Reiki

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.

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!

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

Full Moon in Capricorn: Foundation and Freedom

Foundation and Freedom.

Are these two ideas mutually exclusive?

How are the energies of structure, support, grounding, nourishment and community related to those of freedom, expansion, passion, growth and the wild pursuit of dreams?

They're actually deeply intertwined, especially under this powerful Full Moon in Capricorn.

This deep Full Moon container encourages us to evaluate the sources of structure and support in our lives. What is the state of the bedrock of your earthly existence? Is it stable enough to support the rocket launch of your wildest dreams? If not, how can you adjust and call in what you need to construct a more solid foundation? If your foundation is rock-solid and ready, how can you use this amazing framework to support the free, explosive expansion of your joy and purpose in the world?

I've been asking myself a lot of these questions over the last week leading up to this lunar container. Especially over the 4th of July, where the topic of "Freedom" comes up a lot... but what does Freedom actually look like?

For me, Freedom means easy and graceful flow. It means my body, mind, heart and spirit are clear, balanced, healthy and expansive. Freedom means that I am safe, my earthly needs are well-met and I have plenty of space and tine to devote myself to my joy. Freedom means doing plenty of the things I love the most: spending time with dear ones, being active and doing my work. (For real, I'm not just saying that last one because this is a business blog post--my healing, mentorship and teaching work lights me up in a way that few other things do and sets my soul on fire.)

The foundation that allows me to experience deep freedom in this way includes my nurturing home, my flourishing business, my amazing family and community, my health and personal practices devoted to nourishing my well-being. The structures I have created for myself provide a framework for me to be, do and have all the things that light me up. In short, my truest freedom comes from structure.

I invite you to consider these things in the context of your life. What does Freedom look like for you? What Foundation do you have in place to support your continued growth and expansion? Now is the perfect time for these inquiries. Align your energies and intentions with this powerful Full Moon container to build a firm foundation for your greatest freedom.

(For more information on working with the Lunar Cycle, check out my LUNAR ALCHEMY course beginning September 12!)

From one free spirit to another, you look great out there.

Summer Solstice: Expansion & Contraction

I don't know about you, but I need a break.

I just arrived a few hours ago in San Diego to visit my dear sister, Katherine Bird. Over the next several days, we'll be facilitating ceremony, attending ceremony, doing healing work and offering our channeling and mediumship skills as guest experts in a Galactic Channeling Activation intensive workshop.

This is definitely not a vacation.

And yet, as soon as I arrived, I felt my nervous system immediately go into a state of contraction in anticipation of rest and nurturing.

When working with Cycles of Power, expansion and contraction are both equally important parts in the ebb and flow of energy. Today, on the Summer Solstice, we exist in the biggest possible container of light--the greatest potential for expansion. We have been building to this point for the last few months and the energies of expansion will continue to prevail throughout the summer, then wane back into contraction in the fall. This is the time to harness the power of illumination to reveal the deepest parts of ourselves that might otherwise stay hidden.

ILLUMINATION. WITNESSING. REVELATION. EXPRESSION. These are the keys of the Summer Solstice.

So, where does Contraction fit in all this?

Contraction is the space that enables us to go within, set our intentions, write the contracts (literally, "CONTRACT-ion") for our soul blueprints, work with the Karmic records and adjust our energy frequencies. Contraction is the essential counterpoint that turns Expansion into an effective, directed process, rather than an unsustainable explosion of energy.

I need to contract first in order to expand even more.

As I prepare to dive in deep and move some massive energies (I can feel it already), I will be taking some time for stillness and receiving. I'll be attending a singing and voice activation workshop with a master sound healer, lounging in the sun with my sister and snacking on healthy food. I'll be journaling (see below for my Solstice Gift to you!), setting my intentions and preparing to deeply alter my soul contract.

And then, I'll be ready to expand even further and continue the Cycle of Power.

What are your intentions for this powerful time?

Happy Solstice!

Life Review: Birthday Edition

My upcoming birthday is prompting even more introspection and self-examination than usual! I'm turning 30 on Thursday, and as I prepare to celebrate my life and usher in a new decade of even greater awesomeness, I'm taking the time for some considerable life review.  (I also have a GIFT for you!! See below.)

One of the big things that came up as I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago was appreciating just how quickly change occurs. I was at SOAK (a regional Burning Man event which I have been attending since 2011) staring at the massive bonfire and remembering who I was one short year ago, and how I was in such a different place in my life. I continued to follow this train of thought back over the years and was struck with so much appreciation for the way in which change occurs much more quickly than we realize. Maybe this isn't new information to you, but it was a revelation to me. I know I tend to run around the world with a certain degree of impatience, always wanting to accomplish things as quickly and efficiently as possible because there's so much to do!! However, things only feel like they're moving slowly when I zoom in and look at the short-term. As soon as I was able to widen my perspective and take in the last year (and widen even further to take in the last several years), I felt enormously humbled for just how much change I have created in the last year. Let's take a look at some highlights (and lowlights, because those are important, too):

