Can Circlework Change Us? The World?

Several posts ago I mentioned that I feel like I was born for this time – the year of the “unstoppable emergence of the deep feminine”. I’ve spent years delving into ancient goddess stories and indigenous traditions, which are often modeled on feminine principles. I’ve worked with the Women of Wisdom organization since 2000. I contributed to two anthologies for women. But my favorite work with the feminine is circlework.

My first experience with circlework was in a workshop with Jalaja Bonheim, PhD. Whathands a beautiful experience! Holding sacred space, opening our hearts, listening to each other’s hearts, witnessing story, poetry, music, art. In such a short time, we became a community. This 2-day workshop was so phenomenal and even after 2 long days, we resisted leaving each other. We went to a cafe to continue being with each other and made dates with each other for the future.

Circlework taps into our inner knowing of how to step into deep connection. It revives ancient memories of heart centered problem solving and true sharing of resources. Circlework is more relevant today than it has been for centuries. We need this ancient feminine way of knowing -of working together -to heal our lives and our world. It is a practice of love.

 “Circlework is the Practice of Love. Today, that is the only power that can help us heal our planet. When I lead a circle my intention is to create a field of love where people feel safe enough to share not only the light emotions, but the dark and difficult ones and know they will be received and heard with compassion.”   ~ Jalaja Bonheim, PhD

A couple years back I was invited to join a circle that met over the phone. I was hesitant because it seemed to me that we needed to be able to look into each other’s eyes in order to do circlework. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not the same. Yet, there’s something about listening to each other’s hearts while sitting comfortably in our own homes. It was quite phenomenal actually to train ourselves to such deep listening. I believe this happened because we couldn’t see or touch each other. Instead, we touched each other’s hearts. For some, it was easier to open up with the illusion of anonymity – to speak our truth in the comfort of our own space. We also had the benefit of being in circle with women from across the nation.

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This is my time to powerfully do my work. And so, I’m offering an experience of circlework and an invitation to discover the deep feminine that lies within – “A Call to Circle”. You can find the details on my website and check out current happenings. Don’t wait though, there is a limit to the number of participants.

You can email me if you want more information or have questions. Head shot (2)Coleen@coleenrenee.com.

Blessings, Coleen

 

I Didn’t Believe, until…

This month, we have two full moons. Why? Well it started with the Romans. But we talked about them in the last blog post.

Two full moons. The second full moon in the same month is referred to as a Blue moon. I never used to particularly notice the moon or what phase she was in. Of course, if I was

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Photo by Clara Saillet on Unsplash

watching a movie and they showed a full moon, I knew something was about to happen. Don’t we all? It is after all a magic symbol. The joy of anticipation ripples through my body when I see it.

But I never really believed that the moon affected us particularly  –  until I worked graveyard shift in a college town. I was in grad school and worked at a 24 hour diner. Around 2 am on any Friday or Saturday night, we’d get a rush of folks who closed down the bar and came in for breakfast before they crashed.

I studied the sciences and was doing graduate work in anthropology, so it was quite natural for me to notice patterns. I began noticing that on nights where the tips were particularly generous or unaccountably poor that the moon was full when I walked home. I also started noticing customers were particularly nice or very grumpy; the diner worked like a very well oiled machine or several things went wrong; and other extremes on a full moon. But I still didn’t believe until I faced a ball of french fries sailing across the restaurant directly for me. It was like my own personal full moon.

Here’s what happened:

We had a new, very young and totally inexperienced assistant manager. It was her first night.

The diner chain was experiencing financial difficulties and were literally counting the fries in each order.

A young arrogant college student, who had too much to drink sat at my counter.

Cue full moon rising.

The college guy ordered a side of fries. I explained to him that a side of fries was exactly aa fries25 fries. He ordered a double order. When they arrived, he complained about it not being enough fries for a double order. I patiently reminded him that each order was 25 fries, He asked for a second plate and he counted the fries. There were 50.

“Well, I’m not paying for these,” he said.

I told him that I understood and would be happy to take the order back. He said, “I’m eating them, but I’m not paying for them.”

I calmly told him if he chose to eat them, he’d have to pay for them. He stared at me a moment and then lowered his eyes. I knew his challenge was over; I’d been doing this for a very long time.

What I didn’t know, was that the assistant manager heard the conversation and promptly went back to the office and called the cops. They showed up and she pointed out the college student. I should mention his order was only a couple of bucks.

The cops asked me to pack up the rest of his fries and meet them at the register with his bill. After he paid, the cops left. The college student saw some friends at a table near the door and sat down to talk with them. I went about my business.

