Soul Speaks

I am in Sedona assisting Suzanne Scurlock-Durana with Healing From the Core: Release and Renewal for my eighth year in succession.  I return because I am fed by the energy of the Red Rocks of Sedona and it’s spectacular vistas. The brilliant sunshine and sparkling air and water enter my body at a cellular level.  Here I easily connect with the power of the elements of nature and I am nurtured and nourished deep09-IMG_5477ly.  The circle of people who gather for this retreat have a commonality of purpose and understanding that allows for deep connection and bonding quickly.  In this sacred space created by nature and manifested by a network of souls, I step into a field of safety and support. Here I am able to drop into the deepest layers of myself and communicate with my Soul Self.

Yesterday I made that deep connection and allowed Soul to speak to me.  This is what she said.

Soul Speaks:

Release your fear of lack for there is abundance all around you.  Open your eyes wide, be in love with your life and all that you have.  Expect nothing and discover that you have everything.  Begin where you are now.  It is enough.  You are enough.  The time is ripe for openings, new beginnings and growth of all kinds. 

Use what you have on hand.  Look around.  Finish the unfinished without need for anything more to be added.  Allies abound.  You are supported at every turn.  The Universe is conspiring for your success.  Your success, your growth and expansion into the experience of absolute abundance requires the successful growth and expansion of others.  As they succeed, you succeed.  Give of yourself and share all that you have with wild abandon asking for nothing in return.  Withhold nothing in your giving.

Your life of absolute fearlessness, of absolute compassion and giving will create a reality of absolute joy.  Laughter, song and dance will fill each moment of your life and you will dwell in the experience of love eternally.Cathedral Rock

Mountain Valley Retreat…Launching!

Here I go, ready or not! Launching the new website for Mountain Valley
Retreat! Let me know what works for you and what does not…I will greatly appreciate all feedback.

Over the Threshold

Tipis outside the Buffalo Bill Historical Cent...

Tipis outside the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming

As I sit at my workstation poised for my morning writing session, I review my notes on Ganesha from the first session of Writing Your Practice. I am searching for an inspiration. I read what Susanna spoke about the Ganesh concepts: “You have everything you need, create from your own resources. Move through the thresholds that present themselves. Embrace Change.”
I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Tipis are a part of my heritage. Indian blood flows through the veins of my personal lineage, if not my mothers or fathers of this lifetime. The evidence of this has surfaced repeatedly throughout my life and I embrace this part of who I am.
When I considered how to house the seminarians who would be coming to Mountain Valley Retreat, tipis seemed like the perfect solution. I purchased three 20’ canvas tipis. As the retreat took form, I “saw” where the tipis would sit and I realized that in the east we would erect the “men’s lodge.” In the west would be the “women’s lodge” and in the center of the property, the “children’s lodge.” These directional placements align with the corresponding positions on the Native American medicine wheel.
The artwork of tipis has always fascinated me. Native people used the tipi hide to tell their personal stories. The designs of the tipis were the province of the women in the tribe. Dreams often inspired the paintings as well as personal power animals and significant exploits and experiences. Medicine shields and elemental allies would also find their way to the canvas of the tipi.
As I dreamed about the tipis I was putting on our sacred ground, I felt a responsibility to respect the lineage of this ancient art form. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the canvas I had before me, let alone the task of designing and painting the murals. I decided to begin with the women’s lodge…I had to start somewhere.
I made calls to try and locate a “real” artist to commission or at least assist me as I felt unequal to the task at hand.  I also noticed there was a resistance to bringing in outside help.  I kept moving forward, doing what I could to prepare. I read books and looked at tipi art. I watched for tipis when I traveled. I looked through paint color pallets and chose colors I was drawn to. I thought about what I wanted to represent on the women’s lodge. I asked for dreams of inspiration and they came.
I got my boyfriend to help me carry one of the tipis into our newly constructed yurt, a 30’ diameter, 706 square foot round structure that is our large meeting space. Laid out on the floor, the tipi has to be folded in HALF to fit inside the yurt. Holy shit! This really IS a huge canvas! For two weeks it lay there as I looked at it and wondered what to do next. I called my friend Star and she came and looked at it with me. I told her what I dreamed it would look like and we spent a day searching the internet for images and making sketches. She made some full scale sketches and I planned to have her help me with some of the actual painting.
As I stood looking at the canvas one evening I thought to myself, “I have ten people coming for Thanksgiving. I need places for them to sleep. I can’t keep looking at this blank canvas…it is time.” I went out early the next morning with tools in hand and penciled in the phases of the moon around the top. With a brilliant blue I filled in the back ground sky. It went much quicker and easier than I had feared.  It was beautiful!  The ice was broken.
I knew I wanted to represent our land around the base with earth colors and rather than a brush I used a sponge to get a three-dimensional effect of the mountains. It worked and the sponge method was much faster than the one-inch brush I had used on the moons.
I was undecided as to whether to fill in the night sky above the moons but the sponge worked so well I decided to put a North Star above the full moon and  fill the rest with a field of stars on blue.  I ran out of blue paint just as I finished. I love validation!
The “easy” part done, what remained were the drawings of two red-tailed hawks, a medicine woman, a wolf, a raven and some large pine trees.  No more sponge painting…
Last night I sat on the canvas with several drawings around me and began sketching a hawk. When I finished, I realized that I am the artist I was seeking. I can do this. I am doing this. I have walked up to a threshold, met my fears and stepped through to the other side. Today I will paint the red-tailed hawk, messenger from the gods.tipi moons and north star

