Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019-Year of Transformation

It’s been a transformative year here at Indigenous Roots.
Last February Mom crossed over after many years with Alzheimer’s, and it’s been a year of mourning, stepping into and out of the memories, and taking time to stop and feel the grief. As soon as I returned from Ohio we had the first Into The Bones weekend, with a full enrollment and vibrant, diverse women from all over the state. Witnessing women reclaiming their soul/song is an indescribable gift, and I honor their willingness and courage.
During the Summer, Grady and Jerry created a large tent platform to house at least 6, and Jerry began work on the death lodge.
We had classes here, clients, and held ceremony throughout the year.
In late Summer, early Fall, Dad decided it was time to sell his house in Ohio, and he would be moving here. At the same time a dear friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4. Of course this was all happening as Jerry was building the death lodge. As it was, Annie’s death was fast approaching and she wisely decided to stay at her cozy home. Some things are better kept private, but I will share that Annie’s last months of life were full of love and teachings, and her death was peaceful, and it brought a community of compassionate, warm souls together to care for, and honor her. Before she passed, she gave permission to name the death lodge Annie’s Cottage. Next year Echinacea will be planted around it in her memory. We held an Open House in December that was well attended and the lodge was blessed with ceremony.
During this time we went to Ohio and packed and gave away 84 years of Dad’s stuff. It was difficult, and we all made it through still loving each other. He moved here, and stayed for over 3 months, but lost his confidence here, with unfamiliar roads and weather. He’s back home in Ohio and just met his great- granddaughter Maritima. So, life continues, the cycles continue, and we ride the tides with grace and humor.
I want to thank the students, those that came to Into The Bones, those who attend ceremony, those who attended the Open House, the clients who find their way here, for your trust and your dedication to beauty, and balance. Although there is much to heal in our current world, you are all part of this incredible shift. You are helping the world to remember it’s song through remembering your own. You are all clearing lineages of patriarchy, colonization and ancestral wounds. You are showing up, sometimes trembling in fear, and yet leaning into the unknown anyway. Many of you are claiming your gifts and walking into the world with a strong back and sharing them. I look around at our community and I am filled with hope for our children and Earth. It’s been an honor to serve you, and I look forward to stepping into the new decade together, knowing we are always held. ❤️

Friday, April 6, 2018

Healing inter-generational amnesia.

A few weeks ago, I sat and marveled at lunch during a Reiki class. There were two students in the class. The younger of the two shared that she had Russian ancestry, and the other was from Ukraine. There was a reason that these two and I were brought together which was unplanned on my part. As we sat and ate lunch, the younger woman explained how she had a few generations of unknown lineage. This was affecting her, she felt really sad about not knowing her roots, and was longing for connection with tradition and ceremony. The other student, who knew her family in Ukraine and discussed this with us, had unknowingly stirred up these feelings of longing in her.

This also reminded me of an event almost 20 years ago, working with a client who was from Lithuania. He was an older man and explained that when the Russians exiled the Lithuanians to Siberia, because the people were displaced, and in survival mode, their traditions and their rich culture was lost. He was grieving that the Lithuanian youth had no interest in reclaiming their heritage.

Last night I had the pleasure to listen to a talk by Sherri Mitchell. She’s an attorney for the First Nation’s people, an activist for indigenous rights, author and medicine woman, who heals with her words and stories. She addressed this inter-generational amnesia. Although she had a different way of describing it, it was the same thing. She shared how we can lay down tobacco or corn meal, or whatever your culture did, to pray to and seek contact with these ancestors. To draw them into our dreams, to draw them into our lives seeking their wisdom and connection. To ask them to help us learn the old ways, of whatever culture you come from. As she spoke I held the tears back as my heart and soul were filling up with hope. Many of us have lost two or three generations of rich tradition, culture, ritual and ceremony, that kept us rooted to the remembering that we are all truly connected, and interdependent of all things.

Last night before bed I asked the ancestors to speak to me in my dreams and they did. Because I forgot how to listen in this way, I woke up knowing that I was given rich nuggets of truth, but I couldn’t retain it, this happened twice. Hopefully they’ll have patience with me.

