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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Observations of A Wyld Woman on Her Path

On exploring my inner shaman, and coming to terms with my inner critic...

Today I was asked to help facilitate a ritual of celebration and benediction at a seminar I attended this weekend.  I had no idea what the ritual would entail, but I found myself agreeing eagerly before my inner critic kicked in.  After a minute or so, I realized this negative voice was starting to bubble up, but I decidedly shook it down.  I didn't have the patience today to argue with her, so I just trundled through the rest of the afternoon, waiting for the close of the seminar.

We all have this critic, this self-talk that goes on in our heads.  It tells us we aren't good enough; or we don't have the skills for this-or-that; or that we would be found out to be a fraud; or that blah-blah-blah.  This negative feedback loop is so destructive, and yet it can be so insidious in its commentary.  We think we just bottle it up and it goes away, but really, we are just simply ignoring it.  That critic is still in our subconscious, prattling on and on and on, and now it has become background noise in our head.  It is the white noise frequency that we forget about, but it is still informing every thought, action, and word we think, do, or say.
My work with The Idisi has pushed me beyond the stifling of this inner critic, and instead into the scary realm of acknowledging its existence and dealing with it from a place of patience and power.  Acknowledging my critic is not giving credence to what it says, nor is it "assimilating in order to transform" its hurtful words.  Instead, the acknowledgement gives it (and really, "it" is "me") the space to be heard, the patience to hear its grievances, and then sending it out on an errand, or to coffee, so to speak, to give myself a break.
Amazingly, this works for me.  The hurtful self-talk is indeed from myself, conscious or otherwise.  I will never be able to full exorcise that part of my inner mind, but acknowledging it exists gives me a frame of reference to be aware when it rises up - to be aware when a negative thought-deed-word may not truly be from the best part of me.

This critic has bested me for a long time, arguing with me over vocations, friendships, family issues, education, and spiritual things.  Almost always my critic plays devil's advocate for whatever I might be going through at the time, and devil's advocate for the sheer provocation of it!  However, because of the chanty work I do with The Idisi, the need for neutrality and yet mindful presence, and the opportunity to open my piehole for bold singing - these facets have given a way for me to wrestle with my critic, and in the end, send her out for toilet paper (if only she would really pick up TP, that would be magic!)

I am now pursuing a degree in theology and pastoral ministry, which for a long time I realize my self-talk was telling me wasn't worth the effort ("You won't actually make any money, will you?")  I am working with the Sacred Art of Living Center toward germinating a career in hospice and funeral chaplaincy, which was scoffed at ("What makes you think dying people will take you seriously at age 30, hmmm?")  I am growing in a church community, which has been an absent part of my spiritual life for awhile ("You don't need church, nobody really likes you there anyway, they are just gossiping about you, etc.")  I continue to sing and explore new sacred music, and hope to continue with The Idisi and our work for many seasons to come ("Your voice isn't gorgeous, it's just pretty basic.  Plus who are you to give opinions to the others in the group who have more performing experience than you?")

So you see, in spite of all the negative feedback from my critic -I mean- myself, I have found a way to be patient and move forward with it.  These are tools I learned from singing and being in community with the other women in The Idisi, and I hope I have helped facilitate their learning as well.
Back to today's ritual...there were elements of many religious traditions present, each one meant to give a blessing to each participant.  Thankfully, I was not specifically offering the blessing, but engaging everyone in my element to partake in the way he or she saw fit.  Long story short, I was meant to hold space.  A lot of space.  70 participants worth of space.  I realized, after the ritual, that had I not the experience with The Idisi holding song space for extended periods of time, I don't think I would have lasted very long in a healthy way.  After the ritual, our main facilitator of the seminar thanked me for participating, and said "I knew it had to be you, because I knew you could hold the space reverently, and yet have a bit of levity to put everyone at ease when they came to your element."

I was so touched by her words, and so grateful for her confidence in me, I rushed home to try and put all the thoughts tumbling around in my head into this blog post, which indeed, has been a long time coming.  Of course, my critic is sitting right here beside me as I work, but she is simply checking my spelling and punctuation, happy not to be relegated yet again to finding me some eggs or something.