If Only We Learn to Listen…

Earth garden
My garden is a wheel
Its hub a light reflecting amethyst
Its rows concentric circles
Wheels inside of wheels inside of wheels

The spoke paths connect
The innermost wheel
To the outermost wheel
Like a medicine wheel

I spoke to the Devas of Nature
They told me what to do
I listened carefully taking notes
And followed their instructions as best I could

They pointed me to the exact spot
And the shape that it would be
They told me its dimensions
And the distance between each row.Garden Workbook

They told me what to plant
And which species should be neighbors
I co-created with Nature
What could be more fun than that?

The invitation awaits you
Listen to the Nature Spirits
They want to help you, too
Perelandra will show you the way.

I am a part of Nature
Why should anyone doubt
That I can communicate with myself
To learn the purpose of my landNature Spirit

Co-creation is the key
To working hand in hand
Nature moves through us
Bringing balance to our lives

If only we learn to listen…

Musings

women's lodge

I am considering the fact that this is page 138 of my Daily Morning Pages, over one-third of the journey to 365 days of daily free-writing is on the page. When I began, the goal was simply to show up and write something every morning. That remains my goal. However, in the course of my writing something unexpected happened…I accumulated some readers! Each day emails arrive in my inbox with comments about what I have written and I realize that someone is listening. It was never my intention that anyone would actually read what I was writing…I was writing for myself. I was writing as an act of self-discipline. I was writing for clarity around issues that are important to me. I was writing for inspiration for my day. I feel as if I am still writing to myself, and someone else is in the room.

When a post about NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) appeared on my FaceBook page I thought, “Pleasant diversion, this!” With twelve months of a daily free-write, I could devote one to free-writing poetry. And it was a surprising and entertaining excursion.

I haven’t read through the collection of what I have written. I sometimes only read the daily writing once or twice. My partner has been a patient and willing listener to be read aloud the page that has come forth each morning. Occasionally I write something that catches my attention and I read it several times, not as an editor, but as a curious listener attempting to grasp the meaning within the words. Prior to the moment my fingers lie on the keyboard, I don’t know what is going to be written. Sometimes a word, an image, an emotion precede my writing during the meditation I practice just before I sit to write. Other days, like today, I am clueless to what will appear on the page.

This process is quite fascinating to me. I have other experiences that mirror my free-writing. Painting and cooking come to mind. I approach a silk with the same lack of planning, usually only a vague idea of what I will paint, and I freely draw images and choose colors of dye to create fabrics for wearing or framing. I create recipes from the foods I have on hand, throwing together dishes with an intuitive sense of what will work well together.

Aha, “intuitive sense of what will work well together.” I hear that line ringing in my ears.
I am grasping an understanding that when I rest back without a plan and allow my intuition to take over my “driver’s seat,” trusting that whatever happens next is acceptable, something akin to magic happens. Of course! On a larger scale that is how this retreat is being created. Before the calendar, appointments, plans, schedules and lists, was a vision. The “left brain” organization is the masculine energy manifesting the vision that came from the “right brain” creative intuitive feminine energy.

Balance is the key. If I take the time to sit in silence, resting in the “women’s lodge”, my intuitive guidance, my Muse, comes forth with a vision. A single spark of brilliance ignites the masculine to action. The vision is taken by forces of creation and the left brain implements the plan for execution. Supported by Universal Mind, synchronicity comes into play. It feels as if a friendly force precedes me and opens the gates before I reach them, making the manifestation process appear effortless.

For me, it is a slippery slope into the imbalance of too much execution and not enough inspiration. I must be diligent to pause frequently and drop back into the “women’s lodge.” It is here, in the cavern of deep stillness, that the non-essential falls away and the clarity of purpose arises. It is here, that the Muse can be heard, and the vision of her wisdom can be seen.

meditation pose

Sweet Mystery

oak tree drawing

Rebecca Meredith

Looking up
Green feathers surrounding
Bright blue orb
Sway to Nature’s song

Singing birds
Layer their melody
On the rhythm
Of the wind

Swirling mists
Rise silently
Earth’s moistness
Kissing the air

One brilliant ray
Cuts through the green
Laser straight
To the ground

Small circle
Warming heat
Penetrates to
Life below

Inside seed
Temperature rises
Message arrives
Time to grow

Expanding
Cracking open
Pushing through
Moving toward the light

Baby green shoot
Comes forth from below
Surrounded by family
Nourished by Mother

Earth, Water, Fire, Air
Alchemy of Life
Enchanted Science
Magical Miracle

I lie here on the ground
Inside a circle of oaks
Looking up at the sky
Surrounded by Life

In this moment
I feel myself as a tree
My roots dropping deep
Soaking up the moist earth

The sun on my face
The earth beneath me
The water running though me
The wind that surrounds me.

