Friday, July 16, 2010

Living in Deceipt

I've actively walked the Healer's journey for almost 2 decades and I’m angry. Deceit carries an awful punch. Hits you in the gut. Or even worse, it tears a hole in your heart. Well, I’m 50 years old now and I’ve seen my share of pain and sorrow. Sometimes it feels like I’ve seen more than my share of deceit.

Deceit is a way of hiding, sometimes intentional and calculated – other times just inconsiderate neglect. “I didn’t know you’d care,” she said to me after telling me she was not comfortable bringing her two-year-old into my home. Didn’t know what the babe might see. She seemed astounded that such a revelation might hurt my feelings.

But that was years ago and I’ve moved on. I’m wondering if there will come a time when moving on is not required? Is it possible, I ask myself, to find a community to trust and be trusted by?

Really, I just want to be witnessed in all my strengths and weaknesses. And, I want to be held and cherished. By a man, sure, but I’m talking about a truly supportive community. I want a community that will accept me for who and what I am. I’m willing to do the same for them.

You see, I have this ancestral memory of times and places where this happened. I know what it feels like in my bones. It feels wonderful, whole, free, enlivening, inspiring and juicy. And it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced here in this lifetime. I keep searching and searching, like a homing pigeon longing for its perch. Why is it so illusive?

It seems to me that if I wasn’t suppose to experience it here in this lifetime, I wouldn’t have such a keen memory of it. For most of my life a part of me has always been looking for home. I have this image of finding it and metaphorically running naked through the neighborhood singing freedom songs.

Until then, I just keep those songs tucked away out of sight. Then I get irritated when someone doesn’t know I sing. And a little light of clarity opens. If I want to be seen, I must first show myself. I’ve got to show up.

I’ve convinced myself that I live in a high degree of integrity. I know my purpose. I follow it. I offer myself to my community. Ya da, ya da, ya da. It’s really just so much bull and rhetoric.

What I show and what I share is certainly authentic to who I am. But honestly, I only show a drop of who I am. Well, this isn’t homeopathy! I’m a powerful woman and healer. This tiny drop I offer is a fucking insult when it comes down to it. I offer a drop to a thirsty world.

I’ve been afraid to offer more. I’ve lack the courage to step up and say, “look who I am!” But people can feel it. They sense more and they know that I’m hiding. So, they simply feel let down or left out.

It’s understandable, my hiding. I’m an intuitive healer. I talk to ghosts and fairies. I dream the past. I step between the worlds for training and guidance. People are as likely to want to run from me as they are to want a piece of me. There’s little understanding of my skills in this world now. Hiding seems a reasonable course of action. Hiding seems wise.

But that brings me back to my question. If I am to hide who I am, why do I have such a longing to reveal it and be witnessed? I’ve come to a place where the pain of holding myself back has become greater than the fear of being rejected, persecuted or banished. It’s time to come out of my “safe” familiar closet.

I fully intend to walk into the supportive community by being naked and singing at the top of my voice. I mean that metaphorically, of course. But as it’s time for revelations I admit I love being naked and singing as loud as I want to. (I’m quite happy doing that in private.)

I have often heard that if you want to attract a lover, you must be the lover you want to attract. I’ll follow that principle here. I want an open and supportive community, so I will be an open and supportive person. And if you don't like it, step aside. I feel certain that others are heading my way in the hopes of finding me

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hope in Times of Economic Challenge

As a Healer I've never felt more needed. Things look pretty serious these days. Lots of people losing their jobs, retail sales are down, the healthcare system in America leaves most of us behind. Doom and gloom and fear peppered with the usual rhetoric from spin doctors seems to surround us. And, it's contagious! But... so is hope and creativity and caring.

As 2010 dawns I find myself very hopeful. Maybe it's because so many people made choices around the holiday season that were actually truer to both themselves and to the season. In contrast to other recent years, this year I heard significantly less complaints about the stress of getting everything done and meeting everyone else's expectation. Instead I heard about people making gifts and choosing to spend time closer to home. My clients overall reported having low key and relaxing holidays. I had only two clients come in in crisis. That's never happened in my 10 years as a bodyworker and spiritual healer. My client load usually goes up at the holiday season because of the associated stress.

You might be thinking, "Who can afford such things in this economic environment?"

I did see a somewhat alarming decrease in clients the week surrounding Thanksgiving. But my December client load followed the patterns of the rest of 2009. And really, I'm not talking about the number of clients. I'm reflecting on the relative stress level and emotional wellbeing of my clients in comparison with other years. So what's it all about?

I suggest it might just be that the economic hardships that at some level are hitting most of us, require us to evaluate what we do with our resources and how we live with the consequences of those choices. Could it be that this year we all had a really good excuse to stop going overboard at the holidays? Did it allow us to say "no" to things we've wanted to say "no" to all along? Did staying closer to home and spending quality time with our loved ones become an easier choice for us?

Yes, times are uncertain. The up side of that is we have an incredible opportunity to take a good look at how we walk in the world and to discern what's really necessary. And it gives us a glimpse into the true cost of the usual holiday madness, specifically the cost to our hearts and our souls. It also gives us extra motivation to stretch our creative muscles and to stop long enough to ask the important questions - and hopefully to begin to answer them.

In my heart, hope prevails. I, like anyone else, have days when I wonder what's going to happen and how much control I'll have - moments when I slip into fear. But I express them to close friends and let them hold me in my fear for a bit. It passes when I take a positive action to make my life better. That's when hope returns and when my heart is filled with gratitude for the friends and the resources that I have.

My friend Janis is "Going Zen in 2010". I think I'll join her.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deep Deep Woman

"I am a woman, a deep deep woman, my memory goes so far." - Jana Runnalls

An epiphany today!

My work as a Healer and psychic feels authentic, gives me life, and fulfills my purpose. So why do I struggle with putting it out into the world?

I haven't claimed my voice.

It's not that I don't speak my truth. It's more that I have been trying to be available to as many people as possible and to that end I have used many voices. All the voices are a true piece of me - nothing false in the voices. Yet I have not used the voice that is uniquely, richly and deeply mine. Without that voice I have little power to magnetize those who will be drawn to my work.

Here's the thing: I know that voice and oh, do I love it. The woman who speaks with this voice is oh so juicy and wise. She knows her worth and power and joy. And, you know what? I am delighted to let her speak.

So why hasn't she?

I, like many others, have a genetic memory of healers and psychics being persecuted. It's a useful memory. But today, I realized that the fear of persecution and all the "hiding" or making oneself small so as not to be seen is painful and restrictive. It does not help or serve me. I am no longer willing to live in this place. I prefer to risk the persecution if it means I can live a more expansive and passionate life.

Today, I decide to birth my unique, rich and deeply authentic me. I hold her in openness and compassion. So happy birthday to me!

In my early twenties I wrote a song about finding my life partner. It goes something like this:

"Faces upon faces, which one is the one? Where will my love lie?
Where is tomorrow and the joy that it brings? Where will my love lie?

I need someone to stand by my side, someone to love and protect me.
I need respect for my mind and a space I can grow in.

I need a love that's forever, binding and unrestricting."

"Voices upon voices" could be inserted so this song reflects a truer quest: the quest for the love, who lies within me. Accessing this unique, rich and deeply authentic self allows me a safety, comfort and passion I can only imagine without her. I get shivers of delight when I consider the kind of partner she will draw to herself.

Today, I choose to birth this self and to walk through the doorway of commitment to embrace my fullness. On this glorious winter day Grandmother Moon shines her blessing on the emerging me. I thank her and you, the reader, for being my witnesses. May you also witness your own rich, unique and deeply authentic self.

Blessings, Coleen

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Healer's Reflections

When you were a child did you, like me, believe that when you were a grown-up things sort of stopped? I mean as a child you change so quickly and people comment on it pretty regularly. But the adults kind of look the same most of the time - except for maybe a new hairdo, or glasses. From a child's perspective not much changes.

Whereas for the child, each year brings about new teachers, new schedules, new identities. Each summer you stop being one thing - say a 3rd grader - and by fall you were something else: a 4th grader. Your voice dropped; your breasts grew; you started shaving; the hormone shifts alone were often quite the roller coaster ride. By comparison the distance between such significant events in a adult's life seemed quite vast.

When I finished graduate school, I felt quite anxious. In my mid-twenties I still had that idea of the stagnation of adulthood. In fairness, I had spent most of my life shifting the rhythm of my life about every 3 months. Now, endless time filled with sameness loomed before me!

