What I'm Writing About
© Copyright 2011-2016
All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Bobbi Jean Ewing.
reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart <3
This April Fool’s Day I am reflecting back six years in time to another era of my life, to a time when I acted foolishly.
Six years ago on March 23, 2010 I got divorced. Though the relationship was long (nearly 10 years), the marriage was short. We were married a matter of weeks when the relationship ended in a giant ka-boom. Because of that, I never really felt married. To this day I do not refer to this man as my ex-husband, even when friends or acquaintances speak of him in this way and even after all this time, I don’t use the D word; instead I just say something like, “my LTR (long term relationship) ended.”
That day six years ago, after several anxiety filled months, I showed up at the courthouse with two of my closest friends who came to support me. I sat in one room, something happened (I think it was the “no contest/other party is a no show” event), and then I went to another room, sat and waited, my name was called, I walked before the judge, handed him the paperwork, he glanced through it and then declared: “Dissolved.”
Just like that, my “marriage” was dissolved, like kool-aid. After all the stress of hoping and praying for a conflict free / uncontested Divorce, it was almost laughable. Dissolved. As if there wasn’t all the dis-entanglement, the heart ache and grief that ensued in those months after the ka-boom, but instead an easy dissolution…put in water and stir and BAM, silky colored liquid.
With the passage of time it’s hard for me to re-capture the stress of getting a divorce as a newly married woman. I can tell you this though…I learned two very important lessons: 1) a beautiful wedding does not make for a lasting marriage and 2) it’s easy to get married; it’s much more difficult to get unmarried. I spent *months* of my life visiting the courthouse, educating myself about the legalities of divorce, filling out paperwork, filing paperwork, and more. Basically, I was my own paralegal and it was not any kind of fun. I’ve not had it in me to go back to finish unfinished business, though a debt remains unpaid.
The unfinished business, the unpaid debt has been on my heart and mind this month. I want to close that loop, cut that lingering tie, sever that final cord. I haven’t done it yet, but it has been my intention to send my “ex-husband” a letter. I don’t imagine I’ll say much other than to 1) express that I would like to create an opportunity for there to be Karmic clearing between us, 2) to state that to this date the debt remains unpaid and I would like for him, out of his own desire to clear his conscious, repay the debt, whatever amount he is able, and 3) to say Thank You.
I have no hard feelings towards my “ex-husband,” my person of 10 years, no bitterness, no anger. What I do feel is overwhelming gratitude. The end of our relationship was the best thing that ever happened in my life and the way it ended, though excruciatingly painful, was perfect – it was exactly what I needed in order to be able to let go and move on completely. The ka-boom was an initiation into the next era of my life and I am so, so, SO grateful to be living in this era, to be living this new life.
When I do finally make contact and send this letter, it will be the first time I’ve done so in six years. The last time I made contact was on April Fool’s Day. I am a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that I did that intentionally. I sent the paperwork in the mail knowing full well the expected delivery date. I wanted the divorce paperwork to arrive on April Fool’s Day. I think I wanted to make some kind of point so that it might add extra hurt or upset. A joke, but not.
This year, April Fool’s Day looks a whole lot different and is full of TONS of magic. As my astro friend, Gemini Brett of More Than Astrology, is preparing to give a StarryTelling talk at OmCulture, a spiritual community and event center for the neo-hippie types, I am reminded of my own foolish action of six years past. Brett will likely illuminate the archetype of The Fool. His talk is promoted as thus: “The Way of Hermes: What could be a better day to hear Mercury’s Message? Let us honor the Sagacity of his coming rare Transit rather than Foolishly treating it as just another unwelcome Retrograde.”
I smile to myself knowing that tonight, instead of acting like a fool, I get to support my astro friend. I also smile knowing that I played an important role in commissioning this brilliant wizard to come give one of his star studded presentations at OmCulture. I feel so very proud to be supporting Brett and it delights my heart to know that he is pouring his heart into this and is collaborating with several local musical stars, including Michael Maricle and Pepper Proud, and a most talented photographer and videographer, Jim Carey.
