I've been craving the wild, deep forest.
Past the edge,
the point where you question continuing on.
The point when you begin to feel deeply the beat of your heart...
in rhythm with your feet.
Your feet turn to paws.
Ears prick up.
The outer sensory layer of your body softens to take. in. everything.
Through the threshold of maybe, potentially turning back.
Deeper and deeper until you are safe once again because you are at home.
And you find your howl once again.
Your body hasn't forgotten how to move, run, hunt.
You just had to re-member. To come back home.
Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul
Filtering by Tag: animal totems
I've been craving the wild, deep forest.
Some time between two and three years old, one day as I was strolling through a park with my mom and some friends, I was attacked by a gigantic blue peacock. No worries, there was no blood drawn. No mutilation occured. I think my mom was more scared than I was. All I remember is a flurry of brilliant blue feathers in my face and feeling the strong peacock feet pushing into my chest. Somewhere in a faint memory I recall everyone else freaking out and wondering if I should be doing the same. In many native cultures, a shaman-in-training will be led into the forest/wilderness to confront their spirit animal. If they survive, they've passed a major test toward becoming a medicine/warrior shaman. If they don't, well, they don't.
Back to my peacock...
For awhile now, I've been studying totemic arts with this incredible tribe, meeting my spirit animals, healing archetypal wounds, and rediscovering hidden parts of myself. This work has taken me to the deepest places of my heart, guiding me to reclaim lost parts of my soul, and helped me to see huge reservoirs of untapped power within. I've been practicing extensively how to listen to and follow my inner guides to meet my animal totems and receive the wisdom and medicine they have to offer.
Often, an experience such as the one I had with a peacock can be a sign that animal is one of our totems. When Emelie first suggested peacock as a potential totem, I had MAJOR resistance. Of course resistance (or a strong emotional reaction) to an animal is another sign that animal is one of our totems.
So I started researching peacock medicine. Looking into their behavior, patterns, habits, colorings, mythology. As soon as I opened to this incredible animal I noticed their imagery was ALL OVER my Pinterest boards, articles and photos I had cut out of magazines, long-forgotten books on my shelves, jewelry, etc.
From my research I realized peacock totems are both rare and incredibly powerful medicine. That they've been associated with mysticism, greater vision, immortality. Like the mythological phoenix, the peacock represents the rising from ashes of that which is ready to be released and sacrificed.
And then a NEW kind of resistance came up, and that voice came in saying, "You're not good enough for this animal." "It's just your ego that wants to have this totem." "What makes you think you're special, good, powerful enough to see any of this in yourself?" Not only was I afraid of claiming to reflect any part of this rare and beautiful bird, it made me incredibly uncomfortable to think I could contain any of that symbolism within my soul. It makes me squirm even now as I write about it.
And then I realized: Here's the shadow side of peacock medicine. Staying small. Believing I have too much darkness inside to heal and resurrect those parts of my soul that have been torn. Afraid of proudly displaying my vivid colors, appearing arrogant or egotistical. Feeling shame around being SEEN and told that I'm too much. Scared of my own magnetism and beauty. Unworthy. Sound familiar to anyone else?
I briefly stepped back into my small self, looking to have someone outside of me validate me and give me permission to own my peacock self. To tell me that it was okay to show off my colors, to shine, to stand out and accept the power and magic that peacock medicine has to offer. I watched myself look for that external validation, realize that's what I was doing and that ALL of my totems thus far have brought the medicine of deep listening and intuition, reflecting to me that I already have all of the answers within me. Peacock was now showing up to help me own my power, my voice, and to show off my colors. To show me that the magnetism I was afraid of was actually a HUGE ally for me!
So now, even as I feel that resistance STILL, I say to myself, "Katie, just own it." I'm done with the "not enough" the "unworthy" the "I'm too much for people so I'll just shut up, sit down, become invisible." I'm done with invisible. I'm done with seeking permission to shine. I'm listening and honoring my soul's voice and wisdom. And I'm ever-grateful to my shadow for teaching me where there's room for growth. Where the cracks appear.
You remember a couple months ago when I created Shameless Self-Love, my 30-day video campaign to cultivate and encourage a deeper, healthier and more meaningful relationship with our bodies and souls? Each day, for 30 days straight, I made a video with tips, quotes, tidbits of wisdom, stories and journaling prompts to begin softening our hearts toward ourselves, and to learn how to wildly LOVE our own souls (here's one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLwWnaSgjmo).
Of course those videos were a way to offer some of my work to you all, to get my voice out there in a big way, and to share the wisdom I've gleaned from my own mentors. But another major part of my reason for creating those videos was for myself. To get clearer on my message, my truth, what I wanted to share and teach with my clients, and to distill what was the essence of Wild Grace. To get clear on what I feel my soul's purpose and message is to the world.
