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Posts tagged ‘Shana’

Celebrating Spiritual Transformation

I lost my dearly loved uncle last week to lung cancer. After the long battle, he quietly slipped up into the ethers, trailing love and peace in his departure. Though, I expected to hear the news of his death at any point, there is little on earth that can prepare a surviving loved one for the moment of passing. The nanosecond I heard the news, my breath was swiped away and my hands instinctively cupped my face as I watered them in tears.

Why did I weep? Yes, he will be deeply missed. Yes, he played a significant role in the lives of many. But, what was the true source of my tears? Isn’t it a blessing that his suffering finally ended? Isn’t he now in a happier more blissful place?

Society molds us into the people we are, influencing us to think and behave the way we do. Society teaches us that death is bad, scary, unknown and final, but is it any of those things? Since I was raised to believe this, of course I would immediately be shocked into tears of loss and pain. I question- is this necessary? And, I ask a more provoking question- is this even the truth or reality?

The moment my uncle died, I learned that others felt ecstatic energy in the room with him. Visiting family interpreted that his spirit was filled with this very energy; or rather that he WAS this very energy after dying. I italicize the word dying here, because this process doesn’t feel to me like a death at all. It feels more like a birth but on the other end of life. The body dies but our essence, our soul, our Being (whatever you feel comfortable naming it) continues, shifting into another state of consciousness and energetic form. That evening after he shifted, I was told, “He is ecstatic!” It is now clear to me that he has done anything but die. Instead, he has spiritually transformed.

The night I heard the news Stephen sat down and did with me what he does best. He lovingly coached and nurtured me through the process of death, the emotional attachment to life, the bigger picture of it all, and together we explored the spiritual possibilities of my uncle’s transformation. (I should mention that Stephen is a deeply spiritual and compassionate Being with lots of coaching experience and natural psychic gifts.) He is such a blessing to me.

I learned that I needed to cry it all out and grieve. I should not hold on to any of it. I should allow my emotions to flow through, and allow them to do just that- flow THROUGH. Don’t hang on to any of it. Death should be celebrated. (In some cultures it actually is celebrated.) After all, my uncle himself is now totally ecstatic and free of pain and limits. How could I not celebrate this? I must cry for my and the family’s loss, but then I should celebrate his spiritual progression.

I also wanted to connect with my uncle one last time after his death. I wanted to see him, feel his presence or dream about him. A selfish desire maybe, but I wanted this all the same.  I learned that this would be difficult to experience until I released some of my grief. I am not saying that one cannot experience a visitation while still in the throes of grief, because I know this has happened for many, but for me it was far easier after my intense emotions had dissolved.

The next day after he died, I felt much lighter. I was still in a faint daze of loss, but my thinking had shifted. (Much thanks to Stephen) I knew that my uncle was in an ecstatic state. I knew that this alone sincerely and lovingly deserved celebrating. This knowing guided me through my grief. I also intuitively knew that with my spiritual-emotional shift, I would connect with him. Or rather, I would make a portal, a spiritual window in divine multidimensional space, available for him to connect with me. And, that is exactly what happened.

I did not see his vision, dream of an encounter nor did I hear his voice in my head. It was nothing quite as grand or obvious. I simply felt different, VERY different. I was straightening up the house that afternoon, a routine activity, when he entered my thoughts. I suddenly felt intense celebratory energy emanating from my heart. At that moment, I truly undoubtedly knew exactly what it meant to CELEBRATE his death, his spiritual evolution. This felt like pure divine love streaming through my heart and into my entire Being. It seemed to fill the whole room I was in. I felt deeply happy, pure bliss and a peaceful joy. I felt my uncle’s ecstatic energy. He was there with me then. These feelings lasted for some time. Any remaining grief I had was completely dissolved and replaced by this experience.

I no longer agree that death is bad, scary, or final. Nothing about his transformation feels negative in any way or final in the least. If anything, he is now divine, ever expansive and continuous.

♥   ♥   ♥

I share this story not to broadcast my family’s personal loss, but to shed some light on my own experience. I lovingly intend that this may offer a shift in thinking, solace, hope, insight and ecstatic peace and joy to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one.  Peace and Love to ALL.

♥   ♥   ♥

I wrote the following poem for my uncle the evening I heard he passed away from lung cancer.  Each word flowed from me alongside tears mixed with loss and joy. Surprisingly, I created this short piece in a matter of seconds. I am either deeply inspired by intense emotion or I simply cracked opened during my emotional release and streamed his divine energy. Perhaps a little of both are the truth.

♥ I dedicate this to you, Bruce. You are dearly loved and I celebrate you…

As the sun spills across the horizon, you shed your physical form. You run along the sun kissed oceans, laughing in delight.

Expand deeply and lovingly into ecstatic peace. You are now the very breath of life.

