Thursday, March 30, 2006
What if I approached it from a different perspective? What if I changed my fear to joyous anticipation of the wonderful stories contained in each photo or clipping? How about if I remember that at the moment the picture was taken, the majority of them were taken at a happy time?
Instead of propelling myself into future troubles with each photo, what if I stayed in the moment the picture was taken? Letting all those negative bodies feed on the bad energies created by sad or angry emotions disgusts me. It negates all the work I've done to find a healthy, balanced way of living.
The first layer consisted of memories of Gus...and his story evolved into memories of Lucky and Nate's youthful times. Happy times. Throughout Gus's life, a whole series of events occurred that could have taken over the actual memory of Gus in the picture. But I took each picture; I looked hard at the backgrounds and at Gus...and I marvelled at how handsome he looked in his youth, the wisdom in his eyes, how young the people with him were.
To be sure, in that Old Box, there are many pictures of people and pets and places that are no longer part of my life. But they were when the photos were taken. And facing them and the part they played on the roadmap of my life ultimately makes me take a look back at me. At that frightened, confused and angry young person I was. The shame I felt when I was drinking. The guilt, sadness and grief of losing my daughter.
But it also will show how much I loved my family. How I cared for and nurtured them and how happy they all looked. How I did the best I could, with the tools I had at the time.
There can be no sludge soup (Cats, Kittens, and More Cats) left for surprise ammunition for negative entities to use against me in my journeys. There can be no fear. The person I was in these pictures is the same person I am now, only older and wiser, having learned the lessons absorbed in my younger years.
I have a different persective of life now than I did even just a year ago. Evolution is occurring at a rapid rate. And the change in my outlook is because I lived those memories...they made me the person I am today. One who strives for authority, impeccability, clear intent, and no fear.
And no procrastination, either.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Lucky mourned Gussy...we slept curled up together the first night, and Lucky was very restless. I got up at 2 AM. I had heard Gussy's padding step, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. (He was always afraid of that floor...it was slippery and he was not too steady in his latter years.)
We sat and talked, Gus and I, into the night...and Lucky sat by my feet. Taking it all in. It was his first introduction to the 'visitors' from beyond that came by with regularity. Gus, of course, the old Shaman that he was, knew well how to appear on another plane...the veils were very thin to Gus.
He told me he felt he would stay awhile with Lucky and I...there were changes coming, and he wanted to help ease the way. He reassured me...it was much easier to maneuver now, he said, his body, having shed various layers, was completely healed...and he thanked me. He imprinted his energy signature on both myself and Lucky, who sat quietly, shaking with excitement and nerves. And he told me he would shapeshift. He would use the Raven most often, he said, but there would be times when he would arrive in whatever shape he happened to be in.
Hence, the energy signature imprint. One that Lucky... and over time, Nate, too...recognizes instantly, as do I.
When I moved to Qualicum Beach, Gussy went with Lucky and I. Lucky and Nate were very close...instantly recognizing each other and bonding tightly. But they were two very young dogs who egged each other on. Nate became very protective of Lucky, who took every little thing and blew it up all out of proportion, becoming hyper-excited. And Nate threw himself at doors, barking wildly, whenever someone appeared. The very atmosphere was electrified, vibrating with energy...we were all in a new house, in a new life.
Gus became the balancing factor...in one case, when someone came to the door and Nate went into his routine...something grabbed him and threw him away from the door. Nate whined, his tail between his legs, and came to me looking very chastened. His behavior altered after that incident, although he still has some work to do. But Gus assures me, with maturity, Nate will get it, and indeed he is.
And there is the Raven, that Lucky actually sits and talks with. There is such excitement and pleasure in Lucky's bark when he sees the Raven, who will sit in a tree and call to Lucky, in different tones than any I've heard from Raven. And then, Lucky stops barking (in itself, a great feat) and listens, tail wagging madly.
During my meditations under Grandfather Tree (Awareness)Lucky and Nate stay close by my side. If I am standing, Lucky will sense beings with me, and becomes very aware and alert. Nate, now, has accepted the 'visitors' that sometimes appear, but is still wary. He watches. The stillness in both dogs during these events is a great learning lesson for me on dogs and the paranormal.
Nate knows when a member of his family is close, especially Scott. Many times, Nate will grow very alert moments before Scott arrives. And Lucky knows when Bree comes to visit, at least 24 hours before she appears. The dogs hone their extra senses constantly and the results show.
But then, they've been taught by Shaman Gus himself...
He barely remembers his mother, and his siblings even less. Even though his mother stayed with her puppies as much as she could, sometimes she had to leave, for either food or bathroom
duties. And then, one day, she didn't return. He waited, cuddling with his siblings for warmth, as the wind and rain howled, driving sheets of water under the car where his mother had made her den.
Within a very short time, it seemed, his siblings died. He was left bereft, crying piteously for help, hunger and thirst overshadowing the cold wind that blew with ferocity underneath the car. He had never seen a human...he did not know what they were. And when a long arm reached for him under the car, he tried to struggle, but his weakness overcame him, and he was brought out into the light of day.
But perhaps this long limbed creature would lead him to his mother. The man held him under his coat, and brought him into a house. He gave him water, and some food, but Nate did not know what the food was...he wanted his mother's milk. The man placed a blanket in the corner of a room, and left Nate there. Nate remembers feeling very weak and sick...he became sicker as the days went on.
Where was his mother? There was no answer; Nate would never see his mother alive again.
The man picked him up once more, wrapping the blanket around him. Nate was taken in a car...crying and whimpering and so very fearful at the strange movement of the vehicle. Finally, the car stopped, the back door was opened...and Nate and his blanket were left at the foot of a dumpster. The man and the car left.
Once more he was alone. He huddled deep within the folds of the blanket. It became dark, and the sounds of the night reminded him of his mother and the warmth she would impart to her puppies, as she wrapped her thin body around them. He cried himself to sleep.
