Clearing the Path to Pleasure
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This year I don’t have a list of resolutions—of things to achieve or improve upon. Instead, I wrote down and burned up the things I want to release.
The fire from a friend’s backyard pit lapped up my scribbled words like the Hawaiian Volcanic Goddess Pele, known as She Who Shapes the Sacred Land and I am ready to be reshaped. I am ready to be shaped by nature—by MY nature and by the Natural World around me!
Yes, there has been destruction. There has been violence. Pele has raged through 2020 and into 2021, burning down the constructs of our governance and our belief systems. She has desiccating lands that were once filled with life but now sit barren, leaving thousands of felled trees that once stood regal. Creatures of all kinds have been left with no homes, food or family.
There has been fear. I have never felt it so strongly, like a wind rattling the old frames of my 1910 home, whipping around all that once felt secure. It leaked into our homes, through the doors, cracks in the walls, basements, into the once-normal daily routines. It bombarded us through media, creeping into our minds, where it lodged, taking root and growing, spidering outwards and inwards until, for me, I became frozen. Frozen in time and body, frozen in mind and heart, until I felt I would shatter into a million disconnected pieces.
But I didn’t. Instead, I stopped up the leaks. I stopped resisting this new reality that keeps unfolding and chose to accept it. I re-centered in my body by being in nature and indulging in daily pleasures. Long walks and lessons of resilience from the forest, from trees knocked over but still growing, just in a new direction. The woods have become like water to me—a necessity, a clarity.
Daily, I reclaim my belief in myself and in the goodness of others. I reclaim my right to have pleasure, despite all the pain and anger and loss and fear around me, spreading like the wildfires did in Australia, in California and beyond.
The Goddess Pele destroys. But as the expression and embodiment of Divine Creative Power, She also creates and is devoted to helping us realize and express our own creative power. She is known for passion and reminds us to rekindle our inner flame, to ignite and feed our own unique light so that it may be harvested and spread to those whose lives we touch, in small and large ways.
As I stood in front of my friend’s fire pit and watched my words burst into flame, feeding the hungry Pele, I felt a sense of peace and calm. A sense of being together and alone, on that cold, moonlit night, in a way I never have before.
When I left, I knew how I wanted to walk into the New Year and what would guide me on my path. It is a simple thing that is present all the time, ready and waiting for me to tap into it, to access this gift of the senses.
I decided to let pleasure, not fear, guide me on my journey. So my ONE promise to myself is to follow the Path of Pleasure and trust where it leads.