On December 18, 2014 the message arrived: create the life that reflects your specific soul’s rare, gifted, achievement. It was feeling oh yeah! and then quickly, time to hold on tight while bravely letting go.

LandArt by Dietmar Voorwold

LandArt by Dietmar Voorwold

Yes, doing my work in the world through meditation, nature mandalas, woods wanders and stream-flow-adjustment could be considered eccentric, even subversive. But as the new year commenced 366 days ago it became clear that it was time for me to step up to the plate, to clear out the sugar and processed junk so I could become strong and connected from the inside out.  I could feel that 2015, the year I crossed a half-century, was the year I would require strength, stamina and clarity so the love and grace could spill out into the world; to my children, my partners, my co-creators and clients.

Heavenly Way, Golden Flower Tai Chi's Retreat Center near Hanging Rock, NC

Heavenly Way, Golden Flower’s Retreat Center near Hanging Rock, NC

It was a year of eating well, training my body, taming my mind and dragon emotions, breaking the vow I made as a ninja goddess to protect the light and love inside the crystal. It was time to make a new vow to myself. It was time to access my true work in the world, my heart work, the work my soul created before I entered this body.

kissIt was the year of taking the leap into that sea called marriage carrying my teenage boys and my little dog Jess with me. I learned to swim in a new way. Knowing that my deep, sacred chamber was always there. A place of refuge. A place to connect with my spirit guides, my angels, my purest self.

laughing family

It was the year of a nine-soul, love-filled, wedding day on a scruffy beach in Belize. Of a honeymoon of crystal water, 500 pound sea turtles, nurse sharks, heat, and dust.  It was a pure-love connection with Pop on a tiny cacao plantation where every tiny ant was appreciated for it’s work. It was wet, flowing, cave adventures of climbing into the void and swimming in the pool of healing awareness and electric knowing.

yukueleIt was the year of my first born’s, first heartbreak after a three and a half year relationship journey of drama and first, true love and laughter.

It was the year of bringing music back into my hands and learning from one who wears black jackets and jeweled colored shirts on Fridays.

boys far

boys closeIt was the year of mother-sons adventure in Venice and Croatia. Color, canals, cobblestones and connection.

john and mom

blissIt was the year of embracing the path of Golden Mastery through working with the energy in my body. Of learning how to be a real student and getting used to the idea of being a teacher and a sherpa. Of showing up in person each week to each new tai chi lesson. It was the year of then learning more deeply that just showing up in the flesh was a small first step. That the real lesson was showing up to each moment and not escaping in my mind. It was learning to not be afraid of feeling the Divine Femine in her red robes, the Wild Woman inside me, breaking free of the cage I had build around her and then buried in the earth.

dragonflyIt was the year of working with flow and flying with tiny dragons. Learning that magic is everywhere and that the signs are plentiful.  It was the year to embrace power I didn’t know I had to listen to hard truths and break centuries old patterns.

lion's mouth

It was a year to live with a teenage girl for the first time. To remember that tender, tumultuous time in my life where everyone was stupid and I was all knowing, brave and scared to death in a never ending roller coaster ride.  It was helping this bright spirit emerge from a dark basement of mindless TV and junk food to connect with her first passion for art, and fire and color in an apprenticeship with creative entrepreneurial women. It was hoping to reconnect soon with the easy dynamic pictured in the lion’s mouth.


It was the summer of dreaming with poets and the red, sea rocks of Sedona in September.

JohnIt was the fall of watching the youngest stumble. Of escaping school through using the freedom of wheels and poor fuel. It was knowing that watching decline, perhaps death, in his male lineage sucked big time.  It was working with angels on his behalf. It was seeing him find his dream in sound and lights and then seemingly try to throw it away. It was relief and joy through bio-mind-science and the laughing guidance of a wise uncle. It was the year of learning how to let go of being the mother of a little boy and embracing being the parent of a young man who was walking his path perfectly. It was slowly and painfully learning that my job was to be aware, to support and to practice again and again.

Art by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Art by Cherie Roe Dirksen

It was the year I remembered my love of trees; of drawing and painting them over and over again as a girl of seven, and thirteen and twenty-one. It was remembering visions of spirals and the Tree of Life in my dreams when birthing Bridges, and then five years later, Imagination Installations.  It was knowing that the new year would be filled with creating these dream trees of death, rebirth, co-creation and rites of passage.


It was a year that ended by watching death sherpa a dear friend, an ex-partner, and the two souls I’m most connected to, heart-to-heart-to-womb.  It was learning that the best way to help was to continue to cultivate my gift for accessing the essence of peace during meditation, or while sitting by the sweet stream, and then sharing that soft peace soul-to-soul.


It was the year of deep gratitude… for all the souls who walked with me this year as friends, lovers, teachers and guides; for my work as a storyteller, marketer and community connector through Bridges; as an artist, dreamer, instigator and imagination vision-circle leader through Imagination Installations; and as a partner in a new science adventure that is on the horizon and getting closer by the day.

It was the year of glimpsing deep understanding of the multifaceted cycle of death and rebirth. Of learning by watching the elements unfold each year, each day, each moment. Of the power of the Tree of Life, of awakening, and rites of passages.  In this year, and the next, and for lifetimes upon lifetimes.

It was the year I raised my foot to step into threshold of my next 50 years.

By Cheryl Schirillo-Johnson on December 31, 2014