Do you have a Word for the year?

create2014 We are nearing the end of January. Did you do new years resolutions? If yes, how many of them are still in play? If no, why not?

I broke up with new years resolutions YEARS ago because I realized the failure and self disappointment I felt when they fell short was not worth feeling. At the end of 2012, I saw on the Facebook world women announcing their word for the upcoming 2013 year.  So I stalked their posts and clicked on the free downloads to guide one to their word of the year. I found it to be kinda-crazy-awesome. I loved the idea of working with one word for a whole year. To have a simple focus on it. To have a complex understanding of it through experience and life.

2013...my word was opportunity. And the ripples of experience met with holding myself present in order to bring in the focus of opportunity. I found all the heavy challenges thrown my way as opportunities, therefore I responded to them more positively. I found the awesome moment more vibrant and magical, therefore I allowed myself to feel the joy and fun more. It was a roller coaster year that I look back on as incredible learning and wisdom and self exploration. Looking back at 2013, I feel connected to opportunity and realize I created a relationship to it, and I let it change me. A-ha! I finally feel an accomplished and successful resolution played out in my life. I had to simplify my focus to amplify my results.

Simple doesn't mean easy.

And I value the lessons of my opportunities because this is true for me. Building a relationship to opportunity in a simple way brought me to the complexities of understanding deeply what opportunity is. For me, it became a work out for my "space holding" muscles. It became a wide open field for me to run free in. It became a nurturing cave to lick my wounds and begin again. Gratitude doesn't even scratch the surface.

Entering 2014, finding my word was much like being in a labyrinth.  Searching in one direction, following the scent and BAM, a wall....nope, this isn't the one. But I kept following the scent. I had to dig deep and I found myself surrounded by the truth of a word that scares the shit out of me a bit. This word takes me to deeply disappointed places where judgements, criticisms, and abandonment have very loud voices. Stepping into the home of this word and these voices will require me to allow myself to be emotional, vulnerable, and warrior....terrifying; a battle for more. It incites anxiety and excitement and child like open-hearted-ness. It will require me to own it, take credit, and give. And this word is....

CREATE

This month of getting to know my word I have been on the "first date" high. We giggle and play and flirt. And I have been giving it full attention, which is why I haven't blogged in over a month. I am already creating. I am looking forward every day while staying present...in the moment...performing the tasks of creating.  Held by constant flow of inspiration and dreams. Held in the accomplishments of: book content, art-work for divination cards, loving moments with my family, and forgiveness for the judgey critics. Feels good.

Do you have a word for the year? Share it here! Do you want one? Below are the links I used to guide me through discovering mine.

http://www.susannahconway.com/2013/12/lets-make-some-magic-in-2014/

http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-2014-successful-prosperous-and-magical/

 

Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw

Have you ever had a moment keep messing with you?  A tiny moment where human interaction didn't go so well and it just keeps gnawing at you.  Yet, the haunting of it is not so small.  Well, I am experiencing this tricky lil' bugger and I am growling back at it while it's eating me up. In my line of work, I conduct energy medicine on myself all the time as part of me being what I do. Usually in this situation a good cord cutting does the trick.  But it didn't.  So I did some soul retrieval on myself and the situation.  Nope, still coming back.  I threw Reiki balls at it, burned it in a fire, whined to my hubby, and it keeps popping into my mind and infects a spiral of distraction.  The anger, insult, and crashed illusion I felt in this situation are all emotions that have waned due to the energy work done, but there is a shadow of them still there.  And in the shadows, there is truth and light to see the truth.  So, I've spent several days journeying and meditation on what this really is.

Interesting thing happened in this time...see, immediately after this incident I began tackling it to be free from it; and I'm now understanding that sometimes a situation needs to live a little before it dies.  In my mind I was thinking, "okay, this just happened so let's get it gone and not waste time."  In my soul, I am guided to "let the shadows of this situation unfold the healing as it needs to.  There is more to be seen about this, and won't be seen until some other things happen first."

This melted me.  It dropped me into compassion for myself, grateful for the topical release of the heavy emotions, and strength to feel it a bit longer for a higher purpose.  So, here I am...stirring and feeling and waiting for the sunrise of that missing piece.  I wait with awareness and trust!

What's gnawing at you?

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Who I am is what I do. I inquire within and I am a soul crafter.  I offer energy medicine and empowerment coaching using Shamanic healing techniques and intuitive reflection.  I provide a sacred space to facilitate healing, workshops, growth, and discover your truth.  Contact me to schedule your guided journey to the wilderness of the inner world, where healing and who you are is waiting to be discovered!

Nissa Howard- Shamanic energy medicine, Soul crafter and wild woman extraordinaire!

www.inquirewithin.me

Death Ceremony

~This post was actually not gonna come out until next Tuesday, but I feel a big push to post it now.  Mostly for my sisters in the SouLodge.  As we sit in the West together there has been much death and dying and release...so girls...this one is coming out early, just for you!~ For the better part of this year, I have felt a pull to create ceremony, ritual, passage.  I have many ideas swirling in my soul and one has finally birthed itself!  The inspiration has been a death ceremony as a way to lay to rest the you that you don't want to be anymore...the you that is no longer playing a positive role in creating a life you love...the you that has been on it's way out for a while but the ego is holding on to it.

