One Sunday afternoon, a short time ago, my boyfriend and I were invited to take part in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony. When we received the invitation, I felt a strong pull to be a part of this experience. Although I am not able to share in great detail, I feel compelled to share some of my experience.
It was a cool, spring day. We drove out to The Whiteshell, an area of lakes and rocky ground…the beginning of the Canadian Shield. We were close to an area where there are some powerful rock formations. We didn’t visit that area this time. We arrived at the site of the sweat lodge, just off a beautiful river, on the top of a rocky hill.
There was a small group of us, both men and women, that entered the sweat lodge. Prior to entering, I asked to be given my spirit name. Part way into the ceremony, I was asked by the spirits “What took you so long?” I laughed. I understood the question right away, although I still don’t know the answer.
When I was in the sweat lodge, I was in a place of honouring…spirits being honoured, women being honoured, honouring each other. It was a place of love, acceptance, trust, safety, and healing. It was a beautiful feeling.
I don’t know why I felt such a strong pull to go there. I suppose I felt the need to create some space in my life to connect with Spirit. I felt that way for a while before this opportunity came up.
One of the things I was reminded of, and maybe why I was seeking this experience, was that I have a tendency to give so much of myself that I deplete my energy. I get to a place where I feel like I am being pulled in a number of directions and I forget to make time to take care of myself first. I am often reminded by my mentors that it is important to fill myself up and allow the overflow to be what I give to others. This continues to be one of my life challenges.
The Spirit Name I was given is Yellow Eagle. The meaning behind that name had to do with love and kindness. It was explained to me that the way to catch an eagle is to leave out an animal carcass, so the eagle eats until it is so full it can’t fly. In the same way, giving of yourself until you are depleted of energy prevents you from flying – from fully living out your purpose.
Taking time out to have experiences like I did with the sweat lodge is a way for me to fill my own cup. It is a way for me to love and honour myself, to listen to whatever guides are around me are trying to tell me, to learn, to be more in the present moment, to create space, to take a moment to breathe, to cleanse, and to heal whatever parts of me need healing. I know I don’t need to go to a sweat lodge to create this space for myself, but I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time there, so I could listen and learn and once again trust that voice that was calling me there.
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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Practitioner www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca and Financial Advisor. “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 46 years this has been and currently is the place I call home. I have been working as a Financial Advisor for the past 15 years educating people about their finances, helping them restructure and reduce debt, invest for the future and properly protect their families. A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges has led me to begin practising Reiki. I have a desire to learn and practise other healing modalities, as well as serve children and empower young women around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”