I remember when I was in grade 3 my family moved to the farm where I grew up for the rest of my years until mid teens. After getting over the shock that there was a moving truck half loaded in front of my house when the bus dropped me off from school (everyone thought I knew!) I was then mortified that we were going to be living on a farm. After all, this meant isolation, a new school, a longer bus ride, lots of manual labor....it was rocking my world, man! Then I discovered that we were taking out the boiler system (didn't work anyway) and installing not one, but two wood burning stoves to heat the house. Thank God it had running water or I would have been so out of there! Bad enough the whole chopping/hauling wood thing. It really did feel like we were living in the sticks and having to really rough it. I know now what "roughing it" really can be, so believe me I am not here to complain at all. In comparison we actually had it pretty good. A lot of work, yes, but pretty good.
I also discovered something that you can't get living in a hamlet, a town, or a city. I discovered the wilderness. It became my friend. When times got rough, I would go for a walk or a horseback ride and love every minute of the solitude and peaceful tranquility that the wilderness had to offer. I often, admittedly, concerned my mother because once I got out there I took a LONG time to get back, but I was never lost as such. Yes, I would go visiting sometimes, until I found my way home, but I never really felt lost or afraid. Actually, I found myself more at home out there than I ever had with the people around me. I listened to the leaves in the trees and they spoke to me. I had the honor of encountering a lot of wild animals and learning their habits and languages. I learned that walking silently was greatly appreciated by all the nature spirits and wild animals. I also connected with Spirit in ways that went much deeper than those experienced by others around me, it seemed.
I think that this is what led me to embracing my Shamanic Consciousness. Just like someone had to be the one to haul the wood, I had to be the one to become a shaman. I wrote previously about my mother and grandmother and how awesome they were in "knowing" things. I do have that within me. I both inherited it and developed it. Most of my teachings came from nature itself, but I also had the benefit of having other shamans and witches teach me along the way. I am very honored that they took the time to do so. They provided me with a road map that will forever be a reference point. I get to choose which direction my journey takes, but the map is always there and does indeed get updated along the way. I can't get lost that way. This is why I always have to honor what resonates as true for me. If I can't honor that within myself, then I end up entangled in others' expectations, which may not be at all realistic for who I am.