A New Year
On New Year's Eve we went outside and built a labyrinth in the snow for walking meditation. That's where my daughter, her boyfriend and I were when we heard some firecrackers signalling it was midnight. Then we looked up.. some neighbors had silently set off beautiful lanterns floating to the sky, glowing with candles. I've heard these are for those who have died in the year... so over and over again I whispered my father's name who passed earlier in the year. One of the lanterns broke away from the group and started to float slowly... slowly... to the earth... it came to rest in the trees right outside our house. There is still sits... a blue lantern honoring my Dad.
That night I dreamed I was delivering a seed to all my family and friends .. and once you touched it with your beautiful dreams... it would grow into whatever you want it to become. This is my wish for each of you in the coming new year.... to have new dreams, to nurture them and watch them grow... as they spread new soft light into the world.
Blessings on all that you plant in your New Year, Dear Hearts...
So often I hear the greeting for Winter Solstice is that it is the 'return of the light.' If this is so then at summer solstice we would say this is the 'return of the dark.' This night is the longest night of the year... the time to embrace the dark… that velvety blackness which is soft quiet still... which asks us to listen. For it is in the darkness that we must be touched by our shadow as well as by our light ... And there is something of the heart in the dark which asks us to sweetly meet this place in us which is between all that is radiantly divine within us and all that is tenderly humanly flawed in us...
Tonight I will be in ceremony all night with my community where we will sing and pray and dance on this longest night of the year. And something magic will happen where we will meet all of who we are... no matter how dark no matter how light... we will celebrate our gloriously beautifully messy divine humanness nestled in the waves of peace and compassion. Peace… Deep within. Is this not the secret of peace and gentle grace in the world?...
Blessings to you Dear Beautiful Ones on this Winter Solstice. ~*~
All My Relations
Raven and Deer Medicine
Today we were 40 brothers and sisters strong, praying in the Sweat Lodge up the mountain. We were visited by the strong spirit of DEER and of RAVEN ...welcoming us out of the Lodge. Raven is considered the one who brings Creation to the world.... but this only happens after he steals the sun and hides it. Ahey! He is a bit of a trickster. In the Medicine Wheel teachings this autumnal season of the West is like this... here in the northern hemisphere the sun has begun its hibernation for the coming winter ... it seems to have disappeared, hiding behind the mountain. Eventually Raven shall bring the sun back... and we will discover it was here inside us all along. This truly is a time for us to find the inner sun within us.
Many of us have been finding this time to be one of pressure.. pressure.. like a pressure cooker! The DEER who came to visit teaches us to be gentle with ourselves and to be fearless. This is a time to go inwards and tend our inner fires. To let go and have mercy for ourselves. When the time is upon us start. When the pressure is upon us just do the next thing. Be kind. Let go on every exhale. This is what I'm learning. I offer hono'pono'pono to myself and to all those who have been in this pressure cooker with me this month: "I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you."
I stand before you with a humble heart.
Mitakuye Oyasin ~ All My Relations
A magnificent Black Bear circled us today up on the mountain: 'us' being 43 women-strong at the sweat lodge. She was a Gift to each of us... in total alignment with our prayers here in this autumn season of change which falls in the West in the Medicine Wheel. The Bear is the keeper of the West. So many of us spoke today of our need to go within, to rest... and Bear teaches us to do just that... to balance through introspection, dreaming, meditation, through gentle caring for our bodies.
Each of us is planting seeds in this New Moon which will incubate in the soil in these coming dark inner months... taking root to emerge in spring. I've come to learn that faith is born in the quiet of this velvety black darkness... that in spite of no outward signs of growth, we must trust that we are transforming deep within ourselves, and that we will break through to embrace the light and warmth of the sun when it re-emerges in the spring.
I am planting seeds of Kindness: for self, for other, for life, for All My Relations. We will meet again this coming spring. I trust our seeds will Flower.
Mitakuye Oyasin ~*~
At the Global Inspiration breathwork conference in Belgium many masters of breath work give their take on what will happen when one billion people breathe together. This is Jo Ann Lowell's response to this question from interviewer Jenna Grayson of DoAsOne.
Jo Ann Lowell speaks about the precious Sacred Hour that takes place immediately after conscious birth. as a part of an international panel presentation at the Global Inspiration Conference in Ireland. She is the fourth and final speaker after the other presenters have taken the audience through the journey of the vital role of conscious conception, pregnancy and birth.
To watch the entire panel presentation please go to: https://youtu.be/KH7Ui6SjYh8