self discovery

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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Dancing in the Healing Spirit of Horse. My Time with Ollie.

Dancing in the Healing Spirit of Horse. My Time with Ollie.
Me and Ollie. Photo credit: Pam Kachelmeier

It was a cool, but sunny day as I slowly drove down the long gravel driveway, both sides lined with fences and horses.

Friday I took part in a personal intensive with Master Equine Assisted Coach, Pam Kachelmeier.

A personal intensive that included setting an intention, exploring inner blocks, deep breath work, meditation, and working one-on-one with one of Pam’s five horses she has on her ten acres.

I absolutely love the photo above of me and Ollie. It was taken at the end of the day after many emotions swirled through me. When I look at this picture again, I instantly feel a special bond to Ollie that will forever be with me now.

I really think Ollie is saying, “Keep putting your lips to the wind and keep singing your beautiful song!”

Life coaching is something I return to time and again when I need a little extra nudge to keep moving forward.

This time a little more unique in that I would be receiving some “coaching” from Ollie the horse. And as Pam explained to me, the horse I would be working with had already chosen to do so three days before we met.

Photo credit: Pam Kachelmeier

The morning began with a walk down a winding path, surrounded by wooded area to the teepee on Pam’s property. It was time to set my intentions of what I wanted to work through.

After discussion time about what I wanted to let go of and no longer carry the weight of, Pam had me pick two cards from a deck called, Touched by a Horse.

I’ve worked with other oracle decks before so I am familiar with them. Though I normally choose cards at random. But this was different. Pam had me go through the deck one by one and pick out two horse cards that spoke to me. I didn’t think that would be possible as I began laying out many cards.

But after going through the whole deck, scanning the the ones I set aside, I knew almost instantly which two I wanted.

Pam then had me turn them over and read their meanings. I chose to read them out loud because for me, when I do, it seems to sink deeper into my consciousness.

I share here the two cards I chose and their meanings and in the order that I read them.

innocence front

innocence back0002

celebration and release front0002

celebration and release back0002

I’ve believed for a long time that the universe is always supporting us and sending us signs along our life’s journey. Our job is to be open and take them into our being, letting them simmer in our heart, so that they can help provide us the answers we already have within us.

Reading the “Innocence” card, I got choked up, as I knew exactly what it was saying to me – a part of me I’ve been working to let go of since I can remember from long ago, but to also see this part as a gift that makes me who I am.

“Celebration and Release” speaks to me of how I continue to evolve and work on believing in myself and the value I have to offer others.

The true test of standing in ones truth and owning our divine power I would find, would come when I got in the round pen with Ollie.

While at one time I was scared to be around horses because of their size, that is not so much anymore. But I still do get a bit nervous.

Pam and I started by standing in the corral, three of her horses in the pasture. Quill and Dan were lying down, while Ollie was off to the right side in the distance grazing.

She instructed me to just stand in one spot and one of the horses would come to me. The one that did would be the one working with me. It wasn’t long before Ollie wondered over to me.

True confession:  I was hoping it would be Ollie. You see, because last fall during a teepee gathering I attended at Pam’s place, Ollie was part of our closing ceremony which had me riding a wave of emotions that evening.

It was time to put Ollie in the round pen and watch as Pam non-verbally communicated with Ollie having him walk in a circle around the pen, then trotting, and then weaving in and out by her side. I was mesmerized.

And then it was my turn as Pam left the pen and I entered into the center, grounding myself before working with Ollie.

I did as she had done, holding my left hand straight out to the side, wanting Ollie to begin walking the circle.

It was a test in working with the energy of a horse – a way of communicating with them to guide them to what you wish them to do. I looked at Ollie’s butt for about five minutes. He wasn’t moving.

I was frustrated. Pam made it look so easy. But I stuck with it as Pam shared more thoughts with me on where to direct my energy and how to work as one with Ollie.

It seemed like it took a long time, but when it happened I couldn’t believe it. With Ollie beside me and only about a foot in-between us, I began to walk, and he followed. I did a slow trot, and he trotted beside me. I slowed down, he slowed down.

What really helped was Pam reminding me to stay beside Ollie and not get too close to the front of his head. When I did, he would stop taking my lead.

She said, ” Imagine you are in a bubble right next to Ollie as you move together.”  I can’t even describe how my spirit soared when she said that – I got it! I got it!

I was moving in a dance as one with Ollie! It was powerful, profound and emotional.

In thinking about that experience now four days later, I really understand it as standing in all the divine that I AM. I am a part of Ollie, of all animals, of nature, of all the earth, and our creator.

The ancient wisdom of horses have known this all along. And the more I understand, the more I see that they are calling out to all of us to awaken and live fully into who we are meant to be.

Coming June 25th, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be co-facilitating a half day workshop with Pam at her horse farm in Kiel, WI —  Connect with Your True Nature through the Spirit of Horse and SoulCollage®. Space is limited to 14 women. Early Bird special runs through June 18th. To learn more and register click here!

Pam and Barb

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