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Great Storm Clouds.

Photo by Susan Coppock

“Great storm clouds, holding rain, it’s part of nature to hold a bit of pain.” -Trevor Hall

As I sit under giant storm clouds, deep thunder, lightning blazing through the sky, I wonder, how did we get here? When did we start pushing our feelings away, when did we shapeshift into these storm clouds so full of pain, that when we let it out, it looks like a monsoon over the Great Plains? I suppose we’ve always been this way, survival came first, safety was never promised, and there was work to be done at all times. Leisure was a privilege allotted to those who lived within walls of magnificent castles, everyone else had to fend for themselves. But, pain is pain, and she takes us all prisoner, no matter where we came from.

I sometimes wonder if the farmer was happier than the king. Though he never knew what to expect, living off the land offers food security, connection. While the king can’t even dress himself, the farmer feeds his family, the town, the king himself. The king has all he has ever wanted, but he needs a team of hundreds to make his dreams come true. The farmer prays, gives thanks, and takes his future into his own hands, leaving the rest to nature, nothing left to do but to trust. Though he does not have the protection of the crown, truly, neither does the king. Life is so precious, yet so fragile. Death takes no prisoners either, and when our time comes, she does not discriminate.

So, as the lightning strikes, and the thunder rolls, I realize we have a choice of how to live our lives. In the twenty first century, the farmer is still the farmer, spending each day connected to the earth, learning her cycles, praying and giving thanks, picking her bounties, but the monarchy as fallen and the king no longer exists, he is the wealthy entrepreneur in the big city high rise, time spent disconnected from the world around him, reliant on a team to delegate his tasks to, glued to a cell phone or computer all hours of the day and night.

Who holds more pain, the man who shouts at the sky, or the man who shouts at his phone? Who has more freedom?

We all get to decide our own fate, one full of material luxury, or one full of emotion. While it is possible to have both, I believe abundance is rooted in our ability to let go of our earthly tethers, realizing all we have is ourselves at the beginning and end. As within, so without. We don’t have to choose between the farmer and the king, but the delicate balance of the universe relies on our ability to recognize duality, and manipulate it into what reigns true for our own souls, knowing everything we have ever wanted is on the other side of pain, and fear. These are teachings we find in the natural world, in flowers, birds, and the weather.

So, today I invite you, to put down the phone, close the laptop, turn off the TV, and go scream at the sky. Tell her what has been hurting you, tell her your deepest hopes, your wildest dreams, allow yourself to fully release, like thunder rolling and rain falling. Embody the monsoon and allow it to wash you clean. While it is natural to hold pain, it is natural to release it too.


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by Ilona Bartnicki I've lived most of my life as a caged wolf. Fed, bathed, given warm blankets, basic needs well met within 4 walls. The only taste of wilderness was moonlight through an open window.

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