Who would you like to share a meal with?

At 9:15 this morning I made myself a second breakfast for no other reason than that I was hungry. The smoothie I had blended two hours earlier had already left my stomach, and it didn’t matter that there was no one else in the house to cook for (unless you count the always eager dogs). Actually, it made the idea somehow more appealing. I had the freedom to make whatever I desired. Denise and Meadow Linn’s cookbook was already sitting on the counter, and instead of grabbing the fast-fix of an apple or hummus and multigrain chips, I flipped through the pages of the Mystic Cookbook.

I stopped at “Super Hero Pancakes,” and began gathering ingredients. Instead of melting coconut oil in the microwave, I scooped it into the cast iron pan (as they suggested) and watched it infuse the air with the energy of the tropics. I squeezed fresh lemon into the almond milk and stirred the egg in a ramekin before I whisked the liquids together. For a brief moment I rued my lack of spice grinder to mill fresh wild rice flour, but told myself an equal amount of brown rice flour would do just fine. And, it did.

The alchemy of food
The alchemy of food

Again I relished the alchemy of mixing, whisking this time the dry with the wet, until I was satisfied with the results. No need to worry about over doing it, everything was gluten-free. The cast iron sang when I poured circles of batter into its well-oiled surface. The creamy fluid spread, and I layered more on top, then watched as tiny bubbles surfaced from my pancakes. The second side always cooks faster, and I gathered my fork, one of my daughter’s fancy plates, maple syrup, and poured a mug of chamomile tea.

My Second Breakfast
My Second Breakfast

I dined in perfect peace, savoring the meal I had created for myself, while thinking about who I would choose to share my meal with if presented with the choice. I thought about how most of the more conventionally popular choices didn’t interest me. I wanted to dine with Denise and Meadow Linn. Especially Denise. Don’t get me wrong, I think both mother and daughter are fabulous, and both share that unique energy of pure, humbled, yet strong spirit, but my soul craves the sacred mother-energy that Denise embodies.

So, as I ate, I imagined the warmth of Denise’s beautiful soul filling the space of my home and blessing the food she had helped me to create with purpose, love and intention. I imagined the conversation we would share over our meal, and the joy that would infuse the space inside my home. And I smiled and ate my second breakfast.

An emptied plate beside a full heart
An emptied plate beside a full heart

 

The Wounded Healer

The tag on my tea yesterday read “Be Heard,” but let’s start back at that mountain from two nights ago. Part of me hoped I was done releasing, at least for awhile, after I woke on the morning of the March 11th. I had, after all, opened a door to let out the trapped energy of  fear. Naturally, when you go through a doorway (note the significance that this dream occurred early in the morning on the 11th), you need to deal with what’s inside. We never know quite what we’ll meet, or how long it will take to go through what we find.

So begins the journey that started with a single crow, perhaps the largest one I have ever seen, perched high in its glossy black cloak atop a bare tree as though waiting for me to pass by on my morning walk. The crow calls us to enter the darkness we hold inside, and through doing so create light from the shadows. It is a messenger of magic and the divine feminine energies that reside in all of us. There was one crow, I knew the job was mine alone.

Then the robin appeared beneath my apple tree, pecking the frozen ground to pull a treasure from the snow. The single crow, followed by the single robin, a messenger of spring, renewal and the birth, or rebirth, of one’s truth with its sky-blue eggs, told me this new phase was only just beginning.

I won’t deny that I had been feeling it. For the past few days I have literally felt as though I were pregnant. My lower abdomen felt achy and crampy, as women’s bellies often do in the early stages of pregnancy as the womb begins to adjust to new life. My lower chakras were, and still are, adjusting to that freed-up energy from two mornings ago. In fact, my entire body felt achy and tired.

The next night, after I dreamed of the mountain, I experienced a night of fitful sleep. I can’t tell you where I went in most of my dreams, my only memory of the first half of the night was waking to the message, healing, healing being played over and over inside my mind each time I woke before falling back into a restless slumber.

