By Leahanne Woods MIND RISE

The Black River Of Trust — She Is Deeply Me


I return here each day. This Black River is the essence of me. It is the quiet dark nothing. And, it is my very life.

It runs through the core of me. Behind all the layers of thoughts, ideas, all the things we “live” off of in this world. The Black River is behind there. And, I must stay disciplined to return to her every day.

With the use of my attention, I stay in her. Even though the temptation is so strong to go with the parade seeming to take me to where I need to go to thrive. I catch myself lifting off and out into the high energy places. They are presented to me constantly by my awesome mind.

And, I say “no” here is your river. This is your real life. These things are not. They are wonderful distractions, distractions that I’ve wedged my whole life on. Now it’s time to unplug from them.

I feel slightly fearful. But, I know to trust myself with this. I do not know very well yet that feeling of solidity that is the river.

I remind myself briefly that I am accustomed to feeling life as the lights that pass by, and those fight or flight energy spasms that I’ve gotten so good at surfing in just the right way to catch the world’s attention. I thought that was life.

I never took much time before to visit my river. I believed the “demands” for me to figure out something clever because it looked as if I’d have to take a loss if I didn’t. An expert soldier, I’ve calmly taken in their full cries for me to do something now or else the whole thing would be a loss.

Damn, I’ve become a good surfer in the ocean of fear and scarcity. And, not many knew.

“No,” I say. “Sweetheart, your life is not at that place, ‘life’ as you called it. It is in here, in the river.” I feel just enough trust to go there. I only breathe consciously enough to feel moderately able to follow this sage advice that I know is truth beyond what I can feel. And, I go back into her.

In my Black River I follow my breath which is often still jagged from the years of stress from not trusting this life; from not trusting myself. It doesn’t run on its own, and I have to fight insatiable urges to abandon it. It’s inconsistent and it feels shallow and stuck just when I need to feel free.

But, I stick with her. I stay here in my Black River that only runs when I breathe. I follow my breath which is its life, but the breath is dependent on me to breathe it. And, I’m unaccustomed to trusting myself.

In “life” I see that I’ve trained myself to be unaccustomed to nurturing anything.

I’ll have to train myself now to nurture my breath, to believe in her, and believe in my river, though its energy is me.

I am the conductor. I forget so easily. What a difficult new journey it is back to the old. The ways of the origin are, I know my life. My life, meaning my quiet spirit I entered here in, and then my breath to fuel it alive here. It’s getting better. But some days, this breathing-in-my-river thing feels like I am a newborn deer. I wobble up onto my legs. Though my deepest instinct is to trust, the temptation is still there to fall back down and stay down.

I rest in the in-between. I love the momentary space where I can still pretend that I am not responsible. Do I have to breathe? Can’t I just lay here until someone comes along to lift me up into where I have to go next? No. I cannot.

I follow my stifled breath again. In slowly, and out slowly all the way while staying in the dark river. Beginnings of life I am in now on my way back to the end. The end of the beginning is near. I can feel my new feet’s freedom before I can see it in a format. I believe it’s working.

I thought I was trusting myself by rushing to the light over and over and learning to battle, to impress, to be the best, to flit to this and that in the world. I have learned now that this is not life. But, it’s still hard for me to put down my sword, my acting skills, my ability to scathe by truths to bend it to make it my ego’s own and put it out into the world, I know I must. I must to survive now. Yes. I must return solemnly each day to the river. The Black River of trust. She is me. She is indeed deeply me.

There’s nothing here, in the river, to try to protect or to own over someone else. There is nothing here to try to compete with, or to entertain me much. She is a feeling. She is real. She is solidity. She is real life, my beginning and my ending.

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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Leahanne Woods Smith


Leahanne Woods is a 44-year-old spirit of light. She is a writer, a caregiver for the elderly, a mom of two sons. She is a Warrior Goddess, a Shamanic Shakti Queen, and a yogi who lives in western North Carolina. She is The Recorder Machine for the divine archives, seeing often unseen beauty and warriorism in the human spirit and articulating it in ways that both present and preserve it with honor.

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  2. Julie Bilyeu

    How beautifully written!! You really opened up my eyes Leahanne. I truly understand, what you wrote resonates so deeply within me. You have taught and continue to teach me to go deep, connecting with our true selves and with nature, be fully present. Extremely grateful for your authenticity and wisdom. Thank you, YOU are so beautiful!! 💖🔥🙏🏼

    • Leahanne Woods

      Thank you Julie! This means so much to me! You are such a beautiful and wise soul!!! -Leahanne

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