My Journey To Jerusalem: One Woman’s Trip to the Holy Land – PART I

Catherine Chang In Israel


By Catherine Chang – January 2013

My journey to Jerusalem began many years ago as a child. I was a lonely child and spent a lot of time at church or the library, both were close to my house. I enjoyed studying theology, archeology, medicine and different cultures. I was especially fascinated by the history of the Middle East and its ancient political, medicinal and religious cultures.

As many children do I grew up and away from my dreams and my passion for studying giving it up for a life of continuous chaos and victimization. After several years of living all over the states I married at the age of 20 years old jumping in another relationship that would turn out to be abusive. The most wonderful thing that came from this relationship was my two children. Peter the oldest Nelinda the youngest. Because of my new responsibilities I decided to grow up and begin the journey of discovering who Catherine really is. This journey has gone on for the last 25 years and I still haven’t gotten “there” yet. I’ve learned that the Joy is in the journey and that one of my reasons for living is to experience Prosperity, Peace and Joy bringing the same to others. Another discovery was that Catherine is not happy working for someone else so I opened my own business after many years working as a nurse and apprenticing with a Grandmaster of Taekwondo.

As my dreams were naturally unfolding there was always this little pull I felt deep within my belly that something was missing. Sometimes when I have this feeling it causes me to spin into confusion not being able to see what “it” is. I am getting better at being patient and trusting God that all will be revealed at exactly the right time. During this “stuck” time and having stepped back into my old shoes for a while I came across BraveHeart Women on-line. I joined the site and began to explore. RISE was being promoted at the time and I knew that I had to be there. The first RISE I attended was in 2010. During this event I saw the short film of Middle Eastern Women asking us to visit in response to the violence between Palestine and Israel. My heart began pounding, tears began to stream down my face and I knew at that moment that if it were meant to be I would answer this calling.

Catherine ChangA year went by and 2011 RISE went by. I stayed in relationship with my new found BraveHeart sisters and sure enough all of the preparation that was necessary for Ellie’s vision was in place and it was time to gather the women and the fuel to make this vision a reality.

There were many times during the months prior to the journey that I didn’t think I would be going. I was wrong! I received an email from Ellie one day that said, “Are you called to be one of the 33?” Again my heart began to pound, my knees began to shake, the tears began to erupt and as frightened as I was that it would happen I was just as frightened that it wouldn’t. I answered the question, “Yes, I am called to be one of the 33.” And as we say in BraveHeart “and so it is, and so it is, and so it is”.

Once the commitment was made I knew that meant I would go to any lengths taking the necessary action to make this vision real. Then I got the email that said I had to raise $4500.00 within a couple of months. Yikes! With all of the obstacles that I’ve overcome in my life to get to where I am today I was not going to make this a problem. With no time to waste I began fundraising and was able to meet the goal and create the necessary fuel for all of us to bring our Love to these beautiful women.

Although I hadn’t met any of the BraveHeart sisters I felt connected to them before I finally met all of them in Tel Aviv. Dr. Ellie Drake, Founder of Braveheartwomen was very present with each one of us and I continued to feel a greater respect, Love and trust for her and her Global Vision.

All of the Harmonies, the seeds that descended upon Jerusalem

Leaving for the airport I thought of my family, my future grandchildren and many of the negative comments about visiting this “hot” spot with tension building between the two regions daily. We knew that at any time war could break out between the two regions. I didn’t feel afraid knowing that we were doing something that was meant to be, that was historical and I felt a great sense of Peace and comfort from God, from within. I was feeling lifted as though I was finally going to bring Love to the oppressed, the wounded, the broken hearted, the lost on a much larger scale. I was honored to be part of this opportunity.

CHANG_Israel3As I arrived in Tel Aviv I was a bit nervous about the entry process. An angel was presented to me in the form of an older gentleman from Israel who very kindly walked with me and gave me the scoop on the entry process. “Don’t tell them anything accept you are here visiting a friend. They will continue to pry but maintain that you are a visitor and touring with a friend.” I thanked my friend and he went on his way. The phone rang and on the other end was the voice of a beautiful BraveHeart woman named Lisa. She asked if I was wearing a pink shirt and I was. She and another sister Sylvia picked me out of hundreds of people! We entered Israel together without much difficulty and then it was off to the Cinema hotel.

When we arrived at the Cinema I was welcomed by several women whose faces I recognized but had never met. We all squeezed into our tiny rooms and began the process of getting to know each other.