Early the next morning, another human picked him up, and sheltered him with gentle, loving arms. The man had left him outside the Campbell River SPCA, and a worker found him and his blanket. The blanket, dirty to begin with, was now filthy, and it was thrown directly into the dumpster. Nate was taken into the adjacent building.
He remembers feeling really, really sick. The noise of barking dogs, meowing cats and the smell of death and sadness in the building made him try to vomit, but there was nothing in his stomach that could be thrown up. Gentle hands poked and prodded at his little body. He was fed with a syringe the first few days he was there; then he was introduced to a little soft mush.
As he grew, he learned to ignore the sights, smells and sounds of the SPCA. The only thing he waited for was the food he realized was now coming with regularity. He would sit quietly in his cubicle, watching the comings and goings of the staff and listening to the constant sound of barking and whining from his kennel mates, all as sad and confused as he was.
But Nate had dreamt of a boy with dark eyes and black hair. Other dreams would crowd in, too...dreams of a red dog, dreams of a family that loved and cared for him, dreams of good food and fresh water in abundance. His mother visited in his dreams, reassuring him it would not be long to wait for his boy now.
Scott (Off to Africa), for a long time, had wanted a boxer puppy. Surfing the 'net one day, Scott came across a picture of the puppy Nate the SPCA had posted. He phoned his Dad at work and told him of this puppy he had found, which looked exactly like the puppy he had dreamed of. The pup was in Campbell River, many miles from Qualicum Beach. But his Dad came home, and suggested they go and have a look at this little guy that had such a hold on Scott's heart.
A couple of hours later, they drove in to the Campbell River SPCA. They were on the verge of closing; kindly they remained open so that Scott and Nate could meet. Scott took Nate to a play area, and threw a ball for him. Nate remembers not thinking twice...he chased the ball as hard as he could, caught it and brought it back to Scott, his dream boy.
The deal was done.
The puppy was given the name Nate. As papers were filled, Nate cuddled in Scott's arms, whimpering and whining with excitement, imprinting the smell of his dream boy into his very bones. He remembers trying to ignore the insistent urge to vomit...he had just eaten and he had had no time to digest his food.
Gray and Scott were unfamiliar with small puppies. On the long drive home, Nate could no longer hold back his nausea, and he vomited all over Gray's new truck. Both Scott and Graham were worried...what was wrong with this new member of their family? They learned within a very short time what puppies are all about...they leak fluids of one sort or another with great frequency.
Nate has some leftovers from his time spent in the SPCA. He would sit in the corner of his kennel, trying to make himself as small and inconspicuous as possible. And as he sat, he watched and learned about the behavior of dogs, both good and bad aspects. All of the dogs rushed to the door of their kennel, barking maniacally the moment anyone walked into the enclosure. Most of the dog's tails would wag, to be sure, showing their happiness...but they all barked, whimpered and howled. And the kennel doors would bow under the weight of the big dogs who threw themselves at them.
There has been more than one salesman or donations volunteer who scuttles back down the front steps, as Nate's big head suddenly appears at the high window in the front door, barking maniacally...just as the big dogs he emulated did when he was young at the SPCA. With a wagging tail.
But he sounds horrifically dangerous, and looks it. He is a great watchdog just because he is so noisy. Gussy (Lucky and Nate's Story...Part 1) had a hand, from his place in the spirit world, in curbing this behavior when Graham and I moved in together. But that would not be for awhile...
The remembrance of starvation and thirst in his youth placed a large imprint on his soul. Nate inhales his food; ever ready for more...and more. He still drinks very large quantities of water, still vomits when he has taken too much water at once.
Nate tells me he loved his all-bachelor's existence, before I came along and the Tower fell. It would be awhile before his beloved routine would continue at a peaceful rate. He would meet Lucky, the red dog in his dreams. And he would meet Bree, Lucky's owner, who he would 'know' at once. Bree, who also needed the link and reminder of Gussy in Nate's Labrador behavior and looks, and who takes him for walks when she's here, just as Scott did and does when he returns home from his journeys.
Lucky and Nate have much to teach me about the spirituality and intuition of dogs. Both are incredibly psychic. Lucky 'sees' and 'feels' his way; Nate 'listens' and 'watches'.
Their behavior very much influences mine...
Monday, March 27, 2006
Lucky's story is interesting. His mother was a Golden Retriever and his dad was an Airedale. They lived side by side, separated only by a fence. Love blossomed in the Spring...even if the Retriever was a champion show dog, she loved that stubborn, insistent Airedale next door.
They were always kept apart...mainly because she had such proud lineage and her puppies were worth a fortune. But the Airedale was no slouch either...he was used for stud purposes; his seed was worth a fortune. And he definitely knew what he was doing when love was in the air.
All of the owners worked. Sometimes the dogs were left in their respective backyards; they were fully fenced and in good condition, with shrubbery around each perimeter. On a day when the soft breezes blew wispy seeds into the darkest corners of the yard (where they flourished and turned into monster weeds) and blew words of undying love into each dog's ear...they had had enough separation.
The Airedale dug and dug, with the Retriever helping from the other side. The fence structure went deep, and there was earth piled up as beds for the shrubbery. But the Airedale's forte was digging deep for his passions...be they rats or love. At the moment, he was digging for love, and nothing would any longer come between he and his lovely lady.
The meeting between the two of them can only be described as divinely orchestrated. After running and playing between the two yards, and inspecting each corner of the other's yard, with lots of marking being done by the Airedale, they had time to carefully inspect each other, whispering longing words of love. And the inevitable happened...the love words and dashing behaviour of her Airedale lover overcame her shyness...and she capitulated, as some women will.
The Airedale was crafty. He had dug his hole with careful concealment from prying eyes. And both dogs, tired out from a day of love, were in their respective yards when their owners came home. In this way, they were able to hide their liasons for a week. And the play, the love, the oneness between the two souls was truly a wondrous time.
But the weekend came. The jig was up. The owners filled the holes, and poured concrete. There would be no more visits.
