We enter the abundantly rich month of November with great anticipation for the Holidays in front of us. Our spring board was the celebration of Trick or Treat time with the kids in our lives, be them our own or in our neighborhood. The very cold temps kept many homebound, although most celebrated early to ensure they got to be a "superhero" for at least one day. With bags full of goodies, their hearts were made ready for the next big event, Christmas!
Interesting how Thanksgiving seems to get glazed over, along with the ham, since to children it's just another day being plagued with "adults." Of course, the children that accompany the "big people" provide playmates for the day that makes all the adults talking baby talk to them do-able!
Veteran's Day is a very important time for our country as we pause and consider those brave men and women who stepped forward to protect and defend our way of life. I am certain most of you reading this know of at least one person in your family that offered their self-less courage to serve in a branch of the military. With all the reminders of conflicts and destruction currently experienced in other countries, it certainly offers a "peek" at what many of the soldiers prepared to confront. Whether they served during war time or peace, these men and women serve the citizens of this country during times of disasters, riots, and other times of turmoil and unrest. Often times, they provide the extra set of hands that offer food, shelter and basic needs to our communities. We do indeed owe them a debt of gratitude.
Beginning in 1990, November was designated as "Native American Heritage" month. Congress chose November since the month concludes the traditional harvest season and generally is a time of celebration and giving thanks. Yet another example of how differences can go from conflicts to peace given time, patience and a willingness to truly "see" each other as a reflection of ourselves.
May this beautiful month that offers us a time to pause, celebrate, and gather, provide us the opportunity to truly notice the many blessings in our lives. Personally, I thank each of you for sharing your gifts and presence in the inspiring and uplifting gatherings offered here and throughout our communities. Grandmother Spider certainly brought us a beautiful gift when she demonstrated ways to weave the web of our lives with much love and gratitude, and how to strengthen the areas that may have hurt our hearts. For it is those difficult times that help us become wise, strong and compassionate!
Always from the Heart, Vicky
The Deepening into Wisdom circle will host Victoria Williams Steen's, Personal Symbolism Visioning retreat, Thursday, November 16 from 6:30-8:00. Check out the Events tab, then click on the Community link for more information. It is certain to be most intriguing, and offer each participant the opportunity to re-discover a create way to "Deepen into the Wisdom" within their heart.
Walks Tall Woman is the Clan Mother honored in the month of November. She carries the teaching of ways to "Walk in Truth," and the Guardian of Leadership and Keeper of New Pathways. "Walks Tall Woman shows us how to keep our eyes on the goal, our feet on the path, and the truth in our hearts, never waiting for another to do it for us!" Check out the 13 Original Clan Mother tab for a few questions to ponder as you walk your Sacred Path.
Gifts from the Great Above: Sky Nation:
November 13 at 4:27 a.m. the New Moon offers us the opportunity to pause and reflect on 1.) where we are, 2.) What we want to let go of, and 3.) What we are ready to bring forth. Then on November 27, the Beaver Full Moon, offers us, once again, the opportunity to examine our emotional interior. It is a time to surrender to the areas in our life that may be ready to be released, closed or ended as it pertains to various relationships. Such beautiful assistance Nature offers if we simply, put our mind in our pocket, turn on the ears of our Heart, and Pay Attention, Pay Attention, Pay Attention!
That's about it for this moment. Enjoy the rounding out of fall, and like the Beaver, finish up what needs taken with you into the season of Winter.
With a Grateful Heart, Vicky
How sweet it is to honor and respect the flow of life. It is often very difficult to commit to something and then have an intuitive "hit" your heart is letting you know it needs something else. It takes courage and a strong sense of knowing to listen to your heart when you have already made a commitment. Generally speaking, it goes against our ethical standards to take that action.
