Drumming With the Wolves; My Experience

On Saturday, July 21st I received the exciting opportunity to be part of an event called, Drumming with the Wolves. It was held at the Wildlife Science Center. To follow is the intentions behind the event, what I experienced there, and how it changed me.

The event was the brain child of one of my friends, Vonne. I feel grateful and blessed that she invited me to be a co-organizer for this important event. It was set with the idea of raising money to help support this important center and all of the great research they are gathering, knowledge they are sharing, and endangered animals they are fighting to keep from extinction.

The event started around 6 pm. The evening was sunny and warm and about 30-40 people joined us to have the opportunity to see these great creatures up close, learn about them, and be part of a drum circle. There was a strong feeling of community as old friends reunited and new friends met for the first time. I met some amazing people, who I hope to see again and again at future events. Peggy, the Founder, Biologist, and Wolf Mother took us on a tour of her amazing facility. We started off by meeting the Wolves. As we walked along their enclosures the Wolves ran up to the fence to meet us. I remember when my eyes met the golden eyes of the first majestic animal.  I fell in love. You could see the wildness in his being but also the love. These Wolves are, after all, spiritual beings too.  Peggy graciously educated us, answered questions, and howled so that the Wolves would howl back. I cannot describe the way it took my breath away to hear 100+ Wolves howling in chores together.  I have heard Wolves howl when Emy and I were camping in the Boundary Waters but to have them all around us howling, was a completely different experience. We met many Wolves on this tour, all with their own interesting and unique stories to tell.

After we met the Wolves we got to meet some of the other wild creatures that have come to live there, because they cannot be released back to the wild. Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Bobcats all call the Wildlife Science Center home. Additionally, there are Bears, Raccoons, an elderly Porcupine, Fox, and Skunk. Each creature has its own story of how it came to call the heartfelt place home. There are also Raptors, who we did not get to meet, perhaps during the next public event called The Harvest Howl in October.

After we finished our tours we shared in a potluck. Prayer Ties were made with Tobacco grown from a 100 year old seed shared by an attending indigenous woman. Intentions and prayers were placed in the Ties to be fed to the fire. It was very beautiful and powerful. That this tradition was shared with us and the tobacco song sung in the native tongue made me feel honored and blessed to be a part of this.

I led a healing meditation. I was awed and a bit amused as the wolves added their howls from time to time to the meditation. It was as though they wanted to participate.

Now it was time for the drumming. Lisa called in the directions and led the drumming. The drums beat matched with the heartbeat of the Earth. Each drumming session had a powerful intention set with it. Children and adults all participated. There were Drums, Dowels, Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals, Singing Bowls, Rattles, and even a white Crystal Bowl. A Didgeridoo was played earlier in the night offering sound baths to some participants. It was a blend of cultures and such an amazing sense of community. There was no judgment, only love, community, and respect. The Drumming was an important and inspiring part of the evening. As our Drums beat together, joining us with each other and the natural world around us, our prayers were carried off with the Drum beats and vibrations. It connected us together with one another and with all of nature.

The Wolves; who are a fierce hunter, strong predator, and create fear in so many – displayed only love and curiosity during our visit. They are well cared for and respected. They are not pets but rather wild animals who need our help and understanding to survive. At the end of the night we howled, Peggy howled, and the Wolves howled. It was a final goodbye and great end to the night.

It was an experience that was transformative in many ways. I was looking forward to the Drumming but the night was so much more than just that. The opportunities to join these kind of events is a blessing. They enhance your life and teach you things about others, but more than anything else, they help you to know yourself even better. What moves you, inspires you, touches your heart? This event and the people and creatures I met here did all these things for me and more.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find events that foster in you a deeper connection with yourself and those around you, as if by magic. I love you!

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Go Beyond Your Fears

Alligators, snakes, and turtles, oh my! I love to kayak! This is a love I share with my Adventure Sister, Emy, as well as with my husband. It is an activity that is infectious and when I share it with others, I soon hear they are shopping for a kayak themselves. It is a lovely way to experience nature by gliding smoothly through the water. I feel as one with the kayak and close to the nature all around me when out paddling. Now that I am spending more time in Florida, I want to be able to practice this peaceful activity all year round. After all, kayaking season in Minnesota is a bit short. 

One day, as my husband and I were traveling the backroads in Florida, I was looking longingly at all the little streams and rivers that were just waiting for us to kayak through them. I looked at the grassy banks and thought, I wonder if the Alligators bother the kayakers. Hmmm, I had not considered that this prehistoric looking critter might pose a treat. I calmly did , what I do when I have a question like that, I pulled out my trusty phone and researched it. It turns out that if you don’t bother them while kayaking, they wont bother you. What a relief! 

So what else might pose a threat? Well, another possible problem with kayaking in Florida is the snakes. There are 4 poisons snakes here and unlike Minnesota snakes, they don’t stay on the ground. They get up into the trees. I have heard stories of them dropping out of the trees into boats. Ick! Although I am sure they fall out of the trees at times, perhaps due to a strong wind, I am guessing they do not intend to fall into boats. It really seems like it would be a bad plan on their part. I wonder if these stories are more for the “thill” factor of watching the listener’s eyes widen than anything. 

So my husband and I purchased a second hand tandem kayak. We tested it by paddling down a stream with overhanging trees. It was a lovely paddle. Everything was so green and there were beautiful purple flowers along the shoreline. We did see some reptiles on our paddle in this lovely place but it was just was a big turtle and a baby turtle, sunning on log. 

