The Medicine Wheel Meditation

The Circle of Life

The Medicine Wheel has been used by all indigenous cultures. it is an ancient and sacred tool that offers us the opportunity for introspection and discovery. It is a way to honor our ancestors and our path on the circle of life.

The ancestors knew that time is circular, not linear, and this was represented by the sacred hoop, circle, or wheel. The term medicine  represents the inherent life force found in all of nature.

Travel occurs in the south, west, north, and east as we move around the wheel. This is much like how we travel through the seasons and phases of life. In doing so, we can look at all of our aspects: physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental.

As we travel the wheel, we explore the various influences of each direction in relation to our aspects and we honor ourselves through this exploration and integration. Our goal is to see the overall picture and to find harmony and balance at the center of our wheel.

The following is a guided meditation that I provided at the recent 2019 Path of Consciousness Spiritual and Writing Conference & Retreat that was held October 4-6, 2019 in beautiful southeast Michigan. It was a powerful gathering of community and we shared a magical and transformative weekend together.

I presented a workshop called Journaling Around the Wheel. I discussed using the wheel as a way to work through situations, problems, and ideas for the purpose of balanced exploration. I invite you to write down an idea, a problem, or a situation that you are working through and look at it through the lens of each direction.

The meditation:

 

Take a large breath in and release it from your mouth, perhaps sighing. And again, a large breath in… and let it out.

Now, continue breathing through your nose. Notice the coolness of the air as it passes your nostrils and enters your body. And notice how as you exhale, the warmth of the air.

Notice your body and where there is pressure – perhaps your seat on a chair, your feet on the floor, your hands on the table or in your lap. And then notice the places where there is no pressure.

Notice how you feel. By noticing our physical selves, we move into the Southern position on the wheel. The south represents the physical. This includes the body we reside in, the home that we live in, the money and resources that we have, and our ability to manifest.

The SOUTH is the place where life enters the planet. It represents children, lush growth, and the season of summer. It is here where we hold personal concerns.

Our emotions, thoughts, and life experiences make their ways into our bodies and become a living record – an innate physical wisdom that holds this information, waiting for us to notice, process, heal, and grow. The spaces that surround us and how we maintain them are an extension of this. We can allow life to flow or we can create blocks in the south.

I declare now, dear body, dear innate, thank you for supporting me and for this amazing experience of life on this planet. I love and nourish you. I allow life to flow and I release my blocks. I am safe and secure. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life. I release the fear of self and embrace life, opening my heart to all of life.

Next we move to the WEST, the place of emotion. It is here where we watch for our inner cycles for understanding of the subtle tides that regulate the inner workings of self.

In taking time to examine ourselves, we can understand, heal, and grow our emotional selves and this extends to other areas of our lives as well.

The west is the season of autumn and adulthood. It holds the powers of introspection, intuition, and humility through which we will heal to receive dreams. It is the place where we have the first glimpse of the mystery beyond ourselves.

We meet our egos in the labyrinth of solitude. It is here that we confront our internal mirror and enter the passage where we meet our inner emotional selves within our consciousness.

We also look at dreams and death in the west. We confront and reflect on all the aspects of our emotional selves here. Explore your dreams, delve into your feelings about death. Society tells us to fear death, yet our ancestors knew that it is merely a phase in the eternal circle of life.

In the west we explore emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, surprise, and joy. It is here where we can choose to dive into emotion and feel it fully, get to know it intimately, and connect it with other aspects of our life to learn and grow.

Do your emotions control you? Do you bury your emotions away? Through confronting our emotions, we can harvest and reap the rewards of our transformation.

Dear emotional self, I honor this human experience and will not deny you any emotion, for every emotion offers an opportunity to learn and expand. Thank you for the beautiful experience of human emotion. I embrace it fully.

The NORTH is our next destination. The north represents the place of spirit that connects us to our soul’s journey. Every step we take is sacred and offers us the opportunity to learn and grow. Understanding that we are one with the universe and connected to everything helps us to align with our higher selves and our life purpose.

