Holding Space with Love and Compassion


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Photo by Leah Schroeder

This morning, shortly after this November Super-moon was at her fullest, I woke with my heart being flooded with grief.  The grief that flowed up from my heart was both personal and that of the collective consciousness.  This grief called me to bring forth all the love and compassion I can carry for myself, for those close to me who are grieving and struggling, and for all of humanity and the earth.

The last while has been a time for me to go inward.  Space has been created for me to use this time to recharge and store up my batteries for the work that lies ahead.  It has been a time to look at the parts of myself that still need healing; the parts where I have been in judgement of myself or those around me; the parts where I have failed to stand strongly in my light to empower myself and in turn those I interact with; where I have failed to fully and deeply love myself, and allow that love to flow out to those around me who need it the most.  Today, I love all of those parts of myself.

I spent some time in the woods yesterday.  It was an opportunity for some nature therapy and time to refuel.  As I was walking beside a small lake, a doe emerged out of the woods, grazing in the tall grass beside the path.  She was oblivious to my presence there.  My eyes were drawn to a point further along the path, where a large buck appeared and moved toward me.  As the doe walked towards the edge of the water to drink and continue grazing, the buck came closer, standing between the doe and the path.  He took a solid stance, strong and confident.  We watched each other for a few moments, neither of us moving.  When the buck heard someone coming from the other direction, the two of them bolted into the woods.  After the person passed me, the buck appeared to me again.  We moved parallel to each other for a short time until he crossed my path and disappeared into the woods on the other side of me.

There was a gift and a message for me in this brief encounter.  As I reflect on this and the energy that has been building over the past few months, again both personally and collectively, I look further into what their appearance might mean for me.

The doe exemplified the divine feminine, representing love, nourishment, surrender, connection.  The buck represented the divine masculine, demonstrating authority, protection and strength.  Together, they moved in harmony with each other and their surroundings.  I feel drawn to bring into balance both aspects within myself and my relationships.

This morning, as I was feeling the grief emerging, I allowed myself to sit with those feelings briefly and then moved into a time of meditation and ceremony.  The energy of this full moon is bringing in a new strength and resolve with in me.  The grief is replaced with a powerful, deep love and compassion.

I am being called at this time to hold space.  A definition of this, presented to me a couple of weeks ago, is as follows:  “It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control”.

As more light pours in and wells up inside us to bring our gifts out into the world, subconscious beliefs come to the surface to be healed.  Like a wound, sometimes it looks worse before it looks better.  Sometimes we repeat old patterns if we aren’t willing or ready to release those beliefs or karmic imprints and move through them.  This is happening both on individual and collective levels.  We are at a crossroads and have a choice as to how we move forward.

So in this moment I choose, filled with the love of the divine, completely surrounded and supported with the light of love, to act as a vessel, holding space both for those closest in my life and for all of humanity.  I send out prayers of love and compassion to the people in my life who are struggling.  I send out prayers of love to all those gathered at and supporting the people of Standing Rock, who are called there to protect the water and teach us to walk in harmony with the earth.  I send out prayers of love and gratitude to the water and to the earth.  I send out prayers and love to all parts of the world where there is conflict.  I send prayers and love to all those living in fear or pain.  I send out prayers and love to world leaders and the systems that have created imbalance in our world.  As the unraveling begins, I send out prayers and love to carry the whole as a new consciousness and way of walking on this earth emerges.  I dig deep within to draw upon all the strength and power of the sacred feminine, to fill myself up with as much love as my being is able to contain and pour out from me.

In meditation today, words of trust and patience were presented to me.  I surrender and trust that whatever happens from this point forward will be in the highest good for all.  I invite you to join me in holding space and sending out love and compassion.  The larger the vessel we create together, the stronger that love will ripple out to raise the vibration of the collective consciousness, to heal and shift humanity.

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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.”

 

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.”

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.

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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 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

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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 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.”

 

 

 

Four Women


Photo by Leah Schroeder

Photo by Leah Schroeder

There were four women sitting around a kitchen table.  In the centre was a candle holder, made of either pottery or stone, of four women sitting together around a fire (the candle). Around this table we listened to each other, and shared teachings, ceremony, and acknowledged our connection to each other.  We broke bread together.  We shared a common vision to bring women together for connection and healing.  We all understand that this is vital to healing the planet – bringing our world back into balance.

My heart and soul are singing.  I am filled with joy and deep gratitude.  Although I only see a short piece of the road in front of me, I feel clear that I am on the path that is my soul’s calling.  Some of the processes I have been through in the past few weeks reignited my passion and showed me what my heart already knew.

This is what it feels like when you fully commit to embracing that voice inside, and the calling of your soul.  All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.  Pay attention.  Listen to your heart.  Know that you are worthy of allowing that spirit to shine for the whole world to see.  Discover your unique voice and don’t be afraid to share it with the world.

I am still learning this.  I am taking steps forward.  In this moment I feel fully engaged in and connected to this process.  I hold myself in this space knowing that it is where I am in most alignment with my soul’s path.  I feel it on every level of my being.

From this place of recognizing my own spirit through the eyes of the women I sit with, I call out to women around the world to come join the circle.  Let go of the old stories you carry on your back, the ones that weigh down your wings and prevent you from soaring.  Let go of the pain of the past that you hold onto with the illusion that we are separate.  It is crushing your spirit, but there is still a light inside you.  It wants to fill you up, shine for all to see and to be shared.  I feel your pain, as a part of my own body and spirit that is showing itself and asking to be healed.  This pain is felt through every layer of the planet and is coming to the surface to be healed.

It is time for us to come together to create a new reality, to write a new story.  This is the voice that is calling out from the depths of my soul. I hold out my hand to you and open my heart, in the recognition that we are one. Namaste.

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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 the last 17 years in Financial Services.  A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges have led me to begin practising Reiki ,  ThetaHealing®, and now IET®. I have a desire to learn and practise other healing modalities, as well as serve children and empower young women around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”

Taking Steps to Embrace My Soul’s Calling


I Am Loved - Photo by Leah Schroeder

I Am Loved – Photo by Leah Schroeder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 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

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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.