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Journey

Wiggle your fingers. Begin to move your toes. Feel your body come back into awareness. This is the end and the beginning. Shavasana.

Corpse

You could say Story Charmer has been in shavasana the last six months. Shavasana, the Sanskrit word for “corpse pose,” comes at the end of a yoga practice, the last pose in a sweating, stretching, praying, (sometimes pleading) workout.

Like it sounds, the body stretches out onto the floor like a corpse, limbs heavy, muscles slack. Breath slows. Heart rate calms. And, while I haven’t spent six months lying on my back in the dark, I have spent six months tucked into the quiet cocoon of a basement office, quaintly set in a back yard cottage, 1000 miles from the city and community I called home the last 4 years.

Sweating it out

In the months before its shavasana, my life became its own stretching, sweating, deepening yogic practice when I reached into love, packed up my single-gal ways, and moved to San Francisco with my boyfriend. A few months later, spent, and stirred by my creative urge, I gave up the work on which I’d built my business. And a few months after that, wondered

what’s my identity anymore?
what will I say without the crux of my business?
am I running far far away from everything I’ve built? And if so,
to what leaping-into-the-dark end?

Answerless, I telescoped back from social media and work communities, drifting farther away the dimmer my purpose became. Who am I? What is Story Charmer built on? What am I sharing? Are we friends because we’re buying from each other? Or are we buying from each other because we’re friends? Wait, we’re friends, right?

Further down in the heart, I cooked dinners for my boyfriend, wondered at cohabitation after so long solo, carried on intense breakthrough sessions with my therapist, and recoiled … in peace. After holding life, bracing against challenge, supporting the warrior pose of business-woman, and longer, of Pema, for such a duration, stillness was deafening.

Heartbeat in stillness

Despite its name, corpse pose is very much alive. The body’s rest is awash in the heat, sweat and prayer that came before. In this most vital pose, the body is resetting, integrating—its muscles, organs, its spirit—healing itself in the empty space before the action of every day resumes, and fills it. It’s the end of practice, and the beginning of what’s next.

Six months after it began, I can see that my practice had been intense, and that the silence was shavasana. Some stillness owns you till you take what it offers.

Curating the empty space

Story Charmer will be seeing some big changes in the coming months. The blog, she’ll slim down to stories on the journey, machinations in the mind. No explicit coaching here. Just exploring, relating, filtering life through story to find its perspective, its invitation to transform. The space cleared will make way for a new site and my gorgeous and gritty new story coaching offer in the new year.

For much of my copy writing career, I thrilled to my favorite part of the process, the client interview. Our conversations and what gets created from them are one hour of epic. And then, I’d slink off to my dark corner to write, solo, for another 20 to 30 hours. With my new offer, I’m over the moon to have found the sweet spot of client interaction, creation, and serving a (most fabulous) concrete need. I’ll tell you all about it in the weeks leading up to the launch. Till then, I hope you’ll enjoy the whopper stories that will inhabit Story Charmer till year’s end from South America.

Yep! Restored by shavasana, I’m on the “road” out in the world again. This time beginning in Buenos Aires and points along the Atlantic Southern Hemisphere. And it involves a ship, and the Amazon jungle, and bodies, stretching into life.

More to come… :-)

 

Photo credit: I found this lovely shavasana image at http://yoga.patients-care.com

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We gathered in class the week after 9/11, wondering what we were doing in Fine Arts when our city had just been bombed. What use? Our teacher implored us to recognize that art is exactly what we’ll need as we and our country begin to heal.


She was right. For 11 years, we and artists everywhere have traveled the grief that day triggered, accessed it, felt it, purged it, shared it collectively, in the art we’ve made, stories we’ve told, textures we’ve weaved. Turns out that in healing ourselves of that wound, we’ve been healing each other. Art heals. Stories mend. Creating invites what’s next.

