The letter starts with me quoting something that Vivian said in her email to me.
What I remember of you is that you seemed to have a very secure and strong core sense of yourself and your direction. And that you were little moved by attempts to change or influence you to go off your course. It was a really enviable strength, especially in those days of strong opinions and as you said in your email “wings of breathless visionary stuff.” ….
Anyway, you seemed to float a few inches off the ground, with a smile and slightly closed eyelids, pursuing your own path.
Part of my reply follows here:
So interesting to hear this impression of me!
I don’t know that I had a real sense of direction or course back then though. I grew up feeling pretty much unseen by my parents, who were so busy raising a “good girl” that they missed the person I actually was. As a teenager and young woman, I consciously and unconsciously looked for ways to step out of that narrow box and color outside the lines, sometimes leaving some wreckage in my wake…
By the time we met I was feeling my way forward in the dark, gathering the new ideas that would shape my future. I like how you saw me. Thank you for sharing that. It confirms my sense that our lives are about learning how to feel into our inner truth.
I think I am very intuitive, but not in the way most people would say that. It is more of a course-correction process based on what feels right. I seem to know inside somehow when something is right for me, even though it may be really different from what other people are thinking and saying and doing.
Like the women’s movement made total sense to me right away. The anti war movement. Living communally. Going to Findhorn. Choosing the spiritual work and the energy healing work that I do now. I often don’t realize until much later, when I look back, that what I have done is kind of outrageous or amazing, because it was so non-conforming. Whatever it was just seemed right, in the moment.
So on the outside I may appear to have a strong core sense of myself, and now I know that this is actually true, but I only become conscious of it as I find myself acting from within it. Over the years I have come to deeply trust my instincts—that core sense— even though usually I find myself showing up different from other people.
That hasn’t been easy, because at first I always feel like I must be wrong. Looking around, I am thinking, Hmm…no one else seems to be thinking like me… I experienced that in a big way at Findhorn as well. It has also been a huge learning for me about me. More on that in a minute.
I wanted to say something about why I went to Findhorn. Being part of the political left, particularly the women’s movement, had a huge impact on me. I think I said that for the first time I realized a sense of agency in myself, that who I was and what I did mattered in both a local and a global sense. I could make a contribution. I was learning to go beyond what I had been taught to think, and recognize what *I* really thought. I was finding people I could share a vision with. Now I understand that I was seeking community, and I would call that sense of agency my sacred sovereignty.
When I first heard about Findhorn I thought it sounded too good to be true. So I wrote away for more information. When information came it still sounded too good to be true!
But it seemed that there they were learning how to put into action the principles of community and personal agency that had appealed to me in the political movement. They put what they were doing in an even broader context of the deepening and expansion of human consciousness and connection with the earth.
They weren’t religious, or guru oriented, and there didn’t seem to be a belief system that people had to adhere to. They talked about “Work is love in action.” I wasn’t particularly spiritually oriented or experienced, but I liked what they said.
Initially I hadn’t thought of actually going there, but one night I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, sat up straight, and said, “Oh! I will go to Findhorn!” I don’t remember dreaming about it, or having been thinking about Findhorn that day. It was just as if the knowing was suddenly right there and it woke me up. Literally.
So, and looking back this seems totally amazing to me, right away I applied for a sabbatical from my university teaching job, gave away most of my stuff, booked my ticket, tried to explain what I was doing to a most disapproving series of people, and left for Scotland.
(Continued in part 3!)
Image: Rebecca Vincent, http://www.horsleyprintmakers.co.uk/Giclee_prints/Hidden_Depths.html