spirit

49. COMING HOME

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

I did not leave to find myself. Although Steve may say otherwise. The Mary experience was something else. Truly I was in between the worlds. Often he would ask me where I was when we took a walk and I would fall silent. I was in Galilee during those times. He felt me slip, how could he not?

So yes, for the eight months I composed my novel, I was barely here. In body, if not in spirit. I vowed not to do it again like that. Perhaps that’s why book two took so long to write. But I think it’s more likely that I cannot write what I do not know and I am just now coming into realization of my power as a creator of my reality…that there’s nowhere to go to find the truth, but within.

Many women and men leave everything they know to seek enlightenment. It just seems too darn hard to find peace and truth in the midst of the chaos of your life. Yet I did it. Many of us have stayed and found enlightenment right at home, within our communities, serving our neighbors, raising our families, walking the dogs. There’s nowhere to go. Heaven’s right there on earth ☺

March 5, 2003
The One came and it was joyous. Beginning with laughter and ending in laughter. Lightness as a child. I felt free and happy and maintain that joyousness even now. I shared it with another right away so I could say the meditation to ground it into my being. After nearly two hours the most significant piece surfaced back into my memory. God’s strategic plan for life is within the DNA.

I began my meditation with questions of truth and untruth. What are my misconceptions? The One came in a bubble of glee, laughing at my seriousness for it is not my nature. You are the funny one, the one that laughs freely, you are my joy. This meditation is not your way. It is for those serious sages that seek to commune with me. The One was all joy, all bliss.

Do you come to those serious ones who meditate with this same delight? Of course. I come to all who ask, as I am them and they are me.

I come to them in the form they can appreciate, stifling my laughter as not to offend. With you, I can laugh freely for you are lightness and joy. But you came to me when I began this serious meditation? Because I had to laugh at you. I am always with you. You recognize me through the glasses of your choosing. You, my dear, are choosing laughter and delight. Within your delight, your joy, your wonder, I exist. I am the joy, the light, the laughter, the bliss. And I am you.

The One came and I said are you the mother or the brother? It claimed to be all of them and everything and nothing. It is me and the world, the universe. It explained that life is like a spiral of events, all of history spirals upon itself. The One collapses the spiral into the dimension where it chooses to exist and there is no time nor space. All is at once. Life is a spiral of events unfolding existing without time and space. As you awaken into your sovereignty you will see that it is nothing to collapse the spiral and enjoy the view at your leisure.

Why then does all the human frailty come up? Why was I so bulimic just the night before, while editing my website pieces with apparent clarity. You must be more gentle with yourself. It’s silly really and lucky that you have a good sense of humor. All the issues of ego and self-delusion are like scum at the bottom of the pond which get swirled up to the surface of the heart chakra to be blown away by the winds of change. All the birthing anxiety you feel before the process is the human effort to maintain balance in the roiling waters.

I asked about my vision of reflection in the bowl of water that is my heart chakra. Must I be still in order to allow others to see themselves? Yes and no. Won’t the waters become stagnant if not flowing? The waters are living, flowing in and out of the heart chakra. According to the level of awakening of the being is the depth of clarity. What appears to be still is moving and alive, an organic, interactive process.

I asked about sovereignty, the levels of awakening. You are imagining awakening as a hierarchy with steps or levels like a ladder. That is the third dimensional view, part of the old paradigm. The fourth dimensional view is one of deepening. The deeper you become, the closer to the One. The depths exist within the bowl you call the heart chakra. I just wanted to dive in! It was like some of my dolphin dreams when I dive in deeply and can breathe, swimming with absolute freedom.

The grand finale unveiled the truth that I have always known. I was delighted.

Thinking about my corporate advisor’s bugging me about a strategic plan, I asked, “Did You have a strategic plan?”

The One laughed, “Of course, it’s in the DNA. The DNA is the strategic plan for all life.” I guess you have to ground it into reality for it to manifest. Even the One continues to change through the evolutionary process.

