Connected in a Big Way {Remembering my Peak Experience}

I have been thinking a lot lately of a peak experience of mine that took place about 10 years ago. It happened in Sedona on our way up Schnebly Hill Road a few months into my separation from my first husband. My friend and I were traveling together, both on a healing mission. I was trying to decide what my last name should be…keep his or take back my maiden. I didn’t feel connected to either.  I had been married 12 years and no longer felt like the young woman who carried my father’s name.

All along the drive from Texas out to Arizona, I toyed with what was right, what was expected, and what honored my highest good.  There were no easy answers, but somehow, I felt like this journey might help me figure one out.

We were arriving in Sedona at sunrise on the Spring Equinox. A friend shared that there would be a ceremony at the top of the road just as the sun came up, so we rose early and began our ascent. The only way to get there was by traveling a road that was over 100 years old (I could be exaggerating, but I think this is the truth).

I was terrified of the trip. My imagination went wild with what-if’s.  What if we got stranded? What if a wild animal attacked us? What if we were abducted or killed by strangers.  My anxiety was not helped by the fact that my friend was extremely pregnant. That opened up a whole ‘nuther can of what-if’s, I am sure you can imagine!

We began the journey in her little Toyota, scooting our way up the steep, barely paved road, occasionally being passed up by 4 wheel drive trucks.  Eventually we got to a point where the car couldn’t go any further, and my friend shared that she wanted to go sit in nature. I wanted to also but was too chicken to go too far from the car.

I took my blanket and sat near the edge, but every time I closed my eyes, they were startled open by an image of a jaguar lunging at me. (Do they even have jaguars in Arizona?)  I sat there in the cold, huddled up in my blanket and heard something in the distance, a truck.  My imagination when wild. I knew I was about to be killed! As it got closer, my heart raced, and then my bladder made its presence known.

I got enough courage to look into the truck and knew I would see a couple of Banditos or murderers. But behind the wheel were two older ladies. I wanted to laugh at myself! I approached them and explained that we hoped to go up the hill, asked if could they give us a ride.  I think they were a bit leery, me explaining my pregnant friend was just around the bend, but they took me in.As we road to the top, we realized we had so much in common. They were longtime friends like us who traveled together now that both their husbands had passed. They talked about the Artist’s Way, an experience that mirrored ours, and how each of them had come there to heal something in their lives.  The thin one was a blonde like my friend, and the round faced one was brunette like me. The air was alive with synchronicity. My friend and I looked to the front seat feeling as if we were somehow looking into the future.As we inched closer to the top of the hill, which was more like a mountain to a city girl like me, we arrived at an out-cropping that was circular in nature. It was a bit of a climb, but nothing a couple of wise women, a woman ripe with child, and my own round hips couldn’t manage.  The sun had just fully come up, and we decided to make this our resting place.

Our time there began by taking in the awe of the horizon. My eyes dropped down to the floor of the Earth and traveled like a swooping carrion across the land, jetting up at the majestic formations that stood like giants before me. I felt small in that moment, compared to the vastness of the world, but I felt connected in a big way.

I began to sing a song that I had learned in a gathering of women a few years before.

“Morning Sun, Morning Sun, come my way, come my way. Morning Sun, Morning Sun, take my pain, take my pain. Take my pain, take my pain, down below, down below. Down below, down below, cool waters, down below.”

The other women joined me, and as we sang, I felt the Sun’s rays come to me. It seemed to open up a space for something special to happen.  We sang more songs. Songs of connectedness and healing. And then, in silence, we each went to our own space to ponder what had brought us to the mountain.

I sat quietly, waiting for my spirit to settle down. The moment was so charged that my mind and blood were racing. But eventually, I could feel the solid rock beneath me, and my heart rocked peacefully in the cradle of my chest. I looked in front of me, and notice a small slab of rock that sat a bit higher than the foundation I sat upon. And in my mind, I heard a voice whisper, “This is the altar to the world. This is the place where names are given and names are taken. Ask for your new name and you will be given that which you asked.”

