with Melinda Rodriguez

Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

What is really important – even when the journey sucks?

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May 5, 2015

What I’d give for a bad hair day!  Anyone who knows me or has spent any amount of time with me knows how obsessive I am with my hair.  In the 7th grade, when I began using tools and hairspray on my hair, I would spend hours trying to get it just right. Then I would pack on so much hairspray, Aqua Net to be precise, that my hair felt like a helmet.  I would turn my whole body with my head as to not undo the locks from their perfect place.  And now, it’s gone; all gone!

Chemo sucks indeed.  Yes, it is a necessary evil right now with stage IV ovarian metastatic cancer that has spread to my lungs, liver and lymph nodes, but it sucks ass.  Yet, in my 2 out of 6 rounds of having the deadly poison pumped into the port catheter conveniently implanted into my chest, I am finally free of the devastating pain I was in before my diagnosis. So in a way, I am grateful for the war being waged within my body for it seems to be having an effect despite the large tumor still protruding from my abdomen.  And of course there is the weight loss – another upside from this nasty disease.  Fortunately I am not gaunt, just back to my ideal weight and glad that I didn’t throw away all of my skinny clothes even though I haven’t fit into any of them for years.

Chemo makes me feel like crap, weak and tired, but the hardest part is being bald. Unfortunately my bathroom is comprised of three walls of mirrors.  Every time I walk in there I am painfully reminded of my circumstances.  Even after almost of month without hair, I still walk in there, catching a glimpse of my profile out of the corner of my eye and for a split second I think to myself “who is that?  She looks like someone with cancer.”  Oh yeah, it’s me.  I’m the one with cancer.  Fuck!

I face my own image full on in the mirror and feel momentary pity for the poor girl staring back at me.  However I quickly shift that pity to a sentiment of it-is-what-it-is and move on. I can only hope that I get used to my appearance soon, otherwise those mirrors are going to have to come down. I mean seriously, how’s a girl supposed to heal when she is constantly reminded of a suffering self-esteem thanks to chemo-induced baldness.

Then there are the looks I get when I go out into public.  There’s the fearful pity look that predominantly comes from women probably 10 years older than me.  Clearly they have their own inner struggle between their honest fear of reality and the pity they think is more appropriate.  And the second-take male look.  Not sure I have that one figured out, but men will look at me then do a double take.  Of course there is the curious child.  That one doesn’t bother me so much.  There’s also the look from someone I know that has no clue and is seeing me for the first time in months and I’m now bald and skinny.  They don’t know what to do or say…what do you say when you see someone who is all of the sudden bald?  I quickly put their curiosity to rest and fill them in on my recent diagnosis.  But the freak-out award goes to an unidentified gal who crossed a cross walk opposite me.  She was coming straight at me, paying no attention to me but rather to see if the coast was clear to cross.  By the time she felt assured it was she was a few feet in front of me and we almost collided. She took one look at me and gasped.  She then gave me a wide berth as she continued crossing.  I couldn’t help but giggle and the smart ass in me had to announce loud enough for her to hear that cancer was indeed not contagious and she didn’t have to worry about going bald from possibly being in my airs pace.

This is NOT the life I had planned for myself!  After all, I ate well 80% of the time.  I am a practicing herbalist, I am a healer, I am a spiritual teacher – this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.  Except that, it did!  I cleared a lot of toxins out of my life 4 years ago and continue to clean things up wherever I can.  I eat organic whenever I can.  Come on!  WTF!  Cancer?!  Stage IV?!  Damnit!

The truth is though, it can happen to anyone.  Cancer does not give a hoot who you are, how healthy you eat, or any other so-called defining marker that you mistakenly think keeps you safe from disease.  The question is not “why me?”  The question is, “WHY NOT ME?  Really, who do we think we are when we ask “why me?”  We can follow all the rules we think we are supposed to follow in life, in any situation, but NOTHING prevents bad things from happening to us; not positive thoughts, not clear chakras, not yoga, not green smoothies, not organic food, not even prayers, NOTHING!  Of course those things may lower our odds, but they do not offer all out prevention.

