Leather Warrior: A New Path

I am very excited to have opened up my online storefront today, paving a new path for my way of providing & receiving what I deserve, to experience a comfortable, healthy life. I have learned, that it is imperative that you do what you love – finding a balance between this, and all of the other many dynamics of living in this world today. It is essential to make a living, so how do we do so whilst maintaining happiness in our daily lives? It is simple – we remain open to what is working for us, while dedicating our energy in a selfless way, to what it is that inspires us most. When we do this, we don’t have to think about the money – the money will come, because we are trusting in the power of our energy, our creations. We will be abundant, because that is the truth that this life has to offer – as we attain and maintain balance, in all ways as a being.

As I have been expanding my skills as an artist, I have come to find that I am able to create through many mediums. I have struggled with which one to choose – which one to dedicate myself to, and focus upon. After having a very enlightening conversation with an elder several nights ago, I came to the realization that I don’t have to choose just one. Yes – I have to choose one to make a living on, to get started with – but I can do each of the things that sparks my fire, as long as I am doing them in a balanced way, with diligence and clear intention.

During my time in Oregon, as I relayed in my most recent post, I went through deep transformations and healing. I am still going through deep healing – everyday, I am growing and evolving. Learning to stitch and sow leather, came very naturally to me – it was as if I was meant to do it my entire life but never knew that I could or that I would want to. It took guidance from my elder brother Calvin to discover this. I am filled with joy and gratitude, when I consider the possibilities that my creations will offer forth into the world. To be able to incorporate my knowledge of herbalism and gemstones, two things I feel very passionately about, with my leather creations, is my dream manifest in reality. I can bring medicine to other beings, in a beautiful way that ties together my artistic abilities, with my healing guidance.

I am looking forward to presenting each piece to the world as it comes to fruition, as each will be unique in the energy that is put into it. Stay tuned for more photos within the ‘Leather Warrior’ section here on my website. Go check out my store at: Leather Warrior Storefront

Adventure to Oregon: Portland, Selma & The Redwood Forest

December 9th, 2016 – The day before my 27th birthday, I flew out to Portland, OR. This was my first time flying to the West Coast. This trip held the intentions to visit my brother, Calvin and to stay at an old friends farm for a few months. My trip was an amazing experience, in which I learned many lessons. I have held fear about flying for a long time, as well as fear of letting go of control in my daily life, to travel. Setting foot onto the plane in Burlington, was just the first step in a series of actions in my journey, of learning how to completely let go and flow moment to moment. To be present within oneself, to be still and quiet, amongst all of the noise and chaos going on in the external.

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The time that I spent with my brother was really nice and left me feeling a good sense of connection to Portland and all of the sweet people that I met along the way. I also felt that I was finally able to connect fully to Calvin’s life out in Oregon. He has lived there for close to 8 years, after having lived in Burlington for 2 – and this was the first time that I was able to go out to visit him. When he moved to Burlington from our home town a few years after graduating from high-school, he never looked back. I had always wondered how he was able to just go – with no preconceived notion of what it would entail. The way that I looked at traveling and moving in the past, was in a very rooted, grounded way – a way that caused me to feel fear and anxiety when imagining being so far away from Vermont. This spontaneous major life change is something that I hadn’t experienced yet in such a big way, so he has always been an inspiration for me to do the same.

While I was in Portland, I experienced so many awesome things! I wrote down some reflections on my trip, both during & after:


December 9th, 2016

PNWMountainRange“I am on my first flight en route to Portland, OR. I’m very excited for the growth and transformation that I know I will experience on this journey. I am facing many fears, and am opening myself up to many possibilities. I will be landing in Michigan soon, and will board a plane there at 7:59pm, arriving in PDX at 10pm. It’s a total of 6.5 hours flying time. It’s going to be so refreshing to spend a decent chunk of time with Calvin before going out to my friends farm in Selma. I haven’t seen Brandon in 6 years, and can’t wait to reconnect with him! I am open to all that I am meant to experience on this journey. Tomorrow, I turn 27. In anticipation of my next year, I am grateful for the many challenges and lessons that I have faced so far in my life. I am coming in to this next year with clarity of my truth – as a healer and intuitive, I embrace the healing that I must go through, in knowing that I will be stronger, better able to do my work in the world – as an herbalist, a lover, a sister, a friend, teacher, guide, learner, companion & someday a mother.”