  • On my birthday last year, I officially began claiming my medicine in an even deeper way by calling myself Michelle Hawk and honoring the name that Spirit had given me.
  • (Just over one year ago, but it's so close that we're counting it) I successfully redid/rebranded my business and launched my gorgeous new website.
  • I went through the trauma of losing my home and my amazing roommate, was gifted with a safe place to land over the winter, and two months ago moved into an amazing Goddess Temple house in a beautiful neighborhood.
  • My wonderful witch mother, Rosemary, and I officially released and began teaching our Illumination Reiki™ curriculum. We've been working on this for YEARS and it feels amazing to put this out into the world!
  • We also began teaching our classes at a gorgeous studio space (Vibrant Studios) in SW Portland. If you haven't seen it yet, we'd love to have you join a workshop and check it out!
  • On the personal note, I took a deep look at my patterns in relationships. I learned hard and valuable lessons from a couple of boyfriends and did amazing healing work to heal and finally release some old trauma from an abusive relationship.
  • My wonderful sister Katherine Bird and I began our video podcast, Shaman Sister Sessions, which will soon be available on iTunes!
  • I successfully trained for and ran my FIRST ever race! I ran a half marathon (ran every step of the way, no stopping or walking) and finished just over my goal of 2 hours (2:01:13, which is pretty darn close). 10k coming up next!
  • I reworked my healing and mentorship offerings to include Spiritual Warrior Mentorship for my clients who are ready to fully claim the magic of their Divine nature.
  • I gave a twist to my New Moon Rising intensive program and am delighted to offer it in its newest incarnation this fall!!
  • I spoke at a conference for the first time, taught a breakout workshop at another conference, traveled to California to teach at a retreat and was invited to speak at another conference in October (I just learned that I'll be giving the closing keynote speech on the first day!!).
  • I finally started treating my work like a business, instead of "just" my life purpose and passion. I cannot overstate how huge this is.
  • I released a lot of old beliefs, did a lot of hard personal work, coached myself through heartache and tears, loved myself fiercely enough to hold my ground and speak my Truth, trusted myself and Spirit enough to take some big leaps and danced plenty along the way!

It is so important to look back every now and then in order to really appreciate how much we have changed, how far we have come and how darn quickly it all happened! Thank you for the part YOU have played in my journey. It is a pleasure to walk with you on this path. Let us continue to witness each other in our magnificent unfolding.

Many blessings,

Michelle Hawk Signature

Okay, your turn! And here's the GIFT part:

In celebration of my 30th birthday, I am offering you a free 30-minute call with me! One on one, your chance to chat with me about whatever you like. Life purpose stuff? Big questions? Important decisions? Spending half an hour just catching up and telling jokes? Sure! Send me an email (please include your phone number) and we'll set up a time to talk.

 

In addition, I have an invitation for you.

While this is not required for you to claim your GIFT call with me, I highly suggest doing this exercise before we talk (or anytime). Grab a journal, cup of tea and settle in for some life review of your own!

  • Make a list (like I did above) of the standout events, accomplishments, revelations, personal growth moments, low points, etc of the past year. 
  • After you have your list, give yourself a hug! You've done a lot in just a short time.
  • Next, rate each list item on a 1-10 scale in terms of emotional charge (1 is no emotion attached, 10 is very emotionally charged).
  • Everything that scored an 8 or higher, look at more closely. As you re-read these items on your list, drop into your body and your breath. Notice what sensations and emotions are attached. Do these things feel expansive or contractive? Are they associated with joy, fear, love, rage, grief, pain, euphoria or something else?

The emotional charge that we hold from these defining events informs our current experience and way of being in the world. Notice what revelations come up for you as you look at this list. If you choose to claim your GIFT call with me, we can look more closely at some of these things and identify how they're impacting your lived experience, and what alchemy needs to take place in order to integrate the lessons.

Your Intuitive Birthright

“Wow, you are so intuitive! You must have just been born with that ability.”

I regularly hear some variation of this comment from clients, students or people who get a taste of my work for the first time. My answer usually begins with, “Well, yes and no…”

We are all highly intuitive beings. Each one of us was born with the ability to access this innate knowing.

When you first entered the world as a tiny human, you arrived with no filters in place. You experienced everything as a clear channel. Completely open to all sensory input, you made no distinction between how this information came into your awareness. Touch, emotion, sight, thoughts, taste, energy, sound, vibration… you experienced them all without any preconceived notion of what was “real,” or any hierarchy of some senses being more valid than others.

As you grew older, you started to become aware of how you received information, and maybe felt that you “weren’t normal.” Maybe your family was afraid when you told them that you saw beings that “weren’t there,” or when they found you having conversations with thin air. Maybe your sensitivities were dismissed as invalid, or no one believed you when you shared what you intuitively knew to be true. Maybe you were diagnosed with anxiety, or ADD/ADHD, or some mental health condition. Maybe you were medicated.

You still felt the vibrations and were sensitive to the thoughts and energies of other people, but without the consistent validation from those around you, you began to let this intuitive awareness fade into the background. You built your understanding of the “real world” based on the commonly understood five senses. You allowed yourself to become numb to your intuition.

