#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.

ashley-batz-1298

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

johny-goerend-393401

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

leonard-cotte-300248

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.

spencer-watson-330133

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.

joydance credited

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.

johnson-chou-6691

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.

anton-darius-thesollers-95354

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.

lucy-chian-34385

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?

meric-dagli-408862

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.

daria-tumanova-320526

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?

aaron-lee-378203

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