What does it mean to be a Gardener of the Soul?

I am reflecting on the lives of two men who have inspired peace in the world through their art, love of nature/gardening, music, philosophy, activism, poetry and wisdom… John Lennon (also a Libran like myself 🙂 ) and Claude Monet.

During his international career as a Musician, Poet, Activist and influential Ambassador for World Peace, John Lennon has been quoted as saying;

“Peace is not something you wish for,
it is something you make, something you do,
something you are and something you give away”

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role,
is to try and express what we all feel.
Not to tell people how to feel.
Not as a preacher, not as a leader,
but as a reflection of us all.”

“Love is like a precious plant.
You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard
or just think it’s going to get on by itself.
You’ve got to keep on watering it.
You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”

“I’m not really a career person; I’m a gardener, basically.”

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“Monet’s Lillie’s”, Monet’s Garden, June 2015 © Juerg Dreamturtle

Every year, some 500 000 visitors come from around the world to visit Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. Over many decades, millions of people have been touched by Monet’s peaceful and tranquil impressionist paintings. People are attracted because of the essence of calm and peace Monet was able to capture in his beautiful paintings and in his garden. For many years, I had prints of Monet’s Water Lillie’s hanging in my bedroom. When I walked into my bedroom, I remember how the paintings made me feel peaceful, balanced and at ease with my surroundings.

Not all of us have the gift of music and poetry to collectively inspire people’s minds and hearts like John – in a positive and powerful way. Not all of us have the opportunity to create a beautiful garden or the ability to paint like Monet did.

However, I believe we all have the chance in this life to work on our inner selves,…to grow in love and peace by owning and transforming our shadow self (our core wounds), healing and forgiving ourselves and others.

I refer to this work as “Soul Work” – and having been a “Gardener of the Soul” for many years now, I believe this is the true work I am here to do, be and share!

I have learned that the beautiful or impressive garden we create on the “outside”, is not as important as the garden we nurture and grow on the “inside”…

The Garden of our Soul is hidden to the eye but felt with the heart…

The Soul Garden we are nurturing, sustaining, lovingly tending too and growing every day – is the most important and true work we are here for.

As we honour our true selves and continue with our Soul Work, the universe will reflect back to us our inner transformation – we can attract more loving, authentic relationships into our lives and experience a sense of deeper peace and purpose for our journey. Although, this does not mean our healing and growing ever stops or we no longer attract challenges in our lives! However, over time, we can become more of a beacon of light to inspire others towards inner peace, truth and fulfillment for themselves.

Real, lasting peace is not something we can “take” from another or a piece of art or music to temporarily “feel better”. We each have to make the commitment to work towards peace in ourselves and this can be a challenging, demanding yet truly rewarding process over many, many lifetimes of experience and growth.

Copyright © Jaymie Elder (2017/2019)

Featured Photo for this Blog Post: “Sacred Sadness Rose” from my Grandmother’s Garden – taken on Christmas day, many years ago. The photo features in my partner, Juerg Dreamturtle’s book; “Sacred Journey – A Simple Book of Soul Wisdom, Love and Healing.”

The book, “Sacred Journey” is very much about this inner work of growing towards love and peace in ourselves, in our lives and in the world. Why not order a copy of the book “Sacred Journey”  to honour this day – International World Peace Day?

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Find out more about the book “Sacred Journey” by Juerg Dreamturtle here


Photo of Water Lillie’s from Monet’s Garden:
taken by Juerg, June 2015.
Read more about Claude Monet here

Finding your own path and pace in challenging times.

‘It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.’ – Confucius

Surrounded by the 4 giants of the European Alps, these days, competitive and serious hiking is very popular in the mountainous areas we spend most of our time in.

I believe we miss so much of the magic, beauty and energy of the mountains if the path we walk becomes a competitive and serious race against time, each other and ourselves.

Equally, in life, if we are always focused on getting ahead to some “where” we think will be “better” or to accomplish a future “goal”  – we can miss the valuable and perfect teachings for where we happen to be right now…

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When I saunter through the mountains and on many of the old pathways in the Aosta Valley region, I find myself connecting with a very ancient and timeless part of my soul.