A fortunate, unfortunate situation has popped up within the last month.  My dearest friend from Jr. High found herself in a place that really needed a death ceremony.  And true to the laws of the creating, timing is a big player in how and when your purpose is created.  As soon as my BFF entered this situation the download of details for this ceremony flooded in over a span of several days.  Excitement and power of transformation was bouncing my insides all over my outsides and I just knew this death ceremony had to be done, and has to be done more in the world.

She traveled to me for a time frame of several days, which now I am calling this time "soul rehab".   The first day produced healing on many levels.  We did extractions, spirit release, and soul retrieval.  Day two she accompanied me to a Yoga class I teach and that was a time to seal in the work from day one.  Later that night on day two,  the death ceremony was building and ready to GO!  So we entered my healing room and began.

We layed out two strips of butcher paper and taped them together.  As she lay on the sheet I asked if she had any last words to this skin and Self she was letting die.  She did, and with a true voice, declared her intention and gratitude....beautiful!  I began creating an energetic "coffin" around her as she imprinted her old Self into the paper, into the coffin.  I drew an outline of her form and she emerged for the next step.

With art supplies handy, the work began.  Locating a main source of suffering on the paper body, names and colors and art flowed out of her onto the paper self.  All the anger and pain and wounds boiling the blood and moving the energy OUT.  I began a wailing into the that spot, she followed with two, and that part was at peace and clean.  She powerfully and organically moved into other body parts, and letting those pains and programs have a true expression without judgment or blame.  Simple movement out of her and into the paper old Self.  Flowing gracefully she moved through the whole body...calling out demons, shutting up the liars, and slapping...stomping...yelling at the saboteurs.

And this played out until it was complete, all of the old Self out and into the paper.

The next part of the ceremony is to dismember this old Self, and she began with the head.   Ripping the paper through the throat, freeing her voice!  We cursed and swore and rejected all the things the old Self stored as she continued ripping the many body parts apart.  Her true Self expressing sovereignty and ownership of her body, mind, and soul.  When she was done, I looked at this lovely being and her face had changed.  Her eyes were a darker green.  She felt weightless as if I could see right through her.  She is new.

It was dark, and raining...a perfect cocktail to dig a grave.  So we collected all her old paper Self parts, bundled them together and that girl was digging as quickly as she could.  We threw her old Self into the ground, did a typical...we are gathered here tonight to honor the passing of....

Forgiveness was expressed in celebratory vibration. Then, the grave was covered and the party began.  A special party where we stomped on that grave, yipped to our Selves at congratulations, danced, shook, howled, and birthed a special song that I now believe will act as a mantra or affirmation for her to use to keep herself from recreating those old habits.  I won't share it here because if feels sacred and I know that each death ceremony I facilitate from here on out will have it's own sacred tool individual to that client.

My dearest friend met herSelf that day.  Met her truth, her light, and her power.  She just had to release and bury the parts of her that held contrary energy to her true Self.  I can now say with this death ceremony added to my energy medicine bag, the death and dying process is easy peasy and shouldn't be put off.  There is such an immediate renewal into the tangible realm of the power inside the soul.  There is such a relief and release, as if it was ages ago that my friend had that old Self living her life.  She left her "soul rehab" a full version of her true self, along with tricks and tools and tasks to keep her on point as she carves the trails in creating her life forward.  So cool....

Day three was all about the journey.  She learned how to journey to her true Self, her inner world landscape, and into her power.  She experienced and felt the qualities of who she really is from this place.  Then we crafted her a set of soul cards that are all hers to use when she needs remembering of her greatness.  She gained a power animal to guide and protect her on her journey of empowerment from healing.  She has several mantras and affirmations.  And is fully equipped to tackle life's obstacles with a new set of soul rules.  We occupied the empty space the death made with the qualities and ammunition to be who she really is.  An open, strong, intuitive Goddess.

I am ready and honored to facilitate this ceremony for anyone at a trans-formative place in their life.   And/or wanting to begin an annual, bi-annual, quarterly death to the "skin" that is no longer needed to roam free in the wild of the inner world.  Be ready to be wild, uninhibited, and loud!  You can contact me at inquirewithin.me@gmail to schedule a session for death, or life, or rebirth!

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Me, and my Shaaadow!

Stars can't shine without the darkness. ~unknown~ I am currently enrolled in a 5 week course through a terrific site called SouLodge.  In this autumn season the lodge session is focusing on shadow work.  It is a dark, delicious realm of my inner world that has surprisingly opened my heart.  I went into this course thinking it would be a dirty, gutted, heavy journey.  So far, every interaction with my shadow and my darkness has brought me an uplifted-ness and fullness I wasn't expecting.  Although, I guess I am getting what I expected, just in a different expression of it.  I'm dirty with mud of playfulness, I'm gutted in the sense that I want my light to be spilling out from my center at all times, and I am heavy with a nourished soul.

