Jul 11 / Audre Rickard
I invite you to come with me as I explore a question that bubbled up in a supervision session. The question was: what does freedom look like or feel like when I trust the unfolding of a directee’s story? It’s fascinating, eventually there was a shift where the question became about the unfolding of my own story while on a walk during my silent retreat. It was nature that primed my heart, mind, and body to be mindful of an answer as I braved the external landscapes of nature and the internal landscape of my soul.

While on a walk I noticed how at home I felt in the neighboring habitats of mixed pine-oak forest, open grasslands, talus slopes, cliffs, bluffs, and a creek. While the habitats were very different from one another, they complimented each other.

The landscape hosted what seemed like natural boundaries with a creek sandwiched in between rugged ridges and high dessert hillsides. I was curious to see if a pathway would present itself as I explored these natural boundaries.

As I walked down to the creek I soaked in the sights and sounds of the rushing water. I noticed animal trails crossing the creek, but it was much too deep and wide for me to jump across. The other side of the creek was calling to me to be explored. I noticed a snag that had fallen across the creek. It hadn’t fallen too long ago. Entire limbs were still attached, making the natural bridge look more treacherous and impossible to walk across. I wondered if the sagging limbs that made it seem cumbersome could be used to steady myself instead.

It was as if the fallen snag was affirming that this boundary was a softened edge, an invitation to explore what awaited on the other side. Sometimes we must test the edge to discover if it is an invitation to greater freedom.

Getting to the other side opened an entirely new world to be explored. My eyes were peeled as I scanned the bank for a pathway. There was a faint animal trail that unfolded a pathway to follow to higher ground. My body yearned to know what I might find at the top of the hillside. The unknown fueled my curiosity to take one step at a time to see if I might come to another boundary.

It takes patience and persistence to identify the way opening while trusting ourselves and the Spirit within. Grace abounds even we feel like we are walking a tightrope to uncover the unfolding pathway to get us to the next thing.

When I reached the top and the edge of the tree line, the view did not disappoint. The wide-open space hosted fields of grass as far as the eye could see. I was struck by the balance of the blue sky laced with clouds and the lush green grass for miles. My soul felt so free in that place. Feelings of peace, love, joy, freedom, and innocence flooded my soul.

These feelings at times have been markers in my body pointing to the presence of Divine. I notice my soul wants to sing, dance and be free; to join in with Divine’s chorus heard through the wide-open space. I want to be loud and quiet all at the same time. To rejoice and to be in awe of the sacred, the holy that saturates all that I see, and feel.

I was delighted to discover the similar and yet different feelings when I hiked down to explore another area of the creek. There was a natural den tucked under some trees with a nice space to sit down close to the creek. It was cozy, earthy, and protected within the muted light. There was a grounded feeling that allowed my soul the respite, renewal, and rejuvenation it was thirsty for.

My soul longs for different things at different times and granting it the freedom to explore without judgement has drawn me closer to Divine and others.

The wide-open field was there even before I ever laid eyes on it. The creek’s steady flow was sounding off even when I couldn’t hear it. The natural boundaries of the landscapes were invitations to explore just as the edges are within myself are. Sometimes what looks impossible to traverse just takes some patience and presence of mind to explore if a way will open.

It’s trusting myself and the Divine in me to grasp that I have everything I need to take the very next step. This is also true of those I sojourn with.

I have learned if I want to host a gentle, non-judgmental safe space for my directee to explore their edges, I need to maintain and host that space for myself first. This is how I tend the holy in me, so I can tend the holy in another.

As I have leaned in to do this tending work, I have been transformed as a woman, a mother, a daughter, a friend and a spiritual director. I am more open to trusting that the story will be shared at just the right time for me and those I sojourn with. It was freedom that invited me to experience the awaiting landscapes as the pathway unfolded.

Reflection Questions:
What does freedom look like for you to explore external landscapes with wonder and curiosity?

What does freedom look like for you to explore the internal landscape of your soul?
Audre Rickard
Audre is a Spiritual Companioning Editor who is passionate about helping writers, authors, bloggers, pastors and spiritual directors lean in to their call to write words the world needs to hear. She holds in high esteem what wants to be said and what needs to be said. She believes it takes writer and editor leaning into the Spirit to hear clearly the words the Divine has called the writer to share. As the three sojourn together, the writer’s voice is strengthened, their writing craft is honed and their reader will hear the words they have been longing to hear at just the right time.

Audre founded Saturated Grace, LLC in response to her call to be a Spiritual Director. She provides spiritual companionship and hosts Saturated Grace Groups. She sees the world through the lens of being an autistic person who mothers nuerodivergent children.
You can find her on FaceBook here. Editorial inquires contact her by email at audrerickard@gmail.com. https://www.saturatedgrace.com/