But these hidden parts of ourselves don’t always stay quiet in the background. Maybe you always knew that this innate sense was still there, waiting to be revealed. Do you find yourself knowing things that you couldn’t possibly know? Are you seeing, feeling and sensing things you can’t otherwise explain?

Is your intuition waking up and demanding that you claim that which has been yours since birth?

Join us for the ongoing Sensory Intuition class series (first class takes place on Sunday, March 26th) and learn tools and techniques to reawaken your innate intuitive abilities. Now is the time to cultivate the knowledge and skill to easily and gracefully access your inner wisdom. There are no prerequisites for this class, and all levels of energetic experience are welcome. Whether this is your first foray into the magic of your intuition, or whether you have been a professional psychic for years, there is something for you in this class series to further grow and refine your abilities. Register now to reserve your space.

The Door of Awakening

AWAKENING is the door you don’t notice until you’re ready.

It’s the door that’s always been there, unobtrusive, in the wall that you walk past a hundred times a day without ever registering its presence. Maybe you’re too busy. Maybe you’re preoccupied with your job, your family, your finances, your everyday life. But still, the door to your Awakening has always been there, waiting for you.

One day, you walk by the door and notice it for the first time. You’re suddenly startled, because you’ve passed this wall a thousand times and could have sworn there was nothing there! As you gaze in wonder and disbelief at this revelation of a door, the edges start to glow from the blinding light on the other side.

You have a choice. Here on the Earth plane, we all have the same choice. Are you going to open the door and walk through it, or go back to pretending the door was never there?

What if you choose not to open the door? Maybe you go back to your life and forget all about it, but the door still appears in the space between dreaming and wakefulness. Maybe you try to avoid that section of wall, but always find your steps leading you back to pause in front of the door-that-isn’t-there. Maybe you work so hard to numb yourself to its existence that you numb yourself to all things—your feelings, your family, your dreams, the essence of your joy…

But what if you did choose to open the door? What if, blinded by that omnipresent glow, not knowing what would happen, you stepped through anyway?

What if you claimed your AWAKENING?

What might you discover about yourself? What deep soul purpose would reveal itself to you? How might you come into remembering of who you truly are, and activate within you your own, infinite potential and vibrant nature?

There’s only one way to find out.

One Client's Amazing Healing

I love witnessing my clients as they make amazing shifts in all areas of their lives! I checked in with one client today who, before we started working together, was feeling stuck—stuck in an unfulfilling job, stuck with friends and acquaintances with whom she no longer had anything in common, stuck in a place of less-than-optimum health and stuck in a mundane daily routine that zapped her of any drive and energy. She contacted me several months ago after she came across a book on Shamanism, and she described the feeling as though a fire was lit inside of her. She knew that her health, her marriage and her life force energy were all suffering and she needed help to “get unstuck” and reconnect with her joy and sense of purpose.

Even though she was motivated to make some changes in her life, she was very afraid of upsetting the status quo (especially in her work and in her marriage). What if these life changes made her stick out even more at work and she lost her job? What if, by stepping into her personal power, she alienated her husband? What if she lost everything?

A few weeks ago, we completed our three months of working together in my Deep Medicine Path program, and watching her transformation has been absolutely extraordinary. Instead of losing her job, she decided to proactively phase herself out of her unfulfilling line of work at her own, gentle pace. She is in the process of beginning her own life coaching practice so she can inspire and empower others. Instead of losing her marriage and feeling alienated from her husband, their relationship finally has that spark of new life! He has loved witnessing her changes and gladly stepped up in full support of her transformation. Instead of feeling drained and tired all the time, she now has energy to devote to her own health and well-being and her body “hasn’t felt this good in years!”

Hearing “I’m so glad I worked up the courage to say yes and work with you!” from a client is the most amazing feeling. I am so humbled every time someone trusts me to shepherd them through their awakening. It means the world to me that I get to be a mentor and a guide for those stepping into their own power and embodying the radiance of their true selves. In so much gratitude!

My First Universal Life Revelation

The moment that I later described as my “First Universal Life Revelation” occurred on Saturday, November 4th, 2006 as I stood in a record-setting torrential downpour.

I was a sophomore in University at the time, earning my degree in biology. Entrenched in academia, I was struggling to come to terms with what I learned in my study of science and how it related to my study of Reiki, as I had just completed my Reiki II training the month before. There seemed to be a substantial gap between the scientific community’s understanding of life and the world in which I was beginning to immerse myself: the world which taught me that there is no such thing as a barrier of space and time and that I am connected to All That Is. Looking back on that time of my life, I feel so much compassion for my 19 year old self. Sharing with other students the profound experiences that came from practicing Reiki served to isolate me from my academically-minded peers. The incredulity with which they met my suggestion that energy healing had a role to play in modern medicine dissuaded me from expounding upon my ideas.

