Moonlight as Healing Light

moonlight

While I began enjoying the night sky during our winter in the Arizona desert lands, it is only since we settled here near Mount Shasta that I have been following the gentle emptying and filling of the Moon each month. The broad view of the sky and the strong invitations to look at the night sky have been deepening my relationship with her phases and flow.

I recently received the image of the Being of Humanity as a human child form, supported by the sacred mountains of the world. I was told that Humanity suffers from a fever, fueled by a distortion in the function of fear within our species. (see my recent post The Healing of Humanity – First Images). This has led to doing transfiguration work (focusing my mind on my inner being of light and inviting it to shine outward in unconditional love and light.) In the past, I have used the image of starlight within my core, but I decided to journey to Moon to see if she would teach me how to use her light as part of my healing work.
Messages from Moon:

My colors are the aquamarine on the quiet ocean and the subtle indigo of the clear night sky. These both are cool colors, soothing colors.
My light is not penetrating like sun or starlight. It is not meant to push through the barrier of darkness, but to hint at the outlines of the land and other creature forms. It does not heat and energize the tissues of the human body but caresses them, almost too subtle for tactile perception. It is a light that must be reached for by the eye, mind and being. It is an invitation, a gentle kiss on the forehead.
In my first quarter phase, my light is most clear. As I approach full, it is muted by the glory of reflected sunlight and overpowers the stars. Last quarter through first, I invite the warmer light of sun and stars to outshine me. It is a dance and flow that allows an ebb and flow both to sight and to skin.
You are tending a fevered child being (Humanity.) It already has plenty of heat and the excited energy of the sun. Yet you do not want to leave it scared in the darkness that folds around it. There it is vulnerable to nightmares and monsters.
During the day, many are sending vibrant healing energy to the Being of Humanity. During the night, bathe this young one in the gentle aquamarine and indigo night-sky blue. As it relaxes to sleep, enfold it with a loving, gentle touch. Let moonlight be its blanket and your lap be its pillow. Tenderness, quiet presence and faith in its ability to heal will be your gifts. Many are willing to seek to dispel the stagnant energy of its body and pull in cleansing light. But few are holding this creature in love and singing lullabies to it as it sleeps. Sleep is an amazing healing force. Much happens in the depths of the night to release what no longer gives health and to allow a slow gentle absorption of grace.

I have begun to integrate this wisdom by setting the intention to be filled by the cool aquamarine or indigo light of the Moon. Over time the color grows more vivid in my imagination. In its calm glow I let my being fill with love for all of us as creatures who live under the same Moon.

This also supports me in letting go of assumptions and projections that lead to the illusion of separateness and duality. When I focus on moonlight, it invites me to remain within my own skin and to listen to my core integrity. It is here that I find the truth of being interwoven with all of life by the Sacred Mystery which moves in, through and among us.

As you gaze at the Moon, allows its gift of cool, calm, healing light fill and sooth you.
Nancy

The Healing of Humanity First Images

On Monday, November 2, I woke knowing that I needed to do a healing ceremony for Humanity using the element of earth. I was to take soil from our land up onto Mount Shasta and to ask permission to bring soil from the mountain back down here. I did not have any clear idea of how this would unfold, so I contacted two members of my shamanic drumming group and asked for their “at a distance” support for this ceremony.

I knew that the soil would come from my altar ground – the circle where I do QiGong and my shamanic drumming/ceremony work. I filled a small glass jar with soil and added a sprig of sage. I placed the jar in the center of the altar and set the intention to do an earth ceremony for the healing of Humanity (I use this term for the unified physical, psychological, spiritual, energetic, intellectual being of all humankind). As I began to drum and sing, I was reminded of all the prayers my QiGong practice and ceremonies add to this soil. This would carry that blessing to the mountain.

I drove up Mount Shasta, reaching Bunny Flat at 11:00 am. I followed my intuition and found a spot off of the Old Snow Bowl Trail where I felt the sacred energy of the ceremonies done by the people of this land throughout the ages.