So often in life we hear stories or thoughts occur to us of all the: “what if’s”.  What if the snakes would have been raining from the trees? What if they gators were hungry and aggressive? I read in a book once, many years ago, “Why walk, we might fall?”. We can stop ourselves from doing anything if we let our fears become larger than our dreams. If you truly want to live the life of your dreams, you must boldly push beyond your fears. I am not saying be careless, but do some research. Check the facts. Have a plan to counteract the “what if’s”. And then go fo it! After all, the only reptile on your battle may be turtles! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you the life of your dreams, today and everyday. 

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The Power of Forest Bathing

It was my husband who first introduced me to the term forest bathing. The terminology brings to mind a stainless steel horse trough sitting out in the woods full of warm sparkling water while a naked being sits happily with arms on the side of the tub and head tipped back enjoying the peaceful bath and surroundings. IMG_3704 2As lovely as that sounds, that is not what forest bathing is. Forest bathing is a term that started in Japan in the 1980. It is about being in the forests. Walking or resting amidst the trees. Allowing the healing power of nature to improve your health.

IMG_7948 I fully understand the power of nature to lighten your spirt, raise your vibration, and make the world seem a little bit brighter. Living in a northern climate, were winter lasts half the year, I miss the call of the dirt path through the trees. I miss walking between the trunks great and small, having the branches of the shrubs brush against my body as I journey on, feeling the filtered sunlight on my face. In the spring the forest smells like dirt and the occasional blossom. In the summer I think it smells like life itself. Everything is boldly green and in its fullest, happiest stage of life. In the fall, the smell becomes that of ripe fruit and the leaves decomposing and returning to the earth. Winter has a crisp clean smell in the forest. The frozen crystalline world has the smell of a fresh start. The sounds change with the seasons also, bird songs and animals scurrying in the brush, give way to the crunch of leaves underfoot and the cracking of ice on branches. Whatever the season that you decide to visit the forest many magical gifts await you there.

IMG_8436.jpgThere is power there, for you amongst the mighty giants and new saplings. The life force energy that runs through the trees can renew you. It can renew you. It can help you improve your health, fight off illness, and sleep better at night. IMG_9762

We had an especially long and cold winter this year, with piles of snow that seem they will never go away. My husband and I journeyed to Washington State. This gave us a break from the winter weather and allowed us to get out and do some spring forest bathing. We hiked among the mighty trunks of giant Pacific Northwest trees. They seemed to reach up to the heavens. I could breath again. Suddenly all the stress of life and the rushing here and there just melted away. All that mattered was the forest full of new and fresh growth and our companionship as we journeyed through the forest. It felt like a fresh start. It was a healing journey.

DSC_0633.jpgThere is power and magic in the forest and if you take time to listen, the trees will speak to you. They will share their ancient wisdom. They will teach you how to heal yourself and to care for your neighbor. I strongly encourage you to get out there and take a forest bath.

 

Thank you for Reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of happy, peaceful time in Nature. I love you.

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6 Actions You Can Take Today to Make the World a Better Place.

I would like to introduce you to my Adventure Sister, Emy Minzel. She wrote todays blog post about some ideas she is passionate to share with you.

The overload of information we receive every day can feel overwhelming. We watch the news, read the papers, and surf the web taking into our subconscious an abundance of negativity every day. Even when we close our eyes at night the thoughts that keep us awake are usually cringe-worthy, disheartening and can lead us to feel helpless. This leads me to wonder, what can I do today that will help make this world a better place?

Start at home – Make sure to water your own grass, so you aren’t comparing ‘lawns’ with your neighbor. I am not actually speaking of grass, but using it as a metaphor for our closest relationships. The family, partners, and friends we spend our days with. If you are putting in time to keep your relationships healthy and maintain a low stress environment everyone around you will be happier.  They will then go out into the world with a higher vibration, having the Butterfly Effect on the Universe.

Pray – Speaking of the Butterfly Effect… Praying and meditation help to raise our energetic vibration. It has a calming side effect that will sooth your mind, body and soul. This in turn will raise the vibrational frequency your body may emit that can help to promote a calming effect on the world around us.

Play – Enjoy time doing what makes you happy. It could be camping, fishing, cooking, travel, hiking, music, or anything that floats your boat. Make time to do it. As often as you possibly can. Not just once a year on vacation. Remember to enjoy children and pets every day. I love to get down on the floor to play with them. They are pure energy. Embrace the silliness! We all love to laugh and play. Any mess is worth the memories.

Recycle – The world really needs you to give a shit. Recycle your plastics, glass and metal. This will reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, waterways, and oceans. It’s a very small chore or expense that we should be invested in. Call it earthly maintenance, like brushing her teeth. It’s imperative for the future of our children.

Volunteer/Donate/Share – There are plenty of organizations close to home that need all kinds of help. If you don’t have time to volunteer, donate money or goods. If you don’t have money, speak the name of your favorite charity often to friends and acquaintances.  This helps charities recruit more volunteers and donations. Advertise for your favorite charitable cause.

Focus on Blessings – Quit your bitching. Appreciate blessings all around you, including family, friends, pets, career, or even that your car still runs. If you choose to complain all day every day, you choose to not appreciate the wonderful world around you. The quality of life you live depends on what you focus your energy on. Choose to see your blessings. Be thankful for them. Now prove it.

So, there you have it, I know there is so much more, but this is where I have started. I may not be able to donate a million dollars to my favorite charity. What I do have is a little time and a heart full of good intentions just waiting to come out. I know you do too.

 ~Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister