Thursday, May 26, 2011

The True Potential of Elderhood


Why Some Men and Women Choose Elderhood Initiation

I looked forward to turning 50 for many years. Some of my friends thought that was a little strange, but something deep inside told me that I would just begin the greater part of my service for this planet in my 50’s.

Months after my 50th birthday, we created New Dream Foundation and over the past few years we have been growing in our awareness of New Dream’s true purpose and mission—awakening through the Sacred Feminine. This mission that I share with New Dream is one of three primary missions I will fulfill during the remainder of my life.

In a world that sees the role of growing older as becoming a retired senior with nothing to do but play cards and golf, because what you know is no longer relevant—the true potential of elderhood has become lost.

If we choose it, elderhood is our time to thrive. It is a time to be of greater service because we have the experience, and hopefully the wisdom, to do so. If we have been doing our spiritual work, we are more awakened and better able to lovingly hold space for the development of ourselves and others.

I do not believe society has imposed upon us a view of elderhood as being insignificant. We have allowed ourselves to become marginalized and forgotten. And we are the ones that can rise up to spread the wings of our full potential.

As I now understand the process of elderhood, I have observed three significant moments in the evolution of the self as an elder:

1. Acknowledging the gift of your accomplishments. Before moving on to greater service, it can be helpful to pause and reflect upon the lessons you have acquired throughout your years and the difference you have made in the lives of others. Acknowledging what you have done reminds you about how much you have to give and how much you have received, simply by being of service in the ways that are natural for you.

2. Letting go of the past and recognizing who you truly are. You are more than the sum of your actions, past and present. While it is good to acknowledge your accomplishments, it is also wonderful to make sure that there are no regrets from your past lingering in your subconscious that could self-sabotage your service as an elder. Regrets and resentments hold us in a limited state of self-awareness. Opening to elderhood consciously is an opportunity to let go of the pain from the past and surrender to the true loving and limitless nature of yourself as a Divine being.

3. Committing to the greatest expression of your life. Everything you have done has been preparing you for what you are here to do next. It doesn’t stop simply because you are receiving a pension, does it? You can feel it deep inside your bones. You came here to leave your legacy, so what is it that longs to be completed before you cross over? Each moment of life is getting you ready for your final breath here on earth, when you fully release into the love of the Divine. How would you like to prepare for that moment? What purpose or missions want to be fulfilled through you, so that you can leave satisfied and completely ready to transition?

If we are truly going to evolve our consciousness as a species, our evolution needs to exceed beyond retirement age. Each moment is a precious moment for our personal evolution and that of humanity’s.

Some of us choose to stimulate our conscious evolution through rites of passage ceremonies that help us shed our limited beliefs and open to the full recognition of who we are as Divine beings. It is simply too easy to get stuck in the same old patterns and routines, with the same conscious awareness we had the day before.

Rites of passage help us focus and attend to what is truly important. We willingly and actively become the agents of our own evolution by honoring the longing within to take more significant action in inspiring our self-awareness.

At SpiritQuest, we offer three types of elder recognition rites of passage ceremonies for women and men that long to inspire their journey:

1. Elderhood Acknowledgement for Women and Men. This is a simple ceremony dedicated to honoring your achievements. With this recognition ceremony you prepare by making your sacred staff, being prepared to share your talents and accomplishments with ceremonial attendees, and offering your vow of service as an elder of a community. Many choose to request a naming ceremony in conjunction with being recognized as a dedicated elder. This ceremony requires a minimum of one-month preparation.

2. Elderhood Quest for Women and Men. This recognition involves a traditional quest for your life mission, under the guidance of Reverend Misa at SpiritQuest, and monthly preparations with Elder, Reverend Ariann Thomas. You will be invited to make your elder staff and an optional personal medicine wheel. You also will be invited to make a commitment of service to your spiritual community and/or the SpiritQuest community, and be recognized by this same community. This rite of passage requires about one year in preparation.

3. Sacred Path of the Feminine Elderhood Quest. This recognition involves an apprenticeship and traditional quest for your life missions, under the guidance of Reverend Misa at SpiritQuest, and twice-monthly preparations with Elder, Ariann Thomas. You will be invited to make your elder staff and an optional personal medicine wheel. You will also be invited to make a commitment of service to your spiritual community and/or the SpiritQuest community, and recognized by this same community.

