July 01, 2017
But Can You Receive Love?
It can be a long and grueling path through forgiving ourselves for all our transgressions and imperfections, to truly loving ourselves. That done, however, it is an entirely different matter to actually receive that love. Many of the most giving people are locked behind walls of their own making, blocking out the world, living in dire emotional poverty.
There are many reasons people cannot receive. For some, it makes them feel selfish. They have been taught to put everyone else first, to think of themselves last. While this is a very noble pursuit, it is not healthy. There is never an end to that line of people who should come before them. Eventually they feel spent and used. Further, when we can only give, we attract people who, through their own limitations, can only take. Perhaps they have a sense of entitlement, feeling that the world owes them in some way, or perhaps they worry that their offerings are too humble to give. They may also be wounded, and feel endlessly in need of the love and attention that was never afforded them. Regardless of how it shows up, when we are out of balance, either way, we draw in our mirror images.
June 01, 2017
Beyond Talk Therapy
A psychological counselor can be an invaluable ally when we are sorting through our emotions and looking for ways to better cope with our wounds. It is comforting to have a neutral, anonymous person to talk to, and someone who can help us root through our stuff to get a better handle on it. Why then, would you see a shamanic healer? The short answer is, you still feel wounded. Counselors work mind to mind, using their minds to interact with yours. If the root of your problem is imprinted on your soul, talking about it has limited effect.
Shamans believe soul sickness is the origin of all mental and physical illness. They operate from the principle that your body and mind are connected to, and informed by, a third body of consciousness. It is a membrane of light that surrounds your physical body, perceiving the world independently of it. People who have technically died, but who have been brought back to life, report still being very aware of their surroundings, despite their complete loss of neural activity. They also report seeing the whole event from a position outside their body.
May 01, 2017
At The Edge Of The Forest
As our legends have it, there is usually a mysterious man or woman who lives just outside the community, at the edge of the forest. They have been rumored to have strange powers, and because they are always alone, they are often feared. Rarely do they have partners, nor children, but animals are quite instinctively drawn to them. You may even see an owl or a raven perched on their shoulder, or perhaps a wolf or deer standing near their walking stick.
There is a reason they live at the edge of civilization. It is quieter there and their connection to Nature is profoundly more accessible outside the distractions of civilization. Further, they may have gifts and wisdom that don’t quite fit in with the cultural paradigms that have spawned them, so they retreat from the pressures of assimilation, and beat to the rhythm of their own drums.
April 01, 2017
Spiritual Warriors and Boundaries
Many healers willingly absorb the energy of a loved one, to make them feel better. Part of our Judeo-Christian culture encourages this, saying that being a selfless martyr is honorable. We should be able to put ourselves aside to appease another. If we are spiritually strong, we should be able to take the hit. Jesus did, after all. He died for our sins. This martyrdom is central to our cultural programming. The problem is, it enables the sinner. It creates a culture of victims, waiting to be rescued from their shortcomings, instead a tribe of empowered beings, taking personal responsibility for their actions.
People need limits, and feedback about their behavior, to learn that there are consequences. If a child is never told “no,” she will become overbearing, not understanding where she ends and another begins. Creating boundaries reminds us that every action, or inaction, we take creates an outcome. If a child is never taught this, he will feel safe passing blame on to others for the disturbances he, himself, creates. We refine ourselves through these deflections.
March 01, 2017
Many Worlds: Timelines And Destinies
Here we are, at a crossroads in history! How did we get here, and where do we go from here? These are the questions many of us are asking ourselves these days. To begin with, we are each on a timeline heading out toward a future outcome. These individual timelines are directed by our personal choices, but as a whole, they create a collective timeline as well.
There is a difference between fate and destiny, however. Fate is the default destination of our lives. It is the result of the tangle of unconscious choices we have already made. Many of these choices are even the legacies of our ancestors before us. Like a bowling ball barreling down the lane, our lives have momentum in a certain direction, based on every decision we have ever made. When those choices are fueled by fears, or past trauma, they funnel us into a fate defined by those parameters. If I make a choice to keep you happy, for example, because I, like my mother before me, fear being alone, I have chosen a world where my happiness is now contingent upon yours. Further, from this place I will only attract people into my life who are never satisfied, and believe it is my duty to keep them happy, so I continue to act out this drama. This is the “world” I have chosen to live in. As long as I have this fear, this is my fate. Destinies, on the other hand, are chosen consciously. They require addressing the fears and imprints that keep us in these redundant default pathways, and making conscious choices to step free of them, instead.
February 01, 2017
Coyote Medicine: Gaslighting The Truth
In a world filled with personal and political agendas, the concept that there is an undeniable, absolute truth, has lost its moorings. Instead, we have hints of the truth, spun in one direction, or the other, all with the intention of swaying an audience. Then we have fake news, meant to deliberately mislead, and finally, we have gaslighting.
Gaslighting is perhaps the most sinister of these deceptions. It is a means of consciously manipulating the truth, in hopes of instilling doubt. Rather than challenging us to question the source of our information, however, as fake news does, it aims at making us question our own perceptions, memory, and sanity. The term comes from a 1938 stage play, and 1944 film, called Gas Light. In the story, a husband dims the gas lights in the attic while secretively searching for something. His wife notices the flickering, and brings it to his attention. He insists her perceptions are faulty, and even suggests she is insane.
January 01, 2017
Checking Your Emotional Hygiene
When someone has bad breath, or a skunky body odor, you just have to back up a bit and get out of range. Well, our negative emotions can be just as offensive. Someone who is always complaining, raging, or who puts a negative spin on every circumstance, ends up alienating themselves in much the same way. There are also people who try to control others through their criticisms of them. Regardless of whether there is intent behind these behaviors, no one wants to be caught in someone’s cyclones of pain and manipulation.
Emotions are something all normal people feel in response to the ups and downs of life. They have an energy that is meant to be felt, released, and moved through, as feedback about our circumstances. They are real, and feeling them is healthy. We all vibrate according to the emotional states we are in. If we are sad, or angry, we vibrate at a very low vibration. Alternatively, if we are in holy reverence, gratitude, or feeling love, we resonate at very high vibrational frequencies. The thing is, others feel our vibration, whether we can or not.
December 01, 2016
Starting With Acceptance
Most of us have some sense of the way we want things to go. We have a dream, a vision. And then the world, in all its apparent chaos, happens. For many this unpredictability seems random and unsettling. On occasion it can even feel devastating. We want to have control over our outcome, and we want the world to reflect our values.
The truth is we are not in control. We may Co-Create with the Universal Force, but we cannot control it. We are an extension of it, and as such cannot make poor choices without consequence. If we are out of balance, it sometimes takes great darkness and calamity to bring us back to center. Disastrous events rise up and teach us when we are not listening. They help us evolve, clear karma, and ultimately, they restore balance.
November 01, 2016
We are in a time of great turmoil. Deep fears, based on an impending sense of scarcity, run through our communities. Is there enough? Fears around who should have power, and who should not, are surfacing in our political dialogues. Our world is getting crowded and our paradigm is shifting. Many of us who are not feeling safe are pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. Circle the wagons Boys! We need to fend off those wolves! But who are these wolves?
The primary directive of the ego is to survive, at all costs. The ego is the operating system for the human body we inhabit. Implicit within its programing is a divisive sense of self that sees all others as competition. A great point in our evolution came when we started gathering in tribes and working together, as a collective. We switched from being sole survivors, to being part of a complex, symbiotic collective that responds to, and supports, the needs of others for survival. While we have made progress, our continued struggles with race, creed and gender indicate this divisive part of the ego still flourishes within the collective unconscious.
October 01, 2016
Soul Contracts And Curses
Have you ever wondered why, try as you might, you cannot shift your financial status from living on the edge, paycheck to paycheck? As soon as any windfall comes your way your car breaks down or your roof needs repair. One thing after another keeps tugging at that hole in your wallet, pulling through it anything that sits there for very long. While it may seem like you are cursed, sometimes this is the result of a contract you made with your soul, long ago.
Poverty vows, for example, were a common form of initiation into monastic lifestyles. By choosing a life with few material trappings the initiate is free to develop a deeper connection to Spirit. In not having to invest in the competitive ego, ever striving for success, these vows open people to humility, as they must rely upon others for survival. This brings them face to face with the benevolence of their Maker. In the streets of India you still see Sadhus dressed in saffron rags, holding out begging bowls for rice.
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