A few minutes later, I’m at the cash register helping another customer. When the customer leaves I look up in time to see a ball sailing towards me. The student had wadded the fries into a ball and with quite a good arm pitched it at me.

He was still drunk and missed his target. But it was a moment I’ll never forget. I picked up the ball of fries and put in the garbage while looking around to make sure the new manager had not seen it and called the cops again.

Are we ruled by the moon? No, I don’t think so. But we are affected. I pay attention now and celebrate her cycles. I’ve even looked into the science of it. Do you know more babies are born on a full moon?

The Blue Moon is on January 31st – It’s also a super moon and a total lunar eclipse. Mark your calendars and set your intentions. The full moon tends to exaggerate whatever’s in the field. Challenges are bigger, so are victories. Emotions are more intense – joy and sorrow. Knowledge is power folks. If you know, you can prepare. It just makes plain good sense.

Blessings, ~ ColeenHead shot

Please – Like, share, follow, comment and forward to friends and colleagues. I’m Coleen Rhalena Renee  – a spiritual healer and teacher. I appreciate you helping me pass along these insights, teachings and thoughts to ponder.  I’m deeply grateful to all my readers and thank you for your support.

On Epiphany – A cowboy, a lasso & Julius Caesar

This morning as I woke up, but wasn’t ready to get up. I lay there, letting my mind wander and easing into the day. It’s Epiphany, I thought. The Christmas season is over. Yes, Christmas is not just a day, it’s a season. (That’s not a tag line; there’s a really old song about it and everything.) Christmas is 12 days long ending with Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. Epiphany celebrates the gifts of the magi to the baby Jesus and an acknowledgement of him as the one who’s coming was foretold. I had my own epiphany this morning.

Right in the middle of this season comes New Years Day. This has always seemed like a made up holiday to me. There’s no context for it in nature. And, it’s so out of sync with the season, it feels to me like it short circuits this reflective time of hope and light. It shoots us into goals, resolutions and hovering failure with a tradition of drinking, falling balls and loud fireworks.

Growing up, New Years Day was the day the holiday decorations came down. Everything looked so bare and empty – and the January blues often took advantage of this window and settled on in.

As I’m thinking about this, I fall back into a light sleep. I see a cowboy. He’s burly and manly. He smiles at me in a crooked sort of way and I see that cheeky Hollywood sparkle off his teeth. He seems to dwarf everything around him – even the horse he’s riding on. I close my eyes and look again. No, he’s a big man, but the horse is bigger. Then, he dwarfs everything again. I realize it’s his attitude, not his size.cowboy lasso

He sits up straighter in his saddle, grabs his rope and begins to swing a lasso above his head. I look ahead of him to see what he’s after. There’s nothing there. He let’s loose and the lasso soars through the air. The cowboy shouts his success, pulls tight on the rope and saunters to his prey. I still see nothing.

He swings down from his horse and giving another shout of victory he holds up a calendar. It’s like a giant sized daily calendar – like a quote of the day kind of thing.

 

I wake up laughing. The cowboy thinks he’s lassoed time. Then I chuckle at the dream wondering why it came. Ah, New Years Day – the made up holiday.

I realize the cowboy with his American attitude of being lord of his domain was a manifestation in the dream. Historically, he was actually Roman. Romulus started it all by abandoning the lunar calendar and creating the Roman calendar. The science was a bit off. The original Roman calendar consisted only of 10 months and a year of 304 days. The remaining 61 1/4 days were simply ignored, resulting in a gap during the winter season. Later January and February were added.

Like their penchant for straight roads despite the landscape, the Romans tried their hand a taming time. But the sun, moon and stars just keep moving in their own patterns.

Finally, Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar in an attempt to better regulate time for efficiency throughout the Roman Empire – which extended across cultures, hemispheres and landscapes. Despite the quite regular cycle of 13 moons in a solar year, the Roman calendars reduced the year to 12 ‘moonths’. Yes, they awkwardly have different numbers of days and every four years, we have to add an extra day to sync up with nature. But hey, for those who wish to believe, time has been captured and branded so everyone knows who it belongs to.

My Celtic, nature centered heart finds this quite amusing. And to think, the cowboy got back on his horse and lassoed time again to create daylight savings time. This cowboy might have been a New Zealander named Hudson, a German, Austrian or even Ben Franklin. There seems to be a lot of stories as to the origination. Perhaps the cowboy wore a mask?

Certainly, there is a convenience to having a common national and international time reference. We just have to remember it’s an artificial construct. New Years Day is a made up holiday without context to the natural world. To be fair, the Julian Calendar was created before the birth of Jesus, so we can’t blame Caesar for the interruption of the Christmas season. If we lose the magic of the season, that’s on us.

