Prayer

Personal Accountability in the Face of Tragedy

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

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

  1. Honoring the murdered Hart children
  2. Personal accountability

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

I am holding myself accountable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invitation #2: A prayer for Jennifer and Sarah Hart

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

Invitation #3: Journal and Meditation Prompts

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

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

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

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

Let's start with the self:

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

Now let's zoom out a bit:

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

Let's bring us all together:

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

What next?

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

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

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

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

Song as Medicine

Over the past month or so, I've been sitting in deep contemplation with my relationship to music and song. This is still a fairly new and somewhat vulnerable theme for me, but I feel called to share it with you! (For more background on how this has been coming up for me, check out this previous article.) Suffice it to say that I am currently exploring Healing Songs as an important manifestation of my medicine and Sacred Work in the world.

Last night, I had a Medicine Dream that reaffirmed this theme for me:

In my dream, I was performing as the closing act of a concert which took place in a church. I was supposed to play a song on the flute. Even though in my dream I didn't know how to play the flute, some part of my subconscious nature did, so I trusted that I would be able to perform the complicated song when the time was right.

I opened my performance by speaking about Standing Rock and offering a prayer for the sacred waters and the Water Protectors. Many people in the audience started talking and ignoring me as I spoke. I became angry and frustrated and tried to play my flute song, but was barely able to make any noise come out of the instrument. As I grew more frustrated and the show director asked me to leave the stage, I heard a subtle thread of drum beats and music coming from somewhere nearby. My microphone was still on, so I started to sing. I sang my frustration at the people for ignoring the prayer, I sang a call to prayer and I sang the prayer itself. People stopped talking in order to listen to the prayer song, and I started dancing the prayer as well. It was a simple, powerful song that reverberated around the church and pulled people into its strength.

At this point, some older men came into the church, playing drums. It was their music I had heard in the distance. They came to play with me as I sang and they spoke to me, offering me their blessings and witnessing me in my prayer song. I awoke still reverberating with the power of the song and the message.

I know these men represent my guides, who appeared to support me in sharing my song. My voice is my instrument of power, and while I don't know exactly how it will manifest, Healing Songs are an essential component of my Sacred Work in the world. While revealing this publicly still feels sort of new and tender, I am so excited to continue exploring this powerful Medicine! More on this to come, I'm sure.