Saturday, April 30, 2016

Another Crossroad

Another crossroads is beginning to take form ahead of me. There’s no rush but I can feel the energy shifting and recognize the mix of fear and excitement within. I’ve been here many times over the last 66 years and some crossroads have brought tears and immense grief while others have manifested profound joy and fulfillment. All have led to evolution and transformation.

How often do I coach others in releasing their fears during a critical point in their life? How often do I encourage them to see the beauty in the transformational process of spiritual alchemy that leads them to a powerful transformational turning point in their life? How often do I ask them to allow the magic of Divine intervention to move fully into their situation and let go of outcomes? Daily!

Crossroads: a crisis situation or point in time when a critical decision must be made; critical point, juncture, convergence, intersection, overlap

So it seems that I am being reminded that life, especially a spiritual life, is not stagnant. Life is a living, evolving process and each crossroad brings the invitation to expand and grow! It is never about going back. Something bigger and better is calling us forward but we must accept the invitation. 

Change is peeping over the horizon with an invitation to consider what is waiting to be dreamed into being in my life. There is no certainty about the outcome. There are infinite possibilities ahead. All that is required of me is to open to new ideas and possibilities for personal and collective growth. As my work expands, so must I. My soul is calling me to consider new dreams. I choose to embrace the alchemical process of transformation and evolution that has guided me for all these many years. I choose to allow this process of change and expansion that is only an embryo within now - I choose to let it root and grow.

What crossroad is inviting you to expand? What adventure is beginning to take form in your life? How will you meet this challenge? Will you move forward, allowing a new dream to manifest in your heart? Or will you hide out of fear of the change that is calling you?

Be fearless! Embrace new possibilities! Grieve what is leaving and then allow the alchemy of transformation that comes when we receive the challenge! It is what we become that changes the world and each invitation to grow and evolve is not only a healing for our own soul but for the soul of our beautiful planet too!

Blessings of peace, love and light,
Gretchen

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Honoring Our Journey

The days grow shorter. The Thanksgiving feast is now a memory and my thoughts turn to the rest of the holiday season. The temperature has dropped and today I'm sitting at my computer wearing sweats listening to Christmas music while I enjoy the sound of rain on the patio. Bentley, my feline companion, has made himself comfortable on his favorite chair and we are both appreciating a quiet rainy day.

This is a festive time of year filled with celebrations, shopping, and family gatherings. But it is also the time of year to reflect on the lessons learned, honoring areas of inner growth and expansion. The soul's journey requires tending. 

It is also a time of reflecting on the relationships in life and how we nurture them. Relationships, like our physical and spiritual well-being, need to be tended. What needs to be released and what needs to be nourished? What changes do I want to make and what is working well?

As we move from late fall to winter it is important to note that winter is the final phase of the twelve-month cycle of Earth’s seasons. Like all cycles, winter holds evidence and clues within it about what came before, what is and what will likely be. The energy of winter is an ending and a new beginning. There is increasing darkness, the darkest point and then the shift toward increasing light.

At this time of year I look to nature to show me her rhythm, her way of "being." She is quiet. Her leaves cover the ground, decomposing. During the process of decomposition, the decomposers provide food for themselves by extracting chemicals from organic wastes to produce energy. The decomposers will then produce waste of their own. In turn, this will also decompose, eventually returning nutrients to the soil. These nutrients can then be taken up by the roots of living plants enabling them to grow and develop, so that organic material is naturally recycled. Virtually nothing goes to waste in nature.

During this season of quiet reflection and review, I encourage each of you to recycle your energies. Renew, refresh, and envision the richness of your journey to date and the possibility that lies before you. This is the season we are invited to go within and honor our personal journey. In the darkness of winter, may we find our own light. May we shine and, collectively, may we brighten the world.

