I gathered 12 red Salal leaves to symbolize the directions, the 12 months, the natural cycles, 6 green Salal leaves to honour the Goddess, Mother Earth and the Stars and many ripe blue Salal berries as an offering of thanks to Bear for showing up on my path.
While I was creating this mandala in honour of Bear, I suddenly heard rustling in the bushes nearby. Then I heard heavy breathing. Apparently I was not the only one who had retraced steps. Instead of jumping and running, I decided to stay and be with the fear. To open my senses further and to be with this majestic Being. I started to breathe with Bear, while she rustled in the leaves while gathering berries. At times she would be silent and my senses heightened, for now I could not see nor hear her. I knew she was still there. Would she come out and attack? Was it time for me to leave? Yet my inner voice told me to stay. At some point my eye caught her dark face amongst the thick bushes, now I knew where she was. I offered her thanks through a mental prayer. Shortly after she saw me and slowly but steadily retreated. Time for me to move again and head on my way down and out the trail.
This experience with Mother Bear deepened my awareness of what I perceive we are called to do at this particular and unique time.
This time is a time of stillness, instead of continuing to run along the path we're on.
It's a time to question why are we running and are we running from anything?
What jumpstarted our run?
Can we retrace our steps and come to terms with the root-cause of our running?
It may be big, it may be dark, it may be scary, but dare we look it into the eye?
Can we allow ourselves to be with the fear?
Can we be with it for a while?
Can we breathe with it for a while?
Can we even be curious about it for a while?
Can we realize we are the ones that startled the other?
Can we realize that the big black thing we're looking at could be just as scared or even more scared than us?
Can we offer our apology for the misunderstanding?
Can we ask for forgiveness for our misunderstanding?
Can we let the object of our fear know we love it?
Can we offer thanks for its gifts, the lessons we learned from it?
I believe this may be our only way through
The way to find light in the dark is to stop running
It is to be with the dark until we see the light
Our bodies and Mother Earth are calling us to do this
Are we listening?
Are we willing?
What if our whole existence depends on it?
I may have shared this prayer before, but the Ho'oponopono prayer is what surfaced as I walked away from Bear, it repeated over and over in my head. May it serve you too:
I love you
I'm so sorry
Please forgive me
I thank you
I love you
I release you