Posted in darkness and light, death, The Truth of our Being, transformation

Seeing The Light: Death As Birth

Imagine you’re sent away from everyone you love and who love you, everyone who understands you. Imagine you go to a place where existence is difficult, not least because you have a bad case of amnesia and can’t remember who you are or where you’re from.

Perhaps, you don’t feel like you belong, as though somewhere, deep down, you know you’re not home. Despite this, it’s not all hard work, there’s a lot to learn here, you’re becoming more aware of your truth and enjoying the delights that life has to offer.

Then, one day, through a situation that makes you think it’s the end of the road, that your life is over, suddenly there’s a great light. Life has brought you your death because your soul called it. It’s time to go and Life has finished with being your teacher. You didn’t want to die but the light feels so peaceful, so calm and so full of love. You’ve never felt anything as wonderful as this before.

But wait, wasn’t this what home felt like? All of a sudden, you know that your true home and true soul family and everything you’ve always been missing is right there on the other side of the light.

You only wish to enter the light and go home, nothing has felt more blissful, more beautiful, more right, for as long as you remember. You know there are loved ones that you’ll be leaving behind, if you go, but you instinctively know it’s their home too and one day they’ll be with you again. And you know that, from where you’re going, you can visit them whenever you wish.

As you step forward to enter the light, you experience the greatest surge of the most profound bliss and love and peace. It cannot be understood except by being there. You are simply aware of your oneness with all, your love of all, your divine unity.

Your true form, as a being of light is revealed to you. For a moment, you sense yourself suspended, floating between the indescribable beauty of planet Earth and the divine light before you. In that moment, the surge of love and truth that opened you up and revealed your divinity, is grounded and anchored into the planet, like a shaft of lightning. Mother Earth is present and she gifts the energy of that moment to all the beings living on Earth. This is your gift to your loved ones on Earth, for in this moment, you love every being in equal measure. In the next instant, a connecting cord is untethered from Earth and you are free to gently drift into the light.

As you enter the light, familiar figures come forward with beaming faces to greet you with such heartfelt love. And you know, at last, you are home. It’s as though you have been reborn and you’ve finally woken up from a strange dream.

[Image: ‘Seeing The Light’ art by Amenet Drago]

Posted in darkness and light, nature, Shamanism

Hummingbird Shaman

This is a picture-led post and this stunning image caught my eye. It’s a hummingbird-shaped naturally occurring ice feature discovered in a Michigan yard, photographed by Tammy Shrive, via LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV.

Then, in the usual synchronicity that the universe provides, I caught a fascinating TV programme all about hummingbirds.

There was a time when, in my shamanic practice, I called the directions using the Four Winds system. In this South American system introduced to me by Alberto Villoldo, serpent is in the south, jaguar in the west, eagle or condor in the east and hummingbird in the north.

In shamanic terms, hummingbird is connected to our awakening, our vision and the epic journey of our soul. Hummingbird brings courage and resilience and is the symbol for those whose lives are specifically focused on the journey of their soul, and I count myself as one.

Hummingbirds are migratory, spending winter in the South American rainforest, the Sonoran desert and the Andes mountains and travelling as far as the Canadian border for summer. They travel up to 23 miles a day, their heart beating 1,260 times a minute and their wings beating 15 – 80 times a second.

Across the species, they range from 5.5cm up to 13cm in length, and that includes their long beak and tail.

Living on the edge, hummingbirds exist at the very precipice that is the energetic trade-off between how much nectar they need to fuel their flight and how much flight is required to find the food. They literally dance between death and life every day.

They live at high altitudes where oxygen is thin, reaching their limit at around 43,000 feet. To achieve this, hummingbirds maximise the oxygen molecules in their bodies, which makes them uniquely equipped to live in the mountains.

Because of this, hummingbirds don’t have enough energy to sleep, they have to go beyond sleep and enter a deeper state called torpor every night, which is dangerous, another way they dance with death. Torpor means their heart rate drops from 1000 beats per minute to 70. Their nearness to death and association with a deep state of consciousness could be seen to label them as ‘little shamans’.

Hummers can fly forwards, backwards and hover in place because their wings are different to all other birds. Instead of rotating from the shoulder joint, they have a short arm and rotate on the wrist joint, giving their wings a much greater range of movement.