But the Golden Retriever, whose menses were carefully timed in order to have a passion-filled weekend with a stud whose name was known far and wide, was pregnant. Hot words ensued between the owners...blaming words and angry tears...ahh, the unfairness of it all. Where were the dollars now that the Retriever was up the creek?
Whether it was the look in the Retriever's limpid eyes, or whether the owners just couldn't abort her Airedale tainted puppies, Lucky doesn't know...but he and twelve others were born on July 16...Graham's birthday.
And as soon as the owners could...in their case, they felt six weeks was long enough...they separated Lucky and his siblings from their mother ( who Lucky longingly describes as a loving, softly gentle tongue, which is all he can really remember. He claims he knows just what she looks like, but it's hardly likely. He can't remember yesterday).
Lucky and I met at the Adoption Room, run by the SPCA, at Petcetera in Nanaimo. He was very excited to see me, telling me his story over and over again, and telling me that he had had an operation almost as soon as he was born. Was he normal? he asked. He wouldn't leave my side.
My big, black lab Gus was nearing the end of his days. My neighbour at the time, Rodney (Wind), not wanting another loss in my life so soon after Lennix (my cat) had died, and so soon after my divorce, suggested I get a puppy. He said Gus had so much to teach...and he was right. Gus taught Lucky as a Shaman would. Gus would amble, doing his business, and Lucky would dance around him worrying his huge neck. Gus taught him all the things a dog should have learned from his mother...he became the substitute patriach. But the Lab didn't totally understand this presumed Lab/Airedale.
They told me Lucky was a Golden Labrador/Airedale cross. It was an easy mistake...he looked just like a Lab. But his siblings already had wispy Airedale/Retriever hair...and they must have known that Lucky was part of the same litter.
But I came in wanting a Labrador cross, and so Lucky became one, for a time. It was about six months before his long, feathery Retriever hair showed up, along with the coarse, wiry Airedale hair. I took him to a groomer. She shook her head, in absolute sorrow, and told me the characteristics of each breed...the dander the Airedale loses and the enormous amounts of hair the Retriever can shed. I was in for a dog's lifetime surrounded by tufts and billows of hair.
Gus and I had a very close relationship...we had spent many lonely, frightened nights together after the world around me crashed and change irrevocably. And I trusted that my old Shaman dog friend would teach this new whippersnapper exactly what he would need to know. I thought old Gussy would depart on his new journey in the early fall, but Lucky gave him a need to stay for awhile longer. When his job was done, he left us to our own devices, Lucky and I. But he stayed very close...he still has work to do with Lucky.
Nate only met Gus once; Gus, despite his advanced age and Nate's young one, immediately showed him who was boss, and Nate listened. Within that short meeting between the two dogs, enough information was passed that Gus knew Nate would be his Lab replacement, even if Nate looked more like a terrier at that point. And Gus knew there was more work to be done with Nate. But his old body husk was deteriorating quickly; Gus continues now to work with both dogs from the spirit world.
Nate was much bigger than Lucky when they met; but this would change over the next two years... Lucky, I think, hasn't stopped growing yet. Apparently, Airedales can take four or five years to grow up, listen and have some wisdom. Lucky has proven that this is the case. But as a puppy, in a strange place where he'd never been before, he found his way back to his new home, after someone dropped his leash. And he dashed off. And..and...and that's Lucky.
But he's got great potential...
Friday, March 24, 2006
Quite often, messages and answers sought from my guides come in the words of a song. The harmonies may just pop into my head at odd times during the day, or perhaps an appropriate song may be played on the radio, at the same time I'm thinking about something. In this case, the dream that caused this chorus of voices has long disappeared into the far reaches of my subconscious. But the words linger...
Again, I am too impatient, and the song is how I was told. The time is not right yet for me to have all the answers, just because I want them. And insist on having them, as I did last night before I went to sleep.
Shaman Elder Maggie sent Graham and I a pair of quartz crystals from The Life Healing Community. The crystal, along with many, many others, was found on the land where the LHC is situated. As soon as I opened the package, the vibrations from the crystals shot up my arm...it was a dramatic first meeting.
Shaman Maggie had blessed the stones before she sent them to us. I have never met this wonderful lady in person; if I had any doubts about her power, this reaction of mine to these crystals dispelled them in short order. Along with the crystals, she sent some information on them.
She writes that quartz "Recalls forgotten memories, solves problems, dispels negativity, finds capabilities we thought we had lost." The stone, Shaman Maggie says, will remind me that I am a spiritual being who is having a human experience. And it will open the doors further for contact with my guides and their collective wisdom.
I chose the crystal I wanted, and put it under my pillow. Before I went to sleep, I requested...no, make that demanded...answers to the dreams I 've had, the warnings and portents that I have received lately. This time I had the quartz crystal. I felt I had added protection and power. I misjudged my guides.
I know my guides, at any rate, don't like petulant demands. My guides and I are one, and I don't like petulant demands. The kind where there's a whine just underneath whatever request it might be. The kind I'm pretty good at, if good is the word. I did it, last night, once again.
It takes a hammer, sometimes...
Along with a lot of answers and directions and advice to the questions I have asked lately, I have also received messages to be patient. To wait. Over and over again, the Tarot has told me to learn patience, patience has been counseled in dreams, and patience is the answer I receive from my guides when I request counsel.
Some things take time to come to fruition. And there is nothing I can do to alter that fact, other than attempting to manipulate the desire to 'know' by demanding more.
I don't want to do the work...I just want the answers, like a two year old who wants a cookie, now! The Old Box is still sitting on my bedroom chair, like a silent taunt. I spring-cleaned the house yesterday rather than sort through those old memories.
There are steps to be observed here...I don't believe I will get many more answers, if any, until I do them. The thought that I might be a fool, who doesn't have all the tools given to me under my belt, who rushes in half-prepared, chastens me. I've got to do the work.
And that includes that old box, which has assumed gigantic, dark proportions. It seems the quartz crystal may help with my procrastination and apprehension, if I remember to ask with humility. This is a very powerful stone...it is the one I was most drawn to, out of the pair sent. It's already taught me, once again, a lesson I'm having trouble learning.
