(This is a long-form post. If you’d like to download a pdf ebook, click VisionQuest Day 2 – Shadow)

I set my intention for the day to bring to the surface feelings and shadows. To begin to remove whatever I had created to protect myself from even knowing what I truly desire. Let it come up and out, made conscious, and transmuted.

After breakfast and another drenching in sound vibration, we talked and shared stories.

One of Scout’s many incisive analogies is a bicycling team peleton: the team knows which rider they want to get over the finish line, and they array themselves around that one in service to the team goal. One ahead to break the headwind. One behind to provide supplies. Either side to encourage and create space among the other riders. And our inner “team” works much the same way.

 

I had told Scout that I wasn’t really looking for physical challenges in our time together (she had offered canyoning, rock climbing, and hiking to secret places far into the canyon), but more doing the inner work I knew was ripe in a beautiful setting.

We went into Zion National Park, where Scout regularly guides visitor journeys. I loved hearing her inspiring stories and perspective on the ecosystem as a whole, and in a much longer timeframe yet somehow more personal way. As her stories flowed over and through me, I took pictures of what my eyes were seeing.

We had talked in the truck about some of the limiting thoughts I’d developed (starting in third grade) about people becoming dependent on me and my responsibility to “do it all.” Some of the shadow coming to the surface spun around “owing” my full attention, time, resources, and availability. This theme would come up again the following weekend!

Emerald Pools trail. Water creates all this, starting by flowing along the river bed, then rain seeping down through the hard top layers and wearing away softer layers until huge chunks fall in, creating a canyon.

 

Heart-shaped rocks everywhere.

Wellspring

This tiny spring bubbles up through the silt and creates an entire marshland. Scout says the rain fell 1200 years ago. Dipping my fingers into it, the movement wasn’t even strong enough to feel.

But from its own overflow, given without ever running out, it creates verdant habitat. What a lovely contrast to the program my Enneagram type 5 overlay runs that I will be depleted by being in the world! As Ben Saltzman says, our type is the perfect description of what we’re NOT. I could feel my inner self looking ever-more inward and seeing an endless Source, relaxing just a little.

 

Shadow Work

Back on the shuttle bus, we went to another stop. I wish I’d written down which one. But I was, literally, just along for the ride. We walked along a trail then cut down to the river on a branch to see about finding a quiet place to do some inner work. Here’s just the spot:

Immediately, the boots and socks came off!

A good place to be.

As we got settled, a local resident came to see if any treats were available (no).

Finally our companion decided he couldn’t haul the whole pack off and scampered away.

Scout guided me in some beautiful parts-work that accessed the part that has been trying to keep me safe (poor fellow). “Guido” had quite the attitude, with a snarky New York accent. He appeared as a turquoise colored pot-bellied dragon caricature with bright red tiger stripes. Clearly he’s been overworked for quite some time and ranted to Scout about all the crazy-dangerous (to his mind) things I’d been known to do. I found myself laughing as I related his litany to Scout while having total empathy for his point!

Although we didn’t seem to have a complete resolution, we came to agreement that it would be OK for me to explore desires through expanding my fantasy capability, so long as nothing oozed out into physical reality without his permission (good luck with that).

I felt elated that a part had actually shown up and to have brought more to consciousness at all, so counted it a huge success. I grinned all the way back up the trail to the bus stop.

More hiking

Another brief shuttle ride and were at the walk to the start of The Narrows, where the river IS the path.

Anywhere a spring drips water down the rock walls, a hanging garden forms. I love the way these plants grow so lushly in such a minimalist environment.

We came to the start of The Narrows. Beyond here, the river IS the trail. People rent water-hiking-shoes and provisions are required. We hadn’t come for that trek, but I’m glad I got to see the start of it.

After a lovely dinner in Springdale, we returned to Lazalu.

I captured what I could in my journal, mentally reminded Guido that we were safe for the night, and clicked off my camping lantern.

And I slept well that night for sure!

Vision Quest Day 2 of 4: Zion and the Safety Gremlin
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