On that Saturday in November, it seemed as though every circumstance had somehow come into perfect alignment to make me as miserable as possible. For one, I was sick. The previous Wednesday evening I had started to feel achy and tired, and I had woken up the following day with a burning fever. I missed all my classes Thursday and Friday as I lay in bed, drifting in and out of hallucinatory consciousness. My illness coincided with one of the heaviest periods of rainfall that Tacoma has ever seen. The drumming downpour on the roof set a dramatic soundtrack to my convalescence.

I awoke on Saturday feeling as though my fever had broken, though I was weak and somewhat shaky. When I finally ventured out of the dorm that afternoon, I enjoyed the bizarre sight of a few outdoorsy people kayaking in the flooded streets as sheets of water continued to swell the new, impromptu lakes. The whole situation felt almost unreal, like my hallucinations had followed me into the waking world.

For some reason, I decided that my first outing would be to go with my roommate to attend the last football game of the year. I’m still not entirely sure of my motivation for going. I have little patience for watching football even when I’m healthy and enjoying beautiful weather, so I’ll chalk it up to the pull of the Universe wanting to send me a message.

We stood there in the pouring rain as gusts of wind whipped cold strands of hair across my eyes to sting my exposed cheeks. At least my body was largely protected from the wind by the crowd of students, though the jostling on all sides felt just as invasive. The cold crept up my legs from where I had splashed myself leaping over a deep puddle and I bounced in place to attempt to bring some circulation to my freezing feet. I tried to watch the game, but the sky was so dark and the field was so muddy that it shortly became impossible to distinguish the color of the jerseys below. I had no idea how anyone on the field could even see the ball, let alone catch it.

I remember thinking how completely ridiculous the whole situation felt. I generally practice the philosophy of “things could always be worse,” but in that moment, things felt pretty close to awful. I was standing in the pouring rain after being sick for three days, watching a game I don’t care about, completely unable to tell what was happening on the field while being bumped and jarred by yelling people. And instead of succumbing to the monumental misery of the moment and hating everything about my circumstances, something clicked in my brain and I decided to have fun. That’s all: I decided that I was going to enjoy myself.

And so I did. I had so much fun watching the rest of the game in that record-setting downpour, surrounded by a crowd of screaming people while I sweated out the last of my fever. I felt like I was high, like nothing could touch me, and from then on the chilly rain seemed comical as it ran down the back of my neck. I have no idea who won the game (I could barely see anyway) but I had just discovered that I had the amazing power to decide how I felt, regardless of the circumstances around me.

This amazing high lasted for weeks and helped me to earn a perfect score on an exam for my Vertebrate Zoology class, deliver an amazing presentation to my Archaeology and Religion professor (he later cited my work to others in the class as an exemplary project) and navigate with more success than ever the challenge of integrating my growing understanding of energy into my academic studies. I found it much easier to speak with my peers about my experience working with Reiki, and found that they seemed much more open to hearing me. From that simple decision I made, that I was going to have fun in spite of the miserable circumstances, came a cascade of wonderful alignments and further validation.

I cite my “First Universal Life Revelation” as the beginning of a dramatic shift in my consciousness because, when presented with the opportunity to choose between misery and joy, I chose joy. It would have been so easy to succumb to all the factors pointing me in the direction of “everything about this is terrible,” but instead, I decided to enjoy myself. In that moment, I consciously became more powerful than my circumstances. I created my own experience, chose my perception of the situation and felt my joy reflected back to me on all sides.

We are all more powerful than our circumstances. We all hold the enormous capacity to create our own experiences, or at very least, to decide how we feel about them. I like to celebrate my own personal anniversaries of these revelations because they remind me of moments in which I experienced a profound shift in my awareness that has since altered the course of my existence. Reminding myself of times when I receive that teaching, that “lightbulb moment,” helps me feel empowered to embody those lessons consistently every day. There have been circumstances during the intervening years in which it felt as though my world was falling apart. And yet, I was able to move through it all relatively gracefully by reminding myself that, even in the moments when I feel least empowered, I still have the option to choose between misery and joy.

I’m finding my 10-year anniversary of this revelation particularly relevant right now. Between Standing Rock and the election (not to mention any of the other political and environmental atrocities taking place at the moment), I have had many opportunities lately to practice choosing joy, compassion and purpose over misery and despair.

Today, on the 10-year anniversary of my First Universal Life Revelation, I renew my commitment to choosing joy. I remember that I am empowered to create my own understanding. I take responsibility for making sure that my thoughts, words, actions and choices all work directly in service to creating an empowered, joyful experience for myself and others.

And if you feel called to join me, I invite you to do the same.

Honoring Ten Years of Reiki and My First Teacher

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of when I began officially studying Reiki, though my lessons in energy healing began years earlier. My first teacher was my dog, Ginger. She was a beautiful yellow lab—a great family dog and my wonderful companion. We spent long hours playing together outside and rolling in the grass. Nothing comes close to the contagious goofiness of a puppy.

