Find the Hidden Meaning of Life Struggles.

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This morning I was reading an Oprah magazine my mom gave me awhile back.  To be honest I was looking for some images for a collage.  I came across an article by Martha Beck about making the best of bad fortune or bad luck such as a car accident, an illness or whatever the circumstance may be.   It proposed that perhaps there were deeper meaning to a less than fortunate circumstance.  That maybe, just maybe, these circumstances have an opportunity to wake us up or give us messages that we need to get back on the soul track.  

As a Shamaness, I honor that thought.   I’ve been taught from my Sacred Teachers that as above, so below.  As within, so without.  The outer world is a mere reflection of what is within.  On a spiritual plane, our soul is calling for a healing and the universe has a way of manifesting a most unique, treacherous, challenging or ridiculous circumstance for that healing to occur.

For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t seen me in awhile, you may not know that I have been unwell for the past year.  I need daily blood transfusions of a blood protein connected to my immune system that is malfunctioning.  Without it I have a response that is similar to anaphylaxis, where my tongue and face start to swell and I often pass out.  Crazy stuff to start happening out of the blue….or is it??

My life had gone through a major upheaval and shift in the years previous to my illness. I remember going to a tarot card reader almost five years ago who flipped over a card called the Tower Card.  It donned a collapsing tower on fire with crumbling, shattered pieces of the building falling to the ground.  “A symbol of what was to come.” he said, my world as I knew it was going to crumble and fall apart completely. Destruction was a repeated word.  And it did.

In the spirit of keeping it short…I had a baby, lost my job, found out my husband was cheating, got separated, moved to an apartment with my one year old son, all within a nine month time span. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it some days.  I’d lay whaling on the floor screaming out in anger and despair but when the tears ended I strangely felt a sense of calm.  I felt as though the layers of fear had been stripped away, there was nothing left, just the moment.  There were no more blocks to myself, to my heart, just rawness and realness.

And what I learned was that you can count on Spirit and the Universe to help out a soul willing to heal.  The universe always had my back.  From the moment I found an apartment, or when I got a new job, bought a cute little house all by myself, it always brought forth what I needed and where I needed to go next.   Was it easy, hell no.  But every time I needed something or got scared, the universe brought forth what I needed or knew how to calm my nerves.  E.V.E.R.Y.  S.I.N.G.L.E.  T.I.M.E!  Whether it was my dad who randomly filled up my car when money was on the tight side or an invite for dinner when I was too tired to cook or a win at TV bingo right before Christmas, the universe supported my move to independence and deep healing.

Did I mention, this all occurred during my last year of my four years of Shamanic Training?  Of course, right?!   As within, so without!  I had changed and the outside didn’t match my insides anymore.  So, it dissolved.  The Tarot Card reader also shared that everything I had built on the foundation of my ego was being destroyed so a new foundation and a new structure could be built from a place of heart and soul.  Something more authentic could be born.  And wouldn’t you know it, I got an even better job, my own house and I meant someone new, someone amazing, someone who showed me heart centered, toe curling, kind of love.  We got married, sold both of our homes and bought another where we’d finally join our lives.  Two days after we moved in together as new husband and wife – WHAM!  I passed out at work and my illness took over.

WTF right?  Hadn’t I been through enough?  Couldn’t I just enjoy my life now? Didn’t I deserve that?  The healing transformation I was going through, was not quite complete.   I knew the universe was not done with me yet.  This past year I have known there is a deep healing going, my life had to get turned upside down so I could redo,restructure and regenerate a new life.  I needed time and space to clear out the old life, old energy, old pain completely.  That was the gift of my illness.  It could not have happened any other way, I would not have gave it the proper time and space.  So I am grateful for what is and trust that Spirit and the Universe are always behind me, guiding me into my soul’s growth, evolution and purpose.

I did a writing exercise, writing as my blood and here is a blurb of what it said…(Just roll with me here.)

