Friday, December 30, 2016

Standing With Standing Rock

I cannot deny it when my heart calls me to do something. And the call to go to Standing Rock was stronger than most intuition i have felt before. I heard it from the moment i first knew of the work being done there, before they were even calling themselves Water Protectors.
Clean water being one of my greatest passions, I felt it was important to be there as well as to support Native Americans whose land was being forsaken in the effort to build the pipeline.
But i had to wait to know it for sure and that came in the form of my partner telling me outright, "I think you should go to Standing Rock". Unlike my usual way, I did'nt feel it would be respectful for me to just go. I knew it could be dangerous and i had no real connections out there. So i wanted to be sure i was supported in the decision. 
Amazingly but not unbelievably, everyone supported me. My spiritual family, my blood family, my friends. They all prayed for me and sent supplies to donate to the Water Protectors. I knew i was going representing all of them, who wanted to be there but for some reason or another could not. 
It was an honor and i am so grateful for the opportunity to serve on their behalf.
A ceremony was done for me to give me more protection, like a warrior would need, as it felt like I was going into battle. It was right after the first major attack on the water protectors last summer and so everyone knew the situation was intense and getting more dangerous. I was told i may even have to crawl into camp to avoid authorities. And that i would be put on the eco-terrorist watch list and perhaps locked up and put in a dog kennel. Needless to say it was very scary to consider going into this situation. But i could not deny what my guides were telling me so clearly to do. 
So once i'd gathered a van load of supplies i set out on an epic journey. I planned to stay a few weeks so i had everything i would need to survive on my own and not expect to be taken care of. 
I drove 3 days to North Dakota alone and on the last day met up with friends of friends so i could caravan in with them, which we assumed would be the hardest most dangerous part. 
Right before we got there my fear started to peak and i began to sing a ceremony song as loud as i could. A huge buck ran right in front of my car then, i narrowly missed it! A sign from spirit to stay strong and not let fear take me. 
Getting in was a lot easier than expected though. We were told at the gate, "No drugs, No Alcohol and No Weapons". It made me know that this was a very conscientious responsible protest. Once inside i felt like i was in another country. A helicopter circled continuously, and flood lights from DAPL shined on us all night long, making it feel like a war zone.

We were told a storm was coming and it could snow, so my caravan friends left the next morning not wanting to get caught in it. But i thought i could handle the snow.....until i heard it was a blizzard heading our way. I never considered a blizzard. I guess if i had i might not have gone because i do not do well with cold weather and did not feel my car with over 330,000 miles could handle sub zero temperatures. I could not get stranded there and from the sound of it, that was entirely possible. 
I spent the next two days dropping off supplies and exploring the camp. Medical supplies, fire cider, adult coloring books and space blankets to the medic yurt. Winter coats, down blankets, boots and sleeping bags to the clothing donation tent. And educational materials and art supplies to the kids school yurt. 
I had only met two people, a sister of a friend and her friend who happened to be from Athens, Georgia. He was the person i saw the morning i awoke with the strong feeling that i must go. It was really windy all night and all i could think about was how I would not survive in my car with all those windows in below freezing temperatures. And even though my friend assured me that they would make sure i was safe and warm in a medical teepee or yurt, i did not feel i could ask them to take that responsibility when there would be others more in need than me. It was heartbreaking to know i would be leaving much sooner than planned but the voices were clear that i had to leave that day, as soon as possible. 
So in parting i gave him the rest of the supplies to get out to the camp, my personal food and water stock and a very nice knife that was donated. When i asked him if he needed it, he got tears in his eyes and said that that was the amazing thing about Standing Rock, that prayers get answered and you are given just what you need- he had left his knife at home which he normally always had with him and was asking spirit to send one. He later told me it was the most useful thing he had received there.

