Channeling

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

What I Learned From Dancing With Angels

I'm feeling very tender and hypersensitive today.

But spending the weekend holding ceremony, communing with spirits, dancing with Angels and opening a Galactic channel will do that to you, I suppose.

I had the pleasure and honor of being invited to attend ceremony this past weekend with one of the foremost experts in Spiritism and Mediumship in the country. The weekend was a whirlwind of visions, healing, working in the astral plane and connecting with the Divine. I am being guided to share one particular message with you.

Part of the ceremony involved opening up the circle to practice Mediumship. For a more detailed discussion on the practice, please see this episode of Shaman Sister Sessions. In short, Mediumship is a process of opening oneself up to become available to connect with energetic forces, spirits, Angels, etc. In opening myself to practice Mediumship, I issued an invitation to Spirit to direct me in whatever way would serve the Highest and Greatest Good.

During a particular part of the ceremony, people were invited to come sit around the altar and open themselves to channel. I felt a nudge from Spirit to go to the altar, but the particular seat I wanted was already filled by someone else. I felt the nudge again, but still, I didn't move. Finally, I felt someone shove me in the back, making me fall forward out of my seat. Taking the hint, I went to kneel at the open space in front of the altar.

Immediately, I felt a rush of energy as my body began to move. I have experienced trance dance before, but never like this. I could feel beings moving my body to create a flow of energetic current, and I knew that they were Angels who had come to dance with me. After a few minutes, the song ended, and my body returned to relative stillness.

The music began again, and once more, the Angels started to dance my body. This time, I felt my mind creep in with its concern. "I'm only supposed to be at the altar for one song. I should go back to my seat and give someone else a turn." Immediately, however, the Angels responded with the knowledge that I was in exactly the right place, and they would release me when the time was right. I relaxed back into the dance, then felt that concern creep up in my mind again. I opened my eyes a tiny crack and saw that no one else at the altar was moving, and my mind seized upon the idea that not only was I hogging altar space, but I was the weirdo who was dancing while doing it.

Again, I felt the Angels calm my mind. They told me without words that I was in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing, and to continue to trust and be guided. Once more, I relaxed and allowed myself to be moved in the most beautiful dance, conducting the energy current through my body.

When the song ended the second time, I returned to stillness, and the Angels released me to go back to my seat.

What is the message from that experience? Drumroll, please:

As long as we practice trust and surrender to our guidance, we will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

That was one of my biggest takeaways of the weekend. I cannot overstate this, so I'll repeat it as a mantra that I invite you to say to yourself out loud:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Yes, our minds may creep in to make us doubt ourselves. Our human brains are very good at trying to keep us safe and make us question things that seem beyond reason or control. That is, after all, their job. But guidance exists beyond reason or control, and the Divine forces we invoke possess no human limitations or concept of shame or social correctness.

As I integrate the energies and messages from ceremony, I'll be asking myself the following questions (and I invite you to do the same):

  • Where in my life am I in alignment with my guidance?
  • Where in my life am I not in alignment with my guidance?
  • How can I more fully practice trust and surrender in order to bring myself into alignment with my guidance in all areas of my life?
  • What is required for me to show up differently to practice trust and surrender with ease and grace?
  • Where can I call guidance into my life in order to support me in embodying the Highest and Greatest Good?

And one more time, for good measure:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Many blessings!

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.