34. The Courage to Keep Going

WHEN HAVE YOU HAD IMMENSE COURAGE TO KEEP GOING?

Blog 34: Dec. 1997-April 1998—I watched a woman grab onto the railing at the YMCA in Berkeley, using it to stabilize her walk, which consisted of one step every minute. Her feet and legs were like those of a Raggedy Anne doll, hard to control and weakening below her.

Like her, I too had been swimming at the YMCA, and was doing what I could to regain my capacity to walk without pain. But the extreme limits and pain I had experienced since injuring myself in New Mexico more than a year ago, and since moving to Berkeley and the Bay Area of California, were becoming too much to bear—or at least until I saw this woman at the YMCA show me what true courage looked like. She helped me be grateful for what I had, even if it was little.

I had been living in a house full of depressed people in Berkeley (which probably included me) and was now seeking another place to live. But, with the high cost of living and limited options, I began to wonder if I’d end up moving back in with my parents in New Jersey. While searching out my options, I wrote, both in my journal and what later would become my novel. Writing became my refuge, and an attempt to clear the cobwebs of this jobless, debilitated place I was in.

I wrote: “Oh, Berkeley, your magical hills and your fog that rolls into the Bay enticed me for a while, until all the forces gathered these soul parts of mine into one unexpected stew. I came for life, and instead I got death. Though, love, at times, visited my bedside, reminding me of hope.

“Oh, Berkeley, you were such a temptation, and now you are this place where my body struggles to speak. It struggles to break free, although it does not know how. Oh, Berkeley, your winds have thrown me to the ground, when what I had asked for was to be able to leap.

“My hunger has followed me out here and has nagged me into this sleep, an uncontrollable sleep. I so want to sleep now, to sleep and dream this story, with an ending that brings vitality and renewed hope for a life of love.”

WHEN HAVE YOU HAD IMMENSE COURAGE TO KEEP GOING?

Honest Journey on Wings of Grace

Why go back in time? Why recount what has come before, when I am here, on the wings of grace with my novel Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit and its sweet reception?

Since January, I’ve been telling my personal story behind my recently published novel. Going back 20 years, I’ve been recounting the strands of thread that, bit by bit, wove the tapestry of my story of a magical girl in Spain, and another who finds her way back home through supernatural vines. But why go back in time?

I find the answer to my question when I offer storytelling events and gatherings where we can share that part of ourselves that longs to fly on the wings of grace and with a passion that is innately inside us all, even if only in the form of embers.

This past week I shared my story, both personal and of my novel, at a local New Mexico bookstore, Bookworks, and was not only blessed by a large turnout, but by people who told their own stories. They were stories of anxiety, pain, and feeling intensely. While we live in a culture that often seeks a light and happy tale, I have found that it is the ache and pain of being alive–and our willingness to feel it along with the joy–that allows us to ultimately to fly on the wings of grace.

So, as I prepare to continue my blog from where I left off-in California, broken and in pain–I bless every inch of this journey that has brought me to this place of freedom and aliveness. As I share in my storytelling and talks, and through my novel, it is “duende,” the spirit of the earth inside me, that has broken me into many pieces, so I could finally embody my life more fully and be the grace that I am. Thank you for all of it.

On the Road with Sacred Song

July 17, 2016: Here I am, on the Road, in Washington State, with my novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit. I’ve taken a break from my regular blog (hard to do from the roaIMG_0182d) and instead, am sharing a few moments of my travels and experience in Washington.
I came here because beautiful, amazing people invited me to offer ceremony and teachings I’ve called a Journey of Story, Sound, and Healing. In Sequim, Washington, I shared my personal story with “duende”, this spirit of the earth that has been a true awakening for me, and also journeyed into the earth and shared in collective sound. In doing so, I’m amazed, and often am, at how, in tuning in, I am guided to create a space in which we can all teach each other, through our hearts and presence, how to come home, one inch closer each time, to ourselves.

My next stop has been Port Townsend, Washington, and more specifically the home of two beautiful souls, Jamie and Doug. I led ceremony in their yurt, which sits looking out over the ocean. Here, just sitting on the land and in the yurt offered such healing and stillness, that little was needed to feel at home.

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Eagle stretching its wings on a branch, Washington State

Yet, once people arrived and we shared in an intimate ceremony, something magical happened. As one person said, “All the elements were here.” Our voices and love created a blessed offering for the holy.

