The Inner Landscape

As we follow the thread of our soul-life through its own unique evolutionary pattern, we begin to find that different periods of growth often bring inner exploration and excavation within new physical landscapes.  For example, we may spend several weeks, months, or even years working within a forest motif internally only to find ourselves thrust or dropped into a desert environment, sometimes virtually overnight and without warning.

Depending on what soul or life event heralds this change and the speed or abruptness with which it occurs, we may find ourselves sensing the shift with time to prepare for the change or may end up moving through a period of significant shock as we adjust to unfamiliar territory that the ego-self did not in any way want or request.

Your “Home Base”

If this is a new concept for you, a good place to start may be to think of what the physical landscape of your own “home base” would be.  You may want to think of your “home base” as that place (either in physical reality somewhere on the planet or in the more internal reality of the world behind your eyes) you go or have been where you feel the most grounded or serene.  If there isn’t a place like that in the lived memory of your physical existence, you can always try inviting such a place to reveal itself to you within your mind.

Once you have a sense of your “home base,” it is often a helpful exercise to move through each of your senses to really allow the sense of the place to anchor into your awareness as a resource – a place you can return to whenever you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.  What does this place smell, taste, sound, look, or kinesthetically feel like within your body? Breathe each question in deeply and take as much time as you need to experience this place through each of your senses.

It may also be helpful to be curious about any animal or Nature guides, helpers, or allies that are available to you within the context of your “home base.”  If you already have established animal totems with which you work, you may find some of them here or you may not.  Notice if you are trying to force or will particular animals or life forms to be present out of an ego desire and, if so, just breathe gently into that desire and come back to a frame of invitation: who is available to you here and is willing and able to show themselves at this time?

Branching Out

Once you have established a “home base” and feel pretty comfortable with it, then you may want to extend your curiosity to the events that are currently presenting themselves in your life.   As you do so, invite the world behind your eyes to reveal the soul landscape you are currently traversing that correlates with these physical and emotional experiences.  Once revealed, it can again be helpful to take in the environment through each of the senses as you give yourself time to transition into these potentially new surroundings.

Some additional questions to help guide your exploration here might include:

What elements predominate within this landscape (water, earth, air, fire, metal)?

How does the core of your body/being respond to it (i.e. expand/contract, on-alert/relaxed)?

What animal or Nature forms are present?  What gifts or limitations do they appear to offer?

What might survival/thriving look like here?  What particular skills/tools might be required for each (surviving & thriving)?  Which of these skills/tools do you already possess?  Which skills/tools might you need to learn or hone as you move through this landscape?

Are you aware of any kind of task or mission associated with your presence here?  If so, what is it?

If you are someone who likes to write, draw, paint, dance, etc., you may want to play with this landscape and your exploration through narrative, visual, or movement expression as a way of deepening the experience of your soul journey through this territory and/or as a way to bridge this energy into the physical realm.

A Final Note About Witnessing

As the soul’s journey is so predominantly experienced as an internal phenomenon, we may find ourselves longing to share our discoveries and creations with others.  This is a natural and oftentimes highly beneficial desire.  It is important to remember that the journey of the soul is a deeply personal one that demands great care and respect as we witness our own process and offer or seek witnessing to and from others.   Sharing our journey and any creations that evolve out of it can be wonderfully validating experiences when such sharing is met with support, validation, and non-judgment.  Conversely, sharing can also feel hurtful and even devastating when we are met with attitudes and responses that discount, minimize, or judge our experiences.  With this in mind, it is important to identify and choose witnesses in our lives who can meet us in a generative way that furthers the exploration of our soul’s journey and encourages the freedom to follow that thread through whatever landscapes it may lead.

Written by

Heather Davies, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, supervisor, and workshop facilitator in Austin, TX, who weaves together the principles of embodiment, creativity, and soul-based tools and wisdom in the service of individual and global evolution and wellness.

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