Itchy Skin, Itchy Heart: Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

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By Leena Colibri

This is why I walk this path. This is why I am able to walk through fire without flinching. These shifts are what make the ride through my shadowland worthwhile.

Note: This is the sixth entry in the Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series. Go here to read part one. 

The white, dried-out, chalky dust of the baking soda/water mix I’ve applied to my itchy, red skin continues to flake off in the seemingly million places where I have put it. Even typing as I am now is tough because part of me continues to be distracted by the dust now accumulating on the keys of the keyboard, worried that they will somehow wedge themselves in between them and ruin the keyboard altogether. Yet this reaction and distraction is small potatoes compared to the incredible itch that I applied the baking soda paste to combat in the first place.

My palms are the itchiest at the moment. And the itch, unlike on the rest of my arms, is not surrendering to this thick white substance and continues to itch relentlessly. Perhaps my healing chakras on my hands are opening. That could very well be, as the process I’m in now is very much preparing me to eventually offer healing to others.

Interestingly, my process since my last stay at the sanctuary about 10 days ago, has been about emotionally letting go of an old skin. I have been feeling just how much a part of me would rather keep people at arm’s length (or farther) and all of the toxicity that she has absorbed from past templates on how to be in life that led her to this level of resistance to compassion many years ago. This has been quite an intense amount of shadow to go into and I am still in it, though the light is now appearing at the end of the tunnel, right in step with an intense allergic reaction on my skin that keeps ebbing, flowing and itching.

When my process into this shadowland first began last week, almost right away I ended up with a fever that laid me up for several days. That first night of sweating spells felt akin to past lives of self-induced fevers caused by taking various herbs in order to download “Divine” messages for the upcoming season as per the demand of the people I was in service to as a Priestess. I had flashes of past life possibilities and felt also a breath of air from the Divine that told me everything was alright and that I needed these waves of detox to help me move into my next layer of myself.

By the time I returned to La Cruz, where I am living part time in order to work my online job and help support our community, I was feeling much better though I had a round of intense tummy troubles that eased off eventually but then returned a few days later, though not as severely. Now I am wading through a rash that suddenly came on several days ago and seems to get worse, but then get better before getting worse all over again. Right now it feels like this wave is simply another way for the toxic energy I have been moving for the last 10 days + to continue leaving my emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies. Phew. I am looking forward to getting to the other side of this one.

I wanted to share my story in this moment because it somehow feels important, for you as well as for me. It helps me digest all of the changes moving through me and also may help to illuminate for you why you may suffer some intense physical symptoms at times. In my very recent experience, it seems this is how our bodies communicate to us that there are changes going on and there is such a strong need for more stillness and self-care during this period of time. Not to mention that if you aren’t already, I would strongly suggest you check in with what you are feeling or maybe what part of you is avoiding feeling. Doing this helps me move my symptoms faster. It is not something I have been doing frequently enough lately, perhaps…and yet I can also feel how my body, for some reason, has just needed to express my healing in this way. This helps me and my parts to surrender to it easier.

Along with the waves of healing that I feel coming into me even while the symptoms are strong, I feel myself emerging from something akin to a long, long slumber. I feel as if I am being renewed and baptized into a new way of being that isn’t going to come over night but that I am consciously stepping into right now.  The amazing thing is that I feel how the shifts outside me are a reflection of the shifts happening inside me, and that even while I hold part of me’s reactions to people, I can still feel my heart opening. These are the pieces I treasure right now. This is why I walk this path. This is why I am able to walk through fire without flinching. These shifts are what make the ride through my shadowland worthwhile.

I hope this inspires you in some way to keep going into yourself too. I know that even writing this out for myself has helped me look inside and recognize what is happening in a new way. I may be a half-baked butterfly still mostly nestled in a cocoon for now, but it is only for now. I am on way. So are you.

Catalina Colibri is an initiate of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Way Of Life for more information.