This April Fool’s Day I choose to act in sage-istical ways. I choose to participate in something truly meaningful, to ceremoniously honor this day. Instead of being a fool, I choose to act in ways that are both Conscious and awake.
And… I’m excited to know that March now holds another beautiful anniversary. I met Brett one year ago in March. It’s our one year astro-versary! I was blown away that first day I met Brett. He wowed me with his astrobabble, mythic imagery, symbols, sacred geometry, numerology, tales of star quests, ❤ connected self expression, and more. It’s been an ecstatic magic carpet ride ever since learning about the stars and planets, astrology, symbology, sacred geometry, and more. My first ride on the carpet was finding Jupiter in the night sky. Now when I look up at that bright shining fellow in Virgo (my sun sign) I say to myself, “how could I have not seen it…it’s the brightest object in the sky?!” How foolish that I did not know what I know now. 🙂
As this Saturn’s day draws to a close, I’d like to tell you about my father, whose name was Robert Eugene, and for whom I was named. While my father, my dad, no longer lives on Earth, he lives on in the Heavens.
My dad passed on, returned to Source, nearly 6 years ago on March 11, 2010. He died as a relatively young man at the age of 65.
I did not have a close relationship with my dad. Instead, it was one of hardship and strife. My dad was a very angry and volatile man. He hurt me, my mom, and my siblings much and often with his hands and his words. I could share many, awful stories of the horrific things my dad did. It’s enough for me to tell you that my dad was a rotten man.
I have a very different relationship with my dad now that he’s gone. I even consider my dad a spirit ally and summon him when I need protection or support. I am still cultivating my relationship with my dad, my Heavenly Father and maybe someday he’ll be an ally that serves me in other ways too. For now, I am grateful for his protection and the guidance he provides to me as I awaken my relationship to Spirit, to the Divine Intelligence that is in all things, the Intelligence with which we can participate as we co-create and manifest our reality.
My relationship with my Heavenly Father began on Sunday, January 5, 2014 on my hike down into Haleakala, the big crater of Maui. My dad loved geology, loved rocks. He studied earth sciences in college and had several prized rock collections. As I trekked down into the crater in the first hours of the day I found myself thinking of my dad and wishing he could see and experience what I was seeing. I felt sad that because my dad worked so hard to support my family, declined, and died an early death that he did not get to see and experience the places that I have been so privileged to see.
Up there in the crater, I felt so close to the Heavens. I called out to my dad and asked him to join me and experience through me and with me the beauty and wonder of Haleakala. For those miles I trekked down into the crater I had a “conversation with my father.” Other than expressing my sadness that he didn’t get to see what I was now seeing and expressing my gratitude for the sacrifices he made, I don’t really remember the content of our conversation. The content really isn’t that important. What’s most important is that I invited my dad, now my Heavenly Father, into my life and he’s been with me ever since.
I mentioned that my dad has been providing me with guidance as I awaken to the Divine Intelligence that is in all things and this notion that we co-create and manifest our reality. For me, life is a bit like living in “The Da Vinci Code.” I receive messages and attempt to unravel the mysteries. Many messages take a bit of decoding – that’s especially true to when I began to more fully awaken to the Divine Intelligence.
In the spring of 2014, during my participation in a shamanic women’s circle, we were doing work with feathers and I found myself wanting feathers of my own. I said out loud something to the effect of, “I’m ready for feathers.” Within days, a Northern Flicker starting gifting me feathers, 3 the first day. In all, I was gifted 11 flicker feathers. I tried to make meaning of it and unravel the mystery. I arrived here: my brother’s death date is 3/11.
Not long after I was gifted the 11 flicker feathers, I was gifted 10 goose feathers. What did this mean? 21 feathers. 11, a number of mirroring. The mirror of 21 is 12. 12/21. My dad’s birth date. I unraveled this mystery with a friend. As I uttered out loud the connection to my dad’s birth date and that I believed my dad was communicating with me, we both felt goose bumps and a shiver around us. Kinda spooky, but I think that was my dad’s spirit we felt around us. (writer’s aside: magic moment, synchronicity…I hear honking geese as I write this).
