Hmmm–What I Learned Digging in the Dirt

photo(8)I’ve been spending lots of time lately playing in my new garden, fussing around the new plants, arranging stepping stones, adding a few crystals, checking on the progress of the tomatoes, squash and peppers.  (Today I picked the first squash and some basil which I will enjoy for lunch!).

Sometimes I think I’m just wasting time, or distracting myself from what I should be doing.  Ahem, excuse me?  Should? Should?  Who says?  I have to laugh when I find myself doing, saying and thinking the very things I counsel my clients to give up doing.  Well, at least noticing and laughing are steps in the right direction!

So, what about enjoying gardening is not real, authentic life?  What is it in my conditioning that says I should (there’s that word again) be doing something productive, task oriented, etc?  You know what I mean.  Honestly, sometimes I think (there’s that word too) that whatever I’m doing, the conditioned ego mind just finds fault with it, because that’s what it does.  So whatever I’m doing, thinking, feeling at the moment, it should be something else.

Does anyone else have that program running, or am I the only one, and am seriously nuts?  If so, let me know.  You know what they say about insanity—everyone else can see it but you.

In truth, that program has been called out.  My mother, of all people—God bless her, she has worked herself so hard all these years, a slave of the shoulds—said one day “Don’t Should on yourself”.

I should make a plaque of that.  And that word should be erased from the vocabulary!

So much of the session work I do includes given folks permission to listen to their hearts and their longings:  validating those longings as information from the small, still voice of their own soul within.  Many times clients will come into a reading asking to hear what they should be doing, whether it’s about a job, a relationship, a move.  I ask them—what do you want to do?  What is the deepest longing here?  What is your heart telling you? Listen deeply within to the cries of your heart and soul.

We are so conditioned by culture, religion, family, tradition to devalue our own inner voice, assume that whatever we think, feel, desire, long for is probably wrong, and that there is probably something else that is our guidance.  Usually we assume that our ‘guidance’ has surely to be something more difficult, more sacrificial, more martyr like.  Surely our inner guidance couldn’t be as simple as listening to the desires of our heart, could it?

The other big program that runs us is being our own worst critics.  In the New Testament, and indeed in every religious tradition, we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Honestly, if most of us treated our neighbors, talked to or about our neighbors the way we talk to and treat ourselves, we’d be put in jail, or at least brought up on serious charges!

What is your inner voice?  The critic?  The nag? The one who always makes whatever you are doing, thinking, feeling at the moment wrong?

Ask yourself this question:  Do you speak to yourself the way you would speak to your best friend?

Whenever you are tempted to should on yourself, picture someone close to you, and imagine you are speaking to them, and speak to yourself the same way.  Would you invalidate their inner torment the way you invalidate your own?  See if that doesn’t shift that program for you.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t sometimes use the garden or other things as a diversion or a distraction, but, ultimately, so what?  Notice it, acknowledge it, and understand that maybe a distraction is just what is needed at the moment.  Shift the energy from the shoulds,  enter deeply and fully into whatever you are doing at the moment—surrendering  fully into what is being felt, what you are desiring to get from the distraction and notice it all.  Allow yourself to feel all of what you are feeling.—without judgment.  Enjoy the moment, whatever it is.  Notice yourself enjoying it.  Until you don’t, and then you take a breath, and move on.

You see, some of what I was thinking I should be doing, instead of distracting myself playing in the dirt,  is more writing and sharing.  Well, guess what?  After I finished putzing around outside this morning, I came in, sat  down and wrote this.

Hmm–so what if I started to catch myself using the S-word, and changed it to Want, and then really owned it?  Really listened to it?  What could happen?  Wow.  How free my heart feels!  I hope this blesses you as I am blessed by the experience of it!

Fire in My Soul

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Summer is fire season in Arizona and, living here, we always hope it won’t be a bad one.  Right now, there is a huge fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon, just a few miles north of Sedona, only about 10 miles from my home.

