You can Support Healing in Times of Quarantine and Radical Change
There’s a pandemic upon us. And I’m not just referring to the one everybody’s talking about. I’m referring to the quieter contagion that underscores it—one of anxiety, uncertainty, and transition. Whether you’re an essential worker who has had to transition into the chaos of high-demand services, an everyday employee who has had to transition to remote work, or an at-risk individual who has had to transition to complete and total isolation, you’re undergoing a change. When we go through times of change, we need to find ways to support healing.
In this period of more questions than answers, I turn to the East.
Understanding the East
As a Shamanic Practitioner and carrier of Eagle Medicine, the Native American Medicine Wheel plays a very meaningful place in my life. This Medicine Wheel consists of seven directions. These are: North, South, East, West, the Above, the Below, and the Self.
So, why have I chosen to focus on the East?
The sun rises in the East, bringing with it a new day and new possibilities. Thus, the East represents rebirth, new beginnings, and an invitation for personal growth. Opening our East Gate allows us to realize this potential and recognize our new beginnings. For me, this realization could not have come at a more transitionary time in my life.
Moments of Sudden Changes in Direction
COVID-19 struck just as I was hitting a high in my career as a Movement Therapist and lifelong dancer. I was in New York, currently the country’s epicenter of infection, preparing to open the first-ever Conscious Dance Movement Division at Integral Yoga founded by Sri Swami Satchidananda.
And then, the music suddenly stopped.
In the midst of developing a program dedicated to connection, society forced self-isolation upon us all — with just cause, nonetheless.
Now, I find myself back in my Los Angeles home, quarantined with my Mom, whose flight back to her home in Tel Aviv was suspended in light of the pandemic. This situation alone has instilled new patience in me birthing an incredible new bond. Little did I know that after not living together for twenty-seven years my Mom has become my favorite flatmate. It is during this time fraught with forced acceptance, reacquaintance with familial ties, and self -reflection that an idea dawns on me.
New Beginnings in Times of Pause
I have been a facilitator of the Conscious Dance Movement for over 20 years, promoting the healing qualities of Dance for our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Now, I understand that the times – and my own recent experience – have called upon me to host an offering that delves deeper into the foundations of Eagle Medicine.
The Symbolic Meaning of the Eagle
Eagle Medicine channels the wise and majestic Spirit of the Eagle in an effort to help us achieve introspection and connection to the bigger picture. The Eagle is one of the most honored creatures in Native American tradition, and it’s believed that its high-gliding power allows it to be closer to the Creator.
When not perched in thought, the Eagle soars higher than any other bird, uncovering uncharted territories inaccessible to the human eye. Therefore, the Eagle represents the limitless depths of our Soul that we can uncover through the quiet examination of the self.
It is with the use of these principles of Eagle Medicine that I uncover a new beginning, one that I call The East Gate.
“I opened my East Gate about six months ago and I found love, intimacy, work, clients and a new career path,” says Danielle Rose, founder of LightsUp. “And then COVID hit. Everything changed. And now all the same things are happening again. This time, I go into the depths of beginning again. Without rushing, without judgement.”
This new practice consists of two elements: a sacred jewelry power object made of energetically-charged Labradorite stone, and a ceremonial journey that includes various meditations and daily rituals. These power objects, also known as “Winged Ones,” activate our sense of clarity, allowing us to better envision our new beginning.
The Medicine in Regular Practice
“Such medicine is exactly what the collective needs most right now,” says Dr. Kristy Vanacore, a holistic healer and empowerment coach based in New York who recently participated in The East Gate program. “As I shift my focus inward, as we are all being asked to do—a collective ‘time-in,’ I call upon my guides to help me navigate these unprecedented global shifts with ease and grace. As I connect with the Winged Ones, the Eagle reminds me that I can fly above the storm.”
My Conscious Dance and Movement as Medicine practice has allowed me to engage in physical and mental healing for decades. Yet now I’m able to experience something deeper. I’m able to explore the power of spiritual healing with Eagle Medicine as the world collectively ails.
“Connecting to Eagle Medicine is a calling for a shift of perspective”, says Kai Karrel, a fellow spiritual teacher and Shamanic facilitator. “Connecting to a sacred talisman, such as the Eagle of Winged Ones, in relation to the meditative practices… allows us to remain centered within this storm. To raise and elevate and bring about a transformative quality to the way we see ourselves and our path ahead.”
