spiritual healing

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.

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…

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!

34. FEAR TRANSFORMED INTO JOY

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

So now fresh from my reconnection with my higher self, I set my intentions to see the face of my fears. The time was ripe. And the universe presented the fruits of my labors.

In late August 2008, I got an urgent call. My mother-in-law was being taken by ambulance from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara. And she wanted me. Before she allowed the doctors to do anything, she wanted me there. I am her medical agent, the one responsible for following her end of life wishes, yet she was fully cognizant, just scared.

So I drove the 45 miles to the hospital knowing this was it. I would be facing one of my fears. As a nurse practitioner, I had been called upon by the family many times over the years for medical advice. It was assumed by my elders that I would be the one to take care of them. And frankly, after decades of providing care for others I did not want to end my life as a caretaker. Plus being a caretaker is hard physically, mentally and emotionally. I have counseled many suffering from depression, insomnia, anxiety, and utter exhaustion from long spans of care-taking.

I knew that it was time to take in Steve’s grandmother while his mother recuperated. And then we would take her. And I knew my husband would agree to whatever I decided and would do everything he could to help. And I also knew it would be me doing all the work.

So I stepped into the ER and stepped into my fear. The family gratefully released all to me. My mother-in-law only signed the emergency surgery release after I counseled with her. It was clear that Steve’s grandmother was not happy being handed over to his aunt and uncle. So once his mother was taken to the operating room, we offered to take Gran. There was little resistance.

Gran came home with us. She was delight, but not safe with her rickety cane on our hard wood floors. So we got her a four wheel drive walker and at 89 years old Gran became mobile again. My mother-in-law had been living with her for the past six years and slowly Gran lost her ability to be productive…or so we thought. To me she was more than willing, so I put her to work. Gran was delighted to help and we found her much more capable than her daughters had reported.

She helped fold clothes while watching Ellen every afternoon and in the evening helped me with dinner. When Steve finally brought his mother home from the hospital, she was surprised to see Gran cutting veggies. “She can’t use a knife! She’s on Coumadin!”

I smiled. “She’s been very careful and if she cuts herself, luckily I can stitch her up.”

Shortly after she arrived, Gran said, “Since my stroke, I can’t smell very well. So you’ll have to tell me if I need a bath.” A day or two later, I sniffed her and announced it was time. She balked a bit nervous to have me help her in and out of the bath. But I had the perfect set up. Our guest bath had a tiny soaking tub with a seat inside an enclosed shower. So I warmed up the bath, and helped her in. Then she sat down, “Uh, oh!”

“What?”

“You aren’t going to be able to get me up.” The seat was too low and her arthritic knees were higher than her hips.

“It’s ok, Gran. I’m a nurse. I know how to lift you.”

She shook her head, “You’re too little.”

“I’m strong, Gran, and Steve’s here if we need help…”

“Oh, no. I don’t want Stevie to help.” Great!

Ten minutes later, all parts of Gran were sparkling clean and I was soaked. After a failed attempt to lift her from the edge of the tub. I stripped off my sodden nightgown and climbed in with her. She laughed telling me that’s how her other daughter did it. I placed one knee between hers, squatted down, “one, two, three” and lifted Gran to her feet. She held me tight as I helped her over the edge of the tub and she didn’t let me go.

“It’s so nice to hold you like this,” she whispered. It was nice. “But there’s only three breasts between us!” She had had a mastectomy thirteen years before. I almost dropped her laughing!

That was Gran always finding delight in everything. I know it’s not easy accepting help especially if your role in life is to be of service. I hope I am a gracious patient and not a burden on my loved ones. But the stress of illness and the demeaning role of incapacitation can make the best of us turn sour. Yet Gran was a delight.

My mother-in-law was another story. I have yet to meet a medical professional who is a good let alone gracious patient and my mother-in-law is a retired nurse. She also had become one of those resentful caretakers that I didn’t want to emulate. So although my care-taking load more than doubled when Steve brought her home from the hospital, I was determined not to lose myself and took time every day for me.