Fly free, my spirit brother. Fill your light body with divine energy and ecstatic joy. Fill your lungs deeply with BLISS, my spirit brother. Dance. Play. Rejoice. Love with divine freedom and joyful abandon.

You are now purely LOVE itself.

Body of Divine Light

Body of Divine Light

♥ I dedicate this poem from The Prophet to all Beings who are transitioning into spiritual, ethereal bodies of light, peace and pure love…

“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.”
~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Eagle Spirit Blessings

My partner, Stephen, and I set off to spend the day together yesterday. We had no idea where or what we were going to do. Because photography is one of Stephen’s passions, we did at least know he would bring his camera in tow. We would just drift along with the winds and our whims. We gathered our things for the day- camera equipment, sunglasses, hats, and our explorative, happy hearts. We settled into the car, with Stephen behind the wheel, and started to drive. Where to, we still did not know, but we were excited nonetheless. Stephen looked at me, smiled gently, and said that he wanted to travel wherever he felt pulled to go. Intuition would spontaneously guide our way. I more than agreed. We shortly thereafter found ourselves at the freeway entrance, and he coolly announced, “It looks like we are going to go south.” And so, the day began.

From where we live in Bellingham, Anacortes is an easy drive away. Anacortes is a familiar bayside town, home of the ferries that transport many travelers to Port Townsend and the San Juan Islands. We had stopped there once last summer as we originally traveled into the state, relocating from Northern California into Washington. Since we had not returned for a visit since, we were inspired to stop there for a walk around town, enjoying a little photography along the way.

However, while there, I could not help but notice signs for a place called Deception Pass. I had heard of this pass, of its beauty and mystery. I had seen many photos and paintings of the lands and water around it, of the cliffs, trees, and the twin bridges, and I had heard many stories. The pass earns its name due to the deceptive strength of the water that flows through the narrow straight-like bay. The swift, powerful current forms standing waves, large whirlpools, and roiling eddies that are a struggle for boaters to maneuver. The idea of exploring this new area immediately ignited my drive, lit my heart, and led our day into an unexpected adventure full of wonder and spirit.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

As soon as we arrived at the twin bridges that drape high over Deception Pass, my heart opened and waves of shear bliss washed through my body. I gobbled up the majestic scene with hungry eyes, and Stephen sat taller in his seat, imagining the boundless photographic possibilities of the day. I looked into the empty blue sky, and I saw an eagle in my mind’s eye. Without dropping my gaze, I casually mentioned to Stephen, “We will see an eagle today.” This I sensed. It was not a strong hit, just a subtle knowing. We parked the car at one of the lookout spots, gathered our things and embarked on what turned out to be a strikingly magical and spiritual experience.

On foot, we followed the usual tourist route. We gently hiked the narrow dirt paths that twisted along the hillside, which served up soul-filling views of distant, green mountain peaks, nearing tall evergreens and deep blue waters. This hillside that stretched up from the depths of the bay was lined with wild grasses, clumps of trees and patches of bright yellow wildflowers. The entire area emitted such profound energy. It filled me and thrilled me. I immediately wanted to sit right down in the soft brush and meditate. Deception Pass has been home to various Native American tribes for thousands of years, and I could deeply feel the powerful energies course through me. In those moments, I was no longer a woman watching the world; I was the land and the sea itself, flowing with the breath of earth’s spirit.

Soul-Filling Views From Deception Pass

Soul-Filling Views From Deception Pass

We continued to walk while Stephen opened his camera to the views. We trailed up to the road and along the bridge, crossing high above the watery pass and tall trees. In the distance, a bald eagle suddenly appeared, soaring effortlessly through the sky. I smiled, realizing that what I had sensed earlier was actually happening now before our eyes. It seemed to be flying near a red-tailed hawk, both searching the hillside with their keen intensity. They were too far to photograph, so we continued along the bridge in their direction. We slowly ambled around, snapping pictures, chatting, giggling and breathing deeply.

As we neared the area where the birds were flying, the sky fell empty. They had been gone for some time, so we sat down, resting on a log that lined the road. We relaxed and settled into each other. The entire time we were at Deception Pass, I was filling with pure love. I became so full, I felt as if this love was now pouring out from my pores, stretching my heart and tearing from my eyes. I felt such a cosmic connection to Stephen and to the expansive landscape of our lives together. Our conversation naturally drifted, and we were sweetly engaged in the topic of our union together. And then… magic happened.

Eagle Blessings

Eagle Blessings

We suddenly looked up and saw not one, but two bald eagles soaring above our heads. They were a pair, matched for life. We had not seen them before and we did not know where they had come from, but there they were, circling us. They cut through the sky with wings spread wide. They flew lower and closer to us as they graced the space just over our heads. Stephen grabbed his camera in excitement, shooting as many frames as possible. We stood there for a long time like this. People stopped to watch the eagles and us. It seemed as if this mated pair was there only for us. I could hardly believe my eyes. I felt intensely blessed!