Virtual Connections and Looking to the East to Support Healing
The new beginning of my East Gate offering is also compounded by the new normal of this virtual connection we’re all encountering. I, like most, have surrendered my practice to the internet. Perhaps it’s not what comes to mind when we think of a sacred space, yet these virtual meditations have allowed me to heal remotely — another new endeavor reminiscent of the qualities of the East.
Stepping into the East Gate
I invite individuals from all walks of life to practice opening their East Gate. It all begins with a simple meditation, in which they are called to Surrender to the Unknown.
Sign up to receive the Surrender into the Unknown Meditation.
We are all surrounded by the unknown today and accepting this uncertainty is key to settling into this new normal.
Setting Up the Meditation Practice
A clean, calm, sacred space is encouraged for this practice to support healing. Create this environment by cleansing with sage, placing a glass of water on your altar (or wherever you choose to do your meditation), lighting a candle with an intention or prayer for your practice, and asking yourself: What is it you are surrendering to?
“During this time of expansive change comes infinite possibility for the world we want to see,” says Executive Coach Heather Hanson, who participated in the program with husband and business partner Colby Wickman. “The Winged Ones could not have come at a more synchronistic time in our lives. Our shared vision of a world completely healed and whole requires tremendous courage, fearlessness, and… solitary flight — all characteristics of the Eagle’s medicine.”
I acknowledge that this “new normal” has left many vulnerable. Healthcare workers and essential employees at the frontlines of the fight are not the only ones suffering. Those battling addictions and mental illness have also been left vulnerable by the chaos that currently encircles us.
“As a Bank Manager and as a Spiritual seeker, I live in both worlds,” says Brian Beckmann, a Wells Fargo branch manager. “There is always noise and pressure in daily work. My spiritual practice of many years is dedicated to connecting and providing a platform for self-discovery with the people in a corporate environment. The East Gate program supports me in stepping into the sacred.”
Coping with Unusual Conditions
Opening ourselves up to the fear and uncertainty — whether through Conscious Dance, meditation, or other healing hobbies and rituals — may be the best way to cope in these unusual conditions and support healing.
“Most of us just want to find our way home,” says Antonia Montalvo. Antonio is a former Dance of Liberation participant, a recovering addict, and founder of numerous women’s sober living homes. “I found my soul’s purpose. I’m in my creative genius; I can breathe, I have faith, I have trust, and I’m able to move on and let go much faster.”
It’s difficult to absorb the concept of surrender in a time that’s all about fighting. The fight against COVID-19. The fight toward effective treatments and widespread recovery. And the fight for a return to normalcy. In the midst of all that, we forget that surrender sometimes plays an important role too. After all, it’s when we surrender to the things that we cannot change that we often discover new beginnings. For me, not a day passes where I don’t surrender to the dance floor in my West Hollywood apartment.
“A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the Eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” – Crazy Horse
East Gate Program Offers
In light of the current pandemic, Parashakti is offering 50% off her East Gate Program and supplemental Winged Ones Power Object Pendant in order to support healing and make spiritual healing more accessible to those in need at this time. You can also join her at OneDanceTribe Global, an online Conscious Dance retreat, May 21 – 24. The online retreat consists of 25 live sessions hosted by a team of teachers from around the world.
One Dance Tribe Global as a Source of Healing
Join Parashakti May 21 – 24 at OneDanceTribe Global 2020. This live online Conscious Dance Retreat features School Founders and Senior Teachers. Presenters will weave all sessions as one to explore transformation to support healing.
The Retreat will span over four days, cover all time zones and offer 25 sessions woven into one fabric. The format guides us through a deep transformational journey supporting what is happening in our inner and outer world at this moment in time.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore the new that is emerging from this global crisis and receive tools and inspiration for your life and work. Interact live with an amazing international team of senior teachers and connect with dancers from all over the world. All are welcome, no previous experience required. OneDanceTribeGlobal 2020.
Parashakti’s shamanic healing work is born of more than two decades of experience facilitating workshops, trainings, and retreats around the world, in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico, Bali, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, and Greece. As a lifelong dancer, her path as a healer followed a severe injury – a period of what is often called shamanic dismantling, after which her mission shifted towards healing. Over the last 20 years, Parashakti has developed the Seven Foundations and the Dance of Liberation™, as maps for her spiritual practice, living and breathing these foundations in daily ritual. Dance of Liberation™ has been practiced by over 10,000 dancers around the globe. It’s was born of a mission to help people experience ecstasy – without taking it.
Above all, Parashakti is dedicated to serving community and creating a sacred container where people feel safe enough to experience their deepest essences, honor their voices, and shine their brightest light. Join her on the Dance floor: www.parashakti.org