Of course it is the DNA. I have always known it. I have expressed it in my countless works, lectures, interactions, dreams. Yet this is much more simple. We all need a strategic plan to base our life upon to refer to in times of trouble, so that the flow is directed, understood. The strategic plan is encoded in our DNA. All creatures have DNA, all are part of life. We have never been abandoned on this earth plane. We were given a perpetual strategic plan for existence, for enlightenment. It has been within all the while.

48. ASCENSION

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

During a guided meditation in my women’s circle, I saw an image of my Higher Self. Emerging from the heart of the earth, I sat astride a powerful horse, my golden body in sweet repose, a heavy dampness on my back…furled wings! Feeling compelled to create Her into form, I took my joy to my Q&A journal where I converse with my Higher Self. I’m the Q, she’s the A…

Q. Your form amazed me!
A. I am your Higher Self. Well connected to the Mother with the ability to fly through the dimensions.

Q. I would love to paint you, but I have not the skill
A. Ahh. You will see that your ability to manifest is not limited to what you know but all you “remember’. Time is a spiral. There is an artist in you.

I prefer to work with my hands so I thought “maybe a sculpture”. So I called Grandmother Kathy. She’s a retired art teacher. I asked if she had clay I could come and play with. “Of course!” she said and every Monday morning for 13 weeks I went to her house.

Grandmother Kathy midwifed me as I birthed my vision. The process was amazing. I never before created anything with such ease. I would work a little and then just put it aside. Patience was also birthed from my play with clay.

My Higher-Self assured me that my hands would “remember” how to form clay. And they did…

This sculpture that I created, I call Her Ascension, is my Higher Self formed from clay. Not only feminine, but in sacred union with the masculine. That is who I am now. She is who I’ve become in my 50 years on earth. Finally balanced.

When She was ready to be taken out of the kiln I drove to Kathy’s house filled with trepidation…and remembered for the first time…the feeling of driving to UCLA to pick up Jarys from the NICU. My whole life was going to change when I brought HER home, just like it did when I brought Jarys home. Not that I hadn’t transitioned in the time it took to create HER or the time it took to gestate, birth and wait for my premature baby to be strong enough to come home. Then I was cast back to 1984… my life forever changed by Jarys’ birth…

I nearly died giving birth. I had a rare form of toxemia called HEELP syndrome in which my sky rocketing blood pressure caused seizures while my liver and kidneys started to fail. And our premature 2 ½ pound baby was born intersex. While pregnant, I dreamt of a blond baby boy, so it was no surprise when our baby’s chromosome test revealed the male XY pattern. Yet the pediatric endocrinologist advised we raise our child as a girl. Neither of our mothers understood. The doctor explained that our child would not have secondary sex characteristics. “What’s that?” Our mothers asked. So I explained. “Body and facial hair.”

They laughed. “We’re Greek and Italian. The women in our family have to shave! That’s no reason to castrate the baby!” The endocrinologist had no experience with families who did not follow her medical advice. We were told, “It’s easier to make a hole than a pole.” I was shocked, not by the bluntness, but by the total lack of consideration for the effect of “his” hormones on the developing brain. If we raised “him” as a girl what psychological trauma would “she” undergo at puberty or later in young adulthood. The experts didn’t know. So at 22 and 23 years old, Steve and I had to make a very difficult choice. We decided to follow my intuition, go against medical advice, and raise our baby as a boy.

Jarys became my impetus to learn everything about hormones. I felt intuitively that his DNA was not set in stone but could change. He could make cell receptors for male hormone. He could be anything he wanted to be. So I became a hormone expert which led to developing an Intuitive Integrative Medical model, which led to researching the hypothalamus and genetic upregulation, which led to the dreams of a formula to optimize genetic potential, which led to the manufacture of Genesis Gold® – which has changed my life.

