A stop on the healing journey

In my last newsletter I wrote that I was super busy. Well that just increased in the following weeks to the point that I got completely overwhelmed.

Image of Niki looking overwhelmedMoksha Magick classes, Reiki classes, presenting at various festivals, planning a private retreat, new Reiki clients, new promotional materials, and of course prepping for the Reiki Retreat at Sea have been enough to keep anyone busy! The Universe is sending what I’ve been asking for, and I am grateful beyond measure!

On top of that, my caseload at my day job has been growing by leaps and bounds, and finding time to take care of all my client has been mind-boggling.

Just like anyone else, I find it hard to take my own advice, but I really am trying. I am doing my best to feed my body nourishing foods, get enough rest, and keep up with my yoga routine. I’m also trying to be strict about sticking to my meditation practice and scheduling times to do things I enjoy.

Last week I did something really important. I made a post to one of my Facebook groups about how overwhelmed I was. I felt better just by writing out my frustration. I got a lot of support and some of the members asked really good questions to help me clarify and prioritize things

Then, over the weekend I participated in the Holistic Heath Family Gathering at All World Acres in Plant City. What a healing weekend! I was there partially to teach my Moving through Emotions workshop and to spend time with people I love in a place I think of as home. I got so much more than that! My favorite workshop was Ego Warrior with the amazing Dru Ann Welch. She was as insightful and funny as always and gave some fabulous tips from her latest book by the same name about how to take the remote control out of the hands of you ego and take back control of your life. Since then I’ve been having conversations with my ego and a tug-of-war over that remote control.

Image of Ashley Rae with her crystal bowls
Ashley Rae with her crystal bowls

During a sound bath with 15 crystal bowls played by Dru Ann and festival organizer, Ashley Rae, I set the intention that of bringing people into my life that will help me to achieve my goals and healing any blocks that were preventing that. As the vibrations of the bowls moved through me, I felt a huge release! I realized shortly after that that the right people had already started to show up, and as the weekend went on, I had some enlightening conversations with some very practical applications that will lighten the burden I’ve been struggling under.

As the weekend continued, I did a personal vibrational healing session and got a massage. Both of those sessions, as well as many other small experiences throughout the festival helped me to realign with my priorities, including spiritual practice and self-care. It was also my honor to be asked to lead the Saturday night healing circle. When it was my turn to receive, the love I was bathed in washed over me and covered me in a blanket of healing and appreciation that was palpable.

In fact the whole weekend was full to overflowing with love and acceptance.

I start the new week feeling more balanced, in better control of my priorities, and full of love.

A Year of Choices, a Year to Ask

“Ask, Trust, Allow” – Author Unknown

Picture of three open doors, with the word "choice" superimposed over them

2017 was a year full of choices, partially because I asked for them. As I mentioned in previous posts, (this one too) my word for 2017 was choice. Granted, every year is full of choices. Not a day goes by that we don’t make choices, even if that choice is to maintain the status quo.

One of the things I learned throughout the year was to remember that I had a choice, and even more importantly, that just because I had chosen something at one time, I did not have to keep choosing it.

So I chose to close the healing center that I worked so hard to create. I chose not to choose a new goal right away. I chose to be gentle with myself as I transitioned away from the old dream. I chose to enjoy myself and return to some hobbies I had not made time for in years. I chose to feed my soul be attending and sharing in groups that others were facilitating. I chose to honor my body, to nourish it with movement and better nutrition. I chose to release more trauma stored in my body. I chose to claim my power regarding who has access to my body and I how I want to share it. I chose to embrace my sexuality with joy and power. I chose to heal and grow, rather than stagnate. I chose to begin dreaming new dreams.

For 2018, the word I choose to bring with me throughout the year is “ASK.” For far too long, I have held back in asking for what I need and for what I want. I have lived my life in fear of being told, “no,” mistaking that “no” for a rejection of the validity of the request or of myself. I have hidden my need for help, mistaking vulnerability and need for weakness. I have forgotten that even when human help isn’t available that I have a legion of guides and gods in the spirit world, not to mention my True Self, ready to supply answers and aid if I only ASK.

So this year, I chose to face my fears and ask.

The only thing to fear…is ourselves?

This week I am preparing to teach Moksha Magick classes. Moksha Magick is a practice near and dear to my heart, but I realize that because of the focus on sexuality, many people might not be interested in exploring it. That’s okay. Everyone has a different approach and experience when it comes to a wide variety of healing practices.

