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

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73. Giving Thanks for My Life and Work

BLOG 73—(present reflections tied to August 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel-writing journey)—Long days and nights of summer mist; consistent poetry workshops on Mondays; daily walks in the woods, every day with more strength and presence; evening feasts to cicada rhythms with visiting family and friends; swimming in the pool; tending to the garden; and meditating, healing my hips, and writing my novel’s story led to a special  moment on August 18 on Skimmilk Farm in New England…

Jean Pedrick and I at Skimmilk Farm (photo of a black & white picture taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000).

… that special night I finished my novel, which back then was simply called Duende. This 80,000 word manuscript began merely as a short story with no goal other than to follow the hunger that lay inside my aching body back in 1996, yet four years later it became my novel. I let out a sigh of amazement as the stars filled the skies on that August night on the farm. And not only was my novel finished, I was also healing my hips and beginning to walk again.

“Last night I finished Duende,” I wrote back then. “I completed my book at about 2 a.m. and then sat in front of my mesa, my altar, taking in the message and love of Duende, the spirit that rests in my bones, that is my bones, wanting to speak. As I wrote the last pieces of my novel, I felt the hunger, the altogether chaos and wildness of that earth-honoring self that I was, that we all are. I sat with that part of myself that surrenders to knowing, to truly understanding; that stands in the middle of the jungle, in that space of not separating from the jungle that is my body, that is myself, crawling its vines, its seemingly chaotic and random living through me, through us…that part that doesn’t try to figure out and dissect what is (for that will kill us), but surrenders to not knowing all the answers; because to know it all would be to separate ourselves from source that is so much bigger and vaster than ourselves and

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Jean Pedrick and I at Skimmilk Farm (photo of a black & white picture taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000).

yet is ourseleves as well. To contain this vastness would be to kill ourselves, to destroy the very part of ourselves that yearns to fly and live and truly taste the truth of our existence. This, I felt, was the duende that led me to write my novel and the very story that wished to teach me and others about an essence of life that we all have access to.

Back in 2000, I thought I had finished my novel, yet there were many more layers and chapters to write. I don’t regret any of the lengthy process of it. Not one bit. Not the years with several agents who shopped my novel to big publishers with optimistic reviews but no takers. Not the years of rewrites and further rewrites. It all became a part of a journey home to duende, to this spirit inside me that I continue to celebrate every day. The end of my novel then, and the publication of my novel more than a year ago became, in essence, the beginning of my true, fully-realized life.

Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I stay home nursing an intense cold. But I’m grateful.  I am grateful that the life I live now comes from deep within me, that it comes from my spirit, my essence coming first in whatever I do. There’s a sense of peace in this, a sense of knowing there is nowhere I need to go, that the richness of each moment is here, inside me, and around me. If I honor my creative spirit and surrender that which guides me in each moment, all will be okay.

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Photo of a photo taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000.

A few weeks ago, I also offered a Shamanic Writing Workshop with Burt Kempner, a fellow author, and remember feeling gratitude for having completed a successful class. At one point I was with my partner, Gorky, and he was sharing with me how wonderful the class had been. As he said these words, I began to cry a sense of recognizing that I had come home; that I was doing my life’s work on this earth, even if it was bit by bit as I worked a so-called day job. What a gift to be with someone I loved and to share in the harvest of all that I had worked so hard to become!

On this day of Giving Thanks, I give thanks to the fact that I not only published my novel (after completing it 20 years ago!), but that I can share my work and my life’s passion with my partner, family, and friends, near and far, who have seen me grow into the person I have become (and thanks to those who dropped off Thanksgiving food to me!). What a blessing to be surrounded by love and also be guided by a vaster universe that weaves its magic through me and all of us!

Blessings to you All!

Give a gift of magic, spirit, and returning home with Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, for these upcoming holidays! 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

68. Shedding my Skin

BLOG 68: July, 2000—A month of swimming, sharing dinners, of poetry, prose, and rich dreams, had passed at Jean’s New Hampshire farmhouse.  During this time of healing, the rituals and practices remained the same. Every week, I visited Denise, my Reiki energy healer, and every morning, especially after sessions with her, I tracked my dreams in my journal. The day after each healing session, I’d feel extremely tender and weak, with my nervous system so intensely heightened that I could feel any subtle changes within me and all around me.

Those mornings I would move slowly, and always—without fail—sit on the earth, in the garden, weeding or tending to the vegetables and plants. The earth soothed me, as I let myself sink into her broad arms, and feel her rich soil sift through my hands. Then, after a day of gentle healing, I continued my walks in the woods, bowing to the trees, listening to my heart, feeling her blocks, her resistance to the beauty around, as I opened, opened, and let myself truly feel for the first time in my adult life. And each week, I walked more, further, as my heart and hips opened.

At thirty years old, I had already experienced almost four years of pain, which ha1239e65497ccec8478b425560ef538d5d brought me to this place, and I was ready for the change that awaited me. So, when nights arrived, and I visited the world of the unconscious, I invited the layers of my unfamiliar self to rise toward my skin, to show me what lay behind the tightness of my body’s pain. And with every energy healing session, I unwound more layers of pain.

