This video shares the message of a doll I made that feels relevant to these times. It's about how our rules and judgments can prevent us from experiencing a more colorful and creative life.
“Who feeds you? Is there an elder or ancestor who helps guide your life?” The queries were unexpected; my answer was not. I was having tea with my friend Amanda when she asked me these questions. As a gift, she planned to make me a shrine to honor that someone who positively impacted my life and whose teachings continued to guide me. Without hesitation, I answered, “Will Rockingbear.”
I’d arrived on Will’s doorstep through a series of synchronous events and seeking to have him help retrieve my soul. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with soul retrieval, but I was following my intuition, and it led me to Will.
After this work, I joined one of Will's circles. For six years I traveled weekly on Wednesdays—two hours round trip—to sit around the fire with other community members and with this generous and wise Cherokee medicine man.
Though Will has now passed, his teachings whisper to me daily. If I’m facing a challenge, I call on Will and ask him to share his wisdom. Will is not a man of many words, but those he shares are clear, potent, and memorable. He listens deeply in our conversations, has an uncanny ability to pinpoint core issues needing attention, and addresses issues with a question or statement that greatly simplifies whatever is seemingly difficult or painful.
We can all tap into such wise guidance. It’s as simple as getting quiet, remaining open, and beginning the conversation. Especially during these confusing and stressful times, it’s important to have someone we can call on to support us, to help guide our life, to feed us.
Who feeds you? I'd love to know.
I share more about Will in my book, A Fierce Belief in Miracles. (available here: https://tinyurl.com/yxjpaw7j)
(Amanda’s beautiful and heart-inspired matchbox shrines can be found here: www.firestartershrines.com)
You hold an innate power; it roots you in the knowing of who you are, of what you’re here for, and of what calls to you.
As you develop in our culture, you’re affected by many strong influences that either support your innate identity or override your inner compass. Over time, you may feel yourself molded into a fabricated version of you, shaping you to be someone you think you need to be rather than encouraging you to feel into the moment and your unique position within it. You may lose track of your authentic self, your unique voice and consequently, your power.
You’re invited to join with a small circle of women on a 7-step journey (via Zoom) as we explore and expand your inner knowing and gain comfort with trusting your authentic self.
We will gather for stimulating dialogue and reflection that connects you with your unique power. In this circle, we will focus on:
The Power in You Circle offers opportunity to:
This is a unique opportunity to gift yourself with a safe, sacred space and connection with your own powerful knowing and heart calling.
I ask for your commitment to be fully present for yourself and others when you come into community; the amount of attention and intention that you devote to Circle will determine what you gain from it.
Circle is intimate and space is limited. We will begin our next session on January 14. It will consist of seven 75-minute small group mentoring circles which will meet weekly on Thursdays (via Zoom) through February 25. Meeting time will be 11 am - 12:15 pm ET. There will be two one-hour Q&A/discussion sessions that will be interspersed with our weekly meetings. Timing of these to be announced.
If you're interested, reserve your space now by contacting me.
The launch of A Fierce Belief in Miracles took place on the evening of Sept. 22, 2020. I've uploaded the recording of that launch to youtube. I thought it was appropriate that I unknowingly recorded it in gallery view. Fifty people showed up to support the launch; others emailed, called, and sent flowers. I felt incredibly loved and supported seeing friends from all parts of my life and many different places. This journey has taken a village, and I'm grateful to all of you ~
I was interviewed by Diane Dewey, host of Dropping In to Find Our Common Threads on Voice America Internet Talk Radio. Diane is a skilled interviewer and had some thoughtful questions. I hope you'll take time to listen to our conversation.
A few of the valuable take-aways from this course were:
Feminine archetype leadership isn't measurable; it builds relationships.
All positions create opposition; it's time for us to move from positionality to vision. To gain vision, we must relinquish our points of view.
Vision will pull us forward; you don't need to know how.
We also had special speakers: Leymah Gbowee and Iyanla Vanzant. This from Iyanla:
"If you don't have a strong 'no,' you'll have a weak 'yes.' You gotta have forty-five ways to say 'no.'"
"Put yourself first. Psalms says 'my cup runneth over.' What's in that cup is yours. If the cup is running over, that's what other people can have. Make sure all aspects of yourself are fed."
And Lynne, who's had the privilege of working beside Mother Teresa shared this quote from her: "The unadulterated love of one person nullifies the hatred of millions."
Today I celebrate a 90 degree bend in my knee and am grateful for so many things, including my sweet pup, my herbal support, an easy way to connect with friends, and my patio tomatoes.
