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Bless the Waters

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Bless the Waters

Sitting side by side, with 12 other women, of all ages. Grandmother Barbara Threecrow leads us in ceremony and prayer to honor the waters. We come together with purposeful hearts of appreciation and gratitude to bless the waters of the earth and in our bodies. The water signifies life, the blood of the earth. Without it, existence would cease to exist as we know it.
There are so many factors that threaten the purity of this source on a day to day basis when one truly looks at the issues we face in this regard, it could be quite overwhelming.

When we choose to See, we can create Shifts. Even if its in the very molecular body that holds the resonance of this element that literally courses through our veins, and flesh. Simply Being in this consciousness within our own selves, is an inner awareness that transcends us to holding a vessel of the Life Force that moves through you. Where you are a part of something grander, whole. A link to what connects us all. This water moves through the oceans, the rivers, all genders, all races, all animals, all plants. We then become a witness of the importance of why we nurture and protect this valuable resource.

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This is me, in the wilds of the Pine Barrens doing swamp gymnastics a.k.a. the Swamp Crawl. A training exercise of absolute Surrender, Hip deep in floating weeds and the unknown, grounding myself in the murky muds and roots of the lotus flowers. In the Surrender is Trust, a great metaphor for life.

Now, Im Not telling you, you have to go swamp swimming to get enlightened. However, One of my greatest moments of earth kinship just happened to be caught on film. There are other ways..
How do we engage in a bigger picture?

  • Give Thanks.

To your own bodies, the water you drink. The water that cleanses you, the rain that falls.

On an ongoing basis, It’s so profound when you decide to honor the smallest gesture of gratitude to the water. This internal reflection can create a new wave of understanding yourself in subtle and profound ways.

Dr. Emoto, a Japanese author, and researcher experimented with the power of intention and water. His claims are that positive and negative thoughts have a direct correlation to the molecular shape of water under microscope. These molecules were photographed upon freezing, and what was found were true gems, and artistry. His work has been on the cutting edge of linking the power of intent to our bodies and the natural world. Providing glimpses of what native people’s and ancient studies knew all along about their relationship to this element.
His work has been recognized throughout the years, you may have heard. But worth looking into time and time again, as a reminder of who we are.

  • Participate in a community that educates about our water and take action.

If you want to be aware of what’s happening locally, watchdog organizations such as river keeper go to far lengths to educate and protect the waters from encroaching potential threats. They need people to participate, to have voices, and share the message. We can choose to practice Stewardship and Caretake our land and resources for many generations ahead. The Waters, the Earth’s resources are all a Legacy we leave behind.

xo,

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Dusklit

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Just wanted to share a few pics! I had the honor to collaborate in this art piece, in which was saturated with Native Philosophies, Healing, and Deep Reverence for recognizing how our ancestors lived closely to the Earth. It is nurturing and heart opening to build something structurally and symbolically infused with wisdom, story telling, and appreciation for all things.

The Carved Ridge Pole extending from the smoke hole located at the top of the lodge expresses a point in connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet.

This pole follows the sun as an access and anchor to be the illumination from within. At night, the pole directs towards the East, New Beginnings. In anticipation of the rising sun, and is a reminder to be the Light even through the Darkness.

Ceremonial Wickiup (2017)
A collaboration between Donna Brickwood and Greg Slick

Ceremonial Wickiup is a site-specific structure largely based on Native American design. Made of saplings and other natural materials that are responsibly and respectfully harvested.

Mike Gulbrandsen from Reflections of Nature Landscaping also assisted in this build.

All Good Medicine.
Shuna.

The Power of The Sit Spot

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One of the most powerful connections I have made when doing profound soul searching, asking for guidance, or connecting to my vision, mission and purpose, was utilizing the Nature Sit Spot.
The Sit Spot became one of my greatest mentors and purest doorway to integrating my truth, my inner most nature, and self discovery.

On a daily basis, I would find an area that I felt drawn to in a natural setting. I would go out with an intention, or a question. And sit in deep, keen observation of my surroundings. It was a continuous surrender of my thoughts and expansion of my awareness.

Here, I would find beauty and insight in the smallest of details. The trees would speak to me through the patterns of bark, leaving written messages for me that only I could understand in that moment of presence. The ants would show me great strength and endurance, to be resilient and unwaivering. They showed me you can get a lot more done with community.
The winds told me to never give up on my dreams, and to keep moving through my inspiration courageously with trust.

At times in the night, I would light a small tipi fire for comfort in my night sits. Fire taught me to till the deep soils of what was in my heart, to move into the core, ash and embers to discover my deepest passions and how I am to direct that into action in my life. To be extremely clear about what I’m cultivating in the Now, and to surrender it into the next breath and the next…

So this is an invitation to find your seat. Feel free to share your discoveries, and insights on the Sacred Space Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/sacredspacebeacon/

I would love to hear about your experiences. Try the Sit Spot Challenge. 30 consecutive days in a row. Sunrise or Sunset are optimal times to get out there.. Don’t forget your Journal!
xo Donna Brickwood

Forest Therapy

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The Japanese, and most cultures that have an affinity for connecting to nature and making it a part of their lifestyle inherently know the profound benefits of time well spent in the forest. Forest Bathing has become a health trend in the asian culture as studies have shown the amazing benefits of doing a little “dirt time”.
(In my world, dirt time adapted by the community of Author, Master tracker, and Teacher Tom Brown, Jr is considered time spent connecting to the earth, and perfecting your skills related to nature and earth living. Such as, primitive skills, tracking, nature awareness and observation.)
“Studies in Japan have measured changes in immune markers and stress hormones in people who regularly walked in specific forests in Japan. In addition, people with diabetes but not taking insulin found substantial benefits by lowering blood glucose levels.” There are also studies indicating increases in human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins.” Wikipedia
As some of you may know my slight obsession with aromatherapy, these various studies conclude the benefits of time in nature are discerned through the olfactory senses. The sense of smell, where your body integrates the constituents of plant, earth material and tree oils. The body can fully engage itself in its senses. Visually, we take in the beauty and perfection of the natural design and intimate connection we may have as we engage in this full body experience. Instead of the inundation of technology, modern gizmos and gadgets, we are fully immersed in our fundamental rooted nature, literally. We are nature. Not something outside of it. Our modern society just trains us this way. We live in a box, and we move from box to box. No wonder why we feel stifled, complacent, and disconnected.
The more in touch we are with this innate relationship with ourself and nature, as a living breathing organism, the more we can explore a unique opportunity to fully engage the potential of the human experience. One that is “In tune” with their surroundings and intuitive essence. If one treats it as such, nature is a connection to Source. A temple of Creation, a doorway to self discovery, and connection to the spirit that moves through all things.
To start your Forest Bathing experience..
  1. Simply Walk in Nature
Make it a meditative experience where you are engaging your senses. Breathe in life force energy fully and deeply. Feel the air on your skin, embrace the wind. Allow the radiance of the sun wash away your troubles and allow it to fuel your body with a light from within. Allow it to kickstart your internal fire, your passions, creativity, and drive.
  1. Find a Sweet Spot, aka Sit Spot                                                                                           Take 15 min to an hour to sit in a location you feel drawn to. Observe nature. Allow it to become a mirror to your own internal landscape. Note the behaviors of what crosses your path. Animals, insects.. Why did you feel drawn to the site? A specific tree, view..
     3.Stop to smell the Roses
        Sometimes when we think of an outdoor experience, we think maybe a hike would be          nice. And, that is a great opportunity to connect. However, sometimes we get caught up in moving from location A to B. Unfortunately, sometimes we miss everything around us when our view is just one foot in front of the other. As a bodyworker, its my job to watch body mechanics and movement. In my observations, we more often than not are staring at the floor. Allow your vision to wander. Stop to look at the patterns of bark, engage in the opportunity to indulge and bask in the pure essence and fragrance of a honeysuckle bush.
Allow nature to guide you, fuel you, expand you. We have all heard the expression “Commune with Nature” It is a relationship. A dynamic. A conversation. A listening, and a chance to be heard.
                           The Gods listen through the perception of Nature.
                                                  xo Donna Brickwood

Flirt with Struggle

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I awoke with the remembrance of wrestling a T-Rex dinosaur in my dreamworld. Hearing very clearly the words, Flirt with Struggle.

I decided to follow an instinct to find more spiritual clues around this, as spirit has a way of revealing wonders and profound insights. Sometimes, you just have to track, and pick up the trail when you find that you may be at a starting point of an intuitive pathway, teaching, or an unraveling message from the Divine.

I started where most of modern day explorers of information begin.. Google. Typing in the words “woman wrestling dinosaur”. What image comes up, but WONDER WOMAN riding T-REX almost as if she is taming the Beast!

