2016

I keep seeing dates things are going to happen in 2018, and thinking “Oh, that’s soon.” Then I realize I’ve skipped a year entirely, and 2017 is going to need to have her say.

Looking back:

I am deep in my Saturn Return in Sagittarius. I may have spent some of my harder nights obsessively googling “Saturn Return in Sagittarius.” One of the things I read mentioned that a Sagittarius Saturn Return might be good for finishing up an educational path left undone (after six years away, I finished my bachelor’s degree), or committing to a spiritual path (I completed the ceremony of confirmation to my path in May, on the exact day of alignment with my natal saturn, though I only noticed that later).

I graduated in June and had the summer OFF! I had plans! So many plans. Instead, chronic fatigue came with a vengeance and I spent most of the summer desperately fighting to stay upright. Which is also how I’d spent most of the winter, but at least then I didn’t feel like I was supposed to be having fun.

In early summer I got to experience several amazing visits from elders in my path, in mid summer I went to a beautiful retreat, and in late summer I was invited to do a healing ceremony with several experienced healers on my path. An entire ceremony just for me and my chronic fatigue/issues with mediumship. It was excruciating. To take up that much space – to have all these amazing people taking the time to focus on me.

And then it felt like they ripped out my insides (though no one was touching me). I have literally experienced only one thing that viscerally painful – childbirth. For a week after it felt like it hurt to even be looked at, and my chronic fatigue was as deep as ever.

Then…it wasn’t. Not like “I have enough energy that I am able to drag myself out of bed today,” because I’ve often had that. I was teaching 20 hours a week and taking 15 credits a quarter of hellishly difficult nursing prerequisites. But like “I have so much energy I want to go for a run.”

I’d go for a run. And not end up spending a week in bed afterwards.

One of the very deep beautiful lessons of seven years of CFS is that any ask on my energy became an automatic no. As the fatigue lifted and the asks came in, that no remained. And so for the first time in my memory, I had energy just for me. I hadn’t realized I’d been believing all my energy had to be for other people until I used it all up giving it away. Having it back is a very precious gift.

And I’ve had relapses. I’m in one right now (she types, at 1pm, barely awake for the first time in the day). But 3+ weeks of actual energy and a week of figuring out how I’ve gotten out of alignment with my mediumship and gotten gummed up with beings again is okay. I have hope again.

I suppose I had hope anyway, because we took out loans to send me back to school based on guidance, knowing full well I might end up too sick to ever work, much less work as a midwife, which is the path I’m on at the moment. But it was a small hope, and it’s grown.

“We”

David and I have spent a lot of this year unraveling our previous marriage. Knowing that no matter what came next, what had come before could not continue. We wrote our old agreement then canceled, tore, and burned it. Then we wrote a new interim agreement as a foundation for wherever we might go next.

And it really did have to be “wherever.” No attachment to staying together. Attachment to honoring our family, yes. We knew when we got pregnant it meant family forever and no part of that is being unwritten. But marriage? That had to be an open option.

So I spent a few months crying about that. Not so much about the future, but about the dreams I’d had when I got married. Where are my other babies? The ones I was going to have? The years of health and happiness I’d expected? The money I thought we’d make, the fun I thought we’d have? I had to mourn the person I thought I was and the marriage I thought I was having.

Now, grieving mostly behind me, I do honor the marriage I really had. The person I turned out to be under the stories my pride told.

And David and I are coming to the end of our interim period. There are still a few loose ends and two big ceremonies between now and when we will commit to the next shape our relationship is going to take. Against all odds, right now we are both excited to be with one another. As if this was all just a passage to coming present, meeting one another anew, and starting again. But also…maybe not. More improbable is how generally okay I feel about it. I’m no longer clinging to him for identity in the same way I was before.

Thank you, 2016

This year has been a strong one for me. I’ve often felt overwhelmed by the things I was being asked to do. Still, I am learning to trust my community, to accept (and sometimes even ask for) their help. As I get cleaner, everything gets better.

Next post I’ll look ahead to 2017, but today I am sitting with 2016. Grateful. Very grateful.

 

Invitation to a Circle of Compassion

Some time ago, a respected elder in my path and dear teacher invited his students to join in a practice called a Circle of Compassion, a practice of simply coming together to hold a space of compassion, meditation, and prayer using the tools he’s given us. It took me a long time to feel firm enough in my own meditation to respond to that invitation, but last month it suddenly seemed that there were no more excuses.

So David and I held a little Circle of Compassion in his business space, The Light of Saint Michael Healing Arts, and it was powerful and beautiful. I walked away feeling renewed and strengthened from the real grounded light we’d all experienced. This month we are holding our second circle, and expanding the invitation – to include you.

The form is an opening guided meditation, followed by a short reading on love and compassion. Then we take some time to silently meditate, and finish by bringing forward anything or anyone (or parts of ourselves) for whom we want to consciously hold compassion. The emphasis is not to fix things, but simply to allow the force of compassion to arrive, and to see what happens. Last time it all took a little less than an hour.

We’ll be gathering on Tuesday December 20th at 6:30pm at The Light of Saint Michael Healing Arts – 4115 NE Roselawn St. Portland, OR 97211.

If you plan to attend shoot me an email at rhiannon@mirrorhaven.com. There is also a Facebook event page here.

Please join us if you feel called. <3

Two Things that are not Easy

1: Integrity

For a long time I had almost none. Maybe some deep miserable core that stopped me, a few times, from stepping over lines I shouldn’t. But I’m not convinced that even that wasn’t merely loyalty to this thought or that thought, in service of impressing this person or that person. I had confused “appearing to be” with “being.” Unfortunately, I have a talent for “appearing to be.”

Now that I do have some integrity, a little, I watch myself trading it. For trinkets, mere baubles of affection or praise. Or, more often, for the hope of those things. Without the layers of thoughts that used to hold me into a shape, I find that when I come out of my center with the offering of my integrity in my hands to any who will take it, I get shaky. Suddenly I don’t know where to stand, what to think, what to do. I am buffeted by doubt until I fly off in some random direction, looking back the whole time, wishing I’d just stayed where I was.

It’s okay. Later I regroup, reground, and come back. The next time I am a little more centered a little longer, maybe. Many times I get to have the sweetness of knowing I’m in my place doing my thing, whether or not anyone else approves or understands – that their approval or understanding doesn’t even enter into the thought of what I am doing and being.

Still, it is terribly hard. People confuse support and supporting someone’s lies. I shed layers and people, well meaning, pick them up to put them back on me. “You don’t understand. That was pride. It doesn’t fit anymore. Humility looks better on me anyway.” Later I’ll return the favor and see the same look in their eyes. This was never theirs in the first place – why am I trying to make them wear it once more?

2: Loving Gaze

In my mind I call it “pensamento positivo,” because I met someone who calls it that and lives it so thoroughly and so beautifully. But the translation, “positive thinking,” is for me some kind of craziness, so let’s call it loving gaze instead.

Four years ago I attended a ceremony and the leader asked all of us to stop participating in this bad wind of gossip traversing the planet, to affirm only the good in one another. I don’t know that I had a particular emotional reaction to what she was saying, except that I knew it was impossible. What was I going to do, go around feeling bad about myself all day? Gossip just was. You couldn’t stop it.

Now I know it can be done. Not everyone lives in a mind like mine, one that is constantly finding and cataloging everything wrong, measuring and comparing and digging in mud. Many of us do. But not everyone.

And it’s okay. It’s just my mind. No shame here. It hurts me as much as it hurts anyone else. Some day, with a lot of work and prayers maybe it won’t anymore.

The trick is my loyalty to it. The belief that the gossip and pride and judgment are small prices to pay for the greatness that is my mind’s sense it understands things, that everything is nailed down and accounted for in my sheer brilliance. That in this moment, for some urgent reason, I really truly do need to think more about…well, anything, really.

It can seem like the only thing in me, but it’s not. Just as there is a growing integrity, there is a growing place where I am seeing good, feeling good, and thinking about almost nothing. The trickiest part is that I don’t need to think about thinking less; I just need to love more.

 

These are hard things. I do not shine in them. I will not excel in them any time soon. They are not particularly sexy or exciting (okay, they are a little exciting, to my inner being. But it’s a calm, understated excitement). Still, this is where the work is. The work of my chrysalis, which has been long and deep and perfect. And the work of coming out of it, which is slow and imperfect and totally right.

Wishing you unconditional love and light.

-Rhiannon

Heard on the way to my midterm

Hush, my love.

Do not think you need to rush.

I know it’s tempting, this coming up out of yourself and into the hurry.

You missed the bus. You needed to.

You didn’t study for the midterm. It wasn’t necessary.

Trust, breathe. Let go of agenda.

Drop this thing you’re tempted to call worry which is in fact just a confusion you have about togetherness.

Trees meet at the roots and the leaves. Except in extraordinary karmas, their trunks are their own.

No one needs you to meet them in their fear. This is a misunderstanding of togetherness.

I won’t tell you to reach roots to the earth or branches to the sky because you are in your own configuration. Not every moment must be expansive. There is no need for triumph right now.

Curl around your soft parts. Whimper in your den. Stay with you.

Do not hurry. Do not worry.

Love.

Breathe.

Chrysalis

Did you know when a caterpillar enters a chrysalis to change into a butterfly, its whole organism actually liquefies before coming back together?

Mirrorhaven is going into a chrysalis until Summer or Fall 2016. There’s no dramatic backstory here. Just time to completely dissolve and come back together into something better, though what that will be is still mysterious to me at this moment. Do caterpillars dream of butterflies?

See you on the other side.

Love,

Rhiannon

P.S. Between now and 9pm Pacific Time Sunday, September 27th, products in the store are still available. After that they will be unavailable for at least a year or possibly they will go off the market permanently.