One dream, occurring again in the early hours of the morning, stayed with me. I was at Bowdoin, where I went to college. It’s perhaps worth noting that I last, physically, returned to Bowdoin for a reunion in the summer of 2011 (a doorway year). Right before, and during the time of the reunion, I came down with walking pneumonia and was quite ill, fatigued and feverish while I was back on campus with my family and the two friends I had stayed in touch with.

Can it be a coincidence that I dreamt of Bowdoin on the night of the 11th/12th? In my dream I was searching for comfort and peace, a space to freely express my truth, much like I had during my college years. I found myself in a dormitory with cluttered and dirty carpets, beyond which was a long room with a pristine polished wooden floor and organized, uncluttered furniture, but I needed to find a way to clean up the space I was in in order to get there. I walked into a large kitchen, like I had the night before on the mountain, only this time the cook opened an oven to reveal a large, pink, roasting pig. I was hungry, but this meal was not being cooked for me. Something was holding me back from partaking in the succulent feast that was being prepared.

Yesterday morning brought more fatigue and that strange pregnant feeling in my lower abdomen. I chose an Echinacea tea, and as I sat down to sip it, read the words “Be Heard” on the end of the string resting against my mug. Now, to be fair, Spirit had been trying to prepare me for this healing and release phase for quite some time. For weeks the repetition of signs kept appearing in various forms.

In her book The Hidden Power of Dreams, Denise Linn writes about learning to pay attention to messages that come in sets of threes, in particular. I had been seeing the number 3 for days, and had recently done 3 tarot readings for fellow healers/lightworkers that were eerily similar. Each querent, it became revealed, was, or had recently been dealing with, trapped fears in their lower 3 chakras. There was energy calling for, or being released in all cases. Denise Linn also tells her readers that the wounded healer draws to her what needs to be healed within herself, thus by healing this energy in others, she also heals herself. I have found this to be true in my own healing practice.

Now I’ll take you to last night. Although I was tired, I had trouble falling asleep. Perhaps it was the selenite crystal I had moved from the vanity beside the window and activated for dream healing before I went to bed. It had been a bold experiment. I had never before activated a selenite for dream work and placed it beside my bed.

I fell asleep sometime between midnight and 1:00 p.m., when I woke abruptly with my dream-voice calling for help, and filled with desperate fright. The dream began on the side of a road near my house. I was walking up a hill on my way home with my two dogs on leash beside me. Several construction/plow trucks were passing by on the left side of the road, I was on the right (the logical side of our bodies).  To prevent my dogs from attacking the trucks, I pulled the 3 of us over an embankment. Suddenly, I was struggling to hold on to the dogs, which were both orange in my dream, and the earth, so as not to fall down the steep ravine below.

Before I jump ahead to where I next found myself, let me draw your attention, as I did mine, to the time during which this dream occurred. Linn states in her book that the hours of 11 p.m to 1 a.m. are the gallbladder time according to the ancient Chinese clock. It is a time where we deal with unresolved, outwardly directed anger and test our courage.

After dangling from that cliff with my two, “loyal” dogs, I found myself home, inside what I knew to be my house (it appeared differently in the dream) with my family. I looked out the window and saw fire trucks and media vans pulling up the hill beside my home (again on the right side of me), and noticed a large white barn that was about to catch fire from my burning neighbor’s house.

I turned into rescue-mode and began gathering clothes, which are often symbolic of our outward appearances/coverings that hide our true selves, and blankets to bring over to help out. (Years ago I witnessed a fire in a neighboring apartment building and gathered clothing, etc. to donate). My husband went outside to investigate and I told my children to start getting ready for bed. Suddenly, our house turned into a Red Cross van (an overt symbol for healing, and since a vehicle often represents our bodies, this could be interrupted as a call for self-healing) and I could not get “upstairs” to my children, because there was no longer an upstairs, but a small, unreachable set of windows above me.

I began to panic, and looked out a lower window where I saw my husband on the hillside axing what I knew to be the remains of our house, which was what had actually burned. He was standing before a large pile in the shape of a teepee (I lived in a tepee for several months as a child), containing the  stacked remains of what we owned, encased in some of my shirts. One shirt, which was purple and stiff like it had been starched, stood out in particular. In her book Linn notes that an ax can be symbolic of the “fear of loss” and “cutting away that which isn’t needed.”

