‘My concussion woke me up! …. trials and initiatory experiences along the path.’

You may (or may not) have been wondering where I disappeared to over the last few months, what with my complete online absence. Well…

…12+ weeks ago I passed out and managed to hit my head twice (as you do) before hitting the floor where I remained completely unconscious for 10 mins. I was in and out of hospital several times and confined to bed rest for 6 weeks. I was unable to function at even 10% of my usual capacity and relapsed whenever I tried to push through my post concussion symptoms and ‘get back to normal’.

I am equally pleased and relieved to say that after allot of rest, help and support (both physical & spirit) I am now nearly fully recovered 3 months later. It has been quite the initiation to put it mildly – full of the emotional rainbow of ups and downs that such an experience necessarily entails. However being the obstinate optimist that I am, I have been working through this experience as my teachers have taught me and mining it for the gold, gifts and teachings that it has to offer.

For those of you fortunate enough to not have experienced a concussion, it is not something I would recommend! I imagine that everyone’s experience varies, for me it was like being completely shut down & ejected from my body, re-wired and re-booted. Part of my re-boot is that all my senses seem to have been dialled up to a 9+! Which is a bit of a double edged sword – my experience of everything is so much more deeper, richer & intense, but on the flip side this can very quickly become overwhelming. I am slowly finding & learning ways to manage the intensity of my experience, a part of which will be pouring this all fourth into my paintings.

I am approaching this as an initiatory experience from the more extreme end of the spectrum (there are other ways to facilitate initiatory experiences, but apparently not in my case this time!) I have certainly experienced a death, with many parts of the collective labelled ‘me’ being shed and for which I still continue to grieve and honour. But as we know, with death comes new life and I am welcoming, embracing and surrendering to the new path that now lays ahead of me. In all my mapping of this experience I have come to the conclusion that my concussion woke me up! It has woken me up to an even deeper experience of this world, of what I am and my calling in this life. It has allowed me to approach my work as an animist painter and luminous cartographer at an entirely new level, something that I am slowly working with and exploring as I get back into the studio.

Below is the first drawing I did in my sketch book after my initiation while I was still on bed rest, expressing my initial feelings about the whole experience. I look forward to sharing more with you as well as the maps and paintings that are bourne from this shift over the coming weeks.

I wish you all many luminous blessings on your paths, may you live your lives fully, uncompromisingly and with no regrets!

Yours in light & gratitude,

Gabrielle x


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