with Melinda Rodriguez

camp1Last Wednesday my dear friend Jamie and I were contemplating something to do for the weekend.  When she suggested camping in the mountains nearby, I immediately said “YES!”  Most of my overnight excursions are spent in a hotel room with access to all the conveniences a Diva such as me desires.  I haven’t camped in well over a decade and the forest was calling, complete with the ideal of roughing it for one night (meaning leaving the hairspray at home). So when the government supposedly reopened on Thursday, she made the reservation, paid for it, and we were set.

We packed our drums and sacred tapestries which we planned on stringing between trees flanked with our regalia shawls that we acquired in a private Native American naming ceremony we were invited to over ten years ago.  We hadn’t brought them out since and felt it would be good to display them as a prayer to the Goddess.  Of course I also packed as many comforts as I could, perhaps to many, for I had no idea that I would have to actually carry it all into camp.

camp crazyWhen we arrived at the campground, we were stunned to see the camp kiosk cloaked in plastic with a sign that said “CLOSED due to government shutdown” complete with a locked gate preventing anyone from driving in.  What?  But we have a paid reservation!  We decided to drive into the nearby town and make some phone calls.  Then I suggested we continue with our original plan and just hike our stuff in.  We could have this whole little space of forest all to ourselves.  Fortunately, Jamie is as much of a rebel as I am and decided this was a good plan indeed.

Being the 40-something, wine-loving, nature worshipers we are we poured ourselves a little liquid courage into coffee mugs in case we met upon anyone who might attempt to thwart our plans.  We dubbed the liquid courage “purple coffee” and cackled at our cleverness.  We unpacked the car and began lugging our things along the half mile hike into the space we decided was most magical.  We encountered a few town locals taking advantage of the abandoned camp site out walking their dogs.  Jamie was a bit nervous about the locals seeing us clearly preparing to camp in a closed campground.  I on the other hand was indignant, and felt we had every right to be there.  So I strategically adored and caressed each dog that came my way and cheerfully conversed with their guardians.  This approach worked brilliantly and they all were strongly behind our decision and provided tips to help us carry it all out successfully.

camp2By the time we completed the three trips it took to get all our things into the site we had chosen, dusk was upon us and we had to move fast to get our tapestries strung and the tents in place.  We were giddy with our divinely guided opportunity to be completely alone in this forested paradise.  Well, I suppose the purple coffee aided in the joviality, but we were utterly stoked at our amazing secret discovery none-the-less.

Not wanting to attract bears or other potentially dangerous wildlife, we left any food in the car.  We were getting hungry and decided to drive into town and find a local spot for dinner.  We found just the place.  We entered and plopped ourselves down at the bar where we were immediately greeted by the owner who spied the fact that we were not from around here.  Really?  I wonder what gave it away <wink>.

camp foodJamie and I were having an outlandishly joyful experience at this little bistro.  The menu consisted of seasonal delights which we indulged in with complete abandon to any dietary concerns.  The owner poured us some libations, and to our astonishment, just kept pouring us small samples of various wines that would accompany our meal, which we did not request, nor turn down.  Then to our surprise a different delightful desert was placed in front of each of us, which we did not order.  “Wow” we thought, “they are really taking care of us.”  Then we got the bill.  What the heck!?  How on earth did it get so high?  We ordered one meal and one drink each…they put the rest in front of us.  The bill was not itemized, and we were to weary from the day’s activities to protest.  We chalked it all up to a good time and made our 5 minute drive back to camp.

Once again, we walked the uphill, half mile journey into our personal pine grove as we chatted and enjoyed the brightness of the full moon to light our way.  No flashlights needed.  Once we arrived at our tents, we were ready for sleep, so into our separate abodes we went.  We intentionally placed them several yards away so we could have some solitary time.  Unfortunately, in the quiet of the forest, those yards were not enough to soften the sound of my dear friend’s snoring.  But that did not prevent me from completely enjoying the canopy of trees above me and the serenade of the owls and coyotes in the distance.

camp3We awoke at dawn and took another jaunt down to the car to grab some caffeinated drinks we had secured along with some snacks for breakfast.  The moon was still high in the sky as the sun peered through the trees.  It was absolutely stunning amongst the golden hue of the autumn dogwoods.  Once back at our little private nook in this grand forest, we talked about love, work and spiritual growth.  We enjoyed the candid, raw expression that two dear friends do, and deeply basked in the moment.

