94. Woman in the Mirror

BLOG 94— (present reflections tied to March, 2001 journal entries, Buenos Aires, and Super Bowl Halftime)—Today, I remembered it as if it were yesterday. I was in my father’s apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I sat on the bed in one room, in massive pain from the night before when I had pulled my arm backwards to pick something off the floor I had pushed off the night table by accident. My father was in the other room, listening to his news on the television, absorbed in his own world. And I was sitting there, not only in pain from having pulled a muscle, but from having flown this far south from my New Mexico home to be with my father, whose emotional absence in the other room only made me feel more alone.

Those days, almost five years ago, in my father’s world in Buenos Aires, were excruciating. And today, as I felt the same pain in my neck and left shoulder, and realized it will soon be three years since my father’s death (on February 23 to be exact),the memories of my attempts at love and connection with my father came back to me. The pain I carried in Buenos Aires had been a buildup of not having felt seen or loved by my father—or at least him not showing me this—and of feeling this ache show up too often in my relationships with men.

That month in Buenos Aires had been my commitment to change, to building a relationship with my father I had never had. And while those first weeks together were painful, the dam of silence, that wall of communication so thick it hurt, my journey south with my father provided much-needed healing. The little girl in me, who had so longed to feel, hear, and receive love from her father, finally did. The few years that remained before his passing became crucial for our relationship to heal, for him to leave this world having given more of himself to his daughter and to those who had waited for him to show love.

Today, as I go further back in time, beyond Buenos Aires, to earlier years, when I was healing from a hip injury (and much greater heart ache), I came across journal entries that spoke so much of this need in me to be loved by my father. It made me reflect on what happens to so many of us, and specifically young girls, when we feel our father’s absence. The messages of what it means to c16750f7959c6ecb1e0875c74459deb8be a girl, and later, what it means to be a woman, become extremely confusing.

Recently, I read a blog that reflected on the Super Bowl halftime show (by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir in the Feminism and Religion Blog) and how so many people reacted strongly to two Latinas who danced for a nation with all their sexuality and womanhood on display. Her blog caused me to think more deeply about this piece of being a woman and how we represent ourselves in the world. And it dovetailed into my own experience as a young girl seeking approval and love from my father, and my journal writings about it in 2001.

That great ache and longing to be loved that I felt as a child—and in Buenos Aires and shared in my journal writings 20 years ago—plays such an important role in whom I would be later in my life. “There is such a desire I carry to make a man happy,” I wrote in my journal of 2001. “There’s this begging to be loved and to be allowed to be loved, this feeling of needing to act a certain way or be a certain way to receive love.”

When that little girl longing so much to be loved by her father becomes a woman, what happens to her in relationships? And in this society, where there’s such pressure for women to look good, or be attractive or sexy enough for men (as Trelawney Grenfell-Muir in her Feminism and Religion Blog wrote about) how do women, and especially young women, know how to be themselves and empowered as woman (and especially when not having healed that daughter-father wound)? And how does our sexuality come into play in all this?

It can be a confusing mess, I think, and that became very evident in the uproar and ongoing debate about the two Latinas—Shakira and J Lo—dancing and singing at f2175aa7b8c6fd7f126342d9a454e1e6Superbowl half-time. On one hand, these two women owned their sexuality and weren’t afraid to show this. I remember as young woman how I had worked hard to “own” my own sexuality as a way of owning my own power (not waiting for someone to bring it out in me or to see and love me first). It was a way of owning my own body, or not being afraid to be a woman (and not to be in the shadow of my own insecurities). So, when these two women danced, I saw it as them owning their own sexuality, sensuality and aliveness. At the same time, did the fact that these two women danced in a sexual way take away from others seeing them in their talent and their greater soul essence?

It may be a stretch comparing these two Latinas to my own journey as a woman coming into my own as I healed a lost love with my father. Yet, I feel there’s a piece that still aches in so many of us as women…in our DNA and our lineage…and that is of having grown up in a society and world where what we do, how we do it, and how feminine we are when we do it, is judged every day…where being loved and liked for who we are matters…where the ultimate decision-maker is our father or our patriarchal system.

I think about that little girl who became a woman of twenty ago, and then the one of 5 years ago, still crying in the other room in my father’s apartment, waiting for his love and approval. How many of us have lived that? How many of us women have sought to define who we are, not just as individuals, but as women in a society that for so long defined us, that told us who we needed to be to receive approval, love, and power?

When we make peace with that part of ourselves… when we come home to the love we are and the beauty we are as ourselves…no matter what the world thinks…then we’ve come to fill the gap in our hearts we’ve spent so long aching to fill. Maybe we will look at a half time show of two Latinas and be able celebrate who they have chosen to be and honor their gift. We will be able to look in the mirror at ourselves and other women around us and love the heck out of what we’ve become. We will also have an immense amount of compassion for this long and arduous journey we’ve taken to get here and simply love ourselves without a need to wait for anyone to do this for us.