December 10th, 2016-December 20th, 2016ClarySageHerbarium

CameoCafeOregon“I had an amazing time staying with Calvin, Mitchell & Marilyn. For my birthday, Calvin took me out for breakfast at a place called Cameo Cafe. It’s run by an older Korean couple. I had a Korean pancake, which was massive – they’re made out of veggies and a IMG_0820special better – SO good! We went to an amazing little herb shop called the ‘Clary Sage Herbarium’, where I found an array of LebaneseFoodOregonNicholas'delicious medicinal teas to get myself grounded & moving. We also visited a sweet thrift store called ‘House of Vintage’ – definitely the Calvin&AudreyPhobiggest thrift store I’ve ever seen! We then had dinner with his lady, Audrey, at a Lebanese restaurant named Nicholas’s. So much insanely good and culturally diverse OregonMeal1food experiences! We went out to eat at all of the best restaurants in Portland while I was HawaiianArtNicklesvisiting. Calvin and I also cooked many really great meals, and we even made our very first smoothie bowls – which were so delicious! Audrey brought me to Powell’s bookstore, which is one of the biggest bookstores I’ve ever seen in my life. It is 4 floors! Calvin and I AriaGuitarOregonexplored some more thrift shops, and he brought me to this OregonJourneyWisdomamazing music store called Mothership Music on MLK Blvd. I found the most beautiful Japanese Aria classical acoustic guitar which I bought myself for my birthday! Very stoked to learn how to play with this. Calvin’s birthday was the 16th – luckily, before my trip a good friend of his planned a celebration show for his band Acidwash, who IMG_3650I love & had been wanting to see for years, for the IMG_082615th. It was an amazing performance, and a really sweet way to celebrate both of our birthdays together! I was inspired in so many ways during my time at my brothers place. Through watching Calvin do his leather working job, I was inspired to create a utility belt. I came up with a design that he helped me to piece together. He assisted me with the beginnings of it – the base leather strap, with the buckle and rivets. We then assembled the rest of the pieces and parts, for me to take to the farm with me to hand-stitch. We’re going to put it all together when I return to Portland for the last two weeks of my trip.”


December 22nd, 2016

IMG_1123“Brandon picked me up two days ago, and I’ll be here at the farm until the 16th of January, 2017. It has been very nice to reconnect with him, but I have already encountered an array of moments in which I’ve felt resistance, and have been triggered – this shows me that I have a lot to face while I’m here, and a lot to learn from him & vice versa. While visiting Calvin, I found that I had to let go of all control of what my daily experience would be like. I had to be comfortable with moving through the unknown, and in doing so learned how to be comfortable in all of the situations that I ended up experiencing, however foreign they may feel. I will continue to embrace this, with open arms, to grow, heal & learn.OregonStorm

Tyler called me the day that I was on my way to the farm, to let me know that a bookkeeper position & living space have opened up for me, for when I return to Vermont. I set intentions with the new moon in Sagittarius about this (while visiting Lotus Lodge, a week prior to leaving for my trip):

OregonPlantsSacred

For this new moon in Sagittarius, my sign – I am planting seeds of desire for truth. I wish to follow my path, to do my work in the world in the best ways that I can. To connect with all of the women, men, spaces and opportunities that are meant to direct, guide and nurture my growth/evolution. I wish to plant seeds of transformation, and of clarity to allow me room to experience my next journey while also growing roots, to open a space for me to move into when I return from my trip. I intend to focus on my physical movement routine, as well as my daily spiritual connection.”

I am so excited for this next chapter of my life! In the meantime, I plan to remain fully present in my current reality – to learn more about tending to plants while I am here on this beautiful land, to build something, and to spend every day doing the work that is needed to heal my body from Lyme’s. I discovered that I have Lyme’s a week into my trip, after having questioned the possibility of it for years (having symptoms that worsened slowly over a period of 7 years, which all came after the first time I was bitten by a tick – and two consecutive times of finding ticks on myself, the most recent being April of 2016. This last experience with a tick, sent me into a very fast downward spiral of intense pains all over my body, fatigue, muscle/joint issues, memory/concentration issues, heart LymesProtocolOregonpain/palpitations, etc.). I have just received the treatment protocol from the Native Medicine man that I spoke of in my previous post, who I consulted with. I ordered all of the herbs that I need from Hawaii, and they will be here in a week. This is my Winter Solstice gift this year – I truly don’t celebrate christmas in the traditional sense anymore, as my perspective of the holiday has shifted quite a bit – however, I am allowing my playful childlike self to come forth to see this as a blessing, in which I will learn many deep lessons that will serve me for long term growth. What a gift! I can’t wait to start doing the deep physical healing work, that I must continue for the next year, diligently. I wish to develop good routine and discipline as far as this goes; this will require clarity, focus and daily gratitude to shift my mindset. I plan to do this with grace and ease, despite the pain.

IMG_0808Some of the highlights of my time so far, have been the meeting of a few really awesome people along my path. I made some beautiful connections with people that will be long-lasting friends. Mitchell, one of Calvin’s room-mates, is from Colombia. He helped me to understand and face the concept of social anxiety in a new way through our conversations about it. He gave me a solid chunk of raw Turquoise that he got from South Dakota, while he was traveling. His roommate Marilyn is also super sweet. She made my stay at their place much more lovely and comfortable with her presence, helpful small gestures of kindness, and her bad-ass feminine presence certainly helped to balance things out. She gave me an amazing pair of black heel boots, as well as a little bag of goodies from the 80’s from her vintage shop! So sweet!

