Sunday, February 26, 2017

πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸ’¦Overflowing 🌊🌊🌊



My Wild Neighbor

I have three choices for you if you do not have time to drink in everything in this overflowing blog post.
1. Scroll to below the labyrinth image to see what I am offering (oh PLEASE do this -- I am so excited to share it!) 
2. If you are a friend or family member who wants to know about my recent adventures, or you enjoy stories with a useful message, read the first part.
3. Watch the video (keep scrolling to the very bottom of the page)

I awoke in the very early morning and stumbled with my eyes only half open into the bathroom with the intention of a quick pee and then diving back into my bed for a couple more hours of much-needed sleep.

This plan was thwarted by the unexpected discovery that the toilet water had risen to the top. The combination of this initially confusing and most unwelcome sensation combined with the ear-splitting siren announcing that the creek had gone over the bank (I live next door to both the siren and creek) was an effective wake up call.

So once again, I threw some stuff into bags, climbed over the sand bags that have been in place for several weeks and ran out into the pouring rain. This time I did not bother to move more than a few of my things off the floor. The process of moving them and putting them back every time had just proved to be too time-consuming.

I splashed though the little lake around my car and drove to the higher ground of a parking lot waiting for the grocery store to open so I could use the bathroom.

While I waited, I texted my friend who lives up in the hills asking if I could take refuge there again until the creek went down. She said I was welcome but would have to take the back way as the closer road was closed due to mudslides -- which had also red tagged nearby homes. 

Fortunately, the rain stopped and the creek went back down to it's bed and I returned home. I would've loved to return to my bed as well, but did not have that option.

I took this photo near where my car was parked on my street.
A few days later, I was at the library (I had walked there through a torrential downpour because I was unwilling to lose my competitive parking spot on high ground --for which I would receive a ticket). The water dripped from my saturated raincoat onto the floor as I removed the book I had ordered from the hold shelf. 

At that moment, an alarm noise sounded. Most of us politely gave our attention to the librarian as she announced that it was a flood warning and then we went back to what we were doing. Warnings and alarms have become the new normal.

Rather like watching the news lately.

My choices were to turn back or
go off the path where the poison oak lurks or
just keep going and enjoy the messy fun.
What an adventure 2017 has been so far! So many of us are in the midst of intense initiations. And I am not just talking about the weather and it's after-effects!

Perhaps you are noticing some similar experiences to the ones I have listed below, even if you are not in a geographical flood zone.

  • overflowing
  • powerful winds of change
  • surges and gushes 
  • rushing faster and faster         
  • frequent power outages 
  • muddy
  • messy
  • dark days and rainbows
  • uprooting and falling
  • exciting adventures
  • many paths and roads blocked
  • sudden dangers 
  • astonishing beauty.

In addition to the weather, I have been affected by the extremely challenging circumstances that many of my dearest love ones have recently endured (either it's happening everywhere or it's probably not a good idea to be someone I care about).

Furthermore, what is happening in my country and the world at large is never far from my thoughts and always percolating in my emotional body.

I think we are all feeling these kind of things at a deep level at this time of rapidly accelerating world change.

Yet as scary, uncomfortable and confusing as is to navigate in the midst of all of these Life Storms, I truly believe that these are times of initiation and even adventure.

It may not feel like a very fun adventure when we are experiencing fear, overwhelm and the accompanying surges of fight or flight hormones.

But it is precisely these kinds of provoking situations that compel us to evolve. And it is our individual and collective evolution that the world desperatly needs right now.

So what I have been up to (in addition to my own personal adventures and doing my best to transform them into evolutionary opportunities), is creating a service to assist those on similar paths.

In the midst of all of the aforementioned chaos, as well as an entertaining and hugely time consuming assortment of bizarre technical glitches, and a bout of insomnia, I was connecting with people from all over the globe (with electrical power dancing in and out, interrupting Internet service and Skype calls), to find the best possible candidates for beta testing my new service as a guide to the "space between stories".

I finally found the perfect Beta Clients and have been sending them materials customized for their seven-week Hero/ine's Journey.

They have been giving me valuable feedback --which has been sweet but also about not overwhelming them with the vast amount of material that I've accumulated over the past 7 years.

I listened to them and figured out a way to make it much easier while still having the extra information available so that you can choose to explore any topic that sounds inviting. 


And now, I'm overflowing with joy and excitement to announce that I am finally ready to be a guide for this journey!

