When I was a child, I was afraid of bridges. My family camped a lot and often we would hike hills and trails in far away places in deep forests with rivers and ravines. Inevitably there would be a bridge across a gap that we would need to cross. They always, always looked unsafe to me. They looked rickety or creaky or just plain dangerous. I never liked the idea of being suspended in the air and I was terribly afraid I would slip through cracks or open sides and fall to my death. Funny thing is, now bridges are all I build. So how did that happen? How did I go from “big as you can imagine” fear to “this is what I love?”
I recently caught myself thinking that I live the shamanic way every day. And I paused there and I asked myself, so what does that mean? To me, it is centered in walking two worlds simultaneously. I’ve always got one foot in this world, this very physical "real" world. And I have another foot in the spirit realm in the world of potential and of complete connection and oneness with all things. So I started to explore what that means and how I might possibly explain that to people. I recognized that I am often hiding that part of me, afraid people will think I'm crazy.
I'm starting a series of video chats or podcasts, I'm calling "Truth About Me." Things I wouldn't talk about in the grocery store line. Truths that are personal and intimate, honest and raw, unedited and real. I'll talk about parts of me that are beautiful and challenging. It's all part of my work to be more visible and more vulnerable, to open to this community authentically. In doing this, I hope to encourage you to look into some of your own truths.
In this first one, I share how I was loved for what I did as a child and not necessarily for who I was. It motivated me to get straight A's in school and throughout my whole life, so it isn't all bad, it's just a Truth About Me.
I was going to compose a professional letter about growth and transition. I was composing it in my head for days and it sounded pretty good. I planned on giving rational explanations for why I am doing what I'm doing--something that made sound business sense and thanked all the right people for their help and support. It had a professional tone and used professional impersonal language.
Then I picked up the journal that sits next to my bead, a beautiful notebook with a sleeping tree and bright full moon, a gift from a woman I met while facilitating a workshop in Canada. That dreaming tree in the night and hauntingly beautiful moon just wouldn't let me play it safe. I flipped through the total of four entries--that's all just four. Each and every one of them is connected to why I am doing this.
I see meditation less as an emptying out of myself and more as a filling up with Self and the present moment. Becoming so engrossed in Now that thoughts of other things just slide away. Thoughts will always come, that’s how the mind works. The practice is getting comfortable with allowing them to come and letting them float away without getting transfixed or hooked. Isn't that the practice for so many things in life?
For the past 17 years my family has been going away for the holiday season. This trip has evolved into one of my sacred times. It’s here that I escape the holiday frenzy and recharge for the new year. No matter what you are celebrating, December is a difficult time. High anxiety is matched by high expectations for happiness and joy. You may feel closer to your loved ones as they gather around the home or you may feel even further removed and alone. The stores are filled with people buying just to buy. I wonder at the wastefulness of plastic shopping bags, miles of wrapping paper, and holiday cards that will likely end up in a landfill. Everyone seems to be trying to fit in more frivolity as they schedule back-to-back parties and dinners.
It has taken me a little while to get this posted, but here is a little musing I wrote up on the way home from the Celebrate Your Life weekend in October. The jars aren't an idea original to me. I think I picked it up from Gaia Wisdom School and Dakota Earth Cloud Walker. It's a great visual reminder of how blessed my life is...
I’m sitting at the Phoenix airport waiting for a flight home after an amazing weekend listening to world class spiritual leaders and coming into heart resonance with other beautiful souls. I’m happy to be going home. Excited to bring this feeling and these science-based spiritual concepts to my life and my community.
Yesterday during a coaching session a new spirit guide came in. She was so real, I could see her, feel her, smell her, and hear her voice. It was as if she was right next to me. Spirit guides aren’t always this visceral for me. Sometimes there is just a knowing or I hear them, but every once in a while they come in fully-formed. Later in a meditation a young wounded version of myself came forward. She was taken by the new guide and held and washed and cared for; she was loved. Together, it all made perfect sense. I felt so lucky to have this wonderful new guide in my life, and so happy that she could help with this wounded child in me. The guide was the personification of a caring non-mother mother-figure - a devoted nanny of sorts. About four hours later the doubts crept in.
It's morning in my home, everyone is still in bed and I am awake quietly enjoying my morning coffee. While the creative juices are flowing, I want to take a minute to talk about how important it is to take a break. To give yourself the day off or even just twenty minutes off. Sometimes all I can manage is 5 minutes – but either way, no matter how much time you can fit in or how little—take a break.
We spend decades trying to fit into the outside world. What we are really doing is contorting, guilting, and shaming ourselves to fit a shape of Us that is imposed by culture, society, family, economic status, education level, religion, geography, you name it.
Then, if we are lucky, we spend decades undoing that shape, shedding that skin, so that we can once again come into our soul knowing, our true Selves, our god-like, divine, goddess being.