Allowing What was Hidden to be Seen

Snowy greetings from Portland!

I’m going to jump right in…

There have been quite a few changes in my work over the past few years… changes that have led to new offerings and services. Most of these new offerings, however, have been by invitation-only to women who were already working with me.

Now these changes are beginning to shoot sprouts up through the soil towards the light of day and are asking for more recognition, more acknowledgement, and to be seen to a greater extent. While I’ve alluded to some of them in my recent (very sporadic) posts, I want to take a moment to highlight them now.

In brief, my approach to healing rests in accessing the natural wisdom of the body, utilizing the healing power of nature and ritual, and teaching the transformative practice of deep self-care.

The common thread in my work is connecting to the wisdom inherent in our body, in nature, and in Spirit.

By accessing these sources of wild wisdom, we can re-align ourselves with who we are meant to be and find the healing we seek.

Perhaps something below will speak to you. Perhaps there is something here that you’ve been looking for (maybe without even knowing it). Perhaps now is the time to embark on a new way of relating to yourself, to your body, to nature, and to Spirit. If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Divination for Women

Divination 1Deeply nourishing, personal divination uses shells, rocks, and other items to take a look at a situation and reveal where the blocks to healing are and what ritual homework needs to be done to shift them. As these blocks shift, more healing, love, vitality and guidance becomes available in your life.

Plus, just being within the space of a divination is healing in itself!

All of our loving and supportive ancestors and spiritual relations show up to support the reading and to bring their healing and medicine. It is a beautiful and highly engaged experience.

In person. For women.

 

Monthly Ritual Circle

red candleThe Monthly Ritual Circle offers in-person rituals to honor and be with our collective Ancestors and the Elements on an on-going basis.

My intention is to bring specific attention to our lineages so that we may discover both the gifts of our ancestry and what healing (if any) needs to happen within us and for them so that all of their wisdom and gifts are available for us, here, now.

Upcoming Dates: February 16 and March 16, 2014.

 

Private Mentoring Sessions (Phone/Skype)

Ireland treeIn mentoring sessions we take a look at patterns running through your life and your family in light of both the strengths (the gifts) and the wounds that are present.

We explore how to be in a relationship with your healthy ancestors that promotes the deepening of the gifts and the healing of the wounds that have been carried from generation to generation.

We talk about the role the Ancestors play in our lives and how to relate with them in a good way.

 

my love to you and all your relations,
larisa

Aligning with Purpose in 2014

Hear ye! Hear ye!  Malidoma Somé, African elder, teacher, and mentor, is returning to Portland! He will be offering personal divinations and a one-day ritual focused on the mineral element and knowing/living your purpose.

To hear a story about how receiving a divination from him resolved one of the burning questions of my life, continue reading…

cairn

In the cosmology of the Dagara people of West Africa, 2014 is a mineral year – a year where purpose, the remembering of who we are and why we are here, is accentuated.

And, a year where the creative expression of our purpose is particularly supported.

For much of my life, I’ve felt as if I’ve been walking parallel to my purpose.

Close enough to it that I would catch glimpses of it every now and then, and yet in some fundamental way, not truly on my path.

This led to much anxiety, confusion, self-doubt and this gnawing feeling that nothing that I did was really quite ‘right.’ There was always this sense of something being a little off or misaligned.

Much of what I did and how I presented myself to the world was authentic and aligned… at least to the greatest extent possible at the time.

But still, it seemed that most of the time, I was simply kind of flailing in the dark, only taking the next step as it was revealed to me, without any real understanding or overarching vision to guide me.

Steps along the way.

For instance, I found Ortho-Bionomy and felt this deep alignment with the principles and techniques of this healing modality. I dove whole-heartedly into it and discovered layers and layers of healing both for myself and my clients.

Still, there was something missing.

I started down the path to become a naturalist and began weaving the principles of nature connection and deep listening into my work with students and clients. More layers and avenues of healing began to open.

