After Basic Emotional Healing – What Next?

The Next Stage in Personal Evolution

Maybe We’re ALL Autistic – to Some Extent

Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein reportedly quipped, ‘Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.’

In last week’s post, I asked you (my readers) the question: Are you autistic?

I’d assumed (erroneously) that most of you would say something like: Me? Of course not!

I was wrong.

I got an email back from one of my readers, Yes, I am autistic, and dance helps my symptoms.

What Is It Like to Use Belly Dance for Personal Healing?

I know the woman who wrote back to me; she’s actually very well integrated – she has a strong role in society, is a valuable member of several groups, and is overall an absolute dear and delight.

I was surprised that she labeled herself autistic, although that I knew she used belly dance strongly as a healing modality.

I also knew, though, that she attended strongly to the beat of a “different drum” – she listened more to her inner self than to the external world.

Belly dance has been important for her as a means of tapping into her body’s secret storehouse of knowledge. For her, as for many of us, belly dance (Oriental dance), truly is an integration pathway.

As I reflected on what she wrote, I thought: I’ve used belly dance for healing myself, just as she has. And many, many of my students have said the same.

In fact, probably most of the women who come to me (and yes, like attracts like), have come less because they want to put on the glitzy costume and perform on stage. They come because they want to tap into who they are in a deeper way.

That, and do some serious healing and integration.

And for some of us, of course, performances and other stage opportunities do ensue. (This in fact may be part of the healing process.)

We Heal Ourselves from Being Emotionally and Energetically Fractured

In that sense, maybe we’re all dealing – to at least some extent – with the challenge of having various aspects of who-we-are fractured, and our conscious awareness sometimes not fully tied into either our surroundings or our bodies.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about How Belly Dance Healed My Life.

From the stories that I hear; I suspect that I’m just one among many.

We may not all use the term autistic to describe ourselves, but many of us – due to a range of factors – may feel that it is difficult to be present in this world. Co-opting the title of one of Robert Heinlein’s most famous science fiction novels, many of us feel that we are a Stranger in a Strange Land.

Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”



Meaning from Movement Applies to Our Dance

One of the things that I love most about Oriental dance is that it allows us to both access and express the full range of who we are.

This is important, because most of us – in our day-to-day lives – find that we access only a limited part of our emotional range.

Through movement, we express ourselves through a much more complex emotional vocabulary.

In that sense, the phrase coined by autism researcher Dr. Geoffrey Waldon, Meaning [comes] from movement, is useful for all of us.

What’s the Next Step after Basic Emotional Healing?

Our emotional healing progresses throughout our entire lives. Most of us – unless we are a very advanced soul – will not finish in this lifetime.

However, we do move on to progressively deeper – and more refined – aspects of inner healing.

Specifically, we start to work more with our full energetic being.

Carolyn Myss, in her book Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, writes (in Section One on “Your ‘Cellular Bank Account'”):

Each of us has hundreds of circuits of energy connecting to us, energy that different cultures have named in different ways as the Divine breath of life that animates each of us. What the Indians call prana and the Chinese call ch’i, Christians refer to as grace or the Holy Spirit, and secularists might call vitality or simply life-force. [p. 16]

Although the life-force is equally available to all of us and flows into us whether or not we are aware of it … it’s possible to maximize our intake and use of it. In fact, consciousness means awareness of the flow of life-force into us and the ability to direct it into certain areas of the body, without unknowingly releasing it from other areas of the body.

Imagine this flow of energy as a financial allowance … positive investments will earn you positive returns… Negative investments, on the other hand, will create debt. [p. 16]

The only way to release the pattern into which we have locked ourselves is to release the weight of the past – to get out of the energy debt we can no longer afford to carry. Forgiveness is one sure way out of debt. Forgiving does not mean saying that what happened to you doesn’t matter, or that it is all right for someone to have violated you. It simply means releasing the negative feelings you have about that event and the person or persons involved.[p. 18]

Dr. Carolyn Myss, “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can”



What Caroline Myss teaches gives us an important and valuable connection:

To use belly dance as a sacred pathway for body/mind/psyche/energy healing and integration, we also have to do some spiritual work. Most especially, we have to learn forgiveness.