I had a bit of a headache and Kendra, my roommate and a massage therapist worked on me until the headache disappeared. I am usually the one giving or making someone else feel better. Right from the beginning of our Journey I began to practice how to receive and to trust other women and the pure Love that can manifest itself through our relationships. When women are in harmony, men are in harmony. It’s a beautiful and delicate balance of the Divine feminine and the Divine masculine.

The next morning we were off to the Everest Hotel in Bait Jalla. As we circled around an unfinished stadium one of our BraveHeart sisters remembered from her previous visit that the Everest Hotel was close by. She was also reminded that she had a vision of that stadium being filled with BraveHeart women. I could see that! I could see that possibility! I knew then and there that it would happen one day. We arrived at the Everest and the Ritz Carleton it was not. Graffiti on the wall to the right of the hotel beckoned PEACE with the colors of the Palestinian flag, I would later discover that this was the wall that separates the two regions and the Everest Hotel was the neutral meeting place right in the center between the two opposing regions.

The Everest was very interesting as it was authentic. George, a big brawly guy carried all of our luggage up two flights of stairs (no elevator) and we settled in our rooms (3 to a rooms) About 40 minutes after arrival a bus filled with Israeli and Palestinian women pulled up and it was time to meet the women we would be living with for the next 3 days. I felt both excited and nervous as if a new class of brand new inexperienced white belt students from different cultures came all at once for their first class. What would happen? How could we get these women who have been fighting for thousands of years to become sister like us? I came to this place with an open heart and with the intention of planting a seed, planting it with ease, planting it without trying to “fix” anyone or “cure” anything,

Love would take care of that on its own it has nothing to do with me. Ellie and all of the other women all had the same intention so we were collectively pouring out our Love energy with the same intentions…to plant a seed with ease. Ellie also calls this energy S.H.E. energy (soul’s highest purpose) and I have recently begun using this term myself. It is a term that will carry us through to the next step of our journey which will be to start the introductions of all those pioneer women that had the courage and the will to join us. Having met so many women with so many different names to remember I was relieved at our first meeting that the brilliant Ellie would give us all a new name. Our new name was Harmony and that would be our names for the entire 3 days.

What a relief and what a great idea to keep the energy pure, simple and united as one. I was very aware of the energy between the Palestinian and Israeli women. At the beginning you could cut the dual energy with a knife. I could also tell the difference between the Israeli women and the Palestinian women. When we sang songs some of the women sang louder and even changed the song we were singing at one point. I was feeling compassion and sending Ellie some light because she had quite a job ahead of her. The martial artist in me started to jump and I wanted assist and manage the situation, I wanted to assist her but wasn’t sure if I would impose on her strategy. After the first day we discovered through the Israeli women that the song the Palestinians sang out was a political song rising up Palestine, the Israeli women were very upset and some even threatened to leave. “We came here to talk of Peace and would have never done something like that, so bold.” one Israeli women stated.

What a challenge for us, for Ellie!

“Through the heart, without the mind, bravely as one” We have to come together as one. I was given to go ahead to give my best at managing some of the women who stuck together, had their own conversations and were a little disruptive to the process. I gently sat between women and distracted them so that they and everyone else could begin to feel the Love and the connection between us. We all were excited about the Oxytocin circle. It was the best Oxytocin circle that I’ve ever experienced! Can you imagine a room full of women not talking, looking into each other’s eyes, tears flowing, hearts opening up? Can you see that without words, without opinions, without blame, without reasons, without the mind thoughts how we as women all want the same for our families and our world? Do you know that after meeting each woman soul to soul the energy in the room went from dual energy to one smooth, flowing and collective energy. There was a feeling of relief and of surrender in the room; new relationships were being developed toward creating harmony. Now that we were beginning to trust each other it was time to clean house, to release those blocks, cellular blocks that have been with us for so many years. We would take the women through a release process using visualization and bringing to the surface painful memories, relationships and grief over the separation of the two regions.

After this very difficult session we were able to come together and nurture each other with the knowing that all of us want the same thing…Peace on Earth. Personally I was changed forever seeing with my own eyes what is possible in this world. The most difficult character trait I’ve had to work on as a visionary is Patience; I tend to want things to manifest quickly. Our intention to plant this seed was also an opportunity for me to build patience and tolerance, with patience we were able to blend these very different energies together and become one. All of us felt it, and so it is, and so it is, and so it is.

Next Month: Part II