As I watched my husband, I could feel his devastation and anger. He was, like most people in our dreams, symbolic of my own shadowed fear. In the middle of the pile I knew was my old white computer, which contained all my work and writing. My manuscript, not yet published, was lost in the middle.

Along with the fear of losing my belongings and my creative work, I was now worried about our pets that I knew must have perished. I was filled with grief and helpless frustration. Yet, next to my husband, and the rubble of our house, there was a new, unfinished house wrapped extensively with plastic that was our new, unfinished home. Still, I was ravaged by my grief brought on by this fire, and woke to my struggle to express my emotions at 1 a.m. My body was feverish, my stomach upset, and the side of my big toe on my right foot was aching, an area associated with the throat and the thyroid. The word “mother” popped into my head.

It took me a long time to get back to sleep in those early morning hours as I thought about my dream and what it meant for me, trying to shed the fears it brought up as I did so. The sleep that came after was deep and restorative, I can’t tell you where I went, I don’t remember, but I woke without aches.

Again, I hoped I was done with the healing and release, but Spirit wasn’t quite finished with me. As if to make sure I’d gotten the message, the first part of my dream played out in the morning in slightly different form. I gathered up the dogs, as I always do on school days, and walked with my children and husband down the driveway to await the bus. I only made it half-way. Rosy, my orange-and-white dog, decided to lunge suddenly at a small animal, likely a cat or squirrel, pulling me in the process over an embankment of snow beside the driveway. I fell backwards and landed, not too graciously, on my right hand. It was a painful experience, to say the least.

Can you guess what I broke? My right, middle finger. The finger that holds our fire energy, which we house in our lower chakras. Message received!

The Mountain

It started with a clogged drain. I was cleaning the bathrooms in my house yesterday and pulled up the plastic plug that collects hair in the shower of the master bathroom. The shower is as old as the house, its narrow walls are an avocado green and its milky glass doors bordered in gold. It’s one of the few fixtures in our home we have not changed since we moved in 6 and 1/2 years ago.

The shower drain was not clogged enough to stop the flow of water, in fact it had shown no previous signs of being clogged. Yet, my eye was drawn to a black mass of residue that clung to the side of the pipe and I pulled it free in one satisfying handful. I thought the job was accomplished, but it wasn’t. As I turned on the water and started cleaning the residue from the floor of the shower, I discovered the water was collecting in a pool. By unclogging a pipe that had been allowing the flow of water before, I had somehow managed to create another clog. There was something in there, older, deeper, that needed to be released.

Now let me take you to the mountain I climbed in my dreams last night. Actually, I wasn’t climbing the mountain, I was riding up it with my husband on a chairlift. It was near the close of the day and we decided to take this lift up to the summit that we had never before noticed. The chairlift was all the way over on the far left-side of the mountain and it let to a lodge where you could spend the night.

This was something we were considering, as we were riding up the lift. Whether to spend the night in one of the pod-like rooms that we were fairly rapidly approaching as we ascended the mountain. Then I noticed the lift beside us with people we knew who were making their way up the mountain too, only faster. I found myself envying their speed. Why was their lift going faster than ours?

We arrived at the summit to spectacular views. The view was unimpeded, the only clouds, wispy and light high in a clear blue sky. We could see for miles, the undulating terrain spread around us like a feast of the eyes. To get onto the ground, it seemed we had to de-board from a large ship that was suddenly nestled tightly in the middle of a pond at the mountain peak. We were inside, along with several other passengers and the boat kept turning and bumping into the walls of the earth that held the pond.

Although I was still held inside the boat, I was given a view of the brow of the boat. It was solid, high and strong. The metal structure was painted white and there was a section that jutted out slightly in the shape of a triangle pointed downward. As I watched this close-up image that I clearly needed to see, the triangular structure opened like a plank, and I knew this was how we were going to get out of the boat.