The north is the place of eternal winter, mountains, and old age. It is wisdom, strength, creativity, inspiration, understanding, and knowledge. It is here that we see the great vision of life. This is the place where we find true courage, to leave behind external authority and to find the creator within. It is a place of sovereignty, self-authority, and an expanded sense of knowingness.

It is here that we come to know the messages of our dreams, to tap into our power of healing, to find silence in meditation, and to connect with the circle of life.

This is where we find our true work, beyond competition and ambition, where life does not belong to us anymore but to our purpose and the vision of the universal whole.

Aham Bramasmi. I am the universe.

I am all that.

I am.

We move from the dark to the brilliance of light. We move to the EAST where the sun rises and spring arrives. The east is the direction of the mind. We use our mental abilities to create.

The east is represented by the eagle who flies high over the land with courage and swiftness. This represents the expansive view that offers great detail as well as an understanding of the overall picture. It signifies the awakening of the mind that represents our visionary selves. It is here that we learn about tools of personal alchemy and how we can harness the natural forces of the universe.

We can make our minds strong when we learn to control the mind, recognizing and controlling mind chatter so that we can make better use of this amazing computer that we have been equipped with. Our mind does not define us, rather it is an amazing tool that is at our service. By connecting to our heart first, we can then utilize the mind to assist us in living our right life.

How do you think about things? Are you logical? Are you disciplined? How do you approach problems? The east represents expanded wisdom and the season of Spring, a time of growth.  It is a time to take great care of the seeds that we plant and bring the much-needed nourishment and moisture.

When we tend to our thoughts and utilize wisdom in a practical way, we are better able to live out our daily lives.

My mind is a clear and powerful tool that helps my heart to live its dream fully. I love my beautiful and practical mind.

Now take a deep breath. Move to the CENTER of the wheel. Feel each of the four directions surrounding you. You are at the zenith of the wheel, the place of all perspectives.

This is the great earth turtle in the middle of a calm ocean, extending to infinity. The powers found here are balance, perseverance, and patience. This is where shadow and light meet, a place of invulnerability, where the greatness of all creation lives within. It is a place of openness and complete protection.

In the center of my wheel I am in the sacred circle. It is here that I honor my highest self and all of creation. I am fully safe and protected here. I am patience. I am love. I am perseverance. I am balance.

A deep breath in and let it out through your mouth with a sigh… and again.

 

Miigwech. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Opening Our Hearts to Move Forward

Awakening the Self

There have been so many hearts opening up and people sharing so much of themselves recently. In some cases, they are sharing things from a long ago past and in other instances they are sharing a more recent emotion such as sadness, anger, or a sense of inadequacy. Whether it is from long ago or more recently, the act of sharing creates a much-needed release. Each and every one is a beautiful sharing. We can heal together collectively by expressing ourselves like this. It is through being courageous and open that we can liberate ourselves from the old, making room to bring in the new.

New experiences, new joy and new thoughts and ideas that we can use to define who we are moving forward. New space for new energy.

Facing past difficulties or sharing them may seem scary at first but once you take that leap – the reward is an amazing gift. A gift of self-acceptance, peace and the creation of a new energetic space that allows you to grow.

The past has been coming up quite a bit lately for many people, myself included. It seems as though we are cleansing ourselves of old stories that have taken up residence in our physical spaces, minds and bodies for years, or perhaps lifetimes, and it has become a time of collective release. We hold these stories in our minds, sometimes burying the emotions that go with them into places in our bodies like knees, feet, kidneys, shoulders, backs, hands, and hearts, to name a few. They dwell inside of us, waiting for recognition and processing.

It feels so good to process and release. The first step is to recognize what’s going on. We can look at pain and emotion and instead of ignoring it, we can ask our bodies what information it is trying to tell us. And then when we understand we can acknowledge it and investigate the ways in which it has resided inside of ourselves. And then we can finally release it and move forward. Self-care, self-love and nurturing are also part of this process. This may take some time and working through it is different for everyone.