The record of my shamanic journey:

I was shown a gathering of the sacred mountains of the world. Mount Shasta remained at my back, and the others gathered to form the outline of a massive human body – that of the Being of Humanity. The head was resting in Gaia’s lap, with the neck supported by Mount Shasta, and the curves of the body supported by other great sacred mountains.
“This child is burning with fever and we are all here to being healing,” Gaia said as She held one hand on the forehead and the other at the base of the neck. “Fear is one source of this fever. Thousands of years ago this distortion of fear began to form and it is now very dangerous for this precious child. There are harmful thought paths and they are leading to contortions within the body as it tightens and grips. Here at the head, we work on the rewriting of the synaptic codes to help the brain release illusions and let go of the distorted image that the world is a threatening place.”
As I looked up and saw the sky filled with stars, Gaia told me, “Those are the beings of light from throughout time who join in this healing. This work stretches through dimensions and times and beyond all dimension and time.” I felt very reassured by this and understood that while the disease of Humanity seems overwhelming, the energy of light and healing in the unseen world is glorious.
My attention was draw down the body of Humanity. At the heart there were beings singing love into it. At the solar plexus the songs were of joy, and there were bubbles and laughter mixed in. At the root area, there was an amazing overtone song with the close harmonies of the best a cappella singing groups. This I was told is to return the basic harmony to the Being of Humanity.
I spent time as a witness to all that was going on and let my light shine on this sleeping child’s form. I understood that the various places on the body were each receiving the love and energy they need. There was a tenderness in the mountains and in the singers and in the stars. This creature is deeply loved by all. There was a feeling that they can not make it recover, but that each will do all in their power to nourish and nurture it so it has the best possible chance to be restored to wholeness and balance.

In all of this, I felt the focus of my work verified. While there are many who are called to work for the healing of individual people and creatures, I feel very connected with this work on the collective Being of Humanity.

When the journey was complete I headed back to the trail. Along the way I found the right place to offer the soil from the land where I live and to receive soil from the mountain. This seems to tie the energy of Mount Shasta into my altar space in a more vivid way.

Returning home at about 2:00, I completed the circle. I took the soil from Mount Shasta, and after some singing, poured it in a spiral pattern onto the altar ground. The word that came to mind was “Harmony.” I thanked the Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Elements and all the helping spirits in the seen and unseen who had been witnesses and guides for this amazing ceremony. I told them all how beautiful it was.

(In shamanic practice as I understand it, journeys and their messages are direct revelation to the person who receives them. What I share is metaphor and symbol, the language of the unseen mysterious world outside our ordinary tangible experience of life. The way I interpret this message is my own, and may or may not resonate as true for you. I invite you to seek the wisdom of the Sacred Mystery in your own way to support you as you move along your path.)

New Perspective on Humanity

I have covered a lot of physical, psychological and spiritual territory since I began this blog over two years ago. Now that we are settled on the property here in Mount Shasta, and our general circumstances are comfortable and balanced, it is time to deepen my work.

A few months ago, I signed off of social media and left news reports behind to focus on a course with Sandra Ingerman on “The Dark Night of the Soul as Portal to the Shaman’s Light.” The course was another step of becoming more Earth-centered. It opened a deeper relationship with Gaia (Earth/Nature), and with my personal path within shamanic practice.

On Nov. 1, just before the full moon set, I did a shamanic journey. My spiritual guides told me to shift my perspective on humankind in order to help bring healing to our species. Humankind is one organism – one physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, intellectual Being. As an individual human body can experience blocked energy flow, soul loss, toxic thought habits… so the being of humanity is plagued by these spiritual and psychological ailments. This loss of internal harmony leads to our lack of honor for our physical/elemental bodies and for the body of the Earth.

For years, I have worked with a helping ancestor who is reworking my thought habits and the neurological wiring that holds them in place. In this journey, she told me that the same work is being done for Humanity. Healing is not only for the individual cells (individual people) within this being, but for the entire being. As the intelligence and perception of the soul/spirit/body is carried in every cell of our physical form, the world views of the collective consciousness are being expressed in our individual lives. In the same way that systemic work on an individual brings healing to the whole body, healing can be offered to Humanity will bring transformation on an individual level.

For me this was a very hopeful message. I have been using a “hundredth monkey” image — as enough individuals wake up and move back into harmony with the Earth, humanity will be restored to right balance within the web of life. Now, I am called to work on the whole being level, with the support and guidance of my helping spirits. At the same time, I celebrate all of those aiding individuals in their personal renewal.