The lesson of waiting in silence...watching and learning. And patience.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I had planned to visit my mother this afternoon. The visit suddenly became very important; no time for memories contained within this box. Saved by the bell...
Here, in this old box, are the remnants, the tattered remains of the last fifty-five years. Each item has associations with links to all those years. There are a lot of memories here that I haven't faced...ever.
My reaction when I faced that box, which turned into a huge, nauseating being right before my eyes, tells me there are things within I must lay to rest. Isn't it amazing how my dreams have directed me straight to the source of old longings, realities and beliefs?
My guides have shown me the way. In order to show my respect and honour, I will walk that dark, twisted path, cleaning broken branches and shrubbery as I go. Letting in the sun.
Tomorrow or perhaps this afternoon, I will brave those emotions that arise. The painful sludge that arises deserves to go into the garbage to be shredded into fine particles.
And then as I go for a walk around the garden, on the wind comes a message...the anticipation of doing this journey to the past is far worse than the reality will be.
Authority, impeccability, clear intent and no fear is what shamanism is all about. And I won't be clearing this garbage out alone.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
For the first time in my life, I do not own a cat, even though they are my favourite pets. I have two fairly young dogs, who chase rabbits and cats with great ferocity. It would not be safe at this time for a kitten to join our household, although I keep hoping the dogs will suddenly grow up and become more accepting of small, wiggly creatures such as a kitten. A big wish, and not one that will likely happen any time soon.
So this morning I hit the Internet, with the purpose of interpreting these dreams that abound with cats. Cats are so familiar to me...any cat I've owned, the most recent one being Lennix, has given me long, intuitive messages. My cats and I would work out in the garden, and messages and thoughts would be passed on to me by the cat that would sit silently watching me weed. Many times I would tell my cat about troubles in my life; the answer would come to me in dreams or meditations shortly after the telling.
The importance of cats in my life cannot be emphasized enough. But what are they trying to tell me in my dreams this time?
This night I was visited in my dream by former relationships I had that didn't continue. In one, the man threw away some carrot soup he had made, telling me it wasn't good at all. At first I felt indignant ( how could someone throw away homemade soup...couldn't it have been resurrected?), but as I looked at the sludge of soup in the garbage can, I thought...it really wasn't any good. And it's true, this relationship really couldn't have been saved.
But I thought I had accepted this a long time ago, and I believe I had...mostly. There were remnants that had to be sorted and thrown out...the sludge soup.
There were other relationships with similar symbols...again, I believe I had accepted these endings. But in each case, something was thrown out, into the garbage. Again, sludge soup.
Ok. But throughout the dream, cats and kittens entwined themselves around me and the furniture near me. There were many. At times, I was looking out of the eyes of a cat, one I 'knew' really well. With the exception of one kitten, all the cats were tame and loving.
But this one kitten was feral. She would let no one near her. I was directed to see this hissing, growling, spitting kitten who hunched tightly in the centre of a blanket. She was black and white, with tufts of hair here and there growing longer than her kitten coat. She growled at me...loud, long, deep growls...the kind that come from the innermost part of a soul.
A soul in torment. In my dream, I asked my guides to help me give Reiki to the wee, spitting feline. I was not frightened of her, only sad for her. I placed my hand near her, and she flew at my hand. I did not take my hand away, and she became calm. She allowed me to touch her, her muscles in her thin body relaxing as I stroked her coat.
I was left with the image of this kitten looking at me with her greenish golden eyes burning their way into mine...what was it she was telling me?
There are many sites about cats and their properties on the 'net...two I liked especially are the Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses, where I researched the Goddess Bast, and Notes from a Dreamer, where Bobbiann recounts her dreams and solves them. Both are great sites.
I have to take into account that this is a recurring dream. I have asked for an explanation; it seems it is being given, bit by bit. It is a message dream story, with continuing segments, and I believe it to be very important.
The Goddess Bast represents protection...if she visited me, and I believe she did, was she appearing as one of my guides? And the number one question...what is she protecting me from?
Another property is fertility...who's pregnant? Certainly not me.
Another is abundance. There are changes in the wind...all the signs point to a huge change that will happen, impacting my life in ways I've never even thought of.
Perhaps there is a moral lesson here, too. One of patience. When the time is right, I'll know...let it be, I hear, there will be answers...
Monday, March 20, 2006
Most people, in a nightmare, at some point become aware that they are dreaming. Instead of choosing to wake up once awareness of being asleep occurs in the dream, if the dreamer becomes lucid in the dream, there is a measure of control. In other words, the nightmare can be changed to a more positive one. This takes a lot of practice, of course. Even with people who are practiced dreamers, once in awhile a nightmare will slip through, with a jarring, heart-pumping ending as we awake. And then, unless we choose to consciously re-visit the dream and try and solve it in a sleep or visual state, we are left with the detritus of emotions the dream awakens within us.
And if we choose to bury those unhealthy emotions, the nightmare will return...sometimes in the very same format. Before I studied dreams and their effects, many years ago, I had a series of recurring nightmares, just because I was adept at stuffing them away, never letting the message that had been given see the light of day. I didn't treat dreams then as the gifts they really are.
Nightmares are gifts. The Dreams Foundation states that "such situations can be transformed into positive and even pleasant experiences. The key to such evolution is a change of perspective, often accompanied by a new emotional response to the situation such as taking on an attitude of acceptance, curiosity and exploration to replace the existing reaction of fear or judgment". As I understand this, if I change my belief or reality in a dream to one that gives me joy...I am well on the way to understanding myself better in waking reality.
That being said, I had a nightmare last night. I don't particularly want to re-visit it just yet, although I will in the next few days. ( I am the slowest dreamworker...it can take weeks sometimes for an aha! moment.) I tend to work out the message in a dream during my daily tasks...gardening is a good job for working on dream messages.
