Reclaiming My Original Medicine

Original Medicine, Part 1/4

About a month ago, I experienced a profound shift back into myself, which reconnected me with my Original Medicine in a way that I hadn’t even realized was missing. I’ve been keeping quiet about this as I integrate and process, but I’m finally ready to share. This is the first of four installments in the story of Original Medicine that I will share with you during the month of July.

As part of a mentorship weekend with my cohort, I had the pleasure of receiving a session of Equus work from Jesse Johnson. I had looked forward to this for the entire six months leading up to the weekend. I have always felt very connected with horses (both through riding them as a kid and working with them as part of my practice in recent years).

In Equus work, the horses serve as the guides and mirrors of the person receiving the session. I knew that whatever energy and emotion I was feeling would be reflected in the behavior of the horses. These horses in particular were all wild mustangs that had been rounded up by the BLM off federal land in Oregon. Their first contact with humanity had been incredibly traumatic (think helicopters and lassos), but they had since been rescued and gentled under the compassionate care of the ranch owner. I felt simultaneously honored to work with the horses, humbled by their powerful presence and reverent of their pure energy.

Horses.png

Our exercise consisted of working directly with the horses in pairs. My partner and I elected to go first and were matched with a gorgeous black gelding named Kett. My intention for this practice was to simply enjoy myself, to embody and emit my heart light and to connect with my Original Medicine. Our goal was to silently/nonverbally communicate and connect with Kett and with each other. There was no particular agenda to this exercise, but to simply play with the dynamic.

I immediately dropped into my heart space and felt resonant with Kett. I stood next to him and placed my hand on his withers, then issued a silent invitation and started walking. He paced next to me, turning as I turned, stopping and starting again as I walked. I felt completely present, joyful and aligned.

After a minute or two, I felt my thoughts shift to my partner and my desire for her to have an experience with us. Instantly, Kett stopped walking beside me. I tried to gently encourage him to resume our engagement, and even tried to amplify the energy to elicit a bigger response, but he stood resolutely still. I attempted to shift my energy back into my heart but found myself wrapped in thoughts like, “I really want my partner to have the experience she wants,” and “I hope she doesn’t think I’m monopolizing the exercise.” At this point, my partner stepped forward and formed her own connection with Kett. He began to walk with her, just as he had with me.

As I witnessed their interaction, I felt my energy return back into my heart and connected with my partner. I relished feeling her enjoyment of the experience. I then felt our collective three-way energy as both my partner and I connected with each other and with Kett. Together, my partner and I amplified our collective connection and made our energy bigger. Kett began to trot, then to canter around the arena as we silently urged him with our energy and intention.

As we brought Kett back down to a walk and closed the exercise, Jesse asked me what I had noticed and what Kett and my partner represent in my life. I shared, “Kett represents my connection with Spirit and my authentic light… My Original Medicine. My partner represents my Earthly support and physical structures. When all three (Self, Spirit and Earth) are aligned and connected, amplification and movement happens. When I tried to amplify the energy with Kett by myself, it didn’t work. When my partner and I worked together to amplify the energy, it worked and we got to run together. In order to create movement with my light and with Spirit, I need to bring in the Earthly support. Then we had momentum and it was easier to keep it going.”

Since this experience from last month, I’ve been sitting with that question. How am I living in alignment with my Original Medicine? How am I bringing this into balance in all three realms of Self, Spirit and Earth? Are there areas where this is incongruent?

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, I told you that I was remodeling my work and I asked you what you would like to see from me and my offerings. I have taken your feedback to heart and have made adjustments accordingly. This new direction feels far more aligned between Self (what I’m excited about and lit up by), Spirit (my authentic agreement with Source and my Original Medicine) and Earth (how I am offering and expressing this work, and what my community is asking of me). I will be sharing the result of this inquiry in two weeks (on July 18).

In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from July:

July 4 (today): Reclaiming Original Medicine (story and context for you)
July 11: What Is Original Medicine? (information and offering for you)
July 18: Introducing the I AM Project (special offer for you)
July 25: Introducing I AM Medicine (special invitation for you)

The Magic of YES and No

I love YES!

There's so much possibility and opportunity that comes from Yes. Going on cool trips, receiving gifts, trying new things... there are so many great things that can come from Yes.

But where does our YES start to feel like a burden?

We receive a lot of training on the correctness of Yes. "It's rude to refuse." "This person said Yes to me, so I have to say Yes to them." "If I don't say Yes, I will look bad." Even in games and practices, we are encouraged to say Yes to keep the conversation dynamic flowing.

A few years ago, I started embracing NO. I said No to invitations, offers, dates and gifts. I said No to people who didn't feel aligned with my values. I learned to love NO.

Recently, I've been playing with my YES and NO even more, when it comes to my work. As I am shifting the focus of my offerings and my practice, it means that I am moving away from serving certain types of clients, for whom I still hold a great deal of love and compassion.

These have been some of my most challenging NOs to date. As a healer, when someone comes to me in need, it pulls so fiercely at my heart.

Yet, when I say YES to these clients, I feel the burden of turning away from my own, authentic service.

I sat with this over the weekend during an intensive training. As I journaled about my business values and practices, one of the fears that arose was, "I cannot fulfill my most authentic service and still be available to the people who need help."

I contemplated this belief from a place of compassion... for myself, and for those who reach out for a kind of support I am not prepared to deliver. I asked myself, "What is possible if I let this old story go?"

The answer that flowed from my pen said, "It is possible that I can serve from a place of freedom, enoughness, trust, from knowing that I am still serving those who need me, trusting that I am working for change, and that those who are suffering will still receive from my work... that my practice holds the vibration of Joy and Freedom."

In other words, I could offer my NO with love. I could offer a referral, or another type of help that would be more supportive for the person in need. I could hold my NO as a sacred ally to support me in my authentic service.

And when those people come to me who are completely aligned with my work, who light me up to support them, I can offer my deepest heart YES. My fierce YES comes from a sense of freedom, excitement, conviction and inspiration...

...and that is the only kind of YES I want to offer.

Speaking of YES...

I would love to invite you to join me at Camp Yes this summer!

Camp Yes

 

Imagine lying in a hammock under huge cedar trees and remembering what it is like to actually relax and be present. Imagine stepping away from all the noise to tune in to your inner voice and wisdom, while floating on a unicorn (I'm not kidding) down the river. This is a place to reconnect with yourself and your purpose through the power of Play!

What would be possible if you said YES to yourself? To your heart's mission?

I will be facilitating a playshop at Camp Yes about working with the magic of YES and NO! Come join me and a group of other amazing women as we say YES to ourselves and our most authentic way of being!

As a member of my inner circle, you get a special insider offer. Use the code ALCHEMY for a $50 discount off your ticket price!

Early Bird registration ends May 31! Register now to reserve your bunk.

See you at camp!

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

What is the "Beauty Way?" How can the Taurus magic of beauty, embodiment and sensuality support our healthy personal practice?

The guiding principle of Taurus magic is, "Beauty as a Spiritual Practice, and Intimacy as an Art Form."

I first began my conscious initiation into the Taurus mystery school about 4 or 5 years ago. This exploration came around the time of my recovering from an abusive relationship and its associated wounds. Practicing the Beauty Way was enormously supportive of my healing path.

But my investigation went much farther than that: as I delved into the Taurus mysteries, I felt my way through a new way of being embodied in the world. For the first time, I allowed myself to fully receive in all ways, and experience visceral pleasure and enjoyment.

Taurus is the magic of the body, and how we experience the world through our senses. When Taurus magic is expressed and healthy, we allow ourselves to live fully in the body, experience true sensual pleasure (sensual=gratifying to the senses), and walk the Beauty Way. Taurus is the magic of receiving and devotion to the Self, simply for the sake of enjoyment.

As I explored the Taurus mysteries, I opened myself up to receive more and more beauty from the world around me. I savored delicious food, I dressed in soft fabrics, I enjoyed full belly laughter, I cultivated rich friendships and I explored Tantra and new practices of intimacy. I indulged in pleasure simply for pleasure's sake. I established my worthiness to receive compliments, affection, money, respect and affirmation.

Walking the Beauty Way has influenced all aspects of my life. Now, I look for beauty not only in the apparent (nature, poetry, love) but in the not-so-obvious: the art of running a business, the musicality of skillful conversation, the taste of learning new words and the texture of new ideas, the elegance of a well-organized home, the beauty of a still mind in total presence... you get the idea.

 Artwork by Chani Nicholas

Artwork by Chani Nicholas

How can we witness more beauty in ourselves, in each other and in the world around us? How much can we open ourselves to receive?

Last year, I gave myself a personal challenge to practice the "Beauty Way" during the Taurus lunar cycle. Every day, I made it a practice to find, appreciate and share something beautiful. This led to so many rich discoveries and new layers of gratitude. I was delighted by taking pleasure in my life in a new way! The more I opened myself to receiving Beauty from the world, the more I found myself receiving in other ways, as well.

This year, as we approach next week's New Moon in Taurus, I am inviting you to join me in this challenge! What happens when we look for that which brings us pleasure? How much can we open ourselves to fully receive beauty? I challenge you to practice the Beauty Way with me!

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

Challenge guidelines:

  • The challenge starts at 4:59am on May 15 (Taurus New Moon) through 12:45pm on June 13 (Gemini New Moon).
  • Join the Facebook group here.
  • Post every day! Or as much as you like.
  • Share a photo or brief paragraph of something beautiful you witnessed or experienced, and what you received from it/how it contributed to your personal practice.
  • To be eligible for prizes, photos must be accompanied by a caption/takeaway. Paragraphs do not need to have a photo (but it is highly encouraged).
  • You can post multiple times per day if you like, but for contest purposes, I will only count 1 entry per day.

Prizes!

  • The person with the most eligible posts (most days walking the Beauty Way) will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The person with my favorite Beauty as a Spiritual Practice post will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The runner-up participants in each category will each receive one FREE 30-minute session with me!

I will offer examples leading up to the beginning of the challenge! Stay tuned for updates, ideas and start walking the Beauty Way!

Ready, set, GO!

Sacred Finances (Are you in right relationship with your money?)

Let's talk about money!

...did you just cringe? A year ago, I probably would have. Or at least given a reluctant sigh.

However, over the past year, I've been diving deep into my relationship with money, the financial side of my business, learning to love profit margins and paying myself a salary. Since practicing some very specific things over the past year, I have noticed a very significant change in my finances:

So far in 2018, I have grossed an equivalent income to the entire year of 2017, and I have netted almost triple what I netted by the end of last year.

I feel like I can't overemphasize this. Let me say it a different way. So far, in 4 months, I have grossed the SAME amount of money and netted almost 3X the amount of money as I did during 12 months last year. This means I'm on track to triple my income.

Why am I sharing all of this? After all, talking about money is generally taboo. However, I have a few very specific reasons for speaking so openly about a crunchy topic:

  1. I believe that the more we avoid discussing something uncomfortable, the more power we give it. Every time we avoid talking about money, we become more afraid of it. Therefore, by bringing it out into the open, we can become more comfortable with it.
  2. Healers and people working in the spiritual/personal development field especially tend to have wounds around money. "I don't deserve to be paid for what comes naturally to me." "How is it fair for me to charge someone to help them?" "My teacher didn't charge for healing work so neither should I." Sound familiar? All of these block us from owning our prosperity.
  3. Finally, if there is anything that I did to help myself that might support you on your path, I want to share that with you! It is my mission to empower other people through my own life and choices. If some of these tools, techniques and resources might be helpful, I want you to have them.

In no particular order, here are some of the things that I have done in the past year to come into right relationship with money: (All of this is to the best of my memory... honestly, there's a lot of this that has been happening over the past few years in my internal work.)

  • I consciously claimed that I wasn't happy with my current financial situation. (This might seem too obvious, but it's an important step. If we're settled into complacency, or a belief that we're "getting along okay," nothing will change.)
  • I talked to money. I treated it like an entity with a unique consciousness, had conversations with it, wrote letters to it, and got to know it as a specific frequency, rather than an abstract.
  • I took $3500 in hundreds out of the bank and meditated with a stack of cash. I held it in my hands, went through the stack and thanked every bill, set them out on an altar and acknowledged them every day for a month (read more about that here).
  • I journaled about money. A LOT. I wrote about my beliefs around money, my relationship to receiving, my understanding of my own worthiness, and my place in the global economy.
  • I moved to a new space that enables me to comfortably work from home. I now have a gorgeous office that is a 20-second commute.
  • I made a living prosperity altar. I asked the tree outside my office window to be my "Prosperitree." I placed crystals around the base, hung a beautiful bird (squirrel) feeder to bring traffic to the Prosperitree, and I water it regularly with prayers and nutrients.
  • I listened to Fredric Lehrman's Prosperity Consciousness. Repeatedly.
  • I quit my part-time job as a substitute high school teacher and tutor. This job was barely bringing in any money, but I kept it around as a subconscious safety net. As long as I had it on the side, it meant that I had a fallback in case my business wasn't thriving (read more about that here).
  • I released parts of my work and my offerings that were no longer lighting me up. It meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant disengaging with old energies to make room for the new.
  • I got very clear about who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to do that. This also meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant that the clients who I did choose to take on were far more aligned with my work and my practice.
  • I started looking at the longevity of my business, and building in practices that would allow me to do less, but be more effective in what I was producing.
  • I got over my fear of selling people into my work by practicing it a bajillion times.
  • I started working with a new mentor who has a healthy relationship with business.
  • I started tracking and paying attention to all the nitty-gritty financial parts of my business, rather than just the big picture of income/expenses.
  • I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Repeatedly.
  • I shifted from my bank to a credit union. This served to work with a financial institution that was way more in alignment with my values, but also enabled me to actually practice the techniques in Profit First and Prosperity Consciousness.
  • I practiced seeing my business as the thing that would fuel and fund my lifestyle, rather than my life fueling and funding my business.
  • I started honoring the actual value of my time, and asking for that level of compensation.
  • I started budgeting for travel, for self-care and for financial independence.
  • I got really good at being uncomfortable. ***This process started way more than a year ago, but it has served me so much in my financial work that it deserves a place on this list. The better you can get at being okay with being uncomfortable, the easier it will be for you to sort through your finances.

My best advice to you (if you want to come into better relationship with your finances) is to steel yourself, sit down and actually start looking at this stuff. Looking at your financial situation won't make it any worse, I promise! But it WILL help you feel more empowered to actually know what's going on with your money.

Here are some of my favorite exercises I did that I invite you to practice:

  • Talk to money. There is no particular quantity required for this. Get a dollar bill out of your wallet and hold a conversation with it. Ask it questions.
  • Journal prompt: "What beliefs do I have about money? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about money?"
  • Make a prosperity altar. It can be a living altar like mine (a tree or plant that feels especially abundant), or an interior altar of your choosing.

Here's to our prosperity!

The Acualization of a Vision

How can a little, gold matchbox symbolize so much?

This past weekend marked the first of three retreats with my I AM Alchemy students. This initiatory weekend involved a fire ceremony, and as part of the ritual items I provided, I had metallic gold matchboxes custom printed with my I AM Alchemy program logo and a special quote.

I love them SO much.

 I AM Alchemy

It feels almost over-the-top how much I adore these little matchboxes. I mean... it's just a matchbox, right?

When I shared these sentiments with my mentor, she asked what else the matchboxes might mean to me. I considered for a moment before replying that these matchboxes were the first physical, tangible items produced in relation to my program. Everything thus far has existed as digital material or ideas in my head. In a way, these matchboxes were the first time that I AM Alchemy has had a "body."

As someone who provides the invisible (Spiritual Mentorship and Mastery is a service-based business with almost nothing tangible involved), opening the box to see these beautiful, shiny matchboxes left me feeling a sense of joy, giddiness and childlike pleasure. I took one out and admired the gleam, the quality of the matches, the perfect printing of the logo, the saying I carefully chose...

I AM Alchemy has been in the creation process for at least three years. I have produced various pieces of the material, called it a few different things and generally kept it small as I continued to learn exactly how it wanted to be born. Now that it has finally begun as a year-long, deep-dive journey, these sweet matchboxes feel like a kind of "proof" that it exists! To me, they symbolize the years of inquiry, study, investigation, writing, trying out material, channeling, planning and TRUSTING that this body of knowledge needed to be shared. These matchboxes symbolize every moment of doubt I overcame, every time I wanted to quit and didn't, every tear I shed wondering if I could ever actualize the vision I had for so long. They are evidence to me that I am capable, that I have created something of value and that finally, this program has truly made its way into the world to initiate others into the path.

Yes, they are "just" matchboxes. But it feels SO good to hold the box, admire the golden sheen, and with childlike enjoyment, strike a match and witness a spark igniting to actualize a dream.

Are you interested in participating in I AM Alchemy next year? Get on the wait list for 2019, and you'll be the first to know when I open applications this fall! Plus, receive an Early Bird Bonus!

Journal Prompt:

What vision of mine is ready to actualize? What does it need for that to happen? What do I need for that to happen? What validation do I need to receive to "know" that my vision has truly been born?

Personal Accountability in the Face of Tragedy

Dedicated to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

This article contains no links, offers or promotions. I want to focus on two things only:

  1. Honoring the murdered Hart children
  2. Personal accountability

(If you are unfamiliar with the tragedy of the Hart family, please read here and here.)

I am holding myself accountable.

When I learned about the tragic death of the Hart family, I assumed it was an accident. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel or had somehow lost control of the car.

I knew of the Hart family largely through the periphery of my community. I spoke with Sarah once, chatted with Abigail and Hannah about their costumes and never again personally interacted with any of them.

I fell for the carefully curated image they presented. I saw what I thought was a group of happy, healthy kiddos running around, freely connecting with community and sharing their love. I saw the photos when they popped up on my feed, and never thought twice that anything might be amiss.

When I heard about the death of these children, I thought it must have been a horrible mistake. As more articles described the charges, the abuse and details of the scene, I felt taken aback that this tragedy was looking less and less like an accident.

I am challenging myself to say anything about this topic at all, because I'm not directly involved, I barely knew the family and I generally dislike engaging with Facebook as a conversation platform (*note: I originally published most of this article as a Facebook post).

...but despite all of that, I was unknowingly complicit in condoning not only the terrible abuse of these children, but of white supremacy, white bias, and participating in the suppression of people of color.

By not saying anything, I would be letting myself off the hook, in a way. But that's not how I roll.

I'm hesitant to make this about me, because the world knows we don't need more of that, but that's really my best place to start. If I don't hold myself accountable, who will? If I don't challenge my own subconscious ideas and background narrative, who will? If I don't address my underlying beliefs about privilege and racial justice, who will?

If I don't ask myself how I indirectly participated in the murder of six children who were members of my community, who will?

Most of my work focuses on the micro: how can I support people as individuals? How can I help every human I meet to feel more empowered, healthy, aligned and present in their heart?

I hesitated to share this article because this is a very macro-topic of social justice, but when I ask myself how I can show up and serve more fully, I can approach it from a micro- point of view.

If you would like to join me, please see below for three invitations.

Invitation #1: A prayer for Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all abuse, fear, trauma, pain and suffering incurred in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please help them to integrate the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so they do not need to repeat this pattern again. We ask that they receive support in shifting their soul patterns to align with health, happiness, vitality, joy, expansion, ease and love. Please help them move through the veil with ease and grace, knowing that they are loved, supported, held, Divinely protected and guided. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

We offer our deepest love to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra. We are so sorry for the traumas that you endured during this lifetime. Please forgive us. Thank you. We love you.

Invitation #2: A prayer for Jennifer and Sarah Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Jennifer and Sarah, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that they receive the support that they need in order to move through the Realm of Suffering Souls. Please help them to align with forgiveness, compassion, grace and love. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all patterns of abuse, violence, trauma, pain and suffering incurred and perpetrated in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please support them in integrating the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so that they do not need to repeat this pattern again. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

Invitation #3: Journal and Meditation Prompts

It is only by asking ourselves the challenging questions that we can push our edges and grow. I firmly believe that system-level change begins with the individual--meaning that our personal patterns and belief systems directly translate to the patterns and systems present on the societal and global level. If we wish to change the system, we must look at the core beliefs of the people in the system: change happens from the bottom up, not the other way around.

If we live in a society that condones white supremacy, white bias and child abuse, we must investigate each of our core, underlying beliefs. This is where it can get a bit challenging. Looking at something in ourselves that is surrounded by emotional charge, societal conditioning and so much tension and judgement can make anyone shy away. But if we never look at it, it will never change. So we must look at it.

The good news is, you do not have to share your journal with anyone! (I do, but that's me. I have a higher threshold for personal discomfort than most people.) Your innermost thoughts and beliefs can stay on the page--that blank paper is your refuge.

That being said, please take this as an opportunity to be honest with yourself. You might uncover something you don't like--some hidden belief or bias, something that maybe you wish you didn't know about yourself. This is the risk we run whenever we do personal work! And yet, it is also the reward. When we shine a light on our deepest shadows, it can feel profoundly uncomfortable. Please know that you are safe, it is okay for you to look at these parts of yourself and that overall, you will be more empowered as a result.

Let's start with the self:

What are my beliefs about my own racial identity? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about my racial identity?

Now let's zoom out a bit:

What are my beliefs about other people of the same racial identity as me? What are my beliefs about people of other racial identities?

Let's bring us all together:

How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people who are the same racial identity as me? How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people of other racial identities?

What next?

How do I want to show up in the world in the context of my own racial identity? How do I want to relate to people of other racial identities?

This is by no means a comprehensive guide. I absolutely do not claim to be an expert on racial justice. However, I am an expert on personal work and investigation, and this is the best I have to offer: a place to start.

If you're interested in more, check out this resource that a friend sent my way: SHETalks WETalk: Race Talks for Women.

Reclaiming Our Innocent Hearts

What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

Let me begin by saying that I have never placed an enormous priority on the value of Innocence. To me, the word has often been associated with the idea of naïveté... ignorant of and unwise to the darkness in the goings on of the world and the human realm. I remember reading William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience in high school English class and picking up on the foreboding undertones regarding the dangers of vulnerability contained in the poems on Innocence. I associated Innocence with childhood, and subconsciously rejected this virtue as synonymous with "unqualified." Especially at the beginning of my professional journey in my early twenties, I was eager to not be seen as “Innocent.”

