5 Ways Ancient Stories Speak to Us Across Time?

Can a tech savvy, fast paced world find any relevance in ancient stories?

If the number of movies and television shows, which include mythical themes, are any indication – the answer is yes! We’ve come to a place where our tech brains are hungering for heart context.

Enter eternal myths.

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Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Thor and Wonder Woman (the Amazon) may be stepping into modern day life on screen, but they – along with all the other gods, goddesses, and elemental beings – are also stepping into our lives and activating aspects of our psyches that have been sleeping. Like the “Librarians” we protect a vast treasure of ancient knowledge. We house this treasure in our psyches and when new strategies, new ideas, new perspectives are needed, we need only tap into them.

These eternal myths are called archetypes. We recognize them immediately, often having a strong emotional response to them. When we feel such emotion, it’s wise to pay attention; that archetype wants to be activated in your life.

When the outer world becomes chaotic and uncertain, these archetypes call to us. They are not new, but they offer new perspective. How do they call us? Here are 5 ways:

#1. We Meet Someone Who is Very Different. We might have a strong attraction to this person, or even a strong desire to run from them. Something about them stirs something within us. We must respond. Open your eyes and heart to what this person might have to teach you. They are a living embodiment of an archetype you would do well to activate in yourself (in big or small ways). Note, this archetype might show up in an imbalanced way in order to teach you how not to approach the gifts they carry. For example, if you need to learn to use your voice and speak your truth, you might meet someone who does that in a strong and honorable way as well as meeting someone who carelessly hurts those around her with her words. Both have something to teach you as you open to this new way of walking in your life.

#2. We Become Lost. What we’ve always done just doesn’t seem to work anymore. We might feel bored, frustrated, and/or impotent. Usually this is because the archetypes we’ve relied on simply do not carry the energies needed for our current situations. This can show up as empty nest syndrome, a midlife crisis, a desire to walk away from everything, or a stubborn grasping onto what has always been. Beware. Do not rush to blame those around you. Instead, look for opportunities to try something new. Someone or something very different might be walking into your world. A perfect example of this is the mother whose pre-teens don’t need her as much. The strong mother archetype within her can become stymied and over controlling or depressed because she is no longer needed. This is a wonderful time for her to open to new aspects of herself or revive parts of herself she let go of when she became a mother.

#3. The Unexpected Lands in our Lap. This may be a situation where you literally get lost. You take the wrong turn and end up where you never knew you wanted to be. It can also look like losing a job, a partner, a friend – something that turns your world on it ears. This doesn’t have to be unpleasant. You might win a trip that takes you to a land that opens your heart. You might see a sign on the side of a bus that wakes you to an unknown passion. Following these unexpected leads can introduce you to the archetype you most need. I am not alone in recognizing that a serious injury became a great blessing because it introduced me to something new, and simply gave me time out of my ordinary schedule to hear what my heart was longing for.

#4. A Movie Grabs Us and Won’t Let us Go.  You’ve probably experienced watching a moving and unaccountably feeling connected to a character. The character seems to follow you home, appears in your dreams, shows up in conversations. Everywhere you go, there’s some reminder of this character. Pay attention, the archetype is greeting you and asking you to play. If you find yourself saying, “I wish I could be like that,” know that you can. It might look like a different version, but answer the call! This might show up in a strong connection to a particular actor. For example, I will watch almost anything that Sandra Bullock is in. Her characters tend to be strong, vulnerable and deeply caring. Like me, they often struggle with the balance of carrying all three. 

#5. A Book Jumps Off the Shelf. I’ve heard so many clients share that a book seemed to jump off the shelf and it was just what they needed. Yep, this happens. Sometimes it’s a book you bought years ago and never read. Follow these occurrences, they are not random. Something in you is calling to something in it. Be adventurous, see what it is. Note that often we have a sense of what we will need in the future. Those unread books or unopened art kits need not be a source of self chastisement; the archetype within knew his/her time was coming. Good on you for listening!

These are just a few common ways that our inner archetypes use to get our attention. These experiences wake us up, get us to look at things in new ways and gather from deep within us new strategies for living our lives. Here’s the kicker: you have to live in real life. Avoid getting lost in the movie, book, trip, etc. Instead of imagining what you might do, actually do it. Give your friends and family something to talk about!

