What do you get when you take a fish out of water, put the fish on the highest snowy mountain peak in sight, and ask her to find her way home? She begins to remember her essence, applies it to what ever surrounding she finds herself in, and starts to transform into the mythical sea goat her ascendant, North Node, and First House Mars foretold she could be.
Or, something like that. 😉
Truth be told, the short story of irony I’m about to tell is one I did not foresee being one I would tell. And yet, I feel guided to share it for the seed it might plant in any one of you who also may have fears or doubts about what is possible, as I’ve always strongly believed that our greatest fears hold the greatest alchemy for us. In fact, I feel that our greatest fears are the doorways to our gifts and potentials.
I’ve seen that transmutation with things like my fear of public speaking, which turned into teaching, leading retreats, being interviewed on radio shows and video spots, coaching others, creating a YouTube channel of my own, and even openly sharing in various forums or platforms like this.
But skiing? I had pretty much accepted it just might not be my thing and was okay with that.
As many of you know who so sweetly follow along with my journeys, skiing is likely close to the bottom of my list of things I would have considered doing well. I didn’t grow up doing it, I didn’t start to really ski more consistently until the last two to three years – I’m now 48, and I had layers of fears around it that at times were debilitating when first I tried my hand at it.
This fish – I’m a Pisces – was more comfortable in liquid water rather than on frozen water even though I loved the enchantment of it.
That is, until my Capricorn stepped in to help me merge into that sea goat.
Fast forward to 2021 and I find myself on a nine week “ski safari,” as Dave likes to call it, and unknowingly to me, this presented the opportunity to embrace, hide, or run away from my fears. The sea goat-to-be decided to embrace it and hence began the daily consistent journey of supporting myself through a different layer of growth for the next chapter in my life.
I made a decision to transform my relationship with fear and skiing and reprogram a whole new way of nurturing myself that would make it fun, gentle, encouraging, and unconditional. I spent the last eight weeks really listening to myself, understanding my feelings, and developing a consistent practice and system of trust and support that translated into a natural progression of greater confidence, comfortability, and the surprising personal skill to get down a mountain that I wouldn’t have thought was possible.
I still wouldn’t call myself a great skier with amazing form, but that was never the goal. My intention was to create an inner trust and way that worked with who I am so that I could experience the natural out of something that once felt very unnatural.
But even greater than not seeing that coming, was not seeing what unfolded next, which just so happened to take place the day before and on my birthday.
We had a surprise visit from one of Dave’s law school friends and his girlfriend who happened to be finishing up a short ski trip in Park City, Utah and were on their way to visit his family near Boulder, Colorado. They decided to stop a couple of days near us and didn’t know it was my birthday. So, in fact they ended up being with us to celebrate and we met them at Copper Mountain where they were staying, so that we could ski with them for two days.
His girlfriend is a beginner skier, also learning late in life like me. She’s three years older than I am and just started last January in Lake Tahoe. She’s only skied half a dozen times and has taken several lessons. So, it was a good match for me to ski with her while Dave and his friend skied together.
What I had no idea would happen, though, was the two days turned into me teaching her. She didn’t ask me and I didn’t set out to do it. It just naturally evolved and the result was something neither of us expected.
But let me repeat that…the two days turned into me teaching her. What?!
Somehow the self trust and confidence I had built within myself the last eight weeks, alongside the self nurturing and transparent vulnerability and understanding of my fears had created a bridge between me and her. It was an unspoken language that my heart understood during the first two minutes I watched her ski. And a camaraderie of nurturing ignited instantaneously and the teacher side of me found a new channel to lovingly work through.
It didn’t matter if I was “expert” at this skiing thing or not. I had personal experience and tender understanding about what was running through her. I saw her as me and I knew how I had nurtured my own inner child through this, so this experience was simply another version of that inner child I naturally gravitated toward and vice versa.
What unfolded within literally ten minutes almost made both of us cry.
She looked at me with the hugest smile and sparkle in her eyes (we were wearing our face coverings so that’s all we could see of each other) and said, “Oh my gosh Tania. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to make turns. This is the first time anyone has ever told me what you just did. I can’t thank you enough. You’re such a good teacher because you explain things the way I understand them.”
To say I was humbled by what she said is an understatement….I nearly fell over because the irony of this shocked me. I merely felt what she was going through and relayed things as I would have to myself. Nothing fancy, just from the heart in a simple way.
She had been used to expecting she would fall, expecting to have fear, and just holding her breath, ploughing straight down steep parts, and hoping for the best. She had no confidence. Her trust was in the fact that falling was normal and fear would always control her.
After just one, long run together she was a completely different person on skis and she went from a past history of multiple crash falls and landings to only one small, gentle fall on the first two runs we did together, to not one fall on the third.
But more importantly, she was smiling huge, excited, felt confident, and was finally having fun!
I was floored because it was the last thing I would have expected and yet it actually seemed to make sense when I thought about it.
It’s not that I know all there is about skiing because I hardly know anything, but I know fear and I know processes. What I learned was a step-by-step way to address and explain things so that a better relationship could be developed with something new and scary. I knew that creating a bridge to more confidence and what would support that best, was where to start. The rest would naturally evolve.
She went on to tell her boyfriend and Dave that she’s had what she considered not great and good instructors, but I had done what neither had been able to.
It’s still actually hard for me to even say or write this because it’s challenging to see how this happened and so it makes me want to giggle in disbelief. And yet, we both witnessed, and her boyfriend did too on the second day, the progress she made.
He actually thanked me when we arrived on day two, my birthday, after doing one run with her, saying “Wow Tania. You really upped her game. She’s made huge progress. I don’t know what you did – hypnotized her or something – but thank you.”
You can imagine the laugh Dave and I had when we returned to the car on our own and I said, “I guess I’m a ski instructor now?!”
On our second day together, and first run of that day, she had a moment where her ski hit a round ice ball on the steepest part of the run. This, as you might surmise and is quite natural, put her back into a place of fear. So, it started to make her second run more challenging, as that fear thought was lingering with her and wondering if it would happen again. She began to lose confidence.
I knew that place very well, too. Those little setbacks when you have a different day, things feel different, conditions are different, etc. These are times that call for you to double back and navigate things from the beginning again in a way that feels nurturing instead of pushy or judgmental.
I started to do that with her and explained how it was okay…natural…but we could work with that. And we did. We talked through things and she took it step-by-step, including just looking a few feet in front of her to navigate her path rather than at the whole landscape, and then following closely behind me as I took a very slow and deliberate run like I’d done the day before that helped her feel guided to focus on rather than her fear. She mirrored me and we were as one.
She shared her gratitude for helping her through the fear and explained she felt so much better.
Once again, she looked at me with the hugest smile and sparkle in her eyes and I knew she was having fun again.
And that my friends, is priceless.
On yesterday’s Chinese New Year of the Ox (my native zodiac), day thirty of skiing this Winter season, while protected and overseen by Ullr, the Norse God of Snow, I hit a milestone on my journey with fear. The fear I’m referring to has to do with heights associated with being on edges like riding chair lifts and skiing down mountain runs. The milestone was going down a Black Diamond run for the very first time and having fun doing it.
For anyone new to skiing, as I was, ski slope colors refer to the steepness of the gradient and the level of difficulty. Green is Beginner, Blue is Intermediate, and Black is Expert. That said, there are many levels in between and these are very loose terms in my opinion, as I see people of all levels on various runs. Also, you don’t have to be what you think might be considered an “expert” to go on a Black Diamond run. You simply, in my opinion, need to have courage, but indeed you need to have some level of skill to safely get down, especially in terms of turning and being in control. “Double” of any color means more challenging…for instance a Double Green is more like a Blue or Intermediate with more steepness, and so on. I find also that every ski resort has different ideas about what they think each level is and where you might not feel comfortable on some in one resort, on others you would. So you need to ask questions to the staff and explore for yourself. Also, I find some Green runs at resorts to mostly be cat tracks – paths used to move around the mountain, rather than actual runs. I tend to not like these and don’t consider them really great for learning to ski because they are narrow and don’t really allow for turns and practice. And if conditions aren’t great, they can be icy too. That said, they ARE sometimes the only way down the mountain so are necessary to be familiar with.
If I had to label my level of skiing I’d say I’m at the beginning end of Intermediate. However, I like how Jeffrey Weidel breaks down the three main color-coded levels further into nine levels, which speaks to me more. According to his breakdown, I’m at Level 4, edging ever-so slowly into Level 5.
But these are just ways of understanding categories and to give you a little understanding of things in reference to the main theme here – working with fear.
So, back to that milestone I hit yesterday, which to me isn’t just about a fear of heights and edges, but spoke to my making friends with fear in general and how I have been teaching myself to navigate it on my own terms.
As I mentioned in my last blog, “my skiing approach is one of enjoyment, not achievement.” And this has been the key for me in how to reprogram fear, no matter what the fear involves.
It’s also about honoring my needs and supporting that.
Rather than take something I’m afraid of and try to make it a system of how to progress to achieve a certain level or status, I’ve made it purely fun without any agenda, and my learning to be something I’ve decided to be my own coach of so that I can provide the kind of nurturing and motivation I know speaks to my inner little girl – a marriage of the wise adult and the innocent child. I become my own parent or instructor based on the knowledge of my fears and how I can engage them to feel safe and join me, rather than want to run away.
That doesn’t mean that getting a good ski instructor isn’t a good idea. Ski instructors are great no matter what level you’re at, to help refresh or take you to new levels. However, I’ve found that for me at this point, my own coaching is most nurturing, as part of the repatterning I am doing has to do with my approach to things. So, having someone overseeing and controlling that right now isn’t helpful. I have had a few instructors in the past and retained the basics from them, but I also learned from those experiences that this is the more supportive approach right now for me. I also learned a lot more by skiing with Dave and what he’s shown me. He’s an amazing skier. So with the basics, I’ve been able to formulate my process intuitively and gently support growth.
You see, in the past I learned to “perform” and in many cases push through something with an old “race horse” mentality that quite literally was engrained within my soul history from lives as just that. It wasn’t about how I felt, but what I felt I needed to do – in many cases being for someone else and not myself. It was that old “suck it up” and dishonor what your feelings and process are, in place of what you are either told you should do, or is driven only by achieving.
I began to slowly reprogram that approach nearly 15 years ago, upon discovering it, but skiing has been the best gauge of change with this for me and the biggest leaps of progress from my work have come in the last few years. And this year, when the opportunity came from this Winter immersion adventure we’ve been on, I’ve been able to really bear witness to my process because of having so many consecutive days of skiing.
The most I’d ever skied in a season, previous to now, was sixteen days. The last two years sixteen days was my max and previous to that in the first years of my starting at this I had only skied a handful of days each season. Not enough to really shift a pattern. And with thirty days under my belt this year, it’s provided that consistent focus and commitment I believe anything takes if you really want to change something. I still have another fifteen possible days to add to this for 2021. So this year really is monumental for supporting transformation.
Without going into all of the details of how I’ve been retraining myself, my basic approach is to honor my feelings, consistently repeat runs over and over and over in a flowing way at levels I feel comfortable with that have a slight stretch to them (in this way making them feel more natural to me and giving me lots of repetitive practice), taking my time, enjoying nature all around me, staying ultra present, talking gently to myself and even giggling the whole way to help make adjustments where needed and to keep things light, pausing to take it all in, and celebrating the moments.
I explore different little off-sections of trails to introduce change so that I can feel the unknown a bit, but at my own choice. And when there’s a slightly more challenging run connected to my path, I will slowly introduce it by trying it once in between my runs. Even if I don’t do it again, it’s my way of stretching into the new space to support growth. Usually what I find is that when I do that, I actually return to my usual run with greater ease, skill and confidence. And if I feel like something isn’t going right or I don’t like the runs or conditions, I will not push anything. I do only what I feel safe and comfortable with, then stop.
Since skiing doesn’t come natural to me, being that I didn’t grow up doing it and don’t have any muscle memory, as they say, for it, I am having to create that now.
But the key in all of this is enjoying the process. If it’s not fun, then it becomes work and feels like the old way of force.
This is why I will also stop along the way to take in sights I see, explore, notice the details of the terrain and little fun things like the Gnomes you saw in my last post.
And yesterday was proof that my confidence and relationship to fear had shifted hugely when I decided to try the Black Diamond run.
There was build-up to this, as several days ago we were skiing at this same resort and I overhead some guys telling their girlfriend that the Black Diamond run next to where I was skiing was considered an “easy” Black run. Normally that wouldn’t get my attention, as I would have a huge block to Black. And many times I have the same block to a lot of the Blue runs too. So, I spent my day observing the Black run they mentioned while I rode up the ski lift because I could see the whole thing from that vantage point. I kept taking in the pitch of the slope, watched people ski down it at various levels including my own, and mentally was processing it.
I told Dave about it after we left the resort that day and that I was curious about trying it, but didn’t want to do it alone if I did. I never like to be on something steep by myself in case I fall.
On Friday we were actually supposed to go to a different resort – you have to make reservations with Covid – but due to snowy weather and the longer drive to that resort we decided to cancel and go back to the place that had the curious Black Diamond run and where Ullr, the Norse God of Snow directs his guardian aim because it was closer.
After skiing the runs I practice on for a bit, I asked Dave to try the Black run and tell me what he thought. He did and I remained curious. I didn’t feel a block or a huge “no” in me, but continued to have curiosity and felt like it was a good chance to try something more difficult. I felt that there was reason I had overhead the other people mention it, as if I hadn’t heard that I wouldn’t have thought it possible. And the only reason I was curious was because they said it was an easy Black Diamond, which Dave confirmed. Plus, I obviously had built up courage from all of my consistent practice.
That said, I still knew I was in for some steep terrain. However, I’ve been practicing like heck and feel confident with my control and turns even if not done like a graceful swan. I also had just gotten my skis tuned up and they felt better than ever to carve those turns.
So, I went for it. On my own accord. It wasn’t anyone else’s idea. I wasn’t forced. I chose it and was curious about it. Curiosity invites wonder and innocence to stay with us and softens the seriousness or feeling of pressure.
And off I went, with Dave staying with me to the side just in case.
In the past I would have froze, cried, stopped and took my skis off and walked down, or perhaps even fallen.
None of these happened and in fact I saw how both my practice had supported my ability to make slow, in control turns and my consistency and fun approach took the edge off of fear.
I still felt my heart beat, but I knew I could do it and I did. I was in control of my experience.
It was a huge celebration of what for me was monumental in experiencing the shift that had taken place.
I returned to the run I was doing before it and I saw how much better and even quicker I was getting down, after stretching my curiosity on the Black Diamond run.
I celebrated my milestone and Dave did too.
This is a post about possibility.
That you can learn anything at any age – I’ll be 48 in just a couple of weeks and didn’t start to really ski until my 40’s.
That you can move through any fear – my fear of heights is not little, but I’ve learned to find ways to walk hand-in-hand with it, rather than push it away or avoid it.
You may see rabbits as fragile little creatures, but I assure you they are strong and enduring with a heart of courage. When asked what Astrid wanted to focus today’s blog on, she took time to herself and emerged with clarity saying, “Let’s talk about fear.” I think she’s right-on with this theme, as so many are trying to create new in their lives, follow dreams, heal from past traumas, or even just trying to muster the courage and strength amidst so much collective noise coming at them, that it’s tough. Fear can be all-consuming and paralyzing. It can bring out the best and the worst in us. Astrid wants to assure people that if she and the rabbits can do it, so can you.
Astrid has moved through a lot of fears since choosing to live with me. She used to fight fear when triggered by traumas and this was both in way of reaction AND saying “No, I will not be a victim.”
She’s since discovered that while she can still stand up to fear and victimhood, she also has another creative option that involves opening more to love.
Let’s listen in as Astrid channels the rabbit collective to bring forth their wisdom, while I do my best to be her voice.
She reminds us that rabbits are guides and messengers between worlds – bringing forth information as bridges between the Cosmos, Earth, and Underworlds – and so we can call upon them to help us navigate the journey. She giggles at the reference to “down the rabbit hole” I’m seeing in my mind’s eye because it truly is no metaphor, but a reality both in the seen and unseen worlds of rabbit.
That’s why she finds it funny we think of rabbits as timid, since they are sentinels and guardians of darkness and shadowy depths. She reminds us not to judge a book by its cover. Tricksters they are, and they use their sensitivities to navigate a different kind of journey.
Like Astrid went within to hear what wanted through, I had to get quiet to hear her message, which took me on a labyrinth-like adventure to show me the way of the rabbit.
Astrid says life is a shamanic journey and our fears can be channeled as way-showers for us and a way to take command of our lives. She reiterates with an image of her doing a dramatic thump on the ground with her powerful back legs – a sound that really penetrates here when done on our ceramic tile floors.
Rabbits thump for several reasons….to warn of danger, when they sense something that frightens them, to get our attention, to show dissatisfaction, and to make a point!
I feel it’s a way they move energy through, rather than hold it in and suppress it, just as their chewing allows for this and processing of energy and ideas, as well as that ever-wiggling nose, and those exuberant binkies.
But back to that shamanic journey…Native American legends speak of rabbit as both an ingenious trickster and hero, and that the Great Hare known as Manabozho created the world teaching sacred rites and ritual forms to shamans, as well as brought fire to the people.
Interesting that what many think of as a fragile and cute little fur ball would actually be associated with fire and creation! This goes back much further, but we’ll leave that for another time.
However, in this way we can surmise that understanding the rhyme and reason of things beyond what they seem will reveal the truth of what is beneath the feelings. We initiate ourselves via our challenges and discover that they would not be present if we did not actually have the ingenuity to outwit them.
Rabbit is also known as the “fear caller” who calls out to the very thing it fears until it’s noticed. This is twofold in meaning.
One, it reveals that indeed what you focus on fearing you draw in more of.
But two, you can also use your fear ingeniously as the very inducer to your gifts by calling fear forward to enlist courage and creativity.
Often times, it is when we are pushed to the edge and in survival mode, that we pull out our best to overcome the hurdles and surprise even ourselves.
This can take practice – each time utilizing new creative ways to move through something.
Rabbits encourage us not to let fear block our growth and opportunities. They are wonderful guides to lead us with their keen senses, ability to act swiftly and know what, and when, to embrace, and even the timing necessary to move out of a rut of stagnation.
Because in truth, if we wait too long, or never act, we just might find ourselves withering away – or in the case of a rabbit – succumbing to the very danger they feared.