We watched the sun set after ceremony and then shared our concerns, reflections on life. Here we were, in Washington State, where the whales are disappearing. Climate change has forced the salmon to go elsewhere and now the whales, who feed off of the salmon, are leaving as well. Meanwhile, the navy is doing tests on the water that impacts the remaining whales. One woman of the group (she bikes a large container of fish to farmer’s markets here… doesn’t want to go by car…wants to live simply and do the work it takes to live right) talked about this, and struggled with what to fight for to protect the earth and our relationship to her (so many things she wants to do). We asked ourselves, what is it we need to do to be in right relationship with the earth at this time? How can our actions, even that of coming together and singing to the earth, and remembering who we are–outside of the human drama–impact where we are as humans?

IMG_0167Tomorrow, I will share songs with Jamie’s drumming group, and tell a bit about my writing, and Child of Duende. But, I ask myself, as I meet such true earth-honoring people on my path, how does my work, my novel, my writing, my ceremonies and teachings make a difference for the earth and its many inhabitants? I can’t fully know the answer, but what I sense, as I travel, is that maybe, just maybe in speaking about “duende,” the spirit of the earth that we carry inside ourselves, and in helping awaken this spirit, we can all feel what it is we have been doing to ourselves and the earth, and begin to dream a new dream, a new possibility, of who we can be as humans on this beautiful, magical earth. And, as I meet others and form sacred circles with them, I am also learning from them how to be more authentically that which spirit is guiding me to be.

33. A Confession to Make

WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN TOO NUMB TO FEEL?

Blog 33: Dec. 1997-April 1998—I have a confession to make: when I was in college and my roommate told me that she had been raped during a drunken night in which I was in the same room with her, passed out, I didn’t react. I didn’t feel. I didn’t show compassion. I was numb. I couldn’t feel. I stay removed from the world, separate, untouched.

           Now, in pain, debilitated, with body broken, in a house of lost people in Berkeley, California, I feel. I feel it all. And while it hurts, there’s something liberating in knowing I can feel every bit of the pain and love that’s possible in this world.  It’s as if this brokenness allows me to feel the world again—to feel it all.

           For so much of my life, my heart has been closed in protection. My fear of being hurt, rejected, of being unworthy and unloved cloaked my heart with heavy armor. It was a way I had learned to be, to survive, and yet here I am in California, with nothing left but myself and my heart.

            I watch the world walk by, so many afraid of not surviving, of not making it, of not having things just as they need them, of losing their cloaks, their armor, that have protected them for so long from. They become cold, hardened, and forget to love the stranger that comes to them, crying, in need of compassion, because they are afraid to lose their way, their habit-forming rituals that define them and provide the illusion that they are okay.snowheart-682440

            I feel now, and I am grateful. Yet, I ask for forgiveness for so many times in which I offered a cold heart to another, in which I caused pain to another in my frigidness. And I feel compassion for others for their cold hearts toward me. For, I know they have learned, as I have, to be afraid to feel. From one generation to the next, they have learned to close their hearts in order to survive a world too frightened to feel its own pain and love, too frightened to be truly live.

I kiss their hidden tears, over and over again, honoring the love waiting to break through.

WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN TOO NUMB TO FEEL?

Upcoming Events for my Novel. Please Share with the World!

BOOK TOUR: WASHINGTON STATE
(please join/share if you have connections to these places) 
        It all started 15-plus years ago with a crippling injury and a serendipitous encounter with a screenplay writer on an airplane and ended with a 298-page novel touted by well-renowned teacher and award-winning author Sandra Ingerman and New York Times Bestselling Author John Perkins as a magical and inspiring story to come home to.
        What began as a healing journey became the story of a young girl in Málaga, Spain, whose grandmother names her Duende, a word meaning goblin, nature spirit, or the spirit of the earth that “one must awaken in the remotest mansions of the blood.” Duende dances with Gypsies, follows a nature spirit below the sea, into the earth’s core, and has dreams that
transform her reality and that of Ingrid, a journalist who travels to her childhood home of Málaga to cover the story of supernatural vines. Ultimately, Ingrid’s return home reveals a truth that has been buried in the ground for millennia. Described by Sandra Ingerman as “a beautiful story that will take you into magical and mystical realms,” Child of Duende is a journey home.(see www.child ofduende.com  for more info. on novel).
        Child of Duende, which is now available on Amazon (print and Kindle), and bookstores worldwide (see info. below), was finally published on March 29, 2016. In mid-June, I was honored to share in a novel launch celebration with 40-plus people in Albuquerque (some of you!), followed by a successful book signing at Hastings. But there’s more to come, including a Washington State Book Tour, time sharing my novel in Santa Cruz at the Vox Mundi Retreat, and more book events and readings in New Mexico. Writing a novel is tremendous work, as is promoting and sharing it with all of you. So, if you can tell others about Child of Duende,upcoming events, or, you wish to sponsor events (maybe engage a local bookstore) or write an Amazon customer review, it will mean the world to me!
Village Books Flyer, Child of Duende