Feeling My Spirit/Matter Split (Part Two): Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

This is part two of Feeling My Spirit/Matter Split in the Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series. Go here to read part one.

recovering faith

 

By Kathleen Calder

My intention for this writing today is to have you join me in a feeling space around what it means to be “separate”. What comes to you when you think about separation? A recent break-up or completion with a beloved? The day your mother/father/other family member died? The day you left for college or moved out of your childhood home in general?

Each movement and phase of life often involves a death and rebirth cycle that can encompass some sort of separation being necessary. Of course the very first separation we viscerally experience in our lives comes at the very beginning – the moment we emerge from our mother’s womb. The very first tears we cry are often in this moment, feeling the separation from our warm gestation place and mourning the chance to be the closest to our mother that we ever will be. For the first time, we can feel sensations in our bodies of a changing need for our adaptation and therefore survival. We are still dependent, but we have exited from an intense phase of being held by something bigger than us. We now must begin to build our muscle tone, our dexterity, and, beyond the physical, we must also start developing our emotional bodies, for once again we have been born into this dense and often difficult environment which we call life on Earth (as we know it today, anyway).

As each new skill learned and new emotion is discovered and felt for the first time, we start to develop a digestive system within us and a new way of processing data that needs less and less help (ideally) from our caregivers as we go along. With each new chapter of our lives, we let go more and more of (or desperately try to cling to in denial of our need for change) those pieces of our life that once represented who we were and can no longer stay with us as we continue to grow. Like a child constantly outgrowing their clothes, we too are meant to outgrow relationships in which the person can’t or won’t make the choice to come with us or vice versa, and the “clothes” (or, sadly and more commonly, armor) we have tried on in order to reflect, avoid, or defend our emotional realities.

We are meant to gestate over and over again and birth out into a new world just the same. We are meant to have help digesting the “food” others give us to help us grow, both consciously and unconsciously. We are meant to cry out if we feel neglected in any way, or as if there is a lack of love flow in our lives. We are meant to ache out the pain of our separation from the original source of Infinite Love in infinite supply. Only then, in my experience, can we begin to feel that though the fog may feel thick sometimes, we are always connected by a Divine umbilical cord. This is not an ideology. To me, it feels like simple fact. And yes, I and parts of me, are still letting that in.

This, to me, is the core of where our Spirit/Matter split lies. It is certainly the core of mine. I truly feel that my soul has been around and around this world and each time that the original and at times insurmountable feeling of being separate from the Divine must be felt through again with the first breaths of a new life beginning, has been harder and harder. At times parts of me have reacted to this by going so far into Matter that it “matters” more than Spirit possibly could. After all, it is the more relatable place to be in for most human relationships…perhaps because deep in our souls and hearts we are aching out the same pain of the original separation and just want to avoid feeling it as much as we can.

There have also been times in my life where parts of me have tried to lean so far into Spirit that the art of responding to life and at least the Matter that really “matters” got waylaid. This over-leaning into Spirit led me into a sort of constant depression and heaviness inside me as parts of me reluctantly walked through heartbreak, loss, and disappointment, fixating on the pain and not the goodness of life, as if throwing some sort of tantrum and saying, “Look Divine Mom and Dad! Look at how miserable I am! I shouldn’t be here! Take me home, please!”

This sort of stark split isn’t the easiest life theme to work. I am grateful to be awake enough to it that I can feel and begin to understand how my parts formed around it and why they have the reactions they do. There is still some deep pain inside me about living out another life on Earth, especially during this dark time for humanity, but at least now I am equipped to feel it through and ache it out consciously instead of having it play out in the same pattern it has until now. Perhaps it will still need to play out in some ways that are similar to how it has done so in the past, but I can trust that if that comes up, there is something more I need to look at and feel about it.

Spirit and Matter may feel like opposites at times, but really they seem to be meant to work together. We are meant to ground into Matter while opening up to Spirit and engaging in all of this with others in conscious and sacred friendship and community. Sadly, not many of us are raised to feel that both are equally important. We wouldn’t need to be here if Matter didn’t have something to offer the Spirit within and around us.

