The Abundance Lab: Last Night As I Was Sleeping

I woke up yesterday morning in my warm bed with the sun brightening the curtains.  My daughter was asleep; my husband had left early for a day of giving massages.  It was sweet and quiet, with no reason to rush.  I noticed that I felt–I feel–hopeful in a way I haven’t in a while.  Something inside of me is emerging from the depths of the dark, the turn of the Solstice and the shifting Earth, “a spring . . . breaking out in my heart.”

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Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Antonio Machado
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The Abundance Lab Begins: What Story Are You Ready to Animate?

“The original impulse of art [is] to invite power into the world and then offer it a desirable template–a painting, a story . . .it’s inviting power into the world and going, Oh power, animate THIS story!”

What is your story?  What is the narrative that you are so immersed in that you are like a fish in water, not even knowing anything besides water exists?  And what is bursting to change? What is old and ready to be composted?  What needs the warming light of the returning sun and silvery moon?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the gift.  About my own habits of scarcity and abundance.  It amazes me to see how in different parts of my life I can swing from truly letting the flow of life move through me in its bounty, versus where I self-sabotage and cross my arms against goodness.

I want to animate a new story.  I know how it feels to give my gift, and how nourished I feel when I do that.  I also know that truly giving also means truly receiving–I mean, who’s really receiving if we are all giving??

When we stay in a ledger mentality, i.e. tit for tat, it is easy to remain isolated, unsourced and disempowered.  It’s you against the world, unless you can pay for it.  And even when we have the money to pay for the purchasable things (food, transportation, clothing, housing), the exchange remains a transaction, not a full participation in life.

So where do we start? Gratitude.  Cultivate seeds of gratitude through small acts, because gratitude immediately creates receptivity.  And not just for the specific person or thing we are grateful for.  It creates receptivity for all of life’s goodness.

We must act to re-wire our story.  We must gather new evidence, take small steps and sometimes big leaps, fall on our faces and be caught by kindred spirits.

Here are a few simple ways you can begin to cultivate gratitude in your life:

Make a gratitude jar for the year.  Write at least one thing you are grateful for each day on a slip of paper and drop it in.  I love this visual evidence of life’s goodness, and will be starting this today with my family!

Keep a daily or weekly gratitude log.  Use a journal, calendar or post on Facebook and other social media.

Make a gratitude collage.  Imagery is our soul food, and the process of gathering that which is meaningful together, somewhere we can see it on a daily basis, offers a tool of inspiration, intention and focus.

Now you tell me–how do you cultivate gratitude in your life, and how does that affect you?

with arms wide open,
Ursula

Sanctuary for the Feminine Soul

As women have been waking up over the past 50-plus years, we have been exploring the various ways we can express masculine and feminine energies. Ultimately, each human, regardless of gender, sex and sexuality, must unfold into his or her resonant mixture.  Right now the Sacred Feminine is still awakening, asking us to cultivate the latent seeds inside each of us. These seeds are our longings, our desires, the directions our bodily hungers for touch and nourishment take us.  Learn to listen to the soul voice, the root voice,  the inner voice, the womb voice, the quiet but persistent voice.  Cultivation happens when we act, each small act containing the fullness of a life lived in the here, the now, the particular body, relationships, community.  And that’s it.  Act by act, we deepen feeling and listen, listen to who we really are without collapsing or reacting in old ways.

I choose to do the difficult beautiful work, the work with no answers but constantly unfolding permutations, somehow whole as they are.  Where do I take this, where do I take myself for rest, for reflections, for a long deep draught from the wellspring I see reflected in the eyes of kindred souls around me. ?

I go where touch is offered, not to fix a mechanical system of flesh, but where that flesh is recognized as the  “Body … a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.”*  I go where hands and heart offer a space for me to relax deep within myself, where the true spring of rejuvenation lives.  I go where my senses are delighted and my humanity is restored by the receiving of my particular, quirky, joyous and grieving self.

*William Blake

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Resonant Field Women’s Circle, Monday July 2nd: A Healing Journey Through Conception & Birth

Are you looking to connect more deeply with your own feminine wisdom (or know a woman in your life who would)?  Would you like to share mindful space with other women?  These free monthly gatherings offer a simple, pleasurable way to connect and deepen your relationship to your body and soul, other resonant women and the Divine Feminine.  Each month will be loosely based around a theme, incorporating stillness/meditation, visualization, breath, journaling, feminine archetypes and other healing resources for an evening of sacred play!  I hope you will join us.

