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  • The large eagle feather made a loud, snapping sound as it passed along each side of me, over my head and behind my back. The ceremony leader smudged me as I stood alongside the river bank under cloudy skies, feeling the rain drops starting to fall. I closed my eyes and behind closed lids, in suspended time, I witnessed an incredible sight.

    It was me, stepping backwards out of me. As if I was leaving my body. Not all of me. Just the parts of me I no longer needed. I had done just enough of these types of experience to understand what was transpiring.

    The difference this time is that instead of wiping a hand over my forehead in a gesture of relief as I 'got rid' of the old me. The old behaviours, patterns, beliefs, restrictions. Instead of being in a hurry to dump the 'bad' stuff, I energetically turned to the part of myself standing patiently and serenely behind me, and, like an old friend, I thanked this part of me, for all that was brought to my life. All the challenges, the experiences, the growth, the struggles, the triumphs, all that had been a part of my story and myself up until this moment.

    I hung my head in a bow of momentary gratitude for this death, then turned towards the entrance of the sweat lodge. Complete in my smudging, I stepped away from my old friend and brought my hands to my heart offering a blessing to my self, spirit and all those who had sweated before me. I bowed to the earth and kissed the cool, damp mud at the entrance to the lodge.

    I would emerge several hours later, reborn.
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