Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A is of Annealing & Alchemy

This morning I discovered a new word, annealing. "Annealing" is a heat treatment wherein a material is altered, causing changes in its properties such as strength and hardness. It is a process that produces conditions by heating to above the recrystallization temperature and maintaining a suitable temperature and then cooling. Annealing is used to soften material, relieve internal stresses, refine the structure by making it homogeneous and improve cold working properties.

The description resonates so clearly with what has been seen as my "original medicine" - the ability to raise the heat level higher than normal temperatures, foster a shift in conditions and refine structure. My desire and ability to step into the hard places (Johnny Cash and Martha Beck call it "the ring of fire") while holding a space of compassion and kindness allow the dross to be burned away. Heating can feel dangerous and it's risky to step out of our comfort zone. I continue to learn from personal experience beginning with the time in my life when it became evident my children weren't willing or able to maintain malleable existences. It became imperative for someone (me) to shift out of a brittle existence and move into something more free flowing - otherwise the fracture could have become irreparable. So, I'm learning to "anneal".

Alchemy is a similar word I've been drawn to for awhile. It means the art of transmuting metals. I think of it in terms of seeking inner wisdom through a process of burning away the unnecessary shell to get to the precious gold (or diamonds) that reside within each of us. My original medicine is to find the gold in everything - including and perhaps especially fear. It's a little scary to announce to the world my own original medicine, but being one who supports stepping into the fiery ring, I choose to live it in order to give it.

While this post feels a little rambling, it's important for me to get some of these thoughts out there. I wish this blog offered polished thoughts, but alas, this is where my training wheels play. Or in the words of the wise Anne Lamott - this is where (reader beware) my sh*tty first draft often lands.

Annealing & alchemy. I invite you to consider where the process of softening and reshaping may be welcomed by stepping into your own ring of fire.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Original Medicine

Refining and expanding seems to be a full time endeavor as I begin 2011. It's fantastic, exciting and has kept me away from these pages too long. I miss my blog peeps! I really do. AND - oh my, there's lots going on in Camp Lucy.

One of the foremost ideas on my mind these days is something called "original medicine." Gail Larsen shares this in her book, Transformational Speaking:

"...we are all "original medicine," born to this earth with gifts and talents that are ours and ours alone. If we do not bring those gifts and talents forward, they are lost to the world for all time."

Powerful stuff, huh? Within days of hearing about original medicine, I found myself working with this quote from Martha Graham:

"...because there is only one of you in all time, (your) expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it."

These messages speak loudly to me and remind me that I have something to offer the world - even when my inner critic says, "Who do you think YOU are?" No one is me nor thinks exactly like I or has experienced what I have in the same ways. My goal/role is to find what wants to be birthed into the world - by me. If I keep my expression close to my heart, no one else has the chance see it, feel it or experience it. It's not my job to make others believe anything. It is my desire to share as authentically as I can, warts and all. This is integral to the process of refining and expanding.

If I live in a way that is transparent, authentic and open (TAO), others may begin to see that they, too, have permission to do the same. I lived for most of my life believing that everyone else had "it" figured out better than I. But, no one can figure out me better than I. No one else knows what makes my heart soar or my pulse quicken. Only I know what is best for me.

I'm not sure how much original medicine exists in this post, but my hope and prayer is that something sparks within you (as I ramble on reminding myself of my own spark.) And, if you need permission to share your original medicine... I, lucy of the light, take great pleasure and honor in granting it to you. Now, quick, go be you!!! Namaste.

© lucy & bella - sinai, 2010

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fruit or Veggie?

Words - fruits - veggies... I wonder how else I will be defined this year...

How about you? If you could describe your essential self as a fruit or vegetable, what would it be and why?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Everyone is a teacher

Reminder to self – Everyone is a teacher.

As a group facilitator, I often have the privilege of being taught by my students. During a day of reconnecting to creativity through restoration and rejuvenation, I invited participants to select an image to introduce themselves. The images were as varied as the people around our circle, but my teacher of the day presented in the form of a sprite of a woman, weighing no more than 90 pounds fully clothed and soaking wet. Well into her 80's with hair of spun silver, she wore a bright scarlet dress accessorized with a huge medical collar strapped around her neck.

With twinkling eyes, she held in her hand, a photo of a rugged snow-capped mountain with soaring peaks. Out of her mouth came the words, "I am one who explores the trails." Incongruous as it might seem for this frail woman to make such an unflinching statement, no one who witnessed this scene doubted her. In fact, I could actually envision her roaming that mighty mountain as she shared deeply from her heart, her memory, and even her future. With her words, her stature grew and she became the towering mountain. I could see all dreams come true - hers, mine, and the world's. It was a glorious moment.

To live fully is to believe in dreams, unflinching truth and living our heart's desire. Today’s teacher demonstrated all of those wrapped in a petite package of wisdom. May we each learn from her example.

Consider today:

· What is your heart's desire?

· What trails do you hope to travel this year?

· What would it mean to speak the truth out of your deepest desires?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Announcing... My Word(s) for the Year

My words for the year have been colluding and whispering to me for weeks now. First I thought it was one and then the other, until finally I realized they were a pair that begs to work in tandem in the coming months. This morning I finally sat down and let them dominate my morning pages, so it seemed like as good a time as any to announce them here. Tada!!! Announcing....

Refine & Expand

What does it mean to refine and expand? To refine feels like letting go, not necessarily of big things although some will feel big. I love flexibility - movement - fluidity and "Water" (last year's word) emphasized both fluidity and flexibility. I also really like structure coupled with freedom of movement. I want to refine the structure of how I do things. Not necessarily the bold "Fire" way of two years ago, but softer - wiser - more delicate refinement. Like working on the tiny details of a painting, not with massive burst strokes across a giant canvas, but intricate adjustments like the light in an eye or the pollen of a bloom. Details. Refinement.

As I refine, there will naturally be expansion. "Dream Big" continues to show up and I know my life is meant to be Big. (Isn't yours?) I've experienced BIG hurts along the way, and in return - not as payback or to be fair - I've also experienced tremendous joy and contentment. When you let go of (refine) your hurts, the swing of the pendulum automatically makes room (expands) for great joy. Big risks offer Big paybacks. My skydiving experience was a HUGE fear that turned into a hallmark experience of undeniable, impossible to explain exhilaration and joy - with a side benefit of new-found bravery!

I don't know exactly what the expansion will look like and I'm ok with that. I'm starting a new training course next week and it's going to be extensive and expansive. I'll be expanding my tribe, my knowledge, my world view and a few more things I can't name right now.

Refining and expanding will include clearing and cleaning out the clutter in my life. I refuse to live small and hidden. In the past, I have dug into the depths to unbury myself in some pretty BIG ways. In 2011, I plan to continue to dig, but with a teaspoon rather than a backhoe - that's refinement. One small step. One spoonful at a time. That's where I believe I'll find the treasures this year. It's like an archeological dig. It's easy to find the giant sarcophagi, but painstaking to seek out the tiny carved buttons. Refine & Expand - there you have it!

If you've chosen a word for the year, I'd love to have you share it here. If you haven't considered what yours might be I invite you to sit quietly and see what finds you. Carrying a word for the year can be a truly magical and "expansive" experience. I hope you'll join me!!