Remembering Christmas Eve

Poem in honor of childhood memories of the holidays, and my father, who left this world earlier this year (break from regular blog): 

We used to watch 
the candles burn
to a tip as 
Mahalia Jackson 
melted our hearts 
with song,
deep with longing. 

We used to walk 
to mass at midnight
under falling snow
because church
was nature and
the ritual of
being together.

We used to sing 
songs in German,
English, and 
childlike play, 
my father eagerly
singing 
Five Golden Rings 
because that's all
he knew and 
it was his special
verse to share. 

Holidays where about
coming together,
and slowing down 
long enough to let
the night arrive,
inch by inch,
on Christmas Eve ... and never leave us.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about coming home to that place of ritual and connectedness. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page or at  http://www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

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76. Spirit Walking, Spirit Waking

BLOG 76—(present reflections tied to August 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—Last Sunday I gave a talk at a healing fair where I asked people to inquire into who they really were. Who are we beyond what we do, think, or how we’ve learn to act? I invited listeners to travel through their life’s stories as if they were water that changes form over time. I wanted the audience to experience what it’s like to be with one’s life and self as a fluid, ever-changing life force, rather than a solid identity imprisoned by judgment and beliefs.

What inspired me to offer this kind of experience—to be something beyond our limited sense of self—was something I was introduced to more than twenty years ago. That was the first time I had gotten a taste of who I could be. Yet, like so many of us, I struggled for far too many years to unravel the past, the false sense of identities, fears, thoughts, emotions that made it impossible to be like water or anything fluid and life-changing.

When I lived in New England on the farm during my healing summer of 2000, I began to discover this place of limitlessness, of freedom, and flow. My dreams shifted from ones of fear and fright to teaching dreams of possibility. It seemed I often dreamed of a snake, and during one specific dream, I saw a serpent that tucked its body into the shell of a turtle. It drew itself close to me as a lover and began to nibble4da138910d05d0f95b01f9fa6fc6ada7 on my arm as if clearing the old, bit by bit. Slowly, like the turtle, and with immense attention to detail, this snake nibbled away at my past and made room for the person I truly was.

The snake helped clear the way for dreams that soon showed me the possibility of who I am, and we all are, as spirits in bodies. I began to dream much more consciously as I felt, for the first time, my spirit body walking outside of my physical body. Inside my dream, I could tell the difference between my physical and spirit body. With the latter, I was more present to sensations, to the sensory experiences rather than the mind. My mind was there to make sure my spirit was protected and monitored, and ultimately came back to my body, but as my spirit body I got out of my own way and felt the deliciousness of everything. There was no analysis, just pure experience, and I was able to shift my attention from my spirit body to my physical body whenever I needed to (or as some may say, return to my physical body).

33928fcf941d50a40dab55aa7ed9deddDuring one dream, I traveled to my old neighborhood where I had lived as a child. Before doing so, I was asked where I was going, and I said that my body would stay in the room inside that dream, but my spirit would journey back to my childhood town. What happened next was amazing. I began walking inside the room to get momentum so I could fall back into the scene of my old neighborhood. As I gained speed, I lost balance and felt I was sliding down the floor, under the table, and back out. I witnessed that there were different patterns inside each state I was in, and that the one I was going into (my childhood town) was circular, like spirals moving to the center.

“Yet,” I wrote in my journal back then, “because I was traveling through two thick layers of reality, the effort or balance I needed was too great, and the circles broke into a checkered reality that lay behind the circular one.”

What I was shown back then during my dream was that we live in multiple realities at once and can access all of these. We can move from one reality to the next if we are centered enough, if we are able to maintain a certain equilibrium or speed. And these different realities show up like memory centers that are not in our physical reality. We travel to them through flight, through the body’s rele7b763fd54c6b6afc22725cff65cd3aa3ase of the ordinary.

Today, as I read again the lesson’s I learned during my time of stillness and healing, I am amazed at how timeless they are and apply to my life now. We run around so busy these days, with so many of us longing for a more peaceful and meaningful way of being on this earth. We work hard to connect with ourselves and each other, or to even know who we are inside this extremely material society.

