What causes the trouble in our lives?

16 02 2014

Dear Friends-
Welcome to those of you who are new subscribers to my website. I value the time you take to read this and hope you find the content helpful.

It has been longer than expected since I blogged last. A wedding, the flu, and now catching up on stuff I postponed while I was sick, have kept me away from my computer.

While I was sick I heard messages I do not hear when I am in the normal rhythm of my life. On one hand I wished to be available to do the things I love, and even some of the mundane chores like cleaning the house seem important and luxurious. On the other hand, I observed how well things went on without any participation from me. I considered a number of topics to blog about and found my thoughts trivial. I ruminated on the question: what does one really need to do to be a worthwhile member of society?

Then I recovered and rushed happily to catch up on cancelled appointments and obligations. Among these appointments I had a number of shamanic healing sessions. As is often the case, I saw clients with a variety of problems who seem to have one important thing in common. It is so common to see clients with a “theme” that I believe it is my focus and not something they bring. That, however, does not prevent specific and unique treatment for their individual conditions.

The theme I am currently observing is that clients seem to intently focus on their personal failings. The events currently causing trauma in their life are viewed as a result, challenge, or perpetuation of their personal failings. This become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But more important, it prevents one from seeing beyond their current perception and leads to them feeling guilty about and responsible for what is happening in their life. They often say something like, “I can’t change because I haven’t been able to in the past, don’t deserve anything better, am depressed and lack the energy.”

Their questions seem to be about how they got where they are, even though they are usually able to explain that to me in detail. There is probably shamanic help for their situation in so far as it involves things outside their control.
But something else is needed that they can only do for themselves.

Self Forgiveness
The important thing is self forgiveness. Focus less on how one got here and a focus on nurturing one’s self, forgiving one’s mistakes, and giving one’s self the loving kindness one would give to a beloved child. That is so easy to say and so hard to do. It is a practice worth a lifetime of work and one that will lead to so many good things.

So, begin this practice despite the difficulties, and keep giving yourself that forgiveness, kindness, and compassion as many times as it takes. If we even think we have mastered it, life repeatedly givens us opportunities to practice. As you practice this, also try to become the observer of yourself. With even a little detachment you may start to see other possible interpretations of your life events. Perhaps life is a still precious gift full of infinite grace if we can just lift ourselves out of our sick bed of self-criticism and see beyond our narrow focus. Treasure yourself. Somewhere within, you are a bright, powerful, important, worthwhile person even if all you usually see in the tarnish of life that has obscured that light.

Advertisements




Event: Healthy Living and Local Foods

3 07 2011

A primary requirement of shamanic activities is to maintain a healthy body. One reason we  have so much respect for people from indigenous cultures around the world is that although they may have little money, they eat local organic foods, perform physical labor and live in closer harmony with nature, our great teacher and ally.

There is information on a local showing of a movie which helps us understand why local foods are so hard to find and often expensive.

The movie will be shown
Tuesday, July 19th at  7pm at the GreenGrange, Santa Cruz

FARMAGEDDON

flyer’s link for more information: http://www.hopedance.org/events/icalrepeat.detail/2011/07/19/5434





If you are a post menopausal woman with poor health, is a past life the reason?

3 07 2011

In past ages, the cure for menopause was death. When people talked about the wise elders they were usually talking about people at the advanced age of 40. It is a modern phenomenon having “baby boomers” reaching retirement age in great numbers. This is an event of great magnitude. What does it mean apart from being a significant result of the industrial revolution and ensuing breakthroughs in: reduced physical work, better quality of food, and modern medicine?

Metaphysical books from the past each claim to be at a pivotal moment in history. Our current aging population is one thing that sets this time in history apart. It has not occurred before. It is a part of the macrocosm of time in history and has a great potential for good. It may be a financial burden for society but it is also an amazing opportunity. I, for one, am proud to be here to see it. Great things are possible in a way they have never been before.  Why am I so optimistic?

