Love

Dither, Dather, and Deep Healing

Going on five and half weeks and where do I begin?

There is an embedded culture in each of us. Whether you have been thriving within the social structures and standing outside pursuing your own path the predominant culture seeps in to your psyche and steers your ship.

I have known for decades that my home was in Ireland. I have known since early childhood the land I found myself was not my natural home. The trees, animals, soil and plants gave me comfort. It was these aspects that guided my inner knowing and growth. They were the buffer to the whirlwind of people I found I was to call family and friends. I didn’t hate them only found them confusing, hurtful, and lacking in guidance. Could I label these experiences as a child, young woman + mother as I climbed out of the pain, trauma, and set a course to reclaim myself? Not really because I had no human frame of reference for the world I found myself.

What I could fathom and clung to desperately was the solitude of the land, a few kindred souls, and dedication of non-physical guidance. It was these aspects that I drew upon for guidance, lead me to those who could help me to begin the healing and dedication to live fully within my body + emotions. As often as I was told I wasn’t grounded, I knew I was one of the few that resolved to understand how my mind, body and soul was not separate. I was willing to feel the pain, determined to observe, test my emotions, and face the darkness. I wasn’t always successful, heightened some traits to extreme, and definitely harmed others as I fought my way forward. I had on ace up my sleeve. Born a joyful being, I refused to allow that joy to be crushed and destroyed. It’s that joy I missed the most.

My first visit to Ireland, as I have spoken often, ripped off the blinders. I was home on a strange and beautiful land. Having held sacred my ability to observe the deeper workings of life, I began to notice my reactions, non-reactions, and nurturing that occurred just standing on the land. Not only did gentle voices fill my head, music filled my ears, and my body trembled with the unspoken understanding coming from silent people passing, rock fences, and determined winds. The rains over those 7 days washed the tears falling from my broken heart. I was welcomed.

Now I am living on this nurturing island. Little did I know the depth of healing, facing my darkness, and allowing love into a daily life I would have to face before I could settle into making Ireland my home. The cultural influence of the US would often impeded my path. Eventually I had to let go of how things had always been.

For 2 weeks I stumbled along surprising myself at my ineptitude, regression, and reluctance. I couldn’t remember appointments, was terrified of taking mass transit, cowered as I walked along the busy streets, determined to not let anyone know I was fumbling, yet holding strong to my soul’s guidance + whispered words from my lifetime Goddesses + Gods. My ancestors were quiet, my son was mute, and my soul flashed past event after event both day + night. Through all of it I found daily joy watching the Lollipop man + woman guiding the children to school, knowing I was held tight in another shaman’s home, laughing at my ability to get lost, and my determination to walk, even it I stumbled, towards to a life I thought at the early age of 4 was gone from me.

On the Solstice I was gifted the opportunity to visit Loughcrew, travel down into the Morrigan’s cave, and stand upon Medb’s land in Rathcroghan. I visited these sacred sites as the woman from the US who had returned to Ireland. It was a moving and deep communion. I was welcomed once again. Upon arriving at our last place, Uisneach, everything changed. The skies opened, the rain poured down, and the energies shifted + swirled around me.

I entered Uisneach as a student, welcoming the stories + sacred rituals being presented by a new Irish teacher. I was drenched and feeling restless when the possibility of turning back was presented. We gathered around a fire and discussed splitting up into separate groups. I chose to continue on to the Cat Stone. The sun returned. It was here I was rebirthed leaving behind the US woman and claiming a new culture and life. Little did I know what I had done. Was I willing to be taught? Was I willing to be changed? Was I willing to release the chains around my Joy and live unbridled? Was I willing to be?