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 and for the work you do to heal the world and celebrate its beauty. 

If you need assistance in walking your path visit my website and considering working with me if what I offer resonates with you. Many blessings, ~ Coleen

 

 

How Goes Your Flow?

Life can make us feel constipated. And sometimes, things can feel like their flowing out of control. I’ve had days (particularly as I’ve gotten older) where I feel dried up – then times when suddenly it seems the dry season is over and inspiration rains upon me. This leaves me feeling juicy and sensual and vibrant.

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As a writer I experience these different flows in terms of writer’s block or, at the other end of the spectrum, as if I am moving in an endless dance with my muse. And it’s not just about the way I feel. Sometimes the muse refuses to dance, or the book I’m writing insists on being left alone. I’ve been through it enough times that I’ve begun to trust in the different ways of flowing.

For example, I remember when I was writing my first novel I’d look up from my computer and notice dishes piled in the sink and a room that looked like a midden heap with things piled and strewn around. I’d wonder who made this mess? Then I’d realize that I’d been writing for several days solid. It felt great! I’d scroll through my story and be amazed at how much I’d written. I’d been transported to a different realm where only the muse, the story and I were players. I must have eaten and moved about my home, but I wasn’t really aware of any of that.

In these moments, the biggest part of me wanted to get back to that place of inspired writing and keep going.  I’d push myself to get back to that place of productivity, that sweet nirvana. But like as not, the muse would refuse to show up or the story would insist on being left to simmer. After a few times of making myself write, I learned that it was a waste of time. The writing was never good and I almost always ended up deleting it entirely.

I soon discovered that the sweet nirvana was not a passing thing. I was able to find it rather consistently – even if it wasn’t always on my time table. So I stopped grabbing for it. When I did find it and then came back to the “real” world, I’d eat, shower, nap and then clean the house. It felt pretty good to clear away the debris of my writing stint and to move my body. I began to treasure the relief of letting go of the muse and the story; the next dance would come soon enough and I’d move again to the rhythm of the work.

Lately, I’ve been challenged in my everyday life around flow. My body insisted that I slow down and listen more closely to it. In fact, I couldn’t really settle into anything. I felt discontent in my work, my social life and my spirituality. Nothing seemed to fit anymore. I’d feel inspiration around a new idea and the next day, it would slip away.  I couldn’t follow through with any of the ideas that seemed brilliant just a few hours ago.

Oh, I fought it! I made myself create classes or write essays that never got any traction. Instead of making me feel better, I felt not only discontent, but also felt like a failure. None of the seeds I planted sprouted. Quite honestly, I wondered if I’d just lost it. “It” being my creativity and inspiration.

Somewhere in December, I gave up. I ran out of oomph. I slept, I rested, I hid in my room. I watched TV. Then I got bored.

I have little tolerance for boredom. The world is a marvelous, mysterious, magical place; there’s no excuse for being bored. On the rare occasions in my my life when I’ve gotten to boredom, I quickly went deep so I could really listen to what was going on and/or I changed my environment.

It was time to listen in a new way. What did I hear? You need rest, lots of it; surrender to it. It’s time to change both your inner landscape and your outer landscape. Listen to your body, it will lead the way.

I kept listening. I stopped pressuring myself to be productive. I stopped blaming/shaming myself for this spot I was in. I watched for what was showing up, but I no longer grabbed at things as if they were a life line. I swayed with what showed up to see how it felt and if it’s call would last. If I could move in tune with it for a while, I’d jump in. I felt rather like a young girl playing jump rope in the school yard. If I tensed up and put pressure on myself, I almost always tripped up as I stepped into the swinging rope. If I gave myself a moment to get in tune with the rhythm of the rope’s swing, I’d move into it with grace and could jump for a long time without getting tangled up.

Now here I am in late March, looking back at the last six months or so and seeing it with new eyes. So much change within and around me was happening. At the time, I saw myself as dried up with an inability to start anew. Now, I see that I was flooded with possibility; so much potential was flowing that I couldn’t get any traction. I was a flood plain inundated with new needs and new ways. Instead of waiting for the waters to recede, I kept trying to plant seeds and getting frustrated that nothing took root.

