I dedicate this post to my quest clan and guides and the stewards of Sapphire Canyon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
It’s the third day dawning of my vision quest in Sapphire Canyon, a beautiful area adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s cloudy and cold and I’m hungry. 84 hours since our last meal, 24 hours until our return and breakfast! Solitude in this unfamiliar territory and water fasting strips you down to that moment of breakdown and perhaps, breakthrough.
The first two days on my solo quest, I resisted going deep. And as we all know- what we resist, persists. I left behind some unresolved and draining situations in my personal sphere and in the week before I flew out here, there were two horrific tragedies in Memphis. Weighted down. Heaviness. And collective heaviness has been hanging in hard for two years and some months now.
That second night, I could not sleep. Voices from the past, mind racing with disjointed thoughts, painful memories, too much ruminating, worry about the future. As the night gave way to light, I was so exhausted and furious that I was ready to tap out. I sat with my options- end my quest and stay in my breakdown or allow the breakthrough- face my darkness, and summon my warrior spirit. Through my irritability and frustration, I felt a wave of self-compassion roll in and realized, breakthrough was the only option for me.
When we hit an edge, we have a choice. This choice point is everything. It’s where the gold lies. It’s the place in which we look deeply into the darkness, our personal and collective darkness and face the pain, the fear, the anger, the past choices, the grief. My quest leader and mentor, Kedar Brown, said to me prior to my first vision quest in 2020, when you hit your edge, lean in further.
Lean in further.
Breakdown to breakthrough.
I did just that. I leaned in further. I sat under the majestic spruce tree and poured out my story and soul. I sat with the pain, I journaled, I yelled at the beings above. I prayed. I wept. I praised. I meditated. I cursed. I bowed with reverence to spruce’s strength to withstand. I begged for help from my ancestors and the elements and my spirit helpers. I spoke with my inner guidance. I paced. I sat. I surrendered.
For a long while or perhaps it was only a moment as there was no time on the mountain, I listened.
Peace, calm and a deep sense of being held washed over me. I understood that things will sort themselves out without my need to worry. Gratitude expanded my heart as I recognized the support and resources available to me. Compassion shone within me for my mother and father who I had carried anger towards much of my life. I felt deep love and grace for my son who had wrestled with his demons for several years. Deep awe and reverence for my own journey and challenges glistened in my cells. The stillness and grounded inner knowing reminded me that I am fierce, committed and on the right path for my soul in this lifetime. I embraced hope for healing for my family and humanity. I felt immense gratitude for the guides at basecamp holding sacred space for us while we were on the mountain. I felt reverence for the scared teachings offered by Kedar and the staff in my guide training program. Connecting to the nine other questers through out the canyon, I felt their love, their sorrow, their anger, their peace. I embraced the wanderer-gypsy soul gifted to me by my birth parents, I felt the grounded logic mind of my parents who raised me. The blood of my ancestors flowed in my veins - bright red and rich with story and song. I had a powerful sense of knowing that all of my answers are within if I am willing to be still and listen.
The sun warmed me and assured me all is very well. The wind announced that I am deeply loved. The voices of the mountain spirits, the creek and the towering trees welcomed me home to me. I understood that life isn’t happening to me, rather I am the creator of my reality. I get to choose in every moment. I am free. I let go of the struggle and allowed the sense of ease to engulf me.
And I remembered. Belonging. Connection. Home is always inside me. This is why I quest. This is why I seek. This is why I will always be a student. This is why I teach.
As I lie here writing, the sun peaks through the clouds and I welcome whatever today brings. Will it be challenges or a day of celebration or a likely mixture of both? Will the clouds give way to sunshine or are the heavens going to open with a downpour? Will I crave guacamole and a burger or feel satiated by the wind, the mountain spirits and gentle creek flowing nearby? Will elk or mountain lion, hawk or hummingbird come to greet me?
What lies on the other side of quest when I return home?
I don’t know what today will bring. I do know I will lean in further to my life and pay attention to what lies ahead.
I choose to lean in further. Embrace it all. Breakthrough.
PS I hope there are tacos and chocolate waiting for us at Basecamp tomorrow.
If you are at an edge and ready to breakthrough, consider joining me for one of the offerings below.
