Archive for the ‘living the dream’ Category

Meeting the Lake, the Land, the People, and Myself

June 16, 2010
Once I had arrived in Peru, my first priority was to introduce myself to the land and to Lake Titicaca. The morning after our arrival, I breathed in the sweet smell of Peru and took my time, as one would do with a new lover. I took coca leaves with me down to a grandfather tree at the edge of the gardens, made a k’intu, a little fan-shaped arrangement of three coca leaves, and entered a prayerful state of consciousness. In that state, I introduced myself to the land and to the lake, spoke of my purpose for being in Peru, and offered my respect. Then I gently breathed blessing into the coca leaves, raised them to the sun, and let the wind take them.

Afterwards, I walked down to the lake and began to get a feel for her. Lake Titicaca is considered to be the epicenter of feminine energy on planet Earth and I immediately felt her tug at my quosqo (the energy center around the navel). I felt connected to her—even felt that I was at her service.

Later I walked the labyrinth on the property, enjoyed the gardens, and helped some groundskeepers clean the stones in one of the pools. I had come to Peru on a service trip, to help Jorge Luis and the shamans and elders gathering at the lake activate the Solar Disc. It seemed to me that anything I could do on behalf of this important cause was a worthy thing to do. The hotel belonged to Jorge, the pool was a part of the hotel, and everyone involved in the Solar Disc activation was gathering at the hotel. If stones needed to be washed, then I would wash stones.

I climbed into the empty pool, looked at the rather startled men scrubbing away at the stones, picked up a brush, and joined in. They seemed amused by the crazy lady scrubbing slime off the stones and made an attempt to communicate. Even though I knew almost no words in the local language and they knew no English, before long, we were laughing and interacting as we meticulously washed the stones. I had made some friends.

Melanie the Rock Scrubber

And Her New Friends

But it wasn’t quite all bliss.

Because of the nature of the trip and the work to be done, I knew that my time in Peru could, and probably would, surface my “stuff”—my internal detritus. Lisa (my longtime friend and the ringleader of the Denver contingent) and I had discussed it numerous times and had done plenty of internal clearing in preparation for the trip. Still, I knew that whatever needed to come up for review was likely to. And it did, my second morning there.

No warning. Like a sniper attack in the well-intentioned jihad for my spiritual sanity, ordered by kindly helping spirits—but painful, just the same—I found myself knocked off center and feeling vulnerable during a conversation with Jorge Luis, himself. I saw it for what it was: my stuff coming up. Once the conversation was over, I felt my feelings, explored my thoughts, meditated, and shed a few tears. And I breathed a few prayers of gratitude for all the hucha clearing I’d done before coming to Peru. Then I did a little more hucha clearing.

And then I went exploring again. I’d heard that there was a temple in Chucuito and I set off on foot to find it. It had been referred to both as a sun temple and as a fertility temple by some fellow travelers, but a merchant in town frowned at the notion that it might be considered a sun temple and insisted that it was only a fertility temple. The merchant pointed me in a direction.

Still, I wasn’t quite sure where it was and stopped, past the plaza and church, at an area that was walled off. An old Peruvian man stood at the locked gate awaiting entrance and a young man—very blonde and very white—came to let him in.

I approached and said, “What is this place.”

The young man, clearly an American, told me that it was a retirement home for the very elderly and that the people staying there were very poor. I asked what had brought him to this small retirement home in this small town in Peru and he told me that he had just completed college and was there doing service work—repairing, building, and fixing things up. He would be leaving in a few days to work elsewhere. We chatted about his work, our homes in America, and the fact that many shamans from around Peru and around the world would be congregating very close to where he was in just a couple of days. He was startled by the news . . . but no more startled than I had been to find him in Chucuito.

He pointed to the temple (Inca Uyo), which I had just passed. I backtracked, paid my two dollars to get in, and was promptly taken in hand by a young girl who looked no more than seven or eight. She was quickly joined by a slightly older boy and the two of them chaperoned me. The phallic looking statues peppering the grounds suggested that it was, indeed, a fertility temple.

Fertility Temple

The tour was quick. Within a couple of minutes, the girl began calling out what sounded like, “Finis! Finis!” and kept repeating a word I did not understand. (Of course, “finis” is Latin for “finished.” She certainly was not speaking Spanish and I had no sense of whether she could have been speaking in Aymara, the local language.) But I wasn’t finished experiencing the site and the boy was more accommodating. He pointed out several things of interest, the girl continuing to call out quite insistently and becoming more and more agitated the longer the tour took.

