This is the essence of Leonurus Cardiaca. Or at least how she presents herself to me. By the common name, she is known as Motherwort. The scientific name actually means “Lion Hearted”, and boy let me tell you what… Yeah, that’s her medicine.
I spent a few nights camping by myself in the woods two weeks ago. The only thing I knew was that I had to go by myself, and I needed to just receive and be quiet. On the last day, I asked yet again what offerings the land wanted in return for what they gifted me. I finally got a response from the pines. They said, “Nothing. You already gave it. You receiving us fully and without question was enough for us.” In shock, and with them finally speaking with me in a language I could understand, I asked them the burning question that was in my heart. Whenever I’m around people, or certain properties/land, I am heavily affected by it. Certain situations leave me super drained and I have to pay very close attention to who I am around, who I interact with, and the land that I’m on. Out there in the wildlife sanctuary where I camped, I felt back to myself with an abundance of energy. I asked what the difference was, and about how I’ve been working on my boundaries so hard, but it’s not helping my sensitivities at all.
It was like the pine trees pat me on the head, and answered with a question, “Would a frog be able to do the same in polluted water since they breathe through their skin?”
I didn’t “get” the message for more then a week, but it’s been bubbling and resurfacing the more I’ve been working with motherwort. I’ve been thinking that me being hypersensitive to my environment has been a flaw that I needed to work on, but that’s a pattern of mine I’ve been working on. Once I tapped into the flip side and let go of my judgement and harsh self criticism, I was able to accept that perhaps it is in my true nature to be this sensitive.
Over 6 months ago, I was in a field full of metal cages harvesting tomatoes. I was muttering to my ancestors about how nice it would be if I wouldn’t be living my mothers patterns. Within moments I was hit by lightning, and that cascaded me down this intense healing journey. My prayer was answered even though it was catastrophic and I didn’t understand it at the time. It took many months before I finally accepted that a lot of my health challenges couldn’t be fixed physically, and it was on other planes I needed to address it. Motherwort had really stepped up to help me address my self nourishment deficiencies and where I was hemorrhaging energy due to the bad habits I was living because I was acting out a lot of my mothers patterns.
And I got it. One of the reasons why I went into the “Miserable Me” pattern was because I was always in the mothering role to my own mother. Living that pattern was the only way I was able to get energy from others, and doing so distracted me from focusing on just one step at a time. Motherwort highlighted that one of my deepest fears was that I was going to become my mother. In growing up with a primary caretaker that has schizophrenia, I took that technique of scattering myself to try and apply it to a way of surviving. Little did I know that following that example was perpetuating a huge pattern of imbalance and I lived the fear I was so afraid of. Another function of schizophrenia is walling off different parts of the self to the point where they seem like different personalities, and I realized I was doing that to my self. One of the reasons why I didn’t have energy was because a lot of my energy was going towards internal walls that prevented me from fluidly accessing vital parts of myself as needed. The walls being self judgement and bullying to try and control my own behavior. I needed so many years of shadow work just to cultivate the amount of self compassion to allow parts of myself just to be, instead of walling them off. The more I fought myself, the more I separated myself into different sections of self to present to others. I had a self that would show up to yoga, show up as a teacher, show up as a student, or in community, and on and on.
Motherwort shared that it’s not the fact that I have shitty boundaries, but the energy I was putting up towards boundaries internally were what was sapping my strength to functioning well in everyday reality. It especially hurts when I found how much I marked off certain parts of me as “dangerous” or how some parts of me were so vulnerable I needed to shelter them from certain people. It takes the courage of a lion and a lions heart to be this hypersensitive in today’s world. Instead of the energy going towards boundaries, it could be going towards supporting the heart that I need in order to endure the constant heartbreak of what is happening in the world.
Yes, I’m a frog in polluted water where I’m currently living. But it’s because I need to face the heartbreak that I live in a county where conventional agriculture is rapidly degrading the topsoil and certain neighbors don’t know the meaning of a healthy ecosystem, and they choose to control it with chemicals and tilling instead. No, I can’t just live in a healthy ecosystem that stretches for miles, untouched by mankind just so I can feel better and breathe easier. Those healthy ecosystems can help me recalibrate my sense of what “true north” feels like in my body so I can steward this land I’m currently on and work on educating neighbors to navigate more towards that.