Their long tongue-filled beaks are not only for probing flowers but for serious aerial warfare, in the battle for flower access. They are combatant, in competition for the best feeding grounds and frequently fight to the death to protect their favoured flowering plants.

All in all, hummingbirds are pretty incredible, their fortitude and beauty are the least of the tools, skills and abilities that these ‘little shamans’ embody.

Posted in darkness and light, healing, inner child, love

Power Play and Boundaries

Setting boundaries can be hard and that’s something coming to the fore at the moment. It’s so easy to let things slip, then it’s difficult to do a u-turn and put a boundary in place.

And we can feel confused about how to communicate what we want in the best way.

There are times we are going to upset other people and that’s okay.

Have you ever come across a bully? Most people have and where there’s a bully there’s a person or people being bullied.

Have you ever wondered what determines that one person holds all the power and another person is powerless? It’s like a silent agreement between them.

The bully has made control and power their own. The bully feels entitled and lacks empathy.

The bullied is holding victim consciousness, feels guilt and apologises for their needs.

There’s a bully in my environs and although there’s talk about how troublesome they are, people continue enabling their behaviour.

It’s a two-way dance, it takes a mutual agreement. We do have the power to change that dynamic.

The bully in my environs is sometimes confronted but then, the same old dynamic quickly returns. In this dynamic, the souls are learning about personal power, not only the one who is controlling and manipulative but those struggling to stand up for themselves, to find and uphold their boundaries and embody their sense of empowerment. And this means learning how to love, honour and respect oneself.

Are you setting and protecting your boundaries?

Are you involved in a power play with anyone?

What are you learning from them about yourself?

Does that make you feel like changing in any way?

(Image: “Goddess: Yin Yang” by Amenet Drago)

Posted in darkness and light, love, Mother Earth, transformation

Emergence: one

This is my orchid. Every year at this time, in time for Christmas, two flowering stems begin to emerge. Once they are fully open, the flowers last for a remarkable three months. And then they begin to wilt and die.

I love the entire process from the first moment of noticing the new growth to the eventual decaying of the blooms. It’s emergence, the story of life and death is told through it all.

And I turn myself to face all that I feel is emerging, without judgement or fear.

Recently I heard from a reliable source that there is much upheaval ahead, that such upheaval is the coming journey of our beloved Mother Earth and therefore, will involve us all.

What I heard could be scary and I don’t know if it’s going to unfold that way or not, but it got me thinking. It goes against my expectations, I anticipate another thirty years of living on this Earth, maybe. And hope to meet more beautiful souls, to love and be loved by, moving forward on my soul path, living my life, lots of painting, fulfilling dreams. We all expect there to be a future. But what if there isn’t?

I had to think about that. Then I realised, deep in my heart, that it doesn’t matter. I have never felt afraid of the transition we call death and know it won’t stop me doing whatever work my soul is here to do, whether from this side or the other.

If life is destined to get chaotic, then chaos will emerge. If everything comes crashing down, I trust it is required to happen that way. If not, contemplating such a possibility brings riches of its own.

Whatever’s emerging, it’s all as precious as watching the blooms of my orchid unfold. Even if it seems as though darkness is emerging, that we are facing the darkest and most threatening times of all. Even then, with our invisible roots extended into the Earth and hearts full of love and peace, we don’t need to be afraid. We have nothing to fear, there never was, is or will be anything to fear, no matter what.

The wise Grandmothers are telling us, do not meet fear with fear. Fear is like a disease, it’s catching and spreads like a contamination.

Fear is everywhere, people are being activated by it. People are turning on each other through their fear. Everything is polarised. So, stay in your heart, remain connected to the web of light, do not move into fear yourself. Whatever happens, whatever you encounter, do not succumb to judgement or fear. Allow, accept, remain in your peace, know how to connect with your inner peace and stay with your heart foundation which is love. You are a divine being.

If we engage the future with fear, we will end up attracting exactly what we fear. Stay calm, stay engulfed in peace and love, don’t engage with fear, now or ever.

As my orchid emerges, I will share the story of her flowering with you and we will learn together to embrace beauty, even through darkness, even as life transforms into death.

Are you scared about the future? Why are you scared? How does fear help you? How does fear hinder or hurt you? How can you transform your fear into peace, love and acceptance? How does doing that feel?