Over the weeks ahead, I will share additional images of Humanity. This allows my shamanic work to flow on two levels. First, I do my spiritual work of adding light and love for this living being during my journeys and ceremonies. Then, as I share these images, I hope to add an enriched view of humankind to our thinking.

When you think of an individual who is suffering through a difficult experience, it is easy to begin seeing them as “you poor thing, this is awful.” That thought actually carries an energy with it that diminishes them as an individual. Much better to hold them in love and light, calling to mind their inner beauty and strength to face whatever they are experiencing.

When we think of our species with anger, frustration, fear… we diminish the health of humankind as a whole. Much better to see the unity and wonder of this one interwoven being, and ourselves as the billions of cells within it, working together for the well-being of the whole.

As I do this work, I am reminded every day that we are part of an incredible web of life that extends through both space and time; including all living beings. In my spiritual practice, I am guided and given wisdom by beings of light who all want humanity to heal and thrive.

I invite you to join me as my path unfolds. I hope that you are finding your own ways to connect with the sacred mystery of life and feel Love and Light filling your days.

Peace along your path,
Nancy

Healing of Word Bullets

I didn’t feel the aimed word hit,
and go in like a soft bullet.
I didn’t feel the smashed flesh closing over it
like water over a thrown stone.
From Louise Penny’s “The Cruelest Month”

We can all relate to this image. We know the feeling of the judging look; of the bemused smile as though what we just said makes no sense, “but what can you expect.” We know the words of criticism that were meant to harm rather than encourage, to make us stop rather than grow. Some of them were misinterpretations and misunderstanding. When we were children, it was easy to think that every emotional reaction and every angry word were our fault. We believed that something we said, thought or did created these frightening reactions in people we trusted and looked to for truth.

Exterior messages are added. We are told that we are not very athletic; not good at math; not artistic or mechanical. There are spoken questions about our choice of career or hobby; our choice of a life companion or home. These “word bullets” can also come as the quizzical look when we are speaking of something dear to our heart, or the redirecting of a conversation away from something we value.

As we internalize them, “word bullets” become the messages that our conditioned minds use to limit and control us. They become the obstacles that distort incoming acceptance and praise into judgment and criticism. We tease about a compliment bouncing off our forehead to hit the far wall, but we also know the truth of that experience.

Like any foreign object, that does not belong within our being, there is a second innate response to these invading thought forms. We form a protective shield around them, encapsulating them and forming a kind of scar tissue. When deep damage is done, the scar tissue can be new rules we create about how we will live our life to avoid experiencing this pain again. These are sometime called intrusions, because they intrude on the natural flow of our life. They make our lives smaller and limit the flow of love and life through our being.

HEALING FROM WORD BULLET AND INTRUSIONS

Wanting to be free of these limitations, I asked for a journey to heal the word bullets in my own life. In a ceremony, I had written out a few of the “word bullets,” that have distracted me from living my life fully. While it is tempting to ask for all of them to be removed, it is much more kind and healing to release them a few at a time as they come to mind. This allows me to be completely open to the healing work without it becoming overwhelming or triggering a healing crisis.

I met with my healing GrandMother there at the circle of wise elder women. There were many other women in this healing ceremony and a circle of men were experiencing the same ritual, not far away.

I was able, without reciting all of them, to relay all the bullets and intrusions I had written down for this ceremony. As I spoke, a circle of women moved around me. First there was one woman who brought a sharp shard of bone and thrust it into my solar plexus. She extracted a “bullet” with the gore that had surrounded it to keep it from killing my body. Soon, there were a number of women working all over my body, removing similar pellets and allowing the ooze to drain from countless wounds.

I was told that the same was being done for many men and women who were seeking this kind of healing.

It felt like it took a while, and I was told that it was time to allow the love and light to now wash in and through these old wounds. It is a process. First, the “word bullets” are hollowed out and the wound cleansed with healing light. This felt like having great boulders removed and the flow of clear, soothing, pure water move through all the now open areas in my physical body – carrying light and sparkle and effervescence. I was told that the healing is complete, and yet the full renewal of the creative and life energy flow will be something I will discover over time. Once these deep places within have been restored to balance, it is possible for our original wholeness to be restored. Regeneration of what had been lost will take some time, but the process has begun.

