Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude and Amazement!!!!!

Hello my blog friends…
Life is sure an amazing ride isn't it?  

(image from Pinterest)

Sometimes if I am conscious enough to pay attention and even actually get out of the way I am stunned into awe over the beauty of it.  I see from time to time some kind of higher power's intention for my life.  I am so grateful for those moments.  They confirm my belief in this higher power who seems to be guiding me, keeping me on some sort of a path of purpose even when I unwittingly try to derail it.  I have been especially aware of this guidance over the last 3 or so years.  


(image from Pinterest)

As many of you know I went through an unexpected divorce almost 3 years ago.  Pain and sorrow had totally taken me, I truly though my life was ending... and in a way it did.  My old life, one that was not quite allowing me to be fully in this world, in my gifts, living, being and loving to the highest was ending.  Something more true and meaningful for me was about to begin, but I sure didn't know it at the time. All I knew was a pain so great I though I would totally be consumed in the intensity of it.  


(image from Pinterest)

At critical points Spirit would send me the most unlikely people who would step in and make pathways for me.  The owner of the ranch I live on figured out how both my ex-husband and I could now live in two houses, in effect paying double rent on the single income I was making.  As I stood by and watched I was astonished at how things would just line up.   This beautiful home magically open up for me, which was everything, I could have asked for.  The ranch workers showed up and loaded up all my worldly belongings on the flat bed trailer and moved it for me.    Everything just kept working out, somehow things were being handled so that I could totally disintegrate.   My new house was a miraculous sanctuary, truly a cocoon for me to hibernate in, to slowly heal in and begin to figure out who I was.  As I did this I examined everything I though I knew about myself.  I looked into new ways of being, discovered old desires and interests and after a time started living again.  Really living...  from my heart not my mind or sense of what I "should" be doing.  


(image from Pinterest)

As I posted before I discovered drumming in an African drum group, which eventually had me in a parade playing my Djembe.  


(thats me in the center with my fellow parade drummers)

I got physical again and started enjoying the miracle that was my strong body.  I took time to enjoy life, not filling every waking moment with activity.  Walks on the beach, time with my friends, workshops in subjects that interested me...  I started to enjoy my life.  

(I started painting again…)



I felt whole and alive again, a true miracle!  Now 3 years later I look at a life… my life…  one that I am so intensely grateful for.  It is very real and so much more me that I could have believed!  I have a Man in my life that shares my interests on a deep level.  


Here we are being silly for a Steampunk wedding that I design with his help

We seem to understand each other and even when the going gets rough we have the tools to get through it.  This is new for me.  I am beginning to believe that we can probably get through anything as we are able to talk in a real way, neither one getting defensive, speaking as much as we are able from what is happening inside us.  We speak and own our feelings without pointing any fingers.  It is a relief to be able to speak what is true for me without hitting a wall of defensiveness.  I used to do the same thing so I am not saying it was all my ex’s fault, these are tools we didn’t have.  We just didn’t communicate well.  Now that seems to be behind me.  I have so much love in my heart for my ex and the life we shared together.  I know I learned a lot.  I wish him the very best and I hope he is able to learn these tools and then find love again.

My Man has also given me the gift of music, bringing this beautiful magic into my life, a magic that I didn’t even know I was missing.  I could never have believed it but I am now singing…  (WOW!) And playing percussion. 
Here we are at a gig with me on the cajon.  That is the back of my Man with such beautiful long hair…

I honesty thought my voice was horrible and that I was unable to carry a tune, I had been told that at a very young age so I have gone through my life believing this.  Now I am astonished that I actually CAN sing.  I am not an Emmy Lou Harris by a long shot but folks don’t run screaming from the room when I open my mouth.  I can get onstage with my man and sing some harmony.  


(Here we are at a gig at the paradise store.  That is me on the left singing with my girlfriends and our men backing us up on instruments.   Believe it or not we actually started out singing acapela in three part harmony with me starting us off !!!!  My knees were knocking BIG TIME!)

(My singing group of gals, Anita on the left plays guitar and ukulele phenomenally well too.  And she has the voice of an angel.  Thats Nancy on the right, you may recognize her as Aunt Louise, a better friend I could never hope to have!  I love them soooo much!!!)

