So What is HWP?
Stacia Horvath Burton
Healing Waters Press started long ago as a vision in my head. At that time I didn't know that the vision was also in the head of someone else as well, . . . a young lady named Stacia Horvath. But, we'll get back to the who and what later.
It was a dream not just of a publishing house or a journal, but also of a school and complete sustainable community. Later on it seemed befitting to add a cooperative coffeehouse as well.
I used to dream about it at night. I'd see this beautiful three domed community sitting on the side of a large lake. I wasn't sure where it was located but I was sure it was somewhere in the Southwest in or near Colorado. I could see a large red rock mountain in the background. I believe it's a real place, that image in my dream. That's one of the reasons why I chose to come to Santa Fe specifically. Santa Fe is the center of that area where that dream space might have originated. The dream never stopped haunting me. It didn't matter what happened to me though childhood and early adulthood. It was still there. For a long time people said I didn't have what it took to get this thing together. And, for a while I actually believed them.
I met people along the way that would even say that's crazy and I was too for even attempting it. One of my friend used to tell me to live in the real world and get a 'real' job. That really bothered me. Not because I thought he was right but because I could see he'd been brainwashed and his thinking distorted by societal norms. He never even thought about whether what he believed made sense. The truth is I already had a job and a good one but he wouldn't accept that a sales job for any company, even one like Canon, the place I actually worked for, was real. Well, it seems perspective is everything, isn't it? As I'm sure all you sales reps out there would agree. People used to wonder why this man is still a friend. Well, he is because he has other very endearing qualities, but moreover too, it's simply because he is a constant reminder of how the 'rest of the world thinks' and how distorted that thinking can be.
And, why do I mention my friend? Well, it's because its also one of the many reasons I felt so driven to make Healing Waters Press and all my own writings a reality. I wanted to create a base for teaching . . . one that will shine so brightly that even these 'distorted' thinkers will have to sit up, take notice and even listen . . . AND maybe, just maybe change in some way. That, my friends, is what I call a miracle. Miracles, as defined by the Course in Miracles, is a new thought that changes EVERY other thought we have!!!! Pretty cool, huh? Maybe, perhaps, they'd even come out with a gem like "boy, now that you showed me it that way, it sure make a lot of sense." And, that's when the miracle begins to start forming and taking shape into a new THOUGHT!! . . .Well, enough of dreaming the impossible dream, huh? Hehe!
In my opinion it is these people who are most in need for what we, as lightworkers have to offer. What good does it do to appeal to those like ourselves who already are there? Lightworkers starve trying to appeal to others like themselves. But the sleeping mainstream masses? . . .We can give them, by example, the power to reclaim their thinking and reasoning. They need to rise from being zombies and reclaim their own intuitive thinking processes. Society has robbed this precious commodity, not just from them, but all of us. At least they took their best shot at trying to do so. Some of us can't be fooled though.
The most inspiring of all people for me, though, was my twin in England. It was by his intense love and, surprisingly, his absence that he inspired me. I thought he'd be the most supportive but he wasn't. He was very skeptical and stubbornly refused to believe that our partnership was just about getting the press going and bringing our vision into reality. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, this was HIS VISION also.
For a long time it literally broke my heart when he, at first, rejected the idea of working together in the physical. It took me way down for a time . . . but it wasn't his rejection, it was something else. I saw in him the reflection of everything that was best in the human race. I saw him totally turn away from his mission, our mission because he saw it as too much of an impossible dream and that being involved with me, his love, would consume him along with everything he wanted to accomplish . . . the mission. I thought, "how does totally turning away from all you believe make any of it less of a reality?" I assume that anything spiritual reminded him of me so he HAD to get away from it to survive and rationalize that this crazy dream of OURS just couldn't work. My heart was in despair . . . I figured that if he, the best of mankind, was ready to accept failure so easily then how can anyone else of lesser resources make it? I felt deeply for the pain and fear of the human race then. Was it indeed, as he said, hopeless and impossible?, I asked myself.
How do I explain what happened then? I had such an intense spiritual connection with this man that I literally could not stop feeling both his love for me and his pain. I wrote dozens of poems trying to capture what I felt but gave up for a while because I was afraid it was seeding a dream world that was not real. Then, I had to return to my writing because I realized that something was happening inside of me . . . the dream, the vision was coming alive inside of me once again. I loved this man so intensely, so totally my soul was entwined with his . .. I could not go on feeling that pain of failure coming from him. I had to do something about it but, in order to do that I had to start believing in the world again . . . believing again that the world can change and WE can make it happen. So from the ashes of my despair, I knew I had to somehow PROVE to my beloved and to the world it can be done! It is for him as well as for myself (and sweet Stacia . .. see story below) that I had to succeed. Thus, the motivation and the challenge to finally get this done came into being. Thank you John. I truly love you beyond what any words can express.
Now, I come to Stacia. Stacia is my dream child from days of Atlantis many lifetimes ago. So naturally I think of her as my daughter even though physically we are not connected. That might tell you I'll be a bit prejudice where she's concerned. I know that wherever she is she's probably jumping out of her seat just waiting to see if I'll tell this story so I will.
There I was living in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area just minding my own business . . . no, not really . . . actually I was in one of those slumps of depressions that started because I didn't know what to do next. I was getting pretty desperate. I asked for guidance from spirit. Actually it was more like begging . . . Anyway, just about then I picked up a newspaper called the GrassRoots Journal. It was run by an interesting environmentalist named Joris Rosse. There was an ad seeking editorial help and I knew I had to apply. At the time they were starting to put together plans for the EarthDays celebration of 1993 and needed all the written paraphernalia that goes with it . . . interviews for articles had to be done with performers, articles about events had to be written and programs had to be designed. Well, I was hired on the spot and put to work doing all these things. Soon, my depression was replaced with a mad rush to get everything done and to the printer. I was totally submerged into saving the environment, the main theme behind the GrassRoots Journal and EarthDays events. I loved that all the wonderful people involved were also very spiritual!
In the midst of all this, I had the pleasure to interview Inila Wakan, a Lakotan who was doing a sundance and sweatlodge for the EarthDays event. From this also came the inspiration to write the words to the EarthDays theme poem On Our Way Home. Wow, I thought, as I wrote those beautiful words, which I later read in front of the EarthDays crowd, "these words say what I'm feeling about earth and what I want to teach people to do . . . return to their own 'inward moving spiral'."
Getting things together meant often being thrown together with Inila and others. One of these others was a young woman, Stacia Horvath, who was helping out with the EarthDays celebration and also, gathering materials etc for Inila's sweatlodge.. Eventually we all started to became friends. Though, of all of them, I especially loved both Inilia and Stacia. I noticed however that both of them were always very proper and serious looking when I was around. Stacia opened up more but still there was a wall. This made me so sad. It really puzzled and bothered me but I didn't know what to say so I just didn't say anything. I wrote it off as a generation gap thing. After all, I was nearly double their age.
Then, one day I had a vision of the two of them as my twin daughters in Atlantis, Ifea and Idia. I was the very stern father, a high priest, who separated them because they wouldn't focus on their temple studies when together and later regretted doing so .. . Idia, alone one afternoon was attacked by a wild animal and killed. I remember blaming myself for her death. My wife Tristan and Ifea were devastated and never quite forgave me for my act of sternness.
Later, when I felt a moment of extremely discomfort arising between myself and Inilia, I decided to share the vision with him He was awe stuck. Inila embraced me crying saying, 'that explains everything I've been feeling. It didn't seem right because I kept feeling like you were my father and now, I find that in fact you were!! Thank you so much." Stacia later shared similar feelings with me when I told her. After I told them, I felt a tremendous release of tension, at least for me. Knowing the events of the pastlife helped us forgive and be healed. We could all go our separate ways knowing we walked the path of healing together. Well, it goes to show that pastlife memories are not silliness but CAN be a valuable healing tool in the present. They certainly were in our case.
Anyway, after all this, and somewhere along the way I found myself, alone together with Stacia in a historic park in Bethlehem . . . hugging trees and dancing to the sound of the breeze! I feel like I was in the presence of a beautiful Indian princess. I was talking about how to make the Poets of the Earth poetry page I was doing in the grassroots better and how maybe someday I dreamed of creating a publishing company and journal that would embrace all peoples spiritually with healing energy. I said I needed a good name too but didn't have one yet. She answered me, "How about Healing Waters Press? That just popped into my head, wow! Hey, let's do it! We can do it together! That's so awesome. It's always been my dream too!" I remember she was standing against a tree, her arms were bent backwards embracing the tree, it was a beautiful moment full of joy and laughter. She was young, in her twenties, her eyes glistened . . . full of a wondrous starlight and excitement. Anything was possible that day. It was in the air.
I'm sure she thought I had forgotten about that afternoon. Years passed and she moved away to Washington state. I sent letters but apparently too late for her to receive since she moved around so much in those days. So, we lost contact. Well, not to worry, this past year (2003) I found her living in Wyoming with her husband Russ Burton. And, yes! The team is back together again!!! We're ready and hot to make it all happen!!
Back to the theme of this article . . . besides being just a journal or publishing press, Healing Waters Press is a loving, healing environment. We welcome your input and your comments!
Today, we find a growing sense of spiritual awareness all around us, yet so many have expressed a frustration of not being able to do anything about the lack of consciousness within our governments and the general population. Life seems to imprison rather than liberate. But why? There seem to be forces at play beyond our control to change our everyday lives. It's work, eat and sleep for most people. Yes, one has to make a living and survive, it's true. Why can't we make a living creating and evolving spiritually? I say we can. As a group we have tremendous power to affect everyone and everything on this planet. Let us take that power and use it for the good of all humanity. Help us live the vision of a world we would feel proud of having created and calling our own . . .
Shirl A. Steward, is the publisher and one of the cofounders of Healing Waters Press and Healing Waters Journal. Shirl recently moved to Seattle, WA from Santa Fe, NM (Pennsylvania previously). She is a writer of poetry, children’s books, novels and is a freelance journalist. Her stories skillfully address critical topics for children such as self worth, friendship, and self fulfillment but her specialty is the sensitive topic of death and dying. Her children's stories "Cal and Tuddie" and "Wishful Willy" will soon be released to the public. She also has several collections of poetry and novels in the works. She spend many years in the business aspects of writing: as copywriter, technical writer, publicist, ghostwriter, instructor and later as an editor for an environmental journal. She graduated from Temple University and attended Lehigh University grad school to study psychology. She has two grown sons, Shane and Brian. Eldest son, Shane is also pursuing writing, but as a supplement to his academic pursuits. He spent a year in Japan teaching English for the Nova program and graduated from Temple University with an MBA. Son, Brian was a Lieutenant in the Army stationed in Afghanistan (just after 911) and now works as a manager for Boeing.
Shirl also worked as a web editor/producer for The New Mexican, one of New Mexico's two largest daily newspapers. She is now freelancing.