They even infuse whimsical serendipity into our processes and induce the need to attune ourselves to the fine frequencies that will indicate timing for leaps of faith.
You may wonder when to make a move in some area of your life and get yourself paralyzed with choices, worrying about right or wrong, or allowing past experiences to dictate moving at all.
Rabbits help us to make effective choices with plans and teach us how to look before leaping. But then they DO actually leap. They know that they can’t wait too long, as that could be detrimental.
While we may not meet the fate of a rabbit unable to move from fear, we may create greater pain and suffering than is actually necessary if we let fear take over.
Rabbit does its best to listen to energetic waves within and without and makes a decision in every moment to keep fine-tuning their path. They don’t look at the end result. They simply navigate the moment and every twist and turn with ultra focus on what their body, feelings, and psychic instincts find most resonant.
When you see a rabbit still and alert, they are processing all the stimuli and tuning in to what and when they’ll need to act. They don’t move too soon and they don’t wait too long.
With time, we can nurture a similar process by teaching ourselves this moment-to-moment tuning in.
And what about that debilitating “victim mode” we often put ourselves in?
As some of the biggest victims there are, rabbits help us to change our relationship to this idea and ensure us that just as they’ve survived prolifically over the ages, we too can recreate ourselves, be quicker and more effective, and not only survive, but thrive.
In essence they don’t allow this victim mentality to rule their lives and nor should we.
Fear is actually creative energy blocked. So rather than creativity flowing, it turns on itself and becomes destructive, unconscious emotions running amuck until we nurture and open an outlet for it. And just as creativity is endless, so too can our fears feel like a bottomless pit until we understand this and recognize how to channel it differently.
This is also alchemy at work.
So, when something new is on the horizon, rabbit asks us to be present, tune in, and allow creativity to flow in the way of creating great plans with multiple ways in and out.
Don’t limit yourself.
Don’t be predictable.
Find new ways to blaze your path like the zig-zagging rabbit.
And if fear has you feeling lost in the dark, realize you’re not alone there.
Rabbit is right alongside you in the tunnels of shadow and unseens, gently nudging you with its moist nose of assurance that the fire within your sacred heart DOES know the way.
It may not happen immediately, just as it has taken Astrid a while to navigate this new way of fear through love, but with the right nurturing from yourself, you can find a little rabbit ready to join the journey with you.
Open your arms and let rabbit jump inside to nurture your instincts.
Rabbits are navigators of sound and can move through the darkness with ease.
So can you.
They support the sensitive seer and healer within each of us.
The part of you that knows without knowing.
Fear may not dissipate altogether, but like the rabbit, you might discover your own gift of fear-calling because you’re that clever.
Stop, be present, and look and listen with all of you in a way you never have.
Personal transformation is at hand.
You CAN outwit life and fears and have creative fun exploring the tunnels of possibility along the way.
Rabbit will be right by your side when you do.
Astrid would like to open the floor to our readers and friends. If you have a question for Astrid, please feel free to send them via the contact form and we’ll be sure to include answers, or craft a whole future blog around, your questions. Please send thoughts here: Contact Tania & Astrid
There are so many directions I could take this share, given the layers of experience that unraveled in Grand Canyon National Park this last week – mirroring the multi-layers of rock found there “that serve as windows into time.” Rather than orchestrate my direction, I’m going to allow an organic channeling to flow of insights, experiences, and connections, in whatever way they want to come through. Perhaps more will be felt via the energy in the photos shared. Either way, as usual, it’s impossible to really explain in words what is felt and to encapsulate what is so expansive and complex. And so, some mystery will be left to explore within yourself while I reserve some of those sands of time for divine unwrapping. Besides, I am very anxious to get back to completing my book, especially so now with the new integrated energy and Spring opening her gateway.
We were away for nearly 11 days, beginning our trip with Tucson explorations and lovely family time, continuing the adventure deep within the Grand Canyon, and rounding things out with integrative contrast and fun in Las Vegas. I considered these travels a birthday celebration, as I’d just celebrated mine about a week prior to our disembarking.
As shared, this was reiterated and deepened in meaning when I discovered my 45th birthday of 2/26 was shared with Grand Canyon’s 99th birthday as a National Park. The plot thickens. 🙂
I’d also only recently become aware of the hidden and highly covered up potential of Egyptian temples and Tibetan connections within the GC that no one seems to want to acknowledge – no surprise there since it would mean acknowledging science and history were all wrong in so many ways, not to mention, open up more gateways to knowledge that could shift and awaken so much. I knew this would only be an introduction to the GC, but I had a feeling I’d receive my own confirmations of this while there, which would set up future explorations.
Our travels had us in Tucson, Arizona 3/7 – 3/10, leaving early that morning to venture north to the Grand Canyon to meet our friends. Tucson prepped us with beautiful hikes, good vegan food, rest, and family connecting – all perfect for the adventure ahead. On the way north we stopped for a brunch in Phoenix at a wonderful vegan cafe – Nami – where we enjoyed a hearty meal and picked up a box of vegan donuts, pastry, and cupcakes to share with our friends for dessert and breakfast – our last fun, city food before hitting nature fully. We passed Sedona as well, where I caught a glimpse of the red rock there while we headed up the highway. That also felt like an energetic grid light-up, like every little piece was part of a puzzle coming together.
We arrived fairly early on the 10th – around 2:30 pm – giving us plenty of time to prep, go through our equipment, have our friends help us pack our backpacks, enjoy a great vegan pizza and salad bar meal, indulge in vegan goodies we brought, relax in the jacuzzi, and get a good night’s sleep before our 3/11 trek! It started to rain this day and rained through the night, feeling so perfect as a cleansing and clearing, to give us a fresh start. A potential for full on rain and some rain was there for the first couple of days of our adventure, but this didn’t end up happening. There was no way of knowing for sure what weather we’d have for our hiking, as it changes moment to moment, but we were prepared for anything and in the end it was absolutely perfect! Faery powers activate!
We were in the GC 3/11 – 3/14.
I found it interesting that during this whole trip there were some cool alignments and celebrations happening that really made it all even more impactful and synchronously symbolic.
While in Tucson on the 9th I celebrated the anniversary of officially adopting Cosmo in 2015 (although he came home to us in January of that year). That day I also found a small sparkly quartz stone that was shaped like a rabbit’s ear, mirroring his lovely ones that were always illuminated in energy. I also saw several cottontails that greeted me each day. And coyote medicine made an appearance as well.
While in the Grand Canyon I celebrated my 17 year anniversary of my legal name change to Tania Marie, which was on the 12th (our second day of trekking and arrival to the Colorado River. On this day I’d felt renewed, especially after the previous night’s experience I’ll share later. This felt very potent not only sharing my birthday with the GC, but now having my true birthing into who I am taking place while within her womb.
There was also the time change on 3/11 – the day we hit the GC trail – that didn’t affect us in Arizona since they don’t change time, but was universally a leap ahead an hour, mirroring my leap into this adventure.
We road-tripped it to Las Vegas 3/15 – 3/17 and then returned home to Lake Tahoe on St. Patrick’s Day which also happened to be a New Moon in Pisces – my sign – and again feeling like a rebirthing that indeed took place. We ended up arriving home to several feet of fresh snow from another snow storm, giving us the most snow we’ve had all season. This mirroring the purity of energy in the snow storm we got to enjoy as a send-off to our trip, now greeting us upon return and creating a fresh start.
Perfect timing with Spring Equinox today, adding to the spark of new and renewal.
That’s a brief overview of timing and alignments, and now onto more of the GC.
Rewind to several months ago when KC – aka Bean and Clint – aka Happy – were visiting in Lake Tahoe for the Summer. You likely remember that I’d fractured my right foot on September 10th of last year, during an epic 13 mile hike to Star Lake. It took 2 months to heal with some integration back, so in November I was slowly starting to get out hiking again to strengthen that foot. It was also right before they left back to Arizona that they put out the idea of our doing a trek with them in the Grand Canyon, so that they could share their favorite place, besides Lake Tahoe, with us and our other two Tahoe friends, Sharon and Paul.
I was the first to say an immediate “yes” to it and I held strong to that conviction the last 3 and a half months or so, which materialized now. Dave wasn’t sure if he’d be able to with work and wasn’t able to get excited because he had a lot going on at the time to think about it, but I kept intending and Dave ended up being able to and got just as much on board. I spent the last few months prepping my feet for what I knew would be the most demanding of hikes I’ve done, and even though I also had a deep cut to the back of my ankle that took place in early February that was still healing, I knew I’d not be deterred and continued saying “yes.”
I know many were concerned for me, my feet, and thought there’d be a “story” from this adventure too, since I tend to be more fishy as a Pisces (with fins rather than feet) and can have some strong symbolism manifest in my feet that align with big shifts in my life, but I’m happy to report none of that took place and in fact, my shifting into my Capricorn North Node – or Cappy as I like to call it – seems to be boldly in effect.
It also was no coincidence that our sweet friends and GC experts (who have been hiking there nearly 15 years) are a Capricorn and Cancer, respectively. This merging beautifully with my Capricorn North Node, Rising and Mars, as well as my Cancer South Node, and with Dave’s Cancer North Node, Rising, and Capricorn South Node. We were like puzzle pieces to each other and further even, as I later discovered more astrological links between us in researching their charts with my brother for them.
