Standing Rock: Answering the Call

In the conscious haze before sleep, Raven Woman takes me by the hand and leads me to a beautiful vestige.  We stand on the bluff overlooking a distant encampment – I smile, knowing I’ve returned to my home.  I am at peace as I survey my surroundings.  Standing to my left is a familiar Native American elder – he is weathered, proud and full of sacred knowing; he is concerned but not afraid; but, more than these, he is relieved I have found my way back to this place – to him.  For a moment, I step out of my body and catch a glimpse of these two old friends from a distance – the older wizened chief & and the even older crone.  He acknowledges me with respect and a question in his eyes – a question he never asks but plainly states.  He explains his people are sick and tired – they need healing so they may continue their fight.  I nod my understanding and say I will come.  As I am making this promise, I awake into the present knowing I have been called to help the people – my people.

I experience the familiar tingly rush that follows a spiritual encounter.  The feeling washes over me and settles into my being as fear.  Crap – there is no denying what this means. Yet, I try.  I try to deny it.  I try to interpret for hidden meanings all the while knowing I have to go.  My weathered friend comes to me several times over the next months with the same request. I try to appease him with distance healings even though I know more is being asked of me – more is required.  During a sacred ceremony he comes and crowds the space around me.  He sternly exclaims “it is time to stand!  It is time to get up now!” and I can no longer pretend I don’t know what to do.  I have to listen to the call.  I have to travel to Standing Rock.

And still, I drag my feet.  I deliberate as the weather turns colder.  I have every manner of excuse.  And the whole time I know I just really need to stop making excuses.  I need to set the fear aside and move into action.  I need to realize I am worthy, I am skilled, I am full of spiritual gifts and power – even though I am white.  And there it is.  An unknown fear & hang-up appears.  I am white.  Huh…I am white.  I let this obvious truth settle within and realize I have to come to terms with the race & heritage I represent in this lifetime.  I have to come to terms with the guilt I feel for the color of my skin.  And I begin to wonder if THIS is part of the call – the need to heal from guilt and shame.

I acknowledge the shame I carry and move toward an understanding and acceptance of my whiteness.  I tell myself I have to be able to accept this without apology – especially, within and for myself.  I am reduced to tears many times in the days and weeks that lead to my departure. At some point I am reminded of the Rainbow Warrior prophecy and the validity I feel calms my Spirit.  I am reassured that I will be recognized by those who follow traditional ways.

When the Time of the White Buffalo approaches, the third generation of the White Eyes’ children will grow their hair and speak of love as the healer of the Children of the Earth. These children will seek new ways of understanding themselves and others. They will wear feathers and beads and paint their faces. They will seek the Elders of the Red Race and drink of their wisdom. These white-eyed children will be a sign that the Ancestors are returning in white bodies, but they are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again and reform the idea of the white chiefs. These children will be tested as they were when they were Red ancestors by unnatural substances like firewater to see if they can remain on the Sacred Path.

I am also reminded of the medicine wheel and its representation of life – the seasons, stages of life, stages of understandng, and the different races – the black, red, yellow AND white. Remembering the representation of the white race in this sacred manner continues to empower and validate.  I know at this point I AM needed as a white woman to answer this call.  The white section of the medicine wheel is where I stand in my power – standing & approaching life from this place is my contribution to balance and harmony.  This is my place of power – this is what I bring to the communal table for the healing and benefit of all.

Do you understand?  We all come from and possess a place of power – the thing that makes us special, unique and needed.  The little aspect of self that is not duplicated or replicated in anyone else – the aspect of self that leaves a void or creates a gap if we are not willing or courageous enough to stand up and occupy the spaces we are meant to fill.  We don’t look to fill this space from our ego or for our personal gain or gratification.  We look to fill this space with humility and out of necessity to create wholeness in others.  Like a medicine wheel, giving is a circular process – when in balance, we are in a continuous process of giving freely and receiving openly…with no expectation.

The call, as it were, was not so much about what I would do once I got to Standing Rock but about receiving the message and acting on it without doubt or fear – acting out of blind faith and trust in divine protection. Of honoring my promise and verifying my commitment to Creator & Creator’s journey for me – the willingness to act for the highest and best of all involved and being comfortable with not understanding the reasons.

