Feeling the Pain is not Failure to Thrive

dancing-the-feels

The avoidance is

There is a new, perhaps renewed, ‘depth’ of raw feeling within many and a deep desire to express it. As if, the uncapping of the well of torment has given, at the same time, a glimpse of the possibilities of love and the doubting capacity to dive into the wellspring of it all and bring it through.

There is still profound pain. It is manifest in physical discomfort that is awaiting recognition and release. It’s the fog of the mind that feels as thin as a veil but heavy as stone. It will begin to feel lighter when you allow yourself to feel it all.  You will also begin to notice hints of delight, joy, and desire more meaningful than ever before because without being willing to feel the pain, you’re missing the ‘real feels’, the pantheon of emotional experience and capacity to touch and be touched in the most deep and holy way.

This is not a thing to fake-until-you-make. You cannot bypass the feelings and expression of them. Anything short of diving in and opening up into the wholeness, the holiness of you, will aid in your devolution. You are not bound by any law of nature to hold onto your pain once it no longer serves you.

Feel it. Sing it. Weep it. Wail it. Dance it but don’t sidestep it. Write it. Touch it. Lance that boil. Give it a name if you need to.

Be in it. We won’t let you stay in so long that you begin to stink like it.

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On Hope and Harm

 

hopeA few days ago I posted this on the PlaceofFace:

Hope, faith, justice, freedom and love do not require the disparaging of or denial another.

In fact, they are the antithesis of it.

Can you be in hope, have faith, share justice and freedom and love without harming another?

The responses included:

  • Hard to say. If the other is forcefully obstructing those qualities , I dunno.
  • Sound[s] like unconditional love, it’s doable but….
  • Unconditional anything is unrealistic, and it could be destructive. There may always be a possible need for limits. We are humans (along with being something else in essence.

None of these responses answered the question:  Can you be in hope, have faith, share justice and freedom and love without harming another?

My curiosity was piqued because in the furious responses to our politics, I was taken aback by how horridly people speak of and to other people; degrade them as animals (while often in the same breath maligning other who use the same language), mock the results of their lack of access to information or choice to not engage in what others identity as The Way, and use twists of scripture to deny what is universal.   None of these things are new, I know. However, it seems that if we’re talking about a lack of unity while actively seeking to hurt others, we’re then talking out of both sides of our mouth and mimicking the one we deride.

Can you answer the question?  Then, if you can in the way I hope you do, are you willing to change your language to reflect the answer?

 

 

 

Changing My Tune, Growing my Mind, Expanding my Heart and Self

“To be or not to be.”

“Very few of us are what we seem.”  Agatha Christie

 

Honoring myself & those with whom and for whom I walk

I’ve made a statement in the past that I’ve stood by for a variety of reasons.  I’ve declared that I am not a shaman in a loud sort of way to primarily stand apart from the noise brought by what I call the “Commodification of the Mystery”.  It has also served to protect me from my own criticism, the inability to adequately articulate my own experience, who I am and what I represent. It’s kept me wrapped up, snuggled in fear even as I walk where others fear to go.

What has evolved since January 12, 2014, when my favorite old Ojibwa-Cree showed up in my world is that of which and for which shaman are made. Nine weeks ago I reached a point of interaction with Old Ones in my world that led me to declare out loud, “I will no longer deny you”. In doing so there was the recognition that in doing so I was denying an aspect of myself, a prominent aspect of my being: how I arrive at my knowing, receive direction, heal, walk between, and the strength of those who accompany me within my skin and outside my ordinary sight.

The poetry I write may appear interesting or inspiring, but like others who’ve connected to the universe in this way, each is connected to a profound, real experience that has brought revelation of my relationships with the elements, with those no longer visible, and with those living kin to whom I’m often guided. The poems have helped me express myself to a certain degree. They continue the flow but hint at more unsaid.

I am/we are, perhaps, anomalous. Certainly this fiery force of embodied energies exist beyond archetype and human-developed hierarchies. But each of those embodied within and who walk & ride shotgun with me are purposefully connected to me and to each other, whether they knew it in their lifetimes or not. They were then and continue to be, through me, a hearty, hardy sort that inspired warriors, hunters, healers, songwriters, storytellers and peacemakers alike.

I didn’t ask for this–though some may rightly argue I actually did at somewhen, wasn’t born into a particular way, have never been taught it, studied for it or otherwise sought it out. However, it has become clear that I was born for this.

I still have no connection to a particular faith, path, or belief system. They just began appearing, these ancients. Along with the visions, the ceremonies that I am compelled to participate in, the cures and catalysts. This past year as I’ve traveled, particularly the past eight months, the relationships with those ancients has deepened and become strikingly clear in many respects.