When she rubbed her thumb against her index and middle fingers and looked at me with disdain, I finally understood that she was not only insisting that the tour was over, but that she wanted money for the quick spin around the grounds. I had been at the temple but a few minutes. The two had chastised me when I suggested I just wander the grounds on my own. My head was spinning from the brush-off. I gave her a dollar. The boy demanded one too, but I’d had enough of the merchant urchins by then and simply turned and walked away.

The fellow travelers who had been to the temple before me had been enchanted by the delightful, loving children who had given them a tour. Their guides were clearly quite poor and equally sweet. But the boy and girl who ushered me were wearing designer duds and seemed to have affection only for making a buck. The boy at least had basic manners, but the girl was both disrespectful and pushy.

Yes, it can be said that the majority of Peruvians are not particularly well off, a condition that has spawned many little entrepreneurs. And, no doubt, some tourists are less than respectful of the Peruvian culture, people, and land. But the chasm between my friends’ experience and mine was a vivid and pointed message that Peruvian children, like people everywhere, are not generalizable.

Days unfold and reveal themselves to us regardless of where we are, but sometimes we are more cognizant of it, on alert for what might transpire. This day had more to reveal. We were taking a side trip to Sillustani—a place known for its UFO activity. The day was already revealing itself as being just a little disconcerting and odd. I wondered what was next. 


Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

The Invitation

March 16, 2010

When the invitation came to participate in the Solar Disc activation, I felt an immediate pull to accepting it. I had no idea where the money to go to Peru would come from, how I could manage to leave a husband undergoing cancer treatment, or why I would even consider leaving my business for a couple of weeks. But I knew I needed to go, whether or not I could make sense out of it in any rational way. 

My friend Lisa had met Jorge Luis Delgado in Peru three years earlier and the invitation had come to her, along with permission to invite like minded others. It was to be a service trip—a trip in which a reduced rate for room, board, and services would be offered in exchange for the active participation in the process of activating the Solar Disc, believed to be in Lake Titicaca. This would involve several days of ceremony, culminating in the Solar Disc activation ceremony and a ceremony to unite the divine masculine and divine feminine. 

Despacho ceremony in Peru. Jorge on the right.

This was to be an important event. The timing of it had been considered with great care. It would be a gathering of shamans, elders, and others, all lending energy to the Solar Disc activation. The optimal time to do this had been determined to be February 14, 2010—which was also Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and the day of the new moon (as calculated by Universal Time).

In Incan cosmology, we were in the process of completing five hundred years of “dark” cycle and were about to enter a new cycle of five hundred years of “light,” which would be fully ushered in December of 2012. We were at that powerful moment before the sun rose—a moment when our combined focused intent could move to do good in the world.

From Jorge Luis’ perspective, we were at the threshold of the New Pachacuti, the return of the light. A new vibratory frequency was infusing the planet, carrying with it the opportunity to expand consciousness, reawaken our spiritual nature within, and reconnect with Mother Earth. But we would all need help in integrating this energy. The reactivation of the Solar Disc would help the planet and all of her inhabitants.

But what exactly was the Solar Disc? I was being pulled, as if by gravity, to participate in its reactivation without knowing what it was.  

In my research, I learned that there are numerous versions of the Solar Disc legend. Many believe that the Solar Disc was brought to the Incans by the Lemurians. Some say that the disc was not made of ordinary gold, but of a special “transmuted” gold that was almost translucent. Historians believe that what is referred to as the Solar Disc hung in the Temple of the Sun (Coricancha) in Cusco and that it was removed from there and brought to Lake Titicaca to protect it when the conquistadors invaded Peru. Lord Aramu Muru (one of the Masters of the Brotherhood of the Seven Rays) had been linked to the Solar Disc and more than one version of the legend suggests that it was he who brought it to Cusco and then to Lake Titicaca.

The Solar Disc had been referred to as a healing instrument and a cosmic computer. It was  thought to have the power to open the human heart–to activate the internal sun–and it was this purpose that seemed to me to be connected to the gathering being called at Lake Titicaca. 

I found myself having images of being at Lake Titicaca five hundred years earlier, being among those who had accompanied the Solar Disc to the lake and, as odd as I knew it would seem to others, I felt that what I was seeing were images of myself at another time, in another life. I believed that I had made an agreement, with many others, to return at some future appointed hour to reactivate the Solar Disc.

And this was the time. And Lake Titicaca was the place. And Jorge Luis Delgado was the shaman calling us home.

I accepted the invitation.

Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

Hucha Clearing

January 31, 2010

The response (both on and off this site) to the simple clearing technique provided in my last post has prompted me to offer a couple of other hucha clearing techniques for those who would like them. 

Regular readers of this blog might recall that I offered a centering and grounding technique in a January, 2009 post. I suggest that you revisit that post and follow the centering/grounding steps before you try these techniques. You really need to be centered and grounded to do them. 

Both of the techniques I’m presenting are adapted from (not precisely the same as) those discussed by Joan Parisi Wilcox in her magnificent book, Masters of the Living Energy

Releasing Hucha, Practice 1 

  • Get centered and grounded.
  • Turn your attention to your energy body, the bubble of energy that both surrounds and is a part of your physical body, called the poq’po (POKE-po) in Quechua.
  • Notice any areas of heavy energy. These may seem dark, heavy, muddy, or otherwise less than light and clear.
  • Imagine your accumulated hucha traveling downward through your energy body and out, through either your feet or your root chakra, and into Mother Earth (Pachamama), knowing that she can use this heavy energy as “food” and will transmute it into light energy (sami).
  • As you release hucha to Pachamama, open your crown chakra and allow a beautiful flow of sami to flow into you from Source.
  • Thank Mother Earth and Source for their assistance and return to your centering/grounding awareness when you are ready to end the session. Then gently return your awareness to your everyday life. 

Releasing Hucha, Practice 2 

Note: You may find this second practice to be noticeably more profound than the first one.

  • Get centered and grounded.
  • Turn your attention to your energy body, the bubble of energy that both surrounds and is a part of your physical body, called the poq’po (POKE-po) in Quechua. As before, notice any areas of heavy energy.
  • This time, send the heavy energy to the area of your energy body that is roughly two inches below your navel, sometimes referred to as the dan tien or chi in Eastern practices and referred to as the qosqo (KOS-ko) in Quechua. The qosqo is considered the primary energy center of the body by many energy workers.
  • Ask your qosqo to “digest” the heavy energy (hucha), extracting sami from it as it does so, sending the hucha down to Mother Earth and sending the sami up through your energy body to your crown chakra.
  • Notice the double flow of energy—hucha traveling down and out; sami traveling up through the body—both flows happening simultaneously.
  • Thank Mother Earth and Source for their assistance and return to your centering/grounding awareness when you are ready to end the session. Then gently return your awareness to your everyday life. 

These are powerful clearing techniques that will help you clear hucha and enhance the flow of sami on an ongoing basis. I have been practicing and teaching techniques very similar to these for many years, but without the framework of Incan cosmology. It is always fascinating to me to note just how similar practices around the world are. Shamans (and others) throughout the world seem to tap into the same stream of higher understanding.

 As promised, I will talk more about sami in my next post.

 I would love to hear your experiences as you practices these techniques.

©2010 by Melanie Mulhall

Sami, Hucha, and Clearing

January 20, 2010

Jorge Luis Delgado is a practical man. He is a chacaruna, a bridge builder, in many senses of the word. Does he bridge the worlds of ordinary and nonordinary reality? Yes, of course. Is he a bridge between Father Sun and Mother Earth? Again, yes. But he is also a bridge to healing for those experiencing disharmony and a bridge to understanding for those who sense that something is afoot on planet Earth, but cannot quite put their finger on it.

As a shaman, I sense and explain the world around me as energy. In the Incan tradition of Jorge Luis Delgado, the life force energy that animates everything is called kawsay (COW-sigh) and it has two forms: sami (SAHM-ee) and hucha (WHO-cha). Sami is considered “light” energy, while hucha is considered “heavy” energy. It would be a mistake to translate that as “good” energy and “bad” energy and Jorge is very clear about this. Hucha is simply heavy, dense energy. Humans (but not plants or other animals) create and accumulate hucha in our energy bodies, called poq’po (POKE-po) in Quechua and hucha is problematic because it is incompatible with the optimal functioning of the energy body. 

A part of Jorge’s work, and that of other chacarunas, is to move hucha so that it can be cleared from the energy body. But his work also consists of educating people on the nature of both sami and hucha and how to foster the former, avoid the latter, and clear hucha when it accumulates. 

From my own perspective as a shaman and energy “reader,” I can say that as long as we are in human form (at least in the present version of human form we are experiencing at the moment), we will accumulate hucha. We are humans—not Ascended Masters—and while we are both thoroughly human and completely divine, enfleshment in human form carries with it some obstacles and those obstacles impact our vulnerability to hucha

Jorge would say that while we are children of the sun, we don’t shine like Father Sun because we are carrying hucha, accumulated during this age of darkness and more specifically, accumulated from early childhood on. This heavy energy affects the ego but it is not who we are. Within Incan cosmology, it can be said that we each have an “inner sun” that is, in essence, our inner integrity, our love—or what I would consider (with apologies to don Jorge if my assessment is off) our enduring spirit, that which connects us with and is a part of the divine Oneness. The inner sun endures. It is who we are. It is Truth and, as Jorge says, “Truth is forever, while the lies disappear after a time.” 