After taking down the tents and getting our site organized, we took a long walk through the forest.  We conversed even deeper about love, work and spiritual growth as we sauntered along.  Brilliant epiphanies oozed from every corner and we found ourselves uplifted and inspired in ways that only solitary time amongst the trees can create.  We laughed as loud as we wanted and cried a little at times as well, feeling safe and protected by the spirit of the forest.

The time had come to prepare our journey back home and make the multiple trips back and forth to the car.  We stalled all the way as neither of us wanted to leave.  We extended our time a little and decided to have a small cup of purple coffee amongst the pines and the quiet before we left.  Hey, it was after noon and we couldn’t possibly drive with an open container…right?

camptentOn the ride home we came up with some inspired ideas for retreats and workshops to share with women based on our own personal life journeys and the congruent inner work we had accomplished and synthesized throughout our mountain journey.  Personal growth and spiritual deepening was the purpose of this escape, and we certainly accomplished that mission.  Being the teachers that we both are, we are naturally drawn to use our life’s upheavals and ultimate triumphs to help other women who are no doubt facing their own challenges.  No one is in this alone.  We all have our baggage and garbage that is begging to be unpacked and recycled.  Community led by courageous, confident women is an ideal cauldron for healing and transformation.

Once home, the magic of the woods were still etched deep within my soul.  As I lay in bed that evening, although my bed felt good, I couldn’t help but think that my sleeping bag would feel better back in the womb of the forest.  And so I imagined that as I drifted off to sleep.

I look forward to my return.


readingWhen I went within to ask what I should write about for this week’s Wisdom Wednesday, I was guided to do a collective card reading that taps into Universal energies and applies to everyone. Transitions abound for all of us right now, in one form or another.  A little direction from the loving spiritual forces that guide us is a powerfully wise tool that can help us stay centered and focused as we journey upon our individual pathways of wisdom.

I have a unique way of working with cards of guidance in that I shuffle them with intent and then let the ones to be used for the reading either stick out or fall out.  I chose to use Doreen Virtue’s Angel Cards for the bulk of the reading along with one helper card from the Medicine Card’s deck.  These are the cards that literally fell out for your reading:

The main card and the first to fall out was Surrender & Release.  With all that is going on in our world right now as well as in our personal lives, it is so important that we don’t get caught up in trying to control and change it all.  Things are unfolding as they should right now.  Trying to control outcomes, people and even ourselves can be exhausting!  When we surrender and release the issues and situations in our life over to Spirit we open ourselves to the highest outcome for all involved.  That may or may not be what we want, but we can completely trust that it is what we need.  More often than not however, surrendering allows things to unfold in a way that is even more favorable that we could have imagined with our controlling mind.  Think back for a moment about the high moments of your life.  Were they contrived or did they unfold organically and naturally?

The next card that fell out was Intention.  This segues beautifully from the first as what you are being asked is to set intention around your personal situation and then surrender and release to your Spirit.  Whatever you are dealing with in any given moment, set your intent for the highest, divinely orchestrated outcome for all involved.  Be aware of any negative thoughts that flow through you.  Without judgment of those thoughts, bring yourself back to intention.  This is where your power dwells – in your intention.  Negative thoughts are natural, so don’t get caught up in some sort of positive thinking 24/7 protocol.  Allow yourself the full gamut of thoughts and feelings as they arise, all the while keeping your intentions in sight and working your way back to your truth.

The last card that fell out was Healing.  The planet as a whole and each and every one of us who dwell here are embarking upon a massive opportunity to heal when we surrender, release, and set intent.  We are being asked to allow healing to occur in those old buried wounds so that we can move forward in harmony with our purpose and the very evolution of our soul.  We did not come here to lead a perfect life in perfect balance from beginning to end, every moment of every day we draw breath!  We came here to experience the polarity of the Earth realm and to learn to love deeply; love ourselves, others and the beauty that exists here.  We ALL have healing to do along the way.  It is unavoidable.  But so many have gotten stuck in their wounding.  Most of us don’t intend to be stuck there.  Life just happens around us so fast that we keep on trucking without realizing we are living fragmented instead of whole.  Or maybe we avoid tapping into the pain out of fear and avoid healing thereby just sticking our head in the sand and continuing on.  Spirit is asking you to allow the healing to occur.  Surrender and release, set your intent, then lovingly allow the healing to flow into your life in a way that is joyful and pleasing.

