1:20p I think I have until the end of the month to rest, restore, draw closure, and prepare for the next season of my life. I will need to come up with practical plans for making my vision a reality.
But that moment is not now. I have respite from the woods, a couple of days in Spokane, maybe a couple of days in Woodinville, then I will go back out and seek more clarity and guidance and direction.
I know I am a changed person. I am not living only from my head now. I am also living from my heart and from my gut. It all feels very surreal.
I feel as though I have actually unlocked a portal to a new realm, with a different language and quality of vision. It was right here all along. It exists right here, alongside this world. But there is so much meaning here, so much that I missed before. Is this really real? How do I know?
I had been studying Napoleon Hill, beginning with Outwitting the Devil, and ultimately finding Think and Grow Rich. Around the same time I discovered Wallace D. Wattles and The Secret. I believed that learning and living these principles would finally help me unlock my true purpose, ignite my deepest passion, and my realize highest potential.
I did everything those books told me to do. When Napoleon Hill told me to write something down and repeat it over and over, I did just that.
Self-Confidence Formula from Think and Grow Rich, Chapter Three:
First: “I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite chief aim in life, therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.”
Second: “I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality. Therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.”
Here I would read the following list of character traits I deeply desired to embody:
I kept this same list written on an index card and carried it with me everywhere. I would read this list many times each day and actively imagine myself as being this woman, repeating each character trait as an *I AM* statement, like “I AM Femininity”, “I AM Beauty”, and so on.
Third: “I know through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.”
Fourth: I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
Here was my bump in the road, the hiccup in my giddy-up. I did not know what my definite chief aim in life should be! That was the problem! I had dreams: I wanted to travel, I wanted to write, and I wanted to help people. I had goals: I wanted to be physically fit and financially independent. But a definite chief aim in life? I just couldn’t grasp what that should be.
Instead of reciting a clearly written statement here, I would conjure up my dreams and goals, bow my head and close my eyes and beseech Infinite Intelligence with every fiber of my being – Please help me! Please tell me what my purpose is! Please help me figure out what I have come here to do!
I did this every day for months.
I had a glimpse of a vision during my first solo camp at Douglas Falls. I saw myself camping with other women, offering what I had been offered there.
My heart leapt, and my mind immediately objected. Still, I attempted to recorded this vision in my journal, just in case my purpose was actually being revealed to me. I used active imagination to enter and extend the vision into something I could aim for.
August 20, 2016 ~ My definite chief aim in life
I am a researcher and writer, fully in touch with my creative spirit. I will write books! The first will be my story, the premise being, “The art of reinventing yourself”. I will lead retreats for women who are stuck in a false identity and long to become more authentically themselves.
Beginning where I am, I will start with tents and suitable campgrounds for rest, healing, and quiet contemplation. Eventually, I envision my own land with waterfalls and plenty of hiking. On this land I will build my own tiny house. I will have other tiny houses built as well, so that my retreats are safe and comfortable year round. We will have mornings of solitude, communal meals, and evening reflection around the campfire.
The purpose for these retreats, and for my life, is to show people, by experience, that they can re-birth themselves at any time, offering inspiration and encouragement. I will collect and share stories of success that will further inspire them. I am invited on speaking engagements to do the same.
I will live close to nature and lead a simple but luxurious life, in tune with my Creator and Love. The art of reinventing yourself… this is my gift to the world. I have been in training for this my whole life. Awaken, souls! Find and live out of your truth, your authentic Self. I love you, and I believe in you! ❤
Fifth: I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice. Therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.
I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions, so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.
A.M. There was a full moon last night. It was beautiful! Lit up the sky so well that I did not need a flashlight to walk around, even at 2:30a when I needed to use the restroom. I heard the howling again last night, and also some kind of distant grunting noise.
Two deer wandered by just outside of camp again last evening as Justice and I were enjoying the fire. They looked right at me. Justice wanted to chase them so badly! I just said, “Thank You” and again asked God what I should do with my life.
I fell asleep last night holding my magic rock, trying to decide what was the very best thing that happened. It was all the very best, and I could not choose, and I fell asleep thinking of all of the day’s wonder. It was only about 9:30 – I know this because it was just beyond moonrise. I woke to that gorgeous moon shining down on me through my tent. It was so big and bright, and I really wanted a picture! So I turned my phone on and tried to get it. It was 2:30a.