The question isn’t how I can have boundaries that help me feel numb to the heartbreak around me, but how can I support my big heart to accept the world as it is and still choose to navigate it as best as I can with the level of sensitivity I’ve been gifted with? It takes a lions heart to choose to nurture myself and show up daily to tend this land with community and help restore it to a healthier state. As I tend the land, I tend myself because I feel how intimately we are connected. The pains I feel, the shortness of breath, the tiredness, the fatigue, no wonder I chose to be out of my body for most of my life. Being this sensitive is exhausting because of how much I have to filter and process on a daily level. When the lightning knocked my mothers pattern out of me, it woke me up to the true nature of my own heart. To have a heart big enough to love it all, no matter how much it hurts. To not try the overwhelming feat of changing so many things at once out of distraction for feeling the bigness of the heartbreak, but in relying on Spirit to help me as a tiny human navigate the extreme complexities of how to repair broken ecosystems one step at a time, while feeling deeply. This includes my own inner ecosystem, addressing the walls within my own emotional body.
The beauty of motherwort has shown me that the one step I am on is all that matters. Not two or three steps ahead. Not dwelling on the past. Sure there are times for planning and dreaming, but living is different. The present is meant for holding that space in the now, preventing me from sliding backwards and repeating old patterns I’m trying my hardest not to choose. The more I tried to focus on multiple steps at a time, the more I fragmented and parts of me slid backwards while at the same time other aspects of me moved forward. Perfect example on why I walled off different sections of myself, so I would be blind to my own disorganization. But Motherwort helped me see that I needed this orchestration of getting “all of my parts” to the current moment/current step. Talk about whole hearted.
Another flower that’s been speaking to me in this spring time. Dandelion. They are perfect for degraded ecosystems where the top soil has been eroded. Their deep tap roots dig deep down to bring up nutrients that other plants can’t access because of their superficial roots. In the midst of me learning to be lion hearted, I’m also learning the benefit of being deep rooted so I can be a dandy-lion.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It touches my heart that you got this far. May the blessings of spring be abundant in your own life.
September 2018 Ancestral Healing Circle
DEEP gratitude for all that joined us yesterday during our Ancestral Healing Circle! We even had people join us from Texas and Nevada from a distance! The topic we covered was managing resistance and seeing if we could find somewhere in our Ancestral Line that we could focus our attention in regards to managing that resistance we feel daily in our lives at this time.
Here is the recording of the Ancestral Healing Circle if you wish to join us in our circle. We offered some deep shares, nice reflections for each other, and many blessings for those that continue to do this personal transformation work.
If you wish to participate in the ritual within the ceremony, it requires some paper and a candle. Hopefully you will be able to burn a small little portion within your home so we don’t set off your fire alarm 😉
All Ancestral Healing Circles are run off of donation. You can choose to donate with PayPal if you feel called to share that reciprocity. These Ancestral Healing Circles are gifts that Eagle Therapies offer to the world, and donations are a way to gift back.
Many blessings to you and yours! And may we be more empowered to break these chains that bind us!
May 2018 AHC
Hey everyone! My website is kind of wonky at the moment and it won’t let me upload videos directly to the forums. Here is the recording for this months Ancestral Healing Circle:
If you would like to post your results, questions or comments, please redirect them over to the topic in the forums.
This Ancestral Healing Ceremony was specifically about inheriting the patterns of shame and guilt from our Ancestral lines. This shame or guilt motivates us to be a certain way, fitting into a box instead of allowing ourselves to be authentic in the world. We dive a little deeper into what Ancestral Healing means as well as how to tap into that first layer around it.
Singing to your food
I know it might sound ridiculous and you’re afraid people might laugh at you or judge you if they catch you doing it. However, being kind to your food actually helps you in the long run.
Sensitive people can tell the difference when someone makes them food, and they really put their love and care into that food. When we get food prepared for us (especially from a fast food restaurant), it’s disconnecting in a way. Sure, it might taste good, but somehow it doesn’t fill us up like Grandmas Apple Pie did.
We can be magical just like our Grandparents and make amazing food with depth and meaning if we just focus our attention on our food in a conscious way. Most people live to eat. We should be making the switch to eat to live. If we slowly stop overconsuming food because the food that we cook or eat has our intention cooked into it, we can become “full” even easier. Thus learning to stop overeating can become easier.
Many people that are Reiki practitioners bless their food with Reiki. Hey, if that floats your boat then cool! I actually pray by singing. I connect my intention with my voice and singing always puts me in a good mood. I intentionally connect with the food that I’m about to cook and will often sing to it. What does that mean energetically? I am blessing my own food and eating my prayers. I’m not as disconnected from my food and I feel a sense of connection to something bigger out there in the big web of life.
Even if you’re a horrible cook and can’t cook for yourself, try just humming something to your microwave dish. Make the intention to connect to your food and give gratitude for the many hands it took to get it to your table. If you’re also looking to deepen your Shamanic Practice, set a little food aside for the land spirits and ancestors in gratitude for the food that is about to nourish your body.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
F.A.Q. for the Heart Centered Sound Circle
These frequently asked questions will continue to be added as time goes on. If you have additional questions, feel free to email email@example.com
Q: What typically happens at one of these events?