When Ginger was six years old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. This event marked a significant shift in the nature of our relationship: Ginger and I were no longer the springy young puppy and giggling child. She was an adult dog experiencing a health challenge and I was her big sister who wanted to take care of her. I was desperate to help her feel better. Twelve years old at the time, I was mature and capable enough to learn how to help monitor her diet and energy levels, test her blood sugar and give her insulin injections. While my attention to Ginger’s needs increased on the medical front, her illness also deepened our energetic relationship and loving connection. I would sit with her while she lay in her bed and put my hands on her, not petting her, but holding my hands in place on her body. I remember visualizing colored light flowing from my body, down my arms, through my hands and into her. No one had ever told me to do that or taught me about energy healing—it just seemed like a good idea. Ginger herself seemed to request that I place my hands on her when she looked at me dolefully. After 10 or 15 minutes, she would twitch her skin under my hands and I would understand that she had had enough.

Over the next few years, my connection with Ginger deepened as we both matured and I continued to offer her colored light through my hands. Then, when I was 15, my mom made friends with some women who had recently opened a massage and Reiki clinic in the area. I was interested to speak with these “energy workers” based on her description. My mom brought me and Ginger into the clinic to meet them and have a look around. When they began speaking with me about energy healing work, I felt completely mesmerized. They told me about Reiki and it was as though something deep within me awoke with the validation that this was a practice that existed in the world, not just in my relationship with my dog. I told them what I had been doing with Ginger and they said to me, “That’s Reiki. You should go take a class and be trained in that.”

I didn’t begin studying Reiki immediately—the timing didn’t feel quite right to start formally learning an established discipline. Instead I began intuitively exploring my Shamanic practice around that time, and it wasn’t until 2006 (at 19 years of age) when I began studying under a human teacher. A local Reiki Master attuned me to Reiki I on August 13, 2006 and I took Reiki II with her two months later. My mom began studying Reiki with another Master soon after that, then after completing her studies, she later attuned me as a Reiki Master in December of 2008. Learning from human teachers, combined with the fact that my investigation of Reiki overlapped with my time studying biology in university, gave my previously intuitive exploration a scientific, academic flavor. I’ll save that story for another time.

Suffice it to say that my practice has grown and changed significantly in the intervening years, but some things remain the same as they were when my dear Ginger first pulled healing energy from me almost 20 years ago. She was my first, most patient teacher who spoke to me through subtle cues that demanded my complete presence and attention if I was to receive them. From her I learned how to open to my intuition and allow it to inform my actions. I learned how to be present as a vessel for healing to take place, and later I learned that I was capable of animal communication. (As I processed my devastating grief over her passing I became consciously aware of the intimate psychic connection we had enjoyed throughout her life.) Laying my hands on Ginger and allowing healing energy to flow through me set the stage for me to meet my wonderful human teachers and receive the conscious training and direction I needed to deepen my awareness. The strength of the intuitive practice that Ginger instilled in me allowed me to easily step into the teachings of Reiki and integrate the energy seamlessly with my own on the conscious level.

As I reflect on my 10 years of working with Reiki, I know that no other practice has done more for me, personally and professionally, to promote my health, well-being and happiness. Yes, my practice now includes other modalities, especially a deep connection working with Shamanism, but it all began with me as a young girl loving my dog, wanting to help her feel better and doing the best thing I could imagine: offering her light and love. Ginger opened the door for me to connect deeply with her, and in doing so, I discovered Reiki, which in turn led me to grow in my purpose, my empowerment, my health and how I work in service to the world. And for all of that, I can only ever be eternally humble and enormously grateful to Ginger, my first teacher.

Politics, Spiritual Awakening and Dark Teachers

Originally published on Eagle Song March 7, 2016.

This is not a post about politics. This is a post about looking at the current political climate through the lens of a Spiritual seeker/mentor.

Throughout my whole life, politics have never interested me. I don’t really understand them, I have never followed election season (except at the last minute to do just enough research to make an informed voting decision), and I definitely don’t involve myself in discussions about policy.

This election season, however, I find myself absolutely fascinated. Not by the ravings of a racist, misogynist businessman-turned-politician, but by the clear duality between two very different ideologies that is presenting itself for examination, and the opportunity that comes with it.

I should say at this point that I am pro-Bernie all the way. #feelthebern #berniesanders

When I first found out that Drumpf was running in the primaries, I was amused. “Yeah, right. That won’t last long. There’s no way that people would vote for someone like that,” I thought.

I have since been watching the primaries with a growing degree of incredulity. I wondered how on earth it was possible that a person who embodies so much hatred, manipulation, deceit and a total lack of ethics could be gaining so much support.

When I consider the voting pool and how many people out there have yet to delve into their Shadow work, it makes sense to me that they would vote for a person like Drumpf. Imagine all the unexamined wounds, the ancestral traumas, the pain and hatred and blame and self-destructive tendencies that live inside us until we are ready to look at and release them. Most people aren’t willing to do so, and so these Shadows continue to reside and grow within us. All of a sudden, this person comes along who is using his public platform to say all the things your Shadow has ever wanted to express. Of course you would resonate with that message, because your Shadow is running the show! Through his hate speech, this candidate is offering validation to the inner Shadow of all these deeply wounded people.