First, we start forgiving ourselves. Then, we also forgive others.

The Course in Miracles also teaches forgiveness as a basic principle.

We’re going to be working with this – and with other spiritual principles (gratitude, giving love, and taking responsibility for our thoughts) over the next months.

For today, it may be sufficient to simply start being gentle with yourself.

First step: Ease up on the judging.

We are much harsher with ourselves than we are with anyone else.

Cultivate – to the best extent that you can, just for today – the art of gentleness. (You do this, and I’ll try to do this also.)

How Being Gentle with Ourselves Is the Key to Our Next Stage of Personal Growth

Belly dance gives us the means to be with our bodies, and our feelings. It helps us access our inner feminine core, and express the feminine aspects of ourselves.

There is one more step that we can take, though.

If you’ve been following me on the Unveiling blog, you’ll know that we’ve been working towards the goal of core archetype integration. This is often typified by the seventh card in the Tarot’s Major Arcana; the Chariot. (For those of you familiar with the Tarot, this sounds like a masculine archetype, right? Read Unveiling’s Chapter 7: “A Real Woman’s Path (Really Does Exist!),” to learn the original meaning for this card. It started off as a feminine archetype: the Winged Goddess.)

Beyond the Chariot or Winged Goddess stage, where we literally force our archetypal polar opposites to work together, we open up a brand new stage of learning.

We introduce this with the notion of Strength, Major Arcana Card VIII.

The Tarot card <em>Strength</em> (Major Arcana Card VIII) shows us that after we have strong and firm control over our inner selves, we can begin gentling and taming our inner beast.
The Tarot card Strength (Major Arcana Card VIII) shows us that after we have strong and firm control over our inner selves, we can begin gentling and taming our inner beast.

Have a look at the figure to the left.

It shows us the Tarot card Strength (Major Arcana Card VIII). This is the first card in the second series of major life journeys.

Notice how the woman is easing her “inner beast” to the ground; she’s subduing it not with force, but with gentleness.

In most of my Unveiling blog, and in my book, Unveiling: The Inner Journey, I focus on the first major life journey: getting to access, understand, and integrate our eight core power archetypes.

I briefly mention the second and third journeys adult life journeys. The second journey deals with accessing our inner Fountain of Youth – our intrinsic personal energy.

Martial arts masters – especially of the internal martial arts (T’ai Ch’i Chuan being a premier example) use their internal energy, or ch’i, as part of their practice.

In our second adult life journey, we learn to do the same. (Read Unveiling’s Chapter 29, Pragmatic Esoterics, for a start on this.)

Forgiveness Leads to Gentleness; Gentleness Leads to Tension Release, Tension Release Leads to Better Dance

For a practical start, as you do your belly dance exercises this week, focus on softening your body. Use the force of gravity to help you align, not muscular tension. See how much you can release tension throughout your body.

Saint Francis de Sales, practical and wise (1567-1622)
Saint Francis de Sales, practical and wise (1567-1622)

We’re beginning to learn effectiveness while staying soft, relaxed, and gentle.

As Saint Frances de Sales is credited with saying:

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

Let’s try putting this into action together, shall we?

And we’ll check in with each other next week.

Very best wishes as you use Oriental dance (belly dance) for personal growth and healing!

Yours in dance –

Alay'nya - author of <a href="">Unveiling: The Inner Journey</a>
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook


Oriental Dancer Nimeera on Unveiling: The Inner Journey

What does Oriental dancer Nimeera have to say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

NImeera Nazmine performing with a shamadan (candle headdress); photo courtesy Washington Post.
NImeera Nazmine performing with a shamadan (candle headdress); photo courtesy Washington Post.

