Sharing My Musings With You!
I am THRILLED to share this potent conversation I had last week with Transformation Goddess Shann Vander Leek on her podcast This Sacred Life.
We talked about Transformation, Shamanic Death and Claiming Your Sovereignty – topics that are pregnant with poignancy for most women at this time – especially if you’re in the midst of change or navigating midlife.
When we got off our call, we were both BUZZING from the energy. And that feeling lasted all day long!
If this speaks to you, please share this with your friends. This is The Work we are engaged right now.❤
It seems as though I’m becoming an “expert” in Shamanic Death. However reluctant.
Shamanic Death is a process of Ego Death wherein everything you know yourself to be, the things you identify with/as, the role(s) you play, the archetype you embody, must die.
When this occurs, life is changing on the most profound levels.
No longer enjoying the things you used to love
Feelings of uncertainty
The systems and structures you once counted on, fail you
You recognize ingrained behaviors and patterns and how they’ve directed your choices
Sometimes this death process comes as a result of graduation, divorce, birth, the passing of a loved one, menopause, and more.
But, that’s not always the case.
There are times when we are being called to the next, new expression or iteration of ourSelves. When we must relinquish all that we’ve held dear. When we let go of our entire fucking identity.
We may even have mastered our identity/archetype/expression/understanding of ourselves so much that it colors our perspective and how we interact with all of life. It’s our zone of excellence.
But, the Universe calls us out. It beckons us into our zone of Genius. It asks more from us. It needs us to show the fuck up in our lives. It needs us to be present and engaged so we can usher in a new way of BEing. A new way of life.
A new world.
The changes often start out small. Then get bigger. These changes are happening in your life and all around. They appear on the “outside” while inside the rumblings are much bigger. More terrifying. The Universe doesn’t mess around. It wants your full attention.
Earth-shattering. Eruption. Lightning strike. Tsunami. Tornado.
This may feel like sitting with pressure, discomfort, inertia, not knowing, no guarantee (not that there ever was one of those.) It’s such a profound experience you don’t even know how to explain it to your most beloveds. You feel it on a soul-deep level. (Akin to the primordial ooze phase of a cocoon.)
If you are able to recognize what is happening- that you’re in this process- it may become easier. You can then decide to actively let go, shed, release, and stay curiously open to the process. Thoughts might sound something like “Oh! There’s goes the next thing. And that person is on their way out. This situation sure sucks. There goes another person who’s not true blue….” and so on.
You bear Sacred Witness to it all. And marvel at the utter madness, ingenuity and beauty of it.
Here’s a hint: whatever you hold most dear is probably the very thing you must lay on the sacrificial Altar of Life.
I’m deep in the throes of my own death. Again. Again?! Yeah.
Apparently it’s embedded in me, this process. Or, I must secretly reallllllly, really love it. <eye roll> Or, it’s my mutherfucking Superpower.
There are other ways to engage your process. You can ritualize it through sacred ceremony: You can make an effigy and burn it (cremation), you can bury your former self/identity. Please do not hesitate to give it/you a loving memorial. And allow your tears, grief, laughter, pain – all of it – with compassion, forgiveness, gratitude. You wouldn’t be you (whoever or whatever that is) if not for that past you.
As you and I undergo our very personal dying experience, please know that the entire world is undergoing the same. Can you see it?
Furthermore, know that every ending ushers in something new. You get to be reborn.
Q: What did you do last night?
Me: I was in the woods burning stuff with all the other witches. (DUH)
But truly, this is the time of year when we honor the dead, pay homage to our ancestors, and let go of our attachments to things that no longer serve us.
Blah, blah, blah, right? Heard it all before… Rather cliche at this point.
But, it’s the time of Scorpio. Let’s take this deeper.
Acknowledging Death is one of the most important things we can ever do. Death is an absolute. It’s a capital T Truth.
Without Death, life has less meaning.
Without Death and decay, this 3-D timespace continuum would be utter chaos. It would also be claustrophobic AF.
Society fears Death because it’s become so sterile and has been removed from our day to day existence. We run from it instead of facing it head-on.
(Ever notice how those facing death who’ve come to accept it without fear have the most peaceful continence and epitomize Grace?) chew on that a bit.
Acknowledging Those Who Have Gone Before – the ancestors – keeps us humble, and tethers us to lineage. We come to understand that we are connected to everything and everyone. Our ancestors fought, strived, loved, endured, learned and evolved so that we could be here now, continuing the Cycle of Life. Their good works carry forward to ours. This is legacy.
The thing is, American/Western culture isn’t good at making room for lineage or holding sacred space for the stories and customs of ancestors. We’ve lost our sense of Mythos, and as a People, we are grappling with our sense of identity.
