Vieques PR is an island about the size of Nantucket. One difference between these beautiful islands is that 50 years ago half of Vieques was cleared of long-term and indigenous residents and used as bombing target practice by the US military. Another difference is that in spite of its tortured history, Vieques is home to one of the most bioluminescent bays in the world.
I’ve just returned from Vieques with a group of herbalists and healers who went to the island to communicate with the dinoflaggelate (pyrodinium bahamenses) occupants of the bay though a Shamanic practice we share called Plant Spirit Healing.
In my newsletter this month I talked about this amazing little organism and the very specific ecology it needs to shine. The bay is calm, saltier than the ocean, and 4 different types of mangroves feed the dinoflagellates with a B-vitamin rich nutrient cocktail. There have been periods of time when the ecology got disrupted when the bioluminescence didn’t happen. I can relate!
Spending time with the these little guys, who need lots of darkness and agitation to be observed (remind you of anything?) got us all exploring what we each and collectively need, in order to bioluminate (which humans do!). What is the ecology surrounding and including you, that you need in order to shine?
As we pondered this together, and did Shamanic journeys and shared in sacred circle, we each reported what we need to be our full selves. As we shared together, something familiar (to those who hang out in spiritual spaces) happened. We bonded and elevated. It feels like falling in love. It is falling in love.
To complete our time together, we created a Shamanic landscape. This is a mandala-like natural work of art/prayer that includes all the plants each of us connected with and the flowers we enjoyed. It represents the collective energy of each of us who gathered together for this week in the sun. As you can see, it’s beautiful. We called it the flag of #Ensparkleation Nation.
In this time of chaos and uncertainty, of occupying the time beyond the tipping point (and I think this is why everyone is acting so crazy – we are going insane because we have pretty officially destroyed our planet and everyone feels that destabilization), we need to seek out connection. The ability to laugh together, to smile together, to feel connected is our medicine today.
What you can do to help the whole of humanity become creative enough to somehow solve this impossible problem or adapt to what is coming, is to find out the ecology you need to shine. For me, working healthy boundaries have been hard, painful and ultimately really excellent work (I’m working to make it less painful, and mango is helping me!).
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the darkness around you, fear not. If despair is creeping in, fear not. Fear not. You need that darkness in order to shine. You otherwise would not be seen. So, what do you need to say now? What is hyper-true for you? What do you need to do to allow that unique and perfect light inside you to shine a little brighter?
What a time for the great practices of radical non-attachment, of taking the next right action regardless of the outcome! Maybe the outcome doesn’t matter, not in this one moment.
Join me, my friend. Breathe, smile and be, and take whatever next right step feels right for you. Join Ensparkleation Nation and shine with me.
Yoga of Plants
We live in a culture dominated by our heads. That’s made our lives pretty stressful. It doesn’t need to be that way.
A number of writers and teachers are working with concepts of energy coherence. While the science is early and evolving, the concept and practice is profound and it resonates with students. I have learned about coming into syncronicity on an energetic level as a means of tapping into my own internal wisdom, and to connect deeply with plants and nature. It’s fun and it works.
Head thinking and heart thinking are different. The head is a master at figuring out the best way to get from point A to point B, of calculating linear questions But please don’t give the head a question that doesn’t have limits, like “what should I do with my life?” The head is all about safety and risk aversion. Rather, use your heart for those questions of whom to marry, how to follow your bliss, or to connect more deeply with people and things around you. Learning how to use and balance these 2 amazing organs in our bodies and lives is one of the primary practices of leading a skillful integrated life.
The folks at the Heart Math Institute have been working on the science of honoring our hearts as a primary organ of perception for decades. Our human bodies contain a powerful oscillator – an organ that creates electronic frequency or a wave. You guessed it, it’s our heart. When waves come into coherence, waves amplify each other. Guess which emotions tend to bring our hearts and therefore our human bodies into coherence with nature? You guessed it again – gratitude and appreciation. When we create coherence with nature, we can hear it, feel it, and experience it more deeply. To me it feels like experiencing nature from the inside. It feels like I am connecting with a tree the way I connect to my grandmother – like a friend from way back. It feels wonderful and as it turns out, is big medicine for my body.
And THAT’s how you connect with plants and nature. By learning how to communicate with you heart. THAT’s what I learned from my wise and gracious teacher Pam Montgomery, and that’s what we’ll be teaching you over the 4th of July weekend at Kripalu!
Time to sign up, lovelies. Enrich your life, feel your integral place in the amazing and gorgeous web of life. Good food, good people, good work. See you there.
Here’s another practice for Deepening your connection to Gaia (mama earth).
Enjoy the season!