pushing off into the river


"now is like a great rushing river. and this great rushing river will be experienced in many ways. there are many who try to hold on to the shore; there is no shore. the shore is crumbling. the instructions are: push off into the middle of the river; keep your head above water; see who else is in the river with you; and celebrate."

- Choquosh, Native American Storyteller


i found this quote in caroline casey’s “making the gods work for you” and it’s been such medicine for me.


for the last bit of time, maybe a year or so now, i’ve been telling most anyone who i end up in a conversation about future plans with that i have been feeling a deep intuitive sense (and an astrologically confirmed prediction) that the reason so many people - self included - are unsure about what our next steps are is because we’re enduring a massive collective shift right now, and it is impossible for us to know how to prepare when it comes to tangible, mundane, steps in the physical realm. i think a lot of people - self included - have been turning inwards, doing a lot of work on the self, shadow work, spiritual work, because that type of work is what will actually prepare us for the next bit of time, during this shift.


no matter how much of this deep work we do though, we are still societally conditioned. we are still tasked with integrating our spiritual lessons into the mundane world. we still face challenges and conflict in our every day work and interactions. we still have to tend to our bodies, our homes, our work in the world, our relationships.


i have found myself dealing with bouts of fear and doubt more often than not lately, and fear and doubt tends to compel me to over-prioritize the mundane, but in a way that doesn’t actually support my progress in mundane concerns, but rather hinders them by limiting my beliefs around how they could actually look.


but if as i move through the fear and doubt i am able to maintain even just a sliver of faith and hope, and to utilize the tools i have gathered along my spiritual journey, then i am able to come out on the other side of the fear and doubt, having learned from the encounter with my shadow. I begin the process of integration, allowing these less tangible lessons to permeate and change my life in the real world.


what allows me to keep that sliver of faith is the knowledge that i’ve been through this cycle countless times, and that every time there is a lasting gift on the other side, worth trudging through the dark and muddy terrain to find.


the reason these words from Choquosh are so healing for me embrace in this moment is because they reorient me to the fact that not only am i in a state of metamorphosis right now, but we are, collectively. this is something i know and believe with my whole self and body and soul, but is something that the fear and doubt brought up by challenges in the mundane make me forget. Choquosh describes this shift in a way that helps to me visualize, and feel it happening. i love the visualization of the river as a natural and substantial force. i love the invitation to not only let go from the shore but to push off. to maintain a sense of well-being and level-headedness once you’re swimming in the waters of change, and to look for those that are moving through this massive shift with you, to be with them, and to celebrate.


in this moment, inspired by Choquosh’s words, i am feeling immense gratitude for the people i encounter who i know are in the river with me, helping me to embrace the deepest truest parts of my self. encouraging either directly with words or by being a living example in their own lives to stay true to my self and follow my intuitive calling. i find these people in many of my closest relationships, in my teachers and classmates at @innersensehealing arts, in the massive astrology community i’ve come to know and love through conferences and studying at PSA, in the reiki and astrology classes that i teach, in the online presence of so many that i feel lucky to be able to witness and learn from.


the fear and the doubt, at times, are my teachers. but i’ve spent the last few days learning from them, and today i feel ready to focus on this gratitude instead of the on the uncertainty, the fear, and the doubt. able to hold my head above the water, and ready to look around and celebrate.


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© 2019 by Kelsey Rose Tortorice