Our movement into the cycle of light will help with that. But we needn’t wait. We can clear hucha now, on an ongoing basis as we accumulate it. One can, of course, go to a chacaruna (like Jorge) who will help you clear your hucha. I have observed don Jorge performing a healing and if you have the opportunity to receive one, you will likely find it extremely helpful. But not everyone in the U.S. has the opportunity to work with a Peruvian chacaruna. Heck, few do!

Some of the shamanic work I do with people clears hucha, as can Reiki and other forms of energy healing. Jorge teaches a simple way of clearing hucha, one he developed. Stand with your arms outstretched to your sides (facing East if you wish). Then place your right hand over your heart (heart chakra) and your left hand over your solar plexus (solar plexus chakra). As you do this, know that your right hand is taking in love and sending it down to the solar plexus, helping to clear the heavy energy there. Now sweep your left hand down and away from your body, releasing the the hucha down to Mother Earth, who will transform it into sami and make good use of it. 

That’s it. It is a simple but powerful method of self care. Can you remove hucha in another? Jorge counsels against this. Instead, if you wish to help another, plant a seed of light within them. That will help get things moving so that they can release their own dark energy. Good advice for all of us, but particularly for those who are tempted to try to “save” others from themselves. In fact, Jorge does not talk about “removing” hucha in others during his healing sessions. Rather, he speaks of “moving” energy. 

But what of sami and of facilitating the movement into the light cycle? That will be the topic of the next post.

Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

Delgado, Braden, and 2012

December 29, 2009

Want to start a conversation that will make some people roll their eyes and others engage with passion, one that will incite controversy and maybe even heated discussion? Just say, “2012,” and see what happens. Some believe that 2012 is the “end times,” others believe that it ushers in a new age, and still others just think it is another year on the calendar. Among those believers are those who will argue their belief, those who await 2012 with curiosity, and those who plan to have a cup of tea and take a nap when the time comes. Shamans, mystics, religious zealots, spiritual seekers, and even scientists have something to say about 2012. 

I was interested in what Gregg Braden had to say about it, so I attended a conference last May to hear him (along with Alberto Villaldo and Bruce Lipton) speak on what he considers to be a powerful moment in time. Braden isn’t just another wild-eyed purveyor of New Age gobbledygook, he’s taken the time to develop some serious spiritual muscles and he has both a scientific background and scientific mind set.           

And among the things he had to say about 2012 (in the simplest of terms and my own words) were the following:

  • 2012 represents the end of one 5125-year cycle (which is, itself, part of a larger cycle) and the beginning of another;
  • These 5125-year cycles can be further sub-divided;
  • Akin to fractals, there are repeating patterns within these cycles;
  • By knowing what the conditions were during one point in a cycle, we can predict the return of those conditions at another point within the cycle.
  • Some moments in time hold powerful opportunities to impact, by belief and intent, the outcomes impacted by these predictable conditions.
  • We are in such a moment in time right now, during the period of transition from one world age to another! 

Interestingly, Braden’s take on 2012 meshes nicely with the Incan perspective, as explained by Peruvian chacaruna Jorge Luis Delgado. In the Incan cosmology, time is broken down into one thousand-year cycles, each divided in half with one five hundred-year period being the “dark cycle” and the other being the “light cycle.” We are nearing the end of a dark cycle. When does the cycle turn? Yep, 2012. 

But what does “dark cycle” and “light cycle” mean? According to don Jorge, the dark cycle is the time of the night. During this period, we are confused. Conversely, the light cycle is a time when we are clear, when we are filled with light. And this time is a powerful time of transition from one “age” to another. This is the time of the new pachacuti, the return of the light, and a time when a new vibrational frequency is possible on Earth and both personal and group consciousness can be raised. 

Between now and December of 2012, it is important for us to remember who we are and be clear about what we believe about ourselves. Who are we? We are children of the sun. We are the sun. We are its rays. As we remember that we are children of the sun, children of the light, we will come to understand—viscerally—that what is important is inside each of us. 

Father Sun is a portal . . . and so are we. Life force energy flows from Father Sun. So, too, it flows from us—as love (munay), service (llancay), and service (yachay). 