My first thought was a big….oh, well, that is a bit far-fetched! But I wanted to believe that I didn’t have to hold onto a name just because society thought I should. I wanted to believe I could create a new future for myself. And so I climbed up to the little rock, carefully and with my whole body shaking. I said out loud, “What if this is the altar to the world, the place where names are given.”  Reaching out for the top of the stone table, I slowly pulled myself up. My eyes scanned the stone. I couldn’t tell what I was seeing at first, but when I realized what it was, I began to cry.  Covering the little altar were names. Names!

Perhaps this was an altar. I asked what my name should be. And without much hesitation, I heard….DayStar.  Far-fetched, perhaps.  But I took it because it was the name that was given and later that day, felt a big ah-ha when I realized it was a blending of my mother’s middle name and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. It felt balanced.  I left my tears as an offering on the stone, and climbed down, a new woman.

For several years I took DayStar as my last name, and then I met a man, my love, and have taken his name.  I still hold onto DayStar in certain circles and claim it as my spiritual name. Perhaps it is no coincidence that my business is personified as SiStar Starla. I think there is a bit of me in her and her in me.

Writing about this peak experience has been powerful. It has revealed a lot to me about what is important in my life.  Most important of these lessons is to listen. When I listen, there is a voice inside that is filled with wisdom and knows my souls path.

And when I follow, it takes me on great adventures.

This blog post was inspired by the Business Soul Sessions.

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About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle! http://www.creativitytribe.com/
This entry was posted in Creative Living, Spirituality, Storytelling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Connected in a Big Way {Remembering my Peak Experience}

  1. what an honour it is to have you share this wondrous story about you with us. We are growing wiser and stronger together. Namaste.

  2. C M Rawlins says:

    Wow, what a beautiful story, Rae. Rae DayStar — I love it.

  3. Ann Marie says:

    My gosh Rae, what a powerful and wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing this story. You and I have so much in common and I am forever grateful that we were brought together in this life to be friends, to share out stories and to cheer each other on as we reach for the stars that are ours to claim.

  4. presentmomentphotography says:

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring event. Our inner voice/inner knowing is so amazing!!!

  5. rosemary says:

    Oh I am so thrilled you shared this story… it is one of those mysteries I have waited years to hear… I knew in my heart that it had to have been a turning point in your lifes journey..and you said when the time was right you would share… how true those words were. Thankyou for sharing with us. My hope will be that the womanhood tribe will take to heart this story and understand how importantant it it to nourish onesself and become stronger after climbing emotional mountians of sorts. Many of us already know we are stronger than before and will continue to grow because we have been blessed with you, your stories, teachings and giving of yourself. Love u Sistar

  6. Wow…so powerful. Amazing things happen when we just trust.

  7. galyn says:

    Thanks for sharing this. We all have such experiences and often no one to share the info with- without sites like yours. We– women– and artists in all art fields– do have much to say to one another, a need to connect and you offer voice and community. As an added bonus- we get to see your art– and as an artist I love to see what others produce. This ‘doodle’ you did while writing this is inspirational. I have been able to link off your sites to others I also very much enjoy.
    Many people go thru life wondering why they’re here and what they’re supposed to do—and now you know–and now you’re doing it.

  8. Luna says:

    This is an amazing story! I love this! Thank you so much for sharing bits of your beautiful journey.

  9. What a nice story–and a wonderful name as well. Thank you for sharing it.

    Malcolm

  10. onewomansmusings says:

    Thank you for sharing – a wonderful story and beautiful art. And another part of the journey we share! I got rid of my father’s surname several years ago now and it wasn’t until much later that I realised I had chosen the same initial and surname as my grandmother and returned to a tradition that ran through my maternal family.

  11. rrchase says:

    I’m reading Kelly Rae Robert’s E Book flying lessons right now. I guess it is the precursor to the business soul sessions. I am feeling so inspired-the e book is the best read I’ve ever seen on the subject of how to become an artist entrepreneur. I hope to take the soul sessions class next time it is offered! Thanks for the wonderful post, a great story.

  12. Pingback: Il gabbiano, sincronicità e viaggi mentali « Witches are back

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