What’s even more fun is I have been playing the Cajon with him at gigs.  Whadayaknow…  me onstage playing!  Truly a miracle I would never have believed possible.   Most Fridays will find us on our porch with close friends making music.  What a gift!


(Thats us on the porch!)

In addition to all the other changes I have been going through lately I also came to a rather large decision…  to change my name.  Originally when my ex-husband and I divorced I chose to keep his last name.  There were so many reasons for this not the least of which was I had a substantial business built up around it.  I think I was also clinging to a life I was not ready to let go of yet.   So, here I was finally happy to be on my own, celebrating a new me, yet with an old name.  A name that was not me, it belonged to someone else.  However it felt so daunting to change it and what would I change it to?  I no longer felt a connection to my family name, it felt like going in reverse to take my maiden name back, and I didn’t want a made up name.  Then one day it hit me …  I would use my middle name, Saroya!  Years ago I had a most wonderful and magical store where I sold Native American art and jewelry.  I called it Saroya Southwest.  


(some of the goodies from my store)

It was one of the happiest times in my life, going on buying trips to the reservations, camping and traveling by myself, bringing back beautiful unique art pieces.  


(more goodies from my store)

It was so powerfully me, just me!  The name Saroya I have always loved, even when I was a kid and no one could say it and I couldn’t even write it.  It was this beautiful exotic name that belonged to me!  I saw myself on camels out in the Sahara with treasures found along the silk road…


(image from Pinterest)

Aladdin’s cave with treasure boxes spilling forth baubles and jewels, incense and flowing caftans…  sigh*  


(image from Pinterest)

(my own collection of Indian Saris)

My version of paradise. 


(image from Pinterest)

I am sure being raised on a Date ranch helped this vision along nicely.  I was now realizing that this is and has always been the real me.  This name represented this beautiful woman inside of me, the woman I was finally letting out, the creative magical artist, the businesswoman, and the woman that loved all things exotic…  it is more me than I had ever realized!   

(Me and my Boho Man!!!)

So I officially changed my old name of Patricia (my Mom’s name) Saroyan Fountaine to Tricia (just me!) Saroya…  yippee!!!!  Bring on the jewels and incense!!!

(image from Pinterest)

So as my life this last year or so has been unfolding in such unexpected and magical ways, I started feeling the need to mark it somehow.  To mark time in a ceremonial way.  I wanted to honor what had been, what is now and what I am calling in.  To ritually and ceremonially officially begin this extraordinary new life.  I understand that life and time is an ebb and flow with no one particular day that is the start or ending.  However I had been feeling for a while that I wanted to go through kind of a rite of passage.  My man had gone out on a vision quest early in our relationship and it peaked my interest.  It seemed a bit scary (I mean really ….  No tea or food for how many days?!!!!!), yet real and as old as time.  I eventually met a wonderful couple that led people, individuals and groups, on quests.  


(Maria and her husband Cliff)

The woman, Maria Bucarro would be the one who would lead me with her partner and mine holding down a base camp while I was out on the mountain.  She is a powerful and deeply loving woman who I had had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago.  Her husband is involved in the Man Kind Project along with my man.  She has a lovely web presence with such compelling writing and beautiful insights; I would encourage you to peruse her wealth of inspiration and guidance. I felt she and her husband were a gift from Spirit answering this need deep inside of me, so I signed up and began the prep work.  She had me do lots of emotional work, looking within, creating time lines of my life, and doing lots of writing.  We would get together and talk, do ceremonial work and really cement what it was I needed from this quest.  It was beautiful and I began to understand that the quest had already started and would culminate with my time on the mountain.  This was exactly what I wanted and needed.  I learned a great deal about myself through this process.
So after much work I was ready to start the fast on the mountain part of the quest.  We all went up to the foothills of the Sierras and created a base camp where they would be for the next several days and where I would launch from.  My camp was not too far from them, but out of sight and hearing (except when I was drumming they could hear that).  

(a feather that Maria gifted me that was in the medicine circle the whole time I was on my quest, photo is from my incredibly gifted Man)

For a couple of days leading up to when I left camp on my own we did more work, both ceremonial and emotional and then at dawn on the first day of my quest I packed up my backpack and off I went. 


