Tag Archives: Elephant Revival

Mojo Monday ~ Love and Loss

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IMG_1697I know a few things about love and loss.
I know a bit about grieving,
for I have danced with death on more than one occasion.

As I begin to write this post about a death, a birth and two heart surgeries my quirky mind jumps to thinking about the film called Four Weddings and A Funeral or those jokes that start off with “A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar…”  Perhaps it is not in my best interest to share how ADHD my thoughts can be, and may I add, how they exhaust me at times.  Yet it is true that these past two weeks have included the death of a great uncle, the birth of a great niece and two heart surgeries, an aunt’s and that of a very dear member of my creative Cosmic Cowgirl community.

My auntie’s heart surgery went smoothly and she is on her way to recovering.  The heart surgery of Sue Hoya Sellars, a master artist and matriarch, on Thursday, September 18th also appeared to be successful. All the monitoring during the long procedure indicated things went well.  There was a beautiful video live stream post surgery, where those present and those of us miles away could touch base and share in wishing Sue a speedy recovery.  However things didn’t go quite as expected because Sue didn’t wake up.  As the hours and days rolled on vigils began and still family and friends held onto hope that she was simply healing in “Sue time.”

As more time has passed the shadows of doubt have grown.  The community has circled around sending waves of love from around the world, while writing poems, drawing and painting, in honor of she who has taught many how to wield a paintbrush and how to mix her unique blend of black paint. In the midst of tears that I shed multiple times a day I am inspired by all the creativity and love that abounds.  There is the 30 day Committing Art with Sue that launched.  I have seen so many beautiful drawings and paintings posted by those who have been touched by her and this community.  I have fallen head over heals for the quotes that artist Christina Gage has been creating from close ups of her paintings and the wise words of Sue herself.   I have been moved by the poetry and written words of so many who wish to share their experiences with Sue and offer words of comfort to one another. I have loved hearing how many have visited the hospital, sitting and talking to Sue, singing to her, drumming for her and certainly praying for her.

Sue with her art and quote collages by Christina Gage ~ Forms of Joy by Christina Gage

Sue with her art and quote collages by Christina Gage ~ Forms of Joy by Christina Gage

Even as I write this on the evening of Thursday, September 25th, Sue is alive, blood flowing through her veins, and her heart pumping.  Actions were taken earlier today though to remove all the tubes and wires, so that family and friends could move her to her beloved Terra Sophia homestead.  The latest update was that she remains unresponsive and it is expected that she will transition from life to the great mystery called death.

Every day since the surgery I have awaited the announcement that she has awoken.  I have expected to hear accounts of her waking to joyous reactions and great relief.  I have imagined her look of surprise to learn she has been sleeping for a week.  Many have suggested she has been soul traveling and will return with stories of visiting the cosmos and spending time with ethereal beings.

I reflect and find irony in how my most recent taboo article for Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine is entitled We Are All Going to Die.  Poetry Can Help.  The day my article was published is the day I learned Robin Williams was no longer with us and not long before that one of my all time favorite human beings, Maya Angelou, had passed away.   In the here and now of grieving for the very real likelihood that Sue transitions in the next hours or days, the title of my own article feels more real than ever.  Yes, we are all going to die and yes, as I continue to witness, poetry can help.  So can painting, singing, drumming and writing as we transform grief and loss into expressions of love and beauty.

Sue believed strongly in the power of art to heal and to connect with our consciousness.  As a part of fulfilling her deepest wishes and the legacy of her vision a Barn Raising has been initiated.  Sue’s longtime homestead is called Terra Sophia and an invitation has been extended to be a part of Sue’s vision for her property to become a sanctuary for committing art.  Please visit the “Barn Raising” site to learn more on how you can participate.  On this site is also a beautiful video that offers a peek into Sue’s world at Terra Sophia.

I have been a part of the Cosmic Cowgirl community since October 2008.  This tribe of creative women has impacted my life significantly.  Sue intimidated me a little the first time I met her and I joke that it was the “toilet paper lecture” that did it.  Those who have heard this same detailed instructional guide from Sue can nod knowingly and then giggle.  It was the second time I met her that I was struck strongly by the depth of her love and kindness.  I saw in her eyes the wisdom and the generous heart that poured forth.  I admired her deep contemplative mind and her gentleness.  I also loved her humor and wit.  That second time upon preparing to depart from an amazing weekend spent with Cosmic Cowgirls I went to say my goodbye to Sue and found myself spontaneously announcing “I love you Sue.” I saw the glisten in her eye as she took in my heartfelt words.

Some people affect us more deeply than we know, especially when faced with their departure from our lives.  Sue was at the heart of the Cosmic Cowgirl community.  She is beloved to us all.  I pause while typing this to hold my hands to my face while stifling a sob. I wipe my nose and dab my eyes and return to sharing written words for comfort and a way to process the grief.  Later I will turn to the paintbrush and a canvas to transform tears into expressions of art.  Always I will turn to this community of creatives for connection, friendship and support.  We are bound by the red thread.

an-invisible-red-thread

 

In closing a song that felt called to be shared.

Raven Song
by Elephant Revival

Raven Song
Lyrics by Elephant Revival

If I was a raven
I’d fly on through the heavens

I’d fly to all my loved ones
If I was a raven

(vocalizations)

If memory’s worth saving
I’d savor the feeling
of knowing love and loving
I’d remember the feeling

(vocalizations)

Some say upon that mountain
there is many a raven

They call out to the living
from somewhere far beyond them

From those we’ve loved
that have flown on

From those we’ve loved
that have flown
on

In Wind and Shadow by Aaron Paquette

In Wind and Shadow by Aaron Paquette

Mojo Monday ~ Do You See Your Essence?