Many of the people receiving this newsletter embrace the practice of Reiki and other forms of energy healing whole-heartedly, but you may have friends or family members who perceive these practices as fraudulent or even morally wrong.

I am not here to convince anybody that they should change their spiritual, religious, or ethical beliefs.

I AM here to help people face their fears. And for many certain aspects of sexuality is a big one. In fact I don’t think I have met anyone yet that doesn’t need some form of sexual, including the many sexuality educators I know (myself included).

For most of us, our sexuality has become separate from ourselves. We remove it and put it in a corner, and then call upon it only when “appropriate.” When we begin to heal, we automatically start to close that gap, whether the focus is on sexuality or not. When we bring that intention as a focus, that healing comes much more quickly.

There are other aspects of ourselves which many people are afraid of as well. Things like intuition, psychic abilities, emotional intimacy, and expression of our emotions are just a few.

These things are often much scarier than the boogie man, spiders, enclosed spaces, or even public speaking. These things are part of ourselves, and in order to become a health, whole human being, they MUST be faced.

So whether you take a Moksha Magick class, or not, I invite you to explore your fears within yourself…whether that is with me, with another practitioner, or on your own.

 

Feeling Out Loud!

Once again, having a variety tools as well as a wonderful support system have lead to healing and growth, and I am grateful.

The kids and I have been getting settled into our Image of a pile of boxesnew place over the last month. Now the rest of the boxes needing to be unpacked are all piled in my room! All in all it’s feeling pretty good.

We’re in a condo now. This is so not the kind of living situation I’m used to/generally desire. I’m not a fan of apartment living, and I’m definitely not a fan of HOAs. The biggest consolation was the pool. I love the water!

I had only been in it once for about 15 minutes during the first week. It closes at sunset. On a Friday evening I decided to just slip in there anyway and swim some laps by moonlight around 9 o’clock last night. It was beautiful!

I only got about 5 minutes in before a neighbor decided to take the law into her own hands. She came up and ordered me to get out.

I was still angry about it this morning.

I get triggered when people create or enforce rules for no other reason than to make someone else feel small and themselves feel powerful, but I didn’t know what the root cause was.

I felt myself getting madder and madder over the next two days, seemingly out of all proportion, so I gave myself permission to let it out. I cried and screamedImage of closed eye and kicked and punched with all my might. The release went on for something like 20 minutes. It was obviously linked to something far deeper than the bitch at the pool, but I don’t know what.

I felt much better than I had, but I was still at loose ends. It seems like I missed an opportunity. I asked for some guidance from a dear friend and mentor, Freyja Inanna. She told me, “Go into meditation and connect with that emotion…feel where it comes up in your body and let it fill you and then travel back to the earliest time you felt that way…whatever comes up is perfect. Feel it and release it! Just follow the thread.

Later that night, during a guided meditation about emotions, I stopped the recording and went to my 6 year-old self. I stroked her hair and told her outloud that it would be okay. I thanked her for standing up for her little sister and told her that we could all go together to find mommy and daddy for a minute. Then I took them back to the nursery and got them cookies and juice and dried little Niki’s tears. It felt good to give myself what I needed, to honor that little girl’s feelings and needs. That process was healing, but it still wasn’t done.

I knew it was time to let go of the hurt brought up by my nosy neighbor. I tried writing and speaking affirmations of letting go, but the process still wasn’t complete.

I started having disturbing dreams and would start shaking out of nowhere. Last Saturday I turned to my feeling wheel to help me see what was going on with me emotionally. Not surprisingly, the words that popped for me were mostly in the wedge related to fear. I spent time with the fear, giving it place. I reached out to a friend, but we kept playing phone tag all day.

Image of the feeling wheel (looks like a pie with the biggest pieces labled fear, anger, disgust, sad, happy, surprise and related feelings divided within those bigger pieces)
Image source: http://i.imgur.com/tGgCSCN.jpg

That night I went to a Moksha Magick gathering. Our intention for the ritual that night was creating harmony in our relationships. The magick we created that night shifted the relationship with my neighbor and with myself. I still have work to do with the little girl who felt so dismissed and overpowered. I imagine it will have a lot to do with expressing the emotions that have been buried for so long.

I am thankful I have such effective tools and so many knowledgeable and compassionate people in my support system. The combination has given me the courage to heal by feeling out loud.

