Flying over beautiful Sedona in our Cessna 182, my husband Jon circles around the cliffs, giving me the perfect angles to photograph the wonders. I feel so privileged to be able to look down on these remarkable red rock formations, from the perspective of the eagle. Only from this view can we really appreciate the amazing mesas, flat-topped columns that almost stand free from one another. Only from here do we see the striations of the layers of sandstone so clearly. And only from here do we see what remains unseen.
What are the unseen elements in this scene? Clearly, there are shadowy tall caves, spaces between cathedrals. What is in there? What kind of life is sheltered there? How do the winds and water act in there? What would it be like to fly into that dark space and be enveloped by its mystery? Aren't the shadows--the unseen--what helps makes this scene so dramatic?
I think this is true in any landscape. If you look out your window, you may focus on what you see. But what happens if you focus on what you cannot see? Imagine what might lie in the shadow between two buildings, or two mountains, trees or rocks. Those shadows provide contrast, and that is what makes the colors sing in the objects you can see. And the mystery that lies in the shadow gives the landscape a vibrancy that invites you to discover.
What about your interior landscape? You know elements of that landscape well. You have visited the cliffs and waters and fields of your mind all your life. You've watched this landscape evolve, and you as an explorer know your interior nature a little better each year.
Yet what remains in the shadow? Always, we are invited to explore and know the parts of our shadow that we reject because our minds think those parts are unacceptable. It is the work of the seeker to keep integrating these, to keep welcoming them in, to keep having conversations over tea with them, to protect and teach and love them.
Likewise, it is the work of the spirited woman to explore and know the parts of our shadow that relate to the magnificence in us that we put aside or don't think we should believe. There are aspects of us that are stunning because of their resilience, their light, their intelligence, their heart, their...holiness. Are you getting to know these aspects of your shadow as well?
One way to do this is to pretend you're flying your own Cessna 182, or that you are the eagle looking down on your smaller self, your smaller mind. In shamanic tradition the eagle or condor is the one who can fly high above the level of story, open its heart and see more about the beings we're called to become. When you see yourself through that lens, you are aligned with the compassionate observer, the spiritual being you truly are. You can see then that all those mistakes, fears, doubts and mis-steps have just been steps on your journey.
And what a journey it is! This adventure of bringing our spirited selves down into the human dimension is an adventure for sure. It isn't easy. And that's why all the angels and spirit guides and power animals and illuminated souls celebrate you and what you are doing and all you long to be. Your journey is important; it counts. You are seen, even if you can't see into all the shadows just now.
Just keep on flying, spirited women. All will become clear. All is well. All is well.