As i began to drive out of camp i realized i had one more special gift to leave- a bundle of the longest macaw feathers i'd been collecting for years. As I was driving by the main sacred fire i saw a native woman with long braids ending a ceremony in the traditional way, shaking the hands of all in the circle who had been a part of it. I waited for her to be done and then went and stood by her, holding the feathers and i said, "I would like to offer you these". She turned to look at me, and her eyes welled up with tears and she said, "Thank you so much, i will put them on my sundance altar." I presented them to her in the traditional way and then she hugged me for a long time and cried. I knew if i'd done anything to really touch someone by coming there, that this was it. And i thanked Great Spirit for the opportunity to serve. 
Two nights after i left the worst incident yet occurred- water cannons were aimed at the water protectors in freezing temperatures, inflicting hypothermia on hundreds. A woman had her arm blown apart and another lost an eye from the human rights abuses by police and hired security of Energy Partners- the Dakota Access Pipeline company. 
I understand now that Spirit knew what was coming and did'nt want me there for that, no matter how much of a warrior i'd intended to be. 
But my adventure was not over. While it did not snow in Standing Rock for another week, it did hit the southern part of the state, right where i was driving, starting just a couple hours after i left. After many hours of driving i had to stop to sleep but when i woke up at 7am there was already 4 inches of snow on my car. I almost panicked thinking i was about to be stranded. So i packed up quick and headed out, i knew i only had to drive an hour or so to get past the snow. But that turned out to be an almost fatal decision. 
I'd never driven in snow or ice like that but once on the highway i felt safer than getting off again since the road was being mostly cleared by the semi truck in front of me and i already knew that the side streets were frozen. 
But after about a half an hour the semi was gone and i was left trying to navigate through a blizzard that only seemed to be getting worse. I was more afraid then than i had been entering Standing Rock! I felt it took all my energy to stay focused and I was not even in my body as i floated along trying to hear Spirit's guidance and do what was safest. But then... i hit a patch of black ice and my minivan did one or two complete 360s into the median and shut down. As it was happening I thought the car was going to flip and that i was going to die! Miraculously i survived... and my car even started again. I got off the highway and to a truck stop where i sat crying so hard i almost hyperventilated. I was alive but scared to death! 
After a few hours the sun finally came out and i saw snow plows go past down the highway, so i carefully crept back on the interstate and traveled at a snails pace to get the 30 miles down the road where the snow was not so severe. I was home free after a couple of hours and singing and crying so loud- grateful to be alive!
I had thought Standing Rock would be the most harrowing part, but as usual Spirit had the unexpected in store and lessons i did not expect were given to me. I am still learning from the entire experience even today.
I had left Standing Rock but it stayed with me. I would continue to think about it and the Water Protectors every hour of the day and night for weeks and would post on facebook 10-15 times a day about what was happening there. 
I had done what i could there and continued to pray daily for the Water Protectors. From and activism stand point, Standing Rock has been the most amazing sight i've ever experienced. Where thousands of people sacrificed greatly to be there, to stand up for all of humanity and protect the water for generations to come, despite what harm or tragedies might become of them.

And like all of them, a piece of my heart was left in Standing Rock and still remains there today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The White Girl Who Wanted to Grow Up to Be Black

When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be black. I saw the other kids around me and they were so free. They laughed loud and yelled across the play yard. They were not reserved at all like the white kids were.  And they did not seem to care what anyone thought of them being this way. Their parents were just the same and seemed not to take life so seriously. I loved that they were so open, so uninhibited and felt so free to be them selves.
But even as a child, I knew about what they had been through. I knew that they had had to fight hard for the right to live that way, and to be as equals to whites.  And I knew that my race once kept them captive, believing that they could own them like property.
I was so ashamed of the white race. I did not want to be associated with them, for those reasons and for being dull and boring people.
I wanted to be black and to be care free and wild at heart, like their kids. I wanted to be one of them. I wanted to live like they did, in close connection with each other, excited and full of life, without concern for what others thought of me.
I realized the irony in this too though. I knew that even though it was not spoken, that they still somehow did not actually have the same freedom as I did. It made me sad to think about and I vowed that I would never treat black people the way so many of my white race still did. I would never grow up to be like the whites.
I would just be me, to my fullest, uninhibited and free to be me. And treat everyone as my equal. And I would do whatever I could to help them continue with their fight for equality.
All of these early thoughts are what led me to see Dr. Martin Luther King as my first hero. I revered all that he preached about. I admired his courage, perseverance and strong will. I see where he was a hero to me on so many different levels. I honored his will power and would strive to have that in my own life.
And once I was a teenager, and had learned enough about my family, that I finally could say that I was proud of my white heritage. Because my family had been among the ones that supported his mission, that marched for equality during the civil rights movement and attended his funeral in Atlanta. 
And that did’nt even matter because I was proud to be me, regardless of race because I knew that it was how you were inside and not your outside behavior that really mattered at all.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What The 2012 US Election Taught Me

This should have been posted months ago but here it is anyway.

