Return to the Temple: A Baptism into Love and Joy

Posted January 27, 2013 by ccasazza
Categories: Healing, Non-fiction, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,
Ceiling mural at temple of Dendera

Ceiling mural at temple of Dendera

My trip to Egypt in November 2010 was priceless. It was the trip of a lifetime and I know setting foot on that ancient soil has changed me in ways I may never be consciously aware of. I do know that I received an initiation when I was there which opened me to love and joy in a whole new way.

In ancient Egypt, initiations were life-threatening. They were serve or suffer, sink or swim. Initiates were thrown into situations (like spending an entire night in a sealed sarcophagus) and if they couldn’t face their fears they risked death. It was a way of surrendering to pain and fear and then being able to render more of your true self to service. While my life was never in jeopardy, my initiation still required surrendering.

I was on a bus traveling from Abydos to Dendera – two sacred temples, the last two on our journey. Dendera is the Goddess Hathor’s temple dedicated to love and joy. While on the bus, I was overcome with motion sickness. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Oh, there was the usual dizziness and nausea, but my whole body was convulsing uncontrollably. I was aware of what was being said around me, I just couldn’t move. I was so nauseous I knew I’d have to get sick before I felt better. I didn’t want to focus on that. I especially didn’t want to think about the flight back to Cairo I’d have to board later that night… as the bus careened and thumped along a bumpy dirt road and the driver blared his horn every two seconds, I had to focus on letting go. Just relaxing into the moment.

When we arrived in Dendera, the air conditioning on the bus shut off. The other 44 people all walked past my seat. The combination of the heat and the sudden movement was just enough to push me over the edge. I lost my lunch in a plastic bag.

Once you toss your cookies on a bus full of people, all vanity pretty much goes out the window. I did start to feel a bit better though. Emil, the Egyptologist on our tour, told me I had to see the temple.

“I don’t want to,” I said my head slumped against the multi-colored bus seat in front of me.

“You must come,” he insisted, waving his hands around.

I knew I had to go. I didn’t want to miss the temple of love and joy. I had come so far to be here. I got off the bus and walked out into the 100 degree heat. Emil took my hand and led me away from the group.

“Come,” he said. “I give you good medicine, local medicine.”

He pulled me by the hand up to the front of the line where people with tickets were waiting to get into the temple. He shouted something in Arabic to the guard and pulled me right past the line.  I looked back in amazement at all the people we’d just cut. It was just so surreal.

Emil kept dragging me by the hand. We ran up to the front of the temple and he said, “Tip your head over.”

“What?” It was the last thing I felt like doing. I still felt slightly dizzy and nauseous and moving my head didn’t help.

“Tip your head over, I give you medicine.”

I did as I was told and Emil poured a bottle of cold water over my head. It cooled me down and I felt a bit better.

I entered the temple and the guard put down his automatic weapon to spread a cloth at the base of one of the columns for me to sit. He smiled and I could feel his compassion as he pointed me to my prepared place. I barely listened to the tour Emil was giving. I was still pretty out of it.

Then Nicki Scully, one of our tour guides and an incredible shaman, came over to me and held out her hand. She led me further into the temple.

Nicki was dressed in one of her ceremonial vestments – a beautiful black velvet robe with silk inlays. I kept stepping on her robe as we walked.

She led me into an interior room and sat me in the corner. “Sit here,” she said, “and let her heal you.” She pointed to the ceiling which was covered in a relief.

“This is my favorite room in all of Egypt. Just sit here and take it in.”

With that, Nicki was gone leaving me to stare up at the ceiling and sip the warm coke Emil had given me to settle my stomach. The ancient wall of the temple was cool behind my head and I wondered what had transpired in this room through the ages. What kinds of rituals and initiations had gone on here? Who served? Who suffered? Who lived to praise the Goddess another day?

I turned my attention to the ceiling, letting go of the pain in my body. The ceiling mural was still somewhat colorized. Different hues of blue still partially covered the stone. Part of the mural depicted Hathor surrounded by the rays of the sun. The rays were represented by carved triangles arranged in a pyramid shape around the Goddess. The stars of the sky were also present. They looked like little asterisks on a blue background.

Various tour groups entered the room as I was huddled in the corner. I learned this was the Divine Birthing room. The mural depicted the Goddess Nut swallowing the sun in the evening and giving birth to it in the morning.

I sat there with my head against the ancient wall staring at the stars on the ceiling, wondering what I was birthing. I could feel the presence of the Goddess all around me. She was beckoning me to relax into me. To melt into myself. To feel who I truly am – my power, my authority, my True Self, my expression. And I felt it, this energy, my energy. It was so calm but SO strong.

I could feel the energy coming off me in waves, emanating from me as if I were giving off my own light and heat; my own special brand of sunshine. And isn’t that what we do when we bring our gifts out into the world?

