All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Havelock Ellis

As I sit here in front of a course online that I don’t want to finish, as usual for me, I see the television over my computer screen playing reruns of the show “Criminal Minds” while my dog and kitten sleep, sonorously breathing in the background. I have found in life that my path is often one that is taken alone. There seems to be friendships, partners, lovers, and my beloved husband with me at times, but the path I am on, my journey, is one of solitude and self reflection.

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”   Havelock Ellis

 

I have held on a long time to slipping back into the comfort of my lack of  self-worth, self-esteem, confidence, whatever name one would wish to call this black hole I allow inside me to grow slowly then slowly ebb away on an off for the past half century.  I do remember a time as a toddler where I knew I was connected to God or Creator.  I knew in my bones, my cells, my tiny fine hairs on my head and arms that I was an electrical current full of Light. That feeling of connection and light has visited me again  in the past eight years, on and off–and that current flowed through me when I was a young mother. The Black Hole has also visited me.  Why?  How can I be filled with such light and feeling of connectedness at one moment and then be overpowered with the Black Hole in the next moment? My counselors have told me what a strong personal journey I have experienced as a woman, and how strong I am at the core.  I know this. I survived my mother’s suicide. I have seen my beloved father die.  I witnessed my beloved mother-in-law struggle for her life with cancer and die in the arms of her family, and I saw my first cousin, a man of strength and pure love and artistry in his soul, die before my eyes, another victim of cancer.  I am not unfamiliar with the “longing” to pass.  I am not unfamiliar with the journey in spirit we all make in this life. I now turn full circle in my life, back to partnership, trust, compassionate co-existence, love.

Perhaps what I long for, right now, is the answer we all search for all of our lives.  Is the pain of loss, and the joy of love, always so interconnected?  Is letting go and holding on the same action in some spaces we hold for ourselves?  Is the purpose of my visits from the Black Hole in my youth’s soul, a survivor of rape, a survivor of abuse, there to reinforce my Light, my electrical connection to Source, God, Creator?  I had an aquaintaince friend of mine doubt very strongly that I could practice effectively “A Course In Miracles” alone.  I smiled. I told him that I had started the “course” with a friend in ’94, and had carried on with the coursework after she had moved on to Colorado.  I am there.  Back in a flash to those years as a stay at home mom, two little girls, cats, guiena pigs, toast and scrambled eggs in the morning hours, a husband rarely home on time, and the knowledge that I was the surest source of love for my girls and myself. I missed Elaine when she left, and I tried to substitute her frienship with another mom who did not have the same background or interests, but I pursued my course, my choice for love, my holy instants.

We all make the choice to join others in our search, or simply journey alone.  I feel that all paths link, cross each other’s paths, and run parallel  to one antoher at times, but we all journey here alone until we connect ouselves to Source, Creator, God.

Today –after another night alone in my mountain home–I turn off the insipid televison reruns of “Criminal Minds” and  just pause, just sit to listen to the silence of the house, waiting for my beloved Kevin to return to me next week.  I wait and listen for the annunciation of my Light each day, and it arrives.  God slips in my front door  gently and silently as always as I stare into the green foliage and hear the singing of the birds.  My kitten purrs. My mind clears. The pain of my body, slowly fades to the backgournd, and becomes a connection agian to love. The computer coursework awaits, patiently, as I take in with  a slow inhale that Light, that perfection of Life,  that Source,  that being one with all of my past, all of my present, and smiling expectantly toward my furture. I lean forward, and I smile.

Yes, the black hole slips out of sight.  Light has arrived, and stays.  It is a journey I make with the conscious choice to love.  Love.  Letting go and holding on, to Love.

 

 

 

 

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The Medicine Wheel and My Spirit Flag is South

I was married just a week when Melissa, a good spiritual friend of mine, called me one day and asked if I’d be interested in joining a tipi talk, medicine wheel evening with John Two-Hawks, a Grammy award winning musician and his wife, Peggy Hill at their home near my new mountaintop home in the Ozarks. Melissa said she thought I would get a lot out of it, and especially Kevin, my beloved new husband, who has a very nature based belief in God, Source, and Creator.  I immediately said, “YES! But let me confirm with Kevin, first.”  Kevin was immediately enthusiastic, and we signed up to be one of a total of nine people on June 27 in Two Hawks’ medicine circle, learning the Lakota ways, the Lakota beliefs, and how we must live with Mother Earth in a respectful way.