Just yesterday I got a little bit of unexpected back pain and have been spending time today trying to figure out what the message is. Somehow it feels like a final release of the past and letting go of the old. I have been going through a lot of old physical belongings, especially from my childhood, teen years and from when I was a young adult. These have brought up a lot of memories, many good, some not so much. Sometimes we hang on to old beliefs or ideas that no longer serve us – or perhaps we had a misunderstanding that we have carried around with us for years without being aware of it. It feels important that I process these old feelings so that I can move on.

Through acknowledgement and getting to know ourselves at the deepest level, it if from here that we can grow and move forward in peace.

I would love to hear more about how you have embodied an emotion and how you handled/are handling it. What is your experience? And what steps have you taken so far to get to where you are at?

Much love!

The Creative Self

In life we go through phases and we tend to ebb and flow in to and out of situations that help us to learn and grow. I wrote a post about creativity on my blog a little over a year ago in September 2016 (also posted below). At that time, I was in the middle of many changes in my life. Part of this change was to abandon perfectionism and to continually find ways to nurture my creative self.

 

There have been phases in my life where I was not doing much creatively except perhaps with gardening or cooking. I may not have been practicing my spirituality outwardly at times but I was never disconnected from it either. I have always found a link with the creator through nature especially. But I have, at times, forgotten that I too am a creator.

 

Being creative with materials from nature bring me great joy. Jewelry by Sonya Julie

I am presently finding many ways to express my creative self. It’s a beautiful process that allows me to celebrate the joy of life. The purpose of living this life is to experience the dark and the light, the good and the bad, and to celebrate that which moves us. For me it is the love and light in my heart that I want to focus on the most. My intuition guides me as I let the creativity flow forth and this is truly a blessing. My jewelry and creative pursuits are featured on the Tools for Spirit page and can also be seen in my Etsy shop at SonyaJulieCreative.

 

I encourage you to take time for creativity, perhaps giving yourself permission to be creative if there has been a complete void. Being good enough or “talented” is not a requirement. Try anything and everything! Get your hands into clay or dough, try drawing or painting, try music or dance, find a coloring book, do a search for local art centers or classes. Find videos for inspiration and try new things. Find something that brings out your inner joy – that childlike joy that brings you to that space of ease. Most importantly have fun.

 

Here is the referenced post:

The Return to My Creative Self

WMO Batik Dyes
Batik dyes and supplies – Photo by Sonya Julie

I have decided that I need to be much more creative. That I need to return to that joyous feeling of creating without expectation. I want to play with clay, paint, and beads. I want to dance, sing, play instruments, write poems, and share my story through art.

I loved artistic projects as a little girl. I was never concerned with doing something the right way, I just created. And it was fun.

I have artists on both sides of my family. My aunt was a graphic artist for the local phone company and designed ads for the phone book by hand. Each year for Christmas she would give me a big box filled with all sizes and types of paper, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, and all manner of art supplies. It would vary from year to year and it was always fun. I always felt so happy and grateful for my annual box of art supplies.

I would create dioramas with shoe boxes, mobiles, window art, sculpture, and more. I loved to draw, paint, color, and create. I would fashion flowers from paper, make cars from boxes, and sculpt the earth outdoors.

I learned guitar as a young girl and as I grew older I learned to play the flute along with the penny whistle, basic piano, accordion, bass drum, and any instrument I could get my hands on.

In middle school I would draw mazes and write stories. I learned photography and I learned to dye fabric. I learned the basics of architecture and drew grand homes. I sketched out ideas for fashionable outfits and clothing patterns.

In my early twenties I learned to make jewelry and began to sell it on consignment. I sewed clothing without patterns, wrote poetry, and continued to draw and paint. I made dreamcatchers and suncatchers to hang from windows and walls. I would express myself through dance and singing. I felt so alive when I created.

Then came college years, work years, and times of difficulty.

And then it all seemed to stop. I moved to a different home, packed up the beads and art supplies – much of it getting buried in a storage unit and the remainder in a dark attic. My only artistic outlet became gardening during times of depression and poor health. It certainly helped in times of sorrow to ground myself with my connection to the earth as my tears soaked into the soil as I created life and hope through planting little bits of life. The birds chirped, letting me know that joy was just around the corner, only if I would be brave enough to seek it.