There’s a story on that plate. If you’ve eaten the cake, hug an artist, or, better, buy him or her some creating time. If you’ve been healed by expression, thank yourself for finding your voice. If you’re still locked, invite your voice by eating more of the cake: surround yourself with art, trees, encouragers who see your beauty and the stories inside you. Listen for the muse in the voices of your people. Talk till you find your way down your story’s path.

Live. Lose. Create. Consume. Build anew. Live anew…

Make your cake. Let us eat it.

Photos by Pema Teeter, taken at SFMOMA’s cafe. Art begets art begets art.

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I read Faith Squared’s “Making Sense of Senseless Acts” this morning and felt a flame of the revolution flare up in me.

Then I read Chris Guillebeau’s “The Free Lunch Movement” and became a burning bush, all-consumed and a-crackle with the shift.

Last, I watched Tara Mohr’s new Wise Living video on Huffington Post, “7 Surprising Ways to Discover Your Calling,” because 1) I love catching everything I can of Tara Mohr’s, and 2) every story is a journey and at the beginning of every journey is a call to adventure. When you discover your life’s calling, in my observation, you begin an endless course of adventures.

Too hot to stand still

SO OFTEN, our call to adventure is the heat that makes us need to get up and change things. Stamp it out or fuel the fire, we can’t NOT react to the heat, the pressure, the too-small pants, too-cramped room, too-narrow mind that is twitching to burst open.

Tara’s wisdom is spot-on at every point. But my favorite is this: Afraid you don’t have what you need to accomplish your calling? ANSWER THE CALL. You gather what you need along the way.

Challenges and choice

That’s the point of a calling. It calls you to fulfill your purpose. It leads you on a journey full of challenges and choice. In so doing it fills your quiver with every shot you’ll need to meet the dragon.

Feel that heat inside? The revolution is at hand: Your story is calling. Will you answer it?

 

Photo credit: bstarcustomshop

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“Slipping around in the ashes.”

I heard myself say it to a friend yesterday.  I hadn’t been aware that I’d burned down the farm. But when I heard myself say it—  Saw the image in my mind, where the phrase came from—  Recognized the familiar feeling of being lost, then found in the stark gaze of it—  I got it.

In a springtime post, I described getting naked, stripping down Story Charmer to see what’s there, what’s mine, what’s not, to find out what gets restored, what departs after clearing out, getting real. Hell, finding real. Every so often, it’s good to check if the pulse still beats in the right places of one’s purpose. Turns out naked is smoking hot.

Barn’s burned down

After I said it, I paused. Thought. Yes. I’d burned down the farm. The smoke’s no longer rising. I can see past the skeleton structures, blackened, the cleared out pieces of them fallen, returning to earth.

*That’s* where those went. Huh. 

And then… I can plant a garden in that spot there.

And… Look at the sky leaning in so closely here, where before it tucked behind that tree…the tree is gone.

Fertile flames

In California, elements of the chaparral are designed to be more fertile once burned. In one of my life’s big transitions, I’ve returned home to California from Portland. Lush, liquid, evergreen Portland, Oregon. To desert heat, ocean wind, fleecy golden hills, eternal spring. And fires so familiar I’d forgotten how they burn.

Story Charmer has yet to get dressed. The closet burned down too. But the view. It’s clear and getting clearer. It’s simple as dirt and sky. And as life-bringing.

 

Photo by Chris Bennett 

 

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Disclaimer: Run now or hold your peace

No parent wants to read about their child’s first sexual encounter under their own roof. And so for that reason, I caution my dad and anyone else who feels fatherly or motherly toward me, or anyone squeamish about teenage love to click away right now.

See you clickers in the next post. 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 . . .

Virginal

For all who have stayed. Welcome. To the night I got naked. With a girl. In my brother’s bedroom. It’s a passion play that, like all good dramas, begins its slow turn much earlier.

She and I were best friends. On this night, we turned lovers, in a willful gesture that I learned was desire. It took over me as if I was watching myself on a movie screen. And yet, I lived each moment in the heat that spread in my heart, my gut, my skin, exploding my head. Each choice. And then the next. I was 16.