Saddled with the worst sinus infection in years within days of leaving Uisneach, the flashbacks, pain, and decisions rampaged. I stubbornly brushed off assistance of healing medicine. I was determined I could take care of myself. I wandered in a daze believing I was moving forward. My old archetypes I had successfully used in the US deterred my healing. My right jaw screamed in pain. I was not making progress. I bawled each morning as I watched the Lollipop man nurture the young children while my own childhood memories flooded every waking hour pleading for his kindness. I made myself as tiny as possible within the space I was residing, ignoring the requests from my friend to ‘make myself at home’, hoping to not intrude into her life. Every rental place I visited in Westport denied me. I wasn’t losing hope. I was determined to face the pain, memories, allow my body a voice, and release the hard, competitive, non-supportive cultural upbringing of the US. Although I had always stood outside the US society I had swallowed hook, line and sinker the cultural malaise.

Through all of this I was being buffeted by a land that poured acceptance, unconditional love and the wisdom hidden in trauma. I was swimming in overwhelm. Unable to tread this sea I found myself drowning in love so thick I had only one choice. A beautiful aspect of being in community with those who have done their work is their willingness to offer an intervention. I received that gift one evening as I was called out on my stubbornness. Putting into words, my one choice, I heard my friend clearly. It wasn’t are you going to sink or swim. It was, ‘Do you want your joy?’

For days after I was bombarded with questions. Are you willing to overwhelm yourself with You? Are you willing to accept your divine right to life? Are you willing to embrace all the healing you have done and gifted to others as an integral aspect of your being? Can you walk as tall as your Avatar? Can you allow yourself to be happy even as you stumble, bumble, dither, and dather?

These questions aren’t new to me. I ask them often and answer them as truthfully as I can in the moment. There is difference in these now. To answer these question, I had to be willing to die to 66.5 years of my life. All aspects of the trauma, disconnection, beliefs, mannerisms, and cultural indoctrination of individuality. I had to be willing to accept community. A community that required my sensitivity, empathy, insights, courage, and dithering + dathering. A community that could care less if I wore flowers in my hair + danced in the moonlight. A community that honored integrity and forthrightness.

Ireland is full of people lacking in all these qualities. It isn’t a miracle place. It isn’t a romantic getaway from your healing. It’s filled with arrogant sob’s and angry + forgotten souls. It’s not a place for everyone. The land is a beacon in the dark for those who are called to it. The call may be for only a bit or for a lifetime. This land knows pain, wisdom, and has never forgotten what unconditional love means. It will swallow you up and spit you out naked upon its rocky shores. It will demand you are true to your soul. It will require you change, not change it. It remembers. It forgives and never forgets. It welcomes everyone yet isn’t for everyone. It leads the way and can follow when required. It is stubborn yet yielding, childish yet wise, and demands honor while giving honor in return. It is many things and nothing. It will nudge you along as far as you want to go. It is only one place in this world that will help you answer the call. Make no mistake it isn’t utopia. It may make you feel a nurturing you’ve never felt and still not be your home yet help you find where it is.

As I share its beauty with you and you begin to romantically envision a haven for you, remember a land is only as supportive as you are willing to be to yourself. Any land will not do your work for you. Your responsibility is to do your own work and face the pain hidden within your body. The joy + love I am expressing is palpable because I am releasing + embodying love + joy for myself regardless of my location. The land in the US welcomed me + allowed me to heal my 66 years because I honored it and myself. I honored the First Nations and their wisdom whose land is the place we call the US. Many of you are welcome to call the US home because you have a sacred contract. A contract that must be honored by honoring those generations who tended its soul for thousands of years. The lands of the US placed demands on me as I walked upon them. I fought for civil rights, raised my voice against atrocities and inequalities, and learned my craft so I could offer it to myself and others. These demands I answered and gave back to the best of my abilities.

The land of Ireland asks demands of me also if I am to live here. The requirements aren’t necessarily only of a civic duty except to live honorably and care for the disenfranchised. There are other ancestral soulful demands I am being asked. The exact requests will be revealed and require me to continue to heal, step further into my wisdom, and live a deep shamanic life. How and what it will look is yet to unfold. I will always be student + teacher upon this land. Culturally I must relinquish my US ways daily. My American edges will have to be dropped or smoothed. My ears must be tuned to the vibrations and my stubbornness must be tempered with a willingness to be nurtured. My introverted ways of protection must be balanced with my extroverted joy.