How many of you actually know the stories of your people? Their names? Their accomplishments, passions, struggles? I admit I know very little about mine and was blessed to know my maternal great grandparents who tried to teach us and keep the stories alive.
Nature is perhaps the very best teacher and example of how to live life fully. When we follow Nature’s example, we know when to seed, grow, fertilize, fruit, harvest, shed, die, lie fallow, begin again. It may be metaphorical, but the more tapped in we are to these truths and these cycles, the more we come to know and embrace our True Nature. The more we *know* simply because we *are*.
As the trees and most all other plant life gloriously celebrate and shed their finery, they become stripped down, bare, naked. Though it would seem being naked makes them vulnerable, it’s the exact thing that gets them through the cold harshness and starkness of winter.
Nature draws within itself, rests, gathers energy, goes “underground” to tend to roots, find nourishment.
And so it is with us. We prepare to rest, go inside, draw inward and tend our roots – our subconscious. We go Dark. We go deep beneath the ground of our souls.
It’s time to celebrate and shed. Make sacred and ready the space for the next growing season of your life. Lying fallow. Bare. Naked.
How do we shed and strip?
Look at what feels stuck or stagnant.
Find the heaviness in your body, mind, emotions, (and in whatever areas of your life) and feel into it.
Journal and acknowledge what isn’t working out, what your challenges are, and ask “out loud” the questions that linger.
What is dying or begging to leave that you’ve not had the (fill in the blank) to let go of?
What precious gift or thing in your life must you relinquish so that the universe can richly bestow you?
What is your most sacred offering or sacrifice? Chances are it’s the thing you hold most dear that you must lay upon the Sacrificial Altar of Life.
There’s not much time left to consciously engage this most exquisite of Work. Not doing the Work invites fate to step in and hardcore make the decisions for you. So, are you going willingly, or unwillingly?
Last night I made my most sacred offering/sacrifice ever. It will take time to process, grieve, cry, and further let go. But, that’s a very necessary step.
Give yourself the compassion of allowing your tears and grief, time to rest, allow yourself to not know. ‘Tis the season.
My love and heart are with you.
Do your rituals.
Make your offerings.
Cleanse. Purge. Smudge. Release.
Show up as Grace and reverence.
~Lisa C. Adams
The second episode of Savvy Spiritual Sisters – the Yogi, the Mystic, and the Priestess was recorded yesterday.
Our topic is a prominent theme right now – Integrity.
Savvy Spiritual Sisters – the Yogi, the Mystic, and the Priestess
We engage in rich discussions on life, spirituality and wellness from our unique perspectives.
A half-hour well-spent. We welcome your comments.
I underwent serious Shamanic Death in 2015. Everything was stripped from me – health, family, “friends”, work, etc.
As I began to understand the enormity of what was transpiring, I would witness as more was leaving, taken, purged, and I would remain detached and curious about the process.
I decided to actively partner with the process as I purged and released more, and more. Willingly, even, after a time.
It wasn’t easy. But necessary.
It was also achingly beautiful.
Towards the end of the active process, I made an effigy of myself and all the things about me that I was letting go of. And I buried her.
I gave her(former me) a lovely, private burial ceremony. I wept in gratitude. It was quiet, peaceful.
So much so, that my next thought became “I have no idea what I just did, but this ought to be HUGE.”
And it was.
I surrendered to the process and watched as more was stripped away – my home, my business, more of my possessions. And to some extent, my community.
Then a sudden, intense AF heartbreak occurred. And I was broken open more than I ever had been in my life.
I came to understand that the pain I was experiencing and expressing was the culmination of pain I’d never felt, released, or expressed throughout my current lifetime. And some from past lives.
The miracles that flooded in Graced me in such an astonishing way, I’m filled with tears to recall it.
I sobbed from pain, from opening, and from gratitude all at once.
I easily felt all the pain of the world. And the pain of those around me who were struggling or undergoing life-threatening illnesses.
I wept for months.
Some of what I’d let go of was returned to me- true heart-gifts of love, people who are the truest loved ones in my life.
I also came to realize that part of the pain was in the holding on. I was still holding on to hopes, dreams, aspirations, and that undergoing Shamanic Death means that those things must die as well.
For all the initiations I’ve undergone – most of them willingly, some not so – this life, death and rebirth was the hugest, most profound I’ve endured.
In many ways I’ve become “unfuckwithable.”
Life has a way of initiating us. Some of those things we accept, willingly.
Others, not so much. That’s when we make things harder on ourselves.
When we emerge from these experiences/events, we are at once no longer recognizable, and more ourselves than ever before.