Most shamanic and spiritual events I have been involved with are most heavily attended by women. A typical breakdown is 70 percent women and 30 percent male. Of the women, it tends to be more heavily post-menopausal women. I guess this breakdown is also 70/30 favoring post menopausal women. It appears that with their child rearing, household, and income producing responsibilities reduced, they are giving attention to their spiritual needs. For some this means helping out at their church. For some, it means looking at alternative spiritual practices.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that we meet our primary before reaching for self actualization and transcendence. I can only be excited by having so many people reach a time in their lives when their primary work is to achieve a goal of being their best selves. Rather than facing retirement as an end, it is possible to see it as a new beginning.

It saddens me to see so many women whose vitality has decreased at this crucial time. As a trained fitness professional and long time student of aged healers in other parts of the world, I can tell you that the perception that we are suppose to be old and feeble isn’t valid. There are many fit and vital older adults in this world. The ideas is to reduce the time between decrepitude and death through healthy living rather than accept that is it all over and sit waiting for the inevitable.

We have more older Americans. There is no coincidence that this is happening when the world is in such dire need of champions. You, my friends, are these champions.

If you see that your vitality is not up to the task, I challenge you to ask why. Many of us are defeated by the limited thinking that our beloved society has set for us. Once we pass the golden age of youth we may cling to it with the latest beauty products or give up completely. Many of us have given up on being able to change health issues, weight problems, bad relationships, or bad habits. It is possible and actually, it easier than you might think.  Yes, you know some of the common tools, such as:

  • Not denying the problem – facing it head on
  • Not trying to do it alone
  • Setting a reasonable time frame for results
  • Making changes in a way that you can stick with

 The Most Important Tools

There are other tools equally or more important in changing a downhill slide into old age. They involve getting to the root of your issues. This can involve some deep work. Many people are afraid of this work or don’t even know it is possible.

It is possible to address these problems in many ways. Even psychologists and other western trained medical professionals are now realizing the validity of shamanic tools in reaching and relieving these deeply held issues.

If you suspect you way have such issues, think about one issue that you currently have then remember back to earlier times in your life when you can see this issue. If you can remember to where it started, you are ready to start changing it.

I have seen people whose issues where so deeply ingrained that I suspect they came into this life with them. I don’t believe or not believe in past lives but it certainly fits as an explanation of what I see. Regardless of whether the issue is from this life, or a previous one, there are excellent ways to eliminate them. Eliminating these issue will not only change how you live your life but will made a great deal of vitality available for you to do other things in your life which you care about. Is there something you want to do but just can’t find the time, willpower or energy to start? We can change that.

I am not promising you will live longer, though you might. Even if we just face our deaths better prepared, we have gained a lot. Who knows, it may mean we don’t have to come back here and suffer the same pains again. We will all be together of the other side of the veil soon enough, lets live with joy and help others while we are here.

If you are interested in learning more, email me and I will invite you to an event to hear more on this important topic.





Letter to a Young Shaman – It is a rough road

1 12 2010

Are you asking, why me?!

If you have suddenly found yourself on a spiritual pilgrimage this is for you.

Welcome to the road. Shamanism is a journey without a destination. The same could be said about all of life but nowhere is it so evident. Whether you arrived on this road because of a trauma (which is very typical) or because you have finally admitted you have always been seeking some kind of spiritual understanding (also very typical) or an extraordinary combination of things has brought you to the road, you are now learning a new way of seeing and contextualizing your life.

The traditional methods through which a shaman was selected seldom apply in our society. We aren’t likely to be abducted by forest spirits or taught by our father. Somehow you have been bonked on the head by your life and need answers.

A shamanic practitioner of my acquaintance recently said he had retired from his shamanic practice. Another friend was disturbed by this and asked how could he retire? Since he didn’t chose to share more, I will give my own answer. I believe you can retire from your healing work but not from the spiritual practice. You can stop doing ceremony but you cannot stop endeavoring to live an authentic life. The practice of shamanism calls each participant to live impeccably. To live impeccably requires you to scrutinize all your actions to be sure you are doing no harm. This subject is worth further discussion, which I will hold for another blog entry. For now, I want to address the implications of this for a person embarking on the journey.