And I have to say that the earthing done in such a power place as the GC, with so much linked “history” and resonance with my higher self, as well as rich in layers of Cappy energy, was healing and integrating in ways that created leaps within.
It seems that all the times as a child and the couple of visits in recent few years to the rim of the GC were prepping me for this full immersion that divinely aligned with knowing Bean and Happy, which although we’ve been friends on Facebook for 5-6 years, only manifested in the flesh this last summer. I couldn’t imagine going into the Grand Canyon with anyone else, as not only are they such seers and feelers of her mystery and beauty, but are back packing experts and incredible trail guides, which was exactly what this Pisces with Cappy North Node in training needed!
That leads us into a little overview of the rim-to-river-and-back trekking we did before further explorations for all you technical peeps and to add some perspective to the overall experience and challenge. I may not get all the terms down properly, as I’m going off memory, but I’m sure Bean can chime in in the comments, if I have something off.
We started at about 6800 elevation, which was at the rim, and descended to about 2200 elevation, which was the Colorado River’s base. However, with the ascending and descending that takes place throughout, we did about 5000 total elevation gain with our hiking (the most previously to date I’d done was 3300 in Montana without a backpack). The guys totaled 30 miles and us faeries totaled 32 miles, as we did a lot of little mini expeditions into faery lands and to treasure hunt.
This doesn’t sound like much over the course of 4 days, however, backpacking increases the intensity and challenge of regular hiking about 2-3 times. We likened it to snow shoeing and how that also increases the time and intensity of hiking at about the same level.
I carried about 25+ pounds on my back and Dave had about 35+ pounds.
There are different types of trails as well….we went down a threshold trail and connected to a primitive trail. The more raw the trail, the more technical and less traveled.
There are apparently 4 levels or classes of hiking with 4 being the most challenging on the scale. We were doing Class 3 hiking. So we kicked off my very first experience of all of this with a bang! Bean and Happy said they had confidence in us that we could handle it given our hiking and activity level we do consistently and the elevation we live at, otherwise they’d never take us on such a trek. I’m proud to say we rose to the occasion!
In our trails we had sections of what they call Black Diamond, which is like the ski runs with that being the hardest of any. And also were on some Double Diamond sections, which involves climbing with hands and legs, where you either hand off your trekking poles or bracelet them around one wrist while you climb up rocks in canyons.
I had no idea what to expect, but as I mentioned, I just said, “yes” to it all, despite likely my greatest fear being heights (specifically being on an edge, but not flying or paragliding). Likely because of my Pisces fish feet that hadn’t fully merged into their Cappy mountain goat hooves – yet.
As I said, this was my very first time doing any of this, as my camping experience is limited to a couple childhood times, but I’ve never done the full-on back packing, camping and trekking like this, despite all of my hiking.
So, this being the first was really a huge leap….as not only did it not go in baby steps of introducing me, but took me pretty full-on in every way to fully immerse me in the most challenging of everything that would help me arise and conquer.
This wouldn’t have been possible at any other time in my life, as this is when I’ve been most in my “nature,” aligning me the most with Nature.
And given the Capricorn energy that’s been beckoning me further, I indeed needed that mountain goat courage and sure-footedness to navigate my new path in life. Hence, I called in the “Grand-est” adventure to help with that leap.
It seemed Mother Nature was also on our side in aiding this plight, as we had the most incredible weather you could ask for.
We started the hike with rain that only lasted about an hour, which made all the colors of the Canyon pop and created amazing fog and clouds that slowly revealed the mystery below us in divine increments, and then turned into perfect sunshine and shading throughout the rest of our days that was mild and comfortable.
Our first night was the coolest at about 40 and then warmed as we descended, but our days were high 60’s to 70 with gorgeous light, stunning clouds and sunsets, and even a mysterious wind for a portion of our last day’s ascent, blowing in change and moving seeds of time before we reunited with civilization above and into a new timeline – as indeed it feels a time leap and shift took place.
There are so many layers of experience including personal, group, and collective, involving integration, spirit retrieval, activation, renewal, anchoring, healing, strengthening, parting veils, and so much more! Rich and sacred indeed, which to me was even mirrored in my hair.
I normally have my hair down, but felt called to ask Bean to braid it for the journey to make things easier, but also to connect with my “roots” more and the Native vibe. The first two days I had two french braids woven into my hair, then a free flowing “down” hair vibe at the river in between the last two days of one inverted french braid to round things out. Not only is braiding a very sacred ritual that weaves in intention, but the symbolism of two braids – feeling like me riding the middle balancing duality like the Chariot in Tarot – and then the inverted one braid – as integrating and transmuting the two into a whole new and potentially parallel reality.
It was interesting to see the photos of my braids after, as I’ve never seen underneath my hair except for in front where I see both on top and under where my silvers are most evident. But in getting to see the inverted french braid photo, I was able to see how silvers are interwoven everywhere in my hair and that made me extra giddy. Most people wouldn’t necessarily be happy about that, but I was quite ecstatic to find them literally threaded throughout and that added another layer of ancient and new side-by-side. Much like just being in the Grand Canyon felt….taking me back ages, but from a new perspective of now. Old and new me coming together – that Trinity energy of Maiden, Mother, Crone spiraling in a vortex of One.
And speaking of vortexes, you better believe I experienced that here. The most profound being on our first night at one of three incredible campsites we enjoyed.
Our first day (which was greeted with a mule deer on our path just before we reached the trail head) was filled with new vistas around each corner and much to tantalize the senses. When we stopped for lunch at the creek, Bean and I went exploring down it a ways and came upon magickal waterfalls….a faery land indeed!
We hardly saw any people while trekking – no more than a handful or so, until the last day when we were on the home stretch. And that included completely private campsites we had all to ourselves and the spirits of the Canyon.
It was at the first site that those hidden Egyptian connections were firmly confirmed for me.
To begin, let me rewind to the jewelry I felt called to wear for this entire trip. I normally don’t wear jewelry hiking – or at least it’s seldom and rare – but I was called to wear 3 bracelets – sunstone, obsidian, and citrine – and one necklace with a very special pendant.
The pendant is a turquoise Horus that I got on one of my travels to Egypt. I immediately was told to wear it. All of these stones I felt would be supportive to my integrating and anchoring in Earthy and empowering energy for the trek, while protecting and infusing me with just what I needed. (In the above photo you see it hovering over Horus Temple and below hovering over Tower of Set. If you know their story, bringing them together was for balancing).
Little did I know that so many of the peaks and citadel formations of the Canyon are Egyptian named. One just so happened to be Horus Temple. 😉
On this first night Bean found us an incredible camping site that literally rocked my world.
We set up tents near the edge of the Canyon overlooking the Colorado River on both sides (each of us having a view of the river at both ends) with the Tower of Ra, Horus Temple, and Tower of Set behind and to the right of him all overlooking us! Osiris Temple was off in the background behind them. (There’s also Zoroaster Temple and Isis Temple – not sure if I’m missing others, but these are the Egyptian ones I became aware of on this journey).
It felt like no coincidence this would be our first night’s camping site, making it an initiating and activating experience for sure. The light of the setting Sun on Ra was incredible and the colors just painted themselves brilliantly, as we settled in.
Like all days and evenings, we enjoyed yummy vegan food and never felt deprived or without. We had bags of trail mixes, peanut butter pretzels, some of my fav dry roasted almonds, vegan jerky (bought and home made), my favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint Clif Builder’s Protein Bars, and hearty Outdoor Herbivore breakfast and dinner meals of oatmeal with chunks of apple, quinoa, and seeds, raisins and cinnamon, Basil Walnut Penne with crushed basil and walnuts, and Cheddar “Mac” with sundried tomato and nutritional yeast. Our friends brought along their own mixes of meals we got to share and sample, along with fun vegan candies as treats now and then. We would carry all of our water and filter and make water along the way at creeks and the river.
This first day was our longest trek all at once of 11 miles. As mentioned, miles in the Canyon are not the same as miles on regular terrain, as there is more to take into consideration with the type of trail, technical maneuvering, caution of foot placement, elevations changes, climbing and descending on varying terrain, and of course carrying your heavy back pack and taking breaks for water and food to fuel along the way. So it can double or nearly triple your time, depending on your skill or experience level.
We set up camp, marveled at our views and the energy there, filled our tummies, enjoyed conversation awaiting the stars to appear, and settled in for our first night – the coldest of the nights since we were at around 4000-4500 elevation and quit exposed. Luckily we were all prepared with our layers and thermals and our sleeping bags that take 20 degree weather.
Anyway, this first night was the most interesting for me, as not only were my quads adjusting to the new ways of using their muscles in carrying a pack and climbing giant steps, but I had a hard time falling asleep for what seemed like an hour or more.
Because the mountain was moving.
I laid on the side of tent that was closest to the edge of the Canyon and nearest to the Tower of Ra. And when I say it was moving, I mean I literally was on edge because I could feel the non-solidity of a very solid mountain that was rolling toward Ra, Horus, and Set and that our tent was flowing off the mountain as if on a waterfall. But not down, as in falling into the Canyon, but down and off the edge into a magnetized glide toward these towering Guardians.
