On Sunday, October 30th I participated in a Medicine Walk out in Kingsville ON at Camp Cedarwin. It was led by Dr. Denis Marier, ND, MA and Pat Andrews of Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School.
What a beautiful morning! It is crisp and cool. I decided to go outside to enjoy my cup of coffee and when I stepped out, I could see my breath as I exhaled. I have a busy day ahead but right now, I am in no hurry.
I have a workshop coming up soon about intuition. Have I been connected to my own lately?? In between sips, I closed my eyes and took deep breaths....in and out. The smell of the leaves and the dampness of the dew filled my lungs and made me feel like I was somewhere else other than my backyard in Windsor, ON.
When you take a moment to ground yourself and breathe deeply, especially if your eyes are closed, you can almost slip away to somewhere else...somewhere within and that is exactly where I needed to be.
I came inside and decided to draw some cards from my oracle decks. My Medicine Cards stood out and I felt that there was a spirit animal who had a message for me today. I took the cards from the box and felt the energy as I shuffled the deck. I was hoping one would "jump" out at me. After a bit I decided that maybe I just needed to pick one but it was then, that a card came out from the rest and I took it to mean that this was the one I needed to see.
I chose card #34 (7) which is the Grouse. Hmmm...I don't think I have ever really noticed this little guy before. A grouse is also know as a Prairie Chicken and it is an unassuming sort of bird. What message could this creature have for me?
I discovered that when Grouse shows up, there are lessons to be learned that are about understanding and connecting with the Sacred Spiral. The Sacred Spiral is one of the oldest know symbols of personal power. Imagine a whirlpool spinning and taking you to your center and allowing for a personal vision or enlightenment of some kind.
Grouse encourages you to take time to meditate on the different types of movements that are in your life right now and ask if everything is in sync with your greatest desires and goals. The male Grouse, in its desire to secure a suitable mate, will dance much like a Dervish, spinning passionately and uninhibited. This is a time when we need to be aware of unnecessary stalling or running around in circles. To find my center, I took out my drum and played a beat as I danced in my sacred space. I then took out my singing bowl and allowed the vibrations of the music fill my soul as it got louder with each turn of the baton.
If you are reading this, take a moment to see how Grouse's message can be applied to your own life today. Take a moment to take a deep breath and find your own center. That is where you will find the answer to any question you may have about connecting with your own birth and rebirth of ideas.
Keynote speaker Eddie Moore Jr. with symposium organizing team members Dolana Mogadime, centre, and Kim Radersma.
I was at a conference this past weekend about White Privilege. I found out about it the day before and decided…almost reluctantly to attend. I was reluctant because I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to “go there”. Not to St. Catherines where the conference was being held but I didn’t want to go into discussing this challenging topic.
I used to be passionate about being an advocate for Black empowerment and education. My experience growing up made me super sensitive to some of the negative experiences Black people and other people of colour have experienced in the past and continue to experience today in a variety of ways. Everything shifted though as my focus changed from looking at this life experience solely for what it was in this place and time to seeing it as multidimensional and on a continuum.
I also stopped seeing myself as separate from other people. I began to adopt the concept that “you are me and I am you”. This view forced me to be more sensitive to the differences of others. I also decided that it was my soul that had chosen these particular life experiences before I incarnated into this life that I am currently living. My soul decided on my gender, sexuality, abilities and experiences as well as my race. My family members are part of my extensive soul group and together we agreed to play certain roles in this lifetime.
If this sounds kooky, that’s ok. What this belief did for me was to help me to accept the way things were and to look at everything as something I could learn from if I decided to accept the experience and not resist what was occurring. It definitely shifted my perspective of life in general and towards the people I encounter on a day to day basis.
The conference reminded me that the past has a habit of repeating itself and that when we think something is different or new, we only need look back and we will undoubtedly see that it seems eerily familiar. I won’t even begin to point out that Trump seems like another politician from history. Let’s just leave it at that.
The last workshop I attended at the symposium was all about looking at our personal histories to identify not only how we have been privileged…or not…but it also discussed how this attempt to dig deep might actually trigger necessary healing and ignite an understanding of the people in our lives who had the biggest impact on how we developed into the people we are today.
The presenter specifically discussed getting to “know” our grandmothers. She was candid about her own personal history allowing the audience a peak into her not so perfect life. I appreciated her vulnerability because it is in that, that we, as the witness, can feel safe in our own dysfunction, recognizing that we are not alone.
I share this with you because I choose to look at everyone as kind until they show me another side of themselves. I choose to believe that there is more good than bad in this world even though the media would have us believe differently. I also believe that the most significant thing we can do, for someone who is sharing with us their own life experience, is to listen and believe what they say.
