Inspired by the synchronicity of a photo I had taken and some lines from Tosha Silver’s Outrageous Openness, I started musing on all the images of “cracked open” that are around me in my New England garden. I’ve always had a fascination with pods, especially the graceful milkweed pods. Learning that they were an important food source for butterflies gave me the only excuse for cultivating them that I needed.
Milkweed Pod Musing
I love milkweed pods during all the phases of their growth. In the early summer, I made sure to capture the new, green pods, all firm and shapely. Just now, on Thanksgiving Day, I remembered that I hadn’t captured them in their autumn glory, wildly casting their wispy seeds on the wind. Gratefully, it is a glorious day and I had the time to wander my garden with my camera, capturing all the shapes and stages of release.
As I continued my photo meditation, I was struck by how important being “cracked open” is to wild creative expression. Observing the outrageous abandon with which the milkweed bursts forth its seeds, reminded me of the joy of dancing, lost in the music. Or throwing paint on a canvas, not worrying about the design. Or shouting for joy. Or expressing my true self in my writing, in my coaching, in my teaching, in all my interactions with the world.
Still musing on the virtue of being cracked open, I was struck by all the seed pods I have in my garden, each one in their own way showing me the necessity of being cracked open to send forth your seeds. Now in this autumn season of dying, the seeds are being thrust forth for the new growth in the spring to come. Talk about optimism! Nature continues to believe that there will be another season of flowering next year. Maybe there’s more flowering in the season to come for me, too!
The Parable of the Acorn
Pondering these lessons of nature, I remembered a time when I was trying to change a lot of what was not working for me. In the midst of the process, when it seemed all I could do was complain and whine about what was being required of me, I came across a few lines in an inspirational book, describing an acorn in spring. The acorn doesn’t say, “Oh, horrible things are happening. It’s dark and I’m soaked through from the rain. My shell is cracking open, there is something growing out of me. Why is this happening to me? I am such a good little acorn.” The acorn trusts the process, knowing that all things must change to become what they were meant to be. An acorn wasn’t meant to remain an acorn—it was meant to be an oak! And the same was true for me, I was meant to be more than a fearful, depressed, hopeless, victim of life. Much as I didn’t want to, I immediately saw the absurdity of my complaints in the story of the acorn becoming the oak.
I experience life as a spiral, so I’m often revisiting old territory at a new level. Cracking open means something different to me today than it did when I read the story of the acorn in the 1970s. Back then, cracking open was much more about dealing with the armor that Brene Brown talks about in Daring Greatly. In 1970, had been told by a psychiatrist that I lived behind a brick wall of defenses. Well, of course I did! The world wasn’t safe and there was no way I was taking even one brick out of that wall!
Fortunately, I didn’t have to take the bricks down; they came down when I wasn’t watching. One day I was shocked to realized there was only a low ridge of bricks. The wall was gone, not through direct effort on the wall, but by finding environments where I could “crack open” safely, supported by container, context and community. But that’s another story…..
Cracking Open Now
Today, in my late sixties, I think cracking open means daring to bring forth my mature creative seeds. I think it is time to stop hiding out behind a well-polished professional veneer and let my wild, creative self break forth into to my day-to-day life. For too long, I’ve compartmentalized my life by relegating interests and activities that I thought might keep me from being taken seriously as a professional woman into the background—my personal time activities. Whether it’s my lifelong spiritual studies and spiritual practices or my studio activities, they’ve always been just a subtext to what I considered my main life (or my mainstream life!).
I’m tired of hiding out! I want to crack open and be the wild woman that I am with no excuses, no apologies.
<img class="wp-image-608 size-medium aligncenter" src="http://www.pamelacole.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/milkweed-yes-cropped-565×800.jpg" alt="" width="565" height="800" srcset="http://www.pamelacole.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/milkweed-yes-cropped-565×800 generique cialis pas cher.jpg 565w, http://www.pamelacole.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/milkweed-yes-cropped-723×1024.jpg 723w, http://www.pamelacole.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/milkweed-yes-cropped-624×884.jpg 624w” sizes=”(max-width: 565px) 100vw, 565px” />Yes, I’m a third generation astrologer.
Yes, I’ve been reading Tarot cards since my mother first taught me what her mother taught her.
Yes, I live in an panentheistic world where Spirit indwells everything and all is One.
Yes, I wear a hat as my spiritual practice of honoring the Throne of Shekinah, the Divine Feminine Presence in the World.
Yes, I believe the new physicists are the old Kabbalists, bringing forth the ancient wisdom in new language.
Yes, I have too many cats and too many wild and exotic plants in my garden.
Yes, I believe our task in this difficult, challenging, and sometimes dark world, is to find the “sparks of light” and release them.
Yes, I believe technology can be used for good if we learn to embrace complexity and be mindful in our interactions with each other and the world.
Yes, I believe that there are no simple answers and it is time for deep, difficult, challenging, dialogue that embraces complexity and the radical differences that appear to separate us.
Yes, I believe it is possible for us to transform the world by transforming ourselves first.
Yes, I believe I am personally responsible for bringing more love, kindness, compassion, generosity, authenticity and playfulness into the world.
Wow! I feel just like the milkweed pod, bursting forth with a wild profusion of “Yes“!
Thank you, Tosha Silver, for daring to bring your voice into the world. I am challenged by your example to live all the Outrageous Openness I can each day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!