SHAMANISM IN OUR DAILY LIFE…
January, 25 2023
To heal the wounded areas of my life. I turned to shamanism. Now, that has a nice ring to it; but to deeply engage in this approach to life, I needed to know, practically, “What is ‘shamanism’ and ‘how’ do I do this”?
At that time, I had a typical “western” lifestyle. I purchased a new car every 4 years or so; I shopped at Costco; I wasted a “ton” of food; and I would jet to a vacation resort. I was a typical 21st century human!
It was when I hit my point of, “Oh, my God! I need help to change my life,” that I started a search of my options. Now, in the past, I had done many self-help workshops, had studied in Christian, Buddhist, and Jewish faiths and yet nothing “sang” to me. That was 32 years ago, and now it was my time: I went on a new kind of spiritual journey. With strong intent, I traveled throughout the Southwest of this country….seeking.
This seeking opened doors for me…. Opportunities came up for spiritual experiences that were earth based–shamanic in nature. From the very first opportunity (a ceremony), I was hooked!
But, let me back up and describe shamanism. Shamanism is:
- The belief that everything is living and has a spirit.
- Concerned with the health and well-being of the entire community, not any one individual or privileged group; and this extends to all plants, animals, and the whole environment.
- The knowing of a link between our plane and higher planes of existence. There is a link to the spirit world in order to heal, contact deceased ancestors, influence the weather, and uplift consciousness. (There are more realms to reality than what we can see.)
This entire concept of life felt contrary to the way I was living my life. It all felt foreign to me, and yet, was so easy to slide into and align with when I made my choice to engage. My challenge was to fully engage when and where change was needed–even knowing that I really prefer to resist when I am unsure of what the change will bring. (As I sit here writing, I am laughing at the futility of that old way of being!) I have committed to a shamanic approach to my life with strong connection to spirit.
In Presence Over Patterns, I have asked the participants to connect with nature daily. This means that, in the course of their daily lives, the participant will stop at a rock, plant, animal, a bird, and share an open-hearted conversation. They will ask, “What can you teach me today”? Then the participant will become receptive and listen. As we practice this regularly, we tune into our intuitive knowing of the communication between other life forms.
Each different life form has its specific gifts to share….
Minerals…. Teach us to hold the energy that works for us and lets us transform what doesn’t.
Plants…. Teach us to always share our beauty
Animals… Teach us to be natural, (being receptive to who we naturally are)
Humans…. Teach us to share through an open heart
Knowing this connection to life is available to me at every step, I took my dogs out for a long hike a day after a B I G ceremony. (I have 2 dogs. They embody very clear reflections of two strong aspects of my character.) Zeus, my sensitive wounded boy, was being a butt head on the hike–pulling on the leash and racing out front or needing to be pulled to get him to move. I was so frustrated with HIM. I was frustrated!
So, I took my own challenge… I asked Zeus, “What can you teach me today”? The answer I received was so clear and so direct that even I was surprised, and it was my assignment! I was not surprised that he answered; I was surprised how clear, precise and immediate the answer came. Wow! What I heard from him was…. “When you are anxious, your energy resonates from up high in your body, and this energy makes me anxious.” Another Wow! He was a reflection of my frustration, and I didn’t even feel anxious.
I then asked, “How can I be less anxious right now”? I heard, not from my two ears, but from inside my womb, “Breathe like in meditation, four count inhale through your nose, exhale in a four count through your mouth and imagine your breath exhaling through your navel.” I recognized this technique from my own meditations and remembered the feeling of centeredness I get from doing it.
At that moment, I applied this breathing technique to the rest of our hike. The immediate impact of my asking, “What can you teach me”/How can I be less anxious?” was that Zeus felt my energetic shift; and he could then be his natural dog self. Now he wanted to hike with me and be a pack member with me because I had dealt with my energy, my anxiety. I was more natural, and he aligned with me in this more natural space.
I am teachable by nature. We all are teachable by nature when we take the time–take a moment to consciously connect. Nature—all of the worlds, animal, plant, mineral–will always respond to each one of us. Will we take the moment to be receptive and shift to a more empowered natural way of life? Will I invest in my self worth? Connection not separation!
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