As you may recall last month Covid visited me and at the last minute Kara was asked to move her sharing to the October Wisdom Circle. She did that without a moment hesitation. It seems it is now Kara' s turn to listen to her heart and "pass the torch" to me. Therefore, this Thursday, the Wisdom Circle will offer each of us the opportunity to contribute something our heart wishes to share. The focus will still be on noticing the webs of our lives! Pay attention and listen to your heart; chances are it has something to share about the webs in your life. There are no accidents, everything unfolds in divine order if we remain open to the inner guidance wishing to be expressed.
With much love and respect for Kara, we will gather from 6:30-8p with a focus on strengthening the webs in our life. We will do this to support whatever Kara's heart is calling her to listen and grow with. A small fire will be present and if weather permits it will be lite, if not, it still offers us "Holding Space" from which we may strengthen individually and as a community.
In case of rain during the day and a clearing in the afternoon, bring a piece of plastic, or lawn chair to sit on to keep yourself dry. Of course, the medicine room awaits our presence always! Always from the heart, Vicky
Recently a client of mine commented that what she appreciated most was having me "Hold Space" for her. What a wonderful statement! On the walk after our session, that statement really settled into my heart. It felt so true, so real, and such an honest, simple statement. It has been my honor and privilege to provide that "safe place to land" as Dr. Phil would say, to many people over my career, and to have had several very special people (including therapists) that held such a space for me.
When I returned home I searched online for a definition, and the first response stated: "Simply put holding space means showing up for someone, being fully present and without judgment as you sit with that person through their difficult times. You listen fully. You allow yourself to feel their pain and negative emotions so that they don't have to do it alone."
Of course, there were additional descriptions and pointers on ways to hone those skills with the major focus on developing empathy skills. To be clear, empathy is quite different from sympathy, since sympathy is really an expression of feeling sorry for a person's lose, in whatever form it takes. Empathy is truly listening to a person's situation and, most importantly, listening to the feelings behind the story, or situation, they are confronting.
All too often our human experiences elicit judgments, and most of those are based on our own personal experiences (stories). And while the stories in our head may seem to match the one we are hearing from our friend, it is our personal perspective that "flavors" how we interpret painful experience. This, of course, can lead to completely different "interpretations," for each of us.
In essence, "Holding Space," requires we see the person in front of us from their sacred view of what life is all about. This explains why we often have misunderstandings. Each person has their own sacred view of life, and it may be a polar opposite from ours.
To truly respect and honor that person who has come to you with a concern, you truly have to "Know thyself." That means see yourself as a unique individual with a set of values by which you choose to live and realize those values may be completely different for the person in front of you. If we, the listener, truly practice empathy, we will have the opportunity to learn from those who entrust us with their deepest emotions. We may find a deeper understanding of ourselves, our family, friends, and, in fact, the world if we simply quiet our Head mind that wants to evaluate, judge and deliver a verdict, and truly use the "ears" of our Heart. That is how we heal ourselves while "Holding Space" for another person and offer a "safe place to land" for another soul to cleanse the pain they feel. That is how the world will change, one cleansing at a time will heal the mistrust that currently prevails. This is our path to a balanced and fulfilled life. Listen! I'll bet your heart is talking to you right this moment!
From my Heart to yours, Vicky
Saturday, October 14, will be a powerful day as a Solar Eclipse will offer a time of major transformation when we are given the opportunity to become aware of the truths within ourselves that are normally hidden in the dark. All eclipses can help nudge us onto the right path, especially if we've wandered. This is followed by a New Moon! How powerful is that? The New moon offers us time to Rebirth and Renew our lives by reflecting on: Where you are, What you want to let go of, and What you are ready to bring forth. As we are deep into Autumn, the time is now to notice the abundance in your life and sift the "Wheat from the Chaff."
The Wisdom Circle will be held Thursday, October 19, from 6:30 - 8 p.m. Kara Gilbert graciously offered to share a sacred ceremony that she holds near and dear to her heart, "Connecting through song, heart and womb." She describes this gift as "an interactive, creative expression that weaves through and connects all of us." We will gather around a small fire as Kara shares one of her passions and with the coolness of the fall air, we will harvest the sweetness of such a heart-felt ceremony.
Interestingly, The Clan Mother for October is "Weaves the Web," who teaches us how to "Work the Truth" and use our creativity to give birth to our dreams. What a beautiful evening it will be!
Women are asked to wear a skirt or sarong to honor the women who came before us. Men are welcome to bring their open heart and add their creative energies to assist with the balance of a evening of deep weavings.
A gifting bowl is present to offer a "thank you" to the presenter, and for the beauty of the Gathering.
In conclusion, as you read through this blog, have you noticed the harmonious ways in which Nature offers us such assistance and teachings to help us move through our life with grace, ease and balance. As we Walk our Sacred Path, if we pay attention and notice our abundant blessings the trail will to a happy Heart!
Well, Covid finally found its way to me! Whew, do I ever feel for everyone who has had that "contrary" virus! Therefore, the Wisdom Circle this Thursday, 9/21, has been canceled for this month. Kara has generously and kindly offered to share her gift, "Connecting through song, Heart and womb." with us next month. That's Thursday, October 19, from 6:30-8. What a joyful time that will be as we gather around an Autumn fire in our sweatshirts and blankets.
Close your eyes for a moment in visualize the colorful blankets, waving in the air around the warmth of a dancing flame! Kara's words describe her sharing as, "a creative expression weaving through and connecting us all." Now consider for a moment, the Clan Mother for October is "Weaves the Web," the teacher of "Working the Truth." She is heralded in with the Full Harvest Moon on Friday September 29 . . . talk about synchronicity!
Honey in the Heart and 13 Thank you's to all of you for your cooperation and flexibility. Mark your calendars to make certain to participate with the sweetness of Kara Gilbert's gift next month.
From my heart to yours, Vicky
Labor Day's roots date back to 1886 and the Haymaker Riots in Chicago. In the wake of this massive unrest, and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. The history of the Haymaker Riots is quite interesting. There are so many holidays that simply slide by without realizing the people and events that brought forth such a special recognition. For those with a curious mind, it's worth checking it out. And to all workers in every trade, "Thank you," for showing up, doing your job and helping every citizen of this great country have a quality of life!
While exploring the Labor Day history, I happened up an explanation for why "White can't be worn after Labor Day." Some historians say brighter clothing was worn by affluent groups who could afford to leave town for a warmer coast when the leaves began to change. Subsequently, it became socially accepted that "those who didn't have the money to take Fall and Winter vacations should don white after the last summer holiday." Now, isn't that most interesting. So, if someone sees that handsome gentleman on the beach eating a Twizzler, you can offer him that tidbit of information!:) So, in honor of Labor Day, wear white that day and any following day you wish to . . . you've earned it!
As always, check out the website under the Community Events for the most current offerings. It has been a rich and full summer with many opportunities to discover and remember, what is most important in life . . . and that's being the "Best version of yourself!" With most of the news focused on what's "not working," we need to be reminded what an absolutely amazing country and world surrounds us. So very many people helping their neighbor, or someone they have never met. I see more of that than the negative focus on what people are "not doing", or "doing wrong!"
The Wisdom Circle this month is on Sept 21, from 6:30-8. Kara Gilbert will be sharing one of her passions with us, entitled, "Connecting through Song, Heart and Womb." Kara's experience is with: "creative expression weaving through and connecting us all." This will be a very refreshing and renewing evening; mark your calendars!
As is usually the case, the Clan mother for September is "Setting Sun Woman." She is the teacher of "Living the Truth." How much more can we do to have a rich and full life, than truly be present in our bodies, claiming and embracing who we truly are! Check out the 13 Clan Mother tab for a bit more information and few pertinent questions to consider.
That's about it for now . . . keep dreaming big and noticing the abundance of blessings in your life,
Always from the Heart, Vicky
This is a reminder the Dreamcatcher Retreat is a week from tomorrow! That's Saturday, August 26, from 1-4 p.m. If you have ever been curious about these beautiful creations, join us as we learn about these symbolic creations that hold deep meaning and offer many blessings.
