Halloween has been my favorite holiday since, well, probably forever. The reasons why keep changing and evolving though.
I’ve always loved the idea of dressing up, having fun and getting candy from strangers. As I got older, it was still an excuse for ridiculous costumes and festival style mayhem after festival season was over.
This year though, Halloween was feeling different for me. I wasn’t quite as stoked about the drunken debauchery side of things (being sober takes some of the fun of that away, and I get to dress up in crazy costumes with my hoop troupe all the time). I was still looking forward to the day but it seemed more nostalgic than anything. That is, until I participated in a Samhain ceremony online for the Priestess Process with Lisa Michaels. It completely re-framed my love for this time of year.
Samhain is a cross-quarter day on the wheel of the year between the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. It’s the third and last harvest festival day which honors the falling away of the old cycle and the beginning of the new. I’ve been consciously working with the wheel of the year since the Winter Solstice last year and this is the last major point on the wheel before coming back to that very magical starting place.
Through the ceremony, we were encouraged to honor our own harvest; to list all the blessings we’ve had this year, everything we are grateful for. My list was HUGE, and I could have gone on for many pages. I have so very much to be grateful for and so much of that was specifically because of the seeds of intention for the year that were planted on and after last winter solstice, Dec 21, 2012. Thinking about the magnificence of all that I’ve done was both awesome and humbling.
At Samhain, we’re marking the start of the darkest time of the year (in our Hemisphere at least). This is a time where the past and future meet and the veil between worlds are thinner. We have the chance to honor our ancestors, and to reflect on what has passed and what is to come.
This is a time where we step back into the womb or move into hibernation…. A perfect time to set an intention to gestate whatever you want to bring forth over the next year. I set my intention to gestate the book that I want to write about all the amazing things I’ve done this year, and to open my power to communicate my direct experience of divine love, bliss and joy effectively, so I can share it with the world.
It’s also a potent time to release whatever is no longer serving you, and as I did on the Aries full moon while I was out in Sedona, I release any old blocks, patterns of behavior and thought, any limiting beliefs that I have that no longer serve me, especially from all of my past lives.
I feel ready to retreat within to myself and really reflect deeply on the seeds I want to plant his year with the upcoming solstice. I woke up this morning (after about 9 hours of sleep) wishing I could go back to bed and stay asleep all day. In the ceremony today, Lisa gave us all permission to honor this hibernation time by sleeping more, relaxing and being gentle with ourselves. I really needed to hear that. I have trouble giving into my urges to be lazy… I feel better when I make them productive somehow, and I compromised this morning by allowing my shivasana after yoga to be a long, deep, half hour meditation under a fuzzy blanket.
I pulled a card from each element in my Elemental Forces of Creation Oracle and put together this unified field message for myself today: By letting go of what no longer serves me, I am holding space for my essence expression to have complete freedom, which is my path to perfect stewartship of all that is.
I encourage you to spend a part of today, in between taking kids trick or treating (or playing tricks on kids) to think about what seeds of creation you want to plant in your life next year and take those seeds deep into yourself as we hibernate during the darkest time of the year. I also encourage you to give yourself permission to rest and to be gentle with yourself. As the days grow colder and darker, spend a little extra time cuddled up under a warm blanket and know that it’s ok to slow down right now, to relax and enjoy before the days start getting longer again.
There was so much awesome packed into my trip to Sedona, AZ that I don’t even really know where to begin. I got back a week ago, but I still need some time to really absorb and integrate all the experiences.
I don’t even really feel ready to be writing about it, but I’m sure there are at least one or two of you out there who are dying to hear some details. Honestly, I think I’ll be processing all I learned and all it opened up in me for the rest of my days, it was so chock full of awesome.
I started my adventure by flying into Phoenix, making loads of friends at the airport since I was carrying my silver, gold and bronze hoops onto the plane. I wore them across my shoulder, coiled down, and many people stopped to stare, did a double take or just had to ask what they were. There were a surprising number of folks who knew they were hula hoops and thought it was awesome!!!