The helper card is one that signifies an ally to assist you on your journey at this time.  Their message and/or medicine is one that will accompany you as you follow Spirit’s guidance and help you to accomplish your divinely ideal outcome.  For this reading, Deer fell out of the deck.  Traditionally Deer represents gentleness and she would like to remind you to be extra gentle with yourself right now, as well as with others.  She will help you reach your Sacred Mountain by inspiring you towards love in all situations; love for yourself, and love for those around you who have their own wounds to heal.  Deer reminds us of the gentleness of the Spirit that heals all.  Call upon Deer to work with you.  Be open to her signs.  Anytime you see a deer, a picture of a deer, hear the word deer – these are validating sings of her presence.

So there ya go.  These are the messages Spirit would like to share with you at this time.  It doesn’t matter when you are reading this, the first time you do is when it is applicable to you and the coming days, weeks, possibly even months.  I welcome your questions.  If you are reading this on my website, send me an email.  If you are reading this on my blog, leave a comment.  I’m on this journey with you.



I have a client who recently had an incredible breakthrough experience that has had a huge impact on her life.  I would like to share her revelation with you as a succulent dose of joyful inspiration that you can apply in your own healing journey.  This incredible woman has graciously given me permission to retell her encounter, but I’m going to change her name in this story because integrity tells me too.

Katie is a successful entrepreneur who lives in the Midwest and works from home most days.  She loves her small town life-style. She is also very passionate about her career, which has her traveling several times a month for meetings with clients and potential clients.  A few months ago Katie had to fly to Los Angeles to meet with a new client.  What occurred in this two day journey was a transformational shift that has brought more peace into Katie’s world than she could have ever imagined.

f37e571783468237a9dc7ff4dcda4140You see, even though Katie is a very attractive woman who carries herself with impeccability, she sometimes struggles with a debilitating poor self image stemming from some wounding in her youth.  She has worked diligently in her adulthood at healing this issue and has made incredible strides which have greatly enhanced her ability to reach the level of success she has, as well as augment her relationship with her husband of 22 years.  However, as a woman in her late 40’s, Katie is beginning to struggle with the unavoidable changes in her appearance due to age, which is triggering that old wounding.  She is finding herself feeling increasingly less confidant than she used too and is concerned that if left unhealed, could sabotage all the progress she has made in her beloved career as well as her relationship.  So Katie contacted me for a series of sessions to help her retrieve lost power, rebuild her confidence to accommodate graceful aging and step more fully into who her Shaman self as she embraces her authentic nature.

Katie is a profoundly powerful business woman; she is also deeply spiritual and knows the value of the sacred ancient pathways of wisdom.  What we discovered through our work together is that the wounding from her youth embedded a mental program that it was not safe to be authentic.  This mental program had a huge impact on her self image as she always felt that to be pretty, she needed to look, dress, behave and speak in a way that didn’t always reflect her truest self.  So we went to work in sacredly calling in her authenticity and anchoring that true essence into her whole being.

Katie loves her day-to-day casual rural lifestyle.  She also enjoys getting spiffed up when she is working with clients.  She enjoys the beauty rituals and the contrast of hair, makeup and dressing up to her casual daily comfort.  Prior to our work together when Katie had to travel to chic, cosmopolitan cities, her triggers were amplified and she found herself compulsively obsessing about appearing as beautifully youthful as possible.  In fact, her mental chatter had overtaken her intellectual sense and she found herself more made up and dressed up than what was really comfortable, causing her to critically judge herself, spawning a downward spiral of poor self image and abusive self talk.  Although she carried out her client meetings successfully, inside, she was a hot mess.

Fast forward to Katie’s meeting in LA where her diligence in healing herself paid off.  As she prepared for her travel, she packed clothing that genuinely made her feel beautiful without concern for what might be fashionably trending in Southern California.  It wasn’t country bumpkin attire, but it wasn’t over the top sexy which in the past, was part of her MO trying to uplift the poor self image.  She applied her makeup in a way that really suited her instead of gooping on too much, which never looks good.  Most importantly, she packed her authenticity.  She vowed to be herself no matter what.  She focused on her inner beauty, her natural skills and talents and her newfound sense of safety in being honest and authentic…always, in all ways.