My dad was a preacher. My mom slept nearby on the living room couch. My brother was no longer. At least, not his physical form. He had died suddenly, nine months before, at 17.

The end of innocence

His room was intact. I would go in there from time to time, to make his absence real. And to pierce the mute, open doorway standing at the end of the hall, that no one walked through anymore, but which shone blue from the paint on his walls.

It had a bigger bed than mine, covered by the blue and red afghan our grandma crocheted. I would sit on it and stare out the window. Run my hand over coarse yarn and stare out the door. Stare into his closet. Velcro my eyes to the song lyrics he had written on the pad still on his desk. The cartoons he had drawn. His life still in the lines.

But this night, the scratchy afghan slipped to the floor. My best friend and I, we’d been to the beach. Heat from our sunburns made the room feel like day. Street lamp light sifted the darkness telling us it was night. All of it transcended time.

Resurrection mix tape

Dawn came. Then morning sun. Then sleep.

It was Easter Sunday. My dad woke us ten minutes into slumber, to get ready for church.

Pastel floral farm skirt and my favorite greenish cropped top. What I wore that day is sealed on my memory, as is the way the sun slanted through the windows and her next to me in the pew in black pedal pushers. Somebody preached. About Jesus dying for our sins. And coming back to life. While I flashed on fresh sins I could still feel. And felt alive in them.

The people here hurt for me and my family’s loss deeply. They wrapped me in love as much as I would let them. And I knew with fearful certainty that if they knew the sins I knew, they would reject me without argument. That was the day a new piece of my spirit struggled free, while my relationship with religion ground to its end.

Lost

As it happened, it was my job to drive Grandma to church. That wasn’t going to change. So I went, every Sunday, for the next three years until I left for college, smiling to see the folks that raised me in this community, and dying inside to think we wouldn’t be having this conversation if they knew what I knew about me.

If you’ve ever been a closeted gay teen stoic at church, you know that hyper-self-awareness can widen into silence and separation. Turn into rejection and resentment. Years into the shut-down, I became allergic to all things holy. The day, a decade later, that I sat in traffic behind a Christian fish symbol bumper sticker, and raged at the intolerant audacity of a blindly religious vocal majority, I heard the silence in my car stab back at me. My outrage, the silent echo suggested, might be a bigger fish to fry than the one on the bumper.

A modern chance

There was no where to go in the traffic. No one to hear but myself. I’d learned enough to know that inordinate venom is usually the tip off to a personal problem buried so deep you can’t see it. It was there, gridlocked behind the Christian fish car, that I missed spirituality.

If I were a preacher, I’d be fourth in a generational line of them, starting with my great-grandfather on my dad’s side. Church, before there was a building for it, used to be held in the very house that I lived in. My dad as a boy would set out folding chairs in his living room for the congregants, which, if you’ve ever crammed into a living room and shared stories and reverence, you know is a silly name to call each other when it feels rather like family.

I missed…a feeling. That family. The reverence. The sensation of awe and peace and wonder that my dad called “the spirit.” I missed people caring and loving and coming together just to be together in a sacred hour. As much as I had grown to detest all things related to a religious tenet that would kill me if it had a modern chance, I even missed praying.

Found

And so there in my car, I cracked open and allowed myself to feel, allowed myself to wonder, and to wander through thoughts of God as God related to ME and not a religion.

That was the beginning of what has become an increasingly spiritual journey. I remembered the reverence with which I absorbed nature on the walks to school and in the national parks we traveled with my grandparents. I remembered the joy and gratitude of stewardship that my grandma modeled. And I remembered that I had as much fascination for a fundamentalist’s diehard faith as I had vitriol for what it espoused.

I think they call this collection of attributes “humanist,” and maybe that’s what I was becoming. But what I knew in the moment was that access to spirit was no longer trapped in the church box. It was no longer separate from me and my heathen ways. Access to spirit is mine if I want it, even if religion has its party without me.

Thank God.

