Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am in the heart of my third round of breathwork and shamanic minister training, and while these events have been the inspiration for much of my writing, I have not until today blogged from the workshop. I am sitting on the deck outside the octagonal meditation lodge. The day is overcast by a veil of clouds but still quite light. I am facing due south according to the adjoining medicine wheel, and the breath of spirit is blowing into my eyes with some force.

I journeyed this morning and experienced my first rebirthing. I have not been the most active traveler on the breathwork floor. On my first journey I laughed and cried; I flew and I swam in the ocean; I danced around the tribal drum and I sang out loud. Afterward my partner told me I barely moved and though she saw my mouth move, there were no audible sounds. I have stayed within myself, somewhat shy even when I have run along the shamanic path.

The habit of quietness is built in; it is hard-wired. And it has served me to sit back and observe, to reflect and to analyze. I have mentioned before that when I first moved to Sedona I sat in the sacred circles for three months before I spoke. My friends refer to that time as “the good old days”. I need new friends.

I have become progressively more active in my breathwork journeys and that coincides with a parallel opening and more active movement into the outer world. As within, so without. As above, so below. This morning, in my breathwork journey, I sat up for the first time and rocked to the rhythm of the energetic music.

My co-journeyer, Karen, rubbed my back and I leaned forward into an unintentional child pose and felt like I was sinking into the floor. She instinctively moved to put pressure on my shoulders and I started pushing. I did not push too hard at first because the sensation of rocking and the resistance and the darkness was pleasant and comforting.

I continued to push and my space became constricted as I began to struggle to be born. Karen held me between her legs as Star Wolf encouraged me to push and to fight for life. When she invited me to vocalize, I found myself yelling so forcefully that later my throat felt raw. Star Wolf let me take her hand and urged me to claw and to kick my way out. Karen held me tightly like she was trying to keep me in the womb. When I would have quit the struggle all together, I was commanded to kick myself free, and I did.

When I was out, I collapsed exhausted into the arms of these two amazing and beautiful women. And they held me like I cannot remember ever being held by my genetic mother. Star Wolf whispered in my ear that I was welcomed, that I was wanted; that I was loved very much, and I cried like a baby. (Because that’s exactly what I was.)

These women held me for the longest time and I remember thinking that they should just let me go and attend to someone who needed them more. At one point I had a twinge of anxiety for being cared for so closely and for so long.

I was not unwanted by my own mother, and I was not unloved. She did the best she could. It is significant though that I perceive that I was neglected as a child. My father died when I was quite young and my mother seemed, to me, understandably preoccupied with her daily pursuits and with my sisters.

It doesn’t matter if I imagined or constructed this scenario because it was real to me. And it is the source of my deepest wounding. It is the wounding that created deep-seated and unconscious patterns in my tissues that have been repeatedly triggered and activated ever since. These patterns have shown themselves most frequently in my intimate relationships. And it is only in exposing them to the light of day and noticing them when they arise that they do not continue to cripple me and keep me short of my happiness.

We are all wounded. And we all continue to be buffeted by unseen forces that seem to be beyond our control. I am thankful for the breathwork and other experiences which have brought my shadow into the light and transformed much of my unconscious stuff into consciousness.

Please don’t misunderstand – I’m not done yet. And I’m grateful to all the others who have come into my awareness and held me when I was raw and when I was in pain; all these beautiful souls who have hugged so much of my resistance out of me.

Look at the website for Venus Rising to learn more about Shamanic BreathWork and to begin your own Shamanic Journey.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

2nd Annual Birthday Blog

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I signed off in these pages with the words, “Happy birthday to me”. On that day I was blessed to take part in the 8:00AM gratitude circle at Unity of Sedona before I went into my first writing retreat.

I remember telling the group that I would hold them in my heart as I went into this training. Then I remember noticing the sacred circle expand as it came to include my fellow writers. Today that circle has grown even larger to include my new friends in Asheville, my colleagues at the Isis Cove community, and my fellow journeyers who are in the breathwork training with me through Venus Rising.

If I recount all the experiences of the last year; all the lessons learned; all the pleasure; all the joy; all the laughter and the tears – it sounds like a lifetime. But it feels like a moment. I believe I could step through an opening in the veil right now and be back in that sacred circle; in the loving arms of my soul family.

There are so many wonderful things that have come to me since then, that at the time, I could not have imagined. I want to say that they came to me because I opened myself and allowed the unexpected to be revealed. So it is timely that today at Jubilee, Pastor Howard reflected on the importance of embracing the Great Mystery which is part and parcel of walking with the Divine.

Linda Star Wolf teaches that when I set my intention it should always be for “this or something better”.  With the understanding that if I am truly open and allowing, the Universe is bound to have a better imagination than I do, and I should count on receiving something greater than my dreams.  Be careful what you manifest.  Always allow for something better.

As I write this, I am conscious of a profound energetic presence that is preparing to propel each of us into our next unexpected imagining. Outside my window the wind is rising and the bare branches are flailing in an oncoming gale. Earlier we had a spring snow storm, and now at sunset it is bitter cold.

I have always been fascinated by weather in all its incarnations, especially in its extremes. This is a storm, and it tells me something new is in the wind; something wonderful and unexpected; something greater than I could imagine if I can only surrender to the Mystery and allow it to be revealed.

So in the coming weeks I will return to the Sanctuary of Sedona and allow for the next new imagining to take shape in my journeying. I will put myself back on my wheels and roll them into Isis Cove for a time, with the expectation of being surprised by the Mysteries. I will finally rest in the arms of my Anam Cara with the anticipation of being utterly startled by God.