#IPromiseMe: Music Reveals the Secrets

On my quest to identify my personal guideposts, I quickly found music. Didn’t even have to think about this one. When Spider Woman asked the question, music erupted.

I often hear music in the world around me – even in the silence of my heart. Music has always helped me make sense of the world. It comforts, heals and inspires me. I thought I knew all about it as a guidepost in my life.

However, as I’m giving a great deal of attention and consideration to my other guideposts, it seems dismissive to not do the same with music. Added plus, I get to  be in music!  Woo Hoo!

For me, music is like mathematics; it’s a universal language and it cannot hold a lie. Sure, one can use math or even music to support an illusion or an outright lie – but the math and music themselves can only be who they are. Music goes right to the core and speaks directly to the heart. Lyrics can focus it, but it’s the music itself that tells you the truth of the lyrics.

Better yet, music opens me to the secrets of the universe and illuminates me, myself and I. It is within music that I most understand myself. Music, often through my SpiritSong practice, helps me untie the knots of my own doubts and fears. Music shows me clarity and opens the path before me. Music calms and excites me – it holds me in it’s loving arms and reminds me of who I am.

A music major at Central Washington University recently sent me a beautiful talk about music and how it might save the world. It’s well worth the read and explains wonderfully the power of music to heal and transform. It’s by Karl Paulnack, pianist and director of music division at Boston Conservatory. Read it.

As I sit with my guidepost, music, it’s beginning to teach me how the guideposts interact with each other and how they move through the web we create in our lives. The sensation I’m receiving is quite like hearing a really resonate bass note, or a didgeridoo, or a crystal bowl; I feel it vibrating deliciously through my bones, my heart, my body. I cannot resist the joyful merging for it makes everything more vibrant. It makes everything better. Ah, hello guidepost of alchemy! Ooh, and welcome guidepost of sensual nature being. I see them co-creating a symphony that manifests into the matrix from which my web is woven. It is as soft and subtle as the music of sunset, changing the landscape with every breath.

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Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

Once again, music reveals to me the secrets of the Universe. I am in deep gratitude!

I am also, as always, in deep gratitude for you, my readers. I welcome comments and sharing of your stories.  ~ Coleen

#IPromiseMe: Make Sacred Space – A Crossroads Requirement

My quest to become more embodied and to find my guideposts continues. In the last post, I shared a second guidepost: I am a sensual nature being. To truly explore this and what it means started me on a journey with my body. One needs a body in order to be sensual, right? As a working empath and psychic I spend a lot of time between the worlds and have lost significant connection with my body. (I’m happy to report this is already changing.)

As you know, I’ve entered into a conversation with my body. Each day, I work with a different part – sharing what I love, thanking it for how it helps me, and asking what it needs from me to feel respected. Here’s just a few things I’ve discovered.

Toes: want to be longer and to squish in the mud.

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photo by Mellissae Lucia, oracleofinitiation.com

Foot: wants more breath and to be pampered more with lotions and massage. They want to walk on grass.

Ankles: want their own identity, separate from feet and calves. They want more movement and breath.

Calves: are so tired of undo responsibility. They want to dance and to play without so much burden.

My butt told me it ‘s job is to carry the stories that do not serve me. I was stunned by this, yet immediately felt its truth. All the stories that aren’t mine, that have been projected onto me, that I carry for others – my butt has willingly and even proudly carried. We had a long talk and I revised my butt’s idea of its purpose.

I’m so intrigued by these conversations and surprised by them in a delighted sort of way. I’m incredibly grateful for how loving and even matter of fact the various parts are. I’m experiencing none of the angst, blame or shame I anticipated. I’m finding loving kindness in my body; I’m finding trust in our new cycle of relationship; and perhaps most freeing, I find I am no longer at odds with my body. I am what I am. I’m becoming something new and delightful as I continue this journey. This can only happen because I’m allowing the space, I’m seeing the sacred and staying open to what’s next.

#IPromiseMe: My Offering at the Crossroad

I’m in the process of changing my story in a world of chaos that longs for new perspectives – new pathways to write our future. I believe these kinds of change need to begin at the personal level and that we need to trust that the change will ripple out.