As I found out time does not stand still and the rhythm of life still holds a fair amount of twists and turns. Time often seems to be whizzing by me but gifts me with moments of awareness every now and again. I'll never forget the first time someone called me "mam" or the day I looked in the mirror and saw my mother's face staring back at me. But all in all I find comfort in the things that don't change and inspiration in cyclical nature of life.

We've entered the time of year best suited for going within. The days are shorter and colder. My body longs for quiet time with a good book, or a long afternoon with a close friend, who will listen to and witness my life's ups and downs. I love the anticipation of each new season. By the time I am feeling house bound and restless, magpies will start returning and crocuses will pop their little heads from beneath the snow. Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, I will be filled with anticipation of Earth awakening and the little surprises awaiting each walk in the park.

I am now past the child-bearing years and the internal cycles of my physical body no longer keep a monthly rhythm. So it is the signs of passing and approaching seasons that help me remember the vibrant dynamic nature of life. This connects me in a different way to the world. This change in connection marks a passing and approaching season in my own life.

I smile to think back on the child that thought time stopped. Oh, if she only knew, I think to myself. So many crossroads to discern, opportunities to choose, experiences to embrace, people to meet, books to read, puzzles to piece together - I am certain time will never stop. I will simply continue to move into different seasons of my being.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Does It Leave a Hole?

In my early working life before I found my calling as a Healer, I worked at a job, which for me had become quite burdensome. When I thought about quitting, I saw all the people who depended on me and all the projects waiting to be done. I spoke with my father about it all. I told him I wanted to leave but felt like I was needed too much to do so.

He asked me to close my eyes, then to picture a bucket of water with a ladle in it. Curious about his seemingly random request, I did as he asked.

"The bucket is your job; the water all the work needing to be done; you are the ladle", he explained.

"Now, lift the ladle out of the bucket. Did it leave a hole?"

I smiled very big and the weight on my shoulders slipped off. What a wonderful way of telling me to get over myself AND to stop letting the job control my life.

This is the best gift my father has ever given me - well, after giving me life. I so clearly remember how stressed my body felt before and then how relaxed after this guided imagery. Whenever my body feels that same stress, I pull out that bucket and ask that same question: Does it leave a hole?

And once again, the answer is no!

I have recently commited to a series of 3 short sabbaticals. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for 3 weeks I don't go into the clinic or to any meetings. For three days I do whatever I feel called to do. The sabbaticals give me the time and space I need to discern what serves and what no longer serves.

My fears around taking this time included: losing clients; sleeping it all away; being asked to do something I didn't feel prepared to do; finding I was totally off path; being asked to leave Ellensburg and, having absolutely nothing of consequence happen.

My expectations were somewhat more modest; I simply decided to expect to be open to the experience and its consequences. And, I thought the Land would call me out onto it in a really big way.

The first week I did sleep and I slept really really well. I also was pulled out of my time for myself several times and in ways that really and truly served me. When someone said they could only see me on monday, I found myself saying to a colleague that I simply could not always be available for clients. As I spoke these words to her, I heard them myself - and what a good sound that was. Thank you Spirit! I could only have listened to myself on that one and so the Universe created the experience that would allow me to say and hear it.

The second interruption of my sacred time was the rescheduling of a talk I had agreed to give at a Vegetarian Society meeting. The date was changed at the last minute. The topic was my work. And so, on the first of the sabbaticals I was led to examine and speak about my work. A new friend on FaceBook also asked me this question just before my time began.

I just completed the recording of my first CD, a compilation of healing songs. Promoting the CD will certainly take some time and will shift my work. How will it do that is the question. The guidance I received on my first sabbatical was that I got to decide. It is up to me.

Through dreams, interruptions, meditations and long talks with my higher self it became very clear to me that my gifts and talents can meet so many needs. At one point I became overwhelmed with the sense of all the needs for my work. I felt burdened by it all. Then Spirit whispered in my ear.

"You cannot meet all of these needs - you are only one person - let others play too!"

OK, I thought, but how do I chose?

"Delight in the choices! The abundance of opportunities means you get to choose the ones that you want to do. Choose the ones that give you the most joy, fun, comfort... Choose what you WANT to do. It is time for you to choose how this path unfolds. Trust the Universe and know that whatever you choose, it will not leave a hole."

