self discovery

Search for Yourself, by Yourself

Search for Yourself, by Yourself

Do not allow others to make your paths for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Accept yourself and your actions. Own your thoughts. Speak up when wrong, and apologize. Know your path at all times. To do this you must know yourself inside and out, accept your gifts as well as your shortcomings, and grow each day with honesty, integrity, compassion, faith, and brotherhood.  ~Terri Jean

I love this quote though may I add, “sisterhood”  to this as well. The quote is from 365 Days of Walking the Red Road – The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day.

I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the Native American culture. The more I learn and understand, the more my heart breaks for what I feel is such a disservice we did to the Native American’s in our history. How we thought our way was better. How that caused great distress and harm to the Native American’s and to the earth and to our ourselves.

Their connection to the earth, plants, animals,  sky, and the Creator, and the wisdom this offers is something I feel more drawn to everyday of my life. How their connection to all living things is what they instill in their everyday practices and rituals to guide their lives. 

Author Kent Nerburn quotes Ohiyesa, a great Dakota teacher and thinker in his book, Voices in the Stones – Life Lessons from the Native Way, “Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone.”

He goes on to write, “There is no need to justify the purity or sufficiency of your spiritual convictions, no need to defend them through theology or philosophy or argumentation. All that is necessary is that you acknowledge the Great Mystery that is behind everything and present in everything.”

Having read this last night and then the quote from Terri Jean about walking your own road alone this morning, accepting your gifts and your shortcomings, and understanding that the road is yours alone to travel really hit home for me today.

We all take wrong turns in life. I was reminded of that today having just let go of something I thought I wanted to pursue and realizing I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I’d lost my way of who I was.

What I’m grateful for is that I found myself back to what matters most to me in a relatively short period of time and didn’t spend too much time traveling down what I feel was the wrong road for me.

It was by being in silence and having an honest conversation with myself that I realized an opportunity I was looking to follow wasn’t coming from my heart. When I took the time to tune back into who I authentically I am it became clear that the intention and committment I made to pursue teaching workshops and SoulCollage® workshops is exactly where I want to be.

While the other road I took for a very short time may have afforded me the opportunity to gain more financially, it didn’t speak to my soul of how I want to continue making a difference where I can.

As I read the teachings of the Dakota teacher in Nerburn’s book I was reminded that being open to the Great Mystery, having faith, and trusting the path ahead when walked with integrity and from the compassion in my heart is the right road for me to walk….

And my spirit soars for having found my way back to myself, by myself.

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Space still available for Talking Sticks Workshop at Joyful Pause Studio, this Saturday, March 4th, 10am-12:30pm.

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On Being a Space Keeper

On Being a Space Keeper

There aren’t many days I miss my yoga practice, while meditation is something I will more easily skip. That is, if my mind has its way and it can be awfully convincing some mornings!

Today was such a day. I was thinking about my “to-do” list filled with fun things I want to accomplish as I moved through my yoga poses talking myself right into skipping meditation at the end.

As I listened to a new artist I’d not heard before as my music for my practice, Krishna Das, I couldn’t let go of the chanting music so soon and found myself so drawn to it, that meditation became more enticing toward the end of my practice.

As I settled onto my meditation cushion, I told myself I only had to meditate five minutes convincing myself that was at least something. My mind still battled me, wanting to jump right into my work, but the music wouldn’t let me go yet. So I sat. And then I heard in my mind, “this is the most important work you have to do today. The rest can wait and will get done. You are a keeper of space.”

I knew what that meant, “keeper of space.” I love the term “holding space” which for me means holding space for others so that they can move through their own process of figuring challenges out or discovering new things about themselves. I’m not always perfect at this, sometimes wanting to interject advice I think will help, but I too, am a work in progress.

But I enjoy using “holding space” as a facilitator when I teach SoulCollage(r) because I really believe that telling someone how they should or should do something or how they should think is of not always the best way. Being a guide who holds space for others to discover and uncover what is right for them is truly a joy to watch unfold when a person has a “light bulb” moment.

And as I thought more about this being a keeper of space, I realized too that it was the most important thing I would do today. Holding space, sitting in silence with my soul, praying for peace for our world, that energy then moves out into our troubled world.

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Honoring a Pet Through Collage and Journaling

Honoring a Pet Through Collage and Journaling
My JOIE SoulCollage® card

I’m so honored to have been asked to provide an article for the monthly newsletter for SoulCollage®. As many of you know, I became a facilitator two years ago. It’s a process that by working with images and creating collages on five by eight cards that lead to self-discovery.

I was contacted by SoulCollage® to write an article on pet grief and how SoulCollage® can be of help. I believe the article will appear in the November issue. I’ll be sure to share a link once it is available.

But I wanted to share with you today the card I made to honor JOIE and encourage you to do the same for a pet you love and now may be gone. But it’s also a great way to pay tribute to an animal friend who is still here with you.

I have over fifty cards I’ve made so far and it’s always touching when shuffling the cards and choosing a card at random when one of my animal friends shows up for the day – reminding me of their presence in my life and what they taught me.

As is also encouraged in SoulCollage® after making a card, to journal with it from a prompt often used in SoulCollage® which is “I am one who.” To “step into the card,” so to speak, and listen for the wisdom the image has for you and capture that in writing.

I’m reminded today as I sent photos of my cards of Frankie and Joie, and my “I am one who” journal entries that our animal friends are always with us and that we can connect with them anytime we want – it’s just making the conscious choice to be in that sacred space of stillness and connection with them.

My JOIE journal entry:

I am one who could only stay a short time. My greatest gift to you was for me to leave my physical body so that you would come to see there are gifts in transition – whether they be in death or life changes.  Doors close and new ones open – each a portal to understanding yourself on an even deeper level. The water paw print I sent you from the other side was my way of letting you know you are on the right path – the one of living in more conscious awareness – one of pausing often to listen to your inner voice and bring that wisdom forth to share with others.

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