The dreams were many. During one, I literally shit out a snake (seems the most direct way to say this!), and was guided to make sure it fully left my body. In the shamanic world, the snake carries a lot of symbolism, especially that of being able to shed its skin and release the past. I took my dream to be about that—about letting go. After that dream, I felt a surge of energy I had never felt before in my tailbone, and after others and intense healing sessions, I woke with tremendous energy in my pelvis, with great sexual energy moving down my legs and into my feet, and up toward my heart.

With all that was happening to me, and fun days with Jean and her family on the farm, it was ironic that one of my greatest fears was feeling empty. As I s891d6d99f266bad7a7b3c16257939e60at still, meditated, and was honest with my feelings, I realized that I had spent so many years fighting, so often struggling or battling hard to be someone, to prove myself, to protect myself from all that had hurt me, that in the end I was most afraid of being empty. I had come to identify myself as the pain, struggle, and fight I had so long lived, that I feared, as I let go of all these layers in my body, I would be left with no center, no I.

Even back then, as I wrote about this, I knew that this “I” that I had become accustomed to was my ego, was the person I had learned to be… not the one I truly was. Living on the farm and being with the earth in all her nurturing love, helped me let go of this old self, this pained way, and make room for a gentler, more giving self. As a friend had once said after undergoing a shamanic journey on behalf of my hip: this journey of pain was about learning to be my gentler self, of not needing to push forward with a scorching, yet unattended fire in the pelvis…to be this gentle love that I was, and yet had left behind, years ago, as a child in the fields of Spain. 

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about shedding our skin and returning to a gentler place connected to the earth. 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

      

66. A Portal to Wholeness

BLOG 66: June, 2000—We’ve all traveled through portals to become whole at some point in our lives. Or so it seems, or seemed, during the summer of 2000, when I lived with Jean and her family on her New Hampshire farm, where I had committed a season to healing my hip.

When I refer to portals, I mean rites of passage, or some experience, often immensely challenging and horrific, which forces us to come face to face with our often unconscious fears. In making it through this rite of passage, we shed layers of all we are not, and make room for a new kind of freedom.

While this is what much of my life was about for five-plus years struggling to walk, one specific rite of passage occurred on a farm night in late June, after I had received one of various Reiki energy healing sessions. That night, when I had gone to bed, I couldn’t relax—let alone fall asleep—without being jolted awake by an overwhelming anxiety and fright residing in my hips and pelvis (in the area that I had originally injured while dancing years before).

When I finally fell asleep, it was to bird song and sunrise, and cars driving along the old New England road that lay several feet away from my second-story window. That’s when my nightmare began, revealing what was behind the fright I held in my pelvis.

When I sunk into deep sleep that early morning, I fell into an unsafe space. I was on guard, trying to protect myself, when a man approached me, and began to rape me from behind. I screamed and attempted to coax him away, to no avail. He continued and I screamed, until, sometime later, I was surrounded by a group of bearded men from India who,unlike the first man, were sitting there, encircling me in protection and support. They were angels of sorts.

What was unusual about this nightmare a6b9e50bcb78c75787aaa46519fc70a4is that it didn’t feel like a dream. My entire body experienced the trauma and fright, as if it were occurring in that very room I was in. There was no distinction whatsoever between reality and dream, and my body relived a trauma I had never experienced—or, at least, not in this lifetime. Yet it was real, as real as the pain I had lived in my hips. 

It seemed the nightmare lasted for two or more days, although it was only for three to four hours. It was as if I were hallucinating or on a really bad drug trip. Toward the end of it, though, the building I was in began to collapse—its roof falling down upon me, and with it, hundreds of heavy stones, typical of medieval European monasteries. One of the bearded men surrounding me quickly rushed to my rescue, and, within seconds of a massive stone falling upon me, he pulled me out of the way toward safety.

I abruptly woke up. It must have been one o’clock by the time I sat up in bed, amazed to be alive. I would have died if it had not been for that one man who had saved my life. I was immensely grateful that I had made it to another day. To have been able to live through such a trauma in my body, and to make it to the other side, felt like I had survived one of the most challenging initiations ever. It was as if I had faced my own death and those hidden fears that had debilitated me for far too long.

To add to it, years later, when I was able to walk extensively, yet struggled with pain in my hips, an intuitive (psychic) woman recounted back to me the very nightmare I had 46eb48f3116fa6000c6f6e191f11997elived. This woman, Jodie Foster (no, she was not the actress!), told me that my hip pain had been connected to a past life, and went on to describe an incident of that lifetime that, detail by detail, mirrored my dream. I had been a 17-year-old girl living in southern France, she later said, and I had been raped inside a monastery before dying.

I share this story today because that nightmare in late June of 2000 was one of several I experienced as I received energy healing, and slowly healed my hip. I had never expected energy healing to be so powerful—to open up my body’s consciousness, and help me awaken and release layers of pain that held back my life.

It was remarkable to have traveled through a portal, an initiation of sorts, in which invisible realities dictating my life and my path became visible. In doing so, my sense of what was real and possible in this world of healing and living expanded greatly so I could become a more conscious human being. I had made it through a nightmare, through a journey to other worlds inside me, so I could come home and be whole.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about traveling through our nightmares to a place of renewed hope and joy. 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