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Our Offering to the River Honoring the Wild and Untamed Divine Feminine

Our Offering to the River Honoring the Wild and Untamed Divine Feminine

On the Summer Solstice, a smal group of women entered the mystical caves of Ra Paulette for our first ever women’s retreat in Northern New Mexico. Three days later I was ecstatic to receive this email.

With permission granted from the Red Fairy Queen herself, I share the power of our intimate gathering in sisterhood.

Dear sisters,

I wanted to give you an update on my experience since the retreat! Thanks Karen- it is really amazing how you held the space for us all to deeply feel and express our true, wild, succulent selves! I feel like the work we did cleared a lot for me. I feel more comfortable with myself than ever. During the retreat my gut asked me to do a three-day juice cleanse. Today is the last day! I’m detoxing a lot!

Another story.

Two days ago I made a new friend and we laughed and played music on a mountainside for hours upon end! During that time I had an idea that I really wanted to practice being my full, emotional, sensitive, vibrant, sexy self in public. So the next day I dressed up in my shiniest red spandex pants, stuck the raven feather in my red hat, wore a belly shirt with solar systems and galaxies all over it, tied a red table-cloth on as a cape, and walked around with a silly basket giving away free things all day. I was also experimenting with liberating myself not only of worrying about other people’s judgments, but also from being enslaved to money and the idea that giving has to be an exchange of material objects.

I gave away $10 dollar bills, fairy stamps and glitter, roses and other goodies. I called myself the Red Fairy Queen and told people what I was doing. People were really excited about it and I had some amazing exchanges!

What I learned:

Presence is the most valuable gift of all!

It meant more to people that I was there doing what I was doing, being present and connecting, than that I was giving them a physical object. I also realized that receiving can be a gift in and of itself.

Giving truly is receiving in a sense. 

By the end of the day I realized a lot about myself and also had been gifted many new friends, deep heartfelt connection and stories, and a beautiful crystal necklace and ring! I had a blast! My new friend and some old friends came out to join in the giving and receiving. I think I inspired some people and I definitely became more comfortable with the discomfort of being in a society that sometimes isn’t so accepting. Thanks for helping me on my journey sisters!

tata for now!

Love,
Melissa

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I utterly adore you dear Melissa Gail Klein! Now where did I leave my red spandex?

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“Trauma leaves an almost indelible signature that a healer can perceive in the luminous field. Healers believe that this marks a person’s experience of health or disease for their entire life, like a cross that each of us has to shoulder. A shaman can help people to lighten their load, perhaps even help them understand the lessons they needed to learn from the original trauma they experienced, but it is up to each person to choose whether they carry their cross lightly, discard it altogether, or become burdened and overwhelmed beneath the weight.” 
Alberto Villoldo

modern-art-prints

Artist George Grie

I have worked with an aging population most of my life and one thing is certain. There are no definitive rules on aging. Time will certainly take its toll on the body but we accelerate this process by bearing the weight of our wounds with every step we take.

How can the burden of trauma affect the way we age?

Dementia, the general term for a decline in mental function, is believed to come with aging. Could dementia be a breakdown of mind that comes from a cross too heavy to bear?

I wonder as I walk into a full-blown episode of a mind lost to reality.

A 76 year-old woman I see for general deconditioning and mild balance problems also has a diagnosis of dementia. I have never noticed evidence of this on our visits other than some innocent lapses in memory. As is often the case, people with dementia can present a strong front of having it all together.

On this particular day her husband answers the door as I arrive. “She had a rough night”, he tells me. I find her groggy in bed somewhere between sleep and waking.

Once oriented to my presence she lets me know this is not her home, a place she has lived in for the past twenty years. “Nothing here is mine”, she says claiming her husband has sold their house against her wishes and all of her things are gone. Were this to be true, imagine the fright.

Not only is she not in her home but she is certain her husband is ready to leave her. With my full attention, she finally feels she has someone who will listen. She wants me to know her husband cannot be trusted. “He acts very nice so no one knows that he lies all the time.”  Her husband, helpless and exhausted, seems as lost as she is.

She tells me her heart is broken. Her husband is with another woman. She has given everything to her marriage and now that she no longer has her looks he wants to leave. “I know I’m not a Barbie doll anymore“, she tells me, “but I don’t deserve to be treated like this.”

Although none of what she is saying is related to her present situation this betrayal existed in a former marriage. Her belief that it is happening now means she is feeling everything just as if it were true. “Everything I am telling you is real”, she said. I know it is. I feel it. Although her mind may be deluding her at the moment the wound of her broken heart is clear.

In a more frightening situation a few miles away, a woman I see has recently had back surgery. Her husband, suffering with dementia and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), had tried to kill her. In the final episode before entering the VA, he smothered her with a pillow as WWII raged on in his psyche. Believing he was at war, his wife was the enemy. She fought for her life and ruptured her disc.

What they have in common are the haunting wounds of their past. A cross that crippled the mind under its weight.

