Into The Stillness


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Photo by Leah Schroeder

I dive deep into this quiet place, the void, the nothingness and infinite possibilities all at the same time.

I sit in this stillness, allowing myself to grieve lives lost, relationships that have fallen away as I have opened up to allow my light to shine.

In this space in time I shed old energy.  I observe my reactions and emotions to events around me.

I sit in stillness, listening for the insights to guide me beyond this present moment.

In this moment, I recognize I have temporarily moved into the shadows.  It feels like a rubber band being pulled back, so that once released will fly forward with tremendous force and momentum.

I sit in stillness, being, breathing, feeling the peace in this space in time.

I am the bud of a flower.  I am growing, shifting, and changing, ready for the perfect moment to explode open with brilliant colour, light and beauty.

I sit in stillness, discovering this spiritual being within this physical body, this being that is so much bigger and brighter than the physical container that holds it.

I am love, contained for the moment within this vessel, allowing space to refill so there is more to give to others as I begin to overflow again.

I sit in stillness, appreciating this gift.  At first I resisted this experience, trying to figure out the why of it all.  I have shifted into acceptance and peace.

I have surrendered to the flow of life.

I sit in stillness, embracing the beauty of this moment with love and gratitude.

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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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Rise of the Sacred Feminine – The Sacred Pipe


Sunrise at Bannock Point, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Canada - Photo by Leah Schroeder

Sunrise at Bannock Point, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Canada – Photo by Leah Schroeder

In the next few blog posts, I intend to share a few experiences that celebrate reclaiming the Sacred Feminine.  My close friend, Diane, asked me to write about The Pipe.

Last October I was given a Sacred Pipe.  Since receiving it I have been learning about what it means to be a Pipe Carrier and exploring what this responsibility means for my life.

Firstly, I use the term Pipe Carrier, because I do not own this pipe.  It is a gift from Spirit.  It belongs to Spirit.  I carry it.  I care for it.  I protect and honour it.  I learn from it.  I bring it out for ceremony.  I pray with it and feel the love from it and share my love through it.  I share it with others.

One might question the idea of smoking a pipe in a day and age when we understand the negative effects of smoking tobacco.  Firstly, there is a significant difference between commercial tobacco and traditional tobacco used for ceremony.  Second, I choose to use kinnikinic (also known as bearberry, or uva-ursi) or on a rare occasion, traditional, organic tobacco.  Traditional tobacco & kinnikinic are sacred medicine.  Smoking this pipe or participating in a pipe and water ceremony is a spiritual practice that I do when I feel guided to.

Thousands of years ago all women carried what I have heard indigenous women refer to as sacred bundles.  The Pipe, the Drum, the Rattle, and Sacred Medicines were likely elements women carried in their bundles.  Through the colonization of women around the world, many cultures lost this practice as, in these same cultures, honouring the sacredness of women was also lost.

There are many different kinds of pipes, each with their own teachings and brought out for different purposes.  The pipe I carry is a Women’s Pipe.  The teaching I have received is that when I bring it out to smoke it in ceremony, I can pass it to other women to smoke from it as well.  Men are also allowed to share in it by touching the bowl to their heart instead of smoking from the pipe.

I was challenged recently to gain deeper understanding of this teaching and to learn more about the pipe I carry and the role it plays in my life.

For me, this pipe represents my sacredness as a woman.  It is a piece of that sacredness that I have reclaimed.  It is one way I acknowledge my connection to Spirit and to the Earth.  When I pass it to other women to smoke from it, it gives them an opportunity to acknowledge their own sacredness and express that connection to Spirit and to the Earth.  It is a gift and a bond we share as women.  When passed to a man to hold it to his heart it gives him the opportunity to honour the sacredness of women.  He also feels honoured by the opportunity to participate and receive the love from the women and the pipe as he holds it to his heart.  The spiritual connection is shared through that love.  It is a sacred dance, the balance of masculine and feminine.  Both men and women are empowered by participating in a way that honours each other.

I mentioned earlier the pipe and water ceremony.  Included with this spiritual practice is the blessing of the water.  It is an acknowledgement of women’s connection to water – the water of the Earth – our Mother, the water in which we carry life, the water that is part of our body.  It is my practice to send blessings and healing to the water of the seven directions, East, South, West, North, Above,, Below and Within.  I also receive blessings and healing from this water at the same time.

A cup or bowl of water, (traditionally a copper cup or bowl) is part of the ceremony.  After the blessing, I drink from the water and when with other people I share it with them.  The water is also shared with the Earth.  My practice at home, when I do the ceremony on my own, is to share it with all of my plants, add a bit to my water fountain and I share the remaining water with the Earth outside my home.  I usually do this at the time of the full moon, when the water has also been charged with the energy of the moon.

I am still learning.  I know that my work involves empowering women and carrying this pipe plays a part in how I do that.  When I hold this pipe, I feel the love in my heart.  Loving myself and allowing that love to radiate out from me to share with others is the gift this pipe has brought to me.  I carry it with deep reverence, respect, humility, strength and with an open heart.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, ThetaHealing® and Integrated Energy Therapy® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca .  “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 49 years 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 now IET®. 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.”

Emotional Triggers


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

Sometimes, you think you have dealt with something and moved past it, and then something happens to trigger emotions that are lying deep below the surface.  There is almost an unreasonable response to the event that triggers these feelings considering how far you have come and yet there it is.  It seems like a lot of people have stuff coming up in need of clearing and healing at this time.

In the last couple of weeks I have experienced this and have been completely unraveled by this set of circumstances.  I have allowed myself to feel my way through this, feeling pain, sometimes anger, and for a brief time, wondering where I belong in this world.  Reaching out to my close friends brings me some comfort and I feel supported and connected.

I realized I needed to spend some time healing these emotions that have come up.  I still have work to do to release judgement and to get past re-living this in my mind trying to figure out what went wrong.  Where did I fail and why wasn’t I enough?  I thought I had already healed and moved past these feelings. This trigger seems to have brought this to the surface to peel away and heal another layer.  I am enough.

I acknowledge the need to focus on all the good in the situation and what gifts I have received from this experience.  Gratitude.  I spend some time writing down all the things I am grateful for with respect to this relationship.

More connections with women follow, with shared experiences and feelings.  I am not alone.

Awareness of the energy of the Full Moon and the Lunar Eclipse, I acknowledge it is a time to let go of those things so I can move forward.  I celebrate the moon.  I meditate.  I set out water to be charged and healed by the moon.  Once the Full Moon is past, I say a blessing, and drink from this healing water. I meditate some more.

The day after the Lunar Eclipse, I pull out some Angel Blessing cards I use to set my focus for the day.  Often I only pull one card.  This morning I feel compelled to pull three.  They are all Angel Daniel cards about clearing judgements, which clearly tells me “Pay attention Leah!”  The blessing cards I pull are Forgiveness, Homecoming, and Kindness.

Forgiveness has to do with forgiving the other and more importantly myself.  Kindness, I believe, has to do with being kind to myself, honoring myself, letting go of judgement and allowing space for self-care and healing.  Homecoming, someone pointed out, has to do with coming back into union with one’s true self.  I have heard this message from other sources.  I believe this is a universal message for this time.

Today is a new day.  I have shifted into a new space and feel strong again.  I am okay.  I am connecting with many different people and finding community in different places.  Many people are experiencing these shifts at this time.  Let us hold each other in love and light as we support each other through all this change.

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

Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

 

Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, ThetaHealing® and Integrated Energy Therapy® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca .  “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 48 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 ,  ThetaHealing®, and now IET®. 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.”

 

 

 

Taking Steps to Embrace My Soul’s Calling


I Am Loved - Photo by Leah Schroeder

I Am Loved – Photo by Leah Schroeder

I just completed a weekend of taking an Integrated Energy Therapy® course, basic to advanced certification.  It was an amazing experience.  Angelic energy is such a beautiful, loving energy to play and work with.  It is also very high frequency so I have been taking it easy for a couple of days, allowing my being to adjust to the energy.

I recall at one point during the course mentioning that I am doing things in my life right now that I love to do, but that I am still in the process of discovering what I am truly passionate about (or something to that effect).  I mentioned something similar in a previous blog post.

After the last day of the class, when I went home and looked at and connected with the energy of the vision board I had just created, I realized I already know what my passions are.  Certainly I am still in the process of bringing them all together in a way that is a unique expression of me, but what I also realized is the true reason I was not fully embracing this had more to do with a fear of fully putting myself out there – of being seen.  I was shying away from fully standing in my power and allowing my light to shine. I recognize this had more to do with my sense of self-worth than lack of passion for what I do.

I trust that much of this has been released this past weekend and will continue to be released as I step forward. I am taking steps every day to move in the direction of my soul’s calling.  At this point, I have some idea of what my life plans are for the next month.  Beyond that, lie blank pages of a life book waiting to be written.