December 21, Winter Solstice, my dad’s birthday. Last year I shared in “Light Born OF and TO dark” my revelation that the Winter Solstice is my conception date. I was conceived in the darkest days of winter, when the sun stands still in a pregnant pause, and was born into the bright shining light of the September sun when the sun was high in the sky. Whoa. Revolutionary! A powerful story of my inception as a being of light.
To celebrate the Winter Solstice, to celebrate my dad’s birth date, and most importantly to honor the light within and welcome back the light without, I offered a “second annual” Winter Solstice ceremony. Eleven (11) of us sat in all candle light and shared stories about our relationship to this date and quotes about Light. I led us through a guided meditation and facilitated a partner meditation, where I invited those present to mirror back each other’s Light. The ceremony was rich, meaningful, and spiritual.
To this ceremony I brought 3 sacred objects: my ❤ rock from Haleakala, a matching pair of duck feathers from the Klamath River, and my owl friend from Peru. After the ceremony ended, I packed up rather hurriedly but made sure my sacred objects were safe. When I got home and unpacked, my feathers were nowhere to be found. I checked every pocket again and again. No feathers. I started to feel sadness fill my being. I had collected those feathers from my stomping grounds and also my dad’s stomping grounds on a recent trip “home” while out kayaking with the pastor from my home church and sharing with him about my “relationship” with my deceased father. I knew there was a risk taking the feathers. The feathers and the ❤ rock both had a direct connection to my dad and I chosen to take them to the ceremony.
Sadness continued to fill my being. I had to go back out and see if I could find them. Somehow I knew what the outcome would before I started to retrace my steps: I found just one feather on the ground, a small miracle on this windy day. I found the one feather on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop, Revolutions. Though filled with both grief and gratitude in the moment, I took note of the spot where I had lost and then found my feather. Revolutions. Curious. What was my dad telling me now? I have my guesses.
Losing one of these two feathers revealed to me that unprocessed grief still lives within me. These feathers were not given to me by my dad in his life time. I had collected them. I had attached meaning to them; for me the matching feathers were like the number 11. I had become attached to them and what they represented. The depth of my grief over the loss of one of the feathers speaks less about my attachment to an object and more so to my relationship to my father – the relationship that it was not while he lived and what it is now that he lives on in the Heavens. And this relationship is twofold: my Heavenly Father is now my spirit ally AND on a deep, psychological level, I am invoking my inner father and healing that part of myself.
I recently hosted 5 dudes – 5 MEN – for 5 ePic days and nights. Two dudes became four and then finally five. The population of my house exploded from one to six. It took me an entire week, 7 full days and nights, to recover from that adventure.
How did this all come about? You all remember my friend, Rosh, right? I met Rosh in Maui at the start of 2014 on a yoga retreat with Hana Maui Yoga Institute. On the drive out to Hana, Rosh was chatting up The Blind Cafe which I had *just* heard about a few months back. Rosh was that guy, the guy who founded The Blind Cafe, THE man behind the operation since he started running these pop up events in 2010.
Rosh stayed at my place last summer when The Blind Cafe came to Seattle and while I was in Peru. He called me up a few weeks before the event and asked he if could “rent” my car and I said, “you mean… borrow?” During the course of that conversation he joked that maybe he should “move in” to my house. This scenario had occurred to me and I had already decided I’d be ok with that, so over the phone I agreed to let Rosh stay at my place while I was on the other side of the equator. That was a first for me, quite an act of trust on my part, to let some man I’d only gotten to know for a week on retreat, interacted with briefly at a Blind Cafe in San Francisco, with whom I exchanged sporadic emails and a few phone calls, have total access to all my belongings. But that’s the thing about Rosh… he engenders immediate and whole hearted trust.
Rosh and I reconnected in Maui at the start of this year for our second annual new year’s retreat. During that week, our mutual respect of each other and friendship deepened. When I learned The Blind Cafe was coming back to Seattle, I offered up my place to Rosh as his home base, offered up the use of my car. There was a bit of back and forth – phone calls and emails – questions like, “how many people are you comfortable having stay at your place?” and arrangements to split up The Blind Cafe team at two houses so we wouldn’t be all on top of each other. Going into this adventure, it was my expectation and understanding that I’d be hosting 2 guys, Rosh and his new operations manager, for 7 nights. Two guys. I felt my insides relax when I got the final news. Not four or five. Two.
