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 Lodge of Everlasting Life


The Women’s Lodge – Photo by Leah Schroeder

One of the founders of The Mother Earth Gathering Womyn of All Nations received instruction through a dream three years ago, to build The Lodge of Everlasting Life. This was a gift from the ancestor whose remains were found and re-buried in the area near Seven Sisters Falls.  It was a gift for the women.  She was the same ancestor who guided the founders to bring together the women to this area.  One of the elders taught her this lodge was a very powerful ancient lodge that was used for ceremony and fasting. It was a lodge that wasn’t being used anymore.

Over this past year we talked about it often. It was important to build it for this year’s gathering.  When I learned more about this lodge in the weeks preceding the gathering, bringing it back became even more significant.

A month before this gathering, I fasted at our gathering site for a few days. During my time there I thought about this lodge. It felt like this was a task for the women to build together. It was something we were reclaiming.

A few days before the gathering, a small group of us were called together to build this lodge. I set out early in the morning with two other women to begin gathering saplings for this project. It seemed appropriate and powerful to have three women begin this process – a divine number.

When we arrived at the gathering site, we looked around for appropriate trees. We were looking for young Ash, Birch, or Tamarack. On the west side of the site is a large outcropping of granite rock. On the north side is a river. On the east side is a wooded area and to the south is a dried up marsh area with a narrow stream running through it that flows into the river. It was through this area we decided to go in search of the trees we needed. On the other side of this marshy area was another wooded area where we were guided to go.

We made our way through the marsh, jumped over the stream and headed into the woods. We found a grove of what we thought were Ash, but later found out were Alder. We were told they carried Unicorn Energy, which somehow felt fitting for reclaiming this ancient lodge that had been lost. An eagle circled over us as we arrived at this spot, letting us know this was where we needed to be. One of the women asked the young trees, which ones wanted to be part of our lodge. For each one that said yes, tobacco was offered and we began the work of chopping down these saplings.

We were told we would need about fifty-six saplings to form the lodge. In the first hour and a half, the three of us had fifteen ready. We cleaned off most of the branches to make it easier to haul them back to the gathering site. I carried five saplings, dragging them out of the woods, through the long, dried grass of the marsh, over the stream, through more marsh until I arrived back at the gathering site. As I dragged these saplings I was aware of the power and significance of what I was a part of. It felt like I was making a sacred pilgrimage.

As we arrived at the site with the first set of saplings, more help arrived. We sent them off to get the next batch of saplings. The person providing the teachings found some taller Ash in the wood area to the east of the gathering site, and was very quickly able to harvest enough to make up what was needed for the lodge.

More people arrived to help. After lunch we walked around the site to find the perfect spot to build the lodge and began the process of marking out the area, digging holes for the poles and assembling the lodge. The process was a beautiful ceremony. There were both women and men helping and supporting each other through this process.

We received some very basic teachings of the lodge as we built it. We were told this year was about learning to build it. Every year it will get bigger and we will learn more as we go. Once the frame of the lodge was complete, our work for the day was done. The energy inside this space was warm, comforting and strong. Some of the leaves were left on the tops of the trees that were used. The lodge frame was simple, but beautiful with the added greenery. It felt alive which acknowledged its connection with the Earth.

Two days later people began to arrive to set up for this year’s Mother Earth Gathering Womyn of All Nations. I was asked to lead a pipe and water ceremony on the first morning of the gathering, inside the Women’s Lodge, as we referred to it, to pray for blessing for this lodge and the gathering and open and prepare it for use during our time together. It was both humbling and an honour to be asked to take care of this task.

When I woke up that morning, mist rising from the river, the horizon just turning pink, I didn’t see anyone else stirring yet. I had no drum to call people together, so I entered the Women’s Lodge on my own. I prepared a smudge and walked with it around the outside of the lodge and then around the inside. I sat in the centre of the lodge and prayed the strongest prayers I have ever prayed and felt in my heart as I held my pipe. I prayed prayers of gratitude for this lodge and to Spirit for being there to guide and support us. I prayed for guidance and for deep healing for this gathering. I smoked my pipe and continued with praying for blessings and healing for the water. I was joined by one other woman during this time.

A few hours later I asked one woman to help me begin to dig a fire pit in the centre of the lodge. We worked together for a short while. Then one of the men helped me with digging it out the rest of the way. As we were working on this, another woman stood at the entrance of the lodge and began to play some spiritually guided music on her wooden flute. She played in the four directions, both inside and outside the lodge as we continued to work. This was another powerful, sacred moment.

Tarps were added around the outside of the lodge, with the centre open for the fire.

That evening, the lodge was filled with people as we shared in a powerful full moon ceremony. At one point, before it got dark, we were gifted with a rainbow that could be partially seen through the opening in the top of the lodge.

We sang and drummed and shared and let go of a lot of inner stuff that needed to be released and healed that night. We did that inside the protective, loving warmth of the Women’s Lodge, connected with our Mother Earth and receiving the loving energy of Grandmother Moon. It was a sacred experience completely guided by Spirit. It was beautiful. It was powerful.

This beautiful ancient lodge, a powerful symbol of the Sacred Feminine has been re birthed and reclaimed. May the loving energy of this action radiate out to empower women around the world to embrace the power of their own sacredness. This is where we start to heal and bring humanity back into balance with the Earth.

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, http://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.”

A New Song


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

The last few months, being back in Winnipeg after my summer in Sioux Narrows, Ontario, has brought about a flurry of activity.  I have been in a space of organizing, and creating the next phase of my life.  It has been challenging adjusting to the different energy of the city compared to the peace of the natural setting that was my home for three months.

I had a sense that this would be the case, so I pre-planned an outing to the sacred space of Bannock Point and the Petroforms.  It is a place that I continue to be drawn to and it was calling me back.  I have now been back to this sacred site a few times since my return to Winnipeg.

On this particular visit, early in September, I was introduced to the petroform of a creation story.  It is a depiction of a woman, Sky Woman, being lowered from the stars, pregnant with the first Red Nation male to walk this earth.  It was in a slightly out of the way place, away from the other petroforms and protected by the trees and terrain around it, and yet, it was meant to be found.  I placed an offering of tobacco and a coin, alongside other offerings left there, and said a brief prayer.

I headed to the Medicine Wheel, where I removed my sandals.  I walked slowly around the outside of the wheel.  At one entrance I noticed offerings of tobacco, coins and a variety of other objects.  Again, I said a prayer, offered tobacco and a coin and continued on to complete the walk around the circle.  I walked through one of the entrances to the Medicine Wheel, placed a circle of cedar around me, smudged with sage, sweetgrass and cedar and began a time of meditation. I placed my feet and hands directly on the rock beneath me.

As I do every time I come here, I knelt on the rock and held my forehead against it for a while, connecting my third eye with the energy of the earth.  I spent some time sending love and healing to the earth, holding my arms straight above me with my palms facing the sky.  Then continuing to hold my left arm up, I lowered my right arm with my right palm facing the earth.  I experienced a powerful wave of energy flowing through me.  I sent love and healing out as I repeated these motions in all four directions.

I took my time walking around the area, discovering petroforms I hadn’t seen before, enjoying the small discoveries of mushrooms, wild flowers, and berries.  I found a patch of wild blueberries and enjoyed a small snack.  I picked some kinnickinnik, bunch berries, rosehips and juniper berries.

I drove from this place to the waterfall, by the Womyn’s Gathering site.  I sounded my voice there as I had in the Spring.  This time, there was no need to yell or release any pain or anger.  All that came out was a sweet song from my heart; a gift to the water, the trees, and the elemental spirits of the forest, known as the Little People.

I have come a long way in a year, from experiencing the pain of having my heart cracked wide open a year ago and feeling deep grief, to learning to love myself, reclaiming my voice and finding my power.  I have awakened my passion and taken great leaps towards my soul’s calling.  I have come to a place of peace within.  This sacred place that keeps calling me home has also brought me home to myself.

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.”

My Voice


At Manitou Ahbee - Where Creator Sits - Photo by Leah Schroeder

At Manitou Ahbee – Where Creator Sits – Photo by Leah Schroeder

Yesterday morning, I woke up knowing that I was being called by Spirit to take a road trip to Bannock Point.  The day before, during a Shamanic Retreat, I was reminded of my voice.  I was told about a bird, with a red throat.  The bird’s throat was swelling up, ready to explode, maybe with anger or some other emotions that needed to be released.  I was suppressing my feelings.  I have received messages before that I need to free my voice.  It was important for me find a way to let this out in order for me to move forward.

On the way home from this retreat, it was suggested a primal scream out in the open somewhere would be helpful, like the potato field we were driving past.  I kept driving.  I knew this suggestion was right, but I needed to find my own way to do this.

Yesterday morning, I packed up my car and drove an hour and a half to the place I knew I needed to be.  As I made my way closer to this sacred place, I could feel emotion welling up in my throat. I made note of the forested areas or fields I passed along the way.  I could stop there.  That would be a good place, but I knew I needed to keep going.  I drove to the bridge that is the entrance to the path to Tie Creek.  It is also by the site where the women will gather in a little over a month.

I prayed that no one would be at the Petroform site.  I needed to be on my own.  I was thankful there were no cars parked there as I drove by to my final destination.  There was a truck parked at the end of the road.  Someone must have taken an ATV out to Tie Creek.

I walked to the gathering site just to make sure no one was there.  I stood by the river and let out some sound from my voice.  It wasn’t what I really needed and I knew that, so I walked to the bridge over the waterfall.  The water was moving fast with the Spring run-off.  I saw some eagles circling overhead.

