Tag Archives: Healing

Don’t Ask Why

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All day I meant to go to the garden…but I didn’t…putting it off again and again. You know something is up, when on a beautiful sunny summer day you avoid going outside.

All day I wanted to write, be creative…but felt frozen inside…distracting myself with things that give no life nor joy.

All day something is hovering on the edge of my awareness…and as I am trying to finally grasp it, mosquitos decide I am going to be their meal if I want to or not. Feeling torn to stay with what is finally coming to the surface, yet at the same time trying not to get bitten. What a strange balancing act life is!

Unexpectedly two poems land in my inbox, reminding me of a white dove and a black raven, so beautiful and powerful. Then it rises to the surface and the floodgates open: “Don’t ask why –  sometimes there just are no answers.”

P1250474Like the poems a memory now takes me on a journey. I find myself following in slow reverent steps the white Stag through the dark forest. His horns are glowing light illuminating the path. Jaguar and a Grandmother spirit are walking behind me while Eagle flies above. I am being escorted to meet with the one who can help: the Golden Elephant.

Love shatters any remaining shields around my heart when he comes into view. He gently invites me to climb on his back and takes me to where I need to go back to. It is time to release, heal and forgive something very old.

The love that surrounds me holds me in a tight embrace. On this night I will not disappear in the water. On this holy night I will let the sacred water wash away the blood, the tears, the pain. On this holy night my womb is made whole again as I stand waist deep in the ancient sea.

P1240768As I turn and slowly step out of the water, I take off the bloodied gown. I walk up to the man sitting there in silence watching me. It takes courage to look into his eyes, but I know I must. As I spiral down lifetimes I lift my head and with my hands on my womb I let the words come out slowly: “I forgive you! And I release you!”

Eyes meet, something clears, something heavy lifts and evaporates.

“I ask you to forgive me as well!” Once again our eyes meet.

Slowly I turn around and go back to the shore where it all ended eons ago. The Golden Elephant, our witness, embraces me one last time with his trunk. Words are not necessary anymore, love knows gratitude and gratitude knows love. In the end there is only love.

When the drums call me back the white Stag carries me to the entrance of the cave in which I once again disappear into another world.

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Shimmering Blessings

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Shortly after publishing my last blog “The Eye of the Storm” I found this beautiful blessing or perhaps the blessing found me. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to share it with you. The words opened my heart like a flower after a heavy spring rain. I felt myself relaxing and breathing deeply.

Jan Richardson is an artist, author and ordained minister and lives in Florida. It is well worth checking out her blog if her words touch your heart as it did mine. If you go to her website (link below) you can check out her beautiful work.

Blessing in the Chaos

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

© Jan Richardson, from her book The Cure for Sorrow.

janrichardson.com

The Eye Of The Storm

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Rain is on the way. The calm smooth water and early morning birdsong have been replaced by strong ripples on the water and trees swaying this way and that way. The wind is singing a different kind of tune, one that feels urgent and forceful. The low grey clouds are moving in fast, darkening the sky with their arrival, while raptors high in sky are circling on strong currents. They are so far up, it is not possible for me to tell anymore if they are eagles or vultures. As I watch their effortless flight I wonder what they can see…

Sitting inside with a freshly brewed cup of nettle, oat straw and lady’s mantle tea I listen to the fire crackle in the wood stove and the wind’s changing song. I feel the exhaustion in my body, telling me it’s need for rest and nurturing. I am so glad I took time to carefully choose the herbs for the tea. The response to the warm liquid is a big “Yes” and “Thank you” from my body.

Ah, here it is! The drops of rain are rapidly falling on the roof and skylights, adding their own rhythm to the day. Frodo, my dear old deaf dog, is lying quietly by my side not hearing any of it. I miss our long walks in all kinds of weather. DW-Elke&Frodo P1120504We had so many adventures together: climbing hills, discovering new paths in the forests and valleys, checking out stormy seas while walking on beaches with the wind almost knocking us over. There was always this sense of being connected, even though we were exploring our world in different ways. I often wondered what Frodo was discovering when he sniffed something that had called to him from some distance. He would give it all his attention for a long period of time while I was gazing at the beautiful vista before me or taking a closer look at something I found on the path. I often joked that he must be reading a whole book before he finally moved on to the next smell. Now we only venture out together so he can do his business before he turns immediately back to the safety of home. Food and comfort are now his greatest joy.