Getting closer.

I had this sense that I was slowly moving closer and closer to knowing and claiming my unique gifts and how I could best serve through them. And yet, it was clear to me that I was still missing some crucial element.

Then, 3-4 years ago, I began the process of learning how to relate with my ancestors and the elements of fire, earth, water, mineral and nature.

Something clicked into place and everything changed.

The bigger pieces of who I am and why I’m here started to come together. I began to understand how my various skills and the obsessions interests of my life weave together to create meaning.

I was no longer flailing in the dark. Celebrations!

I credit this coming out of the darkness in large part to the love and guidance of my ancestors.

As I have deepened into relationship with my ancestors, continuing on this path of healing and reconnection – to the earth, the plants, the animals, and to my lineage – more and more of the pieces of this puzzle (of why I am here and how I am to serve) have been revealed to me.

These revelations have taken many forms including insights in meditation or while in nature or ritual, having unexpected opportunities arise or paths open, and, especially, through receiving divinations where I’ve asked for specific information to be revealed.

In which I receive a life-changing divination.

Last April, during a divination with Malidoma Somé, my most burning, unanswered question around purpose was resolved.

[Interlude]

For YEARS now, I’ve been on the fence about having children. I just couldn’t decide whether it was right for me; if being a mother was part of my path.

So many doubts and so much terror surfaced anytime the subject was mentioned that I simply couldn’t feel what was right for me.

Everything would become very mental and very un-embodied and my floating head would say ‘this is not a logical thing to do considering your current circumstances’ every time.

But, I couldn’t even feel whether or not that was true in my body.

For me, it is crucial to have that sense of deep inner knowing that comes from my heart, my bones, my body especially when making such a potentially life-changing decision.

In short, I was very aware that this was not a decision I could make from my head. And yet, I couldn’t even come close to getting through all the terror and doubt in order to feel what was right for me on my own.

As years passed, I started feeling more and more pressure to hurry up and make a decision – before the decision was made for me through me simply being too old to have children.

[Which leads us back to the divination...]

In the divination, it was revealed in no uncertain terms that children are a part of my purpose.

Miraculously, I could feel the truth of it deep within my body and heart.

For the first time, I was able to sense beneath all of the terror the the idea of being a parent invoked in me and feel what was real for me.

“I do want to have children, I do want to be a mother!”

It was nothing short of a miracle.

From there, an entire different adventure began… which I will share some other time.

For now, let’s return to an aspect of my purpose that might be more relevant to you. :)

It is with deep gratitude for all that has transpired over the past years that I invite you to join me in ritual.

Over this next year, we will be celebrating the solstices and equinoxes, learning more about the practice of deep listening, and allowing the waters to cleanse us in the 4th Annual Ritual of Letting Go.

Perhaps most importantly, we will be diving into the various branches of our ancestry, discovering the gifts of our lineages, and learning how to heal the stuck generational patterns that keep us from living our lives to the fullest.

Comment Magic:

Being in relationship with my ancestors has brought more love, support, and guidance into my life than I ever would have thought possible.

As I continue to grow and deepen in relationship with my ancestors and with the earth, more and more of the pieces of my purpose continue to be revealed to me.

And, all that is not aligned with this purpose continues to come up for healing and to be released. It is often a messy, painful process and yet I know that throughout it all, I am held.

Where do you turn when you are faced with a question or decision you aren’t able to resolve on your own?

What fills you with a sense of purpose and gives your life meaning?

Wishing you a 2014 filled with deep inner knowing, love, and purpose.

The Power of Yes

In about 10 days, I will be at the Pacific ocean, facilitating a radical water ritual for women. This ritual offers the opportunity to let go of and release the old stories, beliefs, patterns, and pain that no longer serve who we want to be.

As this ritual approaches, I am reminded of previous rituals and workshops that I’ve either facilitated or participated in. I’m reminded of everything that begins to unfold prior to the actual event.