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Lessons of a Sick Healer

In the last several days I have learned some interesting lessons about being sick. The first day or two I was very frustrated! The depression, allergies, and cold I’ve been battling have been kicking my butt.

I am doing some serious healing work through Explosive Sexual Healing with my mentors Michael and Freyja Inanna. With their guidance, major breakthroughs have blossomed one  after another after another.


Sick Woman Sneezing into Tissue

So why did I get sick a few days after our most recent session?

Two reasons that I’ve recognized so far: one is that my body is telling me I need to slow down and rest, and if I don’t listen to the subtle hints, it will make me slow down and rest whether I like it or not. Okay, point taken.

The second reason I am feeling so crummy actually has me excited! I feel very strongly that it is time for me to learn to take my healing to the next level! I am 100% certain that the healing modalities I practice (Reiki, Access Bars, Moksha Magick, etc.) all have the ability to 100% cure any illness of the body, mind, or soul in an instant…but why don’t they do that all the time?

There are a lot of answers to that question, but one of the most prevalent is that we don’t let them. Why wouldn’t we let them? In many cases it’s because even though we want what we’re doing to work, we just can’t acknowledge deep down that it will.

As I have told my students and clients many times, we are POWERFUL beings! We can use that power to create miraculously powerful change…or we can use that power to block the powerful healing energy pouring through us.

Now on the surface, it seems like an easy decision to make: choose miraculous powerful change over blocking powerful change. Unfortunately for most of us, it isn’t that simple.
That’s why I always encourage my students to do whatever they can to help the person they are guiding towards healing into a receptive state.

And I’ve got to say, some of my students and colleagues are better at it than I am. Some people already accept the ability to change and heal at a deep, deep level. They are able to do this so profoundly that the trust they have in themselves and the Universe pours into the recipient and through that person’s blocks like magick.

Now, I’m not saying that I’ve never healed anything through energy healing. I certainly have! Either by myself or through the facilitation of others, I have gotten rid of headaches, insomnia, nausea, a constant post nasal drip I had for years, chronic fatigue, mental triggers, emotional wounds, and more. I’ve seen all sorts of similar healings with my clients. I’m also convinced that the hypothyroidism and chronic depression I’ve been treating with pharmaceuticals for years would be much worse without this healing work.

Picture of me with the words: Ask, Trust, Allow

But you know what? I’m done! I am ready to embrace my full power and the healing of the Universe! I don’t know what it’s going to take to get me off those meds and into that state of health that I know is possible, but I’m sure it’s coming! I am ready.

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Leadership Through Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brené Brown

Man walking tightrope over sharks

On January Second, 2015, in front of witnesses, I looked directly into my own eyes and told my reflection, “I love me,” in a clear, compassionate voice.

While that seems like a simple act, I’m sure that anybody who has tried it will agree that doing so is anything but easy. To make that proclamation, especially in the presence of others, normally would leave me feeling very vulnerable. However, in this case, I felt empowered instead. I felt empowered because I had allowed myself to show my vulnerability rather than hiding it. In that sharing, I was set free and found that rather than weakness, displaying my vulnerability led to strength.

Over the past few years, I have come to appreciate that allowing our vulnerability to be seen can be an incredibly empowering experience for myself and those around me.

There were two experiences in the last eighteen months that really brought home to me that expressing my vulnerability as a leader empowers and heals both me and the members of my community who witness it.

The first experience centered on a ritual my partner of the day and I created as a tool for healing. I created the ritual as part of my healing work regarding sexual trauma. I had made a huge breakthrough near the beginning of December in which I did some powerful writing around forgiving the girl who was so scared and confused and ashamed about the situation surrounding the rapes. However, in the weeks that followed I came to realize that I had not forgiven all of me; I had not forgiven my adult-self who had made questionable decisions and chosen harmful paths in an unknowing result of what I experienced.

It was important to me to have witnesses and people to hold space during the ritual. Sharing struggles and triumphs is a human need. That need is a major reason why ceremonies like weddings and funerals are such important religious and secular events. I wasn’t thinking about the greater context at time I invited my friends. I just wanted to share my fears and celebrate my growth and healing with those I hoped would acknowledge and accept me.

