The snow crunched under my snowshoes as I ventured through the woods. Nina was frolicking all the while picking up on every animal track in her nose vicinity. We were both in nature bliss. Just what my body, mind & soul was craving after a week of mental dervish — I could have sworn the universe was on a tilt-a-whirl all week. And I just knew within my bones that I needed to ground myself. To feel the earth hug my feet.
All was fine and dandy, the trek had worked, so I turned for home and eventually trudged up the hill behind the house. I called for Nina to join me. She looked at me from afar and then turned the opposite way. Despite my calls, she was determined to track those unwavering scents. And what did I do, I lost my cool. Anger, fear, and almost all out rage bubbled inside. It took me over. I called for her louder. Ya, like that was going to work after she clearly had looked at me and turned away. Rationally, I knew the loud yelling was getting me nowhere but it was as if a giant fire had been ignited and there was no water in site to douse it (if only I had realized the snow all around me I could have face planted in it to put out the flames — but alas, that would have been too easy). Instead, I raged. I feared. I realize now I was raging from all of the unpatriotic chess moves that were played this past week. My rage was fueled by the consumption of global fear and anger.
I know I am sensitive. I know we are all connected. And clearly, I was picking up on the collective human consciousness.
And while I once listened to the band Rage Against the Machine, I’d rather not rage against the brilliance of my DNA — for the DNA gets all out of alignment when we allow strong emotions such as anger or fear to flood our system. So I made a new call (this time to myself) to override the emotional hijacking and return to my heart’s code.
To activate this love in an instant, I turned to yoga. I left Nina outside and I fell to the ground in child’s pose. I thanked the earth for holding me. I asked her to take my anger and I channeled that fire into compassion, gratitude and peace. Yes. Peace. I switched my thoughts, went home to my breath, allowed my body to feel, and guess whose nose soon pressed against the sliding glass window? Yep, Nina chose to come home to momma at peace…not angry momma. Go figure!?
Until our peace laden paths cross again,
…To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others… ~ David Whyte
The wisdom of nature’s spirit guides will always keep me curious and in awe like a little girl realizing for the first time there is a man in the moon. I live in a place where nature smiles on me daily yet my soul reminds me when needed of my love for the energy amidst majestic mountains. Thus, I decided to heed my inner calling as I ventured to the Evergreen, Colorado area. The night before I hopped on the non-stop jet, that was to take me lurching through the sky, I turned to my Oracle Cards. I asked a simple question: “What do I need to make my trip soul fulfilling?”
The card I turned was “Meadow: Vulnerability” — It is time to step out into the expanse unknown and expose your true self in all aspects of your life. Oh how true that rang for me! As I’ve been truly shedding the safety zone of who I used to be & am fully letting my colors shine of nature girl – shamanic yoga – spirit guide believer – and inspirational mover and shaker for others to shine!
Let me digress for one moment. Oracle Cards. Maybe they are new to you? You may have heard of Tarot Cards? The cards are wisdom cards used to help with spiritual guidance. I once read the difference between the two described as: Tarot Cards follow a set structure to guide you while Oracle Cards are like the rebel without a cause. There is no set structure to follow and you can let your wild hair down and make up your own rules as you receive intuitive & spiritual guidance. I resemble those comments so I’ve recently welcomed a relationship with Oracle Cards.
The deck in which I pulled Meadow has 48 cards and they are called “Earth Magic”. Oh ya! Now, you know why they are my favorite.
Ok, back to the story. So, I finally land my butt on that magical jet plane which is streaming me across great Grandfather Sky and I decide to pull out the cards. I ask a very similar question and then:
Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.
Guess what card turns? Yep, Meadow!
Fast forward a bit to our safe arrival to the wonderful chalet in the mountains. I introduce my dear friend and traveling buddy to the Earth Magic cards our first morning (post coffee of course). And, guess what card I pulled (after much shuffling)? Yep, Meadow! Did you remember that there are 48 cards…yes at this point I needed to double check myself…but I was beginning to get the intuitively guided spiritual message the cards were laying down for me.
On that day 3 of the obligatory Meadow card, we decided to head to Indian Hills Hot Springs. It is raw, natural and maybe a bit old school for those of you who like posh hot spring establishments, but for this nature chick, it was perfect. I slid into a hot pool in a cave surrounded by dark rock covered walls. As I gazed up, my power animal guide Jaguar showed up. She was so clear I thought for sure someone had drawn her face in chalk (insert disclaimer: even as a spiritually guided shamanic practitioner, there are times when things are so crystal clear that I have to wipe my eyes in questioning if I just made that up in my mind). Nope, I could see her on the cave wall and no one had been into those steamy pools with chalk. As I was spending time getting an intuitive message from my dear spirit guide friend, my gaze shifted to the left and a falcon appeared. Falcon? Was it a falcon or condor? I didn’t have google images with me in that dark cave so I just asked “Show me if you are a falcon” and the nose started to point down indicating – yes indeed – it was a falcon.
My friend and I had a great chat about the significance of Falcon spirit guide messages on our drive back to the beautiful mountain abode and of course their guidance was spot on for me.
After a restful nights sleep, our bodies were craving movement after soaking for so long in the hot springs the day before. So we asked our host for a hiking trail recommendation. And guess where she said? “Elk Meadow”. You hadn’t forgotten about the Meadow card of vulnerability yet had you? Well, I hadn’t!
Soon after our chat with our wonderful host & coffee was satiated into our cells, we plopped down on the deck floor with the great sky as our witness (and I believe there were 3 deer resting in the sun behind us too…no kidding…they had to take in what was about to happen next). I shuffle the Oracle cards and jokingly say to my friend “wouldn’t it be absolutely crazy if I pulled Meadow again?”
Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.