ChakrasI had the opportunity to reconnect with Nickles again which was amazing. He took me to a Christmas party at a renowned recording studio in Portland. We made dinner at his house, and listened to awesome records. He is a professional massage therapist, and hooked me up with a 3 hour session that caused some major shifts to happen for me on an emotional/physical level – I experienced incredibly deep healing from this, and am forever Trimpartygrateful. The next day we had a trim party with Lynx and Cheya, from his band ‘Lynx & The Servants of Song’, which was a lot of fun. We had another amazing meal that Nickles made, and a great evening following. We are going to a hot spring when I return to Portland for my last few weeks! I can’t wait to experience a hot spring for the first time in my life!”


January 12th, 2017

IMG_0920“The past three weeks have been intense and challenging for me. I’ve experienced many triggers with Brandon – I am opening to receiving the energy of today’s full moon in Cancer, to grow by loving into each moment of resistance that shows up on my path, however uncomfortable they may be. My physical healing has been unfolding incredibly well – I have been practicing self-discipline most diligently as I had desired, totally dismissing any old patterns/habits surrounding food, totally immersing myself into yoga in a deeper way, properly medicating, daily creative expression, work and maintaining my connection to family. I am beginning to truly love all parts of my self. My goal for this new year, is to master self-discipline, in each area of my life: Leather & JewelryHerbalism work, Herbalism, Photography, Love, Family & Communal living. I am learning to become the lover that I would want and deserve, through loving myself fully. I believe that this is how we reach our truest form of self-actualization, and through doing so we can come together in all of the relations that serve our highest self.”


CaliforniaCoast

There were many other experiences that I had, which I did not get down onto paper. I’ll share a few of the most exciting and influential ones. During my last week at the farm, I was taken to the Redwood Forest. I have always dreamed of going there, but upon planning this trip didn’t even consider it because I didn’t think that I would make it to California. Little did I know, the Redwoods were only 45 minutes from the farm. We visited the coast on our way; the Pacific Ocean is incredibly vast and beautiful.

 

The experience of walking solo through the forest, truly silent, and connecting with the soil, the trees and the other plant life there, was not something that words could do justice. I can however, share the essence via the imagery I captured on this beautiful adventure:

Being able to just sit with these trees, and feel the massive currents of energy running through them – the energy of the entire forest – was mind blowing. This is something that cannot be fully imagined, until experienced. My favorite part of my trip, was absolutely these moments of silence with the Redwood Forest.

AuthenticRamenWhen I returned to Portland, I was feeling ready to get back to Vermont. This feeling quickly went away, as I got back into the swing of the daily experience at Calvin’s home. I had an exciting two weeks, full of more delicious meals and good company. We had authentic ramen, insanely delicious gluten free & vegan pizza, and many other tasty treats! I went to photograph & see one of my favorites – the Kitchen Dwellers – open for the Keller Williams Kwahtro, at The Wonder Ballroom IMG_1427(which was huge for the K.D., as Keller has been a long-time inspiration). This show was incredible, and it was very sweet to go to a concert solo, so far away from home. Calvin helped me to finish up my utility belt, which turned out to be incredibly beautiful. We documented some of the process & progress of it:

Through the process of creating this belt for myself – teaching myself how to work with leather, to stitch and sow it – my creative energy surged and flowed freely. It felt incredible to see a vision of something, and to then create it. To not doubt the process, and to just go for it. Despite some minor cuts and pricks from the needles/tools, this was an amazing project. Calvin’s success and proficiency with his craft & small business ‘Leather Weapon’, and then making this utility belt, were enough to inspire me beyond what I would have expected. I am in the works of creating my own business, called ‘Leather Warrior’ and already have 7 custom orders to get to work! I will be crafting utility belts, medicine bags, wallets & jewelry. Stay tuned to the ‘Leatherwork’ section of my website, to see my progress! I will have business cards soon:

Leather Warrior BCard

Besides all of the other amazing experiences that Calvin opened me up to, he also brought me to this place called ‘The Grotto’, which was a public garden/forest/sanctuary that was built on top of a cliff. There is a massive outdoor elevator to get up to the entry of the of garden, and installations of art & religious statues spread throughout the entire place. There’s also a meditation center and outlook of the city at the very edge of the cliff:

Considering my connection to spirituality/religion, coming from a childhood of having Christianity forced upon me, and how my perception of God has transformed so drastically, as well as for Calvin – it was definitely an interesting experience to check this out with him. I felt deep reverence and beauty within all of it, from each piece of art to the presence held during the exploration of the space, despite the difference in faith.


