By Phyllis K. Kennemer
Writing articles for Bella Spark Magazine for the past eight years has contributed to my life in many positive and joyful ways. My life has been enriched through my experiences with researching intriguing topics, interviewing interesting people, interacting with my writers’ group, and writing, writing, writing.
As I have been reviewing past articles and reflecting on their influence in my life, I realized that my interaction with these topics and people has led me into a lovely variety of sacred spaces, which have enabled me to awaken the wisdom within myself. These sacred spaces are found in labyrinths, crop circles, gardens and parks, peace poles, alternative healing and my new role as a change coach.
One of my most life-changing experiences was researching and writing about labyrinths. Prior to beginning the article in 2008, my experience with labyrinths was limited. I knew about Theseus and the Minotaur from Greek mythology and I had walked two labyrinths back in 2002 – one in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and another in San Luis, Colorado. Once I got started with the research, I found three labyrinths in Fort Collins and one in Berthoud. I talked to people who had been a part of building each of these and I walked them. I was enthralled with the meditative movement of walking into the center and out again, finding deep meaning in this symbol for the metaphor of life experiences.
Labyrinths have been a significant part of my life ever since. I joined the Labyrinth Society and I have attended six of their annual gatherings in different parts of the United States. I started guiding people on labyrinth walks and attending sessions through Veriditas, which led to certification as a Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator. In 2009 I went to France and walked the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral — one of the most sacred places in the world.
I was introduced to the concept of crop circles when I was asked to write about the Crop Circle of Wilton which appeared in May 2010. Crop circles had been appearing all over the world, especially in England for many years, but this circle held special significance because mathematicians were able to decipher a complicated mathematical formula in the formation, causing speculation that beings from other worlds were trying to communicate with earthlings. Closer examination of crop circles has revealed that many of them are based in sacred geometry and mathematical principles.
A couple of years later, I had an opportunity to hear Patty Greer talk about her travels to Southwestern England where she experienced the energy of crop circles. Greer produced five documentary films based on her discoveries. She believes that crop circles are created by aliens from other dimensions in an effort to communicate with us. She believes that one of the major messages they are trying to impart concerns the dangers in the toxification of our food fields.
Although I did not write an article about Lucy Pringle, I was delighted to meet her at the Labyrinth Gathering in Taos. She had traveled from her home in England to share her experiences in studying and observing the healing powers of crop circles. She brought amazing pictures she had taken from airplanes flying over the circles. Many of these designs resembled labyrinths offering winding paths leading to the centers of the structures.
Gardens and Parks
I found sacred spaces in gardens designed for healing in local hospitals and medical facilities. Recognizing the mind-body science which reveals that environmental factors affect healing, infusion gardens are being created next to cancer treatment facilities so patients can view the calming effects of nature. Patients receiving chemotherapy can look through large windows at gardens built specifically to aid in their healing. These gardens are surrounded by large trees. Plants and flowers grow beside small streams that sometimes feature the soothing flow of waterfalls.
I learned about the sacred spaces in Zen gardens and how to construct these structures — both large (for outdoor spaces) and small (portable desk models). These gardens offer opportunities for quiet meditation and reflection.
I found spirituality and serenity in the Chapungu Sculpture Park located east of the Promenade Shops of Centerra in Loveland. These sculptures were created by Shona artists in Zimbabwe using rock from the countryside. The monuments represent universal themes related to family, elders, nature and the spirit world, as they reveal the unique culture of these African people. The numerous walking paths in the park are flanked with benches offering opportunities for sitting in quiet contemplation.
Peace poles appear all over the world and many are located in Northern Colorado. The poles are in parks, on church grounds, near mortuaries, next to educational institutions, by libraries, and in other public places. They display a universal message: MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH written on the surfaces of the poles in a variety of languages. As people stop and contribute peaceful prayers near these poles, they enter sacred spaces.
I was able to participate in and learn about forms of alternative healing that offer life-enriching methods for achieving and maintaining optimum health. I experienced sessions with therapeutic massage, massage combined with cupping, acupuncture, and the guided release of elements in my past that were no longer serving me.
My most memorable of these experiences was the session with Greg Temmer and his glass armonica. Greg is one of only 22 people in the world who play the glass armonica in public performances. The music of the glass armonica speaks directly to the soul. It surrounds and enfolds the listener in a sense of harmony and joy. This feeling of well-being is conducive to meditation and to healing. I continue to be amazed that I was privileged to experience this exquisite sound.
Wisdom of the Crone
My experiences with reading, researching and writing for Bella Spark Magazine have helped me step into my role as a crone. Women who choose to acknowledge this stage of life are choosing to age gracefully and quietly as they interact with those around them in ways that are wise and productive.
As I stepped into my own wisdom, I felt a calling to become a change (life) coach. Change is a constant in life. Some changes occur through conscious choice, while others offer unexpected challenges. I accepted the role of a guide dedicated to helping people through unexpected (and sometimes unwanted) changes in their lives. I help people of all ages make conscious decisions as they move toward personal visions of the lives they want to live. We share sacred spaces together.
As a result of a labyrinth presentation I gave about a year ago, I have started sponsoring Full Moon Labyrinth walks which are free and open to the public. We alternate between walking the labyrinths at Pathways Hospice in Fort Collins (odd-numbered months) and McKee Medical Center in Loveland (even-numbered months).
My life has been and continues to be profoundly blessed through my experiences with Bella Spark Magazine. I am grateful for the people I have met, for the knowledge I have gained, and for the sacred spaces I have discovered. I more forward with joy as I continue to make presentations, conduct workshops, and interact with private clients. I find serenity in sacred spaces everywhere I go.