“The new frontier …… the human heart…”
This is me aged 29 back in 1991 in a canoe travelling up The Amazon. I won a writing competition and was invited to trek through virgin forest in the Amazon Jungle with Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute and Earthwatch.
We flew into Lima, Peru and journeyed to Iquitos and from there travelled eight hours by boat deep into the earth’s heart, The Amazon Jungle.
I had heard about the competition whilst driving my husbands Ute on the local radio station in Brisbane. At this time “The Green Movement” was really starting to emerge as we all watched Elle Mcphearson in documentaries showing us how to recycle our rubbish, and saw for the first time alarming footage of the butchering of the Amazon Jungle. The ozone layer, soil erosion and pesticides became issues of concern for me for the first time, and as a young mother of two boys my heart pounded with fear about the future of the earth for my darling little men. The invitation was to write into the radio station and give your view on the newly formed Green Movement and state why you believe you should go and visit the Amazon and be included in this expedition.
I was 29 years old, a wife and mother of two young sons and had always had a silent and private relationship with Mother Nature. As a little four year old girl my emotional health was preserved through the beauty of the night sky, the gentle kiss of the soft earth as I lay under the lemon tree in my back yard and the mighty sparrows who I still today believe to be secret fairy angels that watch over us all. I knew violence, fear and abuse as a little person and found Mother Nature’s consist colour, beauty and comfort a lifeline. As a grown woman the thought of this universal maternal strength not being accessible for my sons and their children unacceptable.
I wrote about the powerful language of colour, the old Sanskrit wisdom within the chakra system and the human heart, and how I truly believed that the Amazon Jungle represented Mother Earth’s heart. I had seen aerial footage of the Amazon and it is actually shaped like a heart from a bird’s eye view. I wrote about my belief that humanity was not EMOTIONALLY RECYCLING its own toxic waste, not attending to matters of the heart and out of fear we had turned on ourselves and the ripple effect was being acted out on our planet’s heart.
This writing competition gifted me with the first prize from 12,000 entries to visit to Mother Natures most impressive garden on our planet. The Amazon Jungle. The fact that we were butchering it, was a wake call for me on many levels.
Of course when I was writing about humanity that was safer than actually writing about myself. I knew about this issue first hand for I was aware that I was not respectful of the terrain of my own heart, and I saw it reflected in others, my own fear mirrored back at me.
Fear within the heart creates toxins; emotional manure if you like that can either be dumped or responsibly EMOTIONALLY RECYCLED. Planting love in our hearts is like planting trees; it provides beauty, life, and a future. Fear is like a toxic weed that strangles love and life’s potential if left unattended.
Believing there is not enough love for us or that we are not worthy of it is a fear most people confront at least once in their lives. When this fear arises, we either look inside ourselves and weed out this toxin or look outside ourselves for an escape.
I had become an expert at finding “weapons of mass distraction” so that I did not have to address the toxic dump accumulating within my own heart.
I am still today a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who has been clean and sober since 1995, and like most addicts my life was fuelled by fear, which I became an expert at denying. I had my drinking under control back in 1991 whilst the children were little, but like one of those Fischer Price toys if I bashed one addiction down with my rubber hammer, another just popped up to take it’s place. I was overeating, obsessively cleaning, getting drunk on neighborhood gossip and was a professional smother mother. My arsenal of weapons that kept me externally distracted from my internal fermenting rubbish dump I felt was disguised very well. I could justify and even become self-righteous about all the things I had to do, and all the friends I had to save and I was busy, busy, busy. Too busy to look at myself. I was emotionally illiterate and did not know what to do about it.
If I see a person dropping rubbish in the street or out of a car window I am appalled at their lack of care and respect for our planet. However, I now believe it is just as disrespectful to drop emotional waste an expect others to clean up after us.
I have worked with thousands of people over the past twenty six years of my career, recovering from drug and alcohol addictions as well as helping them learn how to manage obsessive, compulsive behaviours that create emotional imbalance in relationship to food, money and sex. I often find myself saying to clients who after unloading a life history of addiction, violence, neglect and abuse that …
“Emotional shit makes great fertilizer, and the more you have the more rose bushes you can grow. We’ve just gotta learn how to become masters at heart gardening and EMOTIONAL RECYCLING.”
After returning from my trip to the Amazon Jungle in 1991 I continued to write and penned my first manuscript Emotional Fitness that was rejected by three publishing houses because quite frankly it was crap, I was still drinking and disconnected from my own heart, it was a dumping ground for fear in those days and quite frankly it was a place I did not want to spend my time in, so I busied myself with tasks that would keep my mind and body occupied, and put the cover on my typewriter and decided it was all too hard.
My drinking escalated as the children got older and by the time they were both at school my addictions were out of control. I put drugs and alcohol down on October 12, 1995 and my marriage ended on November 27th, 1995. Then the real expedition began, the trek back through the sewerage of my fears to my own hearts neglected, overgrown garden… and the lid came back off the typewriter but this time I typed from the heart.
The physical detox was the easiest part for me as it is for most; it has been the emotional detox that proved to be the hardest challenge. I eventually finished my second attempt at my first book but this time sober as a single mum in 2000, which became a top ten bestseller. I re-wrote Emotional Fitness in 2004 having been able to RECYCLE the manure of my past into useful fertilizer for the future.
So today’s Word Vitamin invites us all to review how much time we spend in our hearts garden, weeding, pruning, and yes, shoveling shit. Do we let emotional manure build up denying that it bothers us, or do we roll up our sleeves and put it to good use?
The more shit life has thrown at us, the bigger our hearts new garden beds can be as we RECYCLE it to create new growth. In actual fact when we embrace the responsibility of tending consistently to our hearts garden and the necessity in EMOTIONAL RECYCLING, will find emotional crap no longer a burden, but a gift!
Let’s choose to become more willing to trek our hearts overgrown, virgin jungles to find and claim more space and beauty whilst preserving a gorgeous, growing, green sanctuary for ourselves to rest in.
Lotsa Love Cynthia xxx