I found myself on the top of the mountain, now inside a beautiful kitchen where delicious meals were being prepared for the travelers. For some time, I stood and watched, taking in my surroundings with all of my senses. Then, suddenly, I felt the urge to eliminate the waste held inside my bowels. I ran down the stairs where I knew the bathroom to be held, and as I ran I found that I was wearing only a white nightshirt. A long white cord descended from beneath the cloth and I pulled it, releasing a plug in the form of a tampon partially covered with old blood. Now I had that to get rid of, as well as the feces that were ready to be released.

As I was entering the basement room, I knew already what I would find. Of coursemore open stalls without doors, like in most of my dreams, I said to myself. Here was the turning point. The moment when I decided I had had enough. I searched the wall and found a container for the tampon and shut it inside. I looked at the floor that was now devoid of toilets and decided I would eliminate the waste I was holding inside of me and find a way to deal with it afterward. I was not going to let fear win, no matter what tricks it decided to deal out.

So I manifested a drain inside of my dream, which opened into the floor, waiting for me to wash my waste away. It snapped shut, and the job was done. I had found a way to be free of what I no longer needed. I had changed the circumstances of a legacy of feeling trapped and helpless, which has for many years manifested into infuriating bathroom dreams.

As I usually do, when I woke I returned to the scenes of my dream and started exploring their messages. I believe, as Denise Linn states in her book The Hidden Power of Dreams (incidentally I had just read this passage earlier in the day), that “Every day, in every way, the universe is trying to tell you something, just as your dreams are attempting to give you messages during the night.” (pg. 166)

Linn points out that we’re given these messages in the form of various symbols until we accept them. The clogged shower drain, I knew before I went to sleep, had not been coincidental. I could feel the sluggish energy from the old fears that were clogging my first and second chakras. This is where we often hold many of our deepest, oldest fears, as well as our creative and sexual energies. I knew I was being called to work through and release, to free the plugs, so to speak, that were holding me back.

Back to the mountain, that majestic symbol of spiritual transformation, at least when one is traveling up, which I was. I couldn’t over-look the other chairlift though, which was bringing people I knew faster to the summit. I couldn’t overlook the fear that I often feel like I’m not “getting there” fast enough. I’m an impatient soul, after all.

The voyage, which really wasn’t so long, was worth it. The summit so high, opened to glorious views. First I had to find my way out of the trapped waters of emotion and creation. I needed to find a way off that large ship that kept bumping into the walls of earth, so I could get to that beautiful kitchen where alchemy was being created in the form of cooking.

Spirit showed me the door, which blatantly revealed itself in the form of the upside-down triangle, symbolic of female genitalia and the sacred feminine wisdom of creation we house within our second chakra. The triangle opened, and I was free. Well, sort-of, I still needed to pull and release those two clogs that were trapping the free-flow of life-force energy inside of me. They were old, tired plugs, long stuck, and it was clearly time to let them go.

The only thing holding us back from living our complete, creative, sensuous divine selves, is the fear we trap inside of us. We can learn, as Denise Linn talks about in her book, and as I demonstrated last night, to work with our dreams to release these fears. My dream-self made the decision to step inside that fear and actively release it. I became an active participant in my own dream and changed the ending I was tired of having. I freed the fear that wanted to stay inside.

Healing A Body of Memories Meditation

Lie down and close your eyes. Take three deep belly breaths and relax into the space your are in. Now, through your mind’s eye, go inside your body. What do you feel? What do you remember?

If you have an ache or pain, whether it is chronic or acute, what is it telling you? You are relaxed and lying down, yet your body may hold a pain from the past.

Our bodies hold onto our aches and our pains until we are ready to heal them, or release them. Sometimes we hold them for many lifetimes. Do you have a birthmark or unexplainable scar or blemish on your skin that you’ve had all of your life? Chances are your body has retained this imprint from a traumatic past life that has yet to be healed.

My friend Karen Kubicko writes about birthmarks on her blog, and shows us that when we heal the trapped emotions that result from a past life trauma, our body responds by releasing the imprint, or birthmark left-over. Denise Linn also explores this concept in your book Past Lives, Present Miracles.

Even if you don’t believe in past lives, or are not yet ready to explore them for yourself, you can heal the trapped fears in your body from this lifetime. We heal when we are ready to release a fear, and often our bodies will tell us when we are ready by expressing discomfort or pain.