**Note – This was originally written in July, 2017 and was updated in September, 2017. As I’ve delved deeper into these themes, I’ve gained more clarity and share those thoughts as an addendum. Stay tuned as I will be sharing much more about this path very soon!
Wouldn’t it be nice if what we wanted and what we needed were the same thing? This could apply to anything in life, but what I’m immersed in exploring right now is how this applies to love.
Please don’t take my musings here as indications that I possess answers. I’m sharing in this conversation, offering my thoughts and processes because I get turned on by thoughtful dialogue, and because I see that many of us are contemplating these same themes.
I’ve engaged this contemplation for years, and have come to believe that many of us are still stuck in old-paradigm thinking about relationships, as well as what it means to partner, what it looks like, and what it feels like to partner romantically. Even those of us who lay claim to consciousness and live on the fringe.
We think we have to be in partnership or find “The One” who is our soul mate, twin flame, our forever. The spiritual community is rife with this sort of thinking.
Let’s be honest – we are indoctrinated to grow up, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, buy more things…. to live within an old ideal, an out-moded system.
When we marry/partner we have these ideas about what it’s supposed to be, how life isn’t complete without it, and that we need to have a partner to build a life.
Then we partner/marry and it’s not like we thought.
It’s a letdown.
We compromise who we are to fit into this idea of partnership that doesn’t fulfill us. It’s a relationship paradigm meant to make up the perfect consumer unit – a family that supports economic growth – the Great American Dream/Nightmare. Debt. Consumption. More. A bigger, better, newer version… (This becomes blatantly clear when you go through divorce.)
Relationships as Consumerism
This same consumer mentality plays out in grand fashion in the dating scene, and with relationships. Online dating contributes to this scenario as we pay to “swipe” and “shop” for the “One.” People looking to get the next, bigger, better, sexier, more sex, less drama, etc. relationship.
Or, they’re trying to have as many sexual partners as they can. Because more is better, right?!
No. More is not always better.
In fact, “more” can be a means of running from true intimacy. Avoiding vulnerability and intimacy with a partner, in the guise of chasing after perfection, or conquest.
Pain as Love
When the heart opens – whether by the pain of heartbreak or the bursting forth of love – it hurts.
Are we/you/I addicted to pain?
I think it’s very possible that we become addicted to feeling different kinds of pain. I also think that many of us mistake pain, being triggered, being mistreated, and the highs and lows of adrenaline-fueled drama, for love.
The ancient wounds of childhood play out through our adult relationships, and while we long for healthy connections, we find we’re drawn to narcissists, addicts, or partners that are mentally and emotionally unbalanced. Our co-dependent nature ever seeking the energetic roller coaster ride of unhealthy patterns because as children, that’s what we came to know as “love.”
Hence, we get caught up in relationships plagued with unhealthy markers and wonder why. When looked at through the spiritual lens, we heal these patterns through the heroic undertaking of loving ourselves, unconditionally.
Let me touch on polyamory. It’s grounded in the belief that we humans are not wired for monogamy. I think many of the principals of polyamory are beautifully altruistic. It takes special kinds of selflessness and dedication to practice polyamory and make it work.
My past experiences with polyamory drained me as I attempted relationships where my partners weren’t truthful and didn’t communicate openly. I poured myself, my time, my energy, into cultivating these relationships, only to be let down. This left me with trepidation and feelings of betrayal. It made me wonder if people who are polyamorous hurt their beloveds a great deal.
At times I feel I am suited for polyamory, and at other times I’m not sure. It requires a great deal of conscious effort, honesty, communication, transparency, and energy. Add to that the willingness to be triggered. It seems to me polyamory also calls on us to be incredibly confident while practicing non-attachment.
I’m incredibly confident, but like most, become hyper-aware of every insecurity once I’m in a relationship. Breathing, letting go, and detaching at every turn, become my refuge.
Non-attachment is perhaps the greatest gift of Buddhism; it has become the Work of the Collective. It’s what is most called for in this era of extreme dichotomy between higher consciousness and moral decrepitude. In every area of our lives we must be willing to let go and make way for New Paradigm energy and ways of BEing in this world.
New Paradigm Relationships
I believe that what we truly crave is connection and intimacy. A loving, safe space to practice vulnerability. The willingness and ability to let down our walls, be our true selves, and be vulnerable. It’s being truthful, sharing openly, and being uncomfortable while allowing relationships, and situations to be as they are without control or manipulation.
It’s not putting things into a neat little box or requiring too much definition – making space that allows whatever needs and wants to come through to do so.
