Searching For Truth: A Blog by Sherri Smith
I recently read an interview with Stephen Jenkinson on what he sees developing regarding the number of teachers presenting themselves with the tools needed for transformation. So much of what is out there is textbook training, with very little emphasis on the immersion of the trainings; the experience. We sit in comfy chairs and absorb knowledge or technique in implementing these tools but little emphasis is placed on being with it on a moment to moment basis. Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but the truest wisdom comes from the experience. The article brought to mind a life lesson when I was in Belize and it actually has inspired me to blog about it. My routine there was simple; wandering about the beach each day, swimming and engaging with the locals. One particular gem was a guy named Dennis. He was a wood carver and deeply connected to nature. I would sit with him daily and take in the rhythms of the land, often sharing a rum. One particular visit I was quite anxious and he sensed that, so he gave me a task to do. He handed me a dried up gourd with seeds still intact and I was to remove them through this very small hole he had created at the base. The gourd was going to be used for a maraca and the hole was small to hold the handle. I set to my task; shaking, rotating and manipulating this gourd until at last one small seed would finally release and drop down to the sand. There were hundreds more to be released and I was annoyed at the rate of progress. In frustration, I searched through his tool box for something small to negotiate these seeds towards the hole so the process could speed up. After watching me struggle for about 30 minutes he simply said “patience Grasshopper”. His quiet approach of guidance made me think there was something more to this then just an assigned task. The afternoon passed and I found myself relaxing deeply because I recognized I had this self imposed sense of time in accomplishing this duty and I was missing out on the meat and potatoes of it. I was completely missing the experience. I became one with this gourd and could feel the rhythm, the stickiness, the weight, and the motion of the seeds within. It was in working with their qualities that I began to have gratification in their being released to the sand below instead of forcing and manipulating. By the time the final seed dropped I was saddened that the task was over. It was such a beautiful experience of simply ‘being’. I had surrendered force and control. When I handed it to him, he smiled but said nothing. He was awaiting my take on the experience and so I shared it with him. I shared all that it brought to my mind and behavior in my approach to this. He gifted me this gourd to take home and decorate in whatever way called to me. It was such a powerful lesson. Subsequent visits would often encompass sitting quietly with a comforting silence between us, only to be broken to share with me the flight pattern of the Albatross or of a pattern of wind that was developing on the waters. I felt so nourished in his presence.
We all want the fast fix and that is so much the ill of our society in that we are no longer seasoned in experience. Some of the trainings I have received have been radical, with deep immersions in nature – exposing and releasing our attachments and discomforts to come home to our authentic self. Knowledge is power as previously expressed, so in witnessing our imbalances we have the ability to create the changes around it. What became apparent to me in these experiences is how deeply connected to the elements and to myself I had become. And much like the last seed of the gourd dropping, I did not want it to end. What becomes the challenge after being in an immersion is creating a supportive environment around us to further allow the teachings and experience to resonate. Patience Grasshopper….because all of this takes time. It takes time to witness what is really wrong, or time to find the courage to do the things necessary to clear the blocks, or time to create shifts in our environment that have held us back. Eliminating judgment and being in the moment with the seeds of your practice as often as you can creates the change. I have found within my own life that the things that bring me the greatest joys are being in nature; whether I am walking through town, at the beach, in the woods or someone’s back yard. Just getting myself out there away from this technical world is healing. Meditation is also a beautiful and profound way to connect to the now moment. Getting out of our rational, logistical and ego based minds free the body of so much tension and allows for other creative portals to open and be heard.
There is something apparent in our development around the age of 9-11 that moves us from a state of ‘right now’ to a state of ‘what if’. Hormonally we are undergoing changes, and the body’s fire (will center) is ignited and needs controlling. In many indigenous cultures, often pertaining only to the masculine, there is ritual performed to keep that fire controlled. Without a deep remembering of who we are and what is fully supporting us, we begin to lose that childlike wonder and step into a life of the external and into the ego. Excessive fire within is destructive, aggressive and ravaging and our society today is witnessing and experiencing the effects firsthand. Our children have such a strong sense of entitlement and are deeply overstimulated and much of this I believe is our lack of connection to nature.
Initiation, or reintroduction to elements, is profound work and can heal the suffering we experience in today’s world. We lose our identity and personal power; depression becomes rampant, illness and isolation are destroy us. For those that have seen/experienced traumatic events, it becomes toxic to bring back to the so-called village of our society; be it the physical parameters of the workplace, the family or the city/village one resides in. Establishing a deep connection back to that which provides our nourishment can and will restore our sense of belonging and bring realization to our potential. Jim Carey shares his experience with his vision quest on youtube, and many more are gravitating to this work as nothing else seems to really rattle the cage.
I know from my own experience with the Elements training, a mini initiation if you will, that it started the process of bringing me back to ‘right now’. It was evangelistic in quality and revealed some deep truths for me. This is why I have chosen to go through it again. This is also why I feel called to present it to others. Nature is our greatest textbook, and an immersion in the pages will allow you to understand the need for patience and the beauty that arises from that stillness and the surrendering of control.
Sherri Smith from A State of Bliss has trained extensively and globally with ancient modalities and traditions to combine the wisdom these teachings into her own unique therapies. We are deeply connected to the natural world and many of the ills of society today are a result of our separation from this. Sherri's commitment to her own journey keep her immersed in teachings, experiences and advancement, in turn providing rich and rare content to her offerings. There is a yearning within each of us to live a greater life. Discover your power, your gifts and your truths.