This is long I know. Where I once suppressed my gift of gab it is now bursting through sprinkled with my dancing feet + swaying hips. The little girl who would sit under the elm tree, playing in the soil making special portions as she sang her heart out, dancing to the melody blaring from the leaves, has been welcomed home. As hard as I try to silence the urgings of my ancient archetypical bard this past week I can no longer clench my teeth + sit on my hands. I have to write and follow my path.

Slán go fóill

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Winter Conversations ..... Cold + Dark = Quiet Wisdom

Tonight a friend stopped in to talk.  It wasn’t a chat.  He needed to talk.  

He spoke about feeling lonely, not alone. He spoke specifically about feeling lonely. The lonely that happens when you make decisions that other’s might not agree on as the best option. The lonely that happens when after 10 minutes no one has texted or called. The lonely that occurs when winter hits and you cannot go outside.

The Lonely ~ the lonely that hits even when you are surrounded by a dozen friends, in the company of your life partner, when you sit in a meeting of peers at work, the lonely that hits when your family doesn’t see you.  It is the lonely that happens at birth and arrives to finally meet you at death. It is the lonely that is the ‘curse’ of being human in the current world. Let’s be honest the lonely that has been here for generation after generation.  It is the lonely that drives us to kill not only each other but also this planet and its animals.  Those animals we are jealous of because they do not know loneliness.  The dogs, cats, wolves, deer, eagles, elephants, and other animals that understand aloneness + community does NOT = loneliness.

Right now we are all feeling alone in America. Many can raise their hands high in acknowledgement that NO one has heard them for years.  They may never admit they are lonely. They will stand tall + swagger but we can all see past the veneer. This hoopla around our next President isn't the cause only the visible ulcer.  This goes far deeper and wider.

Loneliness is personal and universal.  We came in alone by not lonely.  We will die alone yet it we don’t have to be lonely.  

Loneliness is driven by the denial of self value. Our current culture (especially western white culture) does not nurture a whole self identity. It does not understand the value of the connection to our inner self. Because of this it perpetuates the denial of the value of Community as nurturer and the self within that community. The Quakers used the identifiers of Thee and Thou to bring inclusion into the self thus creating the understanding of the value of self within the community.  Many religious practices exclude self, deny the value of nurturance, and through the exclusion create a community of loneliness.  

Standing Rock exposes the loneliness within our culture. As a cultural phenomenon to the western world, Standing Rock shows how the acceptance of the value of self within a community through ancestral spiritual practices of inclusion, loneliness is removed and courage, integrity, self love, and the ability to value all life is expressed in daily interactions.  

We are not all of First Nation blood so what could my friend do to help embrace his loneliness?  

There are options available ~ A spiritual practice to quiet the mind and connect the higher self to him. A spiritual practice that allows for interaction between the higher self and him releasing the long held generational beliefs. A spiritual practice that gives value to community.

A willingness to say I no longer want to exclude myself.  A willingness to see the pain of loneliness in others, especially those we believe are not lonely. 

A clearer understanding of the concept “we create our experiences” and it is within our control to banish or build all aspects of our life.

Finding his ancestral spiritual lineage.  

There are many other options available to grasp the loneliness we experience. Each are individual as to their benefit.  There is no One Size Fits All.  I suggested he try many different avenues to find the right fit. The one that draws him, intrigues him.  Intrigue will fuel his desire to embrace his loneliness. His loneliness, when embraced, will bring to the world compassion and right action.

The dark, cold winter is designed for reflection. It doesn’t allow distractions to take our pains away. It refuses to hear the excuses and demands we find the courage to take a stand. Winter is our best ally in forming our convictions. If you can turn and face the adversary in the dark + cold, you can face them in light and ease.

No one is ever alone. There may be times when you feel loneliness. Remember many are here with you right now in this moment. Shine brighter.

Traveling on,
Teri ~ The Soul Traveler

The Prelude .....

I love the word Prelude.  It speaks of such beautiful anticipation.  It lays the ground work for the masterpiece.  In music it sets the stage for the grand suite or fugue.