This does not however mean we live in fear or give up on spirituality or our healthy path.  What this does mean is that we truly strive to live in the present moment.  We absolutely let go of the bullshit from the past; leave it behind!  We must make love a priority as well as time spent with loved ones.  Quit worrying about security or safety because it doesn’t exist. Put joy in front of your career path. Better yet, include joy with your career path.  Because if you are not loving what you are doing every day then what is the point?  Please, take it from someone who has to face their own waning mortality, joy and love are everything.  I have no idea how long I have left on this planet.  Neither do you.  You may not have cancer, but you could die tomorrow from a number of causes. Right now my only focus is on healing and I do that by feeling as good as I can and surrounding myself with as much love as I can.  But if you are reading this and not actively healing or dying, then please commit to living joyfully in the present and focusing on the people that you love.  To be perfectly cliché, don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff!  And even if you are actively healing or dying, the advice is the same.

I guess my baldness is small stuff eh?  That’s why I posted a raw, bald picture of me here.  Because it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.  It only matters that I focus on why I’m bald – because I am actively healing.  I am in treatment because I want more time to love. I want more time to feel joy.  I want to watch my daughter be a mother and see my grandson grow.  I want to spend as much time and share as much love with my aging parents as possible.  I want to feel the arms of my lover around me for as long I can.  These are my treasured gifts as I walk my human path.

So I leave you with this very important question – what are your treasured gifts on your human path and what is their priority in your life?

Your support for Melinda’s medical expenses is so very appreciated. Every little bit counts.  Click below to to show your support.

A peek into 2015

Winter Blessings!

I hope that you are in the middle of enjoying the peace of the holiday season.  The seeming stressors of Christmas should be well behind now and the anticipation of a new year and a new cycle are gratefully on the horizon.  As we approach 2015, I am noticing a great deal of preparation for transition and transformation.  Preparation can happen in a medley of ways – anything that causes us to slow way down and be still is our illuminated self implementing a process that prepares us for big change.

I know change can be scary.  As humans we naturally fear the unknown.  In modern times that fear can manifest as deep anxiety when mystery is involved.  Our ancestors used earth-based spiritual beliefs and ceremonies to ward off the anxiety associated with the unknown and instead glorified mystery as a sacred, unavoidable aspect of life.  Indigenous Americans term this as “The Great Mystery.”  Over time this term has become synonymous with The Great Spirit, but there is a subtle difference.  Mystery is a part of life.  The more we accept this gracefully, the more peace we invite into our existence.

476494ed5be9ea68b8963a9e5cf15323I personally have been forced into slow mode with an odd flu-like illness that has lasted over two weeks.  This extended period of doing basically nothing has provided me with a great deal of introspection time and communing with Spirit.  I’ll be honest, some of the time when I was really feeling tired of being sick my inquiries to Spirit were something along the lines of “enough is enough….I’m done with this!  What the F@$% is going on?”  But as the illness winds down and I am slowly reemerging back into daily life, there is a synthesis that is occurring and the bigger picture is becoming clear.

As a New Year’s gift to you, I have decided to do a general 2015 card spread and take a peak at what is ahead in the New Year.  The synthesis I have been feeling became even clearer as the cards were laid and my intuition pointed me to the meaning of the spread as a whole and how it impacts all of us.

I think I can sum 2015 up with the words “cleaning out our closets.”  Closets would be metaphor for our psyches.  The angels are showing me that collectively it is vitally important to our wellbeing, personal progress and human evolution to take a deep look at our beliefs.  We all have imbedded beliefs deep within our subconscious that are ready to come out of hiding and be displayed on the bookshelf.  Shadows formed from our past do not disappear, and when they are hidden, they can cause trouble.  When they are illuminated, they loose their power and can be transformed into useful fuel to propel us forward.  Shadow and light are both normal aspects of human life.  Hiding or ignoring our shadow self is not only futile, but ultimately, harmful.

