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What Are The Landscapes Of Our Breakthroughs

by Dana Shino

I once stood in awe of the Grand Canyon at her south rim and wondered if this unbelievable landscape could simultaneously exist inside me, inside each one of us? That is a large thought considering all of us are physically like ants compared to the Grand Canyon and its 277 mile length, 4,500 foot depth and nine mile breadth from the south rim to the north rim. It would be physically impossible for any of us to physically hold the Grand Canyon inside of us. Yet, the spirit of the Grand Canyon, the thought of the Grand Canyon, the energy of the Grand Canyon, those are things we can carry the length, width, breadth, and layered curvature of within our psyches. And we do, like so many landscapes around the Earth. They mark our experiences here and we carry these landscapes within us.

We carry the sky-scape from our star viewing in our souls. The placid lake fringed with evergreens in the high mountains. The broad swath of prairie blowing with but an echo of the meadowlark. The pulse of the ocean along a shore that knows the tides of the moon pulling to and fro. The humid, thick air bayou dripping with Spanish Moss Cypress sentinels of the ages. The scuttle of the sand brushing into crevices of a desert rock. The gentle green roll of a Midwest hill and a red barn nestled in its breast. The plunge of a waterfall over the edge of earth into a deep tropics cavern. The frozen nothingness of snowfields. The multitudes of landscapes rich this Earth like no other and all lives within the sacred psyches of our souls.

Let's keep going. This thought of internally carrying landscapes innately reaches for something else within us. It reaches beyond the known habits of our psyche and plucks, like cello strings, at some, much deeper, unexplored landscape, both internally and externally. Sometimes the external landscape we experience asks us to consider something we did not know we were internally holding or experiencing within ourselves. Our external landscapes are asking us to see within.

That day in 2005 when I experienced the Grand Canyon, I literally stood at the great chasm between an old life I had left behind and a new life I had not yet fathomed. The canyon personified the great split of my life and I profoundly felt it, even if I could not put it to words at the time. No wonder I felt the canyon in my soul as much as I was viewing it externally in those moments. My life was the Grand Canyon. I had up-ended my old life like a canister, spilling the contents to the winds and I had become empty in the great chasm of my life. Appropriately, I was living at that time in the arid and empty landscape of the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado between the soft chasm of several large mountain ranges. I write this with a chuckle that I physically left one chasm to travel and visit an ever greater chasm!

Let's keep going. Let's journey with landscape a little deeper into psyche. There's more. Some days I think the very landscape we live in (that lives within us) compels us into life experiences and shifts within our psyche that which we might not otherwise embody. In essence, the landscape changes us on the inside, even when we aren't noticing as we are experiencing it on the outside.

There is a particular road in Colorado that seems to do this for me every time I travel her length. When Colorado Highway 24 leaves south of Poncha Springs towards Saguache, Colorado she carries you out of the southern cleft of the Colorado Rockies and eventually leaves you at the base of the run of the majestic Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range. The breast of the valley floor naturally rises into these mountains so that the experience of the gradual curve into sharp mountain peaks gives one a simultaneous sense of infinitesimal minuteness of soul, yet a lush flow of the richness of connectivity to the universal oneness. Driving this valley floor is at once a rush of largeness of life, lushness of life and also a seeming smallness of how little one really is.

It is this valley floor that I first drove when I left my old life on Colorado's Front Range and felt first hand what it might be like to have a new life. Every time I drive this road I feel I am hawk taking flight for the first time into the adventure of my new soul. This road was my new flight then and every time I drive it, it feels like a new flight all over again. So, as I returned from the Front Range to Durango on my most recent trip, the experience of this road and it's landscape did not disappoint me. I felt its thrill all over again. This time, it was accompanied by a little more.

From the vantage point of this road, I cannot help but think of Gretel Ehrlich and her "Solace of Open Spaces," sketches of a Wyoming landscape. I cannot help but think of Anne Lindbergh's "Gift From The Sea." I cannot help but think of how our landscapes gently (and sometimes harshly) demand of us the introspection of our souls, the changes within our souls. Ehrlich and Lindbergh and others knew this. 