(The view from the top of the mountain.  My Man went up after the quest and took some pictures)

I have thought long and hard as to what to tell you about it.  It was a deeply moving and personal experience and one I am not sure how much I want to share with the world.   I can tell you that each day I meditated, journeyed in a Shamanic way, wrote, drew and also just… was.  The lack of food for 4 days and 4 nights was challenging.  During the first two days my body was cleansing out tons of toxins and generally going through withdrawals. It was also when the craving for food was strongest.  After that I think my body figured out that I was not going to feed it no mater what signals it sent me so thankfully it just stopped sending them.  Once past those initial two days the hunger stopped being my dominant thought, and I could get on to other emotional work.  Our camp was somewhere around 10,000 feet so I was also experiencing a very strong heart beat and general feeling of lack of oxygen.  

(The view from the top of the mountain looking down on my camp.  My Man was a bit sneaky and climbed above me to take some photos without me knowing)

I found it hard to sleep due to my heart rate and would wake up like a snorer does, snuffling and gasping.  Those were the physical experiences, which was part of the “decent” and the deprivation that would help me get to the visions.  The emotional was…  well, all over the map.  I was not bothered about being in nature alone.  I love nature and have always found it nurturing and safe.  I was not worried and in fact felt very supported, loved and safe.  I relish alone time and now I had several days of it!!!  Yippee!  However with that said the focus was so internal that not having any distractions of books or music made the time seem particularly long, all I had were my own thoughts as company.  I had nothing to do but go within.  Four days of that is a lot.  

(The view from one side of my camp enjoying sunset, again these were taken after my quest was over)

I think I felt all the emotions with the exception of fear.  I was tired, exhilarated, sad, happy, depressed, inspired, angry, shameful, defeated, and triumphant.  Sometimes I would cycle through all those feelings in the course of a couple of hours.  By the last day I was kind of empty, just quiet, peaceful and grateful.  In between all the processing I drummed and rattled a lot, and just sat and enjoyed the views.  As I said I was somewhere around 10,000 feet on a ridge line so I could see in all directions for hundreds of miles. 

(another beautiful sunset)

Here is what I am most happy to share with you from the many deeply personal experiences I had…  Be happy!
That was THE message I came away with.  Just… be happy, go have fun.  Life is to be cherished, enjoyed, loved and appreciated!  The more love, fun and happiness I can experience, the more in line I am with Spirit and my true nature. 



I must say that as I was getting that message I did wonder what in the name of  %*#!   was I doing starving at the top of a mountain when all I was supposed to do was have fun!!!!  Oh well… the things I seem to have to put myself through to feel connected and loved…
Even now I still sometimes forget and get caught up in the concerns of my life.  I try to remember how I felt on the mountain.  I wrote quite a bit on the quest so I am able to reread my journal transporting me back to the feelings.  That helps a great deal.
The integration after the quest is actually the hardest part.  It is easy to feel spiritual on a mountaintop.  Back home with the pressing issues of life and making a living makes it’s a bit more difficult.  I try to take walks and have quite time where I can connect again.  Writing this blog helps too.

After the quest, I hiked back down to base camp on wobbly legs and joined my friends.  I had THE most wonderful miso soup and some avocado to start the process of eating again.   


(Thats me at the end of the quest, trying to come off the mountain with an absurdly heavy pack on.  It was COLD up there, so I had a tent and 2 sleeping bags, and I still was cold.  Glad I didn't have to do it the traditional way, naked with no creature comforts at all…)

We sat in circle and I shared a bit.  I was and am still keeping some of it close to my chest.  I don’t want to loose the power and energy of it by talking about it too much.   Eventually we broke base camp and hiked back to our cars.  

(me, at the bottom of the mountain after a little Miso soup.)

It was a huge surprise to discover that a bear had virtually destroyed our friend’s car trying to get in.  Our car, which also had some food in it, had only a bear paw print on the back window.  I truly felt like I had been in the protection of Bear and Spirit.  The paw print was their blessing.   My man and I took a slow and beautiful drive through the mountains into the tiny wonderful town of Kernville and found a lovely small hotel where we “camped” for a few days and recovered.  We ate, slept and wandered about.  It was some of the loveliest times of my life!