However, I received some profound teachings regarding Innocence last weekend during a deep meditation ceremony. This gift has since radically shifted my ideas around the quality of Innocence.

Let me share with you some excerpts from my journal about this meditation ceremony:

As I entered a deep meditative state, I began to receive images and information. At first, my guides showed me animals. I connected with (and in some cases, became) a whole array of different creatures, including cats, various kinds of fish, sloths, wolves, foxes, snakes, and so many birds. I noticed as I did so that one quality was ubiquitously present in all of these beings: they lived in Innocence, and in order to connect with them, I also had to be in a state of Innocence. I registered this as congruent with my lived experience of working with animals: in order to engage with animals and connect with them on the heart level and communicate with them psychically, I need to embody my Innocent Heart. I had never consciously recognized the particular flavor of this feeling, but upon further reflection, the energy is unmistakable: being in the presence of an animal (either in the physical or the psychic realm) immediately drops me into my own Innocence.

Following this array of beautiful connections, my guides showed me a series of very dark entities. I saw an enormous, shadowy mask of a being that fed on fear, and I witnessed how these Fear-Feeders cover the Earth, ravenously consuming the energies of human stress, despair, anxiety, anger and loathing… but their favorite food is fear.

I watched this giant shadowy shape with a feeling of detached curiosity. It aroused no terror in me and I felt no need to defend or protect myself. I knew that I was safe. As I regarded it, I noticed at its base the figure of an orange cat walking nonchalantly toward it. The Fear-Feeder had no effect on the cat. I released a gentle breath, and the Fear-Feeder disappeared.

“Fear cannot live in the Innocent Heart.” I heard these very distinct words, and again, I was shown the Earth. This time I saw that the Fear-Feeders easily attached to some people, but not to others. Looking more closely, I noticed that these dark beings hungrily feasted upon the energy of those people who had lost their Innocence, but seemed somehow invisibly repelled by those whose protection came from their Innocent Hearts.

Reflecting on this information post-ceremony, I find myself sitting with this question: What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

As a self-identified Spiritual Warrior, I have long associated this archetype with the qualities of courage, resilience, compassion, grace and the ability to fight and be fierce, if need be. The Warrior of the Light must be willing to face the darkness and work in the Shadow realms, though their ultimate power lies in peace.

Until now, I had never attributed the quality of Innocence to the embodiment of the Warrior archetype. However, after witnessing the Shadow entity have no effect upon the cat in its Innocence and arouse no fear in me as I embodied my own Innocent Heart after connecting with the animals, I realized that Innocence is the ultimate protective force. Instead of banishing the Fear-Feeder with an intention, surge of energy or by invoking my Spirit Guides, I exhaled a gentle breath from a state of Innocence and the Shadow being vanished immediately, without a trace or a struggle.

In addition to acting as a protective energy, the quality of Innocence enables deep connection. In the Innocent Heart, there is no room for shame, guilt, blame or unworthiness. Instead, there resides love, compassion, grace, curiosity, acceptance, joy, authenticity, and plenty of spaciousness to invite shared experiences. Think about young children in their Innocence: they love easily, feel no sense of shame or judgement, and effortlessly invite others to join them in their space of enjoying the world.

Is it possible to reclaim our Innocence once we have seen and experienced the darkness?

I firmly believe that there is no experience so terrible that we cannot heal from it and release the wound completely. In light of the messages received during this meditation ceremony, this conviction now includes the belief that part of our journey is to reclaim our Innocence, not from a state of denying or forgetting the darkness, but from knowing that it is there and choosing not to be afraid. When we can accept that the darkness, shadow beings and Fear-Feeders are an ever-present part of the energetic balance of the cosmos, without succumbing to fear or despair, we shall be truly free and empowered. In this case, the Innocent Heart is not naïve, but makes a conscious choice to embody its original nature. It does not deny the existence of the shadow, or engage it in battle, or fear it—the Innocent Heart is simply immune. Its protection is its very existence.

As I sit with this information and integrate the teachings, I invite you to join me! See below for a suggested meditation and journal prompts. Together, let’s explore our Innocent Hearts and find more ways that this quality of Innocence appears in our lives. The Innocent Heart chooses the path of love, and love liberates all beings.

From one Innocent Heart to another, you’re doing great out there!

Here is a suggested meditation ritual for you to explore your own relationship with Innocence:

(For the suggested altar arrangement, please do not choose items that you think “should” be associated with innocence! Let every selection reflect a specific intention and invoke a genuine sensation of enjoyment. If you need some support, call in your Child Self to help you choose those things that reflect your authentic Innocence.)

Find a beautiful candle in a color and scent that is the most pleasing to you. Let it be something that you genuinely enjoy and appreciate. (Bonus points for a beautiful candle holder or dish.) Set the candle, along with flowers, crystals or any other items of your choice, on a sacred altar space. If you do not already have an established altar, please consider this an opportunity to create one!

Place yourself in front of the altar, light the candle, and offer this prayer:

“I call upon and invoke the presence of my own Innocent Heart to guide me in love, grace and compassion. Please help me to fully embrace and embody my own Innocence and reclaim this natural state of being. I ask my guides and teachers of Innocence to please reveal themselves to me, so that I may learn from them and receive the wisdom of their teachings. May my heart be forever pure, and love forever shine.”

Allow yourself to drop into a meditative state and see what comes to you. I recommend sitting with this for at least 10-15 minutes, although please feel free to stay with it longer if you like. When you feel complete, you may close with gratitude:

“It is with so much gratitude that I integrate the wisdom of these teachings. To all the guides and teachers who made themselves available to me for this work, I thank you, I honor you and I lovingly release you now.”

Make sure to journal about your experience! See below for additional journal prompts. Feel free to repeat this meditation and see what comes up as you continue to connect to and build a relationship with these teachers of Innocence.

Journal prompt:

What is my relationship to the quality of Innocence? How can Innocence support me on my path?
When do I feel most connected to my Innocent Heart? How can I more easily embody my Innocence and share it with others?


Grab a journal and a pen. Don't overthink it, just write and see what comes out!

Spring Equinox

Yesterday was the Spring Equinox! (Cue Michelle's happy dance and sigh of relief.)

As we step through this Seasonal portal, it's an opportunity for us to bring closure to the most recent chapter and plant the seeds for new growth (see suggested meditation below).

Today, I took a moment to sit with some Winter energies that I am ready to release. One of the primary themes of this past season for me has been inactivity, immobility and some stagnation. Due to my shoulder injury, my movement practice (and thus, my personal practice) took a serious detour and I spent far more time than I would like inside, and not able to pursue my usual level of activity.

As I considered the lessons of Winter and the other energies at play, I honored the stillness that I enjoyed as a result of this slowing-down phase. Last Winter was very active for me, and even though this Winter felt a bit stagnant, there was also a greater opportunity for going within and experiencing quiet.  I invited the gifts of Stillness to stay with me as I move into this Spring phase, and gently honor and release the energies of immobility, inactivity and stagnation.

The seed of intention I planted for myself is around comfortable movement, activity, and grace. I planted the seed of healing, easy motion, physical strength and flexibility in my shoulder to let it grow and blossom within me.

What chapter are you ready to close? What seeds are you planting?

In case you missed it or want to add something to your Equinox practice, here is a suggestion for meditation:

If it feels comfortable to you, go outside barefoot and put your feet on the Earth. Tune in with your breath and arrive fully in your body.