I encourage those of you that want to remember the ways of your ancestors, the undomesticated or uncolonized way of being, your culture’s traditional knowing, the richness and depth of a connected life, to start inviting them into your lives to teach you, and remember you back into balance. They’re waiting for us.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Calling ourselves home.

Almost every human walking the earth has experienced trauma. Trauma can be defined as an experience that is difficult or impossible to process or integrate. In shamanic tradition when we experience this type of trauma we incur soul loss. It’s as if tiny little pieces of our soul splinter off and travel to other worlds.
When one goes to reclaim soul fragments for another, we call the process soul retrieval. Many times, when I look for a person’s soul fragment, I find it in utero if Mom was depressed or afflicted, or with a loved one who has passed over, sometimes even occasionally in a past life. Sometimes I see the actual event that caused the soul loss and sometimes I see a metaphor of the event. Most of the time from 7 to 14 soul fragments are found.

Symptoms of soul loss are feeling disconnected from self or life. People will use words and phrases like: “I don’t feel like I’m all here” or “I was beside myself”, or “part of me is missing”. The eyes will have a vague faraway look. Anyone suffering from any type of addiction has soul loss. Soul loss makes us vulnerable. It can affect the immune system, emotional stability, physical health, and decision making.

A few years ago, I was asked to work with a man who was a police officer, and a sniper in the military. His PTSD was so severe that he could not get out of bed most days. He described it as feeling a buzzing in his head that was incapacitating. I started to work with him carefully, gently, using Reiki and Shamanic pattern release, and doing some extraction work, slowly making our way to doing soul retrieval. Many parts of him came back each time and afterwards he was able to get out of bed and participate in life with his family for a longer amount of time. After three soul retrievals he was able to take on a part-time job. Eventually he made a full recovery and was able to resume a full-time job.

Another story that was quite remarkable was a young woman randomly started to speak in a different voice and was quite agitated and seemed to be having a mental break. I was called to observe her by a relative because the relative suspected possession. This behavior went on for several days until she was committed to a mental health facility due to self-harm. I offered to work with her from a distance, but she refused all help initially. Over a few days she agreed to allow me to work with her. I chose to work with her from a distance because I felt I could be more effective. With the support of her relative and friends who do this work I did a de-possession, extraction, which is removing intrusive, unwanted energies, and then immediately a soul retrieval, to fill her back up so nothing could enter her again. The next day she was released from the hospital and back to normal. In Brazil the Shaman’s are invited into the mental hospitals, and after working with the patients many of them are released. In our culture this way of thinking is slowly becoming more accepted and recognized. Half of the work I do is reuniting people with their soul fragments.

Most people can have two or more SR throughout their life, depending on the amount of trauma they’ve endured. It takes up to 6 months to fully integrate the soul fragments back.

I've been doing this work for nearly 20 years and specialize in SR. It’s empowering and most people report feeling like there’s more of them present to make a decision and they feel more integrated and connected, fuller of themselves.

If you have experienced trauma or miss qualities that you remember having as a child or have been diagnosed with PTSD and conventional therapies aren’t working, you may want to have a conversation with me about Soul Retrieval.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Showing up for the sacred.

Many times my students will ask me, how do we bring the sacred into every day life?
First of all, you need to define what sacred means to you. I’m not talking about a Webster’s dictionary definition, but what does it mean in your gut and in your heart? For me it means anything that I can feel in my heart. Why make something simple complex? Starting in the morning, even before you get out of bed, simply place a hand on your heart and one on your belly, sending love and appreciation for your dreams, for life, for your beautiful body. 
Notice where the sun rises where you live. Greet the sun with delight, gratitude, prayer. We might think that the sun doesn’t notice or care but, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The elements are longing for connection and recognition. How do you feel when a coworker notices that you are shiny that day or extra efficient with your work? You shine more of course, and usually, you’re more efficient. The elements are no different than us. Their bodies may look different, but there is no difference. We humans have walked very far away from remembering that we are all connected. For healing to occur globally, it’s my belief that we must remember and recognize this connection, not only to other humans, but to the elements, the natural world, and mother earth. Continuing.......when we eat, we can keep a small bowl or plate on the table, leaving a bit of each dish for the ancestors. There is a beautiful Mayan tradition that when we do this, we blow on the food and say “I remember you as you remember me”.