This is a wonderful book! Unlike so much of the fluff out there, this one is by no means an “casual read” to read in the little stolen moments of the day. Rather, it is something with many layers of depth to be explored in meditation and contemplation, with a cup of tea, away from the demands of children and husbands. And then not to read all at once, but section by section with time for reflection between readings… It has resonated with me and given me validation for the things I feel and do that don’t always fit with society’s expectations for me, and given me ideas for how to further mold my life path to my greatest satisfaction.

Nimeera Nazmine performs in North Virginia (Fairfax and Woodbridge), as well as in Washington D.C. She also teaches classes in both belly dance and Bollywood-style Indian dance.



Alay’nya, Unveiling: The Inner Journey





Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Using Belly Dance for Emotional Healing and Personal Healing

Using Belly Dance to Heal Deepest Emotional Wounds – Part 1

Using Belly Dance to Heal Our Deepest “Emotional Core” Wounds – Part 1

This post is not for everyone.


This is for “mature audiences only” – reader discretion advised.

(The following post shares personal experiences, and is not medical advice. If you are at all in doubt before you begin – should you choose to do something similar to what I’ve done – consider asking for guidance from a licensed medical or therapeutic professional. And perhaps have a trained counselor with you as you do this particular form of “inner journey.”)

What Is a “Core Wound”?

A core wound is the psychological impact from an experience (or set of experiences) that we have when we are young, or are otherwise exceptionally vulnerable. This (these) experience(s) occur when we are still shaping our basic worldview; our concept of whether or not the world is a “friendly place.”

Core wounds most commonly come from experiences with our immediate family. In particular, they come about with those whom we identify as essential to our survival.

To the best of my knowledge, all of us carry with us some sorts of core wound. We often have them no matter how much we do psychotherapy, seek “spiritual enlightenment,” or just plain “work on our stuff.”

How Can We Determine What – In Ourselves – Is Our Own Core Wound?

Mother Henna writes about her experience of seeing her "pain body" as separate from her "light body."
Mother Henna writes about her experience of seeing her “pain body” as separate from her “light body.”

Core wounds feel like psychological “hurt.” In fact, they “hurt” a lot. So as a result, we try to bundle them up and isolate them away from our conscious awareness.

Core wounds never really go away on their own. They stay inside us, with tremendous power – mostly because we try to contain and control them.

How Do We Detect Our Core Wounds, and Know What They Are?

Often, our core wound show up as “blurts.” These can be phrases that we say to ourselves. Sometimes, they even slip into our conversations! Or, we show ourselves (and others around us) a core wound by voicing strong opinions about how a person (or certain group of persons) always does something that is “bad.”

Core wounds feel intensely private. We rarely – if ever – discuss them with others. Often, if we do psychotherapy or have a life coach or a spiritual counselor, we may work for months before we tentatively allow our core wound area to be broached. This is because, of all the parts of our inner world, our core wound feels most sensitive, most vulnerable, most “ouchie”!

And yet, if we do allow a core wound area to “come into the open,” we may be surprised to learn that our coach, counselor, or therapist really knew about it all along. (And so, for that matter, did our relationship partners, and possibly our boss, co-workers, family, and friends.) This is because our core wounds affect us so much that we “give them away” all the time!

Who Else Talks About Core Wounds?

Eckhart Tolle writes about core wounds in The Power of Now. He calls them our pain-body.



Core wounds never really go away on their own. They stay inside us, with tremendous power – mostly because we try to contain and control them.

Often, our core wound show up as “blurts.” These can be phrases that we say to ourselves. Sometimes, they even slip into our conversations! Or, we show ourselves (and others around us) our core wound by voicing strong opinions about how a person (or certain group of persons) always does something that is “bad.”

Using Oriental Dance (Belly Dance) to Heal

We can have breakthroughs, and often do. But still, these are the “core.” They go right down to how we believe that the world works – in our favor, or not. Dangerous, or safe and friendly.

When we dance, we sidestep the cognitive side of who we are. When we let our bodies simply move, and express how we feel, we can access – and begin to heal – our core wounds.