My interview with her has just been featured -- Anne Reeder Heck: A Fierce Belief
Here’s a photo of my femur which was shattered two weeks ago in a cycling accident. For many, this photo may equate with pain, expense, inconvenience. There’s so much this photo doesn’t convey. There’s the intention I set five days prior to the accident--on the full moon. There are the many ways I was able to advocate and support myself in the challenging aftermath. There are the wise and powerful actions taken by my daughter in this scary situation and the compassionate way she’s caring for me. There’s my body’s amazing capacity to communicate what it needs for healing. There’s the outpouring of love and support from my community. And there’s the immense gratitude I hold for being alive, for the gift of a strong body, for healing notes and phone calls, for warmth and friendship, and for knowing that I’m going to see a stronger side of this.
As for that intention, I won’t go into the details as I’m currently holding close the energy of this inner work. But it has to do with what’s unfolding in the near future - the publication of my memoir, “A Fierce Belief in Miracles.” (available now through pre-order https://www.anneheck.com/ ) This book contains multiple messages that I’ve been called to share. And there’s more being revealed.
I’m viewing this accident as an opening . Though painful and inconvenient, trauma is--in my experience--an opportunity for wondrous and rich awarenesses to emerge. So I sit in curiosity about what’s unfolding. I’m paying attention, inquiring, and listening.
Things are not always as they appear. This experience is a gift that’s slowly opening.
In my quiet moments of recuperation, I’m examining this incident from various angles. I can’t help but find parallels with another major life trauma. That day (thirty years ago almost to the day), cycling on some unfamiliar roads, I got a clear message not to venture down the road before me. I turned my bike around, only to have another messenger call me back. I was raped on that road.
Those few moments of confusion haunted me for years, calling into question my ability to trust my intuition. Only after much attention and practice have I become grounded and confident in my ability to discern inner voices and quickly identify what I call the “heart whisper.”
Last week, moments before I went down, I heard my heart whisper, “walk this rail.” I didn’t dismount my bicycle; I kept going. The ride was smooth, the crossing short, my angle just right -- I could do this. That was my voice of reason. This voice often contradicts intuitive nudges. Knowing this, I can usually catch myself. But in the fleeting moments of thought on a bicycle, my ability to discern and respond was limited.
I’m not going to beat myself up that I didn’t respond differently. That’s not the point. I was listening, and I received the message. That’s the work. In the aftermath, as EMTs arrived, it was my heart whisper that guided me in advocating for the safest and least painful path to transfer my wounded body onto the gurney and later onto the hospital bed. I was grateful to have this wise guidance close-at-hand.
We need to be listening, engaging in discernment, and able to identify our heart’s whisper. Now is a time to pay attention. The voices of media, social media and the like are many, varied and often conflicting. The only reliable voice we have is our heart whisper. It’s always available to us, and is guiding us in the direction of our highest good. In times of doubt, confusion, or chaos, we will be well-served having practiced inner listening. We may not always follow the lead of our heart whisper; what’s important is that we’re paying attention.
So caught was I amidst my thought
This moment passed me by
What precious gem may have been
I cannot quantify
Our focus is so crucial
To creating our life's dreams
So bless this precious moment
It's more sacred than it seems
The angels know our heart's desire
And this to us endow
Blessed is this moment
Spirit's gift is now
When gratitude's far from my heart
And life seems full of grief
It's time to heighten my awareness
And create a new motif
I sing blessings of the moment
Though the notes fill with a tear
I know with faithful focus
My way will soon be clear
I have filled myself with anger
Holding grudges 'gainst a friend
Occupied my mind with thoughts
I felt would have no end
So I create awareness
That Spirit's here to heal
Blessed is this moment
No matter what I feel
I often long for moments
Filled with beauty, peace, and joy
My separation is my mind
Which I quickly unemploy
Connect I to my heart
And to my head appease
I find the joy of the moment
Comes to me with ease
I sometimes ponder life regrets
Or wish for times to come
When the angels of the moment
Are beating on their drum
Connecting me with Spirit
Fulfilling all my dreams
Blessed is this moment
No matter what it seems
Our moment's gifts are golden
Though as such may not appear
Surprisingly, this moment's pain
Could be but a veneer
Beneath which lies a secret
That we greet on bended knee
Blessed is this moment
For it could set you free
I'm grateful for this breath
This ray of sunshine on my face
I give gratitude for any hint
Of Spirit's sweet embrace
Sometimes in heated moments
When my gratitude is pale
I remember all those treasures
That hid 'neath a similar veil
So when life seems somewhat stressful
Or you find you're in a snare
Know the angels that surround you
Are listening to your prayer
And are sending you an answer
That your next breath may contain
Blessed is this moment
It will not appear again
[watercolor painting by Anne Heck]