No matter how busy one gets, it is essential to make time to be out in the natural world. The wind brings us messages and clears away negative thoughts. The Earth provides us, as our feet touch her skin, with vital life force energy, and the charge that keeps us in balance and robustly healthy. The Birdsong awakens our hearts, and the ancestors speak through them. The trees ground us and feed our hearts. We’ve all seen the studies where hospital patients who can see trees from their windows heal faster. The sound of the water releases stress and shifts brain waves. When we show up to the land in a way that isn’t rushed, that is with respect, we feed that, which feeds us, reciprocity occurs. Out of anything, this is the most important way to feed the sacred. We must slow down, and make it a priority because our lives depend on it. 
As the sun sets, we can bid it good night, with our gratitude for lighting our day and our world. As the moon rises we can give the grandmother a song. There are so many other ways many people feel the sacred. With music, dance, yoga or running, hiking to a stunning view. Bringing flowers into the house. Hugging, holding hands. Through creating art. Keeping our living space clear, using essential oils, plants, salt water. Listening and holding space for a friend. Sharing vulnerability. Speaking from the heart, using words as medicine. 

When we recognize the sacred in what we do, we feed it and it becomes more present in our lives.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

An Angel and a "God Box"

This blog post is dedicated to an Angel by the name of Linda Lewis, who left the Earth January 23rd, 2018.
When I was 19 I moved out to Colorado. It was easy to find work especially around the ski areas. A friend from Defiance came to join me, and eventually we ended up living in a motel in Florissant, Colorado for a month in between jobs. Now there was the tavern called the Thunderbird Inn at this motel, owned by the same people. They were good, down to earth people, so when I moved back in 2011 I wanted to go look them up, and lo and behold, they still owned the bar. It felt like a little piece of home and a happy time in my life.
   Now we’re in 2013, and I’m realizing that I’m in an abusive and dysfunctional marriage and need to move back to Vermont. I hop on my steel pony and start the loop to Cripple Creek to clear the mind, but decide just to stop in at the Thunderbird for a taste of home and comfort. It was about two in the afternoon, Linda was bartending, there is only one other man in the bar and we all watched a movie together. I had never met Linda before that day. Although I tried to keep my misery and emotions to myself, she could tell I was suffering. Before I left she handed me her phone number and with complete sincerity she told me to call her if I ever needed anything. Now she could’ve pretended not to have seen my pain, or she could’ve kept to herself and not reached out to me, but that’s not who she was. When she saw suffering, she reached out toward it, and offered it comfort, and she didn’t just do this for me but for everyone in the community.
   Over the next few weeks we got together and rode bikes, she came and took me out to lunch, and in a very short time we became very close. During one of these visits she took me to her house and she said “you need a God box”. She pulled out a whole flat of them which was a little funny. Someone had gifted her these Chinese made resin boxes with the words faith, love, and hope, written on them. She insisted that I needed one and that if I wrote down all of my dreams and intentions for the shift I was about to make, put it in the box, they would come true. It wasn’t an easy time and because of this newfound friendship I was tempted to stay in Colorado. I put job applications out and on the day Grady and I were heading back to Vermont I got a call that I actually got one of those jobs, in the meantime I organized our move back without any place to stay long term when we arrived, so I put that on the list in my head. In Indiana I found a rental in East Hardwick on craigslist so we were set long term, but the rent was 1200$ a month. Also, when we returned Grady would be starting college at Paul Smith University and I had promised him I would pay for this first year, so I knew that bill would be facing me.
   To shorten up the story, eventually our things made it back to us in East Hardwick and the God box was found and Linda’s voice was moving through my head saying that I had to make my list as soon as I got back. That night I sat down and wrote down small things like getting Wi-Fi established and car insurance to paying for rent and Grady’s college tuition, also on the list at the very end was to buy a house. I put the box where I could see it and every month or so, I would get it out, and check off three or four things from the list. My work at that time was to try to free myself from anxiety. I wasn’t sleeping or eating, I was just working pretty much seven days a week from five in the morning to nine or ten at night, landscaping and seeing clients and eventually working at Hall’s market. After a year and a half, I had crossed everything off that list including the house. I have no idea how I achieved this, yes, I worked my butt off, but money and resources came from the air and this is all thanks to you Linda Lewis. 