In the aspect of your life it offers so many options, tweaks, and creativity.  It is the juiciness of design, the excitement of the inspirations, and the core of creation.  Your aspirations shine during the prelude leading further down the path. Prelude can take many forms and speaks to your psyche as to the process that resonates with you.  

For me sometimes it is the prelude where I get stuck.  Do I approach the Prelude this way or that causing me to not allow the flow  I am not one to be uncomfortable for long, either a solution appears or one must move on. So over careful reflection, I have come to understand that Prelude is not to be rushed. There isn't a time limit to its creation and when allowed to flow guides itself. Prelude is not the incubation period. It is the creative introduction, the stage setting for the Masterpiece. Creating the Prelude is as valuable as the masterpiece itself.

As another marking of time begins what will be your Prelude?  How will you approach your masterpiece? Will you give yourself permission to flow into the anticipation.  

Is discovering your muse, your prelude without linear time important to you? Giving rise to understanding that time does not control our outcomes removes suppression of our soul song line. We are so geared to time limits in our daily life that we often rush to push our creative work out into the world too soon. Does your new healing modalities or creative offerings have a self imposed expiration date? Is the launching date driven by the world at large or the panic of missing the prospect of joining the bandwagon of others?  Are you listening closely to your Soul Song line and imbuing your Prelude with soulful creative energy allowing it to steep?

It isn't unusual to feel the push to get your creations out into the world 'just in time'. If you watch a true creative person they move differently. They listen intensely to a different drumbeat that draws their creations along. If you ask them they will do their best to explain how they create. Just remember it is how they create, their soul song line they hear and follow, not yours.

2017 is a 1 year in Numerology. A #1 year is all about new beginnings and the energies of #1 are perfect to begin your Prelude.  Astrology is another modality that speaks of cycles and spirals not linear time.  The movement of the Stars are very much a symphony.  They take center stage on cue, moving forward or retrograde back to a repeating stanza. 

Your soul doesn't do linear time.  Your soul doesn't do human.  It does soul.  It sings a song that flows and swirls.  It doubles back, surges forward, pauses, and plays. Its time rhythm is to visualize, listen, and dance.  Soul song lines have no beginning and no end. They just are truly movement. 

We live in a linear society so how do we walk in two worlds? There are many tools available to support you in straddling many worlds. Check your toolbox and see which work best.  Reach out for new tools or a refresher course. Play with your old tools in new ways,  Play and build your Prelude.

How does one connect with your soul song line? Hum a few bars, sway a bit, 2 twirls and a sigh should just about get you there .... Come play with me and I'll help you hear your soul song line.

Happy Fresh Beginnings! Come play with me any Time xxoo

Traveling on ~ The Soul Traveler

Fifty Shades of Grey + Me

This is not going to be a soft + fuzzy musing.  This may not even be a well written piece.

This is going to be a short, deep, truthful tale of one soul.

We all hold deep dark secrets.  Not all of us will be called to share those secrets.   But ....And a definite But ....We will all want to release + heal + grow from our secrets.

In my pre-teen years I experienced molestation and sexual abuse.  These events took over my formative years as a young blossoming woman.  They were at the hands of someone very close and older.  These events did not stop until I stopped them the fall of my senior year.  They spanned 6 years.

These events were to shape my life for over 30 years.  These events led me to believe that sex and love was about control, manipulation, violence and fear.  

My sexuality was warped into a grayness that set the stage for a 10 year marriage of emotional + sexual abuse, 20-years of one-off sexual relationships of subversion + emptiness, all marked by an inability to fill a sacred yearning for loving self-expression.  

Under the guise of "I love you like you have never been loved." perversion ran deep and culminated in spousal rape, rough sex, and emptiness.  Most importantly the sex wasn't the only abuse.  The entire marriage was abusive and controlling.  Nothing was visible to the outside world.  The abuse didn't lead to violence until I asked for a divorce and stepped away from the control.  The abuse was emotional, manipulative + unfailing.

