The last few months have been amazing, beautiful, and challenging all at the same time. After having moved recently from Winnipeg, Manitoba to the Kootenays in British Columbia, I jumped fairly quickly into a full time job, getting an apartment, and scheduling workshops for my healing practice.
One of the things I have come to recognize after such a major change is the importance of taking time to come to a place of rest, to adjust to the new frequency of life and to create space to allow the purpose of my being here to unfold or manifest. I am like a plant that has been transplanted and needs nurturing and extra care to take root to allow for new growth.
I have been feeling the need to go within, to rest, and to enter into a deeper experience within my being. The energy and wisdom of the Bear has been guiding me these past few weeks. Bears have been teaching me through dreams and encounters to trust that I am cared for and nurtured, and reminding me to take that inward journey.
Since arriving in the Kootenays, I have had the opportunity to connect with some beautiful people, offering their gifts in various ways. Sound healing, breath work, and cacao ceremonies have been a few of the offerings I have been able to participate in. One of the facilitators of the cacao ceremony offered a retreat experience that involved spending some time on a mountain by some waterfalls in the Slocan Valley. This type of experience was something that was calling me, so I was grateful for the opportunity to enter into this pilgrimage this past weekend.
I have hiked this trail before, but it is quite a different experience embarking on that journey while fasting, and in ceremony with prayers and intention. Leading up to this, I had some fear around spending time alone on a mountain in an area and time of year when there is a lot of bear activity and potentially the presence of cougars. Once on the mountain, I had no fear of that. There was one point when the person guiding me was gone for a while and I wondered if he was coming back to get me, but I knew to surrender and let go of those thoughts.
Sometimes the most powerful lessons are in the simplicity of things. It is a really beautiful experience to allow someone to hold space for you as you do your own inner work. That guidance was shared in such a beautiful and honouring way. I am usually the one holding space for others and don’t often allow others to do that for me. It takes trust and surrender to enter into that experience with someone you have only met on a few occasions. Trust was a big lesson for me this weekend on many levels, including trusting my own inner knowing.
One of the most beautiful messages I received, through a deck of oracle cards was the lesson of hearing truth. Dadirri, an aborigine word, expresses the deep spiritual practice of respectful listening, listening for truth beyond words and hearing with the soul. This is an expression that really resonated with me throughout the whole journey, and I continue to carry it with me.
Being in the presence of powerful waterfalls, allowing the energy of the water to cleanse my spirit and course through my veins, spending time on an outcropping of rock taking in the beautiful view of the Slocan Valley was such a gift. Standing in front of the waterfalls, expressing gratitude for all that I have in my life, for the gift on the water, the mountain, the ancestors, the person guiding me, and the journey filled my heart and fed my soul.
There really are no words to express the power of this experience for me. Reflecting on it really brings me a feeling of peace and joy. The rest of this pilgrimage is for me to hold sacred and process and integrate into my being.
I am entering my own winter. I have come to a place of pulling back on my healing work and teaching to create that space for something deeper to emerge. I will remain open to offering my service when called upon to stay in flow with the energy guiding me. Spring is a time for new growth. For now, I will be still, rest, listen, remain open and learn, in preparation for the next stage of my life’s journey. Blessings to you.
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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master-Instructor, and ThetaHealing® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca . “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my life this has been the place I call home. I now live in Castlegar, British Columbia. I spent 17 years working in Financial Services. 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 have led me to begin practising Reiki, ThetaHealing®, and IET®. I have a desire to learn, practice, and teach other healing modalities, empowering others to help shift the consciousness of humanity. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”