After renting a car and getting a free upgrade to a Toyota Camry (from a Kia or something), I set off on the open road. I love driving int the desert, and the two hours passed like nothing as I listened to my audio book, Destiny of Souls. While I was getting sleepy towards the end of my drive, the energy of Sedona hit me like a wave of inspiration as soon as I entered the beautiful town.
I checked into my West Sedona motel, The Sugar Loaf Lodge. which was incredible for $77 US a night, with comfy beds and a little fridge and microwave. It really was way better than I expected. Apparently it used to be the crack motel back in the day, but it’s clean, quiet and crack free now!
Anyway, after a light dinner of Kale Ceasar salad and gluten free cheesy bread at the Organic Italian Kitchen called Picazzo across the street, I went to bed at the unbelievable hour of 8:30 pm (which was 9:30 my time, but still seemed ridiculous to me).
I woke up at 6am and made my way to the kitschy Red Planet Diner for BREAKFAST IN SPACE!!!!
It’s basically a UFO themed diner. As an avid space enthusiast and Sci-Fi geek I really enjoyed my omelet and green tea in this setting. Sadly, the food itself was not space themed.
After breakfast, I wandered around in a natural grocery store marveling and drooling at all the gorgeous, delicious, healthy things we don’t have at home (yet). Then I made my way to Chanda’s house for my life between lives hypnotherapy session (which I explained in this post: http://wp.me/p32wA4-6B).
Chanda and I had really hit it off during our phone consultation. What should have been a 20 minute call turned into an hour long chat, so it was no surprise that we started talking like long lost friends the second I sat down. In fact, I was enjoying our conversation so much, I actually forgot why I was there. After about an hour, she mentioned getting started, and I was jolted back to the task at hand with the thrill of excitement and anticipation.
The actual hypnosis session lasted 2-3 hours. It began with deep relaxation, visualization and memory recall exercises. I felt incredibly safe, relaxed and comfortable and I slipped into a hypnotic trance as easily as I’d imagined. Although I’d never been formally hypnotized before, I’m very familiar with a trance state of deep relaxation through all the meditation, shamanic journeying and energy work I’ve done.
We went through my childhood, into my mothers womb and back through a tunnel into a significant past life . We used the death scene from that life as a jumping off point into the spirit realm. I felt myself observing the end of my life from the outside of my body. Turns out I tend to escape just before the final moments of my life whenever I see death coming. No sense in sticking around to feel that kind of pain. Once free of my body, I was eager to head home and I outpaced the instructions Chanda was giving me, arriving there within seconds. The first beings I met with upon my return greeted me warmly, reassuring me that life ended appropriately and that everything was all good. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the light and to be able to really focus on the others in my presence. They appeared as luminous, radiant beings made of sparkly light. I recognized my primary guide and another one who worked with me in the past as well as my husband from that last life who had arrived here a few years ahead of me.
I spend time meeting and talking with some friends and family members from this life, as well as with my council. I also had the opportunity to see some glimpses of the kind of work I do over there (some kind of inter-dimensional energy balancing involving light, color and sound). The overwhelming feeling I had the whole time was one of overwhelming joy. I felt almost giddy really, and there was so much laughing and joking around. Few of my close companions are very serious, some of them are down right silly. I had such a shit-eating grin on my face the whole time my cheeks ached for hours afterwards.
The longer I was there, the deeper the hypnotic trance became and the more vivid every image, sight, sound and feeling became. It was incredible in every way, and re-affirmed every I knew to be true about myself and the nature of our soul’s eternal existence. It was hard to want to leave that high vibration, but you expend a TON of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional energy reaching that state in your human body, and it can’t be sustained indefinitely. Suddenly, you just become tired, and you know it’s time to come back into your body fully.
Coming back was a snap, once I was ready. I knew that I’d be able to go back in meditation now that I’d been there in my conscious mind. Sitting up was hard, but once I did, I was incredibly grateful to be back in my body, knowing I had chosen it very specifically for my time here on Earth. Honestly, I’d never felt quite so alive and at home in my body, which seems almost ironic.
After debriefing and chatting some more with Chanda, I realized I needed to eat. After showing her a little hoop dance stuff, we reluctantly parted ways.
