I went to Mt. Kiluea, to visit Pele.
I was invited to explore Pele as a goddess archetype that had something to say to me about my business by the enchanting Amy Palko. To be honest, I was less than pleased when Pele stepped forward for me. A fucking volcano goddess? Here is my raw, first impression:
"When I saw Pele last night, I felt dread. Of course I would get a goddess that is destructive - viewed as angry. Powerful to the point of her sister, the ocean, chasing her in jealous rage, trying to put her fires out.
It's me that's worked to put my fires out, to package myself up neatly and make myself acceptable - boxed up, labeled and neatly presented. The new evolution of my business will not allow for such things and I feel like I'm moving through this blind.
As I I think about my emotions, though, I suppose I'm not. I feel the fire and I want to follow it, express it, let it be seen and heard and witnessed - if only by me at this point - so I can create new soil, new ground to walk on for myself and the women I am here to serve and support."
Connecting to Ancient Wisdom
My number one, not-so-secret resource for the last three years in gaining deep clarity, deciding which course of action is best, and knowing what to choose and what to let go of is a renewed connection with the untamed natural world - the mountains, the oceans, the creatures that cross my path, the way the wind blows through the trees, and the way the clouds form in the sky.
A messier process, far more organic and winding than the linear ways of thinking that pervade our business culture and also far truer to MY nature as a woman and deeply attuned to the rhythms and pulses of life. At the same time, I get far more done, my energy is seemingly boundless and my focus rarely wavers. Whether it sounds like bullshit or not, it works.
Listening to nature around me - and within me.
I arrived on the Big Island tuned to listen. I went with questions and came back with surprising answers. I was ready to step into the next evolution of my business and Pele, goddess of the volcanos was (is) my guidess (get it? Goddess + Guide?).
The Three Lessons of Pele
Lesson One: Destruction IS creation.
"The transition from lava to lush is breathtaking. As I walked through the seemingly uniform and bleak lava fields I saw pattern, varied colors, dramatic steam vent crevasses and iridescent sparkles. It was beautiful. And the flowers! The life springing from the cracks. Oh my goddess! The life even in a place that looks like death!! All sorts of plant life breaking through the lava - held by Pele.
The powerful, life affirming and generative nature of volcanoes- spreading literal liquid gold everywhere for generations of life to flourish."
I wrote the above passage after my first visit to Mt. Kiuea. The message cuts to the quick: as much as I may want to keep things status quo, as much as I might want to hold together a business model, a relationship, an idea or a concept or my life in a particular way - life simply doesn't work that way.
Destruction and death is the basis of life and creation. You can't have one without the other. It's okay to let go. It's necessary. I know it's scary. I know you've been told that endless growth and non-stop productivity and holding it all together is what you must do, but honey, that just isn't so.
Pele says that destruction is liquid gold. How you destroy is up to you... slow and carefully or in a big explosion that takes everything out. Which leads us to lesson number two.
Lesson Two: Volcanos don't apologize.
In fact, nothing in nature apologizes. Have you noticed that?
I am a fiery person and that is a fact. I've worked too hard (a sign of things gone awry) in my life to be calm and peaceful and zen because that's what I thought the world needed from me - believing somehow my fire was "bad" and needed to be put out or seriously dampened to be acceptable. Honestly, I'm not sure I even realized how deeply this was entrained in me.
But guess what? That's my fucking NATURE. That is my source of energy, heat, clarity and insight. Yes, it can be destructive in hard ways but the more I actually embrace it and honor it? The less destructive it is (unless I want it to be). And guess what? Even if my fire does destroy something, let's refer back to lesson one: destruction is creation.
So Pele is inviting you (and me) to stop apologizing. To light the fire and keep it burning. I'm not saying there won't be moments that saying, "I'm sorry" is exactly what's needed, but sweetheart, if it's time to blow something up or burn it down or even hold your ground and sing your song of truth, do not apologize for your power, for the force of nature you are.
Lesson Three: Trying to "fit" somewhere means you don't fit anywhere.
Oh fitting in. Oh belonging. Oh the rules and the regulations and the ways that we are told to be, to act and to show up so we will be part of... what, exactly?
"The bleak place I keep touching into is this feeling of not belonging - a thought that I must soften, to not be quite so direct so I can fit.
Meeting Pele makes me wonder why I would want to be anything but myself. Why I would scrape for crumbs from people who clearly don't care. Why I would want to try and fit into someone else's idea of beauty, of kindness, of success.
Perhaps, like Pele, my hard scorched earth holds and nourishes extraordinary life. When I stand here, on fresh earth, everything is built on destruction and initial devastation. Everything is fed by that force. Pele doesn't belong to the earth she IS the earth. I see her cupping the flowers and trees that the birds and insects delight in, her fingers reaching out into the ocean, creating reefs that teem with life.
I'm left with the distinct thought that there is no question of my belonging. The full range of who I am belongs here, with me, expressed and owned."
It is impossible to show up as oneself if you are "trying to fit" somewhere - because trying to fit by it's very nature means cutting off something essential in yourself. What I was bumping up against was where I belong, where I fit, "Am I an intuitive nature goddess or am I a practical get it done girl?"
And that is a fundamental truth for you, as well: the full range of who you are belongs here, with you, fully expressed, claimed, owned and celebrated. There is no other way. Anyone who asks you to put parts of yourself away?
Burn that bridge, quick.
I left so much behind on that mountain.
Programs died, old ways of being in relationship torched, truth revealed, tears shed, grief felt. A fuller understanding of how I am here to serve and how I want to live my life.
But I came back with more than I would have imagined, which I've discovered, is just how nature works.
"I believe that nature (within and all around) is your tarot, I believe that your body is a finely tuned divination tool and that play is the vital force behind your most inspired action.
Blessings to the Mynah birds, to Pele and to the vast oceans that break on my shores and in my body.... Burning away the desire to fit a mold, to belong anywhere but here, in the middle, where I have access to the spirit and the intuition and the guidance of my body and nature and where I walk firmly on the earth, able to take action that makes my dreams manifest.
May I teach this, may I hold this, may I live this."
Your Invitation to Inspired Action
The lessons Pele offered me are universally applicable. Especially for the women who arrive into my coaching practice wanting to build successful, uniquely feminine businesses, to find financial flow, to express themselves authentically - to share their voice.
My heartfelt invitation to you is to seek your own insights and guidance. To go outdoors, to listen, to embrace your powerful true nature, to act on your own truth.
Go to the mountain - your mountain. Access your Source and your intuition and the guidance of nature and then, light the inner fires and walk firmly on the earth, taking decisive action to make your dreams manifest.
I'll be here, fist held high in solidarity and support.