Yes, this is a plug. But, bear with me for a moment, okay?
I’ve been plodding along in this course since mid-December, and I’ll be the first person to tell you that it’s not all easy-peasy. And I don’t mean that the course material is hard in that cerebral way. We aren’t studying dusty tome after unending dusty tome — in fact, there hasn’t been one single required reading assignment in all this time. Yes, I’ve discovered authors whose work I want to follow up on my own. Yes, my to-be-read pile continues to grow at an alarming pace. Books are indeed mentioned — of course they are. But even when we stop along our paths to dwell on more cerebral exercises, the exploration continues to primarily be one of experience. I find this to be very appealing, largely because if I’m left to my druthers I get sucked into the cerebral. I like books. I like knowledge gleaned from books. I simply do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However falling back on only book knowledge is the opposite of living a, well, living practice.
What’s so difficult in that? Well, I keep deciding beforehand that I know what to expect, that I know where the path is going to go. I decide that I know myself thoroughly, and that this will all be smooth sailing. I <em>do</em> know myself pretty dang well, but by no means do I know myself completely. I also fall into the “by the book” mentality, so that if I’m not doing the assignments exactly how I think Anni is expecting them to be done, then I’m doing them wrong, and if I’m not going to do them correctly, I shouldn’t be doing them. It becomes this cycle, and I start lagging behind, and then I’m faced with playing catch-up, and I start debating whether or not I want to continue. . .
I remind myself of the benefits taking this course with Anni has already bestowed upon me. She has, along with other cherished friends and spiritual family, helped me rediscover the simple joy of living my spiritual practice. When I find myself deciding “she expects this or that other thing,” I remind myself that Anni has shown she expects that we honor our experiences, our pasts, our histories, that we — if you’ll forgive me, Anni — acknowledge and hold dear that which we come knowing.
There have been, in the duration of this course so far, at least three pivotal, paradigm-shifting moments, three epiphanies that have enriched my life and helped my spiritual practice grow. Three epiphanies in eight months that have been so positive that the struggle I have with the pace of the course is worth it.
What about the pace of the course? Anni is thorough in her coverage of the material she presents. For some, focusing on one particular element for as long as we do may seem like a very slow process — at the same time, the average of two exercises, two journaling assignments, and two videos to watch each week can seem awfully fast-paced. I find it challenging to keep up with the pace and work full time and care for my animals, and attend to my spiritual practices, to the point that, when I’m not paying attention, the coursework becomes my spiritual practice. I don’t mind that, until I do, and then I have to reassess and fit back in what’s slipped off while my attention was elsewhere.
Yes, that’s right. Most people call that living life, don’t they?
As I mentioned previously, Anni has opened her course and is forming up a new group. You can learn more about Season of the Seeker here, as well as reading up about it over at her webpage The Greystone Path. I have such admiration, respect, and affection for this woman, and I am so grateful that our lives have touched. (Also, she’s utterly stupid about her dogs; how can I not relate to that?).
If you want to delve deep into an Elemental practice, or if you’re curious about exploring yourself from a slightly different angle, or if you need help shaking yourself out of a rut that is no longer serving you, you may just want to give this course a chance.