FORGIVENESS AS PART OF HEALING:
Forgiveness is essential to this process as a means of shifting our perception of the self from that of victim, to that of a whole and capable individual. To release the traumatic impact of word bullets and intrusions is to let go of all that still ties our life to the experience of being wounded. Lack of forgiveness is a tether to the one whose actions caused us harm, so that instead of being free to leave them behind, they continue to be the determining factor in the quality of our life.

At times, we hold onto the wounds and all of the physical repercussions they bring to our life, as though our failure to thrive will somehow punish the one who we hold responsible. Refusing to forgive another is like drinking poison and expecting it to make another ill. At some point in our evolution, we need to stop drinking the poison and cut the cord of holding someone else responsible for the unfolding of our life. Until we do, it is very difficult to truly live from the reality of our own wholeness, health and creative energy for life.

When the source of the wound and its encapsulating gore has been removed, I am not left to “just get over it.” Instead, there in the feeling of having love and light poured over and through my whole being, like a balm. There is no emptiness left where there used to be pain. Instead, in this timeless reality, my original being can be restored as though the wound had not occurred. My ability to allow light and love to flow freely through me is restored.

It is a process and not, at least for me, an instantaneous transformation. As I repeat this ritual, with more and more challenging wounds from my life, I find that some take longer than others to heal. The process seems to unfold outside my awareness and I notice it more in hindsight. My mind will go back to that particular sore spot of memory and can not find the old reaction. It no longer is an automatic hook for fear, anger, self-doubt, or pain. The experience remains, but the wound and the scar both seem to have faded away.

I share these images because this kind of healing is available to anyone at any time, and there are many ways to open ourselves to it. If Shamanic Journey work interests you I hope you will find the following resources helpful.

Resources:

Sandra Ingerman has taught courses on Shamanism for those in the western culture for over 40 years. She has several books on shamanic journey and provides a list of shamanic practitioners who she has trained

Sounds True has provided a number of video workshops and courses on shamanic practice through the years. They are one of my favorite organizations working with spiritual development. You can search their site by topic or through their on-line learning.

 

Beacons Through Time and Space

starryskyOver the past few weeks, I have been waking up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. For me this waking comes from my spiritual ancestors inviting me to have time with the stars. This morning, it was 4:30 and I was just in time for the last bright planets in the dawning light.

Stars are beacons through time and space, showing us a process happening millions of years ago, so far away that the numbers boggle the mind. They have been shining on this planet all of Earth’s lifetime, linking us in their light with all living beings, everywhere.

I have had several shamanic journeys that included messages about the stars. One of my favorites was to a circle of people, sitting under the broad night sky in early aboriginal times in what is now Australia. One on my helping spirits took me there to show me where stars come from. As I watched, each individual began with a gesture near their heart that brought out a thread of golden light. They each worked this glistening substance in their hands, rolling it into a ball. Next, they used the same gesture at their brow to draw a strand of light from their mind. This was wrapped around the ball to coat it. Finally, they drew light from the area of their navel, and as they stirred it at the surface of the ball, it became a swirling light within it. Finally, when all had finished, they held the ball of light in their hands for another moment, and then gently tossed it into the sky, where it remained as a new star.

I was told that the light used did not come from the individual, but through them. The light of the infinite love of the Universe from the heart; the light of ancient wisdom and insight from the mind; and the light of connection to deep integrity and original purpose from the navel are brought together in each star. They are placed in the sky to offer illumination, inspiration and guidance for all future generations.

The other day, during a drumming circle ceremony, I received another star focused journey. I had been feeling overwhelmed by all of the teaching, information, and spiritual practices from various traditions which have filled my last couple of months. In the journey, I was again led out under a star-filled sky and invited to look up. I was told to remember that each of the billions of stars holds light, love, wisdom and purpose as gifts to humankind. Right now, we need as many of these gifts as we can receive to help us navigate the current transformation of our way of life. “It is okay to let your mind boggle,” my guide assured me. “What you need to take in will resonate within your soul. Let everything wash over you and then turn inward to see what is yours to live from your heart.”

In that spirit, I write these words and share these images. These are overwhelming times, but we are not alone. The love and light from throughout time and space are here to guide us safely as we find our way ahead, one step at a time.

