When one faces challenges in their lives, it has been said that there are two ways of looking, two ways of facing that challenge. One is to see it as a crisis. The other is to see it as an opportunity.
As hard as that may seem to most people it is something I strive to live my own often challenging and challenged life by. A standard, a signpost, a symbol, and a means of learning from, and being able to journey..through all of the many hardships along my path. Finding a way of seeing the opportunity is not always easy.
For me it involves a way of seeing with new eyes, of seeing and then striving to understand the myriad of ways that we are all connected. I find the ways, and I reconnect, and in this place miracles happen.
I do this through signs, through symbols, through the incredible synchronicities that have always been signposts in my life. Guides to show me that I am on the right path. My journey to work through and take in the discovery of a new way of seeing, of being, and of traveling along the way.
Sometimes is through going out into nature and simply filling up my soul with its great beauty. Sometimes, it is through music, or poetry, or fine books, or through the creation of art and wildcrafting. Every single thing in my life is a message to me, symbols and signs that join together into prophetic dreams and healing visions.
I open my heart to understanding and they simply come into me as blessings and gifts. In this space, everything is holy and sacred. I am not afraid of other ways of seeing, other ways of doing, other cultures, or peoples or belief systems.
There is only one way, one divinity, all of that which appears to be just symbols of the search along that pathway through the universal being of all that is, or ever will be. It does not matter to what time, what place, or what belief system you identify. Just feel the power and the majesty and use it for good for all. That is the divine essence by any holy name.
This inukshuk/inunnguaq was just such a blessing. Acting as a symbol of intervention 'in the form of a human' it is a way of sending or sharing good and good will. Such an incredible gift on a day of all days when we were opened to the gifts and the giving. A day when the veil between the known and the unknown was especially thin in late October, and we were ready to jump into the divide and be filled up within its flow.
This inukshuk, or its more complex version shown here, a inunnguaq, is an ancient yet more common then not, symbol. Piles of rocks have been around since the beginning of the time. Just as the love of rocks, of stones and creating piles or shapes, or designs with them is. Everywhere and with everyone from young to old we have piled up or collected rocks and stones, twigs, and driftwood, flowers, and bits of nature. It is a universal spirit of creating and sharing meaning and beauty.
This particular inukshuk was built in front of our beautiful Mendenhall glacier in Juneau, Alaska, by one of my brothers. It was his way of doing something to help and guide us from Alaska... when he could not physically be with us in support in Oregon.
In this way, he let all of us know that his heart, his spirit, and that of all of our ancestors connect with our family and the spirit of our newborn grandson as he faced his own path in this lifetime.
Without saying a single word but connecting in a way that far transcends the written word, he let us know that he shared our wishes, our hopes, our dreams, and added his energy to ours as we all created light to surround us on a challenging day.
The little rock man with his cross like arms extending outward, reaches out through time and space and guides, protects, and shows the way by connecting with all that is or has gone before.
And this is many ways is the deepest meaning of these simple rock formations, of cairns, of standing stones of all kinds. They are place markers. They are way seers. They are pathgivers. And then mark a spot when no other markers can appear to be seen.They are symbols of hope, of promise and of direction.
Inuksuks were used by the arctic peoples of northern Canada and Alaska to both communicate and act as 'a symbol of a human.'
Among their many practical functions, they are used as hunting and navigational aids, coordination points and message centers showing the way to good hunting grounds or caches of food stored for future use.
In addition to their earthly functions, certain inuksuk-like figures have spiritual connotations, and are objects of veneration, often marking the spiritual landscape of the Inummariit — the Inuits of Canada, the Yu'piks of arctic Alaska, people who truly know how to survive on the land, often still living in their traditional ways.
As I go about my days, filled up to the brim with the love of my family, my children and my grandchildren, I continue bring in the old things that i love. Things with connection znd meaning. Each treasure is a symbol, the old meanings of connection and reconnection that i feel drawn to deep in my soul. I feel my ancestors from days gone by. My gold mining grandfather, my grandmother with all of her healing gifts, my aunts and my uncles, and my own beloved father and mother.
I feel the energies and love, the power of challenging lives well lived to their very best of their abilities and I draw strength from knowing that none of us, in any way, is ever alone.One beartbeat, one thought, and I can connect my energy to theirs.
And like all of you, I have my own personal symbols, my own little ways to connect with my ancestor's rites of protection, of direction, of hope and promise, as I light the way in my own ways. Whether it is out in nature in my beloved home state of Alaska, or my married state of Oregon. I find a sense of purpose and direction each, and every day.
And each and every time, we face a new challenge, a different crisis/opportunity, and we get through it, my heart is full, my inner fire is lit, and I feel the universal and overwhelming powers of connection through the heart to pure gratitude.
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares her creative and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Wildcrafting and the textiles arts... sewing, quilting, and creating prayer flags. Join me as I add my healing energies to changing our world..one little project, one gift of sharing from my heart, at a time.