Bring to mind the energies, events and themes of the past three months... what was happening for you over the winter? What are you ready to honor and release from this time? With your breath, invite these energies to leave your field. You may also offer this prayer:

Thank you, Winter, for offering me the lessons of ______________________. I fully honor the gift of these lessons, and I am grateful for how these energies served me. I now release the energies of _____________________. I fully close this Winter chapter as I step through the portal into Spring. Thank you for the blessings.

Once you have fully honored and released the energies from Winter, consider what seeds you would like to plant for the Springtime. Call these energies to mind, and you may visualize them as seeds in the palm of your hand. The seeds glow bright with the light of your intention. You may offer a prayer:

I fully activate these seeds now. Let the energies of ______________________ sprout, grow and flourish in me during this growing season of Spring. I fully align myself and my process to the Spring energies of abundance, fertility, new life and blossoming. Thank you for supporting me in bringing life to the energies of ___________________________. May these seeds grow within me for the benefit of myself, for all those around me, for all beings on Earth and for the Earth herself. Thank you for the blessings.

Place your hands on your body in the place where you would like to plant the seeds of your intentions. Feel them in your body and your field, and make sure to "water" them with further love and attention!

The Door of Initiation

How do we interact with our initiatory experiences?

Many times, until we learn to recognize them, we don't recognize our initiatory experiences until well after the fact. We perceive them as struggles, losses, challenges and opportunities, yet it is usually not until after we have passed through the "door" that we realize the true significance of crossing the threshold.

A lot of the people I work with come to me after they have experienced an awakening initiation: they have stepped through some sort of doorway (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) and now find themselves in unfamiliar territory where the world is not the same... and neither are they.

These doorways of initiation and awakening appear in all forms: job opportunities, death of a loved one, relocation, kids growing up, new people appearing in our lives, financial losses or failed careers, or even just waking up in a different reality.

How we interact with our initiatory experiences usually depends on whether or not we're aware that we are currently crossing a life-altering threshold. Sometimes it takes everything we have to choose to step through that doorway, and sometimes it feels as though we are dragged through it, kicking and screaming.

I have found myself in both of these positions: taking a breath to center myself, then deliberately crossing a threshold into a new way of being--sometimes with excitement, sometimes trepidation, usually both--and also, I have cried, howled in pain and clawed tooth and nail to try to get back through certain doors of initiations in the Shadow.

I feel inspired to share these thoughts today because we've all been here. And we will all be here again. Every single one of us has felt the squeeze, the uncertainty, the discomfort and growing pains associated with an initiatory experience. Learning to recognize them makes it easier to approach with purpose and resolve, rather than dread.

What would it feel like if you knew that your current experience was an initiation in disguise? How would you interact with it then?

Journal prompt:

"What door is appearing to me now? How do I feel about stepping through it? How have I interacted with my past initiatory experiences? How can I claim and recognize them in the future?"

Don't overthink it, just write and see what happens!

To All the Changemakers: Do you trust yourself?

"I don't trust myself."

After having 20+ Personal Alchemy conversations over the last two weeks, this was the biggest theme I noticed across the board. I spoke with people in the personal development field, Spiritual seekers, coaches and healers. I spoke with people at the beginning of their journey and well-established practitioners. Almost everyone, when I asked what was keeping them from reaching the goals they shared with me, answered some variation on the theme of "I need to trust myself more before I can ____________."

Let's let that sink in for a moment.

Why don't we trust ourselves? If almost everyone feels this way, if this is so pervasive and universal, why aren't we talking about it more? Moreover, why do we feel guilty about it?

This was the other theme I noticed: almost every single time that someone shared with me that they did not trust themselves, it was followed by something like, "But I know I should," or "I'm working on it," or an embarrassed laugh.

It's like we think everyone else has it figured out. I could have told you before having all these conversations, and can 100% confirm to you now: nobody has it all figured out 100% of the time. That includes how we trust ourselves... or don't.

Every one of these people also shared with me beautiful dreams, visions that they had for themselves, their lives and their work in the world. I heard ideas about opening healing practices, writing books, starting nonprofits and opening retreat centers. And I also heard just as many people listing self-doubt as the reason for not fulfilling these dreams.

What is the cost of not trusting ourselves?

One of the pieces of advice I gave to a lot of people (that I'll share with you now) is that we can treat these moments when we don't trust ourselves as opportunities to remember who we are. Think about it: if you just met somebody and you don't know them, you're probably not going to trust them implicitly right off the bat. But by learning who they are, how they make decisions and live in the world, you can determine if they're trustworthy.

I invite you to go through that process with yourself. During those inevitable moments when we doubt ourselves, it's probably because we've forgotten who we are, we've drifted away from our center and are no longer connected with our core value system and way of being in the world. From that standpoint, we view these dreams and ideas as vague possibilities... something that exists only in a theoretical universe where we have it all figured out.

Slow down. Take a few breaths, call your energy and your power back to your core, and invite yourself back into your body. Create a sense of safety where you are fully connected with your highest self. If it resonates, offer yourself this affirmation:

I know who I AM.

I know what I Am.

I know how I serve

I trust myself completely.

After that, try asking...

Do I trust myself enough to__________________?

Calling All Changemakers: Last chance to apply for I AM Alchemy!

The Certification Training Course in the Art and Science of Personal Transformation
April 10, 2018 - March 30, 2019

Application Deadline: March 13, 2018

Through our I AM Alchemy work, you will:

  • Receive profound training in practical applications of magic, ritual and ceremony that will have a material, measurable effect on your life, your practice and your world through creating your reality and actualizing your intention.
  • Learn the philosophy, principles and practice of Alchemy from a modern, grounded perspective.
  • Become a magical practitioner capable of setting effective intentions, changing structures, altering reality and shifting the blueprint of your life.
  • Bring your I AM presence, your true Divine nature, to full actualization and expression.
  • Discover techniques to bring greater power and depth to your personal and/or professional healing practice.
  • Participate in practicum (facilitate Alchemical experiences for your fellow I AM Alchemists during the second half of the year).
  • Receive certification as an I AM Alchemy practitioner.

Are you ready to access the magic of I AM Alchemy?

The Nature of Service, and Free Content for You!

What does it mean to serve?

I sit with this question often, as I wonder about the role my work plays in the world and how I am driven to be "of service." To serve means to provide for, to present someone with something, to attend to, to deliver, to be of use. All of these may be true, and yet they feel very technical to me.

When I ask myself, "how do I serve?" I come up with some variation of this core answer:

I make myself available.

This availability looks very different now than it did many years ago, as I discovered the importance of personal boundaries and maintaining my energetic protection. However, it still means that I'm living my life in such a way as to offer my time, my knowledge, my insights and personal experience for the benefit of others on the path.

Being available in this way usually entails a certain level of vulnerability and transparency for me.

Through making myself available as part of my service, I have told stories and shared publicly about moments in my life when I experienced deep trauma, shame, abuse, fear and heart-wrenching grief. I have told stories that don't make me look good, don't paint me as "qualified" or contribute to my professional image at all. I have shared moments of uncertainty, questioning and times when I have later changed my mind.

...and I am happy to share all of these moments and stories with you as part of my service. I know that, in doing so, I am making myself available to YOU, so that you know that you are not alone in your experience.

It is said that a Shaman's life does not belong to them: it belongs to their Tribe. A Shaman lives their life in service to the health and well-being of their community, and makes themselves available for the benefit of those around them, of all beings on Earth and of the Earth Herself.