Image: “This is my Orchid” by Ananda Amenet Reid

Posted in Inspiration, Storytelling, The Truth of our Being, transformation

Your Story

We all have a story. Some of us were born to live it and then to tell it. Some of us may never choose to share. But it’s there.

For some, it’s an anchor, defining us. Perhaps, limiting us, and yet, should we expand beyond it, it becomes a testament to our growth, our healing and fulfilment.

Don’t be your story, don’t get stuck there.

By telling your story, whether publicly or privately, you can free the energy, then move forward anew.

It has played a part in creating you, and yet, your truth is so far beyond it to make it irrelevant.

Allow your truth to find you and then look back at your unique journey and story with a knowing smile.

Knowing that’s not you anymore, knowing your story no longer defines you. Knowing how far you’ve come.

Posted in shadow self, spiritual skills and techniques

Darkness, My Friend

The point about darkness is to claim it, then you are safe.

Darkness is not something to fear or run away from but to embrace. We can only do that safely when we have claimed and owned our power. It doesn’t matter whether the darkness is coming from inside ourselves, from somebody else or from the invisible realms, same applies.

Darkness is only a threat when we are not standing in our power, when we leave ourselves open or give our power away. Know how to do that, to stand in your power, to create your boundaries, to protect yourself and call back what power you lose. You do that with heartfelt intent, with your true voice, with your directed willpower and focused emotion. You do that from the centre of your power.

If we give our power away to darkness, we are giving ourselves away. If we stand in our power with darkness all around us, we are safe to experience the secrets and magical gifts that darkness has for us.

This is a part of who we are, we are both light and dark and we are not in balance until we have learnt to claim our power and walk through the dark night.

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story

I Celebrate You and I Celebrate Me

I am in my centre, my truth and my truth is love.  Let love flow from my heart, from every cell and pore of my body and being.  Let love be my song, let my words speak only of love, let my eyes see only love and may all that I touch be imbued with love. 

I have been talking about my truth which is a part of my personal journey towards myself, towards my centre, my truth.  I feel that this journey is a spiral, in the sense that we keep coming back to it at higher levels.  Even when we feel we know ourselves, have found ourselves, connected to ourselves, that we are in our centre, our truth, there is still going to come an opportunity in the future for a greater level of clarity and completeness to unfold.  A greater depth, a greater truth to be touched. 

I am at the beginning of my journey, relatively speaking, I’ve spent most of my life in a major state of disassociation with myself. So, for me at the moment, it’s an incredible experience to feel so much more connected with myself, to sense myself when I’m standing at my centre, and I feel so blessed, I feel like celebrating.

I am celebrating myself and as I say that, the first thought that pops into my awareness from my persona is the shame or wrongness of celebrating oneself, the guilt, the selfishness of celebrating oneself.  But it isn’t wrong, shameful or guilty, it isn’t selfish.  It is, in fact, self love.  I do it not at the expense of anyone else, I do it in such an all-encompassing way as to be inclusive of everyone, as if to say, “I am here and I am celebrating myself.  Why don’t you celebrate yourself?  Why not?  Let’s all celebrate ourselves, let’s all love ourselves to the extent that we are in celebration of who we are, what we are, what our truth is and where we are in our lives, where we are in our truth.” 

So, perhaps I might inspire you to do the same. And in celebrating myself, I celebrate and own all my incredible achievements and qualities, I accept all the compliments that have ever been given me, I don’t dismiss or diminish them. I acknowledge that many of my gifts have arisen as strategies for my coping with wounds and traumas.

For example, as a little girl I spent a huge amount of time reading books.  At every opportunity, I was to be found with a book.  I lived in my imagination, either in the imaginative world of a story book, or daydreaming in my personal creation of story, where everything was beautiful and perfect, where I could be special and loved.  And the consequence is that through my saturation into the written word I became skilled at writing, which has become one of my gifts and is my preferred medium for communicating.   

I see now that I had my head in books because my life was so difficult, it was escapism and I chose to pour myself into my art because I was desperate to be liked and appreciated and it was a way I could achieve a sense of admiration. 

I think it’s true for many of us that in adversity our gifts come to the fore, they become our gifts because they work for us as a way of coping with our wounds and traumas.  It may be the reason a person becomes a comedian, a musician, a magician, a naturalist or astronaut; to feel popular, impress a parent, escape from reality. 

