Stung by a Bee on the Tongue

beeToday I was stung by a bee on the tongue. It flew right into my mouth as I was speaking and it stung my tongue. Twice. And then I spit it out as the stinging sensation was rising and I was hoping I was not allergic to bee stings.

I never actually saw the offender as I catapulted it out of my mouth, so I do not know for sure it was a bee. But it was a stinging flying insect for sure. When working in shamanism, we don’t ignore things like bees flying into our mouths and stinging us. It’s not just happenstance that a bee flew into my mouth. Spirit is at work, and there is a metaphor and a lesson at hand!

So what, I wondered, is the message from Spirit?

Hmmm…right before the bee invaded my orifice, I was on the phone telling a friend about my son’s soccer game. I was recounting my displeasure that the referee seemed to favor the other team with the number of fouls and yellow cards he donned on my son’s team, and his seeming inability to notice the same behavior from the opposing team. I was telling my friend how one of my hot buttons is fairness; that when I do not feel things are fair, I tend to get upset.

I was about to tell my friend that perhaps this perceived slight was all a matter of perception; that maybe the referee simply had a different perspective. That maybe the change that had to be made was inside of me—that potentially I needed to work harder to understand my own need for fairness. Then, the bee flew into my mouth and chaos ensued for several minutes.

When I looked up bee in my animal spirit guide reference, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, I read the following:

“If bee has shown up in your life, examine your own productivity. Are you doing all you can to make your life more fertile? Are you busy enough? Are you taking time to savor the honey of your endeavors or are you being a workaholic? Are you attempting to do too much? Are you keeping your desires in check so they can be more productive?…
“The bee is the reminder to extract the honey of life and to make our lives fertile while the sun shines.”

After reflection on all of this, I have come to two lessons:

  1. Enjoy the moment of watching my son play soccer without fretting over the details of the specific game; who won, who lost, whether there was a foul…none of this will be remembered in the end and does not matter. What matters is witnessing the absolute brilliance of my son with a soccer ball.
  2. Choose wisely the content of my mind that pours off my tongue. To taste the honey of life fully, we must feed our tongues sweet words to speak, rather than words that sting. In any moment, we have the choice to see honey dripping or bees stinging.

Deep blessings to Spirit for the wisdom sent each day.

Even when it’s a bee stinging my tongue.

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Finding My Drum

drumSlow and steady the beat begins
Welcoming the ancestors and the four winds
Beckoning wisdom from beyond

The cadence quickens
The intensity builds
Spirit takes over the rhythm
My mind becomes lost in visions

I become one with my drum
I become one with Spirit
I become

– Kerri Hummingbird, 2013

When I met my drum for the first time, I did not recognize my lover. I did not feel worthy to play this powerful instrument with its deep baritone vibrations. It felt too large for my novice hands to command, too amazing for me…a person just beginning on the path of shamanism…to identify as my own.

I sheepishly brought it to Journey Circle. I asked my mentor, Gerry Starnes, to play it for me…to play it for the group. Its magnificent music had to be shared by others! But how could I play it among a group of people I so respected and admired?

The first time I played my drum at Journey Circle, my heart pounded in my chest. To play this mighty drum softly, respectfully integrating its music with the community voice, was my sole focus. I listened intently to the rhythms around the circle and tried to match them with my own tapping. I adjusted how much force I used to drum, trying to match the volume of the other drums. I did not want to overshadow any other drum in the circle, I did not want to stand out or be heard…and yet, I wanted to be heard. My mind churned and my heart pounded and I began to perspire with nervousness. Finally, I took a deep breath and relaxed. I let Spirit take control, and the most amazing thing happened: my drum’s song joined the community song in exactly the perfect way.

My greatest teacher has been my drum. The hypnotic music we make together liberates my mind from its ceaseless churning, and leads me to a land where Spirit weaves fantastical visions to show me the wisdom I seek.

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Discipline Begets Love

stagnant pond“Eet’s DISipline that begets love!”
Ren, Ren and Stimpy

Sometimes I skip my daily rituals because my day demanded an early start to work, or taking the kids to school. Sometimes my rebellious nature emerges and I skip my daily rituals just because I do not feel like it. It is nothing disastrous to miss a ritual here or there, but what I notice, what I feel in my body at some point relatively quickly is feedback in the form of a feeling of stuckness. Cloudiness. Fogginess.

It’s like a pond that has no outlet or inlet, and it hasn’t rained for weeks or months…the pond has no access to clear water to refresh its composition. Our bodies are much the same way. Our bodies are comprised of energy, and sometimes that energy gets stale and needs to be recycled for fresh energy. When that feeling of being stuck arises, it is a sign to me that stale energy is trapped in my body, and it’s time to recycle.

So how do I recycle my energy? I have several daily rituals that move energy within my body, and purge what no longer serves. In the morning, I wake to gentle yoga that stretches out my body and gets my body circulating with prana, Sanskrit for life. I have learned basic Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, and I use whatever movements to my breath feel right to awaken me on any particular day; usually, I cycle through a range of movements and feel like I am flowing after about an hour. I then perform Kundalini Breath of Fire (demonstration) to open my awareness and vitalize the energy in my body; this takes about 10-15 minutes. Many times I am starting yoga while my younger son gets ready for school and eats breakfast, breaking while I drive him to school, and then finishing my yoga practice while my older son prepares for school. It is possible to weave the practice into my day with the requirements of my children and work.

Throughout the day when I feel clogged or anxious, I intentionally breathe deeply with ocean breath several times in a row. Moving prana into my body helps make the energy flow again. It is as if I am floating down a river but have gotten tangled in some debris; breathing deeply a few times helps me to dislodge the debris and flow again.

In the evening, I clean my chakras to remove any stale energy that has clogged the energy centers of my being. It takes a bit of faith and imagination to start this practice, but … be a scientist and conduct an experiment with your body! Be curious and notice…does your body feel different, or more clear, after you clean your chakras?

Typically, I end my day with a cleansing bubble bath. Water is excellent for soothing the body, relaxing the mind, and preparing for bed.

There are many other ways to move stale energy out of your body. Exercise of any form that increases your heart rate and produces perspiration is an excellent way!  Whatever method you choose of clearing your body of stale energy, be disciplined about your daily rituals. The body, mind and spirit love to be nurtured and cared for every day.

Happy clearing!

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First steps on the path of the Shaman

The deck speaks...

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
—Buddha

When I experienced Shamanic healing for the first time, an undeniable truth cemented itself in my core: whatever just happened, it worked. My mentor and healer Gerry Starnes, M.Ed., removed something from the core of my energy being and I felt better instantly. What’s more, I kept feeling better over the months to come. I no longer felt that familiar dark inky smudge at the center of my being that made me feel empty and worthless. And over the months to come, with the many healing modalities I pursued, I finally experienced what it felt like to be full and complete. Can you imagine that? I spent 43 years not knowing what it felt like to be full and happy inside of me?

Now I have stepped onto the path of Shaman. Timidly at first, unsure of whether I have something useful to offer to others, and wondering if I am absolutely crazy to think I can be a Shaman someday. With each step, more assurance has arrived that my path of service in the world, my purpose, has been found at last. I am now on my way towards a certification in luminous healing and energy medicine from the Four Winds Light Body School, and have performed my first few illuminations for clients (a form of energy healing), and…it feels good to be of service.

Another aspect of my service in the world is sharing. I am hopelessly in love with sharing my experience with others.

“There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”
― Edith Wharton

As I skip and stumble down this path to becoming, I hope to share my light with you, and in so doing, reflect your light back to you.

Namaste.

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