(artist unknown at the moment, but will include the name once I identify her or him)
This weekend, I attended a retreat that encouraged me to stretch all kinds of comfort zones, ‘going to my edge’, dropping façade and worn out beliefs about my former identity and donning a new one, in the presence of other courageous women. One of the exercises we did had us lying in a circle on the floor with our heads in the middle. In meditative state, we were asked to transport ourselves to a safe, sacred place. Mine is the same as it has been for decades, as I visualized a many windowed, high ceilinged room with music carried on the breeze, vibrant and green plant life, floor to ceiling bookshelves and my magical writing desk from whence transcendent words emerge. Wind chimes serenade me and there is a comfy couch with plump pillows and a quilt into which I curl up to read. . The panoramic view is a of a calm lake and towering trees. The woodsy aroma wafts in through an open door. I know it is out there somewhere and I call it into my life as I have with people and experiences. They sometimes arrive at the speed of thought and I am amazed but rarely surprised when they do.
We were then asked to hear sounds, words, overlapping as they wove in and out of each other. Mine were the wind, without distinct verbiage. As it intensified, I felt no fear as I had in previous years, having lived through Hurricane Andrew in Homestead Florida. For years afterward when it would kick up, so too would my heart rate. This time there was a sense of exhilaration that accompanied it. We were then offered a gift and a message to move us forward. The first came as a revisit from nearly a decade and a half ago. I had just graduated from The New Seminary as an interfaith minister. In a dream shortly afterward, one of the deans named Diane Berke asked us to present a gift to the class. I carried a box in both hands. I held it out before me, proud of what was inside. As she raised the lid, she gazed at a lovely rose quartz heart. She took it out and held it and smiled wistfully, it seemed. Her words were bittersweet as she shared “This is a beautiful offering, but is also very heavy. Please bring it back when it is lighter.” Tears flowed as I knew that what she said was true. I placed the heart back in the box and carried it away. Over the years, I have allowed it to emerge from its container, playing peekaboo with friends, family, lovers, clients and co-workers. Sometimes it (and I) have remained ‘out of the box’ and at others, have crawled back in out of fear that the gift would not be accepted. Sometimes it has, sometimes not. Regardless, I am coming to accept that it is no less a gift if another person isn’t able or willing to embrace it. As I relived the dream experience in the meditation, I smiled since I knew that I would be able to carry it forward, opening the box and offering it more tenaciously. The words that accompanied that recognition, spoken on the wind were “Fire it up!” I knew exactly what that meant since for so long, I have had a push pull relationship with my own passionate nature, feeling that sometimes it burns too hot and bright and not wanting it to scorch or blind anyone, have squelched it as well. I have dimmed the light and heat, so as not to scare anyone with its insatiability for life and love. As I fire up my own heart, it will glow that much more brightly and attract those who are able to accept it.
Later in the day, one of the women offered tarot card readings and (not knowing me well), she shared one that was spot on for the issues I am facing in my life. One of the things that jumped out at me was that she said I needed to “woo” what I wanted to call in. Hmmm….wondering how to do that? Last year, I was at a presentation that Lisa Nichols offered in NJ and the words “attract, don’t pursue,” came from her. I am guessing it means dynamic surrender; putting out there into the world what I desire to call in and then letting go of how it will show up; knowing that if it is for the Highest Good, it will indeed.
One of the things I am accepting about myself is that I do most things with a fierceness that sometimes flies in the face of my pacifist inclinations and shocks the heck out of me at times. When I dream, I dream BIG. When I create, it is with color and vibrancy. When I ponder ideas, I am sometimes like a dog with a bone who doesn’t want to give it up. It can give way to ruminating, so I am learning to let that one go. When I love, I do it with all my rose quartz heart.
Thank you to all of the companions on the journey.