The night Rosh arrived he told me housing fell through for his other guys and that he needed to find a place for them to stay, with mentions of possibly booking them a hotel room. The next morning Rosh asked me if I’d be ok with two more guys joining us. I hesitated at first. My insides said, “ahhhhhh.” He read me energetically and said, “it’s more fun if we are all together.” Tug, tug at my heart strings. I thought about it on my bike ride to work, visualized in my head where folks would “camp” out, did a mental inventory of blankets, pillows, and towels. Ok. We can do this.
On the third night, the fifth guy joined us. Not so much asking at this point, just Rosh slipping in a little, “Sliver Fox is coming,” before bedtime on night two. Me: “What? Who?” Rosh: “We’ll talk about it in the morning.” Ultimately: questions unanswered. Sigh. At this point, what was one more person?. Oh and I guess I forgot to mention that two of these five guys are blind. Yeah, you are experiencing this news just like I did, “ummmm, what?!” and “ok.” (here you’ll have to add tones of first surprise and then tentative agreement into your internal voice of my voice and please, laugh along with me if you haven’t yet already)
I imagine that as you are reading this, you are getting a sense of Rosh’s watery nature and my more earthy nature. Rosh shifts like the sands, he is fluid. I am solid, steady, grounded like the earth. Rosh’s watery nature, from the get go, was rocking my earthy nature, but that’s what I signed up for. I know this about Rosh, I know his watery nature “pushes” people to stretch and grow. One of our retreat mantras was, after all, “the schedule is carved in sand, not in stone.” Rosh’s vibration, his optimism, his upbeat and encouraging energy, makes you want to stretch and grow. I find myself saying yes to things I wouldn’t normally say yes to and I do it because I know it’s helping me to grow and I want to grow, I want to expand the edges of my comfort zone. I signed up for this adventure. I invited this experience into my life, all the way in…
What was it like having 5 dudes in my house? Intimate. Noisy. Bustling. Busy bathroom. House and yard full of life, sometimes more life than my nervous system could tolerate. I am a highly sensitive creature – my nervous system cannot hold multiple conversations, loud music, and people shifting about all at the same time. In these moments I was really challenged to stay grounded and collected. Remember, the population of my house exploded from one to six and I was one female among five MEN.
I got a lot of practice relating to men and experiencing very different kinds of energies. I got practice making requests. I got practice setting boundaries, particularly around my tolerance for certain kinds of humor. Father and past relationship issues bubbled up to the surface. In one particularly loud and expressive voice, I heard yelling and anger and I noticed how my nervous system started to rev up and go into fight/flight/freeze mode. Oh, and exhausting. I didn’t sleep well at all. I knew that would be my greatest challenge and it was. A rush/flood of adrenaline and stress hormones made it hard for my body and mind to relax, especially the first night. And after 5 nights of not sleeping well, I was really run down and worried I was on the verge of coming down with a whopper of a cold.
The whole experience – hosting 5 dudes and “being” with Rosh’s wateriness – rocked my internal structures, specifically my needs for order, predictability, reliability, boundaries, peace and tranquility. I stretched myself farther than I’ve stretched myself before on my home turf. I’m not accustomed to so many bodies “living in” my house. I’m not used to being around so much big male energy, and sometimes the emergence of middle school aged chatter, in my home, my sacred space, day after day. I’m not used to so many shifting variables and changes in plans. I’m not used to my furniture being moved around. All of that rocked my insides, rocked my structures and I was asked to adapt, be resilient, or crumble and break down inside. Toward the end I *was* starting to crumble inside. My system was maxed out. I had experienced more “shake ups” and “rattling” than I could hold. I was feeling agitated, irritable, and needed space and quiet and sleep.
I was rocked and I recovered. Now I know I can make it through ePic internal stretches, that I can push myself and be pushed outside my comfort zone. It is my hope that my nervous system benefited from this experience, that it will be able to hold discomfort and change, to be with agitation, with ease; that I will be able to stay grounded and collected with grace when things get shaky and turbulent. I will say this of my earthy nature: I *am* resilient and adaptable and where I am not, I am cultivating a softer, more fertile soil, letting my being soak up ~water~ to soften my earthiness.
