I have always loved ritual and ceremony. As a child I can remember casting spells and making potions out of items that I found in nature. I even had a "magic wand" with a miniature purple-wizard-guy on the top of it, and I can still remember the sound of the bells on his tiny hat as I swooshed it through the air, Blessing my creations. Yes, I love the magical side of life.
I also love reason. I love to have my questions answered… definitively. I love reason and rational thinking so much, that I even have three University degrees, one of them in Science.
One part magic and one part reason: there's that Gemini thing at play again.
Anyway, every year at New Year's, for as long as I can remember, I have chosen a word for the year. I need to do this with a lot of consideration and care, because, as it turns out, whatever word I select typically becomes kind of like an intentional axis for the teachings/intentions over the entire year. I do not know exactly how this works, but it does. (My rational mind hates this fact, but my magical heart absolutely LOVES it).
My word for 2015? Trust.
So, let me tell you how this actually works. When I first started doing this ritual, I thought, yes, I'll pick a word and then receive that word or feel that way all year long. Well, Yes… and, No. What really happens is that I will inevitably receive opportunity after opportunity to CHOOSE the vibration of whatever word I've chosen, often in the face of difficult or counter-intuitive situations… kind of like a test (or more like many tests).
To be honest, I wasn't aware at first that this is how it worked, and my first couple of years of this practice were actually quite painful. I thought the Universe had totally heard my prayer/intention, looked at my word and then laughed openly as it gave me the opposite. But that IS how it works. I can now see that when I pick a word, I will be given ample opportunity to put it into action! (Last year's word was Grace… you can just imagine how messy 2014 was!)
Now, 3/4 of the way through 2015, I can honestly say that the Universe is right on cue with this year's word.
Reflecting back on the year so far, I can see that there have been many examples to step into and choose Trust: avoiding river pirates in Peru, drinking Ayahuasca plant medicine (yes, again), riding near-wild horses in the Andes, rock-slides on crazy Andean roads, money stuff, work stuff and BIG relationship stuff, however a few weeks ago the Universe brought me what felt like a very, very big test.
As some of you know, I am currently on a one-year training program called The Shaman's Path - facilitated by my brilliant friend and colleague Sarah Salter-Kelly. We meet four times over the course of a year, in accordance with the equinoxes and solstices. It is a training program based on the teachings of the medicine wheel and so far, it has proven to be nothing less than life-changing (I know, I know, how many times can I have a "life-changing" experience?! Apparently many. Infinitely perhaps). Anyway, at the last gathering for the fall equinox (West direction), part of the program was performing a fire walk.
Now, I had some vague recollection when I signed up that there was going to be a fire walk during the program, but honestly, I never gave it much thought. It was one of those, "yeah, yeah, I'll worry about it when I get to it" kind of things.
Well, on Friday night of the fall program, there it was, staring me straight in the face as a red hot, bed of coals. The time had come to "worry about it".
I did what the facilitator (Brian) said to prepare, I connected to my breath, I connected to my energy field, I envisioned "cool moss"… but I was scared as shit. My rational brain would NOT SHUT UP, with many others in the circle voicing my internal concerns: "Won't we get burned?" "What is the science behind this?" My magical heart, on the other hand, was totally in.
Do or die. Ok. That's a bit dramatic. Let's say "Learn or Burn" instead… or maybe "Trust or Bust" (oopsie, my dorky sense of humour just got out).
Erm-Erm (throat clearing).
Who do I trust? My magical heart (which I know is fully connected to the Universe), or my rational mind (which is actually quite a smarty-pants).
We walked in silence, our group of thirteen. I went quickly, right after Sarah and Brian… wanting to literally walk away from the conniption fit my mind was having in my head.
And I did. And it worked.
On the other side of the coals, I collapsed in a heap of emotion.
The Universe DOES have me. I AM supported. I CAN trust. I DO trust.
Later, when we looked at some of the pictures (the one above). I have to say I was a bit gob-smacked. I don't know if you believe in capturing evidence of spirit on camera or not, but after hearing Dr. Wayne Dyer talk about it at length and show many photographic examples, I do. I choose to believe that all of the white in the above picture is spirit. That I am surrounded by love and support. That I CAN trust in that.
Grateful for the lesson. Humbled beyond measure.
Yours, in Trust,
Nahanni, Dancing Coyote Woman