This is a powerful time to clear heavy energy within ourselves and welcome in the light. But what do I mean by “heavy energy” and how to we clear it? That will be the subject of my next post.

Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall

Meeting Jorge

November 29, 2009

If you ask Jorge Luis Delgado what is life is about, he will likely answer, without hesitation, “Love, service, and wisdom,” or munay, llancay, and yachay in the Quechua language. 

In North America, Jorge would be called a shaman. But Jorge is Peruvian of Incan ancestry, born and raised near Lake Titicaca.  He refers to himself a chacaruna, a “bridge person.” A bridge person is one who helps others navigate from one state of consciousness to another (an apt description of what shamans around the world do). The bridge that Jorge provides has been forged by years of service, a loving and humble heart, and wisdom that comes from communion and respect for both Mother Earth and Father Sun. And those journeying across that bridge come to a state of consciousness in which they recognize that they are, and always have been, enlightened—they just have been resistant to embrace it. 

I first heard of Jorge when a close friend of mine met him while on a tour of Machu Picchu. There seem to be shamans behind every bush in South America and I am always a bit skeptical when Americans return from trips to the southern hemisphere with stories about the power people they have met there. It isn’t that I doubt that there are powerful shamans in South America. There are. My skepticism is of the same variety as that I have when people tell me they have crowded into a sweat lodge with forty other people to participate in ceremony led by someone whose background they have only sketchy information about. It’s the same skepticism I have of those who call themselves shamans but cannot quite explain their path to the work, apart from a couple of classes in shamanism and a interior pull. There are many seekers of mystical experience and, it seems, just as many purveyors of that experience who are selling mysticism as if the experience could be pasteurized and bottled for easy consumption. Motor oil passed off as snake oil passed off as enlightenment. Altered states for those who want to be able to TiVo it. 

So I didn’t really give the fact that my friend had spent time with a Peruvian shaman much thought—until she called one day to tell me that the same shaman was hosting a gathering of elders at Lake Titicaca to activate the Solar Disc in the lake, and that those who wanted to lend their energy to the process were being invited to join in. I knew at once that I was supposed to be there. 

It was the same kind of knowing I’d had many years ago when I asked a shaman if I could work one-on-one with him and he replied with a question, “Journey work, or do you want to be an apprentice?” At the time, I had no conscious thought of becoming apprenticed to a shaman, but my brain was bypassed by the part of me that knew it was time to step into my destiny and I answered, without thought, “Apprentice.”

Now I had the same kind of visceral knowing about Lake Titicaca and the activation of the Solar Disc. It was as if I’d finally received an invitation sent out before I’d ever stepped into this body in this life—and I’d sent myself that invitation, as part of an agreement made between many souls to be at an appointed place at an appointed time. Somehow, the fact that I have a husband with cancer and limited income were irrelevant. I’d agreed to be there long ago and I was going to fulfill that promise.           

The name Jorge Luis Delgado came into focus the instant I answered that invitation saying, “I’ll be there.” 

As luck would have it, Jorge was going to be in the United States some months after I made that commitment and I set about to help my friend (and others) publicize this first visit to and workshop in Denver. I wanted to meet the man whose interior ley lines seemed to be intersecting and activating my own. 

What I encountered in that meeting was a man of humility and humor, of wisdom and wit. A practical man, Jorge seems to see love as a verb and practices the active side of love without stress or pressure . . . but also with the unsettling ability to see right into the core of a person. The man is no tourist shaman. He’s the real deal.

There is a great deal to say about Jorge, the Incan cosmology, and the new Pachacuti—the return of the light—and it cannot all be said in one blog post. But Mother Earth and Father Sun have been waiting patiently for the end of the age of darkness, so I’m hoping my readers can apply just a bit of patience, too, for the next post.

 Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall

Becoming a Crazy Old Lady

October 21, 2009

It was my friend and colleague Cindy Morris who provided the news.

Cindy graduated from Cornell University’s agriculture program enough years ago that the professors have all probably changed a time or two since and she once owned the European Flower Shop in Boulder, Colorado. Like me, she has fairy in her blood and holds court with the plant people on a regular basis. We were chatting over the telephone and I reported having brought in about thirty-five geraniums to overwinter in my house. Summer had given way to fall and the nights were getting cold enough to make the geraniums shiver. It was time for them to come in.

“I’m not exactly one of those crazy old ladies . . . yet . . . but I know that some people would find bringing in thrity-five geraniums to join all of my other indoor plants to be, well, a little excessive,” I said.

Cindy’s reply was immediate.

“Don’t kid yourself. You and I are those crazy old ladies.”