The eagles continued to fly around us until the camera’s memory card finally ran out of space and could no longer hold any more photos. We both looked down to change the memory card. When we returned our gaze to the sky, the eagles had disappeared.

Looking back at the experience, we both feel these majestic birds came to honor us, encircling us with their empowering and supportive blessings. This was a magical, poignant and stunning moment in the flow of our lives, a spiritual breath of light, love and endorsement.

This blessing heightened our time together. Golden hues seemed to gently kiss everything I saw for the rest of the day. We attracted more wildlife and more opportunities. The afternoon unfolded like thoughtfully crafted poetry. And, as we drove home in the early evening hours, the sun lit the skies and our hearts in flaming rose tones, casting warm, glowing, divine light on everything in its path. We were in its path.

I now realize that for the entire day, we were not only in the path but we were an integral part of the path, of a greater more expansive, interconnected, spiritual path. I have a sense that this is the case with every moment and every breath of each of our lives. We just have to open and flow with it. ♥

“I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” ~Walt Whitman

Being the Path of Light

Being the Path of Light

My Wheel of Fortune

The Tarot snuck its way into my life several decades ago. It teased my fascination, luring me from mainstream thought, until it enveloped me in a greater respect for the unseen. How could simple cards make any plausible predictions? Shouldn’t this type of divination be left for the gypsies and fortunetellers whose slight-of-hand professes great tales? I had my doubts, for I was settled firmly in structured belief, cemented by logic and a tangible proof-driven society.

However, those silly cards, they tempted my imagination, feeding my belief, expanding possibilities. It seemed every time I would pick up a card, it would perfectly fit a situation, express a feeling or detail an outcome. How could this be? How could those little, colorful cards possibly know anything about spiritual lessons or offer guidance in any way? I wondered; however, I had this strange knack of choosing just the right cards repeatedly. It did not matter what deck I used, the results were always the same. Improbable, I thought. Isn’t this just up to chance, I questioned, a total fluke that I would happen to pick one card over another? So began the great internal debate.

For the longest time, my doubt had this discussion with my imagination. Until one day, while I was quiet in meditation, I realized that there is so much more to my spiritual self. I was meditating on my totem animal guides, a shamanic practice I feel deeply connected to, and Crow, one of my lead totem animals, popped into my mind. On a whim, I randomly flipped over one of my Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards, and a magical picture of Crow surprisingly stared right back at me. It was as if my guides and the universe were collectively saying, “Shana, do you finally believe? How many more times does this need to be confirmed for you?” This spiritual ah-ha moment came at a pivotal time in my life. It was finally time for my imagination to declare victory over my doubt and end this tedious and unsettling trail. Case closed.

This was quite a significant realization for a logic-focused, mainstream woman like me, significant for several different reasons. One might say, “Great, you can now live the life of a seer and dabble in the mystical realms of reality.” However, did I really want to fly away from society on the back of a gypsy’s dream? I will be judged. I will be questioned. I toyed with the idea of professionally sharing my gift with others, but I quickly ushered these ideas into the shadows. My place in society was resolute, and I did not intend to make my claim to fame through any art of divination. Period.

It is curious how destiny calls. Over time, I began to soften and TRUST. I began to dissolve my instilled need to conform to the ideals of the left-brained, linear thinking majority. I began to recognize that it was only I that I ultimately feared- my own critical mind, judgment and disapproval. Did people really care if I could read a Tarot card spread? Would they truly write me off as a fringe mystic? If so, what impact would that honestly make in my life? And, for heaven’s sake, who are all these darn people anyway? Do I even know them?

Once I finally plucked my head out of that restrictive box I built for myself so long ago, I was actually able to see the value in my gift. I now honor it, and I honor myself as I use it. In the beginning of this personal acknowledgement, I gingerly offered Tarot readings to friends and family. This felt safe. Time after time, though, I would be surprised and impressed with the cards, for they were eerily precise. It was not long before I faced my TRUTH and offered this gift as a bona fide service to my global community.

I am grateful I have arrived at a place of admission, acceptance and self-respect, for it has allotted me a new platform to help others. Now, the question that blossoms from my heart is- how can I NOT share my abilities, ALL of them, with those in need? My desire to guide and support others now trumps any doubt or judgment I once had. My life path is paved as I serve others, and the Tarot is yet another modality I can now use to construct the life I was born to live.

The funny thing is… I finally discovered that people actually LOVE the Tarot. Who knew!

