A few weeks ago, after many months of discerning a title for myself in my business that holds together more of my various facets, gifts, training, experience, and ministries, I found some resonance with the name Creative Healer. It seemed to get at the root of my heart's passion to live the life of what Carl Jung and Henry Nouwen called, a wounded healer. I had a sense too that as soon as I made this public declaration, any further issues in need of my own personal healing would soon rise to the surface and call my attention, as the opposites and paradoxes are summoned when we move in one direction. I started nurturing myself more to prepare for the descent. I made stew and baked muffins and bought local honey to put me in harmony with the nature around me.
This week after I launched my Lenten descent to the Goddess, my gut began to ache. My four year old son Dylan threw up a few times. After taking care of him and cleaning up a few messes, I spent the rest of the night kneeling very close to the Porcelain Goddess myself. Talk about descent. As I sat on the bathroom floor doing my ujjayi breathing and a few yoga tricks to move the sickness from my stomach down through my bowls and out of my body, I recalled my childhood fears of the Great Porcelain Goddess.
This fear actually developed when I was five, after I watched the movie E.T. I remember watching the film in the front row of the Air Force Base movie theater in upstate Rome, NY (I believe--Mom?) sitting next to my father, a now retired Lt. Col. who when E.T. appeared on the screen he screamed along with the entire theater and me. In a profound way this movie showed me our collective fear of the alien and the strange. It showed me how cruel people/scientists could be towards strangers and aliens who looked different than us and whose stories they didn't understand. This is the program I got as a child at the time: don't be like E.T. don't get caught being too different or too strange, look what they will do to you! A part of naming myself as a healer put me right back in touch with my own strangeness I feared as a child. I did, however, refrain from adding "Unicorn" or "Rainbows" in my title.
I lived many years wanting to cut off my oddities in order to feel safe and protected by the crowd, which was mostly the church and the military. As a young child and now as an adult I frequently experience profound mystical states of love. I was often called spacey as my attention drifted to the beauty of nature, or the deep emotional states of all the beings around me. I often have vivid dreams of heaven and I spent many years working my way through the underworld. I didn't know how to integrate all these experiences with growing up in a culture that values most only what science can see and prove. Being born an introverted mystic and not a scientist, I was taught to fear my very nature, or I felt others fear my nature and I did the same.
E.T. came home with me after the movies. Every time our heater would tick tick on I knew it E.T. was coming for my bedroom door. I also developed this belief that my toilet was some kind of portal that allowed E.T. to reach me. I dreaded going to the bathroom. And after I flushed the toilet I would run as fast as I could out of the bathroom. The truth was, the strange, the shadow, my inner alien wasn't going to let me go. It was asking to be integrated into my consciousness rather that cut off and feared. It was asking me literally to look at all the shit and not live a disconnected life.
David Bowie's death was a huge reminder to me to embrace my own strange at this point in my life. He was my second crush. (My first was Prince. Wow.) I was in 5th grade when I realized it was "those" kinds of feelings I was having towards him, (and yes it was after he wore those pants in The Labyrinth but I swear I didn't notice how amazing they were until I was much older!) And so I knew exactly what to say when my best friend asked me if I liked a boy. And then I made her swear, DON'T TELL ANYBODY! (Cause you know I would be absolutely mortified if it EVER got back to him.) When I heard of his death, I had just walked through a gentle snow fall that felt like the fairies had come out to play, after leaving a two hour interview with a stressed out man who was interested in me joining his overworked team. The job would require me to function mostly using analytic skills and shutting down my spiritual/ intuitive ones. For the money, it looked good. But my gut told me it was incredibly dangerous to me. Those are hard choices to make. But I had to be true to my vow that I will not kill my soul in order to survive on earth. And that to me means embracing more of my strange and living a life of faith in powers that cannot always be scientifically measured at this time in our human development. I also want to model for my children, a life that honors heart and passion, harmony and joy.
So I've directed my energy and my passion towards nourishing TARALOMA and some exciting things just started happening. Recently I added the addendum, Earth Temple to represent the spiritual container where our bodies and our natural world are held as sacred places. A few days after I changed the name I loaded up my website and it hit me right between the eyes. There was E.T. catching up with me after all these years.
Each of us is designed to hold paradox and the tensions of opposites. Still so many of us are putting our shadows on others and playing the blame/victim game and hiding behind well constructed masks with no clue who is really home at the end of the day. Incarnation involves nodding to all of our polarities and peculiarities, all of our own strangeness so that whatever we fear is also experienced within us. So that we know (existentially) what we do to others, we also do to ourselves.
As I went down into my gut with the sickness, I saw so many fears that I cannot bear to think about for long because it feels like I'm being pulled into the void. I am learning that the Goddess is the Queen of the void. Like every time I take the trash out and add to the landfill I say a prayer, "Mother help us." And I know it's not enough. I worry about our water supply, and the people of Flint and all of us who are at risk of drinking poisoned water, especially our children. Two of my children display many autistic characteristics. As a mother I want to nourish them with safe food and water and yet I feel surrounded by a culture that rather demonize the intuitive than actually believe that what we put in our bodies affects us. I am worried about the loss of the bees which are now being poisoned by chemicals that are inserted into the crops. It's like collectively we are still trying to dominate Mother Nature rather than live in harmony with Her. Like we still have this collective belief that we can do better than nature, even as we still have so much to learn about Her mysteries. The staggering loss of the bees would lead to the loss of all of our healthy food. Even our chemists know that you can not just randomly mix a bunch of chemicals together with good outcomes. But our laws and our scientific search for proof aren't always the best at determining the rules for a complex interconnected system. Many of these systems have been co-opted by the interests of for-profit businesses that are destroying us and our planet. And what frightens me most is the apathy we are all capable of while this is happening. As if we have all forgotten that we each came here at this time to do something about this. This stuff is heavy. But the Goddess also has the power to create new life in the darkness.
Descending to the Goddess means lifting our blinders. Who said being spiritual meant only reflecting on the glittery aspects? A whole spirituality looks at the whole picture and works to integrate it all and restore all of creation. We have to see what's messy in order to clean it. We have to see what's broken in order to fix it. The scientific method asks us to observe and be detached from our surroundings. But quantum physics is now showing us that it is impossible to detach. We are always shaping reality. Are we courageous enough to look at the cultures we have created, and see what we can do better? Descending to the Goddess asks us to look at the pain of Earth and all of Her inhabitants and discover the joy of living in harmony and balance.
As we make our descent to the next gate, may we have compassion upon all suffering. May we learn how to work together as creative healers of ourselves and the planet.