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|Posted on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on May 1, 2014 at 9:30 PM||comments (2)|
These past months have been challenging for many. All around me people are making choices and some are making changes in their lives while others are facing serious illnesses. Some are drawn into drama and some are keeping themselves grounded by being more isolated. I know in my own life, things have changed drastically and while there are still signs of the old, so much that is new has come into my life.
I feel different although I'm still exhausted quite a bit. Winter was a long one and Spring is behind it's normal timetable in our area. I think this is a reflection of the world around us. Things seem slow to manifest even though many of us have painstakingly and relentlessly done our work. At times we continue to be tested with regard to our beliefs and our faith, working tirelessly toward our goals while maintaining our intentions and convictions.
And yet it's so hard sometimes. It seems as though we are continuously being challenged with new obstacles, new options and new situations to cause us to persevere and push on. It's gets tiring though. There is nothing that is set in stone, no outcome that is inevitable and nothing that is assured these days. We simply have to be flexible, stay open minded and move forward. Staying in fear is not an option if you want to make things happen in your life and move past limiting beliefs.
This Beltane I was reminded by a friend of the tradition that is behind this celebrated day, it is that of water and giving thanks for its many virtues. The ancient Celtic people would typically honor their wells and sacred springs because they knew that without this life giving force, they would perish. In recent years, we've come to understand so much more about water and its ability to hold memory and patterns. It is one of the strongest substances on Earth because it has the ability to wear away at stone, adapt to the environment and fill the space it finds itself in, and it also has the ability to take life away in it's absence and it's presence.
If you have too much water energy in your life with regard to your home and it's supporting land, you will have an excess of emotions in your life. I know because I've lived in two homes that had this type of energy and it was/is very challenging to live with. Nevertheless, water signifies communication, flow, flexibility and strength. You just need to recognize why it is in your life and learn to harness and work with it in the right way. The way that you do this is by adding grounding elements to your home in terms of rocks, pottery, plants and trees and earthy colors. These vibrations will offset and balance out the excess of movement and water energy in your life.
Water is very healing to me despite the fact I have a lot of fire energy in my nature. I've had to learn the lesson of water in some of the most difficult ways, but water has taught me so much about land energies and imbalance and why they exist. When we try to work against the natural balance of things in Nature, we are met with opposition. While initially our intentions will seemingly work, if we do not allow the natural flow of water in our life, it will manifest itself in a variety of ways. In Nature, when we plug up a natural water source, it becomes stagnant and murky and the surrounding area suffers. So too, when we resist our natural tendencies and inner knowing, we become frustrated and angry and sometimes even sick, especially when we do not communicate our true thoughts and feelings.
Water is the blood of Nature and of this planet. When it is not allowed to circulate properly, it's energy builds up and builds up until it is released-- because it cannot be contained. That simply goes against the very nature of which it was intended. The same can happen in your own life when you suppress your emotions and do not speak your truth-- anger and resentment build and ultimately your body will become stressed and diseased if you do not honor yourself.
This Beltane, honor the water within you and around you by blessing it's miraculous qualities and abilities. There are so many things in life that we take for granted until we lose them. Don't have regrets. Honor yourself and our natural world today by living in alignment with your highest purpose and being true to yourself.
2014 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
|Posted on March 1, 2014 at 10:57 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted on January 15, 2014 at 8:14 AM||comments (19)|
|Posted on January 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM||comments (6)|
|Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM||comments (6)|
"I love the house, but I don't feel love from it" were my son's words. He made this comment to me after we visited two very different homes that came from opposite ends of the spectrum. The first house was in an older, more transitional neighborhood that had a history of European immigrants that had once lived there and some who still remained. The house was tiny and modestly furnished, but warm and inviting. The people were extremely friendly and gracious, and immediately made us feel welcome. We left feeling pleasantly surprised.
The second home was expensively crafted and located in a newly built upscale neighborhood. It was furnished with many collectibles and quality furnishings. The home, though aesthetically pleasing, felt stark, uninviting and soul less as though no one spent much time there. Though I recognized the quality furnishings and admired their beauty as well as the overall décor of each room, the energy was more of a museum-like quality than a home of happy memories. The current owners had only been there a few years and two previous owners had only lived there for two years at a time consecutively. Needless to say, my son and I did not feel at ease during our brief visit there despite the engaging conversation. His insightful comment came a few days later as we discussed the differences between the two homes and how they made him feel.