Connection and intimacy help us feel alive, and learn more about ourselves and life as a whole. As we open up, laying our ancient walls to ruin, we free up energy and anchor into our physical bodies – allowing ourselves to feel EVERYTHING. Feeling everything is what awakens us, making us feel vibrant.
While I’m clear that I truly desire to have a deeply connected, intimate partner relationship, I’m equally clear that society’s ideas of how that looks, and what that means, are not in alignment with my own ideals or desires.
In fact, I find that the more I’ve tried to fit myself and my life into societal standards or norms, the more unhappy I’ve been. And, those things haven’t worked out so well, if at all.
As a Priestess and sovereign, cis woman, I’ve never fit inside those perfect boxes, nor have I wanted to. My path hasn’t been one of the straight or narrow. Following the standard “go to school, grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, etc.” is not the life I’ve chosen.
Why would I buy into those ideals and standards with regards to partnering?
Recently I let go of the notion/dream/belief/goal of having a life partner/marriage.
I came to see that holding on to that dream has held me back, let me down, and may not be my destiny. It’s been disappointing and clearly hasn’t worked for me. Even working towards having a more casual partnership through dating has let me down. For whatever reason, it’s just not lining up.
This is not a cry for pity. This is me coming to terms with reality, no longer fantasizing about romantic love.
Coming to terms with the notion that having a life partner may not be my destiny has been equally tough and liberating.
I felt the pain of holding too tightly to a long-held belief that there’s someone “out there” that I will partner and build a life with. Upon shedding that dream, I had to mourn it.
Letting go makes room for what needs or wants to enter my life – as a contract between myself and the Divine.
Letting go has opened up many more possibilities and ideas about embodying love, sharing love, partnering with love, in ALL of my relationships.
What the Universe wants to give me goes way beyond “partnership/marriage.” Letting go makes space for the Universe to install that new-paradigm model, while I craft and build my epic life.
I also ask these questions of myself as I navigate this new territory:
Can I just love someone as they are, right here and now?
Can I give love because I AM love, without any expectations of a return, just for love’s sake?
If we love, only to have something – anything – in return, then is that not manipulation?
Can I love the most devastated, dark, wounded parts of another? Can I love those same things in myself?
Why or why not?
As a Priestess, I carry within my spiritual DNA the memories of lifetimes serving as a Temple Priestess. In those times, I was a vessel for healing through acts of sacred sexuality. Then and now, I teach and lead people in ritual acts of sacred sexuality.
I’ve decided that any/every encounter I experience, I will embody love and hold that encounter sacred. I will create a container of love within which those encounters may take place. These are only possible through feeling some connection and attraction.
Perhaps these encounters will eventually lead to finding a partnership (or partnerships) that aligns with my desires – deep intimacy and vulnerability that I crave most. Those things require time, trust, and emotional availability.
Most important of all, is trust in myself. I’ve lived, died and been reborn enough in my life to know that my instincts are spot-on. Where in the past I may have dismissed an inner nudge about someone’s lack of honesty out of a desire to partner, these days I don’t need to stick around for confirmation. I already *know* the truth within.
Trust – in myself, my heart, my gut – leads me to more authentic connections, and frees me to explore life and relationships knowing that however things turn out, I will always be fine.
I am free to acknowledge my desires, and voice them. Then, I must let go of expectations, allowing things to be what they are. This is how my heart navigates the new territory that is opening to me.
I have SO MUCH LOVE to give and share. My love will be poured out upon a broken world, my dear ones, and the people I’m blessed to serve in my Work.
The world could use more love. I’m here to share.
Of course, these are my current thoughts, and I fully expect them to evolve.
After writing this article I’ve had more opportunity to practice these ideas and discuss them with many people, including potential lovers/partners.
Delving further, I’ve decided that I am not monogamous, polyamorous, or any of the other relationship models I’ve heard floating around – they are too limiting, still imposing a container I find limiting and uncomfortable.
The term I have decided to adopt is Sovereignty. I am fully sovereign, living my life with authenticity and in alignment with my own integrity.
I am free to choose to partner in ways that feel good to me and honor my boundaries. I partner with whom I want, when I want, and how I want, understanding that those needs and desires are constantly in flux, ever changing.
It is incredibly important to me to keep my energy clean, and to be clear about my choices; they must be healthy choices that prove my love and respect for myself.
My requirement for sharing energy with another in a sexual context must feel like a “Hell Yes” to me. If not, I may share energy in other ways.
I’ve been delightfully surprised to find that as I meet new people I feel a shared attraction with, I’m choosing not to enter into sexual union with them.
Instead, I am choosing myself. <3
This conversation is rich. I welcome your comments.
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