What we sometimes forget inside all this noise, though, is that we are fluid like the rivers, oceans, rain, streams… we are ever-changing. Our spirit moves in and out of our body, travels and lives in multiple realities, and is much more powerful and life-affirming than we have been taught to understand. We are the change we long for because we are fluid, we are spirit, and we can manifest that which we long for on this earth.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about embodying fully the spirit that we are. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

75. Beyond Fear

BLOG 75—(present reflections tied to August 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—I want to talk about fear. Yes, fear…the kind of fear that’s more than a feeling or moment. The kind that years ago, during my summer of healing in New England, gripped me, held my body like a fist I had to work so hard to open.

“I’m not feeling fear like a character in a story,” I wrote back in August of 2000 on the farm. “I am fear. It owns me and makes me dangerous to myself because I can’t separate my night dreams from my present reality.”

Prior to my New England summer of healing from physical pain, I would never have said that fear owned me. I was so busy running forward toward some promised land, some imagined future, that I had no idea of the fear and fright I carried in my body. It literally ran me, ran my life, and like so many of us, I hadn’t stopped long enough to truly listen to my body’s messages until that summer of 2000.

Then, during hours of healing work, dreams, and meditation, I discovered how paralyzed my soul, my essence, was by fear, by the simple act of being in this world. For some reason I was scared to feel, to embody my life, so I kept attempting to leave my body, running away from myself.

“I was an actor and observer in my dreams in the past,” I wrote back in 2000. “But now, in these situations (and dreams), I am awake and there is no beginning and end. There is just one long moment of life and death in my body, and I’m scared for my life.”

a4673f71c116515340caf78047a35d5dDuring that summer, I would wake up at night feeling unsafe in my own room. And the worst part of it was that the fright in my body was so strong I couldn’t tell the difference between dreams and reality. They were one of the same. And not knowing why I carried such fear made it even more difficult.

No matter how bad it got, though, I stayed with the nightmares, with my program of healing, discovering a world inside that had something dark and ominous to say. After all, I knew I had to experience the nightmares in order to move forward, to walk again, with grace, in this world.

So, bit by bit, I learned how to be here, on this earth, as I gardened, meditated, and discovered peace and quiet. I began healing so much that one night a crow came to visit me in my dreams. It rested, full-feathered and black, on a tree. In my dream, my housemate, Cassie, told me that “it (meaning the crow, which seemed to represent me) has finally recuperated from the torture and pain and now needs to be nurtured. Its wings are able to fly, but the crow needs to be watched, making sure it doesn’t hurt itself again.”

My dream was a clear sign that I was on the right path after almost four years of pain and little mobility since injuring myself in New Mexico. While I was relieved by the progress I had made, I soon had another challenge facing me. I was traveling away from my place of retreat in New England to see my family—my father, mother, sisters, aunts (who were visiting from Argentina), and my nephews—at a reunion in Upper New York State.

The last time I had been with everyone had been three years earlier. I had visited in crutches from my home in Oakland, C95d89adad1bcbd7204bce0f705806471alifornia, and when I went I felt very little support. This time, I was worried I would attacked again for being weak and vulnerable. So, before traveling, I prayed hard, asked spirit, God, to give me the resilience I needed to not only survive my family reunion, but remain true and rooted in myself.

Committed to being real, and honoring and nurturing myself, even in a situation I feared would be cold and difficult, shifted everything during that family reunion. Rather than experience what I had during my last visit with family, I felt strong, clear, and, in some ways, supported. It wasn’t perfect, as few family reunions ever are, but I discovered that I had become a stronger person. Even one of my sisters acknowledged that it was nice to have me back—that I really seemed present in ways I had not been before.

So when I think back to all the fear I carried then, and how I had moved through it to become more fully myself, embodied and alive, I truly understand what it takes to be here on this earth. I get that sometimes we, as humans, walk around as souls afraid to be in our bodies. We don’t always know why we are afraid, or that we even are, but we don’t feel at home. We feel lost, stuck, paralyzed by life.