As I continue to write this, I feel how I am writing in the world of Matter through Matter’s means, while connecting to and channeling Spirit. Spirit can come through because of this conduit of “me”. Right now Spirit is communicating through my heart, my brain, my language of English, the keyboard I am typing with, the computer that is holding and hosting this document, and eventually the World Wide Web where these words will be posted. And this is only one way in which to try and communicate what I am communicating.  There are myriad other ways in which Spirit tries to reach us and show us that Matter is not all there is or all we need. Sometimes that message can only come through severe accidents or diseases or just at the very end of a life…but then again, it also comes to us through orgasm, deep connection with others, deep and prioritized connection with ourselves, and each and every time we find ourselves awed or humbled by nature itself in any form.  There is no difference between any of these experiences, except method and form. Spirit is there. Matter is there also. One cannot be found without the other, just as we ourselves are an embodiment of both.

It feels like Spirit has enjoyed expressing through me today, regardless of how deeply it can actually land its message in you through me. I am but one messenger and one pipeline. And in truth, this sense of a split that needs acknowledge and healing is such a sovereign, personal, and sacred process to be in, that whatever path you are walking right now is your own expression of it. Maybe one day our paths will align, and if they do, I will be there to walk this healing path with you in whatever way we are meant to do so together.

 

Kathleen Calder is an initiate at the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Sanctuary for more information about staying with us and virtual sessions

 

Feeling My Spirit/Matter Split (Part One): Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

This is the fourth entry in the Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series. Go here to read the third one.

recovering faith

 

By Kathleen Calder

The old photographs in front of me in digital form are, for parts of me, evidence of an old life and an old me. An attachment to them lives on inside me though I have looked at them a thousand times, and I feel reactions rise up yet again to my body, my outbound energy, and my self-loathing (that may be too strong of a term to use, but at times it does feel I have harbored that strong of a feeling about myself inside parts of me). Photos of a “me” in university studying Theatre, of a “me” exploring freelance modeling and the sexual messiness that came with that at times, and ultimately a “me” that felt most times worthless, incapable and even, yes, “stupid”, “ugly”, “fat”, etc.

It feels tender to let these feelings rise up again and yet for another part of me it feels useless…why let part of me obsess over the past? What is this part looking for…more suffering? These are unanswered questions in the moment, yet there is something about what I was living through that I feel connects directly to my process today.

I remember well the thought pattern I fell into and couldn’t get out of, starting around age 12. Puberty had begun to set in and my body began to develop the shape that I now have. My social world was getting tougher with hormones arising along with an emerging desire to have a boyfriend, while watching other girls my age draw what seemed to part of me like “all of the attention.” Immediately another part came in with messages of needing to find ways to compete but also with messages of my “incompetence” to do so.

On the other hand, I also remember being a “good Catholic girl”. Part of me leaned into church and the feeling of being with “God”. I realize now that this was my first experience of something bigger than me holding me, even if I wasn’t sure how to picture it exactly. I feel with some tears in the moment that this is what held me more than I realized at the time and kept me going through these tough years where I had parts developing like crazy to cover over my porosity and sensitivity as much as possible, to make life feel doable and less insane-feeling. Yes, it was in a Catholic framework, but the Divine is still the Divine and I have had many lifetimes of leaning into an inexplicable energy that comforts, challenges, and ultimately helps me grow somehow.

To me this all demonstrates the beginnings of what would become my own “Spirit/Matter Split”, which is easily one of the greatest themes at work in my life and perhaps for all of us on a global scale. Only recently have I begun to feel how big of a deal it would be if the biggest thing I do in this life is learn to bridge Spirit and Matter instead of feeling them as separate entities. As I go on I will illuminate what I mean.

What I wrote in the beginning illustrates the deep self-punishment pattern parts of me were in. Aspects of this included an obsession about how I looked and what my body weight was. It also included adopting many different “medications” in an attempt to quell this voice inside me but also to lift me up from the heaviness of what most people call “real life”. I remember there being a dense dreariness in my field about how life was supposed to be and how it would inevitably turn out. At times I still have this and I am now working with it consciously in order to feel and heal the parts that still hold it as Truth. This is a piece of family and cultural legacy. No amount of positive affirmations or reframing of my thinking could penetrate this voice and heal these wounds long-term.