If this election taught me anything, it taught me to speak up and to not be afraid to voice my opinion. To be true to what I BELIEVE in and not to waiver, even in the face of adversaries that may be your own family. It also reminds me that having HOPE is powerful. Believing that everything works out as it should, according to spirits’ plan….this is POWERFUL.
If Romney had won I would have had to let it go and then HOPE some more that spirit would eventually give us what we had been looking for… a peoples leader….just as I’ve hoped for for my entire life.
I have always had hope that things will continue to get better. I am not the type to let conspiracy and fear based ideas run my life. I believe in the power of looking at the bright side.  This kind of thinking has done me well and I would recommend it to anyone else because you DO NOT KNOW what is going to happen in the FUTURE. Why waste energy worrying about it when you could just BELIEVE in the POSSIBILITY that in the future everything will be better? It is not a pollyanna point of view.  It’s a survivalist way of thinking.
I feel like I have been under a political regime for nearly all of my life. Too many presidents have gone by since my childhood that were intolerant, money hungry, war mongers…..literally. I used to get so frustrated at those presidents because it did’nt seem like they understood us or even cared that all we want is to have our basic human rights.   We want the right to affordable healthcare….not to abuse the system and take it for free….but to be able to AFFORD IT!  We want the right to choose what you do with your own body and who we can marry and we want the right to speak our minds. All of which it seemed they wanted to deny us.  Why would anyone think that was okay to take away from us?
A time where big oil owns the USA , religion is practically legal in schools, the news is all fear-based and a group of older rich white men run the world… is finally becoming a thing of the past. 
Before, Democrats, including myself, seemed scared to speak out, for fear of harassment for our views or punishment from the government for protesting.
This is America! We are home of the FREE TO BE YOU AND ME!
I have prayed my whole life for a peoples’ leader. Someone that was more like me. And now that we have ONE, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of this country. And he, is just one of many peoples leaders to come. 
And WE, the ones who stayed silent for too long, still always kept the hope alive that one day this would be a whole new world. So, just IMAGINE where we COULD BE in ten years and know that the POWER of that POSSIBILITY is what got us here today.
I believe that humanity has been experiencing a shift in consciousness and that now that we have learned many of the lessons needed to be ready for it, we are finally beginning to see truly progressive thinking become progressive action.  I could already feel this shift happening in my own everyday life but now I see it happening to our country and it is truly enlightening.
But in the meantime, while the change continues to occur, we should have patience… and above all we must NEVER FORGET, what it took to get here. It took the courage to speak up and speak out…..for decades.
And if there was only one thing you could judge Obama on (the thing that makes me love and believe in him) it is that it is clear in his actions that he CARES about us. He wants to see the BEST for all of us, the people not the corporations.  He is genuine and transparent, unafraid to speak out against lies and those that would try to shut him down. Of course, he is no saint, just like none of us are, but the man deserves some credit. These are noble characteristics that are rarely seen in a political leader.
And now is the era we have all been HOPING for, when the meak shall inherit the earth. And I know, that it is only a matter of time before we are completely through this shift and all of our hearts are fully open and awake.
 Intolerance will no longer be tolerated. 


Three times in my life I have felt true bliss, when my heart has opened up and blossomed like a flower.
The first time was when, at the urging of the Landmark Forum, I called my ex-husband, after many years of seeking the courage, and forgave him. When I hung up the phone I felt a magnificent release of old stagnant energy and my heart felt like it grew in size.  I was warm inside and my whole being felt like it glowed with newfound energy.  Bliss set in and I cried deep sobs of joy for this release. I had no idea how much resentment I had been holding onto and I finally felt renewed.
The second time was in my first ayahuasca ceremony. After hours and hours of purging, something moved inside me and was released.  I felt myself fill with love, starting from my heart center. I knew this was spirit on its highest level, reaching down to me and encompassing me with its divine light. My heart opened up and my whole being became warm, radiating light. I felt my heart open wide, as if a rose had blossomed there. I sat in bliss and cried tears of joy for hours. I’d never felt so strong a connection with the Mother of all. I knew I had been truly blessed.
The third time was last spring when I met Amma Sri Karunamayi. I had come to a meditation retreat but was skeptical throughout most of it. I’d already worked with so many healers and shamans, many of whom had turned out to be of low integrity and I was not going to fall for that again.  I could not really understand her either. Her words seemed incomprehensible during the puja the next day as well.  Yet something told me to stay when I went to my car to leave, even after 7hours.  I realized my skepticism and asked for guidance to help me see through that to the truth. I let go and came back inside where I finally noticed the energy that had been building all day. It was a sort of pulsing through my veins and I suddenly could understand everything Amma was saying.
Only the devotees were left by now and soon Amma stood up to say goodbye and leave. Everyone crowded around her, hoping to have her blessing in the form of her touch. I thought, “Well let’s see what this is all about.”, so I moved along beside her with the crowd, working my way up next to her. An opening came and I was right beside her. She reached out and laid her hand on my forehead and in that motion I felt the pure energy of the divine.  Streaming down through her and into me, pure love reached my heart and it again blossomed. I stopped and stood there feeling this bliss and tears fell from my eyes. I knew she was who they had claimed her to be, a true incarnation of divine love and light.  As I stood there crying tears of joy, I held my hands over my heart, feeling the warmth and power of pure love. I knew I’d been blessed again with the ultimate love of Great Spirit and I was finally sure that Amma was the true essence of this divinity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Starting Again

Was trying to think of how to start again… and then I opened this little notebook I’d started months back. I must have known that the pretty little notebook covered with butterflies, roses, gemstones and glitter would give me direction. I’d started writing stories of this life in it last summer. 
I saw this quote, no idea where it came from.
“Creative force is released by an internal process of letting go.  The process of healing is the process of releasing our creative force for the mastery of health and well-being.  Much of illness is a result of blocking the natural flow of an individuals creative energies.”
And this, my friends, is my most primal desire for wanting to write again.
Though, I am not writing for the superfluous reason of being heard…not like when I was younger.  I have grown so much from even 2 or 3 years ago.  I just want to write from my truest clearest form of expression, from the space of being centered and in service to spirit and what it expresses through me.  We all are spirit and I believe that if each of us could have the courage for self-expression, it would give us all the opportunity for great growth and healing.
So that is the goal here from now on, more to write for me, and my expression of spirit, than for anyone else. Not only for my own growth but as a way to honor that which resides in each of us making every person holy, as their own aspect of spirit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Attack of the Fibroid!

I really do have a great excuse for not blogging in so long.....and yeah I know that i did'nt blog for almost two years before that but anyway- here is the story i wrote about it soon after my surgery.

For anyone who wondered if i was PREGNANT.. for A LONG WHILE..i was NOT. On tuesday I gave cesarian "birth" to a 2 1/2 pound uterine FIBROID. This picture gives you an idea for what a fibroid looks like and the size of the thing that came out of me. It sits beside a 6 INCH RULER. It may have been there 10 YEARS or longer. I am told that 60 % OF WOMEN have them, many not knowi it. If you are having symptoms such as the following, which you thought were just the body aging, you may want to get checked out. Most never know until they feel pain or start to "show".  Over the past several years i have had painful flatulation and constipation with an impacted colon thrown in here and there. As it grew and it began to show i would have back pain, occassional nausea and feel like i was always on the verge of my period or had bad indigestion. In the past year i would have severe to mild headaches almost daily. I was also suseptible to contracting other illnesses, i.e: i had an intestinal parasite, staph infection-about the time I think I got infected with the campylovactor pathogen, and last year lyme disease (which my accupuncturist cured in 10 days). He is the one who discovered the fibroid too, as my YEARLY guyno exams DID NOT..... but not until my belly got very hard and the fibroid began to show.
 It has been a real PAIN to deal with for years now yet i did not know the ROOT cause was the FIBROID until last february.
At the time of my surgery i looked 5 1/2 months preggers. Although there are no real theories about why we get them, some doctors say that they are inherited. That had to be at least part of it for me since my MOM HAD ONE the same size, in the same exact place (upper uterus) at the same age as me.
My surgery went well and i am finally healing. It has been a very intense week to say the least. Besides the pain there are still a few organs relearning how to work well including the bladder.  I also have to be careful to keep my body moving so as not to get any blood clots in the legs, walking also helps with the painful flatulence. And i have to be careful getting in and out of bed so as not to strain anything or tear internal stitches. It's a tricky place to be. I sleep when i can, between my pain medications. I am taking a number of vitamins and supplements for a speedy recovery including aloe vera, CoQ10, Vitamin C, and I am on the way to full health.
 But its seems like a long road ahead. I can drive in  4 weeks and no extraneous activity or lifting for 6 weeks. I am just taking it day by day.  I thank God/Goddess that i am not any worse off. Recovery is imminent. I just wanted to share my story in hopes it may possibly help someone else who may or may not know what they are suffering from. Thanks to all of you have prayed and continue to pray for my speedy recovery. I am happy to continue the dialogue if anyone has any other advice or questions. Thanks agian for all the love. Peace to you all, Athena

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life In the Past Two Years

Wow, its been almost two years exactly since my last blog entry. Soooooo much has happened but i'll sum it up here and write in depth later. Since November of 2009, my life partner has become my business partner and we travel doing festivals almost full time now, my love and i have purchased land and begun to build our dream house (an earthship) and most recently i have had a hysterectomy for a grapefruit sized fibroid in my uterus. It's been an intense couple of years but its been amazing too. I'm excited to share i just need to find the words.