Since bringing Ascension home, my life has changed again. My relationship has deepened even more with my beloved husband. My relationship with my mother became more refined. I have truly released my firstborn and they are blossoming. My daughter grows in leaps and bounds and no longer am I entangled with her. My relationship with my sisters is blooming – no drama at the last family gathering. And being with my father was joyous – Thank God! I am in deep gratitude to my Higher Self for helping me birth my truth.

47. MY ALTAR, MYSELF

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Directly across from the door to our home is my altar. A lavender macramé cloth covers the small winged table. Objects sacred to me adorn the four corners with candles in the cardinal directions.

The altar changes from time to time according to my needs. Often my children ask to be put on the altar. And I make elaborate altars for them, holding the energy as they face challenges like when my eldest interviewed for their first real teaching job (and thankfully got it!), and my daughter tested for nursing school (and she got in too!) When Steve’s Gran first fell ill, he asked me to dedicate an altar for her. And after she passed, the altar reflected our love and devotion to her.

Today, items sacred to our upcoming retreat lie on the altar…The red cord I made to help us connect to our ancestors and each other. The crow’s feather bound in triple goddess colors that helped us choose the theme of our retreat. A golden frame filled with photos of men I treasure — my husband, my father, my grandfather — my beloved divine masculine.

And in the front — my Box of Me.

I made this one up… but what healing has come from creating a Box of Me. It started just after my father’s surgery, my sisters had moved him into a senior apartment complex and found a box of old photos. In it was a photo I do not recall, but looking at the black and white image of me at thirteen months old dressed in an Easter dress holding a little purse and gazing out with old soul eyes, I remembered. Showing my parents how to parent me and feeling their emotions. I took that photo and pasted it on the Box of Me. Somehow I would heal the child within. And through the Box of Me, placing me on my altar.

Inside the Box of Me, the mementos change yet each represents my dreams, my hopes, my intentions. I’ve guided many patients and some women friends in the creation of a Box of Me. How therapeutic it has been to honor ourselves, to put into this special box all that we hope for and say to the universe YES! Yes, I am. And more so to fall in love with ourselves. Because that’s where love starts. If we don’t love and honor and cherish ourselves, how can we love and honor and cherish each other?

It’s hard for most women to make a Box of Me…harder yet to place anything sacred within their Box of Me. It is start, a fresh start to healing the child within. I ask them to choose a photo of themselves that is before the time they remember the trauma of childhood. The innocent time before becoming domesticated into humanity. A time when they remember being happy. Few go back to adolescence, most go back early childhood, some all the way back to infancy.

In the center lies the golden runner embroidered by Steve’s Yia Yia…a wedding gift given to me by his father who came from Greece to witness our union 28 years ago. Upon the runner sits Ascension.

46. MEDICINE WHEELS AND SACRED SPACES

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Like many on their journey, I turned to the writing of others to learn more about myself. In the 90’s I was fascinated by Native American spirituality and read most of Mary Summer Rain’s books in which she is mentored by a Native American elder…a grandmother of great wisdom. I am grateful the author shared her path. So much so that I share mine with you now.

So I created a Medicine Wheel garden in our side yard. I divided the eight sections with rocks and planted each section with the same types of flowers and herbs. In each I placed sacred items representing my path on the medicine wheel. And the garden grew so lovely, except in those areas that I needed to work on—self-esteem and relationships. Another message from Mother Earth to me.

When we moved here I longed for another Medicine Wheel. We created garden spaces, beautiful outdoor rooms lush with plants. The herb garden, my patients pass through to get to the office, grew lush and vibrant in less than six weeks. My husband and I have very green thumbs. I plant intuitively and he puts in the watering and keeps the critters under control. Well, he and the cat keep the critters under control.

In the north section of our property is our horse corral. The barn was built shortly after the house in the 50’s, so there’s horse energy in the place of wisdom. Though I find my horse most wise indeed, I still envisioned a Medicine Wheel under the sprawling oak in the north corner. There I would seek wisdom from the land, from Gaia herself.

