Chalice of the Sacred

What does it mean to open my heart? To hear only the rhythm of my own mind, body and spirit in union, not to become absorbed by the voice and false beauty of illusion. To hold receptors of light that shine Divine healing into this world. 

Teach me the grace and beauty of walking my own path. 

Sitting in your chapel today for our last ritual, I felt your spirit so deeply. The sacred heart quickened the pace of my own heart, creating a flutter of birth within–that of the heart opening. I feel your presence so strong, visualizing the rays of the sacred heart spreading as the rays began to grow from my own heart. My legs, too, began to quiver as your sacredness penetrated my being. I was immovable from the energy connecting our souls. Open my heart–I know the rays are to go out from me–how? To whom? 

As I stepped away from our intimate communion, you touched my soul with the light of knowing. You spoke to me softly with the voice of awareness: ‘This child, this is why they are in your life, for the healing you have known they needed and now will bring to them by your light, your words, your knowing. You are their healer–by the grace and light I shine through your spirit.’ 

 

Chartres Chapel of the Black Madonna
Chartres Chapel of the Black Madonna

These are the words I wrote in my journal July 7, 2006 as I sat before the Black Madonna in her chapel of the Chartres Cathedral and later in the garden nearby. I’m not sure I understood what was happening to my soul–indeed my entire life. Upon returning home a depression set in. I believed that while in Chartres I hadn’t seen and felt the miracles of being in the Presence of sacredness, mostly because I was still measuring by comparison. This is just one excerpt from my journal during that week, and all these years later, I’m in awe of how deeply immersed I was in the Sacred. 

Black Madonna of Chartres Cathedral
Black Madonna of Chartres Cathedral

I left Chartres feeling I was to go home and heal my family. They were who the Black Madonna–Mary–referred to as she talked of my work to love my husband and children, to bring them healing. What it took some time to recognize is that first I was to heal my self. I so longed for the intimacy of connection with the Beloved. My turmoil was in believing it was out of my reach. What I can see now is how much shame and self judgment I carried within–for being a female, for my sexuality, for feeling so disconnected from the sacredness of my being. This, loved ones, requires much healing. 

I’m sharing this intimate passage because as my children have grown and two are now off to college, my life has taken a significant shift. These words take on new meaning as I inquired so long ago. The same question has come back around – open my heart, allow the rays to shine from me, but how and to whom? Only this time around, the years of deep inner work have opened a channel of inner knowing. At this time in my life the call is to serve as a chalice of Divine Feminine energy in a way I could never have imagined, but still, it feels familiar. The birth of Sacred Circle Retreats has occurred, and my work now is allowing the rays of light to be shared in a contemporary fashion. 

We’re no longer mystics living within the walls of convents and monasteries. Our work now is to live in the world and allow our lights to shine amongst the people. My passion is to be of service in this way, opening myself as the bridge between those who offer healing and light, and those who like me, are seekers of how to move into the next step of their journey. Through Sacred Circle Retreats, so many facets of my life, my journey, my soul purpose are coming together in a beautiful harmony, and truly, with very little ‘push.’ It’s all flowing into place, and I must tell you my dear friends, how in awe I am. This woman I’ve become was once someone I could only envy. She is strong, confident, courageous, open, vulnerable and willing to stand amongst her peers, to collaborate as equals and not feel threatened for what she might not be. She has learned how to stand in her soul’s truth and sacred ‘power.’ She understands what it is to answer the call. She leaves me breathless…because she has allowed herself to be moved. What over six years ago was such a struggle–the act of surrender, has now become her soul’s desire. 

We can’t know what the Universe has destined for us. As Oprah said – God has so much more for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves. It’s so much bigger than me, so I know it’s not of me, but of the Divine. I’m elated to be doing this work, in this place, in this way, at this time. I’m fully open and continuing to surrender into the arms of the sacred, for I know I am always loved and held with grace. As each step unfolds, it feels more and more miraculous to be following my heart–and for it to be so much more than I ever thought it could be–and so much easier than I ever would have imagined. This, dear loves, this is the beauty of ‘doing the work,’ putting the time in to allow yourself to heal, to open your heart no matter how terrified you are of what you might find there or feel through your own heartache. And this is why I’m called to serve as a channel for the sacred. xo 

Radiantly Flawless

‘I understand the nature of illusion and see that I do not, nor have ever possessed any defects.’ ~ Step 6 of the Steps

I sat down to write on Sunday morning and felt the truth of this statement sink deep into my being: I do NOT, nor have EVER possessed any defects. The Universe conspires with our souls to bring the most profound healing and enlightenment to us, to enable us to release and move forward with purpose in who we are. And so we began…

Recently three people have resurfaced in my life–three people, that is, by whom I was hurt deeply many years ago. These are individuals, from different times and places. One goes all the way back to the year I graduated high school. I’ve felt much of the pain from these experiences melt away as I’ve grown and healed, but as one by one my interactions in present time began to trigger those old experiences, I have realized they’ve come back around to allow me to continue to heal and release. It was actually unsettling as with each one I felt myself wanting to say things I didn’t dare say when the original encounters occurred. I had no idea how to stand up for myself back then–and I also walked away from each scenario with full willingness to own my part. I could see how in each situation I had contributed to the undoing of our relationships, and so rather than point my finger at them, I held myself accountable for what was mine. That meant it wasn’t right to make a fuss about what they had done ‘to me.’ 