Please see the description below if you are curious what I have created or if anyone you know is currently experiencing a gap between an old way of life and a mysterious, elusive new one. 

You might want to consider gifting this service to someone you know who is feeling stuck in "The Neitherlands" (a place between worlds) and could benefit from the support and guidance of my playful and practical program.

It would be an invaluable gift at an affordable price. And you would also earn my overflowing gratitude! 
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Are you in a “space between stories” * - a gap - between an old way of life that has ended and a mysterious, elusive new one?

Does this ring true for you?:

·  An ending (possibly traumatic and sudden)irrevocably changed your life.
·  Everything feels surreal.
·   The rules seem to have changed and no one gave you a copy of the new ones.
·  No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get any traction to move forward.
·  You feel uninspired to do the things that you think you’re supposed to do.
·  You are drawn to activities that seem to be impractical and unproductive.
·  You feel overwhelmed, scared, confused, and maybe even despairing, yet you’re not ready to give up.


*The Space Between Stories is the title of an excellent essay by Charles Eisenstein.



What if you knew that what you are experiencing is:

·  exactly what you most need and will benefit you immeasurably
·  shared by increasing numbers of people for an evolutionary purpose
·  a story that has been told in every single culture from the beginning of time and is the basis of every major religion as well as bestseller books and blockbuster movies
·  an invitation to an initiation, so that you can discover and share the unique gift you are meant to give
·  not a random bad thing that happened to you, but “a dangerous and beautiful assignment” (quote from Caroline Casey)
·  about to amplify your deepest inner wisdom, intuition and send you magical synchronicities so that the guidance you need will become increasingly clear
·  going to be hugely challenging but you are totally ready for or it wouldn’t be happening



⛵πŸ‰ THE HERO/INE’S JOURNEY πŸ›‘⚔

In the mythic Hero/ine’s Journey, that uncomfortable “in-between-place” is known as “The Special World”. 

There is a really good reason why this “monomyth” (as Joseph Campbell calls it) has always been wildly popular and deeply influential. Not only does it make irresistibly compelling fictional stories, but people all over the world are living the story every day.

 I know, because it happened to me. 




I certainly didn’t think of myself as a “heroine on a journey” after my life implosion (perhaps initially “hot mess wallowing in misery” might have been more accurate).

But each time I surprised myself by behaving differently than I ever had before, strange and miraculous events occurred.

My curiosity about these unprecedented new ways of being and magical synchronicities lead me to the story of the Heroine’s Journey.  When I looked back on my experience I discovered my story fit the template in truly astonishing ways.

This motivated me to do a ridiculous amount of research (many hundreds of books, articles, teleseminars, interviews, classes, events and adventures, work with practitioners of multiple modalities and more!) for over 7 years into everything from cutting edge science to the Ancient Wisdom Traditions.

I wanted to understand what had happened to me, and in the I process learned about the stories of countless other ordinary and famous individuals who had experienced this same basic journey.

 And now I’m ready to share what I have learned with you.

I believe that the reason I dived down all those rabbit holes and experienced my Heroine’s Journey, and the reason I have had so many other enormously challenging experiences throughout my entire life is so that I could be of service to you, and to the collective journey we are all on at this time on the planet.

 I’m ready if you are!

So, this is what I created for you:

I modified the classic Hero’s Journey to focus on immediate first steps for you. I am guessing you don’t have time right now to spend months or years on this journey --although you could certainly use it for a lifetime if you wanted to deepen into it. There are options that range from doing less than an hour a week to doing a deep dive every day. 

I also made it more in-line with emerging paradigms of a more balanced masculine and feminine way of showing up in the world. And I added some practical and playful elements to make it both useful and fun.


Week 1 - Understanding the JourneyOverview of Hero/ine’s Journey and why it is useful as a transformational tool during difficult life transitions. Also, reflections on your old story or the “Ordinary World” as it is referred to in The Hero/ine’s Journey. Exploring how you got there and discovering the gifts you bring that will help you.

Benefit - When you are able to reframe what is happening in the context of this story, it shifts your perspective from feeling powerless and perhaps victimized by random events, to seeing a larger purpose, which activates hope for the future. Discovering in retrospect the clues that you may not have recognized at the time helps amplify your intuition. Discovering your unique gifts (including some you may not have recognized as gifts) will help you immeasurably on this and all future journeys.