As you know, I consider story to be the most vital (and available) tool for re-creating our world into a more loving, sustainable and easy reality. I’ve danced around it, because well it feels so darn personal, but it’s time for me to take the leap, dive in, and openly share my story. It’s clear to me that it is part of my promise to myself – no more hiding.

(excerpt from an earlier post)

I am a large woman. I started putting on weight in grad school, then stayed steady and at menopause gained more weight. The reality is that I’ve been a large woman only half of my life, but I’ve been called fat since before I was a small child. My mother has lots of body image issues and also seems to find her sense of acceptance and being loved in feeding people. As a result, what I felt and saw in the mirror never matched what my family and the world seemed to be telling me. When it came to physicality, I didn’t know what to trust.

 

I need to say that my size has not been a stumbling block in my life. I was often told I was pretty; I’ve always known that I’m smart, witty and creative. I’ve had a good life. I’ve been happy. But I have not been truly connected to my body – my physicality has always been less significant to me.

In the last few years, I’ve experienced inflammation, significant joint pain, teeth issues and low energy. The truth is, I have limited mobility and that scares me.

I’ve been playing a shame and blame game around my body for the last couple years and in my anxiety as I searched for the right foods and answers to my body’s issues – I’ve gotten worse. Then Spider Woman came to me in a journey and taught me a few things about being an empath. Because we’re so sensitive to those around us, empaths often lose track of themselves, of who they are. As a result, we’re often on a lifetime quest to find home.

After chatting, Spider Woman challenged me to find the guideposts upon which to build the web of my life. These guideposts are constant – even when we shed old webs and stop onto new ones. She suggested that my anxiety about not knowing home was directly linked to not identifying my guideposts – and to my physical health.  When you find your guideposts, you will immediately know how to trust them. Your work between the worlds is beautiful, she told me, but you must learn to return to and honor your physical structure.

My first guidepost: I am a sensual nature being. I know the absolute truth of this, immediately. But where is this guidepost? It feels like it’s in an overgrown and neglected garden. Like in the Secret Garden movie, it seems walled off, full of dead things and locked. But I know it has wick; it is alive.

My quest then is to unlock the garden of my first guidepost and tend to it. I commit to this  and to sharing the journey as part of my sacred story.  It feels raw and vulnerable to make this commitment. Voices in my head are asking all sorts of questions – like, what if they think you’re ridiculous or crazy, …

Earthen Body Pic

Photo by Mellissae Lucia http://www.oracleofinitiation.com

But another voice is telling me that this part of storytelling is not about the listeners; it’s about the person living the story and watching it unravel. And another voice is smiling and simply asking me if I’m going to walk my talk. Yes, I choose to risk sharing my story so that you may know my heart.

This photo is from when I participated in Mellissae Lucia’s Painted Body Initiation. I realize now that the experience was a ritual engagement with this guidepost – but I didn’t understand its significance. The link will take you to a post about that experience. Can you sense the guidepost in the experience?

***

I wrote that back in October. I’ve been making small shifts that are feeling very significant. They really seem to be about my relationships – to myself, my work, … I keep coming up on this one particular theme/lesson; I need to stop looking for what might harm me.

It’s so easy in our world to lose our sense of hope and connection, our sense of personal power. Our culture focuses around war, competition, and antagonistic relationships at every level. Even heart-centered campaigns to promote goodness in our world are often offered as a “Fight Against (fill in the blank)”. Our language is full of warlike words.

My relationship with my body, and specifically my diet, as been a campaign to stop bad habits, avoid the poisonous additives, get rid of inflammation, fight off free radicals,…  Is it any wonder that I’ve been struggling? All of these put me in opposition.

In December, I gave up. It was actually a surrender, an acknowledgment that I couldn’t keep up the fight. Since then, I’ve been hearing voices that tell me to rest, to enjoy, to savor. I paid no attention to what foods were good or bad. In fact, I refused to judge them. I ate what I wanted, but in a pretty conscious way. I gained no weight, my pain and inflammation actually calmed and I found an ease that I can’t ever remember having in my relationship with my body. This act of surrender was enough to get me out of my rut.

Two weeks ago, I felt ready to shift things – not because I should; or because if I didn’t I might die or get some horrible disease; or because I needed to look or act in some expected ways. I felt ready to shift because I want to walk the hills in the springtime and I want to dance and play out in nature without worrying about losing my balance. These desires emerged somewhere deep in my being and I chose to join with those desires – to resurrect and reconnect with my sensual nature being.

I re-read a book that I’d found a year ago about the Abascal diet. I’m on the first stage of resetting my body’s baseline needs (my words, they call it the elimination diet, but I am choosing a different frame of reference). I’m doing beautifully and noticing all kinds of little shifts. I was really tired the first few days, but didn’t judge it. I just noticed and let myself sleep. I’m using this stage to rediscover my body and it’s needs. I’m using it to help my body learn to trust me so that we become integrated rather than separate. It’s not optimal to experience my body as something separate, so I’m talking to each part and we’re becoming team mates. I am not separate from nature or from myself.

Today, I got really excited when reading about the intestinal flora. The book talks about how different foods support different bacteria. Their perspective is to feed the friendlies (those bacteria that really help us be more vital). Again, I felt this sense of joining hands for a common purpose. “I have to eat more vegetables.” has shifted to “OK, friendlies, I’m sending you what you need to be vital and I graciously wait for the goodies you will send me to help me be vital.” I am becoming the “hostess with the mostest” – providing well for my guests and reaping the rewards of their generosity in return.

I am carrying such a different story about my physicality. I’m finding the wick in my secret garden and tending tenderly to new shoots as I gratefully clear away and compost what has died.

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Photo by Johnson Chou on Unsplash

I am enjoying this process of rediscovery and having fun learning to become more and more in harmony with myself and the world around me. I’ll tell you more about conversations with my body in the next post.

Thank you for witnessing my story.  ~ Coleen

#IPromiseMe: An Alchemist without a Cauldron

From my last post  you know that I’ve made a promise to me to center my life through me. My dreams, longings, desires and health are vital; I need them in order to do my work in the world, to be of service.

When Spider Woman suggested I discern what my guideposts were, I was intrigued. What are the structures upon which I build the tapestry, the web, of my life. What’s always there, even when I jump an outdated web.

Music was the first and most obvious guidepost. I discovered long ago that if I’m not doing music of some kind, I just don’t feel like myself. My family sang, we all played instruments and without Barry Manilow I’m not sure I would have made it through my teens.

The next two guideposts took more thought, but the last one was quite a challenge. It took me weeks and when I wasn’t even thinking about it, it suddenly occurred to me.

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Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

I’m an alchemist, always have been. This conjures up images of fire, smoke and some chemical reaction. Merriam Webster offers this definition of an alchemist: someone who transforms things for the better. I like to think of alchemy as the blending of two or more elements, the combination of which is greater than their sum.

I like working with other people, blending our gifts and talents. I love cooking and how one ingredient can totally transform a dish. I love the secrets of how to take the sour out of tomato sauce or how toasting a grain before adding it to water can make a dish sparkle with depth and flavor notes.

I have a gift for seeing the many aspects present in a person, group, piece of music, … I sense how the different elements combine to create possibilities – like a kaleidoscope changing with a shift in light or touch.

I am brilliant at story – catching the nuances of telling that can shift an audience, a heart, a life.

I have experienced the incredible beauty of a circle of strangers, stuck in their own stories, transforming each other and ultimately the world. This is magic, alchemy.

I feel most centered as an alchemist when I do SpiritSong. The whole world becomes a cauldron, filled with all the elements, potentials and possibilities. I simply open; I become the instrument – both most purely myself and most free of self. Spirit moves through the song like a ladle blending the contents of the cauldron until it’s “better”.

Ritual is the other place where, for me, alchemy is so tenderly present. The work of seeing the micro in the macro; the internal and external; of using movement, music, intention, connection – to heal and transform. It’s all remarkable to me to feel these shift and see them ripple out into the world.

It’s only since my work with Spider Woman that I’ve identified this aspect of my being, which speaks so sweetly to my heart. Naming it has been quite powerful. As I move through life, I find myself saying, “yes, alchemy is what I’m doing here.” It’s a regular dance, this alchemy – whether I’m cooking, singing, healing, writing, leading circle, inviting just the right combination of folks for tea, …

Last week I had an appointment with a new primary healthcare practitioner. I’ve been putting it off because my experiences in the last few years can be characterized as painful and unhelpful. I’ve felt like a statistic and when results come back that don’t support what they were statistically sure was the issue, they shrug their shoulders and send me on my way (after offering meds for the issue they were sure I had, but can’t substantiate). I received my health intake in the mail and dutifully filled it out. I realized that their questions were going to take me to the same experience I’ve been having. I wanted to cancel, but something in me rallied.

“I’m an alchemist. I can make this better.”

I sat down and made a list of all the things I’ve been noticing about my health. I included my concerns and a list of my goals/priorities. I kept the list handy and over the next few days added to it until I felt it represented who I am and how I feel in my body.

Then, I adjusted my attitude. If I wanted the best of this new practitioner, I needed to bring my best – including an expectation of a positive, hopeful and practical coming together in support of my health and well-being.

I left the appointment feeling positive and hopeful about our plan. I had practical steps to take immediately, some tests scheduled and even a tentative diagnosis that actually makes sense to me. Best of all, as she left, my practitioner said, “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you.” I felt deeply listened to, cared for, supported and really motivated. Alchemy!

As I promised me, I brought myself fully into the process. I made it better by stepping into the center of those statistics and saying, “This is me.”

I’m grateful to share this direction from Spider Woman and the ways that I navigate it all.  I also love hearing from you. What are you promising yourself?

Thanks for reading and being part of my circle.

Blessings, ~ Coleen

#IPromiseMe

The fallout, at least for me, from all the eclipse activity since August is that I can no longer not attend to me. Yes, there’s a double negative in there. My apologies. I just had to say it in that way, once.

You see I’ve finally caught up with myself.

All these insights and teachings have been coming through me for the last couple years – particularly around co-creativity, authenticity and the deep feminine. I’ve been writing, speaking, blogging, posting and teaching. I’ve felt the importance of it all – and its immediacy. It had to get out in the world. I had to do my part.

On the side, I let the teachings and insight come into my personal life. You know, when there was time.

I know I’m overstating this a bit. In fact, I might be exaggerating outrageously. But I do know, without any doubt at all, that I was not at the top of my list or at the center of this work.

Perhaps, it wasn’t required. Perhaps I needed to get it down and out in the world as it was coming through to me. But as keenly as I sensed and gathered what needed to come through, I sense that they now must move through my living them. I cannot be on the sidelines of my work.

It’s time to stop holding stories for everyone else and story my life in a newly focused way. This might take a bit of courage.

As I write this, I feel my body humming. Aspects of myself that have been half asleep are rousing, dusting themselves off and looking around with great excitement and anticipation. I hear a whisper:

“One’s work should always come through the story of one’s life.”

WOW! That’s a game changer, isn’t it? I am not what I do. What I do is an integrated part of the whole of who I am.

Those newly awakening parts of me are shaking their heads yes, and doing it enthusiastically. Other parts of me are looking around anxiously. What will this look like?

This is where storying one’s life get’s interesting. I feel like I’m facing an auditorium full of people waiting expectantly for the play to begin. But the key actor has left the building and there’s no understudy. Who opens for me now? I find this frightening, but also intoxicating; I’m off book – anything is possible!

Spider Woman drops down into my view and smiles. “Tell them about your guideposts,” she encourages. “They’re the only pieces that are always there. You can weave a story later. Tell them about your guideposts.”

Right. When it’s time to jump one’s web, guideposts are vital. What are they? They are integral to everything I am. This is what it’s all about right now; promising me.

I promise me to see who I can be. I promise me to serve the world by being fully present to myself in my life. In doing this, I offer more of myself to the world – not just what I can do, but who I am. What joy! What magic can happen?

Guideposts are the things that are always true, the “structures” upon which the web of one’s life is woven. What is always true for you? What foundations are your life built upon? For me, music is an essential guidepost. Can you guess what the others might be? Here are some photos to give you clues:

 

I’ll share my guideposts over the next couple of posts. I wonder what yours might be?

I’m grateful to share this new process with you as I learn to navigate my life differently and work from a new perspective. I love hearing from you and look forward to your stories of new walksguessing what my guideposts might be or sharing your guideposts .

Thanks for reading and being part of my circle. Comments are welcome below.

~ Coleen

 

What if … It’s Not So Bad?

Hang on. There’s a celestial storm coming on Wednesday (full moon, super moon, eclipse and more) that’s reputed to be intense and asking us to prepare for a year of:

no brakes, fallout, powerful cosmic tides, physical elemental chaos

(breathe, sing, move a little – it might not be so terrible)

It’s part of an intense year. Astrologer, Lorna Bevan tells us:

“If vision and practical skills are brought into a place beyond either one, new worlds can come into being. Tenacity is the key. You have to see the pattern, inscribe the pattern, and let it set collectively.”  (read more)

(breathe, sing, move a little)

When I read this last bit, I was relieved that there was a way through the storm and then immediately overwhelmed by how much work it all sounded like. Are you with me?

Then I reminded myself, we have actually been in this weather since August’s eclipse. This is the 2nd act and will help us understand things as the dust settles. 2018 will be a year of major transformation for us individually and collectively. But aren’t we actually longing for change? Aren’t we tired of carrying around the old stories that inhibit our living rather than supporting it?

I know it’s weird – at least to admit out loud – but when I was a child living in Ohio, I loved tornadoes. You could tell they were coming: the air sizzled with electricity, the sky changed to an odd dirty yellowish color, the wind picked up – and, you might even be able to see the funnel coming before you closed the root cellar door.

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Photo by Lucy Chian on Unsplash

Like Dorothy, I knew life might never be the same. I also knew that I lived in a town that was at the confluence of two rivers and the likelihood of a tornado crossing both rivers and finding us was relatively slim.

Some in the cellar shook with fear and huddled in fetal positions anticipating the worst. My mother would often sing to calm us and let us know she trusted we’d be fine (yes, that might have been a ruse, but it was helpful).

What was I doing? Well, if you’ve been reading my posts, you know how connected I am to the land. I was listening to the song of the wind as I breathed in the earthy scent of the cellar. I was wishing I could dance with that wind and feeling grateful for the protection of being in the earth, just in case. I was rocking my younger siblings to comfort them and eagerly anticipating the moment we could leave the cellar and see what the world now looked like. I could sense the magic in it all.

We’d always take a drive after everything calmed down again. We’d check to see that neighbors and family were safe. We’d marvel at the refrigerator in the middle of a plowed field. We’d pray for those whose homes or businesses were no longer where they’d once been – and lend a hand where necessary.

We never talked about it, but despite the damage we might see around us, there was always the sense of the world sighing in relief. All the pressures and energies that had come together to create the storm had been released. It was obvious that there was work to do, things to clean up, lives to resurrect – but after the initial eerie silence, the air had a freshness about it. We’d find ourselves saying things like, “We don’t have to worry about that rickety barn falling on someone anymore.”

Yes, we have a lot of strong winds ahead of us in 2018. There is risk, danger, potential, … We can choose this year to live in a place with two rivers: Lorna’s rivers of vision and practical skills; or the river of speaking our truth and the river of acknowledging our most tender dreams. The need to recognize these rivers was revealed with the eclipse in August. Did you notice? “Me too.”

Let’s go to the root cellar – not to hide out until it’s over, but to get in touch with what roots and grounds us, what helps us hold our place in life. Let’s take flashlights to help reveal our own truths.

Resistance is futile. The storm is already here – the shudders have been banging and the windmill has been screeching. We are being gifted with this incredible opportunity to let go of the stories we carry that don’t feed our lives, to clear the path and walk in new ways.

The coming winds are not after us to punish or devastate. The storms are here to help blow down the rickety barns and transform our landscapes (inner and outer) to support our dreams, build our community and invite us into co-creativity.

In my book, that’s not so bad. We can trust nature and her celestial dances to continue in their everlasting cycle – to remind us that new life always follows any death. We can certainly choose to deny or resist what is happening. Or, we can enter the mystery with a sense of wonder. We can honor and give gratitude for what no longer serves and do the work of releasing what is not sustainable. We can consciously choose the seeds of new life and do the work of planting and cultivating those seeds.

Vision, practical skills, needed change, potential, wonder, anticipation, new life,…

Yep, it’s not that bad. I can’t wait to see what the world will look like after it all settles. In fact, I think I’ll start imagining its beauty right now.

I’m grateful to share this information and my personal stories/insight around them with you – ways that I navigate it all.  I also love hearing from you and look forward to your stories of facing storms or sharing what new seeds you want to cultivate.

Thanks for reading and being part of my circle.

Blessings, ~ Coleen

 

How Can You Be So Happy?!

I am cursed. It’s true. No matter how dark a place I’m in or how many challenges I might be facing or who has left me – I find a bright spot, something to be grateful for, a new branch in the road that will lead to a new adventure.

I like to credit my Irish heritage with this ability. The weather in Ireland is always changing and if you don’t like it, well just wait a bit and you’ll have something else. Such a healthy positive outlook. But in typical Irish contradiction, I’m also rather put out that I can’t seem to sink into the lovely arms of melancholy. It’s a wonderful state, being sad and melancholy. And just when I start settling in, the weather changes.

Aw well, what can you do? The wheel keeps turning and none of us can change it. Nature knows it and she shows us this “truth” over and over again. The dance of Sun, Moon and Earth are comfortingly constant. Seasons follow in their patterns, tides ebb and flow, gardens grow and go fallow. Of course, just to keep it interesting, Nature’s unpredictability cuts in for unseasonable games.

We can blame the Mother for tidal waves, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods. We can pretend that we have no contribution to what’s happening and we can feel/act as victims. Before we do that, perhaps we should consider how our deep drilling, fracking and clear cutting might be affecting such things. Or, if it’s really reasonable to build a home on the edge of a cliff for the incredible view and then complain that you’re a victim of nature when erosion slides that home into the sea? Aren’t we contrary beings?!

What if we consciously let ourselves become aware of the patterns in life and danced with them?

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Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Here’s a really big secret. Be careful who you tell, because if this gets out our world might just go topsy turvy.

Are you ready?

Here it is:

We are co-creators. We’re partners in the patterns of life.

We don’t live in bubbles. What we do in our everydayness ripples out into the world. Our decisions create situations and choices – the Universe responds. It’s a co-created dance.

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Photo by Daria Tumanova on Unsplash

Someone once chastised me for being happy despite knowing about the really terrible things happening in the world. This person thought I was simply ignorant and when he discovered that I was in fact aware of the problems in the world, he became irate. “How can you be so happy?!” he screamed at me.

It’s almost always been my co-creative choice to be positive. Some days it’s a challenge, but I never fake it; that’s not creative. Some days I let myself slip into melancholy. I watch the horror on the news and let myself feel the pain. But I can’t stop there. It calls to me for healing, for release. It asks to be heard and witnessed. And so, I sing.

I sing the pain and sorrow, the frustration and fear. I give it voice and expression. To deny it, to refuse to be a witness is not in my character. The singing then becomes a prayer, a cleansing, a healing.

When melancholy and joy both find their way into the song, I know the weather is changing. The song moves me (and those I’m singing for) into the ebb and flow of life -bringing about a level of healing that is due to the movement the song initiates.

It makes me so happy to sing the world in this way. I choose it. I choose to engage with the challenges in the world by singing and emitting love. I choose to listen to and hear all the voices in the world’s symphony – not just the loud ones or the cacophony. I ask, “Where would you like to be? How would you like to move?” I simply sing the answer that moves through. So far, without fail, that answer has always taken the song towards joy, healing, ease, and/or love.

How can I be anything but happy in a world that hungers for these things and when given the option moves toward them?  How can I be unhappy in a world where I can help create such things?

If singing is not your thing, try breathing, moving, or love.

Pain, sorrow, frustration and fear too often have us contracting, holding our breath, hiding. A little movement – through song, breath, dance, walking, even cleaning, … can really be helpful. Just be sure you don’t move yourself into a rut. Acknowledge what is happening (keep moving), infuse it with love (keep moving), imagine other possibilities (keep moving).  In my book, Choices for Joy, I encourage considering at least three possibilities for every situation or story. We can so easily get stuck in a story, which may or may not be true. To open ourselves to possibilities is our co-creative right. I wonder what we can stir up?

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Photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash

I love hearing from folks and look forward to your stories of dealing with the world or what you’re stirring up.

Thanks for reading and being part of my circle.

Blessings, ~ Coleen

When Spider Woman Comes

One of my favorite aspects of the work I do involves listening deeply to what’s on the web, or in the field. Here is where I catch the stories we need for our lives. I’ve been taught new technologies, new ways of carrying our stories, and even ancient ways of knowing that have incredible relevance for us today.

In August, Spider Woman came calling. During the week of that major eclipse Spider Woman kept showing up. I even got a spider bite. So I journeyed to her and sat near her web as she taught me several powerful lessons.

Spider

One of those lessons was that our webs do grow stale. They get tattered and torn. When this happens, a new web awaits us. All we need to do is jump our current web and trust. She said this last part with a glint of humor in her eyes, knowing that the trusting is the most challenging part. Yet as she continued weaving her teaching, I began to feel into the joy of jumping and the comfort of landing on a new web – one that supports and nourishes my life.

In February, I’ll be speaking at the Women of Wisdom Conference in Seattle about my journey with Spider Woman and her teachings. How do we

WOW Conference 2018
Feminine Spirit Rising; It’s Time! 26th Annual Women of Wisdom Conference February 17 & 18, 2018

create new webs? How do we jump? How do we weave the stages of our life?

This conference is in its 26th year and I’ve been blessed to attend many many years and to speak and/or perform a handful of times. It’s always been for me a powerful connection with women and spirit.

This year the WOW organization has jumped the web and are offering a new community gathering format. I’m terribly excited about the possibilities this new format will allow in terms of deep connections with other women.  You can find out more and register here.

When teachings come to me in an intense way, I’ve come to recognize that they are not only for me, but immediately relevant for the collective. I feel like this year might be a year of jumping webs.

Blessings, Coleen

 

A Woman in Gold

In the last post, I spoke of feeling like a vessel with many cracks and of being in a cycle of initiation. Initiation is not a word we’re particularly familiar with in our times. But it’s a good word to know as one moves through life. It’s particularly helpful at those times of great change and discomfort. To recognize these as times of transformation and an initiation into something new in one’s life can really take the sting and angst out of the process.  To be in initiation requires letting go so new treasures can flow into your life.

This morning I lay in bed before starting my day. Those of you who know me personally or through this blog, know that I often consider the day ahead before getting out of bed. I like slow mornings. The last few mornings I’ve really felt that enlivened sense of anticipation and energy for the new day.

My old habit would be to approach it all like a Marine. You’ve seen the commercials. “We do more by 6 AM than most people do all day.” Oohra! But today this little voice whispered, “You still need to rest.”

Rest? When was the last time I truly rested? “Exactly,” the little voice said. So I snuggled back into my comforter and decided to actively rest. I know, this sounds like a contradiction. But for many of us, it’s not. I’ve over committed and been overly responsible for the world in the last decade or so. Rest is something I need to actively practice.

I imagine walking into a sacred chamber that nobody knows about but me. It’s cozy and inviting and look, there’s a massage table just waiting for me. I glide onto it and immediately feel my body remembering what it means to rest as my muscles melt in a Pavlovian way.