(For those wondering, I held the "bread" of the communion table: a ritual cake made from corn pollen, water, oil of gilead, and healing soil from Chimayo, NM.  Needless to say, I'm sure, there was a spectrum of reactions from "meh." to borderline disgust with the thought of eating dirt, even dirt of healing.)

~ a wyld woman named Cachel N

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Season 4 wrap up

WHEW! What a very impactful, challenging,  and transformational Season 4 we had. We had called it the season of the rune Jera.....of "change".....we were not wrong in that ...oy!

Thank you everyone for all the support and love you have shared with The Idisi this last season. We are very grateful. We ended our 4th year on with a bang at the One Million Women’s Drum event on Sunday Oct 13th …which was marvelous….and Tuesday of last week was our wrap up meeting. 

We are going to be taking a hiatus from performing for the next 8-12 months as we work on some recordings, research, organizational housekeeping, and getting some much needed rest and healing. 

I will be doing a post in the next week talking about our participation in the One Million Women's Drum -Minnesota event so be sure to check back for that.

We hope you will stay tuned to our blog and we will be posting out here as things progress in some exciting creative endeavors we have cooking and gestating…be in Joy and have a blessed Fall.   

~ Dayna Jean
Director of The Idisi


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Into the Stillness

Fall approaches- wood smoke and apple cider on her crisp breath.  She calms the excitement and activity of Summer and soothes us and woos us into a state of warm acceptance.  We feather our nests with fluffy blankets and colorful leaves.  We gather with our loved ones, sharing great meals and stories by the fire’s glowing light.  Yet we know that soon they will go back to their warm snuggly places and we will settle in for the long cold night- Alone.  We journey into the dark.

The slowing rhythm of Autumn  prepares us to encounter the great mystery of stillness.  Many of us are fearful of prolonged periods of silence and inertness.  Maybe we interpret it as isolation and make every attempt to avoid the dreadful feeling of loneliness or we fear it is simply sloth whispering seductively in our ear. 

 For many years of my life I feared being alone and still and quiet more than any shadowy nightmare.  I had no concrete explanation as to why it caused me such terror. Of course, now I know that it is in these moments of nothingness that the real work begins. 

First I will have to make the room comfortable, as to stop my body’s complaints of too cold or too hot.  I will have to find a restful spot and position to sit in that does not lead my bones to complain of aching or my muscles to rebel with spasms and knots.  There must be quiet and absolute stillness.  My undisciplined mind will seek out every sound and every shift in light and movement in an attempt to derail me from reaching a state of absolute stillness.  

 The complaints and caterwauling seem endless.   They go something like this:

Do not go quietly into that good night! Rage!  Rage against the dying of the light!”    I turn to a mantra I learned from a Sci-Fi Classic and remind myself:  “I shall not fear.   Fear is the mind killer.”

“The darkness is the realm of shadowmen and sharp-clawed monsters, that’s why you’re afraid of the dark- remember?”   “I am more powerful than can be imagined.”

“Don’t go in there, it’s no good.  You’ll have to face all the lies and bad things you’ve ever heard or said or thought!”   “Shhh, there’s nothing in the darkness but me.”

“Fine, go in there.  I warned you.  It’s going to be ugly.”  

Eventually, I accept that I am going there, straight into the heart of darkness.  I accept that every creep and creature that lives therein is merely a part of me.  I’ve crafted them from the odds and ends and bits and pieces of memories, anxieties, unspoken desires, and long forgotten dreams.   Disfigured and twisted, vile and horrific as they may be, they are parts of me.  I meet them and greet them as old friends.  As we walk along, I begin to peel off the layers of darkness.  It is slow, dirty and disturbing work.   Somewhere, deep in the bowels of every one of these monsters, there is hidden something as dear and sweet as a newly sprouted peapod.  

This is the truth that has been hidden away, this is the pristine, unblemished moment before ego or other outside influences tried to crush it.  Swaddled in the middle of monsters are the last seconds of absolute certainty, unshakable belief, and direct conscious connection to the Source.  These are the treasures in the darkness.  To me they are cocoons bursting open into brilliant luminescent butterflies.  They lead me back to knowing.  This is my path to spiritual peace- nursing beasties and birthing butterflies.

