Sunday, March 24, 2013

Inner Landscapes of the Soul

Africa Shaman Retreat in South Africa

Africa is calling. I move through my days making preparations for leaving my cottage in the canyon for several weeks. Anticipation of what awaits me in Africa is present but there is more attention being paid to the safety and well-being of my feline companion, Bentley, than to the unknown ahead.

This morning during my meditation time I reflected on my upcoming journey back to Africa and the nature of soul and how new landscapes encourage us to go deeper into our own inner world. Everyday familiarity with place, family, and friends can keep us from exploring inner mysteries. We become comfortable with our everyday world and put off the calling of the soul to explore new depths, new places within.

I am preparing to visit a place in South Africa that I have not been before. It is a place filled with ancient wildness and it is unfamiliar to me. This morning I am feeling the invitation to explore this new landscape with anticipation because I have the opportunity to discover something new about myself. When I first arrive at this sacred place in the Drakensburg Mountains, I want to quietly observe the landscape, both of the area and of my own reactions, because I will never again see it in the same way. I want to savor the unfamiliarity of the mountains and valley and grasses, contemplating a new awareness of my soul through the experience. Visiting this new landscape in Africa is an invitation to explore my soul in a new, untamed way.

Change requires getting uncomfortable. Getting acquainted with the deeper wisdom of the soul can be uncomfortable. It is necessary to release the familiar and embrace the unfamiliar if we choose to explore new territory of the soul. On the spiritual journey to awakening to the soul's true purpose, we must awaken to the unexplored terrain of our inner world, discovering something new about ourself. 

Pilgrimages call us to explore this unfamiliar territory of the soul and invite us to open up in new ways, to embrace new inner landscapes. This calling may come in the form of a journey to new and distant lands or it may be walking a precarious road with illness or trauma. Whatever form your calling to explore your own inner world takes, I encourage you to accept the invitation, believing that there is a gift and blessing of new possibilities awaiting you!