I've been sitting with Bloom Post in her, A Heart of Service Shamanic Training, since January. I sat in circle with eight other students. Much of what I learned with her, and the circle I sat with, is still marinating, settling into my system. I began my training with Bloom and my peers unnerved. I felt generally anxious and defensive, needing to prove something while also being highly aware of this need and trying to shut it down. This of course, persisted the tension amongst my "selves" and within my body. I remember sitting in our first ceremony together overwhelmed with how fraught I was with the judgement I held against some of my fellow students. This was only my own self-judgement, guised. It was heavy. All of this was me trying to get out of body to find relief. The antidote, paradoxical. I needed to get back in my body. It's the initial safe place, the only one that we need. Yet it's also the place we other. We run from our bodies during trauma, trying to escape our fear and our pain. Sometimes we never learn to trust ourselves again. The consequence, we may never find our way back.
Our first training was hard for me. I have a tendency to outcast myself from groups of unfamiliar people. I know this is common. I understand it as social anxiety, which it is, but I further understand it as fear of being seen from an angle I don't want to be seen. This is shame. And oh, the lengths we can go to cover it.
I talked more our second day together. This opened me up. I had insights that day in regards to the naming of myself. How naming myself "Appalachia" reveals much about what I resist within my lineage. I knew this, of course. Resistance to lineage is why I changed my name to begin with. Seeing it to such an extent, however, exposed a childhood wound. I've been working with it since. I left this training feeling disarmed and surprised. And so it went after each following training.
We began every day with ceremony. By our last training together, we all took part in opening the energy of the space, in calling in the medicine we wanted to work with, in singing to the medicine, itself. It was all alive--the East, the West, the South, the North, the clay spirits, the shell spirits, the angels, and all the things we name demons, many of which are actually pains we aren't sure how to own, to integrate, or even notice. We took responsibility for those "demons". The demons, especially. Declaring, "I take responsibility for my shame, my self-rejection". We threw back a dose of tobacco tea via our nostrils to make the medicine go down, to raise our spirits. They rose, indeed.
We closed our last circle this past Saturday with self initiations, lightly bathing one another (clothed) with flowers and herbs. It was like a baptism of sorts.
We recessed each day together with a potluck. This recipe shares one of the four dishes I brought. I didn't intend on making this. I was actually trying to make sushi with some old produce I needed to use from the fridge. I couldn't cut the rolls cleanly so I just turned it into a salad and said to everyone, "It's sushi salad!" Ha!
It's super, super easy and you'll probably be able to use a lot of what you've got in your fridge. That's what I did. Get creative and experiment with your ingredients.
Red Quinoa and Rice Vinegar Nori Seaweed Salad| Daikon radish, avocado, white sweet potato, sunflower shoots
This recipe is one of those, "to taste/eye ball it" sort of recipes. I used:
-1.5 cups organic red quinoa, rinsed
-1 medium white sweet potato
-1 organic daikon radish
-1/2 organic avocado
-approx. 3 sheets nori, cut into medium-sized flakes
-approx. 1/3 cup rice vinegar
-a couple pinches of coconut palm sugar
*cucumbers are great in this as well!
-Start boiling your rinsed quinoa
-Chop sweet potato, julienne. Boil until tender
-Chop up the rest of your produce, including the nori
-Once the quinoa and sweet potato is ready, mix together the rice vinegar and palm sugar in with the hot quinoa. Taste to make sure you like this ratio. Add more vinegar or sugar if you feel it's lacking.
-Throw in the nori, stir
-Add in your produce and mix well
-Serve and top with sprouts. I like to use sunflower shoots.
I like to set this in the fridge for at least an hour and a half or so. I think the flavors come together better this way, but you're welcome to eat the salad as soon as it's finished.
It's also delicious to add cream cheese if you're into that. I use Organic Valley. I also think pickled ginger and wasabi with a little shoyu sauce would be awesome, but you tell me!