*Upcoming New Mexico Events (July, August):
-July 28, 6:30 p.m. Reading/Signing at PAGE 1 BOOKS (Albuquerque, NM)
-Aug. 16, 6p.m. Reading/Signing at BookWorks (Albuquerque, NM )

*BOOKSTORES with Child of Duende:
Amazon (paperback/kindle);
Barnes and Noble (on site at Coronado Center in Albuquerque…they offer an event if enough books sell here).
National or International Bookstores (ask them to order Child of Duende)
BookWorks (Rio Grande, Albuquerque);
Crystal Dove (Central, Albuquerque);
Blue Eagle Metaphysical Emporium (Juan Tabo, Albuquerque);
Collected Works (Santa Fe, NM). Available in 1 week)

*For more information on me or my novel: http://www.michelleadam.net or www.childofduende.com or visit Facebook at Michelle Adam or Duende’s Child
or  Twitter

 

 

32. Time to Be Like Buddha

HAVE YOU EVER FELT YOUR SOUL—OR A PART OF IT—LEAVE YOUR BODY?

Blog 32: Dec. 1997-April 1998—Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, as I live in a house in Berkeley, California with five other people that seem, for the most part, discontent. Although I long to leave, and even seek out other options, my body won’t cooperate with any kind of movement. The message for me is to “be like Buddha,” so I sit and be with where I am no matter how painful.

I reflect on who I have been in my journal. I write, “I used to feel that I didn’t feel. I used to think that I couldn’t love. I would try so hard to feel love, but I couldn’t. It hurt so much. It hurt me so much to think I could not feel. I did not understand all the tears late at night, all the anguish in trying to tune into my heart.”

Now that I am injured, I feel pain (how can I not?), I feel love, and I realize that it never was true that I couldn’t feel. The truth was that I didn’t honor how I felt. I didn’t know how to listen to my heart, how to trust myself, because I was so busy being strong, proving myself, and on some level, leaving my body, not wanting to be here because it was too painful.

I continue to write in my journal, “This pain, this heat moving through my bd3f697970790656d76d951b75a139723ody takes my soul away. My soul is trying to come back, but for some reason it is scared. My soul is scared to be with me. When I wake up the next morning, I can feel how little power I have in my body. It’s as if my breathing is outside of me. And I sense that my soul has been trying to leave my body since birth. It has little interest in being on this earth, yet another part of me that knows I am meant to be here, and is bringing me back, back, to this place of Buddha that needs to feel the pain, that understands better than this.

HAVE YOU EVER FELT YOUR SOUL—OR A PART OF IT—LEAVE YOUR BODY?

Check out my novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, at Child of Duende website

31. Being Unloved is a Great Poverty

WHEN HAS LOVE HEALED YOU?

Blog 31: Dec. 1997-April 1998—I am sitting in the hot tub outside my home in Berkeley, California, soaking in the delicious water that calms my body’s pain. I look up at the sky, stars pushing through the clouds and past city lights that obscure a few from my view.

“You are a bloodless sky. You love without wanting,” I later write. “Let me hold you in my belly tonight. Let me feel the coolness of your touch, balancing the heat that leaves my body by the seconds. Let me feel your cool heart balancing this fast moving, fast loving belly of mine.”

For weeks now, I have been with Greg, visiting healers, and then sharing passionate evenings together. Being able to hold each other, and to bring joy, laughter, and passion to my life after months of pain and struggle is sweet relief. My pain and debilitation are bearable when I can feel love and support in my life, just like hunger, poverty, or other physical struggles don’t seem so bad when there’s love and care. It reminds me of what Mother Teresa, who gave so much to the hungry and sick in India, once said: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

For so much of my life I have pushed people away, protecting myself from people getting too close—getting in the way of my independence, influencing me to be someone I was not. I was always so stubborn to do things my way, to find my own way, and to feel again, to feel my own humanity, because I was raised to distrust my heart, to put my head before my heart.

I came into the world with a big heart, though, and a lot of love, and it’s taken me a long time to come home to myself, to feel again, to feel my humanity. It seems my body, so broken, is reflecting the broken pieces of my heart that have been screaming to come home. Maybe this screaming has been for centuries, lifetimes.

Either way, I am here, no longer wishing to battle between my mind and heart. I am here, hearing my heart, pounding loud, heat in my body, in my soul, ready to let go of the old ways of control, of needing answers, of pushing—ready to love and be loved, to be held, to trust, to discover my way home.

(Don’t forget to check out my novel, Child of Duende, a passionate, magical, spiritual journey of coming home in Spain, at Child of Duende )

WHEN HAS LOVE HEALED YOU?