Shortly after they arrived I got a call from Steve’s cousin. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. When it rains it does pour. So I spent time counseling her, helping her to see the spiritual message of the dis-ease. I find that breast cancer patients are very good at taking care of others, but quite poor at self-care. Their body speaks to them through the dis-ease. “Time to nurse me please.” I think she got it. And so did I.

I was so busy during this time, that I did not record it. There is nearly a month missing in my journals yet it is burnt into my memory. And it happened again the very next year. And the second time, I took care of them both for months instead of weeks. Yet in spite of the incredible stress, I am left with such pleasant memories.

Every afternoon, after Ellen, Gran asked if I was free to have coffee with her. I was still seeing patients three days a week in my office which is on our property. My mother ran my practice and was in charge of keeping an eye on Gran while I was in with a patient. Gran would push her walker out onto the patio overlooking the herb garden and chat with the patients as they admired the flowers. And when the last one left, I would sit and have a cup of coffee with her.

And I learned how to sit and enjoy being. Gran loved the garden, the flowers, the hummingbirds that would visit us, the butterflies, even the jays that shooed the songbirds from the feeders and especially the antics of the squirrels as they scolded the cat and the crows. Gran took delight in being alive. And I took delight in being with her.

My fear of care-taking transformed into joyous service. I had written about joyous service in LoveDance® but for the first time, I got to experience it. The family thought I was a saint. My husband cannot thank me enough. Yet it was I who am ever grateful for the opportunity to serve in love and joy.

33. KNOWING THE ALL

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Recently I began to check out channeling that has been going on for 22 years. Benevolent guidance from the other side through a man who in this life is an engineer. My engineer brother-in-law would scoff as I’m sure this man did when he first received interdimensional communication. I believe women are more open, the feminine being naturally receptive.

I am in awe of the confirmation of what I know…revealed to me at the same time and sometimes before it was channeled through those who openly share the guidance they receive. I guess knowing they are out there makes it easier for me to come out of the closet and share what I know.

A month after I reconnected to my higher self, I wrote…

Q: Tomorrow I have been married 25 years!
A: Millenniums together from time eternal, playing different parts of creation. Yeshua watches as your love blossoms into its fullness with great hope for the future of this planet. Your love becomes the portal in which Divine Mother Earth may pass through to the 4th-5th-6th dimensions. Three petals, three dimensions unfolding in triads. It is time for the Earth and its inhabitants to pass into the next universe, soon so soon

Q: 2012?
A: Yes, 2013 will be its birth, its delivery after a long 2012 transition. Really since Kyra’s conception in 1987 the birth pangs began—labor—she labors—you labor to deliver her. The rest of consciousness, the mass awakenings are souls who wish to progress. The rest will stay behind in darkness—the dream of their making.

Q: I thought no soul left behind?
A: You cannot save them all. Each has free will to stay or to go. You can only show the way. That is your frustration. Your fatigue is from holding the energies—being the way—for those who cannot see, those who pay no attention. You can only create small openings and the light will shine through. They may not receive the light of love. You did enough—move on and Be The Way!

Patience is not one of my best virtues. So waiting has been hard. Just Being rather than Doing goes against everything we are taught. Yet it is The Way. To Be the Light of Love. And I “know” and now have “gnosis” that is gets easier. As the vibration of the planet rises, we may resonate or not. Those who do feel the ease and avert dis-ease.

32. STRUGGLING TO LET GO

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

At the same time, I reconnected to my Higher Self, I had completed a struggle to get my book rights back from the publisher. Although I was so grateful to have my book published, I expected much more than they delivered. Like printing enough copies so Amazon would not run out before the holidays. My contract included the “opportunity” to purchase a short run of a thousand books at wholesale to sell directly at my presentations. And after I purchased my books, their support ended. Another soul lesson unfolded…

Q: My sorrow at dismissing my publishing partner to go out on my own magnifies everyone I’ve left behind.
A: Do not lie paralyzed by grief. Rise up from the mire of your doubt.