There is a place beyond fear, though, and that place is inside of us. Deep within. We must be with ourselves, understanding our shadow, the dark places that want to speak to us, and not run anymore. There is no place to go, no promised land, because we are the promised land we’ve run from for too long. We carry our home inside, beyond fear.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about moving beyond fear and coming home. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

74. Be Still Inside Challenging Times

BLOG 74—(present reflections tied to August 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—A friend recently shared a profound dream with me: she was inside her house and animals began entering in droves, one after another. She became scared as they continued to come inside.

But then she saw a Liona wise, divine, and beautiful Lion drawing her away from her fear. Just ask for what you want, the Lion advised her, and she knew in that moment that she had to choose between her fear and the immense beauty and wisdom of the Lion. My friend took the Lion’s advice and her entire demeanor inside her dream changed. She faced the animals, and simply asked them, without fear or doubt, to leave. They did.

While my friend was deeply touched by the message of the dream, it seemed the energy of the Lion and its divine masculine way left its imprint on her soul. She was reminded, as we all need to beespecially in today’s challenging timesthat we carry immense power and heart like the Sacred Lion, and that there is another way to be as we face personal challenges, natural disasters, climate change, and power-hungry patriarchal ways determined to kill us all with short-sighted greed.

When my friend shared her dream, I was surprised. It reminded me so much of my own dream of years ago, during the summer of 2000, when I lived in a farmhouse in New England, spending morning and nights healing, gardening, walking, meditating, and being with myself and God in nature. Just yesterday, I had begun writing about this dream, which, although devoid of a Lion, still held a similar message.

In that medicine 9d4c44a1948fce404dbca5e7181df117dream of August, 2000, I was shown a future like today’s and given insight into how we, as humans, need to approach intense challenges in order to unravel the mess we’ve made.

In my dream, I was with Alberto Taxco, an Ecuadorian Shaman I had translated for only months earlier. He was offering healing to several women. As I watched him perform these healings, I noticed buildings falling down in the distance, and a fire raging through the hills of what seemed to be San Francisco. An earthquake was quickly destroying the entire city.

Within seconds, everyone began running through the streets, including Alberto Taxco and these women, with me trailing behind due to my injured hip. A helicopter soon appeared and lifted Alberto and the women into the sky as I stood there, the fire quickly approaching as buildings continued to fall.

What happened next was amazing. Rather than run, I stood stillabsolutely stilland breathed the whole scene in front of me into my entire being. I seemed 27b1f4d76198f366a2e198ece984618ato surrender to it all, no longer needing to run, and instead became one with the fire. With this, the last building to fall did so only several feet away from me, followed by the fire, which suddenly stopped right before me.

Then, the scene within my dream changed to an earlier one, where I had learned about magic. I had been sitting watching a small canary-like bird and explaining to someone that if you can get the bird to surrender to you then you can carry the medicine of the bird with you. In this scene, the bird flew around me and I caught it in my hand without crushing it or holding it too long. It fluttered softly in my hands as it freely surrendered to me. I soon carried the bird’s magic because I no longer needed to chase it.

Carrying bird medicine, and knowing that I held within me the capacity to transform life, I returned to my dream of San Francisco. Those who had fled to the mountains of Ecuador with Alberto Taxco had returned. They were now in San Francisco and gorgeous stars filled the sky where the fire had earlier been.

When I pointed to the beauty that had replaced the disaster of merely minutes earlier, Alberto Taxco began to dance. He then approached me, and touched my right cheek ever so softly as a kind of ceremonial act, while, above us, two shooting stars fell from the sky onto the horizon of the earlier fire. Alberto smiled as he explained that I was the reason the shooting stars had fallen … that I had caused it.

I too smiled and woke up to write down my dream, and to remember, as I do now, telling this story, that there is power in standing still, in being the medicine that no longer runs from or fears disasters and messes of our lives, but absorbs, and holds a clear energy with what is in front of us so we can be the change agents that invite a new possibility of a star-filled night and shooting stars where once a fire may have raged…that in receiving and acknowledging with our hearts and whole beings what is in front of us, and no longer separating ourselves from the nature we are and are a part of, we can transform the chaos and unease of our lives.

Maybe in these challenging times, our place is to stand still and be of divine heart like the Lion… or be the wings of the bird, open, clear and knowing that, without doubt, we create our future, and that we, in our divine humanity, can be the future we envision.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening this divine knowing within. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video