85. Love’s Responsibility

BLOG 85—(present reflections tied to February 2001 journal entries about my healing journey)—Have you ever traveled deep into your pain, only to discover it wasn’t yours?…only to discover it was love, an immense love you carried for another so fully that you were carrying their pain inside you?

Back in New England, in the winter of 2001, I embarked on a shamanic journey—a lucid dreaming into my body in search of answers—so I could clear layers of pain I had held in my body since injuring myself years earlier. My friend, Carl Hyatt, helped and guided me with this process that revealed such important teachings that ironically resurfaced again here in New Mexico. Isn’t it always like that—life as the spiral of a tree trunk that returns to the same place we’ve been, but further along in time and maturity?

In my Shamanic Journey in the winter of 2001, I chose to travel back to Spain, to the fields that raised me outside of Madrid. I was about eight back then, the same age as the girl, Duende, of my novel, Child of Duende. My intention was to connect with God and spirit as I had done as a child then.

In my journey, the little girl I had been, Michi, skipped up the road toward the field where I awaited her. She was happy, with her hair pulled back like a Native American girl. She was glad to see me. “All right, show me God!” she demanded in the same way she had asked of the fields and skies of Spain back then.

In response to her request, one hundred or more spirits popped out of all the reeds and light-colored grass of the field. The spirits were holding hands, dancing in circles, and creating ceremony in the space. Yet, Michi folded her arms in resistance, resilience, as if not convinced. She could see the spirits, but then said, “So, what’s the big deal? What’s next?”

As I got closer to her, wondering what was wrong, she took my hands and danced a kind of “Ring around the Rosie” game. She wanted to dance with me and her father (my father!). She didn’t want to be alone. She felt powerless and alone without him. She felt that being in the field had no value, that her need to connect with God had no connection with her family and father…that this part of her was not honored, seen, or valida1dd704314d648489ea2aa1570bbf6472ted.

In the journey, Michi wanted validation from her father. She felt this part of her that didn’t belong, that was misplaced, belonging to another family. She felt like something was wrong with her in wanting to be in this field this way, in wanting to connect with God, like there was no room for it in her life. She wanted her father to witness this ritual because her father was connected to these rituals, but denied it in her and intentionally cut her off from this part of herself. He was jealous, angry, and afraid that she wouldn’t need him and be with him if she were allowed to be connected to this ritual of the land. More than anything, he was determined to not let her connect to God, to her tribe, to the land, to her power, to her heart.

As Carl and I continued on this Shamanic Journey, something amazing happened, though. I cried a lot, felt the weight that this little girl I had once been carried. Little Michi was determined to have her father by her side, to share her heart with him, but most of all, to carry his pain for him. Her love was so strong that she was willing to die for him. She was attached to her father, to healing his pain and unhappiness because she wanted to be reminded of her capacity to love in the only relationship that seemed to matter. She felt her reason for living was to heal him, to be there for him…that she belonged to him and not herself.

Little Michi was also carrying an immense responsibility that weighed her down and scared her. She felt overwhelm from the weight of so much responsibility a soul like her felt she needed to carry. She didn’t understand why she had to do so much work. She carried a lot of dark energy that her father had not wanted to give up in order to believe in life again.

As this journey continued, I called in help from spirit. I asked Jesus to help the little girl that was me, and so he arrived and held her in his lap. He told her that she was afraid of being responsible for everything, and that “responsibility is not a heavy thing. It’s light. It’s clean (unlike the weight she was carrying). It was of the heart.”

As Jesus held little Michi, I asked White Buffalo Calf woman, a sacred Lakota woman, to clear the weight from this pain and responsibility I had carried in my heart. She sucked out the responsibility, which was nasty and black like tar, from my chest. She was like eagle and raven sucking out death. And ironically, as she did so, I felt scared, wondering who I was…what was left of me, where my spirit was when the layers of confused self, of attachment and pain I’d so gotten used to, left me.

“Don’t always feel you need tof5bdcabed675eb85f2f74395ba2686a2 be engaged all the time,” White Buffalo Calf Woman said. “It’s okay to be empty. You need to be empty now in order to receive God. God is here.” She went on to explain that my feeling of responsibility for healing my father stopped me from receiving God, receiving Spirit. That love was receiving the grace of God in whatever form it showed up and not being afraid.”

This journey of so long ago included far more than what I’ve shared. But what’s especially remarkable is that in these past two weeks—during the time in which I had an amazing turnout and strong soulful response to my Storytelling and Flamenco work in Taos, NM (and I felt the gifts of my life’s work echoing back to me—I’ve had pain emerge from my right shoulder (my area of greatest strength). As I’ve been healing my shoulder with my healer Liz Blasingame—opening up my entire body and heart in new ways—I’ve had this immense grief and tiredness of a lifetime (or many lifetimes) come up.

As I’ve done this, Liz has helped me let go of the pain I’ve been carrying in my body that is not mine—to return it to its origin so I can open my heart and truly be free of pain, free to love. Through this process, I’ve felt my shoulder open, my heart open, and I’ve come to terms with how much I’ve really carried that is not mine. Like so many people who are empathic, I’ve come to understand that I’ve absorbed so much pain of the world, rather than feeling it and letting it go…that I’ve taken on the responsibility of the world like a bad habit that has crippled me and made it hard to connect with God, with this bright spirit within me.

During these past days of hot summer in New Mexico, I’ve found myself becoming more still than ever before. I’ve been feeling my soul’s home inside my body, letting my breath and light move through me, while letting go of the weight of the world that is not mine. I’m beginning to trust in a new way…trust myself, trust God, and trust this empty, still place inside me that is home, that is life moving through me with ease.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is my story that rose from my journey of healing and from the lips of the earth and my ancestors. 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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83. Reflections on Wind Horse

BLOG 83—(present reflections tied to December 2000 journal entries about my healing journey)—Tonight the wind danced to chimes on the vine-covered tree outside my house, and a horse released wild cries as its front legs kicked defiantly into the air. I walked outside to record the sounds of what I later called “wind horse.”

Tonight, after a month of absence, I also returned to the stories of my healing journal of 18 years ago. In my writing, the past becomes present, and it teaches me what I felt inside the wind, inside love, in living what almost two decades ago I experienced from pain, stillness, and returning to self, to that place of “God” that Deepak Chopra described as “eternal consciousness” that is inside us and everywhere. Tonight, I’ve decided to share a few simple quotes, moments of wisdom, which came to be back then about acceptance, love, and peace.

May your journey through spring, and her season of change carried by the wind, be one of peace, love, and acceptance as I share a few words here:

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 “It is my loving that heals, and my direct connection through my heart to God—to the God within everything—that heals. No one needs to become big for me to be healed; I don’t need to be small to heal; I just need to be alive, to be fearless in my heart of my capacity to love and connect with all around me.”

“The sacred union between two beings is the deepest and truest expression of God.”

“Transformation is the acceptance of our place, our home, our great gift of life. It is the acceptance of all the parts that make this life balanced and whole.”

“We are the dance and the dancers. We are the source and the destination.”

Peace is that place in the heart 010959dddb71e5d9dfccc76c90f498b9where all the pieces of ourselves are held together with love… that place in the mind where all the pieces are held together with clarity… that place in the belly where are the pieces are held together in fullness. It is a place of understanding.”

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is my story that rose from my journey of healing and from the lips of the earth and my ancestors. 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

81. Blessed Water

BLOG 81—(present reflections tied to November 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—The water came on Valentine’s night, in small droplets as it does here in New Mexico’s desert after long periods of drought. But then, bit by bit, these drops became real rain, unabashed, filling the air with long-awaited moisture that seeped down into the thirsty earth.

That night I stepped outside of my boyfriend’s house to smell the first signs of rain. Actually, we all did, including my boyfriend’s sister who commented on how the earth smelled like sweet fragrance as it absorbed the blessed water. We all smiled, as I imagined so many of us here in New Mexico did to finally have rain after months of unusually warm, dry winter days. Here, when the water comes, it’s like a pregnant woman with her water breaking, and new life announcing itself!

The next day, the gray rain clouds remained with us in this city of Albuquerque, and further north, in Taos, it finally snowed and snowed. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed our gray days, since on the East Coast, where I spent half my childhood, rain was common, and I wanted nothing to do with gray. I didn’t appreciate the water as I do now out here in the desert. I always considered myself a person 907a2a0b13b7f0ebe34c63a159dbace8of fire—I loved the warm days filled with sun and longed for the drier climate I grew up with in Spain.

It took me a long time to really appreciate the water and its essence. It seems I only began to understand its full importance during the fall of 2000, as I continued healing from my hip pain.  I had always willed my way through life, determined to make things happen in a masculine way of living, dominated by fire and force. But, as I worked on healing myself from years of pain and not walking, I felt the need to explore this element, and its place in my life.

One afternoon in 2000, I decided to go on a shamanic journey wit88fbb1d82e00027dcf3a42bfbd5bbddah a friend of mine (a shamanic journey is a process of lucid dreaming, where you go on an inner journey with your imagination and full senses, with intention to find clarity on an issue). I did so to intentionally to connect with the spirit of water, realizing how little I had done so in the past.

In this journey, I traveled to the center of the earth, to the spirit of water residing in a cave. Through this process it seemed I was connecting with my own womb, with the baby that was a part of me, residing within me inside gentle, loving water. As I did so, I experienced a part of myself I had neglected, a fluid, feminine energy that is a universal  part of all of life and the cosmos that flows with no boundary, no limit, no borders.

“When I see a tree, I am a tree. This part of me is in everything I see. It is my universal self mirrored and present in everything,” I wrote in my journal during that autumn of 2000. As I continued on this journey, focusing on the energy of water in my womb, it became a fountain of water, spinning outward, increasingly so as I gave it my attention, so much that my friend and I began to bathe in this water essence that was pure love.

“This entire force of water was magnetic because it flowed outward and was pulled by gravity downward to the roots of the center of the earth,” I wrote in my journal. “Water is everywhere at the same time. It’s like the rays of light that move far, deeply, inside the crevices of life, and is full of surrendered passion.”

As I came out of my journey, and sat with the powerful force of water that I had connected to, I realized how much I had tried to live from a strong fire in my belly, 3dec65763849de2a392ed369c0095d9fabsent of this loving energy of water. I had learned to live like men do, like this extremely masculine culture we live in does. But that day, I saw how it was time to live more from the womb of womanhood—how this soothing, healing, and loving energy is what knows how to connect strongly to all of life, reflecting back ourselves in all we see.

Today, I think about how much we could benefit from this spirit of water, this universal cosmic feminine energy, in our culture of borders, power-hungry leaders that separate us in an effort to dominate, and all the school shootings that kill more and more children and adults. Like here in the desert where the sun dominates the land with is heat, we should call forth more often—in prayer to the feminine—the spirit of water, and her rain and her life-affirming ways to bring healing and remind us of the abundance, love, and ever-flowing connectedness we all carry within us.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about connecting with the wisdom of the earth and universe. 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

 

 

78. Weaving Peace with my Luminous Body

BLOG 78—(present reflections tied to November 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—Three months had come and gone on the New England farm during the summer of 2000. The long days and nights of healing, walking, meditating, gardening, dreaming, and connecting with God had come to an end as had Monday poetry gatherings, swimming pool extravaganzas, and shared time and feasts  with Jean’s family and friends on the farm.

By late August, the poets had moved inside to share their musings beside the fireplace; Emily, Jean’s 13-year-old granddaughter, was preparing to go back to school in Boston; and I was trying to figure out my next move (after all, I had come to the farm to heal my hips for a summer, and now my official retreat was complete). Emily and I had grown closer over the summer (she sometimes sat next to me as I meditated, hoping to find peace in her life), and I had gone from walking a city block with immense pain to walking three miles easily. I had also written more chapters of my novel and had completed sessions of Reiki energy healing with my shamanic teacher (I had healed much of my physical pain with her help, but I had also discovered ways in which she had abused her power with black magic, and I had called her on this).

By the time New England’s cooler weather swept us out of her farmhouse devoid of heat, Jean’s family and I were making plans to return to “real life.” Even Jean’s cat, Tristan, whose beautiful black coat glistened from all his adventures into the summer wild, would return with Jean to Boston’s wealthy Beacon Hill neighborhood. His coat would lose its sheen and he’d revert back to living a e89015c7fdb4b8aa9b3c607f09d28de3rather dull and matte life along with all the other city cats.

Uncertain of where I would live next, I was grateful when Julie, one of the summer poets, offered me the chance to live with her and her husband, Bill, in Rye, New Hampshire. They planned to spend their first winter in the Dominican Republic and needed someone to care for their home and cat while they were gone. I would also share their house with them before and after their journey south, so, when summer returned, I could, once again, be with Jean on the farm.

Julie and Bill’s place was a beautiful two-story older home with a bright yellow bedroom on the second floor and a livable big attic space for me to reside and play in. When there, I continued my treks through the woods, but now I walked paths along the ocean, with lower lying tre2dc43dcdaadb3a18a0d703fe22f57668es around me and a cooler ocean breeze. I also maintained my meditation practice, shamanic classes, novel writing, and tracking my dreams that were my medicine for unraveling my soul’s physical pain.

During a late morning in mid-November, shortly before I would attend the next Shamanic class in Mount Washington, I woke up in my new home with the most unusual experience. My body was being pulled into the earth by a force beyond me—or at least beyond this body, or energy body, that I am and had ever experienced prior to that. I literally felt my body weaving energy threads in all directions. A lot of energy was moving through my legs and I was grounding and pulling this force through my tailbone to weave luminous threads around the tension that existed with my shamanic teacher (and Reiki practitioner) and her teacher who had both engaged in darker shamanic practices and would be teaching the next workshop.

As I tuned into this process my body was going through, I felt my body producing a kind of Despacho, a Peruvian offering (gift), through a ritual weaving of peace. I could literally feel my body’s luminous threads, traveling through the earth as the roots of the tree do, and drawing a luminous peace sign in the room where the 782939b3c9e17da77b8bb16b35630c93class would take place! I had never experienced this before, but imagined with all of the healing and opening of my body I had done in the past months on the farm, I was now accessing my spirit’s medicine.

That morning in November, as I lay in bed, I felt my body inside a space of total possibility and awareness of my capacity to heal or transfer anything with my energy body. I only needed to ask for it, through my energetic and loving intent. I was love, and my spirit, when acknowledged inside form, was pure love. This love was light that can manifest anything by loving itself.

That morning, I also discovered more fully how we all are connected deeply to luminous threads that weave through us and out into the universe. If we tap into this reality, and stop limiting our reality to what we just see, we not only heal ourselves, but this world, one thread at a time, resonating from the love that we are.

b0669a8b22427ff149a6fa3dfbd0dc43Today, as I work as a writer, healer, and teacher, I am reminded, time and time again, how important it is to acknowledge this part of myself—this part of me that is sensitive and empathic, that picks up energies around me, and feels the world that my spirit, my physical/energy body wishes to bring healing and peace to. There are times I may not even realize what I am doing as an empath. When I become disconnected this way, and don’t acknowledge my gift, I can get real sick and run down (as a healer friend of mine recently pointed out. . . We are busy trying to bring peace and balance to situations without realizing the energies we take on that aren’t even ours and later cause us pain).

