If you've been following me for any time now, you know that the focus of my life is a healing journey. From being a compulsive liar to practicing radical honesty & transparency... from addiction & self-harm to yoga, mindful eating and sleeping outdoors... and on & on.
If you've really been following me, then you also know that the Solstices are probably my two most important days each year. For the past few years at least, my pattern has been to spend many days leading up to the Winter Solstice deep in review & intention-setting for the next cycle, and on the Summer Solstice I've been busy with some extremely powerful healing event, having all sorts of clarity, downloads, and level-ups.
This year was no exception, though it was certainly the most powerful of the Summer Solstices that I've experienced so far. As I process & integrate this all myself, I want to share it with all of you and with the block-chain. This has become a large part of my journey, and I try to be as open & vulnerable here on Steemit as I can, so you can all hold me accountable, so my journey can assist others, and so there is a permanent record for me to come back to later.
All the images included in this post are from my time on Orcas Island over the past 10 days
Do you see both Rainbows?
The EcoSex Convergence
This year's Summer Solstice event for me was the EcoSex Convergence; something that one of my closest brothers attended 3 years ago, and has been on my radar ever since. Last month I attended the quarterly Aphrodite Temple (here's my recap & integration of that experience) put on by the same group: The Living Love Revolution, and it went from a "probably" to a "HELL YES!". That small, 2-day, experience was so healing, so raw, and so potent that there was no way I wasn't going to dive deeper into it!
I won't go into too much detail about the event, partially because my own experience of it was such a small piece of the whole, and partially because I'd like to let those who co-create the container do it themselves: https://www.ecosexorcasisland.org/
I will say that this event held some of the most authentic connection I've ever experienced, that it was absolutely full of beautiful, non-judgmental, grounded humans all working on themselves. I cried SO much, I expressed things I'd never felt able to (time & again), I was able to ask for the things I wanted & needed, I felt HELD.
Next year's convergence is a long way off, but I am certainly putting this event on my list of things to return to, and I highly recommend it to any of you who resonate with my healing journey.
I am valuable & worthy because I AM, not because of the things that I do
For the first many years of my life, I had little to no sense of self-worth... to be honest, for most of that I actively hated myself. I considered suicide (usually with longing) for 2 decades, and attempted to kill myself multiple times. In December of 2011, a wildly powerful experience with Azurescens mushrooms really shook things up, and 1 year later when I connected with @smartair, I began walking down a whole new path.
For the next 2 years, I was almost completely focused on self-improvement. I cleaned up my diet, I got rid of all the music I wouldn't want to repeat as mantras, I did everything I could to reprogram my brain and to become a compassionate, positive, effective human. Along that path, I did a lot of work around self-love, self-worth, and I feel like a made a lot of progress... but still had a long ways to go.
I went from having 0 self-worth to having a self-worth almost inextricably tied into my good deeds, into my service for others, into my activism. Certainly, feeling good about yourself because you're doing good things is better than not feeling good about yourself at all, but it isn't really sustainable. When I would have time with no events, with nobody around to hold space for, with no project to work on, some of those old patterns & energies would re-emerge.
I've been practicing mantras like "I am worthy of unconditional love" (thanks @angeliclight) for some time, and I really feel like this is finally being internalized for me. As they say in Thelema, There is no part of me that is not of the gods.
Service to others is not as important as self-care
This lesson, this new thought, certainly flies in the face of much of how I've lived my life for the past 3 years. I've been consistently pushing myself, going from one event to the next, cooking and healing and holding space. For 3 years, that service has been how I've identified myself, what's kept me moving.
I've had this thought that's reoccurred over the past two years many times, of how I've used my work as an excuse or a distraction from focusing on my work (self-healing), and I've been making gradual shifts away from that. This year's schedule is already a great example of that shift, as I only put a couple of events on my calendar, and actually left much of my summer clear. Basically what I did was lump my service together into just a couple of bursts, with weeks-month long breaks in between, with the biggest one of these being right now
2 weeks ago today, I flew on a red-eye from Portland to New Hampshire for my friend @JayNoone's wedding. Upon arriving there, my rough plan was to rest for the first day, but that instead became a day of helping pack, clean, haul, and repair things. From there it became one of the most interestingly challenging cooking experiences of my life, making about 8 dishes for 150 people with nothing bigger than a 2 gallon pot. The morning after the wedding, I was off the land at 8am (getting a ride from the amazing @catherinebleish) to fly to Washington for the EcoSex Convergence, where my brother Avocado & I cooked 3 meals a day for 4 days.