That’s very much the interplay of the dark and the light, the shadows and sunshine that are our lives.  We celebrate ourselves today with everything that we are, with the dark that we are and the light that we are.  With the pains, problems and difficulties that we bear and the blessings, gifts and abundance that enrich us.  So much of it all is simply a matter of perspective, simply a question of how we choose to look at ourselves and our lives.  Let’s celebrate.  There’s always something to celebrate within ourselves.  Celebrate us, our life, being alive and all that we hold in our hearts, all our gifts and talents, all our strengths and all of the challenges that bring us to places of growth and learning.  I celebrate you and I celebrate me.   

Posted in inner child, shadow self, spiritual skills and techniques

Loving Your Shadow Self

Are you aware of your shadow self? We all have one. S/he is the one that comes out when we are triggered by one of those situations that always triggers us. When we feel attacked or judged or criticised or misunderstood by that key person. All of a sudden, we are on auto-pilot. There’s no longer any of that slow, careful thought process, only the pin-point accuracy of absolute knowing that we need to attack back or defend forcefully – NOW!

The key person is always a person that really matters to us, it’s only within their power to take us to this hot place, if it was anybody else we wouldn’t give a damn. But when it’s them, our fundamental self is being threatened. They have to love us, protect us, be good to us. If they attack us or make us feel small, where does that leave us? We are doomed, all our fears are realised.

And there it is. We are in one of those horrifying situations again with one we love dearly, maybe one we love/hate, because we can love and hate a person at the same time.

The shadow self shouts, screams, wails, flails. The shadow self self-destructs, self-sabotages. The shadow self is the wound being expressed, the trauma of that delicate, tiny, innocent, bewildered, perfect inner child that was subject to such shocking attacks and judgement and criticism and misunderstandings themselves, when little more than a toddler.

Do you know your shadow self? Do you know of whom I speak? Do you recognise this part of you? What do you think of her or him? Are you disgusted? Do you love or hate your shadow self?

When s/he comes out, she is in opposition with the one that triggered her. Is that your dear and loving partner? Who is that for you? Maybe a bosom friend, a parent? A daughter or son? And what that does is, more often than not, trigger their shadow self. Now we have two people, usually loving and caring, suddenly at each other’s throats, flinging words like weapons, attempting to throw a killer blow right into the heart of the enemy. You know those times, right? There are more and more of those situations happening these days because we are all bringing everything to the surface. Suddenly you are facing the dark side of your loved one, the one that you cannot reason with, anymore than they can reason with you, at such a time as this.

So much damage.  So much hurt.  So hard.  You cannot accept each other at this time.  You hate each other at this time and later, you feel shame and hate yourself, hate your dark side, your shadow self. 

You need your loved one to love all of you, you need your loved one to love even your shadow self, but they won’t be able to until they love their own. And you won’t be able to love theirs until you love yours.

Can you do it? Can you see your shadow self in all her darkness and love her? Can you accept her fully? Embrace her? She just wants to be loved, like the rest of you. To be wanted. Can you look into the face of your beloved one’s shadow self and love them?

Next time you find yourself in one of these toxic situations where you are not being your best, remember that it is your wound talking, the wound of a little child that should have been loved, so innocent and undeserving of the trauma they received.  How can you not love that part of you?  They did nothing wrong, it wasn’t fair that they were hurt so deeply, so young.  Please love this part of you.  Please see the hurt child in your partner, your loved one.  Please find a way to find each other, to hold each other, to heal each other together, even at the worst of times, even when the wound is triggered.  You are both so deserving.  It was never about you.  It’s time to change our fear into love, together. 

(Photo courtesy of Huff Post)        

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story

Diving For The Light

Like many others, I’ve had the kind of life where I lived in darkness a lot of the time.  A difficult childhood that felt lonely and full of fear.  An adulthood marked by dysfunction, trauma and wounding; from my childhood, the family legacy of generational abuse and probably trauma from past lives as well.  Such a lot to process and this is a part of the reason I didn’t have children, I knew deep down I needed to clear myself of all these burdens and their disruptive patterns so that I didn’t pass them on anymore and it took way longer than my child-bearing years to do it.  For the most part, I did good.  And I learnt how to dive for the light.