As I bring a new vision to the archetype of the Shaman, by doing this work, I reclaim that my life DOES belong to me just as much as it belongs to my community. In doing so, I redefine the nature of service: how can I be just as much of service to others while still being of service to my own Highest and Greatest Good? How can I share my journey with others in order to inspire, uplift and connect us all? How can I serve even more?

All of us who offer our lives and our work in Service may ask ourselves these questions, and continue to discover the answers.

Free Content and Resources for You

One of the ways in which I enjoy making myself available in service is through creating FREE content and resources for you! I have hundreds of hours of free audio, video and plenty of articles available on all sorts of topics. And it's all FREE!

Check out some of the resources:

  • Free Monthly Master Classes on a variety of amazing topics! See below for March's class, and links to past classes.
  • Shaman Sister Sessions Podcast (just made a new website for the podcast! Links to 50+ past episodes and information to sign in to listen to the live recording. Sign up for SSS newsletter to receive the weekly episodes directly in your inbox, as well as calendar updates with upcoming episode topics!)
  • My blog with tons of articles and insight I've gained from my personal and professional journey.
  • Follow me on Social Media: Instagram and Facebook for updates, stories and photos!

Emotional Alchemy

EMOTIONAL ALCHEMY IS A POWERFUL TOOL.

During a session the other day, I enjoyed witnessing a client move herself through the process of some pretty impressive emotional alchemy. She has been working with identifying and transmuting a lifelong shadow pattern for quite a while now, and during our session, with a few nudges, she took herself through a powerful journey of redirecting her behavioral structure and programming.

She was able to shift her heavy shadow pattern (rooted, like so many of us have, in not-enoughness) and fully recreate her lived experience of this belief. With a little guidance, she formulated a new belief structure based in empowerment, self-trust and service. When she breathed this new system into her body, she felt her heart glow with the strength of this belief.

This process she experienced the other day is an example of emotional alchemy: applying the art and science of transformation to the way we feel about the world. In this case, she was able to transmute her wounded feelings and trigger response into understanding, compassion and self-love. As she practices and integrates operating from this new paradigm, it will shift her relationships, her confidence and her way of being in the world.

What would YOU like to alchemize? How can you apply these ancient practices to your own Self and way of being? What does emotional alchemy have to teach you?

Join me on Thursday for the FREE master class! You must register to receive the login information. All registered attendees will receive a link to the recording after the live class.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Master Class: Alchemy of the Soul

Alchemy, an ancient body of knowledge originating thousands of years ago, is not only the origin of all modern sciences but also a profoundly Spiritual practice. While popular understanding of Alchemy centers around the transmutation of lead into gold, this belies the core principles of Alchemical philosophy: in short, the transformation from Spiritual immaturity into enlightenment through harmonizing with Universal life force. The procedural steps of Alchemy, which eventually led to the foundation of modern chemistry, were merely the physical representation of the Spiritual journey of the practitioner.

Today, we apply the principles of Alchemy in the context of personal actualization and empowerment in order to transform ourselves and our lives to embody a state of grace, harmony and freedom. We employ ancient practices, surrender to the cosmos and align with the Universal Cycles of Power. We consciously ground Spirit into our bodies and our lived, human experience for the benefit of ourselves, of all beings on Earth and of the Earth herself.

Join me for a Master Class as we delve into the philosophy of Alchemy, its role in the modern context and ways that you can begin to awaken your own, inner Alchemist to align with the process of true transformation!

Come prepared with a journal and questions! There may be some opportunities for individual coaching.

Eleven attendees on the live call will receive a FREE gift from me!

Upon registration, you'll receive a confirmation email with login information for the class. I look forward to seeing you there!

Register here to reserve your space!

Personal Alchemy

My Morning Practice lately has been largely a movement fusion of my own invention: DanYoCoGong (dance, yoga, core and qi gong). Here's a bit of the dance part to let the creative expression flooooow...

I had a mini Soul Map reading the other day with a new friend. One of the things that resonated most deeply was the confirmation she offered about letting the silly, funny and creative part of me shine through my work.

As I've been playing with this process of Personal Alchemy over the last several months, I'm noticing my internal objections that naturally arise. Historically, I haven't shown that side as much when it comes to my professional face. I think a lot of that has come from wanting people to trust me, think I am capable and qualified, and not too young to be guiding them through major life stuff (I started my business when I was 21).

However...

There is room for Divine Play in the healing process. There is room for laughter in the darkness. There is room for dancing and being funny, even when it feels like everything around you is heavy. It doesn't mean we're taking the work less seriously. It just means that we remember that all things are birthed from the void and that creation springs up where death has passed moments before.

It means we remember that we can exist simultaneously in grief and humor, rage and creation, heaviness and grace.

Let the creative expression flow.

