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!