Releasing With Gratitude

“Standing in my truth” as I go forward.” ~Michele Marie

One of the things I find beneficial about rituals is that they ground me; they bring me back to my Intention.  Winter Solstice 2016, the darkest day of the year, seemed like a perfect opportunity to do a much-needed ritual to say goodbye to, and release, all those things that no longer serve me.  Those things that have hindered me from exploring all of who I am, as I continue forward in my life. It is time for my journey to be centered, grounded, and balanced in light, health, peace, and joy.

I drove to Bandon-By-The-Sea, Oregon with the thought that the special “Circles In The Sand” labyrinth, that was being drawn that day especially for the Winter Solstice, would be the perfect place for the Releasing Ritual that was beginning to form in my mind.

When I arrived there, I stopped at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint to do a Sage Smudge cleansing ceremony to quiet my mind, and calm the chaotic energy that was coursing through my body. Years of inner work and soul growth, in addition to fighting like a warrior goddess these past several years to reclaim my physical health, have all been leading to this day. Emotions were definitely running high.

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint in Bandon, Oregon

I had a bit of a heart to heart with Princess Ewauna with her beautiful face of stone peering above the waves of the Pacific as I sat there quiet and centered, writing down the things I was ready to say goodbye to; the lessons learned.  I knew that by going forward with my plan, I was about to embark on a thrilling new journey.

Brené Brown, author and researcher of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame, describes this defining moment as “choosing to be courageous over choosing to be comfortable.”  I was making the conscious decision, stating my heart’s intention, to no longer “play small” in my life choices.  I know that by making this choice, I now have the opportunity, finally, authentically, to “Stand In My Truth,” free of the limiting fears I have sheltered for so long; the fears I have allowed to keep me from being all that I could possibly be in my life.

With several deep breaths in, and exhaling fully out, I walked down and stepped into the Winter Solstice labyrinth that had been drawn on the beach. I was aware of a new sense of determination and intention. One foot in front of the other.

Winter Solstice “Circles In The Sand”  Bandon, Oregon

At the center of one of the labyrinth spirals, I stopped and blessed everything I had written on my list, giving thanks for all of the lessons they each have brought me through in my life.  I silently and reverently lit the corner of the pieces of paper on fire, watched as the words ignited, and soon… they were nothing more than ash, laying there mingled with the sand.  Released with gratitude.

Releasing With Gratitude

I was amazed by the incredible feeling of calm that I felt.  My steps were barely touching the ground as I turned confidently, and walked peacefully out of the labyrinth, filled with such an overwhelming sense of peace, grace, and a powerful sense of knowing that my soul was about to become visible, maybe for the first time, completely free of fear.

Nothing More Than Ash Mingled In The Sand

As I neared the bottom of the stairs to begin the long climb back up to the viewpoint, I was struck by the sight of the chaos created by the water, mud, Bull Whip Kelp, driftwood, and rocks that had been strewn about haphazardly by the recent December storms.  This was in such stark contrast to the calm, light, peaceful feeling I experienced as I left the labyrinth.

Just One Foot In Front Of The Other

As I stood there, this image began to morph into a message that I know will serve me well going forward. No matter the chaos, no matter the storms that may lay ahead, if I fearlessly, and confidently put one foot in front of the other, and then again, continue to put one foot in front of the other, I will cross through whatever the difficulty might be, and get to the other side.  With that thought in mind, I stepped forward, and began climbing towards my future.

During my drive home down the Southern Oregon Coast, Synchronicity jumped in and added the finale to this amazing day. “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang began to play on the radio.  (WTH? What are the chances of that happening?) I can not even tell you the last time I heard that song. But, if you were a teenager in the 70’s like I was, you know the words! So with all the windows rolled down, cold December air rushing in and whipping against my face, the volume turned up as loud as possible, I celebrated.

Singing very loudly, at the top of my lungs, and very off-key, I soared down Highway 101 filled with a new sense of confidence and celebration.  Go ahead, hit the play button and join in! What are you ready to celebrate leaving behind as 2016 comes to an end?