My world morphs and evolves at a pace that, were I not made for this, would create a blubbering idiot. I have no tradition but seamlessly (albeit, uncomfortably) move into the ways that I’m led to. I still find ritual and ceremony as confining as a tucked-in top sheet and feel the need to burst through the taboos that keep people separated from each other and spirit.

It has become just as confining to state who and how I am clearly. To do so means I need to use the language that best suits how I deliver our gifted nature. I’ve spent years now holding back on myself because I was afraid to be judged by others, my own ignorance and incapacity for saying it ‘right’. Frankly, now is the time to be judged. And to let my heart feel alive, to speak it’s whole capacity.

The only way I can adequately open myself to others with whom I am to connect is to change my tune, the language I use to explain this thing I am, and how this vessel relates to the world.  It will help others understand the foundation of the work and ground the amorphous nature of thisness for me. And, more importantly, at least to me,  that in changing how I define this work, this bringing Baraka into being, allows us, as a whole, to redefine the nature of things of spirit.

The closest, most accurate word to describe how we move through the world is to open myself to the label of shaman. It just so happens that those things of spirit I work with do not fit the definition that many people ascribe to.

First, this gifted nature is not connected to a singular tradition–aboriginal or not. It is influenced and guided by knowings and teachings that cross cultural, cosmological, continental, and linear ways of understanding. This very way of being challenges (and is meant to) the taboos of many of those cultures—the role of women, access to & definitions of the sacred, and longstanding, harm-causing myths. Part of this process is bringing the understanding that structures created long ago, often no longer serve humanity. The order created by what was known then, is no longer. New structures are needed as old systems crumble. The knowings and teachings that move from my heart are shared by those former breathing beings who have integrated within my body and those who remain outside it. They often counter the information left behind or systems developed in their lifetime. There remains a notion, even as we move through significant changes in other aspects of life, that spiritual teaching, mores, traditions, were meant to remain the same. They never were. Those  in my world who inspired the existing structures did not cease learning when they ceased breathing. Their own breadth of awareness expands continually and they have over the course of time influenced changes within their communities.

It just so happens that some of those influences and aspects include  the consciousnesses and company of Yoganadana and the man called Jesus, Mayan elders, Sufi wise men, Siouxan leaders, Cree singers, and those who inspired characters of Navajo & Hindu creation stories; the water, wind, ground, fire, and all the things those elements bridge.

The information we exchange comes in the form of modern maps, emotional signatures, and information sharing beyond the perception & imagination of most people. There is no ritual involved, no drums, no drugs, no trances to enter into an altered state. We merely speak and move as guided through a unified heart. In our experience, and what we seek to share with others, is the realization that one need not ‘leave’ via altered state to access spirit. We believe the time is now to show others that it is not only possible but necessary.

Those who work with and within me have given me permission to say who we are but, for the most part, I hold that close to my heart unless they are directly related to the people with whom I’m working or speaking. They are ones that were ignored before, labeled ascended now, honored or dishonored across time because even the stories we’ve created about them have never accurately reflected their hearts.

Some I share openly because when they were here before, they lived quite modern, public lives, and encourage me to expose myself in that way as well because our being effects a great number of people. Those whose identity I hold close outside of their immediate, former communities are eager to come home. However, because of long-held biases, it is often difficult to do.

And, so when I am integrated into communities, it is often done with some anonymity. This summer, I was compelled to go to a Sun Dance, knowing only a general location & a general timeframe. I was led there by an Old Missouria-Choctaw named James Eagle Feather and a string of Old ladies, who came in dreams and awake visions. They brought gifts for preparation and sent me to a couple of other old ladies who clarified the direction.

I went because, even though I didn’t know why exactly, it was necessary. Not merely to satisfy a curiosity but because an entire, specific community of Old Ones, believed my presence was required. What was I going to do? Say no?

On that same trip, as I hit the highway again, I went where led. Without a map this but a clear sense of direction, I didn’t take the shortest route to my destination. And, as I scooted through the top-end of Missouri, I watched a wall of storm clouds rise up in front of me like a universal ‘all-stop’ order and thought something along the lines of ‘where the hell did that come from?’. I was already exhausted and knowing that there was no storm actually generating anything other than a clear sign to get off the road, I pulled into the next Super 8, assuaged the guilt of perfectly good McDonalds fries with a perfectly awful McDonalds salad and slept until something woke me up.