Months after the initial call & eventual journey to Standing Rock, I still reflect and gain further insight. The call and experience detailed above was just a practice run – I WILL be called again…and again….  Creator KNOWS my resistance, fears and need for explanation and reassurance.  This experience was not simply a test of the strength of my spirit and commitment to Creator – it was a journey of proof bathed in reassurances and evidence of divine love and protection.  I thank Creator for being easy and preparing me for what is to come.  I am grateful for the opportunity to torture myself, doubt divine communication, and the special kind of heartache and pain that only comes from willfully refusing to hear. And, finally, I am grateful for the sweet moment of surrender…

It begins as I drag my heavily burdened heart to the vehicle and strap into the driver’s seat with tears in my eyes.  It continues in the simultaneous moment my vehicle starts and my tears dry.  It gains momentum as I pull out of the driveway and feel a calm steadiness settle within. It accelerates with every mile traveled and every burden shed.  In the moment of total surrender the truth is illuminated – I am not in control.  My heart and Spirit are light and I tell myself to savor this moment – remember the feeling of release – the feeling of being Spirit-lead.  Soon enough the only heaviness to be felt in the vehicle is the weight of the items needed to establish and sustain me at Standing Rock.  

Oily spotlight on “Thieve’s Oil”

Early into my journey with essential oils and their **purpoted** magical healing properties, I decided I would create my own blends using the best individual oils I could find & afford.  I did not want to rely on a company for their blends or be a distributor for someone else’s products because I have had enough training to do this on my own.  I don’t know how it happened but I quickly became obsessed with Young Living’s Thieves oil blend.  I think it all began with a story…

During the Black Plague of 16th century, a small band of thieves had been caught and brought before the King.  The thieves had been entering the homes of plague victims and stripping the dead bodies of money, jewelry and anything else of value that could be found.  Although the plague was highly contagious and the thieves were in daily contact with the dead bodies of plague victims, not one of this morbid band of thieves ever contracted the plague.  The King, eager to protect himself and the Royal Family, demanded to know how the thieves had avoided contracting the plague.

Soon enough, the truth came out. The thieves were all members of the same family – a family from a long line of Apothecaries. Because of their intimate knowledge of the healing arts, passed down from generation to generation, they were familiar with a combination of specific plant oils that, when rubbed on the body, would protect the body from contracting this most feared and deadly disease. The King forced the thieves to divulge the specific plant oils used, and the formula for extracting them from the plants. With that vital information in hand, he was thereby able toprotect himself and his family from the deadly plague.

I cannot attest to the accuracy or credibility of this account, but the same source claims the specific recipe the robbers used can still be found in the Royal English Archives.  Young Living’s founder came to discover this bit of history, created a blend and aptly named it “Thieve’s Oil”.  Now, I’ve never actually used, tested or smelled YL’s blend but the story and the **purported** properties of this blend intrigued me enough that I had to find a recipe of my own.  Searching “thieve’s oil” will lead you down many paths – differing histories and recipes but most posess the same basic elements.

I have used this immune boosting blend for the last 4 years – I’ve even given it to friends who have poor immune systems for a little extra protection during the cold & flu season. My 10 year old has felt the effects & always ask for it when he feels under the weather.  I’m not saying it works (**) but when I feel my immune system getting weak, the start of aches & pains or a cold coming on, I slather my feet with this oil blend, put on my socks and let nature take its course.  I repeat throughout the day & once more before crawling into bed for the night. Typically, after a day of this treatement regimine, I’m back to my normal self.  And, if I’m not back to healthy, I can feel my body winning the battle & I repeat until I am 100% better.

What I use the oil blend for:

  • Immune support – applied to feet – when I feel weak & achy
  • Immune support – applied to chest – when I have a chest cold, bronchitis, etc.
  • Immune support – diffused in the air – during and after a whole family outbreak of some kinda bug or virus
  • Cleaning agent – added to vinegar

I’ve read accounts of people adding the blend to their washing machine or spraying door handles, stuffed animals, cell phones and pet bedding – these all seem like great ideas & easy enough to incorporate!!  But, I’ve also read accounts of people adding this to their toothpaste, orange juice or in a throat spray.  I absolutely do NOT recommend any practice of injesting oils (unless they are specifically marked as food grade – and I am only hesitantly ok with this).  In my opinion, I don’t want to expose my GI tract to highly concentrated and volatile essential oils.  I do realize this is a judgment from my own schooling and experience though.  You have to do what is right for you – not me.

I do detract from the basic recipe (shared below) based on the purpose & situation.  For example, if I’m using for respiratory ailments, perhaps I will increase the amount of Rosemary & Eucalyptus.  I really listen to my intuition when blending for myself & family – but when creating for sale, I stick to the original recipe.  I suggest you do the same until you are really familiar with the individual oils & how they act together.

