Courageous Souls Writing Retreat

Courageous-Stories

It is such a joy and pleasure to be contributing wisdom to the Courageous Souls Writing Retreat with Deborah Skye!  I’ll be providing opening and closing ceremonies each day of the retreat.

I absolutely love Deborah’s deep, grounded energy.  She’s an incredible conduit of the cosmos.  Her profound respect and understanding of the wisdom she carries is a shining example to the world.  It’s an honour to be with her for this powerful weekend!

Learn more about it here:

http://courageoussoulsunite.com/retreat

7 Feathers of Yoga at Hamilton Film Festival!

Saying YES to a new multicultural global consciousness!

I was contacted by Hamilton Film Festival to do something so creative and inspiring I couldn’t resist!   A workshop and a movie! When I heard about this film, my heart sang!  As it happens, the work I’ve been developing recently, deeply resonates with the peace building message of the film.  Prior to the film, I’ll be guiding “7 Feathers of Yoga”, a holistic “East Meets West” learning experience that will provide a taste of what I have been working on!

“TRAVELING GURU”

Check out the trailer!

Fifteen North Americans follow Dr. Darrol Byant to India in a journey that inspires the imagination, challenges body and soul and transforms the spirit. Traveling Guru is a grand adventure in crossing borders and making new connections.  It’s the story of daring to leave the safe and familiar behind to invite authentic dialogue with what is different and new. It’s saying yes to a new multicultural global consciousness.  Students travel to India with Darrol Bryant to engage in their own first-hand experience with many of the world’s major religions. 77m / Marjonneke Grech / india / Burlington, On / travelingguru.org

7 FEATHERS OF YOGA

Enjoy a peaceful East meets West exploration and delve into the interconnection between Yoga’s philosophy of  the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga and the Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Anishnaabe (Ojibway), First Nations.  A sequence of gentle Hatha Yoga poses weave the teachings together in a mind-body learning experience.  No prior experience is necessary to participate – suits all levels of ability.  Alternate relaxation positions are used if needed.

For tickets, go to http://hamiltonfilmfestival.com

My Two Row Activation

I first heard the teaching of the Kaswentha (Two Row Wampum Belt) at a longhouse reading of The Great Law of Peace by renowned elder Jake Thomas when I was 13 years old. Even then, I found great comfort in this teaching, as I was learning how to navigate life in two worlds.  My mere presence at that reading was a teaching and only a taste of what lay ahead for me.

Two-Row

What is the Tow Row Wampum Belt? (from akwesasne.ca)

“The Haudenosaunee are comprised of six nations of people who practice very sophisticated yet simple diplomatic principles in their dealings with other Nations. Those principles are conveyed and reiterated through Wampum Belts.

The Kaswentha (The Two Row) is a sacred Wampum Belt that is the basis of agreements between Haudenosaunee nations and other nations of people. It is regarded as an important covenant agreement that sets the framework for future agreement.

The Haudenosaunee believed that it was essential that the newcomers learn the principles required to bold a relationship with them, based on peace, friendship and mutual respect.

The first newcomers and all those afterward were introduced to the Kaswentha or Two Row Wampum Belt which embodied the principals of Peace, Friendship and Mutual Respect. These principles formed the basis of the numerous treaties and agreements between Haudenosaunee and non-Haudenosaunee nations…”

What does it mean? (from akwesasne.ca)

“The background of white Beads was meant to symbolize the purity of the agreement and some say that is represents the ‘River of Life’.

The two separate rows of Purple beads, were made to symbolize and encompass the spirits of Haudenosaunee and non-Haudenosaunee people, past, present and future.

Some say that the two rows of purple beads represent two separate vessels traveling parallel to each other down the ‘River of Life’.

The Haudenosaunee are in their canoes.  This symbolizes their culture, laws, traditions, customs and life-ways.  The non Haudenosaunee are said to be in their ship, which symbolizes everything that they carry in their culture, laws, traditions, customs and life ways.

Between the two rows of Purple beads, are three rows of white beads. These were made to stand for the Friendship, Peace and Respect between the two nations. As much as the three rows keep the two nations separate, it also binds them together.

Neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other, or interfere or impede the travel of the other…The Kaswentha or Two Row Wampum is a treaty of respect for the dignity and integrity of the other nation.

Now, many years later, it has become my life’s work – to move, speak and create unity in two worldviews, as a universal bridge and conduit.  A practice and livelihood of peace, compassion and action.

Last weekend, I led 85 amazingly diverse women in a full moon ceremony with lunar eclipse. We were surrounded by mother earth’s tree and water medicine, on the lands of Algonquin Anishnaabe.

That night, I received a clear, vibrant and loving blessing on my global journey.  My intention was pure and from my heart – that the women who surrounded me have the opportunity to learn and be moved from a place of love.  I received in return, the same learning and moving love.  In this spirit of sacred exchange I will continue to fill open hearts, minds and bodies with  universal love, support and peace.

