All Things Alchemical: Finding Treasure and Inspiration in Your Life
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APRIL 2015
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All Things Alchemical is the monthly E-newsletter of personal transformation for those seeking grace and clarity. Enjoy discoveries centered on health, spirit, purpose, archetypes, symbology and artistic expression that will guide you dancing through life.

Note From Kendra

 

Dear Friends, 

I have watched a couple of movies and read a couple of books recently that are centered around the lives of people who have been marred somehow by tragedy brought on by different circumstances. Their sheer will and determination to rid themselves of the resentment and anger, which had polluted their lives, through forgiveness left me astounded at the stamina of the human spirit.
 
Laura Hildebrand, author of Unbroken, tells the story of Louie Zamperini as a World War II lieutenant and the resiliency of the human mind, body, and spirit. I found the book to be more inspiring and telling than the movie; the movie left me yearning to see more of Louie’s personal journey of forgiveness. I felt the producers sold us short on the intimacy of that part of life.
 
People who have been through the direst times and find themselves asking for forgiveness or forgiving intrigue me. What makes one person able to do that and another person not willing to take responsibility for his/her actions? The longing to be set free ultimately, perhaps?
 
Is it possible that some people really are incapable of engaging in the process of forgiveness? Or can we be at peace with accepting that to forgive or ask for forgiveness renders us vulnerable, and some people would rather die than be vulnerable.
 
One thing is certain: We cannot leave this earth without being invited into this process. Fortunately for us, we have been given brilliant examples - teachers – who have shown us that what doesn't kill us, will make us stronger, and it often involves forgiveness. The only path to healing, peace and new beginnings.

Peace and love to you this beautiful season of spring.

In gratitude,

Archetype

Poet (Artist)

Closely related to both the Author and the Artist, the Poet combines lyricism with sharp insight, finding the essence of beauty and truth not only in the epic affairs of humanity, but also in everyday acts and objects. Classic poetry extols momentous events and great deeds, and also expresses wonder at the hidden joys and sorrows that most of us might overlook. And although you don’t have to be a published poet to have this as one of your twelve archetypes, you do need to be driven by the need and the ability to discover beauty in the people and things around you, and express it in a way that helps others see that beauty too.
 
The shadow Poet turns his gift for lyricism to negative or destructive effect, as in songs or poems written in support of military aggression or genocide.
 
Films: Glenda Jackson in Stevie; Philippe Noiret in Il Postino; Sean Connery in A Fine Madness.
Fiction: The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll (shadow).
Religion/Myth: King David (ruler of Israel credited with writing many of the Psalms); Orpheus (great musician and poet of Greek myth capable of charming wild beasts); Bragi (in Norse myth, the god of eloquence and patron of poets); Finn Mac Cumhail (legendary Irish hero and leader who was also greatly skilled as a poet). 

Myss, Caroline.  Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.  New York: Three Rivers
Press, 2002, 2003. 405. Print.

Symbology

Dragonfly
Contributed by Anne Barton

Even before knowing the meanings associated with Dragonfly, I felt like this colorful, flighty being suggested the essence of magic. The iridescent colors, dancing movements, and affinity to water all suggest a spirit of ‘other worldly’ dimensions. And this is in fact part of Dragonfly’s story…
 
Dragonfly/Illusion, Equilibrium
 
Key Concepts when Dragonfly is Present:
 
•  Seek out parts of habits that have a need for change.
•  Things are never completely as they seem.
•  Break down the illusions that restrict.
•  Let Dragonfly and nature's spirits guide you through illusion to your power
    of creation.
 
Dragonfly medicine is of the dreamtime and the illusionary facade we accept as physical reality. Dragonfly’s shifting of color, energy, form, and movement explodes into the mind of the observer, bringing vague memories of a time or place where magic reigned. Did this mighty dragon of the skies ever walk the earth and scorch it with her fire?  Some legends say Dragon, in trying to prove his power and magical prowess, lost that power and was transformed into Dragonfly. Now Dragonfly cautions us to take care in giving away our power and to protect ourselves appropriately, striving for balance at all times. True safety and protection is in knowing who we are and trusting our own inner guidance. Wherever we put up barriers or a façade, or try to change to please another, signals where we are in pain.  Seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a part of claiming our power.
 
Dragonfly brings messages of wisdom and enlightenment as well as communications from the elemental world, made up of the tiny spirits of plants and the elements of air, earth, fire and water. Dragonfly may dance into your world to remind you to water your plants or to give thanks for the foods you eat that sustain your body. When we are too caught up in the illusion of the ‘real’ world, it is the animal spirits that will bring us back to the simplicity of our connection to nature and who we truly are.
 
Dragonfly can guide us to consider the balance between our emotional well-being and our rational mind. Nourished relationships of all kinds, with warm emotion and care, will flourish. Your rational mind may say that there is no time to walk in the woods at twilight with your partner when you need to do the ironing, but your rational mind is wrong. Without the positive expression of love, your relationship will shrivel and die. The laundry, on the other hand, will still be there tomorrow.

If Dragonfly crosses your path, consider if:

•  You are trying to prove to yourself or someone else that you have power. 
•  You are caught in an illusion that weakens your true feelings or minimizes your abilities. 
•  You are deluded into believing that you will be happier if you change because someone else wants you to. 

In forfeiting what you know is right and true for you, you give away your power. Follow Dragonfly to the place inside your body where magic is still alive and drink deeply. Take your power back – the power of becoming the illusion. You are creating it all.

To learn more about my tools, as well as more about me, visit http://tiny.cc/AnneBartonReadings.    

 

Health

Ayurveda
Contributed by Macy Johnson 

 
Ayurveda is an age-old practice dating back as early as 6,000 years ago. It is the sister science to yoga and serves as a guide to the existence of nature within the body, mind, and spirit. There are three primary constitutions within the teachings of Ayurveda. These constitutions are referred to as doshas: Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Each dosha is linked to elements that exist in nature. Kapha dosha consists of earth and water, Pitta - fire and water, and Vata - air and ether. Each dosha carries with it personality traits, physical features, sleeping patterns, lifestyle regimens, and more! By understanding our own dosha makeup as well as the dosha makeup of others, we are offered an inside look at the inner workings of the individual’s body, mind, and spirit!
 
Dosha Characteristics:
 
Kapha: Earth and Water
Heavy
Slow
Cold
Oily
Dense
Soft
 
Those ruled by the Kapha dosha are steady and consistent.
They serve as the anchor to any group or situation. Kapha doshas are very nurturing, loving, and routine based. When in balance, they experience ease and steady enjoyment in their life. When out of balance, Kapha doshas can suffer from weight gain, depression, resistance to change, and stubbornness. By understanding the needs of Kapha doshas and living a Kapha-balanced life, there is an increased ability to find mind, body, and spirit serenity!  
 
Pitta: Fire and Water
Hot
Light
Intense
Sharp
Penetrating
 
Those ruled by the Pitta dosha are driven and make wonderful leaders. Pittas serve as the decision makers and go getters of the group. Always seeking to take charge and get things done, they tend to be on the go and enjoy competitive environments. Though drawn to spicy foods, heated activities, and caffeine, Pittas can fall into a fiery imbalance! Meditation and gentle cooling activities such as gentle yoga can be a wonderful way to keep the fiery Pitta a controlled flame.   
 
Vata: Air and Ether
Cold
Light
Dry
Irregular
Rough
Moving
Quick
Changeable
 
Those ruled by the Vata dosha are energetic and creative. Constantly loving change and movement, Vata doshas have a tendency to jump from one thing to the next in an excited frenzy for newness! They have very heightened imaginations and crave lively conversation. When out of balance, Vata doshas may experience forgetfulness, insomnia, and anxiety. Grounding activities such as meditation can be a great way to encourage balance and relaxation for the busy Vata mind!  
 
The practice of Ayurveda is as old as time but it's application is forever relevant. Be sure to check out Deepak Chopra's dosha quiz under My Favorites later in the newsletter. It is helpful to take it two times. The first time with the intention of identifying where you are at in your current state and the second time with the intention to identify how you have been the majority of your life. With the results you will be able to compare and contrast to better indicate your current balances and imbalances! Enjoy your new found knowledge and Namaste! 
 
Macy Johnson ERTY200
Kunga Yoga School Faculty

www.wilmingtonyogacenter.com
 

Inspiration

Quotation from Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom. 

 

My Favorites

Take a peek into a few of my current favorite blogs, resources, and films. 

 

Blog
For the past two months I have been practicing yoga at Wilmington Yoga Center in North Carolina and fell in love with the class, “Warm Earth Flow”. It involves intense breath work and something new for me, Ayurveda mindfulness. I invite you to discover your Dosha and see how you may integrate a bit of Ayurveda into your world this spring! Take the dosha quiz from the Chopra Center here. I recommend taking the quiz twice.
click here for 1st quiz
click here for 2nd quiz

Great Resource
I enjoyed the Earth Flow yoga class so much that I wanted to learn more about the corealtion between yoga and Ayurveda. and this book came highly recommended. I couldn’t agree more, it is an easy read and great resource book that covers yoga, Ayurveda, chakras and even more. Click here.

Good Read and Film
Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Laura Hildebrand wrote the beautiful book, Unbroken. The book captures what the movie didn’t, the essence of forgiveness and the resilency of the human spirit. Find it here
Or for 2 hours and 19 minutes you will be entertained by the movie, Unbroken. The life of Louis Zamperini, a World War II Army Air Force lieutenant. Find the movie website
here
 

Another Good Film
Louie Zamperini's life after returning home and the battles he faced, click here to watch the trailer for the DVD Captured by Grace, produced by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.




Photograph courtesy of Macy Johnson.
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