That something was the nudge of an invisible human force field. I had no idea who she was or what it was about until I got up and found emergency services personnel milling about the lobby along with upset hotel staff. The energy who woke me up was a young lady who’d died while cleaning the hotel’s swimming pool toward the end of her shift. Once I had that understanding, I knew why that non-storm front had appeared and why I was nudged me awake at an otherwise uncivilized hour of the morning. This young lady was so concerned about the co-workers she’d unexpectedly left hanging she wanted me to go find them help. So on a springtime Sunday morning, in whatever small dot on the map it was, I started walking Main Street, trying to figure a way to make that so; how to approach people in a strange town, under stranger circumstances, to ask for even more odd assistance.

Thank god for the Long Island medium. She’s helped pave the way for some weirdness. After a second trip down Main Street, I walked into a diner, walked up to a waitress, and with the dead woman standing beside me, blithely told the story and asked if she could contact a minister who, instead of preaching on a Sunday morning, would consider bringing his congregation to the Super 8 to help staff do what needed to be in, even in grief. I stayed long enough to watch a restaurant manager call her minister who fired up the phone tree, then drove the next 1200 miles, leaving  only two words behind: thank you.

Each integration, into community or into self, has been another initiation—whether I’m pulled into the ground, shot into the universe, shoved toward a Sun Dance, or merged with a brother from another mother. Each initiation pulls me past what I think I know into another unknown and I grow into the newness of it.

We have materialized and reincarnated individually, again and again. Sometimes heard, sometimes not. Sometimes welcomed, sometimes not. In each of those instances the communities with which we bonded grew a little more. This time, we’ve come back en mass, with individuated energies joining a singular physical expression whose voice can express that of multitudes.  Again. We’ve come again because now is the time. Again. There’s never been a time we’ve not been here but this time, this way in which things are coming together—people—are coming together brings us back.

Our message has never been a stagnant one. It has moved and shifted as we’ve learned and expanded. The stories that that have grown from us, began from a single root grounded in community, connection to men, nature and the heavens, and have inspired traditions across the globe.

It is now time to re-inspire, to create new stories grounded in hope rather than fear, create in love and ingenuity ways that bring those healing, grace-filled things from the past into now, for future generations.

 

 

 

 

Baraka

Are you First Nations?

Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.  ~ Guy de Maupassant

Although there are a few experiences I’ve written about, I don’t share much of my work related to indigenous peoples publicly. They include my initial relationship with the Navajo, how it intensified when partnering with their Slayer of Alien Gods, and how a dead Ojibwa-Cree came into my world and changed it forever.

I’ve held close my knowings about the importance of the  mass integration I had nearly a year ago, the reasons why I’m called to particular pieces of ground and bleed into the same, and who my spiritual entourage are. I’ve done so because the band-wagoneering of spiritual things related to Native Americans, in particular, is an overwhelming thing to manage energetically as is the inherent racism bound into discussions of their and my own nature. It’s like trying to corral caffeinated cats.

Running Rabbit and Pat Kennedy may have been the first to join my merry band  but they have been followed an inter-tribal, cross-creatural, transcontinental posse of spiritual leaders that cross the boundaries of time and space.

Those that integrated within on October 27 last year knew something of me that I still don’t know.  Those that surround me and are active participants in my life and work, too, see something within me that has inspired them to entrust me with their deepest heart and broadest vision.

None of them has ever said, “Well, she’s just too white for this.” Though it is probably worth noting that the entourage has proclaimed me man enough by those who see me beyond white or woman.

So I was taken aback when a lovely lady from eastern Canada who offered to connect me with friends who might be able to help me satisfy the requirements of the CBP who, dammit, turned me away two nights ago. Bless her heart for being the go between, for when I read, “They keep wanting to know if you’re First Nations. Are you?”, I became annoyed and responded:

I work with the old ones across tribal, time, and continental boundaries. Those within and around me have never made requests about my skin color or heritage because they know my heart. I am asked to sit and sing in Cree, Navajo, Chiricahua, Sioux, and other ceremonies by the old ones and those currently breathing.

It was the Nootka drum that brings me here and Salish signs taking me to Pemberton. I’m guided by and relied upon ancients that go as far back as to when creation myths began. And some are more recent, known by how they bridged spirit & human. And how we live and move and breathe as one has nothing to do with my possible or known heritage.

When I am sent to ceremony or to heal, my whiteness or the lack of obvious brownness is never questioned by those who can see me, those who can feel our heart or hear me sing when I’ve never learned a song.

The need to hold back of what I’ve loosely defined as thisness has now morphed into the need to actually share it all, if only to move this past heritage and race. I will still hold back, for now, on the identities of those old ones who join me in this way of being. They may desire for me to share their names and the necessity for their reappearance in my form or as my partners outside the physical, but I don’t feel comfortable doing so at this point.

Here is what I will share:

Thisness is a term I’ve used to describe the phenomenon of weaving past and present. When I’ve used it before I’ve purposefully kept it simple; a universal, spirit-led happening where I find people and places, often connecting the two, through a number of ways. They come to me in dreams, visions or knowings; they come as non-breathing energies who have specific connections to those who reside within me and they come as breathing ones who may not. They come to me via knowings of a few others who tend to be represented by or partnered with spirit guides of their own.

I’ve previously couched this ‘weaving of past and present’ through bringing healers together and connecting healer with lost tribe.  And though it is about connecting healer to self, healer to healer, healer to community, healer to tribe and bringing tribes—via their healers—together, there is much more to this work.

Another aspect of thisness is bridging the past and present by both walking between and being the vessel that ancients have chosen to breathe through again. Walking between is the phenomena of straddling time, or the past as we know it rising to meet me, in a visceral, physical manner that allows information, energies of land and people to merge with me either permanently or for a short time–particularly during ceremony.

Walking between is like a brief trespass into something that is or is thought to be lost; time, experiences, people, wisdom. It is about erasing the boundaries and  blurring the lines  of that time, experiences, people and wisdom and bringing the same forward now. This is more nuanced than ancient memory. It requires us to understand that while myths remain static, wisdom does not.

I liken this all to dancing between molecules and galaxies.  Walking between is something like that but less graceful than those words convey. Ever been tumbled into the sand by an unexpected wave that is discordant from the rhythm you’ve grown accustomed to? When the waves of past reach for me, it is that way.  Only the trust that my very birth was all the invitation needed and the realization that there are no hidden bits allow me to keep myself open to the recurrence. Each time I stand naked in the midst of it all and know that all of me is being seen.

The integration with individuals is not entirely dissimilar, though. Each opportunity appears in what often feel like inopportune times. However, when the body and mind are ready, they occur. There is enough somatic and energetic warning to create the allowance through a breath and then they merge. They arrive in hordes and singularly.

When I walk between, the ground accepts and drinks my blood and quakes with reawakening. In those moments, remembrance meets currents of renewed hope. There are places where she begs to be bled into for relief and recognition from the chain of suffering begot long ago.

I am surrounded by beings of strength and grace beyond our and their own imaginings when they were here before. Old ones arrive in public toilets and say to others, “Tell her, she’ll know” and I quake in the fear of saying their, our, truth and in the face of not knowing but bringing it still.

They say, “Speak! SPEAK!” to me and my throat flutters and flounders as unspoken and re-spoken grace begs to be heard.

And those that speak are medicine bundles, are Ojibwe-Cree, Missouria-Choctaw, Oglala Sioux, Chiricahua Apache, Sami, Inuit, Salish, Gros Verte, Assiniboine, Ugandan children, Navajo creation Gods, Siksika, Shoshone-Ute, Maya, faery, Celt, Hindu gods and goddesses, Arab and others who have not yet been identified.

They lead me to through visions and dreams into the deserts of America, islands in Canada; to Guatemala, the Namibian desert, to war-ravaged central Africa, Kashmir, Indonesia, and Jerusalem.

I’m not alone in my own skin. In fact, I’m reminded with some frequency that I not my own at all. Others are woven into me and a larger fabric outside of anything that has been written before. As connections arise, that electric thread lengthens through the heavens and the hinterland of our own terra firma.

I didn’t ask for this. I became it. And, while some opine that my role in ‘thisness’ began long before I was born, I disagree. There may have been inklings in the universe long ago but until Paramhansa Yogananda, his Babaji Sri Yukteswar Giri, and Satya Sai Baba merged into me in October 30, 2011, I was just Ingrid. A law enforcement and corrections consultant with expertise in mental health, gang suppression and community capacity development. In that moment, though, I became another, others. And they, me.

On February 7, 2012, I went for a forty-five minute massage and emerged four and a half  hours later, during which another integrative episode brought into me hundreds of energies. Some were immediately identifiable as their energy and the visuals accompanying them had mythological and historical relevance. Others were not in the moment but are coming forward to me now.  In this second episode, the first and most striking energy was that of who we call Jesus. The others included a young French girl, Sufi poets, Arab mathematicians, healers, dancers, those who were murdered for their work, those who died peaceably after learning and sharing all they could, those who didn’t, and many, many more. I opened to Other and we became.

On October 27, 2014, there was another such experience after seeing myself in another form on the big screen. Again, hundreds of ancients moved within. Although unidentifiable by name, they were unmistakably and easily placed from particular places on the globe. I became them and they, me. And the man with the needles who helped peace me back together again said, “Make sure you reveal yourself slowly.”

In August 2015, I went for acupuncture and left again as Other. In this single integration, I became what I saw when I was twelve or thirteen. Only what I saw then, was me now. That thing that identified as separate from me then is no longer separate. It never was.

There is no separation between them and I. We live and breathe and speak as one.

That is ‘thisness’ at its very core.

There is an element of thisness that, if it’s words hadn’t been shared from another’s mouth, I’d have ignored for a lot longer and refused to accept.  I’ve only couched the work I do as in being a place-holder, a steward for these other energies when I’ve known better. I’ve known better since February 2012. The time for the son that rises in the west to step forward is now. If not now, when? Beyond myth, legend, fears and existing paradigms, bridging the old aspects of a truth into the now—not as a representative of all of those who came before and reside within but as I–as we live and move and breathe as one.

I once gave someone the eyebrow when she said, “You’re just not from here.”  In one manner of speaking she was right. However, it’s not about being from a different, alien or foreign place. It’s about being from different places and times and being here in them, whether I’m walking between or not. Being here now.

In 2012, when I was told. “Be now. For in the light of the one, all become All That Is.” I knew exactly what was meant. As all those energies were moving, through all the tears and snot, ‘be.now.be.nowbenowbenowbenownownownownowiamnowiamnowiamNOW’ came through me. And in that merging, I emerged as one.  I’m now being called to accept, honor and move into not just the knowing that has come with all of them and I merging, but into Being. Now.

I’m being called into more and to do so now.  There are others here now as well to help bring thisness to life. We’ve been connected before at many levels, many times. This time we’re are, but differently, with a singular focus: Thisness.

And it is growing into its new name word:  Baraka.

And so we weave into and beyond First Nations, whiteness, and rightness. We bring ancestors through and stand for them as called to; speak them as they rejoin us in the here and now, bringing their unfulfilled visions to fruition, and letting the footsteps of the past inspire the legacies of tomorrow.

Being a Jesus Freak

How a non-believer moves as the man, not the myth

“Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth–penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.” ~ Joseph Campbell

While we most often associate spring and the Easter seasons as times of resurrection and new growth, the solstice and Christmas season offer the same opportunity. Winter is more than time for hibernation and vernalization. The sun is reborn, the divine human birthed, internal fires are stoked, and as we move into the new year we create intentions to renew ourownfineselves.

The focus of Christmas has long been the physical birth of Jesus and the celebration by the heavens and Magi alike.  There are philosophical and religious schools of thought that broaden the birth of Jesus from a singular, virginal experience to a incarnation of the divine spirit–a pre-existing Christ as it were. A timeless expression of the divine nature that began long before biblical stories were conceived, ceaselessly moving through what we know of as time and space while being beyond the limitations of what we know.  If I understand the crux of these philosophies, the shared idea is that who we identify as Jesus was one physical incarnation of this being-ness. I will go a step further here and include the notion of a recurring Christ, one who wasn’t born just one day, but one who is born again and again, in each age, in multiple people through the course of time and at the same time.

Here, relying on my own experiences and knowing, I don’t mean to use the notion of reincarnation as we think we know it whereby the soul of a person who has died comes back again as a newborn infant to relive his or their life.  Does that happen? Probably. But this ain’t that.  Also, to be clear, I am neither referencing what is commonly called ‘the second coming’ nor the notion of people attaining ‘Christ Consciousness’. Those ain’t this, either.

During my second integrative experience, when I was flooded with hundreds of energies, the first and instantaneously recognized energy was that of Jesus.  How did I know him? I don’t know. I just did. In the same way I know who it is that is calling me before I pick up the phone, in the same way others can say to me “I see you but I see him at the same time.”  Before this experience, I only knew Jesus as a name, a pictograph or tortured sculpture, and an exclamation point.  I’ve already mentioned that when this process of giving myself over into this way of being began, there was no religious, spiritual or metaphysical background or field of knowledge.  When I was a child my parents exposed me to the Southern Baptist Jesus in the summer, the Methodist flavor when I went to church with my best friend’s family , the occasional jaunt to the Unitarian Universalist in Oxon Hill and Fairfax, with a smattering of Roman Catholic masses, and the one-off (or three) visit to the synagogue but that was about it.