Years ago, before I got injured, I used to run from one place to another, moving, running, accomplishing. But now, no matter how much I try to do, there is a voice that is my body, my wise spirit body, slowing me down, bringing me home to this deeper wisdom that I am. We are all luminous energy bodies that weave love and light through the universe. If we can get that…really get that…we can weave a world of peace inside ourselves and together as earth beings on this precious earth.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about discovering the Luminous Beings 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

 

77. This Tree Grows Roots in Winter

BLOG 77—(present reflections tied to September 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—I used to walk along the forest path that lay across from the New England farmhouse where I lived in my early 30’s during my summer of 2000. Almost every day—when I wasn’t in too much pain from energy sessions intended to heal my hips—I walked the woods, learning to open my heart to life.

It was a meditation, a healing practice, a lesson in receiving and breathing in life beyond the pain that limited my mobility. I began with one hundred feet in early summer, and then, step by step, I reached three miles at summer’s end.

When I began this meditation journey, I soon realized how easy it was for me to not feel, to close myself to nature and life around me. Inner voices, thoughts, and tightness in my breath surfaced easily, and I could feel how much my emotions of the past blocked me from being present to the trees or anything else. Yet I listened, bowed to the forest and breathed in a kind of Namaste in order to open my heart despite my limitations.

During one of my walks in late September, I reflected on my earlier years growing up in New Jersey, where my family had lived after leaving Spain. I had been eleven back then, and it had been so hard to connect with the forest and earth that surrounded our house. The trees felt too still for me, too heavy and dark, closing in on me in comparison to the wide-open desert lands I had so loved in Spain. During those years in New Jersey, the forest had represented the density and disconnect I had felt in my life back in the United States.

As I walked the woods in late September of 2000, I was once again reminded of how the forest had been a place of restriction, of not being able to move from and with the emotional pain of my past that had now taken physical form. “The trees were not an escape or a source of love back then because they were like me, stuck with being with what was, of being where a seed had first been planted,” I wrote in my journal during that summer in New England in which I had chosen to be with my constriction I had carried for so many years.

The forest became my place of healing, of learning to open my heart to everything and no longer try to escape. It became a place to feel my fear of rootedness, of relationship, of intimacy. I felt the betrayal I had carried in my heart, the deep distrust in others I had held as a teenager, and that unsafe place of being rooted with my family and having nowhere to go.

Ironically, that day I walked in the woods in late September presented me with three snakes along my path. One of them literally blocked the path and seemed to be saying, “Don’t go any further—be with what you are sensing.” As I did so, I began to feel, for the first time, that I didn’t need to fear being rooted anymore.

“I can be rooted in myself and be safe if I stand for mys8d9f3a29417c5772fddb425161b6a720.jpgelf no matter where I am, “I wrote in my journal back then. “The trees are a great lesson in going deep within the earth and also reaching toward the sky. It’s not about moving forward. It’s about moving upward and out, into the darkness and light inside one being, one breath, and I can feel protected and lifted inside this space.”

Today, at the beginning of winter here in New Mexico, these words seem to resonate strongly. Isn’t this the time for us, inside this darkness, to listen to that place inside where the seeds of spring are sown? Now is no different than that summer in New England so long ago when I wrote that “the roots and the darkness are the stories, the dreams that become realized in the light. The soul needs darkness to dream, and light to realize itself.”

This past weekend, as I sat with my love, reflecting on what we wanted to call forth in this New Year, I began to feel, more than anything, my desire to sink into that still place where winter offers us her cold fingers, yet warm hearth. I felt called to return to that place of dreaming, of meditation, of listening, so insights become the roots of the tree I am …the roots that, in springtime, will help me grow new branches reaching even further up toward the light.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about discovering, inside the earth, 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

 

 

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