Nickles and I got together for a few days before I headed out of Portland, which was an excellent way to end my trip. We attempted to go to the hot springs – we drove 2 hours to get there, and unfortunately because of the crazy amount of snow that Oregon got the few weeks prior, the road was blocked on the final stretch of the way. Despite this, we had a really fun time. We ended up going to a movie, at the most luxurious movie theater I’ve ever been to…they had recliner seats, that were incredibly comfortable. The movie was awesome, and we ended up getting some super delicious food from the Market Food Trucks. Whenever I hear food truck, I have a negative impression stuck in my mind – this HawaiianShamanArtexperience totally changed that for me. I ate authentic Mexican Mole Poblano, and also tried Oxen tail – it was the most delicious and exotic meal that I had on my trip, for sure. I had never tried truly authentic Mexican, so this was special. We went and had breakfast at an amazing restaurant called Bar Carlo, which had a record store attached to it. I found a few really old Herbie Hancock albums; I have been on a mission to collect all of his records, so this was very exciting. I learned some beautiful lessons from him and am very grateful to have connected with him in the ways in which I did.


In a final reflection of my time in Oregon, I learned so much more than I could have ever anticipated when planning & leaving for this trip. The time that I spent with each individual who I crossed paths with, was meant to be a part of my learning experience. My time at the farm was comparable to a retreat, in the sense that I was able to live at my own pace and schedule, while focusing most of my time on my physical healing. I spent a lot of time alone which was great, and the time that I did spend with others helped me to see what communal living could look like.

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When it was time to leave the farm, I realized that the slow pace of life that is able to exist there, would certainly not be what I would experience in Portland – I didn’t anticipate this feeling to arise, as a part of transitioning back into the city, but it certainly did. Within a few days it was fine, but I definitely noticed a major shift in my ability to be present with myself and those around me. Although my ability to do so expanded through my healing on the farm, it also was still contracted to a degree when I shifted spaces. This is a major lesson in my life currently, that I believe will help me to become fully comfortable with fluidity – to be able to maintain a solid thread of being rooted/grounded within, and with the Earth, rather than with physical living spaces, as I go through changes/transitionsIMG_1109 throughout the rest of my life. I also learned throughout my journey, in OregonFarmlandreflection of seeing literally all of the weather – watching the weather go from an incredibly beautiful state of calm; a warm breeze, sunshine and high temperatures to the complete opposite – that too, like the weather, your entire life can change in the blink of an eye. Holding gratitude, and presence in every moment, is the key to experiencing true happiness in this world.

Upon returning from my trip, it became very clear to me that this was a time of major transitions to unfold. I knew that I needed to move out of where I had been living for the past two years, and that it was time for my sister Olivia to move back in with our mother – ending a 6 year long chapter of us living together & me being her full-time guardian. I am still going to remain her guardian, but it became clear that it was time for my to live alone IMG_2529– something I had wanted to experience, before living in community. With perfect alignment and divine timing, the perfect space fell into my lap, and after moving through 3 weeks of a transition period, we are both finally settled into our new homes. My space is the most beautiful home that I have ever lived in. I am going to be moving in to Lotus Mountain Retreat in June/July, which is the perfect next step upon my path.

I am feeling incredibly grateful for the journey that I went on, and to all of the people who helped me to experience such joy and beauty along the way. In a final reflection of my time in Oregon, I learned so much more than I could have ever anticipated when planning & leaving for this trip. The time that I spent with each individual who I crossed paths with, was meant to be a part of my learning experience. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with the leather business, as well as the many other beautiful moments to unfold before me.

ᎣᏏᏲ || Osiyo

Chelsea Erin Wright

 

 

The Native Medicine Way: Herbalism & The Path Of The Wounded Healer

March 2016-November 2016

My interest in herbs began when I was young. I was always curious about them, and what they were for. The wonderful scents that they would release into the air, carried by the wind and to my senses, were captivating. I found that my relationship with them was one of wonder and amazement. It wasn’t until I was nearly 25 that I truly began delving in to the different uses for herbs, in a medicinal way.

tulsi-holy-basilIt was through living in a cabin in the woods and growing my first garden, with the help of my partner at the time, that I started to really open myself up to the power of herbs and plants. It all started with my now most beloved relation, Ocimum Tenuiflorum – Tulsi, also known as ‘Holy Basil’. In my yard, Tulsi sprang up out of nowhere. I had never seen or heard of it before, and one day a dear old friend picked a flower spindle for me to smell. I fell in love immediately. It was gorgeous, with tiny light purple flowers and a scent like no other flower I had ever smelled before. We thought that it would calm down the orange tabby cat who was then still a wild kitten, so he wrapped it around the inside of Oliver’s collar. Within a few minutes, his demeanor shifted to a more gentle, playful manner. It was amazing to see the herb have such a dramatic effect, and so quickly.

I decided the next time I went out to the garden that I would wait to pick the Tulsi until the end of the growing season, and dry it for tea. When I began drinking this tea, it opened my heart up in a way that I hadn’t felt since I was a very young child. This allowed for deep wounds to arise, to come to the surface for me to face. This was just the beginning, of a long, painful yet deeply transformative purging cycle. I only used the Tulsi from my yard, and didn’t continue to expand my relationship with it again until I began herbalism school.

Over two years and an incredibly heartbreaking relationship, I came out on the other end with a healed heart – very intensely, like the phoenix transforms from the ashes. All of the emotional trauma from my childhood was faced, and dissolved. Throughout this journey of emotional and physical healing, I was synchronistically led to the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, as I shared in my most recent blog post (which was actually written directly before I began the Roots Apprenticeship program at VCIH).img_2986

Through attending this program, I received an incredible insight into the vast world of herbalism. I couldn’t have ever began to fathom the extent to which herbs can heal, the array of herbs that exist and the ways in which they are transformed into medicine. They can serve as medicine, without removing them from the Earth. There were a few herbs that called to me quite clearly. Self Heal, and again Tulsi. Without giving it my focus intentionally, it drew me in on a much deeper level than my previous experience. I allowed my relationship with Tulsi to grow, as I connected to it physically – I planted all of the Tulsi alongside another student, in the schools gardens. I meditated on its energy as I gently and carefully placed them in the soil. It was then, that I started to truly understand the spiritual energy of herbs. Tulsi expanded my senses to a whole new dimension of plant healing.

img_6001Now, to speak for my spiritual beliefs before I share a great deal of knowledge regarding the Tulsi plant – I do not practice the Hindu religion, but it has played an important role in my spiritual awakening. There are many parts and pieces to Hinduism that I resonate with. It is a beautiful way, and the art that encompasses its messages is incredible. Throughout my path of learning a little bit about every religion, I have found that my faith is deeply rooted in the Native Medicine Way. Through my ancestral roots, I have found that in my connection to the Earth – to nature, and the Great Spirit – I am most at home, at peace, in tune with my spirit & soul. I do however, as I said previous, have a deep reverence for Hinduism, and Buddhism alike – as they both offer an expanse of incredible insight.

In Hindu religion, Tulsi is a sacred plant that is worshipped as a representation of the goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that water mixed with the petals given to the dying raises their departing souls to heaven. Tulsi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across the Indian subcontinent as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda. This plant is revered as an elixir of life.

Tulsi, Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”, is most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi. Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी, lakṣmīˈləkʂmiː) is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. She is the wife and Shakti (energy) of Vishnu, a major god in Hinduism…Lakshmi was also a goddess of abundance and fortune for Buddhists, and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Buddhism. Lakshmi is also called Sri or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or gunas, and is the divine strength of Vishnu. In Hindu mythologies, she was born from the churning of the primordial ocean (Samudra manthan) and she chose Vishnu as her eternal consort. When Vishnu descended on the Earth as the Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi descended as his respective consort Sita (Rama’s wife) and Rukmini (Krishna’s wife). In the ancient scriptures of India, all women are declared to be embodiments of Lakshmi. The marriage and relationship between Lakshmi and Vishnu as wife and husband is the paradigm for rituals and ceremonies for the bride and groom in Hindu weddings Lakshmi is considered another aspect of the same supreme goddess principle in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism.

lakshmi

Lakshmi is depicted in Indian art as an elegantly dressed, prosperity-showering, golden-coloured woman with owl as her vehicle, signifying the importance of economic activity in maintenance of life, her ability to move, work and prevail in confusing darkness. Her four arms are symbolic of the four goals of humanity that are considered good in Hinduism – dharma (pursuit of ethical, moral life), artha (pursuit of wealth, means of life), kama (pursuit of love, emotional fulfillment) and moksha (pursuit of self-knowledge, liberation). In Lakshmi’s iconography, she is either sitting or standing on a lotus and typically carrying a lotus in one or two hands. The lotus carries symbolic meanings in Hinduism and other Indian traditions. It symbolically knowledge, self-realisation and liberation in Vedic context, and represents reality, consciousness and karma (work, deed) in the Tantra (Sahasrara) context.

The lotus, a flower that blossoms in clean or dirty water, also symbolises purity and beauty regardless of the good or bad circumstances in which its grows. It is a reminder that good and prosperity can bloom and not be affected by evil in one’s surrounding. Below, behind or on the sides, Lakshmi is sometimes shown with one or two elephants and occasionally with an owl. Elephants symbolise work, activity and strength, as well as water, rain and fertility for abundant prosperity. The owl signifies the patient striving to observe, see and discover knowledge particularly when surrounded by darkness. As a bird reputedly blinded by daylight, the owl also serves as a symbolic reminder to refrain from blindness and greed after knowledge and wealth has been acquired.

lotus-flower

In some representations, wealth either symbolically pours out from one of her hands or she simply holds a jar of money. This symbolism has a dual meaning: wealth manifested through Lakshmi means both material as well as spiritual wealth. Her face and open hands are in a mudra that signify compassion, giving or daana(charity). Lakshmi typically wears a red dress embroidered with golden threads, symbolism for beauty and wealth. She, goddess of wealth and prosperity, is often represented with her husband Vishnu, the god who maintains human life filled with justice and peace. This symbolism implies wealth and prosperity is coupled with maintenance of life, justice, and peace.