I’m not talking here about technique practice, or learning a tight little choreography. There is nothing wrong with either technique or choreography. But at some point, we need to go beyond – to what dance really is, and what it can do for us – if we start releasing ourselves to the flow of energy and feeling that we can experience as we dance.

Z Helene Christopher – in her excellent paper on Middle Eastern Dance: The Emergence of the New Sacred Temple Priestess – provides four key points that will help all of us (including myself) use Oriental dance (belly dance) to heal our core wounds. According to Z Helene:

There are four main points in which we, as new temple priestesses, reclaim and reconnect with the ancient Goddess.

  1. We must understand our dance as embodying nature, especially its fertility aspects… Our dance exudes fertility. We move our pelvises and roll our bellies, honoring the sexual act and the resulting procreation…
  2. We reclaim and reconnect with the ancients by understanding our dance as manifesting ecstasy… Our movement invokes the ecstatic kundalini…
  3. We reclaim and reconnect with the ancients by understanding our dance as an experience of Divine Union…
  4. We reclaim and reconnect with the Goddess by understanding ourselves as dispensers of karuna; early motherly love … transformed … to embrace all forms of love: touching, tenderness, compassion, mercy, sensual enjoyment and eroticism.

Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as you tap into who you really are using dance!

Yours in dance –

Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook

From Z Helene’s Amazon review of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”: “Unveiling is about becoming more intimate with ourselves. It is about peeling away the outer layers that keep us from knowing, naming, and attaining our deep wants and desires. By embarking upon a transforming inner spiritual journey, we are encouraged to get connected to ourselves in a way that allows us to genuinely feel our bodies and emotions– all of them, even the undesirable ones. By integrating and loving our “shadow” sides, and by doing daily practices such as stillness, softening, releasing, shifting state, and breathing, we increase our vital energy (prana, ch’i) which makes us more attractive and, yes, more erotic as well. For true attractiveness, according to Alay’nya, is the ability of women to lessen their adopted masculine roles of control and being in charge (Amazon archetype), and instead to surrender to pure energy, motion, and love. This is what makes us beautiful!”

Z Helene Christopher
Z Helene Christopher – Dancer and Herstorian, High Priestess and Teacher. Photo courtesy Rick Fink.

P.S. – Have you read Z Helene’s article on Middle Eastern Dance: The Emergence of the New Sacred Temple Priestess? I recommend it to all my dancers!

Z Helene also has a 4-volume basic Middle Eastern dance (belly dance) instructional DVD set, and another DVD on zills, available through her website. Check them out!

Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Energy Healing and Emotional Healing through Dance

The Most Amazing Thing …

The Most Amazing Thing Is That – You Already Know This!

It happened during the second-to-last class of autumn. I was giving a “preview of coming attractions” – going over the “hot topics” for the winter quarter to come.

http://naturalplane.blogspot.coWhat is "esoteric belly dance"?
What is “esoteric”? And what is “esoteric belly dance”?

I took a deep breath, and launched into what I thought would be the most oddball, obscure, and yet most fundamental part of our next studies.

I felt pretty scared with this topic.

It’s one of those that makes “esoteric belly dance” – well – esoteric.

Mentally, I braced myself for resistance.

You (that is, the new group of students – and also those of you reading this) have borne up cheerfully – and even enthusiastically – as I’ve introduced a range of topics that you (students and readers collectively) often refer to as the “woo-woo stuff.”

That’s right. By many other standards, esoteric means the “woo-woo stuff.” And you’ve been cheerful and enthusiastic in not only trying this out, but in using that term.

This time, I thought, I’d lose you forever.

But as I launched into my description, my jaw dropped. I saw you nodding your heads in agreement. (This time, “you” being the students who were actually in the class that day – and perhaps even you as a reader.)

Over half of you were saying, essentially, “Oh yes, we know this already.”


One of the weirdest, most unusual, most “woo-woo” parts of the curriculum, and it’s already common knowledge?

I just couldn’t believe.

But it made sense.

In the class, we had a massage therapist whose interests and background included energy work. We had a Reiki practitioner. We had a few whose interests in yoga, meditation, and related areas were almost life-long.

Most of you already understood one of the most powerful principles for pathworking, or for bringing your energy work into your physical practice.

Jedi for Women

Over the years, as our curriculum shifted from classical, mainstream Oriental dance to … well, Oriental dance plus something … I’ve tried to express who and what we were in different ways. One that made the most sense was, simply, Jedi for women.

Imagine that you are Obi-Wan Kenobi, but a young Obi-wan. You’re not yet the Jedi Master. In fact, you’re not yet even a Jedi knight. You’re a young man who hopes to one day become a Jedi knight.

Hermione Granger, from the "Harry Potter" book and movie series.
Hermione Granger, from the “Harry Potter” book and movie series.

Or imagine that you’re Hermione, and more than anything, you want to go off to a school that teaches you to use the powers that you know that you have – but simply haven’t ever been able to bring together.

Or that you’re an young woman in pre-Arthurian times, stepping into the boat that will take you through the mists to Avalon, where you hope to learn the fabled priestess arts.

You’ve Already Been There, and You Already Know This

Now, let’s take this one step deeper.

Imagine that not only you are some fictional character, setting out to learn and master some arcane arts that will require years of complete devotion and dedication – but that at one point, in one of your many lifetimes, you were such a person.

Imagine that at one time, you not only knew these things, but had mastered them.

You were, at one point, a Jedi Master. You were a grown-up, fully powerful Hermione. You were a Priestess of Avalon.

And now, in this lifetime, you’re simply trying to bring it all together.

And thus, you gravitate towards energy practices, such as yoga. Or perhaps you’ve already studied energetic healing arts, such as Reiki. Or you’ve followed a tradition of ritual, and opened up your sensitivities in that area.

Somehow or other, in your various wanderings, you’ve already picked up enough so that when the new information is presented to you, it’s not new anymore.

It’s already part of your known and familiar.

Make sense?

Of course. And for a very good reason.

An “Integration Lifetime” – Or Why It Seems So Tough and Complicated

Many of us are experiencing an integration lifetime. We’re pulling together all that we’ve learned before, and we’re making the breakthroughs that we were reaching towards earlier, but possibly didn’t make in our previous lives.

That’s why this lifetime, for so many of us, is so complex, demanding, and challenging. We’re “wrapping up” a lot of things all at once, while reviewing all that we’ve learned before, and making major breakthroughs that we almost – but didn’t quite – complete in our earlier lives.

Sound exhausting?

It’s kind of like taking organic chemistry during the summer. (Difficult under the best of circumstances.) And then, while doing that, taking a “survey course” covering a few thousand years of humanities. And then doing an extra-credit project under the direction of a Nobel Laureate researcher.

Which would explain why our lives are so full, so complex, and so challenging.

We’re not just making headway in one area, we’re doing a lot of things, all at once.

And the Answer Is …

But what is this one thing – one of the three “cornerstones” of esoteric dance – that many of you know already?

Read the details in the next blog. (Yes, I promise to be forthcoming. And I’ll put the link here as soon as I publish the next blog.)

Or, if you simply can’t wait, pick up your copy of Unveiling: The Inner Journey, and read the paragraph at the bottom of page 410. (Yes, this is smack in the middle of Chapter 29, “Pragmatic Esoterics,” or – as we now call it, the “woo-woo stuff.”)

Here’s to your health and well-being – and to your overflowing personal energy and abundance in 2013 and beyond!

Much love – Alay’nya

P.S. Do you have a desire to be a “Jedi Master” in your own life? Do you desire bringing all of who you are – energetically as well as physically, and emotionally as well as intellectually – into one art? Do you desire your own pathworking?

Join me. Click here, scroll to the lower left on the page, and join the Unveiling community for quarterly (and sometimes more frequent) communications. This is reserved for people like you – people who want to infuse their practice with the energetic aspects, and use their dance art as a pathway for healing, wholeness, integration, and mastery.

Very best wishes to you make your dances more fluid and expressive as you add “water play” to your practice!