What makes this recognition unique is: 1) the depth of your relationship and commitment to the Sacred Feminine, 2) your commitment to the Path of the Sacred Feminine as a part of your spiritual practice and 3) your desire to become part of a Circle of Elders that support and sustain the practices within this path, and support each other in the fulfillment of their missions. This rite of passage requires about one year in preparation.

You can learn more information about these elderhood rites of passage ceremonies by visiting: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/quest-ceremonies.htm

This year at quest, there will be men and women committing to inspire their own awakening through elderhood rites of passage ceremonies. Many of us will proudly witness their commitments to themselves and their communities, knowing how blessed and fortunate we are to have elders that are willing to live the full expression of their consciousness and love.

Preparations for next year’s rites of passage begin this August, as soon as we return home from SpiritQuest. If you think an elderhood rite of passage could inspire you in your journey, you are welcome to attend this year’s SpiritQuest to support and witness the elders that will be making their elderhood vows. For many, witnessing is part of one’s own preparation.

To those of you that have done your rites of passage into elderhood, you have my deepest respect and gratitude. Thank you for your commitment to live and serve from the fullest expression of your being.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Honoring the Calling


You can feel the call to attend a spiritual ceremony or event, but you can’t figure out how to finance it. Have you ever been in that position? I have. Many times. Sometimes I went and sometimes I stayed at home. Of course, many factors played a role in whether or not I attended, but as I reflect, I realize very often I was the biggest factor.

The biggest limiting factor for me was simple. I was often inclined to say to myself, “If Spirit really wants me to go, something will happen to make that possible.” Then nothing happened, so I told myself, “I wasn’t really supposed to be there.

Now there is a difference between wanting to attend something and a calling to attend. Callings pull at you and they don’t let go. For example, there are many places I want to visit on this planet during my lifetime. There have only been a few places that called to me. Callings have a deep and profound sense of urgency. Somehow you know your life is going to be different after you have been to that sacred land, sacred site or ceremony.

When I feel a calling, I’ve learned to trust that it is significant for my awakening. If I am telling myself, “If Spirit really want me to go, something will happen,” I’ve basically said, “It’s up to a power outside of me, and not Spirit within me.” In essence, I have already denied my awakening. I have not acknowledged the power of Spirit within me, and that is where awakening occurs. So of course, nothing happens.

When I have actually fulfilled my callings, here is what I did:

1) I was willing to completely trust in the significance of the calling;
2) I committed to being there by putting the date on my calendar and making plans;
3) I ask to be shown how to create the money;
4) I opened to Divine consciousness within me to work through my creativity and
initiative.

And I have learned to add one more step. This one I have learned from some beautifully prosperous and enlightened beings. I open my heart, intuition and consciousness to the Divine in the complete joy of surrender. Then I keep myself open and I keep surrendering.

The next step is to allow myself to be shown the best pragmatic steps to take to ensure I fulfill my calling. Some of my best teachers about the kind of practical steps people take to get to spiritual events have been those who attend SpiritQuest.

I remember calling my daughter last year to see if she and the kids were going to be attending Quest. She asked me if the sun shines and the rain falls. She fully intended to be there. What she didn’t tell me is that the car needed repair work before she was going to be able to make the drive.

She put in time late at night—after spending a full day at work, putting the kids to bed and doing her college homework—making tamales. People at work and in the neighborhood were glad to give her a few dollars for her trip in exchange for her mouth-watering tamales. The car was finished the morning she needed to leave for Quest and she had enough gas money to get them there and back. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/spirit-quest.htm

I’ve watched people set money aside money each month, sell their photography at outdoor fairs, receive donations from friends, take an extra part-time job, offer readings to friends, save money for travel and request a scholarship, make arrangements to share travel costs with a friend, accept an extra client, clean houses, borrow camping gear, and do all kinds of things to make it possible to honor their calling.

People have amazed me with the creativity and commitment they demonstrate in getting themselves to sacred events. Their presence is an inspiration to all of us.

Now there is a challenge that comes up for many of us right before or as we are heading out the door to a spiritual event. Something happens to pull us away from the event. The car stops running. The flight gets cancelled or you miss the plane. A relative calls with an enticing offer to take a special trip somewhere else. The weather turns bad. You lose the directions. A family member gets sick.