Last year’s water ritual:

For instance, in the days approaching last year’s Ritual of Letting Go, I began to hear story after story of really difficult things arising for the women committed to participating in the ritual.

There was the dramatic dissolution of a long-term relationship, pain-filled emotional patterns surfacing, and just extra-sticky doubt, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty arising in general.

Then, on the morning of the ritual itself:  a car tire was punctured, another car broke down completely, and just all kinds of crazy, unexpected things popped up making it difficult (impossible for one participant) to arrive at the designated time.

It was fascinating!

As the various stories began trickling in, prior to the drama of the day itself, I sent out the following email to the participants:

“The ritual has already begun.

In fact, the ritual begins the moment you commit to participating in it. I’ve spoken with several of you over the past couple of days and heard stories of really intense things coming up. This is normal. And to be expected.

You might be experiencing unusually difficult life challenges, or you might simply be feeling extra reactive and more easily triggered than normal. Whatever the case may be for you, stuff coming up is a good sign.

It means energy is already moving; the things that need to be released are coming to the surface. Take note of what is coming up for you and add it to your list of things to release.

Again, we are already in the ritual.”

The ritual (or workshop/group/marriage/whatever you are committing to) does not begin the day the ritual is actually performed. No, it begins the moment you say Yes.

Saying Yes opens the door.

Saying yes opens the door to transformation, to change, to that which is new, mysterious, and unknown.

Saying yes also opens the door to all which stands in the way of the transformation that needs to occur.

Threshold Guardians

My friend, Cynthia, calls all these things that arise when on the verge of transformation “Threshold Guardians.”

Note: While this is likely a common term, I first heard it from her, so she receives the credit. :)

Threshold Guardians can take many forms. Some include:

  • feeling extra emotional, reactive and easily triggered;
  • fear, anxiety, doubt, uncertainty, and yes, more fear arising;
  • old, unresolved patterns surfacing (ex:  getting into fights over old stuff with your partner);
  • being in a state of resistance and/or considering backing out of the thing*;
  • weird life things happening (like your car breaking down, a child becoming sick, losing your keys last minute, etc).**;
  • a vague sense of dis-ease or discomfort (a very very tricky Threshold Guardian);
  • being in a state of distraction or overwhelm, of forgetting about it, being late, etc (another very tricky TG).

Disclaimers: 

*There are times/things that really aren’t right for us – it is often important to discern whether, for instance, the desire to back out is because the thing is truly not right for us or whether we are simply experiencing a very tricky Threshold Guardian.

**Again, it is a matter of discerning whether these circumstances are Threshold Guardians that need to be walked through or valid reasons for discontinuing this particular journey at this time.

Most of the time Threshold Guardians are there to help us reaffirm our Yes, our commitment to our own transformation.

They are rather like gateways (or initiations) we have to walk through so we can receive the healing and transformation we are requesting.

It is normal to be scared.

It is fine to resist those things that can transform and change us.

It is also proper to hold everything that is coming up with a certain lightness of perspective so that we can walk (or crawl, or hop!) through it in the best way possible.

We don’t have to like the Threshold Guardians.

We don’t have to skip through them with laughter and joy – although this may be the case at times (yay!).

Often, however, it truly is a matter of gritting the teeth, gathering ALL possible allies and skills, and just getting through it.

For example, a very common Threshold Guardian for me is wanting to back out of something last minute. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared for something in a state of total resistance, overwhelm, and total hatred of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING only to arrive at the ritual or event and have it hold the exact medicine I needed.

In summary:

When we commit to participating in something (anything!) that has the potential to truly transform us in some way, stuff will come up.

While the nature of the stuff varies from person to person, the important thing is to retain some small fragment of perspective – perspective that reminds you that this is normal. This is to be expected.

And, that the very fact that stuff is coming up means the thing you have said Yes to does have the potential to change you in some way… which is what you want!

