healing

Heart Springs Sanctuary: A Healing Journey

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.

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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.

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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.

Change, Trust, Love

We are in the midst of major change as a new President of the United States takes office. Change is an interesting thing. We often say that we want it. We want a new job, a new car, or even a new partner. Sometimes we even dream of running away and leaving this life behind (and sometimes we do that). However, when the change is not something we are controlling, we tend to get frightened, we numb, we freeze, or we get angry. We do this even when we are getting what we wanted such as, we lose the job we’ve been wanting to leave. Here’s the thing, life is change. Change is the essence of life. When we breathe we are exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. We continuously bring in nutrients, change them, and excrete waste. If we stop these exchanges, we stress our bodies, until the point of death. Though, even death is change in action.

As Michael J. Roads writes, “One factor is very clear and constant; we live on a planet of perpetual change. As immortal, metaphysical Beings, we deliberately incarnate into mortal physical bodies for the very factor of conscious, spiritual growth. We cannot change and remain the same, obviously! The fact that we physically incarnate onto a planet of powerful Change, aware that all Nature is ever-changing, and yet remain so resistant to change in our personal lives is surely the greatest paradox of humanity.” (from Through the Eyes of Love: Book Three)

If change is constant, perpetual, and necessary than the challenge for us is how we meet change. When we resist change, we crystallize energy which blocks the flow in our bodies and our outer worlds. This blockage creates stagnation. What happens when there is a block? Think of a dam. The water builds up behind it, as the water builds up, the pressure builds up. If there is not a way for the pressure to be released (or the energy captured), the pressure will eventually get so great that it bursts through the dam creating enormous havoc. The same is true when we become resistant and crystallize. Change MUST occur. If we do not allow change, the energy builds up until chaos reigns. Sometimes we refer to this as the energetic 2x4 to the head.

Besides chaos, resisting change also prevents us from our soul growth. My mantra lately has been “Change and Trust. Change and Trust.” This is for good reason. When we are willing to change and be flexible even in small ways, we are trusting. Resisting change is acting in fear or not trusting. What I have come to learn (and continue to remind myself) is that the more I trust: the closer I am to my Soul path, the more the world opens to me, the more synchronicity and magic I experience.

As much as part of me wants to go back to bed and hide under the covers or stomp my feet on the ground and say, “NO! NO!! NO!!!!”, I know that this is my challenge, our challenge, to rise up, trust, and change. Does that mean that we shall change to be hateful people? No, that’s the unseen and pervasive part of my mantra, Love.

Our ultimate challenge in this life is to Love; to be Love; to meet every moment, every Being, every problem with Love; to choose Love. As Jonathan Goldman writes, “When you step across the boundary of consciousness as you leave your body, there is only one criterion for how you did in this lifetime, one lens of evaluation: How much love did you receive and pass on? Regardless of whatever words you used, whatever you did with your time and will on earth, whatever you manifested on the material level, all that matters is how you served the great plan to put love in the driver’s seat.” (from Gift of the Body)

So you see it is easy, meet change with grace and Trust and choose Love as our guiding force. I know I can hear the reactions, “Oh, yeah so easy!” It is. Love is easy. Growth is easy. It is our human conditioning that makes it difficult. We buy into the illusion that anything worthwhile must be difficult and so we make it so. (Trust me, I’m fully aware of this, I have consciously chosen the more difficult path time and time again in my life.) In Truth, we can just as easily choose to learn our lessons with ease.

Think of Water. Water follows the path of least resistance and does what Water needs to do, bringing Life and change wherever ki goes. We are Water. We too can follow that path. And when we forget, lose our way, or feel overwhelmed, the Plants and other guides are them to help us.

Just remember, when in doubt:

CHOOSE LOVE!

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The image is a detail of a Healing Landscape created for the Inauguration, sending my prayers out for Love and Compassion to be our center as we create a better world.

Further Reflections on Standing Rock

In November, my son and I travelled to North Dakota to support the Water Protectors of Standing Rock. I was going there to support the Medic + Healers at the Oceti Sakowin camp and my son to help build. Before leaving, I was reluctantly interviewed and one of the questions was, “What expectations do you have?” My response was “None. Well, I expect we won’t want to leave.” I was right, we didn’t want to leave. And there is no way that I could’ve expected what I experienced. I wrote in another blog about my experience of Beauty and community. All of this is true and these experiences have continued to feed my Heart and add more fuel to my long-held vision of a more Loving world. I believe that it is these experiences that have enabled my deeper, unravelling experiences from Standing Rock. It has taken me some time to be able to share these and to be completely honest, I continue to be in the midst of working through them.

We are encouraged to attend at least 1 morning meeting at Oceti Sakowin. The day that I went, my Heart was filled by the prayers and being reminded of the 7 Lakota Values (Prayer, Respect, Compassion, Honesty, Generosity, Humility, Wisdom). We then moved to another building for the orientation portion. It was here that my world came tumbling down. During one of the announcements, we were reminded that our country was founded as a white supremacist patriarchal society. My first instinct, was “No way!” I grew up not far from Philadelphia and regularly visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I know that our founding fathers were not perfect, but come on! A split second later, it happened. “Oh my gosh! It was! I live in a white supremacist, patriarchal country!”

Suddenly I started seeing things in a completely different manner. To add to this, I witnessed racism like I’ve never seen before. Here, in North Dakota, it was expected and considered normal. I don’t know how to put this in words. The energy from this was thick, grey, gross, and suffocating. Despite dealing with racism every day, the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota continued.

