Extracting Grace from the Grit


I'm going to try to wrap words around an experience that is still serving up its gifts for me. The punch line is that a very loud patriarchal experience just bounced me way more deeply into feminine nature based consciousness. Something I immediately interpreted as catastrophic has in fact shown itself to be a profound gift that might just have changed my life forever. As such, I thought it might be useful to share. The context for it, is my odd living circumstances (I'm a Brit residing in the US for 90 day chunks of time within the ESTA visa waiver program that enables foreigners to come in for various reasons, mine being medical) and my complex personal relationship to powerlessness.

On my last entry at immigration I was stopped and questioned in ways that pointed to the system's capacity to send me home or bar me if I didn't get a full visa. I got clued in with several lawyers and headed to the embassy in London to get my visa. What rolled out was like a perfectly choreographed stage play with life sitting in the wings ticking off every potential personal fear based father wound trigger as they tripped. My interview (after five solid hours of watching un-ordered numbers pop up on a screen) was a suspicion laced interrogation by an utterly exhausted young man who's mind was made up within seconds. I did everything I could to find solid ground, but helplessly witnessed the interaction became a landslide towards inevitable rejection (with no case for appeal) topped off by an utterly humiliating interaction of asking for help and guidance only to be treated like a criminal and ordered from the building.


A different woman could have no doubt been able to maintain sufficient distance from the play to find it fascinating, choose not to take anything seriously until having spoken again to a lawyer and gone found some good chocolate to savour while coming up with a new game plan. For me, I thought I had just been barred from the states and seamlessly managed to interpret the whole experience through my old default programs of powerlessness, choicelessness, helplessness, compassionlessness, unjustness and unfairness leading to inevitable defeat. 24 hours of total melt down later however, I got back up and called the Lawyer who put me straight. I have a game plan and we'll see - meanwhile I'm growing new muscles all over the place.

What's wild though is the experience of being so completely triggered and what that has made conscious and available. I see it a little bit like archaeology. These trauma structures that we bury to survive them are like skeletons in the sand with various elbows or knees sticking up that periodically get whacked and then merrily vibrate like mad causing us to re-experience the same feelings that laid them down in the first place. A chance to attend to them more consciously from our more mature selves. In this case the trigger was so strong the whole skeleton vibrated.

As it did that - I started to become conscious of the whole thing as one great structure, and then simultaneously everything that wasn't that - the sand of my being itself. I had a few days suspended between both places - triggered structure and the wholeness of me that could see the structure for what it was - before dropping into wholeness. Not only could I see and feel the part of me that had grown in profound separation and fear as simply that - a dislocated energy vibrating out of phase with the ocean of me - but I could see the human made systems that vibrated on that same frequency (the US immigration system for one) as these strange apparitions or reflections of disconnection from the whole inter-connectedness of life.

Instead, I found myself - and still am - squarely grounded in nature connectedness - marveling at the indivisibility I feel - astonished at the raw power that is here, the texture of seamlessness, consciousness, oneness, smoothness - it's SO hard to wrap words around - but it's like I've been dropped out of one schismic dimension and landed in another that is unquestionably complete.

In more ways than one, it's wild. I can see where I've come from and I know that I utterly believed it to be real and so gave my power away to it - but from here, it no longer feels real or true and so suddenly I have choice. It feels like a bizarre and temporary manifestation of confusion and good intention arising out of dislocation from the wholeness of natural intelligence and life.

It's strange, wonderful and a little unnerving where I am. I feel increasingly feral day by day. Human made cultural norms feel more like cages than security and I feel utterly unwilling to be caged - least of all by myself. I feel these deeper laws stirring in my consciousness, like a different song is singing me and my instinctual self is coming forward. I feel volatile, a little dangerous and a lot more like me.

Maybe this is what being Woman really feels like? If so, then I understand more about why we have been so feared and treated the way that we have. If I'm just tasting the edges of this, then what we could be capable of untamed together, is beyond imagining. I know I'll lose it - get triggered - disconnect and get out of phase with this seamlessness. The default of overwork will be the real test. But I also know that this is here now, who I am within it and that a radically secure feeling exists within a oneness that is everything - that is nature.

If we are feeling insecure, then we have disconnected. If we have disconnected then life has arranged another opportunity to introduce us to aspects of self that are ready to drop their state of separation from all that is. We get to use our awareness and compassion to bridge the gap back to wholeness. I love that I've gone from perceiving this as a horror story to the greatest act of illumination and liberation that life could have arranged. I'm not sure that I've done it justice, but it matters to try because if I'm experiencing this then I wont be alone - and because to me, our human capacity to rediscover ourselves as indivisible from this exquisite interconnected natural realm is the single most important collective shift of consciousness that all of us can make. I want the world that can arise out of embodied nature connectedness and that starts with ourselves. Blessings on a stunning 2016 of illumination, potential, remembering and joy.

Blog and Photography by Clare Dubois

Art by Unknown

dsc01477Clare Dubois is the founder of TreeSisters– a UK based charity evolving at the intersection of feminine emergence and ecology. She lives between New England and England – currently Gloucester MA. She is an explorer, a free radical, a learner and teacher of body based listening, with a passion for nature, nurture and being astounded by life. 

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