A quick update as we move through this in between time that takes us from the birth of a religious icon to the birth of the new year. There are many markers of a new chapter emerging as the great masses begin to revolt against the ruling elites and maybe, just maybe those masses are beginning to get fed up. If enough of us are awake we may be able to move into the new era without so much blood shed but the truth is I have no idea what the transition will look like. As is so often the case I look within for the change that I can become in my own right. I stumble on this path at times and while I have shed many of the charged emotional layers inside there are still moments when I notice I am reacting rather than responding to what is going on around me. My inner teenager says “whatever” and is entirely disinterested in changing this behaviour mmmmmmmm…………… might have to have a word with her in journey space perhaps!
Anyway even my inner teenager loves being out in the bush in our shack in the forest, although the lack of internet reception would probably irritate her if I allowed her to take over. But the more time I spend in this peaceful space the less I care about technology, that will get sorted eventually and in the meantime I am getting to enjoy a simple life close to nature. The garden is drawing me out and with the lack of sufficient rain I have started to do some watering, hope the dam can supply this water as well as washing our dishes and our bodies. This may be the time that I finally grow some veggies and herbs, plenty of room and a protected space to do it in so no excuses. The Goddess is calling me to serve her in the simplest of ways, by tending the garden and appreciating her wonders in every season.
Not my garden! (Yet!)
Tomorrow my Beloved and I will be in retreat for a couple of days up to the new year, time to reflect on all that has gone on in the year that is passing. And the harvest that has been emerging in the second half of the year which will create new and wonderful things in 2017 for the Sacred Union that is my Beloved and I. We will draw upon the extra special magic of this in between time for ourselves and for all beings, may we all be happy and may harmony and a new way of being embrace the planet. Aho!
Awareness and deep relaxation doesn’t always lead to bliss, at least not in the short term! I came home from a beautiful silent retreat yesterday feeling still and empty and was greeted by an excited Beloved who was very happy to see me. In his excitement I got triggered and I ended up releasing with tears and feeling quite miserable. And guess what, it was nobody’s fault! He didn’t say or do anything wrong but neither could I keep from expressing the feelings inside of me. I remembered the little card I had received during the retreat day which at the time I thought sounded like something it would be good to do but wasn’t sure what the precise message was. In this moment of tearful letting go I reflected on the message which was very clear at that moment, it was “be vulnerable”.
In a day of silence with restorative yoga, mindfulness meditation, and generally connecting with self and resting deeply I relaxed to a point that I haven’t experienced for what seems like a long time. With the tears I let go even more and shed a whole lot of stuff that I think I might have been holding on to for some time. This is a very good thing and something to celebrate but it doesn’t always feel good in the moment and it is taking a while for this to all move through. The point is that my Beloved and I didn’t end up having a big fight even though we both felt horrible, we supported each other as best we could and also gave each other space. And we didn’t stop saying “I love you” either, that’s something that is always true whatever the current emotional landscape.
Articulating your experience in any way that you can manage is a really great way to process uncomfortable feelings. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done excellent processing and even managed a few insights as I share my inner world in this blog. Nobody is asking you to tell the whole world what you are feeling but putting it on paper or telling the dog can be a good way to release and process. Or you may find your own way of doing this, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else or involve coercion the choice is yours. And as the dust settles and the energy moves and integrates you are left with a deeper connection to yourself and to your partner. It is a challenging journey at times but I am never sorry to have embarked on the path of Sacred Union. Here is an article on Conscious Relationships you might enjoy:
And here is a post-script and report on how I did with the challenge I set myself last week to do some yoga and dance over the week. With a class and a retreat day I had no trouble doing yoga 4 times but I didn’t manage one dance, in fact I completely forgot about that bit! So I’m going to keep it simple and just focus on the yoga for now, another 4 times in the coming week. If you can get to Maleny I highly recommend the retreat I did with Melissa Borich, the setting is beautiful and the energy of the place quite delicious and very gentle, just what I needed!
The process of self-care goes on as I do my best to respond to the painful messages my body has been sending me lately as I enter into this new phase of stepping into my power. I’ve managed to do a bit of yoga although no real routine as yet, note to self: tomorrow morning I will do a bit of a stretch even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes. That’s how it can work sometimes when you are trying to get back into good habits, do what you can and there is a cumulative effect regardless of how much time you’ve spent. And know when it’s time to ask for help, I had an awesome bodywork session a few weeks ago and last week I had a session of Ortho Bionomy. This is a technique that uses gentle movement of the body and compression of the joints to encourage the body to correct itself. My body is feeling better but the neck pain is slow to move and I decided a follow up session would be wise. If you’d like to know more about this modality check out this website: http://www.ortho-bionomy.org.au/what-is-ortho-bionomy/
This image comes from what looks like a wonderful business that brings yoga into the workplace: yogaworkflow.com
As I sit here tuning into my body I am getting the feeling that it would like me to dance more often, something that hasn’t been happening in my life so often lately. I’m pretty sure that there was a post not so long ago where I made an intention to dance on a regular basis. Then there was moving house and planning a wedding and somehow good intentions got lost on the way. At the same time that I feel the desire of my body to move creatively I can also sense a part of me that is the opposite and really can’t be bothered with dancing and such things! It is interesting to watch these interactions, we all have so many different aspects within it’s a wonder anyone bothers with television. I know from my own experience that trying to motivate the reluctant aspect of self can be like trying to swim against the river’s current.
So the way that I navigate these sometimes confusing currents is to do whatever I can that is fairly easy, kind of like picking the low hanging fruit on the tree. At the moment that means doing some yoga in the mornings and holding the intention to dance. It might be a 5 minute boogie to music at home, or a quick jig to music playing in a café or bar, I’m fortunate in that I have no shame when it comes to dancing in public. So really I have no excuse and in fact I am going to make a statement here, in the next week I will get up and dance at least twice for at least 5 minutes. And do some yoga on at least 4 days, won’t be so hard this week as I’m planning to go to class this Friday and I have a whole day of silent retreat on Sunday with yoga and mindfulness mediation.
And hopefully somewhere in all of this the various aspects of my inner world will become more aligned with a harmonious and happy life. The healing goes on and I become more and more able to step into my own power and complete my spiritual task here on Planet Earth. Aho!
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.
Our official celebrant.
Death, the unofficial celebrant.
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!