Week 2 - Gathering Your AlliesPreparing a team to accompany you on the journey. Practical step by step suggestions for how to build a support network. This includes mobilizing your current friends and/or family and/or community. Finding or creating new allies and mentors — in person and /or online. Locating appropriate helping professionals - even with few resources. And even creating an internal set of allies that will always be with you.  

Benefit Deliberately assembling a team is absolutely essential. If you don't have a strong support network, building one can seem daunting, so it helps to have a guide to assist you in creating this vital component in your journey. It may be only a small number or it could be a big community, depending on your circumstances and needs. Even if you already have a good support network, intentionally calling them to join you on the adventure with specific instructions as to how they can be of the most support to you will be helpful for both you and them. This is a reciprocal exchange. Although you will learn how to exercise your muscles of receiving, you will also be giving to them. And if there is any way that you have even the smallest capacity to volunteer in some tiny way, you will learn how this will be of enormous benefit to you. 

Week 3 - Crossing the ThresholdHow to consciously take the step from your old life into “The Space between Stories”. And if you are already in this “Special world”, how to go back and step over the threshold again as a sovereign hero/ine who is choosing to go on this adventure. You probably did NOT choose it consciously, and I will help you re-frame it in a way that reclaims your power.

Benefit When you exercise your ability to choose your circumstances, with the understanding that even seemingly random and painful events can be beneficial, you feel a sense of sovereignty. During this step you will be exploring how to take a seat of dignity and serenity --even in the midst of chaos. Any actions you take from that place are far more likely to take you to a more beautiful New World than reactions from feeling like you were shoved or dragged into this in between world by your hair! You may not have any physical power over some of the circumstances, but paradoxically surrender and vulnerability are hugely courageous and one of the strongest ways to show up.

Discovering ways to embrace your passage and rightful sovereignty and power AND humility and vulnerability is a tricky balance, but one you can achieve.

Week 4 - The Road of Trials/Facing Your Dragons: Why this road is essential for your evolution and how to navigate it as well as surprising strategies for dealing with the “dragons” you will find there.

Benefit The road of trials is not an easy one. The dragons can be dangerous. And yet there is nothing you will encounter there that will not ultimately help you — understanding this is key. The process of discovering this on your own can be a confusing, slow and painful one. A slower pace and being willing to be present with pain and not having all the answers is necessary. But having a guide to help you see the bread crumbs or shiny pebbles on the road and offer clues as to how to turn a fire breathing dragon into an ally while still keeping safe boundaries will help you keep going strong, OR to take a creative play break or rest if that is what is called for. Play, creativity and quiet times are not frivolous distractions on this road.

Week 5 - The CaveHow to survive the darkest times and find the treasures that are in there. 

Benefit No one enjoys the cave. It is dark and scary and uncomfortable. It is unavoidable and inexorable whether or not you consciously choose it on a hero/ine's journey. Ultimately you are alone there for at least part of the time, but if you go into it with the understanding that it will bring you treasures beyond your wildest imagination. Even during the times that you feel the most alone, at least your internal allies will be there for you if you know

how to ask for them. Having evidence of both of these truths Will give you courage, strength and comfort.

Week 6 - The Grail: What is the unique boon or blessing that you came on this journey to find and how bringing it back out of the Special World will serve not only you but all whom you will meet.

Benefit When you find your version of the Holy Grail or Golden Fleece, it will serve not only you for the rest of your life, but your team and everybody you encounter in your life’s journey from that point onward. And this gift will also ripple out endlessly into the world. So it's a pretty big benefit!

Week 7 - Ritual and/or CelebrationWe will co-create a ritual or celebration to mark your passage back to the Ordinary World --which is both a return home and paradoxically a New World that you could not have previously imagined. 

Benefit We rarely take time in our culture to pause and celebrate our successes, or for that matter to honor our failures. This sacred pause helps to remind you of everything you learned, and to discover deeper levels that you might not have noticed in the midst of the journey itself, as well as give you a landing pad from which to survey your gifts before launching forward into the New World. Also, even though it can seem strange to celebrate something like a death or divorce, there are always gifts to be found. When you celebrate them, it strengthens the power of those gifts and your sovereignty. Also, when you know that there is a celebration waiting for you, that helps pull you towards it and can even bring unexpected joy. Whether you choose a small private and reverent ritual or a party including all on your team or something in between, it is a way to step over the threshold into your New World in a similar way to how you crossed over into the Special World. Here is a list of other benefits of celebration. http://www.sparksandleaps.com/13_benefits.html


✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Benefits of the Hero/ine’s Journey

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·      When you believe that challenging transitions are random and harmful, this belief triggers your biological survival conditioning, which in turn triggers neurological, physiological, psychological chain reactions in your brain, body and behaviors.

