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

See the value of more resting, listening, reflecting, feeling and being…

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…see the value of more resting, listening, reflecting,
feeling and being…

*    *    *    *

Today, women find it challenging to create enough time and space to nurture their inner world. Often overlooked or neglected, this can eventually lead to all kinds of physical, mental and emotional problems such as chronic fatigue, depression, period pain or feeling unbalanced, overwhelmed, easily stressed and a lack of meaning and depth to one’s life.

Almost like an overused “cliché”, we hear the word “Soul” through the new age and spiritual community. However, we lack access to the authentic wisdom about how we women might bring more soul fulfillment and the sacred feminine into our everyday lives.

To be clear and without judgement (each stage of our journey has valuable lessons and this is not about feeling “pressured”), I am not suggesting we pamper ourselves in self-indulgent, self-care methods that only achieve short-term, superficial results.

Sometimes it is wonderful to feel pampered. However, while some of these popular outer methods may give us a quick and easy “lift” they often have no value or depth of meaning for the soul. And so, we make no personal, beneficial changes and we continue the cycle of our repetitive, self-harming patterns, unhealthy relationships or doing and caring too much for the needs of others.

Instead, I am referring to all the ways, which we may feed ourselves internally using methods, rituals and practices that are self-sustaining, enriching and nourishing for our inner selves, our heart, womb and soul.

For example, taking time out for ourselves to rest and be alone with the elements of nature, journal writing and connecting in with our spirit guides, expressing our creativity through music, art or dance, sacred ritual and ceremony, receiving and living in harmony with the deeper messages of the seasons and cycles of the moon, inner-child healing and shadow work,…

While this may sound like a lot of work or a life-long commitment, we can begin by simply recognising the gifts and healing benefits of what is around us and available to us today,.. right now,.. in this moment.

 

What the soul longs for
has nothing to do with the ego’s superficial,
wants, ambitions or desires.

I experience my soul longing as an ancient calling –
to come back into alignment with my authentic being,
the unconditional love of Self
and the true path of my hearts knowing.

Sometimes, its more about being happy
with the beauty and blessings,
which surround you, right now,
and trusting your journey of unfoldment
rather than constantly thinking you should be somewhere else
or “further ahead”, in order to be happy and fulfilled.

 

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The healing energy of Mother Earth, which is unconditional love, helps us to ground ourselves but also, do our inner work and come to a place of love and compassion for ourselves and others.

It is my belief that as we do our soul-work of inner transformation and healing, we take our ancestors with us. We are all connected; therefore, all our ancestors live, learn and love together with and through us on our soul journey.

In your alone time in nature or in meditation, try the simple exercise of asking the women in your ancestral lineage to come forward and be near you. Be receptive to who is making their energetic presence known to you. It could be your grandmother who has recently passed over… or, it could be a female ancestor whom you have never met in this lifetime.

While you may think you are sitting alone, you will soon realise that in fact you are never alone. There is more love, strength, wisdom and energy available to us than we can possibly comprehend with our human understanding or perceived-limited-reality.

 

…When we rest and nourish our soul in ways
that support our healing and authentic being,
we find we naturally are better,
more balanced, loving and giving
mothers, lovers, partners, daughters,
co-workers, sisters and friends…

 

This is why it is so important we create enough time and space to nurture our inner world – our soul.


Photography and text © Jaymie Elder April 2019

My work is supporting and mentoring women to embrace their authentic being and be true to the ancient 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.

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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