In the Pulpit with Ronna Detrick

In addition to stripping down and exploring through memories, I’m gearing up for Sunday morning in the pulpit with Ronna Detrick, spiritual adviser and conversation sparker extraordinaire, creator of sacred community through conversations on God and women. Please join us for her inspired invocation of the divine in all of us, as we talk about new ways of understanding and incorporating faith, beliefs, spirituality, and gorgeous, significant story.

Sunday Services you want to WAKE UP for!
with Ronna Detrick, Spiritual Director and creator of Inspired by Eve.
and guest, Pema Teeter, Story Charmer
May 27, 2012
10:00 am (PST)
We need congregation. We need sacred space.
 And we need conversation that is unscripted, unedited, and unboundaried.
 We need each other.

Dial: 530.881.1300 Code: 590920#

(Skype callers: Add ‘freeconferencing.5308811300′ to your contacts.
Once you’ve dialed in, locate the key pad and enter the access code. )

Smart, engaging conversation about topics that matter. Soak up community wisdom. Even worship. It’s divine.

I hope you’ll join us.

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Pieces

It was a tiny room with historic wooden floors, a single bed, and summer ants that would eat holes in the crotches of my underwear. I pilfered food that wouldn’t be recognized as missing off the shelves of my landlord, and at work, stole quarters from the prospective-client-parking box to buy gas station egg salad sandwiches at lunch. I did this every day till I noticed I’d lost months of memory focusing solely on the next meal, and then the next.

On the phone with my dad, I reined in tears while he romanticized poverty, saying this life is a choice I made, and praising the fact that every successful writer has “eaten bark” to get by, eventually, refusing my just-in-case request to come home for a while if it was confirmed that, in fact, I was losing my mind.

Mirror, plate glass window, each one I walk by, I double-take at the reflection of my mother before realizing it’s me. This is me. Is this the way it’s going to be till the end? If the physical gene is this strong, surely the emotional one has some horsepower, too, and if that’s true, what will I, daughter of a mother who bolted when her kids were toddlers, face as womanhood takes hold? She is no longer nibbling at the edges of me. She’s inside.

Poles

I live under the roof of the most creatively suited mentor I could have imagined, help instigate a writers group dreams are made of, and make community with writers whose eventual films and plays call to mind the times spent creating those pieces in our living room readings. I fall in love with two kids and a dog. Family.

I’m writing an electric story. It’s characters are taking over and I long ago forgot the time.  When, suddenly, I stop. It stops. The flow of the thing. The words, the characters, the picture I’m describing freezes like a Polaroid in its frame, nostalgia-tinted. I scratch at its surface trying to get back in. But it’s an inanimate thing, and I am locked out. Each day I return, I jangle keys outside it, doorless, frozen in time. Inaccessible. I slink away. But visit often. Visit all of the stories often. Pace the tiny room. Fuzz my vision at a golden afternoon edging windows, floor. Angry as the light wanes. Another day stunted into snapshot. Why do *I* have to heal before I can write? and then I wonder where that thought came from? Heal what? It’s just writing. Anyone can write. Especially writers. Paw again at the Polaroid. Notice the dust between bare feet and the floor. Let go the picture and find the broom.

Slalom

How do you know when a story matters?
You know when you don’t want to tell it.
Or when it makes you feel short of breath, or feel anything at all.
You know when time disappears while you’re telling it.
And when your audience is tearing up without noticing. When they’re silenced in wait of what’s next.
You know it matters when you have to be cajoled to tell it.
When people ask to hear it again.
When listeners and readers ask questions, and read the next one.
And when it heals.

Stories matter when they’re true. True to struggle, to human nature, true to experience.

You don’t have to tell on yourself. You don’t have to share your story if it’s too scary to reveal.
But consider this next suggestion: Tell yourself. Even if you don’t let others see it, write your stories that matter.
Let yourself feel the memory: Stark joy. Shocking fate. Painful mediocrity.
Notice the feeling of it, then write into it. What hurt? What stuck? What’s hardest to say out loud?
Say it. Let it out. Then watch it shimmer.
It has a life of its own, that experience, and its own little piece of soul—yours, shimmering in it, that you’ll never get back if you don’t first let the story out.
Stories lose luster without that piece of soul. Just words without it.
So listen. Feel. Find what catches, what makes you want to hide.
And write it. You’ll find the soul. And in finding it, repair.