Let the Alchemy of personal transformation unfold.

~~~

It's so easy for us to get stuck.

  • Have you ever taken a look at where you are in your life and had a sinking moment when you realized that you're in the same place you were a year ago? Two years ago?
  • Have you ever felt like you always get to a certain spot in your job, your life, your relationships... and then everything falls apart and you have to start over?
  • Have you told yourself over and over that you want to create a change in your life, but felt at a loss as to HOW that change was going to come about?

If you found yourself answering "yes!" to any of these questions, you might be stuck somewhere in one of the stages of the Alchemical process.

Alchemy is the process of change: even if we don't know it, we are moving through these stages in a continuous cycle throughout our entire lives. Most of us have no idea that we are living this cycle, and find ourselves washed around by the currents of change without any sense of direction or ability to consciously move through the process.

I have a gift for you.

I am offering eleven free one-hour sessions of Personal Alchemy! Here's the deal:

  • This is first come, first served: once they're booked, they're booked. No reschedules, no wait list. Yes, this is my gift to you.
  • We meet for one hour on my private conference line. I'll make a recording of your session, if you like!
  • We'll explore where you are in your life right now and discover which of the Alchemical stages you're currently in.
  • We'll look at the best way for you to get unstuck and continue to move through the cycle of Alchemy--get ready for personal practices and tools!
  • If it feels like a good fit, we'll talk about ways we can continue to work together in your process of change (I AM Alchemy or one-on-one with me).

Book your Personal Alchemy session here!

Last time I put out an offer like this, it filled within a few days. If you're interested, please book your session ASAP.

Once you're registered, I'll contact you with further details for our Personal Alchemy session! I look forward to diving in with you.

Self Mastery (Full Moon in Leo)

"Any Spiritual practice that I cannot apply to my lived experience is not worth my time."

You may quote me, if you like.

I enjoyed a tea date last week with a friend and colleague, during which she asked me if I thought that getting dressed up, wearing nice clothes, and in general indulging in personal, earthly pleasures conflicted with living in alignment with a Spiritual practice... Does living a rich, earthly, human life make us less spiritual?

My emphatic response, in short: No way!

There’s a term I came up with that I like to use with my clients and students to impress a certain idea upon them when discussing Self Mastery. The term is “Divine Embodied Being.”

I find this term very appropriate for a few reasons, but largely because it reminds us of the multi-faceted nature of our existence. The term “Human Being” is of biological origin and serves only to describe our physical and genetic makeup. How are we different from other beings? Well, we’re Human Beings!

However, we are so much more than our limbs and our brains and our genes. We are the embodiment of the Divine. Our physical forms provide the anchor for our souls to live on the Earth plane.

And so, we are Divine Embodied Beings. We are the physical manifestation of Spirit. We are Source and matter. If we wish to master one, we must master both.

It is so easy for us humans to use duality to separate and exclude: “If A, then not B.” Or, “If I am human, then I am not Divine,” or even, “If I am Divine, then I have no reason to pay attention to my human body.”

This last example is one that I see all too often, especially among people who have begun to realize their Spiritual awakening but have yet to balance it with the earthly aspects of their existence. Many clients come to me who are so focused on mastering the energetic part of their process that they haven’t bothered to bring the physical, earthly part of themselves up to speed yet.

Here are some examples of sacrificing our lived experience in the name of "Spirituality":

  • Having poor boundaries/allowing other people to walk all over us because we're afraid of being unkind or unconscious
  • Giving up things we love (that make us genuinely happy) because we are afraid of being "too attached"
  • Losing touch with our family/friends/community
  • Putting ourselves in compromising, potentially dangerous positions in the name of "spiritual growth" when any common sense would tell us to run away
  • Compromising our values for what we think is the "more conscious" course of action, even if it goes directly against our Truth
  • Avoiding healthy financial flow and structure because "money isn't spiritual"

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, quite often, there is a period of adjustment when it comes to mastering all parts of ourselves as Divine Embodied Beings... and usually, the human parts of ourselves are on the losing end of the deal.

In order to honor all parts of our nature and live in the world as whole beings, it is of equal importance to devote care and attention to the parts of ourselves that are Divine AND the parts of ourselves that are Matter. Moreover, we must not treat them as separate facets of our existence, but as deeply interwoven and mutually necessary components of our wholeness. It is our bodies that offer a place for Spirit to live inside of us, and it is our Souls that animate our physical forms beyond the level of a biochemical machine.

True Self Mastery means living a rich life in all ways, and knowing that all parts of ourselves are of equal importance. Any Spiritual practice we adopt should uplift, improve and bring grace to our Human, embodied experience. Otherwise, why bother?

On the other side of the coin, any human experience or indulgence we offer ourselves should enrich and cultivate our Spiritual being. Otherwise, why bother?

Lunar Alchemy: Full Moon in Leo

I don't know about you, but I am so damn grateful for this upcoming full moon/ supermoon/ lunar eclipse. We live in a society that has collectively agreed to suppress, compress, categorize and diagnose us all into little boxes.

No effing thank you.

This Full Moon in Leo comes in with a roar to open up the biggest, most expansive container of SELF! How can we ever hope to know who we are if we can't see and fully experience all parts of ourselves? How can we actually be as big as we truly are?

Join me for a Full Moon journey of expansion, discovery and Mastery of Self.

Together, we will:
-Explore the themes of this Full Moon and discuss the magic of Lunar Alchemy
-Share our lunar intentions
-Receive a channeled transmission with information about supporting your intentions and placing our work in the global context
-Enjoy a group healing experience and embodied meditation practice to anchor in the energies
-Learn about the journey of I AM Alchemy

Sliding scale $44-22. Register to reserve your space. FREE for I AM Alchemy participants!

New Moon in Capricorn: Sacred Structure

The New Moon in Capricorn next Tuesday brings us the powerful medicine of Sacred Structure.

Without our bones, it doesn't matter how much muscle or energy or force of will we have: we would not be able to move an inch.

The same is true of anything in our lives: without structure to support and hold a container, action becomes impossible. We spend so much time and energy focused on inspiration, movement, fire and momentum... but running around the world fueled by pure spirit is completely unsustainable. If we're hoping to build mountains, we need to root in the bedrock.

And I'm building mountains. Are you?

If so, we must focus on the foundations of our lives. What sacred structures can we build for ourselves to be able to grow? How can we strengthen the "bones" of our lives to give stability and sustainability to our actions? How can we make our work and our presence in the world more lasting, more meaningful and more powerful?

Let's build our bones together.

Here's my problem with the "New Year..."

I admit it--I'm a little bit of a grouch about the New Year. (In fact, I'm a bit grumpy about most organized holidays. My mom maintains that it's because I don't like being told what to do--I mostly just object to an arbitrary calendar.)

Don't get me wrong, I love honoring new beginnings. I actually celebrate the new year on the Winter Solstice--the point at which the days start growing longer with the return of the light here in the Northern Hemisphere. It feels great to acknowledge turning points, set intentions and enjoy changes in energy.

What drives me a little bit bonkers about the New Year is the "wave a magic wand" mentality that comes with it. The whole business of resolutions is just that: business. It's great marketing!

Most new year's resolutions are doomed to fail. People set completely unrealistic goals for themselves and abandon them after a few weeks, or set intentions for which they simply don't have the knowledge or skill set to fulfill.

So why, exactly, does this popular perception of the New Year frustrate the dickens out of me?

Because most people don't understand the nature of change and what it truly takes to create sustainable transformation.

I want people to succeed in the goals they set for themselves. Really, I do! I want people to feel empowered, enlivened and inspired to manifest the changes they most desire. More than just about anything, I hold in my heart the deepest wish for all humans to remember who they are and claim their role as the magical creators of their fabulous lives.

But it takes more than waving a magic wand to get there.

Among other things, it takes knowing ourselves, understanding our patterns, bring awareness to our choices, and being willing to feel uncomfortable. It takes being willing to feel, period!

It takes a willingness to master the cycles of power and come into right relationship with the nature of change.

Now, why don't we see that on a billboard?

Look below for my gift to you this January--the first step in mastering the cycles of change. Best wishes for a beautiful New Year!

"New Year, New You!"

...wait, what?

I've seen this marketing slogan all over the place every new year for as long as I can remember.

But what the heck does it actually mean? All of a sudden, the calendar flips and we transform into a different person? Some arbitrary day dictates a new chapter in our lives, where instantly we are capable of altering deeply ingrained patterns of thought, choice and behavior? That "New You" has been inside you all along, just waiting for the year to turn over so it can finally reveal itself?

Yeah, it doesn't work like that.

Of course we want the easy fix. Naturally, taking a deep look at the core of our identity structure can be pretty darn uncomfortable. But since we don't like to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced, it makes sense that we would rather hang all our hopes for personal transformation on a catchy slogan that requires no work or changes in behavior on our part.

"New Year, New You! Just make a wish, it will come true!"

Thank goodness it doesn't actually happen that way. We would be missing out on one heck of an epic journey into the center of our own Being... remembering your truest nature, the REAL you.