I stopped Crystal in her tracks and let her body catch up to her soul. Her old blood was the old her, it wouldn’t function with her new vibration anymore.  I needed regeneration…There is vitality, trust and life in her veins, not pain and darkness anymore… Now her body is beginning to heal, to regenerate and prepare for her rebirth into the world.  She is ready for this soul’s life and purpose with this blood, these organs, this body.  Aho!  And so it is.”

To this day they don’t know what is wrong with me or why my blood is malfunctioning but I know this…I will heal and soon! Things are already looking up, my energy is slowly increasing, I’m finally writing and putting it out into the world and after a long time, I’m finally inspired.  The juices are flowing and the universe is stirring something up for my new blood, my new body and my new way of being in the world.  I know this, the universe has got my back.  

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SOUL FOOD FOR THE DAY

Think of a time in your life that was difficult.  Was it a break-up?  A stressful job?  A loss? Personify the challenge.  Make it a person or character and pretend this person were sitting in a chair next to you.  Ask him or her some questions. Just let the pen flow and see what the universe has to say to you 😉  

Here are a couple questions to ask in your journal if you’re real stuck…

Who are you?

Why did you come into my life?

What do you have to say?

Is there anything you need from me?

What is your healing gift?

Happy writing!!! xo

Crystal

How to make your Soul Dance.

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What Inspires You?

For me….

The moment the Sun is setting and it looks like a giant orange ball on the edge of the sky.

My son’s smile and the innocence in his eyes.

A new recipe.

A new book.

My dogs affection and excitement when seeing me for the first time in three hours.

Stillness of a tree.

The bushels of canola in the farm field beside me springing a beautiful sea of the color yellow.

The wind cooling my hot face.

My first cup of coffee in the morning.

The moon shining in the sky.

When we are inspired, our soul perks up, like the beginning stages of a fire when we are trying to get it spark and burn.  From an energetic perspective, a vivid rainbow of colors dance through us and around us as our soul energy is released and able to dance freely and playfully.  We feel energetic and excited from the inside.   A good word:  Giddy!  We must regularly move this energy out into the world, we must keep the fire burning, so to speak.  Whether it be in making a recipe, a journal entry, a dance,  singing a song, taking a picture or a fun collage, we must be creative for our Soul Health.  When we tap into our creative juices, our soul feels fed and that inner emptiness and restlessness vanishes.  Now that’s good Soul Food.!!!

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PRAYER STICKS.

Above is a picture of a bunch of prayer sticks that many people made at Ghost Ranch while in Lynn Andrews Sacred Art and Healing training.  We make a prayer and put it on a stick through color, beading, feathers, paint, words, string or whatever inspires us.  It is an intention to the universe and we plant it into the soul.   I have prayer sticks in my back yard for various reasons.  I invite you to make a Prayer Stick for whatever tickles your fancy.  Perhaps its’ for a loved one who is in need of love, perhaps it’s for a goal you’d like manifested, or perhaps it’s for better health.  Use your inspiration, no rules, a create a way.  All you need is love, an prayer or intention and some soil.

How are you inspired and how to you express it?  Leave a comment.

 Happy soul feeding Women’s Tribe!!!

Xo  Crystal

Marriage: Made for Spiritual Warriors.

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As a shaman, I believe we are here to evolve ourselves.  Life is a school really, a place to discover our souls and experience things both good and bad so we can learn deeper truths.   So relationships, they are really one of the best experiences, containers even, of soul exploration.  They push you to your limits, they make you question your morals, your character and they push you into deciding who you are and how you are going to live…in alignment with your morals and values or not.  It’s easier said than done!  Commitment takes commitment.