I notice that whenever there is a big forest fire like there is now, there is tremendous energy in the air.  Last year there was a fire in Yarnell in which 22 firefighters lost their lives.  I remember feeling that, as I was breathing the smoky air, I was actually breathing in their ashes, their released energies, as well as the energies of the trees and all other living things being consumed by the fire.  They were truly part of me.  I feel that sense now—being part of the whole organism we call Life.

We humans are so accustomed to managing our environments—our homes, lifestyles, health, controlling the heat and humidity in our homes and our vehicles.  When these big natural events crop up, it is an opportunity to remember who and what we are:  nano-specks in the big picture of the cosmos, of Creation, of the Everything.  And yet, we matter.  It all matters.

I’ve stepped into experiencing the elements as living beings as well, feeling the presence of fire, wind, water and earth as Life Force,  living expressions of Divine Presence.  And so for the last two days, I’ve felt humbled by this roaring of the earth and compelled to stop and listen.  To be still and listen to what it is saying—the need to clear, to balance to cleanse, to renew.  To trust.

The last two days I happened to be building a new flower and vegetable garden in my back yard.  It has been a vision since I moved into this house a couple of years ago, and now it is a reality.  Yesterday afternoon as I sat with an iced coffee looking at this creation, I thought about the juxtaposition of destruction and creation.  Forest fires destroy, and make way for the new.

As I sent some prayers for the land, and for those lives affected by this event,  I wanted to make some offering.  Perhaps it was some primordial desire to calm the fire gods rising up out of an ancient memory still encoded in my DNA.   I thought of how we are so clumsy and clueless about so many things.  We take so much for granted—our homes, our lives, things like TV, cars, grocery stores.  We are so plugged into ‘normal’, stomping all over everything and everyone to appease our need for ‘normal.’

I do a lot of work with this in my healing sessions.  It has been my own journey of healing and expansion this last years—letting go of ‘normal’ to make way for greater possibilities.  Our souls are wired this way, just like the Universe.  This is that stirring up, that dissatisfaction, that discomfort—it is our souls calling us out of settling for ‘normal’, and daring us into a greater experience of Life and Beauty and Creation.  But it requires us to step through the fear, to let go of  the drama that wants to rise up, and to breath deeply into the possibilities contained in the smoke and ashes of what has always been.  Letting go and trusting.

So I felt moved to simply dedicate my tiny little flower bed, with its new little plants,  to the planet as an offering of beauty and creation in the face of this destruction.

Yes, fire is a natural process, and life goes in cycles.  I am in no way minimizing the destruction.  The stillness and quiet and humility I feel are part of honoring the magnitude of the destruction and transition taking place.  I pray for the safety of those affected directly.  And I pray for the balance of these earth energies of fire, air, water and earth.  Yet these events are a reminder to look at a bigger picture, to  listen, and to trust in the Ultimate Benevolence, to breathe in the smoke and ashes of what was, bow and humbly say Yes.

 

Buckle up, kids, we’re going through!

I don’t know about you, but for me 2014 has been quite a ride so far, and we’re just two months into it. As a healer, spiritual teacher and counselor, I help clients work through many different situations and circumstances.  Looking back, there is usually  a common denominator, an underlying energetic thread that runs through, even though particular circumstances differ.

I personally find it helpful to have an understanding of what is transpiring and why, so that I can move through the rocky transitions more quickly and with greater clarity and courage. So here are some thoughts —

We are like planes taking off on a journey, moving from Third Dimensional density into the higher, finer, lighter atmosphere of the Fifth Dimension, and higher.

But just like a plane, we have to power our way through the resistance of  atmospheric density in order to get to cruising altitude.  And sometimes there is really dense, heavy cloud cover in between.  You’ve been there—the captain says it may be rough, so you hold on, maybe grip the arms of your seat as the plane lurches about, take some deep breaths, maybe furtively look around for the barf bag just in case.  But you don’t want to look like a wimp who has never flown, so you try to look calm and collected.  You look out the window and it’s dark, dense, threatening.  You think—we could die.  And yet what is causing all that turbulence?  Clouds.  Not solid at all.  Just clouds.