I lied awake for at least another 2-3 hours. I listened to the thoughts in my head, still so full of anger and hurt. I tried to breathe peace into my mind. How do I purge this anger? How do I bring something constructive from this? I am feeling more settled, but then I catch myself clenching my jaw, a sure sign that I am just suppressing my pain and angst. I practice gratitude, and that helps for a spell. Then the waves come again and catch me unsuspecting.
Today is my last day and night here at Douglas Falls. I want to work with my archetype wheel and see what kind of clarity I can get. I feel I have narrowed down the kinds of power at work in my life – somewhat. I actually seem to identify with quite a lot. But now what can I do with this information? How can it help me? I am ready to move into my next season; I just don’t know what to do with it, nor who I am to be.
The word I keep hearing here is ALLOW. Does it only apply to here and now, in this place? Or does it extend beyond, fully into the next season of my life? I guess only time will tell. I’m still trying not to “mess up”.
A.M.2 I have finished reading Archetypes by Caroline Myss, a sister to the other book I am reading, Sacred Contracts by the same author. My present understanding is that I am:
1 – My ego, personality and self-esteem is where I have the tendency to “sell out” as the Prostitute.
2 – What I most value and hold dear has a sense of refinement and power: money, ownership, status, art, sensuality, beauty, the capacity to control others. My sense of groundedness is of the Goddess.
3 – I am Visionary in how I direct my energy into the world, how I wield my power, how I engage with the laws of magnetic attraction – cause and effect – and how I communicate, find my voice, and weigh my decisions.
4 – The Saboteur has the strongest influence on the foundation of my emotional nature, the leading influence in my home and the emotional energy with all I associate with “home”. I sabotage efforts to complete the unfinished business from my childhood and to establish a healthy home as an adult. (I have no home.)
5 – I am a Rebel when it comes to creative expression, sexuality and love. I rely on the Rebel for abundance and opportunity and how to make things happen. I thrive creatively when I buck the norm and do things differently.
6 – I am deeply passionate and devoted to my work and health. I am a Lover of work and health, and this is how I seek out paths to security.
7 – I intellectualize intimate relationships and communication. I am trying to determine cause and effect in order to get the relationship right, to make it work. I approach my business partnerships and social relationships in much the same way. My emotions are pure, but I treat them as an Intellectual, then I respond in kind, and it comes across as heartless.
8 – ? must ponder… The Seeker/Guide/Healer is my guide into my fears, challenges and strengths in dealing with money, inheritance and sexuality. It has to do with secrets, secret activities, my sense of values and my ancestral biological memory.
9 – I approach spirituality as my Wounded Child, but I can become the Nature Child. I am fearful that spirit, travel and wisdom will hurt me. I long for these things but feel an irrational sense of danger at the same time. The spiritual awakening referred to as the “dark night of the soul” resonates powerfully with me. Deep down, I believe you must learn through pain.
10 – I feel victimized in my efforts to achieve my highest potential. This is where my belief that other people will let me down comes from; my belief that I am stopped (assaulted) in my attempts to be all that I can be. If others would just do their part…
11 – I am a natural Networker in how my power operates in this world. I am a coalition builder.
[Side note: Upon completing my work with the archetype wheel, I knew my time at camp was also complete. That knowing came in an instant. I had done what I came to do. I did not stay another night. I immediately broke camp and returned to my apartment in Spokane.]
P.M. I have returned to the land of the living – or is it the land of the dead? I feel like where I came from is the land of the living.
I had my first conversation with Edward in five days. He sounds like a changed man, but that remains to be seen, not heard. He validated me, acknowledged all that I did for the company and apologized for leaving the weight of the world on my shoulders. It felt good to hear, and to be heard. Will this be long lived? I have no idea. But right now it feels good, and I am looking forward to seeing him when he comes home from work tonight.
Mom was already gone when I got home. I am glad to have a few hours to myself before diving back into these relationships. I have missed them both, but I appreciate that neither of them will see me in my present condition. I want to unload the car, do my laundry and take a shower, then settle myself in. If I have time after all of that, I will do some reading and maybe a little research, so I can bring my vision here, home, so that it does not only exist “out there”.
