There are opportunities which present themselves that simply can’t be ignored, nor denied. When I was invited to be the personal assistant to Renee Baribeau (Author of Winds of Spirit) at the Omega Institute, this was one such opportunity. I knew I couldn’t NOT do it. The reason why was superseded by the full-bodied yes of having to attend.
My travel to the Institute was seamless, pleasant and actually restorative. I chose to travel by train, which seemed romantic. What I appreciated most was the speed at which we traveled. We clicked at a steady pace, rocking from time to time, which reminded me of my youth being in a swing or rocker. A comforting feeling of being held.
Once I arrived at Omega I was greeted with the doldrums (no wind). It was hot, stuffy and moving at a different pace than me. I was shown around the complex, checked in with Renee, then took some time to acclimate to my new home for the next week. My heart a little conflicted after just coming off of my book release/signing and leaving behind my family of four for the week. This would be longest I’d been gone ever. I knew we were ready for the experience, and it did leave a slight feeling of longing. My vulnerability balloon was beginning to fill.
Renee and I met briefly for dinner--(which was our first time meeting in person), discussed the plan and the next morning we were off. Our group was small but MIGHTY. Each person came into the sacred space with a plethora of wisdom, experience, heart-centered openness and the ability to dive deep. The doldrums persisted most of the week externally. However, internally we were each facing, learning and deepening our relationships with our winds. I was working with Eurus Cardinal wind of the East.
Eurus is known to be a sound teacher of Mind, Memory, and Beliefs. I was not expecting, nor receptive to what Eurus had in store for me!
Being the personal assistant was a natural place for me to be. I enjoy assisting others because it helps me to “hide or be invisible”. I know this may sound ironic. How can one hide while assisting another? I hide my abilities, I hide my wisdom, I hide *showing* who I am. Now the paradox is that my inner desire is to be seen. To be known. To be of service. Yet, when I step closer to fulfilling that desire I am met with a wall of resistance. Renee is a resistance hunter! She sniffed this out within our first two hours of class! Highly uncomfortable for one who is hiding. Which added more air to my vulnerability balloon. She asked me how an author travels without any books? Or colors in the foundation of their house (a process we did after a shamanic journey) with muted colored lines. Renee and Eurus were guiding me to see more of the ways that I hide. They worked to assist me in letting go of the resistance in order to embrace my gifts.
Working through our processes of Shamanic Journeying--Wind Walking--Wind knots--Prayer flags. I began to inch closer to the beliefs that stand between my habits and my desires. The bridge between the two is a lifetime of beliefs that once served me to stay safe, under the radar and able to move one more day in the world unharmed. The path I am traveling doesn’t allow for this level of rigidity. Learning how to be more flexible and pliable is highly necessary for being an effective leader, and teacher--yes even typing this is stretchy for me. And it’s true. I am here to teach, lead and support others on their sacred journeys. I am good at being me. I am not good at allowing myself to be seen.
The biggest *reason* I have uncovered since our retreat is this: I packed on weight my whole life to hide from men, women or anyone that would find me attractive. It kept me physically safe. Only someone who would accept a 250+ woman was safe in my eyes. As I’ve outgrown the need, and belief of that reasoning. I can now see that I hide because of my weight. I hide my embarrassment and guilt at the way I’ve treated my body. That I am an untrustworthy steward of our wellness. That my fears became a burden to the one who loves me unconditionally, my body. What it all means--I am working with the weight (pun intended) of this new awareness. I am holding it without shaming myself more or holding myself as a victim. I can see that I am ready to take action in building a new relationship with my body, my beliefs about food and exercise. I have allies here to assist me--The winds.
It was excruciatingly painful to be seen that week. I was seen so clearly by Renee--the circle, the pain came from the acceptance. This is my heart's longing to be accepted where I am, not for what I can give, not for what I do, but for who I am. I was met there and it was unexpectedly difficult. It brought out old patterns of protection, that were also held with kindness. The weeklong immersion of Wind Work has deepened my faith--my trust in that which I can’t see, but experience. Eurus stepped in to help me shed. Renee, offered me the opportunity because the winds led Heather (her original PA) to invite me. Everything was working in my favor to show up that week! I could feel it and I am so thankful I listened.
My return trip home was another teacher of working with resistance, not against it. As everything that was planned crumbled and I was delayed another day before arriving home. I needed the time to be with the lessons--hold myself gently as my heart continued to let out what was ready to leave, making room for the integration to be received. My vulnerability stretched and never popped. Once again reminding me that I can handle the intensity of growing, without exploding. I can turn towards the winds of change and welcome in their loving offerings.
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