The energy was so strong. It made my head feel light. I kept breathing down through my feet to stay grounded. The Goddess was with me. I could feel two sets of hands over my heart chakra and another at my throat. She was showing me how safe it is to be in my heart, telling me this is where my true wisdom comes from; my authentic expression, my love and my joy.

This energy was all knowing. It encompassed the entire emotional spectrum. Here I was so vulnerable as to bare my throat to be slashed while simultaneously being so powerful I was invincible. From this state, I could tell you anything, bare my soul and not be concerned about judgment or condemnation. I felt completely blissful; knowing I had everything I needed. This was freedom!

The Goddess was holding me gently and lovingly. She was bringing me to my own wisdom. She was telling me this is the state I need to write from. From that love and joy, I could connect with my truth and trust, with my courage and contentment, with my bliss. From here I could reach the hearts and souls of others to rejoice in our sameness and our differences.

She was also showing me how strong my mental body is and that I needed to relinquish control. Stop thinking and start feeling. I had believed that all my safety was in my mental body and I didn’t feel safe outside it. Goddess had to take me to my core to show me true safety is in the heart.

It wasn’t until later that I realized I’d been baptized at the temple of love and joy. By pouring that water over my head outside the temple, Emil had symbolically prepared me to open to receive love and joy in a whole new way. By letting go of pain and fear and opening my heart to love and joy, I had passed my initiation.

I created a meditation from this experience. It’s designed to help you create from your love and joy. You can find it here on my web site, CasazzaWriting.com. It’s a free download. A gift from my heart and the heart of the Goddess to you.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Advertisements

A Yellow Portulaca OR Follow the Signs

Posted November 21, 2012 by ccasazza
Categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Healing, Miracles, Spirituality, Writing

Tags: , , ,

You may have heard me say when I don’t know what happens next, I write description. Description should be lyrical and visual. It should not only include what’s palpable to the five senses, but also what feelings it evokes in your main character(s). Used in this way, setting becomes a character itself.

As I thought about this tip, a memory from writing Walk Like an Egyptian came to mind. I was describing my father’s garden at home in Boston where I grew up. I talked about the gray cement fence that was a barrier between our yard and the neighbors behind us. My Dad has a very green thumb and every inch of our yard was planted with vegetables, herbs and flowers. The fence was no exception. It had holes in the top of it. My Dad filled the holes with dirt and planted portulacas there. They sprouted up multi-colored from the top of the wall for all to see. Portulacas are small flowers that come in a rainbow of colors.

After I finished this description, I walked out of my house in Sedona to pick up my mail. I walked past a large cement flower pot that was at the top of my fence. As I walked by, I thought I saw a yellow flower in the pot. I did a double take. I had never planted anything there and had never seen anything grow there.

I looked into the planter again and rubbed my eyes. There, in the middle of this previously empty flower pot, was a single yellow portulaca! I couldn’t believe it. I even went so far as to go back inside and Google the flower to be sure I remembered it correctly.

Yup. There was a yellow portulaca in my flower pot! I took that as a sign that my story was progressing in the right direction. The Universe can give us some pretty unmistakable signs if we are paying attention. So… keep writing and look for those signs around you that tell you you’re on the right track.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Go Within to Manifest Outwardly

Posted October 31, 2012 by ccasazza
Categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Healing, Non-fiction, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Writing

Tags: , , ,

Corinne L. Casazza

If you want things to change, go within. There’s a Universal law that states once things change on the inner, they MUST change on the outer. This means when you go into meditation, and make a shift internally, your outer world MUST shift to match.

Here’s my experience of how it works. I fill my sphere (aura, body and the space around it) with all that I want to manifest in my life – particularly those situations or qualities I feel are missing.

Last week I was having difficulty speaking my truth and being my own authority. I hate confrontation – who doesn’t? Still, it’s necessary to stand up for ourselves and speak our truth. I went into meditation and filled my sphere with the qualities I felt surrounding in this situation: being valued, trusted, respected, speaking with authority and owning my truth, with a capital T.

To fill your sphere, all you have to do is relax, quiet your mind, pay attention to your breathing and think of these qualities. Say them silently to yourself. Most importantly, feel what it feels like to be these things. I felt the energy of being loved, valued, trusted and respected. I felt the energy of being an authority. I sat and reveled in that energy. It felt great.

What happened in my outer life? I was speaking to a friend about something he said that I didn’t like or agree with. Another friend overheard and told me, “Wow, Corinne, you said that with authority.” I had to smile. My outer world was reflecting back these inner changes; the qualities that I filled my sphere with were manifesting. As for the friend I spoke my truth to, he was very respectful, loving and even nurturing for the rest of the time we spent together. Gotta love that!