Happy Holidays!
Gretchen

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Becoming Peace


 
Made from Bone 
by Mark Nepo
(from Reduced to Joy)
When I can be the truth,
it grows more and more clear
when it is necessary to tell the truth.  
That is, when I have access to the place
within me that is lighted, I don't have
to speak heatedly. I can just give away
warmth. When I am still enough to brush
quietly with eternity, I don't have to
speak of God. I can just offer peace
to those around me.  
A tree grows so it can convey wind.
It is not the wind. And a person grows
in order to convey spirit.  
They say that animals recharge
their innocence each time they hoof
the earth. And we are reborn
each time we touch what matters.
It has been months since I last sat down to write a blog entry. It's not that my life has been stagnant - quite the contrary - but it feels like I've been percolating, sifting through relationships and situations, preparing for something new to open. What new truth is being birthed within me? How do I walk this earth in a way that offers peace to those around me? How do I shift with the ongoing winds of change? How do I become truth and kindness in life's journey when I am triggered by situations and relationships that bring up the old limitations of my inner child? 

This is an ongoing theme for all humans and I'm no exception! My relationship with my father often resurfaces during one of these cycles and invites me to reflect on what is true and what is not. When there is a misunderstanding with a friend or family member, and it is necessary for me to retreat into myself for reflection, I ask the ancestors, "What is the truth behind this feeling? What is the lesson I am being invited to learn?"

I am grateful for the fact that both my parents wanted me and welcomed me into their lives. The fact that they didn't have a sense of who they were in the world must have been confusing but they did know that they wanted a family and believed that they would protect the children they brought into the world. During the first few years of life they showered me with love and affection.

But when adolescence descended, in my parents eyes, I became a child they no longer understood and my father's faith in his ability to guide and protect me was shaken and he was afraid of my encroaching sense of independence. My rebellion terrified him and he retreated into himself. The strong man I had depended on was floundering without a compass. But the foundation of love that I received as a child had given me roots and has allowed me to find my center through each storm and cycle in my life.

This ongoing cycle of death and rebirth allows us to be reborn again and again. Whatever our beginnings were, the lessons provided were exactly what we needed in order to become our soul's true self. If we tune into our inner knowing and follow that thread to our own truth, we connect with the Divine within and are able to shift with the winds of change. We are "reborn each time we touch what matters."

There is a beautiful song by India Arie called "I Am Light" that sums up the truth that Mark Nepo writes about in "Made From Bone."
I am Light 
I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside 
I am Light 
I am not the mistakes I have made
or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind 
I am Light 
I am not the color of my eyes
I am not the skin on the outside
I am not my age
I am not my race
my soul inside is all light 
I am Light 
I am divinity defined
I am the god on the inside
I am a star
a piece of it all
I am Light 

May you continue to discover your own inner truth and become peace for you are Light!

 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Inner Reflection

The days grow shorter. The temperature has dropped and today I'm sitting at my computer wearing sweats with a cozy wrap around my shoulders and a cup of steaming tea beside me. The Winter Solstice is just a few days away and the holiday season is in full swing with parties and celebrations everywhere.

This is a festive time of year but it is also the time of year to reflect on the previous months of experiences and lessons, honoring areas of growth and expansion. The soul's journey requires tending. My past experiences have provided opportunities for learning and my life is enriched because of these life-lessons. 

Winter is the final phase of the twelve-month cycle of Earth’s seasons. Like all cycles, winter holds evidence and clues within it about what came before, what is and what will likely be. The energy of winter is an ending and a new beginning. There is increasing darkness, the darkest point and then the shift toward increasing light. 

At this time of year I look to nature to show me her rhythm, her way of "being." She is quiet. Her leaves cover the ground, decomposing. During the process of decomposition, the decomposers provide food for themselves by extracting chemicals from organic wastes to produce energy. The decomposers will then produce waste of their own. In turn, this will also decompose, eventually returning nutrients to the soil. These nutrients can then be taken up by the roots of living plants enabling them to grow and develop, so that organic material is naturally recycled. Virtually nothing goes to waste in nature. 

During this season of quiet reflection and review, I encourage each of you to recycle your energies. Renew, refresh, and envision the richness of your journey to date and the possibility that lies before you. 

I love to search for quotes that inspire. May these quotes help invoke that spirit within.  
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

~Albert Camus 
One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul.