Canyon Land Ceremony

Canyon at SunsetI would like, in these days of turmoil, to offer images and ceremonies that I have received through my shamanic journey practice. Shamanic journey is an ancient way of leaving the ordinary, problem-solving mind behind and finding the deeper wisdom of the timeless non-ordinary realm. I am often surprised by the beauty, love and grace of what I experience. I hope that what I share gives you encouragement along your path.

This first ceremony came as an invitation to release what I felt needed to be forgiven in my life. In these days, I am glad to be able to return to this place to find courage to face my fears, suffering, shame and regret at my complicity in the perpetuation of prejudice and inequality within the human family.

My notes from Canyon Lands of Healing:

This journey took me to a glorious canyon of red rock, etched and textured to catch the sun. We were at the base of the canyon and there was a gathering of indigenous people around a bonfire..

There were drummers and dancers, but my focus was drawn by a woman elder, who fixed me with her eyes and invited me to a smaller circle – a mixture of people of all races. She was my partner, while there were pairings of each seeker with Elders of the People. She told me that this ceremony is available to anyone at any time. All seekers are welcome and those who have held this space and performed this ritual for eons, work beyond all time and space.

The purpose of the ceremony was to allow me to pour out my sense of shame and embarrassment – to ask for forgiveness for my failures in life. This was actually done very quickly and non-verbally. I just looked in her eyes, and she could see all that I was releasing. It was not the snapshots of memory, but the feeling states that go with them that were the outpouring. Her eyes remained calm, accepting, understanding. She did not interrupt, it was purely my process of revealing the pains of my soul to her. She was there to listen to it all – to let me pour out my whole story of myself and of my need for forgiveness. I sensed that she would have remained there with me for lifetimes if I had needed her to.

When I was at last finished – all shame, humiliation, penitence, sense of abject failure having been revealed, she invited me to sit in the circle with the other seekers who had had this same experience with their own listening Elder of the People.

Several figures came forward carrying empty wooden bowls their hands. One of them came to me and held the bowl near my heart. I watched as what I had released poured into the bowl as a thick, rich rust colored liquid. At first I thought it was blood, but I was assured that it was just the color of my sorrow/shame. As it poured from me it became a paint or pigment. The other seekers had similar experiences, with each one’s heart releasing a different colored essence: a variety of the red, rust, sienna, orange, gold and tan that are familiar in canyon lands.

Each of these figures then took their bowl of pigment, and flew to the walls of the canyon, high above our circle and began painting minute details that added to the richness and texture of the canyon walls.

We were told that what we released with shame, would add to the glorious beauty of sunrises and canyon walls and wildflowers in the ordinary world, as it did here. Our released energy was transformed back to its original creative state to become a rich gift to the worlds above and below.

Whenever I imagine myself back in that place, my wonderful Elder of the People is there to me. I look into her eyes and know that I can not lie to her, and that I will hear the truth in whatever I tell her. And then the bowls appear and the pigment emerges and the painters use my dross as luminescent paint to add another subtle touch of vibrancy to the canyon. As I face the truth of my own heart, I add beauty to the world.

This can be a journey of imagination for you any time you are ready. I wish you a blessed experience of truth and healing.

Welcoming and Tender Release

Regeneration artThe rituals which support us in our connection with ourselves, humankind, and all of Creation remain fluid and changing, like the position along the horizon where the sun first appears in the morning sky. In recent days, my morning and evening practice has grown to include rituals of loving greeting and tender release of what is entering and leaving our world.

As the days grow longer and the mornings warmer I  spend more time outside between dawn and sunrise. Most mornings I begin with singing my love for the land, water, air, sunlight and the love within all living beings. The individual verses grow longer as I express gratitude for all of the expressions of nature; the flow of change as well as the gift of clean water; wind as breath of life and of spirit, and sunlight which enlivens heart, body  and mind.

A few of days ago, I returned to a place I have visited before in shamanic journey. The Grandmothers are sitting at the edge of the Void; the place where embryonic thought energy enters the flow of creation to take on tangible form. They sit cross-legged with their skirts in the edge of the viscous semi-liquid of the Void. Here the tiny “about to be” energies swim into the basket of their skirt and pause to experience their blessing before they move forward into being.

Following their example, I lift an “about to be” up and kiss it with great tenderness. I sing joy to it and allow light and love to flow from my heart into its being. I then release it into the Void to continue its journey into whatever form it will take. These are not my thoughts, and I do not recognize anything about what they will become. My task is simply to add light and love as they begin their earth-bound journey.