·      Rather than continue this predictable sequence by what seems logical (working hard to figure out a sensible plan, fix your problems or at least find a fix for the pain), taking this illogical path of first divining meaning and finding gratitude from whatever has happened will completely shift your experience.

·      It brings hope and a whole lot of magic – which can actually be validated by countless real life stories and an abundance of fascinating scientific data.

·      Choosing to dive into the discomfort via the mythical realm may seem like a strange idea, but there is an alchemical transformation that occurs for those who have the courage and faith to take this journey.

·      It will also activate your right brain, amplify your intuition and greatly enhance the creativity that you need far more than you need logic when you are in that Special World. Your magnificent, logical left brain is extremely useful in our ever accelerating fast-paced Ordinary World -- it just doesn’t work well in the Special World. You can’t think your way out of that place.

·      One thing to keep in mind is that you may have already crossed over that first threshold or dived into the cave or even found your Grail but perhaps don't recognize yet, using the structure of this journey.

·      I cannot guarantee that you will have a total transformation in 7 weeks. Although this is certainly possible, this is not a linear journey with a clear map. It is more like a spiral or labyrinth and has many layers.

·      Once you have shifted your perspective and have experienced all of the steps once, you will have a completely different way to navigate your current transition and all the ones you will encounter in the future.

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Your Three Choices for the Journey:

All Three versions of the Seven Week Hero/ine’s Journey offer the same basic “magic elixir”, but it comes in different containers.

I am well aware that those who are on this journey often have financial constraints so I have created three levels.


If you are self-directed and/or require the most affordable option, there is the Rose Goblet.

·      This is a seven-week exploration of how to navigate your current life transition using the framework of the Hero/ine’s Journey.
·      You will receive a document at the beginning of each of the seven weeks via email with seven creative, playful and/or practical activities, from which I recommend you select two -- one that calls you and one that challenges you. You can certainly do them all as long as you don’t get overwhelmed, but you may be better served by going through the seven weeks and then starting over choosing new ones the next time around.
·      There are also extra credit options of links from me and various other teachers (which will include readings, recordings and videos) to explore for each day if you are inspired to learn more.
·      I highly encourage you to join a private Facebook group where you can connect with me and others on the journey. 
·      Phone support with me is available for an additional fee of $50.00 per half hour which you can set up through my online scheduler.



Sliding fee from $50.00 – $200.00 for the full 7 week Journey (see below)











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If you want all that is in the Rose Goblet with the addition of a one hour call before you start so I can customize the offerings for your unique situation, personal preferences and learning style, you may prefer the Silver Chalice. This option also has email support from me.






 Sliding fee from $250.00 – $400.00 for the full  week journey(see below)










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If you know you will need extra support and want all of the above plus a 45-minute private call per week, then the Holy Grail is for you.





Sliding fee from $450.00 – $900.00 for the full 7 week journey (see below)










I have done a lot of different programs, so I know what I am offering here is worth more than the highest prices on the upper end of the sliding scale.  But in the interests of making this easily accessible, I am experimenting with an introductory low price and a very wide sliding fee scale. I trust that you will honor your true needs and also mine in selecting a price.  ❤️

If you feel called to join me on this adventure, (or you did not consciously choose an adventure but want a caring, playful and savvy guide for navigating this in-between place where circumstances landed you!) I would be honored to be your ally.

If you would like to learn more about me and what qualifies, go here and here or visit this first story of my blog. You can also check me out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michelle.simonson.5

If you are curious to learn more about this journey and/or want to share what is happening in your world so I can learn about you, please send me an email at michelle@sparksandleaps.com with the subject line "Curious".

I am looking forward to hearing from you and assisting you with turning this "space between stories" into an experience that will yield unexpected treasures!







3 comments:

  1. Michelle, how wonderful, and congratulations for doing so much research and hard work to get this going! How intriguing it sounds! Onward and upward, my dear! XOXO Peggy

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  3. Thank you so much for celebrating with me and for this encouragement, Peggy! I greatly appreciate your support! Just curious... are you the delightful Peggy who creates all of the fun crafts for kids at the local festivals or a different Peggy? Not sure if this will find you since you are under anonymous, but hopefully you will feel my love and gratitude!

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