I met one of the great Loves of my life in 2003, the Land that became known as Windy Hill Farm. I fell in love when I first stepped onto this Land (as did everyone who was with me). When I left my marriage in 2012, I knew that that meant I would need to leave the Land. I struggled greatly with this; however, all my guides kept telling me that there was a place that was better for me.
There are large paradigms and power structures that need to shift. While things may get a bit messy (okay, they are already messy), we need to keep the focus on the goal. Anyone who has experienced a major life change knows that there is a time period of dissolving. When the world as you knew it breaks apart, turns upside down. This can be disorienting. However, if you can continue through this (or sometimes simply breathe and be), you come to a period of finding your new center. There may be a trial and error period of figuring things out, seeing if they fit, until the center is established. But once, you emerge, you are renewed and grateful and would not want to go back. The metamorphosis of a Butterfly is often used to describe this process. And for good reason. For a caterpillar has to completely dissolve before growing ki’s wings and becoming a Butterfly. And we are in the metamorphosis stage. How lucky are we that we have chosen to be on the Earth at this time?! We get to determine the next stage for humanity.
Being in Damanhur this time was a vacation for my Heart and Soul. It was a break from the limiting beliefs that are infused in our culture. As well as, a break from the discord. As I mentioned, in Damanhur everyone is focused on being their best. This does not come from morality or righteousness. It is that they want to learn and grow and be who they are meant to be. They focus on the vision of a better world, a world where we are again in alignment with the Trees and Nature Spirits. I know how important it is to release limiting beliefs and focus on the solution. I do this daily and help my clients and students to do this. And yet, when you are surrounded by a culture that supports this, an enormous amount of energy is freed up and suddenly, you are able to create the impossible or I would say the potential.
I know that there are many challenges facing humanity. I know that one’s Heart could break a thousand times a day. I know that it can be very seductive and easy to be taken under by the tide of hopelessness. And yet, I look at Damanhur. And I look to the Dandelions sprouting out in the cracks of the macadam. Or the Redwoods who continue to grow even though they’ve been hollowed out by fire. And I think, “We are here!” As long as we are here, there is still hope. There is potential.
It has been nearly a year since I moved to what I now know as Heart Springs Sanctuary and slightly longer since I started working with the Nature Spirits of this place. For years I longed for a place to call Home, a place to work with the Elementals to create a Sanctuary. And here I am. Perhaps when you think about what it is like to co-create a Sanctuary with Nature, you have an image of a peaceful, beautiful unfolding: soft light, walking slowly through tall grasses, stopping to touch and smell and pray with the abundance of Plants. Or perhaps you have no idea what this looks like.
For me, I imagined the first scenario. And while I do touch, smell, and pray with the Plants, I have to admit, creating a Sanctuary is hard work and sometimes it isn’t work at all.
Heart Springs Sanctuary is part of the United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network which means that we agree to restore and protect habitat for wildlife and especially focus on the endangered native species. Earlier this year, we started a campaign called “Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary” to plant about 70 Trees and Shrubs. This sounded like an easy job, on paper, in the winter. Then all the Plants arrived at the same time and needed to get into the ground- that’s 70 holes to dig, which of course, happened to be right when I was hosting the Organization of Nature Evolutionaries annual meeting. With help, I managed to get everyone in the ground, learning that everything goes smoother if I’m not doing the work when I’m tired. We have a few more Trees to gather to complete this first stage.
While it was a little overwhelming to plant everyone, this is actually an easy part of the job and to be honest, quite enjoyable. You see, I am also creating a Sanctuary for humans. Which means, a place where humans can come to connect with Nature and Nature Beings and discover the hidden aspects of themselves. This is a place where simply sitting by the Pond is healing (for both the human and the Pond). Creating this for humans is the part that requires the most amount of time and effort. Painting, unpacking, creating areas of sleep and rest and learning, hanging hooks, thinking of their needs - what is necessary to allow them to ease into their connection. And then of course is the logistics with the Land - where will they park, how will they move from place to place, creating areas of connection and repose.
