As a child, I was taken by the mystique of Africa. As a teen having grown up in a wilderness environment tuned to nature, I became equally taken by stories of the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, who seemed to emulate in their wild grace all that I held close in my heart. But even developing intentional nature connection skills and awareness over the years, like animal tracking and nature connection community here at home, did not prepare me for the life-changing experience of being immersed in San culture for even the brief period we spent with them.
To be met and greeted by the Bushmen was almost overwhelming. I had never before imagined the ritual of simply being greeted – the eyes and hearts of my hosts peering acceptingly into the core of my being – could so quickly overturn all of my self-doubts. To be made whole on that first day by a welcoming timeless love, was a portal through which the ensuing days with my Bushman hosts became a profoundly transformational experience.
Perhaps it was actively erasing expectations before going which left me available to what awaited me, I don’t know. But something deep and powerful catalyzed inside of me. Something essential to my being, which the absence of had led me to a life-time of feeling incomplete, separate from others, and lack of confidence in my deeper purpose, turned on. I can only call it my dormant connection system catching fire.
Upon returning home everything about me had spontaneously taken a quantum leap in awareness. When tracking, I can “feel” the movement of the animal and its story in my own body immediately. When the birds around my house call or alarm, I can “feel” what they are saying. Formerly more of a loner, my sensitivity and connection to others has profoundly expanded. I am more generous and warmer to strangers, the homeless, and even myself. I sleep better, my mind is more clear. My creative intuition feels boundless – I am producing new work like never before. Yet, my needs are simpler. There’s peace and a quiet joy. I am “living” and “speaking” connection on a whole new level. My life is full in this surrender, and I am being lived by it.
From being in the presence of such seamless nature and community connection that the San embody so effortlessly, something inside of me opened into a timeless and deeply human state that I cannot name. I am so grateful to feel so complete. I feel like I became fully human for the first time in my 60 plus years. I am finally wholly connected to my own life – I finally belong.
Lonner Holden, Holden Healing Studio