It seems to me that it makes plain good sense to reflect on how we measure things and whether it really serves us. It’s a really good time to return to the syncopation of the natural cycles – to see time as endlessly cyclical and not a commodity with limits. There is ease and freedom in the natural cycles. As we straddle artificial constructs and the natural cycles, let’s keep a sense of humor about it and find our own balance.  ~ Coleen

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Photo by Fabian Burghardt on Unsplash

Like, share, follow, comment and forward to friends and colleagues. I’m Coleen Rhalena Renee  – a spiritual healer and teacher. Please help me pass along these insights, teachings and thoughts to ponder.  I’m deeply grateful to all my readers and thank you for your efforts.

A Hard Reality Check

Lorna Bevan is one of my favorite astrologers. Not only does she do a great job with all the astrospeak, she has a beautiful way with providing words and images that help you get what all the star dances mean. She starts each report with a quote, has lovely images, and between all the astrospeak (which face it, most of us don’t really understand) she blends that beautiful imagery and word play with plain blunt talk.

January, she says,  begins “with a hard reality check. You will have to deal with the way life is, not the way you would wish it to be.” Yes, it’s time for a reality check and here’s where I’m taking that:

When someone tells me to get a reality check, my first impulse is to ask exactly which reality they would like me to check in with. I’m not trying to be a smart ass, I just know that reality is rather subjective. Reality is a result of not just the details of what’s in our environment, it’s how we process those details through our own experiences and filters. There is not one reality, there are many. Collectively, we agree on a particular cultural story, but still how we live out that story is rather individual. Or is it?

It is very clear to me how outwardly oriented we have been in recent decades. We depend on the media to tell us what’s real and what to think about it. Yes, I know this sounds over simplified and it is, but relatively speaking, we have become less introspective and self identified than perhaps in any other time.  So, in this time it can feel particularly disturbing when what we have trusted in – government, media, cultural mores, … – suddenly shift.

But, if you can acknowledge that the times are disturbing and let go just a bit, there’s an incredible opportunity awaiting us. We’re gifted with the time and space to ask, “What’s real for me?” This is not a schrodinger’s cat question; it’s not about science. This is a question for the heart.

What has real meaning for me? What makes my heart sing? What makes me feel passionate? What can I not live without (not talking about that morning mocha to get you going)?

What’s hard about this? It awakens us to our wild and passionate selves. It reminds us of our unique significance. It inspires hope. And then,….

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Photo by Stefan Kunze on Unsplash

If you’re like me, you start asking yourself why you’ve been hesitating to live out your life to its fullest. Why have you let yourself be distracted by what other people expect? What the hell have you been waiting for?  And then, …

You discover there’s no truly good answer to any of those questions – nothing that will hold up under such scrutiny. So here we are looking at what we know we’re meant to do against the reality of what we have been doing. And then, …

We choose. Do I continue supporting a reality where I’m not fully present? Do I gift myself with permission to emerge; to breakthrough the cocoon of perceived safety; to allow vulnerability while my new wings dry; to ultimately take flight and soar into my real life?

Lorna tells us that “2018 is a year of elemental shift from Yang to Yin escalating the unstoppable collective emergence of the deep feminine.”  I was born to be here on this planet at this time to help facilitate this emergence. My time is now.

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Photo by Ryan Booth on Unsplash

I feel a bit like Aragorn/Strider from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have inherited gifts, a sacred mission, a people waiting for me to step into the role I was born to live. Part of me would be quite happy to stride off into the wilds. But the reality of the call to serve in the way I’ve been trained and in the way that serves my heart best – the way that brings me deep joy – cannot be denied. To step into it is the only thing that makes plain good sense.

2018, here I am. Simply. One intention at a time.

Does this give a whole new meaning to the expression, reality bites?

What’s real for you in this transformative new year?

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” J.K. Rowling

Thank you Lorna for your brilliance! Blessings to you and to all my readers in this new year – and in what’s real for you.  ~ Coleen

Have You Tasted Winter’s Quiet?

No, I have not invented a new holiday drink – although that would be interesting. What would a winter’s quiet taste like? Perhaps a minty coolness followed by a smooth dark chocolate – not sweet, something that takes your breath and then envelops you in warmth. Something that makes your bones feel heavy in a really delicious way.

Amid the rush of the holidays, I make sure I take moments to enjoy the quiet of winter. There’s nothing like it. Wrapped in warm clothes, sitting on a bench as my breath fogs before me, I let everything go and listen to the beauty. There’s usually a nip at my nose and maybe, if the day is just right, my feet get cold as I sit longer than usual. I love the tree skeletons frosted white, the grey of the landscape and the hawks soaring above the fields. No jingling bells, honking horns, annoying carols or list of to-do’s. I can hear my own heart beat, a lowing from the cows, the setting of the sun.

