Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reflecting... Becoming... Emerging...

Tonight, my inner otter is reflecting - on my process of becoming and on what is emerging. In January... it became "suddenly" clear that I was being called to spiritual work. At that time, there were some clarifying moments, and interactions with some key people that enabled me to finally-FINALLY take my fingers out of my ears, and stop looking around the room like someone else was being spoken to instead of me.  Surely... surely, the Holy Love in the Center of All That is... wouldn't be calling a 50 something, Two Spirit, flawed like crazy, drummer/photographer/artist... to do Interfaith Spiritual work... that wouldn't happen... would it? So in a manner of speaking, I realized that "The Call" was coming in, and that it was for me.  

I was so electrified at very first, so excited, and so kinda-sorta scared outta my mind, like who in the heck was I to do this work?  As I spoke to my go-to people... my wife, the "Pastor Emeritus of my Heart", my best bud, my Pastor... my therapist... the reactions were all exuberant, and all "well DUH!"  Certainly the ways they were communicated to me were not the same - but the support, the effusive love, the offers of mentoring - were all of the same ilk. It also seems like I was the last one to recognize this in myself. At least I was the last one to consciously see the potential to be a Spiritual Care Provider in myself and name it.  

I have been reflecting and looking back, into past emails, into journals of the wordish variety and of the image-crafted variety and it looks like maybe, I have been trying to tell myself that something was about to, or trying to burst forth - for some time. One such example is this drawing journal entry. What I thought I was getting at with this piece, was not sealing myself up so tight in protecting myself from past trauma, that the light can't flow through. That was absolutely
part of the work, but what strikes me now about this piece is also, how much the face I drew for myself, looks like my Mother in some ways, and how the moon is over my left shoulder (my spiritual side), how the yellow streaming in - is a representative colour of the element of fire, how the blue that is streaming out is a representative colour for the element of water. Water and fire are complimentary, or paired elements, they balance each other. The borning of this piece came from a song by Terry Gonda entitled "Calls You." The pertinent part of the lyric goes "may you let your armour crack, and let the light flow through, may you see it streaming out, as well as into you, may you know that darkness, can never kill what's true, may you always be aware that love is here with you."  It may not seem obvious, but to me, this is a Calling On piece. Calling on things within myself, to come forward.

So where was I.. oh yeah... the phone was ringing and I realized the incoming call was for me - got it! I was so excited by the possibilities of all this... Me right.. seriously... me?  Okay.. yes... ME!  I was asked by Anne, one of my amazing people, "now what?" Okay... so now I am supposed to KNOW stuff??? I asked Anne - if it was normal not to know right away and if it was normal to be a overwhelmed, excited, and scared all at the same time, and she assured me that it was. As I sat with it, and tried NOT to actively figure it out... things began to happen.  One area of ironclad certainty as far as my spiritual work goes, is my call to work with folks using drumming and rhythm as tools for healing and wholeness. Opportunities to do this have almost surpassed the ability of myself and our drum circle to possibly keep up with, this is an excellent problem to have! I have had the opportunity to teach spiritual drum making, which was rewarding and amazing! Meanwhile, I have found a program of study that interests me, and that I think would equip me to better work alongside a spiritually diverse group of folks as I feel called to do. I hope to be able to pursue that sometime soon. 

So there's all this stuff, right, coming forward, bursting forth in me, you would think - it would be as plain as the nose on my face - but with me, its never that simple.  I have spent a good deal of my life being told in actual words, or by deeds, that I am insignificant, lesser, and someone who folks will not believe... or take seriously in one way or another. As a result of that... taking myself seriously, my talents, my gifts is not my default setting. So recently, when I was at the Philly Trans Health Conference, I attended an amazing, and transformative Pastoral Care Workshop. I blogged and touched on this a few posts back. 

It was important to me, to go to this particular workshop, although by that point I was seriously conferenced out. I did want to see the presenters in action and to support them as they are my friends, but beyond that... I was impelled to go. There was talk about the challenges and opportunities for pastoral care providers as resources for transfolk, their allies, families and caregivers. After that... we broke into some all important groups. The presenters asked folks to put themselves into the group that made the most sense to them, and they didn't really explain it to death.  I found out later , that in the intro they talked about the grouping that you could select a group that was the role you identified in, or you could role flip, or stretch or whatever - but I missed all that for my morning caffeination ritual at the Temple of the Mermaid. They did an "okay move" kind of thing and I grabbed my stuff and migrated to Pastoral Care Providers without a thought. Our group had a great discussion about what we each thought we brought to the role, about the gifts we bring you might say. From earlier introductions, I think I was in the group with a rabbinical student, 2 rabbis, 2 chaplains, one man I think was Sikh, and me. This was so pivotal for me SO huge... the automatic nature of this.  I DID surprise my own damn self! I feel like this was really really important in my becoming.  It was as though my presenter friends held up a mirror and when I looked, I saw a Called Spirit Person lookin' back at me. Like for REAL!

So in essence... since January... the phone's, been ringing, and I've known that call was for me - but now... I have picked up the phone and the conversation... has begun.

 ✌ Peace Out My Friends ✌

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