So dear reader, thank you for hanging in on a rather long blog post.
I have been in a thoughtful mood for quite a while now and that with the name change and the vision quest stirred in me a desire to blather on.  I wish you much joy, happiness and sparkly MAGIC in your life!

(image from Pinterest)

Delight in the beauty that is out there.  I hope that is able to over ride any negativity you may encounter.  Know that I am happily eating away, reading, playing music and enjoying life.
In deep gratitude of my many blessings,
Tricia SAROYA!!!!!!  Yippeeeeee

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween… part 2!!!!!

Hello Blog friends.
I hope you all had a most magical Halloween!  I know we sure did!  Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays.  I love the mix of magic, mystery, Spirit, fantasy, costumes…  I feel like anything is possible.  I feel my spirit guides more intently, my ancestors and my parents seem so close by, Spirit is right there playing with me.  I think anytime we don costumes we become more real.  We play and let a part of ourselves out.  I love this quote by Oscar Wilde…  "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.  Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth."  I love to see the creativity people show in the costumes they choose.  I think it is a clue into who they really are, or at least into their child within.  It is sacred theatre…  with candy!!  I adore setting the "stage" for "sacred theatre"…  I know it is one of the reasons I am here!
Witches are my favorite thing to be.  I always want to try another costume but it never feels right.  I think I will always be a witch!  Being a witch is a way for me to connect into the ancient wise women lineage that is common to all cultures and is mine simply by being a woman.  The tie to nature and Her power, animal spirits, ritual, ceremony…  Spells and Potions for me are just a way of believing in the power of my intentions.  As a child I adored Bewitched!  For me there were never enough scenes of Endora and Samantha dressed in their flowing gauzy outfits, sitting on their brooms in the misty realms with that cool music playing.  I could have hung out there all day!  It goes without saying that Practical Magic is of course one of my all time favorite stories and movie!  Hocus Pocus is another one.  Anything that evokes magic and mystery, of believing in something more fantastical than perceived reality, in the power of intentions… that everything is possible…   How FUN!
In my last post I mentioned that the Gypsies were going to come by, well they sure did!  We had a huge party on Saturday so I kept going with the decorations and set up a Gypsy camp in addition to the apothecary shop and cemetery.  Honeydukes also set up a table with all their goodies right in the middle of it.  I had a friend who is a Tarot reader set up shop at the party.  There was a line for her all night!  We ended up with around 40 people all in wonderful costumes eating drinking and making music.  My sweetie is a musician as are most of his friends.  I too am learning to sing and play percussion so we had live music all night with everyone taking a turn playing.  Those that weren't making music were dancing or hanging around the fire in the medicine circle/Gypsy camp.  It was an incredible night  filled with such joy and friendship.  I wanted to show you the pre-party pics.  We were having so much fun during the party that we didn't really get any shots.  Folks are posting all over Face book though.  I will try to collect them later.

Here is the beginning of the Gypsy camp.



This is where Vicky Lyons-Elliott, the Tarot reader set up.  She was wonderful and everyone seemed to really enjoy her!  If you are interested email me and I will connect you to her.











Going deeper into the Gypsy camp…


Here we had a fire pit going…



The Gypsies had their goodies laid out everywhere!







Masked pumpkins everywhere…




A hukka with lots of fun flavored tobacco…





Just in case the guests had a sweet tooth attack and didn't feel like getting up…




Lots of witches in attendance…



And others too…


Everyone came in costume…


The food was set up in Aragog's hollow.  Unfortunately I don't have a lot of shots of that area as it didn't look like much until later in the evening as the guests each brought their dishes.



The spider nests totally creeped me out even though I made them…..  eeeeekkkk!



I had a talking head in a globe and electric balls.  Someone at the party videoed some of it. 

video

Honeydukes sweet shop set up a table at the party…


It was sooooooo fabulous as to be truly OVER-THE-TOP!!!!















They humored us with some retro candy…


We all had a fun trip down memory lane…






















Do your teeth hurt yet?




Of course we had lots of lovely spirits, of the bottled variety…




As the sun set it was magical!




You have already seen the apothecary shop and the cemetery in the last post but
 here they are at night…  









Here's the graveyard…









It was truly a most magical night.  Thank you for visiting again.  Holler if you want me to send you some candy…  we have LOTS left over!!!

Blessings to you all!!!
Tricia