If you prefer more individual support on your journey, read about my offerings on www.yourinnersource.com to work one on one with me.
If you want to learn more about the Vision Quest Ceremony and other sacred offerings, visit www.ritesofpassagecouncil.org
JOURNEYS and WORKSHOPS
I also offer small group and one on one journeys, ceremony and ritual to support times of transition. The session format is co-creative, supportive and unique to healing and awakening your Inner Guidance. See Transformation Sessions to learn more.
I’ve been reflecting on love lately. Ask anyone to define LOVE and you will receive varied responses based on one’s perception. Think of all the songs about love, the poems and books about love, movies about love. The five love languages. The Greek language has 9 words and definitions for love.
With all the references to love, many people exist in an energy of scarcity when it comes love. When one lives with a core belief that there is a scarcity of love- not enough to go around for all of us, for me, life feels like mere survival. When the energy of scarcity is the driver, we tend to say YES to things when in fact our inner being is screaming NO. Often, this saying YES is in hopes of getting the love and acceptance we so deeply desire.
Last weekend during my meditation, I thought about how, at times, I have agreed to something consciously and only later say to myself, in disbelief, “Why did I agree to that?” And how many times have I unconsciously said YES to something, when every fiber of my being, my intuition is screaming NO?
There is no doubt we as a collective are being pushed to new limits of what we are willing to allow, and say YES to, and the question of “What am I saying YES to?” is always on my mind. I grew up people pleasing as a response mechanism to my environment. Wanting to feel loved, to belong, to be seen by my mother and father, the clique, the tribe- motivated me to say YES to things and situations even though a voice in me was saying NO. This disconnect, or misalignment became a pattern and a way of being until I began to see through the illusion.
All those YESes, added up to me saying NO to my inner growth and light and, de-valuing myself. I’d find myself in relationships- with friends, lovers, jobs, even my relationship with my body- in which I would compromise what I truly wanted in hopes of being included, recognized, seen, heard, loved. And what compelled me to say YES, was a program. These programs, these old stories and patterns are stored in the subconscious, and ultimately drive most of our choices and decisions that we think we are consciously aware of. These patterns may come in with us when we incarnate, carried forward from ancestral stories and experiences. The patterns are reinforced by our caregivers and community and our core need to fit in, that survival mechanism takes over.
Intuitively knowing something was off and believing surely there was a better way to live my life, to feel more authentic, joyful and free, I set two feet on the path of the seeker in my early 20s. I had no clue what I was seeking, but in hindsight, I know now I was seeking alignment with my truth and my ability to say YES to me even in circumstances, that at times, would leave me alone. That burning desire to feel loved and wanted, that yearning to live in something more than scarcity, that innate knowing that committing to ME was my opening to freedom, search for belonging, was insatiable.
As I’ve sifted and sorted through my old programs of not enough-ness and scarcity with Shamanic work and subconscious belief restructuring with PSYCH-K, I have found freedom in saying YES to me. I now see that when I say NO to a situation, circumstance, or person, the feeling of alignment is far more satisfying than the false sense of acceptance and belonging that may come when I say NO to my deep burning desires. Saying YES to me has taught me that loving myself with compassion and grace in all circumstances, supersedes any outside source of love. There is prosperity in YES- mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical prosperity when our YESes align with our deepest values and truths.
As my mentor always reminds me, “Pay attention”. My daily alignment practice consists of paying attention to what I am saying YES to. The more I align with my yes, the more grounded I feel, the more present I am and the more I walk in clear intention. This is thriving, not merely surviving. The more aligned I am, the more I see myself and others through the lens of love and compassion, because I am resourced from within.
My hope is this sharing inspires you to deepen your awareness of your relationship with you today. I invite you to pay attention to what you are saying YES to in your life. Do the results of your YESes move you closer to your dreams, your desires, and your center? What are you saying yes to that may result in a NO to your inner truth? Do your choices bring you into deeper groundedness and alignment with the flow of love that resides in you?
Anais Nin said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” If you are ready to bloom, know that you have the support of your guides and ancestors ready to walk the path of opening with you. If you would like to learn about about the work I do and how I can support your journey, please contact me to learn more.