Yours in dance –

Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

From Dr. Nicole Cutts’ Amazon review of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”: “I love, love, love this book! It is like the g*ddess mother, mentor I never had and always needed. Finally a book that just tells it like it is for women. It is well written, intelligent and enlightening. For any woman who wants to live a life of adventure,joy and love. It is rich with so much wisdom and grounded in thorough research, which I love! I can’t say enough about it. All I can say is read it if you are looking for something new to take you to the next level of womanhood.”





Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., with Alay'nya, at the first private signing of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., with Alay’nya, at the first private signing of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”

P.S. – Are you seeking to revamp and rev up your life? Do you have goals, desires, dreams that seem almost within your reach?

Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., Success Coach and Founder of Vision Quest Retreats, can help you map the strategic plan to achieve your dreams.

Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Water Dancing and Emotional Release Through Belly Dance

Energy Dancing with a "Water Feeling": Flowing and Swirling Motions

Playing with Water Energy in Dance: Flowing and Swirling and “Fluid” Motions

The Autumn Equinox marks the transition from the fire energy of summer to the water energy of fall. The notion of having different “elements” (air, earth, water, and fire) comes from our classic Western European esoteric tradition, which teaches that each quarter is governed by a “suite” (swords, pentacles, cups, and rods), and that each of these “suites” is respectively associated with an “element.”

This is important for us not just because of our Western European cultural heritage, but because these various “suites” also connect us to growth stages identified in the Kabbalah, which is the earliest known “roadmap” for personal growth (leading, potentially, to God-realization). In a much more immediate and practical vein, these various “elements” connect us to a feeling of what is going on in our environments, and to how our bodies react to the changing seasons.


The “Ace of Cups” – the ultimate symbol for water energy.

It makes sense for us to invoke water energy into our lives after the fire energy of summer. This often correlates with what is going on in our weather, as well. After a late summer drought, we get rains once again. September is, in fact, a prime time for hurricanes!

And whether or not we’ve quenched the fire energy of our summer by going to the beach (getting a water energy infusion), by the end of summer, we’re often “burned out.” We desire not only the coolness, but the “swirliness” of water.

Practically speaking, how do we take this into our dance?

There are certain kinds of movements that almost shout water energy to us:

  • “Rounded” movements such as hip circles, rib cage circles, and figure-eights,
  • “Snakey” movements such as snake arms,
  • “Flowing” movements such as many veil patterns – whether done around our bodies while we are in one place, or as we move across the floor.

There are also certain rhythms – or musical sections – that speak a “watery” language to us:

  • Chifti tellis,
  • Taxims, and
  • “Lyrical” beledis.

This autumn, we’ll be studying and building choreographies with each of these different “watery” feelings.

"Pathworking" Involves Cleaning – At All Levels

Pathworking – Starting the New Year, Cleaning Out Our Lives

The “new year,” effectively, begins right about now. Really, it started last week – February 2nd. This was the Feast of Candlemas (the Festival of Lights). It was Imholc (in the older traditions), and Groundhog Day (in the newer ones). In Druidic times, this was the true start of the “new year.” Other cultures, notably the Chinese, start their new year with a celebration around this time of year. Truly, our juices don’t begin to flow – we don’t begin to shake off some of winter’s hibernation – until we start to get more light in the sky, beginning in early February.

Now on a simple girlfriend-to-girlfriend level, I’ll let you know: January was hard. I didn’t get out, and didn’t party. Instead, I focused down and worked my way through that month. And the results are in; they’re good, and I’m really pleased to have put in all that effort.

There’s another thing that I started – right after Christmas (right during the “Twelve Days of Solstice,” in fact). I got started on paperwork clean-ups. And as you probably know, this is a long chore. There’s probably not a one of us who can burn through our entire paperwork stack in just one evening, or even a weekend.

For me, it’s been multiple rounds of wrestling with the “Paper Tiger”; the piles, bags, and boxes of papers that have accrued over the months (and even prior years). Frankly, I feel that basement and garage clean-outs are easier.

