Already I am just shy of 2 weeks post leadership intensive and it feels like a dream...almost. So here I write reflections of my time on the land.
"I am a healthy & attuned adult. ALIVE. Radiating life OUT LOUD. Rejoicing with ALL my heart."
Those were the words I spoke as I crossed back over the threshold, witnessed by the community of the RESTORING YOUTH RITES OF PASSAGE: TWO-WEEK LEADERSHIP INTENSIVE.
But, before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you the story of what brought me to this intent statement. I feel like starting with the two months prior, aboard the Amara Zee, with my Caravan family. In the time I spent there, welcoming new caravaners and deepening friendships with returners, I found grace in expressing my feelings as they arose in a way that only became easier because the alternative can no longer be my way.
Lets talk about unrequited love. In truth, let me admit my propensity to be attracted to the "unavailable". I'm reminded of a quote I read that resonates with me, "You don't attract what you want, you attract who you are." This quote scares me and also invites me in to do differently what has felt like invisibility for a few years, now an opportunity to practice being seen. An excellent metaphor I have been working with is this: Am I being a Kevin Costner or an Ewan McGregor? If you've ever watched The Bodyguard, with the cool and unattached Costner or Moulin Rouge, with the heart on his sleeve McGregor, you understand. I want more Ewan in my life. Maybe with less of the heart-wrenching loved loss, but more with the ability to declare (with song & dance) emotions as they arise. With all that said, I am grateful to have met someone on the Caravan that I trust and felt confidence in to express and work with these archetypes. Not to mention, my "Lost Boys" who allowed their "Peter Pan" to speak their heart even when it didn't make much sense. A work in progress, but nevertheless alive in me and beginning the practice of being visible has begun in all my relations.
Lessons learned in this thread are: The bitter pill swallowed & taking ownership of my history of developing feelings for someone unavailable in ways that look like they are, in a relationship & facing their own demons around substance use- two bridges I have crossed and KNOW intimately as heartbreaking and devastating. So why have I continued to be drawn to them? I am hopeful that simply naming and seeing this thread as a piece of what has kept me in a place of sadness and drama in my life, can lead me to liberation from this pattern. The good news. ALL of this was addressed in a timely manner, in a vulnerable state with the person in question and this has fed us both in healthy ways. Ways that I have never experienced. The fear of losing someone when feelings are expressed are real because it has happened. AND it doesn't mean it will continue that way. Doing things differently.
Another relationship developed started with them asking me to witness where they are at in their life. I was honored for their trust in me. We walked the land, shared our mysteries and vulnerabilities without feeling like we had to know the answers. They even wrote me a poem for my send off ceremony. It goes like this:
It goes without saying that these two relationships developed a picture for me that I can trust as a way forward in how I relate deeply and lovingly to another human. I miss their physical presence in my life in this moment, and they serve as a beacon for me as I move forward in the world attuning differently to those I grow with. Also, informing the threads of intentions I carried into my intensive around partnership, desire for collaboration and motivation to lovingly remove energetic cords of the past, ancestral to present, that no longer serve in how I show up in relationships of any kind.
On the morning of May 29, 2018 I departed the ship thru a human tunnel made of my community. The night prior, on the Full moon, I requested time with the crew of 30+. A feat in and of itself, someone who can become overwhelmed and anxious to take up space and feeling worth someone's time, I waited patiently, sort of, for everyone to arrive + cried. It took a lot for me to speak directly to Paul who had work to do. Nans interjected and supported him to finish enough work so that he'd show up. It was important to have everyone there. I asked someone to scribe, writing down the bitter & sweet medicine for me to take into my solo fast. I shared that, "I can have ideas of how I impact (or not), show up (or not) and I have a human condition to error on the side of not enough-ness."
There reflections of me are super helpful. This simple ceremony comes highly recommended.
The take-aways and what I chose on the morning of my departure to leave behind, represented with 3 rocks I tossed in the ocean where:
I was also given treasures to carry in my pocket that included a shell, rose quartz, amethyst, a drawing of the ship, a button cover from Nans that I wear on the regular, representing courage, love, passion, anger & generosity = a rainbow. Paul's words of my heart resounding to the core.
Taking with me, how they see me: authenticity-real & showing up!, FUN, patience, comfort, spirit of caravan - home, leadership, beauty, dancing-movement, understanding / reassurance, stillness, vulnerability/fragility, peace, joy, motivate to take care.