And so, I practice this by staying in the moment and choosing what I want to do in that moment. I find I have spent a good deal of time in the last few years not doing what I want to do and letting others pilot my life way too much. I also find choosing is like getting back on a bike. I have not forgotten how. (And there are no holes. And I have more clients than I had last week.)

Blessed Be!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's Begin!

Simplify! Is that like semper fi?

We Healers tend to need pretty streamlined lives. And every now and then, it's time to simplify. To simplify requires a certain faithfulness and even a revealing of that which one is truly willing to be faithful to. Semper Fi! I must admit to a certain delight in the image of Marines sailing in to help. I feel certain the job would get done. And with the right supervision, it would be done well.

But there's no getting around the fact that even if the Marines show up I've got to at least supervise this task of simplifying!

I already live in a small town in a very small one bedroom duplex. I don't have "stuff" in terms of the physical world. But I still feel the need and I am committed to simplifying in a few spots as well.

This time the process of simplifying takes place in the mind and heart. (Yes, I see what you mean: the Marines might get lost in this particular landscape! Perhaps they can just stand guard while I do the work and while I'm adjusting to the changes.)

I have been itchy, discontented, even a bit twitchy of late. I feel a great need to move, to forge ahead, to claim something! But - to stay with the Marine analogy - I also feel like I have about 20 fully loaded packs: several on my back, a couple on each limb, one balancing on my head and the rest just piled in front of me. Moving ahead is unlikely. Got to get rid of these packs!

So, I have in the last few weeks spent time perusing them and even rearranging them aesthetically. These packs are not filled with useless clutter or trash. Nope, they hold worthwhile responsibilities, duties and endeavors. You see, I'm very skilled and capable. I'm also highly motivated by community development and worthy causes. There is not one pack here that I can't carry well and enjoy myself while doing so. So eliminating them on the basis of worth will not be helpful.

So I step back and look at the total. My first reaction is a visceral need for a very long nap. Or....? Maybe I could just run awa..., I mean move. But, I'm pretty sure I'd find another 20 packs wherever I go. Some key needs to be found.

I hear myself saying to a client, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Hmmm? How many of these packs do I carry just because I am able? An honest answer to this question has several packs disappearing. I can facilitate a meeting and do all the details required, but the stress involved robs me of any potential joy. Resign!

Now some of the packs seem to be turning a bit red, like a red herring. Such lovely distractions these are - for the moment. However, I seem to be getting farther and farther away from the goal. When I pick the packs up, it feels like I am helping but when I look at it clearly, I see it as just busy work that neither serves me or the organization I do it for. Another group of packs disappear.

I look at one next to me: "Singing in the choir". It's fun, it's part of my work, it helps the community! Well..., the actual singing is fun. But that's only about 10% of the commitment. The rest of it feels like a burden. Wow, I didn't see that coming! How many others are like this? Shit! Too many. Ok! Ok! I'm purging. It feels like crap quitting on people.... for about 10 minutes. Then I start feeling my energy surge and even sense some creativity perculating. I'm getting the hang of this.

Now I'm down to the last few packs and I'm stumped. These are my work, the things I feel strongly called to do. I can't just toss any of them aside. I'm committed to the work.

"Ask a different question," I hear from a Spirit Guide.

"OK, how can I do my work without feeling burdened?"

"Closer," she encourages, "but keep trying."

"What aspects of my work are sustainable for me over a long period of time?"

"That's a really good start," she declares.

I sit down with the intention of carefully going through each pack to find the answer. I open the first and find it is empty. I put it down with a lot of confusion. From here, it looks filled to the brim. I look inside again and see nothing. "You're going to have to help me here, I tell my Spirit Guide."

Graciously, she smiles and tips the pack upside down. Again, nothing. "You carry your skills around like a pack. You need to learn to understand that they are simply part of you - not something outside of you to carry around and keep track of. You cannot lose these skills any longer. You have developed them beyond the need to constantly attend to them. Holding them outside yourself gives them a weight that soon becomes burdensome. This weighs you down; you're serving the skill instead of the skill being a tool to help you do your work. These packs are empty, release them!"

Three packs now remain. All have value. All speak to me. How do I choose?

"The one that has true heart for you will sit well on your shoulders. It will be, even at it's most challenging, easy to carry. If it comes with heart you will have joy in carrying it. That joy will give you more than carrying that pack will ever take. This is a new lesson for you. It is time for you to choose what you desire, what feeds you, what sustains you."

I have chosen.