You see, it’s taken me time to arrive safely in this freedom.  I’ve had to release, transform and heal many wounds on a cellular level.  From both my genetic and lived experiences brought by residential schools, racism, cultural oppression and colonial education.

Many dreams, visions, people, spirit guides, ceremonies and medicines have assisted me in this evolution of my being.

It’s not just indigenous people of the globe that are healing from these types of wounds.  All of walks of mother earth’s children are seeking to heal and find harmony.

Many more are embracing the ancient while moving forward in the new paradigm, living with fervor once released.

It’s our time now to learn and evolve in love and partnership.  To learn how to act, witness and hold space.  In unity, with respect and reverence to the ancient and to the survivors, the ones who have persevered through peril to protect what we share and have access to now – the elders, wisdom & language keepers, ceremony carriers, messengers, dreamers, warriors, medicine people and artists.

Its time to open my lodge doors to the world – to you!  With ecstatic joy and pleasure, living my purpose!

 

birchbark canoe

 

In My Canoe:  I’m sharing wellness, healing and empowerment in indigenous communities through the joy of movement, language, culture and the arts.  Creating partnerships.  Planting seeds in communities, inspiring youth.  Bringing the wisdom and relevance of the old ways into the modern urban village.  Innovating financial structures for sovereignty in the delivery of this work through social enterprise.

 

 

ship

 

In My Tall Ship:  I am a beacon of integrity, insight and universal spirit in the great waters of indigenous awareness and respect.  To inspire and provide support to a sustainable, equitable and wise new world landing for the new paradigm of life and business.  I guide the navigation of contemporary indigenous worldview, history and ancient wisdom.  In the tides of illusion and confusion.  I am a safe calm in the waters for insight, reflection and growth.

I’m Simply Blossoming!

I absolutely love Haliburton County!  Simply Blossoming

It keeps calling me back and I return for so many beautiful reasons in my life – this time, it’s Simply Blossoming!

For those who don’t know, Simply Blossoming is in it’s 3rd year running as a women’s retreat dedicated to nurturing and supporting women. The retreat provides amazing opportunities for reflection, connection and rejuvenation though workshops, holistic service providers or just the chance to take a nap!

simply blossoming 2

“The Cherry Blossom is a dedication to the Buddhist tradition of taking time from daily life to acknowledge the splendour of the blossoms.  The Simply Blossoming logo symbolizes taking time away from Life’s distractions to acknowledge the splendour within allowing Attendees to Simply Blossom.” ~ simplyblossoming.com

Personally, I am really looking forward to spending time with the trees and capturing more footage for my upcoming videos. Though connecting to nature and my creativity is part of my work, it’s also a huge part of my self care. This time, I get to take my time a bit more and really soak in! Of course, I’m super excited about taking in a few workshops, moving my body and getting my silly on!

I’m honored to be leading the opening and closing healing circles and sharing my “playshop”:

“Blissprov!” – Improvise Your Way To Bliss.


Here is more about it:

No matter who you are, life really is about living in the moment!  We all tend think about the future, all the time. Planning, scheduling, goal setting etc., we’re always thinking about “what comes next!”.  True personal power comes when we are able to “BE in the moment”.  Being truly present with confidence and flexibility relaxes you and reduces anxiety.  It makes you better at whatever you do and makes each moment magical!
 
In this wildly creative and freeing session, you get to reclaim play! Use your imagination, pretend and have an absolute blast!  Plus, I’ll be sharing with you some of the best improv techniques and styles I’ve gathered over the course of 15 years of performing and teaching the art of Improvised Theatre.  Many leading businesses are incorporating Improv training into their creative and sales departments and for team development and building.  Now, I’m giving you the same powerful insight for your own life and business. You’ll have greater confidence for speaking, quick thinking and ease in your ability to expect the unexpected and “go with the flow” in life!  The most seriously important part of this workshop…PLAY and HAVE FUN!

Stay tuned, I’ll do my post-retreat write up on the flip-side!

Changing Leaves Moon – Waabagaa Giizis

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I’m really feeling as though I’m once and for all shedding old leaves and letting my branches be seen!  Shedding the old, and visibility are the key celebrations for me this moon. 

I experienced massive shifts over June, July and August.  Now with the fall season, I finally feel truly free from all the little pieces that were holding me back.  House, heart and head!

So with a fresh start, I’ll share a fruit of intention. After much technical mischief, late night geek sessions and delay, I’m FINALLY ready to bring you “Earth Moves Transmission” podcast!  Full to the brim with fun, soul food for thought – the 3I’s (insight, inspiration and information) and for sure enough laughs to go around!  The first episode launches Oct. 1st!