Once on the bridge, I offered tobacco into the river and asked Spirit for assistance with what I came here to do.  I made a sound and then I yelled.  I did it again and again, louder and longer each time, until my throat was fully open.  Tears ran down my face.  I stood there for a while, crying.  I thanked Spirit and the river and offered tobacco again.

I began to tone my heart song, louder and more open than ever before.  I freed that lump in my throat.  I freed my voice.  As this song was flowing out from my heart, I was aware of another voice singing along with mine.  I offered tobacco again.

I stood there for a little while and walked to the other side of the bridge where the water was calm.  When I was ready to leave, I thanked Spirit, walked back to my car and drove to the Petroform site.  No one else was there.  No human that is.  I was not alone.

I left an offering of tobacco on the rock entering into the site, where other offerings have been placed, asking for guidance and protection for my time there.  I walked towards the medicine wheel.  I was drawn to another rock on my way there.  I rested my hands to feel its energy and pray for guidance before carrying on.  A previous visitor had left behind an offering of a bracelet there.

When I entered the medicine wheel, I left an offering of tobacco again.  I spread some cedar on the rock around me.  I prepared a smudge of sweetgrass and sage.  I lit a candle.  I wrote out a list of all the emotions, beliefs and resentments I wanted to release in that moment.  I set them on fire with the light of the candle with a prayer to my guides and angels to carry them away.  The ashes of the paper spread apart and were carried off in different directions by the wind.

I sat there, on the open rock around the medicine wheel, with my bare feet receiving the energy of the granite they were resting on. I felt peace, calm and freedom.  Once again I noticed some large birds, likely eagles, circling above so high you could barely see them.  Even though it was daytime, the moon showed herself to me.  I felt loved and cared for knowing in that moment I was fully supported.  I have reclaimed my voice.

Spring at Dorothy Lake, Whiteshell Provincial Park - Photo by Leah Schroeder

Spring at Dorothy Lake, Whiteshell Provincial Park – Photo by Leah Schroeder

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.”

 

 

 

Waiting for Spring


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

Writing something new has been a bit of a challenge for me lately. I am working on a creative project at the moment. When I begin to focus on it, I find time flies by. Before I realize it, four hours have passed and I haven’t moved from my computer. This is a productive day.

I flip flop between enjoying the solitude of my day and craving the company of others. I consciously make an effort to engage in meaningful experiences throughout the week that involve the opportunity to connect with others. I am grateful for those times.

When I do find the quiet of my home being too much for me, I turn to meditation. Recognizing the connection to Spirit, that I am Spirit, and connected to all things, eases my feeling of separation. Remnants of pain and loss sometimes rise up from my heart to be released and healed.

This has been a long Winter. One can hear it in conversations that many people are ready for it to end. It is like a guest that has overstayed their welcome. Thankfully, there are signs that it is leaving shortly. The geese are starting to arrive.

The coming of Spring brings promise of new growth and new life. Days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer, temperatures are slowly rising. What new adventures lie on the horizon waiting to be discovered?

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, http://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 Longest Night


A Winter Night - Photo by Leah Schroeder

A Winter Night – Photo by Leah Schroeder

Today, December 21st, 2013, is the beginning of the Winter Solstice, the longest night. Different cultures celebrate this time in different ways. Some light candles to invite back the light. Others acknowledge the darkness – the grief and sorrow that can accompany this time of year. It is also a time to acknowledge life transitions.

For me, this time has come with mixed emotions. I have spent a fair amount of time in solitude lately and feel that more deeply with many changes in how I celebrate with friends and family as relationships have changed and a few significant people are physically missing from the table.

This has been a year filled with a lot of change – my father passing away, and ending of a significant relationship, job changes, letting go of my financial services business. As we enter into this new season, I acknowledge the darkness, the sadness, the grief that still lingers. At the same time I am grateful for the release of things that no longer serve me and for the opportunity to create space for the new to enter in.

This morning, I participated in an Inka Winter Solstice ceremony (Capa Raymi). We spent 2 1/2 hours around a fire at -26 degrees Celsius, in a beautiful ceremony to welcome and honour the Sun. Each of us added our own personal offerings into a circle of items that were placed in the fire. We sang songs and danced around the fire. We honoured Creator and our connection to all things and acknowledged the importance of caring for all of Creation. It was a beautiful way to begin a new phase in my life.

I have entered into this new era; heart open, open to possibility, open to guidance of Spirit. I step into this new way of being with gratitude for the life lessons, experiences, and people that have helped to shape who I have become, assisting in my awakening as I continue forward on my journey.

I move forward in joy and excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead. I honour who I am in this moment, being present with every experience. In the midst of darkness, there is light and hope. It is a dance as the two play with each other.

As we move forward into this new season, let us acknowledge the dark places in our life, let go of what needs to be released, and welcome in the light.

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 17 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.”