Some of us have gotten a head start on this process.  This has been necessary so that we can assist those who might have a harder time cleaning out the closet.  There is no wrong or right on who’s had a head start and who might struggle with this.  There must be no judgment involved in this process.  In fact, that is one aspect of our beliefs that would benefit from a deep cleaning.  Where are we judging ourselves or others?

What other beliefs might we be buying into that are not true?  Is there a story we are telling ourselves that is not real?  Whomever you were in your past is not who you are today.  We are constantly and consistently changing.  New aspects of ourselves are requesting to emerge, but they need those old beliefs that are no longer true to move aside.  This is always true, not just for 2015.  There are always new aspects of ourselves that are emerging.  However, I am being shown that this is a year in which unveiling our beliefs will be happening on many different levels; personally and globally.  It will also be happening at an accelerated rate, which at times might seem shocking.

Spirit is reminding us also that we must not get caught up in getting too serious with the task.  We must remember to play and invoke joy.  We must be as equal in our diligence to play and be playful as we are in exploring our beliefs.  This lightness will help us embrace the changes that will be occurring.  For some of us, these may be big changes.  For others, they may be on a smaller scale, but still quite poignant.  Play and playfulness however is the prescription for us all.

There are two animal allies that appeared to assist us in our endeavors.  The first was Dragonfly.  But of course – the one who helps us see through illusions!  If you find Dragonfly appearing in your life, in any form (in person, in pictures, in dreams, etc.) be open to seeing through the illusions of old beliefs.  If you are looking for assistance in this process, call upon Dragonfly for help.

The other animal ally was Black Panther.  She helps us to embrace mystery, so it makes perfect sense for her to appear as a guide upon our journey.  Should you find yourself needing to know how it all is going to work out, allow yourself to surrender to mystery.  Call upon Black Panther to help you through the unknown and trust in Spirit to know what you are not meant to know.  You don’t always need to understand where an old belief might have come from to be willing to let it go.  If you discover a belief that is no longer serving you, don’t waste a great deal of time trying to figure out the “whys” and just be willing to surrender it. And again, be watching for her to appear in dreams or pictures or any creative way.  Unless you live in the jungle, it is doubtful she will show up in person unless it is in her miniature form of a black cat.

So 2015 is about change, letting go of the old beliefs that block this necessary change, and embracing new beliefs that put us on our pathway of wisdom.  Remember that you don’t have to go at it all alone.  Engage with your tribe, your community, your friends and loved ones.  Seek out mentors and healers that can assist you on your journey.  If you are a healer or mentor, remember that you need support as well.  Surgeons don’t operate on themselves.  Healers and mentors work optimally when they have a source of support to turn to and are aware and evolved enough to know this truth.

Should you desire to dive a little deeper and examine your own beliefs, be prepared for the changes on the horizon, or explore any issues currently occurring in your life, contact me and make an appointment!

Wishing you a joyful and harmonious 2015!

Melinda

Reawaking Herstory

Many Native American tribes were matrilineal before the Europeans came along.  Women held great power and respect in these communities cntv_110221_hc_joshua_hinson_09and when a child was born, she/he was a descendant of the mother’s clan, not the father’s as is typical today.  The sweat lodge was actually a counterpart to the women’s moon lodge, originating out of a desire for men to release and restore similarly to women. The ancient ones knew of women’s great power and revered it.  The newcomer’s feared it.  And sadly, what humans typically do when we fear something is demonize it.  And so the devolution of women’s power began.  And when truth re-surfaces, the evolution can start a healing spiral of veneration for all.

I recently heard a woman ask if it was ok to prepare herbal remedies if she was in her moon time (menstruation.)  Huh?!  She was of Native decent, and being that women are often forbidden from certain ceremonies during their moon time, she figured it might also apply to herbal preparations as well.  The common reason that gets reiterated as to why women are forced to refrain from ceremonies during menstruation is that they are too powerful and will somehow affect the ceremony negatively.  Really?!  Please excuse the expletive, but I call bullshit!