It’s autumn.  Bundle up in wooly sweaters and knee high socks.   Sip cider and eat warm candied nuts.  Stir the fire.  

And please, light a candle in the window- a beacon for a lost monster, looking for its way back home.    

~ a wyld woman called Tangee 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rhythm Of The Trees Festival~ A Million Women Drummers Global Initiative

Sunday,  October 13, 2013 

1:00pm- 6:00pm

"Rhythms For The Trees Festival " 

~ A Million Women Drummers Global Initiative Project event

@ Ramada Hotel - Bloomington/ Mall of America 
2300 E American Blvd, Bloomington MN

Free/At Will Donation Event

The Idisi is honored to be participating in this event and will be performing selected repertoire on the Mains Stage through out the day at this fabulous event in co creation with The Women's Drum Center, of St Paul MN

This is the last performance of The Idisi's 2012-2013 Season. Hope to see you there!

For more information go to the Women's Drum Center website linked below

Click here for event details

For more details about Ubaka Hill's Million Women Drummers Global Initiative see the link below

Click here for Million Women Drummers Global Initiative Project

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dayna Jean of The Idisi interviewed on St Cloud Pagan Radio~ 8/27/2013

Hey there folks,

Dayna Jean, Founder and Director of The Idisi was interviewed Tues Aug 27th 2013 for St Cloud Pagan Radio on the Illuminati Network Radio.

Check her out blabbing about sound healing, The Idisi, and Pirates of Dreamtime
out here..

The Idisi is very excited to be performing at the Twin Cities Pagan Pride Festival again on Saturday
September 7th 2013

We will be the first act on the Musical Stage at the Minnehaha Falls Park Pavillion in Minneapolis, MN

 Welcome and Blessing 10AM

The Idisi perform approx 10:15AM-11:00AM

Come share the day at this FREE event and enjoy the rituals, vendors, and musical performers all day long in the park.

This will be one of our last performances for our 4th season. Hope to see you there!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Idisi are special musical guests -Saturday May 18th 2013...please join us!

2013 Annual Benefit Concert
Voices of The Woods - Honoring Trees - a Vital Resource
The Women’s Drum Center is proud to announce that they will be hosting their Annual Benefit Concert titled “Voices of the Woods” on Saturday May 18, 2013 at Augsburg College, Sateren Auditorium from 7 to 9 pm.
This annual concert benefits the nonprofit parent organization. The event includes a silent auction and concert. The silent auction starts at 6:00 pm and the concert runs from 7:00-9:00 pm.
This concert will celebrate trees and express the need to sustain trees to ensure the health of people and the world. The performances will include songs, stories, drums, percussion, marimba and more instruments that connect with the concert title: Voices of The Woods.
Performers from the Women’s Drum Center will include Drumheart the Center’s performing ensemble, Center instructor’s and a selection of class participants from the Center. Special guest performers will be the Mu Diako community Taiko Group and The Idisi .
Mu Daiko and its student group, Mu Community Taiko Group, form one wing of Mu Performing Arts, the Midwest's premier Asian American performing arts company. Founded in 1997, Mu Daiko continues to celebrate and connect its powerful, dramatic and lyrical drumming style with audiences across Minnesota and surrounding states.
Idisi Choir is a gathering of women intent on singing and opening the world up to the sonic healing, especially that of the Divine Feminine. They come together with great love, respect, and honor among themselves as artists. The choir is on a powerful journey of Joy, Love, and Light that they want to share with their audiences.
Tickets for the concert are available at BrownPaperTickets, and the day of the concert. Ticket Prices in advance: Adults: $15. Ticket Prices at the door: Adults: $20, Seniors/Students: $12, Family: $30 ( 2 adults / 3 children) Children 5 and under: Free.
The mission of the Women’s Drum Center is to provide opportunities for women and girls to learn, teach, and play percussion together and to energize the community at large through our performing. World music is emphasized at the center.