Into The Stillness


P1040809

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.

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, 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.”

Advertisements

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?
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 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.”

Welcoming The Light


Welcoming the Light - Photo by Leah Schroeder

Sunrise – Photo by Leah Schroeder

It is the beginning of the Winter Solstice and a new moon. Where I live, it is a grey day outside and fairly mild weather for this time of year.  I feel drawn to write today.  It has been an intense time these past few months with a lot of different things holding my attention, and it is the perfect day to be in a space of contemplation and solitude.

There is balance with the movement between day and night, light and dark, the sun and the moon, the masculine and the feminine.  With the shifting of the seasons, there is always balance or a movement towards balance of light and dark.  So, as we experience the longest night to mark the beginning of the Winter Solstice, we are moving towards the Spring Equinox where night and day will be equal.  It is good to honour both the light and the dark within ourselves as well.  Being too much in the dark or too much in the light throws us out of balance.  There is strength and power in the balance between the light and dark with all of creation as within.  Ego throws us out of balance and Spirit or Love always brings us back.

With this new moon being in alignment with the Winter Solstice, it is a good time to reflect on what in our lives no longer serves us.  What is it we need to release at this time; anger, resentments, pain, judgement?  It is a time to let go and invite in and open ourselves to receive the love and abundance of the universe and to know that we are one with the universe and with that abundance.

The message in the Advent service I attended this morning was about transformation.   There was an acknowledgement of the fear that sometimes holds us back from allowing that transformation to happen.  It reminded me to look back over the year I have had and recognize the great transformation that has happened in my life over this time.  I am deeply grateful for all the teachers that have showed up to assist me at this time.  I am aware of moments where I have held back from that transformation; from stepping into my own light – a fear of being seen.  I am grateful for the learning opportunities, the recognition that I was holding back and the trust to let go of that.

This has been a year of constant change and transformation.  I have done my best to live more in the moment, not planning more than a few months in advance.  There has been a lot of freedom in that, and I admit at times, uncertainty.  I have learned to trust in the abundance of the universe and trust that everything works out when I let go.  I am learning to observe what lessons need to be learned when I feel resistance.  I always seem to find my way back to the word “surrender”.

I am reminded of a Shamanic Journey I experienced a few months ago.  I was sitting beside a pond of water, and in my journey, entered into that water to see where it came from.  I found myself travelling with a flowing stream.  I became the water, flowing deep into the earth, coming up through a hole of light, down a waterfall, and through someone’s body as that water was consumed.  I remember hearing the words “Be like water”.  I was also told that water is the life force and blood of the earth.  It is the heartbeat of the earth.  So if I am like water I am also that life force, that blood of the earth.

To surrender for me, means to flow like water, trust and allow.  There is an ebb and flow to life as in the changing seasons and the flow of light and dark.  I remember this as I center myself today.  I have spent time in meditation and will continue to throughout the day.  I am taking a moment to write down what needs to be released from my life and will burn it with a smudge of sage, cedar and sweetgrass.  I allow Spirit to carry the ash of what is to be released away with the wind.

So today I acknowledge the darkness and invite in and welcome the light. I open myself to possibility and step into and embrace my light as I move into a new season and new phase of my life.

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 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

As Summer Nears Its End


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

By the time this is posted, I will be back in the Winnipeg for the fall.  It is hard to imagine leaving this place, now that I have been here almost three months.  It has been my refuge, my healing place.  This has been a time for me to focus on self-care so that I am better equipped to assist others with their healing.

Before I chose to come to here, I felt a need to create some space to give some of the work that I feel called to do some time to gel.  That has been a positive choice for me as there are all kinds of opportunities and blessings flowing my way.

I still have more healing to do, but I am stronger, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I feel more at peace with myself.  I have released anger, resentment and residual pain.  I still have people around me from time to time that attempt to pull me I to their drama, but I am getting better at removing myself from this fairly quickly.  I am learning to send them love and continue to hold a vibration of love and peace.  They show up to teach me.  I have met many women in the last few months that carry a lot of pain in their lives.  They are shifting, each at their own pace.  I send them love to hold them where ever they are at.

I have embraced connecting with the earth and water around me.  I am certain, throughout the fall and winter I will continue to be drawn to places outside the city where I can spend time connecting with nature.  I am less attached to the place that has been my home for the past seven years, or the city that has been my home for most of my life.

I have found great joy in walking barefoot in the grass, sending healing energy to the earth and receiving powerful healing energy from her in return.  I have had many opportunities to interact with the deer around me, watched turtles lay eggs, experienced an abundance of frogs and grasshoppers enjoying the yard around me, and watched dragonflies dance in the evening sky.  I have spent time embracing and celebrating the light of the full moon, watched in wonder as the night sky lit up with stars.  I have breathed in the fresh air, filled with the scent of pine and fir trees.  I have listened to the song of the wind in the trees and of crickets, frogs, loons, other birds, and water lapping against the shore.

I have replaced the fear of how my body reacts to the food I eat, with joy, gratitude, and pleasure.  It has given me a great deal of satisfaction to forage for wild edibles and add them to my diet.  I have more appreciation for and connection to where my food comes from.  I have learned what it feels like to really enjoy my food and understand how that impacts my body. I have observed the physical changes in my being as I have become more conscious of what I eat and of my physical activity.

To be clear, my focus has been on healing and returning to balance and not on my weight or appearance.  I love and accept myself as I am in whatever form or shape that is.  I have learned to see myself as a sacred woman and my body as the sacred vessel that holds my spirit.

What an amazing gift this summer has been!  I am deeply grateful.  It is soon coming to an end.  The weather is starting to shift.  The winds of change are blowing.  I surrender to the wind, to the flow of the river and to the voice of my soul calling me.  I have yet to understand the magnitude of what I have been preparing for or what lies ahead.

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 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.”

 

Summer Blessings


A Morning Visit with Mama and Her Baby - Photo by Leah Schroeder

A Morning Visit with Mama and Her Baby – Photo by Leah Schroeder

I feel very blessed to be spending my summer in the way that I have been.  Although I have been working long hours, the pace is relaxed and low stress.  I have met people from all over North America.  I felt a strong draw to get out of the city and be near a lake for the summer.  It is part of my healing journey.

This healing is happening on several levels.  Over time a combination of factors, emotional, environmental and otherwise, have created physical symptoms I have been attempting to heal for over a year now.  I suppose they are tied to other things I have been addressing in various ways for several years.  A skin rash or eczema appeared that is an outward warning that something below the surface needs attention. It is slowly improving.

Along with a change of scenery this summer, I am doing a particular protocol, that has eliminated sugar from my diet, and requires that I am more conscious of eating as much organic produce and antibiotic free meat as possible.  I am also taking a sort of homeopathic protocol that addresses imbalance in the body on an energetic level.  Sometimes, it means disconnecting from technology for short periods, which is probably the most challenging and yet most beneficial part for me.  My current living situation assists with this as I have limited access to Wi-Fi.

Being in this beautiful space has also contributed to healing. I hold so much gratitude in my heart for the beauty I get to experience around me every day; the sound of loons on the lake, the many opportunities to connect with deer on my daily walk from the resort to the trailer where I stay or in my yard in the evening, wild flowers, discovering turtles in the process of laying eggs in my yard, the song of frogs and crickets at night, time by the lake, swimming, listening to the sound of water lapping against the shore, the feel of the ground beneath my feet as I wander around barefoot, picking plantain leaf and clover flowers to add to my lunch, discovering wild strawberries in my yard, watching tiny birds bathe in the small waterfall of the pond beside the office.  When I take a drive in the area, I see cliffs of granite, multiple lakes, and waterfalls.  When I walk from the office to my trailer I often breathe deeply to fill my lungs with the clean air filled with the scent of clover and pine and balsam fir.

I am enjoying being somewhere I can focus on self-care and explore the beauty around me.  I feel peaceful, relaxed and re-energized.  I am slowly finishing editing my book and beginning to plan reiki classes for the fall.  Nothing is rushed.  As I feel drawn to work on this I act on it.  If I feel drawn to go for a swim, I swim.  If I feel compelled to take my shoes off and walk barefoot on the mossy ground in my yard, I walk barefoot.  If I see deer in my yard, I stop what I am doing to visit with them.  They are getting braver to come right up to me to touch my hand with their nose.
Today as I was preparing my breakfast a beautiful song emerged from within.  It was a sweet sound that I have never heard from my voice before.  My heart is healing. My body is healing.    My voice and my soul are being given space to emerge as my life moves in alignment with my soul’s calling.

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 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.”

 

 

 

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?

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.