Glamorizing sexual defiance, glorified mistreatment, emotional abusive control in the name of love is NOT love.  Allowing ourselves to fantasize about sex using manipulation, aggression, self-flaggation is not LOVE no matter which way you look at it.  Violent Sex is Hate, Power + Control.  Violent sex comes from a deep dark sickness that fills this world.  Sex in these relationships ties you into the abuse outside of the act.  It is a slippery slope. 

Fifty Shades of Grey is not a nurturing healthy love being expressed into the world.  It is about ABUSE plain and simple.  

I can tell you being turned on by this book or any other item that displays violence, control, or non-nurturing is not healthy.  For years I could only be aroused by picturing violence towards me or with me.  I sought help from many avenues.  I found the most help with one.  My shamanic path brought forth the deepest healing.  I had to be willing to go after this grey aspect of my life.  I had to be willing to go deep into the darkness of my life and soul.  I had to be willing to be completely Honest with myself.  I had to learn to love all aspects of myself - dark & light.  I had to stop the abuse against me.

I found my voice ~ NO more violence against ME! No more violence against women, children, + men!  

Love comes from nurturing.  Love does NOT come from violence, control, deviant behavior.  Each time you read, laugh, pass along songs, books, articles, or commit actions by yourself or others you are creating and perpetuating this back into the world.  It must stop with us!

I am not writing this to garner your sympathy.  I am writing this to share how blind we have become to the violence against others.  Our children and their children deserve a world where healthy, nurturing love is displayed for them to see + learn to bring into their life.  You deserve this world of healthy relationships.

Domestic violence is rampant in the world.  Violence against women is rampant in the world. Violence against men is rampant in this world. Violence against children is rampant in this world.  We need to stop this Now.

I may lose friends from this. So be it.

Today I am calling you out.  If you read this garbage, watch this garbage, commit these acts ~ YOU are part of the problem.  Seek help!  Put the brakes on ~ love yourself.  If you find yourself in a violent situation ~ Get Out Now!  I did. You can.

With deepest love + understanding ~ The Soul Traveler

Fireside Chat - Spiritual Equality

My guest, Evy O'Leary-Bennett, chatted with me on the subject of Spiritual Equality.  It was a welcome discussion with many eye-opening shares and fun-filled quips.

Spiritual equality is a subject we don't often discuss.  Looking at it from the impact it has in all aspects of our life enables us to move through our constraints bringing forward a communal way of living.  We are all experiencing being human.  We all have special gifts that blossom at different intervals.  

As we venture further down our path, taking time to reflect on spiritual equality will set into motion the change we all desire in the world.  Are we sharing our knowledge and ourselves to others in the manner of equality?  As teachers and mentors are we standing in equality with those we are supporting, holding them in an equal role allowing for those moments of shared student/teacher exchange?  As we are learning from others are we standing in our equality or are we taking the role of less than finding ourselves wanting to 'kill the teacher'? Are we viewing our shadow sides in equality?

We have come into this world, this lifetime, to remember who are truly are.  We may be further along the path in certain aspects from others but we are not the one who is wiser, more knowledgeable in all the many aspects of our journey.   We are all brilliant spiritual beings remembering, uncovering, and sharing our discoveries with the intent to support each other to becoming all that we are.  Because this is a collective endeavor holding each other in equality enables the ripples to move further and further encompassing many who might not be reached.  We are all both teacher and students in our journeys through this life.

Spending the August Fireside Chat with Evy in laughter and discovery broadened our relationship enriching both our reaches in our individual paths.  Our desire is to share with you our experience of spiritual equality. 

Would love to hear your views and experiences on spiritual equality.  Hope you enjoy our chat as much as we did!

The Soul Traveler ~

The Lady of the River

I am a water baby at heart.  A Pisces that has been land-locked most of her life must take the time to really refuel with water.  Lately I have been craving a float in the fueling waters of this planet.  Just to sit and hear the movement, feel the caress, and absorb the nourishment for my soul.  Daily I walk upon the crust of Gaia grateful for the opportunity to commune with her and her creatures.  I love smelling the scents of the trees and grasses, glimpsing the wildlife and soaring with the bird tribe, and yet my soul is drawn to the water.

Today I gave in.