Then she laughed that deep, throaty laugh of hers that I love. It always suggests a knowing that might be hers alone or might be shared. In this case, she intended for it to be shared, whether or not I was ready for it.  It was the same kind of matter of fact comment coupled with a knowing laugh that I imagine Carl Jung making in a private conversation with Freud. “You know, you’re crazy as a loon. But, then, so am I. In fact, since we’re all just drifting through the dream, we might as well make the best of it.” Like that.

When I first commented that I hadn’t yet become a crazy old lady, I was thinking of the woman who lived across the street when I was growing up. She often took her meals on her tiny front porch, scooping food into her mouth and, without seeming to think anything strange to it, putting the plate down for her cats to join in, then taking it back for another bite. Her house consisted of narrow aisles winding among stacks of newspapers and assorted objects de debris

Surely I hadn’t yet become her. Had I? And how old was she, anyway, when I was ten or twelve? Surely she was truly a crone and not sixty, like me. Or was she younger than I now make her? It’s hard to tell. Everyone seems old when you’re ten or twelve.

I began thinking about what a ten or twelve-year-old girl might think of me. Would I appear to be a crazy old lady? Okay, okay, some people assume I qualify without giving it another thought because I’m a practicing shaman. But that’s just small-mindedness. Okay, I also have a penchant for herbs, some of them odd little varieties like mugwort. A few centuries ago they burned women like me at the stake. Some people I’ve met appear to still prefer that as a valid way to dispose of shamans and herb lovers. What else? As far as I’m concerned, fairies are real, trees have a lot to say to us if we will but listen, and the energy of things can be seen and felt. Maybe a ten or twelve-year-old would think me crazy. And maybe a four-year-old would agree with my model of the world because she wouldn’t yet have been socialized out of the knowledge that the world in which we live is truly magic.

What else might make me a crazy old lady? Well, some adults would say I’m crazy because I left a perfectly rational life in corporate America to be an entrepreneur and, with that, came to value happiness over cash. I might be seen as crazy, too, because I sometimes choose to dress age-inappropriately, say exactly what is on my mind, and believe that love trumps just about everything. Can’t help it. It’s who I am.

I’m embracing cray old ladyhood and thank you, my dear friend, Cindy Morris, for bringing it to my attention. Somehow it’s a relief to be a crazy old lady.

But now I’m wondering what other women think qualifies them as crazy old ladies.  If you think you’re one (or even a crazy young lady), I’d love to hear from you.


copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall (aka crazy old lady)

Advice to a Ten-Year-Old

July 30, 2009

When he asked me what I would say to my ten-year-old self, I was taken aback for a moment. Not only did I not have an immediate answer, I also felt it was too personal to talk about.

It was a strange reaction because the person who had posed the question was my husband. We had finished dinner and were still sitting at table, under the shelter of a small tree. We had too little of this quiet, intimate time together, time to spend in the intimate sort of conversation that only true intimates can have. And here I was, unable and unwilling to say anything.

I know I must have disappointed him when I said, “I don’t know. I’d have to think about it.” It was true enough, but it wasn’t the complete truth. I didn’t tell him that the question seemed to pierce some very private place in me that I was not yet ready to visit.

But the question stalked me for a couple of months and I found myself wondering what I would say to my ten-year-old self.

She was in the throws of change at ten. She had just moved from the only place she had ever really known, thus far, in her young life. That it was the only place she’d known does not mean that it knew her. She couldn’t have voiced it then, but if she could have, she probably would have said that she was not at all certain that any place could know her.

Her body was changing, too. She was getting taller–an odd experience for one who had always been among the smallest in her age group. Her body was also changing in other ways. Hair was sprouting where it had never been and little nubs of breasts were appearing on her chest. She was a bit gangly and awkward. She rode her bicycle around and around the area of a few blocks that summer, in the new town, in the new neighborhood–where she knew no one.

So what would I, a sixty-year-old woman, tell that girl of ten? What would fifty years have done to inform me in a way that would be remotely understandable to, let alone useful to, that girl? I was sitting on the deck of a client friend’s mountain home, early on a Saturday morning, when I asked myself those questions. I had been invited for the weekend and I was sharing that weekend with my client friend, her brother, and another woman, also a client friend. It was glorious to have a weekend to relax in the mountains. Lake Granby was within view, the air was crisp, and my guard against whatever it was that had stopped me cold on the question was down.

But now I was curious. It wasn’t just the advice I might give to my ten-year-old self that interested me, I wanted to know what the others with whom I was sharing this cabin would say to their ten-year-old selves.

Tim was the only one up as early as me, so I wandered indoors and posed the question. I wasn’t at all sure he would be willing to answer it. After all, he might find it as personal as I had or be as stumped for an answer as I had initially been. He wasn’t, on either account. Debbie joined us when we were thick in conversation. Then our host, Peggy, ambled down from her bedroom and joined in.

Here is what my three companions told me they would tell their ten-year-old selves. I won’t attribute any one comment to any one of them, just to keep it interesting and give them a bit of privacy:

  • Stay yourself.
  • Don’t compare yourself with everyone else.
  • Don’t try to figure it all out now.
  • The priests, the teachers, and the ones in charge are not always right. But keep it to yourself until you can do something about it.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • You’re amazing! You’re going to be and do so many things that are going to leave an imprint.
  • You have no idea how much potential you have, but you’ll figure it out.
  • Everything is going to be okay.

This last one pretty much says it all for me. But I might add a few of my own:

  • You won’t know it for some time, but this move you’ve just made–the one you didn’t want to make, the one you fought–is actually a turning point that will change the direction of your life for the better.
  • You can be known by places, but you must open yourself to them and let yourself be known.
  • This small corner of your life is a wonderful start, but your life can and will be so much bigger. Take a deep breath and take a running jump right off that cliff. Keep doing it. Live life without a net. You’ll know what that means in a few years, but begin to think about it now.
  •  Yes, you did choose your parents and in a few years, you are going to see what a great choice it was. For now, know that angels are watching over you and that you are being guided. Pay attention. Be open to the guidance.
  • By the way, everyone else has angels watching over them, too, and everyone else is also being guided. Curiously, many people don’t know that.

Well, now that I’ve gotten started, I can see that I could keep going. But I won’t. I’d like to know what advice you would give your ten-year-old self.


Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall


April 25, 2009

No doubt about it: the internal guidance system is a major tool for navigating life. But using the internal guidance system requires something else, too: faith. I have been reminded of that, again and again, over the past few weeks.

When I listened to my internal guidance system and kept driving forward through that snow storm, as reported in the last post, faith was required of me. The road behind me was quckly becoming impassible. The road ahead was uncertain, except insofar as I was willing to have faith in what I heard through my internal guidance system. I’m happy I had faith that day. Otherwise, I would have missed my own talk.

Last weekend, I again found myself in circumstances that required faith. Actually, those circumstances really began in February, when Melisa Pearce (Touched by a Horse) and I decided to offer a workshop together in April. We both knew that April is a fickle month in Colorado. It can be clear and in the sixties one day and snowing enough to make the Easter Bunny think he’s covering for Santa the next. We each trusted our intuition and set the workshop in the geographic center of April (about as close as the Four Corners Marker is to the geographic meeting place of four states–which means just a bit off center). This was the first time I would be offering my Shamanic Writing Workshop and to do it with Melisa and her talented healing horses was a gift of grace. We did our marketing and had faith that those perfect for the workshop would sign up.

They did. We had a very good response. People were coming from out of state as well as within the state of Colorado. It seemed we were on to something.

The weather was wonderful a scant week before our workshop and all looked good, apart from that pesky storm that was working its way towards Colorado. Our workshop was to start at 6 p.m. on Friday the 17th. The day before, it rained. The forecasters believed that rain would turn to snow sometime after midnight and predicted either slushy roads or a major snow storm. We were right on that liminal edge between the two.

I needed to have faith that all would be well for the workshop, but I must admit that my faith slid sideways on Thursday. I was opening my house up to an old friend who had a four-day commitment  nearby and wanted my home to be her port in a storm. It was a very reasonable request and one with which I happily complied, though I pointed out that I might need my own port in a storm if the weather turned ugly. I would be out in the wilds of Colorado, between Boulder and Lyons. I knew I could stay at Melisa’s ranch if necessary, but what about our workshop attendees?

Friday morning brought rain turning to snow in much of the Denver metro area. I left for the ranch in the morning, set myself up for the workshop, and waited. A couple of people cancelled. A couple of others called to be sure the workshop would go as scheduled (Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday). Two women had driven in from Utah on Thursday, the storm tracking them.

What was it doing at the ranch? Raining. Just raining. We seemed to be in the metro bananna belt, in a manner of speaking. There was a bit of magic to it. When I went inside and slid beyond that part of me that feared a workshop at risk, I kept hearing a voice that said it was all much ado about nothing. I needed to have faith that all would go as planned and I chose faith over fear.