The only way we can actualize change in ourselves, our lives and our identities is by coming into deep, grounded knowledge of who we are--the I AM.

Join me for a master class on exploring your I AM, experience a guided journey and learn how to come into greater alignment with your Highest Self on every level.

Rather than the "New You," wouldn't you rather meet the "Real You?"

Do I Trust Myself?

I had the most beautiful session yesterday with a client whom I have known for many years. We delved into some deep soul contract work (the subject of December's master class, in case you missed it! See below). As a part of this journey into her soul contract, we examined the idea of who we are in terms of trust.

How do we relate to the idea of trust and truth? How do we trust ourselves? How does that inform our identity, our I AM? In turn, how does that affect the way we live and the choices we make?

It can be easy to trust ourselves when things are going well. But the true test of our ability to ground in and fully surrender to radical self-trust comes when it feels like we have no idea what the heck we're doing. In those moments, we have the opportunity to pause, remember who we truly are, and say, "Yes!" to ourselves and our innate wisdom.

As I reflect on some of my major life events of 2017, I see plenty of places where I was able to drop into deep self-trust.

...and I also see some areas where it took me longer than I would have liked to get to that place, or where I didn't trust myself and my innate wisdom because I wanted something else to happen. In these moments, I ended up wishing I had just listened to that whisper at the core of my being that always tells me the truth.

All of these moments are important. I have learned just as much (more, actually) from those times of hesitancy and resistance as I have from my "easy" wins. As long as we can do so without punishing ourselves or spiraling into guilt, shame or blame, reviewing those times when we didn't fully trust ourselves can provide a tremendous opportunity to alter our patterns of behavior.

The more we can surrender into radical trust of our truest nature, the freer we will be to put it into action and show up the way we want to in the world. Here's to a 2018 full of opportunities to trust ourselves even more!

Journal Prompts:

As we head into the final days of 2017, I invite you to examine your relationship with trust--particularly how you trust yourself (or not):

When is it easy for me to trust myself?
When do I find it challenging?
What are the differences in those circumstances?
What does it take for me to bridge the gap?

My Gift to You: Happy SOULstice!

This Winter SOULstice, I've been thinking about what I would like to give back to YOU, the amazing people in my life who inspire me to continue the work I do.

As work with Soul Contracts comes up big time during this darkest, most contract-ive time of the year, it feels more important now than ever before to clarify and clean up our Soul Agreements before heading into a new year.

So, I would like to invite you to receive a special gift. I am offering five FREE Soul Contract healing sessions to you during December 26-29!

Here are the details:
-These must take place in person at my healing studio in SW Portland. Address provided upon registration.
-Once you register, there are no reschedules.
-First come, first serve! Once these sessions are filled, they are filled.
-Register here to reserve your FREE Soul Contract healing session.

What you can expect from these sessions:
-We will journey into the nature of your Soul Contract to examine any clauses that are no longer serving you.
-If possible, we will erase and rewrite them with a healthy, new agreement.
-We will do energy healing work to help this contract alteration integrate gently into your lived experience.
-I will not be doing this work "for" you. I will be guiding you and holding space for you to claim your full power in stating the nature of your Soul Contract with Spirit.
-There will be an audio recording of this session for you to revisit at any time.

If you would like to claim your FREE Soul Contract Healing session now, register here!

I AM an Alchemist

I have been working on developing an I AM Alchemy year-long training and certification program.

It's amazing how the core essence of who we are and what we're doing in the world can be right in front of our faces, and yet it sometimes takes years of practice, learning, falling down and peeling back the layers to see it properly.

I AM an Alchemist, and I have been one for not only this entire life, but definitely many lifetimes. Mentors and friends have reflected this to me over the years:

"Michelle, you're addicted to personal growth."

"Transformation is your THING."

"You work with the process of change better than anyone I know."

And yet, for most of my life, I was blind to the bigger vision of what I was doing.

I feared change because I didn't understand it. I submitted to transformation with gritted teeth because it felt beyond me, bigger than me and outside of me. I felt subject to the whims of the Universe and awash in a sea of energetic currents, and it felt as though every ounce of ground I gained took colossal effort.

Over the years, I softened my relationship with change. I learned to align with the Universal energy currents--the Cycles of Power--and to ride the waves rather than try to steer against them. I developed tools to bring ease and grace to my life. I learned to enjoy and look forward to the process of transformation with excitement, because I finally understood it. I had the tangible skills and embodied practice to become the magical creator of my life.

Alchemy is the art and science of transformation. For thousands of years and and for many devotees, the process of Alchemy provided the keys to undergo initiations of the spirit, burning away all that was heavy and impure in order to reveal the gleaming gold of an awakened soul.

In the year of I AM Alchemy, we'll be applying the magic of Alchemical principles and practices to master the process of transformation and create an easy relationship with change. We'll play with the Universal currents of energy and learn how to channel them into grounded manifestation of our intentions.

We'll explore our powers of self-transformation and actualization in order to come into the fullest expression of our I AM, bringing our God selves into existence on the Earth plane.

If you are interested in joining me on this journey, contact me and I will send you the information for the next steps.

Many blessings!

The Medicine of Space

When we create spaciousness for ourselves, we can relax into BEing and presence. We can expand to fully embody all parts of ourselves. We can be as big as we actually are. We can welcome in new energies and remain balanced through dynamic shifts.

I’ve been keeping relatively quiet for the past couple of months as I sit with some very significant changes that are coming up in my life and my work. I won’t go into too much detail now as it is still crystalizing, but suffice it to say that everything (one-on-one work, teaching, programs, etc) is getting an overhaul. The way that I am moving through it with a greater degree of ease and grace than I could otherwise is... spaciousness.

Even so, the overhaul has brought on some anxiety. The inner voices share their doubts:

“Am I committing entrepreneurial suicide by switching up my offerings all the time?”
“What the heck do I think I’m doing?”
“Am I kidding myself?”
“What if this is way too far out for people? What if nobody is ready for this? What if nobody gets it?”
“How can I make all these massive changes without shooting myself in the foot?”

Those are some of the highlights, but you get the idea.

I just returned from a week-long trip to Sedona, AZ, where I experienced a great deal of new energy and catalysts, set some changes in motion and received some profound medicine. One of the highlights was a visit to the Grand Canyon.

I had never been to this particular sacred site before, and as I approached the canyon rim, I felt myself start to tear up. I could feel the energy swelling up out of the exposed layers—ancient and constant in its power. Moved beyond words, I wandered off by myself to stand on a cliff edge and feel the potent waves course through my body. The Grand Canyon is a giant portal, and the amount of raw power and potential held within each grain of sand is palpable.

“This is the kind of healer I want to be. I want to be this spacious, this ancient, this solid, yet mutable.”

As these realizations formed in my mind, I felt myself expand enough to accommodate the Grand Canyon within my energy field.

“I AM this spacious. I AM this ancient. I AM this solid, this mutable.”

No matter the direction my work takes from here, the kind of space I hold for myself and for others is that deep. The kind of container I set for transformation is that wide.

I sat down to write in my journal, tears continuing to blur my vision. I had no idea what I was writing, and only discovered after I read it later that night that I had written a declaration—a prayer to the Grand Canyon herself:

I AM big enough to hold you.

I AM strong enough to serve you.

I AM patient enough to learn from you—the lessons in each stone and grain of sand.

I AM ancient enough to remember you as flat, scorched Earth that gave off the sharp tang scent of new metal, fresh from the fire.

I AM small enough to curl myself into each pore in your cavernous walls… tiny wombs where crystals and magic are born.

I AM quiet enough to hear the stories that have been buried in your layers for aeons rise up as they are freed by matter dissolving into air.

I AM raw enough to feel the currents of wind stirred by Raven’s wing.

I AM humble enough to kneel here, to know that I have died here and to surrender my bones to you to compost into soil.

I AM embodied enough to feel that you are big enough to hold me.

I AM wild enough to want to scream and chant and howl and sing and fill your canyons with my prayers, but subtle enough to know that a whisper will suffice.

I know that there is space for you in my bones, in my cells. I feel my body drinking in your familiar magic. Make me ancient. Help me remember. Support me in crumbling away all the surface layers to reveal the parts of me that were present for the birth of this and other worlds. Instruct me in how I may better serve. Teach me the ways of timeless presence. I fill myself with you. I AM reverence. There is no room here for anything but the Truth. I see my blood on your walls. Let me lie here and dissolve.

This is the kind of spacious timelessness that constitutes the Void. In this reality, no healing work is needed because nothing needs to be “healed.” There is no need to fix, to change, to alter or adjust. There is only BEing and presence.

Within that spaciousness, all things are possible. When I hold the medicine of the Grand Canyon in my body, the doubting voices immediately become silent.

I invite you to examine where you can breathe more spaciousness into your life. In what ways can you allow more BEing and presence?

Many blessings!

 Michelle Hawk Shaman Portland Sedona Reiki Master Healer Teacher