ONE ON ONE TRANSFORMATIVE WORK
If you would like to explore PSYCH-K and rewriting your beliefs at the subconscious level, Shamanic work, energetic healing or meditation, message me through the Contact Me page on my website.
JOURNEYS and WORKSHOPS
I also offer small group and one on one journeys, ceremony and ritual to support times of transition. The session format is co-creative, supportive and unique to healing and awakening your Inner Guidance.
Struggle: to move with difficulty or with great effort
Sitting on my deck, drinking coffee at sunrise, I reflect on my journey of learning to live in ease and let go of the struggle. It’s a daily practice of noticing the ease in my life. The ease with which I make decisions. The ease with which I breathe deeply. The ease with which what I desire flows to me in a series of synchronicities and serendipitous moments. It was not always like this. I allowed struggle to define much of my life and I often felt overwhelming sadness as I thought, “Why does everything have to be so hard?”
Every aspect of my life reflected struggle - friendships, romantic relationships, my brief marriage, a strained relationship with my parents and family members, my indecisiveness with a career path, trying to decide where to live, leaving Africa, raising my son alone, assisting my father in the last months of his life, losing a friend to suicide. Struggle seemed to define me. At times I struggled to even make simple decisions like what to eat, or what to do with my free time. I recall at least three times in my life wishing that I could simply cease to exist and not do life anymore. Because it was So. Freaking. Hard.
When I began to understand that my reality was a product of my beliefs, it became obvious that I had created my own prison. I began to see beyond the veil, moving backward through the tapestry of my life until I arrived at my birth story and adoption. Delving into the subconscious terrain of my mind revealed to me where the struggle began. I was born in Berlin to young Italian parents- a young father who couldn’t read or write at that time, a mother who was depressed and afraid. They signed documents surrendering custody to my American parents within a few days of my birth. The entire process was shrouded in mystery for me. When I was four, I was told I was adopted, that I was chosen, and I became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
My adopted parents didn’t understand the impact this had on me. I remember as a little girl feeling like I didn’t belong, like I was on the outside, that I did not fit. I dreaded waking up each morning, getting going for the day was hard, and I often felt like I was moving in slow motion through life. I was awkward in my body, my vision was poor. And I perpetuated that story of struggle from a young age- experiencing rejection, bullying, and never ever feeling satisfied with anything. Always wanting to understand why for everything. Always seeking explanations. When I couldn’t get the answers I sought, I filled in the blanks, made assumptions, and made up stories with my chaotic creative brain in hopes of creating my own safety and sense of belonging. I attracted painful experiences, difficult friendships, chaotic and even, dangerous situations. My seeking felt like struggle and it was the norm for me. It was exhausting! It took tremendous energy to maintain! And I was invested in my story.
When I began the deep dive into my subconscious terrain with PSYCH-K® and Shamanic work, I was blown away with the clarity of my struggle journey- I could see it all! I always say to clients, once you see, you cannot unsee. As I began to see, the pieces came together for me. Our reality is always a reflection of our core beliefs. Our thoughts, feelings and attitudes are always a product of our core beliefs. These thoughts and feelings dictate our behavior, and we always get the same results when we make the same choices. The catch is being in choice. When a subconscious belief, and in my case, the belief being “My life is a struggle”, is running the show, a person is not in choice. Thus, even when I thought I was making a choice, I perpetuated the reality of struggle…everywhere!
When my mentor asked me, “What would you be without struggle?”, I was perplexed. How could that even be possible? How could things NOT be hard? This after all, was my hallmark and there was a payoff when a person exclaimed, “Your life has been so hard! Oh my gosh! How have you survived?” I realized I was actually invested in the struggle- it had become a part of my identity and way of being. This was a defining moment and major departure from the old ways in which I had lived and loved. I addressed my relationship with struggle during a PSYCH-K® workshop in January of 2018. Once I began to shift my paradigm from STRUGGLE to EASE, every aspect of my life changed. From that point, I would catch myself “struggling” and realize I have a choice in this moment and there is a way for this to be easy. My relationship with EASE became a magical mystical tour of each day of my life from that day forward. I walked out of that workshop with the intention of quitting corporate and dedicating my life to becoming a Facilitator full time to support other people in dropping their struggle so they could step into their freedom. Within 3 months, I had my first private clients. Within 6 months, I left a fantastic job as a recruiter, and created my path as a Transformation Catalyst and Shamanic Practitioner. I had studied shamanic healing, energy work, meditation and other holistic modalities since 1996 and began to see the path unfold before me to easily create my life’s work and heart path. I let go of relationships that had been born in struggle. I allowed ease into my life. The more I embodied ease, the easier everything flowed in my life. Incredible experiences flowed to me, remarkable people flowed into my life, curious clients showed up and embraced the beauty and ease of their lives.
