By Tomas Heartfield

In some way, we’re always falling apart and coming together. Dying to old ways of being, and something new rising from the ashes.

embracing our inner phoenix

Happy New Year and Joyous New Possibilities!

I find that writing this letter to you all is not as easy as I thought it would be.  There is so much I want to share, I don’t know where to begin.  I’m probably going to have to resort to Facebook live or something just to satisfy myself! So many people are feeling angry at the sudden wake up call that 2016 left at our doorstep, and then feeling frustrated at how to express it.

Anger is a hyper level of disappointment that appears when a basic human need disappears. We need to clear the energy in our bodies in order to find more effective ways of getting our needs met. Anger can clear the way to get back to love. Loving what is has a lot to do with our ability to add our caring to the soup. As Caroline Casey likes to say Dangerous times requires powerful magic.   When the rug is pulled out from under our expectations we must roll gracefully to our feet and find our feet improvising new steps. This is Middle Earth after all and our assignments (if we choose to accept them) sometimes only give us a little peek at what we are to do to make the world a little better.  The rest is all improv!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my personal life seems to echo what is going on in the outer world at large. 2016 was all about things falling apart as I went through a wicked astrological Pluto cycle that started with broken and sprained toes from an ill timed jump off a waterfall in Waipio valley. Pluto cycles happen periodically for everyone and when they happen you will find yourself with not much working or moving in your life in a consistent way despite how much effort you put into it. As Daniel Giamario, founder of Shamanic Astrology Mystery School tells us, it’s a time when the underworld has you by the shorthairs and shit happens unexpectedly regardless of what you do. It’s not personal. It’s all about bowing to what is and appreciating how powerless you are to change it!

I was grateful that I had this information to help me understand that this was an ‘initiation into surrender’. I was still hobbling around when I got really sick with a series of nasty colds. This led to an encapsulated pneumonia in my left lung that further inspired me to just stop and feel the miracle of breathing.  Any time I tried to “get shit done”, something would happen that blocked my efforts. I could have written a book about how not to get things done, and of course I wouldn’t have finished it!

It felt like ‘death by a thousand cuts’. At some point, amidst all the challenges and illnesses, my jing (sexual energy) seemed to just leave the room with me sitting there wondering where did I go? After six months of so many things ‘going south’, I let go of expecting anything to go right, and I adopted a gratitude practice to focus on what was working. I was witnessing constant transformation in our packed Heart Circles and Integral Loving trainings after all. I was still showing up.

As I became present to myself in a new way, I started to soften. I started to become more acutely aware of what was working in my life, rather than focusing on the many things that I judged as not working. I was grateful for Joan at a deeper level. The way she massaged my healing toes every night. The hot tea she brought me every morning. The soups she made when I was so ill. I appreciated the smallest things, like a parking space, a kind word, and the many colors of green in the sodden landscape of a rainy winter. Even the sound of a coconut hitting the ground. (150 died after all from falling nuts last year!) It reminded me I am alive!

My 18-month Pluto cycle is complete now. I’m healthy again, and starting to feel more energy and creative juice. The ‘coming apart’ that I experienced during this time invited me to breathe and observe myself and surrender in a conscious way.

I’ve become more accepting of myself, others, and even ‘life itself’, and I’m more thankful to be alive. I’m ready for 2017, and deeply grateful for the strong support of my beloved Joan, my friends, and the community of conscious hearts who loved and supported me through a most challenging year.

It appears, too, that as a result of the insane political environment, many people are rising up with new energy and creative ideas that are sorely needed at this time. It feels good to see how many want to upgrade the way we care for life and each other.

The upshot of my visitation to the underworld is that I have more empathy and appreciation for those around me. My heart is open and soft. And I want to support my Ohana in a deeper way. My inner Phoenix has risen again! And so must the world’s!

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