These are all tests of your commitment to be there. They are reflections of the fear that comes up when you realize you are about to awaken to more of your true self and your life will never be the same. They are signals telling you about how significant this calling can truly be for you.

I’ve seen people step up to the test and arrive. I’ve seen people accept the temptation, calling it a sign that maybe they aren’t really supposed to be there. In my experience, if we are really not supposed to be somewhere, we know that from the very beginning. We realize we are trying to force something to happen because we think it should and that is not the same as following our true callings.

If our attendance is part of a calling and we are being challenged, we are looking for absolute commitment from ourselves. When the commitment is made, the universe supports us with the most amazing synchronicities.

Every now and then the universe provides us with a sliver of a moment when we are profoundly supported in experiencing the truth or our being. Those are callings and if we are courageous, we will honor them, and accelerate our awakening.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mother and the Sacred Feminine


In Honor of Women That Share Motherly Love on Mothers Day

She has nearly been forgotten, but not completely. Throughout history, she has been oppressed, repressed and suppressed, but she is still here. She is still here because she lives within you and me, and we have kept her sacred heart beating within us.

In giving her face and form, she once went, and still goes, by many names around the world—names of Goddesses, such as Ishtar, Isis, Shanti, Briget, Demeter, Mary, Tara, Fuji, Juno, Corn Maiden, Freya, Inanna, Spider Woman, Rhea, Imama, Ixchel, Anjeyja, Mawu, Baba Yaga, Pele, Kuan Yin, Asherah, Black Madonna and more.

We give her form in order to understand and love her, but truly she is formless. She is the vastness of space, and without end. She is limitless in her capacity to hold potential for life. She is as dark as the blackest night and the vessel of all life. She is slow and purposeful. Her movements must be with clear intent, because she is pregnant with the possibilities of life and when pregnant, one needs to be mindful of the life one is carrying.

Within her womb, Sacred Mother holds all potential of what life can be without judgment of anything being better than another. All life is precious within her vessel. And from her sacred womb, comes all life. We call the life that is born from her: super novas, stars, meteors, planets, light, water, fire, wind, minerals, crystals, animals, plants, and humans. Life as we know it—we are all her children.

She is the Sacred Feminine, the Mother of All Life. She is the sacred womb, the holy grail, the sacred cup. Her womb is reflected in the wombs of all women and the energetic wombs of men.

The Mother of All Life is calling to us. Can you hear her? In order for life on this planet to become the paradise that it can be, we must be willing to discover the womb of the Mother within us. We must call into very wombs of human existence—our fears, doubts, anger, hurt, sadness, jealousy—all of it, one issue at a time.

When life reaches out with its original intent to discover and express itself, mishaps occur along the way. We lose focus and bump into each other, so to speak, whether a meteor crashing into a planet, or a human idea clashing with another human idea. We create uncomfortable friction.

In order to reduce the friction, we hold the feelings that have arisen with compassion, so that the original, loving intent—the original creative force—can emerge once again, purified. Compassion is the great transformer. And an intent well-loved is less likely to crash into other things. Its course is more direct and more in harmony with all of life. (For a Sacred Feminine meditation for releasing pain and fear: http://newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php/topic,75.0.html)

Isn’t this exactly what happens in life when we are willing to listen without judgment, holding another in the heart of our compassion? Rough, painful edges are transformed through compassion. We feel born anew, able to engage the world with renewed hope and a desire to bring our love into the world. This is the magic of the limitless love of Sacred Mother.

She is there, beating in the hearts of mothers around the world and in the motherly love that we know how to hold for others. Regardless of how well any earthly mother has done with her role as mother, part of our spiritual journey encompasses discovering the Sacred Mother within us and allowing her to be fully alive in our world, through each of us that awakens to her presence.

This is a challenging task and some of us have done better than others in our earthly roles. Yet, because we are willing to assume the challenge, the Sacred Mother is still alive, remembering, awakening, and—heart by heart—holding the world in her limitless love.

This is the era of the re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine, and her love expressed through each of us is shaping the future of our existence. As we celebrate our mothers today, let us also remember to celebrate Her, our Sacred Mother, honoring her powerful and enduring presence within us all.

If you are curious about what it means to deeply explore the Sacred Feminine, discover The Path of the Sacred Feminine.