Honouring My Sisters – Reflecting On Where I Am Five Years Later


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Photo by Leah Schroeder

Five years have flown by since this blog first began.  So many things have shifted over that time for each of us on a personal level and also for the collective.  There have been many times over the past five years when I felt I was in a birthing canal, with a new or more authentic version of myself emerging.

Once again I am in the space of birthing.  I am listening to my soul’s calling, diving deeper.  The last few months have been challenging and uncomfortable, and yet, I keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I am cocooning, distancing myself from what others want from me, slowly breaking the chains of old contracts and the old self, at times gasping for air and fighting for my freedom.  And then, I let go and allow myself to move in flow with the waves of intense energy flooding in.  I am learning to follow the song of my inner voice. I am shedding the old paradigm, sitting in the in-between space as the metamorphosis takes place until I am ready to emerge on the other side, completely transformed.

I have glimpses of what is coming and where I will go, but the picture is not fully formed yet.  I am okay with not knowing what that looks like.  I surrender to the river that is carrying me forward.  I trust this river to hold me, to support me, and to lead me closer to the essence of who I am and to the core of my divine calling.

I am blessed to have so many amazing women in my life.  There are those who have been in my life for many years.  There are a few that have come into my life in the last short while to assist me with this shift I am in the midst of,  and for us to support each other and share in work we are being called to do.  They are my soul sisters, my mothers, the midwives supporting me through this birthing process I am moving through, my teachers, and those I have had the gift of passing on what I have learned. I, in turn, have the opportunity to serve in the same way for them.

I send love and gratitude to you, for your presence here, and your place in my life, as we continue to lift each other up, and together raise the vibration of the planet and shift the consciousness of humanity. Blessings to you. Namaste.

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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 and currently is the place I call home. 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.”

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Entering into the Year of the Horse


Image courtesy of Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

January 31st, 2014.  Today is my 48th birthday.  It is also Chinese New Year – The Year of the Horse.  This is my year.  I have just been through and continue to be in the midst of great change.  What adventures lie ahead?

I am grateful for all the lessons of the past year to year and a half, and yet I am glad to be moving into a different phase of life.  I am not sure yet if a more peaceful time of stability is on the horizon, but I trust that whatever comes, I will be ready for it and it will be something even better than I can imagine.

This last month has been a time of sticking close to home and doing a lot of self-care.   It feels like it was something that has been imposed upon me and yet a friend suggested that maybe it was simply a challenge to spend some time looking after myself for a change.  With a cold virus that decided to stick around for a few weeks and brought me to ring in the New Year spending a few days on my couch, and a major skin irritation that my doctor believes to be eczema caused by some allergic reaction – to what I have yet to determine, I have certainly been challenged.

I have had the opportunity to explore various natural remedies for the cold virus, all of which helped to varying degrees.  Eventually the virus moved on.  While my immune system was busy with addressing the cold, the skin irritation developed on my upper body.  Some things I tried brought minor relief, while others, created more irritation. I spent some time doing Reiki and ThetaHealing® on myself.   I found some relief taking baths with a tea made with cedar, Labrador leaf and Wekay root (also known as Rat Root or Calamus Root) added to the water along with Himalayan salt, some aluminum free baking soda, and a few of my favourite essential oils.  It helped calm the irritation and was a good time for some meditation. In the end, some medical intervention was needed to give me enough relief to function more normally.

This process has certainly brought me to be aware of my physical self.  I have also explored the question, “What is it, on a subconscious level that is triggering these health challenges?”  It has provided a bit of a transitional break as I have let go of various aspects of my life and am shifting into the new.  Now, as I continue to heal, my focus has shifted more onto where do I go from here?

Last night, I chose to bring in this new phase of life – the evening of the Super New Moon and Chinese New Year’s Eve, attending a meditation, which I often do on Thursday evenings.  During the drumming part of the meditation, I chose to drift into a journey to visit with my power animals.  I received some helpful guidance during that time.  For the first time, I detached from the drumming and it took on a life of its own.  The intensity of the drumming in the room brought me back as this part of the meditation came to an end.

The next part of the meditation was the toning.  During this time, I felt a different energy around me.  It almost felt like someone was brushing from my head to my shoulders, my back and my arms with feathers.  Actually, it felt more like wings – of an angel.

This time was followed by playing of Crystal bowls and then silent meditation.  While the bowls were being played, there were some strange sounds.  A few people commented on this after.  To me it almost sounded like a few times someone was scratching some metal or something sharp against the bowls.  It was an uncomfortable sound.   There were other gifts from Spirit presented throughout the evening.