Archaeological discoveries and ancient coins suggest the recognition and reverence for Lakshmi by the 1st millennium BCE. Lakshmi’s iconography and statues have also been found in Hindu temples throughout southeast Asia, estimated to be from the second half of the 1st millennium CE. The festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima (Kojagiri Purnima) are celebrated in her honor.”

img_4784It wasn’t until I discovered Tulsi’s spiritual significance, that I fully understood why I was so connected to this plant. I have always resonated with imagery from India, since I was a young child. Elephants have been my favorite animal since I was a baby, and the owl has had an incredibly intense presence in my life for the past 7 years – people were giving me owl jewelry, trinkets, wall hangings, candle holders, mugs, you name it…then, owls began appearing outside of my bedroom windows, holding a strong presence around my physical dwellings. There were times that I would hear 5 or 6 owls in one night, all with different calls, in conversation with one another. It was unbelievable.

Then, I was led to one of the most intense relationships of my life. This man is the same person that I mentioned at the beginning of this story. This may sound ridiculous, but the truth is that fate led me to this person; we physically smashed into each other as we were moving in opposite directions around a corner at a concert. I experienced a wave of heat rush through my entire body as we started talking. Three hours later, we parted ways after speaking to one another about our lives, interests and more specifically about these images that we wanted to share with one another; photos of reflections – mine of trees in a puddle, and his of a sacred place in Guatemala (Guatemala has been coming up in conversation for me frequently over the past year from others, as well as Hawaii – two places that I plan to travel to next). This relationship ended up being one of the most transformative and most deeply vulnerable connections that I had ever taken on. It forced me to evolve and change in all of the ways in which I needed to, to take on my path as a healer – this person was literally, like a mirror. A reflection that allowed me to see the deepest pains and desires that I had within. It wasn’t until after that night when we connected, that I realized he was in a band, named ‘The Blind Owl Band’.

And to add to the synchronicities with the owl, my previous mentor asked me to start a business with him, which he had chosen to name (without any consult or conversation with me prior) ‘Owls Lair Jewelry’. I knew the owl symbolized something – but it was not yet clear to me what was true. I had heard from my grandmother that the owl was a bad omen in native american mythology, that it represented the arrival of death. From others, I heard that it was a sign of good fortune and wisdom. It wasn’t until interviewing one of my musical spiritual gurus, that I was given the insight into what the owl’s medicine truly is.

When I met and spoke with Trevor Hall, he shared a story with me that I won’t ever forget. His personal experience with owls, as he shared it with me, was so eerily similar to mine. He learned from a native woman while he was on the island of Hawaii. The medicine of the Owl, is the strength to see through illusion. He wrote an incredible song about this very subject, which you can listen to here:

This coming into my reality created a massive expansion in my awareness. If you have read my previous post, Synchronicities & Manifestations: 1111, you have a little insight into my relationship with the Lotus, and more importantly my experience with my physical vision issues – as well as how I’ve struggled with trusting my intuition, the primary reason why the ending of the relationship that I spoke of earlier was so heartbreaking. This intuition is my power, and is is what guides me to see through illusion – to see the truth, and to see through lies – to see clearly, circumstances before they unfold. Since I was young, I have native-healerexperienced this through dreams, and as I began learning about meditation I have also experienced it in several visions. It became incredibly clear to me, that this was all a part of my spiritual awakening. Along the way, an incredible book that I borrowed on a whim from Johnson State College in 2011, made its way back onto my bookshelf, 3 years later – Native Healer: Initiation Into An Ancient Art. I began reading this book, shortly before my relationship with that significant loved one ended. It stuck out to me on my bookshelf, and it couldn’t have been more properly aligned timing for me to notice it. It was through this Native Elder’s story, that I gained perspective into my calling as a spiritual warrior and a medicine woman.

The Native Medicine Way, combined with Tulsi’s role in my life, became more important than I could have ever imagined. These two sources of knowledge, were the catalysts for incredible shifts to take place within me. One mans story and one sacred herb – so much history and power. It is with great love, reverence and honor that I share this story – my personal story. I too, have found healing through the use of the Earths medicine, and through my healing will continue to heal others.

Shortly after the Roots Apprenticeship ended in November 0f 2016, I planned a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit my brother, and an old friend who owns a Medicinal Herb farm in Southern Oregon. Before departing for my trip, I was led to a Native Medicine man, by Krysta (owner of Lotus Lodge; my connection with her is explained within the same post that I mentioned a few paragraphs back).

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The Native Medicine Man who diagnosed me with Lyme’s

This medicine man helped me to discover that I have 8 strains of Lyme’s, along with 3 co-infections. Before I discovered this, I almost ended up cancelling my trip, based on a fear that my heart wouldn’t be able to handle flying on a plane. I had been experiencing intense, sharp heart pains, pressure on my chest and trouble breathing. But I went against the fear, and made the journey anyway. I didn’t know it yet, but I was experiencing Lyme Carditis (which I learned about on my trip) – this is a late stage of Lyme’s where it’s moved through all of your organ systems, into your heart. The spirochetes then begin to eat away at your heart tissue, which can eventually kill you. I also learned from a dear lover, that Lyme’s can cause MS to form in the body, which I believe I was beginning to experience early symptoms of (severe joint and muscular pain, freezing of muscles and appendages).