Thunder unexpectedly adds it’s bass voice as the wind increases noticeably, bringing the chimes to life. Their higher pitch is startling and really stands out as the storm’s hum increases and decreases in unpredictable patterns.

Life has been rather unpredictable lately. While writing this I recognize that life is ever changing like this storm, even though there have been many periods in my life P1080769that have felt more steady with a certain pattern. Perhaps I have forgotten the challenges each day presented then. Looking into the eye of the storm I see that my exhaustion stems from trying to control what is going on in my life and work, and having expectations of myself that I cannot possibly meet in this endless sea of change.

Gratitude for the wind arises in me as it is making me pay close attention. It’s loud voice cannot be ignored. Listening I once again remember the key is to “trust life”, whatever it brings and that I will never figure it all out or get it all done.

For now the idea of rest sounds lovely indeed. I will give myself this gift of comforting tea and warm fire as I watch the beauty of the storm unfold without me having to do anything. My books and journal like faithful friends lying by my side just like Frodo and the joy of writing filling my heart once again.

 

 

Even though

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Even though it is raining here day after day or so it seems, spring is here and awakens me to fully be and participate in the great unfolding of life. I want to share with you on this grey morning a beautiful blessing by John O’Donohue.

Let us bless the imagination of the Earth.

That knew early the patience to harness the mind of time,

Waited for the seas to warm, ready to welcome the emergence

Of things dreaming of voyaging among the stillness of land…

Let us thank the Earth that offers ground for home

And holds our feet firm to walk in space open to infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence and certainty of mountains:

Their sublime stillness, their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden trusting the first warmth of spring…

The humility of the Earth that transfigures all that has fallen of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth, opening to receive

our worn forms into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth

For all our sins against her:

for our violence and poisonings of her beauty.

Let us remember within us the ancient clay, holding the memory of seasons,

The passion of the wind, the fluency of water, the warmth of fire,

The quiver-touch of the sun and shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken to live to the full the dream of the Earth

Who chose us to emerge and incarnate its hidden night in mind, spirit and light.

Go Deep In This Fire

 

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My gaze is drawn to the compass lying on my desk. It’s needle pointing unwaveringly due north. It is lying in the midst of other objects thrown carelessly on the wooden surface.

It stops me in the tracks of my mind, just like a young eagle did the other day while driving home from work. I saw him sitting there on a rather unusual perch: a utility pole right on the side of the road. I kept driving, till I finally answered the inner call to turn around. I knew he would still be there.

I got out of the car after fumbling with my phone hoping for a picture only to find that the battery was dead. The young eagle watched me carefully.  His gaze was as unwavering as the needle in the compass. I held his gaze, wondering…

Then I suddenly remembered that for some strange reason I actually had put my camera in my backpack that morning, which I never usually do. The eagle watched me patiently return to the car and get my camera out. I snapped a few pictures, but something didn’t feel right.
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A bunch of cars drove by and I was sure the eagle would fly off with all this commotion. He turned his head looking this way and that way, but mostly his eyes were on me. I finally lowered the camera sensing the importance to be fully present. The camera had in some way shielded me from experiencing the power of the gaze of this eagle. As I allowed myself to be fully seen, I felt strangely naked standing there before him as if he could see every part of me, even the parts still hidden even from myself.

Suddenly he lifted off gliding gracefully over the quiet lake. I stood there long after he was gone, feeling a different kind of fullness and aliveness and wonder.

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I had several different encounters with young eagles since then and none of them surprised me, yet each of them made me pay attention, listen, be fully present, learning to let go of what I want, and instead opening to what life is offering me.

Then yesterday morning, as I was reading and writing in bed, something else stopped me in my tracks. This time it was a poem. I was looking at my 2017 We’Moon calendar curious about the next full moon, when I came across the poem called “Cracked” by Nell Aurelia. It spoke to me in such a deep way, putting into words what I experience night after night. Most nights I feel like I am in a cauldron over a hot fire, resisting, surrendering, resisting, surrendering…What I am slowly learning as the fire is burning away my resistance and what this poem made so beautifully clear to me that this journey is about me fully committing to life and this human experience, even in this very intense time both in my own little world and the greater world.