Memories

I’m writing memories for a while, in exploration. Staring out the window in the mornings, letting them fall out of lit corners and dark folds, rustling leaves, blunt sunshine of spring. Join me if you please. Write yours in the comments, or link to your blog. Explore with me.

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Post-Op

On my door, a bright yellow laminated sign has been posted—in six languages:

“I have had surgery and am resting/sleeping.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.”

My meals will be brought to me, and I will be with myself for the next twenty-four hours.

Awake, and Aware

I have imagined sleep, deep sleep. Long, beautiful sleep. The kind of sleep I have been longing for all of my life. (Christine, the doctor from San Diego, slept for two days straight, after her “surgery.”) I feel spent and heavy, and can hardly move. But instead of sleep, curiously, I am awake the rest of the morning and afternoon, save for two one-hour naps, the second after I’ve taken an Excedrin PM around four.

At 8:30 I take my nightly supplements, and two Benadryl. I still wake up at 3 a.m. for a bit. I know, healing doesn’t always happen in the timing or the way one might hope for. But I can also tell something profound is occurring.

I am very aware of my heart. Too aware. It is beating strong and heavy. I could even say it is keeping me awake. I am also very aware of my mind, and the cavalcade of memories it is trotting through. Some things I haven’t thought of for decades, more.

And I have a dream. That Ruth Paris, the mother of one of my brother’s childhood friends, who died when her kids were still pretty young, is alive, fifty and pregnant. This is a bit of a scandal. Breaking the rules for a woman her age! My father, also dead, is there.

Alive

I think this is a good sign. Something that has been long-dead is now again alive, and preparing to give birth. Not necessarily in normal timing, but birth, nonetheless . . .

In these long hours, I have many conversations with Spirit. Many prayers. I meditate and feel profoundly blessed by my life and all the twists of road that have brought me here.

I have come here to learn and witness more of what the Truth is. I have come here to see and know. I want to feel it for myself. More and more deeply. Many of us talk about spirit or God or guidance, but do we really Know how this works, know the Truth of it? Do we really believe in the spirit world? Beyond Jesus, if we’re Christians? Beyond the mere few we may pray to? Or receive and perceive as metaphor.

The Casa is full of helping spirits. John of God “incorporates” them and they heal through him. As he says, “It is not I who heals. It is God.”

So in my long hours alone, I ask to be Connected. I ask to Know. I ask to be well-used. I ask to forge a deeper relationship with the Divine. To be assisted, so I may more deeply assist. To become One with God. A portal. An instrument . . .

It Is All So Palpable

Today, I return, and again wait in line to see John of God. For a review of what occurred yesterday. I’ve asked a translator to assist me in understanding. This time, I take John of God’s hand, but our time together is still a split second. He waves me away, and I am told by the translator, “Go into the far room. He will work with you.” I follow the others before me and am seated in a row. Again, the energy feels very intense. And in a few minutes it is done, and we are ushered out. I go back into the Assembly room to meditate and integrate for a while. It is all so palpable.

Heart of Compassion

Wednesday night, we are invited to where Emma is staying, to watch a film on the life of Chico Xavier, a Brazilian man who was John of God’s mentor. This film was recently released—a full-length feature—and apparently has been the most popular film, ever, in Brazil. Xavier was a profound medium, who, in part, channeled letters from the dead, and even signed the person’s name in their own handwriting! Without having been given any information about whom the letter was for or from! There was once a lawsuit against him, accusing him of plagiarizing a dead poet whose writing came through him. And he channeled over 400 books! For which he never received payment.

Neither has John of God ever received money for his healing work. He works a job, as Xavier did, the days he is away from the Casa.

This is the tradition and teaching of the Spiritist faith. If God has graced you with a gift, you must give it away.
John of God came from a very poor family and is basically uneducated. At the age of nine, an angel came to him and asked if he would give his life to serve millions of people in healing. He has been doing this work ever since, and the Casa has been in existence for over thirty years.

He has also set up soup kitchens across Brazil. As an offering for the poor. In an interview I saw, he begins to weep, talking about knowing what it’s like to be hungry. A heart of compassion.

I feel so blessed to be here.

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Part 3 of 3. Read the beginning of Johanna’s journey…Part 1, here). And watch for the rest of the story on her blog at jcourtleigh.com.

Johanna Courtleigh MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist and HypnoFertility Therapist, and Certified Oneness Awakening Trainer through the Oneness University in India. Her work seeks to help people heal from the mistruths they’ve been taught, and to awaken a core of deeper reverence, self-love, awareness, empowerment, ease and integrity—with themselves, and in their relationships with others. She is passionate about helping create a more peaceful world, and helping her clients become happier, healthier and more “in love” as a state of Being.

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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Spirit Hospital

“Crystal bed,” I’m told.
“Just once?” I ask. “That’s it?” I think. It’s taken a split second! I have wanted surgery. Spiritual surgery, here in this place that’s called the Spirit Hospital.

I am a bit disappointed, but I go get my Blessed Soup, and have my crystal bed treatment—twenty minutes under large, lighted crystals that are pointed at the chakras—and return to our Posada for lunch and to wait for the afternoon session. I return in the afternoon, to sit “in current”—a room that all who see John of God pass through.

We are to keep our eyes closed, our bodies uncrossed, and be in meditation and prayer until we are told we’re done. We are to hold the energy of healing, and prayers for self and others, as part of the “current” that supports the energy of John of God’s work. People who are part of the Casa instruct us in prayers in various languages over the three or so hours we are there. I have deep, quiet meditations. Our English prayer leader is a lovely woman from Ireland. Her prayers are beautiful, gentle, passionate.  Poetry.

Spiritual Surgery

Thursday.  We awaken early and are again at the Casa by 7:30. I have decided I will go before John of God again, and tell him, “I did my crystal bed. What would you like me to do now?”

I find a seat in the Assembly Room, and like yesterday, prayers and introductions go on and on. Suddenly Emma is next to me, “John of God is going to be coming out and doing surgery in front of the group! Come on!”

She leads me up to the front of the room and we stand there, waiting. I feel uncomfortable. We’re blocking other people’s view. But such is the way here. I learned, getting onto the plane in Miami. Brazilians have no trouble pushing. I have wanted to see this. We are right in front and after a bit, John of God comes out, with a line of four or five people who lean against the wall behind him.

The Man and the Entity

Now, there is John of God, the man. And John of God, “in Entity.” John of God, the man, is afraid of the sight of blood. John of God, in Entity, has done literal surgery on hundreds of thousands of people. Without antiseptic or anesthetic. No one experiences pain or infection. There is a TV screen in the Assembly Room, running a video loop, showing him doing these surgeries. Sticking his fingers in and pulling out tissue, tumors. Doing various procedures one would never see in any hospital or doctor’s office!  I dare myself to keep my eyes open and watch the whole thing.

On the wall in one of the Casa rooms is a photo of John of God, in Entity, doing surgery on himself! He had a stroke many years ago, and one of the entities took care of it for him. Through him.

Front Row View

He is now before us, “in Entity,” channeling. He appears a bit glazed, in an altered state. There are several people holding trays of instruments, a basin of water, towels, etc. Assistants to the doctor. He speaks to them, then calls the first woman forward. She is put in a primitive, bungee-cord type wheel chair. With a bit of dramatic flourish, he takes what looks to be a kitchen knife, tilts her head back, holds open her eye and begins to scrape her eyeball. He then wipes the blade on her shirt, and moves to her other eye, scraping and dipping the blade in to poke some bit out. There is no blood, just a bit of watering. She is then wheeled away.