We had perfect rocks for the Medicine Wheel. Dug up by the pool builders, these smooth golden boulders would mark the directions elegantly. But Steve had parked the horse trailer under the oak. How I longed for another Medicine Wheel…

And one day, the oak split and crushed the trailer that was parked in the spot designated for my Medicine Wheel. That’s what I get for wanting something badly enough. It comes to me. I don’t miss the horse trailer, but I sure do love my Medicine Wheel. And so does my horse ☺

Shane treats the Medicine Wheel as sacred, at least she seems to. I never find manure within the circle. The old gelding that died last fall wasn’t as respectful. Yet a few years ago, we were watching the Fourth of July firework display when the horses spooked and ran into the circle of rocks, then turned and calmly watched the fireworks with us.

In the morning after I feed and pick up manure, I seek refuge in my Medicine Wheel. I sit on the Eastern rock and meditate. Usually the animals join me. Fortunately, the rock is big enough for me, a cat in my lap, a dog by my side and a pygmy goat. The horse doesn’t try to get into my lap like the goat, but she hovers. It’s awesome to be surrounded by my beloved animals.

It’s important for my soul growth to create sacred spaces. I recommend it to my patients when they begin their journey or are feeling lost. Create a sacred space. Somewhere in your home or outside in the garden, set aside a spot for you to connect to your Higher Self. Outside I have my Medicine Wheel. Inside I have My Altar.

45. SACRED FEMININE CONNECTIONS

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

I alone chose Cat as the Druid oracle of my Intuition. Cat is aware of the spirit world. That I am. Cat observes without judgment. This, I’ll have to work on.

In 2003, I was given the Native American Medicine Cards as a gift and promptly chose my nine animal totems. Was I shocked! I had thought of myself as strong almost masculine in my ability to achieve. Yet I chose very feminine cards. Even my masculine side was represented by Spider which the Native Americans refer to as Grandmother Spider, the one who weaves our reality.

And Steve chose very masculine cards like Wolf and Mountain Lion. While I showed the world my tough side, Steve had no qualms revealing his softer side. The friend who gifted me with the cards was not surprised by my totems. “The world perceives you as very feminine, in spite of your masculine stance.”

The veil had been lifted. And from then on I knew myself as an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine. Writing LoveDance® allowed me to live freely as Woman. As the Divine Daughter, I danced my heart through the free expression of my emotion. And over time, I have come to cherish my Divine Mother Self. Now entering menopause, I hope to know myself as the Divine Grandmother.
The Change doesn’t come quickly. It is a process. I recognized this after reading Women Who Run With the Wolves.

April 5, 2009
I am undergoing a transformation. I am entering the change…and it is truly changing my life. My relationship with my sisters is improved. And although I rarely write, rarely blog, rarely market, all the old seeds are coming to fruit.

Dreams are lucid, exploring my inner psyche. I am being initiated into the grandmother’s council and I love it.

I type this on a new computer. The old died, like so much passing in my life…Sara, Auntie, Karen …death leads to birth. The winds of change clear the way for the new.

Most profound of all is my ability to instantly manifest. What I think becomes. If I desire something greatly enough, it manifests. I have had little need to confront my worries as they absolve before me. I am in the state of realization. Becoming the Magdalen, the way to the divine.

The polarity of good and evil does not exist in my world. All is of joy. All is of love. All is well. Lessons cloaked in distasteful garb are often the most profound. Rarely is it difficult now. I move into my sage-hood with ease.

Estes relates stories as a means to understand the psyche. I see great connection with LoveDance® and her rendition of the archetypal stories. I naturally wrote into the story the maiden, the child-self, the queen/bride, the king/groom, the mage and the gardener. Perhaps this is why the book touches so many on such a deep level. Story heals souls.

