I stepped into the new year (based on the Julian then Gregorian calendars, that is) by taking a hike.
I stepped away from motherhood duties and did just that. A hike. With a girlfriend. We talked. We sat on sandstone and gazed at the horizon. We looked at vultures circling in the sky. We saw lizards scrambling over rocks. It was simple and soulful, just what I needed.
At home, later in the day, I started a fire with my 3-year old daughter by my side. We burned driftwood we had found and took turns tearing, crumbling, and tossing in pages from my 2020 planner into that hungry fire. I have done this for the past 7 years.
When we are all done, we boiled some water on top of the fire and made our ‘new years tea’ to sip and stoke the inner fire.
Life is ritual
Life is ritual. Every day is an opportunity to meaning-make. That is one of the many reasons that I created this Wheel of Life program because meaning-making is deeply human, often neglected, and essential for healing.
Truly, I didn’t realize what good timing it was when we embarked on our first Wheel of Life journey in 2020. We began our journey in February and then the world turned upside down and inside out.
This program served as both a container and a thread…holding us as a group and helping us link one blur of a month to the next.
That’s what I aim to do for the new group of 2021 — provide a space for presence for the unfolding of our own lives and the times we are in using an ancient tool…the wheel of life.
This program is about finding your inner compass. Meaning-making. Connecting. Understanding the archetypes that tug at our soul. And, a means to support us on our journey.
Will you join me?
The 10-Month Program
Starting February 2021 (just before Spring emerges), we will embark on a sacred journey around the wheel of life. We will begin in the direction, East…and we will make our way around the medicine wheel — South, West, North, and then Center… It will be a 10-month distance “experiencing” program consisting of small groups that will be in hearty dialogue with each other as we move through the seasons.
You can chose how deep you want to go.
The second Sunday of every month at 10 am PST, we will meet on Zoom for about 2 hours. As we enter each direction, I will send out an email with an outline of that direction. Simple exercises and readings will guide you around the Wheel.
About the Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life is a way to orient ourselves in the world. It is an archetypal blueprint of the seasons and phases of life. It is a reflection of our life process, which is, ultimately, a creative process. The medicine wheel, in various forms, has been used by numerous peoples on this planet for healing, guidance, and to reconnect a person with their own narrative within the greater current of life.
Teachers, elders, and healers such as Elina Avila, Jeanette Armstrong, Starhawk, and Laura Van dernoot Lipsky inspired my work. As well, I drew from the book, ‘The Sacred Tree,’ which was created to support First Peoples who were dealing with substance abuse issues.
My relationship with the Wheel of Life
Ever since I learned of the medicine wheel, about 15 years ago, I found it to be so familiar and it drew me in. The shape — circle. The four directions. The psycho-spiritual element. The way various tribes, peoples, and cultures across the world were guided by the medicine wheel. It all made sense to me on a level that took me awhile to articulate.
Later, I realized that the medicine wheel speaks through a soul language.
I continued to explore the medicine wheel and started drawing some simple sketches of them.
Then, I experienced how to use the medicine wheel in a council process by an Okanagan elder. It was powerful. It was life-changing.
My eagerness to explore the wheel deepened after this moment with the Okanagan elder. And then, it took on a life of its own.
While living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, I had a dream of another way to use the medicine wheel. It could be used for deep healing…if we were placed in the center. The simple rock carvings…the leaf litter…the soft, sunlight of the fall season making its way through the trees…I remember these parts of my dream well. I also remember the circles that marked the four directions and the healing place in the center; a place where someone could lie down for healing.
In our own way…we will each walk the Wheel of Life and find our way to the center…the heartbeat of our sweet and soulful lives…
How the course will be organized
Each participant will receive an image of the Wheel of Life that they will print out for their reference. This Wheel of Life took me years to develop…it is an offering to the community…a road map.
As I mentioned above, the course will begin in the East in Feb 2021. The entire group will meet, using the on-line platform Zoom, once a month as we move through the seasons. We will meet on the second Sunday of every month (Feb to Nov) at 10 am PST.
The regular talks are the anchor to this program, offering continuity, building trust in the group and the process, and creating community. Whether you make the call or not, you will have access to the recording.
For each direction there will be contemplations, journal writing, and exercises to explore. I will send these by email at the beginning of each quadrant of the medicine wheel (see outline below).
The course will be pretty intuitive once things begin. I have created a loose structure with breathing room for us all to influence the flow of the course. I will give you a map and show you the way, but we each will chose how to walk the path.
Here is the basic flow of the course (and I am leaving some things out as to not reveal each and every aspect of journey together):
East (February, March)
Where our attention goes
Where we get perspective
Bird wing & feather
What we can and cannot look at or see
South (April, May, June)
Where our childhood wounds reside (blockages)
Self-acceptance & self-esteem
Our 7 gifts
West (July, August)
Sacrifice of old self
Dream healing & meditation
Quest, pilgrimage, vision quest, or vipassana
Entering the womb, abaton, or cave
North (September, October)
Where we call on the ancestors
Consult higher wisdom
Oral histories, oral traditions, and songs
Center (November, December)
Tree of Life
Community project or offering
Email me to express interest in the program — lindsaykolasa (at) riseup (dot) net – I look forward to hearing from you.
What will be the cost?
The fee will be $200-350, sliding scale. I have space for 15 participants (definitely will not take more than 20). A non-refundable deposit of $50 by Jan 20th will secure your spot. The rest of the $200 is due by Feb 15th.
I have purposefully made this course very affordable so that no one is turned away due to lack of funds. As well, I have TWO scholarship funds available. So, it would be pay what you can or trade what you can; we can be very creative with this!