As I hung my new Gregorian calendar a few weeks ago, I wondered:
Will life return to the “old normal” during 2021?
Do we even want the “old normal” to return?
Many of us have felt the loss of being with loved ones and community members in person, and yet, we continue to find ways to connect.
As one of the Olympic Mountain EarthWisdom Circle’s (OMEC) HEARTH Project Directors, I, along with other healers and facilitators across the country, host monthly HEARTH Circles with local community members.
In HEARTH Circles, we find our way back home to Heart and Earth and kindle our passion for nature in community. We ignite our inner wisdom fires so we can share our “art”—our unique, embodied, creative expression that honors all life. I’m nourished and inspired when I join together with others in person to provide a sacred healing container.
As physical distance became the new way of interacting, my co-director, Lori Ferry, OMEC’s Llyn Roberts and Rob Murphy, and I turned to providing a different kind of support for HEARTHs and HEARTH facilitators. As we made this shift, I took time to contemplate.
My HEARTH Circle had been just that—a circle. Every month, we had gathered around a seasonally themed altar on the floor in a room scented by Palo Santo, with soft music in the background. We looked in each other’s eyes as we shared what inspired us and also what weighed heavily on our hearts. We gave and received energy through light touch and held hands as we offered names of loved ones in need of healing.
I wondered, how I could possibly replicate the power and connectedness of these in-person HEARTH Circles in a virtual platform.
The truth is, I could not. Then, I realized that instead of replicating that experience, we could shapeshift it.
While the ambience of in-person gatherings is lovely, the community that we build through supporting each other and the Earth transcends physical distance. When I stopped trying to replicate my altar setup in limited space so it would look good on Zoom and switched to an audio-only conference call format, my HEARTH Circle was reborn. Instead of holding one another’s hands, we practice deep listening. We are energetically attuned and present with each other. We are still a circle, even if we are not physically sitting in one.
Meanwhile, Llyn and Rob established an audio HEARTH for the whole OMEC community. Held every other month, these online HEARTH Circles offer spiritual nourishment and connection to nature through ceremony and/or a guided shamanic journey. 100% of a participant’s donation supports OMEC’s indigenous projects.
When Lori and I set intentions for the HEARTH project in August 2019, we envisioned smaller circles within larger circles connecting all of OMEC’s community of support. Our vision holds. We have simply redefined, and as a result, have expanded the HEARTH Circle community.
May you always find circles of connection in the unfolding new world.
From my heart to yours,
OMEC HEARTH Project Co-Director