The workshop did go as planned. Apart from two or three cancellations, everyone was there. One woman had even come from what would turn out to be “snow central” in the mountains. Some brought clothes so they could bunk at the ranch that night (the equivalent of praising God, but tying down your cammel).  No lives had been at risk and no one whined. There was an undercurrent of faith in the group, faith that we were all exactly were we were meant to be and with the people we were meant to share that time.

The workshop was a huge success. There were moments of breakthrough for some participants, moments of profound self-realization for others, and many moments of pure joy for everyone.

We’re planning another Shamanic Writing Workshop together and I have faith that it, too, will unfold beautifully and perfectly.


Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall

Navigation Tools for Life, Part III, Understanding Your Navigational Tools

March 1, 2009

Imagine being the captain of a ship. You want to travel north and all of your navigational instruments give you clear information on where north is. But you have seen something shimmering in the distance, off in a direction that does not match what your navigational tools say is north. You decide that the direction in which the shimmering object lies is actually north and head in that direction.

It sounds insane, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what we are doing when we insist on being in control instead of allowing ourselves to soften and surrender a bit.

In the last two posts, I talked about the internal guidance system and in the last post, I gave a couple of very simple tools to acess it. But being willing to access those internal guidance system tools will have limited impact if you do not understand a few basic things about them.

  1. You will have limited success in accessing your internal guidance system if you insist on being in control of the process. To access and hear/see/feel your internal guidance system, you must suspend the hallucination–for just a bit–that you are king or queen of the universe. You must be willing to soften and surrender a bit to that part of you that your ordinary consciousness just does not have access to.
  2. You must understand that your internal guidance system is not there to make you rich and famous. You may actually become rich and famous, but that’s not the point. Your internal guidance system is there to guide you towards the next move, inspiration, perception, or understanding that is best for you–based on a complex web of knowledge and interactions your conscious mind has limited access to. Your ego may want to be rich and famous, but your internal guidance system wants the highest version of you to be enacted, whatever that is and however that happens.
  3. At some point, you will have to act, not just sit back and passively observe. In the be/do/have cycle of things, there is a time to just “be” and tap into your internal guidance. But make no mistake: your internal guidance system will not do all the foot work for you. It may give you alternatives that will smooth your way, but it will not act for you if action on your part is an important component of manifesting what your guidance is showing you. The world may or may not come to your door without your having to leave home–but even if it does, it will be because you did your part to get it to your door.
  4. The more turbulent the sea, the harder it will be to navigate through it on a consistent basis. The internal guidance system works best in calm waters. Meditation–in any form to which you are drawn–helps calm the waters. And you need not be a follower of any particular religious path to meditate. There are nonsectarian meditation methods, sectarian ones, and methods that might have started out as sectarian, but have become nonsectarian in common practice. In short, there is a meditation method for everyone. Find one that resonates for you.
  5. The dirtier the equipment, the less the results can be trusted. This is very important to understand! Try reading text through a glass encrusted with years of dirt. You might not be able to read anything at all. If you can, you might miss something important that completely changes the meaning of the passage. Making sense of your internal guidance system is much the same. If you want a clear channel to your internal guidance, clean up your act! That means acknowledging,  working through, and clearing the jetsam and flotsam of the human psyche. The more you do this, the more trustworthy the information you receive will be.
  6. If you ignore the message, you may have simply lost an opportunity . . . or you might receive the message again–stronger, louder, and less kindly. Opportunity lost is one thing, but sometimes, when it is important, if you ignore a message from your internal guidance system, it will be repeated . . . one, twice, three times, or as many times as it takes. The internal guidance system has a way of getting our attention when it is important. That means that while the first message–or first ten messages–might have been subtle and gentle, you may find subsequent ones becoming increasingly pointed and/or uncomfortable. What has that meant for me, in my own experience? When I have ignored too many messages over too long a period of time, I have become ill. I have attracted clients from hell. I have had accidents. I have become tense and unhappy. These days, I prefer to pay attention sooner instead of later.
  7. Be gentle with yourself. If you have never consciously tapped into your internal guidance system or have been ignoring it for a long time, it might take some time for it to take you seriously and actually kick in with good, clear information. Give it some time. Practice in very simple ways, on a daily basis. It will eventually become activated. And when that happens, you will find you have made a good friend who provides indispensible help.

Want some navigation reference tools? There are many good books available and, yes, I do recommned my own book, Living the Dream–A Guidebook for Job Seekers and Career Explorers. Among the best resources, I believe, are two books by Penney Peirce: The Intuitive Way and Frequency.

May you navigate the seas of life well and safely, and may your ports of call be more than you could have hoped for . . . and everything you might have dreamed.

I would love to hear about your journey.


copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall