Over the past two years since I was last active on this blog, I have been working. Working at a new full time job, which has taken up a lot my energy. But in order to stay resourced at this new job, I have had to work to clarify who I am as a person and a healer. This has helped me understand what I can uniquely offer the world during a time of great transformation. I know that this exploration will be a life-long journey, but I recognize the wisdom that now resides in my bones from the little part of the path I have walked so far.
My path has led me into deeper ways of working with plants and nature as a powerful force for transformation. It has also brought me to an embodied awareness of cycles of transformation and how they play out in my own life. I have come to feel gratitude for my bipolarism, which I have learned to see simply as a neurodivergency, and which has gifted me with a stronger experience of what transformation feels like and looks like.
I have created internal maps for this transformation process and, thanks to the work of Cathy Skipper and Florian Birkmayer (see AromaGnosis), I have ways to name these maps and present them to others. And I have found that this process has allowed me to go deeper into my process with courage and resiliency. I no longer fear my "dark nights" or shun the fire of my anger.
And I am excited to offer what I have learned to the world. If you would like support for your own personal evolution, please reach out! You can learn more about my own personal technique for supporting transformation here.
This year has been a bumpy one for me. There have been the downs:
Whatever the reality of what is going on, it feels appropriate and necessary to express my anger as this year comes to a close...as if this will allow things to close with more clarity. It also feels appropriate to send the year off with a bit of hope. So with these two obectives in mind, I submit to you two poems with hope they will inspire the kind of strength and clarity we will need in 2017
The feminine has been pierced
and she is angry with hurt
blood and semen mix
in this hot wound.
A black revenge
will suck you dry
so you have to fight
show yourself the "big man"
and yet how small you are
in the womb of the universe.
This mother will be the one
to f---- you in the end
for all die at her hands
even the crude ones
who clutch their power
and flaunt their impotence
My inner darkness is a guide
but it knows far better
the path my soul must take
a one way flight
to lands unknown
but still a life lived in the clouds
you will ground me, O darkness
according to your divine timing
and the landing may hurt
but I will be there waiting
present to the luggage
that follows me
ready to pick up
Today I start a 12 week journey of contemplation and creation. I am using Christine Valters Paintner's book "The Artist's Rule: Nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom" as my guide. My intention over the next few weeks is to continue to foster the creativity that has welled up inside me over the past year and align it with my deeper, truer self who is intimately intertwined with the divine....and by doing so explore even more what that means to me...to be intertwined with the divine and to create from that place.
This morning's period of contemplation has me rolling two phrases over in my being:
"behold I make all things new"
Obviously the "new" is the piece that connects the two. But there is the "revealing" versus "making." Creating a distinction between the two seems important to me as I very much live in a period of deep transformation in which it feels important to distinguish how much is being revealed - the veils falling away - and how much is being created - being shaped like clay at the potter's wheel.
The way that I feel this distinction in my life is by feeling into how engaged I may be co-creatively in the process. When things are revealed, I feel like a more passive participant who just needs to hold on to dear life when the mechanizations of reality are revealed. When there is a "making new" process happening it feels more like my deeper self's response to what has been revealed and this feels more co-creative. Yes, I may be clay being shaped by "defter hands than mine", but as the clay, I am still charged with the task of keeping some structure and form during the shaping process.
And what becomes my focus during this reshaping is critical. If I stay focused on wonder, awe, love, compassion it feels like my clay is more firm (yet pliable) in a way that can allow me to become a beautiful vase. But if I go into fear, confusion, anxiety I become a clumpy mess on the potter's wheel (sometimes this is necessary and even okay...we all have periods where we need to return to the beginning to be reshaped again).
This week I am also exploring the earth element through a contemplative art class and because I tend to shy away from structure and tend to be more attracted to flow, change, more mutable elements, I am playing with the mutability of form. Change is the only constant and so how we respond to, foster, actively participate in that change is central to our spiritual practice (and very relevant to "life in transition" which, well, hate to break it to you, but we never get out of...). My practice is how to love form and how to love the changes in form that take place on a daily basis in my life. How do I respond to these changes - to what is revealed by these changes or what is "made new" by these changes?
I look forward to sharing with you my explorations as I travel deeper into this spiritual and creative process/practice.
This week I am happy to announce that I have finally jumped into the world of social media campaigns and all that jazz to support some initiatives I truly care about..including a poetry book!.
It is interesting to experience this as a sensitive, because there are aspects that make my being cringe, but at the same time it feels somewhat necessary to be able to maneuver in the modern world...and to empower my still small voice to ask for what it feels it needs to do the work I am passionate about in the world.
So I offer to you a link to my kickstarter project and I send many thanks to any feedback or support you may offer!
I just started my first medicinal herb garden and it is profound how incredibly healing even just the process of gardening is for the entire mind/body/spirit system. Spending time in the outdoors after months of indoor hibernation, physically working the body at moments through stressful labor and then relaxing into enjoying the rhythm of the work or even taking needed breaks just resting on the earth. I feel so much support just lying on the grass and letting go whatever has been brought up in my being as I do the physical and spiritual work.
I wanted to share this experience with you, but also an amazing resource that has just popped up on my radar. As a novice for all things horticultural, I am thrilled to be learning that there is technical support for people like me out there. I do most of my gardening intuitively at this point, but I am finding that the more technical knowledge I can throw into the mix, the stronger my intuitive technique gets..
Here is to happy growing what ever you may wish to seed in this season!
Over the past year and a half I have been working at Tree Frog Farm where Diana Pepper makes amazing Plant Spriit Medicine in the form of flower essences. She creates flower essences which can be ingested, used topically or in the energy field to heal parts of our energy bodies - including working with the organ energy meridians, the emotional body and other aspects of the etheral body.
I have come to feel that a deepening part of my spiritual path and path as a healer is to connect with aspects of this beautiful creation we call home - the earth and the plants and animals that make up this home - to facilitate re-connection, wholeness, and healing.
For those who may also be hearing a similar calling (and thank goodness there is a growing number of us!) I wanted to share with you some local opportunities to learn about this type of medicine . Eliot Cowan, Author of Plant Spirit Medicine will be in the northwest teaching in Seattle March 20th, 2016 and Olympia March 21st.
Eliot Cowan is a holder of healing wisdom from two distinct sources: the indigenous Huichol tradition of Mexico, and the deep medicine of plant spirits.
Huichol shamans are known as outstanding healers and people of knowledge, but they primarily served their own communities until Mr. Cowan, with the permission of his elders, made their medicine path available to our people. Cowan is himself an initiated Tsaurirrikame, or elder medicine man in the Huichol tradition.
Plant spirits were largely forgotten in the West before Eliot brought forth Plant Spirit Medicine -- a healing modality and a doorway to the wisdom of the natural world. His book on the subject has been changing lives for over twenty years.
For those of you who wish to dive a bit deeper into the use of this type of medicine, Tree Frog Farm is announcing their first Flower Essence Practitioner Course, which is full of beautiful medicine.
Tree Frog Farm Flower Essence Practitioner Course details:
Learn to use flower essences to help clients:
Course Schedule and Fees:
Class 1 • April 8-10 • $495
Class 2 • July 22-24 • $495
Class 3 • October 7-9 • $380
Early tuition discount • $1200*
* Price for all 3 classes paid before March 21st • Full tuition $1350
Each class is Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm with an hour break for lunch.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in registering, please visit Tree Frog Farm's website.
In honor of African American History Month, it feels really timely to address the shadow of oppression that has woven into our collective and personal histories and to also recognize the treasured gifts of humanity's struggle to rise up despite it all.
The roots of oppression are deep and we are ALL somehow connected to and through them through our own experiences and our inheritance from our ancestors. As many of us wake up to the fullness of this reality, we find it difficult to accept ourselves and be with each other in authentic ways.
To address this issue I am working with and through the World Peace Hologram project to invite us to come together and share our personal lens on our inherited issues with oppression, so that through the work of Resonance Repatterning we can unlock some of the energy that is bound up in this area of our lives. The way it works is that:
1) You fill out the survey found HERE
2) On February 26th a group of resonance repatterning students will be coming together and actually do a repatterning on your behalf using all of the answers collected
3) With your consent, your energy will be proxied into the session and will be added to shifting our collective resonance with our history of oppression
4) A summary of the session will be posted on the World Peace Hologram site, so you can see what the outcome of the session was.