But there’s a thing, though, that we think of, seek, and ask for when we engage with not just Christed-ness but with the man we know of through myth.  That same ‘thing’, what I call an energetic signature, is what I felt and knew. Just knew.  I had actually felt before outside of myself. I’d talked to it–when talking to myself in the kind of conversations that you’re sometimes sure are the most intelligent you’ll have. Because I’ve not prayed as an adult outside of asking ‘why’ when I felt shat upon.  When I was a child I prayed.  I prayed. A lot. I prayed that my brother not get hit (or that I’d actually hit him because, let’s face it, he was three years younger than me and a brother).  I prayed that I not get hurt. I prayed that I’d never see peanut soup again.  I prayed that my parents wouldn’t fight. I prayed that the Redskins would beat Dallas (whaaaaaat?! It’s happened!). I prayed that God would love me when I didn’t feel loved. I prayed that we’d not go on another Sunday country drive. I prayed that I wouldn’t have to wear those gross purple Toughskins. I prayed for bacon (and that bacon would, indeed, be a sign God loved me).  I prayed that I wouldn’t smell like cigarette smoke.  I prayed that my father wouldn’t notice the odometer change.  I prayed that my mother would never cut my hair again. I prayed that next Sunday I’d hear Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I prayed that I’d be allowed to shave my legs soon. I prayed that the angel I saw would save me.  I prayed Travis Clayborne would kiss me. I prayed that I’d understand algebra. I prayed that I would die.  I prayed a lot when I was a kid.  I’m still alive. Travis kissed me when I was in college, not when I was in the seventh grade and letting him cheat off my math and Spanish work.  My father saw the odometer, I heard JL Seagull many times on a Sunday morning and I never did get algebra.  I now appreciate not having to shave, my mother never touched my bangs with scissors again but spent a lot of time trying to smash my head in–blessedly, without using the scissors. And it took a long time to feel loved.  Turns out that I had no idea what prayer was or Jesus is. And the latter had nothing to do with the former.

Many people believe in Jesus as the man, myth and legend; some, the man as non-myth who has died and will return at some point in time; and some,  that the man never existed. And within each group, there appears to be a standard line about the potentiality of Jesus-in-the-now. It’s repeated over and over in a variety of contexts.  It goes something like this:  “You wouldn’t know Jesus Christ if he sat down next to you.”   I remember an encounter the afternoon of our earthquake in Virginia in 2011.  I went to the local watering hole to see if they had power or phone because ours was out.  And conversation began (because they did have electricity and alcohol) with everyone present.  When I happened to mention I was a healer, one of those people  began to share her story of knowing that Jesus was being held in the center of the Pentagon and would be released when the United States military thought the world was ready for him. Followed by “well, no one would think he’s Jesus because he just looks like one of us”.   You might imagine my response (after a Bloody Mary) was.

In our prayers, preaching about, seeking to achieve his consciousness, and even disbelief of Jesus’ existence as god, as spiritual representation of godliness, or as a regular ol’ political pot-stirrer healer-dude, we have expectations how he should appear.  The appearance is reflected in our unique histories related to faith &  religion, culture and continent on which we’re raised, and the propaganda of our times.  Those factors rarely tread far from the comfortable reliance on the archetype and concomitant expectation.  The definition of archetype is this:

ar·che·type

1.  the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.

2. (in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.

3. a perfect or typical specimen.

When frameworks lead to the dependence on structures that alleviate the room for growth, transition, curiosity and, yes, doubt, there isn’t even room left deepening of faith or belief.   So when we combine our backgrounds with unwavering rigidity, the outcome can resemble this exchange with a few Southern Baptists: “So, you say you’re a healer”.  “Yes, I am.”  “You know you’re doing the work of the devil, right?”  “Healing is the work of the devil?”  “Yes.”  “Then I guess Jesus and I keep good company.” “You’re going to burn in hell.”  “Because I’m a healer?”  “Yes.”

Or, this from a skeptic:  “You’re a liar! Healing without medicine can’t happen!!”  “It has happened around the globe long before medicine became what it is today.  It also works beautifully with medicine and, in some places ‘medicine’ is the alternative.”  “Prove it!”

I’m going to borrow from a painted conversation between H. Warren Kelly and Father Bill McNichols’ in Taos for a paragraph or two.  In this ‘conversation’ between artists, Father Bill describes religious icons as “glass torches, or lit with a Taboric light…the light of Jesus on Mount Tabor during his Transfiguration.  They appear at first distant, abstract, unrealistic with no attention to anatomy or earthly light source. But when you spend time with them, they allow you to enter in the heavenly presence of the being they represent.”

Warren followed with this:  “Icons…are abstractions that in our eyes “disregard” many rules–perspective, proportion, light sources–of representation…that deliver the viewer directly to meaning.  “Don’t look!! calls the icon, “See!” with a “light of mindful reflection and openness to intuition.”

They Father Bill and Mr. Kelly both call this ‘the light invisible to my eyes’.

That ‘light invisible to the eye’ is what those of us with this energetic signature are imbued with.  We don’t look  the way you think we should, much like those icons, but you can see us with all of your senses if you’re open to us. We are beyond archetypes and stereotypes.    We’re recognizable by how we feel, not how we look to you at first.  And sometimes we feel scary because our energies often provoke physical, emotional and mental responses for which many have no ‘system’. We may “appear at first, distant, abstract and unrealistic” without an ‘earthly light source’. But when you spend time with us, [we] allow you to enter in the heavenly presence of the being[ness] [we] represent.”