Living impeccably means you don’t get to whine about a difficult situation you find yourself in. For example, if you stay in a job that you hate you have to take responsibility for your choice. Yes, so your boss is cranky and demanding. You have the choice to stay there or look for another job. If you stay in that job you don’t complain about him. Those negative words you put out in the air about him have consequents and are a form of sorcery. If you thank those negative thoughts, that is a form of self-sorcery. This is a waste of energy and isn’t going to help at all in creating the authentic life you strive for.

I spoke with a young woman yesterday who has taken a big step toward living an authentic life. She left a satisfying job to concentrate of her goal of bringing balance to her life while juggling; a home-based job, the needs of an active family, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

Nurturing spiritual growth can seem selfish, indulgent, unrealistic, narcissistic and self-absorbed.  Yet, for many women ignoring this imperative results in depression, weight gain, apathy and a host of symptoms that leave her walking through life unable to appreciate it. There is usually little or no support as she attempts to satisfy this desire to grow. The nagging awareness that something is wrong remains as she struggles to meet her and her family’s basic needs.

Driven by her sense of unhappiness she fluctuates between the need for independence (personal growth) and societal dictates of being a responsible adult. This push-pull leaves her wondering why she thought this was so important.  She may long for the busyness and camaraderie of her past and face her quest for spiritual fulfillment alone.  The forces working against her are formidable and, make no mistake, there are evil forces working against her.

An energy war is taking place. The ego, in an effort to keep her safe, is leading the charge to continue in the “usual” way.  Ego is supported in this energy war by a society which places very little value on a spiritual life. From her early school days there was an emphasis on math and science in schools. Art, music, physical education where cut. She finds herself alone watching television in her home rather than spending time in nature or with others.  She goes to a church to celebrate the spiritual experience of a long-dead leader rather than have a spiritual experience of her own.  She meets the needs of her family and friends.  She has only an odd hour here or there for her personal spiritual quest.

While all these forces are at work outside of her, her sacred inner healer is locked away in a closet most of the time. It is no wonder the inner healer doesn’t respond instantly to support the woman in this energy battle.  The woman’s efforts to coax her inner healer out are feeble and infrequent. If she does coax a burst of creative energy out of her inner healer, the woman feels a bright glimpse of the joy and peace. But, any energy released is soon devoured in this energy war. The woman is left to retreat to staring out the window wondering where she will gather the energy to make supper. She watches as other women scamper breezily through life while. She sits on the sidelines wondering what is wrong with her. Perhaps, like the character in The Matrix, she wishes she made the other choice and could return to a time when life was simpler.

She needs to be reminded that she isn’t crazy, selfish, or foolish. She was called. Many people’s hearts are filled with compassion for the suffering of others. These people are called to take the treasure of their time and dedicate some of it to personal growth.  By restoring the sacred to the center of their lives they become able to provide service to others.

I vaguely recall reading a story of a mining tragedy. A group of women, unknown to each other, were called to walk through the streets of their town praying for the community though-out the night before a mountain collapsed on the town, killing many. Today many people in the United States are being called to heal their spirits and help balance our society.

Last year, returning from six weeks in South America, I arrived in Los Angeles and was herded into a long, meandering security line. As I scanned the people in line, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I thought they were concentration camp survivors because their energy fields were so depleted. I saw versions of “the Ugly American.” There was a man proclaiming loudly, “I’m an American citizen. You can’t make me stand in this line.” There was a family of refrigerator people (in “as big as”). This couple and their two huge teenage children carried mammoth McDonald’s Bags and literally stuffed French fries into their mouths by the handfuls. There were people with such large carry-ons that they appear to be moving houses. Yet, my overwhelming impression was of pity.  I admit contemplating jumping on the next plane out of the country.  But, I felt compassion for these people, my countrymen.  Nowhere is the need greater for a grass roots movement to integrating personal spiritual growth and compassion for the suffering of others.

If you identify with this struggle, take a moment to celebrate an important victory. You have stepped back far enough from the front-line of this battle to realize this war is bigger than you. You are now in a position to create a battle plan. Regardless of what it took to get you to this point, this war is turning in your favor. You may have lost battles because of what you thought were your personal failings and inadequacies.  Congratulate yourself on surviving what you have been through.

You are now ready to create a strategy to prevail in this energy war. Include in your strategy:

1.       Do something to memorialize your recognition that your struggle is important.  There will be difficult times ahead.  Create a touchstone, talisman, or shield.  Make and intensely personal and positive affirmation to hang on your bathroom mirror, or get a tattoo, or whatever will bring you back to this realization.  The important thing is to be able to touch the memory of how it feels to be in the flow of healing energy. Magically remembering this feeling can bring you back to it. This is what called you to this battle and it is the weapon you will use in this battle.

2.       Enlist the help of others. Are you keeping yourself in solitary confinement? You are not as alone as you think you are.  While it can be frightening to seek like-minded warriors, it is well worth the effort.

3.       Use all the skills you have to take action.  Everything you know is a tool you can use. For example, if you are good at making plans, set a five year goal and make a plan for this year that will start to get you there.  Leave room in the plan for things to change. If your skill is making cookies, take some to the assisted living center down the road with your prayers.

4.       Be open for synchronicity, the greater your movement toward right action, the greater is the universe’s response to it. Expect sudden opportunities and realizations. Don’t be afraid to change your plans. When you realize that something no longer works for you, examine why you are doing it.

5.       Realize you don’t know what this is suppose to look like. I am reminded of a woman who was constantly aware of spirits around her and kept asking them for a message. By suggesting that they might have been spirits who needed her help rather than where there to give her help, she was able to shift her expectations. Accept it that you don’t know what this looks like. We are all standing in a dark room feeling a part of the elephant and trying to guess what the whole elephant looks like. I can tell you, for sure, that we all have sticks in your eyes which prevent us from clear vision.

6.       Be humble and kind. This starts will self acceptance. You are a gentle person doing your best. Sometimes things will work and sometimes not.  You aren’t in charge of everything and you can’t force results. Accept this and forgive yourself whatever you deem yourself a failure.

7.       Bring your practice to every part of your life. It is the constant practice that slowly brings results. This may manifest in such things as creating rituals, listening to your children’s dreams, or letting go of friends who no longer complement your changing goals.

8.       Spend time in nature.  This is our natural habitat and great teacher.

9.       Be the change you wish to see by consistent and gently effort.





Seances

27 11 2010

The word séance is not particularly associated with shamanic practice. However, the role of medium is one of the roles of a shamanic practitioner. On some occasions the practitioner will merge with a healing spirit in order to complete a healing ritual. In other cases a practitioner will merge with a spirit to procure or relay a particular message for a client. An example of this is when a recently deceased loved one will reach out to a client through the practitioner.

Often a client will contact a practitioner with a request to assist a loved one who is about to die or has recently died. This work is called psycho pomp and is the work of helping a person cross-over.

A séance is slightly different in that it typically involves a group of three or more people with the specific intention of contacting one or more spirits. The practitioner works as a medium to bring these spirits into contact with this group. Generally this is done by merging with the spirits.

A séance is more social than many shamanic undertakings. It is often characterized by a heightened state of excitement and nervousness among the participants.  Once the session is underway the difficulty for the medium is not to bring spirits through, as there are many waiting for such a chance. The challenge is to connect with the specific spirits connected with the individuals present.

I am often saddened by how many spirits are wandering this earth without direction. I think this is due to traumatic deaths such as from natural disasters and from the number of people who die without having worked through their challenges through religion or spiritual practice. By contrast, I seldom meet spirits who have passed from illness. I believe that as their illness progressed, they worked through much of the process and move more easily to the other side.

One way to obtain the most from a séance is to let go of expectations of what it will look like based on old movies. It is also helpful to focus on a specific question rather than just wanting to connect with Grandmother to see if she still loves you. I can assure you she does. However, she isn’t just hanging around with nothing to do on the other side.

Most people have felt the presence of a diseased love one at one time or another, especially just after a person has died. Our loved ones do retain ties to us and will occasionally appear when we need them.

My experience with the spirits tells me that the best way to connect with our ancestors is to continue to do our personal healing. We share the wounds of our ancestors. When we heal ourselves, we heal our lineage in both directions, back to our ancestors and forward to our children.





December Events – Drop-In Healings and Talking Circle

27 11 2010

Event: Drop-In Shamanic Healing Clinic

Date: Saturday, December 4 – 9:00 am to noon, Saturday

This event is for those who would like to have a shamanic healing session at an affordable price. Please RSVP if possible. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.  It is part of my community outreach to bring healing to those who feel that they can not afford a typical session. It is also a time for those interested in learning about giving or receiving healing to participate. This is very typical of many indigenous cultures where healing occurs in community. Donations accepted but not required. $20 is recommended.

Event: Woman’s Talking Circle

Date: Saturday morning, December 11 – 9:00 to visit, Circle Starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

·    Sit in the Sacred Circle

·    Bring your Drum or Rattle (or share one of mine)

·    Speak from your Heart and Be Heard

This Open Spirit Circle has met monthly for about 18 years in my former location. It has been a safe empowering place that has nurtured the sacred in many women. You will be welcomed, embraced and celebrated. It is not affiliated with any organization and welcomes all women to sit in circle as our ancestors have throughout history.  A $5.00 donation is requested.

A  full calendar of events will return in January. Private sessions always available by appointment. Consider a shamanic reading to begin the New Year.





Shamanic Divination

27 11 2010

When I first began my search to understand why I spontaneously knew some of the things I knew about people, I read voraciously. I became a scientist dedicated to learning all I could about metaphysical knowledge and the paranormal.

In my search I decided to pull the veil off anything that I feared. One of my early investigations was into Tarot. I purchased half-a-dozen decks, compiled a ledger of notes from various experts, and seriously applied myself to learning how it worked. Because, for me, it worked. Eventually I created and published a deck of my own.

When I was working on introducing this deck to the public I participated in a Psychic Fair. I found it unusually difficult to read a person in a room where, as I felt it, the energy of so many people was hanging out. I felt as overwhelmed as I had years earlier when visiting a family member in a mental hospital.

I hung an out-to-lunch sign at my table and began to visit with other readers in the room. I also observed the clients of various readers.

I asked readers whether they read from their intuition of from the strict guidelines inherent to each card. Generally, they claimed only to go by the traditional meanings.  This may or may not have been true. For me, tarot, or any other divination tool I have used, is only a way to open the channel for intuition. Having done shamanic divination or reading for over 25 years, I know that no tool alone is as effective as any of these tools in the hands of an intuitive and empathic reader.

I focus on shamanic healing rather than shamanic readings because a healing session not only puts me in touch with the client’s underlying issues but gives permission to do something about them. I don’t just say you have soul loss, I restore the soul part. I don’t just say your mother-in-law has put a hex on you, I remove the hex.  I don’t say you are suffering from loneliness, I work to heal the reason you put protective  barriers around yourself that cause the loneliness.

What I observed with many of the clients at that psychic fair was that they intuitively sought out the reader who would tell them what they wanted to hear.  Some seemed to pick a healer who would wallow with them in their shared woundedness.  I believe that each person selects the healer to work with who suits their current need. It might be a different choice on a different day or at a different stage in their healing. That tends to be me when you are ready to break your consensus reality.

I am happy when I meet a former client who has moved ahead to different healing methods. I know that my part in their healing was surgical. I often peel away enough layers of the wound to allow them to go to another for the delicate work of a psychologist or therapist. I sometimes learn that they have committed themselves to a healing or religious practice.

I see people as blocks of pain. Through healing, we break off this pain bit by bit as they can handle it. The spirits direct how much work can be done at any one time. When I have the blessing of being present at the release of the final big block of pain it is an amazing experience. It is overwhelmingly emotional and painful to let go of something so familiar and comfortable that has been with one so long.