We usually say ‘reach for the light’, don’t we?  Reach for the stars.  Diving for the light is different, diving for the light means going down into the dark to get to the light.

Imagine you are treading water in a deep mountain lake in the middle of a moonless night.  The only way you have any sense of where you are is because the bottom half of your body is in water and the top part is in air.  Now, imagine taking a great, deep breath and diving down. 

There was a day when I nearly watched my husband drown. He was in the sea and there were others on the beach and in the sea. The tide was coming in and there was a sand bar. The sand bar made the waves bigger and rougher, they looked playful but what was not visible was the rip tide under the surface. My husband and a young girl became caught in the rip tide, they were desperately trying to swim to shore, touch their feet on the bottom, but as much as they tried, they didn’t move an inch. I watched and saw them both get tired. I screamed to him to grab the girl and swim out to sea, to break away from the rip tide, not fight against it, but he couldn’t hear me above the sound of the waves and the noise of people playing all around. Nobody else seemed to notice them, so I screamed louder at everybody around me, I screamed out and pointed that my husband and the girl were drowning, because they were. They were both rescued but not before they each accepted that their life was going to end there and then, they had nothing left to fight with. It hadn’t occurred to my husband to swim out to sea, it seemed completely contrary to common sense, he continued striving for the shore and was going to die trying to reach it.

Sometimes, we have to do the opposite to what our instinct says in order to find what we need to survive.  And that’s what it means to dive for the light.  We dive into the darkness because that is where light is born.  It means being able to accept the darkness, being able to love the darkness.  It means we don’t get upset with the hard days of pain or sadness, we embrace them.  We don’t feel like victims but like survivors.  We don’t feed our story of trauma but allow it to unfold.  We don’t hide our wounds but celebrate them. We don’t stay in the dark, because we know how to find the light in it.   

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story

Going Through The Darkness

How bad can it get, the dark side?  How bad has it got for me?  How bad has it got for you?  How wounded are we?  How damaged do we feel? 

I and several others I know, to varying degrees, have been through the dark night of the soul.  That dark night might last years, which is a long time to believe you are losing it, that you have finally flipped and no longer have a grip in normality or sanity.  Days of lethargy, anxiety and dread, nights of despair, deep depression and profound aloneness.  Losing the ability to perceive truth from illusion, to know your own mind, to trust your instincts.  Losing perspective and one’s inner compass.  Losing stability, balance and grounding.  Losing hope, faith and love.  Arriving in a dark hole where the only thought you have is the deep desire to not live another day.  You wonder if it’s time to see a psychiatrist and take the drugs, if you haven’t already, you cleanse your home and all your possessions for fear you’ve been cursed.  And you pray, oh, how you pray, not realising your prayers were always being answered, even though, no, because nothing changed.  Yeah, it got bad enough. 

When I felt like that, day after day, I felt like a failure.  I believed I was worthless and that nobody could possibly love me.  But then, I couldn’t love myself.  I was supposed to be strong, to be spiritually evolved (huh) and I was supposed to be better than that (yeah, I know).  That’s in the past, but not that long ago and I write about it now because, if you are or ever have felt like this, I want you to know you are not the only one and it’s a lot more common than you would believe. 

And it does end, however bad, crazy, difficult it gets, it’s okay.  Don’t fight, just let it flow and be with it.  Hold space for it, as crazy as that may sound.  If you can, it will be over sooner and you will learn and heal faster.  I was slow on the uptake, I was a fighter, I made a lot of fuss and indulged in my suffering like a fool.  I always did take the long road.  I know better now, at least, I’ll find out the next time it comes around.  At the time, everything went out the window.  The darkness obscured it all.  I got involved you see, engaged with pity, fed my story and indulged my victim self.  I listened to my inner judge and fought like a wild animal when I should have lain down with it like a lamb, sat with it, invited it in, loved it as the teacher it was.

Now, I look back over that time and can see the lessons, I see the landscape I walked through and how I was finally unburdened by my journey through darkness.  Now I know every moment was a gift, truly. I called for it, I asked for the fast-track to my spiritual evolution and got it.  Now, I can say I love myself and finally, I no longer give myself away. Now, I will meet you in a space called love and share my light, my energy, but it won’t deplete me because I am whole and there is nothing I need that I can’t find inside of me.