Over the years I’ve read many, many books that have had big influences on me. Though there were one or two that were fiction (Mists of Avalon… sigh…) most were nonfiction; books on the spiritual path, women’s spirituality, psychology, dreams, symbolism, the divine feminine, the wild feminine, the goddess, the journey, the dark night, the cosmos, and so on. At one time I had shelves lined with these books, but over the years, too many moves, and the interest to lighten the “load,” most have moved on to new homes.
But there are two books that have been total game changers. The first was Listening to Wild Dolphins by Bobbie Sandoz. That this book even found its way into my hands was no small miracle involving an eight-hour delay in Honolulu on the way home from Kauai, an airline that cared enough to put all of its passengers on a bus and entertain them for the day, then on the way back to the bus, walking briskly past a bookstore and spying this obscure little title sitting upright on a stack of books at the door. (Not to mention some magical something that made me stop, and without preamble, run into the store, and buy it. Five years later, because of that book, I swam for the first time in the wide open ocean with wild dolphins and almost nothing has been the same since.)
Recently Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book, Goddesses Never Age showed up. The title itself, plus the pretty boring first few chapters made me give up reading it many times. Though strangely, and almost against my will, I just kept picking it up again. And somewhere along the way (maybe the chapter about grieving and raging...? the one about sensuality...?) I started to get it. I began to understand that this book was speaking directly to the subconscious part of me (not to mention the glaring conscious messages from our culture itself) that believed that once I hit a certain age (which I had a few years before thank you very much) that life was just over. Over the next few days, as I read, I literally felt a shifting, like a large seismic event inside me. Reading each morning, looking out the big picture window as trees burst into blossom, as birdsong filled the air once again, as desperately needed rain continued to pour on our parched earth long into spring (thank you, El Nino), so her words nurtured the part of me that so longs to live.
I watched as one negative belief after another came up and was discarded, and soon one word began to float round me like fresh, new, air, like bubbles at a child's party, colorful and ethereal and I've danced with that one word ~ possibility ~ ever since. It has become my new mantra and it has led to things I could not even have known to put on a dream/wish list - like words finally pouring out again, like rediscovering my body, like driving sixty miles round trip twice a week to lose myself to incredible electronic sounds (literal dancing!) with one hundred strangers! Clearly that something that led me to the dolphin book (and yes, that led me to leave my marriage, that walked with me into the void and the dark night, that held me even in my deepest despair, even when I had no clue I had not been utterly abandoned) that something that's been there these long, long years, and all the decades before... that is always there. Higher Self, Beloved, Divine Mother, the Universe, God, Goddess, The Great Mystery, Light, Life, Love.
And the beat goes on... And anything is possible... Anything... Such music to these ears. Such unexpected inspiration. As one song ends and another begins, each moment that it hits me anew I am blown away, again and again, and yet again.