“Fate brings success, the unexpected arrival of good fortune.” ~Eden Gray

“The Wheel of Fortune can indicate a vision or realization that strikes with great force. If you’ve been struggling…this card can signal that you can find the answer if you stand back and view everything from a larger perspective.” ~Joan Bunning

“The Wheel of Fortune…symbolizes a new beginning and the completion of an earlier series. The second half of the quest has now begun. The Wheel is a mandala, a symbol of psychic wholeness and inner order….Cast [yourself] free from the bond of society, and [your] sacrifice is rewarded. The symbol of the Wheel brings with it peace of mind, the resolution of guilt, and an affirmation of the fundamental order existing at all levels of the universe.” ~Alfred Douglas

Trust Your Body’s Enlightenment

Walking the Soul's Path

Walking the Soul’s Path

There is a strong correlation between the body and the spirit. We identify with our bodies as “I”. We identify with our minds even more deeply, for it drives us, often dictating our choices and directions. For those who are able to listen to the heart or follow gut instincts, messages from the body, personal journeys are more easily traveled. Our soul’s true purpose is stored in our bodies, for our bodies and our spirituality are so closely linked. The subconscious mind knows why we are here in this lifetime. It knows the lessons we need to learn and the focus of our current journey. Yes, we all have a reason for living here now. We all have deeply inlaid goals for this life that our physical bodies have set out to experience. Our bodies know these goals. Our bodies are programmed to function, aligned with our soul’s knowledge.

When we step off the path, we become sick, we injure ourselves or we are greeted with a challenge, a closed door or a conflict. We then store negative energy from these experiences within our bodies. We have not been taught how to release much of the pain we encounter. Bodywork in the form of massage, acupressure, rolfing and the like are all methods that can be used to release trapped emotional pain that have settled into our bodies.  However, what would happen if we never stepped off path and chose to stop using our bodies as storage units for negative energy? How would life feel if we could live and walk our true journey, our purpose, without diversion? If we learn to listen to our bodies, this could be possible.

We receive messages throughout each day that help guide us. Many of these notions are ignored. The powerful and logical thinking mind often overrides the subtle nuances of the body. Life is hectic. We are pulled into a hundred different directions. We have deadlines, responsibilities, personal promises to keep and chores to accomplish. How in the midst of all that can we follow our hearts and our physical instincts? What do we do when our intuition tell us to stay home, for example, when we have appointments set all day?  We cannot disappoint.  However, the greatest lesson we can learn is that the only one who ultimately gets disappointed is ourselves.

How would it feel to live life, moving from one project to the next, from event to event, but only if it felt right? How would it feel to have the power to choose your life and the direction it will take? Liberated? Relieved?  Like you can finally exhale? You actually have this power right now. If you do not know where to start, simply turn within yourself and listen closely to your body. This is an art, a skill. Tuning into your body and listening to its messages is like listening to a symphony for the first time. It is masterful, overwhelming, unfamiliar but filled with artful magic that invokes inspiration.

It is definitely possible to tune in to ourselves at any time. Meditation and yoga both help to quiet the mind, allowing us to connect with our bodies and our souls. A regular practice teaches us how to quiet the mind and keep it at rest. There is much literature on meditation. The benefits are well known.  It can instill great peace, purpose and solace. It trains the mind to settle down, to move away from the limelight of our lives. A well-trained mind can be powerful, for having the ability to silence it in the face of angst or suffering is an empowering ability.

However, let us take this discussion a bit further. There is more to the path of personal enlightenment then a yogic mind. We must actually use our physical bodies to guide our way through life.  Our minds can never do that for us no matter how long or often we engage in meditation. We have bodies; we must learn to use them in the way they were divinely meant to be used. We will never be able to rationalize or think our way through life even though we are taught from birth that we can. Those who do often reflect back on a life of regret, feeling unfulfilled like something profound was missed.  Well, it was.

How do we live our lives, choose directions and actions, that will introduce us to our divine life goals? We cannot ignore that we exist in physical form. We have bodies. We must learn to use the body, for it contains more knowledge and power than modern medicine or society has yet to grasp. The connection between our bodies and our spirits is definite. We must turn inward. That is the unequivocal truth.

Within each of us is a road map. Our bodies are spiritually designed to travel along this path. One of the most significant things we can do to find our divine purpose is to listen and to follow the body. Learn to live in the heart.  Follow gut instincts; be guided by intuition. Get out of your head and feel the journey with the energy that exists from the neck down. This is not to say logic is irrelevant. We have complicated reasoning abilities for specific situations. Our brain keeps us alive. It protects us and propels us. However, we need to move the thinking mind out of the driver’s seat. Yes, we will continue to think and logically problem-solve, but we need a shift. We need to do so from the body, the heart and from our intuition. This will guide us towards our soul’s greater destination, our true life purpose.

It is time to live on path.

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