This past weekend was the annual Cosmic Cowgirl Member conference. What a journey they are each and every single time. Have you ever longed to be with people who really see you? Who really hear you? Who really believe in you? Who respect you and want to know, really know about your purpose and your vision? Those of us who have found our way to this tribe of women get to experience those very things while in their presence. Even when we aren't gathered in real time and real space, we gather and connect via other various ways of communicating and interacting such as Ning sites, Facebook, email, texts and conference calls. We take classes or teach classes together. We paint, write, sing, dance, act and share our creative projects with one another.
I have been a member of the Cosmic Cowgirl Tribe since 2008. We are all also members of the Red Thread Nation. The Red Thread Nation is a global tribe of creatives and the purpose behind it is to nurture the soul through art and education. Each time I attend a gathering, be it the member conference, a workshop or a class, it rejuvenates my soul, inspires me and reminds me of those things I want to accomplish, the things I want to do to make a positive difference in this world and it helps me to re-energize the soul connections I have with the people in my life.
This year's conference held the theme of "Born This Way." We shared a Red Thread Ceremony the first night and began off with a meditative visualization about the theme. We shared what came to us as we considered the answer to the question - "I was born to...." We shared what came to us that first night in our circle.
Our main creative project on Saturday was to create a paper altar. It included painting, drawing, writing sentences or even whole letters from and to our younger selves, and then more writing from and to our present and future selves. We created images of our younger selves and then had a playful photo shoot to capture the image of our legendary selves.
Some of us discovered that our initial I was born to... statement evolved during the weekend. For others the message stayed true and strong from the beginning. Mine began as "I was born to see the beauty in everything and reflect the beauty in everything and everyone to others." During a fun verbal exercise of trying out new ideas I came up with many, including I was born to love, I was born to inspire others with my writing, I was born to wear a red boa, I was born to see the Wow and I was born to connect.
On Sunday we heard from Shiloh Sophia McCloud, the mastermind behind Cosmic Cowgirls and The Red Thread Nation, about her recent trip to speak at the United Nations in New York City. You can read more about her experience by visiting this link: My Journey East - Notes from the United Nations
The remaining portion of our Sunday gathering was focused around the stunning and emotion filled ceremony led by Carmen Baraka (aka Spirit Warrior.) Carmen led us on a spiritual journey involving drumming, chanting she learned from her Apache grandmother and storytelling. We were each encouraged to look within, to listen to the inner messages of our hearts and guts, to stand tall as warrior women, and to remember our connections to one another always and to turn to our tribe for strength. We all know that the red thread that connects us is not just symbolic, it is very real indeed, and we need only tug on it to remind ourselves that our sisters are there for us always.
At the end of our ceremony we each received a key. The selected them with our eyes closed and allowed spirit to choose for us. I learned of the words most women selected later. My own key took me by surprise. The word was "Secret." I sat with it for a few moments, before a very profound WOW floored me. My mind traveled back to a poem I wrote about my Legendary self during the Leading a Legendary Life course I took two years ago through Cosmic Cowgirls University.
Empa is passionate about Love and ArtHer heart beats to inspire others to love themselves,and she knows that there is a not-so-secret pathone can take to that very destination.
It is through being a guest in one’s own heart.It is by creating, painting, writing, dancing, singing, sewing,and offering prayers that are but a universal song in the heavens.Empa does not accept a narrow definition of beauty.She knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholderand that it ranges far and wide, is varied and eclecticand is not for one person or one culture to define.
On Saturday the words I finally chose to write on my own altar were I was born to connect. However that key I received during our ceremony led me to share about the significance of it with the other women. I began by sharing how the word secret, in an earlier time in my life, could have had a more negative connotation about secrets and things that aren't supposed to be talked about. However, in a testimony to the healing work that Cosmic Cowgirls serves up, the word secret instead let me right back to my Legendary story. I read the brief passage above in the closing circle and shared that that I was born to reveal the secret, as are all Cosmic Cowgirls who are going out into the world to teach and share about the healing and nurturing properties of art and education for the soul.
Come play along and take a couple of minutes to consider how you would answer the statement I was born to...
If you would also like to select a virtual key just as we did during our closing ceremony, just say the word and I will meditate on you for a minute and then pick you a key and respond with which one you selected.
With love ~ Michelle (aka Red)
Key for Cynthia: