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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Relationships In This Time Of Awakening


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

Relationships at the best of times can have their challenges to navigate whether they are with family, friends or the more intimate relationship with one’s partner.

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels the closer I am with people, the more intense relationship dynamics are at this time. As more light flows in, and shadows are exposed, the more things come to the surface to be healed. Generally, people seem more sensitive, including myself, and sometimes that can create friction or resistance and some challenging circumstances to work through.

I have experienced on occasion, the use, or choice, of words being challenged or misunderstood. Everyone has a different understanding of the words or phrases we use. This can at times lead to misunderstanding. This is particularly true via social media. When we speak directly with each other, via phone or face to face, we hear the tone of voice or see into the others eyes and have a greater understanding of the heart, or intent behind the words used.

I am human. I have emotion. Sometimes things anger or frustrate me. Other times I feel great joy and passion for the beauty of life around me. Sometimes I feel pain and sadness. Other times I feel in a place of peace and calm. I often feel what others around me feel and sometimes get caught up in their energy. If I see a situation where it appears that someone is being treated unfairly or is misunderstood, I will often stand up for them. My truest nature is gentleness and kindness and I do my best to allow that to be what radiates out from me and what others see in me. More and more I am learning through all those different emotions, to feel love and gratitude for myself and allow that to fill me up and flow out from me.

The expression of these emotions is also part of my awakening. For most of my life I have suppressed my feelings. Having the courage to express myself, even if the person I am sharing my feelings with may not receive this well, is important. Their response or reaction may be a reflection of where they are at in their own process. I do my best to do this from a place of love. I am still figuring out who in my life it is safe to do that with and who it is not. It is most important that I speak my own truth. I strive to always live from my heart. My intentions are always good.

I believe the strongest relationships are those that will stand by you even when things get a little messy. They are the people that will be the most honest with you and will challenge you, and yet be there for you when you need it most, and love you no matter what. They are the people that you feel safest with to fully express all of who you are – your whole, messy, awakening self. That is the kind of person I strive to be. Those are the people I choose to surround myself with.

Some relationships will survive this wild ride we are on, and become deeper, richer and stronger. Some will need to be released to make way for others to come in. It is not for us to judge when that happens, just to trust the process and know that it is all for the highest and best.

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, 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 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.”

Boundaries


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

A few conversations I have had in the last week or so challenged me to reflect on the whole idea of boundaries and how we view life happening around us.  We create boundaries to define property, or ownership.  This is mine and that’s yours.  This is my country, that’s your country; my yard, your yard, me, you.  It is an illusion of separation.

After a meditation recently, we talked about how when tragic events happen in the world, whether on a small or large scale, we have an opportunity to shift the energy of the experience by responding with love and compassion. Events in the world like 9/11 or major natural disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, are large scale examples where the response to these events have raised the energetic vibration of the entire planet.   I began to explore this concept on a more personal level.

Prior to this, a good friend expressed concern over a particular situation, and the potential for me to be hurt by another’s actions.  I am grateful for her care and the opportunity it gave me to reflect on this subject.  I know she will be reading this so I write this with the utmost love and respect.

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to participate in a few Sacred Womyn Workshops.  I talk about the energy of our words and the impact the energy we hold in our body affects us and the world around us.  I talk about learning to live from a place of love and peace and the power of that to heal ourselves and the earth.

When I consider what it means to truly live from a place of love, with love there are no boundaries.  There is no separation.  Everything is a reflection of something within me, including whatever dynamics I experience with another person.  So, I can choose to put up walls to protect myself from those dynamics or I can hold an energy of love and peace.  My partner and I often talk about how in any given moment we can choose to respond to life with fear or love.

This doesn’t mean I should or need to engage in a relationship with someone that has harmed me in some way.  I can choose not to.  If I am holding that energy of love, I will attract situations and people that resonate on the same vibration I am at.  If what I have attracted doesn’t appear to be on the same vibration, is it possible I have attracted it because it is a reflection of some aspect of myself?  If I look at it as a shadow side of myself, I can bring it into harmony with other aspects of my being by shedding light on it and bringing in an energy of love and compassion.

At the same time, if an opportunity presents itself where I can engage in dialogue with someone that may have “hurt” me in some way or treated me badly or has differing beliefs from myself, I can choose to connect with this person from a place of love.  This creates a possibility for transformation for both me and the other person.

I have done a lot of work to break down the walls around my heart.  I am still a work in progress.  Being love and living from that place, requires me to keep my heart open.  It requires me to be vulnerable.  It requires me to be awake to possibility, to risk and to have faith.

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 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.”

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?

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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 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Child as Teacher


Recently I found myself in a situation where my son was accused of something. The accusers though it was pretty serious. Very serious. I was told that something very bad had happened and for an hour or so I wasn’t sure what it might be. Did he steal money? Was he caught doing drugs? This was the seriousness of the tone. I couldn’t imagine what it could be. I phoned my son and asked him if he knew what it might be and he said he had no idea. When I heard the details of what had supposedly occurred, I really felt  instantly that the whole thing had been blown out of all proportion. That it had been mis-perceived, that maybe there was a cultural difference in the way the incident had been viewed and that the incident was being handled with a gravity of which the action did not deserve.

You might say I flew off the handle. I went into full blown tigress protecting her cub. I was defensive, I was aggressive, I was angry, insulted and very very annoyed. Arguments ensued, disbelief, misunderstanding, accusation was met with counter accusation. I was wounded and angry.

My son returned home to be met with this accusation. The accuser and the accused began the conversation calmly, while I listened, quietly seething. My son was relaxed. he explained his point of view. He listened to the accuser. Very calmly, very openly, totally non-defensively, completely open-heartedly. He explained his actions. He defended himself to a certain degree but he also  said he could empathize with the accusers point of view. He apologized for any upset that had been caused by his actions. He admitted he had behaved in a way that was inappropriate and he accepted this and assured the accuser it would never happen again. While always maintaining his strength and integrity and general innocence.

As I listened from my place of anger and defensiveness and self-righteousness indignation, I was overcome with a humbling sense of amazement. My son was grace itself. Whereas I had succumbed instantly to outrage and anger.

He taught me a wonderful lesson in humility and grace in the face of a pretty serious sequence of events. He and the accuser left the conversation as comrades and friends. It took me a few more hours to get there myself.

photo by Ellen

photo by Ellen

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endings and Beginnings


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

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

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

One of our own was brutally attacked and murdered.

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

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

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

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

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

And then she was gone.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you SO MUCH for everything Lizelle.

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

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

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