We are all wounded. We have all suffered trauma. And these wounds are clouding our perception of reality all the time. The only difference between those with dementia and those of us fortunate to have our mental health, is we have not lost the thread to reality just yet.

Imagine if your trauma weighed fifty pounds. What if you could strap that on your back and carry it around all day? You would feel its effect. This is where the accelerated breakdown comes in.

What might happen if we lighten our load? What if we drop the weight all together? How might we age then?

I cannot help but wonder what might have happened had my clients been able to find help to lighten their cross along the way. The burdens they carried for far too long were too much for their souls to bear. The mind broke beneath the weight.

I do not know how to restore the mind once its fragile thread to reality has been lost. Meditation can slow the progression but I offer this not as a remedy for dementia but rather as a call for us to take responsibility for our healing. Not simply for ourselves but for our loved ones and the collective humanity we share. Prevention may be our best medicine.

We cannot see what lies ahead as we grow older each day but we can learn to leave behind what no longer serves us. May each step we take bring greater ease to body, mind and soul. May grace be our guide home.

This article first appeared on MindBodyGreen as Why Getting Older Doesn’t Have to Be Painful.

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Although a story may be a personal one the wound it touches is often one of the collective. This my friends is one such story… 

I awake from a dream…

I am climbing a broken ladder, the hook and ladder kind found on a firetruck. It swings precariously from a second story doorway as I try to reach home. Each of my hands clutch something in their fist leaving me unable to hold on for safety, a tenuous mid-air balancing act as I try to keep from falling off. Below me, rising up from the ground, is the bottom half of the ladder that has disconnected from the top. A disoriented drunk man is trying to climb up. All I know is I want to get away from him.

My heart has been broken. My most beloved slipped from my life to the arms of another lover. To behold his love and devotion committed to another woman breaks my heart in two, the broken hook and ladder kind. This is not the first time my heart has been broken. This broken ladder started long, long ago, before this lifetime I am sure. (I will spare you my friends the ramblings of any past life musings.)

Longing for the attention of a father lost in a dry martini with a twist is where the ladder first broke. With no safe ground beneath me, my heart clutched to fear, tenuously stuck between wanting to get home and wanting to run away. My innermost heart shaped itself from this first broken heart. Attracting deeply wounded men that I could not count on was a mirror of the broken ladder of my own heart.

The dream of this broken ladder is the longing for its repair. It cries out through personal dreamtime. It is intimately linked to a collective slumber so a bridge may be built between masculine and feminine. Healing our personal wounds is what shifts the collective. The desire for my heart to entwine in unity is the desire of the heart of humanity. Healing the collective starts by holding my heart with deep honor and respect. The feminine longs for relationship. Her healing comes through connection. The gaze of the wounded masculine avoids the glare of the wounded feminine with her need to be loved. With a chasm as wide as any canyon how can a bridge ever be crossed?

I journey to the waters for the healing of my heart…

As I dive below the waters in which I am held I call forth from my heart a Spirit ally. One who will guide me underwater to the healing of my heart. A jellyfish appears. Its tentacles wrap themselves around my heart. The charge of electrical impulses surge through me like a defibrillator shocking a heart in cardiac arrest. An electric current is restoring flow where my heart has lost life force. Currents of trust flow through my heart. More shocks come through pulsing in love. Other waves recharge my heart with gratitude. Masculine and feminine timidly turn towards each other in a long awaited reunion. The impassible bridge has been crossed on waves of trust, love and gratitude. A prayer of tears wash me clean with compassion for my most tender heart. 

An unexpected ally from the world of Spirit. I confess I am not usually fond of swimming with jellyfish. On retreat in Bimini jellyfish filled the underwater alcoves we explored. I was struck, for the first time, by the beauty of their transparency in a nearly invisible form. Their utter abandon to flow and fluidity.

The jellyfish of all things knows how to repair this broken ladder. It appears as a teacher of the pure of heart. The purest of heart does not cling to hurts or betrayals. The purest of heart flows on the waves of trust. This ally of Spirit knows how to cross an insurmountable bridge to wholeness. Transforming the broken and lifeless space in my heart to one of union and love with a direct infusion from the lifeline of Spirit. A healing that reaches through time. Restoring a bridge to a lineage of male ancestors no longer connected through our brokenness. A vision for the future no longer created by dragging around the weight of a broken heart.

At any moment the shifting tides of life unveil what is ready to be healed so we may rise to the majesty of who we were born to be. It may float through in dreams. It may reflect in the mirror of your beloved. Its roots may lie in the family of origin. Whatever the source we can choose to look away or look within.

Let the tides of life wash clean your heart. May you travel to new shores on the waves of trust, the waves of love, the waves of gratitude in a co-creative dance with the world of Spirit who deeply longs to dance with us.

I share with you these dance steps for they are not my own. They are for every heart to remember who we are. So we may wake from the collective slumber. Dream a new dance of the sacred union of male and female into being.

One that begins with a heart beating in trust.

A heart beating in gratitude.

A heart beating in love.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
www.karenchrappa.com

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