A few months ago, I went to my shamanic practitioner, Gwendolyn Natusch, in Virginia Beach. She had been helping me to clear and release old negative patterns of self-condemnation, shame, and doubt. Each session she started with clearing my chakras, then moved on to see what emerged next. This time, she said I wasn’t grounded at all, for she saw me hanging by my arms from a tree, with a huge gaping hole beneath me. Not only was I not grounded; there was literally no ground to stand upon! That surely reflected how I felt. I was frantically sorting, packing, and moving from my lovely home, family, musician friends, and church community to live with my grown children. I felt cut loose and adrift, living in my head. With great tenderness, Gwen observed: “Pam, you’ve been working faithfully for many years to fill that hole to stand secure in yourself, but you’ve been using a teaspoon.” Ouch, but true!

She encouraged me to invite an ally to come help me fill the hole. Mrs. Beaver showed up!

“Come on,” she seemed to beckon to me. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

I was daunted by the task. Just the two of us? That was a gigantic hole.

“Don’t you want to invite some of your family to come help us?”

“Doesn’t seem like you have much faith in the power of us two,” she spunkily replied and resolutely set to work. We filled it in no time. Mrs. Beaver knew I still wouldn’t step on it since it was loosely packed and I feared it wouldn’t support me, so she patiently tamped it all down with a few great slaps of her tail.

“There,” she proudly exclaimed. I gingerly stepped upon it. It was firm! I could finally “stand my ground!”

That experience has helped me feel secure these last two months as I’ve traveled the 2200 miles to my new home in Utah, and begun building my inner and outer home on terra firma.

However, yesterday, I awoke dismayed. I felt like now there was a gaping hole within me! The loss of everyone and everything was unbearable, especially my little church, Living Waters Sanctuary. Would I never preach or teach again, Lord? “I’m just a worthless hole,” I cried, “a nothing, a nobody!”

I called my wise friend, Ethan Marten, who quickly reassured me, “Pam, you’re not a hole. You’re a whole! Don’t forget that!”

I had forgotten. I had lost touch with my divinity, my holiness. I spent all day praying and journaling, and writing. “I’m a Whole,” I repeated and repeated. “God’s special child, as we all are, complete and loved just as I am.”

The 1980 film Resurrection with Ellen Burstyn came to mind. Ellen plays a healer who could heal many people of all kinds of infirmities. But the healing got sensationalized, so in the end she flees to the desert to manage a gas station in the middle of nowhere. In the final scene, when a family drives up in an SUV for fuel, she spies the little boy, who is wasting away and dying, confides his sad-eyed mother. After checking with her, Ellen offers the boy a little puppy to keep. And then she hugs him—long and deep—and you just know that she is healing that little boy for a long time to come. Her previously inflated ego has surrendered totally in service to her Soul. Ah, I wish….

So, friends, write me with any techniques or rituals you use to fill the hole inside of you (or dissolve it). While my former purpose and persona have died, vanished, poof!—I am practicing the wise words of Robert Louis Stevenson:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”