It wasn’t until 3 weeks into my trip, that I received the medicine that I needed to begin the herbal protocol for Lyme’s. Within two weeks of taking this medicine diligently, as well as following very specific lifestyle changes (nutrition habits: cutting out all sugar, dairy and grain) – including my diet, daily exercise, mental focus, emotional support from myself, multiple creative outlets,  and an environment that was conducive to my healing – I began to see drastic shifts. Along with the herbal remedies, I was drinking Tulsi & rose tea daily which completely relieve the heart issues. Within a month of treatment, I felt like I had a new body. I’m now nearly 3 months into a year long treatment, and feeling better in my body and mind, than I have since I was a young child.

img_2036Since I returned from Oregon, I have certainly had ups and downs – as I’m pulsing the herbs, my body kills off the bacteria and then allows it to come back, but slowly over time it is weakening it, which then creates the internal environment for a complete die-off and recovery from the Lyme’s damage. It is with great faith, that I trust and believe in the power of herbs to treat many illnesses – as I have witnessed through my own healing, how incredible each individual plant is. I share this story, to give hope to others who are struggling with physical illness. I do believe, that I was meant to get Lyme’s – that this experience has opened me up to my path as a spiritual teacher, healer & being. This has transformed my entire life, in all of the most amazing ways.

I look forward to sharing the further unfoldment of my story in one of my upcoming posts. My time spent at Lotus Lodge since I’ve returned, has led me to deep ancestral healing, physically and emotionally. In all of the lessons that I have learned, I am currently focusing on the way of right relationship – with all living beings. It has been a wildly beautiful ride, and I am blessed to be sharing it will all of the loving beings who are a part of my reality.

ᎣᏏᏲ || Osiyo

Chelsea Erin Wright

Mindfulness: Conscious Evolution

Written September 28th, 2015

I have experienced a great expansion of focus, upon the realizations that are most important for my growth as a being & individual, in this world right now. Through doing so, I have come to recognize (something that I believe happens over & over again, until it becomes a part of one’s daily experience – I’ll call it an ingrained reaction, rather than a habit) the importance and grandness of honing in on one’s ability to focus with clarity.

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A thought that is repeating itself like a small bird in my ear, to share: If what you focus upon expands, how will you choose to focus? My answer to this beautiful question, is to choose wisely – with compassion, faith & love being the underlying intentions. This notion, that our thoughts combined with the strength of our energy-spiritual, physical, mental, & emotional energy-are powerful enough to manifest our dreams, our desires – this is a very wonderful thing. This means that if you have faith and believe in yourself, and in your capabilities as an individual force of energy, that you can and will manifest what you desire. The keys to this working within your daily life lie in trusting the process, letting go of the outcome, and being true to yourself – to your heart.

A major shift, or widening in perspective must occur within oneself in order for this to become a successful way of being and experiencing within this world. One must accept and let go of the past, stop clinging to the future (obviously have a vision for what you’d like to happen, but don’t become so focused on it that you expect it and worry about it), and live in the present. To live in the present, requires conscious awareness and focus on mindful action-this means not allowing auto-pilot in the monotonous activities that everyday life presents to us as human beings, such as brushing one’s teeth, doing laundry, driving the car. All of these actions, when done with intent and focus, will become more full and truly can be joyful if the mind is focused properly. I believe one of the biggest and most important aspects of this shift in perspective, is the intention that one has-is it selfless, or selfish? Is it for the greater good, or is it only based on one’s wishes for personal gain? The intention must come from the heart – and this is a space of gratitude, for all of life. For every single living being, the earth, the people, the animals – and for all of us to co-exist within this space that has been created for us, in a healthy and cooperative way. So much change must happen in this world for that to be a reality, and I believe it can – but it truly depends on how people are choosing to focus, and this requires the conscious evolution to a mindful way of living. When this can be, people will be much happier for it won’t be a struggle to survive – the experience will be a great gratitude for being alive & being able to experience such beauty, and light that this life has to offer. It all revolves around where one’s focus lies.

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Photo provided via Google

I recently visited the North-shire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont with my mentor. When I walked in and looked around, I was slightly overwhelmed by the size of the store – but also very excited, for I’d never been in such a beautiful and large one before. So many books, and I love reading, so this was a like a treasure chest. But to find the right one would be like the needle in the haystack search, right? I meander around the whole store, and can’t seem to find the philosophy/metaphysics/spirituality sections. For a moment I thought, I should ask someone if they even exist – then I realize that they have to, this bookstore is huge. So I focus and realize that I am being impatient – I continue the search, and right around the corner tucked away like a secret cove, is a small section of all of the above and more. I spent about an hour looking for the right one, and ended up with five really amazing books. The first one that I just started is titled, ‘How to Train A Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness‘ by Jan Chozen Bays, MD. I know that someone had told me about this book in the past, can’t quite remember who it was but I am grateful for it. I started today with the first exercise, which is to use your non-dominant hand for as many things as you possibly can-brushing your teeth or hair, drinking tea, writing, etc. The idea is to practice this everyday for a week, and then move on to the next mindful change that the book has to offer – after a week, it should become ingrained in the daily motions, and if not you can go back and visit it again until it is. I am curious to see how well I can do at this. It’s all a matter of how intently attention is placed. I will share more about this as I progress through the book, based on what is most effective and helpful to my transformation.