This would create a lot of anxiety in many people.  For me, it is very freeing.  I trust that the road in front of me will be revealed as I continue to move forward.  I trust that my needs will be met.  I trust that what I placed on my vision board is manifesting into my life. I set the intention a few months ago to complete a particular project this Spring without knowing how I would find the means to make it happen.  I realized this week I already have the resources available to me to complete this. I am drawn to opportunities to learn and expand my awareness.

I know I am cared for.  Earlier this week, as I was driving home from a friends place I stopped at an intersection of a major road.  The traffic light changed to green and so I proceeded forward.  All of a sudden a pick-up truck coming from the other direction decided to turn right in front of me.  I slammed on my brakes and was sure I was going to hit them.

By purely divine intervention (really no surprise because I had been working with angels all weekend and I know they are around me) the truck manage to get past enough that I didn’t hit them.  I am sure I only missed them by an inch.

As I waited in the median of this major road a woman pulled up beside me to ask me if I was okay.  I said I was, thanked her and continued on.  Her asking me if I was okay brought me out of the shock I was in at that moment.  I am grateful for that exchange with her.

So when there might be moments of doubt, there are always lessons that show up as reminders.  Whether it is something dramatic, like my driving story, or an email that brings a gift or affirmation that is in alignment with the things I am passionate about, there are always opportunities presenting themselves.  It really comes down to letting go, trusting and acting on intuitive nudges.

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

Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, ThetaHealing®  and Integrated Energy Therapy® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca .  “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 48 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 ,  ThetaHealing®, and now IET®. 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

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.

The Fifth Miracle


I woke up pretty low this morning.

Didn’t especially want to wake up. Didn’t want to go to work. Didn’t see much joy in anything. Didn’t know why.

Eventually after playing some music and hiding under my duvet for about an hour I forced myself out of bed irritatedly and got ready for work. As I left the house and noticed how cold it was outside, I caught my negative state of mind and I reached out to the universe to help overcome it.

“Show me five miracles,” I asked, “by the time I reach the train station”.

You sure? The response was immediate. I was slightly relieved just to hear that voice again, even though I know I can reach it whenever I need it.

“Yes, please. Show me them.”

I’ll show you a lot more than five, you know.

“Well, let’s start with five and see what happens.”

Okay. Have a look at the dewdrop on this tiny leaf.

I sat and looked at it. It was oddly magical. I let myself pause there for a minute and absorb it.

“I still feel grouchy, Universe.”

Give it time.

I turned a corner.

There, see the plants growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk?

I did see them. They were pushing through concrete and somehow looked very healthy. It didn’t matter how much we humans tried to repress nature, nature came back. Looking at the courage of those little plants somehow inspired me. They didn’t complain, they just grew where their seeds were sown, and grew around any obstacles in their way.

Now look at that car.

“The car? The CAR? It’s stuck in traffic. It’s a symbol of the way we are ruining nature and running ourselves into the ground. Why is the CAR a miracle?”

Come on, isn’t it cool?

“Why would it be cool?” Apparently the Universe just hit a nerve in me.

Look again.

Well… I had to admit. We humans had made a machine that could get us across Ireland in a matter of a few hours, made it so that we could visit each other more easily, made the world a lot smaller. That is pretty cool.

See?

The Universe was teasing me. How cheeky.

I rounded the corner to the greengrocers. “Are you open yet?” I asked the grocer. “Yes, of course – come in.” I walked in.

This is miracle number four, said the Universe.

I stopped and thought for a minute. I was in a room full of fresh produce. I had a look around. The dates were from Iran, the strawberries from Morocco, the avocados from Kenya. How many people had contributed how much work to make this selection available to me? How many climates on the planet had born how much fruit for us all to consume, and here it all is in Belfast.

By now I was close to tears. I bought an avocado, a packet of grapes and some chocolate covered peanuts and left the shop.

“We’re not even a fifth of the way to the train station yet.”

I told you I would show you a lot more than five miracles.

“Yes, you did.” By now I was eagerly awaiting my next miracle.

The next one is the best one of all.

“Oh yeah? Hit me.”

It’s you.

“Me?”

Yes. You’re the fifth miracle.

I was floored.

Look at you. Look at what you do every day, look at how many hearts you touch, how many people you reach. Look at what lies within you. Look at how resilient you are and how deeply you love.

My daughter, you’re the fifth miracle. Don’t ever forget it.

My morning blues seem to be gone.

I’ll keep showing you miracles for the rest of our little walk together. Keep your eyes open.

When I got to work, the first user ID of the first call I received started with the world “love”. Thank you, Universe. I’m listening.

Me too.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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?

Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

 

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.