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                      VII

"Again I resume the long lesson:
how small a thing can be pleasing,
how little in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind and bring it to
its rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
unnaturally still. Through stalled air,
unshadowed high, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

The sky
is gray. It begins in mist almost
at the ground and rises forever.
The trees rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite, almost eternal,
but not quite.

What more did I think i wanted?
Here is what has always been.
Here is what will always be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this returns in rest,
even to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly falling, and is pleased."

"This Day"  -Wendell Berry
  

DreamCraft Retreat @ Uno Astro Lodge

This was my second year returning to Tulum to serve Tea for the Dreamcraft Retreat. My first morning back at Uno, I see Katarina - the resident goddess, healer, priestess/mother of the land - She embraces me deeply, looks into my eyes and says, "Welcome home." That is exactly what it felt like. Seeing so many familiar faces, smelling familiar smells and feeling- yes- here is another home for me on this planet earth. I arrived a few days prior to the retreat, so had plenty of time to acclimate to the flow. The wind was howling, the moon was full, and the energy was thick. I had missed this place and it was good to be back. 

Once the retreat started, I spent my early mornings with the sunrise and then moved into serving our Tea meditations.  On previous retreats, I had dedicated myself to taking Taylor's* mid morning Kundalini teachings, but found so much energy being activated, that I would show up to facilitate Tea and my body would be achey and processing. This time around I decided to spend my afternoons focusing on my personal practices. I did yoga, sang, swam, meditated and had time and space to just BE with myself. It was incredibly nourishing and I felt clearer and more energized for holding space every morning.  

 It is such a gift to sit for a week with a group of women and watch the blossoming occur, each one slowly unfolding as the mornings pass. With each day the work got deeper and the group more intimate. Once again, I witnessed how profound it is to marry Tea with the Kundalini work Taylor facilitates. They strike a balance between one another. Holding the space of yin and yang. Each afternoon the women would be off with her, journeying through transformation and intense fire - and each morning they would show up to sit for tea - finding a cleansing, grounding, nurturing space to be held and rejuvenated.

As we sat one morning, I began to reflect on this dream I found myself living in. Such a wild and beautiful dream, beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself. I experienced a profound sense of gratitude. 4 years ago, I would not have been creative enough to envision that I would be sitting in a tree house, over the Mayan jungle in Tulum, serving the medicine of Tea to these beautiful faces that glowed more radiantly everyday. I reflected that the more I have allowed myself to surrender, the more I open myself to infinite possibility! I get to experience ALL the beauty and magic the Universe has planned for me, and not just what my limited "mind" has to offer...    With that, I look forward into the mystery that is life, and welcome it with open loving arms.

*I would love to take a moment to express deep gratitude for my dear sister Taylor Eyewalker. She is an amazing Being walking this earth, fully dedicated to her path of self cultivation and her service for others. I am blessed to serve along side her, laugh with her, witness myself through her, and continue diving deeper into love and sisterhood. Thank you for your tireless dedication. Thank you for inspiring fierce courage in me, for loving me, and believing in me.   

Until next year!


We love Uno Astro Lodge! If you find yourself in that part of the world please go visit, stay, have breakfast, do yoga, and feel the love!
Stay tuned for information on next year's retreat! Visit: www.dreamcraftretreat.com

                                        The "roji" leading to tea every morning

                                        The "roji" leading to tea every morning

Our friend and community member at Uno, Mateo. His passion and meditation is making bread! He kneeds it, loves it, sings to it and bakes it!! 

Our friend and community member at Uno, Mateo. His passion and meditation is making bread! He kneeds it, loves it, sings to it and bakes it!! 

Healing waters of the Cenotes

Healing waters of the Cenotes

The resident peacock, Phoenix

The resident peacock, Phoenix

a little afternoon acro yoga with Olivier David

a little afternoon acro yoga with Olivier David

Worshipers of the sunrise...

Worshipers of the sunrise...

High up on a rock at the Tulum Ruins 

High up on a rock at the Tulum Ruins 

*New Moon/Solstice* Walk of Life

In the ancient times of the Matriarch, people drummed, sang, and paraded in celebration of life throughout their villages, for days and sometimes even weeks on end. 'Walk of Life' is a movement paying homage to those times. We walk in peace, in beauty, with open hearts! Singing, drumming, carrying offerings and prayers for the earth and all life on it.

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

After reading "When the Women were Drummers" by Layne Redmond, I was so inspired, I wanted to go out into the street and sing and drum in celebration! I then thought well... Why not!? Singing has become one of my favorite ways of offering intention, love, and prayer to the earth, the elements, the sun, moon, and everyone. Everything is made of sound vibrations, so when song is offered, it connects with all the surrounding vibrations, seen and unseen. It was time, to take a walk, share our voices and celebrate life!

The Solstice/New Moon was the perfect day. I connected with some of my dearest sisters and shared with them the vision, to which they all expressed enthusiasm and were down to support! So, the call went out via the social media sphere, and on the Solstice we all gathered. So many beautiful souls showed up to join us! After grounding, setting our intentions and sharing the song, we began our walk. I have held song circle space many times before, but this was quite different... We were moving through the streets, sharing with the public and the sound was traveling in waves down the line. I was at the front, leading, and remember hearing echoes of the song catching up from the back. I thought, "hooray, they are all singing!" I realized at one point that due to my excitement, I was walking way too fast and had to make a conscious effort to slow down so that we weren't racing through the streets...