I knew immediately that I wanted to share this poem with you here on my blog and contacted Nell. She has graciously allowed me to share her poem with you.

Cracked 

by Nell Aurelia

I’m cracked. Completely.

I fell into the furnace long enough

To decide to find my own fire and light,

And when I went all to pieces

Some surrendered to the heat

And those that were left were me

But purer: there is something of a diamond

Rushing through my core,

A full madness of restructuring.

There is no ruin here.

Unless that is your fearful name for transformation,

Which I can understand,

But when you fall flying into your own,

You’ll understand:

Falling apart is full of its own reward,

However much it feels like dying, like failure

Full of the unbearable sensitivity

Of committing to this human experience.

Go deep in this fire.

There’s a point where all explodes and converges,

And you find you are yourself,

Only stronger, clearer, finer.

The messiest refinement of all: Choosing to live well.

Well? Fully.

Alive to pain, to suffering, to inequality,

To joy, to birth, to creation, to love – To all,

Because when you get right down in it

Acknowledging pain only opens you more to joy.

The brilliant imperfections of love, of loving,

Can only make the world shine brighter;

It’s fear that will give you half a life and convince you

You never wanted the other half anyway.

 

I highly recommend checking out Nell’s blog for more of her powerful poetic offerings:

https://thesingingdark.wordpress.com

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Image by Dancing Wolf

 

Life And The Loom

p1130348Here it is: my first handwoven creation!

At the end of October I had the fortune to buy a beautiful small loom from a friend. Weaving is something that I had been curious about for many years, ever since I saw and fell in love with a gorgeous Saori loom on Saltspring Island. I had never tried weaving before, but just sitting at the bench touching the wood left a deep impression. The ideas of weaving were put away till someday when perhaps I could afford a loom like that. This summer the longing to try weaving returned. So I considered buying a more affordable loom, but got lost in deciding how and with what to start. So I let it go once again…

Then out of the blue a friend announced that she was offering her beautiful Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom for sale and I knew I had to see it. Within a few weeks we met up and I saw the small loom for the first time, I knew right away that this was my starting point. My friend showed me the basics and since then I’ve been learning a lot from this little Harp loom about weaving and life.

The greatest joy for me was playing with different colours and textures, immersing myself in the creativity like I never have before. There were also some challenges that I needed to learn from. It showed me clearly my deep attachment to the outcome and how much it effected me when it was or was not going well. The biggest challenge showed up when I was getting closer to the end: one of my warp threads broke and I was devastated thinking the worst had just happened. p1130072My mind was telling me: All this work for nothing! I contacted my friend with no luck, researched like crazy on the internet, tried a few things and in the end had to give up and let it go. After a few days I took the unfinished scarf off the loom and for the first time got to see what I had woven. I had not followed any pattern, just let the loom, wool and colours guide me. I was astounded at what I had created and to my great amazement and joy the scarf turned out to be the perfect length. I guess the loom knew when it was done. A big lesson learned! And deep gratitude for the outcome!

I had just picked up a book from the library, that I had ordered in, called “Dying To Be Me” around the same time I got my loom. The author Anita Moorjani writes about her near death experience and healing from cancer afterwards. I was touched by what she wrote and what she had learned from her experience and want to share a little excerpt as it directly effected my weaving:

“I saw my life intricately woven into everything I’d known so far. My experience was like a single thread woven through the huge and complexly colourful images of an infinite tapestry. All the other threads and colours represented my relationships, including every life I’d touched. There were threads representing my mother, my father, my brother, my husband, and every other person who’d ever come into my life whether they related to me in a positive or negative way.

….In the tapestry of life, we’re all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together. When I was in the NDE state, it all became so clear to me because I understood that to be me is to be love. This is the lesson that saved my life.”

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Reading this book made weaving for me a very deep experience. As I wove I got a sense that I was weaving something much bigger than a scarf. Each thread seemed important. As I wove, I reflected on my life and myself. I wondered if perhaps at the end of our lives we take the tapestry we have woven through our interactions and relating from the loom of life and we get to see what we have created and how it all fits into the tapestry of all life. Weaving for me has become another form of meditation and also a beautiful way to express my creativity.