In the ritual, I shared with my friends some of the specific things I had done for my healing and how utterly lost I had been for the past several months: the hours spent crying, the days spent shaking and rocking, the inability to take care of my children in the way I wanted to. Expressing those fears was an important part of taking back my power and my confidence in myself.

My partner then took us through a meditation about seeing forgiveness not as releasing guilt, but in accepting ourselves and our choices.

After the meditation, I took a jar and put in some important symbols representing different parts of my development. Looking back on it now, I think the most important item I placed in that jar was a piece of pyrite (fools gold). pyriteIt represented my fear that people perceived me as gold, but if they really knew what was inside me, they would be disappointed and see me as a fraud. I was a healer and a leader in my spiritual community, after all. What if people knew how dysfunctional I had been in the previous few months? What if people knew how full of doubt and fear and shame I was? Part of my intent in that ritual was to bury that notion and to begin to perceive myself as gold.

After I buried the jar, the others formed a line and took turns telling me how they saw me and appreciated me. I was brought to tears, not only by the beauty of the words, but by their sincerity. I wouldn’t have been able to accept their words as  genuine if I had not shared my fears first.

That ritual was a seminal moment in my life.It helped me to move back into my roles as healer, teacher, and leader with confidence.

About a year later, I was hosting a Moksha Magick ritual at my studio. It had been a long day. There had already been two other events at Circle of Light that day. The previous group had run late. Two people arrived early for the Moksha group, and I hadn’t had a chance to eat yet. My partner and I had just had a tense moment. I was hungry, tired, and on edge.

We went ahead and ate our dinner while the discussion topic was introduced. As the discussion wrapped up, we began to get ready for ritual. My partner met my eyes and asked if I was in a space to participate. The question stopped me in my tracks.closed eye I sat down and burst into tears. The old shame rushed up to greet me. What kind of leader was I? The gathering was in my space. I had suggested the day and time. I was the high priestess, for heaven’s sake!

Then something monumental happened: I was able to think clearly enough to ask myself what I would do if it was someone else in the same situation. I realized that I wouldn’t hold it against another person at all, even from a host and a leader. I would assure them it was okay and ask if there was anything I could do to help. I was able to express this revelation to the small group and then express what would help me without waiting for one of them to ask.

What I wanted was to just be held and nurtured. Instead of creating the ritual we had originally intended, we created a beautiful, powerful ritual that perfectly met the need of the moment.

I realized later what a blessing it would have been to have witnessed leaders in my own life show this level of vulnerability in a similar  situation. I was blown away. What a gift! A gift I gave myself and those who shared that space with me.

Brené Brown says, “When we meet someone, vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you, but it’s the last thing I want to show you in me.” In other words, we admire those who are able to embrace “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” However, we fear others will judge us when we do the same.

That really doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? It’s a paradox. Maybe we admire those who are willing to show their vulnerability because we want to be able to do the same. We allow our fear of weakness to hold us back from embracing our greatest strengths. Perhaps just recognizing this double standard we have for others and ourselves will allow us to begin exploring the expression of our own vulnerabilities. In doing so, we begin to courageously accept our own strength.

 

 

 

 

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Breaking Through – Part II

breakthroughopening

In my last post, I wrote about how the Breakthrough program helped me to further develop my sense of trust in the Universe and myself.

I just want to take a moment to share how the last week of the program and the final concert continued to change my life.

During that final week of the program, instead of meeting just once a week, our group of singers and seekers came together five times. Mick and Tess gave us an amazing amount of support, expertise, and genuine caring. I felt so loved and cared for by the entire group that just experiencing that support was worth the entire program.

On the day of the concert we gathered together and shared with each other our intentions for the evening. I spoke my intention of facing my fear to sing and share from an authentic space instead of wearing my performer’s mask.

When my turn came to share my song, I also seized the opportunity to share about what it meant to me. Admitting that my parents were human and made mistakes made me extremely nervous…so just giving that little speech about taking risks was a risk in itself.

And then I sang my heart out, communicating with song, with words, with movement what my very soul wanted to communicate.

happy

Our songs were chosen for us, first by Mick, and then eventually by the group. Thank you Mick, thank you everyone for taking care of me so well, and gifting me with this song that spoke to my soul so strongly. They gave me Happy, originally recorded by Leona Lewis. Thank you, thank you dear ones.

If you would like to hear what I had to say and sing, click here and enter the password nikisings

The next Breakthrough concert is on March 20th at the Unity Church in St. Petersburg.

