Posts from February, 2019
February 19, 2019
ASC’s Children’s Program: 8 Sundays , 2019
Austin Shamanic Center is now offering children the opportunity to embark on a fun, creative, spiritual learning experience. With the exception of “Stepping In”, all classes are for children school-age and up and are 90 minutes. Shamanic, or animistic, teachings, yoga, meditation, art, music and games will be interwoven throughout each event. Because the shamanic path is about finding your spiritual self through experience we use many modalities to engage the children. Our goal is for participants to gain practical tools by building connections with the self, others and the natural world, while having fun!
February 01, 2019
Love, Connection, and Attachment
Love. It is everywhere! It is in the air, the birds, the bees, the trees. It’s the wind riffling through your hair, the rain falling gently on your face. A vast and infinite reserve of care, delight, and support, love is the essence from whence all Creation comes. And yet, we tend to think we can’t have it unless another agrees to give it to us. This leads us into scarcity, dark alleys of soul numbing negotiations for connection, and mistaking our attachments to others, for love.
Many people block love because it makes them feel unsafe. You can bring wheelbarrows of it to their doorsteps and they will continue to bemoan their barren existences, never recognizing that they have created this dearth themselves by shutting it down. The real work starts inside. If you are blocking a connection to love because people you have loved in the past have harmed you, or extracted an unbearable cost from you for it, start with connecting to something safe. Nature loves all her children, no exceptions, and asks nothing in return. Try sending a pulse of goodness out to a tree, for example, and wait. She will respond in kind, but it is up to you open up and let it in!
Posts from January, 2019
January 01, 2019
Taking Power Through Shame
On the path to self empowerment we meet many villains along the road who challenge our authority and try to take us down. They do it because they have not yet mastered their own true sense of personal power, so they feel threatened by those who seemingly have. One of the subtle ways they do this is through shame.
Shame is a crippling emotion that walks hand in hand with guilt. Both give us feedback about the consequences of our actions. Killing someone, for example, usually evokes a sense of shame, remorse, and guilt, so we don’t indulge in it much. Many of us will feel this about stepping on a spider as well. These emotions are hard wired within us so that we will treat each other with respect. They can, however, be exploited.
Much of what we feel shame about comes from not fitting into cultural norms. Institutions, like churches and schools, teach us to suppress our emotions and conform to an external authority from an early age. Without the full spectrum of emotions to draw from, we can no longer hear our inner voices. This opens us to letting an external authority define the lines we must color within, if we want acceptance. Anyone who does not toe the line is “too:” too easy, too loud, too forthright. The list is endless but we all know when we have crossed that line. Stereotyping is an extension of this. Anyone outside our comfort range is fair game to be made fun of.
Posts from December, 2018
December 01, 2018
The Gift Of Listening
It is that time of year when we give gifts and share from our hearts. What about a giving something very few others do this year, the act of listening? Most of us hear, and engage in conversation, but how often do we put our motives, and opinions aside, put our discomfort in park, and just listen? Usually when someone speaks it is open season. Either party can throw into the ring whatever they have going though their minds. The other then reacts, or takes the conversation someplace else entirely. More often than not we cut each other off mid sentence and rush in to prove our point. We judge, we one-up. When we are struggling, however, we don’t want feedback, we just need to feel heard and held.
If someone is expressing feelings that make us uncomfortable, we may put the breaks on and try to shut the conversation down. We find ourselves wanting to fix them, or the situation, or perhaps we start intellectualizing about the circumstance to make the moment more abstract. It isn’t easy to really listen to someone’s pain. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we helping them by trying to alleviate it... or are we shutting them down because we are uncomfortable with it? Perhaps their floundering makes us feel helpless. Alternatively, we may have been exposed to unpredictable emotional outbursts in our families that make us wary of instability. If we were taught to put all “darkness” aside, however, we may never have learned how to navigate these realms.
Posts from November, 2018
November 01, 2018
Why People Don’t Heal
You have been to every healer on the block and still you find yourself in the same rut. It may get better for a while but you always land back where you feel you started. You have spent hundreds of dollars on healers and are starting to lose faith. Why can’t you heal?
There are many reasons we do not heal. First of all, spiritual healing is a journey, not a miracle intervention. It usually takes the work of Spirit, the practitioner, and the client, although it can just be the client and Spirit. We go to a healer when we get stuck trying to do it ourselves. There are things in shadow that we cannot see when we are invested in our lives being a certain way, so sometimes, a healer is necessary to move past these blind spots and blocks.
What keeps us from healing? Much of it is based on limited beliefs. We do not believe we “deserve” to heal or are worthy of a healthy vibrant life. When these beliefs are running unnoticed in the background we will sabotage our wellness unconsciously. We may eat foods that are bad for us, or overindulge in self medications, of one sort or another. We may emotionally eat or run other kinds of addictions that run against the current of wellness. Until we get to the bottom of why we feel unworthy and get the healing we need to move out of it, we will stay stuck in that eddy at the edge of the river unable to show up and be a part of things.
