Category Archives: Stress

Gimmie Shelter

I believe in the power of dreams and collective dreaming. In these mythic times, we have the opportunity to harvest our most sacred dreams. In Gimme Shelter, I share with you  a direct prophecy that traveled across time to awaken me in the middle of the night.

Gimme Shelter
“ A story is the shortest route between a human and the truth ” Robert Moss

Opening Salvo- Act 1
Featuring Mick Jagger as Bard

1:30 a.m. I am startled awake. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is screaming the opening verse of “Gimme Shelter” into my ear. “ There’s a storm that’s threatenin’, my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, ooh I’m gonna fade away. Oh, children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

In the space of a breath, I am catapulted back to 1969, which marked my coming of age. The urgency of Gimme Shelter’s lyrics, written about the demise of the 60’s counterculture, ripped off the mask of the status quo to reveal the collective shadow, the illusion of a just democracy and along with it the remnants of our youthful idealism.

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very streets today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way
Fire children,
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

In 1964 young Civil Rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are abducted and murdered by the Klu Klux Klan in Mississipi. The streets of Mississipi are burning.

The words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy ignite us with a vision of freedom and equality for all people. In 1968 they are assassinated within 2 months of each other.

“War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

The Vietnam War. We rally, we protest “ Hell No, we won’t go! ”, we commit acts of civil disobedience. In 1970, thirteen Kent State students are shot and four die at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.

We march on Washington. We burn American Flags. In 1972 we watch in horror the searing image of 9 year old Kim Phuc, naked, fleeing from her village in Vietnam after a napalm attack incinerated her village, her clothes, her skin, and ultimately her soul.

We fall into a dreamless sleep… which lasts for 50 years.

Act 2. The Corona Virus.
Featuring Donald Trump as the mad bull
Covid 19 as monster
Ourselves as children
Covid 19 vaccine as savior

“Ooh, the floods is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away
Oh children, It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

We awaken to a living nightmare. Our umbilicus has been cut and we have been separated from our true mother. Pachamama. We suck on the teats of cows raised on factory farms. We have become orphans. Over the course of a half century, this forced separation has resulted in global warming, climate change, contamination of life-giving waters, the eradication of 60% of the earth’s wildlife, the loss of 20% of Amazon forests, the melting of the polar ice caps.

In this apocalyptic realm, a red-eyed mad bull roams the realms of social media, lost and spewing toxic fumes via Twitter.

Enter the Corona Virus, a modern day Godzilla. The name fills us with terror. It brings suffering and death. No one is immune. It is our mortal enemy. We flee, screaming. Sobbing and alone, we cry, “who will save us?”

“It’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away”
“There, there children”, big pharma says. A savior is coming.
It’s just a shot away. It is a vaccine. It will cure everything. Hush now. Go back to sleep. Take shelter.
Obedient children, we take shelter.

Act 3. Sheltering in Place
Featuring Covid 19 as prophet
Pacha mama as our mother
Nature as our teachers
Us as Awakened Souls

Interconnectedness of lifeIn taking shelter, something miraculous unfolds. Devoid of external distractions, we begin to notice that sun rises to ignite our inner fire, the trees speak to us. The wind purifies us. Bees, hummingbirds make love to flowers. Flowers sigh and bloom and fill our senses with sweet fragrances and sacred patterns. The waters run cleanly and swiftly. Birds sing sweet songs of awakening, and the stars, so clear now, remind us where we came from. The four-leggeds emerge, bringing messages that are so clear that we cannot fail to know this truth. The Earth is not our property. She does not belong to us. Fear, greed, hatred flourish so long as we perpetrate this myth. We belong to her. We are all related and we have strayed far from home. We have awakened.

“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”
“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

From this place of awakened consciousness, and from a place of interconnectedness, we find the courage to turn and face our nightmare. We are not children. The corona virus is not the cause of our suffering. The promise of a vaccine will not save us. We are not orphans. The Earth is our Mother. We are family. We belong to each other.

Closing Act. Emergence
Featuring love as Truth
The Kiss as Sacrament

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Irish Proverb

“I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away”
This is not a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending. We are in epic times and it is only through finding shelter in each other that we may just make it through.
Will we choose the shot? Or the kiss?
As co-creators of the Collective Dream, the choice is up to us.

Gimme Shelter
Rolling Stones:
Playing for Change:

The Gift of Stress

The Gift of Stress

The Gift of Stress

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During the month of December, when daylight hours reach their nadir, we enter the season of celebration, of gift giving. In addition to Christmas, many other holy days, including Kwanza, Bodhi Day, Chanukah, Solstice, Dies Natakus Solis Invicti , give us pause to embrace the darkness, and honor the return of the sun, the return of the Son, the miracle of light and the gifts that we give and receive.

In its original context, this anticipation of miracles, of the birth of the Sacred, of light, by their very nature are accompanied by darkness, by shedding. Just as Mary went into labor in the darkness of night to birth Jesus, so we are gifted the opportunity to shed that which is no longer serving us in order to give birth to our highest Self, to behold our inner Light.

Why then, is such a sacred time accompanied by so much stress? I typically see clients during this time of year who are in crisis, overwhelmed, depressed, feeling isolated and alone. They generally describe themselves as “stressed out”.

The term “stress”, was coined by Hans Selye, a German doctor of chemistry, in 1936. Dr Seyle defined stress as “ the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.

Bookended between Thanksgiving, which brings us back to our roots ( and in the case of dysfunctional family histories bears little resemblance to “thanks-giving”) and preceding New Years, we find ourselves in a feeding frenzy- overindulging in food, drink, substances, partying, rushing around to “get ready”. There is an urgency to our actions; buy more, find the perfect gift, send out cards to everyone you ever knew, cut down a tree, decorate a tree, do more, more, more. We are under the illusion that these external activities will illuminate us, that they will grant us access to the holiday “Spirit”. At a time when our ancestors would surrender to the darkness, move inward and slow down, we speed up. Thus the phenomena of stress begins.

When we experience excessive stress, whether we perceive the source to be internal or external, a bodily reaction is triggered, called the “fight or flight” response. This response is hard-wired into our brains and represents a genetic coding designed to protect us from bodily harm, from real predators. The response corresponds to an area of our brain called the hypothalamus, which when stimulated initiates a sequence of nerve cell firing and chemical release that prepares our body for fleeing or fighting.

Here-in lies the gift of stress. A tremendous amount of energy has been mobilized. Rather than taking action to fight or flee, if we pause and listen deeply, we realize that it is our Voice inviting us to journey to a richer, more mysterious place. We have the opportunity to accept the invitation, to sit in the darkness, to embrace whatever gifts await us, and to behold the miracle that is our true nature, our inner light .

So how can we move into this place of acceptance? We can begin by listening to our body’s innate wisdom. When is our body asking for nourishment, for nourishing food, water, rest, self-care? Are we remembering to breathe? Can we stop whatever we are doing and allow ourselves to respond in a compassionate and loving way? Can we open our hearts to compassion, love and gratitude?

We can discover opportunities to honor and celebrate that which we hold most sacred. To light a candle reflecting our inner light, to connect with someone we love, to allow ourselves to explore the places of darkness within us, to remember our gods, our ancestors, our guides, our loved ones.

And we surrender to the sacred realm of dream time, to journey, drink in our deepest truths and return to the external world replenished.

I honor the light within you and the gleaming galaxies of infinite possibilities we all co-create as we illuminate our Sacred Selves.

Reach out to the darkness, fall into the light…..