Coming your way once a week, join me on a whimsical, informative and at times profound journey into the depths of healing the soul………..mine……..yours………..the whole planet!
Coming your way once a week, join me on a whimsical, informative and at times profound journey into the depths of healing the soul………..mine……..yours………..the whole planet!
Time to step back into the larger world for a moment from the deep inner journey that has been supporting me to step more and more into my own personal power. And I think also that as we grow in stature in ourselves we begin to feel much more effective and able to have an impact on affairs in the world. This makes it easier to consider the unthinkably dreadful things that are being done everywhere in the name of so-called progress and of course the great God Mammon, or money. Because otherwise it all seems quite hopeless and that is not an energy that will motivate anyone to attempt big positive changes in the face of a culture that seems set on destroying the environment and in the end ourselves.
The question is how do we resist such overwhelming forces that have more guns and power than we do. Meeting them in battle isn’t an option because there is no possibility of victory, we need to find other means of creating change. My inspiration for all of this if you haven’t already guessed is the protest at Standing Rock where the people are indeed standing up to protect the water. They want to run the gas pipeline under the lake which is the fourth largest reservoir in the United States, Indian sacred sites are also under threat. This is an incredibly important moment in our history, there may be a fundamental shift in the way in which we perceive what is possible for our future. And as Charles Eisenstein says, this “…..is because we are ready collectively for a change of heart.” If this subject interests you please have a look at this article by Charles Eisenstein. http://charleseisenstein.net/standing-rock-a-change-of-heart/ Another great article you may want to read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/standing-with-standing-ro_b_12048806.html
The simple answer to all of this is love in action and I’m not talking about some namby pamby circle wank where everyone sings kumbaya and tells each other how fabulous they all are. Love for an activist means standing in the face of pepper spray, rubber bullets and violence from the authorities and staying “off the warpath.” The Native American Elders at Standing Rock have been asking the protestors to act prayerfully in their responses to the situation. When we come from this place then everything truly is sacred and that includes the people who are committing such great crimes against humanity and the planet. Wow, that really is a great challenge and I know for myself that I do fall into the trap of demonising these people. I get angry and outraged and I vent by calling those responsible terrible names.
“Each of these invitations onto the warpath also presents an opportunity to defy the enabling narratives of violence and to take a step toward victory without fighting. It is an opportunity to employ what Gandhi called “soul force.” Meeting violence with nonviolence invites the other into nonviolence as well. Refusing the invitation onto the warpath automatically extends a counter-invitation to the enemy to cease being an enemy.” Charles Eisenstein.
When we join in with the dehumanising of others we are contributing to that energy of violence and war. We are essentially saying that some people aren’t really truly human and this is the beginning of racism and genocide.
Even here in what seems like the darkest hour for humanity there is hope, and the protestors at Standing Rock are a shining symbol of this. Their attitude of non-violence has attracted two thousand veterans who have left their homes and jobs and without weapons have gone to Standing Rock to be a human shield for these brave water defenders. Whatever the outcome we are already seeing a victory for the power of the people when they stand together. May I be well, may others be well, ohm shanti, shanti, shanti, peace, peace , peace……….
And so it goes on this process of integration……..and on and on……….. This is turning out to be a much bigger process than I ever imagined it would be, there is definitely a weight to the transition to marriage that has surprised me. Since my last post I have continued to sit with a certain amount of pain in my body, mostly centred around my head, neck and shoulders. There is a pain in my head that I am familiar with and that I associate with feelings of lack or scarcity. I had an amazing bodywork session last week that found all my sore bits and got the energies in my body flowing and which actually released all the pain for about 15 minutes. Then the head pain came back and since then it comes and goes, at times extremely painful and just plain sore at others.
In my last post I described how it felt like I was throwing up my cage, shedding outmoded ideas of who I am and what I can expect from life. My dear Beloved came up with a very interesting idea about the pain that I have been experiencing, especially in my head since that big purge. He suggested that the return of the pain after the bodywork might be me being conscious of returning back to ‘normality’ and feeling the parts of the cage that are still present. Wow! The process of shifting my deep beliefs around abundance has been ongoing for many years now as I have become more and more conscious of my attachment to scarcity or lack. The number of layers that I have shed over the years has been staggering but what is occurring right now feels like the biggest yet!
The physical expression of our inner world continued this weekend just past as my Beloved and I both had an attack of a gastro bug. He went first on the Saturday with his fast metabolism but I had my turn yesterday and sadly was unable to sing with my choir. Yet another opportunity for my body to shed that which it no longer requires, I had my first light meal late afternoon when I was starting to feel a little bit more human. Belly is still feeling a bit sore today but it is accepting food again. I believe that to truly shift deeply held beliefs it is sometimes necessary to go through a physical shedding of some kind. What we think and feel is experienced through the physical matter of the body and is expressed not only chemically but also energetically in our cells. So when we are letting go of toxic belief systems it makes a lot of sense that it would be a very physical process.
