Spring has sprung! And it’s the perfect time to breathe in the truth that – Your Life is Your Birthright. And to ask yourself, “Am I making the most of my life, my birthright?”
In the booklet “Wilderness Vision Questing and the Four Shields of Human Nature”, authors Steven Foster and Meredith Little say this about Spring: “Spring brings a sense of being part of something greater than ourselves – a new life, a new hope, a shift in perspective toward the light. In the spring of human nature, the old forms of winter are broken. New life comes forth…”
Because of this, Spring is also an excellent time to participate in (or plan) a Vision Quest, or what I also refer to as a Vision Fast.
What Is a Vision Quest?
The term "vision quest" was first coined by 19th-century anthropologists to describe the rite-of-passage ceremonies of certain Native American cultures.
Traditionally, these rituals, or sacred pauses, have been performed to mark significant life transitions or changes, or the desire for change. (Or they may also simply be a time of deeper reflection on one’s life.)
Generally speaking, they are seen as both personal and collective events that are guided and witnessed within the community, and often involve the "quester" spending time alone in nature in search of a personal vision that becomes a vision to support the entire community. An important vision quest, for example, is one that marks the passage of adolescents into adulthood.
The vision quest has evolved into a general term that refers to Native American and also to the rite-of-passage rituals found in almost every tradition, culture, and religion throughout the world. And a number of these once-private pan-cultural ceremonies and teachings have seeped out and entered into the hearts and lives of the many.
The School of Lost Borders
There are individuals and organizations around the globe that facilitate rite-of-passage programs such as the vision quest. As you can read in my bio, I've participated in this rites of passage work with the School of Lost Borders for more than a decade. And in doing so, I have continued to experience meaningful and profound levels of insight, revelation, and growth, along with a deepening love and connection to spirit, nature, my self, others, and the world as a whole.
The School of Lost Borders uses the term "vision fast" rather than "vision quest" to differentiate from and show respect for the ceremonial practices of the North American indigenous peoples.
The School of Lost Borders offers different programs, not just Vision Fasts, attracting all types of interesting people of all ages and from all over the world, including teens, therapists, investment bankers, grandmothers, artists, doctors, moms, dads, CEOs, you name it -- all seeking a sacred pause to feel more deeply into and explore their lives – to meditate, to catalyze realizations, changes, healing, growth, and even to experience a renewed sense of oneness with everything.
Connecting with Nature Is Good for Our Health
There's another important way the vision quest is good for us, and that is how it reconnects us to nature!
Researchers are increasingly recognizing that direct and immediate contact with the natural world promotes health and development, and that a disconnection from the natural world has negative consequences for human health and development. The documented benefits of spending time in nature include stress reduction, fascination and appreciation for the environment, a sense of competence and self-esteem balanced with a sense of trust in oneself and the world, a more mature morality and care for others, and a sense of awe, wonder, and sacredness. Direct contact with nature also leads to greater commitment to positive environmental action.
We live in a world marked by separation and borders, borders between continents, people, and even between our own hearts and minds. And perhaps one of the most pervasive borders is the one we've mistakenly placed between ourselves and nature. As Steven Foster said, "The Big Lie is that humans are not a part of nature." The truth is – we ARE nature!
Remembering and Inheriting Your Birthright
There are many potential benefits in doing something as simple and powerful as a vision fast. Perhaps it’s a way for you? Only you can decide. If you’d like to learn more about the programs offered at the School of Lost Borders, check out their website: School of Lost Borders
A gift – here is a video excerpt from: “Lost Borders: Coming of Age in the Wilderness”, the award winning documentary about 9 youths who participate in a 10-day vision fast in the Inyo Mountains: http://www.schooloflostborders.org/content/excerpt-documentary-lost-borders-coming-age-wilderness
From the heart, Your Life Coach Maddisen
“Deep down you know the truth. You must cross over the border. You must take the step. You must inherit your life.” – Steven Foster and Meredith Little
"My soul is striving to remember who I am, to make who I am compatible with who I was born to be, to bring who I am into synch with who I will be." – Steven Foster and Meredith Little
“We do not go into the desert to escape people but to learn how to find them: we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them, but to find out the way to do them the most good.” – Thomas Merton
Copyright 2015 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.