Curious Snuffling Through Spring Undergrowth
It’s taken a while for me to fully understand what the message from Heartbeat Bear is this year. Like so many of us I have been very up and down about this new way of being in the world caused by Covid 19. I don’t want to dwell hugely on this issue but do want to acknowledge that it is the catalyst for change in all our lives.
After an initial period of readjustment in family and work life which felt exciting, I rapidly lost my enthusiasm for my Temple of Ursa and Bearfoot Walking work. Every time I looked at social media it appeared to be flooded with people who had adjusted their work to online formats very quickly and creatively. I felt that nothing I could offer would compare, and that what I do best & enjoy can’t be done online. I went into overwhelm and retreated, which is why many of you have not heard from me for quite a while. I send my apologies and set an intention now to reconnect in a more open hearted way. I have found the right personal and business support I need to engage again, what a blessing that is.
So I want to introduce Heartbeat Bear. She is one of the nine She Bears from my Bear Oracle set, who sits on the wheel of Bears at Beltane: She represents all life’s rhythms, especially the heartbeat. She wants you to live in your authentic sensuality, know your cycles of creativity, blossom for your own pleasure, honour your body, and know your feminine rhythms. She is all sensory knowing.
I really struggled to connect to any of Her messages when Beltane showed up on the calendar! And I think that’s the root of where I’ve been going wrong with my work for a while. I’ve been trying to follow a rhythm that isn’t mine. I also knew deep down that my own inner rhythm has changed a lot over the past couple of years and I hadn’t truly accepted it. I have slowed down and that is my current new rhythm.
So I’d like to scroll back a bit to the time before I moved to Assynt, before Nov 2017. I was very clear and headstrong in my vision for Temple Of Ursa; I would move here, work part time in my ‘day job’ at the laundry and go all out with developing Temple of Ursa/ Bearfoot Walking around that, I would travel regularly to places further afield in Scotland & England, Glastonbury in particular to increase contacts, so that I had regular groups & clients to work with all over. Here at home in Assynt I would build a small regular group and liaise with local venues & businesses who would be interested in hosting events and retreats for visiting groups. In the long run I would have a permanent Temple of Ursa building/space in Assynt where I would be based. I was fired up and fiercely focussed.
All these goals are still in my heart but due to all the changes in my health, housing, day job, family, and so on I am learning to accept a different pattern to my work, a new heartbeat is emerging. I am a proud and stubborn Leo and letting go of the headstrong is difficult for me. But Heartbeat Bear is definitely guiding me through and sending the right support. I realise now that I had let external patterns & rhythms become the centre focus of my world, they are often patriarchal or head focussed. For example I am currently dependant on the benefit system, and whilst it works very well in Scotland and I am grateful for all the support I get, the expectations around form filling and compliance with rules regarding work can feel restrictive. So whilst I fully understand why these systems are in place I had let them overpower all creative thinking and I had become like a rabbit frozen in the headlamps of bureaucracy. Similarly I had let the new rules around lockdown become paralysing. Heartbeat Bear has shown me that I can both sing to my own new creative heartbeat rhythm and keep in tune with the outer beats the world adds into the song. It is possible if She is leading the song.
So how has this manifested in daily life? Well really being gentle with my own heart, and listening to Her rhythm. So I have let go of my expectation of quickly coming up with a wizard idea for the next big internet sensation and –
1/ slowed down targets for the goals described earlier and fully accepted that there will be many unexpected manifestations of my work before the Temple Of Ursa is built. For example, I have an inkling that there’s some creative writing, and online readings on the horizon, not things I had planned!
2/ this lockdown period is a time for learning and connection for me and my work, rather than charging headlong towards grand manifestations. I have found various teachers to connect to who have already inspired me. I have a great group of likeminded women locally who through friendship and conversation online are teaching me loads.
In the light of these two realisations I would now like to introduce one of the ‘Pawprint’ oracles. The four Pawprints are four guiding principles that She Bear teaches us. They are inspired by specific places on the landscape in the Highlands and are the foundation for walking Her path. They have a simple solid message, like a bear who is standing on all four paws, when they are all evenly in place we are fully grounded and sure footed in our lives. For my Belated Beltane ponderings I feel that the Pawprint ‘Bare Bear Witnessing’ is also very relevant and connected to Heartbeat Bear.
It message is – ‘To look at our relationship with the earth’
Before lockdown began I had begun a Beltane Blog focussed on this ‘relationship with the earth’ Oracle and struggled. I understand it more now: when we are really embodying ‘Bare Bear witnessing’ we truly perceive that we are part of Her body, the earth. Not in an intellectual way but in a sensual, embodied way. It asks us to witness and be witnessed by the earth without any intellectual process going on. You know when you are in that space because there is no separation between the physical body and the physical world around. ‘This arm is present with this leaf, this birdsong, this rain’ all feels smooth and understanding of Her body is in our body because She IS our body. In this deeper understanding of our being part of one whole being, we hear clear and simple messages about what our role as part of the whole living earth is.
So I struggled because so many of us are unable to immerse ourselves in wild places where it is easiest to feel Bare Bear Witnessing due to lockdown. So my next realisation is that : if we are Her body we can use each other as a place of connection to Her nature. I have known this intellectually but somehow the penny has dropped now about how relevant this is at this time of lockdown.
From this came the feeling that its my turn to quieten down, and immerse myself in the nature of you, my community. I am inviting you to witness my work in the light of both Heartbeat Bear and Bare Bear Witnessing. In return I will listen to your rhythms and ground the next phase of my work in your thoughts, as well as what the landscape and Bears send to inspire me. A song of land, its people, the She Bears, the elements Fire,Water ,Air and Earth.
It manifests through ‘market research’ which I prefer to call ‘curious snuffling through spring undergrowth’. I am asking you to get in touch ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with any thoughts, questions, & ideas. It’s an open invitation to communicate about what you would like from Temple Of Ursa and Bearfoot Walking both now and in the future, in particular working on the web and in ways which are safe for all. Also a chance for to ask those curiousity led questions which open up to a more heart beat led way of working and communicating.
Here’s some questions to get you thinking, but don’t let them limit you, be creative and uncensored in your responses. I had originally thought of doing a traditional market research questionnaire, but felt it just didn’t fit with how I work, or the mood of this unique time. So send your response by email, on the back of an envelope, arrange a video call with me, whatever your heart calls for in this witnessing of each other.
Are you a venue, artist, ceremonialist or business who would like to collaborate with my work? What ideas spring to mind?
How do you find out about my work? Do you read the website or facebook page? What other platforms would you like to see me on? How could I improve communication?
If you have bought a craft product such as Bear Oracle Pendant from me let me know how to improve it. Where do you shop online?
What is it that draws you to my work......the She Bears? the landscape connection? the elemental aspect? The empowerment tools like fire and glass walking?
I would also love it if you passed this along to anyone who might feel curious about Heartbeat Bear or Bare Bear Witnessing. Again, think broad and quirky, business, community groups, city and country, old and young, I’d love my learning and growth to be wildly expansive in this new exploration of the worldwide web.