Which brings me to: Basement and garage clean-outs. Specifically (because our garages are still pretty cold right now) to basement clean-outs. And I’ve been cleaning out mine (with the help of a sturdy and dedicated housemate). We’ve put in three “sessions,” and have made a dent. Not done, but a good strong dent. We feel encouraged. We feel that progress has been made, and that if we stay with this, we’ll even be done. (Some day.)

The point is: Basement cleaning – and paperwork cleaning – and life-cleaning of all sorts – is the kind of thing that we start right around now. And it’s part of our Unveiling process. It’s an integral part of pathworking.

In Chapter 19 of Unveiling, “A Sacred Time, A Sacred Space,” I write:

After we find and designate our sacred space, we cleanse. We cleanse thoroughly. This is important.

This is the actual physical cleaning of any aspect of our lives; our basements, our closets, our stacks of paperwork or sets of unanswered emails. It can be physical; if we are into body “cleanses,” this is often the time that we take on a little bit of a juice fast or introduce some tonics into our lives. (Even without that degree of rigor, we show more interest in fresh salads, and less of a need for chocolate cream-cheese brownies. Well, that depends on the weather.)

At the same time, whenever we take on some cleansing process in our physical worlds, or even in our bodies, we are allowing the same process to take place inside our minds. We begin our “inner house-cleaning” – as I described in Chapter 28, “Going Deeper.” During one of my own Inanna-descents, I found that cleaning out my “inner basement” led to cleaning out deeper and deeper levels – none of which were pretty! (In fact, it felt like excavating sub-basements filled with swamp-mold and muck!)

Yet this is one of the most important things we can do. In fact, we have an archetype whose purpose is to help us with just this! This is our inner Hestia. Hestia was the ancient Greek goddess of “hearth and home.” She was not into the relational aspects; she was not so much about the great love. Instead, she was more one for keeping the garden tended, pickling the vegetables, and cleaning the kitchen afterwards.

Hestia doesn’t get a lot of attention. Yet our Hestia mode is one of the most useful things that we have going for us. She keeps the underpinnings of our lives together – the day-to-day things that lets our Amazon conquer new worlds, our Isis/Empress have her nurturing time with children and friends, our High Priestess to have contemplation, and our Hathor to have time for sensuality and for play.

Did I mention that our Hestia doesn’t get a lot of respect? More to the point, she doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition. I didn’t even mention her in Unveiling!

That’s because I didn’t understand her until after the book was nearly done. In the ensueing months, though, I’ve had a better understanding. And I wrote about her recently as a core archetype in the Unveiling blog; see Hestia and also – for a birds-eye view of our complete archetype set, The Unveiling Archetypes and the Jungian Dimensions. (Look for Hestia in the top right quadrant of the figure; she’s in between the High Priestess and Empress/Isis.)

Cultivating our inner Hestia is an important part of our pathworking; our day-to-day journey. When we do the practical things on the outer, our minds free up to do the inner work. “Wax on, wax off,” Mr. Miyagi advised young Dan in the original Karate Kid movie.

And a special point: The deeper our “internal cleaning,” the deeper we go into the back corners and stored piles of “stuff” in our everyday, practical lives. The inner and the outer aspects reflect each other. Before we are fully empowered to glow in our newly-polished Hathor mode, or before we reach the true nuggets of wisdom that we gain from our High Priestess, we spend hours cleaning and scrubbing the pantry, digging out the basement, and taking carloads of things to Goodwill. The path to beauty, peace, freedom, and joy begins with cleaning up stacks of old bills and emails!

One final word: The time to do this is now. I hate it for you, dear one, and I hate it for me as well. But the best time to get this “housecleaning” done – inside and out – is before the robins arrive, before the trees are green, and before we are so in love with the love that’s going on around us!