There’s much more to come!  But for now, take a moment and reflect on what Changing Leaves Moon means to you, and how can the insight serve you in practical, actionable ways?  I’d love to hear! Feel free to share in the comments!

Morning Wisdom

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Are you “waking up” tomorrow morning, or are you “coming to”?  Waking up quickly with the sudden sound of your alarm and rising to your feet is only part of this vital moment of your day.  Coming to, an awakening of your consciousness.  Stepping into integrity of being and grounded wisdom. Fully embodying compassion and love of oneself and community. A new day, a refreshed mind. This is the joyous start of a unified mind, body and spirit.

July – Mskomini-Giizis – Raspberry Moon

rasp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This moon I am feeling an energy as dramatic as the weather has been recently – working in productive whirlwinds and alternately slowing to rest.  It is reminding of balance and focus.

As I support my loved ones and others, I am paying close attention to maintaining my own responsibility to my own self care.  Being with the horses has been so good for me.

Looking at the raspberry, I see all the little sections. Life containers, holding people, tasks, stories, places, ideas and dreams.

Little hairs of protection to remind me to examine or slow down when necessary.  I am comforted, knowing I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do.  Miigwetch Mskomini!

April – Sugar Moon

pf005537April – Sugar Moon – Ziisibaakadake Giizis

This is the month my son was born.  I was also born in April, and experienced my rebirth as I delivered my son.

April is the time of Mother Earth’s labouring.  Her waters begin to flow, as she is getting ready to birth new life in spring. The sweet water flows from the trees.  The streams, rivers and lakes begin to thaw.  The water awakens.

I honour my mother, her incredible strength and resilience in bringing me to the earth.  I remember my own journey to motherhood.  In a warm tub of water, breathing low into my roots while waiting to look into the eyes of my life’s greatest creation.

I think of the water in my body.  I dance and sweat.  My heart rate rises and my blood flows faster.  I move the water in my body to honour the water of my earth mother.

Gchi’ Miigwech, Great Thanks

Nokomis Giizis, Grandmother Moon

Word Up!

Blue Star Woman

Hello, my name is Blue Star Woman!

There is much to be said about authenticity.  For me, being authentic means that I am showing up honestly in ways that align with my business.  Since whole being health is what Earth Moves is all about, then here I am!

I use Anishnaabe (Ojibwe) words occasionally in my posts on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t feel the *need* per se to explain it, but I’d like to share a bit about it.

My whole being needs it.

For me, whole being health includes learning the language of my ancestors.  I have reached a point where the language is key to my own development and growth in learning health, environmental and spiritual systems of knowledge.  I also want to be a good role model for my son and if I’m lucky, my grandkids!

“Learning Ojibwe is a healing learning. It is geared towards helping ourselves, our people, the environment. The language becomes part of you; every time you learn one sound, one word, it changes you. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, the ability to speak the language of our ancestors is a gift. We need the language to be able to connect to the spirit world that connects us all.”

~ Larry Beardy, Anishinaabe traditional teacher

I am very slowly trying to learn.  I’m very lucky and heard the language a lot growing up and I took classes when I was young.  My father is an Anishnaabe  language teacher (his story is hugely inspiring!) and I am trying to learn more from him.  A big challenge is that I don’t have many people to practice with. I live in a city, and there just isn’t any consistent place where I can find a group of people who speak it.  So here I am, in the concrete forest, connecting deeper into my Anishnaabemowin ishinaamowin (Anishnaabe worldview).  One word at a time, anywhere, including my business.

“But at the end of the day you got to wake up in the morning and try to make the world a better place”

~ Tom Hanks

Call me a dreamer, but I hope others can be inspired to connect with themselves and others this way.  Business people too!  I feel that if we are exposed to more, we learn more.  Because “tolerance” isn’t enough.  You tolerate the common cold!  Education, respect and acceptance is needed for peace.  Being open and sharing linguistic and cultural insights is a beautiful act of love and peace building. Why not tag a picture sometime with a word in the language of your heritage?  It’s who you are and it’s beautiful!  Make sure you tag me too because I’d love to see it!

Here is wonderful quote from the video…

“Language is the core of our identity and there’s so much more that you can understand about your heritage and your ancestry, and your value systems, your traditions, your religion, your philosophies of life; everything about your people is embedded in your language. That’s what young people are looking for, because they understand that growing up in an English only society isn’t giving you a full opportunity to experience your culture from within. You’re still looking at it from an outside perspective if you’re just talking about being a native person in English.”

 

Quote Reference, Larry Beardy:

KIPIMOOJIKEWIN: ARTICULATING ANISHINAABE PEDAGOGY THROUGH
ANISHINAABEMOWIN (OJIBWE LANGUAGE) REVITALIZATION by Maya Chacaby (2011)