Throughout her expedition Katie felt uplifted, light and full of joy, gratitude and love.  These delightful sensations were like a boomerang that brought into her experience even more.  Challenges arose, but she was empowered to overcome peacefully, and she did.  Her business meeting went so well that her client introduced her to some friends and business colleagues and she soon found herself booking three more unanticipated meetings before she went back home that proved extremely lucrative.

But the real nugget of confirmation in Katie’s healing came from a chance encounter with a total stranger.  Katie and her business partner Brian were catching a cab together back to the airport to head home when the cabdriver began to apologize profusely.  At first she was puzzled, and both she and Brian looked at each other with confused expressions, telepathically saying to each other “what is going on?”  Then the cab driver went on to explain that he was apologizing for staring, but that he thought she was the most stunningly beautiful woman he had ever seen.  He went on to remark how in a town filled with fakeness, she stood out above everyone because her authenticity and inner beauty radiated outward in a way that surrounded her in an aura of exquisite gorgeousness.  She was a bit taken aback by his remarks, but she knew this was Spirit’s way of confirming that she had healed what she had struggled to believe for herself.  Her business partner smiled and jokingly said to the driver “how do you know I’m not her husband?”  The driver replied “I mean no disrespect; I simply had to tell this beautiful woman how amazing she is to be out here as a role model for other woman who are afraid to be who they truly are.”  WHOA!  Brian just chuckled, and of course he did not really understand the depth of that response, but Katie did.

In the days, weeks, and months following Katie’s excursion to Los Angeles, she could really feel authentic confidence sink deeply into her being.  Our work together had culminated in this profound, integrative experience that solidified the deep processing that Katie had the courage to work through.  True healing works within the earth realm, in the real world, in our every-day life.  It affects how we feel as a human and anchors our soul deep within our physical being so that we walk our journey synchronized, awake, and living life to our fullest human potential as a result of our deep spiritual connection.  Healing raises our vibration, but it does not lift us away from life’s experiences, for they are necessary in the evolution of our soul.  Enlightenment is not about becoming so spiritually “pure” that we live in joy and love 24/7, for that is not our design.  Enlightenment is about understanding that the polarity of life is a vitally important component in our relationship with the Divine.

I hope that you can take away some juicy tid bits from Katie’s story and apply it to your life and your spiritual journey.   And when you are in the LA area, be sure to ride in a cab.  You never know when you might get the driver who lets angels speak through him.

In Rhythm & Harmony,


820a387380040042e17a724a590d899fYesterday morning I had one of those poignantly vivid dreams where you awaken completely awash in the emotions felt within the dream.  In fact, there was a double wake up, I dreamt that I woke up, and then actually woke up.  The dream itself took me back 24+ years to a very difficult time in my life.  I was 18, had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years and was about to find out I was pregnant.  It was a heart-wrenching time for me in so many ways, and the whole story in and of itself would make a spellbinding novel.  To thicken the plot of that story I must share that after a 20 year separation, that boyfriend and I got back together almost 4 years ago and are very much in love.  But apparently I had deeply repressed and submerged some of that heartache as I soon found myself uncontrollably sobbing at 4:30 in the morning.

I know mercury is in retrograde right now, which often invites us to reach behind and look at unfinished business, but that must be a heck of a powerful retrograde to take one back almost two and a half decades!  As much as I would have loved to sleep some more and not deal with swollen eyes the rest of the day, my wisdom encouraged me to allow the processing to unfold and explore my feelings in the space of darkness.  And so, I greeted the dawn.  The sweet dewy scent of the hillside’s wild grasses and the approaching light elicited a calming sensation as I knew daybreak would help lessen the discomfort and eventually transform the energy.  Once morning officially arrived, I had to get ready to catch a flight up to San Jose for an event I was facilitating that afternoon.  And though there was no time to linger in sadness, I found myself moving through the day reverently, with a sense of peace and serenity that was most welcomed.