This past year has been one of intense manual labor and quite often exhaustion. Though I know that this is simply the beginning, we are creating the foundation, and from here everything will blossom. If we set it up well, it will require much less effort to keep things going and growing. And soon (Friday), we will welcome this year’s HEARTransformation Apprentices! (There is 1 space remaining if you’d like to join us.)
So what does it really look like to live in Sanctuary with Nature? It is deep listening - listening to what the Land needs, listening to what my Heart asks, listening to the smallest flower and the loudest bird, reading the signs that Nature provides. It is often ignoring my ego - which may mean cleaning out a dump area instead of creating a wetland garden around the pond (which in hindsight, the Nature Spirits were right, removing that trash cleared stagnation and raised the vibration of the Land) or asking for help when I’d much rather do it on my own (simply because I don’t want to ask) and even harder, accepting that help (and acknowledging how important it was to work together). It is often moving beyond my edges and perceived limitations. It is planting my favorite Berry bushes, knowing that I most likely will not eat any of them, for they are a gift to the Birds. It is sitting by the Pond drinking a cup of tea and allowing the water to bring forth my tears. It is singing to the Sun rising in the morning. It is getting down low to marvel at the dew drops on grass. It is leaving gifts for the Faeries. It is gathering Stones with the Gnomes. It is breathing and waiting when I want to do. It is marking off areas of no mowing and hanging signs for no spraying or harvesting. It is planting and rejoicing when you see the first sprouts returning. It is feeding the many feral cats and accepting their cardboard slums. And also laughing as they run and jump and hide in the boxes. It is often feeling overwhelmed and insignificant and being reminded that there’s no time limit, focus on one small step at a time. It is dreaming and visioning. It is gathering sticks. It is self-care and listening to my body. It is being covered in mud and falling asleep exhausted. It is being covered in paint and falling asleep exhausted. It is taking a nap in the Faerie Glen, receiving healing and messages. It is gathering trash and then more trash. It is hours on the computer - answering emails, writing, paying bills, creating classes, researching. It is gathering with friends and strangers. It is being astounded at the many gifts, surprises, and synchronicities. It is talking with Sister Protectress (Poison Ivy) and asking ki to stay out of the pathways (or intended pathways). It is letting go of the shoulds. It is radiating Love to every aspect of this Land and all who enter. It is magical.
And it is just the beginning!
Here’s the thing, you too can live in Sanctuary. My Sanctuary happens to be 4.5 acres with 3 ponds, a creek, and numerous ecosystems. However, any place and every place can be a Sanctuary. It is making a conscious choice to work/play with the other Beings of that place to be in service to the Highest Good of All. It is recognizing that as Humans, we are only 1 small part of Nature and learning to listen. When we create a space of reverence and Love where all Beings are honored, we create a healing space for ourselves.
This is the time of year when the veils between our world and the Faery world is thin. It is a great time to leave gifts for the Elementals, to dream, to vision, to play, and as tradition holds, to make Love in the fields blessing the harvest.
As the Spring time energy bursts forth in flowers and the Faeries dance with joy, may you too be fed and renewed, re-membering the connections with all. And above all else, may you know that you are Love(d).
Today is the final day for our Indiegogo campaign, Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary. We are $159 away from our Indiegogo goal and $904 away from the total goal for our first planting.
So much has happened at Heart Springs Sanctuary (HSS) since we began this campaign a month ago. As I shared in my last post, the energy shifted here with the first donation, the vibration has been raised.
From the very beginning the Nature Spirits have told me that Heart Springs Sanctuary is to be a place for community; a place where people come to connect with the Plants and Nature Spirits; a place of Sanctuary for all; and a place for people to receive healing energy and in turn, heal the Land. It is amazing to witness this occurring!
A great big, THANK YOU to everyone who is contributing to this, whether it be financially by donating to this campaign, physically by visiting Heart Springs Sanctuary or helping us Plant, energetically by sharing this campaign with others or sending your Love and blessings to HSS. I know that you have fed this Land in a way that I could not have done on my own. And my Heart overflows with awe and gratitude!