As some of my readers know, I began to heal my body of memories out of shear desperation. For two long and painful years, I endured the side-effects of IBS. No doctor could tell me the cause or the cure, I had to go within to heal a belly that had trapped fear for as long as I could remember.

When I wrote my memoir, A Girl Named Truth, I started peeling away the memories hidden within my body. My earliest memory, I discovered, was created when I was 2 yrs. old. Sitting on my Grammy’s sofa with my sister and cousin, listening to my parents fight outside the window, I discovered the pounding beat of fear that pushes the heart towards bursting, yet stills the body into silence.

The memories came back to me over the course of the next two years, and as I wrote, I began to heal. I discovered patterns. Oh, so many patterns! As I wrote my story, I realized I had a often taken on the role of the silent victim who hides her voice. We attract what we hold inside, and I held a lot of fear in the form of guilt, low self-worth and being afraid to speak my truth. I trapped my fears in my stomach and in my throat. I trapped them in my neck and in my shoulders. They’re still coming to the surface to be healed.

I healed my IBS symptoms over night, after I made the deep, soul-level decision that I would listen to my heart and become a writer. Yet, the IBS itself was a form of healing the memories trapped inside my body. For those two, exhausting years, my body worked to shed the fear and anger I had held dormant inside of me. My body, you could say, had literally reached its carry capacity. It had to heal, or succumb to a worse fate.

These layers inside of me go back to many past lives, which, like my present life memories, have a way of surfacing when I’m ready to face them and heal them. When I decided to work on my throat chakra, where my body trapped my “voice,” and as a result, developed thyroid disease, past-life memories began to emerge. At the same time, I met my animal totem/spirit guide Eagle.

The first image that came to me occurred while I was meditating outside beside my swimming pool about 4 years ago. I saw an image of a young man bound and suffering in a darkened room. Deep within my cells, the memory that this man was me surfaced. Then Eagle appeared, full of power and urgency, with an over-large orange beak moving silent words at the base of my throat. The pattern of repressed truth and victim-hood, I realized through that mediation, was carried over from past lifetimes. It was time to speak. It was time to heal.

Just as our fears can come in many forms, so too can the way they imprint upon our bodies. Quite often there are patterns to the way they nestle inside the folds of our tissues. A silenced voice can results in thyroid cancer or disease, trapped anger and fear frequently takes the form of the vaguely diagnosed ailment of IBS, Crohn’s disease or other intestinal ailments. Allowing others to disempower us can result in chronic lower back pain, while upper back, shoulder and neck pain can be a side-effect of the tendency to take on too much stress (much of which is not ours to take on).

When you explore those places within you that are calling for healing, see if you can find out what fears are trapped there. Allow your mind to be open to recalling the memories associated with those fears, whether they are from this life, or a life that has already passed.

Healing can also occur through many forms. It can happen when you reclaim the power that you have too freely given away, allowing yourself to pursue a passion that always resided inside of you, but were afraid to express. It can occur by going back to the source of the pain and shifting the energy there from fear to light. Sometimes an energy healer (through the various modalities they work with), can help you release and shift this energy to light, but you can often do this yourself. Going into that memory and flooding it with the light of love and forgiveness can heal the trapped pain, as well as changing the circumstances of the actual memory.

Both Karen and Denise speak to these ideas in their books/blogs, but I will give you an example of how you can work with this approach. My fears often surface during the night in the form of dreams. Lately, I’ve been using them as tools for healing. Sometimes, when I am “aware” enough, I enter the dream while I am still in it, and heal the energy around it. I switch from a victim to an empowered character within the actual dream, for example. If I am unable to do this while the dream is occurring, I do it when I wake from it. In my “imagination” I go back inside the dream and change the events and the outcomes, shifting the energy from fear to empowerment and love. Sometimes, I don’t just change my character, but those affecting me. I make them amicable and friendly, if they are hostile, and I shower the scene with love.