Let’s take things further and look at the situation from the cosmic perspective. Why is it that this person is appearing now to bring so much hatred and violence to the surface of our collective consciousness?

I believe that Drumpf is here as a Dark Teacher to catalyze within the general population a massive movement toward Spiritual Awakening.

Let me give you a brief personal example. I encountered another such catalyst in my own life a few years ago. At that point, I was already well on my path of Spiritual work and investigation. I had been a practicing Reiki Master for about five years and was in the process of developing my work with Channeling and stepping more deeply into consciously working with Shamanic energies. Nonetheless, when I met a charming, beautiful narcissistic sociopath, I ignored all my intuitive warning bells and fell into relationship with him very quickly. I was with him for only a couple of months, but that was plenty of time for me to step away from my guidance and become deeply drawn into an abusive, manipulative relationship full of coercion and me wondering why I didn’t feel connected to Spirit around this person. Thankfully, I figured it out in time to leave with no lasting damage and with rock-solid commitment to always staying in alignment with my Highest Self and my guidance. I refer to that experience as one of my Underworld Initiations and to that person as my Dark Teacher.

After ending that relationship, it came to light that this person had followed a similar pattern of abuse and manipulation with several people in the community. Long story short, examining the collective Shadow was the catalyst that led to healing for many, and my Dark Teacher was later arrested for domestic assault. My healing process included a lot of asking how a person like that can exist in the world, and what the cosmic purpose is behind it all.

I would consider Drumpf to be another Dark Teacher who is offering society an amazing opportunity to confront our individual and collective Shadows. Knowing that everyone has a purpose, and that ultimately everything works for the Highest and Greatest Good, I have to believe that people like Drumpf and my ex are here to offer themselves in service by embodying the Darkness so deeply that they catalyze transformation and awakening in the masses. In my own case, even though I was already “awakened,” I can credit that situation with cementing in me the certainty that I will always work in service to the Highest and Greatest Good, always stay attuned to Spirit, and always work for healing for myself and others. That was the medicine I needed to receive to bring my Shadow into the Light for healing.

So I have to ask how many people out there, especially those who might be considered more “moderate,” or those who haven’t yet found a reason to examine their beliefs more closely, are being catalyzed by Drumpf’s hate speech into Awakening? How many people like me are there, who may not generally prioritize politics as worthy of my attention, who are called into action in the face of such darkness to use every opportunity available to invite people to connect with each other in love and compassion? How many people see (whether consciously or subconsciously) the choice with which we are presented, and are seizing the opportunity to step into alignment with community, Truth, accountability and togetherness? How many people are experiencing their Spiritual Awakening as a result of this Dark Teacher’s work and the political climate?

There’s a video I like of an interview with Bernie Sanders, where he says, “My Spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me.” In my mind, this quote epitomizes the duality with which we are presented: the choice between separation and connection, between violence and peace, between manipulation and accountability, between hatred and compassion. Watch the video here.

Let us choose connection, peace, accountability, compassion, community, Truth and Love. Let us choose to Awaken, offer gratitude to our Dark Teachers and forgiveness to our wounds, and stand in alignment with our Highest Selves. Let us receive the medicine we need in order to commit to working for the Highest and Greatest Good of ourselves and of all.

I am currently accepting clients for my three month long intensive transformation healing program, New Moon Rising. In our work together, you will receive energetic healing, coaching and practices to help you through your Spiritual Awakening or Deepening. Together, we will examine old wounds, ancestral traumas and offer gratitude to your Dark Teachers for their medicine in helping you confront your Shadow. We all have one, and it’s time to bring yours into the Light to be healed.

Contact me for a consultation to work one-on-one and commit to yourself and your journey.

Many blessings,

Michelle

Embodiment

Originally published on Eagle Song March 6, 2016.

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. 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.

(For the purposes of this article, I only talk about human Divine Embodied Beings, but plants, animals, crystals, minerals, etc are also Divine Embodied Beings.)

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 the energetic part of their process that they haven’t bothered to bring their physical bodies up to speed yet.

So let’s talk about the purpose and importance of Embodiment practice from a Spiritual perspective.

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.

One of the ways we can support both parts of ourselves simultaneously is through Embodied Meditation. Absolutely any activity can be a form of Embodied Meditation, if you hold the intention for it. When students or clients tell me that they’re “bad at meditating,” I ask them what activities they enjoy, and what brings them peace. Often the answers include things like walking outside, gardening, yoga or going for a run. I tell them that these are all wonderful forms of Embodied Meditation, and when they do these activities, to practice bringing intention and mindfulness to the exercise.

My favorite form of embodied meditation is dancing. And I’m not talking about the kind of dancing where you sort of stand there awkwardly and shift your weight from side to side. I’m not even talking about structured dances with certain steps and standards of correct form. I’m talking about allowing your body to move in whatever way it feels called, whether or not it’s pretty. The kind of dance where you feel energy coursing through your veins, filling your cells and making your chakras spin and glow. The kind of dance where, as you start shaking, you feel all the blockages and stagnant energy inside yourself start to melt and release into the floor. Dancing until you are drenched in sweat and your hair is full of tears from crying as you allow powerful energy to rush through you, releasing old wounds. Dancing and channeling our ancestors who danced for thousands of years before us to honor their bodies, honor Spirit and feel alive. Dancing until you drop in so deeply that you enter a trance state and forget completely who and where you are, and all that exists is movement.