As for other updates, I have been busy working with the Elementals to gather rocks for our Labyrinth which will be co-created this Spring. On Brigid's Day, we hung the first prayer ribbons on our Prayer Tree, who is also the Guardian of the Labyrinth rocks. And we've been busy preparing inside to welcome the many clients, students, and other visitors who are coming to HSS this year.
While walking the Land and feeling the Plants stirring, the Nature Spirits have shown me part of an ambitious design for a garden featuring hugelkultur beds in the form of a triple spiral. At least I say that this is ambitious, the Nature Spirits are telling me that I need to stretch and think "big". They want this Land to be a Sanctuary of Beauty, demonstrating what we can do when we work together.
I hope that you too are able to connect with the Nature Spirits and dream BIG!
Thank you again for your support! If you are able to contribute to this campaign, please do so today.
As I've said before, Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary is about more than the finances. If you would like to name a Tree or Plant after a Loved one and are unable to contribute financially at this time, please contact me. There are many Plants at Heart Springs Sanctuary who are happy to connect with the Human world and be a portal of Love.
With Love and Blessings, Jen Frey
I want to thank those who have already contributed to our Indiegogo campaign including those of you who have read it and looked at the pictures and sent your energy. Thanks to you, after the first week, we are over 1/2 way towards our stated Indiegogo goal and a 1/4 of the way towards are total goal!! But this campaign is about much more than finances and goals.
I initiated this campaign for Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary at the request of the Nature Spirits to make this a community effort. And yet again, I am humbled by their wisdom. The energy on this Land has changed incredibly. Even in the cold and snow, the Land is alive and vibrant and the Nature Spirits are excited. We haven’t even brought the Plants and Trees here!!
I am touched by each donation. Again, this isn’t about the financial component, it is about Love. Each time someone sponsors a Tree or Shrub, I get to hear about someone they Love and that Love fills this Land. I can feel the healing happening and this healing spirals out affecting all of us.
Asking for help is not an easy task for me, so I started this somewhat reluctant, thinking, “I can do this, I’ll figure out how to purchase these Trees and plant them on my own.” And now, I see that while I may have been able to buy the Trees and plant them on my own, there is no way I could have accomplished this energetic shift without all of you. And again, I want to stress that all of you includes those who have simply read this and sent a little wish or Love our way, for I know that there are many ways in which to share our money and money is only one form of energy.
If you are able to contribute or share this campaign with others, please do. With every donation, the energy is compounded. I wish I could share with you what I feel. I am in awe of this process. And I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude.
Once you donate, I will email you to ask who you would like the Trees or Shrubs named after (or you can feel free to email me). Please know that while I originally suggested human Loved ones, you can name them after any Loved one that you would like to honor. It has been sweet to hear of special relatives, pets, and in one case, a Tree.
I hold these stories in my Heart, while the Land already welcomes these Loves. I am looking forward to greeting these special Beings and watching them grow!
May the Love and healing of this campaign encircle you!
"The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there."
~George Bernard Shaw
We are excited to announce that Heart Springs Sanctuary, Brigid’s Way’s home, has been accepted into the United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network!
The United Plant Savers (UpS) protects native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. As part of their mission, UpS created a network of sanctuaries dedicated to restoring and preserving habitat for wildlife, both Plants and animals.
Herbalism and Plant medicine have an interesting history of both beauty and pain. Unfortunately, part of this history is the over harvesting of Plants. Now that interest in natural healing is growing and herbs become part of the latest health fad, it is even more critical that we are conscious of the well being of Plants and how they are harvested.
At Brigid’s Way we believe that our future is intricately tied with the future of the Plants. When we found our Home, we knew that we were creating a Sanctuary where Humans could work co-creatively with Nature and experience the Divine through the Plants and Nature Spirits. We wanted to create a place that honors the Plants and acts as a model for another possibility. That is the possibility where we all Beings can thrive.