I recovered slowly and I began writing again. And I would draw once in a while, maybe color a picture. I started learning to cook and that could be a creative outlet. But my creative self seemed to be a thing of the past. I missed that young artistic woman who was me once. The one who created freely with abandon and joy. What happened?

I began to write more and I knew it was something I needed to do more of – but I quietly worried that I wouldn’t write about the right things, that somehow I wasn’t doing it the correct way. I feared what others would think. I would start the introduction to a book and quit after a few pages or the first chapter.

I went to a Traditional Arts weekend and painted with water colors, played with batik dyes, and rolled dough in my hands as I formed yeasty balls that would bake into golden loaves. I learned to waltz to Cajun music and admired art.

I pulled out the beads, dusted and sorted the rich colors of the beautiful earthy materials and began making bracelets and necklaces again.

I learned that perfectionism was my enemy and that I could enjoy life whether I was in control or not. That nothing has to be a certain way. That surprises are fun.

Slowly my creative self returns and with that return I am feeling more alive and joyous. I feel an urgency to return to my creative roots, as though I have abandoned myself and I have been left parched in an empty desert. I seek to bury my hands in clay, string beads, write songs, and play with colors. Textures, sounds, and words waiting to happen. Through me. I must now be brave and courageous. Fear will not do. I have overcome many dark and difficult things to arrive at these days of joy. And the story of my journey must be shared. It is time.

Registration opens for the Awakening Spirit 1.1 Workshop Series

Awakening Spirit 1.1 Workshop Series

Each of us has a unique story and path that we travel. How we live our stories defines who we are. In the Awakening Spirit 1.1 Workshop we will explore spiritual concepts and practices that enable you to create meaning and purpose in your life over the course of four weeks. By becoming your own divinely guided authority, you will learn to set boundaries, clear out that which no longer serves you, and learn to adapt techniques that will help you move forward on your unique path.

We will explore topics such as mindfulness, setting intentions, understanding intuition, implementing boundaries and self-care, the power of visualization, recognizing synchronicity and divine guidance, engaging energy management and coping skills, understanding dreams, discovering community, finding courage and realizing joyful creativity. Also, things like astrology, angels, karma, tarot, chakras and past lives will come up as well. There is a large amount of spiritual content in the world and being able to discern what speaks to your soul is important so that you can best serve yourself.

By getting in touch with your inner self you can better connect with the world around you and find your own path. Coming into alignment strengthens your physical self through healing, your mental self through control, and your spiritual self through awakening that which is already within you.

This workshop is a safe and fun way to explore spirituality in a private group environment in the privacy of your own space. This course will consist of four weeks of materials that are distributed via email and in a private online Facebook forum where we discuss materials, ask questions, and share with our classmates. The workshop includes a private 30-minute session with me, Sonya, and will take place on Zoom and will be scheduled in advance.

Where: in the comfort of your own private space

Exchange $111.00 USD

When: We begin on Tuesday, October 24th and continue for four weeks until Tuesday, November 21st.

To register: please contact me, Sonya Julie at AwakeningTheCore@gmail.com . Spaces are limited.

A Thousand Serious Moves

AwakeningTheCore.com
Find Joy in The Present – Awakening The Core

This poem by Hafiz is a good reminder about the choices we make every day and every moment.  Do you move with the flow of life and appreciate where you are at any given time?  … or do you feel like you have a thousand serious moves to make between now and happiness?  When you feel stress – take a deep breath, acknowledge the stress and where it lives in your body. Then think about what you can learn from that present moment, let it go and move forward.  You can find happiness, love and light any place you go.

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference
between your experience of Existence
and that of a saint?

The saint knows
that the spiritual path
is a sublime chess game with God

and that the Beloved
has just made such a Fantastic Move

that the saint is now continually
tripping over Joy
and bursting out in Laughter
and saying, “I Surrender”.

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
you have a thousand serious moves.

~ Hafiz