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In Pursuit of the Green Lion

What 'gift' have you been handed that up until now you have been grieving?

Green Lion reaching up to the sun

MARI SELBY: In ourpursuit of living an authentic life, based on God's constant call we define as synchronicity, we are like the ancient philosophers and scientists who searched for the philosopher's stone.

That quest for the philosopher's stone was referred to in symbols like the pursuit of the Green Lion. The philosophers stone is a legendary alchemical substance said to be capable of turning base metals (lead, for example) into gold (chrysopoeia) or silver, as well as an elixir of life conferring youth and immortality. Today as modern alchemists we are both the base metal being changed into gold and the alchemist producing the change. Meditating on the processes in our flasks/life we throw ourselves into a sea of strange experiences. We seek to grasp the inner parallels and significance of each of the stages of our process we have embarked upon, just like ancient alchemists. This quest is challenging as we may experience an inner death and rebirth in attaining our version of the Philosopher's Stone.

We model ourselves after alchemists and when we use the base metals of crisis in our lives and transmute that pain into purpose or the elixir of life. Our bodies become our crucibles and our actions become the results of the process we undergo. We do this by first knowing ourselves and understanding the process, and then deciding to do something with the gifts our suffering has brought. When we do this, healing is swift. Purpose relieves suffering, literally transforms it. We can call this process of transmutation pursuit of the green dragon, as we quest for our own philosopher's stone.

For ancient alchemists, this philosopher's stone was actually experienced as the formation of a solid ground within the shifting sea of their inner world. Once this solid ground in the soul was found, the alchemists were able to take hold of their lives in a creative way, they could root their personality on a solid foundation or ground of inner experience. As we undergo the processes of our lives we face those shifting seas, and search for solid ground in our encounters with the divine. Our spiritual practice develops our soul's solid ground. We study meditation. We practice meditation. We live our lives as best we can as a meditation. We receive clues on our quest for the philosopher's stone as events we call synchronicity.

Recently receiving a diagnosis of Cancer for the 2nd time I experienced a little death or great fear. My body had now become base metal and I was not sure I could transform it for a return visit from this alien invasion. I retreated to my laboratory and looked at my arsenal of tools, material and equipment. The 2nd night after the diagnosis I was in pain and felt such deep sadness. The only thing I could do was listen to Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. As I drew comfort from that song I felt strong enough to reach out to friends. With some trepidation I posted what I was feeling on Facebook. I was humbled and oh so grateful for the outpouring of love and support I received. My little drop in the vast bucket of Facebook has created a continuing ripple that spreads out in the ocean of my life. I am surprised by offers of healing sessions as well as financial support, all that is divine, and all that I need. For someone who continually receives joy through giving, I am discovering there is also joy in receiving. I realize that I am not alone, and that truly there is a "we in wellness". Perhaps my pursuit of the Green Lion will indeed lead to wellness for me.

Still in the crucible, my alchemical process continues. I am determined to offer my experience, strength and hope as I continue my pursuit of the green lion/wellness. My hope is that by offering my story others will find their way to transforming the base metals of catastrophe into a purpose for their lives. For me having a purpose the pain is indeed less, and I can see that this process is a gift. As a means for that purpose Karen Lawrence and I have started a new project, "Of Sticks and Stones". The inspiration behind this project is the children's rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".

The words we use and the stories we tell ourselves and others are a powerful force in our lives. We may have been victims of these words and old stories. It is time to awaken to a new story that reflects our soul's true purpose. Our new stories reflect the alchemical process that changes the tragedies and misfortunes of our lives into compassionate action. When we transform our fear, anger, and aggression into creative energy we can face horrific personal circumstances and maintain a positive perspective.

Of Sticks and Stones is a place for us to gather our words and stories, to share how others are using creativity to move through negative emotions and reveal new stories rising from our emerging hearts.Of Sticks and Stones publishes a "green" magazine, offers online seminars, and writing groups. Come join the Of Sticks and Stones community on Facebook.  

This week's exercise: Take a moment and examine your life. What 'gift' have you been handed that up until now you have been grieving? How can you place that gift into the crucible of understanding of self? When you have more understanding of yourself and choose to do something with that gift healing is swift. Purpose relieves suffering, literally transforms it. Then you too can realize your quest to pursue more deeply your own philosopher's stone. 

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More from Mari Selby


Article Pic Biography
For over three decades Mari Selby has comforted, and assisted hundreds of people as a family therapist, healer, and spiritual advisor.

Currently the director of Selby Ink , a publicity and marketing firm, Mari promotes authors by developing name recognition through traditional publicity efforts as well as social media. Selby ink specializes in the genres of body, mind, spirit, relationships, environmental issues, and social justice.

This summer Mari’s 2nd poetry book, 'Lightning Strikes Twice' will be released. She is also co-founder at 'Of Sticks and Stones' a publisher that celebrates women's transformation of life's challenges through creativity. Mari's columns can be found on San Francisco Book Review's , 'After the Manuscript' and her blog 'Fierce Grace'. You can also find Mari on Facebook and Twitter @selbyink

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