Every meditation is different and I leave this sacred space with different feelings.  Sometimes I leave with a feeling of incredible joy.  Other times something else has shifted within me creating a release of tears as I make my way home.  This was my experience last night.

The tears carried into this morning.  What a way to start my birthday!  It may be a combination of the shifting energy of this moment in time and within me, coupled with some hormonal shifts.  I was experiencing a moment of feeling somewhat disconnected from everyone in my life and feeling unsure of myself and the path I am on.

Spending time in a healing bath and a lot of time in meditation today – along with a few phone calls from people close to me has brought me back into feeling connected again.

I am stepping into the unknown.  It is important for me at this time to be open to the teachers that present themselves, but more importantly to really begin to trust, honour and pay attention to the voice within me.  I am shedding the old skin, the old story of who I am.   I have ideas of what the road ahead might look like, but I am honestly still in the process of awakening the gifts within me and finding my soul’s calling.  I am still finding my voice and haven’t quite discovered how best to use it.  Is it through writing?  Is it through healing work or teaching others?  Is there something else waiting to emerge?

I listened to a Webinar recently that talked about bringing together all the parts of your life that bring you joy and forming it into a business that is uniquely you and expresses the essence of who you are.  It is an intriguing concept that is still swimming around in my head and my heart and I am sure will for some time until it jells into something that fits for me.

And so a new year of my life begins.  Although there is uncertainty, I enter it in peace.  I move forward with anticipation of what great treasures I will discover along the way.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master and ThetaHealing® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca .  “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 47 years this has been and currently is the place I call home. I spent the last 17 years 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 and ThetaHealing®. 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.”

Lessons in Becoming Less Attached to ‘Things’.


I have always wanted to be surrounded by beauty. By beautiful things especially. I like interior design. I have always been attracted to rich ethnic prints and deep wall colours. I like each room in a house to have its own theme and ambiance. I have been craving a ‘place of my own’ for a long time. Since my late teens I have only ever lived in rented accommodation – but sometimes for years on end, during which time I accumulated a lot of things. I painted and decorated and bought and arranged. And more often than not took a deep sense of pride in my home. More recently, in the last house I lived in, I went through the dark night of my soul. I had been hating that house for a while, for various reasons. They do say the state of your house can be reflective of the state of your mind and in this case, I had fallen out with myself and given up on the beauty. Part of my healing was to clear the house of clutter and to fill it with love, my bedroom in this house especially became a sacred space for me, with my altar, my vision board, and my feng shuied love corner.  I also have a large collection of books and beautiful paintings which give me so much pleasure, and as an academic books are vital to my profession.

Six months ago however, I made the decision to give up this house and to move in with my parents for a temporary period. I got rid of so much stuff. It was epic. We must have made at least 20 visits to the local recycling and waste amenity. It was like a purging of everything I had accumulated. Of course I kept my paintings and books, and some key items of furniture. But really, myself and my two children moved into my parents with a van load between us. It was a huge exercise in down sizing.

I now find myself in a situation where I am between homes, between countries. I have a room and a desk and books and my computer, but I hardly know where a lot of my ‘things’ are and I have no house to call my own. I have no rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, to fill up, to decorate to invest in. This is coming. It’s in the pipeline. Indeed, two houses may be in the pipeline. In two very different countries, but they will both be my home.

While I am looking forward to nesting again, and filling my homes with beautiful things, these past six months have been a huge lesson in letting go of attachment to ‘things’. I have felt displaced and at sea on occasion, even mildly panicked that I am not grounded and rooted in a particular dwelling. But each time I try to root down to my sense of belonging to the earth, the planet, the universe, rather than a specific house or country even. I felt a huge sense of liberation when I left my long term house six months ago, I felt freer than ever. And at times I still do. It may sound like a cliché  but the world is my home and it’s more to do with the sun and the sea and the particular light on a particular evening, and the people I love, than a house, than any ‘thing’.

photo taken by Ellen

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Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a Doctor of Applied Theatre. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’s-HerFuture.com and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.

The Merging of the Human and the Divine


What I am learning right now is: Being human is divinity itself.

I used to think, being ‘spiritual’ meant constant meditation, abstinence, perfection almost. No anger, no bad moods, no indulgence.

Being spiritual meant healthy diet, being calm and peaceful all the time. Supreme kindness, serenity. Exercise, alkaline diet. Reading spiritual books and literature.

I still believe all those things. But I am more inclined to also believe, we are human! The goddess herself is sexy, voluptuous, she may drink too much wine on occasion, she may swear and argue. She knows how to apologise. She is not ego centric. She is simply being. Like me.