The proof of the pudding is as they say in the eating so it will be most interesting to see how this transition manifests in the life that my Beloved and I are creating together. There are already examples of that shift in our financial realm but the most exciting aspect is the shift in how I feel about abundance. That is the critical part that will ultimately make for an even more abundant and happy life, feeling that I deserve all that yumminess!
My Beloved and I decided to take a little bit of a honeymoon over a few days to take the opportunity to do some integration and celebration of our sacred union. It has been interesting noticing what has been going on in my inner world, especially when people ask the question, “How does it feel to be a married woman?” We do ritual a lot so while the wedding is still very big it may not carry quite the same weight as it does for many who enter into the process. But it is big enough and I felt stuff coming up on the first day of our retreat, some of it quite beautiful but there was also a lot of pain that came into my body as well. I had pain in my head and neck and shoulders and it created severe nausea in my belly that got really bad to the point where all I could do was sit with the pain and hold there. Not much fun I hear you say and you would be right but even as I sat in that place I was aware of what it was I was shedding so painfully.
It was my ‘cage’ that I was throwing up, all the things I’m supposed to be according to ‘polite society’. The shedding may not be pretty or enjoyable but the clarity that comes after letting go of what you’re ‘supposed’ to be can be very empowering and the choices just keep getting broader. For me getting married helps to anchor me into this place of freedom where my Beloved and I support each other to be the best that we can possibly be. This leads to personal happiness and important contributions to the community, there is no need for anyone to be lacking in anything in fact. We truly do live in a world where it is possible for everyone to have their needs met without anyone doing it hard or having to manage without important things. It all comes down to the way in which you view the world, see it as a malleable place that will respond to my needs and that is exactly what I will perceive and therefore receive.
Anyway my method of dealing with painful passages is to sit with the feelings and sensations until they eventually move on. It isn’t always easy but it is relatively simple to do and it works if you stick at it. When you get to the other side there is often a feeling of lightness that comes after all the shedding. The rest of our retreat was lovely and involved indulgence in food and drink, dance, yoga, and poetry, swimming and sauna and of course love making. I feel almost complete from our wedding now, a sense of growing up in the world and being ready to step into the next phase as a member of a unit that has now been acknowledged in the eyes of the world. So what next now I wonder? Stay tuned for my next post as Kerry and Brendan move into the next part of their amazing life!
Well here I am a couple of weeks since my last post and still feeling like I’m coming back into the world after a wonderfully crazy whirlwind. Everything was pointed at one special day and with all the energy and focus that we put in and with the incredible support from a heart-centred community that we had it all went beautifully. Our face painter outdid herself and worked really hard to give me a perfect day of the dead bride face as well as many other intricately drawn faces for our guests. I was delighted at how many people did dress up and paint their faces, the visuals on the day were a feast for the senses!
We had Death as our co-celebrant which probably seems like a strange choice in the modern mainstream world but in the realm of ritual it makes perfect sense. There is a story of how the Gods and Goddesses in Olympus forgot to invite the Goddess Discord to a celebration on one occasion and of course she turned up anyway and created, you guessed it, ‘discord’! So if you are having a big life event don’t forget to invite your shadow because it will come anyway and without being conscious about it all sorts of strife can occur. While we were doing the official signing Death was entertaining the gathering with her rendition of “Dance me to the end of love”, a gorgeous Leonard Cohen song that explores love as only he can. In light of Leonard’s recent passing I am even more pleased that we had that particular song in our ceremony.
There were meditations on our connection to the land and to our ancestors and to each other which moved from silence into toning. I am deeply grateful to the women who led these meditations as my Beloved and I were able to let go of being ‘facilitators’ and simply be present as the two main participants. We spoke the words written by my Beloved and made the commitment to never take each other for granted and to always remember how precious our life is together. It all turned out perfectly and my Beloved and I had such a happy day celebrating our love with dear friends and family.
There may be more over the next few weeks but for now that will do. Being married is a BIG thing and I think it will take some time to integrate and feel the differences. We are having a bit of a honeymoon this week so that may be an opportunity to dive in to whatever may be stirring in the depths. Because I can feel it somewhere deep down and it will be most interesting to see what emerges…………… love and blissings to all!
When you are used to being on mains power it is easy to lose sight of just how much energy is being consumed on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that people often don’t think much about sustainability. That was me and my Beloved a scant few weeks ago, since then we have been experiencing problems with our power supply and ended up with some nights where we had no power at all and therefore the fridge was off all night. I was a bit wound up about our upcoming wedding over a couple of days when the trouble started and the situation meant that I ended up getting even more wound up! You know that being relaxed would be a better way to navigate but being without power seems to trigger a very deep response of primal fear and helplessness.
Not having lights isn’t so bad and we love candles but when you are full of anxious tension it is hard to appreciate the gentle romanticism of candle light. I truly get now the way in which having a fridge that will keep our food cold is quite possibly the epitome of civilisation. Certainly I now have a much better sense of how much power is being used every day in houses all over this country. And while it has been challenging I am still glad to be living apart from that profligate system that is operating with old, dirty technology. It is also an opportunity to learn about sustainable practices which I am quite sure will be useful learning for our future.
Our time in the dark has put us a tad behind with wedding preparations but it is all coming along very nicely and I’m starting to get excited! So out of the darkness and into the light of day, sounds very much like our wedding themes which are all about bringing the dark and the light together. So the next time I post I will be a Mrs but don’t expect anything next week as I will most likely have a little break from this blog. Farewell as I enter into a wonderful new chapter, aho!
In Western culture we have little left in the way of ritual in our lives and when we do engage in some kind of ceremony the deeper meaning is often lost in the race to spend money and look good. A wedding is not just a chance to have a great party although that is certainly an important aspect. It is also an opportunity for people to come together in community, to connect and in many cases re-connect after long periods of separation. My Beloved and I are particularly looking forward to the eclectic mix that will be the selection of folk coming to help us celebrate our sacred union.
We’ve already started the process of connecting with community by having an art and craft day yesterday where we made lots of paper flowers to decorate the hall in the spirit of the Mexican Day of the Dead. I never realised how easy it is to make beautiful flowers with just crepe paper, pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors. At the end of the day one of my friends made the flowers into big bunches and we hung them all up on the back of a cane bookcase. At this point I am really wishing that we had a camera to take a picture of this amazing riot of colour. So the end result of our efforts was truly captivating but even more wonderful the energy created by a bunch of people coming together to engage in creative play and conversation.
All of this lovely energy will be a part of our wedding day along with the actual physical flowers and will help to create a feeling of happy harmony. Sounds like the perfect atmosphere for an event that will be celebrating relationship as a spiritual practice. And of course in relationship as in life, there is always the shadow as well as the bright, cheery light that we all love. That will be represented by our co-celebrant who will be in black symbolising death and chaos, while the other celebrant will be in white representing life and order. It is so important to have ways of navigating the dark and difficult times in relationship yet this is something that is often ignored in modern society. So when the sweetness is swept away by black thunderstorms people end up projecting their stuff on to each other and the next thing you know they are in the divorce court.
The alternative is to hang in there and support each other through the difficult times even if you sometimes have no idea what is going on. Your darling is in the depths of depression and there is nothing you can say that will help, well maybe being silent is how you can be supportive. Or simply holding each other without words and letting your bodies do the talking, gaining reassurance from physical contact. If you can stay with the process you will find your relationship deepening as you become even closer. With every challenge and obstacle on our path my Beloved and I have become closer and closer and every day I love him a little bit more. Ain’t love grand!
The peace and quiet continue as I am still without a phone and a decent internet connection, but apparently my noise is bigger! My long suffering Beloved has let me know that since I got disconnected from all that technology I am chattering even more than usual. And here I thought I was doing so well coping with not being able to connect at the drop of a hat! Luckily I am in a conscious relationship where we communicate very thoughtfully and my darling was able to let me know what he was experiencing. Even when you are considerate and take responsibility for yourself it can feel dreadful when hearing of how another is experiencing your energy. But without that communication there are just these feelings that no-one is acknowledging and sooner or later there is probably going to be some kind of conflict.
Simply acknowledging and naming your feelings is a big step towards being happier and more resilient and is something that has been understood by mystics for centuries. Test it out for yourself some time when you are having a reaction to something or someone that isn’t immediately identifiable. Notice the level of your distress and give it a number on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most distressed and 1 not distressed at all. Then as you sit quietly bring your awareness to wherever you are experiencing the feelings or sensations and try to be present to whatever is going on for you. Once you have been able to find a label for what you are feeling sit with that thought for a bit and then check in again on the level of your distress. There’s a pretty good chance you will notice a big difference the second time around.
I’ve posted this link before and here it is again, what neuroscience can tell us about being happy!
This is all very wonderful but I will be really, really HAPPY to have a phone again! There is a lot said about the dangers of technology but it is so easy to stay in touch in our modern world and CONNECTION is a key element in happiness too. If you read the article above you will note that they talk about connection through touch, a basic need that we all share. Well I’m a wealthy woman when it comes to physical touch but this time without all the usual technology is showing me that all the other kinds of connecting are important too. So bring on that new phone, my dearest darling Beloved will be as happy as I am to see me fully connected back in to my wonderful community!