“My Dangerous Beautiful Assignment”


Art by Lucy Campbell

“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1892-1910

“My Dangerous Beautiful Assignment.”

That’s what astrologist and visionary activist and writer, Caroline Casey, calls experiences of trauma — brilliantly re-framing of them as gifts — as experiences which cause our souls to rise if we let them; if we focus on their dark beauty.

This morning I am thinking about a tumble of symbols and stories. I am sifting through countless stories as a result of this intense, deep, spiritual work I am doing right now. It’s like sorting through a mountain of treasures.

Where does one start?

All day Wednesday, I focused on storytelling, both for the business webinar (with Jeanine Blackwell) and then later, for the Way of the Trickster course.

Women telling stories. Women’s voices. Women coming forth breathing fire and bearing gifts.

“What’s your predominant, default story?” ~ Caroline W. Casey

Casey asked us that Wednesday night.

Mine used to be a sad story. A story of loss.

Now, it’s redemptive. I rise. I fill myself with light.

My new default story is, “This is a benevolent universe. Anything is possible,” and “I am loved and nurtured and protected, always.”


Casey said, “Ashé means ‘the power to incarnate into language.'”

So, the stories we tell ourselves matter. They shape us. They contain us.

And we contain them.

If we stick with our sad-sack, woe-is-me stories, we build a world that reflects that ennui. If we tell ourselves stories of empowerment, everything changes.

Casey talked about the unique medicine that each person is endowed with when he or she is born. She talked of how crucial it is that we discover what our particular medicine is because it is needed to heal the world.

So, I’ve been asking myself: What is my medicine?

My medicine is words. My healing gift is the capacity to assist others in bringing forth stories. Stories of survival. Stories of triumph. Stories of guts, of grit, of growth.

Our stories will remake the world. Our stories will call all living beings to awaken, to join the movement toward a more reverent, peaceful, collaborative society.

Now, I howl at the moon still glowing outside and count the clear stars as one by one, they fade and a new day dawns.

I savor my past, but I don’t live there. The time to be born is now. The time to awaken is now.

There’s no more time to waste.


© 2016  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

Feel free to share this post with others, as long as you include the copyright information and keep the whole posting intact. If you like this piece please share it with others. You can like me on Facebook  or Twitter to see more of my writing and my spiritual journey on my website  at www.shavawnmberry.com.

4 thoughts on ““My Dangerous Beautiful Assignment”

    1. Thanks, Fyrejean! I actually wrote it the next morning on a call with my writing accountability partner. Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, so I sat on it for a couple of days. Glad everyone’s been enjoying reading it.

    1. Thank you. It’s always interesting to see what floats back up to the surface in the blog. Certain pieces circle back to me when I need their message again. It is certainly true of this post!

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