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Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

Another favorite is driving through town after dark and seeing all the holiday lights.  Sometimes I listen to carols while I do this, or just sing them. In these moments, I’m remembering my childhood and allowing myself to sit in the wonder of all the twinkling lights. I always end up at the top of the hill overlooking the city. I sit here in the quiet, thinking in gratitude of all the loved ones who’s lights are twinkling up at me.

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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

And when it’s really cold or wet or I’m just tired? I light the fireplace, lace my tea  with whiskey and gaze into the flames. I have a lovely conversation with them as they reflect my own inner lights and dreams.

These are the moments of tasting winter’s quiet. For me, they are priceless. What are your favorite moments?

Today’s video is a reflection of this quiet with some poetry and prose. Enjoy this as our journey to our inner light continues as we approach winter solstice.

 

Blessings, Coleen

Accessing Hearth & Home

We all want a sense of home. Your inner Hestia knows just how to access that. Hestia is the goddess of the hearth and home. She excels at creating comfort, meeting needs and being welcoming.

If you have images of Martha Stewart running through your mind, that’s one way to call forth your inner Hestia. Mrs. Weasley from the Harry Potter series is another way of embodying Hestia. Truth is, hearth and home is very personal and finding your own way of creating it is part of the joy and part of the magic.

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Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

As we move through the winter holiday season, expectations of “home” run rampant. Sometimes we can stress ourselves out trying to create this warm, comfortable, loving, perfect holiday.

In today’s video, I offer ways to go about doing the things you need to do to prepare for your holiday gatherings – while bringing intention to what you’re doing so that the warmth and caring come through.

In the next couple days, I’ll post specific ways to incorporate the magic of everyday ingredients into your holiday experiences. To request a list of ingredients and their associated essences go here.

Meanwhile, treat yourself to some down time. Have a cuppa tea or coffee or a hot toddie. Now, sink into your idea of hearth and home. What elements are necessary for you?

~ Coleen

 

Do You Have Circles of Intimacy – IRL?

In our journey of 21 Days to Solstice as we connect with our inner light and tap into feminine energies that help us heal and transform in 2018 – we often take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In our personal lives, how do we do this? Today’s video talks about one way to do that.

Circles of Intimacy! These may be ‘your girls’, the boys, the poker buddies, the neighborhood dads/moms, sister women, bros, circles. I’m talking about relationships where you truth tell, share your lives, ask for feedback, … – witness each other. This may not be the “purpose” of any of your gatherings, but it happens. You’re committed to each other over time.

The archetype for these relationships is the blood sister/brother. It is shared experiences that bond you. You have years of history together. Why are these important?

These blood sisters/brothers know you and are committed to you enough to tell you the hard things, to know what to say to bring you comfort, to not need words. They help you find perspective and remind you of your rhythms. When you feel lost, they remind you of who you are. When you need change they hold you while you become something new.

These are relationships IRL (in real life) – in person, phone down, computers off – hearing each other’s voice, seeing each other’s gestures, learning each other’s hearts.

Sounds risky? Well, of course it is. And so worth it. Intimacy is always a risk, but it offers us so much. Yesterday’s blog/video was about the Warrior of the Heart. Circles of intimacy are full of them.

Find your circle, celebrate it! Share this post with your blood sisters/brothers and thank them for the beautiful role they play in your life.

~ Coleen

 

Touching the Warrior’s Heart

When I think of a symbol of the warrior, I think of a sword. But I see the sword not as a weapon of destruction. Sure, it can kill and maim. But swords are often used to focus intention, point the way, and cut away that which no longer serves. The symbol of a warrior may be the sword, but a true warrior wields it via the heart.

In today’s video, the angels asked that I channel a message for them. They call to the warrior heart in each of us.

I like that they clarified that there are many soldiers in the world today, but too few warriors. I know that today’s training for soldiers often focuses around inhibiting the heart. If not performing yet to standards, they are shamed through the use of derogatory names for the female – “girly boy” “pussy”, etc. The enemy is often portrayed in demeaning characterizations. They fight remotely where they can’t even see the enemy. The brutalities they do experience encourages them to close their hearts even further. Perhaps the greatest cost of war is the loss of the warrior’s heart?

But the angels are not asking us to go to war – in fact, they discourage us from fighting. They ask us to stand for justice, protect our beloved communities, and risk ourselves for the community. They suggest we do this in little ways, in our everyday lives, right in our own communities.