If you are interested in this form of healing, I urge you to explore the writings of Denise and Karen, who have both done extensive work and exploration into past lives. You may find that the more you do to heal your trapped fears, the more this healing extends to others. I am recalling an example from Denise Linn, who tells the story of a woman who healed her son’s speech impediment after revisiting and healing a past life they shared together.  It’s a beautiful act of self love to heal your body’s fears, and often that healing, whether we are aware of it or not, extends to others. The energy that moves through us is, after all, shared with everyone else.

The Hidden Mysteries of the Parrotfish

parrot fish
Have you ever really wondered who you are and why you are here in this body, at this time? Deep inside the memory of your cells, and within the door of your heart, your answers to who you are can be found, but how do you get there? How do you unlock lifetimes of memories and wisdom? How can you find your Truth?

One night last week I entered the realm of dreams while visions of ancient Egypt played with the gods inside the garden of my mind.There was Horus with his maddening blue eye, Isis mixing magic, Ma’at with her feather of Truth, and Sekhmet, the warrior goddess holding the ankh and her secrets to heal.

I had recently finished reading Sue Vincent’s The Osiriadand had just begun Denise Linn’s Past Lives, Present MiraclesIn a shadowed corner inside my mind, amid the play of gods, I searched for myself and saw a woman bent towards the ground, drawing a story in pictures. Stand up, I begged her, Show me who you are. Tell me your secrets.

The last image I can recall before I succumbed to sleep, was of an ancient oak tree. I was traveling down its trunk into the heart of Earth. I can’t tell you were I went, only that I met a parrotfish. One, stubborn image that stayed inside my brain after waking.

There was a part of me that found it rather funny and, well, random that I had dreamed of a parrotfish. It seemed completely nonsensical and unrelated to my night musings. I had, after all, never before given the parrotfish much thought. I only vaguely knew what it was.

But, I’m not much of a believer in random signs, especially a sign that had stuck so stubbornly inside my mind. It was, of course, a messenger from Spirit. I just needed to figure out what it was trying to tell me. So, I opened the computer, and did some research, while Sue (yes, Vincent), quietly nudged me along across the ocean.

While I silently thanked God for my friend who doesn’t appear to think I’m crazy, and happens to possess a wealth of esoteric knowledge, I decided to explore the messages of my colorful messenger. While Sue wrote about polarity and the “surrender of self,” I thought about a fish that has the ability to change gender, color and size.

The parrotfish is, you could say, a shapeshifter, having the ability to adapt and transform to its changing environment. It is, in essence, neither wholly male nor female, but able to harness the universal yin/yang, masculine/feminine energies we all have within us, at will. The parrot fish also wears the colors of the rainbow, the pattern and hues displayed subject to change throughout its lifetime, like a chameleon of the sea.

The parrotfish, although residing in the warm waters of the tropics, is also connected to the element of air and land. Named after the parrot for its colorful scales that resemble the tropical bird for which it is named, the parrotfish also sports a mouthful of impressive teeth that are shaped like a beak, as well as a second set inside its throat.

The more I read about this remarkable fish, the more my head swirled with symbolism. Here I was trying to evoke the memories of a distant past life I had led in ancient Egypt as a woman scribe, and it seems Spirit had scent me the parrotfish. It was a lot to digest.

Later in the morning, a dam inside of me broke and the waters of my emotions spilled from my eyes. I sat in my blue living room and looked up on my wall, noticing for the first time that the Chinese checker board my late grandfather had carved into wood was actually two interlocking triangles, the hexagram, a symbol that Sue explores in-depth with her coauthor Dr. G. Michael Vasey in their book The Mystical Hexagram.  As I gazed upon this beautiful representation of united polarity, this union of opposites, I felt a peace settle over me.  I knew in that middle space, I would find my Truth. Or, to put it another way, the Truth was already there, unfolding like the roses etched into the corners of the square.

My Grandfather's Chinese Checker Board
My Grandfather’s Chinese Checker Board

If you happen to encounter the parrotfish as a messenger, consider asking yourself these questions: Is there something you are hiding within that seeks to be found? Are the energies within you in need of balance, or are you being called to express more of your inner yin or yang? Are you comfortable speaking (and digesting) your Truth, or is a fear holding you back? Are you expressing your true, colorful self and your innate talents? Is there an alchemist inside of you waiting to be born?