Whenever I am in nature, I practice the art of walking slowly and with reverence. I also believe in being open (heart) to listen, feel and connect with what or who is coming to me as a messenger. I love to make my own tracks, pause and rest, go at my own pace and usually I resist following designated pathways set out for serious mountain hikers.

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∌ Butterfly Messenger ∌

On a journey in the mountains I took a few days ago, a messenger came to me in the form of a small, friendly butterfly.

I could see in her wings beautiful colours of luminescent green, gold, orange, blue and brown. These colours kept changing as she gently moved from different angles to the light of the sun. She sat on my shoulder – gently and happily – for probably close to 10 minutes before she flew off into the pine forest.

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Before she flew to my shoulder, I had the feeling that I needed to pause, breathe and do a ceremony or simply give thanks before I reached Juerg, Cento and our campervan at the foot of the mountains (where my journey had begun). However, I was not quite sure what was being asked of me, until the butterfly spontaneously arrived. Before long, I realised that my interaction and connection with the butterfly messenger was my “ceremony”.

As a messenger, the teachings of butterfly
are to appreciate and see the value
in each stage of the spiritual journey
and cycles of life.

Butterfly’s life transformation shows us, we each have the possibility and capacity to be reborn by going within ourselves. Therefore, we can draw much value and learn from the cocoon of darkness, despair, doubt, confusion, tiredness and all the emotions we have been conditioned to view as “negative”.

Honouring our feelings of discomfort and disharmony in relation to where we currently are on our journey (as well as what we may see happening around us in the world), is an important part of accepting that we are forever moving through cycles of change, transformation and growth.

A natural part of growth is feeling discomfort and resistance as we move into the unknown! These are cycles of deep change and transformation, which Mother Earth is also mirroring back to us!

Rather than judge these cycles of change as something “negative” or “wrong” – can we allow what needs to occur from a deep place of trust, love and respect… like the life cycle of the butterfly shows us so beautifully?

Can we observe and learn from Mother Earth by working with the mirror she provides us, as well as primarily focusing our energy on our own inner transformational process?

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In the far distance: Monte Bianco (4,810 m) tallest mountain of the European Alps.

∌ Balance and Patience ∌

I am learning that in order to ease our transition through these current challenging times on the earth, we need two main qualities – balance and patience.

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Balance… Balance can only be found by a certain amount of detachment from the outside world and all of its noise, busyness and distractions… Slowing down to find our balance means we focus more of our attention on our inner being. This involves checking in with our authentic self – i.e paying attention to what our feelings, our center of self/solar plexus, our bodies and our heart are communicating to us. It also involves (with love and compassion) tending to the forgotten, vulnerable, shadow parts of ourselves (our inner child/children), which we may find are being triggered by the outside world and especially our relationships.

What are the unique signs of your body and emotions, which tell you – you need to slow down and reconnect with your own unique rhythm and pace?

When you know you are feeling off-balance, what is your resistance to taking the time and space you need – to come back to your center of Self?

Patience… There is nothing else like precious time spent connecting and being one with Mother Nature. Reconnecting our bodies to her natural and ancient rhythms, seasons and cycles, allows us to remember we are not separate and to be patient with ourselves and our own growth process.

I really love and savour spending time in nature with both my dog and my partner Juerg. However, grounding my energy on a solitary walk in nature and or just sitting and being alone next to a tree, with my own thoughts and feelings is essential for me to retain a sense of well-being and harmony in our shared relationship. This is the same for Juerg too.

When did you last make quality, nurturing time and space for yourself – to be alone in nature – with out any distractions?

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In these times of deep transformation on the earth,
may you pause and rest when you need too…
may you find 
balance and patience…
so that you continue to move forward

with grace and confidence
on your own unique life path and journey.

©  Jaymie Elder

Photos shared are from a 5-hour saunter I made recently, to the top of Monte Zerbion (2722m) with stunning views of the Aosta Valley and three of the Giants of the Alps – Monte Rosa (4,634 m), Monte Bianco (4,810 m), and Gran Paradiso (4,061 m).

I find sacred moments of nourishment, inspiration, quiet reverence and solitude here in the mountains of Italy… where in the world do you find your own precious and healing moments in nature? I would love to hear from you, in the comments below…



Photography and words © Jaymie Elder 2019

My work is supporting and mentoring men and women to embrace their authentic being and be true to the timeless calling of their heart and soul. I offer intuitive guidance and support through Soul Sessions, which take place internationally via Skype. Soul Sessions are a unique chance to feel, reflect and connect with the deeper part of your being – your heart and soul.

For more information, or to book a session
please use the “work with me” link under the menu title – or click here

More reading from Rainbowtree Woman about the soul journey
and the path of healing and transformation, – click here

Do you long to experience life more from the level of your heart and soul…?

1 year ago, I was asking a question to my spirit guides about what this really means… and this was their reply to me…

Human beings naturally crave structure, security,
or a clear and straight path laid out before them.
Many search for a spiritual leader or community,
a daily routine, ‘an acceptable way’ to follow –
so life feels more safe, predictable and ‘known’…

But the heart yearns for the deeper springs of life
and the path of the soul
is uniquely your own.

It’s a pathway that you forge into the unknown
and only your heart can intuitively feel/know
what is right and true for you.

If you really choose this path,
with all your heart and being,
know that you will be challenged.

You will need courage and perseverance
to keep opening your heart
towards the unhealed shadow
– of which has been ‘hidden’ to you…

Experiences which may come to you
won’t always be easy, pleasant or beautiful…
It may sometimes feel as if you walk a lonely path
but you will always be much closer to us than you know…

Above all,…you will grow,…

There will be others…
Soul friends and spiritual companions to meet again,
Soul family to share laughter, tears,
wisdom and experiences along the way…

It will not matter,
if you only cross paths for a short moment
or never meet each other in the physical.
It’s the mutual exchange of heart energy,
which has the power to transform, heal,
inspire and illuminate lives.

Dear one,
to live your life from the level of the heart and soul
means to be open to heal your old wounds
and from limiting beliefs and conditioning,
create new, loving and joyful possibilities…

It means to recognise the importance of your inner work
and honour yourself as a sacred conduit –
here to help raise the consciousness and heart energy
on beautiful Mother Earth…

It means wherever possible,
guided by your feelings and heart
– to transform darkness, hurt and fear
into light, love, forgiveness, beauty,
appreciation and fulfillment.

This is the magic,
the spiritual alchemy,
the infinite possibility,
the realness, humility and freedom
of living – connected and true –
to your heart and soul.

Copyright © Jaymie Elder / Rainbowtree Woman 2018/2020

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“The knowledge of the heart is in no book
and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher,
but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth.”
– Carl Jung (The Red Book)

Copyright © Jaymie Elder 2020 – Please only use this text unless written permission is received from Jaymie Elder. If you wish to use only some of this text on social media – please do so respectfully by acknowledging Jaymie as the author with links to her website/blog http://www.rainbowtreewoman.com.

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More reading from Rainbowtree Woman about the Soul Journey
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Reconnecting with the land and listening to it’s stories.

What does it mean, to feel connected to a place?

Is our feeling of connection to a place – limited to the roots of where our ancestors came from?

Or, does the feeling extend much deeper – into the very soul of Mother Earth?

What if our soul is just like Mother Earth?,… Timeless, ancient, expansive, with roots extending deep into history, land and culture – more than we could ever truly know?

Perhaps to be connected to a place means, to truly experience, participate and observe how the land changes throughout the four seasons
. Maybe we have a small garden to grow our own food, flowers and herbs…. Maybe we like to forage for wild plants, medicinal herbs, flowers, berries and mushrooms….Or, maybe we feel especially connected to some old trees in our city or village park and we can experience how each season transforms them.

Perhaps to be connected to a place means, we simply spend time “being” there, with an open heart
 and in doing so, we learn to quieten our mind and listen, for the stories of the past that long to be shared.

