71. When Were You Last In Love?

BLOG 71: (present reflections tied to July 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel-writing journey)—“When’s the last time you were in love?” an Argentinean man asked me at a party I attended about three months ago after returning from his country. “Yesterday,” I said, half in jest.

Far from satisfied with my response, this man who, shortly afterwards, would become my new love, asked again.

“You mean, when was the last time I was in a relationship?” I inquired.

“No,” he said. “I really mean . . . when were you last in love?”

I never answered him that night, and when I think about it now, it was for two reasons. First of all, I wasn’t ready to divulge my life’s love story to a complete stranger. More importantly, though, there was a kernel of truth in my answer. Had I not been in love with friends, with this sacred journey of life of the past years, especially since publishing my novel, and sharing my passion with others?

Hadn’t I also experienced this place of “in-loveness” on and off throughout my life, and especially as I really began healing from my hip pain at the New England farmhouse during the summer of 2000?

Back then, I had worked so hard to let go of immense pain, so many unconscious layers of emotional and spiritual weight, that, when I was able to surrender to spirit, to an essence that connected me to the larger life around me, something amazing occurred. I fell in love—in love with life’s aliveness inside and out.   

418c1d9322c7fba52aff69e81ee6e681“I feel last night was the beginning of surrendering to a feminine energy within me that had no fear,” I wrote in my journal in July of 2000. “I began letting the universe take it from here.”

In surrendering, in letting go of knowing where I was going or where I had been, and finally  trusting a force within me and greater than me, I was able to fall in love. “I felt a smile and wholeness within all of me, like being in love,” I wrote back then. “I felt a real grounded, solid fullness that replenished itself.”

That feeling of in-loveness followed me for days. I could feel the earth moving up my legs, sensed how she fed me, and helped me center and expand far beyond the limited places I had lived. During those days, I found myself looking up at the sky a lot, at the billowing clouds, breathing an immense love deep into my heart. The flame within me also reached out, fed the world around me, as I received the holy of life.

During one of those mornings, I heeded a call to go to the ocean. There, I lay in the sun and sand, listening to the waters expand their waves toward me. “It felt so sensual. Everything filled my heart, my solar plexus, with love,” I wrote in my journal. “And when I went into the ocean, it was ama2b6d6e6a01abe2aaf6d4f1f233de3ac6.jpgzing. I was in love with the water as I swam freely, floating and watching the big sky. The people on the beach were also so magical, especially the older couples watching the children from their chairs. Everything connected me to a feeling of love, of light, of fullness and fluidity with life.”

As I look back at this time in 2000, when I had worked so hard to feel life again, to be in love as I had once been as a child (as we all are at some point), I can say that that time may have been my first adult encounter, at age 31, with really being in love. Sure, I had experienced in-loveness before that, but this was at a much deeper level.

As I reflect on the past, I think, maybe then, three months ago, when I met my Argentinean man, it was honest for me to have answered “yesterday” about when I had last been in love. And maybe it’s also accurate to say that, if asked the same question again, I would give the same answer today.

After all, after more than three months of being in relationship, I can honestly say that the love and in-loveness I’ve felt has only grown. And what I’ve learned from that summer many moons ago, and from my most recent relationship, is this: love will ONLY grow if we can let go of layers of fear, of false selves we have become, and surrender to spirit, to life offering her gifts in magnificent ways.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening this love 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

 

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70. Falling Apart in our Hands

BLOG 70: (reflections from July 2000 journal entries tied to my healing journey behind my novel)—The thunder rolled in, across the fields of high grass, along the old New England road outside my window. It arrived at where I sat, in front of my mesa, my Peruvian altar. Hail followed, and wind that soon turned into a vicious summer storm of late afternoon.

I had woken up late that day from a night of immense energy moving through me from yesterday’s energy healing session and was only able to fall asleep as the birds began to sing in early morning. When I did sleep, I sunk deep into dreams that unraveled the restlessness in my body.

