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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 01, 2018
Many people with varying trainings, lineages, or "calls from Spirit,” refer to themselves as shamans. It is hard to know who is legitimate and who is not, and what a shaman really is. In Cuzco, Peru, for example, you can find “shamans” all over town selling mystical experiences. Many have access to medicinal plants, but few have training in how to hold space for a client, or even how to speak to the medicinal plants in ceremony. There are others that say no one can call themselves a shaman or be trained as one; it is an honor only bestowed upon one by others.
The actual word “shaman” comes from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. According to anthropological documentation it is the word the Tungus, in particular, used to refer to their medicine person. Spirits inhabited their shamans, affecting others positively, and negatively, and shifting circumstances on the material plane. Some believe that this manifestation of shamanism is the only legitimate form that can claim to use the word “shaman.” Technically, they are correct, as it is a word specific to this one tribe in Siberia. Every other tribe has a different language, and therefore a different word, and each tribe’s practices also vary. While some use use spirits to do their bidding, and others do not, most tribes do have mentors helping young initiates refine their skills.
April 01, 2018
Are You Still Apologizing For Your Existence?
You decide to wear something a little daring today but in your head you hear “Take it off, you will call attention to yourself, what will people think?” But some other voice inside says “DO IT!” So you do, but all the way to work you prepare for all the apologizing you will have to do today. Or maybe you volunteer to do something at work, or in your social circles, that calls the spotlight to you. That voice inside you starts asking who the heck you think you are, and you scramble to find reasons to justify your actions. Maybe you take a stand on a spiritual or political belief that is different from those among you, or perhaps you are just saying “No!” to something that is not right for you. It can even be the way you raise your children. Why must you always apologize?
The fear of judgement, conflict, not belonging, and of losing love makes us quick to retract our self expression. Many of us were shut down as children, and told not to be so loud or sensitive, for example. We were rewarded instead, for being the children our parents wanted us to be. Fearing a loss of love, or a feeling of ostracization, we begrudgingly complied. We will not ever be able to reach for the stars, however, if we are still trying to please an imaginary counsel of naysayers in our heads. When we express ourselves, people who feel threatened by it will judge us, there is no way around that. It is what people do in fear, they judge and control. The work for us is not in kowtowing to the demands of their low self esteem, however, it is in digging out what our fears of expressing ourselves are, and sorting through our own shame. What is it rooted in?
March 01, 2018
Following the Shamanic Path, After the Colors Fade
The main principle behind shamanic healing is that our physical and mental/emotional realities are orchestrated by our multidimensional spiritual selves. This self carries all our true capacity, but it also carries the imprints from all of our unresolved wounds, from this lifetime through to the ancient past, in shadow. When our minds do not know how to process hurtful events they become imprinted on our souls, directing the way our lives unfold at the physical. Once our multidimensional selves heal, our bodies and minds can finally express our true capacity.
Shamanic healers can help us shift, grow, and heal by connecting with our multidimensional selves. They are distinct in their capacity to bridge the physical and the spiritual domains, aiding in this evolutionary process. One of the main tenants of shamanic healing is that the client must be put in a trance state to let go of the wounds locked into the fear based mind. Only in trance will the mind let go of its defenses enough to effect change. There are many different kinds of shamans, and many ways to achieve these trance states. Some tribes use drumming, or dancing, while others use breath work. Others, still, use psychotropic plant medicines. While methods vary from tribe to tribe, shamanic healers share in common the idea that our dysfunctional physical reality is a projection of the imbalances in our spiritual selves.
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