On a rather crisp, clear morning, I puffed my way to the top of Kura Tāwhiti (Castle Hill), a stunning, eery and deeply significant site in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.
I had arrived pre-dawn and alone. This place had been calling me, an area I’d being yearning to experience since a stranger had hinted at its mysteries a year or two prior.
With bare feet, I quietly navigated my way around the upper site, feeling the immenseness of my solitude in amongst the great silence.
While some say the stone formation on the hill is naturally formed, it was hard not to feel magic at play. The mighty stones all rested in such a way, as to create a sacred space.
I sat, leaning against the cold solidness of the largest stone, an insignificant form on a majestic landscape. I looked out to the great expanse of snow-tinged mountains surrounding us.
She, my companion of stone, not only felt central to the formation of the stones immediately around me, but thinking back, to the whole area I gazed upon.
In those quiet moments I inexplicably felt my significance and my insignificance. A tiny dot amongst the grandness of ancient form. It’s hard to explain exactly. It’s a knowing that while I am an individual, I am also very much part of the whole.
The crisp air I breathed, the cold earth that numbed my feet, the hard formation upon my back. Knowing that all of this had been breathed, felt and connected to over millennia. That I, in this lifetime and maybe a few before, felt not only connected to but part of it.
I was recently reminded of this five-year-old experience as I sat with some successful, creative, groundbreaking women. While it was my first event, for them it had been many. I felt the deep sense of connection and trust. I was uplifted to be in their presence.
The reason for this triggered memory was a korero around a piece of advice given to one of the group ‘we are everything and nothing.’ While, a first reaction can be the harshness of this statement, it can also be incredibly liberating, as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said ‘Nothing is, Everything is Becoming.’
I have met many vivacious women in my time. Beautiful wāhine following their passion, making a difference. It catches me off guard when I have heard some express their feelings of imposter syndrome (that beastly feeling you get when you think you are unqualified or incompetent). I know it well.
I have learnt, although need to remind myself on occasion, that I’m always exactly where I’m meant to be. Whether it’s to learn, to grow, to disrupt, to teach or just to be. Consciously or unconsciously, I have brought myself to this moment, meaning I’ve got this.
Learning to trust my inner wisdom, even in its vulnerability, has been one of my greatest learnings. Getting out of my head. Trusting my gut, trusting my heart (not always the emotional one 😉).
We are significant and insignificant. Everything and nothing. We are individuals, yet part of a majestic wider existence. Each one of us holds purpose. To radiant our true essence, no matter its form. This is a truth.
PS While this piece may focus on the glorious feminine, I acknowledge our gorgeous masculine, with many also struggling in this space.
Here’s further information on Kura Tāwhiti.