I sit in the midst of the cedar trees, realizing as I do that it is an answer to prayers uttered in El Paso, Texas one month ago. "Please Creator, let me be with my greatest love in the cedar trees." In my heart, medicine ways and cedar trees are one in the same. I collect the leaves wherever I am, a little bag that carries my heartbeat filled with cedar leaves from Washington, Lake Tahoe, Haleakela, Prescott, India, and Ruidoso. To carry the cedar, is to carry all of the people and places in my heart from the many places I visit. To find the cedar tree wherever I stand, is to reaffirm that no matter where or for what we stand we are still a human being with our two feet upon the Mother Earth.
It is with profound reverence for the Mother that medicine ways preserve our connection to the elements of land, water, breath, and fire opening our hearts and removing the blocks of story and experience holding us back from entering into our joy in divine presence.
To give ourselves over to ceremony then, we are giving ourselves over in service to the Mother to accomplish her will that we live in peace and right relation, not only with ourselves and each other but with all beings seen and unseen.
To allow ourselves to be moved bodily in the direction of our greatest healings and face the pains in real life that are in need of healing so we can move forward into the future without the wounds of the past.
Over the years, I have come to realize that the situation and relationships that arise out of this soul commitment and willingness are often times beyond my wildest imaginings for what a human can and should endure, at least according to modern day paradigms of isolation, cutting cords, and exiling the past into some distant and irreconcilable story.
For me, my idealism has led me to believe in web of heart cords and forever love that encircles and protects the planet, giving rise to the Goddess as Mother and allowing her to compassionately transform all beings through love and forgiveness.
When people speak of the heart and the cords which bind us to the past, I think upon and consider that if the cords which bind me to the totality of my experience are the web of life that activates the healing potential of all beings then, surely I have the responsibility to bring to light the lessons I have learned in gratitude for the ways they have shaped me in the world I live, not only for myself but for all of existence and in service healing Universal Consciousness, especially in regard to relationship.
All of my ex's are my best friends. I have come to see them as a bridge to other facets of myself and in order to love myself whole, I have determined to make peace with my past selves as represented by those I have loved the most. To bless their life, is to bless my own. To open my heart cord to the healing of their lives and the blessing of their new loves, is to allow the prayers they say for me to stream towards me...for they have been, not only my best friends, but also my teachers.
When I began down these medicine ways, I sat up in tipi with a group of people who had been sitting and praying together for over 20 years. During that time, many lives had changed, babies born and tragedy endured and still, they sat together, ex lovers, wives, and friends...remembering that beyond the circumstance there is truth and beyond truth there is love...and they all continued on their path...for the children.
I remember the 4 song sets of some...that took me on a journey through the pain, anger, to the joy and finally into peace. Through the song of their life, I have come to realize that the healing of all relations begins within...where we hold, heal and forgive love for asking us to continue to rise up in courage...for asking us to grow...for asking us to choose God and his will, even when the situation seems impossible...it is...otherwise we would not be asked to live our prayers...another way of saying walk the talk.
Show up for yourself, show up for God...show up for each other and keep choosing life...keep dreaming love...and let that vibration flow with the ringing of the cedars.
Thank God I am not a teenager anymore.
But I remember the fight against the world, rail against the system, and, for God's sake, be anything but what my parent's want me to be attitude. It's how we get to this...being.
IN-dividualized. Not able to be divided.
I was a high-school teacher for 12 years from the ages of 20-32.
I always liked the rebels...who can forget Zar with his mohawk and leather jacket sitting in the bottom shelf of the bookcase trying to get a rise out of me...It looked uncomfortable...but what did I care...He starred me down. I smiled a half smile...comfy? Yea. Ok.
I walked away and kept teaching while silently laughing to myself, catching out of the corner of my eye him sliding around trying to really be comfortable with his neck jarring his head towards his chest and insisting on answering questions so everyone would look his way...
It seemed cool to begin with...he was an individual and unique...and also too damn smart to stay stuffed in the box for more than 5 minutes. Shagrinned he went back to his desk. I looked at him...didn't say a word...it wasn't that comfortable he mumbled. I smiled. Better? Yeah. He looked up and found no measure of judgement , he sat up and the gleam that got him to the shelf in the first place came back. We smiled together. He was glad he had at least tried.
