• Melissa Joss

Snakes in the Grass



This morning I was meditating amongst the​​ silvery green sea grass, atop the white sandy dunes of one of my favourite beaches in the new dawn light. I had brought along my dear friend and together we sat in the glow of sound and sun.

We enjoyed our meditation of music - the deeply relaxing tones of the rolling waves and the beautiful healing bowl medicine. I couldn’t help but sing along and uplift my consciousness as my brain waves and in turn my body’s cells, settled into greater levels of coherence and centredness.

When we’d concluded our little session in the dunes we decided to take a walk down to the hillside, along the shore. As we emerged from our spot onto the fullness of the sand, I noticed a lady trying to get our attention. She was almost waving at us and seemed to have something important to say. She wanted to warn us of the dreadful snakes that live in the grass, where we had been sitting.

Immediately, I responded to her and explained that I didn’t feel the presence of snakes and that there was really no need to be fearful. In full honesty, there was a "noisy" part of me that felt annoyed that she had disturbed our peacefulness and in a way ruined the moment for me. I almost snapped at her, “Better to spread love not fear.”

As we parted ways and my friend and I walked on, it took me a little while to process what had happened. I could see that I was still a bit annoyed, but by that stage I was laughing about how my inner free spirit (perhaps my child self), didn’t want to be scared unnecessarily. I even started judging the woman about how terrible her life must be thinking she’s doing the world a favour by firstly feeling and believing and then "spreading" this fear.

My friend and I walk often. Through bush trails, gravel paths, rocky cliff-sides, deep rainforests, along water courses and of course, beaches. We’re no strangers to snakes and all kinds of wildlife here in Oz. And I have to admit to being frightened out of my skin more than once when I’ve looked down to see a snake right beneath me on the path. Of course we respect these creatures and know the dangers, but if it made us stop walking or sitting atop gorgeous sand dunes to meditate at sunrise, the world would be a very sad place indeed.

So I got to thinking and reflecting a little more – as is my spiritual want. I asked myself, (with awareness of asking and with curiosity of what may come in reply),

“How did I do?”

“Was I the person I wanted to be in that moment that life brought me?” and if not,

“How can I use this experience to transform into more of the person I want to be?”

I realised I didn’t respond to the lady with compassion and care. I didn’t see into her heart, and therefore I missed her intent to be caring in her caution. I missed the deeper awareness that this woman’s own experiencing through life had brought her to this moment. Whatever prompted her to warn us, was done out of care and a lovingness that I (unwittingly at the time) rejected. ​​

Without putting myself down for not realising this right away, and for perhaps not being as kind as I could have been, I calmly and lovingly reach into my wiser self now and find the space to send her (wherever she is right now) a feeling of gratitude. I imagine her smiling. I see myself re-doing my response and I train my brain to a new way of being in the world. I use this experience as a learning and I know that because I have been blessed with this awareness, I will be a little different next time something like this comes up. I might not get it perfect. It’s quite likely that I won’t. Yet I am a work in progress and I love my will to transform and to bring greater awareness and ultimately greater love to this world.​​

Thank you, new dawn light. Thank you for the snakes in the grass, real or imagined.

#retrainingthebrain #awareness #personalgrowth #compassion #applyingthepractice

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