Greetings from high country...

Solstice Blessings

It's been awhile since I've said hello. It's been a wild ride for so many of us in 2020 and no exception here. 

For a quick update on my world before moving on, I've had the highest continuous depth client load in my 15 years of supporting others on psycho-spiritual levels, which is exhilarating, and also takes juggling self-care for balance. My grad school coursework is finished and my dissertation topic was finally approved after a year and a half of working at it, and my first draft proposal is in, all 117 pages of it. My trajectory ahead for the next couple years includes continued dedication to my research study and dissertation, and my clients, particularly in private practice as the community clinic is very time and energy consuming, as much as I love it. It's allowed me to create such community offerings as an LGBQT+ teen group and a network of professionals to connect with school staff to support families during these tough times. Things might shift around a little bit in the spring, as my art is wanting more attention, distinct from creativity, which there has been plenty!

How are you faring through all this chaos and upheaval? I hear from so many their ongoing anxiety levels are close to the roof... I don't want to self-care you to death, but what works for you to bring it down to a place of serenity? Does it help to be hyper-vigilant or can we calmly take the steps we need for protecting our health, being mindful of our impact on each other? 

I certainly notice how odd connecting with others has become with people behind masks. I almost feel invisible! And while I always wanted to be invisible as a kid, it's not particularly feeling good as an adult. I've adjusted some (those are actual humans behind the fabric...) and I am super grateful for the technology that allows me to see people's faces during a pandemic! Yippee! 

In these strange times, I've been privy to the inner lives of many people and the levels of disconnection and loss they are experiencing, whether to their community, friends, family, or loss of plans, hopes, jobs. Our future may seem less certain. My invitation to you, is to trust your soul more, and the journey before you. We may not like the twists and turns of a collective pandemic, beyond our control to shape, but what can we glean from this experience?

What if this pandemic is inviting us to go more within? Here is an opportunity for us to connect more deeply with ourselves, to love the forgotten parts of ourselves (thanks to Michael Meade, in his Solstice ritual last night,) to nurture ourselves more deeply in ways that get distracted by all the social goings-on with other people. What if loneliness is something we are all feeling, and its a doorway in to some other, darker, more secret parts of ourselves?

How could you be different with yourself than in past times, when in the past, a solution might have been just be reaching out to hang out with a friend to distract you from sadness?

There's many different ways to be with oneself and explore what is coming up. Journaling to parts of yourself (or someone else real or imagined), intuitive soul painting to see what emerges from this feeling space, walking in nature and listening in a silent state are a few of my favorites. Listening to music that evokes more of what you are feeling (instead of trying to change it) can also help you unearth more. Reaching out to a friend who can ponder more subtle energies with you without trying to fix them helps some people who need the reflection of another, and a good therapist or healer can add another level of reflective capacities.

However you choose to do it, I encourage you during this collective retreat, as I like to reframe it, to use this time to know your depths more. My sense is there will be a big flurry of activity when all this is over, which will easily eclipse some of the subtler energies we have the opportunity to know and feel at this time. Perhaps it is an opportunity to contemplate course corrections, based on our inner truths and longings that may be re-discovered at this time.

Regardless of where you are, and how you are navigating the current situation, know that you are not alone. If you just need more connection, reach out to a friend, and if you need more support, I'm available via online video and by telephone, for counseling, breathwork, and soulcentric paining. During this time, if you need a more generous sliding scale fee talk to me. If you are out of work and unable to afford support, I suggest contacting your local community clinic which is designed to offer support for all. Having some help and reflection can be a key element in knowing yourself more - we are social creatures!

I don't know about you, but this pandemic period has irrevocably changed me. What I truly miss and what I want to put my energy towards is a big part of my learnings, in addition to resourcefulness, caution, limits, and deeper learnings on the power of choices. There is no return to the way things were before anymore than I can undo my learnings and become ignorant. We are all propelled forward changed, invited to bring that into the world each in our own small way, to make this a better place to live and be with each other, in better relationship to nature, and all the animals and plant life.  

I posed in my last newsletter: "I could re-visit many points in history but to put it in a nutshell, Social Security came from the Great Depression. What will come of this unifying experience, when all the countries of the world realize we have to work together for our well-being, as one species?"

What are you seeing? I'm seeing an empowering of our diversity with more leaders who are women and different ethnicities. I am seeing a re-orientation towards passions and humanitarian goals over money making careers. I am hearing voices of people who want to see a different world. Feel free to drop me a note with what you are seeing and hearing may be coming of this collective retreat we've been on.

Sending love to all of you.

High Country Inspiration... 

Sacred Corn

Last year was the first chance to return to gardening in four years. The sacred Hopi blue corn used in our ceremonies surprised us with not only sprouting after such a arduous journey, but growing twice the size as in Occidental! With corn plants towering like small trees above us, the enormous ears grace our altar. We feel the bounty even with such hardship, to have food for the spirits. We must still plant for the future, no matter our fears and worries, or if our plans will be changed by life.

When life gives you lockdown, get chickens

One of our joys this fall was our pandemic chickens beginning to lay! 

It's the small resourceful ways that we could feel food security and enjoy the multi-colored palettes of our pullets that have brought deep satisfaction. They're still laying despite the snow. 

The chickens have been a wonderful source of amusement, we call it "Chicken TV."
Bear visit

We get a lot of wildlife visitors here - a doe and fawns, a pair of stag buddies, foxes, coyote, cottontails, and every kind of bird imaginable including an enormous family of turkeys, and with the snow caught rare sight of a bear.

We let the animal spirits know they are all safe here (but to leave our chickens alone) and it's a delight to find their tracks peppering the forest.

In the local culture bears and lions are regularly shot, so it's not much, but we wish them well and give safe haven.
Nurturing in Healthy Ways

It's tempting to over-indulge in unhealthy ways due to stress and anxiety. My prayer is for this turning of the light, more people to choose to say yes to their health and well-being.

With all this hunkering down I've turned to cooking up new delicious recipes, and taken to making home-made chocolate without unhealthy (for me) cane sugars. There's a way to indulge and still be healthy!

Blessings for the Holidays

We wish you a lovely holiday season, even if it's a more quiet, or solemn affair; even if it's mixed with grief, sadness, loneliness; all these are part of our human experience and worthy emotions that inform us of our human experience and longings. 

Please do take care of yourself! Reach out to someone you love, it can do wonders for nourishing our sense of connection.

Be kind to yourself.
Mardi & Travis (& Rusty the chicken)

Thank you

For reading this far (!) and for being a part of my larger web of connections. Sending you love and appreciation!!
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Awaken To Your Deeper Self
Copyright © 2020 Mardi Storm, All rights reserved.

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