I'm reading Stephen Buhner's book, Becoming Vegetalista. I am about 3/4 of the way through it and it has moved me in ways that are so profound, just like many of his other books have. They each seem to come into my life at exactly the right point, as things like that tend to do. They each meet me at a place, dismantle the reality I have assumed, toss it into the air, and then fall into place in a slightly different conglomeration. This leaves me dizzy, awkward, and not quite sure how to be in this world. I once wrote to Stephen after half way through reading Earth Grief to express this. He responded by telling me that this is exactly what he intended the book to do and to keep going.
One thing that this current book has shaken up. is the idea of the roles that we each have. I actually sort of kind of realized this about 3 or 4 years ago when I was training a group of practitioners in Flower Essence work. Stephen's book brought confirmation of that realization.
Here's how it went.......
I was training a group of maybe 8 or 9 people in Flower Essence work. We all gathered together and to learn a bit more of where everyone was starting, I asked how they all gathered their information. Receiving silence, I provided more information.....how do you get receive the information you intuitively read when working with a client.....do you see it in visions? Do you hear it? Do you feel it in your own body? Are you tapping into the cellular memory in the physical body? Are you reading through the temporal lines? you see, these are all things I did and do, and I thought that everyone did them. Not one of the folks that were in that group experienced things the way I did. I was taken aback and I admit that I suddenly didn't know how to teach what I had intended on teaching. I did the best I could, and then the pandemic came and that was that............
I had always thought that everyone could do the same things I did if they just tried hard enough. I then sort of resigned to the idea that well, perhaps not everyone wants to do them and that was certainly ok, but if they really wanted to they could. As I was reading Vegetalista, I realized, that no, not everyone could do these things. I mean I still kind of think that perhaps they can, but that may also be my ego, and also me not wanting to say "hey maybe there is something really different about me, and that just is how it is."..... But this path is not everyone's path.
And as Stephen put it, anytime you try and step off the path, you will be redirected right back onto it again and again and again. So yeah, that happens to me all the time too.
The other thing that occurred to me was that this path has been something that introduced itself to me a very long time ago. I didn't see it then or recognize it. I do now.
We have all sorts of memories and some of them just stand out and sort of stick into our minds. Most of those are the bad ones, or ones we associate as bad. We call them trauma and we wrap them up in a neat little box and tuck them deep inside of ourselves, but only after declaring who caused what that caused this........A very Who Done Me Wrong...sort of thing.........and there it sits. And then we wonder why we have such a hard time working through it..........and I could get into that and how we still carry that 4 year old inside of us ...not figuratively as the idea of inner child shit (which actually separates us....can you tell yet that I am not a big fan of the modern day holistic field jargon?!). But LITERALLY. Our 4 year old self IS us......
Anyhow, in the book, Stephen said something about those that are on the path of vegetalista (his term), will have had something happen probably pretty early on that keyed them into that and their role. As soon as I read that a memory surfaced. One that has come back into my awareness many times through my life.
This is that memory:
I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. I know this because I remember exactly where I was when this ,moment occurred and I was living in a house with my family that was only my house until about the 2nd grade, when we moved to another house. I was in the front yard. We lived on a busy street, so I imagine one of my parents was out there. I was by the flowers that were in the parking strip. They were purple with yellow centers, aster like but very very big. I had a ladybug that was crawling on me. I was called into the house by whichever parent was with me at the time, and I remember tossing the ladybug that was crawling on me into the flowers, rather forcefully. Immediately I felt bad. I thought "Oh I probably shouldn't have done that, some big old spider is probably going to come and get me now for what I just did to that ladybug." I walked inside, went to open the screen door and as soon as my. hand touched the handle, a spider ran from it up my arm, and I completely lost my shit.
That was the first time I can remember something like that occurring. Some communication that was bigger than what I thought communication was, that was bigger than me, but also included me. Now what occurred I don't really know. Was there some lesson to be taught by the earth, or was I reading temporal lines even back then (Knowing that the spider would run up my arm, but casting it in the whole catholic punishment type of thing that I was heavily indoctrinated with at that time.).
I remember that moment always. I remember the sunlight. The sounds of the traffic. The sheer terror that I experienced from the spider (and possibly from the fact that I had actually just thought that would happen, and did I make it happen, and if so, what else could I do, and it sort of shook my reality. But being 5 or 6, I just tucked that away. No one listened to me anyways when I told them that I thought that would happen and then it did. They just thought "MY, Jennifer does have a wild imagination!" And so I shut up and rarely spoke about it again. It didn't go away, but did seep a little bit into the background. And it was very loud....so as I got older I had to make it stay quiet with things like alcohol and drugs, which worked for a bit, but really did make me feel quite awful....and that is another story for some other time.........
There were other times too and other things like that which occurred later. And probably times before that I can't remember. That is always the one that stands out.
So Stephen does it again....with his ability to say just the right things in just the right way that resonate and comfort ......and that comfort is a good thing because without it, it would likely be a horrible adventure. His works and books and teachings have made me feel less alone....and also have brought me more courage to just be me..............
AND...he also shares how important it is to have teachers.
I have had many that have come into my life at just the right time and more than anything what the great teachers have taught me has nothing to do with skills or formulas or how to unwind the spine from someone in Arkansas while I am in Maine.......they have taught me acceptance. And through that they have taught me how to live. Every Sunday, I work with Sean Donoghue and something much more than the information he is sharing comes through to me. It is something I have no words for. It can most closely be described as he simply teaches me even greater acceptance and an even richer way to live........which really is just letting go of expectations and ideals, and the trying so hard to be what I think I should be...and just being what I am.....and that is one of the most valuable and precious things. I think that is what we are all trying to do. Just be us. I think that is why we seek out the support of healers and teachers. We say it is to help us get rid of our Lyme or help us work through the trauma that we had with our parents, or society, or that stupid kid from the 4th grade who was a real asshole............what we really want is to live unencumbered by all of the layers that have accumulated and to just be who we are......and deep down I think we know who that is......but its hard to hear through all of the layers. And so that is what we need help with. As we work through a layer ourselves or with a; teacher or a practitioner, a we can here the ME who is really ALL a little bit louder and a little bit clearer.
So really, all of our teachers are teaching us how to live........and teaching us to move though this life with who we actually are, which can also shift and change as we dismantle the layers.........at least I think that is what teachers are all helping to do......and who knows....I could be just as idealistic about that as I was with believing that everyone has the ability to see through time, feel others energy in your physical body, speak to microbes, and clearly and audibly hear messages from the ALL. And that may all change as more layers shift. And, at least for now, I hope this to be true.