Before I read the book I heard Anita give a Ted talk. I loved the simple yet powerful message she has brought back from beyond. Here is the link, if you feel curious:

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Dying-to-be-me-Anita-Moorjani-a

 

Thirteen Candles

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Rain, rain and more rain…we’ve been lucky so far: the power has stayed on.

My partner is out there digging trenches trying to keep the water out of the barn and lean-to where all our firewood is stacked. While he is battling the storm, worrying about it, the exact opposite is true for me: I feel strangely comforted by this weather. Mind you, I am also choosing to be inside and do what I love to do, writing, while witnessing at the same time the beautiful intensity of these storms.

I don’t know why but I have loved the sound of rain and wind for as long as I can remember. As a child the sound of the rattling of the shutters, the drumming of the rain combined with the cozy warmth of being tucked in under a mountain of feathers, made me feel somehow safe as if in a womb hearing the faint sound of the world outside. I still have a very vivid memory of a crazy storm with so much rain that many basements on our street got flooded. The canals couldn’t handle the huge amount of water that was coming down. Water was running down the street and into the basements. I remember my sister and I standing in half a foot of water in our gum boots and PJ’s scooping up water with our pails in the middle of the night, carrying them outside dumping it on the lawn, while the adults were tending all kinds of emergencies. For us kids it was fun. Some kind of wild part in me responded to the wildness of the storm and still does. That wild part in me comes alive as the weather intensifies and just wants to dance with it.

Over the years in my adult life there were also moments of fear. I remember vividly a wild wind and rain storm that surprised a few of us when we were out on a walk in the East Kootenays. My sister had come for a very brief visit from Germany and I was trying to show her as many things as possible in the few days that we had together. We had gone for a walk with my partner and a neighbour friend, who knew the forests in our area much better than us, when all of a sudden the wind came up. I don’t remember if we had known that a storm was coming in. But I do remember branches starting to fly all around us and not just the little ones. We decided to go back and when trees began crashing down, we started to run, dodging the branches that were coming down in our path, climbing over or under the trees that had fallen. The fear was very real in that moment and we were all greatly relieved to get home and very grateful that nobody got hurt. I think we were all a little bit in shock at the suddenness and fierceness and real danger we had found ourselves in so unexpectedly.

And there were many times while living in a cabin on top of a mountain where I had to learn to manage my fears. Thunderstorms up there were intense. You could see the lighting strike power poles or enter the earth or hit  trees nearby. The biggest fear was always the possibility of a fire. The danger of a forest fires in the summer was very real. I learned to become the observer rather than dwell in my fear. And through observing these beautiful and powerful storms I once again found that deep trust that I knew as a child. After the storm I would go see where the lightening had struck, in awe at the giant black scratch marks it left on the poles or trees.

To me the elements, the moon, the stars, the sun, the trees, etc. have always been living entities. I listen when I hear the wind whisper or howl. I still speak to Grandmother Moon and the stars at night. I am not surprised at all that my journey has led me towards Shamanic practices. I feel at home in this connection to the earth, the animal and plant beings, the elements and helping spirits from beyond.

Tonight thirteen candles are burning brightly as the rain is falling heavily. They were lit to honour the thirteen moons and to honour the Divine Feminine in a beautiful Rite of the Womb ritual that I had the fortune to participate in. As I watch the candles burn bathing the room in its sacred light, I feel touched by the beauty of this ritual and my deep love for the Divine Feminine. With my hand on my womb I feel connected to the Divine Feminine and her power and wisdom. Perhaps the veils have dropped tonight, I am surprised at the clarity that calls me to become a womb keeper and offer this rite to other women. I sense the importance of this. As we let go of our fear and pain in our wombs, we are able to use it for what it was made for: to create and to give birth to life.

Here is a beautiful video showing “the Rite of the Womb”:

The ritual is simple yet so profound. I love how it passed on from woman to woman originating from a lineage of women shamans. I sense a deep healing taking place, not just in me, but on a much broader level. And if you want more information about the Rite of the Womb and a list of womb keepers from around the world you can find that here:

http://theriteofthewomb.com