With the recent movie coming to the Big Screen, a lot of women especially have connected with this Goddess Warrior Icon throughout the years. Wonder Woman symbolizes a strength that every woman could embody in their process of moving through challenge, obstacles, self perceived villains, and defending what is important to them.

It felt very clear that this representation of Wonder Woman embodied the words spoken of in my dream. The clues unravel further as I head into work that morning. I received a message from a client saying she is running a little late. Just enough time to go for a little walk as I felt compelled to go outside on a beautiful blustery day. There are always oppurtunites around us to connect with ourselves, and our environments. When we can move in states of surrendering and allow a higher state of awareness to guide us. You never know what mysteries and communications may surround you. Something catches my eye in a storefront window. It’s a human sized T-Rex stuffed animal! Not your typical Trex, but a colorful vibrant blue, spotted T-Rex!

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Now, isn’t that flirty and creative, I thought! How interesting are these subtle cues from the Universe. One must ask, how is this applicable to me as I use this as mirror to my own reflection, my own psyche, and internal process? The more I surrender to signs such as this, the more it reveals the awareness within oneself. Potentially answers we are searching for on this river of life.

As I reflect on its teaching I integrate how one must allow struggle to be a doorway of growth, where you can rise to the occasion with strength, and confidence. It’s in the resistance that we seek the greatest growth and evolution of how we move through the challenge.

Either we can allow our struggle, fear, or inner demons control us or we can lessen the degree of its impact on us, by knocking it off of the pedestal. Taming the beast, the metaphorical T-Rex. When we place emphasis on what bogs us down is when we give our power away. Of course there are things we have no control over. But, how we allow it to effect us on an emotional and physical level drives it deeper into the core, creating a foundation of weakness, of seperation, and sometimes even shame. Break the cycle. Most profoundly when this story is repeating and looping itself time and time again. How do I step off this hamster wheel of confusion? The beautiful thing is with repetition comes predictability. What pieces of this puzzle can you rearrange, the pieces you do have control over. The pieces you can be responsible for, emotional mastery. May we position ourselves to be in our alignment. And when we find those moments to step off and recourse the trajectory that allows us to create something different.
Dress up your demons, make them colorful, less intimidating. Transform your normal reactions to the obstacle, and flirt with struggle. Lessen it’s power by releasing the hold it has on you. Recognize opportunities to learn about yourself as you evolve and transform these monsters into allies.

xo

Donna

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Wonder woman

Trusting The Process

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Anxieties and fear may arise when we are not in our clarity. Sometimes it feels as if we are floating in space, suspended by time in the unknown and darkness of what may come next. What sometimes we fail to see, is that within the darkness lies the fullness  of potential. The unknown will always exist. So, how do we move in a place of a higher awareness of our selves and circumstance?
Practice embracing the mystery. And in the sea of darkness, embrace your pure potential, as a creator of your life. When we move into the dark we may enter into this dream like state. What are your dreams? What does it look like, feel like?  Move into the place of the unknown and color this canvas with what you wish to create. As potential is the stardust that awakens an idea, a thought, a vision.
When we find ourselves in the frey, the worries, shift your momentum of thought, again and again into the potential. Anchoring more and more with a positive shift of thought, and insight. Be led by your intuition, and be guided by your heart.
Heart centered guidance paves the path of trust, as you choose to align yourself more and more into the programming of your alignment.
Your body is hardwired to learn, to download programs into its system. The mind and consciousness creates patterns in your psyche in how it relates to an environment that is ever changing. It is open to suggestion. What are you communicating to your body/mind/spirit day in, and day out?
We can hardwire into our consciousness that we are aligned with “perfect and divine timing”. “That all my decisions are right decisions, I have the most success as I follow my heart. I know I am always at the right place at the right time. Everything is always working out for me”. Insert your own positive programs and affirmations here..”….”.
When we adapt this software into our minds and hearts, we can lean into trusting the process more and more. And when we do, we begin to see evidence of it in the world around us. Embracing the mystery becomes liberating as we can move more effortlessly and consciously into grace.
With every moment, with every breathe, we are in the mystery, in the unknown of what happens in the next.. in the next..
Breathe into this expansion, into your conscious participation, into the Awakened Self.
xo Donna Brickwood

Reclaiming Wildness Mentorship Program

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Nature is a doorway to self-growth, evolution of spirit, and discovery of one’s intuitive gifts. It is a therapy that merges the Body, Mind & Spirit. This is appropriate for those seeking a path of awakening their gifts, vision and connection to their inherent nature. The Wild at Heart, the Awakened Ones, Healers, Visionaries, Creatives, those that wish to dive into their Intuitive Self. To connect more fully to nature and understand awareness, energy and being more embodied in spirit.