Warmly,

Ursula

Monday July 2nd: 

A Healing Journey Through Conception & Birth

The moment of conception is the original moment of wholeness.  In a loving, safe environment, we can journey back to this moment on through to our birth, to bring to consciousness what we may have experienced but have not yet named.  To heal what no longer serves us.  To imagine ourselves unfolding into a deeply embodied, loving world.  In experiencing our wholeness we can rewire our relationship with the world.

We will also have a chance to support each other as we work in pairs, one woman journeying as the other holds space.

Details:

  • Open to all interested women, straight/queer/trans, all spiritual and cultural backgrounds, and mothers with babes-in-arms.
  • Held the first Monday evening of the month, private location upon RSVP.  Please arrive 6:45, circle begins promptly at 7 PM.
  • This circle is my community offering, and free of charge.  Please share your gratitude by telling others.
  • Please eat dinner beforehand; ok to bring a snack and I will provide tea, fruit and chocolate.
  • Bring a journal, pen and water bottle.
  • Floor pillows and a few chairs available to those who need; if you have a particular cushion, etc, feel free to bring it.

Please RSVP with phone # for both Yes and Maybes, as sometimes I am on-call for a birth and need to be able to contact you:  anahata.bhakti@gmail.com or (510) 473-6724

Theme for August 6th:  Introducing Marion Woodman, an elder in the movment for feminine wisdom and conscious embodiment.  An evening of listening to her inspiring talk, “Sitting By The Well” and conversation.

Synergy: a healing arts fundraiser for the Uhuru Movement

I am pleased to announce an event that I am co-creating as well as offering my services at:

SYNERGY:
a healing arts fundraiser for
the UHURU (freedom) Movement
SAT, JUNE 23
1 to 5pm
Aquarian Heart Center
1920 Telegraph, Oakland

syn-er-gy
the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is
greater than the sum of the individual elements.

Come get a massage, accupuncture, chiropractic and other types of bodywork. Get info about nutrition, health and also natural healing and childbirth.  This is the bringing together of those who are interested in health and well-being to support the work of the Uhuru Movement and build for the Oakland  Freedom Summer Project.

$20 suggested donation for entry/ $15-30 sliding scale

Includes two to three 20 minute sessions with the practitioners of your choice, tea, music and presentation about the Oakland Freedom Summer Project.

The Oakland Freedom Summer Project (OFSP), an effort designed to strengthen the self-determination, economic development and social justice programs led by and for the Black community.  The OFSP is organizing volunteers to support the community garden, the commercial kitchen and the other programs that will be operating out of the East Oakland Uhuru House.  All these programs are so important in challenging the economic quarantine and martial law that exist in different parts of our city that negatively impact the  quality of life.

For more info about the OFSP and to register, see  http://www.uhurusummerproject.org/

For info about attending the event and/or participating as a health  practitioner, email oakland@uhurusolidarity.org

HomeBirth Focusd Childbirth Education Classes–in Oakland

HomeBirth Focused Childbirth Education Classes

in Oakland

Instructor: Esther Healey, Licensed Midwife

When: Thursdays (5 classes)

Time: 7-10 pm

Where: Oakland, near Lake Merritt

Fee: 8% of homebirth midwifery services fee ($400 max, $150 min)

Class Start Dates for 2012: June 21 (EDDs end of July – Sept) & Sept 20 (EDDs end of Oct – Dec)

To Register or for more info, contact:

The class is a balance of:

-Experiential learning of techniques you may use in labor

-Exposure to births from videos

-Informational coverage of:

*the “stages” of labor and what labor may look like

*what changes are made in the body during labor and postpartum

*what the baby goes through to be born

-Deeper discussions of common questions around standards of care (GBS, Vitamin K, Non Stress Tests, etc.)

-Opportunities to begin processing fears using specific techniques

-Setting intension for birth and postpartum

-What happens if complications arise and transfer of care is necessary (non urgent, urgent, emergency)

-Immediate postpartum and postpartum needs and expectations

-Expectations for newborn babies – what their needs are, and how can we as parents support them

-Breastfeeding techniques and expectations

-and, of course, more

Esther Healey, CPM, LM