I fed myself, browsed a few crystal shops, caught the sunset at the Airport Mesa, skyped my sister to share the experience and fell asleep by 9pm again!
Waking with the sun, I stretched, ate and had a spectacular Shamanic Astrology reading with Sedona Jeannie. It was another amazing session that gave me so much awesome information myself. I almost wish it has been before the LBL though, because it’s pretty hard to follow a sojourn actually into the spirit realm.
I felt like I could have headed home after those two days, irrevocably changed for the better, but I had another whole intense week of personal transformation and exploration at the Sacred Circularities hoop Dance and movement mediation retreat at the Mago Retreat center. I’m going to save the details for my next post, but suffice it to say that it was just as chock full incredible awesome as the first two days of my journey.
The theme for me seemed to be one of deeply connecting to people, which was foreshadowed in my shamanic astrology session. SC in Bali seemed to be more about personal purification, but this was much more inter-connected and grounding. Every class was incredible and I was so honored to witness countless moments of deep transformation and awakening for many people. To quote one of the inspiring facilitators, Shelly White Light, I fell deeply in love with each and every person there.
We were all witness to the purity and greatness in each other. It was incredibly raw and tender, as well as being incredibly powerful. We had so much fun and really honestly raised the vibration of the world through the work we were doing together, dancing a new world into being.
After a glorious week, leaving all my new friends was actually painful, but the blow was softened since I didn’t have to head home right away. I was spending a day and a half with my family in Phoenix, some of whom I hadn’t seen since my last trip to Sedona 4 years prior.
We had a wonderful time reconnecting with each other and I had the time of my life when my uncle took my cousin and I to the Musical Instrument Museum.
My favorite part was the experience gallery where can try many of the awesome instruments displayed elsewhere. It’s also my 2 and 4 year old cousins favorite place in the gallery. I was apparently running around like a kid in a candy store, trying everything I could get my hands on. But haven’t you always wanted to try playing the harp, a giant Chinese xylophone or a theramin (the electronic instrument Sheldon has on Big Bang Theory?)
I’m sure I’m going to have to go into more detail about all these incredible adventures, but Ill save those for next time!
I’m sitting on my bed at the Sugar Loaf Lodge in Sedona, battling my twin urges to go out and explore, or to go to sleep right now (it’s only 7pm here). I’m splitting the difference by staying in, and staying up for another hour or two.
Then I’ll be up with the sun so I can perhaps head out for an early morning hike before my life between lives hypnotherapy session tomorow.
“Your what?” You ask, feeling intrigued and perhaps slightly confused.
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
I’m sure you’ve heard of past-life regression. Well, this is the same thing, but also explores the realm in between lives where our spirits plan for our next incarnation (as well as do some other spirit realm type things.)
I can’t friggin wait. I am so excited I don’t even know how to process it.
The technique is from Dr. Michael Newton, of The Newton Institute.
He was a very skeptical hypnotherapist who accidently found himself regressing his past life patients into that between lives state, which he calls the spirit world or spirit realm.
He has written several fascinating books about his cases; Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls and Memories of the Afterlife. All of them are full of fascinating information that sparked a deep remembrance within me.
Most people who go for a session are looking for their life purpose, or perhaps they have an issue in their lives they are really struggling with. I’m just going out of sheer curiosity and a deep desire to bring a deeper connection to spirit into my everyday life.
Through meditation, I’ve had a few spontaneous, direct experiences with this realm and each time I have felt an intense healing of my being and infusion of knowledge and understanding. The beauty of our immortal soul in it’s light body is so spectacularly breathtaking that it’s beyond words, and even beyond my full comprehension.
Needless to say, I’m sure much of it will be beyond words but I’ll try to share as much of the experience as I can with you all.
I have been waiting for this for a long, long time.
Eagerly waiting, I might add.
Ann Humphreys and Jaguar Mary were in Sedona together about 2 years ago.
They danced on the land and felt it’s power, and thought “Hey! This would be an amazing place for a hoop retreat!”
Since Jaguar Mary is the primary creatrix of the legendary Sacred Circularities hoop dance and movement meditation retreats, she conspired to make it happen.
The Sedona retreat was scheduled for December 2012.
I’m pretty sure I was the first to sign on, about a minute after tickets went on sale in January 2012.
Sedona is my favorite place on the plane and hoop dance is one of my favorite things as you know, so I was going to be there no matter what. Even though I work in the restaurant industry, with December being the busiest time of the year and my biggest cash cow, I was going to be there somehow.
I went to Sedona on a Soul Adventure in 2010. It was as epic as it sounds. Completely amazing, life affirming wonderfully awesomely amazing. Did I say amazing? Well, it was. Sedona is magical. The area has been held as sacred for many, many generations, and has a deeply uplifting spiritual power. The land is full of energetic vortexes, which, if you are sensitive to energy, are incredibly intense to visit.
As excited as I was for the event, it turned out that December was a bad time for everyone, so the retreat was rescheduled to October 2013. I was relieved when I found out about the date change. I wasn’t disappointed as I knew this would work out better for everyone, myself included.
I have had a LOT of time to be excited for this though, and I can’t believe it’s almost here. After traveling to Bali for Sacred Circularities in April, I have a better idea of just how much awesome this will entail!
The retreat center itself looks spectacular, the schedule looks amazing, and I keep hearing about little touches that will make it even better, like smoothies from my favorite restaurant in Sedona, The Chocola Tree available in between classes. Just as refreshing as the young coconuts (from the trees right beside our hoop space) opened for us during class in Bali.
I’ve spent the last 2 years imagining how wonderful it will be to hoop on the sacred land in Sedona. I’ve spend the months since Bali waiting to return to the same community atmosphere we had there, and I’ve spend the last couple weeks deciding which hoops to bring. Tonight, I’ll figure out the rest.
I leave tomorrow morning, and I’m spending a day in Sedona soaking up the magic, and going to a few really cool new age practitioners before heading to the retreat on Sunday.
I am beyond excited, because I know this is going to be another life changing, amazing adventure!
A video kicked my butt for about 6 minutes today. It involved sweating, moaning, groaning, gasping for air and flopping like a bowl of microwaved Jello on the floor after it was over.
Then I hit repeat and did it again (twice).
Why you ask?
Well, it’s been a long time since I challenged myself physically. I’ve gotten into the groove of my daily yoga/movement mediation practice and I’ve definitely gained lots of strength and flexibility this year, but I’ve been feeling like kicking things up a notch lately (yes, this is an Emeril reference, BAM!)
I started incorporating more strength work into yoga about two weeks ago, and it’s been satisfying to feel the difference in my muscle tone already. I was pondering doing more, but between work, hoop dance, classes and the downtime I crave, I wasn’t sure where to fit it in. I contemplated going for a run, but the fact that winter is around the corner has deterred me. Not to mention, I’ve never been a huge fan or running. So what then? I don’t want to go to the gym. I know me. I won’t make time. I can barely make it out the door to a yoga class.
Then today, someone on my facebook posted a link to a site called The DailyHiit, full of free Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Thank you whoever you are (I didn’t go back to look). They post videos for every day of the week.
It was awesome. I’ve done some Hiit workouts before. I know they’re the most effective way of training, and I love the fact that you can be done and over with your work out in 12-20 minutes. I also love that you don’t need any equipment. They do have a few things you can use (and order from them) like a sandbag, weights or timer, but you can do the workouts without them.
So this is my new challenge. Adding some Hiit into my day, along with my 30 minutes of yoga.
I am so ready for this. I wouldn’t have been 6 months ago, but here I am. I want to feel stronger. I want to have more muscle definition again, and I want to break through this plateau I’ve had with my body for about a year. I’ve been in great shape before, (when I was in trampoline and tumbling), but that was years ago. I used to have strangers stop me to remark on my leg muscles back then. I want that feeling of strength and mastery back.
I know the stronger my body feels, the more capable I feel. Also, muscles amp up your metabolism, so once I have more of them, I can eat more chocolate, yay!!!!
I don’t see the downside. I may tomorrow morning when I’m again moaning and groaning, gasping for air and feeling the burn, my face matching the color of this amazing 80’s workout My Little Pony.