…at least I assume you are seeking transformation and healing; otherwise, why would you say Yes?… :)

Comment Magic:

I have so many stories I would love to share about the Threshold Guardians I have stepped through over the past few years. Maybe some day.

For now, what threshold guardians have you stepped through? I’d love to hear about something you committed to that brought up all sorts of stuff for you and how it resolved.

Of course, just saying ‘Hi’ is adored as well!

The Medicine of Hops, the Brush Rabbit

Brush_RabbitIt was nearly a year ago when I first met Hops, the brush rabbit.

I was stuck in one of those loops, one of those endless mental loops. My mind was circling and circling and circling, constantly repeating this one scenario that ended time after time with this super intense feeling of barely repressed terror and hurt… and then the cycle would begin again.

Nothing I did would stop my mind from repeating this extremely painful pattern.

I tried breathing. I tried saying something different, changing the dialogue (in my head). I tried to notice and feel the sensations in my body. I tried to simply not care when I came to the painful part and was again flooded with pain and panic.

Nothing worked. This particular scenario was so stuck in my head that it felt impossible to shift. My mind just kept cycling and cycling and cycling. My frustration grew and grew and grew.

Then, something unexpected (and quite weird) occurred:

I was in the middle of the scenario, in a state of complete frustration with my inability to have any control over my own brain, when in pops Hops, the brush rabbit.

Now, it might be helpful here for you to know that I work with animal medicine (buffalo, raccoon, owl…) quite a bit. There is nothing I like more than having the opportunity to quietly observe wild (or even domesticated) animals and birds. It is a deeply nourishing and healing practice (medicine!) for me.

So, when Hops popped into my brain and said:

“Hey, if you can’t change how you feel at then end of this loop, why don’t you change how you react to how you feel?”

I just accepted the suggestion.

Yes, there was a rabbit in my brain. Yes, I could make up a lot of stories about what that meant or where he came from or whether or not he was real or just some other part of me showing up as a rabbit.

I didn’t question his appearance. I simply chose to listen to his advice.

Except, I didn’t really understand.

Me: “Huh?”

Hops: “You can’t change the pattern, right?”

Me: “Right.”

Hops: “Why don’t you change how you react to the pattern?”

Me: “Ok, how?”

Hops:  “Well, you could always *hop*.”

Me: “Huh. Ok…”

So, the next time the scenario looped through and I felt that overwhelming rush of terror and hurt (*after* I felt the terror and hurt that were feeding the loop), I stuttered out “Hop!”

It was kind of funny.

And, I almost forgot to do it because I was once again so caught up in the pain of the scenario. But, I remembered. And, it kind of made me giggle.

The loop began again. At the end, I again said “hop!”. And, this time I was suddenly inspired to add a couple more random words after ‘hop’: butterscotch, sandpiper, sailboat!

And with that, the Game of Hops began.

With each cycle, I would say Hop! and then add as many random, nonsensical words as I could think of in a 2-5 sec span. The loop would repeat. I would again hop! and add more random words: pumpkin pie, rainbow bright, candle light!

It started to be fun! I began to look forward to the end of the scenario (which I had so dreaded before).

And, as I continued to play in this way, everything became more and more of a game until the entire pattern shifted and there was only freedom and love in the moment that previously held so much pain.

It was amazing.

And then, the entire pattern, the entire loop, dissolved. *poof*

My brain was once again mine. My mind was still and quiet. My body felt calm and at ease.

It was then that I realized I couldn’t even remember what the scenario that had so dominated my mind had included. The pattern had shifted so completely that there was no longer even a memory of the painful incident. There was only love. And giggling.

Here, now, is the Medicine of Hops, the Brush Rabbit, as I experience it:

It is medicine that leads to the unraveling of things (issues, patterns) that no longer serve.

It is medicine of interrupting patterns that seem impossible to change. And through interrupting them, changing them. Little by little, like small hops across a yard (hop, hop, hop). Or, in one giant leap, like a rabbit escaping the bobcat by the width of a hair (of a hare?).

