Nov 9, 2011

Raven Medicine Download

On Winter Solstice 2008, 
I engaged in a 10 day Death Lodge process 
in Death Valley, CA. Little did I know, 
this ceremony was initiating my decent
 into the underworld of soul, 
an 8 year journey that would take me 
deep into my shadow wounds, 
and into the core of my being, 
renaming me in this process. 
Death Valley, CA 

During my Vision Quest in Death Valley, I was visited by Raven Man, 
an entity that entered my consciousness during medicine journey 
He cawed as he flew circles above me: 

“That which you want, you are not ready for. 
You are not vibrating at the frequency that will attract the energy you want. 
You are not ready.” 

“What do you mean I’m not ready? I’m spiritual. I teach workshops. Of course I’m ready.” But I knew Raven Man was right. I knew what my inner landscape was like. I knew the words I called myself, how I limited possibilities in my thoughts & inner dialogue, and how I was shut down by defense mechanisms against fuller living. I was not vibrating at the frequency of that which I wanted... and so my relationship with Raven Man began.
I took this medicine download and worked it rather diligently into my life. Over the course of a year, I worked it down into my Brow Chakra, witnessing patterns of thinking and imagining restrictive to my expansiveness. I channeled the medicine down into my Throat Chakra and worked the medicine into my inner dialogue, shifting the resonant vibration of my inner landscape. 
When I brought the medicine down into my Heart Chakra, I was again visited by Raven Man, this time in the form of a lucid dream. In the dream, I was walking along a strip mall. I looked to my left inside a shop, and through the plate glass window, saw Raven Man. This time he was not in the form of a bird, but in the form of a man. Our eyes locked. The power of the moment, and the gravity of our connection spooked me so much, I ran along the black asphalt of the parking lot and jumped into a frozen lake. Piercing the layer of thin ice, I plunged into the ice cold water, numbing myself. Raven Man came out of the store, pulled me from the frozen lake and cradled me in his arms, tending me back to warmth and life. I open my eyes. He walked away. I was still not ready. 
Oh my goodness! I’m still not ready! I've been working this medicine for 2 years! Are you serious! Committed to the process, I worked this energy down into my Solar Chakra, doing the work of aligning my actions and intentions with the power of my highest frequencies. In this process I found myself deep in conversation with Raven Man, his message was clear: “You are not going to meet me in San Diego. You need to move to the ecology of my species.” It was this message that planted the seed for my move from San Diego to Colorado. 
When I moved to Denver, I was instantly immersed in community that showed me a whole new definition of the masculine. I found myself surrounded by men, yummy juicy men, that were loving fathers, attentive lovers and joyful friends. These men owned their masculine energy and honored the feminine in sacred ways. This was a huge paradigm shift for me. This was not the model of masculine I grew up with. This new interaction with the masculine brought Raven Man energy down into my Sacral Chakra.  Dancing weekly in the sacred space of Rhythm Sanctuary enabled me to bring this medicine down into personal, embodied being...feeling it and being moved by it. 
Then winter came, my first one in Denver. I got consumed with living in snow and basement clearing that I forgot all about Raven Man. That is, until I bumped into a man soul that brought this energy back into my life full force. This interaction reignited Raven Man energy in my life, this time in flesh and blood right in front of me. I did not run into the frozen lake to numb myself, but rather stood my ground and claimed Raven Man energy in manifest Root Chakra form.   
This 3 year adventure of bringing the Divine Masculine down my Chakras in the form of Raven Man transformed me deeply. I came to see that I was Raven all along. Raven was not separate from me. It had been me all along, fathering myself through this transformation, mentoring my evolution. In this revelation, I merged with Raven and claimed it as my new name  

