Portland

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers...

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers on the Path

Nobody ever told me this.

In my 15+ years practicing Shamanic work, 12 years practicing Reiki and 9 years owning and operating my own business, not one single person ever gave me this piece of advice.

Which I find hilarious, because it's one of the most common pieces of advice that I'm offering to my Spiritual Mentorship clients.

As I continue to work with more and more people in a mentorship capacity (healers, coaches, practitioners, both those who are new to their practice and those who are well-established but wanting to serve more), one glaring commonality keeps coming up:

"I can't ____________________ until/because _______________________."

I can't start taking clients until I make a website.
I can't start offering sessions because I'm not totally clear on my niche yet.
I can't do healing work for other people until I've healed myself.
I can't take clients until I've practiced more and am really good at ______ first.
I can't _________ because I don't have a certification.
I can't quit my job because my healing practice isn't where I want it to be yet.
I can't shift the focus of my work because I'm known for __________.
I can't introduce this new practice I'm really excited about because it means I will lose clients who are used to me serving in a certain way.
I can't ___________ because the market is saturated and a bajillion people do that.

Do any of those sound familiar?

We humans are really, really good at coming up with reasons why we shouldn't do something that will stretch us, challenge us and move us in a direction of growth and expansion. I'm not sure if healer/coach/service-types are more prone to this (or if maybe that's just who I hang out with), but I can't tell you how many people over the years I have heard give all sorts of reasons why they can't offer their work.

Believe me, I do this, too! I have been through all sorts of my own versions of these statements over the years. They still come up, but I've learned to recognize them and move through them with a smile.

How?

Okay, so this #1 piece of advice actually comes in four parts. Here they are:

1. There is no "arrival."

Many of these "I can't" statements are conditional upon some sort of "arrival" or achievement--the idea that we must reach some sort of arbitrary finish line in order to finally offer our work or service.  Here's the kicker: the finish line keeps moving.

The more we know, the more we realize we don't know. (Or maybe that's just me.) We think that getting that certification will finally enable us to do this work, and then once we have it, we think we need another training on top of that, and then  we need to go study this supplementary practice, and then go train with XYZ expert in the field...

Guess what: we are never "done." There is no "arrival." There is no "I am finally qualified because I have all the certifications and know every little thing so now I can officially open my practice and start helping people!!"

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, or has stopped growing, themselves.

You don't have to have all the answers to be a good healer/coach/practitioner/whatever. And while there might be some fields where certification or licensure is required by law, for the most part, you probably don't actually need to cross whatever arbitrary finish line you created for yourself in order to serve the people you want to help.

In fact, by waiting to offer your work until you've "arrived," you are making yourself unavailable to the people who need you.

Which leads me to...

2. Just do the thing!

Yup. It's that simple. Just start offering your work. Don't wait until you figure out exactly what you're offering, don't wait until you have a website, don't wait until you quit your corporate job, don't wait until you've healed yourself completely (see #1).

...because the best way for you to figure out what you're offering is to get immediate, direct feedback from doing the work.
...because the best way to make your website is once you already have a clear vision of how you are supporting people.
...because the best driver and inspiration for you to leave your corporate job to do the thing you love is doing the thing you love.
...because we are never done our healing journey. It is possible to be a phenomenal healer and still be on the path ourselves. In fact, it is impossible to be a phenomenal healer and NOT be on the path.

By simply doing the thing, eventually you will...

3. Master your craft.

Mastery comes from practice. There is no shortcut. There is no other way around it. Stop looking for a magic quick fix.

...and enjoy the journey of discovery! What happens when we treat the process and practice as the goal itself, instead of any imagined end result?

  • We allow ourselves to be fully present within the process.
  • We treat ourselves with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We treat others with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We are able to practice our craft with curiosity and awareness, as opposed to judgement and comparison.
  • We release attachment to outcome and take pressure off ourselves.
  • We usually enjoy ourselves more.
  • We get really freaking good at the thing we are practicing.

When we treat Mastery as a journey of practice, rather than any sort of state of enlightenment, it becomes more accessible to us and to our potential clients. I can guarantee you that anyone would rather work with you, the human who is practicing and mastering their craft all the time, than the all-enlightened-super-perfect-master-on-the-mountaintop. You've got this.

Which leads me to (most important part!!!)...

4. Let your I AM be your Medicine.

In other words, let your most authentic, fully expressed Self be your service. Yes. It's that simple. YOU, yourself, are the best Medicine you could offer.

As long as I'm making guarantees, I guarantee that there is someone out there who needs you, exactly as you are, to support them on their path. Not the version of you who looks cool on Instagram. Not the version of you who seems to have their whole life together. Not the version of you who has finally "arrived." (See #1.)

You, in your I AM, as your fully expressed Self, are ready to offer your Original Medicine to the world. Let that be enough.

Because it is enough.

Because you are enough.

This is one of the biggest challenges I have faced, personally and professionally: the idea that my Self, my I AM, exactly as I AM, is the perfect Medicine for me to offer. That it can really be that simple.

And the more that I have embraced my I AM and allowed my Original Medicine to come through in my work:

  • I trust myself more than I ever though possible.
  • I AM supporting myself and my clients through even bigger life challenges and changes with ease.
  • I have dramatically upleveled my practice and my business to greater degrees of alignment, effectiveness and grace.
  • My work is even more subtle, even more powerful and more enjoyable for me and my clients.
  • I AM experiencing more freedom of choice, time, resources and abundance.
  • I feel more authentically embodied in my life and my practice than ever before.

What would that version of your life be like? What would that version of your practice feel like?

Can you let your Self be enough?

If this advice resonates with you, I would like to offer you an invitation:

Next week, on Monday, August 13, I will open applications for I AM Medicine: the fall iteration of my Spiritual Mentorship work that begins September 4th. There is space in this work for you to explore your own I AM and claim your Original Medicine.

Are you ready to release any sense of "arrival?" Are you ready to just do the thing you have been waiting on? Are you ready to master your craft? Are you ready to let your most authentic Self be enough?

Any good mentor is walking the path with you, and I promise that I AM right here on this journey, too.

Peek Behind the Veil: What happens at I AM Alchemy Retreat?

I just got back from our second four day retreat with my I AM Alchemy 2018 students, and I feel...

...full of energy, enjoyment, grace, and amazing food.

...inspired by my amazing students, by my personal takeaways, and by the body of knowledge itself.

...supported by my wonderful Shaman Sister, Katherine Bird, and by Ruthanne and Heaven and Earth Retreats.

...eager to share the magic with you!

Here's a sneak peek inside what goes on during a magical I AM Alchemy retreat:

Every morning, we began our day with Qi Gong practice lead by guest instructor Katherine Bird. Kat brought us practices from her Medical Qi Gong studies to support the energetic work. During this retreat, part of our focus included working with the Three Essentials (Salt, Mercury and Sulfur) and our personal Planetary Constitution. Here, Kat introduces us to the philosophy behind our movement practice:

We learned how to calculate the personal planetary constitution of everyone in the class, based on the Alchemical doctrine of Planetary Rulership. This includes primary archetypal influences, personal "power hours," and supporting the energies with corresponding metals, herbs, colors, foods and embodiment practices...

I AM Alchemy Retreat Teachings Planetary Correspondence
I AM Alchemy Retreat Planetary Constitution Moon Mars

 

...Then we studied  the necessary correspondences to support our personal Salt, Mercury and Sulfur Level Planetary Forces. I'm a double Moon plus Mars, which explains a lot.

I AM Alchemy Retreat Class Lightworker Portland Alchemist

We played games and found out who among us is competitive (hint: 2/3 of Team Mars, big surprise). We ate incredible food, we did intuitive readings and healing work for each other, we took a stargazing stroll and saw Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. We laughed a lot and witnessed each other through our joy and our tears. We examined our personal and professional practices in light of this mystery school and renewed our commitments to Self and Spirit as wayshowers for a New Earth.