We arrive at Two Hawks’ tipi and are escorted to a circle around a not yet ignited camp fire for introductions and small conversations. Two Hawks appears dressed in  his Lakota Medicine Man hides and beaded chest coverings with his hair braided back. I am in immediate awe of his calmness. I am glad we are here in his and his lovely wife’s presence on their land, Creator’s land, about to have a spiritually filled night. Kevin and I learn that  the home of the Lakota is a tipi is not spelled with “e” but with  an “i” and that the medicine wheel is one of contemplation, prayer, and connection to spirit. Two Hawks teaches us the Lakota way of prayer ties, the path of red or the path of black or blue in life which we much choose, and how to construct a prayer tie properly with a pinch of tobacco and simple cotton cloth in one of the four colors–red, yellow, white, or blue.  We all make a red prayer tie to honor the nine recently killed victims in the St. Louis hate based church shooting and one more for a personal prayer. Kevin and I choose yellow for our prayer ties to represent new beginnings, new love, future.  The prayer ties each of us did for the shooting victims are in red, for blood, passion, and forgiveness. The powers we have as humans are to change, to evolve toward love and compassion. The Lakota knew this century before, and the prayer wheel represents a union of all races and all beliefs, as Two-Hawk explains each color’s significance. We adjourn from the introductions and are instructed in prayer ties, and begin our entrance after a sage smudging into the prayer circle walk.   As I walk around the stone enclosed prayer circle, stopping at each position to feel the peace, I look to see where I will tie my prayer ties to overhanging branches, In front of the next to last direction, the white prayer flag, the point of spirit, south’s sacred vibration, I feel my heart buzz and expand in my chest. There is not a doubt in my mind that this IS my place in the world.  I am happy and circle once more to the overhanging oak branches at the entrance, which is East, to place my prayer tie for those who died in the shooting, and then again I circle to the pines near the West  and the South prayer flags, representing the storms of life we must overcome, to place my yellow prayer for a good future, half way between the South and the West, as I see my marriage, so many storms passed, and so much “new life”  —spiritual life after the death of  my former dreams. It is all good, and Creator blesses us with a conversation and very touching historical talk from Two Hawks, a campfire song in Lakota, and his flute music filling our ears and hearts with love.

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Lakota Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel

The medicine wheel is a sacred symbol used by Plains tribes and others to represent all knowledge of the universe.

The medicine wheel consists of a circle with horizontal and vertical lines drawn through the circle’s center. Sometimes, an eagle feather is attached in the wheel’s center.

Design Meaning
Circle – The circle represents the sacred outer boundary of the Earth often referred to as the Sun Dance Circle or the Sacred Hoop. It represents the continuous pattern of on-going life and death.

Lines – The horizontal and vertical lines represent the sun and man’s sacred paths, respectively; the crossing of the two lines indicates the center of the Earth where one stands when praying.

Feather – The eagle feather is a sign of Wakan Tanka’s – the Great Spirit’s – power over everything.

Color Explanation
The directions, as they are called upon in the medicine wheel, are often associated with a sacred color. Each direction has a messenger.

Color placement on the wheel varies based on individual band customs.

East:

  • Color – Yellow
  • Messenger – Brown Eagle
  • Associated with the sun, brings light to all creation.
  • Because the sun travels east to west – in a clockwise manner – all good things conform to the same pattern.
  • The Morning Star – the star of wisdom and new beginnings – comes from the east.
  • Elk people call the east home.

North:

  • Color – Red
  • Messenger – Crane
  • North is home to winter and is believed to promote good health and growth.
  • Those who misbehave look to the north for the wisdom needed to walk a straight path again.
  • Home to the Calf Pipe Woman and the buffalo people.

West:

  • Color – Black
  • Messenger – Black Eagle
  • Connected with the power of rain and the purity of water; joy and growth follow the rain, releasing ignorance.
  • West is home to the Thunder-being. His wings produce thunder and lightening flashes from his eyes. The bird-like being stands again evil and ensures the respect of others.

South:

  • Color – White
  • Messenger – Bald Eagle
  • Associated with warmth, happiness and generosity.
  • Connected with life after death, directs men as they walk toward the next phase
  • Life begins in the south.
  • Nourishment of every kind comes from this direction.
  • Home to the animal people.

– See more at: http://aktalakota.stjo.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8592#sthash.52c8wIi8.dpuf