The parrotfish calls us to balance the energies within us. To connect the elements of air and water and bring forth our creative gifts into this reality. It calls us to fully and fearlessly express our true selves. This beautiful being reminds us that we are more that what we appear to be on the surface, and that our true mysteries lie within, waiting to be expressed.

Not Just a Name

Have you ever thought about why you have the name you do? What does your name mean to you on a personal level? Does it feel right? Does it resonate from a deep place of truth within you? How did you get your name?

Some people believe, myself included, that we choose our names before we are born. As we review the life we wish to experience before we incarnate, we select the name that will resonate with the energy we wish to embody or experience. Sometimes, as Denise Linn observes in her book Past Lives, Present Miracles, we are named after a particular person because we have a  karmic connection to him or her, and often our names can often link us back to a geographic location where we had a significant past life.

When I was a child, my mother told me that my name, Alethea, came from a book. When I was 36, my birthfather told me a different story, I story that I know believe to be true. In the year of my birth, the TV series Kung Fu featured an episode with Jodi Foster called “Alethea.” The wealth of symbolism in this episode is, for me, too significant to be mere coincidence.

Despite the phonetic spelling of my name, my parents always called me Aletha. Aletha, from what I have found, has connections to England, a land where I enjoyed a very happy past life as a writer. Is it an accident that my parents chose to over-look that second e? Without the second e, the meaning of the name changes from truth to truthful.

As a young child, I felt bound by, and intensely bonded to, my name. On the one hand, I loved it. I thought it had a beautiful ancient strength in its sound. Alethea reminded me of Greek goddesses and the wonderfully mythology that fascinated me from a young age. It also constantly reminded me of  the concept of “truth.”

My name felt like a stamp on my soul. It still does. My obsession with my name and its meaning of truth would often cause great conflict and turmoil within me. If I felt a compulsion to lie or cheat in anyway, I would have a visceral reaction compounded by an over-whelming sense of guilt.  When I knew someone was lying or being deceitful with me, I would have an equally strong reaction. Truth, it seemed, was a vital piece of my being. It never left me wherever I went, whatever I did.

Although I didn’t realize the soul significance at the time, I had many encounters where truth was subverted or hid during my childhood. I was told secrets and stories by my family and friends I was not allowed to share, secrets and stories that I sometimes realized were not grounded in “truth.” Yet I clung to their truths until the pain from harboring them became too much. My body literally could not take it.

Deep within, there was the ever-present soul truth yearning to be free. In college, I became enthralled with Keats’ odes, in particular “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” For my honor’s thesis, I chose the young poet, who, like myself, seemed obsessed with the idea of truth.

Truth haunted me with each life stage. If you have been following my writing, you will know that I wrote a memoir (not yet published), called A Girl Named Truth and named my healing business Inner Truth Healing. Truth is always inserting its presence in my life.

When I decided to write my book manuscript as nonfiction instead of fiction, A Girl Named Truth was the first and only title I considered. It felt destined. I started healing my truth when I began writing this book, and by the time I was finished, I knew I needed to use my experience and gifts to help others heal.

I no longer view circumstances in life as coincidences or random occurrences. I believe the Source behind all life has a wonderful, vastly intelligent, way of weaving a tapestry of deliberate scenes for us to personally experience and learn from. No character or event is irrelevant.

When you look at life this way, circumstances become more, and less, personal. For example, what I used to consider unfair personal attacks on my being, I can now look at as learning experiences designed for both me, and the other individuals involved.

In Past Lives, Present Miracles, Denise Linn also writes of the significance of nicknames. When I was a child, my paternal grandmother, with whom I had a strained relationship with due to my parents’ divorce, used to call me “Leethie.” This nickname, as you may have noted, is similar to the world Lethe, which also has Greek origins. For those unfamiliar with the word, Lethe is the name of the goddess and river of the underworld in Greek mythology. The River Lethe is also called the River of Forgetfulness, from which the dead drink in order to forget their earthly life.

You could say I never drank from that river. My sister often remarks on my ability to remember life events that she has forgotten, even though she is older than I am. It’s almost as though I refuse to forget. I believe it’s significant that only my grandmother called me by this nickname. The year I turned 14, the last time I saw her, I felt as though she had forgotten me.

