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— WIP, Cat Charissage (c) 2016

Dear Friend,

Happy new moon in this beautiful month of October.  I’m more fatigued than usual right now, but also very happy.  In mid September I was privileged to again attend a training with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her Original Voice series entitled “Getting Unstuck:  Journey through Hell to the Hidden Heart”.  Here’s part of her description of it:

“As I say to you often, as some of my family members used to say with uncanny vision: “Be the first, the last, and the only.” I’d add, this is not a harsh striving; it is a natural condition. Except for being barred from one’s own richness, by various self imposed and external injunctions.

“However, those can be removed and replaced with far better instruction about the nature of the true self, and one creative force, which is the animating force of one’s entire life.  In other words, the overculture causes far too often that people become stuck instead of progressing. Shy instead of shining. Embarrassed instead of energized. Fallow instead of fearless.

“I mean to show the ways to break free, for to remain painfully glued in, unable to move toward the bountiful nature each soul was born in and with, and wanly plucking at the curtains instead, whilst other surge ahead– is a way to feel sick, paltry, unable, and tied in knots.  Such souls so sincerely want to be free to move forward, to try many things, to blossom, to create fully. But often are stymied in the exact how to, the steps needed to break free, to unleash no matter what/who/how/when/where.

“Using the hidden instructions for freeing oneself from the nine circles of capture in Dante’s writing about an underground infierno, translated as ‘hell’, this Original Voice® training teaches how to free oneself for life, teaches the exact steps to be unfettered, to jailbreak the prison. Your part is to practice faithfully. Mine is to impart the field guide.

“This I shall do. I hope you will join us…I’ve remedios for ‘can’t’ and it isn’t merely ‘can.’ It is ‘will.’ Focused vortex of will. You’ll see. We’ll see. Together.”

It’s not everyday that you can go to hell and back with a beloved teacher as guide. . .   It was an adventure, an ordeal, a challenge . . . . and I came back with a virulent cold!  Still, very much worth it.

Since then I’ve been recovering from the cold, and beginning Story Circles.  I’m launching my offerings to do Red Thread Sessions individually online (stay tuned for a more formal announcement), and celebrating birthdays.

My 60th birthday was on September 29.  I alternate between feeling like an elder, a crone, an old lady, a survivor, and entirely too young to be what I used to think of as a “woman of sixty”.    Other birthdays have been my son’s, my sister in law’s, and my mother in law’s.

My son Liberty created an unusual birthday card for me.  It’s a certificate, with writing on both sides.  It’s an invitation to choose how I want to look at myself at this age.  On one side it says ” 60 years.  Dear Mom, you’re getting old, you’ve spent 60 horrible years in this terrible world, you are going to die one day.  Your parents are dead, your father wasn’t nice, you aren’t happy all the time and you argue with your husband.  You have many painful illnesses and your son is angry a lot.  Happy birthday!”

On the other side he wrote “60 years.  Dear Mom, you have lived a long life, you have a nice home, lots of friends, a loving husband that you’ve been with for many years.  You help many people.  You have a kid who makes people laugh at the U. of L.  You have lived through some tough stuff and come out of it better.  You are happy, very happy most of the time.  You’ve got this!  Happy birthday!”

Yes, both are true, and there’s only one I’m going to dwell on.

Thank you for being one of my “lots of friends”.

With much love,

Cat

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