I captured this photo while we were visiting the Georgia Guidestones on Saturday. Drawn in by the mockingbird, it’s quite apparent by the radiant orb at the bottom of the photo there was a beautiful energy present. Radiantly Flawless indeed.

That’s the old story. The new story was written as I sat down on Sunday morning to sort out some of what I was feeling around the triggers. Feelings of being wrong, inadequate, undesirable, too outspoken, too ‘good’ have all swirled around inside of me since reconnecting with each of these people. But when I began writing, I realized: I’m having some of the same feelings, but without being able to see anything I’d done ‘wrong’ to create the current unpleasantness. I couldn’t turn and point the finger at me this time. There wasn’t anything I felt badly about, no shame, no poor choices, no lack of self esteem in how I encountered each one. Yet, those emotions were still coming up. 

Something began to shift. If I’m being who I am today–and getting the same results as I did years ago when I made choices I wouldn’t make today–then it’s not about what I did or didn’t do. It’s not about how I contributed to the situation. It’s not about that I need to own my choices. It’s not about looking back and owning how I created part of the problem. And so Step 6 began to weave her way into my thoughts. She’d been embedded into my bodies through last week’s class and processing, but now she was standing as my truth. I do not now, nor have ever possessed any defects. No defects. I wasn’t defective all those years ago, in each of those relationships. It’s not that I was wrong–because I’m not and have never been defective! 

There is an enormous magnitude of healing and release in this truth, my friends. I am not – YOU are not – defective. We are perfectly whole. Radiantly flawless. We are as we were mean to be. I was being myself then, as I am being myself now. My intention wasn’t ever to contribute to anyone’s suffering, especially my own. I was just being Jackie. As she was. As she is. Unbroken. Not defective. Seeing with clarity the illusion I’ve lived under for far too long. 

I feel and see myself in a whole different light. Layers of guilt and self judgment are dissolving away. There’s immense power in this awareness of myself: I am NOT defective. I was not–ever. There aren’t any defects, nothing to find or fix or try to own or make better. NOT defective. 

I am radiantly flawless. As are you. 

As part of our processing for Step 6, Fay guided us in a beautiful processing meditation. It was very profound for me personally, and I’m sharing it here with you. Thank you to Fay Hart for the ease and grace with which she assists our consciousness through these steps, and for allowing us all to process at will using this meditation as our guide. 

Without Words

Or perhaps it’s ‘without eloquence.’ Something inside myself feels lacking the ability to connect with the elegance of writing, sharing. Instead I’m feeling overly emotional, unsure of myself, unable to go about the ‘usual’ notes of the day. I’ve had the screaming woman in my head at times, but she’s become instead a heap of tears just waiting for something to trigger their silent march over my cheeks.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt quite this way–and perhaps I never have in ‘quite this way.’ That longing, the hunger for something more, something deeper, something ELSE is what drives my every moment. There’s no escape, nor do I even feel the energy to try finding one. I’m full IN it.

There aren’t words for whatever this is, other than to say I know there is purpose. It’s the Divine who understands what that could possibly be. And for now–I’m not meant to know; only to trust, to allow, to surrender to its presence.

I can’t help but wonder how it relates to turning 40 this year. There aren’t negative emotions around this age for me, only a sense of stepping wholly into a new space in my life, my self, my soul. There’s a sacredness that transcends the human world and yet paradoxically is infused into every thought, emotion, sensation I experience. As I write that sentence, I realize: while I haven’t been aware and even just said there aren’t negative emotions, perhaps there are negative feelings that trigger emotions. I’ve never been one to worry about my health, my body, being fit and eating right. Yet, the call comes and if I’m honest, I’m not happy about it at all. And in the most intimate place of my being there is the realization that some part of me continues to fight it. Ugh.

I feel so much wrapped up in this time of my life…and the truths are coming even as I type. This is a space in which we once again must go deep within and heal places in ourselves that have remained silent, waiting for us to be at the ready. The physical is one thing, but the whispers remind me there is emotional shifting as well. Surrender. Honor. Letting go. Allowing. These are the short words that are my truth. Women cannot play at being young girls, for we are not. Nor do I truly want to be. Time to bring some of those places within myself to present time, to let the authentic bits of me become even more apparent and out into the open.

Funny isn’t it? I’ve watched our daughter move through the space of honoring who she is as a young gay woman and haven’t felt a kinship to what that must be like in today’s climate. And yet, we each have parts of ourselves that we would rather for a time keep ‘in the closet.’ The warm beauty of Lauren being true to herself is that she continually talks of the liberated sense of being that envelops her on a daily basis. ‘I can just be who I am mom.’ I heard her voice echo in my heart. She is more my teacher than my child in this moment. And I am feeling blessed.

There is a richness in this place, even when I can’t feel it to be so, I know it from the depths of my heart to be what is true. And in the darkest moments, I know too that I am always held in the arms of the Divine–always. So that is where I’ll leave you my friends…..in the presence of Divine love….each one of us wrapped in grace. xoxo