Look back soon for more on my journey with ‘How to Train a Wild Elephant‘ through sharing of my personal writing, more on my spiritual growth, and of course my photography & silversmithing endeavors! I have much to share & am grateful for the opportunity to share it!

ᎣᏏᏲ || Osiyo

Chelsea Erin Wright

Rebirth: New Beginnings

img_1307Every year brings fresh beginnings – some unexpected, and some sought out. It can be challenging to navigate the waves of uncertainty, but once one can master riding in the flow – as well as not resisting the ebbs – it becomes like surfing. With grace and ease, the Universe provides all that is needed along one’s path of growth, one’s expansion.

I have navigated through some of the deepest & most uplifting transformations of my life over the past three months – since I traveled to and returned from Oregon, my path has been full of deep lessons, proper medicine, discipline, new experiences/relations, which has all helped me to redevelop a very keen sense of direction.

I flew to the opposite side of the country for the very first time in my life and lived in entirely unfamiliar daily situations where I had to let go of control, which taught me how to live in commune with others – to maintain my own needs and desires, while also tending and being sensitive to that of those around me – to do so in a way that felt good, with a reciprocal energy exchange. This put me into an environment where I was forced to become deeply silent within my self, and to do this whilst being  surrounded by others. This allowed for me to find deep truth about my home life, my daily life and my future. I finally, after years of seeking, learned what my illness was – how to beat the Lyme’s that has tried to take over my body – and I learned how to tame my mental, emotional & spiritual bodies, to align with my physical bodies sense of well-being. This brought great shifts – greater than anything I could’ve ever imagined.

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Upon returning to Vermont, the depth continued to unfold. I spent a lot of time at one of my favorite places, the Lotus Lodge. I was gifted by a new friend, a full body massage which expelled repressed trauma that had been stored within my muscles for a very long time. I received the same gift by a dear friend while I was in Oregon, right before beginning my Lyme’s treatment and spending a month working/in retreat on the farm – this massage was incredibly healing energetically, emotionally and spiritually (primarily, but of course physically as well) – while the one in Vermont was healing on the next level of depth, physically. The body work helped me to release a lot of old energetic ties, as well as deep grief that I had trouble accessing on my own. It is incredible to received guidance on one’s healing path, from others. I felt that this body work unbound me, pushing me into my power, allowing me to shine brighter than I have in some time.

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Following my incredible physical healing, I was able to return to my family as a clear channel of positivity & communication. Instead of the old triggers bringing me down to a lower vibration, I was able to interact and speak my truth within the family environment, without reaction.

I then took photos, worked for and experienced the ‘Winter Medicine Women’s Healing Retreat’ that was hosted at Lotus Lodge. The four days that I was there, I experienced deep connection to community – something I’ve always longed for, growing up in a place where this was not available – and the deepest healing that I’ve gone through yet in my life. I had a spontaneous healing ritual with two other women, in which I was able to connect fully to Great Spirit, Grandmother & Grandfather. I felt my divine feminine and masculine unite, moving waves of healing energy throughout my entire being. I was able to pray in a good, good way, while becoming a vessel for the healing energy of our ancestors to pour through me – in my connection to the Earth, to the cosmos, to all of my relations. And now I move forward in learning how to be an open vessel, to bring forth this healing energy in ceremony.IMG_1783.JPG

My perception was broken wide-open, I was willing to receive the guidance and I now have a clear direction of my path which feels most in alignment. When we allow, the alignment falls in to place. This is when we begin to see the synchronicities occurring again – the signs & coincidences that remind us of where we are. It requires letting go, proper discernment and devoted attention to our inner truth. It is through this devotion that we will manifest our own realities as we wish them to be – with pure heart-based intention, with our ability to let go of the fruits of our labor, with dedication to our dharma (life’s purpose).

This is my first blog post on the website that I am starting from scratch – I just learned several days ago that my entire photography site was corrupted. At first I was upset, and immediately after allowing that emotion to flow through me, I was able to let go. With a little help from my brothers, I was able to shift my perspective on the circumstances. I am able to see this as an opportunity to start fresh – as a rebirth of my artistic palette. I am going to focus with clarity on what I desire to share with the world.

img_1258I am incredibly excited for all that awaits, for the beautiful reality that I am manifesting for myself, with and for others who wish to dance this dance with me in this beautiful life opportunity! Stay tuned for some beautiful insights through my blog, as well as updates on what I’ve been up to artistically!

ᎣᏏᏲ || Osiyo