Before the time came for us to leave for New Mexico, I wrote down my intent: I want to free myself. I want to enter the wilderness and find a quiet place where I can shed my skins. I want to gather together all my fears, sorrows, disappointments, anger, and falsities from the past and release them as I would a handful of balloons. (Then I could live in the present). I will watch them float away and then it will be time to celebrate. In a circle we will all laugh, and cry, and sing. Our heat will mingle with the heat of the fires. Our life blood will flow and we will feel strong! The animals and plants and celestial bodies will join our circle and when we return to the Northeast, our circle will join the men’s’ circle, and we will all dance together, as one.
I do feel that I freed part of myself, though I learned quickly that no one rids themselves of fears, sorrows , disappointments, and anger. I learned and am still learning, to accept my emotions. As for the rest of my intent (or dream), we did dance and mingle with the fire, and we certainly did bleed a lot. Oh, if you want to begin your period, sniff the armpit of a furry female friend, .. It really works. !
Looking back on our journey to New Mexico, I realize that I gained a greater understanding of what it means to be a part of the medicine wheel. On my vision quest I explored death, one small part of the whole, and when we all reunited, we shared our experiences with each other. This sharing, gathering of views of the whole of life, made me feel enriched. I realized how important it is to listen to each other. There is no One Way, so we needn’t feel threatened by others.
I think it important to say that our journey did not begin in New Mexico. Our shaping of the group and our way of making decisions was very important. I, for one, quickly learned the difference between facilitating and leading. Although facilitating is a longer amoeba-like process than leading, which is a forceful process, it makes me realize how important the individual is. Thank you everybody.