Let me preface that I’m married….for the second time.   Relationships are a challenge to me, mostly because it challenges my ability to trust.  Many of my relationships, including my first marriage, ended because they cheated.  It made my heart close, it made me believe that all men will fall short in the face of conflict and choose themselves and the easy way out to numb the pain and get a temporary fix of validation from another person.  I get it, it’s easier to get the fix – the feel good high of attention from another than to go into the healing tornado where all the old pain and wounds exist.  But I want someone who is that brave and evolved enough to know that after the storm is a rainbow.  There is something so magical and deep after the tornado that it really takes someone special and committed to their own soul evolution to stay on the relationship trail.  And I think I’ve found him.  I never planned to get married again, but my husband now has sold me.  He is different.  He has the loyalty and commitment levels that match mine. He gets it. I couldn’t not marry him, he represented all that I wanted and didn’t think existed.

My issue is this – I’m too independent to the point that I harm myself by not accepting help and love from my partner.  I’m out to prove how strong I am on my own, like it’s my shield so nobody can hurt me.  “I don’t need anybody” was my mantra for a long time, and it worked to some extent but what it did too was push my partners away.  I didn’t lean on them, I didn’t open my heart and be vulnerable so we could build intimacy.  I just struggled hard and did things myself and often I became resentful.  I didn’t know how to ask for help, I didn’t want to be weak.  What I’ve come to learn is this, vulnerability is a strength.  Lynn Andrews taught me that nobody can hurt me in my vulnerability; it is our greatest shield.  It just leads us down to the raw truth.  And truth is truth, point blank.

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So as my new hubby and I were engaged I started to freak out a bit.  I didn’t know if I really believed in marriage.  What did that really mean besides having a wedding and party these days? What is a true marriage?  It felt like a choke hold to me, like a promise I was making but wasn’t fully sure I could make.  Did I really believe I was meant to be with only one person for the rest of my life?  I had already made that promise to someone else and that didn’t pan out.  When the push came to shove, the commitment through the bad times was not honored.  It’s easy to say, harder to do.  I had known that already.  Was I really ready to bet the farm on another person when I had been so burned in my past?  Could I believe that a man had the ability, depth and soul capacity to take the trek of marriage?  And more importantly…did I?

What I had realized through the fall out of my first marriage was that I wasn’t really happy in it.  I had settled.  I didn’t know what real love could feel like now that I was in this relationship.  However, I had made a commitment so I was going to stay in something that wasn’t horrible but wasn’t great.  Was that the point of marriage, to honor a commitment and a promise, and that was it?  It wasn’t about happiness or growth, just a choice?  Was that the point of it all really?  I wasn’t interested in that.   I wanted something magical, not mediocre. That meant, I needed a partner who would commit to do the same, that wanted the same things and would actively and regularly work and participate in the relationship.  I was seeking a man that I had not known before in my relationships.   Being married again meant giving up my old way of being super independent.  It meant I HAD to be vulnerable and be both independent and interdependent with my husband.  It meant learning to exist in a brand new way.  I knew it was going to take time. And truthfully, I’m still finding my footing and stance in this place today.  I’ve learned that my feelings of resentment is really my inability to ask for help when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  It means I’ve put on my old hat that comes with the belief, “ I don’t need anybody else”.  Now I’m adopting the “I’m responsible for my own happiness” thought and running with that.  It’s up to me to do, express, ask, request, give, take, stop, do and so in order to facilitate my own happiness.  So much more work and awareness but I’m responsible for myself.

The truth is my husband has an ability to really piss me off. Haha!  And I too share that ability for him.  We trigger each other where we are unhealed, a natural progression point in the relationship.  I know it’s getting past this hurdle to the rainbow.  In the past, I’d given up I’d likely end it or run away from it.  I’d assume this person isn’t making me feel good, it’s not easy peasy, lovey, dovey all the time, so I want out.  My husband wants to point out my flaws and sore spots where I need healing and I want to do the same to him.  That makes for a vicious communication cycle.  I can get real mad, real easy and so can he.  Aren’t we perfect mirrors for each other!!  I get triggered and I assume he will fall short and hurt me.  I assume he will choose the easy way out and so I push him there.  I really piss him off to see what he will do:  leave or stay.  This is a dangerous game and I recognize it has to stop.  I did make the commitment and choice to marry him because I believe he is a spiritual warrior.  I believe he will not take the easy way out when the going gets tough.  I believe in him, a real life man for the very first time in my life.

 

We’ve been going through a rough spot but I know there is purpose and healing within it.  We have gone through a lot in our first year of marriage and it’s made me question all the things about marriage I wondered about.  At the end of the day it’s about love, not the bills, not the house, not the picture perfect image.  It’s about the healing gift of saying I love you and I’ll stand by you even through this rough patch, even through the ugly, fugly parts we are showing each other.  It’s about having each others’ back.  That’s something I’m going to say to him during our next argument, “I have your back, I’m on your side.”

Love trumps fear, I just have to choose it.  And so I leave you with this, my marriage has tested me to see what I’m made of.  Will I choose to blame for my shortcomings or will I look and heal?  Will I be vulnerable or defend?  Will I assume love or assume fault? Marriage is like a portal between love and fear, faith and trust or doubt and fear.  In the face of struggle, I ask myself, “What would love say?” and I tend to find my way back to love.

 

Blessings to all you Spiritual Warriors.  Please leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences.

Lighting the Creative Fires with Sacred Art.

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So, lately I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut.   One might even say I’m bored.  I feel a bit dead on the inside as I have let my needs fall to the wayside while I caregive for everyone else.  My bad.  But, I can change that.

It’s time to get my creative juices flowing again.  Part of feeling fulfilled for me is being creative.  I have not been that creative lately, mostly because I have not planned my time and space to do so.  It takes a bit of planning, focus and mostly inspiration.  When life gets busy, sometimes these are the things that get put on the back burner but I say – NAY!  We shall not put aside our creative, soul connecting, life enhancing, energy producing time especially when we need it most.  Who’s with me here?

I know creativity gives my energy a boost, it gives my insides a spark.  I feel good, connected to myself and something larger as a whole.  Creativity is a spiritual practise. It allows space for stillness, expression and emotional exploration.   CREATIVITY FEEDS THE SOUL. When our soul is fed, the need and urge to use an eating disorder or any other compulsive coping strategy disappears from our life.  It’s really that simple.  When we connect to our souls in the space of stillness and play with the colorful energies around us, we feel at peace.

On the other hand, when I am not being creative or connecting to my insides, I get grouchy, I crave more sugary, starchy foods, I’m short with people, and I’m generally just anxious and restless. When I feel that way, I know it’s time to self connect.  It’s time to get creative.

SACRED ART:

What is Sacred Art you ask?  It is art (in any shape or form, paint, writing, movement, etc.) that helps connect you to the Sacred within and without.  It is an expression of your Soul, and of your emotions.  It reflects inspiration, Truth, and your voice.   In my shamanic training, it was a huge part of our learning and processing.  We made many pieces from Grief Dolls to Prayer Sticks.  It’s a tool to connect to your insides and express the energies and emotions that are waiting for release.  When we release these energies and emotions naturally and in a Sacred manner, we need not use an eating disorder behaviour to keep them inside and at bay.  Healing is a process of releasing the soul from the inner cage.  It is allowing freedom to express the truth of what is inside, “no ifs, ands or buts.”  It’s raw.  It’s real.  It’s you.  It’s meant to be moved and expressed.  So free your voice, sing your soul and create Sacred Art.

SACRED ART PROJECT OF THE MONTH:  PHOTO JOURNAL

So, here’s the plan….for the next 30 days I will take an inspiring photo of the day and just let my voice flow free with words that come with the photo.   Perhaps it’s a photo that sums up your day or how you feel or it’s simply something that inspires you or moves you.  Don’t think, just do.  Just let it flow and be what it is.  There is no right or wrong way.  If you’re getting hung up on how to do it right, focus on doing it wrong 😉

It’s expression and creativity that counts, it’s connecting to the world around you and allowing it to reflect your soul, emotions and insides.  The universe is your mirror.

I will be posting with on FaceBook and Instagram.  Feel free to follow along and share.  In fact, I’d love it you did share with me.

Let’s light our inner fires 🙂

Crystal

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