Whenever you think you can’t, remember Linda and what I achieved. I’m nobody special, but clear intention works and we are powerful beyond measure. Linda will forever live in my heart.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Solstice Message from Blue Jay

Last week, on one of Cedar's walks something was casting shadows from above, so we stopped to have a look. Blue Jays were flying into the tall treetops deep in the woods from every direction. There were at least 30-40 of them right above us , and they just kept flying in. They typically gather in a small group, but never have I seen so many together. I whispered a prayer of gratitude and we continued the walk .

A few days later, my partner Jerry, Cedar and I were on the same trail. When we approached the same area, lo and behold the Blue Jays were in the same treetops. There were half as many this time , maybe around 25. He was astounded, as was I, and we both knew we were witnessing something very special.

The next day I went up with Cedar and of course I had to stop in that same area and look up. Disappointed that there weren’t any Blue Jays in the treetops I just stood and thought about what they might mean. As I was quiet I could hear them calling in the distance, after some time I realized that they were calling from all four directions.

In the meantime they were visiting the bird feeders in droves. Enough that I had to fill them every other day and still do. One day I counted 10 out at the back feeder at once .

The room I do yoga in is facing the back bird feeders. The mantra one day was worthiness. I was following this yoga class on YouTube and was moving through it with ease. Towards the end of the class a well of emotion released from my chest and eyes. It’s hard to describe, but I saw my ancestors behind and my children in front and the lineage of the shadow of unworthiness throughout us all.  Then , inside of us ,  there was a small, stout woman moving through, sweeping up the dust of unworthiness. Deep deep emotion was moving through, but I was aware enough to see a shadow move across my closed eyes. I got up to see what this was and it was a Blue Jay.

I am feeding the Blue Jays with deep gratitude. They are appearing as a transitional power animal. Here to teach, and then move on when the lesson is learned or integrated. Blue Jays teach about the proper use of power.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Establishing a relationship to place .

Please bear with me as I dust off old grammar , and sentence construction skills. This blog is about essence , depth , moving through the layers , so please kindly overlook the package .

Cedar and I got out in the woods today as we try to everyday and my thoughts drifted back to sitting on a log with my Father . We were out squirrel hunting and I was around 11 . He stated that if you wanted to see or hear the animals, you had to blend in and sit very still , and eventually they would trust you and come out . Today the sun was brilliant , so i stopped to soak it it in , and was very still and sure enough a Chickadee started to sing and then a Blue Jay .The leaves that were left on the Ash trees started to dance . I felt a Hornet nest was near and looked up and there it was . I remembered Dad's words and relished in the connection to him , but also to nature . How many times do I go out with an agenda and miss the connection ? It felt like they were waiting for me to deepen in and be still . That they were also seeking connection.  

 Another observation is that as we show up to a place over and over, that that place will begin to reveal deeper layers of beauty and essence . It's as if that place begins to entrust us to it's truth and secrets . Try walking the same route day after day with awareness . You begin to establish a relationship with place . Nature begins to play with us a bit ,to leave little gifts or at times significant teachings or messages if we pay attention. This is all I want to write today . My hope is that it entices more people to show up for the magic . Loving the Earth , getting out in nature restores us and can make us whole again .

Feel free to share any stories on how the connection to Nature has enhanced your life .

2019-Year of Transformation

It’s been a transformative year here at Indigenous Roots. Last February Mom crossed over after many years with Alzheimer’s, and it’s bee...