The first time I met her, I was sitting in a circle with twelve other women being guided into visualizing our inner mentor, our future selves. I was new to visualizing as a process for digging deep and a bit skeptical of my brain's ability to let go and allow my inner life to speak to me. But, there I was in the presence of generous love and acceptance, following the invitation to dream into the older, wiser me. The first time I met her, I was on the cusp of leaving a career and opening to a brighter, healthy version of my life. I was trading drama and exhaustion for something more gentle and kind. When I first met her, she lived in a small seaside cottage with a red cruiser bike resting along a white picket fence. Her yard was filled with wildflowers and birds, fragrant roses mingled with the balmy scent of salt and sea. She welcomed me into her cozy home, offering me an overstuffed chair, herbal tea and scones. The afternoon light streamed in through spacious windows and warmed the corner nook where we sat. Her hair was long and silver, her face warm and kind, her clothing soft and flowing in loose comfortable layers, her feet bare and grounded. Her message for me was to trust myself, that I had everything I needed and I believed her. I asked her what her name was. "Mimi", she said and I knew that was true. As I left, she offered me a notebook and pen with the invitation to get my heart on the page. And I did.
The second time I met her, I was in Santa Fe surrounded by magic light and curvy women with spacious hearts. It had been a few years since I connected with Mimi. This time, she showed up in the mountains with enormous redwoods lit by purple moonlight. She was living in an Airstream trailer all decked out with twinkle lights and filled with sacred icons and folk art. In place of soft pastels, her space was rich with reds, deep aubergine, and gold. Her hair was still silver and long and she wore the same light flowing clothes, as well as a floral silk scarf. Everything about her felt like warmth and ease. She called me Clementine, a name I was trying on at the time. When I asked what she wanted me to know, she encouraged me to stay mindful in my life and open to trust and love. She encouraged me to travel with my beloved and write and dream big. She reminded me to care for myself and my life like I would care for a bunny. To embrace my feminine spirit and follow through with rituals of healing. When I left, she gave me a downy soft bunny, her silk floral scarf and a bowl of clementines with the invitation to uncover the sweetness of my life. She encouraged me to reclaim my Querencia. And I did.
The third time I met her was last week. I was sitting with my creative coach defining some core values and clarifying my creative life. As part of our coaching session, we revisited the visualization into my inner mentor. This time, Mimi emerged from an expansive desert, moving slowly and carrying a knotted walking stick. The sky was layered in blues, pinks, and purples which contrasted against the heat of red rock mesas and cliffs. The barren landscape was warmed by the setting sun as Mimi approached. She wore loose layers as usual, but also a long robe— embellished with embroidery. She wore silver and turquoise jewelry at her neck and cuffs. Her silver hair was braided into a single long braid that draped along her left shoulder and down her chest. The same warm, kind face greeted me and as she asked me to sit, I realized there was a picnic table just for us. When I asked what she wanted me to know, she said, "See yourself as I do." and then named who I am. Kind. Generous. Loving. Deep. Wise. I asked her where I could find her if I needed to connect. She said, "I am in the sacred, in nature, the earth mother." I asked if there was another name I could call her. The letters U-M-I floated in and out of my mind's eye. Later, I would look up the name Umi and discover it means Ocean, Mother, Life. I couldn't have imagined this perfect, beautiful name. As we departed ways, she gifted me a hawk feather and sage. For my courage and strength. For a fresh perspective and flight. For a clean slate and cleansing. To soar with ease because my past is complete. And I wept.
As I came out of this visit with Mimi, I remembered the Motherpeace tarot reading from a few weeks ago. I pulled a single card to guide me through the year— Strength: Calling on Magical Helpers. In the wake of our election and with the impending despair that I've been feeling coming into the new year, I needed this card's message. It reminded me that I am connected to the magic and healing energy of the natural world and that I have everything I need to manifest my deepest dreams and desires. It reminded me that my inner wisdom is awake and alert and that I have access to that inner light whenever I need it.
I believe in the power of ritual and in our soul's capacity to manifest what it needs in order to thrive. Each of us has an inner voice, a wise and generous part of ourselves that shines a light on our strengths, our gifts, our enoughness, our ability to touch the world in our unique and important ways. It may take practice to hear that wise and loving voice amidst the noise and messiness of everyday life. But experience has shown me the power of listening more deeply to that inner voice.
This week, as we begin a new presidency in the United States, I wish to stay connected to that voice, my inner Umi. I need her generous, wise light more than ever as I navigate these dark and troubling times. I wish to stay connected to magical helpers— awake and alert to sources of healing energy, truth, and restorative strength. I wish to provide refuge through my offerings. It is my deepest desire that my daily work be a source of healing, beauty and light.
May we all be a source of strength for each other, magical helpers in our everyday lives. May we tune into our wisest, most generous selves more than ever, offering refuge from intolerant and critical noise. May we stay awake, connected and centered in a collective pursuit of healing and light.