How My Heart Cracked Wide Open

If you have spent time with me or have read previous blogs, you know that I am a HUGE believer that all relationships—no matter how big or seemingly insignificantly—present themselves for our highest good.

Sometimes relationships reflect the parts that are difficult to accept or where we need the most healing.  Others reflect the parts that are admirable in others and that have yet to be uncovered in ourselves.

And, then there are the ones that remind us that we are indeed magical, brilliant beings.

This was exactly my experience when I met Cracker.

 

 

 

 

My beautiful friend Kate, an equine coach, invited me to come visit her and Cracker.

 

 

 

In many traditions, the HORSE is seen as a shaman having special medicinal and intuitive abilities healing illness or dis-ease at the soul level. 

 

Shamans gain insight or vision from working with the energies of nature such as rocks, trees, the wind, the land, and they gain knowledge from working with the spirits of animals and humans, particularly our ancestors who have transcended into the higher realms. For the shaman, everything is alive and holds wisdom.

In our first few minutes together, both Cracker and I were curious of each other.  I petted him and walked the pen.  Keenly aware that he was “seeing” me without coming too close.  Looking back, he was waiting for the moment when I was ready to receive his gift.

Horses have a deep connection to compassionate, nonjudgmental understanding.

Using their gentle and powerful presence, horses help people heal by holding sacred space for us to explore and find freedom from the constraints of our own stories and beliefs.  And, as ancient tales share, horses possess the power of Divination and clairvoyance which enables them to gift humans healing from what we cannot quite perceive.

 

Then suddenly without much warning, but with much gentleness and grace, Cracker came face-to-face with me.  He looked deeply into my eyes and began to breath into my heart space.

Have you ever looked into the liquid eye of a horse?  Magic and ancient wisdom resides there.

He began to lightly nudge me and breathing deeper over my heart, face, and eventually bowing in front of me.  He even stopped at my previously injured hip – an injury that occurred so long ago, but still pains me from time to time.

In order to communicate with the spirit or consciousness of others, a shaman will shift his/her own state of awareness through meditation or repetitive sounds such as that of a drum or rattle. Cracker used his breath like a drum.  Each exhale and inhale lulling my body into a deeper state of relaxation.

Tremendous energy simultaneously lifted and ascended.  Like a potent Shaman, Cracker lifted the heaviness that surrounded my heart and breathed in exquisite light into the tender places.

The closest word that expresses this experience is pure BLISS. 

He continued to make cribbing noises at my heart while looking into my eyes.  Continuously breathing in a rhythm that reminded me of the ceremonial rattle that I have used numerous times to bless my own clients.

It was beautiful, peaceful, and even though we were outdoors surrounded by other horses and animals, it was extraordinarily serene.  My body felt so light.  My heart cracked wide open.

 

My heart has remained open and I continue to feel the subtle nuances of the energies that surround me. 

It’s been a few weeks since my time with Cracker.  My eyes fill with tears every time I think of my time with him.  The resonance of that moment has stayed deeply within me.

Thank you, Cracker!  Thank you for your gift.  Thank you for cracking my heart WIDE OPEN!

 

Love,

Jacqueline

 

PS…. Wanna meet Cracker and see what gifts he has for you?  Join him, Katie, and
me on March 25th.  Here’s the link,
or check out the information below.

Holiday Blues: A Spiritual Perspective

 

So much talk about the season of merriment and light, yet for so many…

The paradox of the holidays.

It can be said that there is wisdom to be gained through challenge, hardship and suffering.  It can also be said that there is deep learning and truth to be gained.

Because when we are in a “dark night of the soul”, the deepest part of our being reaches out for a more valuable connection with heart and spirit.

This, however, may not be immediately apparent to the ego self.

In the midst of pain, anger, grief, or sorrow, the ego self becomes attached to specific outcomes – “I will feel better when…,” and cannot see the possibility for learning and for a greater life on the other side.

This paradox is hard for the human self to grasp when feeling the heaviness of pain.  Our most human response to suffering is to want to end it, and the human heart cannot help but believe that what it feels, the deprivation of joy, love, and, even hope, cannot possibly be the source of something good.

And yet, in the darkest hour of the night, there is a sharpening of vision, and what appears empty and dark, suddenly holds the promise of light.

