Easter Sunday.  It’s a day for reflecting upon the life that lies before each of us and embracing the light within us all. It’s a time to celebrate and rejoice in the miracles that abound in this world.  For me, it was a time to make my return to a church community. I have been a little gun-shy about wanting to go back to church, after having been asked last May to “renounce all things Ree-kee” by the minister and his wife of a church in our town I’d attended. Ouch. That hurt. If you’re going to judge me, at least pronounce Reiki correctly….”Ray-key”. Today, though, the wound has healed over, so I made my way to the Unitarian Church in Danbury, with two out of my three kids in tow. I felt like I’d come Home and, ironically, sat next to a familiar face, a woman from my town. Of course, the two of us were meant to meet today and to exchange thoughts on our separate yet intertwined journeys.

Martin-Resurrection-Morning

I’d been to this church only once before last summer. I’d helped organize a Tapping class, and the Unitarian Church was kind enough to offer their space for the weekend workshop. As luck should have it, this Tapping class came at the same time the pieces of the Magdalene puzzle were falling into place for me. All of a sudden, there was a conflict the Sunday date.  At the end of Saturday’s class, the angels brought me a solution. The teacher, Joni, told me about a month she’d be teaching down in New Jersey. I knew with all my heart and soul that I was being called to work with the Magdalene, and the angels worked it out so I could do both of these workshops that were important to me.  I just love my angels, I tell you.

Oddly enough, the next month I found myself taking the Tapping class with several Orthodox Jewish women. I knew nothing about this ethnic group at all. My roommate gave me the scoop on being raised an Orthodox Jew.  I guess I didn't pay attention during the class, but that evening she pointed out that all of the women wore black skirts and .  I found it fascinating that – with all the technology today – these people do not use electricity or drive on their Sabbath day. Hmmmm…interesting. I should give that a try. I don’t use the TV very often, but I do like to check in on Facebook, answer “important” emails, and occasionally use the stove to make some eggs. How would I manage to get through each Saturday?

My roommate was very instrumental in helping me release my attachment to my best friend, Chardonnay. She was a hypnotherapist and led me through a journey, to a place where I would no longer depend on this “friend” to make it through the dinner hour.  She assured me I would no longer need alcohol, for I was being called to do healing work. By giving up this bad habit, I would become stronger, mentally, physically, and spiritually, and I’d be so much happier without this crutch in my life. She said I would never looked back….she was right! Bye-bye, Chardonnay.

The Unitarian Church is all about Oneness, a message I just love. What better place to celebrate Easter than in a congregation of open and accepting people on the path? The Unitarian Church is a place where all are welcome – Christians, Jews, Buddhists, even Atheists. I love it. Their greeting on the front of the bulletin: Let each of us be a light for one another. I literally cried during the entire service, releasing so many pent-up emotions – the anger from being judged for my unique journey, the fear and anxiety about the future that lies before me, and the comfort in knowing that – no matter where I am in my life’s journey – I am welcome here in this congregation. I was moved by this reading by Sarah Moore Campbell:

Rolling Away the Stone

In the tomb of the soul, we carry secret yearnings, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries. In the tomb of the soul, we take refuge from the world and its heaviness.

Sometimes this is a comfort. Sometimes this is an escape. Sometimes it prepares us for experience. Sometimes it insulates us from life. Sometimes the tomb-life gives us time to feel the pain of the world and reach out to heal others. Sometimes it  numbs us and locks us up with our own concerns.

In this season where light and dark balance the day, we seek balance ourselves.Grateful for the darkness that has nourished us, we push away the stone and invite the light to awaken us to the possibilities within us and among us – possibilities for new life in ourselves and in our world. 

Therein lies my journey. Out of the darkness, I have emerged as a healer, one whose heart is wide open, willing and ready to help people heal, despite the judgment from those who do not understand. Where have you gone? Why are you deserting your old ways? Come back, please, the naysayers call out to me, angrily and without understanding. Who are you? I have simply pushed away the stone and have awakened to the light within me, and that’s where I am headed. Feel free to join me in the journey, folks, for there is no turning back to my old ways.

On this Easter Sunday, this is a resurrection for all of us, a call to take action and to seek the truth that lies within each of our souls. We each have a destiny, a mission to fulfill, and we must have faith that following the path to enlightenment – though it is not easy – is worthwhile and necessary to help bring light and peace to the world. I love the mission of the church, for they invite everyone to dwell together in peace, to seek and speak the truth in love, to help one another and celebrate life.

After the service was over, I chatted with the couple behind me, whose children are similar in age to mine. I had only spoken with this woman a handful of times and only knew she loved dancing.  I struck a chord with her, for she, too, has embarked on a journey of her own, Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few months ago, her ability to dance has been compromised, leaving her vulnerable and sad, too. We spoke of her awakening, which has been accelerated since her diagnosis.