I didn’t have many nicknames as a child. Most friends and family simply called me Aletha, never choosing to shorten it more, and I never insisted upon being called by any other name. On the other hand, I hated, yes hated, my middle name, so much so I tried to hide it. According to my mother, by my birthfather insisted on giving me the middle name Eamon because, if after I was born, he still wanted me to be a boy.

Eamon was the name I tried desperately to hide, which I did until it appearned on the program when I graduated 6th grade. The name Eamon has Gaelic and Old English origins. Perhaps its not a coincidence that I have always been drawn to the Emerald Isle, as well as England. The slightly differing translations of the name all center around the theme of protection and  defending. As noted above, I tried desperately to protect my family’s truths for many, many years. I also defended their truths at the expense of sacrificing my own.

According to this site: http://www.sheknows.com, people with the name Eamon are creative, often writers, and are drawn to beauty in their lives. It took me a long time to let the writer inside me out, but before I did, I traded in the name Eamon for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, chosen when I was 18 by me and my mother, is the named share with my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother. The name Elizabeth also has Greek origins, and can be loosely translated to “I am God’s daughter.” When I ceased being a protector of my family’s secrets, I also found my spiritual self.

So, even if you don’t love a name you were given at birth, it may be worth doing some research into how it was chosen for you and what it means. The more we explore the origins of our names, the closer we can get to our own personal truths.

The Number 5

When the number 5 comes into my life, whether in dreams, a memory, or as a number that appears throughout a particular day, I think of self-empowerment, independence and the “free soul” (as Denise Linn refers to the number in her book, The Hidden Power of Dreams). When I think of the number 5, the color blue comes to mind: the color of the throat chakra, self-expresison and inner truth.

The number 5, of course, also represents a physical age. When we are 5, we are, ideally, just coming into the expression of our independence and personal truths. By the age of 5, most of us are able to feed ourselves, tie our own shoes, go to school, and express our minds with clarity and conviction. A 5 yr. old child is still close enough to the world of spirit to remember, to believe and to see.

When one wishes to heal and reclaim his or her Inner Truth, it is often beneficial, if not essential, to reclaim the inner child. I have found that the age of 5 is a good place to start. There have been many events, and numbers in the form of ages, that have been essential to my own life journey, and for the healing of my inner truth, but I can think of none more important than 5. Let me share a snapshot of this child who still lives inside of me.

Picture, if you will, a pretty little girl with deep blue eyes and wavy hair the color of ripened wheat resting past her shoulders. She has the round cheeks of a baby and a dimple on her chin, and, sometimes, she has a smile that lights up her face. The little girl, Alethea, has just moved to Henniker, NH with her  mother, older sister, and a man who is trying to replace the father she has left behind in Oregon.

Alethea loves playing with her dolls and her two cats. She loves her best friend in kindergarten with the soft brown eyes and curls, her sister and her mother, but she’s not sure she loves her new father. Alethea misses her small white house in Portland with its TV and indoor toilet. She misses her friends and her grandparents, but she knows she is not supposed to miss the father they left behind.

The little girl knows inside her heart that fairies play under the clusters of star flowers, but she has already forgotten how to see them. The magic of her world is fading quickly, being replaced by fear, secrets and doubt. By the time she turns 6, Alethea forgets she has her own voice.

This 5 year old child, in many ways, shaped the woman I became. She is the little girl I see when I need to heal my inner child. The more I heal, the more radiant she becomes. Now, instead of a  small child hovering inside the shadows of doubt and fear, I see a magnificent little girl full of joy and love. She sparkles with possiblity. She sings with the clear voice of her truth.

Reclaiming the “free soul,” is a journey of many steps. Sometimes when one aspect is healed, another appears to take its place, reaching with desperate hands for light. Healing can come in many forms. Writing is one of them. If you want to learn who you are, a good place to start is by rediscovering who you were at 5.  Write down everything your remember. Write what you loved. Write what you feared. Write your sorrows. Your joys. Write what you believed in. Write your truth.