I am sharing all of this with you because this experience holds the opportunity to serve as an important reminder and offer wisdom that applies to everyone.  We all have buried sorrow from traumas, both big and small.  At some point in our lives, perhaps repeatedly, that sorrow will bubble to the surface.  And when it does, will you allow the processing to proceed or will you shove it all back down because it is unconformable or inconvenient?

Our psyches don’t have a sense of time or space.  They just are.  And like it or not, the psyche is the operating system of the conscious mind.  So that buried sorrow from old traumas (even not so old) is rolling around in there projecting fear of the trauma reoccurring and creating thoughts of fear as avoidance.  For example, even though my current relationship with Luis is healthy, and I know him to be one of the most loyal persons I have ever met, it wasn’t so healthy back in the day, and he wasn’t so loyal.  We were kids and we both had a lot of growing up to do.  And we did for 20 years.  But being with him again, even after almost 4 years of a committed, loving relationship, those old traumas from our past have planted these seeds in my psyche of history repeating itself.  Again, intellectually I know this won’t happen, but the operating system has a virus – the unprocessed sorrow!

So when the dream occurred, and in that darkened moment where my wisdom was not clouded by daylight and distractions, even though my intellect said “girl, go back to sleep,” my wisdom said, “beloved, here’s your chance to feel that old pain you’ve avoided so you can release it back to its origin.”  And this is the beauty of the human psyche, as complex as it is, it is paradoxically simple; because of the lack of time and space, we can process that old garbage and effectively remove the virus from the operating system.

Now this is not necessarily an instant fix.  Although processing those old wounds can be quick, it often takes some time to thoroughly shift.  But the intensity of it all fades after the initial reemergence.  You just have to be willing to greet the sorrow.  Freedom and forward motion will follow along with a clear view of pathways to higher desires.

Sometimes all the spiritual tools we have tucked away in our tool bag to deal with sorrow and grief, be it old or new, can only take us so far.  The truth is we are not humans seeking a spiritual experience, but rather a Spirit seeking human experience.  We are here in human form for a reason, and our emotions and traumas are all part of the matrix.  Enlightenment from this perspective is about anchoring our soul into the earth realm as our Spirit intended at birth, and synchronizing soul with body.  True spiritual evolution happens when we allow ourselves to be the human we came here to be.

Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a dear friend, a sacred community, or a trusted healer/counselor.  Part of the process is to share through speaking to someone, writing in a journal, expressing through art or music or all of the above!  The whole idea is to honor the sorrow so that it no longer needs to be running around in your psyche creating havoc, often unconsciously, trying to get your attention.

Blessings to you upon your sacred journey!


Melinda Beth:

For this week’s Wisdom Wednesday, I want to share an awesome post on a powerful subject that I’m very passionate about. On a spiritual path, and within a spiritual community there is a lot of positive talk, which is so incredibly valuable in its place. But there is often not enough space or opportunity to express our innate darkness, and this is where we can wind up in a downward spiral of unnecessary self judgment. We are here as a spiritual being in human form for a reason. The dark and the light within us both serve a very necessary purpose. As we evolve along our path, the goal is not so much to acquire some ascended level of enlightenment but rather to experience as much of our human selves as possible and transform those experiences into real life growth; growth that serves us in our every day life, in our work, with our families, in our communities rather than some sort of spiritual brownie button that we don as though we have graduated into the next level of spirituality, or even worse, spiritual superiority. So go grab a cup of something delicious, settle back and enjoy the read!

Originally posted on Mommy Mystic:

&quot;We've all got both LIGHT and DARK inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that's who we really are.&quot; - Sirius Black (Harry Potter)

“We’ve all got both LIGHT and DARK inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black (Harry Potter)

“I try so hard to stay positive and be grateful, but I just keep falling into these despairing thoughts. I know this is why I keep getting sick.”