We headed down Abbot Kinney in Venice, wove through the neighborhood and came out onto the the beach where we landed. Along with my sisters, the directions were opened and sacred space was set. Together the whole community created a flower mandala with prayers and intentions; for our ourselves, our loved ones, and this beautiful home we call Mother Earth. As we drummed, sang and made our offerings, the sun descended and just as were closing, the sky answered us, giving us a show of beauty unlike any I had ever seen! Each moment more beautiful than the last. Purples, oranges, and pinks in shades that could never be replicated!  I felt a deep sense of gratitude for that moment and affirmed everything that has ever come to pass to lead me to it. Thank you to everyone who came, it brought so much magic. 

Until we walk again...

"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but the walk on Earth. Everyday we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle." - Thich Nhat Hanh 

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Maharlika Sage

photo: Maharlika Sage

photo: Kacie Tomita

photo: Kacie Tomita

special thanks to all my sisters who helped make this possible!

 Maharlika Sage, Mijanou, Taylor's Light, Mama Mea, Naama, Jane Anne, Mage, Luna Love, Mila Redwood, Maria Calderon, Kacie Tomita

Orcas Island: The Heartbeat Retreat

It really is hard to express into words the essence and magic that this journey encompassed. I have been attempting to sit down and write about it for weeks now only to find myself trailing off into a fantasy of imagery and heart felt juiciness- how does one even explain that? 

I guess starting from the beginning is always a good place...

 I remember standing in my tent at SpiritWeavers one afternoon when Mila came in and asked if she could share a vision of something she wanted to create! She went on to express that she had been so inspired by making her drum that weekend that she felt really called to share it with others. She envisioned holding a women's retreat at the Raven Song Sanctuary on Orcas Island, the land she had been residing on. I immediately felt so excited for her, so when she asked if I would want to facilitate with her, holding the morning Tea ceremonies and co-creating our Ceremonies & Song circles, I jumped for joy!!! This is exactly what I will to say YES to! YES YES YES! 

Months flew by as Heartbeat of the Mother unfolded, as each sister heard the call to join us my excitement grew and grew. Everything fell in to place so gracefully and some of my closest sisters, old and new were going to come. I arrived at the Seattle airport and Jackie Rose, swooped me up. I was so beyond happy to see her and ride with her to the ferry. The magic already beginning as she tells me to reach into the backseat for the Tahini/Oat/raisin "cookies". Holy moly, yummmmmmm. She had been the "kitchen goddess" at the 2 previous Spirit Weavers gatherings, and I had really missed her food! She was to cook all of our meals for us during the retreat and my tummy was really excited.

The next day was spent in preparation for all the ladies to arrive. I found myself feeling the internal "rush" to get everything ready and quickly realized that I had to slow down, let go, trust, and sink into the flow and pace of the Island. I followed Mila's pace and then the day looked more like... picking blackberries on the roadside after having picked up fresh raw goat's and cow's milk from the neighbor's house, and our sweet angel Melissa reading my mind, doing everything I was thinking before I even had a chance to ask. Rain sprinkled down, cleansing the land, as sisters started to arrive. From then on we were just in this dreamy flow. I would rise every morning at 5:15 am to sound the drum, calling the first group to sit in silence for morning tea. We ate together, shared our stories with one another, set intentions for our drums, and sang into the fire that evening.  

They day we wove our drums was a day of joyful hard work! My heart sang as as my body ached. I felt honored, sitting there by the pond with all my sisters, weaving this beautiful deer hide together with the maple tree. I really dropped into a meditation while weaving, feeling it important to be as present in my hands and body as possible, giving reverence to this ancient craft. It was so beautiful to see each sister's drum develop and take on the characteristics of their individual personalities. I felt so grateful to all those who came before us, paving the path that led us to that moment. 

On our last morning together, Mila led us on a pilgrimage to a medicine wheel that sat atop Turtleback mountain. We were to walk in silence, gently marking each step with the beat of our drums. My drum was to carry the unifying heart beat, so I began to prepare it to be sounded for the first time. I rubbed my drum softly with the palm of my hand, warming it up, took a deep breathe, and brought the mallet down to meet it. I was so shocked at the beautiful tone that rose up! Deep, powerful, resonant. I made this... With my own two hands; inside it carries my voice, my prayers, my dreams, magic; the past, present, and the future. Through it I can pray, connect, and remember. At the medicine wheel we did just that.  We sounded our drums together and poured love into the earth. We sang to the land and the water, praying for healing. We sang for our ancestors, for each other. Together as a collective of women were drumming and awakening our heartbeats to the mother.

for more information on upcoming workshops and retreats please visit:                                                                                            Heartbeat of the Mother website

All of these photos were taken by our dear sister - Renata Chebel

mandala offering by daughter of the sun

mandala offering by daughter of the sun

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