To risk is to potentially sacrifice for our community. The word sacrifice means to do something that makes all involved more sacred. This can only be accomplished through the heart. To see that ALL involved are more sacred requires us to step back and look at the big picture. It requires us to open our eyes and our hearts to everyone – to see ourselves in them, to see them in ourselves.

I’m remembering when I was a girl scout in my youth and how excited I was to earn a badge. Each badge required time, learning new skills, and putting myself out in the world in some way. Each badge helped me to become a stronger person, more skilled, more aware of the world. I looked for opportunities to learn the skills and to practice them – even after I earned my badge. And what joy I experienced as I sewed each badge on my sash.

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Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash

It wasn’t about the badge. Truly, “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” It’s about feeling competent; knowing I could contribute; celebrating the actions I took; and knowing that the risks I took and the sacrifices I made were worth it.

I still look for those opportunities in life to share my skills – and most importantly, to offer my heart. Take a risk. Join me. Let’s make the world more sacred.

Thank you for joining me in this series of posts and videos; for connecting to our inner light as we move through these 21 days to Winter Solstice; and for embracing the feminine energies that will help us heal and transform the world in 2018.

Blessings, Coleen

Embodying Love

Hi, today I offer a song about love as the connecting force that moves through all.

The love that flows through me to you,

that flows through you to me,

Is the Spirit that moves through all things.

(2)Compassion and peace, gentleness and love – all gifts of spirit.

(3)Spirit gifts of Quan Yin and Jesu, the gentleness of deer, the apple tree – all gifts of spirit.

Like so many of the songs and chants I’ve written, this one simply flowed through me in a moment of meditation. The first verse, which I sing many times on today’s video, is an excellent meditation in itself. The 2nd and 3rd I offer once. All three can be sung together at the same time.

Day 12 Spirit Love

As we move into 2018, it will be beneficial to embody love. Begin with yourself. I believe this is a major key to healing our planet.  The various forms of the Golden Rule that shows up in so many spiritual traditions requires this self love. “Love your neighbor as yourself” has a whole different meaning if you do not love yourself. We must start by letting love flow through us and to us.

I happened upon a new Beach Boys song today. It’s got lots of words, but the same theme. Give a listen: “Unleash the Love”

I love the line: “It’s in our power to change this planet’s destiny.”

Be the love the world needs.

Love and blessings, Coleen

We Are a Story People – Do you withhold yours?

The warmer time of the year is usually more about adventures out in the world. The winter is about sharing the stories from those adventures. Stories about adventures evoke treks across the globe, dangerous quests, or luxurious vacations filled with interesting characters. And aren’t those stories delightful?!Day 11 - Story

But perhaps more useful are our everyday stories. What if we considered our everyday lives an adventure? No, you do not need to change anything. The point of this post is: our everyday-ness may just be the story that’s needed. Watch today’s video for an example.

We live in an overpopulated world and yet we live incredibly isolated lives at times. But we are a story people. We are designed to be in community, to be interdependent, to share and learn from each other’s experiences. This is what makes humans so adaptable. If we listen to each other’s experiences our base of knowledge is greatly expanded. But instead of sharing real stories, we watch made up stories on TV.

Perhaps we’ve come to believe our stories are not significant; they’re too small, too boring. To suggest those may be the very stories that will bring healing and joy in a hurting world, … That might make us significant and perhaps even inspiring.

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” Marianne Williamson

Nelson Mandela brought international awareness to Marianne Williamson’s words. They touch a knowing place in our hearts, don’t they?

  • Have you ever felt all alone in your experiences?
  • Have you been convinced that no one else knows how you could feel?
  • Have you ever felt no one could possibly understand your life – or, that if they knew you’d be shamed?

What if, someone shared a bit of their story and you found yourself in it? Imagine how comforting and inspiring that could be. In those moments you do not need some far off adventure, dangerous quests or intriguing characters. You probably simply want someone who can relate. What a gift! What a gift you could give.

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Risk it. Share yourself with someone – find places where you connect and relate. Even if they don’t share your experience, you will have brought them a place of understanding that experience and help them relate to others with that experience.

We are a story people. Please do your part. Share your everyday, small, boring, incredible, inspiring, IRL story. Someone needs it.

In my family, story came through my mother. We’d tell her and she’d tell everyone else. So all our info about each other came through her filters. When I recognized this and started speaking directly to my siblings, our relationship totally changed. Words like, “you too?”; “I thought I was the only one,” and “I didn’t know you felt that way.” emerged – and so did a deepening of our connection. Shared experiences need to be validated through shared stories. For me, it’s been well worth the risk.

Blessings, ~ Coleen