When people ask me how to achieve Christ Consciousness, they often receive the eyebrow and a ‘what exactly do you mean‘.  And they don’t seem to know exactly. Only that it seems that’s where they are supposed to be or who they are supposed to be like.  So I tend to share that I’m more interested in them knowing their own consciousness and it’s interplay with the universe, rather than leading them the expression of the universe, that as we purport to know it, is merely myth.

“The very nature of myth is such that one level of meaning lead to yet deeper levels”, say Philip Gardner and Gary Osborne. A journey of sorts.  There are many ways of perceiving them, even beyond the archetype, and those of us with this capacity are here to create that deeper held level here and now.  Joseph Campbell said, “We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet.”  I think one of the reasons we are here now (and the reason we’ve been around all this time, I suppose), to help others re-identify, not just with the planet but with the universal connection that births and rebirths us all, but not as mythical creatures–as human ones here and now.  In doing so, we shake things up and loose at the individual level and offer the experience of the individual transfiguration for reconnection-that deeper level or sense of being that is reflected in the stories of Jesus.

We appear as gardeners and garbage haulers as much as we do as guru or healer.  You will know us as brother, lover, teacher, and sista-from-anotha-motha.  We may very well show up in the psychiatric ward where you do your residency, the visual or sound artist whose creations crack your heart and make you weep in grace, or the stalwart in the midst of chaos. There is nothing typical or perfect about us.  You won’t find us on this top 10 list.  We don’t require others to call us ‘master’ and know that there is much we will never know. We are human vehicles for sharing of the divine made in no one’s image but our own. We merely bring that thing to allow you to see and love your neighbor, the homeless guy at the four-way, and the person who believes differently, as yourself.  We are rare creatures peppered around the globe, often living unseen, or being seen and castigated because we dare appear.

I’ve not met another like me other than those that have merged within me so my experience and expression of this beingness, this reflection of divinity that goes back beyond the ancients, may be a one-off shot.  But here is how I imagine my compadres to be:  of different faiths, creeds, and having different definitions of a creator (or none); coming as we are, in the skin we’re in, sharing the idea of moving myth past the boundaries of any ‘type’ so that when we say, “Don’t look! See!”, that you:

See not just our connected humanity but the connections between and within all things.

See through fear into the heart of all matters.

See past painted pride and prejudices into the heart of your own self.

See the capacity in all to create meaningful community.

See that peace and love are tangible energies, that when combined with effort and grace, are the catalysts for great change.

In this course of the past three years of repeated transformation and learning how to dance anew with the universe, I have been asked many times, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”  My response has been, “I know him. Do you?”  Because, no matter when he was born, if he was born, or under what circumstances, he is within me (and others), fully alive beyond myth through us as stewards of that distinct energy, and it can be reflected in everyone; not by practicing to achieve a separate consciousness, but by simply knowing there is no separation.

 

 

 

 

 

Telling the Holiness

“This is not a journey for the feet; the feet bring us only from land to land; nor need you think of coach or ship to carry you away; all this order of things you must set aside and refuse to see: you must close the eyes and call instead upon another vision which is to be waked within you, a vision, the birthright of all, which few turn to see.”  ~ Plontius

Traveling Lightly with Nayenezgani and Walking with the Peoples of the Past

In the Apache tradition, storytelling is to ‘tell the holiness’.  The myths that speak to the holy are “performed only by medicine men and women for the purposes of enlightenment and instruction.”  What I’m sharing here is neither myth nor legend but in it lies a holiness that each age has sought since we began as human.  It is as real as my breath and moves me in every way.

I’ve said that Traveling Lightly officially began in January of this year.  It actually began long, long ago.  It began before we separated ourselves from each other; before we created differences and chasms between clans & languages;  before we tried to name the invisible pieces of the universe, and control those things that are visible.

When Running Rabbit and Pat Kennedy appeared to me in May 2008 and January 2014, I could in no way know what their presence in my life would mean and how they would guide me into the process that bridges the ‘time before’ and now.

In the time before we were not separate from ourselves and the places we stood upon and looked up into, we were a people so connected to the earth that the earth took our pain in the same manner it gave us life.  Absorbed it like a rare rain in the desert and held onto it like it was holding onto their dear lives. At one point, back in our time, we were each those people.  And, now they are mere remnants of our fabric; tossed and hidden away when not murdered from existence, removed from the collective conscious except when it appears to serve our romantic nature or reliance on greed.