Death Valley, CA. Image by Raven Shree 

Raven Man Introduction: Image by Raven Shree 

Oct 16, 2011

Dancing With No Name

A couple nights after my Death Lodge experience with my father it became clear to me that it was time to release his name from mine. I have been wanting a new name since I moved to Colorado, and it’s been interesting to experience how that intention is moving through. 
As part of my Naming Rites of Passage, I took this experience to the dance floor at Rhythm Sanctuary. My intention for our shamanic trance was to dance with no last name, and be in the experience of what that felt like. To dance in the release of my fathers energy, and see what spaces and possibilities open up due to his absence. 
At the end of our dance, we sit together in a community circle to share our experiences in trance and break fast by passing food around. It’s always interesting to see who spirit aligns you with week to week, to sit next to at the end. The evening I danced with no last name was no different. 
The man sitting to my right is new to the community, and I have a little bit of a crush on him. As we sat side by side in circle, I placed my right hand on his thigh. Being present in the moment of connection and observing what showed up. On my left, was a residual energy trail of my father leaving. On my right, a new presence of masculine energy.  These polarities pulled my chest open in both directions. How do I be in this experience with this man, without the legacy of my father dictating how I respond? How do I engage in this moment with no last name? What freedoms now exist for me to move into? Interesting questions? I image I will be exploring them for a while. 
Shree is my light. Shree is my medicine. 
Shree is what I offer the world. 
Shree is my new name. 

Oct 12, 2011

Dream Portal

I recently had a powerful Death Lodge experience that came in the form of Lucid Dreaming. 
I was called to the bedside of my dying father. I have not seen him for almost 25 years, so meeting him in my dream was poignant. I approached his bed and saw him in his concave, fragile body. I felt compassion for him, like I would anyone preparing to die, however, there was nothing else. 
Feeling compassion for him brought deep gratitude into my soul for all of the heart healing I’ve experienced since I left him. There was also a part of me that was sad. 
Sad I didn’t feel anything more for him. Sad there were no extra feelings. 
I woke up, drank some tea, shed tears of grief, and went back into dream state to visit him at his bedside. 
My father looked up at me, and said “Wow, you turned out good.”
I stood there, and received his compliment for the truth that it is.  
My first words to my father were; “I kept our agreement.”  
We looked at each other and absorbed the power of our “agreement”, 
made 25 years ago, and all the events that lead to its creation.
The “agreement” as proclaimed by my father, with gun in hand; 
Leave now. Never come back. You are dead to us. You are no longer a Holloway. 
We no longer have a daughter. We do not want to know if you are alive. 
Leave now. Never come back.
I took the “agreement” and left; it was better than the alternative. 
And now, here we are, in this dream portal, 
looking into each other eyes. Honoring our sturdy allegiance 
We both stood up to our end of the agreement 
I never went back. I never asked for help; No matter how bad things got. 
Even when I took care of my mothers mother, in her dying years, 
I never went back. I never asked for help. 
They held their end of the agreement as well. 
They did not reach out. They did not claim the role of parent. 
They watched from afar as the “dead girl” took care of gram. 
We have an agreement here, and to it we all stand. 
“Yes father, I turned out good.”
In spite of it all, I turned out good. 
I am creative, intelligent, independent, loving, passionate, driven, talented, amazing. 
In spite of all the darkness, in spite of all the fear and pain, 
there was enough light to get me through.  
And you father played a role in that. 
I lived with you for 16 years, you had an influence in my upbringing. 
So I give you credit for some of my light. 
What did I learn from you? 
I learned how to drive, and I learned how to fight. 
These are the two things I learned from you 
as far as lessons being passed down from the elders. 
However, in my self-observant adult nature, 
I have come to see that I also learned from you, 
how important the relationship is between a father and a daughter;
it is not a frivolous relationship, it matters.
I also learned from you, that the relationship a daughter has with her father
greatly influences her definition of masculine energy
which plays itself out in her adult relationships with men. 
This is what I have learned from you Father. 
Breathing into the truth of passing.  
I stood witness, to a man that greaty shaped my life. 
as he passed through the portal into death. 

Apr 7, 2011

Eat. Pray. Love.

