“I want to remind you that there's an aspect of your psyche, a facet of your wholeness, that is wild, indigenous, enchanted, emotive, instinctive, and sexual, that is fully at home in this sensuous world and that loves being embodied as a human among other humans and immersed as an engaged participant in a world of other animals, a world of trees, rivers, mountains, rain, moonrises, and rainbows.”
Sometimes, because we are so used to living from our fragmented selves, our default mode, that talking about our Whole Selves seems like speaking another language. I find, in trying to make sense of it or to find our Whole Self, it's helpful to remind ourselves of what we were like as children, or watch little children who are still embodying this aspect of themselves.
For instance, do you remember as a child, being enchanted, enthralled with nature and the more than human world around you? Could you lay in the grass and watch the clouds, enjoying the sun, the breeze and the feel of the grass? Do you remember, at one time, being able to access more of your emotions, at least a fuller range of them? Do you remember conversing with the trees and animals around you, believing conversation was possible? Did you ever have the sense that you belong to the world and it to you? At one time, expressing our Wild Indigenous One was easier for us to access and embody. Then, we become adults and we learn suppression.We learn suppression of our emotions, suppression of our embodied selves, our instinctual selves, our exuberant selves. We cut ourselves off from the world around us, believing ourselves to be above it, not in relationship with it.
We pay a high price for cutting ourselves off from the world around us and the world inside us.
How does this happen?
Through wounding, our own and by being raised by others who are wounded. Hurt people, hurt people. Our culture supports this rift in ourselves. If we knew how connected we were to each other and the world around us, we would have to make changes in how we go about our business every day.
Mary Oliver says,
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
The problem is that we have even lost track of what we love. We are so good at numbing ourselves that we often don't know what brings us alive, what enchants us. Enchanted comes from the French word, enchanter, which means to be sung. Our Wild Indigenous One is enchanted because it has been sung into the world by the world. Our Wild Indigenous One is fully aware of it's vital song, the song that needs to be sung in order for the song of the world to be complete.
Our Wild Indigenous One lives as if its place in the world matters, because it does. It knows that it belongs, both to the world, and to itself. It's willing to fully feel all of it's emotions...to explore how emotions feel in the body, to feel sorrow, pain, joy, love, pleasure, anger, fear....declaring no particular emotion to be bad or above another. After all, they all tell us something about our world, about what we hoped would happen, about our values, desires, relationships, limits, beliefs etc. Naming what we are feeling, fully feeling that emotion, noticing how it is in our body and allowing it to be there, just as it is, enables us to actually make healthy decisions about what to do about how we feel, when we need to express ourselves or make changes in our world.
So, our Wild Indigenous One is at home. At home in the world and at home in itself.
From this place in our Whole Selves, it is as if we are under a spell, enchanted, captured by the magic and utter mystery of each thing. We are filled with wonder and awe, for the world and for ourselves. We are under the worlds spell and it's under ours. The things of the world are allured by us and to us...they are just as enchanted by us as we are by them, they recognize in us a form of mystery no less stunning than their own. So you see, we require each other. In order to experience our own magic, we need to experience the world's and in order to re-enchant the world, we must rediscover, reclaim and embody our sacred and interdependent relationship with all things. We must learn again to experience and treat each thing and the world itself as alive and ensouled, each being as having its own interior life, its own magic.
As foreign as it might sound, at one time, you did this naturally. You could actually be enchanted by your own feet and hands. You knew that the world around you was enchanted and mysterious.
So, what to do? Well, all healing is really a re-membering. You have to re-member who you already are. So let yourself remember this 'lost' part of you...get curious about where it might have gone and why. Start to pay attention to the world around you. Let yourself open to the idea of living in an enchanted world. Maybe ask the world to show you and then pay attention. “That which you are seeking is already seeking you”. Then, when you feel ready, go for a wander in a wild place. Let yourself be drawn by something around you. Can you be allured? Can you go and sit with tree or bird, dog or river and begin a conversation? Can you introduce yourself? Wait and hear what river might say back to you. Let yourself be surprised. There is so much more to this enchanted world than we know.
Also, pay attention to your body. What sensations arise when you are feeling an emotion? Can you put your attention there? Can you invite it, just as it is, welcome this sensation in you. Can you offer comfort? Does this place soften or move as you allow it to be? Can you offer gratitude to your body for all the ways it is there for you?
Can you, even for a moment, entertain the thought that you belong in the world, just as you are, just as your emotions belong in your body, just as they are? Can you feel the world welcome you? It gets easier with practise and I guarantee, you won't be disappointed.
I'll leave you with these words from Bill Plotkin,
“Perhaps it's time you surrendered your current form. Rather than concluding you have been a failure or a misfit, perhaps it's time to allow the world to have its way with you and to carve you into something more essentially you.....You are richer, deeper, stronger and more a mystery than you know...you need to be schooled in your own depths.”
How amazing to realize we live in an embodied, mysterious, enchanted and enchanting world.