While anyone would chose the second home for its luxury and obvious material worth, the truth is that aesthetics do not make a home a sacred space nor make it feel welcoming. You have to feel the spirit of a house and that is a direct reflection of it's caretaker, and I believe, to a lesser degree it's architect or builder who sets the blueprint. Even the humblest of homes can be turned into a sacred space when the intention of the owner or caretaker is one of love or affection for the home and respect for balance and peace within the space. I was so thrilled that at my son's young age, he could already feel and recognize this difference in the spaces we had visited.
More recently, we were invited to a dinner party at the home of a couple originally from India. These owners had blended a combination of quality, modern aesthetics with ancient, traditional customs. It was a very luxurious home that was carefully planned out from the gracefully winding driveway that meandered up a gentle slope, to a sense of the sacred from the moment you stepped into the house. We were warmly greeted from the onset and made to feel welcome.
There were carefully thought out altars and vignettes of collectibles in various locations, intimate seating areas, as well as bowls of candles and flowers throughout. I could detect the subtle smell of Plumeria (or champa) in the air, which is often associated with Hindu or Buddhist temples. This aroma combined with the enticing smells of the delicious meal we were about to eat. Outside the large windows were two living Christmas trees decorated with lights and below we were later shown the elaborate garden patio with extensive waterfalls that had been created. The entire property seemed to be a visual and sensual delight for the soul and weary mind. It was obvious it had been painstakingly thought out.
During dinner the subject of architecture and feng shui came up and our host mentioned that he did not believe in the Indian version of feng shui which is Vastu Shastra. Vastu is a carefully thought out system based on a mandala or grid of mathematical proportions combined with spiritual foundations that are believed to bring about harmony and balance in one's environment. The premise for this architectural philosophy is that the home is a temple to be aligned with natural forces of the cosmos and the earth to bring about well being of the inhabitants. Interestingly, the same principles apply when building either a temple or a home.
When our host made his comment regarding Vastu, I replied that contrary to what he was saying, I sensed that although he may not believe in the formal or technical applications of this ancient art, my impression of his home was that he and his wife had an innate sense of creating sacred space which surpassed any formal application which might be used in the form of Vastu. It occurred to me later that perhaps if carefully analyzed, many of the aspects of their home might in fact reflect these principles though not intentionally. His reply that evening was that he agreed with me and admitted that what bothered him about this concept was that he had seen many people attempt to apply these principles in the strictest of manners by going to great lengths to achieve this concept and yet they did not have a sense of sacred space in the most fundamental of ways. As with many ancient techniques and customs, it had become too commercialized and perhaps lost much of its original wisdom throughout the years.
One of the other guests who lived next door added that within their neighborhood, someone had required that the architect travel to India to be trained in the principles of Vastu and incorporate this approach into the building of their home. This home owner went to great lengths to create a seeming temple of a home, which the neighbors jokingly called the "Taj Mahal", however, within a short time after being built, a fire ensued and the home was internally destroyed despite it's seemingly impressive stature. I found this interesting as fire is seen as the great purifier in many traditions.
So, what went wrong? Though I can only make assumptions about what occurred since I never actually visited this home they spoke of, I believe that when someone tries to use sacred principles of creating harmony and balance without a clear understanding or a heart-based connection to the concepts and tools which he/she uses, these principles can actually backfire on you and create more problems similar to opening a Pandora's box. The history of the land could also have played a large part in the devastation that ensued. What I find most interesting about the principles behind Vastu is the undeniable foundation of spirituality associated with the home and the need to create boundaries between mundane daily life and soulful life practices such as prayer and meditation. Within Vastu, the integration of the material world of the earth with the spiritual aspects of the cosmos is part of achieving a balanced life.
Most often people chose a plot of land that resonates with their inner being and/or they seek to control an area of land that they deem to be powerful or advantageous to them from a material perspective. It could be that the history of this land had been one of malevolent intent or misery or perhaps sacred land that had been abused, and so this energy would emanate through the new structure and create misfortune for those who dwell there. A belief that the history of one's land can affect the predecessors is found in many cultures whether it is Chinese feng shui, Indian Vastu or various ancient customs of indigenous people throughout the world.
When choosing a new home, pay attention to the subtle messages that play upon you as you enter the space. If something doesn't feel right, then perhaps it's not. Ignoring your intuition or thinking that you can always fix whatever's wrong might not be the right approach because it could bring more headaches and problems than you imagined. Spend time in your potential environment, get a feel for the natural surroundings and if you can't seem to find clarity in the situation or make a decision, get assistance from someone trained in the art of creating sacred space and get an unbiased, professional opinion.