So, by the time Colorado Highway 24 reached like a thread along the base of the Sangre De Cristos, I felt that familiar exhilarating rise within my soul. It was accompanied this time by a bit more, a rustling in my heart chakra. Even though it goes without saying, I'm going to say this here: The nature of the consciousness energies at hand is giving us the unprecedented ability to literally move mountains within our psyches. So, the once great and insurmountable walls and wounds we once felt in our souls are becoming passable and possible to heal in acts of concerted conscious courage. How we once lived in denial, ignorance and ran away from our wounds, we are now learning to counter-intuitively face and directly walk into the regions of the most destroyed parts of our souls and hold some kind of flame of light, flame of presence.

And maybe that's what the rise of these lovely mountains inspired within myself. For decades I have danced around my heart chakra like a spring dancer around a May Pole, making it look pretty with ribbons and flowers but not really ever daring to enter it's center. And all the profound energy work that I've done with myself over the past handful of years, time and again I have been unable to even come close to look within the looking glass of my own heart. I've made it look good. I've even faked myself and others out a number of times. I'm even one espousing the great shift out of mind and into heart for this time. Yet, I've been unable to truly go there myself.

This all came to light several weeks ago and began lingering within my conscious energy field, reminding me about a big step at hand. It was brought to the surface during dinner conversation between myself and a friend, Ray, while a group of us were out for dinner after the CSU Mind, Body, Spirit Show that I was traveling for. I told Ray how I've been trying for years to pull something out of my back that is stuck in the back side of my heart -- the energetic result of a wounding. Some practitioners have been successful removing what's in my back, only for it to return a short time later. Through the conversation, Ray said, "No, don't pull it out. You need to go into your heart and do the work there so that it heals and releases." He was right. I knew he was right before he even said it. But it was the last thing I wanted to do and the last place I energetically wanted to visit in my soul. Yet, he was right. 

So, on my drive home I began entertaining how to hold my presence, hold light in my heart in one of the most difficult, wounded spaces in my soul. It's the place for me where pain, the shutting down of heart's desire to survive, the inability to forgive and the utter repeat of the root of my soul collapsing all meet at the crossroads in my heart. Like I said before, our nature is to wall these spaces of our soul off and look away. But the nature of these wounds are rising like incessant buoys on our oceans and it's time to counter-intuitively walk right into the centers of them. It's time to walk right into the centers of the impact of the original storm and hold the likes of ourselves with the aid of Jesus, Kwan Yin, Buddha, God, Angels, gleaming light and more.    

Colorado Highway 24, traveling along the base of the Sangre De Cristos brought all this rustling to the surface in my heart and I knew it was time to try. It was time to try to enter where I hadn't dared enter for a long long time, past the guarded space into an unknown zone. I can't tell you exactly what happened in those moments as my vehicle passed along the base of something greater. (And I surely can tell you not to try this stunt while driving!) But I can tell you that conversations, deep conversations occurred between my conscious self and sub-conscious self and the people involved with the original wounding. I can tell you sparklers of pain and what I believe to be the original impact went off like a Fourth of July fireworks show for a little while. I can tell you something that has been gone for a long time in my heart I began to reclaim. I can tell you I found my voice in the middle of all of it. I can tell you I cried. Tough tears, but good tears. By the time I reached Saguache, Colorado, what the mountains had asked of me to move in my heart, what the mountains inspired me to do, I reached that point somewhere in my flight along the Sangre De Cristos. (Aptly being the "Blood of Christ" mountains). It was a good start. 

This is the nature of the landscape of a breakthrough. Just one among the millions many that were occurring around the globe at that very moment, painting a global landscape of humanity beautifully breaking through. The rhythm of the energies woven through our days is bringing these to the surface in so many ways. And the nature of the landscapes that we live in, hold us and embrace us as we give way through the landscapes of our personal breakthroughs. It's time you know, to step into these landscapes, these breakthroughs and live with the rising tide of the energies of a time that we know not yet, cracking through and opening the door to the adventure of our own infinite gifts beyond the breakthroughs . . .  

And to think my connection with it began that cold October blustery late afternoon when I stood on the Grand Canyon's south rim with an international mix of strangers — Japanese, Indian, German, Italian, British and Middle Eastern peoples, their languages dancing in the wind as we watched the sun’s last rays strike and paint the Grand Canyon ever redder. Before us, five million years worth of Mother Earth's artistry, a one-of-a-kind breakthrough landscape.

Dana Shino is a professional psychic and metaphysical journalist working out of Durango, Colorado. She lives with her partner, Bob, and their two cats. She can be reached at and her work can be viewed at