I AM Alchemy Retreat Altar Ceremony Oracle Magic Eclipse Vision Quest

We all took an afternoon of solo ritual space to Vision Quest and practice journey work to step into this next initiation phase of our course. Everyone worked some pretty powerful magic and came back with epiphanies, commitments, messages from Guides and new, powerful energies to supercharge the next stage of the journey.

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Personal Practice Journaling Alchemist Teaching Portland

 

 

The weekend included plenty of time for journaling and personal reflection. In such a beautiful setting, you can't help but breathe a little deeper, tune in to a more subtle awareness and just let yourself simply be.

 

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Portland Alchemist Magic Spirit Synchronicity

 

 

There were signs and synchronicities everywhere! We received plenty of visits from animal guides, whispers from Spirit, and massive inputs of eclipse energy. Every sign felt like a message from Source, saying "you're on the right track. Enjoy the journey."

 

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Heaven and Earth Portland Alchemist Training Teaching Magic

 

 

Plus, we got to wake up with this right outside every morning. Check out the view from my bed:

 

 

I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, nourishing, inspiring retreat experience! This work is so much FUN, and I get to share it with a cohort of passionate, powerful students who are changing their lives and changing the world. It is truly an honor and a joy to dive deeper and deeper into this work. I AM Alchemy is stretching me, pushing me and inspiring me to uplevel my practice and my craft in ways I never imagined. What a journey.

If you're interested in I AM Alchemy 2019, get on the wait list here!

I'll be taking the next few days to rest and integrate! Catch you in August.

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!

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!

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!

Identity Structure

This article is a follow-up exercise to my last post.

What makes up an Identity Structure?

Identity structures are exactly what you'd imagine: they're all the parts of ourselves that constitute any component of what we might identify as "Self." Some of the things included in our identity structures are:

-Physical body: What container do you live in?
-Emotional body: How do you feel about things?
-Mental body: What do you think about things?
-Energy body: What is your vibration and how does it respond to the world?
-Thoughts and beliefs: How do you think and feel about the world?
-Relationships: What role do you play in other people's identity structures and what roles do they play in yours?
-Childhood/past events: What formative experiences shaped your beliefs about the world?
-Memories: What is your subjective interpretation of past events?
-How you spend your time: Sacred Work/job, activities, pastimes... what do you do with your precious days?
-Language: What words do you use to speak about yourself and your existence?
-Interests: What captivates your attention?
...and SO many more!

Understanding Your Identity Structure

In order for us to work with the nuances of identity structure, we have to know what comprises the foundation of our Being. Here's my best advice to you:

Start with ONE of the points above. With your journal, sit quietly in meditative space and write intuitively about what comes up for you when you examine that facet of Self. For example, if you were to choose the "Memories" option, you might ask yourself, "What are some of the strongest memories I have from my childhood? What emotions are attached to those memories? What do those memories say about me? How do I feel about them?"

After you feel complete, review what you wrote and notice what jumps out at you. Is there any new information there? What themes do you notice? Does what you wrote feel positive and in alignment with a healthy identity structure? Does it feel as though it needs some further investigation and support to be fully processed and integrated?

The Outcome of Working with Identity Structure

Why do we do this? Ultimately, knowing who we are on all levels and allowing it to be witnessed is what lets us live our fullest expression. By diving deep and asking ourselves, "Who am I?" we create space for healing, processing and a healthy way of being in the world for ourselves and for everyone else.

Identity: The Dangers of Suppression

"Who am I?"

No small question, to be sure.

I spend a lot of time thinking, teaching, speaking and writing about identity and its manifestations in myself and my clients. Who are you as a healer? How does your Soul's Mission express itself? What parts of your Medicine are ready to be claimed? These are all sub-questions of that core inquiry: Who am I?

Up until recently, the concept of identity seemed to me to only be a net positive process of investigation. In other words, of course it's a good thing for people to discover and claim all parts of themselves! A few weeks ago, however, I had a startling revelation that has drastically altered my viewpoint on the universal implications of claiming our identities.