Throughout most indigenous Native American cultures, these powerful symbols are revered and held in with deep respect for the blessings they provide. Visit our Community Events tab and read a bit more about this Saturday afternoon retreat. We are confident you will connect to a deep remembering of the significance behind such a simple, uniquely personal creation.
If you are curious, or something within you draws you to learn more about these very sacred and ancient creations, and to ensure ample supplies, make certain to sign up by Wednesday, August 23 by emailing Vicky, email@example.com. Everyone in attendance will leave the retreat with a personal Dreamcatcher created by their heart and hands. Depending on the size you create, you may leave with a small and a medium size Dreamcatcher. If you have any small feathers, or stones that hold significance to you, bring those along as well.
There will be plenty of healthy snacks to enjoy as those in attendance get to know other open-hearted attendees and enjoy an afternoon creating! The investment is $40-60, you choose.
Always from the Heart, Vicky
My goodness it has been a warm summer, and, for me it seems a rather "sweaty" one. Of course, here in the Midwest we have been blessed with typical summer weather whereas the south and southwest have been sweltering, so how can we really complain?
Much like our attitude toward factors beyond our control, it really is a matter of choice. We can examine the benefits of detoxing our bodies of impurities through the release of moisture from our system, or we can complain and choose to stay in our air conditioned homes and observe life through our windows. We may also choose to appreciate the warmth of summer knowing the cold weather will be upon us quickly. It is really is a matter of choosing our thoughts, and as all of you know, thoughts directly influence what happens in our lives. We can choose to complain and whine which leads to an "upside-down" smile, or we can appreciate the beauty and warmth of summer and be grateful for the gifts rain brings the earth. How in the world could we complain? The colorful display of Earth mother in all her richness of color and the abundant fresh garden foods that burst from her will feed our bellies and enrich our bodies are bound to put a broad smile on our faces.
As in every moment of a person's life, we have a choice how to perceive what's in front of us. Whether it is the events in life or the weather, you have the power to interpret each from your personal perspective. Each day you choose whether your mood becomes one of gratitude or concern. In essence, you carry the answer to the question, "To sweat or not to sweat!" Several years ago a simple and rich book written by Richard Carlson, PhD shot to the Best Seller list. It offered wisdoms from which you can choose how to view life situations. The title is, "Don't sweat the small stuff, it's really all small stuff!" You might check that out. If your face has an "upside down" smile, you and everyone around you, will know how you are answering that question.
As we move through the warmest month of the year, pause and consider how you would like this month to be for you, and those around you, and consciously choose, "To Sweat or not to Sweat" what is put in front of you. From my face you can tell I have chosen to smile through life . . . it's full of wrinkles! Sure beats having creases across my forehead from too much worry and concern! Here's to a month of healthy sweating and falling into bed from exhaustion after "playing" outside with those you love. The State Fair's in full swing, go explore the many gifts Indiana offers, and eat some strange new food. No worries about the calories, you'll sweat them off!
Thursday, August 17, from 6:30p - 8p, the Wisdom Circle will gather around a small fire and participate in the Seven Chakra Dance, taught to us by Grace MacNeil. Grace will facilitate this moving meditation/dance that will help us become aware and open to our 7 chakras. Interestingly, the Clan Mother for August is She Who Heals, how's that for assisting us with balancing our hearts and minds? (Read more about her on our 13 Original Clan Mother link.)
Mark your calendar and plan to enjoy an evening of mindfulness and playfulness as we enrich our heart and soul with this amazing gift. Bring a friend, an open heart and come prepared to enjoy the warmth of summer in a playful and powerful way!
As always, women are asked to wear a skirt or bring a sarong to wrap around them to honor the women that came before us. A gifting bowl is present to show respect for the teaching shared.
Saturday, August 26, from 1-4 p is the Dreamcatcher retreat. Read about this afternoon event under the Community Events link to learn more about what will be a fun-filled afternoon. If you have ever been curious about these beautiful creations, join us as we learn some stories, and create a Dreamcatcher of our own to take home.
As with all events at the Lodge, bring a friend, an open heart and come to meet some new people, or old friends, that share many of your personal heart-felt stirrings. It is always a good time for those that choose to join us. The investment for this retreat covers all materials to make your own. You choose from $40-60. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, August 23 to ensure adequate materials are available.
From my heart to yours, Vicky
Well, my attempt with placing a focus on a sentence by shading it dark blue did quite the contrary on a red background! Here is how it reads:
For detailed information and to sign up, click on the Community Events link on our website.
To sign up, simply email Victoria at email@example.com for the Drum Making workshop and Beauty Way card workshop, and Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Dreamcatcher retreat.
Thank you for your patience!
With summer in full swing towns are alive with activities; fairs, festivals, benefits, garage sales, and a host of other celebrations. It is interesting to learn the "specialties" of small towns. Even the smallest of towns have a "heritage" of some sort. For instance, I have lived in Morgan county for many years, little did I realize the town of Spencer has a popcorn festival each year. Being a great fan of popcorn, I am going to attempt to check that out this year.
On an informational note, there is a publication distributed each year filled with a plethora of activities offered through out this beautiful state. It is generally a free booklet distributed through local visitor centers. In addition to summer events, it covers activities throughout the year. I am confident there is something that will peak you and your family's interest. So, save some money and take a "staycation" and visit several of the activities in your area. Better yet, venture outside your neighborhood. Personally, I find people quite interesting, and how they live and celebrate life is most fascinating. We are, after all, products of our home towns. Even if you have left the area you grew up in, there is a part of you that holds those traditions within your heart. Maybe it is time to venture back to that area if only to see how it has or has not changed. Such are the opportunities The Richness of Summer offers.
On the subject of Events, Victoria Williams Steen recently had one of her paintings displayed at the Eitlejorg Museum in Indianapolis. The well-known, best selling author of "Braiding Sweetgrass," Robin Wall Kimmerer held a talk on the gifts nature offers and the valuable teachings humans can benefit from using nature as a teacher. Victoria's painting was one of only ten selected to depict those teachings. If you are feeling a nudge to learn something life-changing, read "Braiding Sweetgrass," and check out the many gifts and offerings of Victoria on her website: www.victoriawilliamssteen.com. Without a doubt your heart will be stirred.
Offerings and Events:
This Thursday, July 20, from 6:30-8, the Deepening into Wisdom circle will gather. Weather permitting, we will once again gather around a small fire and share what our hearts have to say. This month Shiela Dim will share one of her soul's gifts and her knowledge as it pertains to, "Nature Bathing: Using Principles form Yoga, Ayurveda, and traditional Japanese forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku) to Connect with Mother Nature." Sound interesting? Then join us this Thursday, July 20 and experience something new to deepen your understanding of how nature truly is our best friend and teacher!
Bring a friend, something to sit on to ensure no bugs or damp ground will interfere with your experience, and an open heart and mind. A gifting basket will be present to reciprocate the sharing and teaching from those in attendance. Out of respect for our ancestors, women are asked to wear a skirt or bring a sarong to wrap around themselves. If you have any questions or comments, contact Vicky: email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you!
The Drum making retreat on August 5, is quickly approaching. If your heart is calling for a deeper connection to Earth Mother, this retreat will answer that call.
The New Moon balanced in Beauty Way Card Workshop, August 16, offers an participants a unique way to deepen into a profound understanding of yourself and life through the use of creative and personal healing cards.
And, lastly, the Dreamcatcher retreat on August 26 offers "dreamers" the opportunity to delve into a partnership with their ancestors to better understand the sacredness of the life.
These ancient traditions carry profound facets of energy and connection that are only possible when human life and nature coexist in harmony. It is time to re-member and reconnect to the profound and simple Truths those that walked this land before us knew. In our search for understanding, humankind created human guidelines. These ancient traditions hold the keys for us to once again live in right relations with the nonhuman world . . . the natural world created by Spirit. Join any of our offerings and find out, "What you didn't know, you didn't know!" Then watch your life come alive!