Q: What do I doubt?
A: Yourself. Your greatness. Your abilities as a co-creator. Your divinity.

Q: No, I know I am Divine…
A: You have little “gnosis”. Because you push away your Divinity, keep it at bay—for you fear being rejected.

Q: It feels as if I’m already being rejected
A: Divinity shines through you! I AM Here. Just Ask and You shall Receive…

Q: So what is my next step?
A: This fear has to be released fully. What you have been vomiting up, what creates anxiety, what separates you from that which you love. It must be fully released.

Let go of all that does not serve you, that doesn’t bring you joy.

Q: I wish to release my fear but how?
A: In quiet moments, be still and open your chakras—Red to Violet—a prism of white light will encompass you. Into this portal let your fear pass.

Q: I feel hesitant
A: You have held on for so long

Q: Will it be fully gone?
A: Yes, but molecular memory will take longer to forgive

Q: Forgive, not forget?
A: Gratitude for your humanity, forgive yourself for choosing fear over love.

So I asked to see my fear. And every one of my fears manifested. I faced, I embraced, and had the time of my life. I had gnosis through Joyous Service. And abundance began to pour in…while the rest of the nation lived in recession, I lived in transformation. The abundance came as enough money to fill our needs, as opportunities to grow, as family to know better, all interwoven.

I manifest as I type. What I write becomes…

28. FAMILY TIES

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Learning to be my truth within my family of origin has taken a very long time. It is our soul work to witness our lessons in the mirror of those we love. And families are magnifying lenses…

Dec 23rd, 2003

Off to Utah for the family holidays. Anxious premonitions of my beloved Santa cup breaking. After 20 years of keeping them safe for my sisters, I tried to pack them carefully, but one tumbled out of the car, so I traded my unscathed cup for the fractured one. This trip is about breaking attachments, perhaps to things, but yet deeper, to what I believed my sisters to be. As I am coming to know myself as joyous passion I shall recognize who they are as love. So many sister dreams lately. Since childhood, I have flown in my dreams stringing them along like Peter Pan, barely able to get them off the ground. Lately in my dreams, I do not hold their hands, but try to teach them to fly on their own, but they resist. I feel tired, saddened. Will my sisters throw me out like Yeshua was thrown out of Nazareth? Strangers can be more accepting than those closest when you change too rapidly.

Dec 26th, 2003 A snowstorm traps us in the house, playing games, memories abound. On Christmas Eve, I experienced the power of the loving-kindness prayer. The family gathered around my sister’s large kitchen island arguing about the Cody Bank’s rape charge. When the manner in which the victim dressed was blamed, I felt the urge to jump into the fray, yet stopped and silently asked that my fear be lifted and I be filled with light and love, then asked the same for each and every one of them. When I got to Kyra, she looked up and mouthed, “What are you doing?”

“Blessing us,” I silently replied. The tension melted. The brothers-in-law about to engage in fist a cuffs, laughed at another’s joke and all was well. This morning my youngest sister hugged me fiercely claiming she thinks about me every day. Lately I can say the same. I wish I could see beyond the possessive love in this family, the competitiveness, the criticism, the ego…especially mine—my ego is much too overwhelming. My muse is on holiday, but lots of purple around me, my aura brilliant whenever I close my eyes. Torn between gluttony and deprivation, defenseless in the face of my family without bulimia to protect me. Trapped in a house of mirrors. One: reflecting unforgiving close-mindedness, one: emotional, temperamental, quick to strike, yet a core of love, one: distant, shallow immersion, non-committal, one: lost in a world of self, one: poor self-esteem, critical of all, not knowing when to hold her tongue, my brothers-in-law, my nieces and nephews clueless bystanders, my husband supportive, policing my behavior. This journal my only escape…

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