I have returned to this practice because my focus has been captured by what is being released from our lives, and all of the life that is leaving the Earth. At the beginning of the day, it is important to bring my focus on what will emerge beyond this current crisis. There is an endless circle of becoming, taking form, expressing one’s gift, and leaving this place to return one’s energy to the Sacred Source of all new becoming. It helps me find my balance to acknowledge that this cycle continues, like the phases of the moon and the turn of the seasons.

In the evenings, I go back outside at the time when many are joining in solidarity in the Howl of sorrow, grief, loss, loneliness, mourning for what is dying in our lives. I sing to prepare and then do a ceremony of Honorable Closure. My drumming helps me journey into the unseen world where ceremonies are held to insure that every living being, every expression of creativity which leaves this world is acknowledged and honored. Before it leaves, each energy being receives deep gratitude for what it has added to the beauty and diversity of this world. To all that are leaving there is the tender blessing for a loving and joyful journey home. At the end of the ceremony, I add gratitude for all of the living beings who remain here in these difficult times. All of us make our unique contribution to this journey of becoming.

These two rituals form good bookends for my day and help me hold my focus. In these days, deepening my love and relationship with all living beings is the key for my life.

We can all share these rituals, whether using shamanic practice or imagination. First, quiet the chatter of the mind and ease the tension in our bodies. This can be supported by singing, dancing, doing movement like Qi Gong… for about ten minutes. Then, leaving habitual thought patterns behind, we move into a place outside of time and space to remember our place within the Web of Life. We remember that at our core, we are love and light, and from our core we bless all of creation.

I hope you will try this in the days ahead. Please write, either in the comment section of this page, or to me at earthcenterednancy@gamil.com to share your experiences.

Looking Through the Wave

WaveAs I stand on the threshold of this new decade, an unexpected joy and spaciousness greets me. For days my focus has been on how pivotal this decade is in terms of the Climate Crisis. If we fail to totally change the way we fuel our lives and our economy within this ten years, we will pass the crucial tipping point in global warming. The resulting cascade of environmental changes could lead to an Earth that can no longer support human life. So, why is there hope and joy bubbling up from my core?

It comes from an understanding of my role, and the task for all of us who are committed to living an Earth-centered life in our later years. We are called to become the Elders of our culture and to serve as spiritual elders have for centuries, as those who see in that darkness and look through to the light.

Here is what I experienced in a recent shamanic journey:

I was standing on a beach as an old woman, wearing a simple long dress, with a shawl draped over my head and shoulders. I was facing out to sea. In the near distance was a 500 foot standing wave.  It was a solid wall of water, which had paused for a moment before crashing into the shore where I stood.

I was not afraid, and there was no urge to turn and run. There was nothing I could do to stop or change the wave. I was asked to look straight at it and on through it to what exists beyond. What I saw was a vibrantly alive forest and a pristine, thriving Earth. There were many varieties of plants and animals in the undergrowth.

When I asked about humans, I was told that they no longer live in big concrete structures. I was shown a gathering of small hut-like homes made of natural materials. The people emerged from their dwellings, walked out into an open meadow and began singing their love for all of the gifts of the Earth and stars. I was told that the People had rediscovered the heart of gratitude and harmony.

The general message was to stay calm. Look through the noise, confusion and chaos of these times. Hold in focus the Web of Life returned to vibrant health and balance.

It was a call for us to serve as the Wise Elders of our culture. We are here, to do deep spiritual work to aid the transformation of the relationship of humankind to the natural world, and to the Sacred Source of Life. The changes needed in our outer lives can only be empowered by a renewed love for all living beings. When every expression of the natural world is a dear member of our family to be honored, served and cherished, we will rediscover our appropriate place within the Web of Life.

This is a huge challenge, and we are those who are here at this time, and at this point in our lives to meet it. There is no panic, no hurry, only the clear gaze of those who can see through the wall of water that separates us from Life. We stand together, looking into the future. We focus on the Earth beyond, in which our children’s children to the seventh, the fourteenth and the twenty-first generations will find joy and peace.

To honor our common spiritual journey of the healing of Earth and Her Children, I am now offering one-on-one Spiritual Direction. This process of bringing all of life into focus around the sacred nature of life is open to people of all spiritual traditions and practices. For more information, follow the link above or contact me at earthcenterednancy@gmail.com.