In my dreams, I went up in a helicopter, and, at the same time, played with a helicopter in my hands. The little helicopter suddenly broke in my hands as the bigger one began descending, seemingly without engine. I prepared to save myself by rolling out of the helicopter as it touched the ground, before crashing. But it landed smoothly and I just walked out.

I observed the dream within the dream, realizing that there was no reason for me to fear crashing because the helicopter in my hand was not holding me—I was holding it and the helicopter holding me would land us both. I sensed that my own creation could break, but my life didn’t depend on my creation one bit as much as it did on the larger helicopter of life that is spirit, God, which guides us in our journey forward in the universe.

I felt a peace that came with knowing I could trust my own creations and choices in life to be held by the larger hand of spirit. Wasn’t life like that, inside my body, where a thunder rose from underneath my pain, to only reveal a peace thereafter?

As I sat meditating, listening to the storm, I surrendered to 6cbe0cbfb7da101ef1d2fd4454fa6f9bit. I allowed the storm to be my body releasing all that sought to hail and thunder to the surface. At one point, I even lay down and allowed my heart to release its unease, its restless, ancient, unnecessary creations through my feet. And then it happened. A silence—the eye of the storm—took over.

This soft, silence illuminated the darkness of my room lit by a few candles as light broke through the storm. Without seeing its source, I felt it filter through the clouds and trees, landing on my mesa, my heart, my room. It was as if the light were everywhere, even inside me, as an internal light took over. I sat with the stones of my mesa—yellow, red, jaguar—and inside the silence, gave my love to each one. The calm that entered my body was like none I had ever felt.

With windows closed and house empty of sound, the absolute stillness was breathtaking. It came as a surprise—a deafening stillness that had nowhere to go but be felt by my entire body. All the breathing and releasing of my pain, of the storm, had found a center of stillness. In riding the storm, I too had arrived at stillness as the light shone from within that had always been there. It just needed to be shaken up to release the anger and noise that had covered it up.

I truly understood, as in my dream, that there was peace in the center, in the place where God, where spirit resides, holding us, even as our creations fall apart in our hands.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening to spirit 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

 

63. Bowing in Grace

BLOG 63: June, 2000—Jean sat in her favorite chair in the kitchen by the screen of an open window.  She blew her cigarette smoke out past the tiny metal mesh, which temporarily protected her New England farmhouse from a few select mosquitoes of early summer. My new near-80-year-old poet and housemate seemed to love looking out the window, reflecting on her next poem, or maybe her many years married, and raising children, or her husband’s recent death.

As I stepped into the dimly lit kitchen, Jean looked up. She greeted me as I prepared to leave for a weekend of translating for an Ecuadorian Shaman who was visiting up north, in the White Mountain area. I had just arrived at her farmhouse several days earlier, but was now traveling two hours north to translate for an organization called Dream Change.  

When I arrived at the home where I’d work, the Ecuadorian Shaman, Alberto Taxo, sat in a corner of the room, legs crossed. He was a good-looking man with long black hair and graying beard. I greeted him, presented myself as the person who would be translating his Spanish to English. He nodded, smiled.

Later, he would tell me stories about growing up under the tutelage of his shaman father, and a lineage of healers along the Andes and Latin America. He’d tell me about his initiation at age 13, when was sent to the mountains to stay three days in a hole dug into the ground. One of those days, Taxo awoke with a snake coiled on his belly, at which point he described being fearless (since snakes can smell fear and attack). Instead he told the snake how beautiful it was and it uncoiled and slithered away. His journey as a shaman continued until his father’s death, 8194dc6334121ca8cc6c17b407f37edewhich provoked grief and anger and two years of living in the streets and temporarily abandoning his healer’s path.

I loved listening to Taxo’s stories. After all, imagine missing out on your childhood, and, at an early age, being ask to carry forth a 500-year-old prophesy of your indigenous ancestors to prepare for an immense change for the earth and humanity, a “Pachacuti”, that would occur at this time in history. This was Taxo’s reality, combined with political work he did, demanding equal rights for Ecuador’s indigenous people.

Beyond his stories and teachings, what struck me most about Taxo was the manner in which he approached life. As I translated for him during various gatherings and healings, he displayed an immense amount of grace and presence. He seemed to bow to all of life—to the trees, to the animals, to the food he ate, to the people he passed—in a state of gratitude and listening. It was a practice I imagined he had learned early on in life—a practice that seemed a stark contrast to our modern-American “let’s move fast and get somewhere or something (and not listen much)” approach to life.

While Taxo was far from perfect (He seemed to have been seduced by modern Western culture in an unhealthy way), I returned to the farmhouse having learned a state of grace and gratitude that would help me heal my injury and heart.

From that weekend forth, I began to walk in the woods, a hundred feet at a time (or as far as I could go with my pain), and 61f49d5902a99d2693d6e1e6bb5b9546did so by bowing down to every tree, every flowering, breathing element in the forest. As I walked, I breathed the trees and their energy field into my heart, and, with every out breath, I bowed to the trees, greeting and honoring them. In doing this kind of mindfulness meditation, I soon discovered how blocked my heart was—how challenging it was for me to truly receive and feel the beauty around me. I also understood that if I continued this practice, I would feel the origins of my blocks and slowly get “out of my head” and open my heart, bit by bit, to feel.

Back then, Taxo’s example offered me my first important lesson of many that would help me walk again—from 50 feet to three miles by the end of the summer on Jean’s farm. It’s a lesson I’ve come back to, time and time again, in my life (even though I’ve gotten lost, plenty of times, in all the daily running around!).

This place of grace—this bowing down to and honoring life—still sits waiting for me, and all us, at all times. These days, I return to this place of grace in the dark of the night, when I sing an offering to the land, to my recently deceased father, and to those I love; when I bow in gratitude and love to my friend and lover; and when I sit still enough to feel this butterfly of transformative love for myself and all of life that sits fluttering in my heart. 

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about returning to this state of grace. 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

 

 

61. Divine Order Inside the Dark

BLOG 61: May, 2000—There is Divine Order, I say, with a capital “D” and “O”. I’ve come to witness this clearly during my lifetime. Call it Nature. Call it the Law of Attraction. Call it this world-wide web of energies that makes up this matrix we call life. There are laws that govern life that are beyond that which our rational minds can fathom or express.

During my past blog, I shared a story of what I called “divine magic.” I had requested a place to live in New England where I could heal from years of hip pain, and to my surprise my wish was granted within one day of making it. I needed to move from my parent’s home in New Jersey and go into retreat mode at little to no cost, and the perfect place quickly appeared. That’s divine order…Law of Attraction…whatever you want to call it.

While this kind of magic is the type we all wish for, there’s another reality that plays out in our lives—that is also part of this divine order—which I sense few people really pay attention to. It’s what we call darkness, or unseen energies that may confuse our lives and challenge our notion of reality. It’s what, in today’s world of polarization and duality, we choose to label as the enemy or unwanted, rather than seeing its divine origin and place in our lives.

Back in the Spring of 2000, while I still lived with my parents—and before moving up to New Hampshire to my new home—I had an experience that taught me about darker energies that can hold us back in our 80587d859f632a5b6c47eedbf483c94alives if we don’t pay attention to them. I was up one night watching the movie, “The Sixth Sense,” the story of a young boy who saw ghosts who were stuck between this physical reality and that of the spirit world beyond this plane (and who carried some kind of pain or unresolved issue during this lifetime that prevented them from leaving this earth plane).

Maybe you’ve seen this movie. This boy with a sixth sense was extremely compassionate and sensitive, and because of this ghosts haunted him, asking him to help them, to release them from their hell. By the time the movie came to an end, I was crying furiously. Why? Because something in me sensed strongly that I was like this boy, that I carried with me one of these ghosts, one that clung onto me during my time of weakness and debilitation. I had been open and vulnerable to outside energies that didn’t serve me, but that needed someone to help them. The result was that I was extremely tired for a long time, and didn’t know why.