~.2 Fl. Oz-  NEAT immune boosting oil blend:

  • 40 drops Clove
  • 35 drops Lemon
  • 20 drops Cinnamon Bark
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Rosemary

A carrier oil must be used with this neat blend before applying to the body – the proportion is 4 drops carrier : 1 drop neat essential oil blend.  The advantage of creating the NEAT blend is that you are able to use it where and when needed – add to your vinegar as a cleaning agent, diffuse without carrier oil, or combine with your favorite carrier oil for body applications.

Purchasing the individual oils will cost a minimum of $35 – depending on the brand & quality of the oil, of course.  It is a small investment with a huge pay-off if it helps you & your loved ones have more well days than sick days.  If you are not interested in creating your own, or would like to trial the blend before investing in your own oils and supplies, I do sell this blend in small or large batches of NEAT or combined with a carrier.

Get your sample (.2 fl oz) of NEAT immune boosting oil for $5.35

For other options, please email me at randi@redwinghealingarts.com

 

** FDA regulations require I don’t make any claim essential oils derived from plants, flowers, herbs, trees, resins or anything organically produced in nature actually has healing properties

Do no harm

I have been composing this post for well over a week – both in my head, and pen to paper via the keyboard.  I have a multitude of words..yet, none feel right.  As a newer massage therapist, I am developing my philosophy of care and really learning about the broken healthcare system through experiences my clients have shared.  I have never doubted the atrocious care my friends or clients have received though; it has been hard to visualize the experiences.  Hard because a small part of me still bought into the myth that the healthcare system should make us well.  That healthcare providers are compassionate listeners without bias or judgment who will doggedly search for a diagnosis and treatment. That we, as patients – needers of care – could discuss our needs and feel safe, trusted and believed.  While I KNOW this isn’t the norm, I still hoped and believed it could be true. That is, until I witnessed the broken system in action…and continue to. I have journeyed beside one of my dearest friends as she has experienced all the brokenness our healthcare systems has to offer.  And I am angry.

I would love to share the details of these horrific experiences, but they are not mine to share.  I would love to present a timeline of the appointments, tests and condescending commentary of the healthcare workers that have “helped” her during her illness.  If I could share, you would not read about a single healthcare worker who listened to her, their patient – a patient who, by the way, has had an extensive patient care, research and health education career.  You would not find evidence of a single test run for the diagnosis she has handed them over and over and over again.  You would not see a treatment plan. Ultimately, you would see only judgment, neglect and abuse where care should have been. I am disgusted.

And, I am sickened.  Sickened that the healthcare system we, as Americans, are mandated to carry health insurance for has done nothing but ignore a visible illness or injury.  Has literally danced around the source of illness and skipped right to expensive treatment options that will absolutely not work until the problem is addressed.  Sickened that the healthcare system that is in place to take care of us when we are ill, injured or otherwise NOT healthy has created psychological trauma and depression because they refuse to listen, examine or investigate.  Sickened that each of the Hippocratic Oaths has been so shamelessly dishonored by the very people who vowed to uphold these ideals.

But, I am also saddened.  Saddened for the doctors and nurses who did care once upon a time.  Who saw each new patient with excitement and were ready for a challenge and a new learning opportunity.  Saddened that egos grew, spirits were broken, and apathy set in.  Egos grew to the point that the possibility that a patient knows THEIR BODY better than a “professional” sounds absurd!  Spirits shattered to the point that compassion for self and others has been driven out and replaced with apathy.  Apathy, the occupier of these now empty shells of caregivers.

Even through the anger, disgust and sadness, I pray for these providers.  I pray they rediscover what originally called them into the healing profession.  For courage to walk a new path if this one no longer calls or feeds their soul.  For humility, ears that hear and hearts that feel & lead.  But mostly, I pray for their patients to experience no harm at their hand or mouth.  I pray for the ability of patients and their partners to advocate for proper care and the confidence to squash neglect and abusive treatment in its tracks.  I am hopeful.

I will not forget my friend’s horrific ordeal.  As much as I can’t stand to witness the effects of this illness or the psychological abuse she has endured, I am infinitely more thankful I can be here for her.  I am meant to witness this and, in an odd way, I am grateful for the front row seat & all I have learned.  I have made the following vows to myself for the benefit of all current and future clients.  If I find myself in the position of not believing a client, I pray my friend’s face will appear in my mind’s eye to interrupt the judgment and push me back into my place as compassionate caregiver.  If I find myself in a position where I can’t understand or treat an issue, I pray my ego quickly steps aside so I may research or make a referral – because the care I offer isn’t about ME but those who seek it. If I discover apathy living where compassion once resided, I pray I recognize it before I cause harm to another.  I pray and strive to ensure compassion and love remains at the center of my philosophy of care.  I am prepared.