And still, I catch myself at times, inviting in the struggle. Those remaining threads in the tapestry of my life- born in struggle. I am equipped with powerful tools now to address these threads and lovingly rewrite the tapestry with ease and even joy. Its refreshing to catch myself, laugh, and say “Oh there’s that struggle piece again! No thank you! I choose the easy path today!” My hope is that my journey will inspire you to notice whether you have an investment in struggle in any area of your life. Do you relate to the concept of struggle? Have you unknowingly been living out a story of struggle? Do you recognize the threads of struggle, or her sisters- chaos, distress, anxiety, frustration- as an integral part of your life? And, are you ready to give up the struggle and allow in something new and supportive in your life? The beauty of working with the subconscious mind is all of this can be re-written with ease. On the other side of your struggle, is your joy, your freedom, your peace, your life. If you are ready to step fully into your power and alignment with your Divine Blueprint for your life, I would love to support your journey. The time for transformation is now. What are you waiting for?
Visit my Contact Me to get in touch and begin your transformative journey with Your Innersource.
In March of 2020, I had a dream that is still vivid as I write this. I saw before me, an expansive landscape - a brilliant sunlit mountain valley that ran for miles. The valley appeared to be in shades of red and I realized it was carpeted with red poppies. I was told to walk across this valley and when I reached the end, I followed a winding road to its end.
An elder, who called himself Grandfather, was there waiting for me and he told me to bury myself under the road and go on a Vision Quest .I’ve come to understand through Shamanic studies, that dreams are wise teachers, rich with information that reveal new understandings about oneself and one’s purpose in the context of their reality. Dream time is sacred time to indigenous peoples, a place for learning beyond our concrete physical world. I explored the symbolism of the poppy and learned that it is a symbol of remembrance, death and rebirth in several cultural contexts. I began to understand that for me, I must traverse this valley and go on an inner quest in order step more fully into my “medicine” and gifts that I bring to humanity.
Two weeks after this dream, the world came to a standstill and I began to realize that the dream was a sign for me to explore my own losses and grief. I have come to believe that our global community is undergoing a great awakening and for many, this is a call to own and share one’s spiritual gifts as we create a new paradigm. Months later, I understand that I am being called to serve others as they traverse the valley of their losses in this time of a radical shift in our collective consciousness.In much of Western society, gone are our “villages” to usher us through loss, grief and other emotions that surface in these circumstances.
In my personal experience, by staying fully present with loss and grief, I have learned to embrace the beauty of life on a much deeper level, even in times of doubt and pain. Kahlil Gibran said, ‘The deeper the sorrow that carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”. My friend’s suicide two years ago led me into a profound dark night of the soul. Staying present in my loss and grief allowed me to discover within the deepest depths of my own sorrow and desolation, my personal gold and shine. Leaning into my grief has given me wings. It was a frightening and dark passage that at times I thought would consume me and literally make my heart stop. I felt death and wondered if it may be the answer for me. I came to realize only a part of me needed to die - old stories I had told myself. Old beliefs that kept me small and isolated. I had to let go of those old ways of living and loving to allow the tiny light in my heart burn away the darkness. As those old ways dissolved through the power of mindfulness and gratitude, I felt my light grow stronger.
Grief and loss are topics we skirt in our modern culture. As we face personal and collective global chaos and crisis, we are experiencing tremendous loss and the emotional tidal wave that accompanies these losses. I am fortunate that I have worked with Shamanic practices and PSYCH-K for many years and am able to call upon these processes to heal. Both PSYCH-K and Shamanic healing have provided me and my clients with incredible and accessible tools for transforming these losses into peace and hope. When we embrace the depths of our personal darkness, we discover what David Whyte calls the “bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart”.
The beauty of PSYCH-K is that I did not have to re-live the painful situations or traumatic experience by re-creating the story of the event. The creation of new beliefs at the subconscious level rewrites the traumatic imprints of the situation. PSYCH-K is the most powerful tool for me personally to navigate the losses I’ve experienced in my life and has provided a platform for me to understand the messages and lessons in those experiences as peace and non-attachment replaces the previous uncomfortable emotions. Through the PSYCH-K® Balance processes, I have a template for easily navigating difficult experiences with grace and ease.
Through my Shamanic work, I found that personal ceremonies of release and gratitude have given me conscious action I can take to honor myself and step into more freedom and peace. In a PSYCH-K session, the Facilitator and the client partner together in the process making this a unique transformational tool. The Partner is empowered throughout a session and taps into his or her inner wisdom to discover what new beliefs they want to have. And, belief is everything! Bruce Lipton, in the Biology of Belief, explains in depth how our beliefs literally impact and create our life at the cellular level. With PSYCH-K, we shift the perception of events from the past and present and create a new foundation for the future that feels safe, supportive and congruent.Shamanism offers an avenue for addressing any challenge someone may be experiencing.
In a session, the Shamanic Practitioner may take a client on a journey into “non-ordinary” reality by way of a drumbeat. In this non-ordinary reality, the client will explore the natural landscape and meet animal or angelic allies. There may be conversation about a question or perhaps a healing process takes place. The client is in a relaxed state and when the drumming is complete, they then recount the story of the journey to gain personal insight and messages. Sometimes the spirit allies will give them instruction on actions to take in the real world such as create journal entries for healing, begin working in the garden or create art that feels significant. Another piece of shamanic work is the creation of ceremonies and rituals that honor transitions in someone’s life such as a divorce, a job change, healing from an illness or a stepping into a new freedom.
Community support, music, movement, storytelling, ritual, vision questing are all components of the Shamanic healing process. Working with the subconscious mind in non-ordinary reality is not new. Shamans and healers have been guides for their community dating back 70,000 years. Shamanism is soul work based in sacred relationship with the natural world. We have an opportunity now to re-connect with community and explore new levels of connection within ourselves and with others. This deep soul and spirit exploration is crucial during this time of global transformation as the world we knew collectively, is no longer.
Look around you and sit with the realization that the world we are living in now is vastly different from anything we have known before and this transformation happened almost overnight. Everyone has experienced some form of loss or radical change, whether it be children now learning at home, a job loss or change, and even more extreme, losing family members unexpectedly and not being permitted to be with them as they transition, or not being able to afford food and rent. Our collective loss is echoed in the loss we are witnessing in our natural world as ecosystems are destroyed and species join the extinct list. We have lost touch with the natural world, with one another, and with ourselves.
Shamanic Healing and PSYCH-K offer platforms for healing the losses and provide a new foundation for hope and freedom to root. Our global consciousness has been heading for an evolution and revolution and now is humanity’s time to wake up and usher in clear vision. Is it a coincidence that the apparent chaos and lifting of the veil is happening in 2020? 20/20 vision is perfect vision. Collectively, we are in the dark night of the soul and we each have a choice of how to respond. Can we see this time as an opportunity to invite in clarity and clear vision for ourselves? Can we entertain the concept of how we are a part of a whole and that our contribution matters? Can we each step into personal responsibility for our own personal work of healing the shadows and step into the Light and shine for others?
Our human family and planet need each of us to step forth and boldly remember our inherent talents and gifts. Each of us was born with a unique gift to bring to the world and if we can tap into it, move beyond our fear and limitations and fully step in to the light of who we are, together we can create a new and beautiful reality.
There is only one YOU. YOU are worth your investment. YOU are worth committing to. YOU have "medicine" and gifts that are uniquely yours that no one can deliver to the world. The world needs your medicine and gifts now more than ever.As Rumi shares, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Are you ready to let your Light shine, remember your Divine Blueprint and let go the old ways of loving and living that no longer serve you? I would be honored to support your transformation in any area of your life as you embrace the magic of you.
Please visit my Schedule A Session page to schedule a complimentary discovery call so that we can explore how this work can support your journey.