In the world of shamans and medicine men, these “lost” energies are understood in the same way a doctor understands that our heart pumps blood. So, intuitively I called up my shamanic teacher (I had never had experiences with this before), and she referred me to a shaman who could help me in New York City.

Not knowing what to expect, I went to this NY shaman and told her what I suspected. Within an hour of working with her, I could suddenly feel an actual energy—the shape of a tall, narrow, older man—leave my body, out my crown. It was the strangest, most real experience I had ever had. Until that day, I would never have believed in such a thing as ghosts clinging onto people and draining them of their energies. I too would have thought this was crazy.

I returned home, and felt I could access myself more easily, experience a sense of peace and calm I hadn’t felt in a while. I also felt compassion for this ghost that had clung onto me, because I knew that he had been helped, that his soul could travel home, so to speak.

My experience back then, and today, is that this world we call “the unseen world,” this place we close our eyes to in fear, is merely energ92e0af069ef47fab12a87cbbba964503y. It’s an energy that needs to be addressed with compassion and understanding in order for us to be healthy and whole. It is an energy that comes from divine love that has lost its way inside a Divine Order, inside of its true nature that calls it back to source, to love. I too was lost and needed to find my way back to this divine order, as was this ghost, this spirit, which clung onto me.

Today, after years of learning to clear old energies and dance with these subtler, unseen energies of life, I’ve been able to open more fully to love and this divine place that’s here for us to live. I’ve not had to run anymore from my shadow, or the shadow of the world, because I can see it for what it is: love.

Just the other night, I walked with a precious companion onto the desert mesa lit up by an almost-full, pregnant moon. We created sacred space under grandmother’s watchful gaze, blessed the divine love that sought a place to be sung into life, and we too felt it—this place of Divine Order where love returns and all of life becomes a magical, timeless dance of God, the infinite.

I realize now, though, that if it had not been for those darker energies, those places I had to look at, be with, help, that had lost their way, I would never have experienced what I did on the mesa—that divine love that is everywhere, waiting for us to sing it into life.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, which is about returning home to this divine love, is available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

60. Time for Divine Love

BLOG 60—April 28, 2000: “There is no beginning, no end,” I wrote in my journal at my parents’ house in New Jersey 17 years ago. Why? Because I had moved there to heal my hip, and expected to stay for no more than a year before continuing on my life’s path.

“So much time has passed. It’s all become a drawn out affair,” I wrote. “I’ve almost forgotten what I started with…the passion that led me here and hopefully the passion that leads me out of here.”

I had gone out West to discover and invent my life, without limits, and yet I got the wind knocked out of me—got injured—and in my early thirties was living with my parents. “I feel little me wondering if I can do it—can I make it without throwing myself down hard again?” I asked myself.

The irony of life is that, shortly after writing this, a new door to my life opened. I had traveled with a local friend up to New Hampshire, where I had lived years earlier, and where my friend Carl had suggested I take a Shamanic Class studying the Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel. What happened there was nothing short of a miracle.

After class, I had let other students know that I was looking for a place to live in exchange for house-sitting or something similar. I couldn’t afford rent, but I needed a refuge, a place to be with God, so I could finally heal my hip after three years of excruciating pain.

A day after the class completed, and I was already in New Jersey, one of the students overhead a group of poets in a café saying that all they needed to do was find someone who could live with a woman named Jean. The student approached this group and mentioned my name, and soon Jean and I spoke by phone to see if she and her farm house in New Hampshire would be a good fit for me.

a07a67815507524254e67324f69e0d9bIt’s all timing, I say. I still felt incredibly fragile, scared to trust that I could truly walk again as I had years earlier. I was dubious that there was such a thing as divine support in my life. I had lost faith. And yet that’s when this miracle of perfect timing, perfect alignment of everything occurred.

Tonight, as I walked down my dirt road here in New Mexico, I felt sadness, or longing–that “something” I couldn’t quite pinpoint, yet felt throughout the day. It’s strange how that is…that feeling or sensation that chases us all day long…that often chases us out the door, running all over the place, until we finally get back to ourselves. But as I walked, I could feel it, feel its origin.