I spent my life feeling shut down and diminished who I was so I could be what other people wanted me to be…or what I thought they wanted me to be. I have carried the burden attached to the fact that my skin is brown. I have felt pain and hurt associated with societal stereotypes and expectations that had no reflection on my own life and caused me to have to prove that I was not what people thought of me. That is exhausting people!
I share this with you because I was reminded that differences are beautiful and amazing. Personal life experiences should be shared and respected. People are awesome and if you took a moment, you would find that we share so many more similarities than we do differences. If there is something you don’t like about a person or even a group of people than the choice you have available to you is to not be bothered with it. Let them be. Let them do what makes them happy. Stop complaining and comparing…stop judging and excluding.
I am you and you are me. We are all connected. We ALL come from the same source. Let what we do be generated by LOVE and LIGHT!
What a night! My son and I attended an outdoor drum circle to celebrate the arrival of the autumn equinox. The energy was high and the vibrations from the drums and the people surrounding me were hypnotizing. The cicadas joined us in song and a couple of bats soared above our heads as though swaying to the beat. I bellowed a warrior call and raised my hands in the air as I sent my intention of release, renewal and healing out to the Universe. It was a beautiful time.
After the drum circle, we headed downtown. The windows were down, allowing the warm night air to blow through my hair and fan my face. We blasted ‘Uptown Funk’ and sang along laughing the whole way through. We parked the car and walked over to The Coffee Exchange where I saw a teacher I used to work with. We chatted for a moment and then my son and I went to place our order. I had a Chai Latte with almond milk and he had a hot chocolate with whipped cream.
We both agreed that it was too nice to stay inside so we headed back out into the night. On our way in I had noticed a man pan handling outside a pizza place and a shawarma stop. He had some change in a ball cap and was saying hi to passersby. He didn’t notice my son and I at the time but on the way out I asked him how he was.
With a sigh, he said that he was good. I wished him well and headed toward the intersection to cross the street. Something made me turn back. I asked him if he had eaten dinner yet. He said he would when he got enough money together. I asked him if I could buy him something from either of the places next to him. He perked up and said that he would really appreciate a slice of pizza.
I went in and because I normally order from a local, family owned pizza joint, I was initially overwhelmed by the menu at this popular franchise. My first thought was to simply order a slice but almost immediately my gut told me to get something more. I asked if there were any specials that night. The man at the counter told me I could get a medium, one topping pizza for $6.99 so I said “Sure, give me a pepperoni and throw in a Sprite too please.”
After I placed my order, I noticed a young female looking at me. I smiled and said, “I know you!”
I had taught this girl years ago and hadn’t seen her since. She had grown and looked so mature in her uniform. As far as I could recall, she had dropped out of school before finishing her credits. It was good to see her working and looking well. I asked her how she was doing and with a proud grin, she told me that she was doing well and was in college.
I was shocked and told her that I worked at the college. I told her where my room was and suggested she pop by sometime. She told me she would come by tomorrow but I had to laugh and let her know that it was a PD day and that I wouldn’t be back until Monday. She said she would see me on Monday and repeated my room number out loud to ingrain it in her memory.
I paid for the pizza and the guy told me that it would be ready in 10 minutes. I said that the pizza was for a gentleman sitting just outside and would he be so kind as to bring it to this person. He seemed a little shocked at first and then said he would.
My son and I walked out. I told the man that the pizza would be out shortly and he thanked me again. I told him that I hoped he enjoyed the meal and I wished him a good night. Before I left, I heard my inner voice, yet again, this time urging me to give him a hug. He was still sitting but I asked him if he would mind a hug.
He said ok and got to his feet. I gave him a warm hug and with all the energy I had picked up at the drum circle not that long ago, I sent it to him with love. He told me to take care and I said the same to him and finally, my little boy and I were on our way.
I don’t even remember what we were talking about but my son told me to shush because I talked too loud. I laughed and told him he should accept me as I was and pulled him in so I could put my arm around him. In the car, I asked him if he was surprised by what I had done. He asked me what part I was talking about…go figure. I asked him if he was surprised that I had hugged a stranger and he said, “No mom, that’s just something you do.”
I share this story not because I did a good deed. What I did was, I trusted my inner guide. I listened to my heart and reached out to someone because it “felt” like the right thing to do. We are not strangers you know…we are all connected. I may not know you but you are a part of me and I am a part of you. If you have the opportunity to show another person kindness or to reach out in some way…do it! Trust your heart when you feel it guide you to extend your energy, your kindness…your love to another. You will never regret it no matter how it is received. Live with good intention and you can’t go wrong.
When I experience something that makes me think, allows me to learn or provides an opportunity for growth, I'd like to share it with you.
Windsor ON, N9E 3E7