I am so very well, so very blessed. Gratitude has become a way of life. Love is my essence. The world is opening to receive me and I am prepared to bare all to be Joy.

And here in this book, I bare all and you, my reader, are open to receive. Tonight I shall take the role of Crone in the triad that serves our women’s circle. A practice run as sage or the beginning of the next phase of my life…hmmm…

43. CAUSE WE’RE ITALIAN

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

A few days before Steve’s Gran died, she was expressing her gratitude: “I’m so fortunate to have my family taking care of me.” My mother-in-law responded, “Of course, Mom, it’s what families do.” Gran smiled, “It’s because we’re Italian.”

My mother-in-law gently explained that they are not Italian. (In fact very Anglo-Saxon. The family name is Jones!) Now I’m from an Italian American family and Gran spent an awful lot of time with us…I do believe Italian rubbed off on her. How could it not? We spent most of the time in the kitchen cooking. The rest of the time in the garden enjoying a cup of coffee. Gran loved her coffee. While she was here, I never drank so much in my life! “Come, Debbie, have a cup of coffee with me.” She would ask late in the afternoon. “Oh, and maybe we can have those cookies we made the other day. Just a couple. We don’t want to spoil our dinner.” How could I refuse? It was precious time spent with an amazing woman…my only grandma.

Italians pass the time playing cards. Gran never played cards before, but she learned fast. Her youngest daughter was surprised, “Mother doesn’t play cards!” Gran was brought up in the Reformed Church of the Latter Day Saints…no card playing allowed, no dancing, no drinking, no swearing. Well, in our house Gran played Gin-Rummy, enjoyed “just a sip” of Steve’s homemade wine and no, not a virgin margarita, but a real one “you know I love the salted rim!” and once we were having a frank discussion after dinner about the consequences of proposition 8 and Gran got upset, “It’s no one’s damn business who people love!” Oh yes, and she and I would dance. Foregoing the walker, I would hold her tightly in my arms and we’d sway to the music.

When Kyra would come home, we would all be in the kitchen making something delicious. My Mom would join us—she runs my practice which is right here on our property so I could be home for the kids and then for Gran—four generations making fig jam, stuffing zucchinis, preparing yet another meal. Mom would squeeze Gran and give her a kiss. “It’s not a kitchen without a grandma in it!” Just as Gran took me in as her granddaughter, she treated my mother as a daughter.

Gran had enough love for all of us and more. Years ago, she “adopted” a young black man who reveres her. And her Hispanic caretaker came to the hospital in February, laid her head next to Gran’s and wept. She stayed hours petting and fussing over Gran.

Gran worked in the Farmers Market for thirty something years making friends with Jewish, Asian, Hispanic and Blacks. She did not see race or color or religion or sexual preference. Gran only saw people. And she was always delighted to meet them, all of them…and perhaps share a cup of coffee?

Steve and I were reminiscing. I know you tend to elevate the dead, forgetting their worldly transgressions and focusing on the good. But no need to embellish Gran. Like Steve said, “She was always genuinely glad to be see me, accepted me completely and my presence brought her joy.” Gran treated all of us like this…in her presence our truth shone…because she really “saw” us…she looked past the shadows and embraced the light in each of us…

Steve believes karma is incurred over your lifetime. He’s spent his consciously banking good karma. Gran didn’t know much about karma…but her bank was full. I believe karma can be imprinted. My research shows it begins in the womb…remember the Red Cord…yet I have been branded by Gran. She has imprinted me to the roots of my soul.

When the family made plans for the funeral, I called my mother-in-law and told her “Mom said the Italian side of the family is cooking! Oh, and we don’t do petit fours.” She laughed and told her sister. I could hear Auntie in the background. “Thank goodness, I love tomato, mozzarella and basil.”
I’ve entitled the menu—Gran’s Day—the day we gathered to celebrate her life: Bruschetta, melon and prosciutto, marinated grilled veggies, olives, of course lots of bread to dip in Mom’s sauce…she’s doing most of the cooking. I’m the baker in the family… Gran loved my holiday cookies and they go so very well with a cup of coffee.