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 was soon be published by the Spanish publisher Corona Borealis and the Portuguese publisher, Edições Mahatma. 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

 

90. Authentic Power Grows our Roots

BLOG 90— (present reflections tied to March 2001 journal entries about my healing journey)—What is power? How do feelings of powerless impact our connection to each other and the earth?

As a child we don’t know what power or being in our power means. We come into the world needing food, water, love…all the basics…and we rely on those who raise us to provide these necessities so we can grow strong. Some of us are more fortunate than others. I see many of my students come from families who nourish them well, yet others struggle to grow in what seems like an asphalt of a childhood.

As part of my journey of healing from pain, when I lived in New England in 2001, I had to look at my own feelings of powerless. The pain in my body and my unconscious need to  not “be well” masked what I soon saw as my inability to feel powerful and strong inside myself. As a young adult in her early thirties, I had to face my own feelings of inadequacy that I had developed as a child and find my own power.

“When someone takes your power away as a child, doesn’t let you be wild—to cry, to scream, even fight some if needed—they are taking away your connection to life,” I wrote in 2001 in my journal, reflecting on what happened to me, and happens for so many of us (whether intended or not) when we are not given the room to experience our own nature as children. “When emotions are not acknowledged, it takes away a piece of our humanity and our connection to the earth… our natur62be35a6bd3a630793e474f5b27c09c0al connection to the earth. It cuts us off from source, like plants attempting to grow from above the ground.”

“Our wildness, our expression of ourselves, is our earth voice,” I added. “We are the energy of the earth. She is mirrored in ourselves. We cannot be civilized without the wild. The light without the shadow will destroy us.”

Today, as we live through immense climate change, extreme politics and societal tensions, I think it’s important we learn to become fully empowered, to be our authentic selves…not just a cog in the wheel, an element of production, or a number in a system. The earth needs us now, as we do her, and it’s time we believe in our unique expression of life. For we are here to care for her, for that which sustains us, and not continue to give our power away to those “in power” who prefer to separate us from each other and the earth. We must reawaken our own roots, to belong, once again, to the earth and all that makes life grow.

But how do we come home to our true power, our trbbf1c341cef414be99bb877731e73d56ue selves? How do we stop giving our power to others and stand inside ourselves with love?

We begin by being honest, in facing our fears and those people or energies inside of us that once denied us permission to express our voice. And then we listen—as I had to do during years of healing—and make room for that unique seed inside us to grow and find its connection back to life and it’s blessed place in this magical matrix.

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 was soon be published by the Spanish publisher Corona Borealis and the Portuguese publisher, Edições Mahatma. 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

 

 

 

 

89. You Keep Quiet and I Will Go

BLOG 89—(present reflections tied to March 2001 journal entries about my healing journey)—“For once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much,” wrote the Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda in his poem “A Callarse” more than fifty years ago, when life moved much slower than it does today. He added, “Perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death.”

Today, not only do I still treasure Neruda’s words and poem, but I also love the wisdom that he shares that is so needed in today’s fast-paced world. It reminds me of a time, more than 20 years ago, when I had a chance to truly slow down and experience the rich flavor of stillness that awaited me against my will. I had become injured toward the end of the last century, and despite the perseverance and fight I had learned to muster to push on forward—to keep moving—I was forced to stop, to be with this “huge silence” that, as Neruda spoke of, interrupted “this sadness of never understanding” myself.

I look around me now, as the Polar ice caps melt and California and Australia swim in fires; as we consume more; as the old guard f8c159e8c0b875506c3d009d8b6a8b3aof unbridled greed sinks its claws into more power and wealth; and as more and more of the same short-sighted living leads to the destruction of life for all of us on this planet called Earth. And I look at my own busy life, from teaching, writing, and publishing, and I think how special it was to have truly stopped 20 years ago, to have stepped off of that train of life (even if it was by kicking and screaming) and to have sat still long enough, as Neruda described, to “interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves”

For five years, I struggled to walk, and for five years, beginning in 1996, I was forced to listen to a different voice than that of an American culture whose emphasis has been of movement and growth for its own sake. By March of 2001, when I housesat for friends in New England, and remained writing as I continued to heal from pain, I had already faced what seemed an eternal pain. No way out, I was forced inward. Back then, I reflected—as I do now—on those earlier years of stopping, and what it was that sat below the surface wishing to be heard.

Here are a few reflections that may open your eyes to your own inner journey, when that time comes to slow down and be still:

26250e6deeecb99c9a474a9992488892“Permission is in the shadows. Answers are what I have invented, what I have held onto so tightly, in order to fill the silence of myself. The true answers are in the space of waiting for clarity to present its gift to me.”

“There is no judgement when I breathe. I belong to my soul, and I am beginning to realize that I will take care of her,” I wrote back then as an old worn-out part of me was dying (I was only 28 when I began this journey, but I felt much older then). “Love is what we cannot have until we have experienced our own death,” I continued to write. “I have seen death naked in my bed. I have tasted her tears, her deep tears for life. I have felt this deep knowing of what it’s like to not have anything, to have it all taken from you…to be left without fear so I can truly surrender to life and learn to love.”

When I look back at these years, I am humbled at 79fdaa4e6a530c8b5c67dec937036fd1what life’s pain was able to teach me. Those years gave me wisdom and love (and a novel, Child of Duende), which grew within me because I had to face myself, day in and day out, with nowhere to hide. Every time I tried to run from my pain, to solve the problem in front of me, I faced a mirror that was myself…that part of me that is as small as a grain of sand, and as large as the universe…that part of me that is nature, that is life, that is love. Then all the lessons, all the shoulds of this fast-moving train of modern life, shed from my skin, from my bones, to leave me with a delicious taste of a deep silence, a deep stillness where life speaks and continues to speak, even today, when I slow down to listen.

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Pablo Neruda walking along the ocean.

So, as Pablo Neruda wrote at the end of his poem, “Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.”

“Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.”

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 will soon be published by the Spanish publisher Corona Borealis and the Portuguese publisher, Edições Mahatma. 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

 

 

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

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

80. Wisdom Body

BLOG 80—(present reflections tied to November 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel writing journey)—The mist cleared beyond our retreat center at the top of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, as we prepared to embark on the teachings of the medicine wheel of the North. We would learn the way of wisdom, of the ancestors, of the apus, the mountains that teach us that which we can’t see inside the forest of the lowlands of our lives.

Weeks before arriving at this center, I had woven with my medicine body an energetic sign of peace in this place (I wrote about this in an earlier blog). My soul’s intention had been to create a safe and holding space for medicine teachings that my teachers had earlier manipulated for bad. I was now committed to learning in this mountain place several hours north from my new home in Rye near the ocean.

It was nighttime when we embarked on my favorite lesson of this shamanic weekend. We were asked to sit with our stones outside in the darkness, surrounded by trees, and to be still. We were invited to discover how we were connected to the universe, and to be open to information that wished to present itself to us.

As I sat still in front of the trunk of a tree, I waited. The air was light as was my mind. There were few distractions. Just quiet. And then it came to me. I felt in every part of my body how information, clarity, and connection came to me through every pore of my body, through every part of me. I got, in a humbling, clear manne9620bdf9db3554cef98034024035111b[1]r, that my body was connected to a world wide web—that it was actually a part of a world wide web—and that all I needed to do was listen from my whole being to receive information and wisdom. Just little me, and yet, completely connected to the entire universe.

That night with the tree, I was alone. My mind was clear, no interruptions. And inside that listening space, I was far from alone. I could tap into all that was. “I was listening through the fibers of my body, with the luminous threads that connect me to the universe,” I wrote shortly after my experience. “My wisdom comes to me through my body, and all this pain I’ve been living in my hips has been the pain of not acknowledging my wisdom body.”

After that weekend in the mountains, I recognized that for so long, throughout my childhood, that wisdom that had come to me easily, had had no room to be valued and acknowledged. I had learned to dismiss what had been natural for me inside a family that honored thoughts above all else.

“My body is able to tune into the vibrations of the universe, of multiple lifetimes and worlds occurring at the same time,” I wrote back then. “I have all this wisdom and knowledge within me that has been screaming to come out. But I have tried to channel this wisdom through my mind as my family required, rather through my heart and my body, which is my way.”

I realized back then, 20 years ago, that when I tried to speak from my more analytical mind of my wisdom and knowing, I would close up my heart. I assumed I would not be heard, so I protected myself. 41c524bb13aeb936cdcfa8f7392dcbb0[2]But when I came from my heart and body, from the source of my natural channeling, then I didn’t need to be concerned about being heard. I was coming from muni, compassion, from a place of knowing the truth.

What if these lessons of years ago could apply to us today, inside this modern world of the Internet and the Worldwide Web? Instead of relying on the incredible technology we’ve created outside of ourselves, we could access this universal source of wisdom and information that comes from being with our innate inner technology.

What if, in these times of great tension and longing for a new way, we could be still enough to access this technology that we carry inside…this magic that we are that is connected to the magic of the universe? What if…? What if the lessons of years ago, that came from the mountains, from our ancestors, and from far beyond little me, could possibly offer humanity the wisdom that belongs to all of us and our planet?

 

(Just today, I read a quote from a book of wisdom that felt so appropriate to the truth of this writing and my life. So, I end with these words: “I have always fought not to project but to be myself. To retain my own scale, which is a dot, but a vibrating dot, a pulsating dot, that is what I’d like to be. I would like to remain that pulsating dot which can reach out to the whole world, to the universe.” Chandralekha, 1928-2006 )

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening these luminous threads that connect us 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

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