Next he treats a man, lifting his shirt above his chest. An assistant points to an area just below the breast, and John of God takes a scalpel and makes an incision into the man’s body, about three inches across. One large tear of blood trails down his belly and onto his shoes and the floor. He clamps the incision, and then takes a needle and thread, and pushes it through the thick tissue. He ties off the stitching and the man is seated in a wheelchair and taken to the recovery room. Someone cleans the blood off the floor.

The next patient is a younger man. John of God takes a long pair of what appear to be surgical pliers and pinches a bit of cotton in them. He dips them in some solution, and pushes the pliers a good four inches into one of the man’s nostrils, and twists. He then pushes hard on the man’s belly, and pulls out the pliers. There is no blood! The man has had no observable pain reaction. He is put in a wheelchair and taken to recovery. (I saw him later, and he was fine, chatting and smiling.)

A fourth patient is put in a wheelchair and taken away. I imagine because the entity has done his surgery spiritually, and that work is now complete. There are hundreds of people in the Assembly Room, and I have had a totally unobstructed view of this. Amazing!

My Turn

All this has occurred rather quickly, and John of God is off the stage and an announcement is made in Portuguese. Emma is by my side again and tells me, “They just said that all those who want surgery are to line up.”
“Physical or spiritual?” I ask.
“Spiritual. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Get in line!”

This is not the normal protocol, but one of the Entities has offered to do surgery for all who desire it. Again, I want to experience this, and feel it for myself.  Spiritual surgery. Not physical! I don’t imagine I could really handle that…though everyone who experiences physical surgery seems to be supported by invisible anesthesia. Going into deep trance.

A long line of us push forward. I am so moved, I begin weeping as the line moves into a room and we are seated. The overflow stand. We are told the entities can perform up to nine surgeries at a time on a person, so if we want multiple surgeries, we are to put our hand over our heart. Otherwise, we are to put our hand over the area for which we wish healing. I put my hand over my heart, and am very moved.

I Pray

I pray, “Heal me,” and in my mind recount the things I want help for. Insomnia.
Heart—mitral valve prolapse and irregular beats. Family dynamics. Bone spurs in my neck. Auto-immune disease…

We are given final instructions, and the last words I hear in English are, “Good luck, and God bless you!” Like we are getting on some kind of wild, mad hatter ride.

What I haven’t mentioned in my list is TMJ. My wobbly jaw, my quirky bite. But as I sit there, I feel something going in my ear, moving through my jaw and across my face to the other side of my jaw. My jaw then relaxes without any effort on my part. I feel other subtle sensations, but this is the most powerful. When it is over, we’re told to open our eyes.

We shuffle out, and are seated by language, to be given instructions. Blessed Herbs are to be purchased at the Pharmacia and taken three times a day for the next forty days. Also for the next forty days, no alcohol, peppers, pork or sex. We are to go to our rooms for the next twenty-four hours and rest and sleep as much as possible. No reading, no computers, no writing, no chatting. We are to take a taxi back to the hotel, come back tomorrow afternoon for follow-up and blessing from the Entity, and in one week, put a cup of blessed water by the side of the bed and drink it in the morning. This will dissolve the stitches.

We are to be aware that we have had surgery, and are in a very open, vulnerable state. We are to treat ourselves as such.

Healing Begins

Emma gets my herbs for me, and puts me in a taxi. Our Posada is less than a block away. I pay the driver and am met at the gate by a woman from the hotel.

“Just had surgery?” she asks me.
“Yes.”
I drag myself up to my room. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck! I get myself ready for bed, and there is a soft knock at the door. The woman from the Posada offers me a bowl of Blessed Soup. Everyone is to have a bowl of Blessed Soup each morning after being with John of God. I thank her, eat my soup and crawl into bed.

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Part 2 of 3. Follow along in the Waking Up series to read what happens next in Johanna’s journey. (Read Part 1 here).