To your joyous unfolding and the sturdy progress of your own pathworking

With much love – Alay’nya

Unveiling — the Permissions

Dear Ones —

Today, as I get up to write to you, it is early morning – a little after 4AM. The sky is still dark, the birds are still quiet, even the tree frogs ceased their chorus several hours ago. It is in these very quiet moments that I share with you, because one of the things that I (and many other creative persons) most like to hear is: What is the creative process like? What is it like to actually write a book; to go from concept to many rough drafts to final form to the final polish?

The creative process in others fascinates us, because we hope to learn something that we can use and apply to our own endeavors.

As soon as the sun rises, and the spell of quiet-time breaks, daylight energy starts surging in and I’m part of the “practical world” once again. And now that I am so close, so very close, to getting Unveiling to you, much of what I’ve put off over the past year is now on my desk. My daily “to-do” list crawls off the page, and – just as with you – even as I write down all the “to-do’s” and attempt prioritizing, I know that I’ll only do a small fraction of what’s on the list.

And the reason, of course, that I only get a fraction of the “other stuff” done is that I’m still massively allocating time to Unveiling.

A while ago – this is about a month or so back – I could sense the energetic “completeness” of Unveiling. At some level, it was already in final form. All the chapters were in place, all the necessary concepts and thoughts were there – even though I’ve continued to get guidance and inputs, and little things that make such a difference to the final outcome still come to me. (This is much like adding the final fresh, most tender, ingredients to a long-simmered stew, just before serving.)

As I said, energetically, Unveiling was complete.

Pragmatically – now that’s an entirely different story.

I spent most of yesterday, and will spend much time over the next few days, writing the Permissions letters. These are the ones in which the author contacts the publishers of other author’s works, asking for permission to include extracts of the others’ works in their own.

In my case, I have many, MANY extracts from other author’s works. About three dozen in all.

Why so many, you might ask? After all, isn’t Unveiling supposed to be my work – not just a compilation of ideas and insights from others?

And yes, truly, it is.

But the story goes back to the origin of Unveiling.

Many years ago, I began my own quest. I realized that I had stumbled, more or less, on a “path.” In fact, I had found the “path” that I was looking for – a body/mind/psyche/energy integration pathway for women. I had spent many years prior studying martial arts, and finally (and somewhat reluctantly) concluded that they were not right for me. All that block-kick-punch-strike — too masculine. While I loved the energy, the intensity, the total awareness and physical discipline of the martial arts, they were essentially masculine. Fundamentally, they were all about fighting. As a woman, I was less and less interested in fighting; less and less interested in the masculine path. I wanted one that was, at its core, intrinsically feminine.

When I found Oriental (belly) dance, I knew that I had “come home.” And for years, I was able to find extraordinary teachers in the dance arts, much as I’d earlier found extraordinary teachers in the martial arts. (I write about them in Unveiling, and in the Unveiling website – when it is itself “unveiled” – I’ll link to their sites.)

But even though I was getting fabulous dance training, crucial aspects – the “life-path-integration” aspects – were still missing.

I craved some sort of guidance. Specifically, I craved a book.

I looked high and low, and couldn’t find one. (This was some fifteen years ago.)

In response to my own need, I began writing. And of course, books – written by others – began to emerge. They played a crucial role in what I’ll be sharing with you.

So – right now, my job is to get those Permissions letters out, day by day, until all the publishers and authors have been contacted. Then, Unveiling can rightfully give you tiny little “snippets” of insights that others have provided, and you’ll be able to follow up on your own.

This is a long job – I’ve been at it for days, and more will come. But what is exciting is that years ago – when I first started writing to you – these materials (by and large) did not exist. Or I was unaware of them. Or even – if aware – I didn’t understand the role that they would play in the final manuscript. (Again, think of cooking — and being in a well-stocked kitchen. Sometimes, we don’t realize that we need a certain ingredient – like a bit of tomato paste as well as the fresh tomatoes – until we’re well underway with the cooking!)

Now, new and relevant books, articles, webzines and blogs are producing relevant insights, every single day. This means that many of us are holding the same thoughts, and asking the same questions.

Darlings, it is time to unveil Unveiling, and I can’t wait to share it with you!