For detailed information and to sign up, click on the Community Events link on our website.
From my heart to yours, Vicky
Jumpin' Joe, what a beginning to the month of June and the ending of the spring season. The temperatures have hit 90 on several occasions, and the air conditioners have already christened the birth of summer! All that and it's only June 8! Even those of us who prefer cooler temps have enjoyed the warmth and beauty heralded in with the weather. Gardens are flourishing, the smell of freshly cut grass and, as predicted last month, the kids fill the neighborhood with a youthful, carefree energy. Ahh, the "uncaging" from school brings a freedom nearly everyone can recall from their own growing up years. With the Indy 500 in our rearview mirror, we now can look toward the adventure-filled weeks of summer! Such a time to explore, try new things, and test our mobility with physical outdoor activities. The warmth of summer helps our "immobile" body of winter, and the newly stretched muscles of spring prepare us for the active, adventurous journey summer offers.
Our oldest national holiday for June is Father's Day on Sunday, June 18. The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in the state of Washington; it officially became a national holiday in 1972. As was suggested last month with Mother's Day, we can thank our father's for our lives. Regardless of the relationship we have with our biological fathers, the truth is, they helped us become a resident of this beautiful planet. And, let us recall and remember those men that were in our lives and taught us what being a man was all about. Whether it was an Uncle, Grandfather, through remarriage, adoption, a teacher, coach, or mentor, we learned how to maneuver our way through those growing years from their presence in our life. Whether you were a daughter or son, that male figure shaped our belief about what a being a man was all about. When we mention Fathers each of us have uniquely different descriptors that come into our thoughts, memories and feelings that show up in our actions. As with our mothers, we all moved through our adult years rewinding those memories in order to become the parent to our children, or other significant children we encountered, that we may have been grateful for, or perhaps to change those hurtful memories and become the parent we wanted ours to be.
As in all relationships, forgiveness frees us to live life as WE choose it to be . . . without regret, bitterness, or sorrow. It does, however, take a great deal of work to reconstruct those habits we may have developed from our parents that we wish we could "re-do." Well, we can, it just takes determination and a great deal of observation of our thoughts, words and actions. When we use love as our base, anything and everything is possible. Many men know and display those heartfelt traits and qualities, while others may not express those feelings. Our task is to observe their actions and simply learn their "language!"
This Father's day, consider something you always wanted your father to do or say, and YOU do or say that to him! You might be surprised by his response. Who knows what might happen, if you get the horseshoes, corn hole boards, fishing gear, or schedule an outing to a baseball game (whether at Victory field, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, or via online streaming, ) and witness his reaction. Just gather a few of those items and meet him where he is! That is unconditional love!
Thursday, June 15, from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. the Deepening into Wisdom Circle will gather to share their hearts with other like-minded people. Last month we enjoyed an outdoor Gathering around a small fire. It was an absolutely heartfelt experience as the first fire of the season was lite. This month, Diana Ingemanson, will share one of her gifts with us, "An evening spiraling with trees!" Sound enchanting? Then join us and find out first hand! My hunch is, weather permitting, we will be outdoors again! Bring an open heart, friend, a cover for your lap, and a blanket to sit on. Out of respect for our ancestors, women are asked to wear a skirt or wrap a sarong around them while in ceremony. This circle is open to all open hearted human beings!
A gifting basket is present to return back what you have received.
Check our Events page for more offerings that may "tickle your fancy!"
And, of course, the Clan Mother, Storyteller, shares her gifts this month. Perhaps it's time for you to share a story or two that will help others move through life's journey. You will never until you become brave enough to share something you experienced and ways in which it helped you through your life. And, jokes are welcome!! Storyteller will assist you with learning how to "Speak the Truth." If you do not have the 13 Original Clan Mother book, by Jamie Sams, check out our very brief synopsis on our website.
That's all Folks! Have a joyous June! From my heart to yours, Vicky
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!