Soon, I sense someone’s presence. The me on the massage table doesn’t pay any attention, but the me imagining the whole thing notices. A woman approaches me on the massage table with a paint brush in her hand. She tenderly begins to paint all my cracksSingingtheworldcropped (2)_LI with gold. The gold paint is warm and nourishing. She knows to paint me both on the outside and the inside. She patiently and lovingly tends to all my cracks. With each stroke I sink deeper into relaxation. With each sinking, the cracks grow smaller. Together, we are making me whole again.

I am reminded of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing what’s cracked with a precious lacquer of gold. “By repairing broken ceramics it’s possible to give a new lease of life to pottery that becomes even more refined thanks to its “scars”. The art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. (find out more)

I am now a woman in gold, learning to rest so that scars may heal and be made into marks of beauty – to create a more precious vessel. This is magic at its best!

I invite you to look at your “cracks” in a new way, perhaps as an opportunity to create yourself anew and see your sacred life as more precious because of the scars you’ve earned.

 

 

My Undoing

I know I’m in good company these days as I feel like so much is falling apart in my life. I thank the Goddess that I’ve been here before; I know to look for the treasure. I also know to remind myself how I’ve always come through this sort of transformation feeling blessed and incredibly grateful. So even in the darkest moments, I find at least a sprinkle of trust in the process.

I got my We’Moon calendar in the mail this week. True to tradition, I immediately went to my year at a glance astrology page for my sun, moon and rising signs. I don’t rule my life from astrological info, but I do respect the patterns it shows me and truly appreciate the heads up for what energies might be moving through my life. It helps me prepare and is an incredibly helpful reference for those dark moments.

So much of what began last August is sprouting in these early months of 2018. I have been in crisis – a crisis of faith, of questioning my work path, of my relationship with my body, of my ideas of who I am and how I walk in the world.

My year at a glance:

  • Skeletons hiding in the family closet are waiting to be excavated, as are profound currents of intergenerational healing.
  • Revamp mental constructs that inhibit your expression of innate creative energy.
  • A call for all-out commitment and deep transformation, often through struggle and crisis.
  • Don’t get too serious about the work of Service.
  • Keep growing as you seek out what nurtures your innermost being and creative essence.
  • This is not a year to play it small, so dream big and sail forth.

While such directives might send one into a spin, or at least back to bed to cover their head – I admit to feeling an incredible sense of relief. I’m well into these tasks of transformation, which tells me I’m in alignment with my path and purpose. Or, in not so spiritual terms, there’s purpose in this shit storm.

This for me is a moment of joy and an opportunity to release doubt and fear. I haven’t been making things up, I haven’t been stewing in a spiral of self-sabotage. I am in an initiatory cycle. Initiation always involves challenges, doubts, fears, undoing. In the last couple weeks I’ve felt like a vessel with many cracks; I don’t seem to be able to hold anything for long.

Yet, I’ve experienced an equally strong sense that I am not broken. In fact, I’ve felt a compulsion to resist anything that hints at me being broken. I find myself thinking a lot

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Photo by Paul Talbot on Unsplash

about kaleidoscopes. I’ve always had a great fondness for them – always the same matrix, but so many expressions and perspectives.

The cracks feel like an invitation to release the matrix that is the kaleidoscope of my life: to let go of stories that were never mine; to release expectations and old dreams; to stand on the brink of nothingness; to rest until I’m ready to choose, with sacred discernment, the matrix for my new kaleidoscope.

This kind of clarity, these strong images that evoke such intense emotions in me, the affirmation from the stars that I’m in alignment – they tell me that I’ve made it through the darkest, most fierce part of the storm. I may be buffeted about by strong winds here and there, but dawn is breaking. This New Day , a song by Kelliannaspeaks to me of this moment in an initiatory cycle.

I’m so grateful to have been through this cycle enough times to know its nature and to know things will shift, are shifting. I’m also grateful to be able to articulate it so that I can share with you the certainty of the cycle moving, as we collectively face such erratic change in our world.    ~ Blessings, Coleen

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Photo by Nikolay Avakyan on Unsplash