Soooo seeing that they see me this way and then looking at what I've carried with me as how I see myself don't always match up. Becoming an adult looks like being responsible for being impactful. My lens hasn't always been attuned to the reality of things and I've benefited, for better or for worse, from carrying mistrust, worry, sadness, drama, unworthiness & brokeness around. It's kept me from standing from a place of power in service and connection to others. Informing my intent statement and desire to authentically live and partner with others in creative and playful ways. To LIVE.
So this brings us closer to the intensive and the stories that unfolded....
I'd like to share about the process of finding my solo site, the departure, what ceremonies I created ++
Random notes and thoughts from my journal + video diaries from my time on the land.
My solo site found me near water, sentinels mother oak & father pine standing guard at the threshold of entry, discovered a snake skull, easy to find site....using my intuition and not my thinking brain, came to me with grace & ease. Walking back between cemetery and camp, contemplating "devastation" in life 2 owls showed themselves to me, reflecting on partnership upon arriving at camp saw Turkey in the meadow- they walked up to my tent.
Severance Ceremony the night before departure for solo I had brought the pink & blue box with image of hummingbird in hawk's mouth created at STAR workshop when I was in my deepest sadness in January 2015. I added my mom's wooden ring, a note to myself about the dayhike I went on in Hidden Valley before I left for Hawaii about the raven dancing in the shadows & binding material. Releasing sadness & unworthiness, binary, killjoy & partnerships. Thrown into the FIRE - released.
First day of solo...up with the light of dawn at 5 am. I crossed the threshold, witnessed by Darcy, Cameron, Gretchen & Aidon. Finding pitch along the way. Arriving at site I requested oak & pine to look over me, protect me. I dropped everything and rested into a deep sleep on the ground. Upon waking I set to create my medicine wheel.
The SOUTH included a clown nose and the Warrior Rune gifted to me by JD. The WEST contained the worry doll given by caravan + buddha necklace of masculine & feminine in embrace, the NORTH included my treasure box with items to be released + my 5 year OB pin, harmonica and ring gifted to me and representing my RETURN, the EAST held my ring, my mandala necklace, my stones & shell + feather. The center contained my painted hands, sage, vetiver, Hawaii Force cloth, bell from Celia & bag of shells from Caravan.
Then I napped some more, startled awake by a lil dragon on my back. Made me giggle.
DAY 2 SOLO- No dreams (shocker), squirrel & Ant, back to tree (oak & pine) words spoken to receive healing from relationship with mother & father. Reading Qualities in the sunshine. Considering intent statement and reflecting on what Darcy reflected in intent circle, "you've worked REALLY fucking hard." And Aidon adding, "you've earned it" when speaking to worthy/deserving of joy.
Encapsulate courage, wisdom, patience. Desire for pleasure, clarity, contentment, ecstasy, liberation, sensuality, harmony.
Reflecting on eco-centric human development wheel by Bill Plotkin- Late Adulthood, Artisan in the wild orchard manifesting innovative delivery systems for soulwork, seeds of cultural renaissance, giveaway as an artform + Thespian at the oasis, watering holes.
Fierce Protector & Light Hearted Lover. I get to the heart of the matter.
Ceremony with snake (transmutation) skull + pitch + St. Sebastian medal + extracted teeth. When your ready to let go of pain, shame & guilt it is amazing how easily it can be smashed to smithereens. The teeth obliterated into a bazillion pieces representing the pain I have put my body through from storing emotions. The medal representing the oppression of patriarchy and catholicism and the pain it has caused to me and my chosen and familial ancestors. Remains buried & pitch burned.
Up till this point I was able to sleep out under the stars, rain came the 2nd night out & I had to put up my tarp.
Last full day of SOLO DAY 3
Float the boat ceremony where I could light things on fire because I was sending it off into the pond. Including the key wrapped in the note from Mel carried all these years, reminding me that only I hold the key, the bell from Celia & the worry doll. Video discussing the ceremony more in depth is here.
From here I feel that the videos can give more into the remaining of my solo...
And now full circle to crossing the threshold, witnessed with the intent I bring back to my people..."I am a healthy & attuned adult. ALIVE. Radiating life OUT LOUD. Rejoicing with ALL my heart."
Telling my story, holding the owl, the next day, the part of me that wishes I could remember everything Darcy reflected and the part of me content with this one takeaway- I gave her butterflies and excitement for my future.
This reflective poem created by Aidon
That's a wrap....thanks for having a look. It feels like such a relief to put words and video here sharing my experience on the land. May any and all here serve to guide you and support you on your own queer odyssey called your life.
I have so much gratitude for the land at Ekone Ranch that held me and my fellow participants along with the Guides of Rite of Passage Journeys.