As summer solstice approaches and we witness nature blooming all around, we might chance to be blessed by a similar stirring within our own bodies. Life’s abundant promise rises in our midst once again as winter’s dormancy tranforms into glorious green canopies and flowering blossoms— endless in their variety, shape, and colour. Once again, nature reminds us of the miraculous universal intelligence from which we are inseparable—even in Ukraine summer’s greening continues.
How then to navigate the stark contrast between human destruction and life’s abundance? How to realize our true place within the radiant miracle of life while traumatizing atrocities abound? Here is precisely where the “rubber” of our spiritual practice meets the “road” of our incarnation. Slowing down to presence and feel the intergenerational trauma unconsciously stored within the nervous system of our own body can be as radically restorative as the lush greening of a dried winter branch. Our latent spiritual potential arrives as an awakened nervous system and a heart pulsing with the promise of a new humanity. Throughout history, this timeless inner-greening potential has brought mystics and saints to their knees in gratitude, wonder, and service.*
An embodied spiritual response to trauma is one of slowing down so that trauma symptoms no longer need to be “managed,” but find their place in a consciously engaged relational process. Acting out trauma symptoms through projecting or numbing is a collective habit. It causes us to build our lives on top of trauma rather than in relationship to it. We learn to take this way of living as “normal.” A spacious awareness, on the other hand, reveals where our inner-greening potential is damaged.
Summer’s greening potential needs the soil of our individual, ancestral, and cultural blueprints. Greening takes all of us, including the unconscious exiled parts that continue to show destructive symptoms. The life that has contracted from trauma becomes the rich soil of embodied spirituality. With considerable humility, we discover that our trauma belongs here as a “vital ingredient” on an embodied spiritual path— and not an obstacle “in our way.” As we encounter the radical grace of inner-greening a universal intelligence begins to pulse within our own hearts and nervous system.
Instead of being many, splintered, we unify into the one body of the world. We create peace. Thomas Hübl
Pause for just a moment … reflecting on what resonates in you as you read these words. I encourage you to slow down and sit with your embodied (felt) perception. Do the words open an inner-space in you? Does your mind argue with them? Are you left unmoved by them? Confused by them? Invited by them? More important than our cognitive assessment of whether these words are true or false is our felt sense of them. How do these words inform the subtle nature of your perceiving and understanding of yourself and the world you live in?
Many paradoxes swim together in the stream of our spiritual embodiment: in emptiness, we are filled; in being intimate with the darkness of fear, a light begins to glow; in not-knowing, a deep transpersonal knowing begins flowing through our nervous system. The promise of summer solstice is an invitation towards relaxing and enjoying the abundant life-presence in this moment. “Trust me,” the greening whispers … “trust me because I am your deepest nature.” As the heart awakens to this compellingly intimate, ancient, yet ungraspable promise, it is as though a wind passes through our heartstrings, releasing harmonious notes of blessing and peace. Where do you sit in relation to the glory of your true nature as summer solstice approaches? How does the greening potential show up in your life?
The promise mirrored in nature’s beauty is already within us. As we practice breathing life into our trauma contractions—just as they are—we are also opening ourselves to the eternal greening promise of summer. Conscious presence is the activation energy of a timeless promise that invites our greening potential into every moment. Our deepest purpose is revealed through our courageous relationship with life and mirrored back to us each year in the greening promise of summer’s solstice.
* (For more about “greening,” see Greening Moon-Coherence in a Sun-Seared World at https://lauramadsen.ca/phd-research/)