I can tell you this much…as a writer, I have let go of conventional form here. I fully embraced the meandering, watery quality of a personal essay, taking you on a walk and talk along the bank of and sometimes wadding into the babbling brook that is me.
Today, December 21, is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. Today is also my dad’s birthday. Growing up I remember my dad referring to his birthday as the “shortest day of the year.” As a kid, I thought that meant there was less time in the day. I don’t know at what point growing up or even as a young adult that I realized that the Winter Solstice has the fewest daylight hours and minutes, that the sun rises later and sets earlier on this day than any other day of the year. And now I understand that the Winter Solstice is not only the shortest day, but also the longest night.
Late this last summer I had an “ah-hah” moment, a revelation, that I am light born OF and TO dark. My dad, who passed away almost 5 years ago this coming March, was a contracted soul – he was a very angry and abusive man. He lashed out with his hands and his words. I have a fire in me that gave me courage to stand up to my dad, to look the monster in the eye when he was full of rage, and when I did, I saw hate stewing in my dad’s eyes.
My dad was a very physically strong man most of his life. He was a championship wrestler in high school, college, and for the US Navy. He was both proud of the fact that he wrestled for a spot on the US Olympic team, beating his opponent twice, and sad that his loss the third time cost him a spot on the team. My dad used his strength and formidable presence to hurt people, especially with his angry words. My dad was a scary man and I learned years later, that the kids I played with growing up were afraid of my dad. Adults were afraid of my dad too.
The last 10 years or so of my dad’s life, his strength and his mind began to fade. He fought and resisted his decline, trying so hard to hold on, suffering through the nasty effects of muscular dystrophy. He died as a relatively young man at the age of 65. I feel and believe that in his passing, in his return to Source, that my dad has returned to the light and is no longer a contracted soul.
A universal teaching in many spiritual traditions says that we are made of light, that we are emanating light (measurable now through science, or so I’ve heard from my yoga teachers). I had a coca leaf reading in Peru this last summer and the wise and old Quechua healer who read my leaves said to me, “you are light.” I smiled hearing this, experiencing a moment of affirmation; I also smiled because I was hearing this familiar teaching in yet another tradition. I discovered this truth for myself, that I am light, one year ago during a light meditation when my spiritual and heart essence name, “Bright Joy,” came to me in a vision. Where my dad was dark and lived in darkness, I am light and chose to live in the light.
I live with intention and my intentions are to be conscious and awake in my words and my actions; to be self-aware – to see my thoughts, my feelings, my words, and my actions with clarity and discernment; to speak skillfully in ways that are non-harming to others, that instead invite connection and evoke warmth; to act and be in this world in ways that are gracious and pure of heart (not selfish or greedy or jealous or resentful); to experience the world and others from a spacious place (to not judge or evaluate or condemn); to be kind and compassionate toward others and myself; to grow, expand, and deepen my capacity to love others and myself; to be generous with my love, to give without selfish motivation or expectations.
This week I’ve been reading, “Celestially Auspicious Occasions,” by Donna Henes, for inspiration for a Winter Solstice ceremony I am leading this evening. She writes, “The Winter Solstice is an anniversary celebration of creation” and represents “The Great Uterine Darkness.” At the Winter Solstice the sun stands still in its retreat in a pregnant pause and from the darkness light is birthed forth.
This idea of the sun standing still in a pregnant pause, of light being birthed from The Great Uterine Darkness, got me thinking back to my revelation that I am light born OF and TO dark. I started to think about my birth date in relation to my dad’s birth date and I began to wonder about my conception date. I had a hunch that I was very likely conceived on my dad’s birth date, on the Winter Solstice. I checked out a few websites with birth date-conception date calculators and guess what??? I WAS CONCEIVED ON THE WINTER SOLSTICE (or within days of December 21, but definitely during the pregnant pause of the sun).
