Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Story Continues

Friday night, I went to Albuquerque, this time for a Matrix Energetics seminar and to see friends. First, I attended meditation at the Center for Action and Contemplation with Andee and Teresa, then, the two of us joined Adonna at Baily's on the Beach for dinner. I only wish there had been more time because the time with them is always so wonderful. Teresa and I left early though, for a free seminar on Matrix Energetics. I don't even know how to explain this work. Its just highly fascinating, entertaining stuff. Yes, it is new-agey, but it seems more practical and accessible than most new-agey material. Its just another awakening and healing movement happening in the world, in our time. There is no right or wrong method - its just great so many movements exist out there for personalities to fit and find their gifts within. Ultimately, I believe, its about exposing yourself to all the different methods and extracting elements that work for you and blending them into your own unique way. At least, that is the path that I am on.

I spent the night at another friend, Vanessa's, after the seminar. Vanessa is an artist and an employee at the CAC. We had been dying to talk art/design and spirituality for a while. She wanted to see my portfolio, so I showed her a portion. We'll have to meet again for the rest because its just too much to take in. She gave me encouraging, positive feedback. Vanessa had plans to take me to breakfast for my birthday. I love when b-days begin before your actual date of birth and extend a week after! Vanessa took me to a great place, Slate Street Cafe. We shared blueberry - lemon compote stuffed french toast and smoked salmon fritatta. It was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had out to eat. Thank you Vanessa!

I woke up that morning with back pain again. Vanessa had an appt. with Diane for a massage. Diane also does acupuncture and she's really good at it. Vanessa gave up her spot for me! My acupuncture treatment with Diane felt way different than at the SW college of acupuncture. I could feel the tender spots and the little needles going in and the pressure points and the needles doing their subtle thing. My feet especially, a point Diane said related to my gallbladder, were undoubtedly the most sensitive. I felt the results and relief immediately taking a walk afterwards. I came home and rested with an icepack for a while. I was so grateful my body was well enough for the night's planned adventures.

A group of 8 friends and I took off for full-moon skiing, the last one of the season, at the Valle Caldera. Spectacular. Bonfires greeted us at the visitor center and at the old movie set cabin we skied to. After about 3 hours, we returned to the cars and drove to Spence Hot Springs. We were a little bummed to find the springs filled with a group of sexually-obsessed kids from St. John's College and a pod of Conspiracy Theory minded ex-military people from Corrales. Add to the mix the 8 of us from Santa Fe, plus one friend from Los Alamos. It turned out to be an entertaining, fascinating experience. Everyone a little out of their element out in the elements of a cold, nearly full moon March night into the early morning at the hot springs. I was acutely ware of the the edge between sacred and profane. That type of experience gets me wried to the realm of writing, takes me to the place of dreams, calls me to the moment of nothing else mattering, charges me to put it down.

The Grey Line Between
Is it balancing on razor edge?
Or teetering on tight rope?
This moon-beam and bottles night,
In the Jemez hot springs.
Smoke rings infiltrating steam,
And lungs of bodies soaking.
Catching sight of stars through
Tea lights saying silence,
Beautiful, golden flames,
Dance mutely with noisy voices,
Sinking into water cave,
Thinking sacred and profane.

Catching Up from the week

So much has happened in the past few weeks, I haven't even had a chance to empty the events onto the page until now.

New Moon:
I'll start with the new moon women's gathering on February 21st, a Tuesday. That took place in Albuquerque at Adonna's Moon Beam Therapies. I decided to go at the last minute. Recently signed on to design the guidebook for The Chocolate & Coffee Festival, I needed to go to Albuquerque anyway to retrieve large files. I decided I would combine both commutes into one.

The women's group and women present this time really blew me away. Everyone opened up so much to sharing dreams and intentions after having potluck dinner over goddess coloring book and talking time. We took turns passing a "talking stick" around the circle, sharing our highest dreams and envisioning them coming true for ourselves and the others. The group intentionality was so powerful. Adonna kindly let me spend the night so I didn't have to drive back that night.

