I was in New York City last week during the infamous Hurricane Sandy.  I couldn't help but notice the outer hurricane mirroring the inner hurricane for so many people I know.  In my conversations with friends and strangers alike, everyone seemed to be going through a huge transformation, almost like an initiation requiring them to surrender to the unknown and trust.  Failure to do so resulting in anxiety, depression and paralyzing confusion. From a human perspective, it's common to be bound by the limitations of the mind, where we perceive the inner and outer hurricanes from a perpetrator and victimized viewpoint.  For example: hurricane Sandy is the aggressor.  All who are affected are victims.  The outer challenges in our lives are causing problems and distress.  We are innocently being punished.

From a spiritual perspective, we are invited to explore the idea that life is not happening to us, but for us, and for our soul's growth.  That every moment is an opportunity to remember ourselves as spirit, and when aligned with spirit, seeing ourselves connected to all that is and being able to trust in that even when, especially when, there seems to be convincing evidence otherwise.

The fundamental question becomes do you believe in the world as something that is testing you, then rewarding and punishing you based on your behavior, like a university psychology experiment, or do you believe there is a higher organizing principle that orchestrates an infinity of interconnected events to come into a harmonious symphony to make the music of life?

It's a big question and one I dance with every day.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, as women, that we are wise, wild and free.  We remember the interconnected pulse of life that animates our bodies is the same force that makes a dog's tail wag, the earth spin, flowers bloom, hummingbirds fly and the wind hurl.  I'm writing this blog post which engages the mind, but my favorite part about Qoya and the healing practices that influence it is, it is an EXPERIENTIAL path.  It is not only about what you believe to be true, but what resonates as truth in every cell in your body and most importantly in your heart.

One of the questions to help shift from victim consciousness which arises in the mind to spirit consciousness which is recognized by the heart is by asking, "What are the gifts of this situation?" In heinsight, we can almost always see the most challenging and disturbing part of our past, our deepest wounds, ended up being the catalyst to illuminate our greatest strengths and initiate us into a more evolved expression of ourselves. The break up that broke your heart, only to realize later it broke it open. The loss of material possessions, only to be left with the gratitude for what you do have. The witnessing of lives lost, only to remember how sacred life is in the first place.

When in a challenging situation, whether it be the outer hurricane or the inner hurricane, here are three ways to help surrender to the unknown. I hope they can be of service to you as you navigate the adventure that is your life.

1- Create Sacred Space: There are a thousand ways to do this. I'll attach links of instructions to the suggestions here. Call in sacred space, do a despacho gratitude prayer ceremony, pull angel or goddess cards, build an altar, walk a labyrinth, (picture to the left is a homemade labyrinth, you can also use yarn) do a candle or fire ceremony, dance with intention to honor the sacred (which is another way to describe qoya), do another ritual you already know or make up your own.

The main ingredients of ceremony are honoring and gratitude.  The intention is not trying to manipulate or change things, but to honor them as they are. It is aligning with the spiritual perspective of trust and honor the gift that is being given, even if you have a personal preference for it to show up in a different package.  For example, as I was doing pre-hurricane despacho prayer ceremonies, I honored the gifts of being humbled by the force and power of mother earth, of the time to slow down and go deep within to contemplate what is really important and let what isn't slowly slip away.   You know you have created sacred space when it resonates with your soul.  Trust that you know how to do this and let yourself be guided to create the perfect honoring for yourself whenever you are being asked to surrender to the unknown.

2- Expect a Miracle and Listen to Bob Marley: In my meditation practice I continue to receive the message that says, "Stop worrying! When you have a problem, the problem is not the problem, the problem is the worrying." It's almost as if our fear and worry create a brick wall between ourselves and the solutions that are trying to find their way to us.  Instead of trying to get yourself to stop worrying, try expecting a miracle.  Imagine for a moment, that you truly believed everything was going to be ok.  If this is too big of a stretch, I suggest listening to Bob Marley on repeat.  During the hurricane, I was taping up the windows, filling the bath tub with water and putting candles and matches in every room in the downtown New York City apartment I was staying in singing along to, "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright...don't worry!" It helped.  Give it a try.

3- Go Outside:My first instinct with the hurricane was to go to the Hudson river.  I watched as the water came higher and higher knowing that there would soon be a storm surge.  I felt the wind swirl and my reverence rise as my it inverted my umbrella like a cartoon.  Part of our culture's neglect of the feminine has been our disconnection from mother earth and yet all of our healing metaphors are so easily accessible with the promise of a new day with each sunrise, the potential growth in every seed we plant, the inevitable letting go as autumn leaves fall off the trees, the ups and downs of life with waves of the ocean, the peace of a still lake or the magic light of the full moon.  I'm always comforted by the invitation that if you could only accept the seasons of your heart, the way you accept summer, fall, winter and spring.

In intense times, I also encourage you to dance! Here is a free 13 minute video called: Only Love is Real (Fear is False Evidence Appearing As Real, Learn to Dance In-Between). 

The heaviness in your heart that pulls you to the center of the earth...that is your humanity.  Let it keep you kind and compassionate.  The sparkle in your eyes, the zing in your spine, the light shining through you...that is your divinity.  Trust both to guide you as you dance between the seen and unseen.

Surrendering,

Rochelle

P.S. I will be announcing the theme for Costa Rica 2013 along with a video with highlights from last year and an early bird discount good until December 1st, 2012 next week.

May all the blessings you put into the world boomerang back to you a million fold.