I have wanted to share this story for a long time.

I just haven’t known how. It is fairly convoluted (and odd) and yet it ends in simplicity.

There is only this truth. The truth that everything can change. Can transform. And that when we are truly done with a particular pattern, there is no need for it anymore, at all. Anywhere… in our heads or in our lives. It simply disappears. As if it were never there.

In fact, it disappears so completely that we even forget it ever existed.

This is the medicine of Hops. This is the medicine of the brush rabbit as I’ve experienced it.

For you, now, I offer the Song of Hops.

A couple of weeks after the experience above, I was sitting in meditation when this melody popped into my mind.

The Song of Hops

Hopeful Hopping
Hop Hop Hop

What you think is what is not
Hop Hop Hop
Hop Hop Hop

Here’s how you sing it: The Song of Hops

I find singing it to be a powerful (and very playful!) way to bring the medicine of Hops directly into my life – especially when my mind is caught up in some some loop of anxiety, worry, regret or fear. I hope it does the same for you. Hop, hop, hop… :)

Comment Magic:

Thanks for being here. I’d love to hear any stories about medicine or healing you’ve received from animals. Also, what helps you when your mind gets stuck in some unending loop?

*sending love and hopeful hopping*

The Story of the Floating Head

Note: the following story spent quite some time as my homepage. It now has a new home… here! Enjoy. :)

There once was a creative, kooky, brilliant mind stuck in a floating head. The mind was filled with ideas, plans, and wise, loving thoughts.

Unfortunately, without a body, it had no way to implement or to bring into life all of its genius ideas. It thought it wanted to be of service and to help the world in some way but it just kept spinning and spinning, generating genius plan after genius plan.

Not far away, actually just below the head, there was a body.

A beautiful, strong body. A body perfectly able, ready and willing to bring into form all the brilliant ideas of the mind.

It was also a frustrated body.

It was frustrated because the head refused to see that it was right there waiting for it. The body got impatient and began to send messages to the head. Messages that said

“Hey, here I am! Look at me! I’m right here. I can help. We belong together!”

The head either didn’t hear or couldn’t understand the messages.

The mind, meanwhile, kept frantically looking about, thoughts darting this way and that, trying to figure out what was best for the head, trying to control things, trying to make things happen.

Every now and then it would glance down at the body below it and think,

“What’s that thing doing there? It’s so annoying. Constantly needing something, like food or water or sleep. I don’t have time for that!”

The body got more and more impatient.

The body doesn’t much like racing thoughts. The body wants to be cared for; it craves the attention and the companionship of the mind within the head.

It couldn’t understand why the head wasn’t listening. So, it sent the messages again, louder.

“I’M HERE! LOOK AT ME! I NEED YOU. YOU NEED ME. WE BELONG TOGETHER!”

The head suddenly is like,

“Woa, there is this thing below me and, Ouch! It hurts! I don’t like it!”

The head, you see, interpreted the body’s message as pain, not as a longing to be together, to be whole.

The messages from the body got louder and louder. The head experienced the messages as ever increasingly intense physical pain and emotional overwhelm and floated ever higher above the body. Until…

One day the mind within the head realizes it *needs* the body.

It recognizes that without the body, none of its genius ideas will become concrete. It realizes that it needs the wisdom contained within the body to guide it and help it feel what’s right.

The mind is tired of spinning. It’s tired of the body yelling at it.

It wants to be connected. It wants to be whole.

But now, it is scared.

Whenever the mind looks down into the body, all it can see is pain.

The mind knows that once the body and the head are connected, wellbeing, ease, and healing are possible. It doesn’t know how to get there.

Want to know more?

Click here to read about How I Help to connect your head and your body.

Want a simple, relaxing technique that can be done anywhere? Click here to download my free Owl Eyes guidebook.