87. Love is Receiving Grace

BLOG 87—(present reflections tied to February 2001 journal entries about my healing journey)—“Love is receiving the grace of God in whatever form it shows up and not being afraid to do so,” I wrote in my journal of early 2001 as I continued to heal from an injury that had become chronic. I had been in New Hampshire back then, dog sitting for friends so I could continue to heal my hips and become whole again.

Every day that winter, no matter the weather, I walked in the park along the beach, practicing a walking meditation that helped me open to the blocks that stopped me from being free from pain. Earlier that summer, while living on a farm, receiving Reiki energy work, and studying shamanism, I had been able to go from barely walking to walking three miles a day. Now, with winter covering the land with her ice and cold, I pushed on, committed to transforming my life while also writing my soul’s healing journey in what today has become my novel, Child of Duende (Niña Duende in its Spanish translation).

As part of the shaman’s path, I had learned to journey (what is described as lucid dreaming). During one of my journeys to heal from pain, I received guidance on my relationship with my father, which I had worked on for many years. In this journey, I was a little girl, crying, with immense pain in my chest. As a child in this journey, I had wanted so much to share a space of ritual with the earth with my father. Yet, as I tried to connect with the earth, with God in this form, I felt my father denying me this (and denying himself this). The message that came to me was that he had wanted me to need him, to be there for him, and to hold his pain, and that being in ritual with the land had no value.

As I received this guidance, I saw that as an empathic 05a631afe1333c5a743fdae41af0a168and sensitive person on this earth (and not aware at the time that I was this way), I had carried a deep sense of responsibility for my father’s happiness, and anyone else’s around me. And ironically, this responsibility blocked me from being the person I needed to be—to be in ritual with the land, to receive the give of love that is here for all of us to receive when we are willing and able to be ourselves.

“My feeling of responsibility for healing my father stopped me from receiving God, from receiving spirit,” I wrote in my journal at the time. These are unusual words to hear, since we are so often taught to be responsible for so much. Yet in taking on other people’s pain—that pain which then we carry inside us—we are blocked from living our true lives. In my journey, I could feel my heart heavy with responsibility and pain that was like black tar that needed to be removed (and was removed through that process).

This morning, I awoke feeling heaviness in my heart, as I have in the past days, because lately I have been there for others who are going through immense pain and struggle, and I have felt concerned. While I wouldn’t take away the gift of being there for those I love, I also felt the need today to come back to myself today and be in relationship with God. So, I opened my door to the snow-filled mountains and fields before me. I picked up my drum, called in the directions, and sang my gratitude to the earth and to all of life. I allowed my heart to open again to the gifts that are in my life and to return to the God within me.

In my singing, I received a great lesson today. I realized a great truth: that of gratitude being the doorway to return into balance and peace. I’ll always recall how a shamanic teacher I once af1293cebd71a3e97c4715321fa9acbfhad had said said that when difficult things happen—accidents, injuries, clumsiness, small foils—it’s because we need to come back into balance. And for him, as a Peruvian shaman, it meant creating a Despacho, which, in the mountains of Peru, is a gift offering to spirit to give thanks to all of life that we have been given (and not concentrate on what we don’t have).

This morning, I could feel the truth in this—and not from a logical place of mind, but from within my body. Before singing, I had felt heavy and sad…akin to an emptiness that wanted to feed off of something to feel better, to fill up. Yet, when I sat still enough and then sang, I could feel that this heaviness and sadness were my disconnect from source (and carrying responsibilities that weren’t mine) and it was a whole lot of gratitude that needed to be expressed (not just in words or felt, but sang out as a gift that only humans can give in this way to spirit—to that from which all this life springs).

I felt today that in gratitude we receive and really feel the gifts, and in giving back to source our song, this heaviness inside can also transform to light. I saw that in this culture that feeds so much on life, consuming more and more to feel satiated and feed the addiction of our emptiness, we need to give back, to give back in gratitude for our lives so we can make more room inside ourselves to receive what we are blessed to have (and to let go of being responsible for that which is not ours to carry).

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of returning home to the earth inside and all around us. It’s now available in Spanish as Niña Duende: Un Viaje del Espiritu, that’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore or directly from me (for those outside of the U.S.) as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

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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

 

69. A Container for Spirit

BLOG 69: (reflections from July 2000 journal entries tied to my healing journey)—We stood around the fire under the full moon in a cleared out field of high grasses in New Hampshire. Denise, my Reiki healer and shamanic teacher, placed a stick into the fire and then cleansed the front and back of my hips with it, before blowing Peruvian Agua de Florida, a lavender, rose-water musk, on the same area. Then, a group of us called in the directions, sang, and began ceremony.

Since moving from New Jersey to the farmhouse in New Hampshire in early June, I partook in full moon fires like these. They were based on Denise’s teachings passed down to her from her teacher Alberto Villoldo who had learned from indigenous Peruvian medicine men and women. With every fire, there was a time of release, of throwing out the old, into the fire, and then renewing ourselves and our chakras (energy centers) with the spirit of the fire. This tradition of cleansing and renewal was tied to native traditions that have long believed that the full moon is a time of high energy when the veil between the seen and unseen world is thinnest (and therefore prayers are most powerful).

Partaking in his ritual in a manner I had never done earlier in life was special for me (after all, how many of us in our modern lives take time to consciously let go and cleanse ourselves of the past every month?).51878bda5fa06a6c934ea4c13fe7e4a4 It helped me intensify my intentions with my healing process, and to do so in a manner supported by community and spirit. Being in ceremony, and healing with nature on the farm, also opened a space for me to be with God and my life’s call, which had followed me since I was eight years old in Spain.