I am the spark of life and light that was created by my father’s darkness in the great uterine darkness of my mother’s womb. I was born in the early afternoon on September 10 when the sun was shining high in the sky and when the moon was still bright and full. I am light born OF and TO dark. I was given the name Bobbi Jean, named after my dad, Robert Eugene. Yet…I am BRIGHT JOY.
I am sitting in my office having my Monday morning cup of coffee and two apple-carrot-bran muffins that I made over the weekend. The sun is filtering through colorful fall leaves and shining through the window. I glance at my calendar – October 14, 2017. Today is the official publication date for my collection of personal essays. Hooray! I am filled with gratitude and joy as I reflect back on the last few very rich and nourishing years of my life.
I finished my master’s degree in counseling at the end of 2016. At the start of this year, I started a therapy practice with my friend and colleague, Jo. I met Jo through NVC (non-violent communication) and we went through the master’s program together. We co-facilitate a grief group. We also co-facilitate a community group for those who long to deepen connection with others. We model this group after the NVC learning community led by our revered mentor and teacher, Karl. I also meet one on one with clients who are going through life transitions, who are healing from emotional trauma and childhood wounds, and families who are working through discord. I am so grateful to have a partner in this work and the support of many dear friends.
I received my yoga teacher certification at the end of 2014. I was invited by my friend and peer, Erin, to teach classes at Awakened Heart Yoga. I have taught weekly yoga classes for nearly three years now. My favorite class to teach is a youth yoga class. I also teach free youth yoga classes at community centers around Seattle. I LOVE teaching youth – I am so passionate about inspiring youth to discover their power and access their well of strength.
As I gaze out the window on the sun filled landscape, my mind travels to the sunny island paradise of Maui where, along with dear friends and fellow yoga teachers, I have co-hosted three New Year’s yoga retreats. Maui is such a magical place. Each New Year we dance under rainbows, we swim in the sacred waters of the re-birthing pools, we moonbathe on the beach, we practice yoga in an open air pavilion, we meditate under a wise looking banyan tree. I send yet another thank you note via cosmic messenger to my beautiful friend Jessica for co-hosting with me that first year. We were so blessed by the outpouring of support from our community of friends and many of our dearest friends retreated with us.
I remain grateful for the cosmic unfolding that led me to my first retreat in Maui where, for the 2014 New Year I reconnected with the beautiful Shayna, a dear soul I met in Costa Rica during my 2012 New Year’s retreat. For seven years now a New Year’s yoga retreat has been a yearly tradition that grew out of my new life. You see, I had been in a long term committed relationship for nearly 10 years that ended in a giant “ka-boom” in 2009. I was devastated, hurt to my very core. Creating new traditions was an important part of my healing.
At my first New Year’s retreat in 2011 (also in Costa Rica), I discovered a new family, my yoga family. At this retreat and so many others, I have made a network of friends and some of my most cherished friendships. I also discovered how meaningful it is to start the year with intention, to plant seeds for qualities I wish to cultivate in my life, to plant seeds for things I long for and desire to grow in my life. Each year I come away with momentum that moves me forward along my path. Each year I see flowers blossom and fruit bearing trees sprout up from the seeds I plant in my heart.
I remember New Year’s Day, 2014. I planted a seed under the new moon for the family I longed for in my life. At 37, I had a strong desire and calling to be a mom, to create life with someone I loved, and to share the joy of raising a little being together. At the time I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know when someone who wore sturdy shoes, who gazed at the new moon, and who had an open heart would skip into my life. But he did. He showed up in my life and he gave me the powerful gift of his presence. Remembering the moment he skipped into my life brings a smile to my face and my heart fills with warmth as I hold him in my awareness. I feel love permeate my being. We had small ceremony in the woods. My sweet friend Katy wrote and read a poem. I remember so very clearly these words: “such bravery to hold out your hand to another person, one Life Line traced by another.”
I feel a kick that brings me out of my reverie and back to the present moment. I put my hand on my belly and feel the movement inside. I am pregnant. In just a few short months, I will give birth to a little bundle of joy, a bundle that I have a feeling is going to crack my heart wide open and out will pour love. I wonder if this baby will be a New Year’s baby. What a lovely thought. I will have to wait and see how the stars in the sky line up. However the stars line up, I already know I am incredibly blessed.