Thursday, 4 August 2011

A New Mexico Journey

Feel your heart and follow your feet

I’d never heard of New Mexico until it was brought to my attention by a
woman selling beautiful silver and turquoise jewellery at a spiritual
holistic fair in London back in 1996. I discovered that it is nestled in
between Arizona and Texas, a High Desert Mountain State blanketed in sage,
sprinkled with cactus and wild flowers, inhabited by Native American
Indians for hundreds of years. I was intrigued by her stories of an area
of New Mexico called Taos. The jewellery was made by the Tiwa Tribe,
living on Taos Pueblo. I came away from that conversation wanting to know
more about this wild and wonderful place. I bought a book about the
history of New Mexico and the transition in my own life had started.

I learned that New Mexico and in particular Taos, was and still is a
deeply spiritual place. The concept of spirituality has many different
meanings for many different people. I could not even begin to say when I
started on my own spiritual path, a long time I feel. Surrounded by the
books, knowledge, and people I loved, I sensed that great changes were
heading my way. I started to dream about Buffalo, Eagles, land unfamiliar
to me, Indians; sun sets that I could not do justice to no matter how I
tried to describe them. I put it all down to the content of the book which
was somehow re-enforcing the need for me to go and visit this incredible
part of the world.

I followed my intuition, that gut feeling that is telling us to do things
that seem quite ludicrous at the time but we can’t quite resist. I got on
a plane in April 1996. I am a well travelled individual but had never
been affected by a landscape the way I was when I got to Taos. Huge open
powder-blue skies greeted me and my life changing journey had begun. I’ve
always believed that openness of mind and heart can lead to us to life
experiences we could never have imagined.

I spent a couple of weeks doing the visitor thing, getting to know the
locals, embracing the gorgeous landscape, allowing the universe to guide
me. I returned home to London excited about going back to Taos, the pull
for me to spend more time there was powerful and resistance of any
description wasn’t on the agenda. The idea of going back fairly soon felt
quite natural to me. Another part of the bigger picture to come. October
1996, I am in another season, in Taos. Sunflowers are everywhere proudly
showing their brilliance of colour to all. I have made connections with
the Taos Pueblo. I went in one day as a visitor and left that same day
with an opportunity to work for the Tiwa People. I have a background in
Psychiatric Health Care. It came up in conversation with a group of tribal
members who asked if I could help them with Health Care Programmes they
were trying to set up. I thanked them profusely for the honour of being
asked but said I couldn’t possibly leave my comfortable life in London, my
home, my work, my friends. Surely? Living in New Mexico became a part of
my daily thought process, consciously and unconsciously.

I went back again in 1997. I wanted clarity that I would be doing the right
thing by letting go of everything familiar to me to come and live in a
place I knew little about. Prayer, mediation, trust, and overcoming the
fears I’d acquired during this period of my life were the tools I had to
take the plunge. I announced to all who I loved that I’d be heading to
Taos in Spring of 1998. The reality of change was firmly planted in my
heart now. The unknown is scary, exciting, and thought provoking. I
couldn’t imagine for a minute what my life would look or feel like when I
got there. All I knew was that I was doing what was meant to be. The
goodbyes were said and I left London in comfortable assurance that I
would never be the same again when this next part of my life was over. I
started working at the Pueblo soon after my arrival in Taos. I was living
in two worlds and knew that every day when I drove past the sign "you are
now entering Indian lands", I was entering a place of tremendous spiritual
energy and power. I witnessed some of the most beautiful ceremonies,
dances, and festivals done to honour Mother Earth that I’d ever seen
elsewhere in the world. I was taught how to shawl dance by the women of
the Tribe. I was taken on many occasions to observe their Buffalo herd,
gracious gigantic beasts with their own air of pride and dignity. Bald
eagles were a daily sight, wing spans you could do nothing but be in awe
of. I had to slow my car down more times than I can remember to let a
lone Coyote cross the road in front of me. That very special few seconds
when they look you in the eye before going about their own daily
business. Many of the Tiwa people became my good friends and teachers. I
worked with them for 14 months and left feeling that I’d done all I was
meant to do with the Tribe in that time. I stayed on in Taos for almost
12 years. All of the other incredible spiritual, life-changing
experiences I had then will one day need to become a book, I feel.

My core message about what I’ve written here is this: never tell yourself you
can’t do something you want to do. Find the reasons to make it happen
instead of finding the excuses to make it not happen. With a fearless
open heart, you can turn your dreams and wishes into your own realities.
I am now back in London finding that my 12 years in New Mexico has in
fact changed me in many ways and I’m ready for the next life adventure
wherever it may take me.

Blessings to you all
Ellie Blair.

Ellie Blair is originally from Scotland. She has travelled the world and feels she is a better person for having done so. She has been on her Spiritual Path for as long as she can remember. She is inspired by inspiring people and situations. The above is a short piece she has written since returning back to London a few months ago after living in Taos, New Mexico for 11 years.

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