Working through Back Pain
The next morning, I woke up with a level 7 out of 10 back pain. The lower back pain had been present in some form or another since mid-January and I let it go on too long, thinking it would just go away on its own. But that was not its intention. Without a clear head, I headed straight for the first chiropractor who would fit me in that morning. Not a great idea. He was no help at all and merely charged me $200 for exrays and more harmful than helpful cracking. I have had minor scoliosis since infant hood, but its never bothered me; the x-rays only confirmed that I still had a slight curve in my spine, accompanied now by an inflamed L4/L5 disc.

Gilly, my boss at the riding stable I work at part time, insisted I see her body worker, Mike at Santa Fe spa and put a check in my purse for $75 to go. So the next day I did. Mike was so great! He could immediately see from my walk that my hips were out of alignment. By the end of the session with him, I was feeling a  relief. However, I knew Mike was merely moving around physical elements and I would need to go to someone else in addition to get to the root, someone who could realign the energy patterns in my body.

Two days later, I ventured into Katia Van Horn's office for craniosacral therapy. Katia came highly recommended by a  friend. She was outstanding; I could instantly feel the energy moving around, especially in my head. It is the strangest sensation. Katia confirmed my intuition, that my body had gradually shifted out of alignment due to the concussion I sustained back in December. She told me that concussions are very big deals; people often don't realize this - I hadn't - yet, they effect your whole body, your nervous system, everything. She told me that my nervous system is extremely delicate, tense, as if bracing itself to be hurt again. By the end of the session, she said it felt more relaxed, and I could feel it too.

Things are all falling together. A few days before seeing Katia, I had my first astrology reading with Hoda Kiama, who came highly recommended by a friend too. She was wonderful, compassionate and extremely smart with degrees in homeopathy and naturopathic medicine as well. One of the first things Hoda told me was that I have a push-pull tendency in my personality that is also internalized in my body. This makes sense in regards to my mild scoliosis. The good news is, she said, the push-pull dynamic is workable and mutable.

Hoda knew that I'd had an accident of some kind in December. I told her that, yes, indeed, I'd had a concussion. She said an accident was bound to happen at that time. The push-pull was bound to manifest itself in some way then. That gave me goose bumps!

Hoda went on to tell me that while my sun sign is in Pisces, my rising sign is in Virgo. Virgo is the direct opposite of Pisces and shares very few traits in common. So this creates push-pull, but also the potential of great balance. The two signs alone are generally weaker, but produce a very strong sign combination together. Pisces is romantic, imaginative, idealistic while Virgo is analytical, pragmatic, down to earth and practical. This gives the ability to take the imagined and create and apply it in the real world. In addition to this, Hoda told me my Pisces sign falls under the house of Libra - bringing a balance and a pension for art, love and beauty. My moon sign is in Sagitarius, which is where I get my philosophical, intellectual side, a quick mind and pace of life that is hard for others to keep up with sometimes, and my love of learning and traveling.

Hoda said I was bound to travel. From my chart, she was surprised I did not grow up in a military family. I said I stayed relatively put with my family until college, but then I caught the travel bug and haven't stayed put long since then. She said I am not done traveling or wandering; much more is to come. That my Virgo rising and dual Capricorn parents really helped to ground me though. She said that I have a talent for healing that will pop up at some point, that I'm good with animals and children, that I am a creative, a councilor, a healer, a writer and a teacher. That, as far as the visual arts, I would be good at graphic design and film.

One of the most interesting things she told me, which I already see playing out, is that I will always have 2 careers going on at once. I need this to challenge my mind from being bored and to balance, its in my nature. She said one career would always involve graphics/technology and the other would involve self-growth and being of service to others. She told me more and work would be coming in from a distance, allowing me to work anywhere and not be tied to one place. She said that with any effort on my part, money would come in. In regards to my career, she said it would be a great and beneficial thing to combine the graphic/technology with the spiritual and healing, that there will always be comfort and a feeling of home in the spiritual for me. Funny that is already starting to happen.

In regards to relationships, she advised me to watch out for patterns in myself of going too fast romantically, then I lose the objectivity and can get disillusioned. She said I need to go slowly, that I need to be the one to choose, only after he has proved himself to me. If he is really interested, he will be patient with this waiting and process and even enjoy it. She said I tend to search for identity in my partner (seems like most people do do that though!), that while I greatly love being in relationship, my focus will always be on my career. I can definitely see this - through out grad school and a lot of my life, I was too focused on my work to be involved.

Hoda mentioned that my Saturn Return would peak November 2012. This a hard time to go through. Everyone goes through it. When you get through it, you feel a great self-growth and experience gained. Going through it requires lots of patience. I told Hoda I already feel like I'm in it. She said that's because I'm starting to feel it; it will last a year and a half. According to her, mine will involve less tension and conflict about myself and more in regards to other people,  in particular a restriction/difficulty of communication with a sibling. I think the Saturn return could easily coincide with Bill Plotkin's idea of soul-initiation into adult-hood, of coming out of the cocoon (but this becoming a true adult does not so frequently happen chronologically in western society).

Now, back to the week and what else has been going on. Which is, of course, related. So, I have begun getting spiritual design work from a distance, not just from the Chocolate and Coffee Festival in Albuquerque, but work related to the spiritual realm as well.

At the end of the Bill Plotkin workshop in January, I realized that I really wanted to do design work for spiritually-minded organizations, alt. health centers, healing centers, publications. That's where I want to contribute my creativity and spend my energy. So, I began researching organizations and sending out letters of inquiry. Most wrote back wishing me well, saying they already had a designer or giving me leads to other places. The more I began focusing on this direction, the more I began noticing places to contact.

Within two weeks, I began designing newsletters and fliers for The Center for Inner Truth and The Deep Coaching Institute (Enneagram teaching organization) both in Santa Fe. Through them, I am meeting amazing people and am sure more connections are coming. I went to a meditation at the Center for Inner Truth last Sunday and met a woman who couldn't say enough about the Intro to Self-Healing Class taught by the director, Juli Sommers. So, I have decided to take the course, which begins in a few weeks. And, wonderfully, I found a new spiritually-minded room mate, named Lori, to move into the newly vacant spare room in our house. She and her friend, Jafari, are going to take the Healing class with me. Both Lori and Jafari have studied with shamans for two years in the Amazon! They are headed back next Winter. Something tells me, I'll be going with them.

Through another design inquiry, I am beginning collaboration with Tammy, who lives in Austin and owns a spiritual graphic design company called Seva Creative. Coincidentally, she lived in Santa Fe during the exact time, I lived in Austin for grad school. I found Tammy when I contacted one of her main clients, Nina Brown, who resides in Santa Fe. Now I will be helping out with the growing design work needed by that client. To start, Tammy thinks she will be able to give me 10 hours of work consistently a week. We will see! I'm just open to whatever seems to be coming in.

Back to the back
I found a coupon for acupuncture from the SW School of Acupuncture. I don't really think they helped with my back though, even though they were very kind. Next week, I return to Mike and Katia.

Other highlights from the past few weeks:
My friend Turner premiered his documentary film on New Orleans for a small group of friends. The film will be at SXSW in a few weeks. It was great. New Orleans is officially on my list of places to go within the year. A big group of us met at the Cowgirl afterward.

I got an art fix going to the free Site Santa Fe opening.

An entertaining, cool couch surfer from Barcelona came for a few nights. He made delicious Spanish omelets during a potluck at the Ranch. And he taught us the simple delicacy of smearing fresh garlic, tomatoes and olive oil on toasted bread.

I found a carpet string heart on the kitchen floor.

The snow came a few times and made my walks on the hill behind the ranch even more magical