Joy to the World

jump-for-joy_0Joy is one of the most sacred, healing and enlivening energies in the universe. It is at the heart of many of the celebrations of this season. It is also easily overshadowed by the cultural expectations, emotional investment and economic drive of these last days before Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I want to call us back to this transformative flow of joy as the best possible gift to both give and receive this season and throughout the coming year.

Why do I cling to my barriers to Joy? I, along with many adult humans, have learned that there is something dangerous about this illusive force. There are some powerful myths that we seem to take in with our mother’s milk and never question throughout our lives. One of these is that if you allow yourself to feel joy, with every cell of your being, that the next experience in your life will be one of tragedy and loss. We have been conditioned to believe that joy is a gift that at any moment will be snatched from our hands and sent crashing to the floor, to teach us never to reach for it again.

As a defense, our mind calls joy a “soft emotion,” appropriate for small children and elderly relatives. Those of us with any common sense know that it is dangerous and not to be trusted. But that is only because it is so very powerful in transforming our perception of the world, and therefore the quality of our lives.

Joy rises from that place of mystery, between unseen energy and visible expression in the world. When joy emerges, it comes as an irresistible force, almost volcanic in power, bursting forth from deep within. Joy is what makes the sprout push upward through the soil into the sunshine. It is what drives the beat of the drum and the soaring of the music. Joy makes the flames of the fire leap and dance. It is joy that wells up within the human dancers, fueling their exuberance and movement. When it breaks out from the core of our being, it changes everything we see, hear, taste, touch, intuit.

Consider the truly joy-filled people you have encountered in your life. You have surely met at least one person whose whole being shines with light, love, and peace. These are not naive or feeble-minded individuals. They have lived life fully, experiencing both happiness and sorrow, illness and health, gains and losses. They have also learned the secret to overcoming the fear that joy will lead inevitably to grief. They have discovered the power of gratitude. Gratitude for what brings them joy, but also gratitude for everything that occurs in their lives.

I would invite you to consider this simple opening to joy:

Each morning, as my day begins, I sing my gratitude to the elements of nature and all the living beings who share the beauty of this place. I ask to live in harmony and balance. I offer my thanks for my life, this land and the man I share my life with.

As evening comes, I offer gratitude for everything that happened during the day. Everything.  Sometimes it is a new awareness of how petty and self-absorbed I am, and how I let anger and fear take too much of my day. Other times wisdom or friendship have taken me to a new place of understanding. Whatever has happened, I welcome it as a gift to help me see my unique human experience on the Earth. All that is revealed adds to my willingness to question the barriers I carry that keep me from living in freedom, simplicity and joy.

In this season, may we all follow the lead of the little ones and old folks who laugh freely and sing playfully. May we enjoy those who are openly light-hearted and shine their love into our lives. May we find joy infectious and irresistible.

In the words of the song from Three Dog Night:

Singin’ joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

 

Each One a Living Dance – Poem

This poem emerged as I was waking up the other morning. It was born in that place between sleep and wakefulness –  words tapping themselves into being on my computer keyboard.

As I reread the words, they are exactly what I want to say to family members and dear friends; neighbors and coworkers; classmates and students; teachers and guides. They are the promise I want to make to strangers and loved ones.

They are the words I will speak, looking into my own eyes in the mirror. I invite you to do the same.

Now, in deep gratitude, I speak them to you.

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EACH ONE A LIVING DANCE

I will not hold you in a static form:
for you are a brilliant dance of energy,                                                 shifting and changing in each second,
becoming more than any imagination can hold.

I will not lock you into my “knowing:”
for that is just my limited mind
reassuring itself through the ability                                                to categorize and find familiar patterns.

I will not confine you in terms and descriptions:
for they speak of the past and of the surface,
missing the eternity of your being,
and the constant transformation in all things.

I will open to your becoming.
Only your own soul knows your road,
for it alone recognizes the dream
which invited you here in the beginning.

I will embrace the mystery of your unfolding.
No other will ever carry this dance of
emerging, expressing and releasing
for it is your unique gift.

I will listen to the song of your creation.
It alone reflects the riches of your being,
singing out in vibration: color as well as pitch,                                       to birth the dawning of a new day.