I wasn't that much older than him...and Lord knows I had more phases in high school and changed them faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth. I went from skater...I hit pavement and decided that wasn't for me. Cowgirl full get-up with ropers, decided I hated the way the jeans rode up when I sat down. Grunge...it was easy, shirts were huge...then I got a crush and realized the Eddie Vedder look did nothing for me. Went vampy with low cut shirts and short mini's...couldn't do all my crazy monkey antics without tearing the hose...went Mod...softer, with clunky shoes...stayed that way until I realized I loved Led Zepplin and commiserated with Janis. Started beading and wearing bell bottoms...same shoes...Got my first tatoos out of high school started wearing overalls by day and sexy silk dresses by night. Fell in love with swing dancing, flipped and everything with the high heel mary janes and retro dresses. Went to San Francisco started salsa dancing. Moved to Tahoe, became a ski bunny and wore high heel boots in the ice that weren't functional...hit pavement. Moved to the foothills became a writer, ran in the rain like Pochahantas. Moved to Maui...wore florescents and ditched my bra...hell ran naked on the beach at sunrise to drums. Became a sweat lodge momma and reconnected with my great great grandmothers. Wore moccasin boots...fell in love with country dresses and braids just to make it back at 38 citified slightly angsty teen loves tatoos, black, and red nail polish...
And I...I realize that it's all me and every person I meet is a facet of those adventures in self-hood.
Now it's just a matter of choice...what other persona could I try on...in the end the center stays the same. It's all just costumes...I love costumes.
I think about Zar with his mohawk desire to fight the system and the day he sat in the shelf...did that persona become a box...did it get uncomfortable...has he changed or in that moment of extreme selfness...did he hit the target first try and that get up has defined his entire life? He would be 28 today.
As much as I want not to be my parents...I see my mother smile and strike up conversations with every stranger in her radius joy flashing...oh...that's me. I watch my dad outside under a tree with a content smile on his face...yup that's me...and dressing up for an Opera...that's me...as much as barefoot in jeans hands in the dirt is.
And I realize...being individualized is being a part of the whole. Being whole is having many individual parts of ourselves...all of which we have allowed to flourish and love...and as I collect myself together from the ancient past to my own past, I again realize that there are still two more of my life times to go and rather than getting boxed into one part of myself...I'll take them all and everyone who represents some part of me...I honor the medicine of that part of me is easy to take and like and that part I'll deny...instead I'll take them as my friends and relatives...befriending every part of myself...and being grateful for my human family...because it is all so fun and we are all in this becoming unique unable to be divided from Source core energy journey....together.
Thanks for being you.
I awoke this morning with a sense of joy bubbling up in ways I wasn't expecting.
It started this week after weeks of meandering back in time to where I came from both spirit and ancestral, the deconstruction period back to the original seed I am supposed to carry forward. Having retrieved the seed, I knew the next phase was following the trail back to my little self, I call her Zoniacita, and helping her bloom the seed.
I prayed with tenderness and humor, "Please, God, teach me how to open and heal my cora-zonicita. I just want her to feel whatever she needs to in order to be authentically happy again. I identify my recurring pattern and do now heal the glitch in my brain that is circling over and over again and giving me a mental disease. Treat me like I am dumb, Creator, and make it really simple to see and understand....because right now, I think I might be retarded."
Truth was...that lost in the roles I live day in and day out...I hadn't done the one thing I really needed to do. Cry...It reminded me of the scene in Always with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter. She goes by a river...one scene shows her balling her eyes out alone. The next clip she is happy and smiling. No one knew but her. It is cathartic and waters flowing are life cleansing the heart.
Anyways, I cried...a lot...it was pathetic. I even laughed at myself a bit.
Side effects of crying a lot where people see you...fear.
My parents got upset...
I told them people pay me to cry with them...did you know it is so hard to find a place to cry in the world that people have to pay for it? If this is my home...please let me cry. I am not broken. All tears aren't sadness and they aren't a sign of weakness. My tenderness is my greatest strength.
Hold your space. Don't commiserate. Just let me heal myself whole and put all my pieces together because it has been so long since I had the time and room to do it.
When I hold space for people. I reflect to them that I know they are strong. I reflect to them they will receive whatever they need. I reflect to them that no matter where they have to go, I will remember them happy. And magic happens they let themselves feel into their own answers and divine connections.
So, my parents let me. They let go of the control. They let go and so did I. They stopped seeing me as broken and I stopped having to act like feelings are a tragic flaw.
I breathed into my heart cords...all of them...felt all the joys, sorrows and sadnesses and pains and laughter and losses and longing and came back to the one thing that mattered....the love. I wanted to keep my connections to those people and places in times when they were the healthiest. No matter the outcome. My focus became the dream and my emotion all gratitude for the many experiences I have imprinted upon my soul...
And then there was the biggest cord of all...the one I heard voices telling me to breathe into as if my life depended on it...because it did. So I took it seriously and took my deepest breaths day after day into the spot on my chest where my hands rested in peace and I realized the cord was to myself.
The first thought I had was...I like tatoos. I laughed when I started with that one. My parents hate tatoos. I grew up with them pointing at tatooed kids and saying, "Bah...look at that...." And I did. But with my own eyes...with my ears I heard..."Wow...look at that :)"
It was the best moment of the week, the differentiation phase and the re-experiencing of my individuality. It started me laughing. I kept repeating it...I like tatoos.
I dyed my hair...Thank God it washes out...I don't like it...but...I did it because I wanted to and I remembered the many phases I went through growing up...red streaks, bleached bangs.
I woke up this morning..."I'm a rock star." Not only was my hair black, I was aware of my tatoos and realizing that I had a once in a blue moon hangover. Very funny, Zonia. I giggled. Wow...I haven't done that since my 20's and of all places at an Opera fund raiser that was anything but proper with 4 twenty somethings and a couple of 40-50 somethings...all together laughing...It was so fun. They all had known each other for so long no topic was off limits, feeling intrinsically loved and accepted they giggled at their foibles and as I got folded into my unlikely tribe of artists and musicians, I blossomed.
I love artists and musicians...they get the medicine ways. Live from your heart. Of course you live that free way...I play violin for a living...Isn't it cool to do what you love?
Yeah. It's cool. I get to teach yoga and do massage all over. I get to plant seeds and visit my family all around the world. I get to spend most of the day praying and practicing...and I always get to say yes when people need someone to talk to...lunch at the park...yes, please...and by the way...thank you...I needed that too.
People ask me what I am going to do when I grow up...I am grown up, that's why I do what I want and, by the way, this is what I do...and for the last time you got sick and I did it for you....you are welcome.
And most importantly...to myself...Its nice to see you again, not in your roles or your practice...but in your heart. And yes, self...I apologize for trying to change you. You are perfect exactly as you are. I promise to stay close to you...because the closer I am to you...the closer I am to God.
And God, thank you for all my lessons. Thank you for everything I was asked to give up and sit in a room by myself with no distractions for the past two months praying and doing yoga to look at myself and take responsibility for the ways I had to come back into alignment with my center in order to gain my fluidity...kinda like doing yoga on my friend's pirate ship in Sausalito...but only in life...like living from the still center, but dancing with the flow...
Thank you God for my cousins, nephews, brother, parents, and friends....for taking me to do things I would never have chosen to do myself. Turns out I can shoot a bull's eye with a pistol...just call me Annie Oakley and with ear plugs...I don't mind screamo that much....I also like throwing a baseball.
Thank you for all the crazy radio stations I have been browsing. Interesting to note, I have just realized I I actually like Christian Rock, Rap and Techno, and Spanish ballads and...yes, those genres have really awful renditions...so bad they are funny.
Thank you for integrating me whole so that I realize I am complete. That I like my company and that love is everywhere....partnership can wait...I am falling in love with myself again.
Self, in practice of loving my next partner as a whole integrated self-directed connected to God soulful being, I allow myself to treat me with the same kind of respect I should give another being. I give myself the space to unfold, blossom and become everyday. I don't judge myself, I forgive myself, and I trust my desires will be in right relation to the direction of Source energy, Mother Earth, and the Medicine of my Heart.
I am not just a healer, I am also healing and I can take my own medicine. Right now, the medicine I need for balance is to love myself and remember who little "I am" is. I am sure that along the road I will also need the medicine of "collective it isn't all about me" too, so I will remember to take my medicine then too. For now, I practice this..."whatever the hell I damn want"...medicine.
I give myself permission to listen to my body and eat whatever I want and sometimes not eat at all...because I trust myself and know that I love to be healthy...I am not going to make a bad choice. I give myself permission to go outside barefoot and get dirt all over me because I like it....and if I don't want to take a shower everyday...I won't. And if a totally dorky dance song comes on that makes me happy, I am going to turn it up and dance in the car in traffic because the today when I did it...the people in the cars around me got happy and laughed, waving at me and saying, "It's nice to see someone happy."
Yeah! Because I like the way it feels. I don't need to change. I am as perfect today as the day I was born and I was born to do this....it's easy...I was born to be me. Isn't that Lady Gaga? Bless her song writing soul...so true.