The journey of life is a very unique one indeed. Our life stories are filled with intricate details, adventures, personalities, circumstances and histories. The purpose and the meaning of our lives is viewed through all of these to create even more unique flavour to the journey. There are so many people we can relate to as they share experiences, thoughts and feelings very similar to our own. Then there are those who we listen to with absolute puzzlement and we wonder how this person operates and where they come from.
In the self development and transformation journey, we each have our own unique course to chart. Perhaps the most important starting point is willingness to take any journey at all. Whether we are willing or not life continues to happen all around us and we get swept along by the force of life. The willing traveller chooses to be part of plotting the course and greets each adventure with intrigue. They see the events of the past, the present and the future as being uniquely designed to bring about every experience, opportunity, failure, loss, joy and sorrow that was required for the growth, healing and transformation of their soul.
The unique course has its own pace, content, duration and intensity. No journey is more than or less than another. A journey is only more than or less than itself – meaning, the choices we make will determine how much we enable and participate in a journey or how much we disable, retard and disembark from a journey. In honest reflection, most of us can say whether we are participating in our journey or whether we have disembarked and look on with yearning to the horizons of where we might have been, could have loved, should have known.
There is no template course to follow. No tried and tested sorrow-proof map. There is no straight line to the treasure because even the treasure is unique. The answers that provide one with salvation offer another no great help at all. The insight of one counts for naught to another. Unto each is their own unique journey…
“In the dark night of the soul you need not give up your intelligence, but you may have to change your idea of what it means to be wise in the conduct of your life. You may have to adopt a different kind of knowing, one is suited to the darkness and not in conflict with it. You need special vision for your dark night because the ordinary ways of thinking may not work. Seeing in the emotional dark is a special talent that might draw out resources you never knew you had.”
Thomas Moore – Dark Nights of The Soul!
CROSSING OVER | Michelene Dianne Benson
Our path is filled with ups and downs
Alternating with smiles and frowns
Lonely dungeons with no hope in sight
Then suddenly we ascend in triumphant flight
Crossing over demands our trust
Moving forward a scary must
Stepping stones we carefully tread
The risk whispers with a voice of dread
Greeted on the other side
Love and gratitude in our hearts abide
Looking back we learn once more
The dungeon was but a needed door.
Artwork | Evgeni Dinev Photography
First published 30 October 2013
Take Back our Rite of Passage Ceremony | Michelene Dianne Benson
As I am researching the first moon rite of passage process, I realise that many of us need that ceremony ourselves albeit many moons later. Without it we were left to a world of shame, loss and isolation in which we had to navigate our way through a harsh and unforgiving world.
Awakened women know that the rite of passage has as much to do with wisdom and well being as it does with physical care and understanding at menarche. Being welcomed, celebrated and nurtured into a sisterhood of support and wisdom is critical to the maiden, at her time of crossing, if she has any hope of growing confidently as a wild woman. One who is unapologetically in touch with her true beauty, power and strength.
We may have missed out on some decades of support and mentoring from the matriarchs who went missing for a few generations but we have heard the call to return.
Part of that return requires taking up the role as the guide and the mentor – to become the moonmothers and the crones. It is time give up the imposed mindset of the menstrual inconvenience of our bodies and restore the blessing thereof – to stand tall and grounded as the queen upon the moontime throne and the crone adorned with the mantle of honour.
To take back our ceremony is to forgive those who abandoned us and to give thanks for the guides who gracefully stepped in. To take back our ceremony is to bind up the wounds, bumps and bruises in the light of the moon and sing a song of restoration. We are taking back our ceremony when we reach out to the sisters who might have sat with us at our first moon ceremony and say “I missed you.”
To take back our ceremony is to sneak a red rose or a bright bead to her for the crown she might have worn that night. We take back our ceremony when we bestow blessings which flow from a sacred source so that the commitment we might have made to be our sisters’ keeper is honoured. Whatsoever things we might have done on that night, in time and space, we can do it now. Let us take back the first moon ceremony and restore the rights to the Rite of our Passage
To all my sisters … I missed you!
Photo by Michelene Dianne Benson
First published 24 September 2013
Doting mothers – come out, come out wherever you are!!
I am really not sure what gets us to be the kind of mothers we are. Personality tests and archetypes suggest we just got put together that way. A cumulative result of DNA imprinting and the experiences and messaging we received throughout our lives. Whether we know why we do what we do or not, the reality is we know we just cannot help ourselves. We love nurturing and our existence seems to depend on nurturing our children.
Barbara Streisand in her brilliance, portrayed us all so powerfully and gracefully. The way we watch out for our children, the way we believe in them, the way we hide our hurting and the way we smother them. The Guilt Trip movie brought me face to face with myself and as all great movies do – they used the very lines I am famous for!
My daughters are 20 and 16– university and high school students respectively. Six years ago I was not coping with the letting go at all. I considered my girls ungrateful and could not understand why they were shutting me out. In my upset I would withdraw only to find myself drawn back in again. Sometimes I came back in because I just could not resist like the mother, Joyce in the movie. Sometimes my withdrawal caused a mess and they needed me back in like the son, Andy in the movie.
It is a little easier now I think. Slowly I am finding out through lots of trial and terrible error how much is enough. It’s never a scientific formula though. More like a recipe you fiddle with to get an ever changing series of flops and successes.
Whether a flop or a success, its often always edible and filled with love.
How is your guilt trip through motherhood going?