If you are ready to break through and let yourself shine, don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity!

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Breaking Through

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it tblooming roseook to blossom.” – Anais Nin

2015 was a breakthrough year for me. I have faced a lot of fears. I had been on three months of mental health leave from my full-time job. A few days into the New Year, I started back part-time and eventually transitioned to permanent contract work.

I started the year in the arms of my fiancé. A few months later, following some really hard discussions and decisions, we parted ways.

NYE 2015
Elizabeth, James, and me in our new home/healing center New Year’s Eve 2015

I learned to walk my own path again. My clients and students reminded me of what I know and what I’m capable of. I moved with my kids across town and expanded my business. As with any new business, we’ve struggled to make ends meet and sometimes despaired about being able to do so. At the close of 2015, I was ready to embrace life’s ups and downs, trusting that this will be a year of growth and healing. I am ready to breakthrough once more.

I have used a lot of tools for healing and personal growth during the last year: Reiki, meditation, yoga, Moksha Magick, Oneness Deeksha, art, journaling, mental health counseling…the list continues on. They all have value, and I am blessed to have them all in my toolbox to use in whatever combination makes sense in the moment. I have shared about most of these in one way or another with my students,  clients, and blog readers.

Towards the end of 2015 my dear friend Monica introduced me to a new tool. It’s called Breakthrough. It is a workshop developed to help people of all backgrounds and levels of experience in their healing and personal growth through song performance. Since October 24th, the fabulous Mick and Tess Pulver have guided a group of nine seekers to greater understanding of ourselves, where we have been, and where we want to be. For someone who loves to sing and is actively healing and growing, this was a perfect fit! With the guidance of Mick and Tess, I have continued to learn to embrace trust in all aspects of my life. I have also become aware of a fear I didn’t even know I had:  letting my true self break through the mask I tend to wear.

breakthrough

More than that, I have to share how much I admire some of the other people on this journey with me. I love to sing. I try my best to stay active in my healing work. For some of the other participants, singing in front of other people is very scary, and doing the deep work needed to really heal is downright terrifying! Yet they’re doing it! They are my heroes! It is such an honor to witness the healing and growth of everyone in Breakthrough and to share my healing and growth with them.

The culmination of all our hard work, play, and healing is a concert on January 9th at 7 pm at the Unity Church in St. Petersburg, FL. If you would like to be a part of an uplifting evening of song and hold space for some amazing performers as they share their breakthroughs, please join us!

If you are ready to do some breaking through of your own, click here for information on free introductory sessions and registration for upcoming workshops.

I wish you a blessed 2016, however you choose to breakthrough.

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How I Finally Learned that Art is Fun

I consider myself to be a performing artist to some degree. I love to sing and dance, and from the age of 10, my home away from home was the local community theater.

I’ve never thought of myself as a visual artist. When I was a kid and the Sunday School teacher asked us to draw a picture to make the morning fun, I would end up in tears because it never looked the same way on paper as it did in my head. In my Reiki II class, I became completely intimidated when we had to learn how to draw the symbols.

When I began doing the Journey of Yes courses a few years ago, I was nervous about doing the art prompts, much less sharing them with the professional and semi-professional artists in the course. I finally talked myself into doing some of them and posting them on the Facebook group. Everyone was so supportive of my stick figures and wavy lines. They truly appreciated the symbolism I put into my attempts of self-expression.

joyhand

 

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I was actually enjoying doing this kind of art.

Not only was the artwork helping me to process and express my emotions, it was actually fun!

Then, joy of joys! During the Hell Yes course at the beginning of the year, a piece of  the class  included some tutorials on how to create memes and other digital artwork on Picmonkey.com. All of the sudden I could visually express the pictures in my head!

Here is my first attempt at digital art: beyou  I created it to encourage myself in my journey as I learned to speak up for myself.

I used these creations to help me process what I was working through at therapy and at home.  bindourselves

 speak truth super hero

                              halt

Pretty soon, I started making memes for others,when they needed encouragement as well: drythemall

phoenix

Some memes came to me as messages in meditation havecourage

like this one that I wrote about in the post Have Courage. Speak out and this one that was related to me by a fellow student in my Core Shamanics class fire

This one was inspired by current events

(the historic Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage).

marriage equality

Most continue to express my thoughts and feelings as life has continued to evolve.

leap2

leap1

(I couldn’t decide which one I liked better here.)

releasedoubt

ask.trust.allow

This one is a self-portrait showing myself what it would look and feel like to have achieved my goal of trusting myself and allowing blessings into my life, as I wrote about in a previous post.

worthy Empathy 

The last few memes have honed in on some quotes by figures I admire and am learning from. These messages inspire me so much that I want to create art incorporating them and share them to inspire others.