As I sang, the sunlight that had been sprinkling diamonds all along the ocean, suddenly hit the mermaid and crystal heart sun catcher that hangs from the rearview mirror in my car, and the entire interior of the car was flooded with dancing bursts of rainbow light! Coincidence overload?  Perhaps.  But I believe that when we are living authentically, Synchronicity flows in abundance and is at its finest!

Left Behind in the Sand

On the darkest day of the year, my fears left behind, my car, and my heart, were filled to overflowing with bright beautiful light.  With much gratitude, I confidently and enthusiastically continue forward on my journey.  Ready to “stand in my truth,” and explore all that the future holds.

And so it is.  And so it is.  ~Michele Marie

9 thoughts on “Releasing With Gratitude

  1. Awe…. Michele💜💗💜
    Your thoughts and words resonate so deeply within my soul! The expression of life you so eloquently share through your gift of words is precious, wonderful and appreciated more than you realize. Congratulations Brave Girl on starting another new, creative and important adventure!
    Love you, Lady!
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear, dear Rorie, your beautiful words of encouragement, and unfailing support, and belief in me, over the years, mean the world to me. Neither of us could have ever possibly imagined where our life journeys would lead each of us, as we sat there studying together for those Anatomy & Physiology, and Microbiology exams in college. I am certain now, that semester of Organic Chemistry, all those years ago, was even no match for some of the real life trials and tests that we have each perservered since then. At the time… hmmm?? You are a warrior goddess, my friend, your love and light forever shining brightly! Much gratitude, love and light, to you my friend, Michele Marie


  2. Have you had the honor of visiting with the man who makes the labirynth? I think I would love to meet him and converse. I ‘m intrigued with his devotion to this unique art.
    Your poem is beautiful and so poigant! I’m very interested in following your blog. “Onward and upward” one foot in front of each other! Love…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so pleased you found your way here Kay! Yes, I have had the honor to met him. His name is Denny Dyke and he is such a gift to all of us here on the Southern Oregon Coast! I have already started writing his story to share with all of you. I actually just shared with him today, that I am planning on dedicating my next post to him and his beautiful mastery of his amazing craft. He is so genuinely kind. He met and welcomed me when I arrived the first time with a beautiful warm hug, and a gift of a dream stone of rose quartz, to carry along with me on my journey. I am so excited to share more of his story! I remember writing the “Circles In The Sand” as one of the items on my Wellness List a couple of years ago, visualizing getting strong enough to walk the labyrinth one day. That day finally arrived… right on time! Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, I am honored to have you join me on this journey. With gratitude, love, and light, Michele Marie


  3. “I will cross through whatever the difficulty might be, and get to the other side.” Interesting message for the days before a new year. I find the greatest ‘difficulty’ in my life has always been fear. But, I don’t always recognize it. You are obviously connected to your inner spirit and destined to find more! Maybe I should say, to be more. BE. Do it!

    Oh, and you ARE a writer. A good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, and such a kind compliment, Heidi! I am thrilled to have you join me here. The difficulty of learning to recognize fear, and naming it for what it is, has been an ongoing challenge for me for years. For those that have not ever experienced the paralyzing grasp fear can have, it is difficult to describe, but please know you are not alone. I am learning daily that by naming fear for what it is, it loses its power over me, and I am released from its grasp. It is my hope that as I share my journey here, you might find inspiration and encouragement to continue putting one foot in front of the other, crossing through the haphazard chaos that fear can cause, and “get to the other side.” I will be honored to walk beside you in that celebration! With gratitude, love, and light, Michele Marie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words Charellelady! I love this inspiring and encouraging quote you have shared, thank you. I am so pleased to share my journey with you. May you also discover your own fearlessness in the upcoming new year. Cheering you on as you step forward confidently and authentically, living your life as fully as possible! With gratitude, love, and light, Michele Marie


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