I believe in messages from the universe. I believe there is a benevolent spirit or consciousness (not even sure if that is the right word) that has our eternal best interest at heart. But we have to pay attention. We have to be able to recognize the signs, the messages when they show up.
On the last night of the women’s retreat, we had a ceremony. There were drums and opening of the four corners of the universe, calling out to mother earth and father sky…and there was fire. We were asked to come to the ceremony with both a stick and a rock. The stick would symbolize whatever the shit was that we wanted to get rid of and the rock was our vision of freedom. On the first day of the retreat, one women shared the story of her neighbor’s dog that lived inside one of those invisible, electric fences. Every morning, the little dog would start to whimper and whine – just before it bolted through the electric fence. The little dog knew that it was going to hurt but did it anyway. Then he ran around free all day long and, the evening, would come back home and sit outside the fence until his owners let him in. Going back inside his cage was not worth the pain. That little dog became our hero, our mascot for the weekend. What did freedom look like for us? What fences were we ready to break through? Even if it hurt?
I had brought a rock from home – one that I had found on my father-in-law’s farm in Tennessee. It was smooth and round and a little pinkish. But I didn’t have a stick. After dinner, I walked outside to find a stick and I was still mulling over what freedom looked like for me. My teacher/shaman had shared her vision had come to her while looking up at the sky and seeing a hawk fly overhead. How different everything must look from his perspective. Remembering that, I looked up and instantly caught my breath. The night sky was filled with millions of stars – millions more than can be seen in the city. It was just gorgeous. And then it hit – a star. Freedom or the future or my path was to be a star. Shining down onto the earth. The more I thought it over the more right it felt. I am a star. It is my duty…my birthright as a woman. I am a star – not flakey but unmoving. A fixed point that shines light onto and allows other to navigate their own paths.
That night, I threw my stick in the fire. Asking for all my fears that held me down to be burned away. For all the shit that I just don’t fucking need anymore to be burned away. I held my stone and blew into all my faith and visions of brilliant stars blazing in the sky. And then I tossed it, too, into the fire.
We had one final practice the following morning that was very intense, very fiery. Towards the end, we were doing seated, forward folds and the other leader of the retreat came over behind me and compressed the artery that flows between my hip and my thigh. She stayed there with me and then repeated the compression on the other side as we switched. When we unfolded, she told me to just lie back and, when she released the compression, a great WHOOSH swept through my body and my brain. I saw so clearly how important the star imagery was for me.
I have always referred to myself as a box. I keep things boxed up, emotions locked away, secrets and shame quietly kept. But in the moment I saw that was bullshit. I am not a box, I AM A STAR. Brilliant and life-alteringly humongous! Way too powerful to be contained in a box. I have to be. As a woman, a mother and a wife, it my path to shine line for others…to allow them to navigate their own paths. I am what they will use to model their own lives. In order to that, however, I have to be strong. I have to be a badass and, in order to be a badass, I have to keep myself strong – not just physically but mentally and emotionally fit, too. I had to stop feeling guilty about taking time for myself and just fucking do it. I have to be their fixed point. There’s no one else who can do it. No one else that I would want to do it. It also means that I have to quit getting drunk every night because no one can be a hammered badass. Not even me. 🙂
Oh yeah – messages from the universe. A couple years ago I got tattoo on my left wrist of lotus flower and I have been wanting to get a balancing tattoo on my right wrist but didn’t know what. Well, duh, a star! That has been on my mental “to do” list since then but while I running this weekend, I found two out of place objects on the track. First, a pink, plastic star = get the tattoo already! Second, a broken pencil = you’ve some healing yet to do but keep on writing!
I’ll post a pic of my new tat when I get it!
xo & praise buddha.