True sacred space comes from a heart connection to the home which is based on respect and reverence for one's environment. Intention is formally created by the inhabitants of the structure, however grand or humble it may be. The history of the home and it's land is a blueprint for it's future and while this can be changed, sometimes only the strongest of intentions and wisdom can correct this pattern. While I have had the privilege to experience a wide range of homes that were aesthetically pleasing, I often did not feel love or a sense of the sacred from these homes. Simply collecting objects, furnishings and choosing the right colors and décor do not make a house a home.
It is the love and intention that we put into our space both indoor and outdoor that determine the well being of the inhabitants and the energy of the land. That is not to say that well intentioned people cannot suffer misfortune in a given home, because they most definitely can. Usually this is related to karmic and/or unresolved ancestral issues that need to be addressed and resolved so that the patterns do not continue into a new home. The messages are all there in your home, but it's up to you to determine and interpret what they are. I believe that sacred space and music (see below) can truly be made wherever you go when you align with the natural world (even sometimes under extreme circumstances).
Here's a musical video from the Siberian Lake Baikal , which is one of the deepest lakes on Earth. Performed by Siberian musicians in the most unlikely of places, you can feel a sense of the beauty of Nature within this music and the sacredness of this pristine frozen water which generates healing sound frequencies (please make sure you scroll down to view and enjoy!)
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
|Posted on November 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM||comments (2)|
|Posted on October 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM||comments (4)|
If you practice homeopathy, there are surely remedies that are your favorites. I have several, but the one that always helps me with extreme situations is Belladonna. When I first began my studies in homeopathy, my teacher talked about the pictures of several remedies and one of them was Belladonna. What I always remembered about her lecture was how Belladonna, because it was made from the vibration of a poisonous, psychotic plant, had the ability to "restore light from darkness." That picture has always stayed with me over the more than 15 years that I've been using homeopathy. Over and over this concept has presented itself in a variety of interesting ways and I know for that reason this is one of my allies whose capabilities never ceases to amaze me.
Most recently I had an extreme situation that occurred after having my 7 month old shiba inu puppy spayed after being vaccinated with a rabies shot one week prior. I will never know exactly what caused such an extreme reaction in her behavior, whether it was the combination of the rabies shot with the morphine that was used after surgery, or whether the anesthesia itself caused a shift in her consciousness. It is possible that all of the things together combined with her sensitivity, caused such an extreme shift in behavior that we thought we'd never have our sweet, fun loving puppy back with us.
Although the rabies vaccination passed without any noticeable problem the week prior, as soon as we picked up Sachiko (Japanese for child of happiness), we noticed she was very lethargic and in a great deal of pain because every time we even touched her, she cried out. She refused to eat anything but a small treat that evening and even that she eventually threw back up. She slept through the night, probably due to her pain medication, and the following day she raced around as though she was back to normal. It wasn't until evening of the next day that we noticed an unusual change in her behavior. Sachi started to become extremely irritable and began growling at our other dog. She also began twisting and contorting her body in obvious discomfort.
Other extremes have included when my son was a toddler and he developed such a severe headache that he was sobbing and asked me to take his head off because it hurt so much. Another was when he was in kindergarten and came off the bus one day severely traumatized by an older child who had bullied him. His mind became delirious as he raved and only Belladonna could comfort him. In both instances, my son went from either extreme pain or emotional trauma to tranquility and sleep in a matter of minutes. It's hard to imagine this type of response, if you haven't experienced it yourself.
Repeatedly Belladonna has worked in a variety of ways and situations where perception and/or pain were severe with an extremely sudden onset. Despite Belladonna being a psychotropic plant in it's original state, the energy pattern held within the homeopathic remedy is able to transform the person or animals from a state of darkness to one of light, clarity and health. It simply is one of my greatest allies.
Blessings of Health and Clarity!
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
|Posted on September 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM||comments (4)|
|Posted on August 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM||comments (10)|
This morning I went out to check my original beehive and found that half of the bees had swarmed with the old queen. The steady streams of workers were no longer there, though I could still see bees inside the hive. Although I never witnessed the swarm, I knew something had changed and I felt like a piece of me had gone with the bees. It had been over a year since they had arrived and interestingly, today is a new moon in my sun sign of Leo. Somehow I cannot see this as a coincidence, as my birthday is also next week.
This original hive was my initiation into the realm of bees. They taught me how to overcome my fears through working with the hive, they taught me about the mistakes I made along the way (and there were many) and they taught my son and me how to develop a love and respect for beekeeping, though it is not an easy art as it requires time, patience and dedication to get it right. It truly is about being a steward and developing a relationship with the bees and not about 'having' or exploiting them. Had I known how much it entailed, I probably would never have gotten involved. It's like that with many things in life, but in your heart you know that what you're doing is what you're supposed to be doing and you continue because a love gradually ensues and it envelopes you as each day your relationship grows and you look forward to it's existence and you can no longer imagine life without this passion.