Needless to say, I start more slowly with my clients and we work up to trance dancing when/if they’re ready. I teach some basic practices and help my clients find what works best for them. Some forms of Embodied Meditation can be relatively peaceful, like gentle yoga. Some are more playful, like my friend’s game of “Zen rock-hopping” (jumping from stone to stone through a river or stream. As he says, if you think about it too much, you get wet). Others are fairly extreme, like my roommate running 100-mile races. She told me about one instance, about 70 miles in, were she started seeing ghosts coming out of the ground. But what is the point of activities like that? No matter what form it takes, why do we need embodied meditation?

Physical practices like these unite the part of us that is Embodied with the part of us that is Divine. When we bring our Spirit and our intention to an embodied practice, we can move energy through our physical system. It is the perfect union of tangible and intangible, working across the hemispheres of our brains and across whatever barriers we have put between our energetic awareness and our bodies.

Throughout my whole life, I have had some form of physical practice. Whether it was being part of a sports team or doing activities by myself, I always knew that I felt happier and healthier when I took care of my body. When I officially began my Reiki practice in 2006, it took a few years for me to make the connection between the energetic work I was doing and the physical process of moving energy through my body. There were times when I would do all I could with Reiki to release stagnant energies, but until I went for a run and flushed them from my system, they were stuck. In the last several years I have come to a deep understanding of how physically shaking and sweating old energies out of me is just as important to the healing process as the energy work itself. We are Divine Embodied Beings, and in order to be whole, we must honor all parts of ourselves.

I used to only teach Embodiment practices to my private clients as part of our work together, but I recently included an Embodied Meditation workshop in my Shamanic Reiki Apprentice Program.

Contact me to book a consultation to work one-on-one with me, or if you’re interested in taking classes. In the meantime, I encourage you to look at your physical practice with a new perspective, through the lens of yourself as a Divine Embodied Being. See you on the dance floor.

Love and Sex Magic

Originally published on Eagle Song November 14, 2015.

In the last several months, I have had so many fantastic conversations with various amazing women about Love Magic and Sex Magic. Just the other night I was speaking with a new friend, a lovely empath who is self-employed as a sex worker, and halfway through the evening I realized I should have been recording our entire conversation because it would have made a fascinating podcast episode. And last week I spent an afternoon catching up with two medicine sisters, both powerful healers, one of whom has worked for years as a professional dominatrix in New York. Add to that my weekly women’s group meeting (where one of the members is a dancer who works at a popular strip club in town) and the recent conversations with medicine sisters not employed in the sex industry (Shamans, empaths and lightworkers all), and the result is an amazing picture of the true depth of healing power that comes from the Divine Feminine when she works through Love and Sex Magic. Holy cow.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that my healing and energy work was as deeply integrated into my sexual and love relationships as it was into every other aspect of my life. After all, just because I wasn’t consciously “doing a healing session” on my partner doesn’t mean that healing work was not taking place, maybe on a deeper level than either of us realized. Purely by virtue of the fact that I am who I am–a Shaman who has committed her life to working in service to Self and Spirit and offering healing to the collective consciousness of All That Is–anyone who spends time with me, or comes into contact with my writing or any other manifestation of my work in the world, will receive the ripple effect of my healing work.

I think my first conscious inkling of the fact occurred sometime early this year, when my partner at the time mentioned something about my “Reiki hands.” We were cuddling in bed and I had my hand laying flat on his chest, right over his heart. “What do you mean, my ‘Reiki hands’?” I asked, pulling my hand away to look at it, as if that would explain his observation.

“There–you took your hand away, and the difference is just as if your hand were heavy and you removed a weight. Not in a bad way, but in that it has a definite presence,” he said.

“But I wasn’t intending to do Reiki on you,” I replied, obtusely.

“It doesn’t seem to matter,” he replied, smiling. “Your Reiki is so in you… it’s just there.”

Even after that conversation, it took me until just recently to cultivate a more tangible awareness of the concept. Prompted by some summer romances that all included some serious “I have no idea what the hell just happened” moments of moving massive amounts of energy, I began to consider things in the light of sex magic to see if the idea offered any more information.

As soon as I looked at my romantic and sexual history through the lens of treating these interactions as healing experiences, the pattern became clear. I mean stupid obvious. Here were all these men, most of whom would never think to seek out my help in a professional context, who needed deep healing. So instead of hiring me, they showed up in my life to receive healing work through the magic of love and sex.

It also helped me gain some serious perspective when my medicine sisters and I shared our stories of love and sex magic. I finally recognized the difference between a love relationship in which healing occurs as a function of the love already present, and a healing relationship in which love manifests as a means for the healing to take place. I realized that most of the confusing terminations to many of my relationships could be attributed to that very distinction: I have always operated from the place of being in a loving relationship where healing happened to take place, and I see now that many of these encounters actually existed in the realm of a healing relationship where love existed as a means to facilitate the healing. No wonder it didn’t work out.

But, through this lens, I’ve been able to fully appreciate the depth of some of the healing that has taken place, both for these men and for myself. I am absolutely amazed at the beautiful opportunities for growth, safety, awareness, transparency and healing of all kinds that have resulted from the love and sex magic that I have shared with them. The more I learn, the more firmly I believe that Love and Sex Magic are some of the most potent forms of alchemy available to humankind.

This new awareness of mine has also served to offer healing to my understanding of past relationships that either ended painfully or in confusion. The most recent example is my latest partner. He and I had our third round of breakup two weeks ago, after dating on and off for a year and a half. The more I move through the process of grieving and bringing understanding to this relationship, the more apparent it becomes that this was a healing relationship in which love manifested as a means for the healing to take place. This in no way diminishes or makes any less real the love we have for each other–this man helped me discover the depth of my heart and my enormous capacity for love–but I’m realizing more and more all the ways in which it was truly a healing interaction. We showed up for each other in some enormously powerful circumstances, and I will be lovingly grateful for the rest of my life, but healing was always the primary driver of the relationship. And that’s exactly how it needed to be.

I have also noticed (and conversations with medicine sisters have confirmed that they have seen this as well) that, when love and sex magic create opportunities for healing, people don’t always take them. I suppose this is the case when an opportunity for healing becomes available through any means, but the circumstance when someone says no to healing created through love and sex magic results in its own kind of tension, especially when misunderstanding about the nature of the relationship comes into play. Of course, humans on this planet have the power of free will and may choose whatever windows of opportunity they wish to pursue (or not), but not accepting the energies offered through love and sex magic holds its own brand of pain for all involved. (Unless the sexual healing takes place in a professional context, and I’ll return to this idea later.)

Again, I will use the example of my latest partner. Knowing what I do now about the primary energy of our relationship being that of healing, it’s easier for me to see all the ways in which we were in service to each other. At the time, however, I saw how much I wanted for him to fully step into his power so he could show up completely for his own life and for me. I spent the majority of the relationship waiting around for him to take this window of opportunity that I was creating for him with the magic of my love, but he never did.

And that is entirely his decision. Even though the relationship included some serious pain, I have zero regrets about spending the time and energy that I did with this person. After all, I still love him deeply, and I am working to transmute it into a love free from attachment and in complete acceptance of the healing nature of our relationship. And with this new layer of understanding, I feel as though I am more capable of receiving all the gifts he offered me while we were together, and of seeing all the ways in which love magic works below the surface.

I have also had experiences with other people who shy away from fully immersing themselves in the opportunities created by the healing of love and sex magic. Their interaction with me prompts an energetic shift in their awareness that scares them, or brings up something that they are not prepared to confront, or a decision that they are not ready to make. I briefly dated a man last year who had so much shame boil to the surface about his struggle with cocaine addiction that he could no longer see me. Another man earlier this year experienced some strong emotions after being intimate with me. The sensation overwhelmed him and he shut down in fear, despite my efforts to help him place his feelings in a healthy context.

This is where I return to the idea of professionally facilitated sexual healing. In speaking with both my dominatrix and sex worker friends, they said that creating the space for healing to occur through sex was the majority of their job (whether their clients realized it or not…mostly not). My dancer friend and I have also talked at length about the safe healing container that she facilitates when interacting with her customers. In each circumstance, these women use sex magic to create a window of opportunity for healing for their clients, who may then choose to accept it or not. Hearing about some of the profound personal breakthroughs and revelations that these men experience under the guidance of facilitated sex work is absolutely fantastic. It was fascinating to speak about the trauma work I’ve done with my clients and to hear from the dominatrix perspective about how BDSM can be such an amazing tool for healing deep shadow. When people accept the opportunities created for their healing, healing occurs. And love and sex magic work on some of the deepest wounds known to humanity.

Who exists in the world who does not need some type of healing? And how much of that pain and trauma could be released through the powerful alchemy of love and sex magic? I’m not necessarily advocating that people go out and hire sex workers, but if that’s your thing, go for it. Rather, I will absolutely advocate for bringing impeccable awareness to the healing potential of love and sexual relationships. Through some serious oversight on my part, the idea never occurred to me that, “I am a healer and healing is present in all aspects of my life, therefore healing is present in my love and sex life. The same awareness and capacity for healing which I hold to the rest of my interpersonal relationships must be present in my romantic and sexual relationships as well.”

I already feel the effects of this new awareness (particularly around the distinction between love relationships where healing happens, and healing relationships where love manifests) and I look forward to implementing these ideas in my experiences moving forward. I have yet to see a limit to the depths to which we humans can reflect each other. Love and sex magic are some of the most potent forms of alchemy, and when used with deep awareness and understanding, the opportunities for reflection and healing are endless.