Including this last one that I just made today.

transform sex

Thanks for letting me share here once again. I really encourage you to explore a new art form. Push your boundaries, and express yourself.

And have FUN!

Bridges

As many of you know, I am in a transition period in my life, a bridge so to speak. This has been an incredibly healing and powerful weekend. I need to write about it to help me continue processing what I have experienced. I’m sharing my reflections here in the hope it will help someone as they are transitioning through their own bridges.

bridge

The weekend of healing and insight began Friday evening at a Moksha Magick gathering. It was the first time I had seen my former fiancé since he moved out at the end of May. I knew that seeing him might be hard, but it was both easier and harder than I had expected. It was easier in that it wasn’t as awkward as I thought it might be. We were able to come together in Moksha and let it be exactly what it needed to be. It was harder because by the time I got home, I was much more raw and emotional than I had anticipated.

There was so much that was left unsaid. I played games on Facebook for hours trying to get myself to wind down. As I was trying to convince myself that I really needed to go to bed, I came across a post from one of my Reiki students with a suggestion for a simple new moon ritual of releasing. It was perfect. I combined it with the intention from the Moksha Magick ritual for emotional strength. I asked the Goddess to give me the emotional strength to release my longing for the relationship that now belongs in the past.

Cool, I thought. I’m being given the emotional strength we raised energy for already. Well, yes and no. Writing “longing for the relationship” on a broken piece of pottery and burying it did give me a sense of action and peace. But the next day, I found that I was continuing to replay the evening and then add imaginary conversations in my head.

At a private healing circle that day, the thought of the broken relationship brought up tears that I thought had already cried themselves out. The tears and the support I received were healing. I acknowledged that I still needed to spend time with what I was feeling and why I was feeling it.

The weekend culminated Sunday morning, sharing Conscious Movement with members of a tribe who made me feel right at home. This was only the second time I had danced and moved with this fabulous group. Some of them I had met briefly before, and some of them I shared space with for the first time.

I surprised myself this morning by being on time and the first one there. When I walked in the door, the comforting smell of sage greeted me, followed by warm, enthusiastic hugs from the organizers. As I warmed up with the music, it felt so good to be in a supportive, accepting dance space with the beautiful souls coming through the door.

The theme of today’s session was Bridges. The fabulous Kathy Oravec, facilitating through music and movement, helped us to find and express the bridges in our lives.

Not long after the opening circle, I found myself in a situation I rarely encounter: I felt lost on the dance floor. I wandered aimlessly, without feeling the music in my body. I kept coming back to a blanket that had a pile of small scarves and some toys that were there for us to move with if we felt like it.

It popped into my head to create a bridge with the scarves. I laid some scarves out end to end, thinking that the bridge I was creating was a bridge into the next chapter of my life. This was a bridge to a life where I feel comfortable and confident on my own. I went back to the blanket and found a little car, then sprawled next to the scarves. The car drove part way up the scarf bridge in time with the music and then turned back towards the beginning. I moved the car back and forth, making progress little by little, until it jumped the track and took a completely different bridge into my new life.

I felt accomplished and proud of myself, but sad too. I missed AumJah. I thought about how much he would enjoy this gathering and how fun it would be to share it with him. There were these huge floor to ceiling windows encasing the room in a semi-circle. I thought about how much he would like those too. I drifted to one and looked out at some trees. They seemed to be inviting me to join them. So I went and gave one a big hug, finding comfort in its solidness and peace. I cried and gave them my sadness, my longing, my pain. I sat with them until I felt that I had expressed all I needed to in that space.

Then I went back inside and flung myself into the dance. I smiled, I played, I connected with people, and instead of feeling lost and wondering what to do, I lost myself in the dance, knowing exactly what to do.

I found more bridges. The first was the dance itself: it created a bridge to my feelings, the sadness, the joy, the connection. The second bridge was the tribe gathered to share connection through the music and movement. They made me feel so welcome and part of them, embracing me physically and energetically.

I will surely spend more time with all of these bridges…and count myself blessed.