So far, I can feel that…

Matter is the density of the material world, both energetically and physically. It is the churning of machines in our industrial factories. It is the ground on which we walk, run, cycle or drive. It is our physical bodies that we tend to obsess over, hold contempt for, and blame for so much. It is “is-ness”.

Spirit is the abstract. It is our feelings and our intuitions, which both can come with such an intangibility that they either pass through us unnoticed or are deliberately ignored/buried. It is life force itself. It is often an experience and a flow that cannot be put into words, it just IS. In a way it is “is-ness” too, but more so in the sense that it is literally All That Is, all at once.

See? One I can talk about more directly, while one needs to be described poetically in order to do it justice in human/Matter terms. Matter is meant to be temporary, fleeting, in the moment, tangible and dense, while Spirit is meant to be ever-lasting, enduring, unbreakable…and though it is mostly energy, it is what we can count on to always be there and it is what our hearts and souls long for more of, consciously or unconsciously.

There is no good vs. evil here. There is not even a real comparison between the two concepts. They are ultimately One; we have just created a duality perhaps to make parts of us feel better. There is a definite, bittersweet pain that comes with feeling Divine connection while there is still so much life to live, especially during this phase of life on this planet. But what could/would it mean if we integrated our daily life experience and our spiritual experiences and indeed didn’t have to define or compartmentalize either one from the other? What if the whole idea behind Matter is that it is a conduit and holding space for Spirit to play in? And what if we are the ones meant to link the two?

What if I am one of the ones called to be a bridge and lead others in this during my lifetime?

What if you are meant to come with me?

I’m realizing now how little experience I have had with nonduality in this life. I am looking forward to being able to let in some tastes of it as this dualistic experience of life continues to heal inside me. For parts of me, being able to be in a strictly human life with abandon has been comforting for short phases, though it has never really brought me satisfaction or deep joy. Perhaps as my parts begin to realize that they finally will get their deepest needs met while leaning into Spirit and taking practical life steps at the same time, I will become more ready to let the Nondual in and therefore let in my essential essence and more tones of my soul and of the Divine than I have ever let in yet.

Well, if life’s Matter is the playground I’m beginning to feel it is, then what have I got to lose in exploring this theme of bridging Spirit with it, except old patterns of being in life that my parts and I are tired of anyways? What could/would shift in my life if I can integrate the two?

I suspect that I, and my life, will change in more ways than I count.

Sounds pretty good to me!

 

Kathleen Calder is an initiate at the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Sanctuary for more information about staying with us and virtual sessions.

My Process of Self-Intimacy: Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

This is the third entry in the Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series. Go here to read the second one.

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By Kathleen Calder

As intimate as this blog series is becoming already, I feel like I want to invite you in even more. It occurred to me that maybe the writing we share here, though we intend it to be invitational in tone, may make you readers feel like you are only circling around something and not really in it. Well, in a way that’s true, but in many ways it isn’t.

In many ways, we feel you joining in with us during our Sunday group circles, our shared meals, and our daily activities. We want you to be here. It’s up to you to qualify yourself to at least make contact, let alone take the leap to be here with us physically. I want contact. I want you to be known and I want to be known too. I want to experience you…and of course inside me is the ache to be experienced. This is what I want to animate for you in this writing today. So, with that in mind, I intend to invite you in even deeper to my world and deeper into what I call my ‘process’.

It is no joke to ask someone to leave their world or even their known consciousness behind in order to experience and participate in a new one. I’ve needed this invitation extended to me many times throughout these last four years with SoulFullHeart. I haven’t been an active part of this healing work for the full four years and, in fact, have had to take many so-called ‘breaks’ from it. I put quotations there because if SoulFullHeart is in you, it is you, and there is no real break from it or way of shaking it. Parts of me have tried. I guess that’s how you know your soul-calling: when something is inside you, calling you forward, grabbing your attention, even when you think you’re adequately distracted by other things.

There is nothing more powerful than finding your way to your deepest, most sovereign, and heart-centered choice to be a part of something. Part of me has, for many years, only identified with being a ‘black sheep’. There has been an insistence inside me that there is no way for me to truly belong anywhere or with anyone or any particular group of people. Socially this was a struggle for part of me for many years, until the last one or two years when I started to wake up to my genuine uniqueness based on my unfolding soul journey, which helped to reframe any feelings of ‘not being enough’ for others to accept into their social lives.

I have also found myself thinning out the number of people I would like around me at any one time. It’s not about snobbery or snubbing anyone, but about self-care and self protection. For now my circle is small and intimate and that feels safer as far as holding my need to land in others’ hearts in a deep way and be felt. While sometimes part of me can still find some comfort in hiding the real me in a crowd, most of the time being in a large group feels very vulnerable and uncomfortable for my sensitivity level.

I, Kathleen, want to know and be known more intimately, and I get to live into that every moment that I sovereignly choose to. It is a huge process though, to reconcile the desire to hide and the desire to be seen. I feel this could be true for everyone in the world on some level. Needless to say, at times in my process so far the desire to hide has won out and I have had to back away from being consciously in my process. The thing is, the process doesn’t truly stop, ever. You’re in your own process right now, actually, whether you are trying out any of the journaling we suggest or are just reading our writing. Something, even subconsciously, is bound to go in.

Each time parts of me have tried to abandon our process together, chaos has ensued, moving me away from these three people who I have been so intimate with. It has needed to play out that way and it hasn’t really, either. However, my emotional maturity level simply couldn’t allow it to be any other way. I have been through many shifts and changes in my life and all of the major ones have seemed to come on a tornado of chaos and I have felt like I was literally on fire at times! Change, while difficult for most people, has come easily for parts of me who have been very addicted to it. There has been an ease in running away, and what is ‘running away’ from SoulFullHeart but a ‘running away’ from myself? Running from intimacy is something every human being can share stories of, I’m sure, and self-to-self intimacy is really the true fear, I feel, for most of us – myself included.

The saying: “Wherever you go, there you are,” rings so true for me and is what I experience of life. It is what keeps bringing me back to the support that Jelayan, Raphael, and Sequoia offer me as I keep going into myself with less medicating and without avoiding any aspects of my process that are ripe and ready for me to feel into and heal.

Before I began my process of parts work exploration through SoulFullHeart, I was very social and aiming to become an actress. I had graduated theatre school and actually became certified as an Intuitive Coach as well, since I wanted to not only become a well-known performing artist, but a spiritual leader and author. I wanted to show the world I was a healer and to prove something – rather, parts of me did. The idea of maybe one day becoming too sensitive to party often or have one-night-stands was foreign and undesired in some ways. Part of me wanted to be part of the collective, even though she never felt she truly was and in fact was in denial of how badly she really wanted out. No doubt this was a lot to sort through.

Nowadays, I still want to be seen, but the glamour aspect has been giving way to the idea of just being embraced for who I am at my most vulnerable and authentic core of my being. This would have been so hard to say four years ago. This is why SoulFullHeart offers that people who may be interested in this work take it one step at a time. Parts of us have a lot at stake and a lot they have been working to accomplish in our lives. Deconstructing them needs to be a process for the sake of our own sanity. In some ways, you never truly know when this process begins for you, as it just sort of does, and usually it is on a wave of desire for change and doubts that the life you are leading now is truly enough for you, even if these desires and doubts feel subtle at the time.

It feels good to share a bit more about what my process has been like. In the future my goal is to weave in bits of stories from my process and perhaps some more visceral sharing of what it actually feels like to feel a part of you for the first time. I feel this may help any of you who are inching towards contacting us and taking on that first session, to imagine what that experience could be like for you.

If you are curious to know more about what I have shared today or have any questions for me, my email is kathleen.m.calder@gmail.com. I would be happy to hear from you.

Kathleen Calder is an initiate at the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Sanctuary for more information about staying with us and virtual sessions.

Surrendering to Transformation: Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

by Kathleen Calder

This is the second entry in the Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series. Go here to read the first one.

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The day of my arrival, I stepped off the bus in Tomatlán, greeted by the warm embraces of Raphael and Sequoia. Raphael was the first to offer me a hug of welcome. Instinctually I placed my third eye chakra directly onto his heart chakra, and sobbed many tired, worn-out, and backed-up tears as I and parts of me let in that we had finally arrived home and that the process we had been holding around the life we were collapsing in order to return to our sanctuary, was complete at last. The drive home to the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary itself felt long and short at the same time as I held relief, heartbreak, and excitement in every breath.

It is no small thing to let go of a life you have created. In SoulFullHeart we talk about parts of us engaging in and helping to create and hold different chapters of our lives. I have had many chapters in and out of SoulFullHeart in the last four years, some of which I have digested on this blog. This time was very different as I deliberately invested so much more of myself than I ever had before. I believe this ¨going in¨ experience is actually what eventually led me out of this last chapter and back into SoulFullHeart…which I never really left, it feels like. This return feels so palpably different for me too, as this time around I truly feel I am looking for deeper transformation and deeper answers. My ¨seeking journey¨ is officially over and I feel like retiring from it. I have found my vocation and what I really need to keep healing and returning more and more to myself and who I was born to be. It does feel like I am meant to help others eventually as well.

The morning after my arrival, I woke up feeling a happiness in my heart, though still feeling waves of mourning looming in the background. Jelayan checked in with me during breakfast, asking me if I felt ready to start working in the gardens with her again or if I needed some time. I felt like parts of me were eager to get back to work, as it were, and dive back into life here, probably to help ease the transition a bit more. So, after breakfast we readied our buckets with harvesting and planting tools and changed into our work clothes.

Jelayan offered that I could wear a pair of her shoes that were still in pretty good shape while the pair I was intending to work in were falling apart (I didn’t have all of my footwear or my things, since it would all be coming back with a couple also living on our sanctuary when they returned from Puerto Vallarta in their truck later that week). I put the shoes on my feet and we started off down the path away from the house.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp stinging in my middle toe on my left foot and, as I paused to respond to the pain, Jelayan and I spotted a big scorpion scurrying away. Evidently he had been hiding in the toe of the shoe I was wearing on that foot…and I had neglected to even think to check them before putting them on! We were only steps from the house (thank god), so we both calmly made our way to the kitchen to prepare the natural remedies we have learned to deal with in responding to such incidents. Jelayan herself had been stung last year, so she remembered what worked for her and different ways to stay calm. I was so surprised to feel myself as calm as I was.

Jelayan chopped up about six cloves of garlic and put them all in a bowl with some honey and gave me some hibiscus water, very heavy on lime juice, to drink while I swallowed the chopped garlic. The honey wasn’t so much for a medicinal purpose as for the purpose of helping me get the garlic down, though I’m sure its medicinal properties as an antibiotic helped me out too. Then she placed some lime and a slightly chopped clove of garlic on the area where the scorpion stung me. The pain ebbed and flowed during this first hour as I took in the medicine and also Jelayan’s healing touch on my now traumatized foot. Her presence alone helped to keep me calm, and we both feel that the most critical thing you can do is keep calm in a circumstance like this one.

Eventually she helped me to my room where I put a woolly sock on my foot and obviously was now resigned to stay in bed for the day.

The worst symptom I had was the throbbing pain in my toe that overwhelmed my entire foot at times in intense waves that had me clutching at my mattress and bed linens. It took about a week for my foot and leg to feel normal again and now, two and a half weeks later, my toe is finally starting to feel back to normal. Wow. What a process.

Digesting the experience SoulFullHeart style means looking at what ¨scorpion medicine¨ offered me through this incident, and all the different reasons why it happened. Yes, it was partly a careless move on my part to slip on a shoe without inspecting it first, so there was a wake-up call in that. Yet, the fact that it laid me up in bed for about three to four days since I couldn’t walk well enough to work, was an indication that something in me needed that time to just ¨be¨ after making such a big move. I needed that time to rest and digest what I had just dismantled in my life a bit more, and also, I feel like the movement of the toxins through my bloodstream may have helped me detox from some of the energies I took during the last nine months.

In Ted Andrews´ book, Animal Speak, he offers that the scorpion represents transformation and that it tells us that transformative changes can either be chaotic or calm. When I think back on this last chapter away from SoulFullHeart, but also on many of the major beginnings and endings in my life, I see a pattern of mostly chaos without a lot of surrender. It is possible that without the physical need to just be with myself for my first few days back here, I would have restarted my life here in a much less calm, maybe even chaotic way, in terms of my emotional body. It could be that the scorpion helped me find another layer of me – one that really can handle such intense circumstances and still hold it with as much grace as possible, addressing my physical and emotional needs instead of burying them, which really just tends to lead to more trouble, maybe even chaos, later.

There’s undoubtedly so much in life to be careful of, and so much that can cause us pain, and yet all of it seems to offer a message of transformation being possible if we can surrender to it in the right moment. It feels like surrendering to the circumstance while holding our parts and our spine is step one,  as demonstrated by the calm urgency Jelayan and I somehow embodied, and diving into our physical and emotional needs around the circumstance is step two. Each and every major event is another opportunity to go inside yourself and it is my sense that we draw these occurrences because of our need to do just that – go IN. Feel what’s at stake. Feel what it is you want and need.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to draw another scorpion sting, especially as this rounds up all of the intense things I have been through in this last life chapter, which I will share about eventually as they become relevant.

I appreciate you reading and taking this in! If you feel moved to contact me directly, based on this or any of my other blogs, my email is kathleen.m.calder@gmail.com.

Kathleen Calder is an initiate at the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Sanctuary for more information about staying with us and virtual sessions.

A Day in the Life: Life As An Initiate At SoulFullHeart Sanctuary Blog Series

By Kathleen Calder

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The day begins.

I wake up to the sound of a rooster greeting the dawn with his crow. It isn’t an invasive call for me, since my room is actually quite far away from where he normally keeps his brood. In fact my sleep, thankfully, is rarely interrupted by the sounds of the animals due to my location. If my sleep is interrupted at all, it’s normally because of an unfelt reaction or something that part of me is trying to work out.

Usually the light is just breaking over the morning as I draw my covers down and slide out of bed. On the average morning my heart feels ready to greet the day and my friends and teachers, knowing and feeling our genuine desire to connect to one another through all events of the day, even if that means feeling through tension and being in conflict at times.

Breakfast is just one of the three meals we share together each day and we either take turns on collaborating or one of us chooses to lead when it comes to the making of each one. Meals are an opportunity for us and parts of us to check in about our processes and what we feel happening within us as we live out the day while also feeling each other. So much happens on an emotional and not just physical level for all of us. I feel this is true for every human being, it’s just about having enough fluidity and space inside yourself and direct support from those close to you in order to really feel it and let it move you. I had almost forgotten about the richness of my inner reality until coming back to live here again. Our personal sharing at the table can be triggering for parts until they learn to lean into it, especially since it is a brand new experience compared to any past attempt to do this sort of sharing at mealtime with birth family members or even friends and to cultivate this level of intimacy with them.

After breakfast is complete I quickly get myself suited up for organic gardening or whatever other task is happening that day. For me so far the task has mostly been gardening, which I feel is good for me on so many different levels. Connecting with the plants is not something part of me ever thought I would be doing as deeply as I have been lately but it does seem to naturally be starting to happen as I take in their needs for water, weeding, and general attention. I feel something coming back to me from them in the form of harvest but also healing energy. There have been moments when I have been alone in one of our gardens and suddenly I feel tears start to surface as I feel the safety and support from the love of nature around me to feel whatever I am feeling in that moment. There is a way that nature seems to move us towards healing at an exponential rate since it seems to have a much greater capacity to give and receive love than even the amazing humans around me can!