In my dream, once again, there were many cats... kittens and cats were every- where. I was in a strange house (by strange, I mean there was no familiarity to it for me, as there are with other houses in my dreams) in which there were many large rooms. To me, they were disorganized, cluttered rooms...they didn't feel right. And there were many people who seemed familiar to me, yet not. Bewildered, I wandered through the rooms, knowing nothing here belonged to me, only my car parked outside. And then, suddenly even this was taken from me, by a woman I recognized. I felt completely hopeless and very, very sad.
All the avenues suggested to me by the people in my dream turned into dead ends. Throughout, the cats intertwined themselves all about my person and my surroundings. I was told over and over how 'stupid' I was. I was left bereft, with deep, nose-tingling tears that gushed forth, even upon awakening. But there was a glimmer of an intuitive understanding within myself of a way out...somewhere.
The dream had many more symbols and messages; it was a very long dream story. On the surface, the dream is more or less easy to interpret. It is the dreamer who knows it's not easy at all. Many objects and people in dreams mean something to the dreamer...and no-one else. That is the rub...dreams are unique to the dreamer and his/her reality.
But I know whether or not I actively work at this dream, the meaning will come clear sooner or later. That is the way with dreams that are meant as messages. I work on my dreams because I enjoy the exercise. If I didn't, though, the message is inevitably hidden deep within me and will pop up sometime, somewhere. But by using the message given in my dreams I have a tool for a deeper understanding of myself and the events around me sooner rather than later. And I feel more at ease, more prepared...because I often have dreams of this magnitude when there is a life change ahead.
But the cats are offering their protection (Dreams and Self-Healing) once again in this nightmare. And I was left with a surety that I knew the way out. I will use divinitory tools such as the Tarot and the pendulum for guidance. I will watch for messages from the animals and plants that surround me...clues from Mother Earth. The nightmare then becomes a lesson...teaching further awareness and utilization of skills I have been given.
Sometimes my guides are required to jolt me awake, because I am missing messages sent in a more gentle way. It is the way of it. It is the only way to get this fish moving...out of the soft, silken waters of a still, serene pool. I like it there far too much, and can get lost there.
But perhaps there are rapids ahead I must be prepared for. The next few days should tell the tale.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The girls, Bree and Ash, have gone home again, leaving a little hollow space behind. We had a good, long visit this time...a lot of quality time spent together. There was still a rush on the girls' part to do everything there was to do in the first fifteen minutes of being here. But the visit, once it sunk in that they didn't have to go home the next day, became more relaxed as a result of the longer time period.
There was lots to do. On the first day, we wandered to the Coombs Country Market where we had lunch, after which I gave the girls a little pocket money. Off they went, while I shopped for fresh vegetables and exotic ingredients (a little black truffle- infused olive oil, anyone?). I couldn't resist the strawberry shortcakes, or the apple cinnamon buns, either...
The two girls carried in my groceries! Even with my leg and hip healing well now, there is still residual pain that will take time to go away, and by this point I was definitely feeling a bit of it. Having help was greatly appreciated. I hardly saw them the rest of the day...they were on the trampoline, walking the dogs, going to the park. We watched the new Harry Potter movie that evening. This was another reminder that time does not stand still...Harry and Hermione and Ron etc. have all grown during the span of the Harry Potter movies. As Bree remarked...it's kinda weird watching someone grow up who you don't even know.
The next day I suggested we visit the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs. What a miraculous place. My heart was given to a relatively small bird, her feathers flushed with pink, who flew directly to us and whispered, "Hello..." in a small, hushed tone. Her eyes were dark and intelligent. We spoke directly and intuitively to each other. We were warned before we went into the enclosure not to stick our fingers near the birds, no matter how inviting they appeared, because some of them will bite...right to the bone.
But I wanted to take this little pink bird and hold her close to my heart and shelter her...it brings tears to my eyes just remembering the connection between us. Her story was not a good one...and she spoke for all the birds, all rescued for one reason or another. The primary reason, of course, being abuse by humans.
These parrots live a long life, possibly surpassing my life span. They are likened to "caring for a special needs child", which takes a huge amount of dedication and love. People forgot, the pink messenger told me, that parrots need love, when they decided to own one. If you have a deep, abiding love for something, you care for it, recognizing its needs...and meeting them.
I promised I would pass the message on.
The girls and I had long conversations that day about the parrot rescue operation...I didn't know until later that Bree had left a donation (she gave a toonie, she said, she wished she'd had fifty to place in the jar). They were both heartened by the fact the birds now lived in comfort.
In the afternoon, they visited the Indoor Pool for a couple of hours; went shopping through Qualicum's Town Centre, and arrived back home when they said they would! Then another dog walk, numerous trampoline excursions, dinner (where we had Bree's favorite...barbecued pork ribs, which Ash loved, too). The TV was turned on rarely...only at bedtime for a bit, before sleep overcame them. By then, I was fast asleep...
And then...a bonus. Heidi and Darren, my daughter and son-in-law, were held up in traffic on the Malahat. I felt badly for them...the situation they found themselves in was a tragedy in itself, not to mention the inconvenience. But the kids and I found ourselves a couple more hours together, by not having to leave until late afternoon instead of lunchtime.
Bree left a note, on the made-up bed...a thank you note, enclosing the change she had left from the money I had given her, with loads of love and kisses and hugs. That card shot straight into my heart chakra, bringing brimming tear-filled eyes.
When grandkids go home, my eyes overflow for a while and tissue in hand, I reflect on the time spent together. This was a great visit...everything worked out wonderfully. The sense of independence the girls have learned was hugely beneficial...they now keep themselves totally occupied. Walking to the Town Centre, exploring the parks and paths that make up Qualicum Beach, looking forward to the summer when they can come here and walk to the beach or the pool...it brought a whole different perspective to this visit for them.
They both see a whole new world out there, and they're both ready to experience it to its fullest capacity. They're both on the edge of the teetering balance bar of puberty.
Where do the years go?
Monday, March 13, 2006
The weather here is changing...warm and sunny, very cold at night. Hard frosts, something this gardening zone sees rarely so late in the year. Plants seem confused...is it time to unfurl our leaves to the warm sun, or should we keep tightly budded and closed, they ask as I walk by on my evening rounds. Closed, I counsel, better safe than sorry...wait a week or two.
And then I think of Shaman Maggie, once again battling strong winds...in Missouri this time. When the hurricanes ripped through, she lived in Florida...and felt the effects of all of them. It was a very intense time for her; now I think about how she may be having to stand strong all over again. I haven't heard from her, and that is unusual...
Shaman Maggie moved to Missouri to begin work on her mission...that of the Life Healing Community (http://www.shamanelder.com/lifehealingcommunity.html). She moved just after her computer crashed and the hurricanes ripped through with all the devastation left behind. The time was right...17 acres in Winona, MO became the home of the Life Healing Community. A sense of urgency that pervades many of us during our daily lives moved Maggie directly once more into the path of the Winds of Change, in January...the coldest month of the year in many areas. It is said faith moves mountains; this is the essence of Shaman Maggie.
Through setting up a new home, counseling students in both Reiki and Shamanism, losing her dog Grizzy, and forming a close relationship with the Land that is the home of LHC, as it is fondly called, Maggie has truly lived the life of a Shaman. She has stood strong, as a warrior might, and has shown us all the value of living a life a different way. She is one of the greatest inspirations of my life to me.
So even if I feel concern for her and anxious for her well-being, I intuitively know she will be ok, lending a hand once again to the devastation left behind by the huge tornado Wind. She is a healer, first and foremost, after all.
And in the next three days, I will teach some of the same things I am being taught about the belief system to Bree and Ash. Like most children, my words will linger for a moment in their consciousness, and then pass on...but that's alright.
They are closer to re-membering the old ways than I am. They will store any information I give them until the time is right to bring a memory to the light of day.
Shaman Maggie has been an inspiration to me. My hope is that I will be an inspiration to these two wonderful girls who are raring to experience life and what it holds for them.
And as all kids, they will do it their way. But a grandparent who has some Shamanistic wisdom might temper the storm of puberty heading their way.
I believe it will.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Not able to lie on my back on the table, I had to lie on my side. It made seeking and speaking with my guides much easier...it seemed I was more aware, and more ready to work. I called on Michael, Gabriel, and Abundia...each guide appeared, showering me with their signature colours. I felt more relaxed, less afraid. I spoke to them about the dream, asking for clarification. Once again, I 'forgot' the children.
I visualized my spine, and the twisted muscles, ligaments and nerves. I showed my guides where the dark entity resided, at the pelvis and groin and knee and ankle, all dark and swollen. I asked for their help, as I faced whatever it was. Once my focus was completely centred with my guides on the injury, I also accepted there was no going back.
I received a vision from my guides...of babies. My forgotten babies. As the warm Reiki energy flowed through my body, I released all the born and unborn babies I might have had. I released any guilt, sadness and thoughts of might-have-beens. Dark, heavy tears stabbed my eyes, and I let them flow. There was a fleeting moment of surprise, before I went with the river of energy flowing through my body. This was old baggage...it happened, and was over...and then I stored the luggage, never, ever to open it again.
I was given another vision...one of my leg and hip bones shifting ever so softly back into place. It was featherlight, and if I had not been given the vision, I would not have realized what had taken place. There was an immediate release of pain, but the tears wouldn't stop. I cried for a long time, saying hello and goodbye to the miscarriages and the stillbirths and the child who lived until she was 23. There were all these pieces still left, you see...all these pieces that had been stuffed into containers and boxes.
And that's what Lennix tried to show me. The night after the dream about Lennix, I had another dream in which a Tupperware container figured prominently...throughout the whole dream, I carried that box with me. Lennix was never afraid...of dogs, containers and what they held, or anything else.That was the very special part of Lennix. And as I stared into his eyes, the lost children that were so familiar danced and laughed beside him, surrounded by some open and some closed boxes.
Lennix was telling me to open all the containers. He was telling me that I should stand and face my fear of old wounds. He was giving me the message those children were alright, had been for a long while. He showed me what courage could be, when he faced down those dogs. And he offered me independence and freedom from pain, should I be brave enough.
I had the vision of the bones knitting in place when I realized I had to face and let go of my unborn children, when I let the emotions I had carried in closed boxes so long free rein.
There were many other messages and signs during the period of a week, too many to go into detail here. There was the night I closed my eyes, just before sleep, and 'saw' a hip and leg far apart from each other, for example. It was just after my third massage treatment, when it seemed as if nothing would work, and again, I was asking my guides for assistance. At the time, I didn't know what I was being shown.
That was the way it was throughout...one day, I would be shown something relevant, or the next night, I would have a dream. It was up to me to piece everything together, to use all the knowledge I had learned. I am very lucky Graham is a Karuna Reiki Master; his quiet ability to move huge amounts of energy through my body is quite awesome. After healing so many people, we wondered why Reiki was not healing me...but then I wasn't ready to do everything I could to heal myself. It took a tremendous amount of unrelenting pain for me to face fear of this magnitude.
But I did it.
Last week, I formed the largest intent to heal I have ever had. Perhaps other times when I have been sick, or have had an injury, the pain wasn't as severe as it was this time with my hip and leg. Perhaps it was just time for me to learn a big lesson. Perhaps the Universe decided I had suffered with this pain for long enough...I had sustained the injury exactly a year ago.
When the medical system left me dangling...when appointments for specialists (some I haven't even seen yet!) take over a year just to get in, I realized I would have to become pro-active in my healing. Shamanism has given me many tools to work with. However, I was still of the deep-seated belief that doctors were the ones I had to see...they were the experts, after all. How did I know? This was a belief my mother holds, and one that was passed on to me, many years ago. It was time to accept that this wasn't necessarily true.