But I had to rest for a moment, give thanks, and settle Justice back in before I see to my duties. She was the perfect companion for my Vision Quest, and I am deeply grateful for the gift of her presence and love – and her watchfulness. I want to also give thanks for this home and for the people who love me. I want to honor and express gratitude for every moment (and person) that led me to this one. ❤
7:31p I feel weird, sitting in this third level apartment… I don’t feel grounded. I need the earth.
9:45p I was stuck in the mode of “consumption” of information, hoping it would make me wise or help me see truth. Now I know that wisdom is in the pondering, not in the consumption. Though one must eat.
A.M. Just spent my third glorious night at camp. I am so calm and at peace here. I think I will stay at camp all day today, and not go to town. I felt a little robbed yesterday, when my excursion was extended against my will with a very long line at the Goodwill. I needed a fork and a can opener, and I was using it for the dinner I just bought, so I felt obligated to remain in line and was anxious.
I will have tuna or sardines tonight with roasted shallot and fruit. I could, in fact, spend my last two days here without going to town, if I wanted.
It was more breezy yesterday, but the tall trees provided a wonderful shield, keeping my belongings safe and me very comfortable. I am so grateful.
Speaking of grateful…
1- I am grateful to be reminded that I am surrounded by the presence and energy of love, filled with it, and guided by it, for perfect love casts out all fear.
2- I am grateful for the new neighbor who moved in on the west side of me yesterday. I am comforted by his presence and enjoyed his guitar strumming.
3- I am grateful for the patience and space gifted me by those close to me, that love me, as I know that all avenues remain open to me when I return.
4- I am grateful for the sheer beauty of this place which has been so utterly soothing to my soul.
5- I am grateful for the gentle reminder to treat all life with respect, as the certain buggy creatures don’t seem like just pests, and certain other creatures need not fill me with fear.
6- I am grateful that I have experienced no caffeine nor alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and my mornings and evenings have been most pleasant.
7- I am grateful for the continued deer sightings and the opportunity provided by the internet to learn more about the messages she may be wanting to bring me.
8- I am grateful that I can look back over my life and see that I have been protected over and over again, as it helps me to trust in my future.
9- I am deeply grateful for the experience of the truly miraculous many times in my life. It makes me want to connect with the source of miracle.
10- I am grateful for the library and the many varied books available to me as it feeds my intellect, opens my mind, entertains me and challenges me to think.
I have so much to be grateful for. It’s hard to understand how I can so often fall prey to negative energy and thoughts. I want to embrace innocence and gentleness, like the lovely doe. “Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are pure, if there is anything praiseworthy, think on these things.” I wish to learn truth and wisdom. and to share it.
A.M.2 A few fun notes:
* I tried to bring as little as possible. After all, I am not “glamping”. Mom kept piling things on me, insisting I would need them. She was right on many things, and I appreciate her showing her concern in such a loving, practical way. I did pick up a handful of items at the grocery and thrift store over the last three days – candles, a torch, a flashlight that cost me sixty-seven cents at Goodwill, a fork and a can opener when I decided on beans for dinner last night. Otherwise, I am making do with what I have, and in some cases less.
* I have worn the same two sets of clothes since I arrived on Monday, one for the heat of the day and one for the cool of the evening. (Although I did temporarily change into jeans and a t-shirt to go to town, as my white tank top was filthy.) Today I changed my bra and day wear, and I have selected what I will change into tonight with the weather. I have not worn underwear since I got here.
* I wash my socks, my feet and my armpits in the creek. I take the hidden path to a secluded spot away from the swimmers and pic-nickers. I sit and watch the bugs on the surface of the water and listen to the creek babbling its way by until my feet dry, so I can walk back to camp in my sandals.
* I bought cold brew tea and stir my honey into it using a good, sturdy stick just the right size.
* I have hardly heard my own voice since arriving.
* I can almost tell what time it is by where the sun is in the sky.
* I collect good pieces of firewood as I walk, and there is always plenty of it to be found.
* I discovered a farmer’s market where I bought fresh blueberries and plums. I will visit again before I leave on Saturday. I charged my phone at the public library while researching the spirit meaning of the deer and making plans to attend the DUI victims panel that is required of me.
