During the Qoya Remember Our Future Retreat last weekend in upstate New York, we created our own sense of reality. We dedicated the luxury of our free time to movement to honor the sacred gift of our bodies that make it possible for our spirits to be here. We did ritual and ceremony to honor the awareness of our consciousness and emotions that pass through our hearts for all things that bring us back to love. We gathered in community to strengthen our spirits on the sometimes arduous journey of life. We followed the call of pilgrimage.
In Qoya, the definition of pilgrimage is sacred travel. It's the moment when you move beyond the momentum tunnel of the highway between where you work and where you live. It describes any time you slow down enough to exit your routines and explore a path less traveled. As you do, you begin a conversation with something new outside of yourself, mirroring something forgotten inside of yourself. Pilgrimage is when travel is used to remember your essence. It is adventure inspired with intention, curiosity, and openness to possibility rather than probability.
In travel and pilgrimage there are still.... Challenges. Blessings. LIFE.
Like the saying, "Wherever you go, there you are," travel does not allow us to run away from ourselves.
Travel offers us liberation from feeling like the way we were raised is the way things "should be." It invites us outside of our dominant culture to experience ways in which its worldview may not support the best practices for the highest good of all.
Simple examples are things like housing and food. There are so many different types and styles of houses. Is one way right and one way wrong? Same with food. So many ways to cook vegetables! With Indian spices, in a spring roll, all together in a peasant stew!
A more controversial example is when we look at our faith, the way we pray and connect to the creation energy of this world. I have always had a hard time giving my full faith to any belief system that portrays a God who would create 7+ billion people only to condemn every one of them who was not born into a culture that follows the practices of that religion.
On the verge of one paradigm of reality crumbing and another emerging, it is important to consider that culture is when a group of people share similar beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, and concepts of the universe. Through our lived experience, we construct our reality to externally mirror what we internally hold as true.
Perhaps when you look around at the world today, you are not seeing a reflection of your inner world. This isn't a bad thing. After the grief, sorrow and mourning over this unfamiliar reflection comes inspiration and action to create your own reality!
All forward movements in history have been started by a few individuals who encouraged more people to consider waking up to their reality and to take action to create the world they want to live in rather than endure a world that they feel they have no power to change.
The medicine of this moment in time reflected by the sun, moon, stars, and planets above is to embrace the confusion, the tension, the angst, and the challenge as part of this process. Calms seas don't make strong sailors.
Our resident Qoya Astrologer Virginia Rosenberg shares:
This Full Moon in Cancer on January 12th (6:34amEST) is a castle made of sand -- humbling and like a riddle. On the path towards this sandcastle, there is a partially shrouded signpost. More than ever, we are aware that we are walking in a mystery. Wherever we go, there we are. This remains true even if we don't logically know where we are, even if we can't clearly place who we have become. This Full Moon Chart illustrates the tension of opposites, grey areas, and blurred lines in between. Tension gets a bad rap, but without tension in our anatomy, our bodies would lack the ability to stand erect. Tension is essential for dancing. Confusion is often considered a plague, but without the condensation of confusion, we may never fertilize our dreams. Without the spell of confusion, how would we recognize the arrival of crisp clarity? In one blink of an eye, everything that seemed solid can turn to sand. Tender sensitivity gives birth to fantasy. The magic of illusion is the stuff of inspiration. The past and forms of escape can feel magnetic today. If you do choose escape, let it be mindful and incredibly loving. Gather your soul family 'round and sing forth the presence of the Goddess. Ring in the remembrance that all of us are children of her omnipotent womb. Together, we bask in her all-powerful waters.
"Everything forgotten comes on the spiral to the next octave and is released into the celebration of being."
To help you embrace the challenges as inspiration to Create Your Own Reality, I invite you to do this movement video, Be the Light.
Remember movement is one of the easiest and most effective ways to usher your fearful mind back into your trusting body.
It is effortless to feel disempowered and lost while reading headlines and watching dramatic news reports on TV. When those moments of overwhelm arise, try shaking and just notice if it helps! I promise it will! Metaphorically, however, this is our moment! All these empowerment workshops, reading all these self-improvement books, and all this spiritual practice has been in service to a time when you need to remember your essence, a time when you know the physical sensation of your truth so strongly in your body, you are be able to source your decisions from your wise, wild and free soul.
That time is now.
When I lead Qoya teacher trainings, I often say in addition to learning how to do Qoya, I am training an army of dancers, a group of women who are standing at the front lines of daily life around the world ushering in an evolution of consciousness by embodying love.
There are so many of us doing this in different ways. The strongest revolutionaries of this time may not have a million followers on Instagram. They may not make millions of dollars, but they are of high spiritual standing and are rich in their perspective.
An old dear friend of mine, a mother of two in middle America, shared that she just couldn't handle the reports of hate coming through the news headlines, so she started offering support to a local refugee family in the town where she lives.
Know this: there is an undercurrent of women and souls waking up in our world, and even though you may not see it in the mass media, it does not mean it is not there, that it is strong, and that it is growing.
Can you remember the last time you looked up at the sky and dark clouds covered the light of the sun or moon? It didn't mean the sun or moon was not there; it meant the clouds were! Light is always streaming towards us, and when we remember who we are, light also streams through us.
I'm forever grateful for all the souls I've been able to dance with who are here at the time many mystics refer to as the turning of the ages. Our destiny is not written. We are writing it together, moment by moment, harmonizing the earnest desires of our heart with the power of our attention and action.
I invite you to create an oasis for yourself where you live with your friends or with us if you feel the call to take a pilgrimage on any of our upcoming Qoya retreats (see the full list below!)
I also invite you to build confidence in your ability to come back to yourself in the midst of challenges. The first level of our Qoya teacher training is offered online and is not only for those who want to teach but those who want to more deeply understand movement as metaphor, movement as medicine, and the transformation that is possible when we infuse our movement with meaning. It is also perfect if you want to create their own home practice, infuse Qoya's philosophies into your lifestyle, or simply invest in your personal growth and healing. Learn more here.
Thank you for reading this.
Thank you for being a lighthouse wherever you are.
And thank you for every moment of your life that you consciously participate in creating a reality ruled by love.
I believe you can,
P.S. I remember listening to a lecture 15+ years ago by a woman who said, "When choosing a spiritual path, choose one where you fun, like the people and the outfits, because as soon as the inevitable barriers of busyness, distraction, and avoidance creep in, you want to be part of something that will call you back." In the spirit of anchoring in our commitment to being earth angels and warriors of the divine (which is what this clothing line is called), I'd love to offer 11% AND free domestic shipping off all of our Angel Wing Kimonos and the Warriors of the Divine Robe through our next New Moon on January 27th! Use code WARRIOROFTHEDIVINE.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE