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Archive for April, 2016

If you know me at all, you also know that I love animals. All of them. Wild, domesticated, four legged, feathered, slimy. You name it, I love them. One of the many reasons for my adoration is that they have not intellectualized themselves away from their natural existence. Even my dog who would have no idea where to sleep if not on her own love seat, still maintains the very things that make her canine—sniffing the ground to see what happened during the night, chasing potential prey and guarding her territory. Meanwhile, our first human ancestors lived in tribes and ‘uncivilized’ communities. Yet, today in mainstream America we have little understanding or sense of such a natural lifestyle.

There have only been short periods of time in my life that I haven’t had a dog companion. For the last 10 years, I have also shared my life with a horse named Tom. The contentment and comfort of Tom and my current dog, Z, is one of the forethoughts of my day. So, it is hard for me to understand the following numbers I found online about unwanted pets (read whole article here); The number of stray cats and dogs living in the U.S.: 70 million. The number of animal shelters in the U.S.: 4,000 – 6,000. The number of cats and dogs entering U.S. shelters each year: 6 – 8 million. The number of cats and dogs euthanized by U.S. shelters each year: 3 – 4 million (nearly 10,000 animals killed every day). According to the American Veterinary Association and the Unwanted Horse Coalition, there are at least 170,000 “unwanted” horses in the United States.

In contrast, the earth has lost half of its wildlife over the last 40 years as stated in this The Guardian article. That’s a stunning statistic. One that I barely can comprehend and to do so makes me angry, sad and confused.

While I am confused by the disregard of animals, the discrepancy between the overpopulation of domesticated animals and the decline of wild populations is interesting to me. From an archetypal perspective, I see the same pattern taking place within the human species; our domestication is in surplus while our wild—the ancient part that knows its self to be simply one facet of the natural world—is on the decline. It is my assertion that this fact is the cause of many modern problems, addictions, depression and a variety of illnesses included. It is time to reclaim our nature and integrate it with civilization. This will be the new modern.

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Confusion is not the enemy.Apathy is.

For 14 years I’ve been happily publishing the Upstate New York’s independent wellness publication. While I adore facilitating the Journal’s coming together, and plan on continuing to do so, I also feel the push to create something more individualized to my personal medicine. Even though I’ve already been teaching workshops of my own creation and writing for 12 years, stating that desire out loud brings me the angst of questions like “Who am I to want more than what’s already so good? What might I say that hasn’t already been said better by others? Everyone has access to the same ideas, why would they care what I have to say?” Life is filled with contradictions. It is true that what I have to say has already been said better by others, it is also true that what I have to share is unique and valuable. With the blessing of free will, it is my choice which truism to follow. Carlos Castaneda said; “All paths are the same: they lead nowhere…. Does this path have a heart?” In that vain, the only question worth asking is “does it have heart?” Then follow only that which does.

With all that said, what I am feeling “called” to do is still in question. My passions are many…. horses, dogs, all wild animals, the woods, photography, music, writing, healing and anything genuinely related to soul and spirit. I do not doubt all this fits together, perhaps particular to me, but how? Rather than follow one to the exclusion of others, I often allow my inability to see the whole scenario to prevent me from moving solidly forward. Additionally, I already enjoy what I’m doing, why force myself to act before having clarity? The following came to me as I pondered that question…. “Seeking clarity first can be a diversion from what’s important.” The thing I’m diverting from may be my greatest contribution to life. The responsibility of getting that “right” feels overwhelming, hence the deviation. Alternatively, and perhaps more painfully, it could mean nothing to anyone. Who’s to know until it’s created? The path with heart will not necessarily bring us success or adoration, yet to our soul it is of the greatest importance we follow it. Regardless, we are always given the choice to do it or not.

I mention all this because there may be many who relate. While I feel confused, others see me as someone who knows what she’s up to. Again, both are true. Often, finding yourself baffled is a sure sign you are on the right track to your place in the world. Soul-filled questions are what bring out the genuine from the unexamined. Confusion is not an enemy, apathy is. Choose what you want to believe and go forth in confusion, so long as it has heart.

 

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