And the response to those videos from you all was AH-MAZING! I heard from people all over the world who had seen my videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest, and who wanted to reach out to say how badly we all need the reminder not only to love ourselves, but how to heal those wounds that prevent us from doing so. I got such incredible feedback and so many equally inspiring questions, that I decided to write a program based on the video series, only now we're diving much, much deeper. I've been exploring how to use self-love coaching, energy work, animal totems, shamanic ritual, plant medicine, chakra work, visionary and craniosacral therapy in order to heal trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and other stuck patterns of behavior and beliefs. All of this work has effectively led to creating my own life coaching methodology that I CANNOT wait to share with you!
After months of writing, researching, rewriting, scrapping, and starting over, I'm officially (but unofficially) launching Wild Self-Love, a 3 month, one-on-one program to reconnect to your Wild Soul and fall madly in love with your Self with passion and grace. I say "unofficially" because it's not even on my website yet. It is brand, spankin' new. And since you're already on my list, I'm offering it to you, my incredible tribe, FIRST and at a special price...
What happens when you cultivate more self-love and connect with your Wild Soul?
- You attract better, healthier, happier, and more whole relationships, both romantically and otherwise (i.e. you have amazing friends!!)
- You manifest abundance in your life, whether it's literal financial abundance, more satisfying life experiences, or more time to do the things you love - all wonderful, valid forms of abundance
- You have the ability to create the life you crave, and the power to decide how you want to feel EVERY DAY
- Your creativity EXPLODES and you become capable of designing your life and anything within it
- Your body feels free, limitless, and light
- You know how to make yourself JOYFUL, happy, and fulfilled without looking outside of yourself in order to feel a certain way
- You feel free from past traumas, addictions, and stuck, recurring patterns that aren't serving YOU
If you're ready to fall WILDLY in love with yourself, reconnect with your SOUL and her purpose, now is your time! I offer a complimentary Self-Love discovery session for any woman interested in working together so that we can chat and make sure we're a good fit! Remember, your wise soul contains all the answers within, this work provides the space and support to tap into your inner guides and learn to listen.
I am so passionate about this body of work I've put together for you!! It's truly an honor to share it, and I can't wait to work with you...
All my love, Katie XO
Okay, I'm finally (sort of) giving in to the Valentine's Day madness, though of course in my own typically rebellious fashion. And I'm not writing this because Friday is Valentine's Day, but for whatever reason, when I sat down to write this week, this is what came up... Recently I've embarked on a new journey with a beautiful tribe called the Totemic Arts Apprenticeship in which we learn about our personal animal totems, how they correspond with the chakras, archetypes, zodiac signs, and numerology, and what this means for our own healing process, our businesses, lives, and those of our clients. I've been exploring my relationships with my known animal totems (wolf and snowy owl) and how the wisdom and medicine they bring to us can empower our lives and bring clarity to obstacles we love to put in our own way. There's lots of fun research and intellectual headiness that the nerd in me LOVES, but throughout the program there's lots of opportunity for play, art, creativity, collaboration, and receiving support and love from the tribe.
It all sounds great, right?
And it is!
AND THEN alllllll your shit comes up. Stuff you haven't dealt with, looked at, sat with, or even acknowledged because it's dark and scary and ugly. And who wants to feel those ugly emotions and see what kind of shadows are lurking underneath that lovely, mostly put together exterior that we put up? Not me.
But the thing is, your soul doesn't give you anything you're not ready for. So when things started stirring, I knew it was time. And I'll just tell you now, the last couple weeks have been SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Old, small, invisible Katie would have bailed in a second. But I've been preparing for this. I've been feeling a major shift coming for the last year, and here it was. And you know what it was that triggered me so badly? My inner Lover archetype. The one I had been ignoring most of my adult life. The one who is terrified of being unloved and unlovable. The one who, at times, has lost her identity in order to please others. The one who is afraid of being alone or in relationships devoid of intimacy. Whose shadow consists of jealousy, attachment, and fear of being undesirable. Even now as I write that I wince ever so slightly. But there it is. Truth laid bare.
So I sat. I cried. I fell apart completely, not knowing how the pieces would fit together again. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. Totally burnt out. Like too tired to speak. I spent a whole day hibernating, listening to Tom Waits and Nick Cave (yeah, it got dark) and drawing, getting to know this Lover with her medicine of passion, sensuality, creativity, and desire, while acknowledging and forgiving the shadow side that has occasionally made herself known.
Now I'm beginning to come out the other side and I feel as if I reclaimed my power, self-love, sharp instincts, and a piece of my wild soul. And the message I got from deeply listening to this part of my soul is this:
Love isn't "nice." It isn't all pink hearts and chocolate and roses. It's gutsy, uncomfortable, gritty, and isn't afraid to reflect to us where we need to work on ourselves. Love itself can feel like heartbreak. Like struggle. Like we're stepping off the edge of a cliff and have no idea what's going to catch us.
And the same can be said of Self-Love...maybe even more so. Because that's where it begins. How can we truly love another if we don't have the foundation of love for ourselves? How can we show up for someone else if we're constantly abandoning our own heart? We gain the confidence and ability to love ourselves when we have the courage to softly open our hearts when we're scared shitless, speak our truth, honor our process, and let down our walls. And that's what Love for another is too.
Let's not just honor each other one day a year. Seriously. Happy Un-Valentine's Day (aka every other day of the year)!