And in the places where we have shoved those people who represent the past that we have collectively deemed unworthy of our attention, we die along with them. As they bleed the interest in life, the earth withholds it–for them and for us. There’s no need to feed & give life if life is no longer lived in the manner it was made to support.  And this is repeated around the globe, again and again, even as we struggle to manipulate natural and created systems to feed our futures.  This cycle will be repeated as if a contagion until we vanish.

Like those before us who were starved of connection to their sacred places & spaces, we disconnect even further from each other.  Some run in any number of ways to escape, some escape to feel free yet yearn to come home.  Those who have walked before and those now.

I have felt the lost.   I have held their hearts in my hand and I have stood in the spaces where the ancients realized all that is was no longer; that relationship with the ground, that relationship with each other, the ties that bind us as a people, that relationship between spaces below and above; the very representations of all that is home.

Two Saturdays ago, I was on a shared vision-journey and was led by a Navajo mythical god-man named Nayenezgani to a place I circled on the map three and a half months ago when I was returning a Navajo man to his birth mother on the reservation.  In Nayenezgani’s view, there is a dark thing blanketing the region and I am the white horse to lift the blanket and bring the light.

At the time I did not know why I made the circles I did.  I do now. 

She calls me, the ground.  In fact, it’s more than a ‘calling’ as many imagine it.  She pulls.  She will sometimes draw me into her for a peace that no one else can ever articulate; for an awakening of her own; to move energies that have been held onto for eons; to reconnect the sacred dirt space to the sacred space above; to the sacred space within us.

So today I go.  I will listen and follow where I’m led.  Maybe to sit on the earth.  Maybe to dance with her.  I will listen as my heart joins hers.

And this ‘Traveling Lightly’ is about more than the beauty of the earth and our connection to her.  It’s about our connection to each other.  I my wildest imaginings of the past it never occurred to me that I would embark on reconnecting people to their tribes,  their own first peoples but that is clearly what is happening.   In July, being led solely by instinct and spirit and energy and coaching and patience,  I reunited a Navajo man who carries the medicine with his Native birth mother.   This four to six weeks on the road will include reconnecting an Apache medicine woman with her clan.  The Choctaw connection appeared last Saturday, the New Zealand connection three weeks ago, the Australian connection five weeks, the Peruvian connection three months and they continue.

The purpose of these reconnections between ground places and sacred spaces, people and people, sacred people and places; and spaces with the space above and below is crystal clear for me.

During the transformation on Monday, October 27, what I’ve ‘felt’ for months morphed to a clear knowing. The kind of knowing that has moved me past saying, “This is like reading braille” to seeing what lies before me, and often others, as if it were my personal Rand McNally.  It has also moved me from uttering, “I’m not married to what tumbles out of my mouth” to being absolutely sure that what moves from my tongue and fingertips is truth. That I was flooded with the voices and energies of the ancient is no mistake. That I am entrusted with bringing lost ones home, connecting First People’s ancestors with those of a new age,  and weaving those with each other into a human pangea to bring them and us into a renewed way of being, is neither a mistake nor misguided notion on my part.  That the Jesuses and Yogananadas and Babas and those others who grew from man to myth–even before languages were separated–have joined me in body for this work is not for nothing.  That the invisibles who keep me company and guide (and push and protect) me into something bigger than any singular one of us and any past any notion of our ‘sum of all our parts’ is not for nothing.

That truth is that as I connect the corners in the very heart of the original Navajo Nation, I am bringing the light not just for the Navajo and this space around Chaco Canyon, I am creating the opportunity for re-beginning for each of us; for the ground that wants to bring us back to life, for the ancients that are bringing the past forward:  bringing us back into relationship to the time and space and beingness long before we created the reliance on archetypes, philosophies, definitions, deities, and laws that created and now perpetuate separation.  This is why we were made before and have come back again.

This is the re-beginning.  And the time is now.

Let’s not waste it.

Kermit and the Dalai Lama

Kermit-the-FrogWhile enjoying my snow day with high-speed internet, full power coffee, and fuzzy socks, I trolled my FB stream.  Usually, because my interwebz access is rather limited, I hop on and off so today was a treat.  I even kinda, sorta like recycled photos and quotes that I’ve seen in the past.

I can’t remember who posted it but one of the recycled was a photo of a cross-legged Kermit quoting the Dalai Lama:  “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”  I like all things Kermit.  I like and have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama.  I’m going to differ with his thought about how others effect us, though.

I think there are times when we really need other’s behavior to bother us.  We need to be SO bothered that we stand up and shout, “STOP”!  We need to be SO bothered that we moved from complacency to action–whether it is a change in our own behavior or to creating change for someone else.

It’s one thing to not take some things personally.  It’s another to not take things personally enough.

We are responsible.  For ourselves and each other.