My journey with my partner Juerg, of living and traveling to many places, countries and cultures has shown me that every rock, stone, tree, mountain, stream, (everything!) holds energy, sacredness, mystery, magic and stories.

Our task is to be attentive but also playful and innocent like a child, so that we may begin to reconnect ourselves with this magic all around us. Only then, can we learn to listen to what the land wishes to teach us about who we have been, who we truly are and who we can grow more to become.

 

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For around 3 years, I have been intrigued by a medieval castle – Castello di Ussel – in the Aosta Valley, Italy.

It is true, that the entire Aosta Valley is strewn with castles rising up in the magnificent alpine scenery. The castles were mostly built in the Middle Ages by powerful local families and then later on modified. The Aosta Valley was recognised by the Romans as an important trade route between France and Italy – but also Northern and Southern Europe.

Today, I find the Castello di Ussel carry’s an energy of enchantment and mystery, but also, it symbolises a transformational point between light and shadow.

This transformational point between light and shadow has been reflected in both of individual healing processes. Whenever we spend time in this area, we have had to face some of our personal masks, self-doubts and “uncomfortable truths”. We therefore have learnt it’s a powerful place where we can expect a deeper, clearer understanding of our personal journeys and our journey together, to come to the fore.

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“Live in each season as it passes,
breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

During all four seasons, I have photographed the castle from a far away distance, mainly from the opposing valley of Chatillon and Saint Vincent. Here, we have spent many days with our dog collecting wild, medicinal flowers and herbs, such as Saint Johns Wort, Wormwood, Sage, Oregano, Nettle, Dandelion, Plantain, Clover and many more.

Here, in spring we were delighted to find a patch of the delicious and mysterious Morel Mushrooms! Here, in summer we played together and found abundant fields of wild, abandoned Lavender and Sage to collect and dry. Here, I also spent many hours observing and photographing the abundant insects, bees, butterfly’s and other pollinators who were enjoying the wild flowers and herbs in the warm sunshine.

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees,
on a summers day, listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky
is by no means a waste of time.”

John Lubbock

 

Wherever we are, Juerg and I love to forage for wild food, mushrooms and medicinal plants and herbs. During these times together, it is my camera, which offers me a unique way to observe our surroundings. The light that constantly changes against the backdrop of the mountains and the mist that sometimes surrounds this historic landmark, connects me to the lands ancient mystery, transformation, enchantment, beauty and magic.

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“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth…
are never alone or weary of life.”

Rachel Carson

 

This past New Years day, we finally visited the castle in person. During winter, the sunlight only touches the castle for little more than an hour – because of the surrounding alpine mountains.

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Perhaps it was the feeling of winter – the quiet stillness, bare trees and frost covered ground, which made my impressions even more memorable and unique. The castle itself is strategically built on granite rock, directly on a cliff-face, so you can’t walk around it. However, it offers spectacular views on the surrounding valley and mountains. Our dog Cento enjoyed running and playing on the adjacent green area next to the Castle.

I had the strong impression that together, we had been here before, only Cento took the physical form of our horse – not our dog! 🙂  His name, “Cento Cavalli” (in Italian, 100 horses) derives from an ancient story belonging to the oldest tree in Europe *Castagne dei Cento Cavalli* . It was at the foot of this gigantic, ancient Chestnut Tree in Sicily that we found him abandoned by his mother….and our journey together (now 2 years) began.

Read more about the ancient Chestnut Tree and Cento here.

jPhoto © 2019 Juerg Dreamturtle

 

If you like to do so, please share in the comments below, what makes you feel connected to a place and experience it’s beauty, depth, magic, mystery and stories.


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Jaymie Elder is a soul journey guide, artist, photographer and traveller offering intuitive guidance/sessions internationally via Skype. Jaymie is dedicated to supporting others to heal and grow towards their authentic self – and a life in harmony with their heart and soul being. Learn more about Jaymie and her work here.

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For the past 14 years, Jaymie has been journeying, creating and sharing with Juerg Ritter. Together, they teach about the sacred journey of a heart and soul relationship – both for couples and people who are longing for a heart and soul relationship.


Photo’s and text copyright © 2019 Jaymie Elder