly and simply feel the red hot heart of Mama Earth beating in time with mine. When I did, I could feel how she holds me, always… even when I forget she’s there. More than that: I could actually feel how she loves me… in fact, how she loves all of us in spite of what we’ve done and keep doing to her. It’s an understatement to say that this is a VERY BIG LOVE. And I’m left with a deep desire to love her back. It’s not been easy coming back to concrete sidewalks but when I pay attention, that sense of connection with Mama Earth’s love is still strong. I finally get why people love gardening. And for as long as I live in the city, I’ll appreciate parks a lot more.

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And then there were the women… fierce warriors of the heart, every one. Your willingness to show and share yourselves gave me permission to get real. Thank you. The expression ‘soul sister’ has new meaning.

And then there was her. My soul, finally coming home to rest in this body. I will never forget the moment she showed me that my experience of divinity can be (and from now on will be) deeply personal. I’m not simply a wave on the ocean of the divine, although that is true. Neither am I simply one with everything, although that is also true. It’s not even that there’s no separation between me and grace, although (you guessed it) that’s true as well. My news flash is that I am a completely unique instantiation of all that is divine. My soul (although it’s more correct to say that I ‘belong to’ her) has been incarnating over and over and over again simply because experiencing all the beauty and the horror of being human is how she grows. She loves all of it – even the most messy, chaotic and perfectly-imperfect moments. Because the point of the whole game is growth. Because the nature of love is to expand.

So the paradox of diving into this deeply personal mystical experience of myself as divinity is that it drove up (and continues to drive out) exponentially more freaky layers of fear, especially about the prospect of ‘losing’ the connection. I thought I’d felt into a lack of trust of the divine before now. I believed I’d faced the fear of surrendering to all-that-is. But in the cold light of a Montana dawn, I felt my body contract so hard in response to the prospect of trusting my soul to take care of ‘me’ and ‘my life’… that it literally scared the shit out of me.

In that moment, there were no mystical visions… no unicorns farting rainbows on the forest path. I simply got an incredibly visceral demonstration of the body/mind’s power to create the illusion of separation from my soul. And I heard her laughing her ass off, as she loved me anyway. It was a beautifully humbling lesson in what it really means to be human.

Two weeks later, it actually feels like the growth has accelerated. There are new layers of fear around trust and surrender coming up and falling away every day (and yesterday, it was every hour). I know there are ongoing decisions to make around creating more space for her, both inside and out. The commitment I’ve made to choose her first feels very scary to my body and (even more so) my mind, which is used to running this show. But what’s profoundly different is that I’m not facing the fear alone any more. She is with me, at the same time as she is me… simultaneously there as a separate, incredibly reassuring presence and felt in the most intimate sense as hot and very holy love in every cell of this body. This is new… and it’s very, very good. It’s an understatement to say that this is an EVEN BIGGER LOVE.

Well – there goes that regular job! Gotta say, I’m feeling slightly sick as I prepare to hit ‘Publish’. But as I read in my social media streams about the too-soon loss of yet another fierce talent, I reflect on the many causes of suffering and renew my determination to tell the truth – to say out loud what’s important in my world. Because while I treasure the quiet times, life is too precious to be spent entirely in silence… and love is too precious to be kept a secret.

If you’re still with me and you’re feeling curious, your soul might want you to investigate Sera Beak’s book. Her courage in speaking so openly about her red night of the soul is partly responsible for this blog. Sera – you inspire me daily to dive deeper and deeper again. To you and to the Red Lady, I will forever cry blood-red tears of gratitude containing all the words I couldn’t find or was too chicken-shit to publish. Thank you, thank you, thank you for dancing us home.

