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I recently returned from an amazing trip to Yellowstone National Park and the Teton mountains. (For those who are unfamiliar with this part of the US, it is one of the largest areas of geyser activity in the world due to the massive underlying volcanic hot spot.) A few years ago, my partner Joe and I were in the area, and when we approached I could feel the volcanic activity, so molten and unpredictable. However, as I was still in a period of great destruction, the eruptive energies were too catalytic for me, so we drove on.

On this recent trip, we returned to Wyoming to visit Joe’s sister who is working in Grand Teton National Park. I wondered if I would have the same reaction as before, but this time my experience was completely different. I felt welcomed. Instead of feeling afraid of the catalytic forces, I was in awe. The destructive potentials now seemed part of a greater creative purpose. I could sense passion, and it seemed the geysers responded to my awareness.

Joe’s sister commented several times on the synchronicity that followed us during our brief visit. Old Faithful greeted us on our return, and again at our departure. We were surprised by the eruption of a rare unscheduled geyser, and another spurted a welcoming wave as we walked by, 12 hours before its scheduled eruption time. I felt known in the Yellowstone Caldera. I could sense the energies dancing with me.

I was surprised to feel embraced by this vast creative force, and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a healer friend many years ago. I was experiencing nightmares and migraine headaches at the time, and asked her what I needed to do to heal. It felt like I was staring into an erupting volcano with the lava coming straight at me. All I wanted to do was run, but I couldn’t get away. Her response to my dilemma? “Lie down in the lava.” I was appalled. How could I survive such a thing? Yet I knew she was right. I was terrified.

Upheaval came on the heels of that conversation. I found there was no running from what I had named. The rage and grief were caused by my own self-abandonment. Only by facing what I feared, and fully going into it, could it be released.

Now, here, in the hot spot of the Yellowstone Caldera, I knew my forgiveness was complete. The energies of Yellowstone had not changed, but I had. The battle was indeed over.

The Tetons gave me further insights. Jackson Hole is a place of great shift where the mountains were pushed high by the Teton Fault, and the valley fell away creating a great depression. The fault is still active and is capable of producing a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, yet I was stunned by the grace and beauty I felt there.

Grand indeed are the Tetons. Called “the three breasts” by the French (les trois tetons), the Grand Teton mountain and her surrounding escorts emit a fantastically nurturing vibration that is both dramatic and creative.

Guy Ballard spoke of the ascended masters’ Royal Teton Retreat in writings describing his adventures with St. Germain. What I felt in this sacred space were layers of potentials. At ground level thrived human experience. Here I could feel the bustle of busy tourists and the power dynamics that often define human life. Yet just beyond this, simultaneous, co-existing, were vast openings into other dimensional possibilities. Crystalline energy, alive and pulsing, flowed within these mountains. They were breathing.

It is amusing to me that the town of Jackson has become a billionaire’s playground, and is also the site of the annual Economic Symposium of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Perhaps the rich and famous are attracted to the abundant energies here?

It is also interesting to me that the Tetons are in the direct path of the total solar eclipse which occurred on August 21st. In the sun’s own sign of Leo, our public personas are eclipsed and cast into darkness to be reset, perhaps so we can transcend beyond duality into wholeness.

This is the first total solar eclipse since 1918 that traversed the entire country of the United States, and I suspect it presents a great catalyst for “the land of the free” to truly embody its moniker. Such creative energies can be chaotic. In short, I sense we are being given every opportunity to let go of our old stories and embrace something new.

Letting go of a story sounds so simple, yet it is anything but easy. Our stories define us, and we protect them at all costs, because we’re afraid that if we let them go, our identities will die as well. But I’ve learned there are worse things than dying… such as enduring without truly living.

Recently I had a vision. I asked to be shown why some issues remain so firmly entrenched and what is keeping me from moving beyond them, and was shown the situation as if from above. Although I could see myself facing a great black wall, I could also see that a living light had snuck around the edges and was pooled behind me. The light was amazingly beautiful, filled with music and color. It was intelligent, and amused. Though magnificent, it was without any force. It would wait for me to become aware of it, to choose, and until I did, it would come no further. I knew that the minute I turned and embraced the light, the dark wall would dissolve behind me.

I laughed out loud upon seeing this. The solution was so simple – just turn around and stop looking at the problem! It is my focus keeping the issue alive. So why is it that the beautiful and eternal within me scares me more than my shadow? Why, in the face of such stunning compassion, have I been compelled to hang on to my stories of limitation? I’ve been sitting with this question.

The irony is that I seem to have placed these limitations here, on purpose, at just this junction on the path, and then proceeded to create an epic battle with them. However, now that I have recognized the living light, the death of my stories is inevitable. So, what am I waiting for? Freedom, it seems, will wait for me to be ready, because once it is received, there is no going back.

Having chosen it, how then do I trust that freedom is now present, when at every turn my human eyes still see my old prison walls? Perhaps the answer is that, just like in the Tetons, the programmed and the free energies coexist on different frequencies. They are both there, both available potentials, but I will see what I focus upon. It is as if my cell door has always been open, but if I focus on the cell, it will remain my reality. If I focus on being free, so shall I be.

How do I fully step from one potential into another? By changing my point of perspective and holding this new vibration. Feel what it feels like to be free, and feel that way regardless of what my eyes show me. Be free now and allow all the other potential realities to be here too. My physical experience will evolve to match my new perspective.

Easy? No, but it can be done. I’m learning there is a great difference, an epic chasm, between knowing something is possible and embodying it in experience. The first is a mental concept. The second is a living truth. I can talk about freedom, think about being free, and know it can be achieved – even know I deserve it – but only by becoming it will the experience of freedom be mine. The choice to be free is a form of command: “I AM, so it is.” It is the ultimate act of trust.

Chaos reigns. Ashes fall and I can smell the brimstone from a purging fire, but the sounds of battle have ceased.

I lay down my sword. The war is over, but my eyes see only great destruction. I hear the raging and the grief. “Why did it have to be this way?”

The echoes of my past roar around me. The gravity is great and it pulls me to my knees. Eons of pain flow toward me and I lay down in it. There is nowhere left to run.

Yet in my darkest night, the sun rises. I feel its rays touch my back…a different kind of fire-light, like a Black Opal. It dances with the flame of my grief, co-existing, witnessing. There is no battle here.

I turn to face this strange dawn, even as the fire of my past smolders on. I do not resist, and energy flows into me – allowing, cleansing, renewing. I surrender fully into this forgiveness, and the pain increases for a time; but as I surrender, I become both the source and the receiver of grace. Toward me start to flow my most beautiful potentials, and I know my life will never be the same.

The battles are over. I am all that is: life and death, light and dark. The lava and the sun have melded within me. There is nothing left to fight. I am held in the arms of compassion, carried home by wings of grace, and the wings are mine.

I am free. I always was. The rest was just a story…

Donna Van Keuren writes a monthly blog describing some of her most poignant epiphanies, as well as the jokes she’s played on herself along the way. If you would like to share a few laughs and read her reflections on this crazy ride called embodied enlightenment, join her at

3 comments on "Already Free"

  • Olaf on November 1, 2017 2:44 AM said:
    Thank you for sharing! "It is my focus keeping the issue alive." This simple and clear sentence was it to me.
  • Mabe on October 31, 2017 5:09 AM said:
    Maravilloso, llegó a mi corazón...gracias
  • Noel West on September 4, 2017 7:55 PM said:
    Beautiful story! Thank you so much for writing such a meaningful piece. It struck a deep chord for me! Blessings.

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