I was ready to get up and get outside the tent to actually see it, but being that it was cold out and I was mixed with excitement and nervousness, I stayed put. I resigned to the fact that the Horus pendant I was wearing, in fact was creating a grid between me and Horus Temple and the others, literally drawing me to them, or rather, soaring on his wings to return “home.” Or, perhaps it was acting as a key that opened a portal. I’d say it was both, but that’s just me.
I knew then these “conspiracy” theories, which I never thought of in that light anyway because I believed, were in fact reality. There was definitely a vortex here, definitely an Egyptian connection, and the mysteries of the ancients were opening themselves to me…welcoming me…or in fact, welcoming me back. Just as with my first trip to Egypt, where everyone I’d met on the streets would look me deeply in my eyes, as if to recognize me and kept saying “welcome back” and “welcome home,” as they handed gifts to me.
Egypt has always been one of, if not my most powerful connections in this lifetime to help open and unravel things for me. I felt at home in the Canyon and there was a sense of the familiar, as well as a lessened sense of my normal fear of heights – or perhaps it was an increased sense of my ability to power through it and access that technical focus and mind/heart connection that created ultra awareness and sensibility. Perhaps it was an added layer of my Egyptian spirit activation or a recall of doing this all before, in another time and space.
There was no denying what I knew in my heart and spirit…Egypt was here and SO much more, and I’d been here too, long, long ago.
The rest of that night continued interesting with dreams after dreams and awakening and sleeping on and off likely because of the potent energy surging through me and my body adjusting to all these new and old experiences merging at once. Like another soul retrieval and return to “origins” I’ve been speaking about, but I definitely felt the presence of divine and powerful beings around me.
And yet, I woke the next morning to a gorgeous sunrise and new day feeling refreshed and ready to go. Although there was definitely something new in the air.
We took in our surroundings over breakfast, thankful for this incredible site and the energy we got to experience here. Then prepped and made our way after a group shot.
This next day we had about 4 miles to go (if I’m remembering correctly) to our River destination.
I remember how this day I felt lighter and the backpack that I was learning my way around the previous day in terms of adjusting just right and finding my body balance, was no longer a thought. From here on, I did not really notice my backpack and came to feel it to be almost nurturing to have there…like a shell to a turtle.
In fact, I always call myself a turtle when I hike, as my usual hiking is to have a consistent turtle speed (allbeit, this is usually faster than the average person, is slower than most experienced people). This is how I maintain my energy levels without getting depleted, is a way I can enjoy my surroundings and check things out, and is also my preferred mode even more so now in order to strategize each move deliberately and thoughtfully to avoid “incidents.” I’m definitely the rabbit and tortoise dichotomy, incarnate. 😉
We reached a creek and followed a bed of rocks that led us to the Colorado River where we set up our next private campsite on the most beautiful beach all to ourselves.
The sand was silky between our well-traveled toes and here we quickly set up camp so that we could enjoy a full day and night.
We reached camp around the same time of 2-2:30 and here is where we washed clothes in the River and also enjoyed a very invigorating and cold, refreshing bath immersing in the flowing water where the rapids rolled by.
We always washed up every night with things we brought along, but this was our best bathing of the journey that left us fully renewed and revitalized.
Explorations were in store a bit, as we checked out the incredible Vishnu layer of black rocks here that are so smoothly carved they appear like fine sculptures with razor sharp edges in some places.
In some areas they are laced with white and blue glazed crystalline layers that are truly magnificent.
There were so many incredible stones, fossils, crystals, layers of the Canyon rock that we discovered along the way, including 100’s of heart-shaped rocks that lit up our path with love, as if placed by angels that were supporting us along the way. Some of the incredible pieces dated back 1.7 billion years, as in the case of the Zoroaster Granite of the Vishnu layers.
The fossils dating 2.6 billion years of shells, small sea creatures, worms, and salamander/lizard-like prehistoric beings. Amazing!
I also loved the Chert, which are these layers of “microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline sedimentary rock material composed of silicon dioxid” that comes in these gorgeous colors of electric blues, aquas, greens, purples, whites, and clear in between the red stone layers. Some looking like cosmic galaxies and others like pieces of colored glass in interesting shapes.
This was a day of fun, relaxing, and games, as we took in the rays of the sun kissing our skin with tans and blushing glows and I literally let my hair down.
We played Hanged Man on the dunes (where Oompa Loompa – my phrase stole the winning words), played Rock/Paper/Scissors to see who would do the dishes (Dave lost), explored the rocks, watched the rapids and a few rafters and kayakers come down them, Dave did his yoga stretches, Clint made us fresh water with his filter, we created our group “cover photo,” and then relaxed with our warm, hearty meals on the dunes until the stars came out.
We then were dazzled by the incredible clarity we could see, watched interesting moving objects (some I knew were of another origin), and even got out my Sky Map app on my phone to check out where everything was located.
Speaking of phones….my new one is incredible. I didn’t take my regular camera because I didn’t want to lug something heavier. So I opted for my cell phone to capture moments, of which most of the photos you see here are from, minus some that Bean took with her camera. I put it in airplane mode for the trip, but kept it on all day to take photos of the journey, only shutting it down at dinner time until the next morning. It lasted the whole 4 days, and actually I had about 38% battery still remaining when we returned. So I’m pretty impressed with the battery. I have an Android G5S Plus.
Anyway, I digress.
We all had a great night sleeping at the River. How incredible to hear the rapids right outside our tent all night and then we even got a random, surprise rain in the middle of the night for about an hour or so, which added to the lovely sounds that lulled me to sleep. I slept well and dreamed well. Oh did I dream so much on this trip!
The next morning we woke with the confirmed decision that instead of remaining at the River for another full day and night, as we originally planned, that we would instead make our way back slowly so as to break up the last day’s ascent and get in another different campsite. We left after lunch, just before noon, enjoying a relaxed morning where Bean and I explored the Vishnu layers of incredible and potent stones and crystals amidst the pools of Colorado magick. We were sad to leave here and held in our hearts the memories.
Then we headed off to do our first 4-5 mile return. Doesn’t sound like much, but again it’s quite different in Canyon miles with backpacks in the mix.
This is where we encountered some of the more challenging parts to the hike with ascending and climbing and some more exposed edges to test my fears. We’d had 2 or 3 along the way down, but the way back would present more. Our entire trip was one big loop, which is something we decided upon, as a group at onset. We could either do a down and back the same way, or this big loop. We opted for the loop and the extra challenges of the trail, as it just felt right and didn’t seem like if we’re going to do something, not to get the fullest experience possible out of it. At least that’s my take on things….all in or not.
Here is where I began to really utilize my mental skills even more. I’ve always said and continue to feel that this kind of stuff isn’t a physical thing, but a mental one. And the heart comes into play into that, hand-in-hand, as your heart needs to be in it as well. When heart and mind come together, then anything is possible, despite physical challenges you may think you have.
And this was my take on this, which is why having never done it, felt I could and I did.
To be honest, although my quad muscles worked through soreness at night when I was still and slept (mostly the first 2 nights), I never felt them during the day while moving and the same went for anything else. Yes, I breathed hard through it all, but breath is important. And yes, it took continued effort, but that was my mind pushing me. I didn’t feel any discomfort in the process, only effort in mentally staying alert and pushing on.
The only physical things were my constantly running nose, which always happens whenever I do any kind of hiking – easy or hard – in any weather and any altitude (my body’s cleansing I believe), and the breathing. I was the master nose blower, and had my own hankie just for it. Boy, must I have moved energy through that beak! LOL!
But the instant I would stop, I immediately went back to normal and felt fine.
This truly marveled me, as I wondered how it would feel and if I’d be completely wiped after each push. But instead, it was like my body balanced out and then prepared for the next gusto. Incredible! I also immediately noted how each day I grew stronger and stronger. The first day having been most challenging to heave myself up the very big reaches my legs needed to lift me up and needing an extra push from behind now and then, and then the next day and the next, getting through it more on my own with only an occasional boost if I was at an edge and needing to make a big leap up so as to ensure my balance and safety. I’m not going to lie and say this was easy, as I definitely think you shouldn’t tackle something like this if you aren’t prepared in whatever fashion that means for you…physical training, mental training, or simply getting yourself in overall well-being shape. However, it was extraordinary to me that it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it could be. You see, although I do a lot of hiking, I’m not one to really enjoy the uphill parts of hiking. I do it, but I find it less fun. 🙂
But I’d have to say that the challenge and technicality of this uphill stuff in the Canyon really helped me rise to the occasion and tap into interesting parts of myself….my Cappy.
The technicality and the prospect of falling with the wrong move, really kept me alert and everything interesting. It’s hard to explain, but definitely it had to be all of my Capricorn energy lighting up and saying “finally! here you go accessing your placements and now we can show you what you’ve had inside of you all along to utilize!” Amazing!
And the comradery of our very encouraging, nurturing, supportive, and positive group made all the difference too. There was no rush and yet we moved right through it. There was only LOVE. And having those voices and energies of confidence and encouragement with me, really helped me dig deeper and bring out the best to match theirs. GOOD STUFF!
And this got me to campsite 3 and our last night in the Canyon.
This was another beautiful vista place that offered us a wonderful sunrise in the morning with the Moon. It is also where all of the lovely colorful Chert was.
AND this is where my inner goat interfaced with the Desert Bighorn Sheep.
Until then we hadn’t seen these although they and many other animals are around in the Canyon. We heard screeching Hawks (yay! one of my spirit guides and connected with Horus), saw Condors off in the distance, Raven greeted us by the River (I found a large feather there too, of which I’m not sure to which big bird it belongs yet), heard and saw lots of other smaller Birds, Lizards, a Tarantula, smelled Mountain Lion pee several times and the smell of Ungulates strongly at certain points (Mule Deer and Bighorn Sheep), AND the night at the river, Bean and I saw a ring-tailed cat (which was quite the gift!)
She and I had gone down to the river to pee before bed (hehe) and up above us she saw two eyes glowing. She mentioned it to me and I looked up and the ring-tailed cat emerged coming down closer instead of running off and hiding. This enabled us to catch glimpse of it fully and that long, cool ringed-tail. You can Google them to see what they look like. Really cute!
But back to my inner goat and the Bighorn Sheep. That last night while everyone was asleep, I woke up with the sense of something and then I heard footsteps outside. I knew it wasn’t Bean and Happy because they usually have their head lamps on if they get out, plus these foot steps were multiple and ongoing. First right to the left of our tent. Then to the back of our tent. Then in front and heading down the plateau and mountain. Then back to beside us. It would go fully quiet and then it started all over. I wanted so much to open the tent and peer out at them, but I was afraid I’d scare them off and so I sat there listening to the footsteps and breaths.
I knew in my heart they were the Bighorn. It gave me chills as I sat up in the darkness and listened and tried to connect. I felt so much that they had come to infuse me with their energy and prep me for the last day of those hardest miles we had left ahead. I knew this was no coincidence, but a divine encounter. One, best left in the mysterious abyss of the night where knowing was more powerful than proof.
And yet, proof is what I got the next morning that I wasn’t in fact making it up, as I found hoof prints around our tent and around the campsite and when I asked Bean and Happy if they heard anything, they concurred. Dave had been fast asleep. I hadn’t dare woken him, as he’d been getting the best sleep of his life the last three nights. Nature does a body good!
This was also the night Astrid came into my dreams 3 times. I’d definitely been amping up the communicating and connecting with her over our time away, but this was the first deliberate time she came into dream time. I knew she was connecting with me and through the dream symbolism, I pieced together that she was experiencing what I was and that she was taking on things along with me, sharing that she and I are one and she was with me all the way. It made me feel good that our bond was so strong and her letting me know there wasn’t anything she wasn’t aware of was enlightening as to her blossoming gifts she is sharing. The dream also indicated that she missed me a lot and then there was another part I’m still trying to decipher as to its symbolism or literal meaning. My sense is it in part indicated that she had two rabbit spirits that were with her providing her companionship while I was away. Yet, there is another level to it as well.
Anyway, I was grateful for the Bighorn, as I know this assisted with my fear of heights. All in all, I was really proud of myself and surprised myself with how well I did with this on the entire journey. I had my moments where the adrenaline rushed, my mental faculties were on all-time high to stay focused, and I had a second of scare-pause, but I moved right through it in a much easier and quicker way than I ever have in the past.
Quite a feat for me given I had a heavy pack and was climbing at times, as well as on some very exposed and slanted edges that really didn’t seem much like a trail. LOL! But I remained collected and mentally engaged, which if anything would have been more draining than the physical involved. I did the same process I do with skiing where I only focus on what’s in front of me and don’t take in all of the rest to distract. If I got to a drop off, I never looked down, just forward and focused on what to do to stay balanced and grounded.
Bean wanted to ensure I’d take in the views, so she’d point them out. I would only look when I had both feet planted firmly and my body positioned comfortably and anchored. I didn’t want anything throwing me off, nor did I get ahead of myself, speed up and take anything for granted, nor get cocky about what I’d accomplished. Every step was new and fresh and taken with the same presence as the last. I even invited any continued suggestions and guidance along the way in how to approach difficult areas, as this kind of engagement of the brain helped keep me fully embodied. Bean didn’t want to over-mother me, but I said to keep the dialogue going because it worked well. At the same time it seemed a good fit for her too, since she could practice her trail leading for the future. She and Happy are great guides! If you’re ever so lucky to have them, you will be blessed.
This got me through it. And it wasn’t all the time that I was faced with challenge, as it got easier and easier. I just kept up with the process, as it needs to become second nature. I’m retraining myself into my nature. And that is like muscle memory. You need to keep doing it and not take it for granted just because it works once. With consistency, it will become normalcy.
And the last stretch of a little over a mile up to the rim took my mental focus to get out that last push. Usually when I’m in that kind of push, I go quiet. This is when I’m digging deep and I become the energizer bunny that keeps chugging along. So I got through the last hard haul up with consistent momentum bringing me to the top and feeling quite full-circle.
There wasn’t a sense of exhaustion. On the contrary, there was a sense of revitalization. There was both a joy in accomplishment, but a sadness at the ending of a beautiful, memorable, and epic experience.
It definitely took me to a new level of inner connection and embodiment. And returning was an odd sense of reluctance mixed with excitement. Reluctant to leave this wonderful place and experience, but excited to see what’s next because of it.
There was also a sense of being yet again in a different reality than everyone we returned to and that timeline jump shifting into a different gear.
A sense of suspension in the moment, not knowing if you want or need to move forward and happy to just be in that void space.
Two mule deer greeted us at the top of the canyon and on our drive to dinner there was a very large herd of Elk and like a hundred or more congregating Ravens, like I have never seen before, all together in one area. It was odd, ominous, but also super cool! Everything felt different. Had we’d entered some alternate reality we really wanted to keep moving into?
We did continue on though, enjoying our evening back with yummy food and rest before road tripping it to Las Vegas, where we would be flying home out of. There we indulged on vegan delicacies, danced to move the energy, laughed so hard, played, walked a lot, and integrated back into a world that was no longer familiar, but like a muscle memory, became easier to return to when infused with lightness of heart.
Thank you GC for helping me to merge the parts of myself needed for the path I’ve chosen right now, for anchoring in my Cappy energy, and supporting me in the best way possible to move through my fear of heights and learn new processes for conquering any mountain! Thank you also for opening the door to your mysteries and hidden treasures, of which I know I’ll discover more of in the future. It’s no wonder why Happy and Bean love you so! You truly are magnificent!
Upon returning home we saw another coyote in the fields before heading up the mountain and coyote tracks on our driveway. I’ve already settled in, but find my surroundings both different and extra nurturing. I immediately heard my closet call for a Spring cleaning – perfect timing – and sang a cosmic lullaby to Astrid, as I held her close and she tranced into peaceful unity with me. I’ve been enjoying the expansion of a new book I started reading since onset of the trip (a new thing for me who hardly reads these days other than the book I wrote) and am extra charged to finish that book this month, also just in time for Spring.
I’ve reflected on how amazing it is to have such incredible friends and soul family with me at this time of my life. The kind most of my life I never knew the experience of and now am seeing that only that which is most resonant and reflective of my heart is what I am surrounded by. This to include my dear Astrid who has really shifted in mirror to mom, since my return home. Our connection is beyond beautiful. There’s so much to be grateful for and Dave and I talked about all of this upon return home, reviewing our lives now and all that is in them.
And Bean and Happy are definitely treasures more valuable than any crystal or discovery one can unearth. It was definitely bitter sweet to say farewell for now, after our incredible 8 days with them.
But for now, they go off to live out one of their dreams on their bucket list – working at the Grand Canyon for at least the season – and we return to the next leg of our paths to see where and when they will merge again.
To you two, THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing your love of the GC with us, sharing your time, and letting us see through your eyes. Thank you for making this next leap in my/our lives possible. I’d explore any canyon or mountain with you!
And mountains are what I foresee ahead. There will be many, but as my Bighorn Sheep/Cappy friends have assured me, I have everything I need within myself to do what ever I decide I want to. There’s no mountain too tall or too scary for T!
In the end, a new beginning was written and once again I find myself both filled with gratitude and also in wonder of what I will say “yes” to next.
(If you made it this far, thank you for coming along the adventure with me, as I integrate it all through sharing. As a writer my biggest problem isn’t writer’s block, but not being able to stop writing!
May the spirit within these images of the Grand Canyon lift you and reach depths that allow you to soar. Happy Spring Equinox and Renewal! Or as Astrid would say, Hoppy Spring!)
What scares you most?
Now, breathe into that fear with all of your heart and explore the perspective that the fear is your most loving, wise teacher that knows your purest potentials, which you have forgotten.
Yes, you ARE that powerful.
I’m noticing how so many conscious souls are finding themselves in this “recreating self” mode of visioning and embodying new expressions that are most soulfully and heartfully aligned with essence. And this seems to involve a huge rush of expansive possibilities excitingly knocking on the door. So many potentials, so many doors….the question being which to open, and in direct connection, which to close? There are so many potentials to choose from and the beauty is, you can create any reality you want, as the energetic environment is fertile for sure! The key is to make that first choice to take a step forward, which is usually the largest hurdle and may be the one causing the most challenge or fear.
Sure, there is timing, alignment, and flow to be mindful of and definitely honoring that fluidity of energy right now that can shift at the drop of a gnome’s hat, so everything is really about an organic process that reveals itself moment to moment by being in natural harmony with all things.