Like me, this woman, who embodies the roles of wife, mother, sacred dancer, and member of Corporate America, has been collecting women on the path. These women are helping to strengthen her, nourishing her soul and inspiring her to be true to herself. She’s even taking a sacred dance class with a friend of mine, which I know she will love.  If you’ve never experienced Journey Dance before, it is a great way to release all that no longer serves you – fear, anger, anxiety. You’ll leave feeling empowered, so that you can be your very best self – healthy, happy, balanced and inspired to reach for the stars and to make a difference in this world. What  a blessing to know this woman will find a new way to express herself through sacred dance. She’ll be able to unleash her sensuality and her feminine energy in a sacred space, that’s for sure.

I leave you with another reading by Alla Renee Bozrath that touched my heart today :

Passover Remembered:

 Pack nothing. Bring only your determination to serve you and your willingness to be free. Don’t wait for the bread to rise. Take nourishment for the journey but eat standing. Be ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind – fear and silence, submission. Only surrender to the need of the time – to love justice and walk humbly with your God. Begin quickly before you have time to sink back into old slavery. Set out in the dark.

I will send fire to warm and encourage you. I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud. I will give you dreams in the desert to guide you safely home to that place you have not seen. I am sending you in the wilderness to make a new way and to learn my ways more deeply.

Some of you will be so changed by the weathers and wanderings that even your closest friends will have to learn your face for the first time. Some will be abandoned by your dearest loves and misunderstood by those who have known you since birth and feel abandoned by you. Some will find new friendships in unlikely places and old friends as faithful and true as the pillar of God’s flame.

Sing songs as you go and hold close together. You may at times grow confused and lose your way. Touch each other and keep telling the stories. Make maps as you go, remembering the way back from before you were born.

So you will be the first of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas. It is the first of many beginnings – your Paschaltide.

Remain true to this mystery. Pass on the whole story. Do not go back. I am with you now and waiting for you.

And so, today I found a new Home, a place where I was welcomed for being me. I am a Reiki Master, a massage therapist, a wife and mother, a dancer, among other titles. I am an ordinary woman who is being called by the Magdalene to do healing work for humanity. I am one who has overcome each obstacle that has come her way, in order to stand in my truth and follow this path of enlightenment. Like Mary Magdalene, I have a deep and abiding faith in God’s will and embrace the light within me. Today and always, I carry the ray of Christ consciousness with me into the world, so I can help people heal – body, mind, and spirit.  Despite all the trials and tribulations I have faced in my awakening, it is a blessing to have come Home to my true self. Won’t you try rolling away the stone and come out of hiding, too? After all, that is what the resurrection is all about…serving God and others. Let your own light shine…brightly and without apology.

Enjoy this wonderful song that speaks of the unconditional love that Jesus and Magdalene had for one another. The unconditional love Mary gave her beloved Jesus helped him become the light of the resurrection, for the good of all of humanity.

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Comment by Dorina Leslie on April 21, 2014 at 4:01pm

You guys made my day, Mark Seebach and Violette, with your kinds words. I am glad my story has reached those who can appreciate being on the journey. Amen...isn't it great when kindred spirits come together for a larger purpose? 

Comment by Mark Seebach on April 21, 2014 at 3:13pm

 Thank you for sharing y(our) journey on this platform. Tears of Joy, of Remembrance, of Realization, wash away the seeds of doubt. Thank You for expressing that Joy!

Comment by Dorina Leslie on April 21, 2014 at 7:10am

Thank you, Aundrea, for your kind words. I love that you attended a Mary Magdalene workshop on Easter sunday. I'd love to hear all about it...it's no surprise we found one another. She has a way of bringing us all together, you know. Have a great day! And blessings to you, too, on your sacred journey, Dorina

Comment by andee on April 20, 2014 at 8:58pm

Dearest siSTAR~please do not ever diminish yourself by claiming you are 'ordinary.' Human form, yes. But you can be, and are, phenomenal and extraordinary!!! We can be these, and remain humble to carry out our work and our calling in human form.

thank you for sharing your truth. I have not been on this website for quite awhile (as I tend to watch the FB page and not the webpage) and clicked on your story when the title 'roll away the stone' caught my attention. It was the title of the talk at Unity of Marin (my spiritual community) this morning.

I also cried extensively throughout service, and am leaving in 1/2 hour to attend a 2.5 hour Mary Magdalene workshop :). We are all connected. It is all truth.

Blessings on this sacred journey~

((hugs))

~Aundrea

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