* I use the actual restroom during the day, but at night I prefer to just drop drawers and go. I do choose a spot just outside camp.
* I miss hot liquid when it is chilly. I tried to heat my tea in the bean can I emptied last night.
* In addition to several deer I have seen, I heard howling from the mountains to the west of me on Tuesday night. It was eerie but powerful.
* I fill up my water jug each day at the picnic area, and I am grateful for this provision. Between Justice and I, we are drinking about a gallon each day.
* I like the way my feet and hair look dirty.
* When it gets too hot at camp, I leash Justice and we go for a walk in the woods. It is cool in the shade, the path is clear and not strenuous at all. Still, I find my legs sore today, ever so slightly.
* I am perfectly at peace with the choice I made, and I need to find better ways of expressing myself in the future before I hit my breaking point and snap.
9-ish Who am I, really? And what do I really want out of life? And is Edward to be a part of that life? These are the questions I came here to ask. Last night, sitting before the fire, was the first time they coherently formed in my mind. Now that I know the questions, I can seek answers – or at least guidance. These are age-old questions that are not so easily answered in a week long camping trip.
I have longer than that. I can move around as the max stay allows until I find what I am looking for. The life I choose will be created for my highest good, not to please or satisfy anyone else. I do have responsibilities, and these can be accomplished on my days when I return home to bathe, wash my things, and see Mom.
I had a noble idea last night. How many others out there have desperately needed to do what I have done? What if I created a Spirit Camp? Give people the opportunity to get away, get quiet, search for what they are seeking? My next thought is like a tiny house bed and breakfast, offering a little comfort but still the quiet, rustic setting of the wilderness. We would observe quiet times, communal meals, plenty of space for solitude and personal reflection. Guided by me.
It could allow me to make a living and still give me time to myself, to do my own seeking, and maybe to write my books. I think the idea has merit, and the voices in my head are going crazy over it – how silly!, what a notion!, who are you to act as a guide?!, how will you fund it?!, etc.
I just want to do something original, to have a legacy of my own making, from my own ideas. And I want to do something worthwhile, something that makes a difference.
I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole yet. I will just allow the thought to meander through my mind and see what happens.
At first I was disappointed that I have a near neighbor, but I find it brings me a sense of comfort, knowing someone is near but not at all intrusive. I know I have longed for a mountain-top experience, but I have also come to understand that life must be lived in relationships.
I have been pseudo-keeping up with my gratitude exercises. I still forget to say Thank You for what I have to eat and drink, a gesture I never thought I would neglect after my work with the homeless. I think I packed my magic rock, but I found a good one readily last night here at the campsite. It seems fitting to use it instead, and perhaps to take it with me, or leave it behind to bless the next person.
10:05a I woke to the sound of walking, of foot-falling near my tent. At first I assumed my neighbor was heading to the nearby restroom. My next thought was that it would be wise to make sure that’s all it was. It wasn’t.
There were two deer walking behind my tent! I saw one, and then the second. They made their way slowly through the campsite, and I am certain they were aware of my presence. The front runner took a little leap over the brush to make her departure. It was serene.
This is a third close encounter with deer in the last week. The first we saw on our hike at Bowl & Pitcher. She let me get a close photo, looking right into my face, and it felt like we connected.
I read a bit about deer. I recall her main message to be gentleness and innocence. I think I made her my new profile picture.
The second we saw in the neighborhood my last night in Spokane. So strange to see a deer just walking across the street and into someone’s yard. Edward caught sight of both of these, and now I took special note of the second. I was careful to be gentle with Edward on our last night, after all the anger that had poured forth the previous couple of days.
Now a third sighting, my own, and so very close. I wonder what deer has to tell me? I am open to her message.
My daily gratitude:
1- I am grateful for my healthy body that allows me to go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
2- I am grateful for the fearless spirit within me that enables me to take these leaps of faith.
3- I am grateful for the tent I have, where I am safe and comfortable as I journey.
4- I am grateful for the money I have saved, as it gives me time to clear my head and figure out what I want to do next.
5- I am grateful for the quiet peace of this place, nourishing, healing and strengthening me.
6- I am grateful to have plenty of of water and firewood to last me while I am here. I want for little. Actually, in this very moment, I want for nothing.