I grew up reading history books about the genocide of Native Americans. I remember being appalled to learn of the Trail of Tears or the Land grabs or the small pox blankets. I always thought that if I was alive then, I would do what I could to stop this.

So here I was, standing in a camp of Beauty surrounded by thousands of Native Americans from hundreds of Nations all whose very existence is a sign of resistance. For they and their Ancestors survived having their Land, children, religion, language, and food taken from them. They have survived biological and chemical warfare. And they continue to deal with significantly higher than average poverty, incarceration, violence, rape, drug and alcohol abuse along with a significantly lower availability of health care. A brief stroll through statistics is Heartbreaking. I discovered another lie, the genocide has not stopped. It has been ongoing since the first white settlers arrived, though the form changes. And these survivors greeted me with open arms saying, “Welcome Home!”

I came home from Standing Rock with a giant mix of emotions. (I think it was also significant that we left for Standing Rock on the day that Donald Trump became the President elect.) I was overwhelmed by the Beauty and community that I witnessed. While feeling like my world was unraveling and my frames of perception were ripped off. I was open and raw and lost. And I didn’t want to change this. I wanted to continue through it. For too long, I was living with false perceptions and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I knew racism existed and witnessed it and tried to change it. But the fact that I could be 40 years old and be surprised that our country was founded on white supremacy, showed me just how big my white privilege was.

So I unraveled. On the physical level, this lead to an illness with fevers and loss of consciousness that left me bedridden for about a week. As I recovered physically, I continued to process. When I discovered that Donald Trump was elected, my response was to Love more, to be even more gentle and kind, to be even more dedicated to healing. Now, a new layer began. I started to feel the wounds we have been carrying for generations, including the wounds of the Holocaust. We carry so much from our past and until we heal these, we continue to be effected, all of us. I allowed these to move through me as I focused on transmuting them with Love.

As always, I called to the Plants and my other helping guides to help me be a vessel of transmutation and to help my body adjust to these new perspectives. I continue to ask for help and guidance from the Plants while I continue to unravel and find my Truth.

We live in this incredible time. I keep feeling like I have stepped into one of my history books. The truth is we are living herstory. We have the opportunity to heal the wounds of our past - remembering that both oppressors and oppressed were harmed - and we have the power to shift our paradigm to benefit the future.

One of my great lessons from Standing Rock is that together we are strong. I share my experiences in the hopes that together we can remove the facades and allow our healing. Together we can shift this white supremacist, patriarchal paradigm in which we live to one that is inclusive, celebrates diversity, and is based on Love.

Healing with the Land

On my walk this morning, I could hear, “We survived! We survived!” The Birds were singing, the Plants dancing. Everyone was excited to be waking from the slumber of winter. I was moved to see the Plants returning. As I was walking, I was brought back to the first time that I walked this Land and how it has changed.

After many years of searching for land, we finally agreed to see this property. It had been on the market for over a year. Every time that I saw the listing in the paper, I said that I wanted to see it and then we would remind ourselves of where it was. It was a cornfield. We were opposed to taking farmland out of production. We wanted wooded land. We wanted land that we could help heal. Suddenly we awoke from our slumber and realized that the land that needed healing was the farmland around us. This land has been and is being poisoned and planted with more poisons (GMO corn and soybeans). We finally agreed to see it. As soon as we stepped on the property, everyone said “This is it!” We knew!

What did it look like then, just bare soil with remains of cornstalks. Though we did find a turtle and several frogs. We bought the farm in October 2003, shortly after a crop of soybeans was harvested. The field pretty much was barren earth surrounded on three sides with thin woods. The only Plants that we found growing were Jimson Weed, which is an imposing and poisonous, though medicinal plant. We had a farmer plant hay in the field. The following Spring, Burdock, Thistles, Yellow Dock, and Amaranth were among the plants to join us. These plants have good protective armor with thorns and spikes. They also have deep tap roots that help to bring minerals into the upper soil and I think help to clean the land of toxins. After a year of pleading, Plantain moved in! She has been here ever since and is now quite prolific.

Since that time, more and more Plants have come to live here. I love to see the progression. When we first moved here, there was a tiny patch of Violets in the woods. I considered that my special place and would often go to spend time with them. Now, they are throughout the field. It still surprises me when I see them.

As I was walking today, I discovered that several Trees are beginning to grow in an area of our field that we have not been mowing. This is exciting! I wanted a good portion of our Land to grow and change on her own. However, that is difficult to handle when you are taught that land needs to be manicured and a person’s character can be judged by how well maintained their yard is. And so, this was always a bone of contention with my family and neighbors. Fortunately, as Ani Difranco says, “Nature always gets her way!”

One of my favorite areas of this Land is an area that we agreed from the beginning to leave alone. It is a Faerieland. When I was there today, my Heart was bursting with Love and gratitude. We now have Trees whose trunks are 6” in diameter! These trees were not there when we moved here and we did not plant them, yet they are tall and strong and gorgeous.

I am so grateful to live on this Land. I now realize that it was incredibly arrogant of me to think that I was going to heal the Land; instead, the Land is healing me or maybe we are healing one another. I realize that not everyone can (or wants to) live on a farm; however, I think everyone needs a special spot where s/he can watch Nature unfold and change. This can be your backyard, a park, a sidewalk. Nature is everywhere.

I love this time of year: the new beginnings and unbridled energy full of joy and sensuality. I hope that you enjoy the re-awakening and re-emerging into the Light.