SoulCollage created by Raven Shree
The book “Eat. Pray. Love.” by Elizabeth Gilbert has had a powerful influence in my life. The
first time I read the book, I was inspired by the writing and the adventurous nature of the main character (Elizabeth). The second time I read the book, I was inspired to “get out of my marriage” to San Diego and move to Colorado. My third time interacting with this story line was through the movie starring Julia Roberts...and yet again, I was moved into deeper levels of self-awareness and the plot line of my own life. 

During the “Eat” portion of this adventure, the main character spends 4 months in Italy, with the sole intention of indulging in the pleasurable act of eating. During this time she is also separating herself from the pain of her past relationships, getting used to being alone, and also learning the sensual language of the new place she is living in. 
Having been in Denver for 8 months, I feel as if this is the stage I am moving through myself. Denver definitely has a new language of living, and it is quite sensual and pleasure based. As I explore this language, I am coming to deeper awareness around the theme of over-indulgence and how it influences various aspects of my life.   
In the second phase of this adventure, Elizabeth goes to India for 4 months to Pray. After months of indulgence in Italy, she finds it challenging to sit in silence and simply be with herself. I feel deep in my bones that I’m ready to move into my India stage. As I take steps towards creating this transition, I too am finding it difficult to sit in silence and be with myself. I’m easily distracted, I have a ton of excuses, and my mind is constantly on the go.   
One of the main turning points in India for Elizabeth is around the theme of forgiveness. As she deepens her daily practice of sitting with herself without all the distractions, she finds herself moving into deep stages of forgiveness, both for herself and others. This takes her into the peace she was searching for, and serves as a bridge for her transition her into the Bali stage of her adventure, where she ultimately finds love and happiness. 
As I deepen my daily practice, and sit in what bubbles up for me, without the over-indulgence of addictions and habits that numb me, I too will be able to open up to deeper levels of forgiveness, for others and myself. This is needed for me to move into my Bali stage, where I hope to enter into sacred union with other. Ultimately wanting a relationship that integrates the pleasures of Italy with the divinity of India into a merged union of Bali love and happiness. 
Thank you Elizabeth for having the courage to take this journey and for the inspiration to share your tale with others. Your book has inspired many people, myself included. I send blessings to everyone that you too can create sacred ways in your life to integrate pleasure, peace, and love in a way that enhances your life and all of those you come into contact with.  Lets keep inspiring one another. Nameste my friends. 

Jan 24, 2011

First Denver Winter

I recently returned from a trip to San Diego, and all of my California friends were asking me the same question: “What do I think of the snow?” Not sure if it’s still a novelty, or if we just haven’t had a lot of snow this year to register, or if my deep rooted desire to more intimately connect with nature leads me to say this, but I’m enjoying winter in Denver. 
The cycle of seasons plays such a vital role in my personal journey of self-discovery, growth and evolution. I find that living where the seasons are more pronounced only intensifies this process for me. My Colorado experience through the seasons has looked something like this so far: 
  • I did my initial house hunting in Colorado during the Spring, and found the season to be in sync with my renewed excitement for life, adventure and spirit opening.  
  • I moved to Colorado in the Summer and was on fire getting my home set up and scouting out my new community and making friends. 
  • Autumn was a powerful time for letting go of attachments, and limiting ways of relating to self and others. 
  • Now that winter is here, I am finding a deeper space of stillness and silence within that I was not able to access while living in San Diego’s 70 degree winters. 

I appreciate the essence of Winters death, and the stillness it offers. Yes, I do feel the “Winter Blues” from time to time, however, there is enough sunshine here to help me out of it.  There is also the hope and excitement about the upcoming Spring, and the exponential expanding I will engage in due to my deeper immersion in Winter. 
I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to make this move in my life, and that I have been blessed with a level of consciousness that enables me to attune myself to seasonal medicine. Connecting with the seasons and the cycles of nature enables me to more fully download ancestral wisdom into my being and strengthen my fundamental trust in the universe. 
Disclaimer: I work from home, so I do not have to shovel my driveway every day and commute in the snow. If that was the case, this blog would have had a different tone.