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We Are Quote

Yesterday I drove east for an hour, up a highway that takes me into tall trees and near to Lassen Volcanic National Park which is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes.  I listened the whole time to the cd These Changing Skies by the band Elephant Revival.

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My destination was Dos Aguas,  the home of friends and my spirit guide who I am journeying and vision questing with for 13 months.  The journey includes reading month by month the book The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams, creating an art piece/shield each month, fasting on the full moon day, ceremonies, and additional exercises/assignments.  I arrived and was greeted warmly by my friends and all their fur-kids (four cats and seven dogs) who all clamor, wiggle, purr, lick, jump for some pets, scratches and hugs. My guide and I spent two hours together, part of the time in conversation and then in a very grounding ceremony barefoot, under the canopy of trees over a hundred feet tall, with the water from Battle Creek rippling and babbling by us.

I had been feeling overwhelmed with the demands of my day job for a few weeks and I had been under a tight deadline to complete a special project the week before too.  Prospects of potential opportunities and change also had me attempting to keep anxiety at bay. A grounding ceremony, bare feet touching the ground, time spent in that beautiful environment and reminders about what really matters most and who I am were things my soul were in extra need of on this day.

On the drive home, listening to more Elephant Revivial music I reflected and let my mind wander, all while keeping a watchful eye for deer along the sides of the road.  I contemplated what to share with you all in this Mojo Monday.  My thoughts traveled to one of the more recent newsletters I received from Dr. Margaret Paul, therapist and co-creator of a program called Inner Bonding.  I enjoy her insightful and thoughtful newsletters and her approach regarding such subjects as healing, wellness and healthy relationships.  She had shared a more personal story in her newsletter entitled Do You See Your Essence?  Here is her very insightful commentary about loving ourselves and recognizing our true essence.

Do You See Your Essence?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
September 16, 2013

I grew up with parents who had no idea they even had an essence. They believed they were their wounded selves, and that they were not good enough. Because they could not see their essence, they could not see mine, so I also grew up believing I was not good enough.

Everything changed for me when I finally saw my true essence.

Since my wounded self was programmed to believe that I was not good enough, I could not see my essence through the eyes of my wounded self. In fact, my wounded self was so convinced that I was not good enough that she spent a lot of energy hiding my essence. I could not see my essence until I started to practice Inner Bonding and began developing my spiritual connection.

Through my consistent Inner Bonding practice, my connection with my spiritual Guidance became stronger and stronger. By testing out, many times, what my Guidance told me, I finally learned to trust her.

So when she showed me the magnificence and beauty of my true essence, I believed her. That’s when I stopped needing others’ approval. That’s when I started to be able to fully manifest my life.

My Guidance not only showed me how incredible my essence is, she showed me how incredible everyone’s essence is. She helped me develop the ability to see and relate to people as their essence rather than as their wounded self.

Now I know, as Anita Moorjani states in “Dying to be Me,” that the essence of all of us is love – an individualized expression of the love that is God. Not only are we love, but each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to enable us to express our love in unique and individual ways.

Inner Bonding is about learning to love yourself – but you cannot fully love yourself until you know who you really are.

Right now, take a deep breath. Put your focus into your heart and move into an intent to learn with your Guidance about who you are. Use your imagination to envision your Guidance – whatever that is for you.

Now imagine that you can see your soul essence – your true self – through the eyes of your Guidance. What do you see? You need to get beyond your wounded inner child to the child you were before you became afraid, and learned to protect. You might even need to go all the way back to before you were born, since if your mother didn’t want you, or there was a lot of conflict in your environment, you might have already been afraid – even before birth.

See if you can FEEL the love that you are, and all the other unique and wonderful qualities that you are as a soul. You might want to write down what you see.

One of the habits I’ve developed is the exact opposite of self-judgment: I acknowledge out loud to my little girl whenever I behave in a way that truly expresses my soul essence. I tell her how grateful I am that she is within me and that I get to take loving care of her. I marvel at her creativity, her kindness, the joy she receives from giving to others. I praise her for her love of learning, her joy and laughter, her connection with people and animals, her playfulness and her aliveness. I let her know how much I value her deep sense of integrity and honesty.

In other words, I do what good parents consistently do – I mirror to her, throughout the day, who she really is.

Yet even this isn’t enough. In order for her to believe me, I then need to treat her as a cherished being. I need to love her by taking loving action in her behalf. Seeing her is only the beginning. Taking consistent loving action in her behalf lets her know that I truly love and cherish her. This is what Inner Bonding is all about.

grace-yourself

For more thoughts about
embracing yourself as your own beloved
come read my most recent article called
The Embodiment of I AM
in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.

Here is also a taste of the music of the band Elephant Revival as they perform their song called Go On.

ELEPHANT REVIVAL

Go On Lyrics

Go on, go on,
Go on and find your life now.
Go on. It’s alright.
We all feel something similar
Sometimes. Oh, oh.
Oh, sometimes. Oh, oh.

Don’t wait, don’t fear,
And don’t work too hard.
Don’t worry ’cause you’re here.
You’re here, through ever-shifting shades,
And now somehow. Oh, oh.
Oh, somehow. Oh, oh.

It’s love, it’s love.
It’s love that keeps me high enough
And the drugs and sex,
Or the lost respect and sacredness.
And it’s sad, and true,
‘Cause most things can hurt or help.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.

I know, I know.
We’re here to sow some words
And hope they’ll grow, they’ll grow
In moundless fertile hearts and endless fields,
We’ll know, cause most things can hurt or help.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.
Oh, up to us.

Oh, oh.
All up to us.

Go on, go on.
Go do those things you’ve always wanted to.
My friend,
When the morning comes our dreams
Don’t have to end.
It’s true,
I’ll be there when I can for you, my friend.
Oh, I’ll be there when I can.