The waters did recede. I’m seeing the incredibly fertile and fecund ground now being revealed. I could plant lots of seeds that would take root and flourish. I could feed millions.

Yet, what truly calls me is the river bed. I find that I have become the water rather than the farmer wanting to plant seeds. What calls me is somewhere down stream. I feel a delicious bubbling anticipation as I find the channel that will take me there.

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Photo by Waqas Akhtar on Unsplash

I treasure the time I spent slowly flowing over the flood plain; I moved through a lot of things and left a lot behind. In listening deeply, I heard the song of the river and am now able to jump into it’s deeper channel and dance my way around the river’s bend to …

I know I’m not the only one who has been challenged to flow differently in my life. I welcome your comments, your stories and any questions. How is your landscape changing?

Blessings to you and whatever you follow or plant.  ~ Coleen

Coleen Rhalena Renee is a storyteller, way shower and gifted spiritual healer. She helpstalking to the elements clients find their true heart story and teaches them to live well within it. Tap into your dreams and make them realities.

Find out more about Coleen’s work.  Ask for a free 15 minute consult.

 

#IPromiseMe – Can We Really Change Our Story? Part 2

Hi,

I recently did a presentation around the power of story and had it video taped. This is the second clip and I even sing an original song for the group.

Emotion along with the “aha” moments are wonderful transformers. I’m truly grateful for this one in my life. Don’t waste your aha’s. Invest in yourself and create a story you really like living.

~ Coleen

Coleen Rhalena Renee is a storyteller, way shower and gifted spiritual healer. She helps clients find their true heart story and teaches them to live well within it. Tap into your dreams and make them realities.

Find out more about Coleen’s work.  Ask for a free 15 minute consult.

#IPromiseMe – Can We Really Change Our Story?

Hi,

I recently did a presentation around the power of story and had it video taped. So today I offer a video.  Enjoy!

What stories of yours are wanting to transform? Need and intention are great facilitators. Go for it!

~ Coleen

Coleen Rhalena Renee is a storyteller, way shower and gifted spiritual healer. She helps clients find their true heart story and teaches them to live well within it. Tap into your dreams and make them realities.

Find out more about Coleen’s work.  Ask for a free 15 minute consult.

#IPromiseMe: Treasured Ancestral Gifts

Throughout my life I’ve known things that I shouldn’t know. It’s not that I’m nosey. In fact, often I’d rather not know. There’ve been times when I didn’t act on things, because I couldn’t identify how I knew, so I didn’t trust the knowing.

Weird things have happened. I knew we were getting hamsters for Christmas. At age 12, I knew when my mother felt threatened by a visitor and knew what to do to diffuse the situation. As a grad student in anthropology I heard and saw the ancient ones root digging when my class went on a archaeological field trip. When I started as a massage student, I got pictures of people’s lives when I was massaging them. I knew when friends were pregnant. I knew who was on the other end of the phone before answering (pre cell phone times).

My mother had gifts, so I just ignored the weird, until I was working with a massage client one day. She was having a really tough time in life. As I was massaging her I received several messages. As usual, I noticed but did nothing – until I felt this prodding. An insistent voice said, “Tell her,” while it literally felt like someone was poking me. This continued until I finally told the client what I was seeing. She immediately burst into tears and ask me how I knew. I continued massaging as she told her story. By the end of the session, she was feeling much better.

I decided that if this was going to happen, I wanted to know what it was all about, how to control it and how to trust it. 25 years later, I’m still discovering and developing new aspects to these inherited gifts. Turns out, I inherited from both sides of my family: healing and dousing gifts from my father; working with elementals from my mother; psychic and intuitive gifts from both sides.

As I look back on my life I notice even more of these emerging gifts than I noticed as I was living them. I know what to look for now.

I have five siblings. One takes medication so she doesn’t “see things”; the rest will claim a bit of intuition, but either have not inherited the same mix that I have, or they have just never been inclined to work with them. It’s not really a subject that we talk about. Both of my parents denied their gifts or consciously limited them. They did not encourage my tendencies at all.

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Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

So why have these gifts been so important in my life? It doesn’t really matter why. What matters is that I listened to the strength of their call and tended to these ancestral gifts as treasures. I recognized them as a guidepost in my life. I never felt truly myself until I started the journey to discover and develop them.