I am often in the gardens with Jelayan lately, helping her with replanting, watering, and weeding. It’s time to replant a number of our plants right now so she needs the help and I’m enjoying taking in her knowledge so that I can maybe lead some more in the gardens some day if it feels right. I value having this one-on-one time with her too as she is a woman who has healed so much and yet is also so in her own self. Taking in her healthy templating means a lot to me, and perhaps even more now that I was away from it for almost 10 months. Learning to collaborate together is a big deal and I am working on letting it in, since most of the woman-to-woman relationships I have experienced have been strained by unconscious (or sometimes conscious) competition and energetic bullying. We’ve had a lot to feel through and work out in our relationship but I feel a new opening for us as the appreciation for being in each other’s lives has been renewed. Connection with her is a serious blessing.

Sometimes the morning routine shifts based on our individual emotional needs. Yes, this is valued above all productivity. For me personally, I get that if I don’t take the time to be in my process, then not only does my productivity tend to suffer, but I am less present overall for my relationships with the others and also for life in general. This can actually be a dangerous thing here at our Sanctuary where there are scorpions, snakes, and unpredictable events can happen.

So, that being said, sometimes the mornings are stiller for me in terms of physical activity. I have and continue to have much to feel through as I continue to land here, decompressing, detoxing and de-medicating overall after my many months away. During those months away, I was immersed in a lifestyle that carries only hints of the amount of love I feel here at the Sanctuary amongst the others but also with the trees, plants, and animals that surround me. So, as expected, my emotional body in the form of my parts, has begun to surface to be felt again and I find myself needing space and breathing to just be with me or to ask for space-holding and facilitation from Jelayan, Raphael or Sequoia, since at times that is actually what a part needs. All three of them understand the process of mourning and letting go that I am walking through with my parts right now as the layers over my natural sensitivity continue to melt away with their love and support and that of the Divine as well.

After we have lunch together we usually rest and check in with ourselves some more, or go off to the river or wherever we may want to. Basically it is free time and often we stay indoors since it’s the hottest part of the day. Sometimes I use this time to nap and/or journal or go on an etheric journey to visit and check in with my guides and parts. The other day I used this afternoon time to have a session with Raphael, since a big part of my process lately has been with a very young and vulnerable part of me who needed to feel a loving father-like energy holding space for her. It was a tender process and I have discovered that she is actually a part of me that holds much of my core essence (what makes me who I am in an authentic way). I am still working with this part of me and find that the space and time of being on the Sanctuary is very nurturing for her and actually is what encourages her to come out more.

Later in the afternoon there is a second round of watering for all of the gardens that must be done. After that there is a bit more rest time before dinner prep begins. Dinner is usually also eaten together, though we all stay flexible with our needs, keeping in mind that sometimes parts of us would rather eat alone, depending on what is coming up for us emotionally.

After dinner the day completes and most of the time I retreat to my room for more decompressing, journaling, etheric journeying and/or reading. If I want to I can go for a walk or head up to our garden and our plot of land that we call Tranquila to watch the sunset or to just be. Once the sun sets it gets dark pretty fast and this pushes up some fear for my parts about the wildness around us. I want to face these fears though and find a way to feel more harmony and trust with the wildness that may just reflect an untapped wildness inside of me that parts of me are afraid of. Jelayan started to realize this about her parts’ own fears or inhibitions about the wildness of our Sanctuary and writes about it in her recent book Keep Waking Up!.

Sometimes it can feel hard for parts of me that miss having Netflix or a movie to veg out on, or even a local pub to visit and have a beer at the bar! Yet it surprises me how much easier this has become, now that so many more of my real needs are being met on a daily basis and the need for comforts like these has dwindled considerably.

It felt important to share with you about my average day here at the Sanctuary and what it is like to stay here as an initiate, to paint some picture for you of what your life and process here may look like should you decide to stay with us. All of my current process, I feel, is eventually going to make room to let in more people and their own processes. I want to feel your story as much as I want you to feel mine. I love the connections I have with others and I want more too. This life is not glamorous, though it is beautiful and, if you are ready to let it in, you won’t be able to ignore the truth of this and the truth of the love we live into and embody more of every single day.

Kathleen Calder is an initiate at the SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and you can read more of her writing here on this blog. Please visit SoulFullHeart Sanctuary for more information about staying with us and virtual sessions.