But there is also that fear hurdle – fear of making the wrong choice, fear of the new, fear of stepping into your most authentic footprints yet, fear of not succeeding, fear of vulnerability in bringing forth the most truest heart parts of yourself into the world in big ways, fear of letting go of what has been comfortable and you’ve become expert at, fear of saying no to opportunities that “seem” different or play on your “service mentality” making you think “what if” this is an exception you can still be involved in, fear of not knowing if what you’re choosing is the end result you want…..and the list goes on.
I know for myself in terms of fears this also equates to my boundaries. I’ve always been one to give and want to help, not had any boundaries as a Pisces, and have spent lifetimes in service roles, and yet now I’m rewriting the idea of “to serve” into something more like “showing up authentically and living from the highest frequency of my soul signature” which automatically is for the highest good of all concerned without having to differentiate and without giving up personal power by placing one, if even by definition, in a subservient or martyr role.
I say “no” to everything that doesn’t feel to feed my creative freedom and joy right now. I stay consistent with that no matter how much something pulls on my heart strings, as I know that when I make the move forward into the new, the old will come at me in many forms and disguises simply because it’s the natural process of cleansing and bringing it up.
If I let one thing in, then the old gets in in slippery ways.
Has that brought up stuff for me? Of course!
Has it challenged me? Definitely!
Have I felt the fears of walking away from successful things? Sure!
But what I found is the more I consistently committed to saying “no” and honoring my boundaries in a truly compassionate way which accounts for true responsibility for the highest good of all concerned, the easier it has been and it becomes crystal clear what is the new and the old, what is the me now and the me then.
So I keep moving forward and the old’s power diminishes, while the strong becomes fortified and my courage and conviction for what I know to be of truest expression to myself grows.
I’ve risked walking away from successful things and even likely having people think I’m crazy, but I’d rather be me than doing something that drains me or that appeases others ideas.
I keep saying no to so many requests from potential clients, because I know in my heart that my heart is not there anymore.
And like many of you, I’ve had that quandary of not knowing where to begin…having so many irons in the fire of ideas and potentials. But as I explored each of them, I discovered where the energy was most speaking to the now, which would likely lead and open doors to more, including the rest, and which currently was the most passion-fulfilling and heart connected in this moment of joyful expression and what was aligned with the collective new reality I’m helping to cocreate.
And so I started there, knowing there is no ONE end result, but it is all an unfolding process that I listen to the energy of in each moment.
I/we need to take a step and the rest unfolds from there….there isn’t a wrong choice. There’s just choice.
If you can’t figure out which speaks most to you, just try one and see if the energy flows, or if it gets blocked and then you’ll be led to the next step.
Or, you’ll discover yourself totally immersed in flow and passionate expression and know you’re in the perfect place for now.
But the Universe waits for you to make a choice and then aligns with you, and that choice will also be evident by the energetic environment and what seems to be showing up, flowing most easily, and likely has had signs thrown at you that you might be ignoring since you are waiting for how all of the things you see will come together now.
That is a process. It all IS happening now, but in a different way than you think.
So the first fear hurdle is making a choice. Once you do that, you will see how things flow and open and become easier to navigate, to feel/see more clearly, and understand.
And yes, I have my own personal vulnerabilities and fears of the new, or rather the self-doubts that creep up. But I’m happy to say that they are outweighed and outlived by my trust in the energy I feel that surpasses the doubts now.
So while they can come into my experience now and then, I am easily able to walk myself through them within minutes and understand them as indication of my willingness to see them and move through them, while also indicating a new found strength, courage, and commitment that is running the show now, rather than the doubts or insecurities.
It’s truly a beautiful process when we partner with ourselves and our subconscious and inner child. We can have honoring and compassionate conversations that result in pure alchemy.
So while in essence the new I’m focusing on is within the umbrella of the creative me I’ve always been expressing, they are new ventures and perhaps in some ways not exactly how people imagined I’d bring it forth. Although, once I do, my guess is that because it is so aligned with my essence, people will likely say, “oh yeah, of course that’s Tania!”.
And yet there is that risk of greater and greater vulnerability to put out there the more we dig deep into the well of our souls and bring it forth publicly.
That can be scary, but it is inevitably freeing and liberating, as you release the self-bondage that’s been heavily carried all these years, or perhaps lifetimes and draining your energy to truly shine and share with the world.
Do I know if what I will create will be what is known in the world as “successful” or equal what I’ve done that was “successful”?
No, but I know it is a success if I’m doing exactly what I know in my heart I’m wanting and needing to do and doing it simply for the sake of it’s being the breath of life for me and not spending and wasting time on trying to figure out how that equates in any other way, as to me that takes care of itself when we are authentically being.
That is MY idea of success….when I’m living a life from my heart and every day is a joy to be expressing myself and experiencing my version of reality.
So that brings us to mourning.
When we’re creating the new we may go through a process of mourning the old….whether an old way of life, a relationship, any kind of experience of loss, a job, a home, or a part of ourselves.
This is natural and goes along with the fear process, as when we mourn, we may also have fears brought up that go hand-in-hand with it of thinking we will never again experience something like that again or that it never gets any better, that you’ll never experience what you want, etc.
And the truth is, you won’t experience something like that again.
But you’ll experience something better, which you can’t imagine right now from the place of your current, natural mourning, cleansing, and releasing of the old process.
Everything is relative to where we are currently.
The new is only possible to experience in the essence of our imagination, but will be even better than what you envision.
I always intend things to be “this or something better,” as I never limit myself to what I am only capable of seeing/thinking/imagining at the moment, as possibilities are unlimited.
But yes, we will mourn and that is something to honor for sure, while having gratitude for all that we’ve experienced and have been blessed with whether seen as gifts or not – because they all are and have helped us get to this point – and we will go through that human heart process of temporary growing pains for sure.
Let it flow….and it will flow through.
I have this going on in very literal ways with processing my own mourning of Cosmo, not long after mourning Joy – my two rabbit best friends and wise teachers who recently transitioned within four months of each other.
And they, to me, represent the passage of an old era of me, and mourning so much more than the beautiful physical companionship we shared.
Joy especially ended a time period of my life since she came into my life over 7 years ago when so much was shifting for me.
And Cosmo ended another huge shift in my life that came to closure with the new self-discovery journey and the Magick Bus explorative adventure to move energy into the new.
And yet they both knew exactly when to leave this Earth plane, as I’m embarking on the new and they’ve ingrained the knowing of my soul path most deeply to prepare for what’s coming. They know how best to support me from the other realms for magickal assistance and channeling.
With each passing of my beloved soul companions – Nestor, Joy, Cosmo and Gaia the tortoise, I’ve always thought I’d never have that connection again, and yet each time I did and it deepened.
Yes, I’ve been challenged in my heart, even though I know with all my heart and soul they are with me so strongly and not gone at all. I’ve had a lot of mourning with Cosmo especially due to our daily intimate connecting on a constant basis that was very physical as well as spiritual.
But the sadness is true alchemy for me, as I channel it all in greater depth of creative self expression and even deeper knowing of myself and my path and this shows up in what I bring through me, as it does for us all.
It is through the beauty of mourning, which reminds me of Gaelic “keening” that one’s exquisite soul expression comes to graceful surface. Keening is a deep soulful, eerily beautiful lamenting song that is expressed by women in Ireland and Scotland at funerals and in honor of the “dead”.
And so, I keen a song of honor of all that was and is, as a beautiful and divine tapestry that brings us to the culmination of all that IS in the now.
Through acknowledgment and embrace of our fears, through the natural process of grieving, through loving ourselves and honoring what is in our hearts, through courageous steps, we make leaps into the new.
You do not have to see the end result.
You do not have to know how this story will unfold.
You simply need to get writing it.
As they say, a writer writes…..If you want the new to take form, then get writing it, one word, paragraph, and page at a time.
It gets easier as you let the “stuff” gently glide off your shoulders. You don’t need to carry it with you forward. If you hold onto the weight, your wings can’t open and take to flight.
I’d like to see you fly. I’d like to see us all fly.
And so the best way I can do that is to open my own wings.
There is nothing wrong with feelings and expressing all of your emotions. I don’t hide from sharing all sides of myself that move through me like a dance because they are temporary and do not define me. I have learned, and we all can, to navigate feelings and it’s a beautifully empowered experience, which is also why I’m doing incredibly well and feel so harmonious after the recent challenges I’ve gone through that in the past were debilitating.
This is why I have been so transparent and shared my recent video about Joy’s transition as a way to support others in surrendering to the beauty of feelings and to know that you can return to peaceful center once you allow that to happen and don’t get stuck in ego judgments, but rather, learn to express the personal without attachment, while embodying the bigger picture that balances.
We are not meant to always be in a blissful, joyous, or even depressive or angered state. These are energetic waves we ride, but the ocean of emotions is all of this and none of this…it is simply a state of harmonious and centered being.
Humans have learned to fear feeling….to deny the wisdom of the body and senses and worship the mind solely.
As a result of being out of touch with their senses, people walk through life completely oblivious to their surroundings and the impact their choices and footprint create on the environment and everyone and everything in it, as a whole.
It’s as if feeling is a foreign invader that we either don’t want to know about (ignorance is bliss) or we want to completely eradicate altogether.
We’re taught to narrow our attention and always obsess over the future, while clinging tightly to the past. But this merely leaves us unable to function in the fullness of who we are in the present.