7- I am grateful for the blue sky and the warm sun and the shade from the tall, slender trees.
8- I am grateful for the website that led me to this place, where I have all I need to do what I need to do – clear my head.
9- I am grateful for my ball cap, which feels like a trusted companion. It shelters me.
10- I am grateful for every emotion, even the difficult ones, like anger. I don’t know why, but I felt led to say that. Maybe I will discover why.
12:30-ish Nearly 24 hours after my departure, and I have finally stopped shaking with rage. I am getting a short shopping list together, trying to decide when I want to make the trip into the nearby little town. I would also like to see if I can find a trail map for this park. I went out earlier and followed what was marked as a loop, but it branched in two directions, and I was curious about the outbound. How far did it go? Did it eventually loop back around? I decided not to pursue it, as the growth was thickening and I was just in shorts. I am already fairly scratched up.
The word I am hearing is ALLOW. There is nothing for me to accomplish. I can just ALLOW life to happen here, and just observe.
4:30-ish I really feel the passing of time here. There is no endless chatter, none of the usual entertainments, no duties diluting my time. I am reduced to eating, walking, using the bathroom, and sleeping. Will it be wonderful like this always, or will I grow bored?
I need to take care of a couple of things in town tomorrow, so I can stay relaxed for my time here. I need to find and schedule the victim’s panel I am required to take, and I need to order/schedule my recalibration. I need to have Gary send the eval to the probation officer, and I need to confirm my next payment with her. I need to figure out what to do with Justice while I take care of business. And I need to verify the weather forecast, as I did not tie on my rainfly.
Cycles are already obvious to me here. The sun sets behind the mountain in the evening. It gets cool with the setting sun. The bees and flies no longer bother, but the mosquitoes make their appearance. I will start a fire and have dinner. Night is dark, even with fire, so there is little that can be done, save for watch the flames and listen to the grounds.
I did some reading last night until I could no longer make out the text on the pages. Then I just enjoyed staring at the fire. I had beer last night. I have none tonight. I would be furious with myself if I spent this precious time drinking. After all, that is half the point.
I thought I would be doing more thinking, but I find my brain is mostly numb. It’s still hard to believe I am actually out here, that I actually did it, that I just snapped and left like that and left all the responsibility where it belongs – shared with those who committed to help but fell far short and left me bearing the bulk of the burden.
When will I smile? This is all so painful, but here I am. I should smile. I am co-creating life, and I can have whatever I want. There is nothing remaining to hold me back. I should be smiling.
Well, life turns on a dime. I have left Spokane and Edward and Mom and the winery, and I am on a new journey.
Mom and I had traveled to Woodinville for the cheese classes. I was excited that we had grown to two classes, and life was good. Not without its challenges, but good. I was dedicated to the dream of PCC and Edward.
The first night I was gone, Edward got wasted. He didn’t call me. It was late when I finally got ahold of him, and he was trashed. Incoherent. I thought, at least he is safe, and I just dealt with it.
On the second night, cheese class ended after 9p, but Spokane is open until 9p anyway. At 9:30 I texted Edward that we were done and please call me when he could. He texted back that they were wrapping up also, and he would call soon.
He didn’t get home until nearly 1a. I blew a gasket.
[Side note: I waited a couple of hours after his text, and Edward did not call me. I started calling him repeatedly. He finally answered. He was drunk again, and we fought. And we hung up on each other. And I called back repeatedly. And we fought some more. Then he texted a photo of the speedometer of my mom’s car, buried over 100 mph.
I’ve never recorded this piece of the story before. I kept it out of my first book. I even kept it out of my private journal. I didn’t want anyone to know.
I share this now because it is an important part of our story, not because I want to hurt him or dishonor him in any way. I became convinced that life could not go on as we were living it. The stakes were too high. Someone was going to pay the ultimate price for our choices, unless someone did something radical to stop us.]
Something in me broke loose, and wave after wave of anger and despondency rocked me. I let it all come, and I let it all go. I felt like a part of me died, like when I ended up in the mental ward in Texas. I just snapped, and I decided I was done.
Now I am two hours north of Spokane in the Colville National Forest, a free camp site, alone (with Justice). I have broken every tie, and I have come to clear my head. I can choose to return, or I can choose to forge ahead, and I don’t know which way I will go.