Johanna Courtleigh MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist and HypnoFertility Therapist, and Certified Oneness Awakening Trainer through the Oneness University in India. Her work seeks to help people heal from the mistruths they’ve been taught, and to awaken a core of deeper reverence, self-love, awareness, empowerment, ease and integrity—with themselves, and in their relationships with others. She is passionate about helping create a more peaceful world, and helping her clients become happier, healthier and more “in love” as a state of Being. She is available for in-person consultations in her office near Portland, Oregon, and over the phone and via Skype.

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Speaking of miracles, the 7-day Wake Up has been off the charts expansive and beautiful in its results.

You can still join us. One more day, March 26, 4:00 a.m. PDT. Wake up with us + watch your life pop open. Cost: Zero dollars and a few dawns. Reach out —> Hi [at] StoryCharmer [dot] com

Receive the Wake Up Kit. Get on the call. Or skip the call! And wake up anyway.

# #

Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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Our stories save lives, sometimes our own, often someone else’s.

World Pulse provides access for the voices of women journalists around the world. Grassroots journalists write, speak, develop community, and share stories from their villages and neighborhoods in networks around the world. They save themselves. They save each other. They grow from fear to fulfillment to self empowered to community-empowering. They are changing lives.

 

There are many videos on YouTube to choose from to get a flavor of World Pulse’s mission, reach, and successes. On their gorgeous website, you will find their ongoing journey in progress, in the shape of stories, events, community and offerings. Find your voice. Hear others. Help provide access to more. Visit WorldPulse.com. And keep on waking.

World Pulse is raising money and awareness today through a sale at one of its sponsors. Go to Eileen Fisher online today, save $25, and 10% of your purchase will go to support World Pulse.

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The 7-day Wake Up has been off the charts expansive and beautiful in its results.

Join us for the weekend? 4:00 a.m. PDT. March 20-27. Wake up with us + watch your life pop open. Cost: Zero dollars and a few dawns. Reach out —> Hi [at] StoryCharmer [dot] com

Receive the Wake Up Kit. Get on the call. Or skip the call! And wake up anyway.

# #

Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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Surrender and Allow

My personal journey is one of a heart opening.  The two messages I received this week were loud and clear: surrender and allow for.  Surrender that which you think you know as you simultaneously allow for that which you have not yet known.

Brand New and Relearning

Quite simply, I have not yet experienced living in such alignment, so while it feels natural, it also feels surreal.  There are moments that I feel like a stranger in my own life—my physical body has changed, my external space has changed, my connections have changed, my work has changed, *grin* my children have even grown in all ways.  This newness is lovely, yet unfamiliar, making my “regular” daily life an adventure.  One might imagine then, that when I step out of daily life into World, I am almost like a newborn, relearning everything as I venture out.  It is a whole new world.  There is magic and beauty and depth and texture and *life*, all so wonderful and delicious to me, yet often so far away in these moments that I am re-learning the “hows” of movement.

Living Through the Senses

I tend to initially resist the unfamiliar, but I find I am curious (very new for me!), and my entire being wishes to explore.  I wish to savor each moment, relish all that is presented to me.  I honor my pace as I take the time to feel everything.  I live through my senses, and I wish to explore through my senses.  I am remembering how it feels to participate in a love affair with World, from the moment I open my eyes in the morning through the moment I close them again at night, I am fully awake.  I no longer have the need to understand, I now have this desire to experience.

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I met Joy Holland early this month, when she contacted me to contribute to her magically conjured book, Cultivating Your Voice. I thought that was gorgeous timing for what the the Wake Up series is exercising. Her observations through the 7-Day Wake Up have been continued perfect timing. You can read more from Joy on her blog, Facets of Joy.

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Speaking of magically conjured, the 7-day Wake Up has been off the charts expansive and beautiful in its results.

Join us for the weekend? 4:00 a.m. PDT. March 20-27. Wake up with us + watch your life pop open. Cost: Zero dollars and a few dawns. Reach out —> Hi [at] StoryCharmer [dot] com

Receive the Wake Up Kit. Get on the call. Or skip the call! And wake up anyway.

# #

Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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