Last Sunday I had a visitation.
I was attending a self-facilitated retreat in the eclectic company of 14 amazing women. During the introductions, one of the participants – Lorna – introduced herself and described what she wanted to get out of the day. After she finished speaking, another of the women interjected “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name”. My name is “Lorna …” she paused and with a glint in her eye said “…. and today I’d like to be known as Lorna Darling. That isn’t my real name, but I just feel that I’d like to be called this today”. Lorna went on to explain that she’d once worked in a French Sa-lon and had always been fascinated by a colleague called Miss Darling, and went on to begin constructing a wonderful back story, explaining what she imagined to be her likes and dislikes, her attitudes to sex, signature style and a host of other topics.
For the remainder of the day, we all delighted in asking Lorna what Miss Darling would do in a certain situation, and also enlisted her help as a mysterious but efficient accountant on behalf of the self-employed women in the room who admitted that they continue to struggle with asking clients for payment for their therapy and coaching services.
At 7pm, an hour before dinner and after some time for reflection, we all gathered in the woods and joined hands round a phoenix fire pit to mark the close of our day. To the outside observer we probably looked like a witches coven even though we began with a spontaneous rendition of Kum-Bye-Ya-My-Lord – especially as one of our group was dressed in a kind of cloak with a pointed hood! As the flames crackled and lit our expectant faces in the clearing, soft rain began to fall, and I opened a ceremony inspired by Elizabeth Lesser’s book ‘Broken Open’.
“I believe we are here for a reason. The wise and brave part of ourselves has called us here today in the company of these amazing women, in this circle of feminine power, to take part in this phoenix process. Our spirits are calling us to arise from the ashes with the prize of our true self. As part of this process, we must name what need to burn within us. So the question is, what do you need to throw into the purifying flames of fire and burn away? … Pop when you’re hot!”
One by one, each of us stepped forward, said and few words and threw symbolic items or words onto the fire.
It felt primal. It felt sacred. It felt like we were connected to an ancient lineage of powerful women.
“I am letting go of hiding my light, my sacred reverence and my creative fire, for fear of humiliation – of being too much and somehow not right” I said as I threw a piece of paper onto the fire feeling very Game Of Thrones.
That evening, and into the early hours of Sunday morning, I tossed and turned in bed until I eventually decided to play a guided meditation. I selected a track by Joe Treacy ‘Sleep Hypnosis for Connecting To Your Intuition’ in the hope his delicious resonant voice would lull me to sleep. After the initial getting-comfortable-part, Joe invited me to imagine myself taking a walk on a lovely sandy beach and, to my surprise, I found myself on White Island.
White island is what native American Indians might call my power place, or NLP practitioners would call an anchor. It is a purely imaginary place I created on a course I did in 2005 using NLP through a guided visualisation and have subsequently added to over the years – sometimes during meditations, during bodywork therapy, and in massage sessions. It relaxes and inspires me in equal measure. The last few times I visited White Island, the features were always the same – I rowed up to a wooden boardwalk, walked past a white feather (my symbol of certainty), went through a gladiatorial type arena, up a secret passage behind a waterfall, then onto a cliff cloaked in mossy, bright green grass. I always walk along the cliff in the same direction, past a huge oak tree, and across from the land I see a huge lighthouse in the near distance, with pages of a book fluttering across the sky from right to left. Down a slope, moving away from the lighthouse, there is a stone circle and inside there sit my circle of advisers. There are six of them in there, non of whom I have ever met, some alive and some dead. Over time I’ve had conversations with some, but not all of them.
Listening to Joe’s voice, I realised I was on White Island exploring a part of it that had hitherto never existed! In fact, I presently found myself standing on a beach looking out to the sea where the lighthouse rises, next to a fire on the sand. There was a casket open which turned out to be the source of the fluttering pages (it still makes me laugh to think that after 14 years of visiting this place, it never crossed my mind to wonder where they were coming from!). The next thing I knew, Joe had invited me to float in the water on my back and I found myself beneath the fluttering pages when suddenly, a page stuck to my face and (seemingly randomly) I heard the first line of the One Direction song ‘Story Of My Life’ and woke up. I immediately Googled the song and the first line stopped me in my tracks …
Written in these walls are the stories that I can’t explain
OMG I thought, the story (the book I have been chasing since 2002) is inside the lighthouse!!!!!
Feeling magical, I decided to try another guided meditation and went with the next one that came on….
Are you ready to meet your spirit guide?
Yes, I’m ready
Your spirit guide is now approaching …
Pop! And there she was, Grace Darling …. Miss Darling!!!!
I bolted awake sobbing with joy and woke my friend who was sleeping in the other bed.
At the end of recounting what had happened as I tried to breathe and return my heart rate I blurted out.
“Oh my God … Miss Darling has been manifesting all day and she is my spirit guide! All these years, Grace Darling has been in my circle of advisers and I never spoke to her, she just sat there. She is here to row me across to the lighthouse”
And so today, I visited Grace Darling’s memorial and the museum in her name. I gave thanks for her guidance and kindly asked if she would row me across to the lighthouse so I can find the story written in the walls.
As I was about to leave the museum I struck up a conversation with the lovely lady who volunteers there. “Did you see the Grace Darling tribute on Facebook?” she asked me. “They did a piece on the top 11 most inspirational women of the North East to celebrate International Women’s Day and she was number one”
I can’t wait to meet her!
Shine On. Love LHKD xxx