Yet these clouds, which have no real substance, are tossing about this multi-ton, jet-powered hunk of metal, carrying hundreds of people and hundreds of pounds of cargo, like it was nothing.  But what does the captain do?  Throw up his hands and cry , it’s too much, it’s too hard, it’s too scary, Someone make this go away?  Of course not.  He/She hunkers down and revs up the engines even more in order to power through.

This is what we are being taught now—that we have the power within to cut through the density of these dark clouds of old thoughts and patterns that threaten us and toss us about.  But we would not be experiencing these circumstances if  we weren’t ready to handle them.  Just like the plane, when weather conditions are bad enough, the flight gets cancelled, but this one wasn’t, so hang on, we’re going through.

Our circumstances and situations are never just about what it appears on the surface.  They are Sacred Curriculum in this Earth School for Souls.  As real as they feel and appear, they simply serve to bring up the emotions and reactions that we, as souls,  agreed to move through, experience and resolve in this lifetime.  Much like a case study in grad school, a math word problem in elementary school, or those clouds—the situations are not real in one sense, but in order to pass the course, get the learning and get where we want to go, they are real indeed.

And this is not to minimize the pain and suffering.  I’ve walked my own path and have made it through many challenges.  So I know.  Some say the definition of shaman is wounded healer.  Just like a bone that has broken and healed—the point of the break is now strongest.  So compassion for ourselves is crucial.  But, just like the plane, we don’t wallow in the story of how terrible it is and let it toss us around.

You know the saying—what we focus on increases.  That’s quantum physics.  As long as we focus on the dark and the fear and the story, it grows in power.  So where do you focus when situations and emotions threaten to overwhelm?  Rev up the inner engine.  Look inside for the tiny, sometimes infinitesimal, point of light.  Fiercely look.  It is there.  Power up and determine to find  that and focus on it as if your life depended on it.  Because it does.

We are in a great time of awakening and transition now, as most of you are aware.  The energies are potent.  The vibrational frequencies in which we live are higher, faster, finer and lighter than they were when we came in to this lifetime.  And because our physical bodies—which, don’t forget, includes our brain—are part of the ‘stuff’ of the planet, they are affected.

This is all divine plan, our evolutionary blueprint.  An opportunity to fly.  The first response is always, what’s wrong here, what’s wrong with me.  Things are not normal, so much is shaken up in me and around me.  These thoughts and feelings—actual nervous system responses, are simply the brain chemistry reacting to the shift of energies.  This doesn’t feel ‘normal’, therefore the ‘organism’ that we are feels threatened.  It’s just the old survival mechanism at work.

So how do we weather these shifts?  But more than that, how do we cooperate with these shifts to take advantage of them?  How do we teach our brain and nervous system to adapt?  This is why such technologies as yoga, breathwork, journaling, meditation and energy healing sessions are so helpful.  They give us space to move forward.

We are being given the opportunity here to evolve as a species to something greater, lighter, more expansive, less ‘at the effect’ than ever before.  And we have no paradigm for it, so therefore the conditioned left brain screams out—wait, it’s out of control!  Does not compute!  Danger, Will Robinson, danger!!

Here are some practical steps that will help dissolve patterns of pain and limitation:

  1. Allow and acknowledge the feelings that are coming up, without suppressing them.
  2. Know that this is happening for you, not to you.
  3. Breathe deeply and consciously into the brain, and into the feeling.
  4. Recognize the familiarity of the feeling, and the pattern that triggered it
  5. Release judgment, and shift into compassion for yourself, and the courage it takes to face this discomfort
  6. Unplug your energy from the sensation—switch into neutral observing of the sensations you are experiencing
  7. Gently but firmly continue to breathe, and notice that the feeling sensation begins to subside, like fog in sunlight.
  8. Repeat this process each time old, uncomfortable emotions arise, knowing that each time you follow these steps, the brain and nervous system pattern that holds it in place loses its power to control your life.
  9. Remind yourself that you are evolving, not fixing.  Stay gentle and compassionate with yourself.
  10. Get up and move–stretch, walk
  11. And if you need help, book a healing session or massage to move the energy.

So breathing into the emotion, changing the brain chemistry through the conscious breath, we rev up the inner knowing, focusing on the spark of light inside.  Through our focus, determination and breath, the light grows and grows and expands until it pushes through the dense layer of fear, doubt and darkness. And suddenly we break through to the light of cruising altitude.

You are now free to move about the cabin.

Blessings, Beloveds

For more information or to book a session:

Meredith Davis

sedonahealingservices@gmail.com

602-625-0082

Skype name:  meredithdavis11

 

 

What’s a Good Catholic Girl like You Doing in a Place like This?

Last week I was ordained a Shamanic Minister. When I told my mother she said, “Wow, from Catholic to Shaman, that’s really something.” Yes, it is something. And while I don’t pretend to come close to the title of Shaman, part of this path is awakening the “inner shaman”—not really so different from the Holy Spirit, or the kingdom of heaven Jesus spoke of. And it’s about helping others awaken to their own inner shaman/healer/counselor/teacher.

Part of the ordination ceremony was to write a Statement of Intent for my ministry. I’d like to share an excerpt with you. It’s a bit longer than usual, but hopefully you’ll read it to the end.

On a much earlier segment of this life path, I was a charismatic Christian. A group of like-hearted seekers, perennially suspect by ministers and church elders, we diligently studied the Bible and applied it to our own lives. When Jesus said “Greater things than these will you do, for I go to the Father”, we took it literally. We simply did what the Bible said: laid hands on the sick, cast out demons, saw miracles happen in answer to our prayers of faith. We told mountains to move, and they did. When I became disillusioned with the form of Christianity practiced in churches, I walked away from all of it. I had not yet found the Divine outside that form. When I left the church, and much of my spiritual practice, I did so deliberately. I told God: I want the truth of You. I am sick of following this path or that path, only to be disappointed in what I find there. If you are real, if any of this is true, show me.

I took two verses from the Amplified Bible with me. One, from Jeremiah—“ If you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” And the other from Hebrews, talking about the 40 year wandering in the wilderness: Because they did not have an “experimental faith”. So, I challenged God. I had an experimental faith. And for ten years I wandered in the dark. When I moved to Arizona, I had nearly destroyed my back, was on 2 antidepressants, several anti-inflammatory meds, and morphine for pain. I wandered into a Tai-Chi center, discovered energy, meditation, and God. I bumped into God while stumbling around in pain and darkness.

I’ve been on a superhighway of learning and transformation since that day. What I learned in the early bible study days has come around full circle in a much deeper and fuller way. And I’ve seen and made my own this Golden Thread of Truth that runs through all the great spiritual teachings

All that is to say, that this ordination, is a culmination of the journey. Now, to take all the “stuff” I’ve collected along the way, and with the blessing of my teachers, and my community, alchemically transmute it to healers gold.

My conviction is that we are evolving into a new kind of human –from Homo Sapiens to Homo Spiritus, to borrow a phrase from David Hawkins. As we evolve, we change the species, the planet, the cosmos. Just by doing our own work, just by tending to our own evolution. It is also my understanding and conviction that our evolution into the Oneness of our Divine Source, of necessity includes all of us—all the bits we’d rather leave behind—the ugly, the shameful, the hurtful, the uncomfortable, the wounded; past selves, aspects of us that exist on multiple dimensions simultaneously, our future selves. We, all the parts of me, become One, and One with All That is.

Through the work I’ve done with the Venus Rising Association for Transformation, as well as a lifetime of inner work, I’ve reclaimed much of that lost and abandoned soul territory. And while I’m far from finished, there is in my being immeasurably more peace and wholeness now than ever before. And it is for this that the world is crying. And so it is to this that I am called to speak, teach and most importantly, to live.

Thanks to divine grace, and so many teachers along the way, I’ve stepped into much more of who and what I really am, and, to a much greater degree, out of a limited, fearful, self-sabotaging life picture. As I step more fully into my own healing, and into the experiential knowledge of myself as a limitless spirit being, I am being recognized and sought out by others as a teacher, mentor, healer and guide. This ordination provides a framework and a platform from which I can better fill these callings, and step into an even greater expression of the package known in this lifetime as Meredith Star Raven Davis.

On Raven Wings

It is my distinct honor to be introducing this new blog authored by my friend and colleague, Meredith Star Raven. Her medicine name reflects her deep connection with the natural world and the beings and aspects that reveal themselves as our teachers.  She is an exceptional spiritual teacher and guide.
 
Meredith comes reluctantly to this task, but after years of coaxing and prodding she now emerges from the Scorpion’s hiding place to share her insights and her knowing. Her personal journey has been remarkable and in some ways miraculous. I pray she will gift us with the lessons and the challenges she has encountered as we travel with her now. I am blessed to be her friend.John Berry Deakyne
Author, Poet, Teacher – Sedona, AZ   http://in-lite-un.blogspot.com/

MY FIRST BLOG
As I write this, I’m sitting with my laptop at my dining room table looking out at the sunset on Cathedral Rock in Sedona (I took the above photo from my deck), wondering where on earth to begin the tale of the transformation that has brought me to this magical place, and gifted me with the powerful medicine name of Star Raven. I’ve lived in Sedona for nearly a year now, and people often ask me how I like it.  The answer is that I absolutely am in awe of the privilege of living here, thrilled and humbled by the friendships I’ve made in such a short time, and unspeakably grateful for the magic and beauty my life has become.
As most of you know, until a couple of years ago, I was living in Scottsdale, working as a real estate agent, taking care of a household that consisted of a husband, a daughter and a grandson. During that time I experienced a powerful reunion with God and awakening to my own soul. Since then, the desire to make spiritual awakening, inner healing, and union with the Divine the focus of my life, instead of a sideline, has become increasingly strong. It’s as though, when I finally acknowledged my soul, and started listening to its voice, I absolutely had to follow it, no matter where it led.
Most of us, and I am a prime example, live our lives tuning out the voice of our heart and soul, listening instead to the cold voice of so called logic, prisoners of the conditioning imposed by parents, teachers, churches, social customs and the myriad fears buried in our psyches. Then we wonder why our lives don’t work, why we are so powerless to change, and why we’re so unsatisfied.
This journey I’m enjoying now is a result of undoing that conditioning, of learning to tune in to my own heart and soul. The process of undoing can be frightening at times, and, as many spiritual teachers tell us, not for the fainthearted. But it is the most utterly thrilling and deeply satisfying journey imaginable. And honestly, once your soul starts calling, it cannot be ignored.
There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of facing down a fear and moving through the illusion it really is to the freedom on the other side. I’ve been privileged to have that experience innumerable times over the last couple of years.
I’ve learned that there is a force bigger than the one that operates between our ears, that loves us unconditionally and is the motivating and orchestrating force behind this process.   It is this force, our own soul, that is calling us to awaken to our grand and glorious heritage as sons and daughters of the Divine.  We carry the “genetic code” of our divine parentage, and therefore, beneath all the negative conditioning, we are designed to live lives of creativity, peace, wisdom, love and joy.
I’m convinced that the urgency of the call is increasing for all of us. I experience that increased urgency daily. It is my hope that as I share my journey, the wonderful AHA! moments, the bumps and bruises, and the glorious victories alike, that my experiences will be a light to others like myself who are venturing forth and awakening to their soul’s calling.
I want to thank the dear friends who have journeyed with me these last years, and who “saw” me when I all I could see was my own shortcomings, and all I could feel were my fears.  It is said that the people and circumstances in our lives are mirrors to show us our true natures.  Well, if that’s true I must be pretty terrific, because the people I am privileged to call “friends” are an amazing bunch!  Thank you dear ones. I love you and appreciate you more than I can say.