When you follow your heart you never know what’s going to show up. If you’re lucky it will be a hard road—not an impossible one—just hard. For difficulties are always self-inflicted blocks and wounds showing up to be healed and released. In my case the block I stumbled over after signing up to serve as ambassador to the Quinault Nation site on the Northwest Medicine Wheel was fear.
By age 59 I’d thought I’d pretty much done with fear. I’d loved and lost many times, and lived alone many times. I’d met death. I’d engaged the demons of the astral planes when my third eye opened. I’d learned about energy and transmuting thought, done ceremony, let business and success and partners, houses and belongings go to travel alone in South and Central America. I’d met my greatest fear—abuse at the hands of men—during an ayahuasca ceremony on the Amazon River, deep in the jungles of Peru when the shaman’s camp was attacked by bandits. I came to no harm … but the terror that had lain dormant inside me, deep in the genetics of my womanhood, produced a hard lesson to endure that night.
After that I thought I had emptied myself of fear. But I was wrong.
“Did you know there’s a massive earthquake due to hit the Northwest coast this weekend?” breathlessly asked a friend. “And there are supposed to be tsunamis hitting our coast—bigger than the ones in Japan!”
Youtube videos of geologists’ predictions arrived, unsolicited, in my email. More people called on Thursday to inform me that the weekend of the vernal Equinox and the Supermoon of March was going to be a doozy of disaster. Hang onto your hat, they all said, and put up emergency supplies.
Now ever since I was a little girl I’d had dreams—nightmares—of tsunamis. For over a decade I refused to go near the oceans and for another decade I was nauseous with terror just being near the coast—always on the lookout for that telltale withdrawal of the waters, always on the lookout for high ground to flee to. Eventually as I did more inner work the fear faded, and I lived for months on the west coast of Costa Rica, soaking up the glory of tropical beaches. But now my friend’s warnings stirred up a veritable storm of old emotions. The Quinault site was right on the ocean and all sorts of disaster images started parading through my head. Soon the fear got so bad I decided to resign my ambassadorship. After all, consciousness is non-local. I could put my energy at Quinault without having to send my body along with it.
Would it really matter if I skipped facing my fears … just this once?
Thank God for the Thursday night sweat. I offered my terror to the flames—the antipode of my watery visions. And in the heat and sweaty darkness perception of LIFE returned—that sweet grounded space of connectedness where all the illusions of the mind are shown for the phantoms they are … phantoms we all harbor and indulge; phantoms we traumatize ourselves with, allowing them the director’s chair of choice.
I left the sweat, shaky, but determined to stay in the present breathing moment. If I could stay there, perhaps I could manage to honor my word and commitment to Blue Thunder, to the Earth, and to myself. Maybe.
Friday morning and the ambassador’s meeting arrived. Blue Thunder listened gravely as I expressed my fear that I could not keep my fear at bay, my concern that I would drag it into ceremony, polluting the wheel. And he spoke of the forces that would pull us all down, that would hinder the progress of all peoples back into the light of Self awareness, knowledge and Spirit. After a cleansing he assured me I would do just fine. Kristine gave me the not-so-reassuring understanding that I was taking on tsunami energy for the entire planet to transmute. Feeling somewhat like a determined little donkey given its assigned burden to bear, I went home to prepare for the weekend.
On the road by 2:30 in the morning, the moon was riding high in a blackened night sky—the first clear night in weeks. As the miles clicked past, the trees and fields, forests and rivers and steams all seemed to nod at my passing, lending me their sturdy handle on the eternal nature of the life force, giving me strength and an acknowledgment of oneness. As I swept towards the coast an enormous tide of life energy rose with me, cradling me in its arms.
Kalaloch … “a good place to land” in the Quinault Native tongue. A good place to land, indeed! A secluded glade overlooking the thundering ocean from a small bluff, the surrounding fir trees were carved into individuality by the winds; their twisted forms toughened by the fierce energies where water and land meet. The grey sky was heavy with clouds and rain. The surf pounded even at low tide.
I had arrived at my destination. The story was just beginning.
Photo credit: Bill Nicholls