 

In this sense, a dark night of the soul may first appear as if all the light has gone out, but the soul continues to support the seeking of light and continues to radiate and attract light toward the self that suffers and struggles.

After all, isn’t it true that when we feel disconnected from joy and love, we begin to seek that joy and love with a more willing and malleable heart? We begin to see the glimmers of light where moments before there were none to see.

Light attracts light even in the darkest hour.

 

This is the divine beauty of the soul.

From this perspective, the holidays – holy days –  is the ideal and soulful time for our journey into the light… the surrender into the light of our own being.

In loving,

Jacqueline

 

St. Theresa Comes to Rowe

 

I recently attended, both as participant and assistant, in a woman’s workshop focused on sexuality and the Medicine Wheel led by the incomparable Gina Ogden.

On the first night, all the women walked the Wheel, placing their sacred objects and sharing with the group what each object represented — one representing what they want more of in their sexual life, the other representing what they want less of.  As the evening continued, one theme came to light — the impact of religious training on sexuality, particularly that of that Catholic church.

This peaked my interest, since I attended Catholic school for 12 years and I was fully aware of the training and dogma that these women shared. As I heard the women speak, I found myself feeling incredibly grateful for my rebellious spirit and my curiosity — they have always been my saving grace. The truth is that I never believed what the priests and the nuns said about love and sex. I did not believe that I would be a sinner for enjoying the pleasure of my flesh since God himself (or herself) had created this very flesh. As far as I can remember, I believed that sex was one of God’s greatest gifts. It was a gift that allowed us as humans to transcend our bodies and the illusion of separation from others. There is a reason why, in moments of absolute pleasure, the words “oh my God” are said aloud in every language and across every religion.

 

As I sat in the circle, watching and hearing these women, I was also keenly aware that I had a small picture of St. Teresa of Avila in my bag. Until that moment, I had been  unsure of the reason why I had packed it a few days before.

St. Teresa is a Catholic saint and mystic who had a profound religious experience before an image of the wounded Christ in the convent oratory.  She felt, “He was within me, or that I was totally engulfed by him.”  Saint Teresa’s love of God and her desire for spiritual union with him manifested in a vision in which an angel pierced her heart with a golden spear and sent her into a trance — an ecstatic rapture.  In her autobiography she writes:

“The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease, nor is ones soul then content with anything but God.” (The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by herself, Chapter 29).

Ecstasy of St. Teresa Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, 1645-1652 Rome, Italy: Santa Maria della Vittoria, Cornaro Chapel. Teresa is clothed from head to foot in a loose hooded garment. Her feet are bare, the left one prominently displayed. Her eyes are shut, her mouth opened, as she swoons in ec-stasy. Standing before her is the figure of a winged youth. His garment hangs on one shoulder, exposing his arms and part of his upper torso. In his right hand he holds an arrow that is pointed at the heart of Teresa.

​When it was my turn to walk the circle and share my objects, I put St. Teresa in the center of the Wheel symbolizing integration. I spoke of how she is a beautiful representation of what God truly intended for us — to surrender to the moment and to enjoy the gift of the human body with its multiple areas of pleasure. Whether we do this alone or with a lover, it does not matter. When we say,“yes” to enjoying our bodies, we are allowing our gift of aliveness and connection to be fully present. We breathe in life more fully.

In the Medicine Wheel, sexuality and spirituality exist in the same quadrant because the quadrant is about connectivity. Although many may not agree with me, I cannot see any separation of sexuality and spirituality. One leads directly to the other. My spirituality is about connecting more lovingly and authentically with myself, others, and God. My sexuality exists for the same reason.

The women in the circle reminded me that night that much work needs to be done to heal the lines that create separation, aloneness, despair, and negative beliefs about God and sex. When St. Teresa was placed in the circle, I believe the healing began. That night, there was a lightness that she radiated from the center of the circle into the heart of every woman.

Picture

Ecstasy of St. Teresa Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, 1645-1652 Rome, Italy: Santa Maria della Vittoria, Cornaro Chapel. Teresa is clothed from head to foot in a loose hooded garment. Her feet are bare, the left one prominently displayed. Her eyes are shut, her mouth opened, as she swoons in ecstasy. Standing before her is the figure of a winged youth. His garment hangs on one shoulder, exposing his arms and part of his upper torso. In his right hand he holds an arrow that is pointed at the heart of Teresa.

Originally Posted on 11/13/2015