A: For the long Heart Centered Sound Circles that happen on Sundays, they are scheduled for 2 hours. We arrive at 1, and together we socialize, catch up with each other, and set up the community altar. Around 1:30 we start the ceremony with the opening song. After that, it becomes very fluid, and we all get to pick and choose what songs to sing. Sometimes we go off of the song sheets, sometimes someone introduces a new song, sometimes we make up our own songs. After we’ve sung ourselves silly for about an hour (break adjustable), then we sing the closing song, take home excess energy/send it into the earth, pack up the altar, and head on home.
Q: What is meant by “Heart Centered”?
A: There are many different ways to look at this, but to break it down simply, there are three “main” consciousnesses that we have. There’s the head, heart, and gut. The head is where we go to think, to plan, to dream, to create. This is where inspiration comes in and how we communicate to others in the world. The gut is where we react, we manifest, we respond (most people talk about having a “gut feeling”). The gut is also where our safety and security come in, as well as feeling grounded. When we feel “off center”, our gut is usually not in alignment. The heart is the connection between these two. We can communicate with others, but we can lack empathy until we connect our hearts. We can create meaningless things in the world that we pour our energy into but don’t get “enjoyment” out of it because our heart isn’t in it. All great power is mediated through the heart, and the process of awakening our hearts is to find out who we truly are in the world. To not know who we are, what our gifts are, and to live a life that is “half hearted” would be considered an abuse of power in a shamanic civilization. Our job is to find what makes us full hearted and to take off those layers and to live fully in the moment. That’s what heart centered means.
Q: I really don’t have any experience and I’m intimidated on coming to this, but I want to try this out because it sounds interesting. Do I have to have experience?
A: Of course not. There’s many different experience levels that come to these events. You don’t have to be a music major, or even a drum master. The main thing is that you’re always welcome to experience and ask questions. We will try to explain things as they come up, because occasionally we will have many people that show up from different religions or pantheons. Once we started singing mantras, and even though I’m not versed in them, we attempted them anyway. We’re all open to new experiences, just come and have fun. Meet new people.
Q: Can I bring other instruments besides drums and rattles?
A: Sure! We’ve had someone bring a didgeridoo and talk about bringing in stringed instruments. Just as long as you’re able to play it and “zone out” with the rest of us, and still keep an ear out for the change in tempo when it comes up.
Q: Why do you guys keep singing songs that repeat the same lyrics over and over?
A: Sometimes when we get so stuck in our head or stuck in one area consciousness wise, it’s hard to break us out of that paradigm, and we need help shifting our consciousness. Using sound, or music is a wonderful way to do that. Repetition is a great way to bring us to a light (alpha) brain wave state (see this link if confused) to induce a light altered state of consciousness. Some other chant circles will sing “rounds” for hours. This is obviously an abbreviated version with songs lasting anywhere between 4-10 minutes.
Q: Is it okay that I choose not to sing along directly with the lyrics?
A: As more and more people join in, the main thing that this group focuses on is to enter into our heart consciousness. A lot of people won’t sing the main chorus and overlay another chant they know, or they will add harmonies. If singing isn’t your jam, then shake a rattle and dance to get in your body. The point is not about escapism, it’s about living. If you choose to hum, or dance, that’s your process. And it’s honored here.
Q: What if I feel really weird and awkward and I don’t know what you guys are doing?
A: No worries, you can sit in a corner and draw/paint/journal. Being in the same room can be just as impactful on the energetic body even if you’re not participating.
Q: Is this a pagan ritual or something?
A: Although a majority of people that come happen to be pagan, no this is not a pagan ritual. The only intention is to hold the space for us to honor ourselves and what makes our heart sing. How many times in life do we do things half heartedly? The intention here is to find out what makes our heart happy. Even if it’s just meeting other people that like to bang on the drum all day. It’s more a ceremony to honor our heart. No religion needed. We do give honor to the ancestors and helping spirits and set up circle so that as we expose ourselves and become vulnerable, no bad juju will enter the circle.
Q: Why is there an altar or shrine?
A: The key to having an altar is to have a focal point for grounded energy to come through. We make sure to honor all of the elements, the ancestors, and any deities that call to any of the participants. This is a community altar that you can feel free to add to 🙂 If you believe in ghosts or the things that go bump in the night, then that means you believe somewhat in “spirits”. We give honor to the spirits, because even though we can’t “see them” doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
The main thing about the sound circles is to HAVE FUN!! Where are we in life if we can’t laugh at ourselves and join in fun with other like minded people?