Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.
I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.
Today we get to meet Pixie Lighthorse!
Pixie, take it away…
How are you changing the world?
(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)
I don’t know that I’m changing the world, and I’m certainly not doing anything single-handedly-it is because of the examples of others in my life who modeled caring as a value that I can also model it.
In community, inside the conversations we have with one another, we move beyond our small experience of self and into possibility for all of us.
The SouLodge community has walked down many good and healing roads together and while the curriculum is strong and confronting, (it manages to be gentle, too) it is the people who come, who want to have round-table discussions about critical matters of the heart which make it truly transformative.
Our world is facing two major issues at the moment: human rights violations and climate change.
One of the ways we can move the energy of violence, misdirected rage, unhealed woundedness and grief is to help people learn how to acknowledge it and clear it. We think of violations as being poisoning the air and water, and it is easy to vote greener and rally for new U.N. policies which support more efficient manufacturing.
But we cannot do that while sipping a Starbucks latte out of a paper cup with a plastic lid and driving while texting. Recycling isn’t cutting it. Consumption is at it’s highest ever and so it is inside of gentle and non-guilting conversation about living indigenously that I can affect the change I want to see in the world.
When we set our sights on healing those things which are numbing the effects of what is actually playing out in front of us, we can be stronger in the face of our responsibilities and our vices- the worst of which is convenience. We have forgotten what we are here for.
In my small way, I want to remind folks that we can strengthen ourselves to make the changes we want to make, which requires looking inward and nurturing the suffering parts, retrieving the parts which left us when things got overwhelming and which are not present at the decision-making table.
A shamanic, earth medicine approach to healing is all about clearing and cleaning energy, inside and out. It addresses spiritual illness which causes the things we are seeing in the world today that we don’t like to see.
What challenges your heart in that journey?
My heart is all in. What hurts is seeing women coming into class who are unable to be the mothers they want to be for many reasons, some of which have to do with how our culture is not set up for mothers and children.
Teaching online means that I have to appear on a screen and be a talking head. I like to hug people and sit by fires with them and look them in the eyes. My heart wants to be in nature all day every day, and my job means that I am too-often behind a desk.
It is challenging to discover that I love my work and I also love being outside without timelines! My heart feels a bit divided, but it is not too much of a challenge when I follow my own energy and simply get outdoors as much as possible.
What inspires you to keep going?
My children. All of the children. Wild animals. This beautiful Earth. Love. Faith.
How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?
What nourishes and replenishes you?
While I’m walking women through a curriculum which teaches them how to honor what has long been inside of them, the Healer archetype, the natural gesture of nurturing all living things, I have to support myself with a lot of protein and vegetables and tons of sleep.
My brain is so fragged post-forty that without adequate sleep I walk in circles! Ha ha! When I am very, very good, I go to bed with the sun and wake up with it. In the winter, this sometimes means that I get up and walk around at night outside and talk to the moon.
I find it very restorative to remove all distractions when possible as many times per day as I can. This looks like sitting outside in silence, breathing and repeating, “And that too” when things come up in my mind, resisting the temptation to react by jumping up and running to tend whatever seemingly urgent need has popped up.
How do you experience care within community?
How do others support you in your journey and practice?
I could absolutely not survive without being in daily conversations with the women who do what I do. Community is key. We were never meant to do life alone without support systems.
I have daily communications with half a dozen teams of women, all intimate with one another, all established in trust, mature, non-judgemental and good listeners. We tend each others hearts and sister one another by knowing each other as spirits and giving lots and lots of grace cards, that is to say, no one has to say everything just right and gets to take up as much space as they need when they are in need.
I feel most supported by my community when they remind me of why I am here, and where I shine. I am reminded to slow down and rest a LOT.
What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?
Use your voice. Express yourself artistically, in writing, in person. If you have a business, be sure what you care about most can be expressed through it. Be willing to vulnerably share who you are and what you care about. Move your body and stay connected to it. Explore the concept that we are nurture-deficient and that the earth is showing this in a graphic way which needs attention paid.
To make a difference, look at your own consumption, see where addictions and broken patterns exist. Seek healing for anything which isn’t in line with your values and learn to see yourself as a Healer, of yourself, of your people, of the planet we live on.
Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.
I see a world where plants and animals are valued as teachers. They have been here much, much longer than us and are actively showing us how to live, adapt and sustain our lives with far less than we humans believe we need.
I see a world where healthcare and higher education are free.
I see a world where human rights are defended by all, and that fear does not keep anyone from acting on behalf of another human in need.
I see a world where mothers and children are given plenty of stress-free time together to bond and develop mutually respectful relationship.
I see a world where we are all educated from a young age about what it is like to be different from the mainstream, that compassion training is the status quo, that it is also given and therefore imprinted.
I see a world where violence, discrimination and rape held taboo by the society.
I see a world making strong choices about consumption, chemical waste, petroleum dependency, and disposable plastics instead of filling up the oceans with our convenience waste.
I see a world where VOICE is the instrument all people use to communicate their needs.
I see a world becoming indigenous again, and the traditional wisdom keepers of that ancient and sacred knowledge held in high regard.
I see a world with children and young adults full of hope instead of fear.
Pixie Lighthorse, author of Prayers of Honoring, teaches women to be healers with nurturing online curriculum in Earth Medicine and live retreats on her Oregon ranch. She dreams of a world where sustainability and the health of future generations are the highest priority and is doing her part to create that world by turning people back toward the earth for spiritual mirroring.
How to connect:
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