It’s a challenge to carry such gifts in our world. I’ve tried to set them aside and get a “real” job with a regular paycheck. I literally got sick every time I tried. The truth is that my life is easier, fuller and more joyful when I’m in alignment with these gifts. That’s how I know they’re a guidepost. I cannot weave my life without them.

I invite you to claim your inheritances – the ones that truly speak to who you are, theHead shot (2) ones that make your life better no matter what challenges they bring. These guideposts often represent lost gifts from the past that are now emerging – just when we really need them.  Blessings on your journey, ~ Coleen

Coleen Rhalena Renee is a storyteller, way shower and gifted spiritual healer. She helps clients find their true heart story and teaches them to live well within it. Tap into your dreams and make them realities.

Find out more about Coleen’s work.  Ask for a free 15 minute consult.

 

#IPromiseMe: A Harrowing Experience

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Photo by Johny Goerend on Unsplash

As a writer I love the art of word smithing and using original meanings of words to challenge today’s perspectives – to break things up, break them down or smooth them out. This brings us to the word, harrow – an implement consisting of a heavy frame set with teeth or tines that is dragged over plowed land to break up clods, remove weeds, and cover seed.

Most of us are far removed from the agricultural world these days and only know the word, harrowing, to describe a disturbing experience.

Enter Rose Harrow!

Oh, how she disturbed my ideas about who I am as a small business woman. She broke down my resistance to attending to dry business details. She removed the weedy myths that have kept me stymied – and, she tenderly covered new seeds of hope with compassion and creativity.

It was so disturbing – in really good ways! It freed up my ideas of how to do business.

I met Rose at the Women of Wisdom conference in Seattle this weekend. She taught a workshop entitled “Sacred Money Archetypes”. To tell you the truth, I was on a high after teaching my own workshop earlier in the day. It was mid afternoon and I really wanted to either bask in the after glow, or take a nap. I was not looking forward to feeling badly about not operating my business in the “right” way.

As you know, I’ve promised to take much better care of me. That includes supporting myself financially. I’ve not been very attentive to the business aspect of my work. I’ve felt out of my depth, inept and judged whenever I’ve attempted to boost my business savvy. I didn’t even remember signing up for Rose’s business workshop and I wanted to run.

However, I’d just taught a workshop encouraging women to be open to what was on the edges of their web and challenging them to jump the webs that no longer serve them. It was now a mere two hours later. It seemed cowardly to not model what I just taught.

There Rose was, dancing on my web. I opened my mind, grabbed a cup of coffee and listened. She immediately gave me (and the other 30 women in the workshop) permission to create a business model that worked for me. She then gave us allies, introducing us to eight different archetypes that affect our effectiveness in business.

I love archetypes! They live within each of us, informing our lives and offering different strategies. To identify and connect with these archetypes around money was well, harrowing. In just 2 hours, she smoothed out the field in which I have been attempting to grow and harvest my business.  I began to understand why I resisted the “usual” in business models. She helped us explore our strengths and support the places where we were weak. She gave us information, inspiration and creative encouragement.

I have work to do – seeds to plant, tend and nurture. But you know me … help me find a seasonal, earth centered approach and I’m in! I feel so happy to have a smoothed out field and new tools to do this work. I love knowing I can develop a plan that is not only doable, but exciting for me because it embraces who I am.

First steps: continue to connect with these sacred money archetypes; commit resources to learning the necessary tools; and stay open to what’s on the web. Thank you Rose! I anticipate quite a lovely harvest.

***

It amazes me how making one promise to myself continues to open new paths and possibilities in so many aspects of my life. I experience moments of overwhelm and places where I have to stop and catch up with these new realities, which I’m holding space for. Even there, my promise to myself invites me to rest and take the time and space I need. I’m learning to truly celebrate the little steps without pressuring myself to make something big or impressive out of them. I’m finding more and more ease in my body as I navigate this new way of living my life.

I’m happy to share my personal story and the resources I’m finding along the way. I hope they bless your life in some way. ~ Coleen

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Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

Coleen Rhalena Renee is a storyteller, way shower and gifted spiritual healer. She helps clients find their true heart story and teaches them to live well within it. Tap into your dreams and make them realities.

Find out more about Coleen’s work.  Ask for a free 15 minute consult.

 

#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, …

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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