My unexpected reaction to this work has me wondering why shadow work brings me so much happiness?  The shadow isn't shrinking or having more light to take over the darkness.  My shadow is presenting me with so many slaps and punches, and I am giddy when they hit.  I take them in and throw them into my inner cauldron like ingredients to yummy cookies...anxiously drooling in the wait for the end result of warm, chewy goodness.

My mind says: "What is so delicious about getting punched and slapped with my own shit?"

My heart says: "How and Why does the pain/fear/etc, open me?"

My soul says: "It's like finding a kidnapped child... it is a part of you returning home for love and care and safety."

Some of the journeys I've done for my work in SouLodge have brought me some great messages, visuals, and insights.  I would like to share them here.

  • Our darkness, our shadow, is a place for us to recharge and know more of what makes us shine.  It is a place within to gather our purpose, heighten our senses, gain strength, and to FEEL deeper.  Cultural conditioning, wounds, traumas, etc. can project our shadow as a predator which instills fear, but the shadow is NOT to be feared. It is not a predator, the ego and the need to be right are predators.
  • My shadow is the night time, my unwounded wild Self is the day time.  Reflection: each time cycle has its purpose in our outer world, and the same goes for the inner world.  Let the day time shine life giving light, let the night time radiate it's mystery. Together they are in perfect harmony.  Not allowing the shadow to live it's portion of the time cycle creates the imbalance the ego needs to project a predator into the psyche.
  • Shadow is sacred.  My shadow is full and nourished, I listen to it very well, I embrace it openly.  What is getting in my way is the egoic mind chatter of wounded-ness.  The egoic fear that puts up unnecessary walls.  The egoic search for meaning and approval outside of myself.
  • My shadow is the inner healer for my egoic wounds.  My true self is the inner healer for my heart.  And my soul is the inner world landscape where all of this resides.

Shadow work is sacred soul work to clean up the egoic trash that litters the pristine forest of my inner world.  For all the slaps and punches I'm taking right now from my shadow, I am deeply grateful for the pain, the learning, the wisdom, the growth, and the healing.

For more on these SouLodge sessions, go to www.soulodge.com

For more on my work in the realm of empowerment, go to www.inquirewithin.me

Blessings of shadow whispering truth to you, and the healing it is always doing on the ego! And so it is!

In The Balance

Three mornings ago I was up by the moon light shining on my face.  I decided to heed her call, made the coffee, poured it into my favorite mug, swaddled myself in a blankie, and meandered onto my back balcony.   I leaned into the railing and drank in the silvery glow of the moon.  Her light caressed the leaves and fruits of my garden, while the darkness still danced on the underside of the plants.  I felt my face illuminated with the strong mystery of the moon, and I felt myself pull into the still of my inner world.  I remained in the silvery darkness, the powerful stillness, and allowed myself to go deeper and deeper.  Uncovering meaning in the moment. After simmering in this magic of the moon, the sun began to stretch his rays into the sky on the other side of the earth.  The moon was still out and radiating her beauty, but the light of day began to step up.  The garden still glowing silver, and with an added ingredient of a new day.  The Eastern horizon kept grabbing my attention from the direction of the moon, so back and forth my open eyes veered.  Back and forth my heart desired the illuminated darkness of the moon and the promised newness of the sun.  Back and forth my soul gathered the radiance and wisdom of both.

By now, the sun had reached an equal billing of power as the moon.  Both energies standing in perfect unity on this planet without one being greater than the other.  This was a brief moment, but a profound moment that brought me to a place of balance I had not yet experienced.   A place of balance within that gave me a fresh pair of eyes to view myself with, a new voice to forgive myself with, and a new door in my soul to open and explore the world within.  This moment has been percolating for days, unfolding more and more of the whole picture that was in this moment of balance.

Then...it shifted...the moon kissed the sun and the sky good night,  turned her attention away and began a journey downward.  The sun grew in his power and the warmth began to glow.  The leaves and fruits of my garden were caressed in golden morning rays as the shadows lightened underneath.   A sense of rebirth, purity, new beginnings, and growth filled up the sky, the earth, the rest of the morning.  What an incredible gift this time of year is, this autumn, this fall.  It is delicious to the sense and food for the crafting of a soul.

As I have sat in the feelings and ideas and messages of that morning, I am in grand inspiration for the perfection of nature around us as it holds up a mirror to our soul....

How can we be in balance within us, holding the equal power of both the dark and the light?

How can we surrender to accepting and living our truth and not be out of balance with it?

How truly unwounded we are in the center of the light and the dark!

What do we need to let go of, and what do we need to let shine?

What can we do to feed the strength of our inner balance, so we root deeply into who we authentically are?

I invite you to journal your own thoughts or responses to these questions, and I challenge you to welcome the questions your soul asks after you answer these question.  Blessed be!

www.inquirewithin.me