Here is Peru, Spring is upon us. The rains have begun and November is typically the beginning of the rainy season; from fierce thunderstorms and downpours to gentle spots of rain, the flora is beginning to turn green and flourish. This morning I paused to notice the garden flowers in bloom; pink rose, sage, calendula and honey bees buzzing from flower to flower pollinating. My thoughts turned to this month’s theme of resilience and looking around the garden, I was reminded how nature shows us this in abundance. Coming from the long dry winter, into a blossoming spring, Mother Nature’s green is present once more.
The women from the Andes inspire a symbol of strength that is observable through their work in the fields, cultivating the land, to provide for the family, land and community. Traditionally, women look after the household, sell produce on the markets, look after the children and among them embody the mother, maiden, spouse, wise and wild woman archetypes. The women are the hearth; in the home, on the land and with their children. I often see women in their 70s and 80s carrying kilos on their backs of produce from the fields, or on a market run, walking up steep hillsides, a smile on their face in greeting as I pass by. Their way of life is a reminder of what is needed to survive, and yet they thrive; in family, abundance of food, shelter and community. I often wonder how this mirrors in their internal landscape.
The pace of life is slower here in the mountains in Peru, in comparison to modern Western societies, allowing space for simple life necessities and moments to be appreciated and lived through a different lens. Women bring their children along to the fields, to learn how to live off the land, they accompany them on the market stalls, to learn how to sell and provide for their future families. The education tends to be through direct life experience, rather than a constant classroom of tutorial. Of course, schools are still here, but a lot of lessons take place outside the classroom that is vital to living in harmony with the land.
The wild woman in Peru is visible in mountain life; the women living off the land with intuition and rituals to maintain connection to Pachamama, Mother Earth, and Spirit. In Andean mythology they believe everything in nature has a spirit; mountains, flora, fauna, the elements, sky, earth, sun and moon. Observing the cycles of life, death, life, each facet celebrated for what it provides and its role it plays in the precious ecosystem in which they live.
I believe resilience is learned, rather than taught. We can be shown how through opportunities in life presented to us. I’ve witnessed this through my own personal healing and travels through different countries and cultures, appreciating the variance of mindsets, way of life, traditions, priorities and placed importance on day to day life. I have learned to slow down, adapt to frequent changing surroundings and surrender to my own rhythm; yet witnessed an increase in creativity, productivity and inner strength.
Through conscious awareness of living each day, a lifestyle in alignment with true purpose can be discovered. I used to imagine a life that was presented to me through conditioning as a child; along with expectations, beliefs and opinion about what was best for me. Through my own process of personal transformation, particularly through Inner Child work, I am able to rewrite and create the life I am guided to, rather than accepting what was initially presented. I recognise that choice is a big part of life; free from comparison about who chooses what and whether the same choices are available to everyone. When I think of resilience, it’s what we are able to do in those moments where life presents us with challenges, however, it is also something we can cultivate and ready ourselves for those moments when they inevitably come!
As the women here in the mountains are seemingly content with daily life, the ebbs and flow undoubtedly challenge them, as Mother Nature herself is their guide, inspiration and provider. Learning to embody the feminine archetypes, integrating Her teachings through raw life experience and passing them down to the next generation, hand in hand with ever-growing empowered resilience is a powerful reminder for considering our own journey.
I invite you to spend some moments reflecting what resilience means for you, where you can see it visible in your life and where you would like to open up a space to cultivate more resilience; internally and externally.