As the summer rolled on, and I began to heal, I reflected on this life’s call in relationship to my healing journey. I wrote in my journal: “I feel that all of my life the spirit of things, what which is hidden and unseen for many of us, has always been more important to me than the material, than the concrete in front of me. I have felt frustrated with my longing to live on this earth in a manner I have known to be true but have not actualized. I’ve lived this battle within myself, between spirit and matter—as spirit contained within matter.”

My writing continued as I suddenly became aware of a fear that lay within me and my healing process: “I feel a fear and anger at the possibility that I could heal my hips, and yet return to this same hunger that brought me here—this hunger that feels I will be without a place and way to manifest this fire within that needs to dance and be sensual. That the north—the way of the eagle—which has felt suffocating like the tightness in my hips, will have no room for me, when all I wante89c0ba3e50a9ec59548e3772f8d3a8e is to be in a culture that dances with fire, that knows and manifests magic and sensuality with ease.”

So, here I was, in New England, finally beginning to heal my hips as I had dreamed of doing for years, and I was afraid…afraid of succeeding.

But, as I read my journal now, almost twenty years later, it makes sense. After all, all of my life I had longed to live the fullness of the spirit I felt inside, yet saw no place for. All of my life, I had felt a different call of spirit, of creative passion, than that which I saw around me. So it seemed natural, there in the northeast, in New England, to suddenly struggle with the idea of healing, if, in healing, I still could not find home.

As I reflect on this today, my earlier words remind me of a comment my teacher, Martin Prechtel, made about healing. He pointed out that there is no use healing ourselves if we just throw ourselves back into the culture that injured us to begin with. So, with my hip, back then, and today, I see that I was afraid, because I had yet to find a culture, a way of being with spirit and life, which I could step into as I became whole. And, I had no understanding of how to become the culture, this container of life, which could one day hold the beauty and fullness of my spirit that I could dance into the world.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening this spirit within and finding 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

 

 

67. From Poetry to Manic Mowing

Recent photos by Emily Kefferstan, 2017

BLOG 67: June, 2000—They met every Monday morning under the shade tree at Skimmilk Farm, Jean’s summer farmhouse in rustic New Hampshire. Dusting the old house, keeping it clean from summers of fun, was less important than Monday mornings when this serious group of poets gathered to muse over mist-covered mornings, cats, Celtic Goddesses, Vulvas, and many more themes that released their aroma into the shade tree.

When Emily, Jean’s 13-year-old granddaughter, didn’t join the poets, I was the youngest there by far, and the only one with a novel. I shared my chapters of my manuscript, Child of Duende, inviting this group, which had met like this for 25 years, to travel with me to Southern Spain, to the coast, where my character Duende was born and raised. For some of the poets, my novel brought them back to earlier days when a Boston Columnist used to write about Duende, this word that the great Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca had described as a magical spirit of the earth from which all life and art arises.

Poetry Mondays were a long-held sacred ritual for Jean and her poets. But the weekends offered a different kind of attraction of sorts. That was when Jean’s other family members, like her simage2on, John, and daughter-in-law, Cassie—Emily’s divorced parents—arrived at the farm to celebrate farm life and help Jean maintain the place. That’s when they’d drive the lawn mower tractor over acres of land; clean out the pool; weed the expansive garden; and just take care of anything that needed caring for.  And after all the chores—or during that time—we’d all take a dip in the pool, relax, and then make elaborate meals from all the fresh vegetables of the garden.

On one of those summer weekends—which I will never forget—Cassie decided to get on the tractor and mow as much lawn as she could as quickly as she could. She could get rather manic, to say the least, and this day was no exception. She got on that tractor right by the nice, clean pool, started it in high gear, and didn’t seem to figure out how to slow it down. Cassie smiled broadly while holding onto the tractor with all of her might as it ran circles around the pool, cutting every blade of grass in sight, tossing them all into the pool. Soon, the pool was filled with fresh green blades, with me yelling for Cassie to stop, and her oblivious of what was happening around her as she continued riding circles on her new toy.

While that was a humorous moment with Cassie, there were others that were harder to bear. Her energy could be extremely invasive and exhausting, and I still remember nights in which I struggled with sleep because of this. She could feel so unsafe to be around, and especially given I was very sensitive to other people’s energies in those days. I was already scared to fall asleep, to drop into frightening dreams—or more clearly nightmares—as I had done nights before, and now there was Cassie to contend with.

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During one of my dreams, in which I allowed myself to sink deeper, I dreamt of my parents. In my dream, my mother kept asking me to sweep things up with the same broom that my father had used to attack me or put me down. It seemed I was asked to be with my father’s abuse while my mother tried to sweep things away, ignoring what was happening in front of her.

When I reflected on my dream, I felt I was being shown a pattern that I had carried within me for a long time—a pattern of accepting abuse, and also cleaning it up and taking care of everyone else but me, just so all could be well. It was as if my weekly energy healing sessions and Cassie’s manic ways had awoken in me an unhealthy dynamic I had grown up with and was ready to release.

My dreams, and at times, frightening evenings, and fun-filled days on the farm, seemed to all blend together to help me see myself, and to offer change—change in my aching hips and pelvis, change in my heart, and change on my soul’s path.

That summer was a summer of extremes—of being with the extremes I carried within me and those I saw around me, and learning to establish new boundaries and ways of caring for myself in loving, healthy ways. I had arrived on the farm ready to heal, ready to truly walk again, and now I was beginning to awaken to the path I would eventually take—the path of a teacher, writer, and healer who would one day help others heal as I had learned to do that summer and beyond.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about nature spirits, Flamenco, and Southern Spain, and returning 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 Video