It took awhile. I had to form a close relationship with my guides. I had to listen, and decipher, to any dreams I had. I had to stand strong when doctors told me there was an operation in the future for me, scoffing that I might be able to heal with Reiki, Shamanism and deep tissue massage therapy. It is hard to stand strong against doctors, who, in my mind, ranked very high in the scheme of things. I was brought up to never question their diagnoses.
But Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls had a different idea. One where she felt I was holding on to something, something that I wouldn't let go, something that was hidden deep inside my root chakra. What was it? I didn't know. But I determined to find it.
I felt fear and anxiety each time I meditated (somewhere deep inside, I knew this wasn't an easy thing to face) on the black negative entity that had latched onto my pelvis and hip. The fear and anxiousness held me back...it was as if when I asked my guides for help, I was also pushing them away. I was so afraid of the difficulty of the healing, of what I had to face.
But, within the last three weeks, my intent strength- ened. I visited a deep tissue massage therapist (this was real agony) with whom I developed a deep relationship in a short period of time. I searched out natural remedies at Tools for Chronic Pain. I developed a far greater relationship with my guides. Over and over, I accepted the far-reaching consequences of healing, knowing I had to use inner and outer strength and endurance throughout.
I had to use authority, impeccability, clear intent and no fear, in the shamanistic state of being.
My doctor gave me a drug called Gabapentin, one used to control epileptic seizures. Over my strong objections, she told me the drug was no cure, but it would reduce the severity of the pain, without side effects. It took a few days more of very severe throbbing pain, before I actually tried it. And, indeed, the severity of the pain lessened, and so far, no side effects. But I am wary and watchful...whether they be herbal or prescription, drugs can react in weird ways on my body.
I was told by my guides in a meditation to use conventional and alternative ways of healing; that both had merits, neither one over the other. Abuses and healings occurred in both. It was a belief system I had that had to change. I was to bring balance into my healing remedies.
My massage therapist, Sherri, asked me if I minded losing my uterus at age 27...had I wanted more children? Fighting quick, stabbing pains and tears in my eyes, I felt surprised at the well of emotion her question evoked. And I said, yes, I had, I had wanted so many children.
And the rocket was launched...
I had forgotten. As soon as I had the operation, my marriage dissolved. I had no time, with two young children, to mourn the loss of more children. There were many events around this time I just stuffed away, never to see the light of day, until my body no longer wanted to carry all those burdens around. All those containers of unlooked at traumas.
Lennix (Dreams and Self-Healing) visited in a dream, sending a strong message from between boxes, some opened, most not. There was a child who seemed familiar who changed into many children. There were ferocious dogs surrounding us. These were the memories I was left with this dream, one I knew was very important.
On a day when my mood and my leg was particularly bad, Graham gave me a Reiki treatment. I intended to do trance work during the session; this was the time. I felt as if I was going to the gallows. The fear of what I might have to face...I really dislike physical pain, and mental pain is certainly on par...made every muscle in my body tighten, only contributing to more pain.
My granddaughter would have called me a weenie.
Continued next post.
Monday, March 06, 2006
One of the ways I receive guidance is by listening to dreams, one of the most common ways we receive answers after questioning our guides. Understanding the messages, though...that takes discipline, deep intent, true faith and huge belief...the list goes on. Dreams hold the answers...
Now I have to learn how to decipher them.
Wanda Easter Burch the author of She Who Dreams
uses dreams for self-healing. Her book suggests that dreamwork "offers techniques that will help you observe, question, and delve into the meaning behind the stories you tell yourself when you sleep". Ms. Burch should know...she is a long-term survivor of breast cancer. In this book she tells her story, and gives me tools I need as I walk a similar path...the one of self-healing and dreams.
I state my intent to dream before I fall asleep at night. In case my guides may have missed my many requests (highly doubtful...there were so many of them!) I again ask for assistance in healing my hip. This time I ask that I remember a dream of consequence...and to make it easy to understand. I am definitely not in Ms. Burch's class!
But I do have a natural ability for dreamwork...I am able to walk in other people's dream stories as well. Intuition is the guidance I have used. Now I am learning how each symbol in a dream gives a message and just how many messages I have missed over the years. There are dreams I have had that I still hold close, that I still draw on for assistance, years after I dreamt it. I call these my milestone dreams.
As I described in my last post about Lennix, I recently had a dream that involved him and a small child. The child seemed to be a combination of all my kids; but it didn't take me long to recognize Lennix, an unforgettable cat. Cats, as an ally or power animal, give protection. According to About's cache of sites on cat messages and properties, the cat visitor gives me a challenge to explore new horizons and a message for in- dependent strength and confidence.
In my dream, Lennix was supposed to be in my car, as there were dogs about. The small child was playing among boxes that were set up on a platform. Suddenly the dogs began to snarl and bark; there were people holding them back. I glimpsed Lennix sidling in amongst the boxes...he never could resist playing with kids, or boxes, for that matter. I told the child (all the names of all my children went through my mind) to grab Lennix and put him back into the car, as the dogs seemed ready to do damage.
Lennix stopped, turned around and stared at me with his remarkable eyes, and I became calm. For interminable moments, he tried to convey his message to me, his greenish golden eyes pinning mine. The dogs quieted, and seemed to disappear. The child laughed, and began to change into many different children, all filled with joy and laughter. And all the while, Lennix invited me to understand what his presence in my dream meant to me. Then I awoke.
I knew this dream was important for the simple reason I couldn't get it out of my mind, let alone forget the contents. My intent is to heal; what did this dream have to do with my quest for self-healing? Who was the child/children? They seemed so familiar to me. And Lennix died five years ago...even though I often receive visits from pets that have passed over, this was the first time I received a visit from him.
The dream would become fairly clear over the next few days; I am in the process of writing Reiki and Dreaming, in which I explain what this dream means to me in terms of my own healing. I have learned to keep pen and paper to hand on my bedside table...dreams I have determined never to forget have drifted off into the ether too many times. If I request an answer from my guides, I had better honour them enough to be prepared to receive it. That's where the diligence and discipline comes in...
