“If I was to sum up one core lesson I shall carry with me after my year with the Wheel of Life Program it would be the power of “enough.” So to anyone seeking wholeness, the blessing of enough — being, having, feeling, sharing, understanding enough — I would say to them: welcome home. The wheel of life community is where you belong.
And, if you’re anything like me, you will discover that you’ve been here — on and within the wheel — all along.” ~ Allie, Mississippi
Entering the new cycle
This will be the THIRD year that I enter the Wheel of Life with others for a journey. Actually, many years before I started this distance learning/experiencing program, I took people into the backcountry of Yosemite for 5 days on two different trips. It was co-led by a very experienced backpacker. Little did I realize that those two Wheel of Life backcountry trips would actually lay the foundation for this distance program…with the mountains, green-blue lakes, and hawk calls guiding our way.
Each year the program builds on the previous one. Our community builds and grows, deepens and widens with each journey around the wheel. As well, my own personal journey with the wheel of life takes on new meanings and understandings.
It has been a 15 year journey of navigating the profoundness, simplicity, and elegance of the Wheel and I only feel that…now…I am beginning to FEEL the rhythms and teachings of the Wheel.
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 and essential for healing — but, sadly is often neglected by modern culture.
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. Embracing process-oriented life explorations. 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 2022 (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 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.
For every direction, I will invite a guest presenter who, to me, embodies the essence of that direction. They will help us dive deeper into the qualities of that direction, allowing us integrate the teachings even more…
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 place-based 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, Sharon Paice MacLeod, 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. I also drew from Celtic cosmologies and Old European pagan cosmologies…
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 2022. 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 Dec) 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:
East (February, March)
Where our attention goes
Where we get perspective
The beginner’s mind or the Sacred Fool
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
Where we root down to rise up
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 $200-500, sliding scale. I have space for 15 participants (definitely will not take more than 20). A non-refundable deposit of $50 by Jan 24th will secure your spot. The rest of the program fee 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!
Words from past participants…
“The wheel of life experience with Lindsay Kolasa nourished me deeply through the transformation that was 2020, a year in which we ended up moving to and from an island and became pregnant and welcomed our first child. I love that my daughter Madrona was steeped in the wise voices and readings and experiences that Lindsay offered. It was beautiful to just be in community with other people experiencing life through the context of these spirit rich orientations. I particularly benefited from the guidance towards ancestor exploration and dreamwork.
Before I engaged in this experience I knew I was wanting something to help me return and honor myself anew – to deepen and access connection and intuition and I feel certain that the fibers of that time are like roots growing stronger within me – and with every season I have this basket of the cycle of life reaffirming, blooming, filling and emptying. I’m very grateful for and aware of the ripening that have and will come up through the coming years that were acknowledged, planted and tended during our time together.”
“This was a wonderful medicine for the whole ten months and beyond. Beginning just as COVID-19 began to spread around the world, the Directions, suggested readings, and Intentions for each month gave extra understanding and receptivity to what was present in our own worlds as we manifested, and appreciated what was before and within us. The group gatherings via Zoom held a soft yet powerful witness and reflection of what we were experiencing, willing, learning, and letting go; and a community was built as we found our way through a shifting and ever changing reality. Together, and with Lindsay’s leadership, we grew into our own gifts, and continue to seed and bloom our harvest for the world and our relations, creating the world we want to be.
Thank you for sharing your gifts, Lindsay ~ and for continuing this important Medicine Wheel of Life.”
“Everyday seems more powerful now as I can see the directions of the wheel vividly, with myself at the center, bringing my attention always back to my own breath, my own outstretched physical body, my spiritual and psychic self. It helps ground me to what matters most, my power and agency to understand and be with my own truths, the truths of others, my feelings about those truths. It radiates outwards from my core to connect with others, past present and future, the simple map that in all ways, brings me to recognize the illusion of separation. I hope to carry this gift with me and continue to grow and learn from it. I hope it continues to unlock things for me in my spiritual, mental, and physical life as I make my way around it again and again each year.”
“This was my first conscious journey around the medicine wheel, and I am so grateful for this gift that will nourish and balance the years to come. Lindsay creates a safe space to explore and share, with insightful questions, readings, wisdom, and an incredible group of fellow humans on the journey.”
“I have been going to therapy for years and felt a significant shift in the way I showed up in sessions after going through the wheel… I felt as though there were deeper understandings to be acknowledged and was able to move to a place with less expectation, striving for the doing of things, and checking off of boxes and lists and instead, embraced just being. It was a realization that trusting in myself and the process was enough, and that I could just show up as I was- without preparation or performance.
This program and community seemed to come into my life just at a time when I was searching for deeper meaning and new ways of healing and support. I will forever be grateful for this experience- it has opened my mind and soul to so much more than I was ever exposed to in our industrialized western society and I know the journey around the wheel- one of reflection, learning, and connection will be lifelong.”
I’m super interested in your Wheel of Life course, and I have a few questions please…
I live in the southern hemisphere, quite close to the equator.
I understand the four seasons to be universally applicable archetypal patterns whose energies are equally relevant for those who don’t physically see the seasons demarcated in the natural world around them… I also understand that the cycle/seasons express universally in micro and macro form, like in our menstrual cycles, the lunar cycles, and our life cycle…
so i think i can (I want to be able to) navigate those aspects regardless of where the teaching is coming from…
but i still feel like i want to ask:
Would you recommend your course for southern hemisphere people? How easy would it be for me to translate (maybe translate is not the best word) the teachings into southern hemisphere speak?
I’ve been piecing together various teachings about the Wheel for a little while now and I sometimes feel quite confused between northern and southern hemisphere expressions of it.
I really want to grasp it, ideally from a “both” perspective. But if I need to enter it from one portal or another, I feel I would be more comfortable entering through the southern portal…
is this just a detail that I don’t need to worry about? or am i best to search for something similar in the southern hemisphere?
and then I have one last couple of questions around the time difference and time commitment (as well as being in the opposite hemisphere I’m a fulltime homeschooling mother, writer, farmer and gardener so adding another commitment of this magnitude is huge for me).
Are you able to I’d be likely to miss most or all of the live sessions and have to listen to them in retrospect — would this be ok?
thanks for taking the time to read my email and I hope to hear back from you soon
ps, since I’m writing to you I also just want to take the time to thank you for the work you do – so needed in the world right now!
Writing and creating at https://arealgreenlife.com/ empowered thinking for deep change + practical skills for sustainable living.
Hi there Kate — thank you so much for your interest and for writing! Yes, this Wheel course does follow the Equinoxes and Solstices in the temperate world of the Northern hemisphere… It does seem that it would be wise to find a similar program closer to the area/land you are on now…
However, since the course does draw on archetypes and elements of each direction…maybe there are things you could glean from this course and transform them into something more appropriate for the place you live?
if you find something for more equatorial living — I’d love to know about it!
As well, as a homeschooling mama…you could always create something for your and your kids to explore together. That would be interesting!
Thanks for reaching out and I appreciate your words of support. It seems like you are co-creating well with your time and the place you live!