~Henry David Thoreau 
We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.

~Mary Dunbar
This is the season we are invited to go within and honor our personal journey. In the darkness of winter, may we find our own light. May we shine and, collectively, may we brighten the world. 


Happy Holidays!
Gretchen

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dreaming a New Dream for the World

I am often confused about the roles of men and women in today's culture and what balance between the sexes would look like within "modern" society. What does it look like for women to reclaim their power and what is the role of men in this quest? Equally, what does it look like for men to reclaim their power and what is the role of women in this quest? It's not about one becoming dominant over the other. How do we find the inner equilibrium that is necessary for us to reflect that out in the world? Each individual carries both within and it is time that we discover what this means, personally. Then, and only then, will there be true equality and peace.

As a grandmother of eight boys and two girls, I believe the Divine is offering me an opportunity to journey deeply into this quest. As I watch these little ones grow, I am constantly aware of the world they are growing up in and the choices they will one day make that will effect the world. Along the way they will have many lessons that will assist them in becoming adults and they too will have to choose to find balance within and without. 

Life has provided each of us with woundings that surface from time to time and we are triggered into questioning our self-worth. This is a natural phenomena and simply provides the opening to look at our soul's truth more deeply. 

I have been reading a book by Hank Wessleman, The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman. Dr. Wesselman shares the wisdom of the late Hale Kealohalani Makua, one of Hawaii's greatest ancestral leaders and shamans. There is much wisdom in the book but I am particularly struck by Makua's discussion about the power of women and men in co-creating a new world. He says,
"It is time for all the women to come together to generate a new vision. They must dream a new dream -- a new vision that must be about what they want for their grandchildren and for the next seven generations. Women [the feminine] are the keepers of the culture, the family, the home, as well as the foundation of the world. The lesson is that the women have to teach the men is how to be gentle. 
It's the women who are going to change the world now, and so the men have to protect them...The men need to follow the women for a change, because in doing so, men will become more selective. It's about discrimination, about learning discernment.

This is Mother Earth. It is not Father Earth. The energy of the Earth is feminine...and the lesson for the men is about gentleness. The job of women is to teach the men how to be gentle. So it's time for the men to sit down and listen, and it is time for the women to stand up and speak. It's the women who are going to change the world now, and so the men have to protect them." (pg. 142-143)
In other words, this is a time of authentic and unconditional reciprocity where both men and women find their own inner balance, their own gentleness, and then extend support to each other and to Mother Earth. The change begins within, establishing personal balance and harmony, and then we can become part of the new dreaming for our beautiful planet. When we are in this state of love we reflect that out into the world and things shift. 

In a recent dream I was with other women preparing for a sacred ritual. We were bathed and perfumed and dressed in white linen. Bouquets of flowers were given to each one of us as we lined up to begin the procession. In a solemn line, with musicians playing, we walked out into Nature. There was a sacred river that we had to cross and then a fire circle on the other side. As I approached the water I felt a sense of freedom in knowing that this part of the ritual would purify and heal each of us as we prepared for the sacred work ahead. The water wasn't deep and felt refreshing as I stepped into it and across.

On the other side, the women ahead of me had begun to create a circle around the fire and were singing so I joined them. I closed my eyes and connected to Source. I felt grounded deeply into Mother Earth while the Divine filled me and expanded outward from my heart chakra. I sensed all the other women in the circle doing the same. It was clear that our power did not come from any action that we might take but in being connected to Divine Love and Oneness. This is what we were to take out into the world. 

My dream for our world is that each of us would become connected to our inner divinity, that part within each of us that is a direct reflection of the Divine. We must all honor Mother Earth and take care of her. We must all learn to be gentle with her and the beings we share life with. She is calling each of us, both male and female, to dream a gentler world into being. 

It can be challenging to move out of our woundings and into a place of equilibrium but the gift is that we see the truth about life - it is a joy and a daily gift to be here. It is the responsibility of each of us, both male and female, to protect Mother Earth and one another. Then and only then will we see the divinity within each other and then consciously co-create a new world.