I returned to the house, and with a glass of wine, sat outside my home, listening to the silence interrupted by soft chimes signing their loving song in the breeze. I reflected on my father and my relationships with men in my life—on the challenges, on the long journey of coming into my own, of becoming the diamond of a woman that I am that was carved out of all the breaking and polishing of that which once was rough, hidden inside harsh stone.

So much of my focus for so long had been on polishing, healing, learning to love this diamond that I was slowly becoming. I h81b442e8291c28a4ad7b50d124503e5aad given so much of my love, my longing to be loved to my father. I had searched so hard for that love in other men that would fill that hollow space that had been inside me.

As I sat below the night sky, open fields in front of me, I sensed my beloved, my life’s partner, bowing down, big, in the field before me. There was an honor, a deep love, an immense respect for my worthiness standing before me, loving me for the diamond I had become. It was humbling to receive.

I cried tonight a cry of love because I could feel this space inside my heart that has held back from finding and being with my beloved. Since my last long-term relationship had ended with immense pain, I had focused on healing my heart and my relationship with my father. And since then, was with my father as he slowly left this world.

But tonight, I see that it’s time. I’m ready. It’s just me that needs to open my heart, to trust, once again, in divine support…to believe that what I have longed for my whole life—to be in a relationship with my beloved partner—is ready to dance her beauty, her divine love into my life.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

 

58. Checkmate with Ourselves

BLOG 58: January, 2000—I remember now where I was on the eve of this millennium. Do you? I was in Taos, New Mexico, in the mountains somewhere far away from civilization as the entire world braced itself for what we called “Y2K” (when all computers would possibly shut down, and the world as we knew it).

As we all prepared for a Y2K disaster, I was in the middle of nowhere, drumming in the new millennium with my friend Eric Perry and others. I barely remember that time, other than the fact that I had flown out to San Francisco, CA, from my parents house in New Jersey, to pick up my car (I had left it there a few years earlier because I wasn’t physically up to driving it back East after becoming injured). Eric came out to California to drive my car—with me lying down in the back—on a journey East, or at least halfway to New Mexico, where he lived.

When Eric and I arrived in New Mexico, I helped him decorate his room and we visited Acoma Pueblo, a native village on top of a cliff set up for tourists to visit. Due to my long term injury I wasn’t able to walk  much, but enough to see this village and befriend a stray dog who followed us to our car. After the dog looked at us with longing eyes and a guard told us to take him—he didn’t belong to anyone, he said—Eric, who could barely take care of plants, became a dog owner. We named the little one “Acoma.”

By the time New Year’s Eve approached,c31d532e140f6c8af13c69ef86fc2705 the three of us were drumming away in Taos. Despite being out in nature, I remember feeling disconnected—even in Albuquerque where the Sandia Mountains that had once called me were. My body was still struggling to walk, and my soul questioning why I had stopped in the middle of the desert on my way to California almost four years earlier only to break myself and still be struggling. Why had I followed a spiritual call only to be broken and to feel disconnected from all that had initially connected me?

That year, 17 years ago, my father had called me to tell me he would fly out to Albuquerque to drive me and my car back to New Jersey, to my parent’s home.  I accepted and soon my car and I were back with my parents.

It was a strange place to be—in the same place, or worse, than I had been four years earlier. It was only later, when studying with one of my spiritual teachers, Martín Prechtel, that I would understand that space I was in. We’ve grown up inside this “empire,” he’d say, and we’ve learned to live with the empire mind. Yet, he’d explain, there’s another part of us, “the barbarian,” the one who’s wild, free, connected to nature, our nature, that wants to come home.

In a world where we have continuously fled, especially West, there comes a time when we’re forced to stop, he’d say, where we face “check mate.” Neither the Empire mind nor the Barbarian can move as they are in stalemate, seeing the other for the first time and determining how to make peace w540ab52e39f2f19b2fea568f2462612aith one other since both are a part of ourselves (my apologies to my teacher for not sharing this as eloquently as he did!).