Individual, Corporate, and Group Offerings.

Sacred in the Ordinary

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“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

One of the worst feelings for me is when Im stuck in a rut. The monotony of repeating the same things over and over, day in and out. We have all experienced this at one time or another. Although, some people like predictability and routine. I find inspiration in opening opportunities for mini, micro-adventures. Seeking out the sacred in the ordinary, day to day. We think the day is over or they bleed into the next, with our work and responsibility. Ask yourself, what will quench my thirst as I explore new avenues within myself when I uncover unfamiliar grounds? New sights, to open and engage the senses. To recalibrate yourself and become more present because your varying perspectives. When we traverse our “well worn trail”, we lose sight of the details around us because our awareness dulls with repetitition. Unless, something is obvious or your more perceptive than most.

I contemplate on the ability to create newness in the everyday. To adapt the philosophy of the Native Scout, to never take the same way twice. Does this make me more adaptable to change, if I keep shifting? And if I walk with this philosophy on the outer, what paths do I choose to take on the inner?

Allow your self to be led, almost as if guided by your curiosity, your intuition. And allow that to dictate your movement. Explore the known, with the eyes of the unknown.

Engage in the adventure of wandering. When you awaken to your day, ask, where will I be led today? Where will my spirit take me? Allow me to open myself to the mystery of this day, and what does it have to reveal to me? We can have everything planned out, and we still walk blindfolded in the element of the unknown and how it truly plays out.
Explore new territory, maybe a different route home from work. Be mindful and open to new things you may see. Pull over and walk in the field of wildflowers you pass by everyday. Fill your life force with the beauty that surrounds you. Remind yourself that it is EVERYWHERE. That you can take moments of wandering, in adventure even if its just around the bend. Create depth and significance in what most would consider common place.

Even if for 2 minutes, take your morning cup of coffee and walk in the neglected corner of your back yard. Listen to the birds singing in the trees. How do their songs change with the seasons? Discover the fox tracks written on the earth. Pick up the feather left behind as a gift and reminder, to maybe walk with grace, or whatever it invokes for you. There is an invitation to wildness awaiting around the corner..

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Deepening

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Would you consider trading growth for depth?

This question leapt out at me in hearing the words of storyteller,
Martin Shaw.

It has been my own process these days to propel myself further into the leading edge of my awareness and trust. To deepen one foot each in 2 realms. The realm of “the real world”, what is secure, or “normal” for people. The next foot into the realm of the unseen, spirit, or simply the connection with my own truth, and vulnerability. The place of mastery, a space that resides over lifetimes, and is never complete.
This is the relevance of the deepening. In many traditional practices, it is a reocurring theme and teaching to continue to ground, go deep, in your posture, your awareness, to simultaneously move upward. The more grounded you are, the firmer the foundation. The more rooted, the greater ability to rise through your own roots, to tap into your threshold of the empowered self.

I sink even deeper resonating with these words.

What can we learn about ourselves if we go into the caverns and depths of our being, our minds, our emotions? When this comes to mind, do we forbode into the negative patterns that have accumulated over time, because we have not looked at these things, or are imprisoned by them? Or, do you feel the expansion in strengthening the groundwork that has already been anchored?
What can we extract from ourselves in retrospect of how far we have come?

To Be, what we have Become.

Are we laying the true foundation of what is in our hearts? What we feel is right to our core. Or, do we continue to lay the grounds that continue to rock us into instability, insecurity, and falsehoods, or masks that we continue to portray because we are afraid? Shackled into the propensity of the things we cannot change, and being a witness of the things that are just within reach.

May we connect to the stories within us all. Find the beauty and reverance of where we are, no matter where that is. Go deep, deeper, until you find the stillness that reflects your truth.

-Shuna.

xo Donna

Remembering to Pause~ Beyond Reacting

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Beyond Reacting
Remembering to Pause
by Madisyn Taylor
Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react can shift the energy of the outcome.
We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it’s yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.

For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.