The bees have become my allies in so many ways. They have taught me my priorities, how to conquer my fears and how to be prepared during these tumultuous times. Each step along the way has been like a milestone toward a better awareness of the beehive and how it functions in unison as one being comprised of many collaborators each fulfilling an important role. Though I'm saddened by the loss of half of my bees from my original hive, I am also happy and concerned for their welfare as they venture out into the unknown searching for a new home. I'm told they have three days to find one, otherwise they perish.
Gunther Hauk explains this process so well in his book "Toward Saving the Honeybee." Contrary to what has been done in the last century and the ways of modern beekeeping practices that often seek to exploit the honeybee, swarming is a natural process that is necessary to maintain the well being and vitality of the hive. Ironically, just when everything is fine at home, the food is stocked and the bees might be able to rest on their laurels, a new queen is created and half of the colony leaves with the old queen in search of a new home.
This is in sharp contrast to what we as humans strive for and live out during our existence on this planet. And yet, perhaps the bees' message is even more relevant during these times of upheaval and change-- searching out into the unknown, into territory that is at times both exhilarating and terrifying not knowing what you will find. Simply knowing that this is how it needs to be. Gunther Hauk and Rudolf Steiner talk about the swarming of bees as a rebirth of the hive. In essence it truly is when you understand the complexities and perfection that exist within a honeybee colony.
Interestingly, the swarming of my bees was part of a series of experiences I had involving both my original hive and a second hive that I acquired as a result of a swarm that we captured one evening hanging from one of our pine trees. At the time, I thought this swarm was my own, but later I came to see that it had probably been from a nearby property that also had bees, as I could tell that my original hive was still intact and the bees in the second hive were much more docile.
So, this past weekend I had to correct a mistake that I had made with my second hive-- that of not being prepared. I did not have additional beekeeping supplies ready in the event of a swarm and so when it happened, I was scrambling to put things together having to borrow supplies from a mentor friend and buy new ones. Because the main hive box was not my own, I would eventually have to switch this out with my own and that's what I did this weekend with trepidation because it meant taking everything apart and reorganizing the bees by myself. I had to do it alone because my son was away on a trip and my mentor was also unavailable.
What ensued was rather complex and unexpected. Amidst opening the hive and seeing the queen for the first time since I had begun beekeeping, I was so intensely focused on what I was doing and keeping the queen and workers safe, that I completely lost track of time. I became one with the beehive. They were part of me and I was part of them. It was as though I had gone on a shamanic journey, though I did not set out with this intention. Yes, I was functioning as a normal human being going through the activities of beekeeping, but at some point which I think was upon encountering the queen, I went into an altered state of consciousness and remember little from what happened thereafter. I just know that when I had everything rearranged and reassembled, I had no recollection of many of the things that I had done. As I spent time in my gardens, for several hours thereafter, I could not remember what exactly had happened to me.
Simon Buxton talks about altered states of consciousness achieved while working with bees in his book "The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters." It is a profound book and one that at times is difficult to conceptualize and understand, if you have not experienced anything similar. It is nevertheless, a delving into the mystical and complex world of bees that we as humans have yet to understand fully. Though I do believe that ancient cultures once understood the honeybee much better than we do today. The honeybee has long been revered for its ability to work in such complex unison and produce such a 'nectar of the Gods' from within it's own body via the perfection of Nature and the beauty, complexities and high vibration of flowers.
I have spent a great deal of time observing the bees in my gardens and I can say that the relationship that exists between bee and flower is truly a love affair as I have ever seen. The fervor with which the bees gather pollen and nectar is really quite interesting to observe as they both depend on one another for their very existence-- the bee to create honey to feed its queen and colony, and the flower to perpetuate it's life cycle. What can we as humans create, if our very survival depends on it?
And so, my experiences with the bees have come full circle. I have experienced the joy of capturing a new swarm to create yet another hive to pollinate our gardens and offer us the rich golden rewards of honey-- gifts of which I have given to family, friends and neighbors. And I have also experienced the sudden anguish and sadness over losing part of a hive due to my inability to attend to the needs of the hive in a timely manner by not providing them with adequate space for their colony.
Did I error greatly by not putting on another hive box in a timely manner or was the rebirth of the original hive meant to be to serve as a signpost for a new life that is beginning for all of us-- the bees on their journey with their beloved queen and I having completed a year of honeybee stewardship and many, many years of healing the lands where I have lived, ready to face what new surprises lie before me in this ever changing world.
Blessings on Your Journey!
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.