My plan going into all this was to then leave Orcas Island a couple of hours after the last meal I cooked there, and take another red-eye to Georgia, where I would be cooking at the Rainbow Gathering, in a 24-hour kitchen, for about 2 weeks... At the end of the convergence, after a full day of crying, 2 LONG travel days in the last week or so, getting about 2 hours/day of sleep all week, and cooking lots of food, that just didn't feel good anymore.
I really had been having second thoughts all along, as the idea of two weeks in Georgia in the summer just didn't sound all that fun... I'm not a fan of ticks or humidity... but I have long said that "I'll be cooking at Rainbow every year", and the idea of backing out of my service to others went against the programming I spoke of above.
Finally, after days of feeling torn apart about this decision, I woke up Sunday morning with absolute clarity that I was not going to Rainbow, and it felt so good. Not that I don't want to be there, or that I don't want to see all my Rainbow family, but that what I need and what feels best right now is the most important thing for me to listen to!
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here, but I will say that making that decision, and staying on the island after the closing ceremony (ultimately for another 4 days) led to the single greatest night of my life and many mind-blowingly beautiful experiences.
I'm on a train back to Portland right now, and have nothing scheduled until early August, so I'm just letting the universe know that I'm open for lots of healing, rest, connection, expansion, and leisure between now & then.
I am READY; the idea that I need to be some better version of me to get the things I want is BULLSHIT
One of the beliefs I had been holding onto for the past years and using as an excuse to not actively pursue some of the things I want (namely creating a village & a family) was that I wasn't ready, that I had to be some better version of myself to deserve those things, or to be capable of those things.
I actually wrote a piece about this recently, clearly setting my intentions to change that program, and it really anchored in this weekend. There was one moment in particular, when I saw how in the past few hours I had created shelter, started a fire, made food, cleaned up, offered support & grounding, and I just had this moment of "Yes, I am totally ready to step into those roles.
In the next 12 months I will be buying land (which will then be land patented & put into a land trust because I don't believe in land ownership). This land will be 100+ acres, most likely in Cascadia, and will be the beginning of a vegan, anarchist, conscious creators community I've been visioning for some time. How the pieces fall into place to make it happen I don't know right now, and I don't have to. I am clarifying my vision more and more, and holding myself in the vibration of knowing that it's already here, so there is no way for it not to be.
I can always ask for what I want & need... and usually I'll get it
Another topic I've written & spoken extensively about is my healing & opening of my throat chakra, learning to use my voice. As a kid, my main punishment was to be put in the corner to be quiet by myself when I was in trouble... add that training to not speak when emotionally charged to the general lack of self-love and you can guess how much I've left unsaid in my life.
Over the past 5 years I've certainly learned to speak in front of groups, to open my channel to source and speak what comes through, and to communicate my emotions (damn was it a process), and now the focus has been shifting to the (seemingly simple) practice of asking for what I want & need. This weekend was SO good for that; asking for hugs, asking for support, asking for affirmations, asking to be alone. The beautiful thing is that the answer was basically ALWAYS yes, and when it was a no, I felt good that the other person was taking care of their own needs!
I am once again, as always, blown away by the beauty of my life. I don't know if I am capable (or if words are capable) of describing just how grateful I am for my life, for this path I walk. I am profoundly grateful for all of my traumas & mistakes, because of the healing they allow me to explore now.
I am profoundly grateful for the magical humans in my life (ever-increasing in number!), for the events I get to attend & co-create, for this body that keeps on getting healthier and more functional & beautiful, for this brain that remembers oh so well, sees patterns and collects data.
There is a good chance that I will process more over the next day or so and edit this post to add it in, rather than spending more posts specifically on this experience, but you can also be sure that these things will be coming up throughout my work as it is all integrated fully into my being.
With that, I'd just like to leave you with this BEAUTIFUL song I've been vibing hard the last couple of months, by Chad Wilkins:
You are powerful
You are free
and I love you!
8 Pillars of TribeSteemUp