“The wanderer seeks to discover her unique and authentic place in life.” – Bill Plotkin
Throughout our lives we make sacred contracts with ourselves. When we venture into the wilderness, we find that some of those may need to be renewed, altered, or may not have been a contract all along. When we wander, it provides us the time to observe what is around and within us. I recently spent time in the desert, an exploration of sorts, not sure what I was seeking, but nonetheless, discovered so much about self.
When we take the time to be still, silent and in nature we witness with a deeper clarity the world around and within us. The desert was dark at night and the cabin I rented provided no window treatments, after all it was in the middle of nowhere. Something about this eeriness challenged my comfort level. What was I truly afraid of and why was it showing up now, here, in the dark? The following morning was glorious, sunshine beamed through those same windows that hugged the darkness around me the night before. I ventured off that morning to a beautiful rock for relaxation, contemplation and spiritual wisdom. Upon leaving I encountered the footprints of a mountain lion. Even there, in the light, the darkness enveloped me once again. I questioned why something as simple as a footprint sent fear through my psyche? Was I able to defend myself? Was I even prepared? What if I needed to defend another, would I even have the strength to battle anymore?
It was here that I was awakened to my spirit animal, the Mountain Lion, the Puma, and the Cougar. Like a solitary hunter, I was reminded to avoid any sudden move or act of impulse and to truly observe my surroundings, my strengths and my weaknesses. So much prana flew through me, much like a Kundalini rising. I could sense my own personal power and set an intention to guard myself at all costs. In my teachings, one of the first things we learn when faced with a fear, is to bring ourselves back to neutral, back to balance, back into the earth. As the heat rose in my body, it was important to reground and cool myself down. What was I really out here to battle anyway?
The eyes of the mountain lion are deep, filled with many past lives, past conquers, and defeats. I felt my own eyes develop this intensity of awareness and insight. My steps were soft, my moves deliberate, and my inner guidance system on high alert. I meandered back to the cabin with a renewed strength and discovered that nothing can bring you into the present moment like wandering through the wilderness. Many discoveries unfolded on this trip, including the union with my spirit animal.
About Nancy Levenson: Nancy’s mantra is helping others Discover Yoga as a Healing Art and their personal path to their wellness. She is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness. She explores the tools, history, philosophy and science of yoga in working with clients to discover their own innate healing process. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.
She loves guiding yoga retreats all over the world and has recently added private one-on-one desert excursions and private retreats for clients to explore their own contracts, soul wisdom and spirit animal through a practice called, SOULSutras.