Today I turned 36; at 8:32 this morning to be exact.
I have chosen this day to be a quiet and reflective one – this is happening more and more lately. I am going through another significant soul initiation within my life path. I am being called to evolve further into my purpose and service in the world.
This is a time filled with both excitement and trepidation as I am being stretched into new ways of being. Or more accurately, as I am being stretched to become more explicit and expressed in the ways I am and have always been. Some things are clear; others, not so much. But, I trust. This year will be one of change, growth and things I cannot yet name.
I headed out early this morning into the light rain and into the forest for a solo “soulscape” walk – a time for visioning and communing with the landscape of my soul and nature. It was a time of personal ritual, insight, and acknowledging the gifts and support in my life, from both the seen and unseen worlds. It was a time to connect with my ancestors and the more-than-human world from which I draw so much strength and guidance. It was also a time of declaring my openness and willingness to embody what comes next from Spirit.
The forest, landscape, creatures and weather reflected back many things for me today. My soul reflected back many things for me today. Many of these insights still require holding and incubation.
However, I explored many new trails and terrain this morning. As I meandered through new territory, I was very much alive to all the different birdsong sounds, and texture of the mud on the ground, and the passing plants and honeysuckles. The colors were vibrant. The smell! Oh, I love the smell of wet forest. My body felt vibrant. I was even giddy and smiling much of the way. I felt curious. I felt magical and youthful.
I felt in love and ‘in conversation’ with the natural world around me.
Hours later, after meanders, meditation and ritual, I reached some of the larger well-trodden and familiar pathways that mark this area. Paths I had walked many times before. It took me about 15 minutes before I realized that I had totally lost all presence to the world around me. I couldn’t remember the intimate features of the path I had walked just 2 minutes earlier. In fact, I had got so caught up in thought that I walked right past the spot I intended to visit and didn’t even notice until much later!
And the message landed for me.
The well-worn paths that I have been traversing for some time are no longer enough to inspire my curiosity and presence. Yes, they are familiar and offer comfort. Yes, they are important paths, and will continue to be. However, it is time for me to take paths less trodden – those that require and inspire my full engagement, presence and vitality.
It is time to explore new and lesser known terrain that connects me more fully to the animate world and to the forces that inspire admiration, awe and giddiness.
This year – my 37th year on this planet as Shauna Janz - I am committed to taking those paths less trodden in my life; perhaps even forging a few new ones myself. I am committed to remaining as present as I can to the exquisiteness of life around me and within me.
We shall see where this may lead!
Shauna Janz, MA is a passionate speaker, writer, educator, and musician. She engages audiences with her ability to create connective experiences that inspire empathy, insight and both personal and trans-personal awareness - never without a sprinkle of humor and laughter.
Sacred Grief - Shauna Janz
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