I know this is a small example, but it’s just the most recent one. I began this practice by filling my sphere with gratitude. The first week I did this, three people at work wrote to my Vice President to tell her how great I am to work with and how happy they are that I’m on the team – yup, they expressed gratitude in a big way.

This stuff works! It has to; it’s Universal law! It works for everything: big or small. I invite you to try it for yourself. I use this practice nightly before bed. You can fill your sphere with anything – call forth what you choose to manifest. Sit in it and really feel the energy, then watch your life change! Write to me and tell me what you created.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Why Writing Heals Your Readers

Posted June 22, 2012 by ccasazza
Categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Healing, Non-fiction, Spirituality, Writing

Tags: , , , ,
Corinne Casazza

Corinne Casazza

Somewhere in my being, I’ve always known that writing is healing. I believe it heals both the writer and the reader. I say ‘somewhere in my being’ because on some level I knew it, but I didn’t believe it consciously. I’d think, this can help people. Then, Nah, I don’t know why that would work.

I had this internal conflict going on about what I’m working on now, so I’ve had GREAT resistance to writing it. The other night before bed I asked in meditation what the purpose of my new book is. The answer came, “To speak my truth in a heartfelt way that helps people heal.”

The next day I had a session with my spiritual teacher. He took me through a meditation to heal one of my past lives in Egypt (if you read “Walk Like an Egyptian,” it’s in there). I rewrote the ending to this life as meeting my mentor who taught me empowered communication. She taught me to write and my writing was healing people.

I said, “I know storytelling is supposed to be healing, but I just don’t get it.”

“Corinne,” he said to me, “when you read, everything goes straight into your unconscious.”

And just like that I got it! I heard that little “ding, ding, ding!” in my head and felt the knowing that it’s  the truth.

“Oh my God! Of course that’s how it works,” I said. “Talk about a captive audience.”

“That’s right,” my teacher cautioned, “You’re putting stuff in people’s heads, so you better be in integrity with what you’re telling them.”

OK, one more writing block out of the way!

If you want to know more about how writing heals the writer, read my post “Writing as Healing.” I discuss how during the writing of my first book, I recalled conversations from the dinner table 30 years earlier – ver batim! Yep. Word. For. Word. Talk about healing!

If you want to learn more about Kevin Michael, my incredible teacher, check out his Facebook page.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Mocha Gets His Wings

Posted February 29, 2012 by ccasazza
Categories: Healing, Non-fiction, Spirituality

Tags: , , , , ,
Mocha the Wonder Dog!

Mocha the Wonder Dog!

My little Mocha, my beloved miniature Doberman pinscher is an angel now. He met an untimely death, much too soon for me. He would’ve been five last month.

He was such a sweet dog with an awesome personality and a really expressive face. His little tan-colored eyebrows were constantly rising and falling, giving him a concerned look. He loved it when I sang “The Roof is on Fire” to him, replacing the word “roof” with “Moch.” He would wag his tail wildly.

He had a ton of nicknames – Moch, Mochacino, Mocha chocolata, Mocha Toka Choka, Mocha java, Mocha face, Ciao Ciao and Bat boy – all of which he answered to. Maybe I should’ve called him Prancer because of the way he strutted down the street, his little butt shaking from side to side. Wherever I walked him, in the red rocks of Sedona or the beaches of Massachusetts, people stopped to pet him and comment on how cute he was. “This is Mocha,” I would say. “He’s a really good boy.”

He was really a funny dog. He’d walk on two legs a lot, mostly in an effort to see what food was on the counter. He once stuck his entire head in a castle-shaped cake that I’d made. Of course, it was so funny; I couldn’t get mad at him. He loved kids so much that he’d walk up into a group of 10 kids who were hiking and sit right in the middle of them so they could pet him.

When I got the call that told me he was gone, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I’d just dropped him off the day before. Some part of me must’ve known he was going. I made a point to sit and hold him for awhile before I left, not something I normally do when leaving for a trip. I remember leaving and thinking I should turn around and go back and see him, “that’s silly,” I told myself, “you’ll see him next week.”

I was very calm as I heard the news. I just kept pacing around the kitchen as I listened. It wasn’t until the vet asked me if I wanted his body to bury or his ashes to keep, that it started to sink in. She told me his death was immediate. What other result could there be? Big car, little dog.  I told her through tears that I just wanted to let him go.

Of course I didn’t want to let him go, I wanted him home with me and I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t believe I was never going to see him again, never going to hold him and cuddle with him again.

For the last month I’d been thinking how much cleaner my apartment would be without him shedding and how much more freedom I’d have to travel without having to be home for him. Now I cherish every one of his hairs that I pull off my clothes, stopping to examine them before letting them go.

I am still so sad that he’s gone. I keep hearing his collar jingle in the middle of my workday, or I think I caught a glimpse of him curled up on my bed, but no. He comes to me in my meditations, sits with me and wags his tail.