I loaded my pack with offerings.  I pulled one container of moon ceremony waters that raised its hand, gently securing it deep within my pack next to my favorite Hobbs.  Hobbs travels everywhere with me.  He is my tool of comfort for those who cannot find it.  Today Hobbs is joining me at the river.  Hobbs will bring the water medicine home for future use.

My first stop proved to be uninterested in fulfilling my request.  No worries.  Knowing this place would fill it for others I turned around to travel further down the road.  Spying a turnoff I made a sudden decision and turned left across the highway.  For 10 minutes I journeyed east towards the river and Poker Joe's fishing access.  Discovering only one car in the lot I pulled in placing my car squarely in the shade.  It was still early.  The sun travels slowly west this time of year leaving shade available for most of my planned time.

I followed the trail stepping around mud puddles moving further into the brush.  It was a well worn trail even indicating a quad-wheel had recently been through leaving scars in the deep grass.  It was quiet as I removed my sunglasses to see clearer.  Finally I came out into a clearing.  It was obviously the river had come this far in this spring.  Large trees littered the sandy rock filled ground before me.  The river still lay 500 feet further east.  Spotting the fisherman I turned away heading left picking my way toward the bank.  

Finding the edge where I wanted to settle I asked the river permission to join her for the day.  Quietly she meandered by beckoning me to sit for a conversation.  The breeze was strong enough to take the heat from the rocks, blowing away any chance of a candle or smudge, still leaving me refreshed and cleared.   

The remnants of moon-bathed chocolate cake came out to be sprinkled across her ripples in offering to the water sprites that danced.  Chuckling to myself I wondered if my activity would draw the trout away from the fisherman as I continued with my offerings of cedar, salt, and lavender.  Sensing something behind me I glanced up as a large blue heron graced the stark blue sky melding into the rhythm of the breeze.  Distracted in my thoughts to grab my phone, turning I ignored the request and watched her elegant flight.  Stillness settled as I felt drawn back to the river and her rhythm.  

With a sigh I released all my worries, aspirations, and plans to her as I called my guides and star family to this moment.  My body refreshed itself in the sounds of her lapping the shore carrying everything away. Trout jumped at the dragonflies skipping across enticing them in play.  I watched as an osprey soared carrying my dreams home.  

Closing my eyes the Spirit of the Bitterroot River glided across towards me.  She offered her wisdom.  Her deeper understanding of the part we each hold was gifted as I quietly poured my water offering into her depths.  Tears spilled sending ripples into her.  Slowly I stepped out into her allowing the washing and anointing.  My soul sang with each step.   As I returned to my spot a dark little frog hopped across my path a perfect gift to seal the moment.

Finally the river released me.  Packing to head home I heard the request to bring my drum next week so she could teach me a new song.  Be sure to bring lunch she said your body will need the nourishment.  Delighted I turned to leave.

Heading back across unfamiliar ground I made the choice to follow the call.  Soon I found myself watching the blue heron fishing.  As she elegantly stood in silence she stole a glance of me.  I swore she winked as I tiptoed closer.  This time I knew a photo was appropriate.  Clicking away I watched as she fished mesmerized by her beauty and presence.

Knowing it was time to return I found myself startled each time I startled the bird tribes hidden on the trail.  Laughing I heard the chatter of the black chipmunk above me as he warned those ahead.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to capture him.  He blended in the dark burnt bark of the trees.

Blessings abound for me.  I am constantly in awe at how Source gifts, loves, and teaches us.  Holding yourself in humility and love offers opportunities for simple affirmations of the grandeur of life.  I cherish this land and feel its calls deeply.  It is the waters that fill me with ancient memories.  They are very sacred to me.  Pouring my moon water back into her filled me with gratitude.  Humbly I realized how small I was compared to her, the Bitterroot River, and all the waters she represented.  I hold sacred my calling to care for these waters.  My part is small, this I know.  Yet each day I offer in prayer for the care of our waters supports the larger picture.

She wanders long and deep carrying our earliest memories and the truth of who we truly are.  One day she will bring us all home.

The Soul Traveler