As I look back, I see now, that I was in a place of checkmate, unlearning the parts of my mind that had imprisoned me while getting to know this Barbarian part of me that had rarely had a voice. Relearning a way of being, and making peace with what has been, can be long journey—one that isn’t just about this lifetime, but many before, tied to our ancestors and this long earth walk we’ve all made, I later realized.

Today I feel at peace, and I’ve become a beautiful woman who honors her soul’s path. But, I realize that this place of checkmate, this slowing down, and even being stuck for a while, is always with us. We live in a world that demands we keep up while drawing our attention with endless technological inventions and constant marketing. So coming home to the Barbarian part of us, to our freer, more connected nature, requires daily mindfulness. It requires we know that following our soul’s voice is a commitment, and a muscle we must exercise so we don’t become lost inside the hustle and bustle of this empire we live in.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of checkmate, of coming home. Check it out on Amazon: Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

Easter Sunday: A Gift of Life

BLOG 56: August, 1999—Sometimes the most remarkable things happen to us to remind us of the magic of the universe—or at least it did on an average day in New Jersey almost twenty years ago.

I had just left the Staples store and was walking to my car, where, to my surprise, stood a bird below my windshield. It was small—the size of my hand—with a tiny head and a curved beak, like that of an eagle, pecking away at the bottom of my windshield. This white tuxedo-tailed bird, with a speck of thinly painted blue at the tip of its tail, was so focused on its task at hand that it barely noticed me approach.

As I got closer, only a foot away, it lifted its head and watched me with delicate eyes. Seemingly comfortable with my presence, I inched closer. It finally moved, although barely, further along the windshield, resuming its pecking task.

Surprised that it didn’t fly away, I carefully entered my car, turned on the motor, and ever so slowly drove out of the Staples parking lot. Despite the car’s motion, this little bird continued pecking my windshield, bit by bit, toward the passenger side of the car. I couldn’t believe it! I drove onto the New Jersey highway of all places and it stayed with me until I got off the highway and crossed a bridge onto a smaller street. The bird only flew away after it had completed its job, pecking the bottom of my windshield from left to right.

I felt sad to watch my little blue-tailed bird fly off. Yet I sensed that this angel of sorts had been sent to me to tell me know that I was not alone, and to show me that I would receive the help I needed to clear emotionaafc6856912051e61b3e8fca1c408f927l issues from my hips that had caused years of pain. This little bird had been my messenger, staying with me long enough, pecking from left to right, to clear old energies from my life. Soon I sensed calm and peace would return to my life.

Most recently, with my own father’s passing, I was, once again, reminded of how I am not alone—that there are angels watching over us, guiding us, even if we can’t see them. Several weeks after my father had left this physical world, he came to me in a dream. I was told he was here to watch over me, and others, to help us heal and manifest our dreams.

It seemed odd to me, that in such short time after his death, he would be offering to help to us. After all, there had been so much healing between him and me toward the end of his life. He had learned to be so strong as a child growing up in Germany during World War II, and, later, as a U.S. immigrant who had left his beloved Argentina, the country of his adolescence. He was someone who could be incredibly tough and hurtful, and yet, two weeks after his death, he came to me as an angel of sorts.

It’s ironic and mysterious how life is as we change form and purpose, and the visible becomes invisible. It reminds me to never assume life is just what we see with our logical mind. Today, I marvel at how that little bird came to visit me almost twenty years ago, and how my father has returned as a kind of angel despite the hardships he experienced during his physical life. It seems we are given gifts in mysterious ways, even when we cannot truly see or understand the magic of this universe.a896b05c9b196939315677f29b87bc8c

Today, as we celebrate Easter Sunday, I am reminded that those who once walked upon this earth—flesh and blood—have ascended, and may be with us now to help us, to heal us, and to be our angels. We are reminded, on this Holy Day, that we are never alone.

*This magical white, blue-tipped bird now appears in my novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, representing the unseen world that is painting its magic upon life’s canvas. Check it out on Amazon: Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video