I spread the cards and grabbed the one that was calling to me. Yep! Meadow again!! We both looked at each other with eyes as big as an owl on alert and just then…a falcon flies over our heads. A falcon!
We were laughing so hard with spiritual awe, joy, and just pure giddiness with how magical and obvious life can be when you just ask AND listen. My girlfriend paused for a moment between her snorts of laughing and says:
“And..Cue Falcon Man“.
He must have been around the corner somewhere.
Always grateful to the great mysterious Universe and all of her spiritual helpers. Especially grateful to those sweet spirit animals who know I am watching and listening as they show up to make this life journey special, powerful, and in flow with all that is.
Until our sacred paths cross next time,
P.S. After we hiked that beautiful Elk Meadow trail, I felt my raw vulnerability exposed under the guise of nature’s help. The next day the Meadow card was not selected. I had heeded her wisdom.
This is the stillness of winter that my soul longs for. The type of day where I give myself the utmost permission to listen. The sun is brilliant on my face as I sit in the coziest of leather chairs wrapped in the softest of blankets.
My love just left the warm house to face the Minnesota cold after we talked about all the amazing dreams that have flooded me over the past couple nights.
There has been an incessant beckoning for me to receive the messages that the great universe has been sending me. I have been in creative overdrive…what do I write, do, say, act on next? But, I know the answers are not hard to discover if I open the windows of reception to the messages all around me…
…not literally today with the thermometer reading 5 below…but you know what I mean.
I ask & allow the messages to enter my dreams. The wisdom also floats my way from books, movies, nature, animals, and even conversations overheard standing in line at Target.
As I receive all of this guidance, there is still at times a cognitive volleyball game of “I can do this myself” to “I welcome and need your help”. To “I got this one” to “I allow myself to receive guidance”. You see I am a redhead power pitta chick who has been in successful life training for many years. But on days like this my soul reminds me that it is not about success or outcome, it is about creating what my soul wants to express.
For when I create from that place, I feel comfort even at 5 below.
As I walked along the wooded trails of The Christine Center in Wisconsin, I knew I had stepped into a magical wonder. Acorns were audibly falling all around, little creatures were dashing amongst the fallen leaves, birds were calling and I felt compelled to sit and absorb the palpable energy surrounding me. Of course, a wooded bench appeared before my eyes just as I had cast the desire into the air. I sat and found inner stillness. I was in a state of connectedness with my nature family. I began to drum. The beats came from a deep indigenous knowing and the drum’s vibrations fell in tune with All.
I became one with the whispers through the trees.
Feeling compelled to continue my trodden journey I ‘thought’ that the trail to the right looked inviting yet I was ‘intuitively’ drawn to the more rustic trail to the left. The trail started with crackling leaves beneath my feet and the terrain quickly shifted to a muddy earth. I was sinking into the now and felt the inner stillness return to me. At that moment, I looked up and saw a deer staring at me with a curious wonderment. We locked eyes and I then noticed two young deer near her. The stillness permeated them as well and we shared a hidden language understood by all because:
Fear was not invited to the conversation.
I left my new friends and took the experience into my dreams that night.
Waking before sunrise the next day, I again headed to the woods. The darkness was calming and soon the rising sun would help light my way. I easily & quickly sunk into the peace of inner stillness and I felt pulled to look up. There stood the deer family waiting for me. They had something to share and in that moment so did I. I felt a mantra fill my heartfelt thoughts “We are One. We are One.” The deer heard my collective calling and with an understanding moved closer to me. I kept the mantra repeating silently “We are One. We are One.” Soon they were within 5 feet of me.
Momma deer stomped her hoof into the ground ~ “We live here. You live here. We live in peace. We are One.”
After several more minutes together, I said good-bye and ventured into the chapel for early morning meditation. We were soon closing the ritualistic time together and the Sister leading the group asked everyone to form a circle. As we all hugged each other, the words that rang from the Sister’s mouth “We are One.”
Until our paths cross again my friends,
When I was in the 3rd grade (or maybe 2nd grade), I was handed a block of red clay and was given the freedom to create whatever I wanted. My tiny fingers started moving and before me I had molded a little Indian man sitting cross legged in front of a pot. Rising up from the pot was a snake and it was obvious to me that this was possible as I had also placed a miniature clay flute in the man’s hands as he brought it to his lips and played a sweet tune that made the snake dance.
Fast forward to northern India as an adult. I was sitting across from an Indian man who was teaching me about kundalini rising. You see in Yogic tradition it is believed that a serpent lies coiled at the very root of our being (known as kundalini). As we move and work on controlling our breath, this serpent begins to rise up our center along invisible lines or better to call them psychic spiritual centers (since that is what they are). As this serpent grows, so do we as our energy ignites and our spirit awakens to our highest and most divine potential.
For years now, I have been practicing this beautiful dance with yoga. And my inner knowing has blossomed, or should I say has risen, and has guided me to expand my consciousness as I extend my wings and double my yoga life with the ancient healing practice of shamanism.
Through my shamanic work, animal spirt guides have been my loyal messengers. Recently, I got a nudge in my heart (during a meditation post yoga practice) to write this little blog for you. And within a matter of 24 hours I saw three hawks that were literally standing at attention waiting for me to notice. Here is what the these feathery friends wanted me to know as quoted by Dr Steven Farmer:
You’re caught up in too many details, so step back so you can see the greater perspective on the situation. Stay alert and focused on the task before you, eliminating as many distractions as possible
Ahh…thank you my hawk friends and I have your feather close by to remind me to take the broader view.
Oh yes, the picture is of a necklace that popped into my life last weekend. Of course it did! A serpent and a feather…with a little charm that says “inspire”.
Look for my next article called “The Owl and Me in the Window”.
Until our paths cross. In love and light,
International yoga instructor, Shamanic Practitioner, life coach, and more!