I believe the underlying truth is that historically men have feared women’s power, and once again, what one fears, one must make “bad.”  I’m not blaming or bashing, nor am I lumping all men into this belief.  In fact, I think evolved men would agree.  It’s much easier to say we are dirty when we menstruate, or give birth, or bitchy as we move through our natural hormonal dance.  And so, as the celebration of women’s power evolved into the demonization of it with the arrival of a new culture, we were banished from the ceremonies if we bled.  With the evolution of women’s rights of course, it became much safer and politically correct to say that we were too powerful to join in ceremony.  As if that would somehow sooth, keep us from resisting and just go with the flow (no pun intended).

Unfortunately, much of the pre-European history of Indigenous American people has been lost. They often followed an oral tradition, and soon enough the truth was educated right out.  However, thankfully, tidbits of wisdom are still in-tact, even if not well known. Here are a few videos that might surprise you and make you think twice about the “herstory” of women’s power.

http://www.powwows.com/2014/09/10/matrilineal-societies-women-with-power-and-respect/

And let me be clear, I am not referring to women’s power as something that is somehow greater than men.  Neither is greater than the other.  Both genders have an equally shared responsibility with their power.  Claiming it and owning it never equates to an abuse of power.  One of the important first steps we must take as humankind, as we continue our evolution on this planet, is to honor one another.  The only way we can truly create peace is for both genders to equally respect and revere one another.  To me, gender equality is not about any woman being able to do what any man does, or vice versa.  Gender equality is about an equal distribution of power and truly finding admiration with each other.  Sadly however, the pendulum still leans deeply in the patriarchal field and women’s power is still not honored or even acknowledged in some areas of the planet.

The Dali Lama is quoted as saying “The world will be saved by the Western Woman.”  How ironic that Western women were once the leaders of this country…before it was a country.  My hope is that we the Western women wake up.  I mean really wake up.  No groggy sleep-walking, claiming we are awake and then feeling shame about our female essence.  I’m including myself in this desire, for I can admit that at times I can sleep-walk as well as anyone.  We need men’s support as we do this.  As Western women, we can waive our feminist flag all we want, but what good is it if we just become so harsh that we disown our nature?  Aren’t we then trying to fight fire with fire?  From what I’ve seen, more fire might make a good band-aide, but water is really the best remedy.

I’m proposing that our feminine nature, our juicy power, our lusciousness – in whatever way we desire to express it – is how we can nudge that pendulum out of patriarchy and into a natural swing of harmony; back and forth, sharing power, reciprocally.  As we honor and reconnect with the ancient ones, we reawaken women’s natural power, which is harmonious with all of life.  This is how the world will be saved by the Western woman.

Aho!

Unveiling the light within

I heard a song recently titled “I Am light.”  Lovely title isn’t it?  The lyrics are just as charming, speaking about not being our pain, not being our past, not being the things people have done to us, but being light at the core of who we are.  I believe this to be true.  But how do we experience this truth?  After all, day in and day out we live in a physical body and in a physical world that projects suffering from so many angles.  With the complexity of our human mind, believing and actually experiencing the truth that we are light can be a challenging quest that often seems to lead only to fleeting moments of any real awareness of our light – our Spirit – our God-self.  Anyone on a spiritual path pursuing spiritual growth knows of the many practices and journeys involved in seeking such awareness.

There is one practice that I discovered 15 years ago that truly opened my awareness of my light.  Whenever I engage in this practice, I sink deep into my body, feeling every cell of my being while simultaneously feeling connected to my spirit and my oneness with the Great Spirit.  This sensation lasts for hours, sometimes days.  The more I do it, the happier I am.  The amazing aspect of this practice is that it engages body, mind and spirit.  It is not a passive practice like meditation or listening to music; it is an active practice that requires gentle physical involvement.  It is an activity that has been practiced since the first humans walked this planet, in every corner of the world.  Every culture has roots to this practice, and in many parts of the planet it is still utilized today.  It truly is etched deep in our DNA, for no matter our cultural background, this practice was present at one point or another.  It is also something that anyone can do, at any age.

020 (2)Drumming!  And to a similar extent, dancing and singing or chanting.  These are all activities that our ancestors engaged in.  These activities were a part of everyday life.  They were healthcare for the community.  No one needed training.  No one was told they had no rhythm or a voice not good enough to sing.  Where community is strong in cultures around the world today, you will still find people engaging in making music, dancing or singing.  No one is a spectator; everyone participates, young and old.  And although they may not articulate as much, when they drum or dance or sing – they experience their light.  They experience joy and happiness.  They feel connected to their community as a valued member with something precious to contribute.  These innate elements of creating rhythm with others is sweet medicine to the body, mind and soul; medicine so many are missing out on today.  This missing medicine I believe to be a big part of why so many people feel disconnected, disenfranchised, depressed, ill, and overall unhealthy in today’s world.

Because we have evolved so far away from such activities in western culture, drumming is often a safe beginning activity to get our feet wet and reconnect to our light as we drink in the delicious awareness of our spirit.  Anyone can pick up a drum like a djembe or frame drum and play it.  And when a group of people come together and play drums – magic happens; literally!  I’ve witnessed it hundreds of times with people from all walks of life, all ages, and all backgrounds.  I’ve seen reticence morph into ecstasy in less than 30 minutes.  It just never gets old.  I get a double whammy of light every time I lead a drumming event because not only am I experiencing my spirit, but I’m watching everyone around me experience theirs.

Honestly, you don’t need a drum though to unleash this divine connection to your light.  Something a simple as a tiny egg shaker can connect you to your rhythm, which is the real essence that exposes the light.  Even objects around your home can be used to make some sacred noise.  A basic rhythm such as a heartbeat rhythm played repeatedly for at last 10 minutes or longer will actually shift your energy.  This isn’t something I’ve hypothesized, this is scientific fact.  Dr. Barry Bittman has done extensive research into the effects of group drumming.  To summarize one of his most notable findings, cancer fighting antibodies were found in the blood of a group of people drumming together that were not there prior.  I would hypothesize however that it was not so much the drumming that manifested these antibodies, but the group of people connecting with their rhythm and making music together that made the magic.  It is rhythm that is the direct link to our light, regardless of the medium.

Our ancestors may not have had the knowledge we do today about rhythm, but they certainly had the wisdom.  They knew the power of rhythm and how it affects the community as a whole, which in a healthy society is the health of the people; body, mind and spirit.

So the next time you are feeling down, disconnected, unsure of your light – drum, dance or sing.  Better yet, find a group of people to do it with.  Let go of any inhibitions about rhythm; those would be just part of an untrue story.  No one is truly without rhythm; it is a biological impossibility.  We might find ourselves disconnected from our awareness of it, but just like our light, our inner spirit, it is there…always.  The more you explore rhythm, the more connected to it you will feel.

Be forewarned though – connecting with your rhythm has been proven to ignite states of joy, harmony, ecstasy, peace and a lasting awareness of the light within.  So don’t blame me if you find yourself in a space of exhilarated happiness from drumming or dancing or singing – thank me.

In Rhythm & Harmony

Melinda

 

 

 

 

When Affirmations Feel Like Lies

6e7ba18c86c1a1d4aafe66bcee93f1bcHave you ever felt inauthentic with an affirmation, like it is a lie?  For example if you have 50 cents in your banking account and you are working with an affirmation such as “I am wealthy, now!”  This can actually put body and mind in opposition, which is contradictory to the energy necessary to conjure our requests.  This scenario is especially true for empaths.

Empaths are acutely sensitive to energy.  Often labeled “highly sensitive,” an empath has a strong radar for lies and inauthenticity, which make certain affirmations challenging when they are the polar opposite of the current situation.  Empathic or not however, our subconscious mind (where negative programming dwells) has a sharp intelligence making affirmations ineffective when we are smack dab in the middle of “feeling” bad.

I am a huge fan of affirmations and have been working with them since the mid 90’s when I first discovered Louise Hay – the heralding queen of affirmations.  I’ve witnessed miracles in my life hundreds of times as a result of working with such positive commandments.  And, I’ve also worked with certain affirmative statements that never really seemed to come to fruition.  So what makes some affirmations work some of the time, and others don’t?

I have found that there are two key components to conjuring life’s coveted delights through affirmations – state of mind and wording.  If we are at a low point emotionally, using positive statements that included “I AM,” followed by whatever opposite element we would like to experience, puts our body and mind into opposition.  Yes, indeed, “I AM” is a powerful statement.  However, there is immense wisdom in using it correctly in order to obtain the outcome we desire.

If we are feeling negative emotions (which should never be denied or stuffed) we first want to let the emotion run its course.  This does not mean dwelling in it for an extended period of time but rather giving the emotion the expression it requires.  As we are expressing, we can still tap into the power of affirmations by stating to the universe our willingness to feel differently.  For example, if you are experience the pain of a broken heart, a productive affirmation would be something like “I am willing to experience a miracle of love.”  In that moment of feeling hurt, a ray of hope has just been introduced into the psyche.  It is important to let go of any attachment to how it all shows up and be open to even the smallest miracle.  Once we observe even the tiniest of miracles, and we always will if we watch for them, we have the opportunity to work with the healing essence of gratitude, which doubles as a wonderful magnet that attracts more of what we are grateful for.

Once we are in an empowered state of mind, we can truly dive in to the mighty force of “I AM.”  An empowered state of mind can happen organically or it can be induced through intention and healthfully seeking out what makes you feel good.  Meditation, dancing, drumming, laughter with friends, love shared, a long walk – whatever makes you feel good, do it and do it shamelessly and guiltlessly.  In your state of conscious joy, use the “I AM” affirmations.  Anytime you find yourself in a state of feeling grateful to be alive, use those commanding, in-the-now affirmations.

When you feel less than empowered, in a state of sadness, anger or frustration, use the “I am willing” affirmations.  Anytime an affirmation feels like a lie, use willingness as a bridge to the experience you desire.  That willingness opens you to receive.  It is allowing the Divine to take over and bypass the programs of the subconscious or the sensitivity of any inauthenticity.  Once you’ve worked consistently and continuously with the willingness, you will discover that transformation has occurred.

When an affirmation feels particularly out of reach, I like to combine the “willingness” factor with the word – miracle.  I do firmly believe in miracles, so when I use an affirmation beginning with “I am willing to experience the miracle of _______,” it feels remarkably uplifting and empowering.

Turning your affirmations into a rhyme is another great way to bypass the programming of the subconscious by transforming it into a chant.  It also makes saying your affirmations out loud down right fun as well as adding an essence of conviction.  As an example, many years ago when my kids where young teens, we were planning a family winter weekend trip to a mountain cabin for snow play.  It was planned months in advance.  The cabin was carefully selected specifically for the large private hillside that it backed up to, making sledding as easy as walking out the back door.  Soon after I made the reservations, we began experiencing an extended heat wave.  So, I crafted a chant that I recited daily, several times.  I also wrote it down regularly and got the kids involved as well.  The chant went like this:  “Warm weather be gone til the middle of May!  Cold wind, rain and snow is here now to stay!”  When I spoke this chant out loud, I did so with such intense passion and zest it was as if I were delivering an incantation that would move heaven and earth.

Well, suffice it to say that not only did the warm weather turn and dump ample snow for snow play just prior to our trip, but it snowed the whole time we were there, in fact it was a absolute blizzard by the time we left.  For born and bred Southern Californian’s this was a gloriously enchanting experience and our family had a wonderful time with memories that we carry with us always.

So give these tips a try and let me know how they work for you.  Or, if you have your own method for utilizing affirmations, please do share.

In Sacred Harmony,

Melinda

40-something, purple coffee-loving, nature worshipers

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.

Melinda

What’s In The Cards For You?

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.

Blessings,

Melinda

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