And, in so doing, we rely on others and so-called “experts” and “authority” figures to make decisions for us. It is a way to not take responsibility with a convenient excuse that we’re too busy or haven’t the ability to understand how we truly feel in order to even make a choice or have an opinion.
So it becomes easier to allow others to choose that for us.
People have run away from authenticity of feeling and replaced this with surrender to what is socially acceptable.
And what does this create?
A build up of explosive, unexpressed feelings that get triggered when you least expect it, and all versions of suppressive and numbing substances and behaviors to stuff those feelings even more deeply.
And then blame is attached to these secondary reasons for our suppression…all simply due to our learning to deny emotional feelings and messaging and continuing to accept that this is acceptable.
Come back to yourself.
Embrace every emotion and sensory feeling, as therein lies the gift of your humanity.
All the colors of emotions are of value. They are all simply energy and part of Source experiencing itself through each wave of feeling that we have the free will to move through. We tend to deem some as better or worse, may avoid them, or deny some in favor of others. However there is a beauty and gift in feeling. Source does not hold judgment on feelings. It remains the unconditionally, detached observer of energy expressions.
Humans hault, block, and attach to energy – defying what is in its innate nature to do, which is flow.
We are human “beings”, which is a motion..a dance…the blessing of “feeling” and moving energy into action. When we allow ourselves to feel, we naturally cycle through the feelings to harmony and balance.
I am grateful for every experience that has taken me to the darkest and lightest of places, for it provides the ability to understand and have true compassion, not to mention infuses everything I do with a breadth of energy that takes my life’s work and relationships to everything around me, to another level otherwise not achieved.
Some of the tormented souls have indeed become great artists, visionaries, movers in the world, and healers because of their ability to go to the full gamut of experiences and depth that then infuses creations, ideas, dreams, and connection with more richness.
We do not NEED to be tormented – that is a choice – but there is also no judgment on this. The key isn’t to avoid feelings, but to learn processes to rebalance ourselves after allowing them to move through us freely. And once we retrain this, it becomes natural once again.
I would not be me, nor where I am in life without ALL that I have gone through.
I cherish the highs AND lows that I have gone through, as they are the sacred fabric of my being.
However, the more I have learned to peacefully navigate the emotional waters, the less the pendulum swings and the more gently it is nudged by the whispers of my embrace.
(This post is a combined new share interwoven with two past shares from 2014 on the subject of feelings. I felt this important to express when someone told me that they did not want to watch the emotional parts of my video about my experiences with Joy’s transition, as they see me as a happy person and don’t like seeing me or “good” people, as they put it, sad. I believe this is a collective belief or reaction that many share where I feel there is a misunderstanding of expressing feelings and being afraid or judgmental of them, as we all have been. And until we learn a new perspective, I’m afraid this will limit the expansive experiences and powerful creative energy we innately have available to us.)
Saturday was our last day in Zion National Park and we decided to end our time there with a bang by taking on Angels Landing.
This is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes not just in Zion, but in the national park system.
It is a stunning 5.4 mile roundtrip trail with views from the top of the Virgin River and Zion Canyon below. Doesn’t sound like much, but it rises 1500 feet steeply and quite rapidly in the 2.7 miles, which for some can be quite strenuous in and of itself.
Then the last half mile is the truly gut-wrenching part, which is not for the faint of heart.
Many will just stop at the top, where you can still enjoy wonderful views, without trekking the half mile of more challenging trail that has anchored support chains to assist you up and around the fin where you have 1000 plus foot drops on both sides of you.
To give you an idea on timing for this if you decide to do take it on as well at some point, we hiked up the switchbacks in 45 minutes to the top before the last half mile of craziness. And we hiked back down in 45 minutes after we finished the chained area.
And that is just the energy I called upon in order to accomplish this hike, as normally it would be terribly fearful, perhaps to the point of paralyzed fear at times, and maybe not something I’d have wanted to even try.
The interesting thing is that my fear isn’t consistent. I have no fear of paragliding, sky diving, or flying…I go on big roller coasters and all. I love high altitudes and my desire is to live in high altitude and alpine areas.
I feel it boils down to self trust and feeling grounded and fully Earthbound. I’m very comfortable with flying and lightness…so for me, it has been a process to come fully into my body and ground and integrate the physical and spiritual. Something that is really balancing out more and more now for me and especially with all of the Nature time we’ve been spending and integrating the energies.
So synchronously, every single day of the three days we were in Zion, we saw the Bighorn Sheep twice a day, which is incredible. They embody the energy of that steadfast goat/Capricorn that I have within me to embrace.
Interestingly also, at the ancient ruins in Page Springs where we stayed outside of Sedona, I had received a vision of a white Mountain Goat alongside an ancient Indian – the Rocky Mountain Goat of the alpines that is a sure-footed climber on cliffs and ice.
So I know the spirit of the goat has been with me, especially with all of the hiking and climbing we have been doing, but also because it symbolizes the energy of my new path in life.
Oddly, this day I had felt called to braid my hair, which made me feel like a Native Indian – we kept calling me Pocahontas and Sacagawea – and also seemed to connect me with my ancient roots for integrating further Earth connection to keep me grounded and call up my strengths.
I was determined to face it and so I did a lot of Reiki energy work, not only protecting myself, but strengthening myself and with intent to embody the sure-footedness of the Mountain Goat. I called upon the white Rocky Mountain Goat and the Bighorn Sheep to be with me and then worked with the fear as I have done with the skiing and the mountain biking.
I not only steadily and consistently went up the switchbacks without need to stop for a break (which has become normal now for me), but when we reached the top where the people not continuing further on to the chained steep last half mile, I was given a choice.
When we saw the amount of people trying to make their way to the top and asked how long it took some coming down, we were contemplating if it was worth going up.
Maybe since Dave already did it, he said to me that we could just as well hike the other side and see nice views without wading through that last part, or we could just do it.
He left it up to me.
That was perfect, as I got to make the empowering choice. And I said, “Let’s do it. I didn’t come up all this way and prepare myself for nothing.”
So we did.
And along the way there were a few people that did become paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move, and needed supportive help back down even from only having gone a tiny way.
I understood their fear and felt the best thing I could do for the collective pool of energy would be to work through the energy myself in order to help shift things.
And so I stayed completely focused, present, and in the moment. Once again, blocking out everything except what was only right in front of me, taking one step at a time. I didn’t focus on the drops to both of my sides, didn’t let anything around me into my experience.
But I also allowed myself to enjoy and praise myself for each part.
I didn’t try to rush. I didn’t have to stop. I kept steady, focused, centered, consistent, and present. Every step counting. Calculating the rocks in front of me and the best way my feet would securely support myself.
And yes, when there were chains, I indeed held on. But the chains were also needed to climb up and pull with your arm strength, as you pushed off with your legs. Full body workout indeed.
I really enjoyed that and got into the climbing, which took me out of thinking about the edge of the cliff I was hanging off of, or what was below.
The other thing I really appreciated was the fact that there were many others around – which also was interesting to us that so many did brave this area.
Many I’m sure had no issue with it at all. Others were likely similar to me.
There weren’t any children, as that isn’t recommended and they really can’t do it. There were mostly a younger and mid-aged group of people.
And what I loved was humanity again shining through, as everyone was working together like a team.
There wasn’t anyone to stop those coming down and up from pushing their way through.
There wasn’t anyone to coordinate anything.
A helping hand was always outstretched to help everyone, especially in areas where you had to go around people waiting up against the stones and you were cradling the edge of the cliff to get around. There were also helping hands up and down if needed and just extended even if you didn’t. People would said you can hold on or grab on to me….no one knowing each other or afraid to be close.
So much camaraderie…so much care for one another.
That was really a gift to experience, besides the personal triumphs I was experiencing.
I won’t say I wasn’t scared, as I was, but I felt confident in my ability to do it and that I knew my process.
And I did do it. And was quite proud of myself.
Even Dave said he had fears at times with the shear drop offs and seeing people so close to at any moment falling off with one wrong move, or that others could fall off due to someone’s wrong move.
He said he remembered it being challenging, but not quite like this.
Yet, he had less fears than I to work through, so he took tons of photos of me, while I was too focused to take photos until we were at the top and once we were heading down.
I’m grateful he did, as I’ll always have these to show myself of what I’ve accomplished.
To some it may be nothing, as we all have different fears, but to me it was huge and I am very proud of myself for working through and overcoming it.
I did become that Mountain Goat and embraced my inner Capricorn a big step more on that day.
And when we reached the top to take in the view, it was as if the Angels were shining down upon us, as this amazing rainbow light was all around us when I shot this photo from our place of accomplishment – where we were soaring in our integrated embodiment of human and spirit merged and in synergy.
The photos Dave took don’t really even show how steep the edges are and how challenging parts of this really are, but they give you an idea.
I do remember on our way up that this tiny butterflies were flying around us. Ones like I’ve never seen before. They had three white wings and one yellow wing. Incredible! All of them were like this. And even a Swallowtail once made an appearance before we headed off on the last challenging half mile.
I definitely felt the support and know that we were being watched over and supported.
And on our way out of the park another gift.
We had seen many Bighorn Sheep, as mentioned, twice a day.
And so it was that that is what took place.
The Bighorn Sheep were right at the edge of the road coming down off the rocks right when we were coming through. So we stopped the car and took it all in. Some of them crossing in front and behind us and then we got out and some right next to us on the other side of the road.