by Deva Powell
The stones spoke, a low frequency grumble not unlike the moan of a hungry belly. The ceiling perspired, oozing liquid mineral enzymes like an enormous rock giant’s digestive tract. My hiking boot slipped upon the slimy floor and balance abandoned me. Crashing down into a pool of rainwater, I wondered if the cave was infested with rattlesnakes, coiled nearby and ready to strike! As my headlamp began to flicker and weakly pulse, my mind reeled. Then, it was upon me: an overwhelming sense of doubt, dread and fear for my life and immediate future. I made myself stop, took several long, deep breaths, became still, rooted into the earth and asked for guidance. Moments later, calmed and deeply trusting, I continued on and soon found an opening from the cave’s innards. A stream of golden sunlight bathed my relieved face as I stepped into a world dominated by the expansive, cerulean sky.
Exploring a cave can be analogous to contemplating the future, both may trigger a fearful, instinctive response in people. History is replete with examples of humankind struggling to make sense of the unknown and falling prey to the illusory fears of what could be. Like exploring an extensive cave network, the future can branch into a multitude of directions: vaulted/ecstatic highs, cramped/depressing lows and surprising twists and turns never imaginable. The truth is that the future is unwritten; it’s a blank canvas from which all creative possibilities are birthed from the present moment. If we can learn to transform our fears and insecurities into an empowered sense of adventure and creative play, life becomes an endlessly rich and mysterious learning experience.
An ancient tool to dispel fear is the ability to ground. Grounding is foundational to being present; it curbs the mind from endlessly and wildly speculating about the future. Grounding is pivotal to manifest goals/intentions, to observe the signs and sychnonicites from Spirit and to keep balanced when triggered by stressful change. How do you ground? Grounding can come with a variety of activities such as: visualization, getting plenty of rest, being in nature, working with the element of earth, minimizing stimulants, massaging the feet daily, eating rooted veggies, deep breathing and the art of meditation. Paradoxically when you are appropriately grounded, like a tree with deep roots, there’s also a corresponding increase of creative expansion, maturity and growth.
Here’s a visualization you can employ anytime to deepen your connection to earth and dispel fear:
Imagine you are in the countryside standing before a circle of stones. The grass below your bare feet is emerald green, lush and lightly dewed. The sky is pristine and the temperature is set to perfection. You feel a beckoning in your heart and enter the space. Immediately, a sense of reverence and deep peace descends as you sit at the center. The presence of Pachamama, Mother Earth, is palpable. She encourages you to close your eyes and deepen your breath. An impressive root grows from your tail, traversing downwards and plugs you into the Earth’s sacred womb. The stones surrounding you pulse with protection. With courage, invoke your fears to surface and give them over to Pachamama. Feel them draining off of you, leaving you light, present and refreshed. Once complete, allow the earth to fill you with the medicine of the moment, whatever you need at this time in your life for empowered living. Thank Pachamama and the spirit of the stones and be well.