As Graham says, nobody said this would be easy.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I was just surfing through blogs today and came across Memoirs of a Feline Empress in Exile. It was just the ticket I needed to cheer me up this cold, cloudy day in March.
Last night I had a whole dream about a cat... it was a former pet I used to own. I'm in the process of working that dream out and I came across this blog that reminds me so much of Lennix, the cat in my dream.
Lennix was an extraordinary kitten who came to live with me just after my daughter died. He became my granddaughter's cat, and the two of them could frequently be seen wandering the backyard, Lennix's tail straight up in the air.
Lennix died before he turned three; now he turns up in my dreams with a message. He just can't figure out why this human has such trouble deciphering it.
A dream about Lennix...and then I find the Memoirs. How's that for synchronicity?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Earlier in the day, we had driven to The Rosemeade Dining Room in order to find it easily in the dark, as our reservation was not until 7:30. The gardens were a delight...even in the very early Spring, I could imagine the wonders that awaited warmer weather, unveiling their beauty all over the five acres The English Inn stands on.
Graham had researched this restaurant, and others, very carefully. He knows I love the freshest ingredients, love the use of local food, the use of organic over anything else. There are foods I haven't tried; he knew I would enjoy the opportunity to try something new. After much deliberation, he decided on Rosemeade, after hearing about the new chef on the radio.
Even after an afternoon of rest, it was still difficult to dress and walk to the car and into the restaurant. Due to a swollen foot and leg, I was unable to walk in anything resembling a pair of heels; therefore, my pants puddled around my slippered feet. I limped. But the anticipation of doing something so outside of my normal sphere made any self-consciousness disappear.
The Rosemeade had promised we would be treated royally; if the Queen who arrived looked a little under-the-weather, well...so be it. The staff took the whole thing in their stride.
We were seated by a window overlooking the gardens, which were lit up with strategic lighting placed here and there. Almost immediately, we were greeted by a server, who brought us menus. These were lovely long parchment-like sheets. And then another server asked if we wanted something to drink. These people all spoke in hushed tones...the atmosphere in the whole restaurant was subdued; no raucous behavior here.
Until we arrived, that is. Both Gray and I found it very hard to hear our server, who was offering us sparkling mineral water. In our total concentration on what she was describing to us, Gray's menu went up in flames from the candle centred on our table. We didn't even notice that it was burning until the server left! And then Graham, with this total look of bewilderment on his face, didn't know how to put it out...the table was covered with a pristine white cloth. Nothing came to mind. So he waved it around...it went out and as it did, it spread the most aromatic stench throughout the restaurant. This gourmet much-touted restaurant now smelled of burning plastic, instead of exotic food combinations.
I could feel totally unrestrained laughter bubbling up inside of me, and I prayed I wouldn't let go with one of the very loud guffaws I am known for. I wanted to laugh out loud very hard...but I was able to restrain myself to almost silent laughter. Giggles (and small snorts) escaped me as staff quietly and inconspicuously wandered our way, to make sure everything was under control.
But I couldn't stop laughing. Soon the staff regaled us with stories of people throwing their napkins down on the small candles on the tables, after finishing their dinner, and leaving as a bonfire started to burn merrily. We were told that the polyester in the napkins smelled much the same as the menu; even if they didn't know where the burning was taking place, they knew what it was. Other tables, too, joined in the laughter, and the mood lifted as the humour in the situation became apparent. Very quickly, however, their attention returned to the wonderful creations that were being placed before them.
We were given the burned menu as as souvenir.
Neither Graham nor I drink alcohol, so sometimes it can become irritating when alcoholic drinks become the focus of some restaurants. How wonderful to have Voss Water offered instead. I had never tasted it, although I had read about it. It comes from Norway's artesian wells; it is beyond good...the water lent a lively, fresh note to the many different ingredients we were served. We drank two big bottles of it during our meal. It is only available in Canada through the Internet, we were told.
We were offered an amuse-bouches before our meal...a little bite of seared tuna, beautifully rare in the centre, served in a tasting spoon with a bit of the braising sauce. We were told the chef has a different amuse-bouche ( a little bite that delights) every Friday and Saturday, and nobody knows what it will be. How creative this would be, I thought, to find an ingredient so fresh and perfect that it could be featured as the first taste the diner takes...the first hint of things to come.
It was hard to decide, but we made up our minds as to what to have after long discussions between the two of us. For appetizers, Gray had the oyster selection in blood orange gratin, and I had (directly copied from the burned menu) warm shelled mussels tossed with creme fraiche and anchovy dressing, gherkins and dill over herbed french toast.
For the main, Gray chose albacore tuna, truffled squash salad, olive tapenade, shallots and reduced braising liquid. I had poached beef tenderloin, roquefort whipped potato, with an oxtail and 5 onion broth, and pickled beet salad. Beautifully presented and cooked to perfection, these works of art were created by someone who knows his ingredients and the qualities of each very well.
We were certainly well satiated; however, the dessert menu arrived, and it was my birthday...I couldn't resist the cheese plate and the warm molten chocolate cake was calling Graham's name. We shared a taste of each other's...there were Saltspring Island Goat Cheese, Ontario Cheddar, and blue cheese...I think it was from the US. Gray's chocolate cake was wonderfully runny, just as molten lava might be. It was all so good!
At no time were we ever rushed...a server just melted out of the woodwork and did his work quietly and very efficiently...never hovering, just very aware.
Gray tried to find our own coats, because I had difficulty in standing after sitting so long, and for a long moment there was no one about; they were there quickly when Gray opened the closet door where the coats were held.
We walked through the gardens, all lit up with white lights, not wanting the magical evening to end. It was very cold; the old houses that are part of this resort lent their grace to what seemed a scene out of Lord of the Rings. I imagined Gandalf riding down the lanes, in pursuit of someone or something. The English Inn would be an incredible place to go for visualizations and meditations...there is so much inspiration here.
It was late. We rehashed the evening, laughed a lot at ourselves and our impressions of the evening, and fell asleep, greatly satisfied. What a terrific birthday celebration!