Posts from October, 2018
October 01, 2018
The Art Of Intention
“What is my purpose,” we ask ourselves. “What am I supposed to be? What is God’s will for me?” We expect that there is a set answer, written on a sacred scroll somewhere, wrapped in red velvet ribbon. If only I knew... If only I had a sign, I would dedicate my entire life to it, I would have direction... My life would matter.
What is interesting about this query is that it is suggests there exists a specific destiny out there that has been hidden from us. Somewhere it has been written, if only we could access that file. The quest to locate it can become all consuming; we will not rest until the mystery is solved. Numerous workshops, self help books, and a sea of spiritual empowerment podcasts later, we find ourselves speaking fluently in spiritual idioms, but still seeking our destiny. The truth must be out there somewhere, how do I find it?
What if the truth is not outside us somewhere, but actually inside? What if we are all aspects of the Creative Force and each of us is expressing Creation in all its possible ways. What if a seed of that Creative Force lives within each of us as a compass, or internal knowing, and it connects to our hearts, leading us along our path. All we really have to do is clear away all the cultural programming, ancestral patterning, and personal defenses that keep us from aligning with our true North. As we anchor into our truths, the question then becomes, “What is it I want to create?”. What if God’s will is simply for each of us to express our soul’s calling? What if there is no written scroll, just an empty one waiting for you to fill it?
Posts from September, 2018
September 01, 2018
You have awakened! You are learning to trust and open to the intelligence of something greater than yourself. You feel lighter, more secure and connected. This is a journey, however, one you can’t really take shortcuts on. We want to skip straight to multidimensional ecstasy, but bliss can’t be sustained by bypassing what keeps us from it.
As humans we come equipped with a set of emotions that make navigating the earthly realm challenging. We have wired within us feelings of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, sadness, fear, and anger, all of which keep us locked in the past. They are uncomfortable, so we are quick to pack them away. We pave them over with affirmations, or reach for higher ground with our yoga or meditation practices. We even feel better for a while and tell ourselves we have transcended our pasts.
Posts from August, 2018
August 01, 2018
The Truthsayer’s Medicine
There are people born with the difficult gift, or medicine, of being a Truthsayer. They see through the muck, masquerades, and posturing to the very heart of things. For better or worse, they see us at the level of the soul. They see our strengths, our weaknesses, and they see how we cover them up to get what we want. While this gift is instrumental to a healer, it is difficult medicine to have. Much like mastering the wielding of a massive sword, it takes considerable skill to use the Truthsayer’s medicine with grace.
To see is a gift, but what one does with that information is the journey. An inexperienced Truthsayer will just blurt things out, without realizing the consequences of their actions. Their words can cause discomfort, casting ripples across the pond that come back around. Their sudden flashes of insight can be quite unnerving, and even call forth unexpected defensive responses from those caught feeling exposed. People balk at the implication of being disingenuous and can quickly distance themselves from the Truthsayer. It is a long and arduous journey learning how to use a filter, discerning when to speak the truth, and realizing when “just knowing” is enough.
Posts from July, 2018
July 01, 2018
The Lonely Kingdom of Naught
There is a lot of power that can be derived by being contrary, critical, and well, just downright negative. When nothing is good enough, or clean enough, our discomfort, hopefully, becomes the impetus for others to change and accommodate us. It makes us right, defining us as separate from, and superior to, the flock. People who feel unworthy of love, and believe they must please another to win it, will respond accordingly. For everyone else, this is exhausting behavior to be around.
Children learn the power of the word “no” at about the age of two, when the ego starts to really form. “No, I don’t want to eat spinach,” or “No, I don’t want to go to bed yet.” It is the doorway through which they find their will, and thus define who they are as beings separate from their parents. This becomes particularly pronounced in adolescence, and is healthy in this context. People who suffer from childhood trauma, however, do not automatically step beyond this sophomoric form of “self empowerment.” They would rather anchor in to what they know, and fortify their walls with criticisms of what they don’t. There is never really any true connection here, though, as implicit within this fabricated superiority is a power differential that keeps them forever in isolation. In truth, this is really just a lonely kingdom of naught.
Posts from June, 2018
June 01, 2018
Transitions, Endings and New Beginnings
We start with dreams. We begin a relationship or a new job with a vision of all kinds of possibilities, and we push forward, putting things into place so they can happen. We invest great time and resources, and at times we are asked to overcome great feats. As much as we put our hearts and souls into it, sometimes, however, a dream may end. It just dies on the vine, never coming to full maturity.
When we put all of our eggs in one basket, as one does when really wanting something, and that dream evaporates, how do we pick up and move on: the marriage that has died, that career path that has evaporated, or maybe you are having to pack move towns? After so much time and identity invested, we can lose our sense of self. Who we were dims into a flicker, and we fear we will fade out all together. Transitions are that space between the death of the old, and the birth of the new. In the throws of it one can feel dark and hopeless, and at the doorway of depression. The losses are palpable and can leave a bitter taste in our mouths, especially when the new path is not yet visible. We may even feel let down by God him/herself. Floating in an undefined space, with no direction at all, can be one of the most agonizing, and challenging of times.
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