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25 Comments

  1. Jeanette Cousins says

    Thank you Belinda!!! Waow! I don’t know what retreat you have been on, but as soon as I saw your share here I felt drawn to it. Wonderfully written. Raw and honest. India right? I know I don’t know you well, but reading this makes me feel something else. Your essence perhaps…or is it my own?I have been here and there and up and down lately. I’ve been trying so hard (despite knowing better) to “sort things out.” Still, in the core of all that I am constantly pulled in. Something mysterious and wide is calling me, so much so that if I don’t surrender it feels like I’m drowning. Or dying. Or just loosing the plot. It’s bloody scary at times. Confusing, too. While living in a serene surroundings (where I want to be) a life with a wonderful husband, good friends, fun activities and work and our three gorgeous kids, I ought to be just happy, right!? One part of me says this anyway. Still, at times nothing makes sense. Now, THAT scares the hell out of me. Still, there’s a whisper from within keeping me sane. It draws me deeper, every day now. It’s a depth I haven’t yet been to, not consciously in this lifetime at least. Then again, here I am. Opening everyday to allow the mystery to envelope me. The Earth. The sky. The fire of life.
    Anyhow. Light to all the souls who find this within, whatever it means to them. And to everyone else, too. All the best to you, Belinda. Jeanette Cousins

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  2. killian ward says

    wow! so enjoyed your entire blog and bravo tinybrave for your courage. But I think a bravo is due all of us for also attending Soul Fire. I will never be the same person again, and so much I owe to you for literally being by my side. And I learned so much from each red hot woman there. You are right we are so priviledged, educated, allowed time to make a difference and voice our heart wisdom and love. I m holding Opal’s hand although it feels quite different here than it did in the red tent with Sera. But I’m not giving up, I can’t go back to “before”. I hope you create your space. I found an opal to remind me every day of her and of course it is also a reminder of you, beautiful lady from Australia. LOVE Killian

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  3. Keri says

    Wow darling. Had been thinking of you … Wondering. ….. I love your big red public words. There is so much more to say, but yay and wow and a profound uhuh. 🙂 is gonna have to do right now. Loves x

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  4. cate says

    awesome sharing gorgeous Belinda! this full moon, my b’day, recent trip away, deeper connection with family and friends, it all adds up to an even deeper Love and what’s trluly important and worth sharing….am so happy you are experiencing this too, it’s precious, your precious and sending a big hug, wide smile, and a heart full of Love, mwah Sister XXX

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  5. Ana Mccauley says

    Belinda.. You so beautifully captured our experience at Feathered Pipe and deeply honored our time there. The magnificence of what we all shared continues to astound me a little more each day. I was in awe while there, but integrating back and processing all the moments really just leaves me breathless. The blessing of all our souls choosing to come together for that week will be forever cherished. Thanks for your amazing words and doing us all proud! Ana ( p.s. hope you are enjoying the ‘bigger’ silver hoops 🙂

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  6. Tamara Marcello says

    Hi Belinda, okay, I gotta admit – I hardly understand any of it! But anyway. I loved how you said it! Lots of love my darling and – I would still employ you!

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  7. Hi Belinda, thanks for sharing. I felt the power of your experience just from your words so eloquently written! You are an inspiration darling, keep on sharing. Much love, Sandra x

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  8. Ronda says

    Belinda, this is a beautifully written. What a sacred experience. I know I am forever changed and so grateful for it and this was a special reminder. Thank you!
    Xoxox

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  9. Drew says

    Thank you for your courage in sharing my friend. Your words continue to inspire me – you doing your ‘work’ calls me to a higher place where I have to go deeper into mine. Thank you thank you. xxx Aside from being so eloquent – from a purely writing point of view you are stunning!! The way you describe is profound.

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  10. Charlotte says

    Belinda you rock, thanks for this, so much. Please continue to hit ‘publish’. (have been following Sera’s amazing work for a while and found you via her FB page) x

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  11. Oh Belinda, thank you so much for publishing this. I, too, have had these revelations since the retreat that my soul wants to BE…..FUCKING…..HEARD….. and has scared me to death about what I am in the process of writing and publishing. My first blog post since returning took guts for me (and I know I’ll never have a regular job again!) and there will be more to come as I’ve been writing like a fool. And I can’t just now begin to imagine the courage it took for Sera to write and publish Red Hot and Holy.
    So glad to know you and the rest of the amazing women we spent the week with.

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  12. Pingback: The S Word | The yoga of leadership

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