Connecting me to each blade of grass,
Every tiny creature and the vastness of it all.
Sweet Mystery of Love
At last I’ve found you.light through oak

Mind Mapping the Dreamtime

Flower

I don’t know what has happened in my brain but my dream-time has suddenly gone into high gear. I had four powerful dreams last night that I remember quite well. I am going to explore them using the “Mind Mapping” technique Joel taught us.
I am going to choose the first five images that come to mind as I recall each dream and then see what memories or thoughts the images evoke.  My study of the Native American Medicine Wheel will support my understanding.
The first dream I’ll call “Yellow.”
1. I’m eight years old wearing bright yellow pants, shirt and rain slicker.
2. A dark zombie-like man (think an evil Tom Cruise crossed with Michael Jackson in Thriller) is after me to kill me.  There are two dead bodies on the floor.
3. I escape the house and am running through the neighborhoods I grew up in. It is night and it is raining.
4. Two younger children join me and we are traveling together.  There is the feeling of me being a “Dog Soldier” here.
5. One child falls in a concrete drainage ditch filled with rushing water. I help him out and he is okay.  We seek refuge at a “safe” house.
I’ll call the second dream “Flying.”
1. I am a young woman, early twenties, driving alone down a steep, winding dirt mountain road. It is late afternoon, dusk.
2. I come around a corner, moving fast and am shocked to discover I am flying through the air as in the famous scene that ends the movie “Thelma and Louise.”
3. As I fall through the air I am separated from the car and I hit the surface of a still, deep lake feet first and go down, down, down through the water until my feet touch the bottom. My coat comes up over my head as I hit the water and traps air inside.
4. As I begin to surface I notice I am breathing the air trapped inside my coat and the water is comfortably warm.  This feels like a deep dive into my emotional life.  The message is, it is safe to feel what I feel.
5. Safely on the bank, I hike to a nearby campground and find someone to tell my amazing story to. He casually reacts and says, “Oh, people go off that cliff all the time.”
The third dream I’ll call, “Returning.”
1. I am back in the second dream. I am with my then-husband at the top of the mountain where there is a casino/visitor center and trails that go to the same lake of my second dream.
2. I ask him if he would like to walk to the site of the cliff I drove off in my car.
3. He doesn’t want to go but reluctantly agrees. It is night.
4. As we head down the trail a black, mangy wolf appears. It stands on its hind legs and menacingly licks and nibbles at my face.
5. My husband says the trail is unsafe and we can’t go down it.
The fourth and final dream of my night I’ll call “Leslie’s Bed.”
1. I am visiting a friend of G’s. The time is the present.
2. She lives out in the country. It looks like the rural mid-west in springtime.
3. She has built a bed outside and I am invited to sleep there. It is very soft and warm and comfortable. I feel safe. The air is balmy and warm.
4. When I awaken, her two little girls are on the bed with me and we play on the bed. Flowers are growing around the cast iron headboard. The scene is soft and pastel and lovely.
5. I think how much I love to sleep outside and wonder how she keeps the bed from becoming ruined when it rains. I look under the piles of eyelet covers and discover the bed is made with a regular mattress covered in many layers of air mattresses that protect it from water.
As I just read back through what I have written about my dreams last night I notice these things.
The elements of air and water are powerfully present and very positive forces. I have  the following associations with the elements.  The element of air represents connection and Spirit and water is the feminine element of the emotions. The elements of fire and earth are not so obviously present in my dreams.  Fire represents the masculine and the mental process and earth is the element of the physical body.
As the night progressed I aged in my dreams. In the first dream I’m about eight, the second early twenties, the third late twenties and the fourth is the present.   In “Returning” I am meeting the “Resistance” and asking the question of the “War Chief’s Lodge”, “Is this issue worth fighting for?”
The male energies in the dreams don’t feel supportive. The “monster-man” in “Yellow” is trying to kill me. The man I tell my story to in “Flying” discounts me. My ex-husband and the wolf in “Returning” are barriers to what I want.
The hooded yellow rain slicker in “Yellow” and the wolf in “Returning” remind me of the fairy tale, “Little Red Riding Hood.”
The female energy my character represents is strong and positive. She meets the challenges of each scene and does what is needed to survive. In “Leslie’s Bed” the feminine energy is strongly present in the springtime flowers and feeling of nature, in Leslie and her two daughters, who are wearing dresses, in the nurturing bed, and in the entire pastel dream-scape.  I am in the “women’s lodge.”
Although the dreams started out frightening they had a happy ending, like a PG movie with four scenes.
C.G. Jung wrote, “All day long I have exciting ideas and thoughts. But I take up in my work only those to which my dreams direct me.”
Now that I have a dream life, the challenge becomes understanding their messages. I am reminded of an ancient alchemical saying, “For those who have the symbol, the passage is easy.”