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.”

We Are One


June 13th Full Moon - Photo by Leah Schroeder

June 13th Full Moon – Photo by Leah Schroeder

I have just come away from one of the most powerful experiences of my life.  I want to invite those of you reading this post into this circle of love that was created during the four days of the Mother Earth Gathering Womyn of All Nations event held June 12-15th, 2014.  I feel a huge sense of responsibility in the words I choose to express the significance of this experience.

In planning the gathering over the past few months, a group of us involved in organizing held an intention of oneness, love, connection and healing for this event.  We created a powerful bubble to support this experience.  We knew that whoever showed up to be a part of the gathering was there because they were meant to be there.  They were either of the same energetic vibration as we were holding, or they were ready to shift.  We knew those that were not ready or not meant to be there would not be.  We knew this experience was bigger than us as organizers and bigger than the women and men that would participate.  We knew this would be more powerful and further reaching than we could imagine.

This gathering, with maybe 200+ people that were there over the course of a few days, celebrated the sacredness of women.  We acknowledged that we all carry the stories of our past and that the only way for us to heal that is to come together in oneness, to lift each other up, empower each other, to love and honour ourselves and each other.

People came from all over, some not knowing why they were coming but felt compelled to be there.  Women and men came from the east and west.  They travelled across the country with people they had never met before and formed beautiful relationships as they journeyed to and from this sacred place.  One couple from India, who were staying in Toronto, heard about our gathering and took a thirty hour bus ride to be there for a few days before their return to India.  A young man, travelling from Montreal to Winnipeg or Regina to work, had all his belongings stolen and was hitchhiking home.  A group of women heading to the gathering, picked him up and brought him along.  He was given a place to sleep in our compassion tent and food to eat.  It was an incredibly moving experience for him.  I am in awe of the journeys taken to arrive at this gathering.

The first evening, as some of us were sitting around a fire, we witnessed some lights in the skies, in the four directions, that were not stars, satellites, or airplanes.  It is an area known for such sitings, so somehow I expected them to show themselves.  They were also there to join us in their own way.  I am sure I also saw spirit lights from time to time and felt the presence of the “Little People”, as did many other people.

As we prepared for this gathering, we asked for donations for food to feed all those that gathered and money to pay for different expenses associated with holding such an event.  At times we had no idea how everything would come together.  We forged ahead in faith that everything would be taken care of.  In the end all our expenses were paid for.  We had an over flowing abundance of food.  It seemed to keep coming as more and more people showed up. Everyone worked together to create an amazing experience.  Firekeepers  would stay up all night to keep the sacred fire burning throughout the night even through the pouring rain.  We became a community.

Pipe ceremonies would begin each day representing each nation (or roses as we called them – the red rose, black rose, yellow rose & white rose).  Each brought the gifts of their tradition along with the gifts that connect us all.  I was given the honour of leading the white rose pipe ceremony, as I have been asked to become a pipe carrier.  I don’t  know what this calling means yet, but I accept it with honour and deep respect.

I felt the weight of the responsibility to complete the circle for this gathering on the fourth day as we brought our gathering to a close.  I shared from my heart, my story and my vision.  I believe that when we learn to love and honour ourselves and each other, heal ourselves and lift each other up, the earth that is our mother and our home will be healed.  I shared about sounding my voice at the waterfall by the site a few weeks early and encouraged others to find their voice as I am finding mine.  The other women participating in this particular ceremony brought some beautiful songs to share with the group to close our gathering.  As we stood in front of the group, arm in arm, we sang the following words.  The rest of the group joined in singing this song.  It was repeated over and over again.

Love, love, love, love
People we are made for love
Love each other as ourselves
For we are one

I hold all these amazing, beautiful people in my heart with the deepest love and respect.  We have created something very special that is radiating out beyond the sacred space we held for those four days.  Lives have and will continue to be changed, including my own.  I am forever grateful.

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.”

The Mandala


The Mandala - Photo by Leah Schroeder

The Mandala – Photo by Leah Schroeder

I had the opportunity recently to participate in a Shamanic Creativity Workshop.  It was an incredibly beautiful experience.  During the course, I was guided to create a Mandala, and to write about the process as this creation evolved.  Each element of the Mandala and each segment of the insights written below followed periods of meditation, reflection or moments of inspiration.  The journey to create this piece and the insights gained during this creative process are more significant than its completion.

It felt important to me that the elements used in the creation of the Mandala were for the most part earthy elements.   The base, on which the Mandala is taking shape, is bees wax, poured into a pan.  I have used soil, flax seed, black beans, lentils, pearl barley, chamomile, lavender, wild rice, pepper corns, coarse salt, rosemary, split peas, and whatever else fits with the images forming in the Mandala.

And so the journey with the Mandala begins.

At the center, where this journey begins, lies some seed.  This is the place from which all growth happens.  This represents my soul – the essence of who I am at the core.  Everything broken down to the most basic form is energy, and so, this center also represents this source energy – the flow of life.

The roots are the challenges that life brings.   The spread and depth create the foundation and strength that shape who I am.  This image was inspired by the words of a kind friend, Kara Johnstad,“You are growing very deep roots… watch out… spring is right around the corner:) “Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”

Lower part of Mandala - Photo by Leah Schroeder

Lower part of Mandala – Photo by Leah Schroeder

It is not surprising then, as this Mandala takes its shape, the lower half of this creation is mostly roots, and they go deep and wide.  The roots make their way down to the core of the earth, to connect with the flow of the earth’s energy.

The silver tap on the left releases a steady stream of water that flows across the Mandala, above the roots and around the centre.  This represents being “in flow” with life and spirit, surrendering, letting go.  It also speaks to my deep connection with water, the power of the current of the river that always finds a way to continue to flow, around or through any attempts to block it.  It provides the nourishment to the roots that feed any growth above the surface.  The sound and movement of the flow of water create peace and calm.  Water is cleansing and healing, and clears the way for new growth.

The dragonfly, an elemental spirit that I am deeply connected to, represents transformation, and looking below the surface to discover deeper meaning.  I surround myself with images of dragonflies in my home.  Seeing dragonflies in nature is always a confirmation of the direction I am moving, or a reminder of my connection to and the presence of the divine.  The path I have taken over the past few years has deepened the connection with dragonflies to the point that when some people see dragonflies or images of dragonflies, it reminds them of me.  When sharing these images with me, my connection to them and to Spirit is also strengthened.

The road, the winding path, flows upward to the top of the Mandala.  It expands the flow of energy upwards to connect with Creator, and with the universal flow of energy that will move around and flow back up through the roots.  The path is never ending.  Only part of the path in front of me is visible.  As I move forward, the next segment of the road ahead begins to reveal itself, but only as I am ready for it.

The orange area represents the sacral chakra.  This is about creativity.  It weaves its way through various images in the Mandala as Spirit and creativity flow through every aspect of my life.

Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

The yellow rose with the two musical notes represents a blossoming or emergence and learning to sound my voice; that with my voice there are gifts to be shared with the world.   The colour yellow symbolizes the Solar Plexus.  It signifies feminine power.  This is about discovering and embracing my own sense of personal power.

The trees stand tall along the path.  They represent personal growth.  They are also about the growing connection I feel to the Earth.  The green leaves are about embracing life as I continue forward on my path.  They also are the colour of the heart chakra.  As I continue to open my heart and learn to live from my heart, my capacity to love expands.

The hands with light emitting from them represent healing hands connecting with and receiving energy from Creator, symbolized by the image of the sun, and flowing with energy to facilitate healing in others.  It also represents the power of human touch and our connection to each other.

Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

To the right of the trees above the dragonfly, swimming down from the top of the mandala, is a dolphin, one of my power animals that bring both wisdom and a reminder to play and enjoy life.  The lavender colour, may represent any of or a combination of the throat, third eye, and crown chakras.  The throat chakra, a blue colour, represents communication and self-expression.  The third eye, indigo, signifies intuition.  The crown chakra, violet in colour, symbolizes spirituality and oneness with the divine.

To the left of the trees flies an eagle.  The spirit name I have been given is Yellow Eagle.  When I was given this name, I was told the Eagle represented love and kindness.   It was also a reminder to care for and honour myself, so that when I care for others I give from the overflow of energy and resources I have instead of depleting myself.  The Eagle is also a symbol of strength, courage, healing and grace.  It is about rising above the physical world to connect with Creator.

To complete the Mandala, the last segment added on the left side of the circle, below the eagle, lies a deer.  As I have shared before, when given my spirit name, I was told I am part of the Deer Clan.  During Shamanic work, the deer introduced itself to me as my primary power animal.  I have since had many connections with deer in various ways.  The deer is a symbol of gentleness, unconditional love and kindness.  The deer reminds me to walk gently through this life, touching others with love and compassion, and honouring my connection with all things.

Although this Mandala is complete, my story is not.  The flow of energy represented through the Mandala, continues to flow and expand.  It is infinite.  During the Shamanic Creativity workshop, which led to the creation of this Mandala, I was shown a circle with a dot in the center.  The circle represented the Universe.  The dot was us.  As we continue to go inward to connect with our inner light, and grow in love, that dot grows – we grow, and our fear of the world around us diminishes, until one day we have expanded to become one with the Universe.

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 and ThetaHealing® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca and a Financial Representative. “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 have been working in Financial Services for the past 16 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 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

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 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.

No maybe’s about it…


My job is about 25 miles away from where I live, so I get there faster if I can take the freeway.  I work weekends, so Saturday and Sunday are never a problem, but Mondays and Tuesdays are a nightmare. There are four places along the way where cars are merging onto the freeway, so it’s like watching a sea of red lights ahead of me as we crawl along at 5 miles an hour.

Fortunately, because I used to live in a little town located about half-way between my job and where I live now, I knew how to get to work from there without taking the freeway, so on weekdays I take the back roads through that little town.  It’s a slow 25 mph thru the town, and then 40 mph along the rest of the way until I reach the city I work in.

Even though it takes me about 20 minutes longer than it does on the weekends, I soon discovered that these are my favorite days to drive to work.

I don’t have to pay close attention to cars on the left or right because there are none. I can allow the recommended distance between the car in front of me because there’s room for us to travel together safely with enough room for another car to enter between us without much interference in our speed.

I use this freedom from the stress of freeway driving for more enjoyable activities, like listening to the radio and actually hearing the song instead of it just being noise, and I can open my mind to receive random thoughts from the Universe about something to write about in my blog post.

Most times the ideas pop into my mind because of a song I’m listening to, but I remember one time I received a thought unlike anything ever before.

Although I was alone in my car, I heard it clearly and distinctly, almost as if someone was sitting in the car talking to me. I couldn’t tell if it was a male or female voice, but I remember I sat up straighter and actually looked around to see if someone was there.

The voice told me, “You don’t have to die to go into the light.”

After the initial shock, I was immediately overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. My heart felt like it was expanding, filling with so much love that it brought tears to my eyes.

I have pondered this statement many times, wondering why it said that. A spiritual person understands that you don’t have to die to SEE the light, but my understanding of going INTO the light was very different than seeing it.

It wasn’t until I started writing this that I started to understand that maybe it means the same thing.

Maybe seeing the light is actually going into the light.

Maybe seeing the light is actually going into Heaven.

Maybe seeing the light is actually experiencing Heaven on Earth.

Actually, there are no maybe’s about it…

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it: My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.

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?

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, 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.