In the way that we remain casually connected with people through social media, I saw the coming-out declaration of an old classmate of mine. In a lovely and articulate post, she introduced herself as a transgender woman and showed her true face to the world. One line in particular struck me deeply: "This past year, as I approached my 30th birthday, I realized that while everyone else was exceedingly happy with who I was, I was decidedly not, and, if I didn't do something about it, I knew I wouldn't make it to my 40th."

As the implications of this sunk in, I realized that while it is not only a positive and healthy thing for us to claim and honor our identities, NOT doing so is not a neutral choice, it is an ACTIVELY DETRIMENTAL and DANGEROUS one. The results of suppressing or ignoring any part of our true selves are damaging and potentially life-threatening.

I was staggered. Something had clicked for me in a new way as I thought about all the means that so many of us take to shut down or stifle parts of ourselves. When it comes to our fundamental existence, there is no such thing as neutral: we are living and thriving, or we are withering and dying.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let's think about this from the societal perspective. The way we behave and the choices we make in the world gives permission and sets the tone for other people to do the same. We are resonant beings whose frequencies respond to each other, so when people in a society are well, happy and fulfilled, it ripples out to others. The same is true for disharmonious frequencies. When people are unwell, unhappy and suppressed, that ripples out as well.

It is imperative, therefore, not only for our own health and well-being, but for that of ALL beings, that we choose to fully claim and honor all parts of our identities. If we don't, they wither, and we collectively create a society of slowly dying people.

I say this not to induce despair, but to emphasize the vital nature of this question: "Who am I?" If we don't fully know who we are, how can we honor those deepest parts of ourselves? How can we give life to and nurture the many faces of our infinitely complex being? How can we grow and thrive and, together, cultivate a society where all beings are inspired and given permission to fully express the truth of their hearts?

From one Warrior of the Light to another, I promise to keep asking myself that question every day so I can continue to honor all parts of my being. I do so not only for myself, but for the health and well-being of ALL beings.

So I ask you, now:

Who are you?
 

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.

I Am Not A Musician

I AM NOT A MUSICIAN.

…or so I keep telling myself, but my relationship to music and the way it manifests through me seems to be up for reconsideration.

I love to sing. My voice has always been my chosen musical medium, and other than my ceremonial hand drum, I have only ever played an instrument with the intention of providing a background for song to pour through me. Over the last several years as I stepped more fully into the practice of channeling healing songs during my energy work, what began as a few hesitant notes and chants eventually grew in fluency and fluidity. They now flow effortlessly in a cascade of moving energy to support nurturing, catharsis, activation, clearing and death. The healing songs I bring forth have given a voice to the grief, joy, innocence, pain, sweetness, rage and love of my clients (and of myself). Sometimes these songs have words, but mostly they consist of a blend of syllables and tones that provide some semblance of structure to an otherwise formless melody. While there might be similar themes, most of the songs are completely new in the moment and leave my consciousness as soon as they pour out of my throat. One or two, however, have come through so often and so strongly that I know them as allies that are here to stay and can call upon them consciously.

So, you might ask, what is it that has me meditating on the medicine of music? Let me take you through some standout events of the past week.

Last Friday, I attended a gong meditation and sound healing bath. I absolutely love these events and always go deep with the sound healing, and this was no exception. Despite the volume and intensity of the gong, I fell asleep, as I do when receiving deep healing. When I awoke near the end of the event, I suddenly heard a chorus of flutes within the shimmering tones of the gong. I listened, transfixed, and perceived the melodies of the ancestors making their way through the gong vibration. I felt my body respond with subtle shifts and releases as the sound of flutes intensified.

The next evening, I went to the closing ceremony of Sun Gate studio. In addition to the beautiful community container and celebration of the space, this wonderful event featured some amazing live music. As I drank in the deep heart songs, I heard that same chorus of ancestral flutes! Someone there was playing the flute, but what came through was much richer and more ancient than a single instrument and I knew that the ancestors were making their presence known. Later in the evening as other musicians shared their medicine, I experienced similar sensations of seeing/knowing/feeling the space from which they were channeling, and feeling that intimate connection with my own version of bringing forth healing songs.

Also at this event, I ran into a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in a while. He is a wonderful cellist, and we have enjoyed the occasional singing and playing together. He asked me, “Michelle, when are we going to make some music together?” I told him I don’t play an instrument, and he said “Well yeah, I know, but you sing.” I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember the feelings of resistance and shame and shyness that rushed through me, because after all, I’m not a musician and would have nothing to offer.

Fast forward a couple of days to a conversation with a friend. I don’t remember how the conversation arrived at this point, but he said something to the effect of “You’re going to sing during your speech” (meaning the speech that I gave yesterday at Embrace Festival) and my reaction was along the lines of “Haha, yeah right. I’m not a musician.”

The conference began on Friday, and the very first speaker was a woman from Australia who captivated me with her heartfelt talk on nonviolent direct action… and the pieces of songs of Australian First People that she wove into her talk.

Yesterday, I gave my speech at the conference, and as my friend predicted, I sang onstage. It was entirely unplanned, but as I gave my talk, I realized that I was actually offering a group healing session to the audience. In typical fashion, a healing song poured out of me. That was the first time I had ever sung a healing song in any kind of public context—a fact that didn’t register with me until just now.

Last night, I received some more deep medicine of powerful heart music during the Embrace Festival closing ceremony. I enjoyed every musical offering, but hearing Peia and the profound ancestral magic that poured out of her left me dissolving and raw.

…oh, and yesterday, a friend with whom I haven’t spoken in several months got in touch out of the blue to ask if I wanted to buy her ukulele.

…and the woman from Australia, after hearing me sing a healing song during my talk, said she wanted to give me some songs, so we sang magic together as we walked through the streets of downtown Portland.

I don’t really need to be a “musician.” I don’t even know what that means. But I do think my relationship to song and the way in which I share it with the world is up for reexamination. I know I cracked at least a few people open from giving my talk, and song medicine was a part of that. Given my philosophy on radical transparency (the reason I publish all the personal musings), if anyone anywhere could benefit even a little bit from me sharing a story, no matter how vulnerable, then I share it. I think the same goes for song. I have no idea what that looks like moving forward, but I will hold space for it to manifest in its perfect space and time.

Words—my normal, comfortable means of communication and a significant component of my medicine—seem to be failing me at the moment. The same thing happened repeatedly last week whenever the music cracked me wide open (as it did a few times) and I was left trying to communicate that which exists beyond words. Better quit while I’m ahead and leave it to a song for another time.

Intuitive Super Powers

What are some aspects of your intuition that you would like to cultivate?

Seriously, please share :)

A couple of years ago, I came across an old journal of mine from when I was about 13 years old. When I opened it to reminisce, I saw that the first page contained a list I had written, detailing the super powers that I wanted to have. I had organized them into categories and made notes about the possible combinations of these super powers and how they might inform and support each other. Here is the list:
ANIMALS
-Being able to talk to them
-Take on an animal shape
PLANTS
-Making medicine/using them for healing
-Helping them grow
PEOPLE
-Reading minds/telepathy
-Healing
-Giving energy
OTHER
-Flying
-Time travel
-Seeing future (drawings, poems, songs, visions, dreams, other methods of divination)
-Communicating with other worlds

The fact that I wrote this list as a 13 year old (and more importantly, the fact that I now practice most of these, and many more) blows my mind. From a fairly young age, I had a clearly defined idea of the “super powers” that I wanted to cultivate, most of them related to developing my intuition. Over the intervening years, I forgot about this list, but I somehow ended up finding the appropriate circumstances, teachers and guides to help me awaken these intuitive abilities.

So I invite you to consider what super powers you have always wanted to cultivate. What intuitive abilities do you wish you could awaken? Maybe your psychic vision is very clear—would you like to grow your clairaudience as well?

Please share--I am genuinely curious! And if you feel called, please join me on Sunday, March 26, for my workshop on Sensory Intuition. Register here.

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.