Choosing to Have No Choice

“All our lives depend on how we choose to live.” 

So begins a blog post from many years ago. It’s no wonder that Choice PointFalling in Love with Belonging to Earth is the title of Kathryn Lafond’s and my new course. Actually I haven’t had to make a choice about how I live for most of my adulthood. Early on, I made a decision to live by my heart’s yearning and my soul’s integrity. Not always an easy path but one of rich being-ness.  I love and trust and that’s about it. No choice. I have to say it makes life a lot easier. ( Note the paradox…easy/not always easy – both are true ) Certainly, I stumble but I also remember quickly that the heart guides me. Picking myself up and dusting off aren’t a big deal.

 

In 1994 when I was working with Felicitas Goodman, Ph.D.,( www.cuyamungueinstitute.com ) the anthropologist who discovered Ritual Body Postures and Ecstatic Trance, ( I call them Ecstatic Wisdom Postures ), I experienced a vision that relates to choosing and still inspires me:

I see black and white Kachinas dancing in the center of a circle. Suddenly a tiny orange and red Kachina leaps into the middle   I wonder where the women are.  I find them off to the side, standing in a circle dressed in black shrouds as they help a woman give birth.

Suddenly I see through the eyes of one of the black and white Kachinas. I feel one very large tear sliding down my left cheek. I know it is blue. As I swing my head from side to side, I see the desecrated earth and the green beautiful earth and I hear the kachina chant, “You choose, you choose, you choose.”

Then the animals come spilling through, their eyes peering out of the rainforest, watching us, wondering if we will choose with their well-being in mind as well as  our own.  A huge heart rises in the midst of the circle of dancers.  I see its wounds and also know that it is healing itself.  A river of green slashes through the heart, carrying compassion and love energy and spilling green all over the earth.  I see that the green river has opened the heart so I can see the texture of its interior.  I am shocked to see it is the same texture as that of the molten “hole-y” rocks I saw yesterday in the Jemez Mountains.  I wonder if our heart’s interior simply mirrors the earth outside our bodies, if all our bodies’ parts and functions reflect the earth outside us.

Can that be right?
Is the earth really outside us?
Maybe, instead, the earth is ourselves turned inside out.

Inside Out

 

That refrain: “You choose, you choose, you choose,” has echoed in me ever since. I’m glad to have lived long enough now to know that admonishment is heard by many all around the globe. It is in our human hands to influence the course of life’s history on the planet. And if we choose to believe that “the earth is ourselves turned inside out,” we will recognize more readily how our well-being, personally and collectively, is inextricably intertwined with the earth’s well-being.

I long for all the children of the world – and I don’t mean just human children – to experience a sensuous, complex and interconnecting world in which life thrives and beauty abounds to fill the soul.

Don’t you?

stories ODE to Gaia (598x800)

 

We all can contribute to these great and auspicious turning times: the grand awakening of humans to the fact that we are all indigenous to this planet. We are embedded in a living world, an eairth from which we are inextricable. Maybe we can help each remember a greater gladness than acquisition of limited resources – the birth of camaraderie and communal playfulness, cooperative, creative challenges and ecstatic experiences, soul-filled communion and the spirit of laughter shared, loving and relating, . .“the rapture of being alive” as Joseph Campbell said. We have an opportunity to tell new stories. Stories that are fun-damental, perma-cultural guides to living on this globe, finding the grace in suffering, the humor in pathos, the joy in grief and comfort with the paradoxical, uncontrollable nature of all of it.

Don’t you want to choose to join Kathryn and me in this year long adventure to meet your own no choice but to Fall in Love with Belonging to Earth?

About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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