Each step is designed as a complete experience in itself, moving onward only if inspired to do so.
STEP ONE : BEAUTY OF BALANCE (THE CROSS OF BALANCE)
This begins to put in place a strong foundation of knowledge, empowering us to look deeply at ourselves with courage and honesty in relation to the times we live in and our present understanding and standard of self care.
STEP TWO : THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE (BRIGHID’S CROSS)
The second step, symbolised by Brighids cross, allows us to explore the delicate and intimate link between the four intelligences of body, mind, heart, and soul that weave together to create what we know to be our individual self.
This step allows us to deepen our understanding and compassion towards this individual self, and helps us to see that the many blocks and barriers we inevitably encounter on the road to taking genuine responsibility for our lives are always valuable opportunities for growth and transformation.
STEP THREE : THE JOY OF CREATIVITY (THE SPIRAL)
Life is first and foremost a precious gift. Our journey over the first two stones anchors us in this truth. Now, the spiral draws us deeply into our unique and personal human story. Step three reveals a mirror, the mirror of absolute self worth, enabling us to restore the ability to think with the heart which never divorces any one thing from the whole.
This phase helps us begin to remove the confusion and disgrace that so commonly take hold of our self image. In doing so, it reveals the ability of the human heart to open, and to heal, leaving us with the authentic experience of falling in love with life and with our very own life. Thus, The Spiral helps us reclaim a way of life in which self care becomes a distinctly meaningful contribution to ourselves, those we love, and the world at large.
STEP FOUR : THE WELCOMING OF GRACE (THE TRIPLE SPIRAL)
Step four, symbolized here by the Triple Spiral, unifies the teachings imparted by all three prior symbols. The Triple Spiral welcomes us to an insightful, honest, and peaceful relationship between our past, present and our future. Together, these relationships allow us to take joy in the unfolding – and never ending – process of revealing and embodying our natural self, our royal self, our graceful self. We are each entitled to realise that we are simultaneously part of the grand wholeness of nature and significant solitary parts of such wholeness, each born with the unique challenge of recognising this truth and then taking full responsibility for living in harmony with it.
SAOR is designed to facilitate this life-giving process of restoring our foundation, beauty, and potential.
The Story of the Bridge
One way to describe the journey of life is to compare it to a walk we are asked to take through a strange and beautiful landscape.
On this walk we will come upon many a river that will need crossing. Some we will find shallow and narrow, and we will take pride and pleasure in the ease with which we make our way across. Others will prove deep and wide with currents stronger than we find ourselves able for. In these rivers we will sometimes lose our ground and face the challenge of staying afloat, sometimes finding it nearly impossible to not lose ourselves in the strain of the ordeal. We naturally seek outside ourselves for some thing to hold onto, something to help bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to get to:
From no ground or instability to Balance;
From confusion and anger to Understanding;
From lifelessness to Creativity;
From disgrace to Grace and gratitude.
The richest and realest stories of our lives are in fact the rivers we have already managed to cross and the knowledge, gratitude, and wisdom we have gained from such crossings. This is and has always been the very nature of life. There are times of great joy and times of great sorrow; times of ease and contentment and inevitably times of fear, stress and,sometimes most frightening of all, despair and distress.
Having crossed a few rivers of my own and also having been privileged to have walked with many others in group work and private psychotherapy for almost twenty years now, I was inspired to build a bridge to help restore a deep sense of meaning, awe, and wonder to life.
This bridge is called SAOR. (Stones Across Our River). This bridge is made of four solid and safe stepping-stones set in the bedrock of self-respect and self care, paving the way for us to walk from the land of self care as burden to the land of self care as privilege.
This is a Bridge made of stone, a natural resource that is taken from the landscape itself to remind us that we always have in our immediate surroundings – actually buried within ourselves – all that we need to allow us reach the other side of any life experience, no matter how wildly the river rages.
I offer this bridge in the form of a journey of four separate steps:
1. The Beauty of Balance
2. The Power of Knowledge
3. The Joy of Creativity
4. The Welcoming Of Grace.
Each step is to be taken independently, moving on to the next only if inspired to do so.
Each of the steps has its own unique and ancient symbol, native to our land.
Using these symbols as teaching tools, we are helped explore what is significant and meaningful to us at this given point in our lives; and if traveled into deeply they can educate and support us to strengthen our bodies, minds , hearts and souls for the journey of life and the experience of living .
Symbols, images and metaphors have the power to open our minds and hearts to what is most important to us. They help us remember and restore our faith in our ability to grow on.