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Turning the Key

Categorized in these topics: Feminine Matrix and Female Culture Kolo

Turning the key

Eyes closed I stood at the unlocked peacock blue door. Adorned with a sturdy, shiny brass knocker and a tiny peephole, I am transfixed yet afraid of what might be on the other unknown side.

Turning the key was devoid of any resistance that I may use as a viable excuse to keep me rooted firmly within my predictable, known world. Eager to be opened, like a newborn child emerging into this uncertain world, I'm pleasantly surprised yet somewhat disappointed with what I encounter on the other side of the blue peacock door.

As the door eases back in response to my commanding hand, a blindingly bright yellow-white light sweeps through, illuminating a vast open space. I acknowledge and embrace this void as my soul representation. Like a lotus flower blossoming in spite of its murky habitat my soul whispers, 'in trusting myself, I am ready to open to the wonders of life. Each petal unfolding is an opportunity waiting for me to embrace it.'

Confronting the unknown provides a knowing when I release all fear and step confidently into the open space and bright light. This majestic blue door has transformed itself right before my wide, innocent eyes. The awestruck expression on a child's face upon arrival at their most prized amusement park discovering all of their favorite rides are available for the choosing was mine once again.

I had forgotten that I am able to see that what lies before me. In every moment we are given a chance to choose – thus raising our levels of consciousness. I can choose to react to the 'knocks of life;' fear, anger, pain and abandonment all buried in the unclaimed luggage of my past or I can respond by acknowledging that this old, heavy and worn bag no longer suits my travel needs.

In this moment I am reminded that as I journey through life, several doors with different colours, shapes and sizes will appear along my path. Rather than view them as obstacles in my path I alter my perception and in gratitude I accept that beyond each of these doors lies an opportunity laden with a wealth of abundance.

With this knowing, I'm turning the key.

The above visualization exercise was only the start of the incredible journey that I would embark upon from 20 to 23 November 2008.

The seventh Goddess Retreat held at Good Hope in Trelawny, Jamaica was a rich gathering of nineteen women mainly from all walks of Jamaican life. Scattered in the mix were a few non-Jamaicans who chose to bear witness and share their experiences within the circle that we formed at the start of each session.

It was by turning the key on my peacock blue door that I was immersed in this circle of women.

This Goddess Retreat held the circle and had invited in the 'Kolo' as it is called in Bosnian. The kolo knows no boundaries with the sacred feminine space. We are afforded a space and place to gather to let go of old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve our greater good. In the circle we are reminded that we're never alone. Within the kolo where we share our first person stories, our 'collective' healing occurs.

Nowhere was this inclusive healing more apparent than in a lovely afternoon when we all gathered beneath the shade and protection of Mother Earth's trees to read our coffee cups – an ancient Bosnian tradition. In this sacred ritual we learned how to identify and interpret the symbols that surround us in our daily lives. We were reminded that as Goddesses we possess the divine gift of intuition, one that only increases the more we let go and trust our inner selves.

Over the course of the 3 days we chanted, ate, prayed, cried, laughed, screamed and loved.

Throughout the retreat, we were invited to pull cards that had been placed beneath our cushions on the floor. The first day we were given two main archetypes to contemplate and explore as they related to our lives. The Universe in always presenting to us what we need to know, my first two cards were of the victim and the warrior. My initial reaction to these diametrically opposed elements struggling within me was one of nervous laughter.

Upon request to script our interpretation of these cards I wrote:

"Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted more than anything in the whole, wide world was to always be with her Mommy and Daddy who would love her and keep her safe. While they seemed happy enough, it was plain to see that their magic was waning. As the little girl grew up and traveled far and wide in search of herself in time she started to wonder, 'who am I?' Years of conditioning and seeking the approval of others had rendered her almost incapable or recognizing her true self. This conditioning seemed like a menace that emanated from everywhere – friends, family, and society – thus manifesting the victim within.

Exhausted by the heaviness of it all, along came the warrior to save the victim formed at too early an age, a result of circumstances about which she had little power to do anything. The unleashed warrior now recognizes that she could only be born through the lessons learned in a victimized and powerless life. As she traveled from one end of the Earth to the next, the Warrior realized that as part of her initiation, she must return home; from whence she came. "

In the words of [Bob] Marley, she understands [that] if you don't know your past, you won't know your future.'

It is these haunting words that have brought her back to the land from which she escaped, numbed and traumatized 25 years ago.

As the warrior reaches for her paintbrush, surprisingly, she welcomes the blank canvas before her. The 'blue door visualization exercise' already laid the groundwork for her openness and receptivity. Intuitively, the warrior strokes one colour after another, eventually manifesting a piece that she titles 'Emerging.' The warrior lays down in meditation before the completed artwork and authors her interpretation of her painting.

Titled Emerging, the sacred artwork depicts the story of the never-ending swirls roaming around in the Warrior's consciousness. It represents the 'work in progress' that is her life. The black base forms the root chakra that depicts her life's challenges.

The towering flames are intended to burn away unconsciousness thus giving rise to her kundalini energy. As the winds blew in the cool Trelawny hills, with them is the fear, anger, judgment and expectations that arrived along with the Victim cum Warrior in her psychic luggage.

Slowly rising from the turquoise waters that embody her emotions is a magnificent, beautiful blossoming lotus. The lotus reminds the Warrior that amidst life's muck rests its beauty – a possibility that is evident once we're willing to trust that we are blessed and taken care of.

'Emerging' is a reflection and manifestation of everything that brought me to the Goddess Retreat. In painting I get the bear witness to my own transformation – from powerless victim to empowered warrior.

At the end of the retreat, she emerges ready to once again face the future reassured that buried within the unknown is a world pregnant with amazing possibilities.

Re-born, I Am Warrior.
I turn the key.
'Karma is not what happens to you; it's what you do with your experiences.' (Unknown)


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