I recently heard this from someone I was working privately with and it really broke my heart. This is a woman who has worked for many years in therapy to overcome feelings of unworthiness and shame stemming from having been sexually abused as a child. She has made great strides, and has been exploring energy work as a way to continue and deepen her healing. Her journey has led her to many valuable teachings that have helped her to shift her thoughts towards the positive, and to manifest more love and beauty…

View original 1,392 more words

Are you a woman who wants to change the world?  If I may, allow me to share a powerful secret that will grace you with the very tools that would aid you in your mission.  What is this secret?  Give yourself the audacity and loving permission to see yourself as scrumptiously, succulently, beautiful and flaunt that gorgeousness as if you are the queen of an exotic empire.  And as you strut your stuff, the key to the real power contained in this prayer to the universe is to walk your path with the awareness that everyone you encounter is also queen and king of their own exotic empire, even if they appear not to know this yet.  Because you honoring your intrinsic beauty as you honor the same in others inspires this very awareness in everyone you come across creating a domino effect unveiling the deepest depth of potential in humanity.  In other words, as Mama Gena says…”a gratified woman benefits everyone.”

cab9412058ba03272fe50eb8bc94514aThose are essentially a lot of fluffy words trying to describe the universal law of “owning it.”  I’m sure you have come across a woman who “owns it” and have thought to yourself, WOW.  Maybe your small mind chimed in with a few insults to make itself feel better, but no doubt your higher mind had some input as well that observed the power of a woman owning herself as flawlessly, imperfectly perfect.  Maybe she wasn’t a size 2, but her aura of confidence in her beauty, as is, made her the most alluring creature on earth at any size.  Maybe she wasn’t what you normally think of as conventionally “pretty” but the way she carried herself with such warm and outreaching audacity created a beauty in her that far exceeded convention; and damned if she didn’t have the men folk buzzing around her like bees to honey.  This is what I call the universal law of owning it.  It takes fake-it-till-you-make-it to the next level.  Owning it asks you to reach deep within and bring forth the truth that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, even with your perceived flaws, which by the way, almost no one sees but you!

I have a dear friend that taught me this law through osmosis.  She is a hippie kinda gal and most comfortable in hippie kinda clothes.  In Orange County, CA where we stomp around, a hippie is a bit of a foreign concept.  It’s on an upswing now, maybe because of my friend, but we’ve been stomping around before boho was trendy.  Anyhow, she is the epitome of owning it.  She could have pie on her face, ripped clothes and shoes that don’t match and not only do all the men flock to her, but really everyone loves her.  She is not boastful as in I’m-better-than-you, but owns it in a way that completely repels judgment and actually invites others to own theirs.  She’s like the pied piper of owning it.

I on the other hand have dealt with a poor self image most of my life.  I’m sure many of you reading this can relate in some way or another.  However, over the years I have had the deeply juicy opportunity to fall madly in love with myself, not just on the inside, but on the outside too.  It is a work in progress and like everyone I have good days and bad days.  What is important to understand about owning it, is that it must be cultivated, nurtured and practiced.

I’m sure you can conjure up a memory of when you felt beautiful.  In the moments of that feeling you uplift others with the awareness of your light.  When you are owning it, you recognize that your beauty comes from within and transforms whatever perceived flaws you are identifying about yourself.  Walking through life with that kind of perception taps into the law of attraction in all of its glory; everywhere you go you are not only uplifting yourself but you are uplifting others and bringing them into the vortex.  That’s changing the world from a grass roots level.

So, I’m going to share something with you now as an action of power in invoking my own universal law of owning it.  This weekend I have to attend a beach party.  I’m honestly not a huge fan of the beach with the exception of sunrise and sunset.  Otherwise, its messily sandy, overly sunny, ruins hair and here in So Cal is full of girls with lots of silicone in skimpy little bikinis that in the past I have allowed to make me feel inferior.  But you know what; I contain enough gorgeousness both inside and out that we can all share the beauty.  I’m going to sport my own bikini at 43 and I’m going to own it!  I am going to rock it like I’m Kim Kardashian before photo shopping.  I’m not only doing this for myself, but as a living message that Hollywood can go f@$# off!

Are you with me sisters?  And brothers…when you honor the beauty in every woman, you too are changing the world.  So as we all go into the season of summer and feeling way to hot to wear too many clothes lets all OWN IT together and stop the madness.  Let’s uplift and inspire our own magnificence as we uplift and inspire everyone around us.

In Rhythm & Harmony,


The mind is a multi-faceted, complicated component of being human.  There are layer upon layer of depths, some of them conscious, some of them unconscious.  So many disciplines, spiritual paths, areas of study and even sectors of modern medicine have been devoted to studying this elusive, mystifying aspect of humanity.  Really, our mind and its capacity and capability are all that separates us from other animals.