We are very much in the beginning stages of creating this Sanctuary. We have great plans of converting the large lawn to gardens, wild areas, and walking paths. This Spring we are building a Labyrinth. We have a ridiculously long list of Plants that want to join us here (which we couldn’t be happier to have them). We want to create a Wetlands Sanctuary around our small pond, where there is again mostly grass. And we have some clean-up work to do. This is just what the Nature Spirits are asking us to do this first year! Who knows what plans lay ahead.
My point is that if the idea of a Botanical Sanctuary or a Sanctuary garden sounds appealing and yet, you think you have to create something pristine first, you don’t. The most important aspect of creating a Sanctuary is the intention. It is about saying that this area (which may be acres or may be a little porch with a couple growing pots) is Sacred. Beyond that, what constitutes a Sanctuary is up to you. It may be an area where you do not harvest. It may be a garden planted with a special purpose, such as a Butterfly garden. It may be an area where you simply sit and meditate with Nature.
For me, when I found this place or more when this place found me, I was determined that every aspect would be a Sanctuary. The intention is that every thing we do at Heart Springs Sanctuary is in alliance with the Nature Beings.
When I was introduced to Damanhur, my friend Esperide Ananas talked about the Three Mother Worlds: the Human World, the Plant/Tree World, and the Nature Spirits World. She said, “There was once one sound, one frequency, one World.” (That touches me so deep to think about one sound, one frequency.) However, the humans separated and caused the Three Mother Worlds to form. Part of Damanhur philosophy (at least based on my understanding) is that if humans are to survive on Earth, we need to reunite the 3 Worlds. [If you would like to learn more, join us for a free Teleseminar with Esperide on January 21st.]
Working co-creatively with the Nature Spirits to create Heart Springs Sanctuary is part of my efforts to help unite the Three Mother Worlds. Though I have to admit, I wasn’t conscious of this effort when I decided to make this a Sanctuary. I did it because it felt right, really it felt like the only option. I want to live in a Sanctuary. I want my clients and students to be received in a Sanctuary. I think we all could do with a little more sanctuary in our lives.
We launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign to support the planting of Trees and Shrubs at Heart Springs Sanctuary. This is the first step that the Nature Spirits have highlighted. These Trees and Shrubs are integral in creating a wetlands area, converting the large expanse of grass, creating a woodlands section where we will later plant native woodland Plants, and providing food and shelter for the Pollinators and other wildlife. The support from our community adds to the energy and vitality of this Land. As part of this project, we are offering people to name a Tree or Shrub for a Loved one or themselves. As we go about our gratitude walks and classes, we will greet these Plants by these names, strengthening the connection between humans and Plants. Please support this project by sponsoring a Tree/Shrub, sharing it with others, or helping us to plant. We are so excited to welcome these Plants and their human counterparts here!
Wherever you are, I hope that you are able to find sanctuary and can pause to feel your connection with the Plants and Spirit. Feeling the Love that they offer us, even when the world is cold.
“And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”
I have exciting news! We have moved to Heart Springs Sanctuary in Washington Boro, Pennsylvania!!
Heart Springs Sanctuary is a gorgeous 4.5 acre property with 3 ponds, classroom space, healing office, and vibrant Nature Spirits who are very excited to work co-creatively with Humans.
For years, I have been praying and visualizing a center and I truly cannot believe how amazingly my prayers have been answered! Actually, Heart Springs Sanctuary is more magical than I dreamed. There is much work to be done, gardens created, labyrinth built, ponds balanced, boxes unpacked… and yet, when I spend time on the Land, I am overwhelmed with Gratitude, Joy, Awe, and utter Love. I look forward to sharing this place with you!
A huge Thank you to all of my clients, students, and customers who have been incredibly understanding as I made this transition.
It has been a long road to get here (besides the years of work), the packing and moving were overwhelming and difficult. During the process, I realized that moving mirrors our healing journeys.
When I move, I get excited and immediately pack my books. They are easy to fit into a box and I quickly make noticeable progress. When we start a healing journey, we too are happy to move forward and embrace the first easy, quick changes with gusto. Thinking, “Bring it on! I’m ready to heal!” Or “I’m ready to be done with this!”
As I continue, I start finding items that trigger memories, some sentimental and wonderful and some difficult. When this started to happen, I was happy to clear out and release items and memories that no longer seemed relevant. I was seeing how much I’ve changed and healed since I moved 3 years ago. And there are others, that I continue to want or need in my life, so I packed those items. In our healing journeys, we too find triggers of memories, some we release easily and are happy we are able to let them go, these may have been patterns or wounds that we have tried to release for years; which we are now able to. We may find other memories or patterns, we’ve forgotten, perhaps special accomplishments or treasured people. And we may also come across painful memories or patterns that we just aren’t ready to face and so we may “pack” those away for a later time.
Moving down my path of packing and cleaning out, I eventually come to the overwhelm. My original enthusiasm has waned, exhaustion has set in. Usually at this point, I am dealing with items that aren’t easily packed or that I do not know what to do with, and if I’m honest, my emotions are pretty high. I’m rather vulnerable from all the work that I have done, all the memories I’ve dealt with and I want to say “Enough!” I just want to be finished or I want someone else to come in and do the work. I know this stage of a healing journey well (both for myself and my clients). This is when things get really uncomfortable and it is also when we have the opportunity for deep healing. Sometimes when we reach this stage, we stop, whether conscious or unconscious. Or we might decide we want to try another modality or change practitioner (of course, this is an unconscious way of stopping the work). Sometimes, we turn to substances to “help” us: prescription medications, alcohol, junk food… Sometimes we revert to old patterns. And of course, sometimes, we dig down, we gather our support, we take a deep breath, and we proceed, knowing that all of this is temporary and ultimately is an illusion and once we get through, it will be more than worth it. It is a magical moment when my clients choose to move forward and really heal the issue. I am humbled and honored to witness this.
Let me tell you, this stage is rarely pretty. This is one of the many reasons why it is great to work with someone to guide our own healing. When I hit this stage during my move, I felt an old, old pattern come up. It took all of my reserves and my incredible Plant guides to help me move through it. As a practitioner, when my clients reach this stage, I know that I have to hold them Lovingly and compassionately, while continuing to encourage them forward. I know that sometimes people need to take a break and a breather before they can move beyond this stage. And I’ve also witnessed people completely stop and slide back into their old ways. It is all okay, we have free will and the great thing about life is that we have an infinite amount of second chances. Sometimes it takes lifetimes, yet we will eventually learn what we need to learn and heal what we need to heal.
As much as I wanted to, I of course, did not stop with my move. Which allowed me to get to the next stages: moving day and unpacking. In the healing journey, moving day is when you realize you truly have finished with the trauma, pattern, limiting belief, etc. And just like the moving process, we also follow this with an unpacking process. The unpacking is when we get to reorganize our life, create it the way we want it to be. We realize that we are free from the burden and now design our life to reflect this.
Of course, this is not the final stage, for life is cyclical, not linear. As we unpack, whether books or our healing journey, we again are faced with memories or patterns. We can arrange these how we want them. Some we will display prominently, some we discover we no longer want and will release, some we may keep in a box in the basement and others may start us down the rabbit hole of healing again, this time with fresh eyes.
Hopefully, we are not constantly moving (at least this is my hope), nor are we constantly having major healing crises. It is good to settle, feel Home, and enjoy the gifts of life. And it is also good to do minor clean outs or organizing. We can too easily get stuck in our ways or accumulate, be it material objects or energetic. Change is good. This is why we say that Plant Spirit Healing is about maintenance, it is important to clean out, fill up, and readjust from time to time. That does not mean that we need to wait for crisis nor that the process has to be difficult. Healing and cleaning can be easy too, especially if we take care of what is needed early, rather than stuffing it away in a box, shoving it into the basement until we can no longer walk through our basement.
Wherever you are on your healing journey, I wish you Love and remember that the Plants are always there to help, sometimes we just need to ask.