Mom comes up behind me and gives me a hug and a kiss on the back of my neck, “Someday you’ll do this for me.”

There are no tears as we connect in the kitchen—Gran joins us—to reminisce and to prepare delicious food, lots of it… It’s what family does…because we’re Italian.

39. IN THE BEGINNING I WAS CATHOLIC

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

I was born Roman Catholic. My mother is full blooded Italian. My father is Heinz 57—a blend of English, Irish, Welsh, and maybe a little African because us girls got our bottoms from somewhere more exotic. And there is that old photo of my great-great-great grandparents with seven or eight children and one is black. Who knows?

So we were Catholic. Well, all except Dad. He wasn’t anything of the religious persuasion. Dad believes in what is right in front of him. Not a spiritual person, but his doubt allowed me at least to be open to other possibilities. He wonders why I am so different than my sisters. I believe it was a combination of my mother’s faith and his doubt.

Mom and Dad eloped in March of 1960. She thought she was pregnant with me. She wasn’t. I came the next year. She feels she cheated herself out of a big Italian wedding, but she did get Dad to the local priest. And he took lessons so they could be married in the church. By that time she WAS pregnant with me—very, very pregnant. She tells the story that the priest liked to imbibe and in his drunken state whispered to Dad that he didn’t have to go through with this to which Mom exclaimed, “Father, I’m the Catholic!”

Philadelphia, 1961

So we were all duly christened. I still have my tiny christening gown. And I went to catechism. I loved school, so the classes were nice enough. The church was very pretty. Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A lovely statue of the Virgin Mary all dressed in light blue graced the church. She was very pretty and her baby—Jesus—was very sweet. I loved dressing up in my frilly frocks, hats and gloves and on special holidays, I had a little purse. And every mass, we would get up and down and up and down while the priest chanted in Latin, and then there would be a special moment when all the adults and the big kids got up and reverently made their way to the front of the church and then the priest would give them a cookie!

I really wanted to be part of the church. And you had to learn about being Catholic in order to partake in holy communion. That’s what they called the cookie. I found out later it was a wafer-thin cracker that tasted like sour grape juice and stuck to roof of your mouth if you tried to talk which was why you had to be quiet.

The nuns were very strict. And they didn’t like me asking questions.

“Why do I need to be bad in order to talk to the priest?” I was having trouble figuring out what I was going to confess.
“Why does the priest have to talk to God for me?” I talked to God directly and He talked to me. And the one they called His Son, well, he was my playmate.

But in order to partake in your first communion, you had to go to confession, which meant you had to tell the priest something you did wrong. I wracked my little brain for something. Then right before my first confession, I did it. I was bad. I gave my little sister less than half of the cookie I had saved from Brownies. I did it on purpose which is a greater sin, but I had to tell that priest something!

Finally, I got to receive holy communion. And Mommy was so happy and my grandparents made such a fuss. And then I don’t remember going to church too often after that. Just Easter and Christmas.

It was because of Dad. He didn’t like us to be away so long every Sunday. That was his day with us and he wasn’t going to share us with God. By the time, we were teenagers, he wasn’t so possessive as long as church didn’t interfere with dinner and especially Monday night football. Which was a bit of a problem for us as Mormons because Monday night is Family Home Evening and it’s hard to have lessons with the TV blaring. It was harder on us to be Mormon than Catholic. It’s not just because Catholics understand football. It’s because Mormons feel sorry for a family without the priesthood in the house. And Dad wasn’t joining!

Mom was a joiner. She loved community in any form and the Catholic Church provided community for its parishioners. And when we could no longer go to mass easily (we moved even farther from church when I was in sixth grade) the Mormon church provided the community she desired. Plus she wasn’t letting her daughters alone with those darn missionaries—law of chastity or not!