When I think of oppression, I think of its roots as being our own natural tendency to not love and accept ourselves, each other, and our lives exactly how they are. The video below is one I have posted before, but I love it so much and it captures this sense of acceptance we have lost, that I can't help but post it again. It is a spoken word performance by Climbing PoeTree describing this tendency so playfully. Yes, oppression is also about larger economic systems that encourage grasping and taking from other peoples (including non-human peoples and future generations), but my feeling is that as we learn to authentically love and value ourselves (realizing that we are a part of this earth and everything on it), we naturally disengage from these systems and live in more earth and people-honoring ways.
I recently wrapped up an online series in partnership with the World Peace Hologram project where we explored how many of our issues with world and personal peace are actually symptoms of being stuck in a form of grief. Whether it is grief over the loss of a loved one, a home, a country, dream, or way of life, many times the violence, depression, reckless consumption, and apathy we see in the world today and feel within ourselves comes from this sense of loss. Through the Growing Through Grief series we looked at each stage of grief and used resonance repatterning to shift ways that we get stuck in these stages and come into alignment with an acceptance that is not apathetic, but rather authentically proactive.
You can check out the entire series on the World Peace Hologram website and if you would like to participate, you can still proxy in by filling out the surveys for each of the stages.
I hope you enjoy the series!
The seer touches the inside of the soul
holding it in their vision,
a knowing that penetrates with a secret desire:
sometimes to change
sometimes to shock or entertain
perhaps to hurt
- yes, anger can be here
But the child within is all "Maitri"
friendliness to self & others.
having been stepped on and shut away by the world,
this little voice has a big message
one that can reshape violent tendencies
into acts of liberation
The seer in their Truth expands vision beyond what is,
untying the here and now
from the disliberating remembering of a yesterday presently imagined,
loosening the tether that strangles the newness of existence
and informing it with a richness of real Knowing
Their gift is to see not what is
but its potential.
Holding not one's personal desire
built from collective tragedy,
but holding the thing we all still dream secretly together
despite a world gone mad
What is held is a heart that beats so quietly
most have forgotten to hear it.
It weaves our personal and cosmic histories
in a different way than our unimaginative memories, and one-track minds
using a redeeming compassion as deep & as old as this universe
as its simple thread
When the seer's vision comes from this place
All are opened to the potential of a transformative Truth
which is found in the most unlikely of places.
As kernels sitting quietly amongst the messiness of life,
we may learn with a new joy
that by applying that heat of this True vision
we just may POP!
Under the loving warmth of this eye
not even our misunderstanding fear, bitter anger, cold control or deluded desires
will be able to contain us into small, limiting, unripened shapes,
an explosion into the wild lovers of the universe
we were always meant to be.
When tragedy strikes
the heart constricts
sheltering itself from the blows of the world
We can turn on our minds
and turn on our mouths
or clucking our dismay
Popular culture loves and supports this
24 hour news propagates it
our neighbors, loved ones and co-workers regurgitate it
so it is understandably hard to not listen
But there is an invitation
by the little heart that closed
to go inside to meet it
to listen to its small and frightened voice
All it takes is stillness
all it takes is a willingness to shed tears
for not just this tragedy
but for all the tragedies ever
It is worth it
for what also lives here
is an authentic hope
that so simply knows the way forward
the mind searches so frantically for
It is a place of compassion
so deep, no bomb could touch it,
it has already been bombed
no genocide can mar it,
it has already been marred
It is the part of you
who knows all of human history
the horror and the sweetness of
who we really are
And it believe in the sweetness
it is prepared to go to the heights
and the depths
for that sweetness
Inexplicably in love with love
There is a caveat
one should know:
This isn't for the feint of heart
for it encourages a kind of rawness.
You will feel
all there is to feel
and it will rub
But if you consider these growing pains
if you dedicate yourself
to listening to and loving
that little heart of yours,
its resilience will grow
Until it is so much heart
that it no longer needs to close
in the face of so much pain,
it can stand and weep
offering an authentic hand of kindness
to the world
By Summer Starr
November 19, 2015 - Dedicated to the deaths in Paris, both the victims and the perpetrators. May all rest in peace...including the survivors near and far.
Wild Lotus Living is me, Summer Starr. Here I share my personal musings and resources on my own path of unfolding