Every single human being walking this planet experiences emotional and mental patterns that create challenges and even extreme difficulty.  Because of our uniqueness as living creatures, what is considered challenging for one person may be different for another, so everything is absolutely relative.  Really understanding this truth could save so many from incredible strife.

9be2173a80a954a01dddfbc6ed89fe23In indigenous societies of both present and past, difficulties of the mind are far less prominent than they are in modern cultures.  Contemporary life has become incredibly complicated and to add to the challenges we face, our progressive minds tend to dissect and over analyze our mental and emotional patterns to the point of exhaustion.  But it is not just the evolution of the modern human that has created deeper emotional and mental conflict; it is also the lack of community, ritual and sacred ceremony that play a huge role the demise of the modern mind.

In Shamanism, there is a extraordinarily powerful healing method called Recapitulation which is a process of ceremonially releasing issues and obstacles in your life that you are ready to let go of in order to move forward and create anew.  From a Shamanic perspective, when traumatic events occur in our life, we often give our power away along with essential life force energy.  In psychology this is referred to as disassociation.  If we never find a way to clean up, heal and call back the energy, an energy proxy of sorts takes the place and continues to guide the course of our lives, being triggered by any number of things. When triggered, we effectively operate emotionally and spiritually at the age of the event where we gave our power away.

The recapitulation process begins by taking some time, perhaps a few days, maybe weeks, to write your story.  Thoroughly write out your life story, focusing on areas where you gave your power away.  Start at your very first memory and include as many details as possible.  This helps you get in touch with sometimes buried feelings, memories and the associated energy around issues or aspects of your life that you are looking to release and change.  Make sure you write it all out on paper that can be burned.

Once you have completed your story, you will chose a date and time to ceremonially burn your story, with the intent of transmuting the energy around any occurrences in which you gave your power away.  Obviously the point of a recapitulation is not to “undo” the event, but rather to integrate the experience and call back the energy that has remained stuck in time.

In a recapitulation, the idea is to eliminate unhealthy aspects of our life rather than “fix” them through analysis.  While understanding the “whys” can help illuminate our mind, it does not return the energy tied up in the patterns we desire to change.   We might tell ourselves, “oh I know why, now I’ll stop.”  We may even watch ourselves closely to make sure the behavior has stopped.  All the while the patterns continue under a different guise.  In other words, knowing why a pattern is occurring in your life is a step, but without reclaiming the energy, real empowerment can be difficult to achieve.  The substitute energy that has been filling the void of the energy released at the time of the trauma continues to perpetuate pain similarly to the way an amputee will feel pain in a leg that no longer exists.

energyhands1-300x299Although a solo recapitulation is enormously effective, a group ceremony is exponentially more powerful.  When we connect and heal as a community we are multiplying the healing capacity of the energy present.  It also ads to the power of the event when participants are willing to share something about what they are recapitulating.  This can be difficult for some people who are accustomed to carrying around trauma and uncomfortable with sharing their pain.  And this is exactly why community is such an essential component to a healed society – no one should carry the burden of pain alone.  In a sacred space filled with loving hearts that would never repeat what heard, people are able to exhale the stifled ache of hiding.

When you go through the process of writing your story, you will want to practice the art of detachment so as to avoid going full into the emotion of power-releasing events.  Detachment isn’t necessarily standing back as a 3rd party observer, but rather an act of disconnecting from the emotion and not allowing emotion to control the situation essentially causing you to relive any given moment in time.

Always begin a recapitulation with ritual prayers.  Whatever fits with your spiritual beliefs is fine.  I like to open a vortex and invoke the four directions, elements, power animals, ancestors, sky father and earth mother.  I offer sage and use a few additional ceremonial processes that have been shared with me by my teachers.  And I always close with gratitude.

This Friday is the Summer Solstice and a perfect time for a recapitulation.  I will be holding a Fire Ceremony for women at my home in Southern California, which will include a recapitulation.  If you are unable to join us, you can still hold your own ceremony and link up with us energetically (men included).  Ritual healing transcends time and space and connects with the sheer power of intent.

I look forward to connecting with the brilliance of your spirit!

In Rhythm & Harmony,



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