I know in time the sadness will pass and I’ll be left with only the good memories. I love Mocha very much and he loves me still… wherever he is… that’s the way it is and the way it will always be. He’s always with me now – my forever mascot.

Mocha was a comfort to me through some very tough times in my life. Very often, in Arizona, it was just Mocha and I hanging out. He kept me company all day and every night, never leaving my side. Many times my friends would come to walk him and he wouldn’t go with him. He’d sit stubbornly and refuse to budge, preferring to be with me. I can only believe that the tough times are behind me now, or he never would’ve left….

Everybody loved Mocha. Most of all, me. I feel him around me now and know that his mission here was done. He completed it the way he did everything: with fun and love; grace and ease. Mocha helped me open my heart, and for that, he earned his wings. I’m very glad for the time I had with him, my beloved Mocha-faced dog. Thank you, Mocha!

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

The Wisdom of Uncertainty or There’s No Place Like Home

Posted December 29, 2011 by ccasazza
Categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Non-fiction, Processing emotions, Spirituality

Tags: , , ,

At the start of this year, I decided to give up my six year sojourn in the desert of Sedona and head back to Boston. It wasn’t an easy decision. I was scared and indecisive. I felt I had to give up everything I had built and known to step into the unknown; into the wisdom of uncertainty.

No one likes uncertainty. Least of all me. I am a Taurus and I like to know where I’m going, what I’m doing and even what time it will happen. I want to know my bank account is large and there’s a plot of land in my name. I like things certain.

Ok, so even though I am Taurus, I have come to realize that being stubborn is not for my highest good and this wasn’t the first time I was taking a leap of faith and stepping into the unknown.

Usually when I do this, I find a couple of things: First I really don’t have to give up everything. I just have to be willing to. Second, I find something better than I ever could have imagined. Something magical.

I remember how filled with doubt I was at the prospect of coming back to my family. Honestly, weren’t they a big part of the reason I left? I couldn’t find myself standing in the midst of their shadows. I worried that they’d expect certain things from me and that I don’t do things in the accustomed or accepted way. I worried I wouldn’t have the freedom to come and go as I pleased.

I also realized this was an opportunity to show them who I am… what the desert sand and red rock had molded me into. The desert sun had dried up some of my fears and made me stronger. After six years in the desert, I know so much more about myself. I learned who I am, what I want and what I’m capable of.

I spent Jan through March of this year selling and giving away a lot of my furniture, books and possessions. In April I shipped what was left across the country in a truck and headed back in my VW Jetta with a dear friend who was kind enough to fly out and drive back with me and my beloved four-year-old miniature Doberman pinscher.

What I found when I got back here was completely astounding. I had a job within two weeks of arriving. In this economy? Yup. The winter weather has been unseasonably warm and the love and support of my family and friends is amazing.

I have a quiet, comfortable place to live and the blessing of working from home. No one is more shocked than me at how happy I am to be here and how things have fallen into place. When Spirit wants you somewhere, it can sure make things happen in a hurry. Best of all, my family sees who I am and appreciates me. I’ve had a great time hanging out, cooking and celebrating the holidays with them. I am so grateful to be exactly where I am – even though I thought it was the last place on earth I’d ever be! That’s the magic that happens when you step into the wisdom of uncertainty.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Why is Judith Orloff yelling at me? OR The Power of Meditation and Gratitude

Posted September 9, 2010 by ccasazza
Categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Healing, Humor, Non-fiction, Processing emotions, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Writing

Corinne at Revere BeachA few years back I got to interview Judith Orloff on her book, Positive Energy. I’ve really enjoyed Judith’s books and actually have the opportunity in a few weeks to interview her on Emotional Freedom. I’m looking forward to that.

I had a house guest a few days before I was to interview Judith last time.  I came home and my guest told me that Judith Orloff was yelling at someone on TV. I didn’t think anything of it. …. Until about 10 minutes before I had to interview Judith!

I got myself into quite a tizzy with negative self talk. “OMG, she’s gonna yell at me. She’ll think my questions are stupid, she won’t like me, etc.” I was so wound up; I thought I was going to be sick.

“OK, Corinne, now what are you going to do? You can’t interview her in this state.” I told myself.

With the remaining time I had, I went into meditation.  Once calm, I asked the simple question, “What should I do?”

The answer was immediate, “Start with gratitude.”

When I got Judith on the phone, the first thing I said to her was, “I’ve really enjoyed reading your work, not only from the standpoint of someone who’s always learning about spirituality, but also as a writer.”

There was a slight pause.

Then Judith said, “That’s the best compliment you could’ve given me! I love writing.”

That set the tone for our whole conversation and I had a great interview with Ms. Orloff.

By the way, I later remembered it wasn’t Judith Orloff who was on TV screaming, it was Suze Orman! Amazing what our minds can do to trip us up!

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com