Doing my best to learn and grow and be the best that I can be, and most importantly continuing to love myself, even when I fall.

photo by Josh Schultz

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

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Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a Doctor of Applied Theatre. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’s-HerFuture.com and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.

Here and There


‘There’ is no better than ‘here’. When your ‘there’ has become ‘here’ you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will again look better than ‘here’.

My ‘here’ is better now than it used to be. In many ways the ‘there’ that I dreamed of has manifested. This year I got engaged, moved to America and completed a massive personal career goal.

Walking along an incredibly beautiful country road in Wisconsin on a summer evening at dusk, with fireflies zipping through the grass and the sun blazing and sweeping across the perfect sky, holding hands with my fiancé, I could really say, I am here. This is it. Nothing can top this. I hope to experience other days and moments as beautiful as this, but this is perfection. This is it. One of those moments when the present moment is supreme. I experience these moments more than I used to, but they still amaze me. The trick is to make the present moment supreme even at times that are not so ‘perfect’ and awe-inspiring.

Having said that  – in manifesting and achieving many things that in my old ‘here’ seemed out of reach, or dreamlike – the future expands before me and I see another ‘there’. I have different goals and aims, I have plans, I have ‘obstacles’ to overcome. I have to find ways to live the life I want, to facilitate my plans and further realize my ambitions. Once one dream comes to fruition, another one is in the pipeline. I am not sure we ever arrive at a destination. There will always be a here and a there.

While I truly believe we can improve our lives and circumstances, I also believe once we do it, our reality shifts and we adapt, we can even adapt to paradise.

I imagine when I find myself in the most beautiful house of my dreams, I will adapt to it very quickly. My modest terraced/ semi-detached homes and apartments just fading into the distance as I expand into my ‘here’. I know this because I have been fortunate enough to find myself in some very beautiful locations, some very beautiful houses. And quickly this awe inspiring beauty becomes normal.

The past summer is a wonderful example of this. Living in Chicago, spending time in the incredible beauty of the mid-western country side, while I remained in appreciation and gratitude, I could see it quickly became normal. Now that I am days away from leaving and returning to Ireland for several months, it is less normal, and I see everything through fresh eyes again, with longing and desire. I face challenges too. With great dreams coming true we can also face great challenges. In my experience it is always worth it. I have grown and expanded so much this summer. Still there is another there. More and more there’s, and so the masterpiece is built, the cathedral, the work of art. Your life.

The lesson for me is to enjoy the here as much as possible, while always keeping an eye on the there. You will get there. Enjoy being here.

photo taken by Ellen Anne Burns

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

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Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she has just completed her PhD in Applied Drama. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love, especially with a view to romantic relationships. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’s-HerFuture.com and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.

There is a crack in everyone, That’s where the light gets in.


Having recently become engaged to a wonderful man, I have been basking in the joy of love and commitment. I have spent a large proportion of my adult life as a single mother. Various failed relationships. The wrong man, the wrong time.

Many times I had heard the phrase, ‘if you don’t love yourself first, no one else can truly love you either.’ But I had never really understood what it meant. How is that so? Of course you can be truly loved, look at all those people who are happily married and they never had to go on a spiritual journey of self-love. If they can have it, why can’t I? And yet when I reached one of the lowest points in my life most recently, I finally got it – I have to look inside, deep, deep inside and really sort this out. I became hungry for knowledge of a spiritual nature. I fell in love with myself first and then attracted someone I call my soul mate.

Something that delights me about this life is that, when one dream comes true, be that your true love, your big achievement, your new home, we quickly want to move on to the next big thing…the next dream.  Before these things manifested in your life, they seemed impossible. Once they are achieved, we expand, and our reality shifts, and they become part of our ‘normal’ life. Quickly our lover, fiance, husband, can become normal and even mundane. The little things we once thought were sweet idiosyncrasies can become annoying and jarring. We start to criticise and look for weaknesses and failures. Rather than go here, it is important to remain in gratitude as much as possible. Every day.

Like everything else in life I am finding that a long-term committed relationship involves work and spiritual practice. I can choose to see my beloved through eyes of love and kindness, or eyes of impatience and mistrust. A long-term relationship or marriage is made up of a lot of forgiveness and compromise. I believe that two people must be truly compatible, but it takes an understanding and an acceptance of each other’s dark side, failures and weaknesses, in order to truly celebrate each other’s greatness.

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*This article was assisted by Arielle Ford’s book, Wabi Sabi love, and the title is taken from Leonard Cohen.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

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Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she has just completed her PhD in Applied Drama. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love, especially with a view to romantic relationships. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’s-HerFuture.com and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.

Endings and Beginnings


You may have noticed most blogs being posted to this page lately have been encore presentations, repeats of blogs written and posted several months ago. Some of the reason for that is much the same as with all of you. A few of us have taken a break. We have busy lives filled with jobs, careers, families and outside interests and finding the time to give and pour our hearts out in blog form doesn’t always feel right. We had originally set it up whereas each of the core contributors would be obligated to post a blog 3 times a month. For over a year now we had been fairly faithful in keeping up with that obligation and for the most part, I have really enjoyed writing these.

In the last year, some of us have gotten married, separated from our spouses or partners, moved to a different state or country, taken and lost jobs, and lived our lives in the ebb and flow, just like everyone else. We have also learned a lot from each other. I, myself, feel I have grown in ways that didn’t even seem imaginable a year ago. Having just turned 44, I think I am finally entering my wise woman years.

But there was another occurrence several weeks ago which threw our contributing writers off course and left us each struggling to find our way back.

One of our own was brutally attacked and murdered.

Lizelle Le Roux was officially listed as a guest writer for The Daily Sisterhood blog, but that doesn’t even begin to cover who she was for most of us. The blogs that are posted here on this page are only a fraction of the intimacy shared by women separated by continents and most of whom have never met face to face. But we are in daily contact through a closed group on Facebook. In a variety of ways we share our troubles and triumphs and go to each other for support on all subject matters. We coach each other, celebrate the beauty in each of us, and love one another. We have become, as the name implies, sisters.

Lizelle was one of us. She set up a beautiful Humble Self Acknowledgement page within our private group where we could acknowledge our successes without feeling boastful or ashamed. She knew it was important for us to be able to share each aspect of who we deeply are and to not be embarrassed to celebrate our unique qualities and all the small ways we each triumph in our day to day lives. It is too easy to berate ourselves for our shortcomings, but few of us take the time to stop and acknowledge the little successes too. We need to routinely pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Lizelle was a life coach and had recently come full circle in healing her own past trauma without being embarrassed to let her scars show.  She was always giving back, fearlessly encouraging and open and honest. Despite the fact that most of us only knew her through cyber space, she was real.

She was truly beautiful, inside and out. Lizelle was love in its purest form. This is one of her profile pictures. It is my favorite because it seems such a good representation of who she was, glowing and pure.

 Lizelle had faced her demons and was learning to trust again. She was just really beginning to thrive.

And then she was gone.

It is still hard for me to comprehend. She was a year or two younger than me, but so wise beyond her years. After several weeks of deliberation and personal hand wringing she felt she had healed enough of her past to revisit it and trust in a new beginning. In part, I believe because of financial struggles, she agreed to move back in with her parents in South Africa. She wrote about her love/hate relationship with South Africa and all its inner turmoil. She was not embarrassed to share her fears with her sisters, but in the end, shelved them out of practicality and set out on the next leg of her journey. And yet, after being there for only a few weeks, history had repeated itself. This time, her physical body did not survive the attack.  This time, the dynamics have changed in our little group and while she still holds each of us in sacred space, she is a “guest” blogger no more.

I hadn’t been able to write my blogs for several weeks now. I, of all people, was finally at a loss for words. How do you reconcile such violence in a world you believe is heading to peace? How do you reconcile your anger and blame and heartbreak?

I couldn’t. I have been silent. I have SO MUCH to say, and yet nothing comes, nothing feels right. I have sat down to write many times and then thought of Lizelle. What would she have thought of this I mused? At the end of the day how do we carry on with this broken link?

The answer, I’m finding, is that we just do. After all this time, and after all my own personal struggles, and all the teachings I have read, listened to and tried to assimilate into my own life..I am finally beginning to just BE THE WATER.

The water pours over all and fills every crevice. I am finding love for each and everyone of us as droplets in a whole singular ocean. I am remembering forgiveness and gratitude and compassion. And I, for one, am moving on and writing again. This is my way of reaching out and holding hands and sending light and expressing love. This is what Lizelle was coaching us to do. She is still here, coaching each of us, to celebrate our successes and be fearless…to love and be love.

Thank you SO MUCH for everything Lizelle.

I am back to painting and writing and creating. I am just one of you, no more, no less. I don’t have the answers for everything, but I like sharing and expressing my leg of this journey. I love this purposeful connection, my way of reaching out and holding hands.

I am here and as always, I will do my best.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

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I am a 43 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast