Standing richly decorated among your own realized Self
embodying Your Truth and holding shiny pieces of the grandest discovery
of all that Is to Be Discovered-
Holding misshapen keys, fitting only the most specific doors
the kind that await within our deepest dreams.
Excerpt from A Dream of Our Becoming
The realm of conscious dreamwork is a multi-dimensional, insightful and unpredictable practice overflowing with possibility. My dream life has always been vivid, and when I came to understand that these nightly occurrences were offering me the potential to explore aspects of myself and the Universe, I was inspired to look deeper for these answers. Before I began actively working with my dreams I would often awaken exhausted, confused and frustrated. I would be overwhelmed by the events of the evening, and feel as if I had been swallowed and regurgitated, into and from entire worlds that existed when my waking life took pause each day- living multiple lives and different timelines every night. When I would engage others in conversation about my dreams, which I felt plagued by at the time, they were usually regarded as a meaningless indulgence in the surely compromised condition of my sanity and psyche. Better to ignore them, try not to think about them, “just don’t worry about it”, and by all means: “let it go”. The “real world” was all that existed, and everything else was delusion or fantasy- the same redundant advice that echoed through the pages of so many of the chapters of my life. But so many questions about reality lingered. If these experiences were just a product of my overactive imagination, then why did they feel so “real” and effect my physical body and emotions in a way that could not be dismissed? To say that I frequently woke up on the “wrong side of the bed” would be an understatement; I felt like I was waking up in an unfamiliar world, having to re-acclimate myself to this reality each and every day, after experiencing any number of colorful scenarios in a myriad other realms.
Many of my dream recollections from this time of disconnect were tumultuous and unpleasant. There was a lot of my being chased, running, hiding, trying to escape, and fighting to save myself from forces that were after me; though I may not have often seen or encountered exactly what this something was- I felt terrified and convinced that it was going to catch me if I didn’t keep trying to get away. Later I discovered that these are classic hallmarks of the dream and soul trying to get our attention; being “stalked” by the dreaming as Robert Moss extrapolates from many indigenous understandings. Some people fear entering into an active dreamwork practice because of these “nightmares”, thinking that by ignoring or suppressing them they are sparing themselves from further discomfort. But from my experience, the dreamworld does not “chase” or choose it’s “prey” haphazardly; for the people who usually experience these recurring themes are naturally active dreamers, gifted seers and shamans waiting in the shadows to be awakened. The dreamworld and the many guides and lessons that await within, are trying to reconnect- to stir and inspire remembering in the heart and soul of their “captive” audience. Once you decide to stop running and trying to escape the inevitable truth of your giftedness, you find that you no longer need to be chased, and you can turn and face yourself and the visions that await beyond the veil of waking life- with courage, confidence and intention.
The dream world is a boundless spectrum of experience, that no one method of interpretation can encompass. When consciously working with your dreams you will encounter many parts of self and psyche. Past, present, future; ego, higher self, personality fragments; spiritual guides, teachers and sometimes negative entities; astral, multi-dimensional and otherworldly arenas; shadows and light… an endless web of possibility. There are many theories for analyzing and working with your dreams, and there is something of value in nearly all of them.
I have read and researched several authors and approaches on the subject of dreaming and dreamwork, and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from each in unique ways. I have taken what resonated with me from what was offered, and formed my own system of personal dream engagement which is free to constantly shift and grow as new information and experience expands my perspective and understanding. I have a difficult time with ritual or guided technique, aka following explicit instruction, because I am a spontaneous, auditory and kinesthetic learner. Intention and personal guidance affords me the freedom I need to develop my own approaches as my practice deepens. However, these explicit approaches may work perfectly for you, and I encourage you to explore the myriad topics of dreamwork for yourself- to determine what best fits your needs and interest. Something you encounter along the way may be the metaphorical launch pad that catapults you further into the realm of conscious, co-creative dreaming.
The most powerful and important tool that you have for working with your dreams is in exploring what the images and circumstances mean to you personally. I infrequently rely on archetypes or symbolism without weighing the insight with my own resonance and discarding what doesn’t seem to apply. I have found Eugene Gendlin’s focussing approach to dreamwork very helpful, and upon reading his book on the subject, realized that this was something I had been doing instinctively with dreaming and other topics of self-exploration for years. By using a method of free-association in analyzing certain elements or symbols within the dream, and by following what Gendlin refers to as the “felt sense” of the dream, image or circumstance, you can uncover many of the insights waiting and encoded within. Though some elements of the dream may indeed be universal, the dream is highly personal to the dreamer.
An example of using focussing to work with dreams would be to pick an image from the dream; an example from my dreaming would be a broken elevator, and then free-write or associate on what that image brings to mind.
A broken elevator: levels, movement, traveling, journey, unfamiliar places, being a guest somewhere, hotels, apartments, not being able to get where I’m going, feeling stuck, obstacle, I can’t move, where am I going, how will I get there, is this safe, what will happen to me, how did it break, will it still work, is there another way, another elevator, should I take the stairs, insecurity, fear, potential…
After letting yourself expand upon the freely associated elements of the image, sit with what arises and see what triggers that sense of “Yes, that’s it!”, within you. Gendlin describes this as the feeling that you get when you remember something that you’ve forgotten. We are all familiar with the scenario of having forgotten something, and trying to remember what it was. When you do remember, you feel and know that what you have remembered is the same memory that you had forgotten. You “just know”, by having followed the “felt sense” of forgetting to the place of remembering, and POP- there it is. “Aha- That’s it!”. The same is relevant in dream exploration.
“The felt sense isn’t a usual feeling, like angry, scared or sad. In addition to such recognizable feelings a dream also leaves you with a unique felt quality that fits no category. You cannot think it. It is an indefinable, global, puzzling, odd, uneasy, fuzzy sense in your body… Direct the questions there- to the felt sense. Then you wait to see if something new comes to you.”
Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams, Eugene Gendlin
It is standard dream interpretation “law” in many modern shamanic and psychotherapeutic circles, that only the dreamer can determine what the dream truly means. And in many cases, it is perhaps not meant to be analyzed at all, but consciously, actively and creatively engaged with, brought into the waking world and used to deepen the understanding of the individual’s overall conscious and unconscious experience. Everything from dream storytelling and sharing, enacting dream theaters, creating works of literary or visual art, and using the insights to fuel decision making in waking life are elements of conscious engagement with your individual dream experience. Moss refers to the dream often calling for the dreamer to take action in waking life, and encourages the exploration of the recalled imagery for potential counterparts in “reality”, which may be indicative of something needing to be addressed. Countless people throughout history have attributed significant breakthroughs in business, science, art and religion to guidance received in dreaming or “twilight” states. I have personally experienced many of these varied applications for dream world scenarios and messages in my own life; following guidance received to new information about past lives, deciding on the name for my website, an idea for a painting or poem, and visiting a particular person or place.
The only clear exception that I would note on the subject of dream interpretation would be if and when working with a spiritual intuitive (healer, shaman) to determine what the dream may mean, as a response to your own intuitive guidance to do so. In my experience, this is much like doing tarot or a “reading” for someone, in that the intuitive receives insight from the dreamer’s guides and higher self to clarify certain images and events from the sequence in question. But the “law” of resonance still and always applies to ANY intuitive reading, dream related or otherwise. If something does not resonate with you, let it go.
“Mind itself is not contained by the brain and body; rather, the brain and body are contained by mind, by consciousness.” **
Dreamgates, Robert Moss
I developed an interest in astral projection aka out of body experiences, near death experiences and lucid dreaming years before I began consistently working with and recording my dreams. I successfully travelled “out of body” and achieved full lucidity in dreaming a number of times, and have since realized that there are a limitless range of states of consciousness in waking and dreaming life. Full lucidity in dreaming can be very exciting, and offers the dreamer all manner of possibility, many of the more fanciful that I have repeatedly explored and enjoyed; flying, walking on water, etc. However, this focus is not always conducive to encountering the lessons that the original dream path may have intended, and these behaviors often result in the abrupt ending of the dream and physical awakening. This can be frustrating or relieving, depending on the dream. The ability to gain lucidity and will yourself to awaken from an unpleasant scenario is certainly useful, though some teachers may urge the dreamer to remain inside (or even re-enter) such a sequence, using it as an opportunity to go deeper into realms of shadow.
I now aim to achieve a balance between lucidity and detached consciousness, frequently finding myself experiencing multiple levels of simultaneous awareness as the dream unfolds; the participant, the observer and increasingly aware levels of consciousness which communicate with one another during the sequence. It could be likened to the “dream within a dream” phenomenon, signifying multiple levels of awareness and experience within a single dream or sequence of dreams. This allows me a spectrum of control to use for dream navigation.
Once, when becoming lucid in a dream (somewhere on the near fully conscious end of the spectrum), after having informed my dream companion that we were dreaming, being ignored, and then telling him again emphatically that, “This is a dream!”- my dream companion looked up, directly into my eyes (which does not often happen in dreaming) and said, “I know. Don’t ruin it.”
**The term “out of body” is actually an illusory misunderstanding, since the body is within our consciousness, rather than our consciousness being within the body. This is a misperception based on countless lifetimes of programming through human experience and learning to operate a physical body. Inelia Benz expands upon this concept in an interesting and entertaining way during her interview with Bill Ryan, as she claims that this is her very first incarnation, and therefor recounts her early difficulties with navigating in form, unaccustomed to the idea of consciousness focussed through/on the location of the body.
Whatever you do in beginning an active process of exploring dreaming and various states of consciousness, DO NOT stress or force yourself to make any technique work for you that does not resonate after trying it a few times. I have found that this is an ineffective and counterproductive means of practice, and often results in the creation of physical, mental and emotional blocks which will frustrate and discourage you rather than assist you in your goals. Be patient with yourself every step along the way, and release any unfair expectations you may have about how the process should be. Allow yourself to be open and curious, willing to unconditionally experience what presents itself for your engagement. You will continue to learn more about yourself and the process with each new day. There is no pinnacle of learning with this or any other modality of self exploration. Allow yourself to enjoy the journey, and don’t seek to compare yourself to anyone else, even if that someone is yourself at another time or juncture- as your dreamwork will ebb and flow with the tides of your life and the cosmos.
Teachers can only share what works for them, and only you can determine what works for you. Just because a million people achieved success with a certain technique, does not mean it is any more or less valid that another until you try it for yourself. If anyone claims that their methods will work for everyone, you can keep that in the pocket with your grain of salt, and feel free to toss it in the compost bin if/when it proves to be misleading.
Many people do not believe that they can remember their dreams, or think that their individual circumstances complicate any possibility of lucidity or retrieval. Though every person’s case is unique, and certain factors such as medication, diet, amount of sleep, stress level and drug use will certainly effect your individual experience with dreamwork, I believe that there is often more possibility and potential available than your circumstances would indicate. Balking at any statements of dreamwork being an impossibility, from my experience as the mother of a co-sleeping toddler, who also shares her bedroom with an early-to-rise-by-alarm husband and a sleep-talking dog, having lived in big cities and apartments, and moved 3 times in the past year, (and yes- keep this one with your grain of salt,) “If I can do it, so can you!”
Obviously there are certain factors, like diet, which will cause your experience to vary on a near nightly basis, depending on how you approach your health and nutrition. If you eat a lot of dairy one day- for instance, per Doreen Virtue, this will “cloud your aura”, not to mention your arteries. Caffeine is going to make you restless and irritable, resulting in less sleep and a strained nervous system, which will effect your ability to travel as deeply into the dream realms, et al. Listen to your body and notice your reactions to everything you expose it to. There are also certain foods and herbs which can be safely experimented with, reputed to improve dream recall, clarity and general cognitive function. I have had success with some of these, such as vitamin B supplements, but because of my extreme sensitivity to absolutely everything, I cannot take even small doses on a regular basis without it disrupting the balance of my system. I stick to an intuitive diet, and a random vitamin or herb here or there. You do not want to develop a dependence on any substance in the process of working with your dreams.
When you begin your dreamwork practice, remember not to take the project too seriously. If you are interrupted, or find your practice interfered with by the daily happenings of life, make an effort to remain patient with yourself and others. If you live in an apartment, you will be woken up by your neighbors; if you are a parent- by your children. If you have pets, or your husband snores, or there is a thunder storm… you get the idea. The first and most important thing you can do is STAY CALM. The second that you get caught up in the story about what’s happening around you, how unfair it is and how pissed off you are about it, the dreaming will start to fade with an exponential vengeance. If you handle the situation as calmly as possible from a detached perspective, and then manage to return to your normal sleeping position for even a few moments before rising (or returning to sleep), your chance of successful recall is much higher.
The key that I have discovered, as Gendlin refers to it, is in focussing on that felt sense of the dream which lingers just below the surface of your consciousness; like that lost or forgotten something that you know will POP back any moment. If you can keep calm and focus on this sense, this feeling of the dream in between the abrupt awakening and your attempts at recall, you will be amazed how often the details bubble and pop back up to the surface with increasing ease.
I personally sleep with an eye mask and a pillow over my head, effectively creating a quiet cocoon or cave-like environment to dream within. This is something that I have done since childhood, because of my sensitivity to sound, light and other stimuli, and it works quite well for me. Whenever I awaken or am awakened during the night, I focus on that felt sense of the dream until the details surface, and repeat them to myself mentally- as much as I can recall before I drift back into dreaming again. Find key points that you can later use to recall further detail upon waking; images that stand out and help to connect the dots within the sequence. Colors, places, people, objects. A small string of key details will often trigger more of the sequence when you get the opportunity to work with your recall and recording. And if nothing else, these stand-out details are an excellent place to start with your journaling.
It is often suggested that if you awaken to an alarm, that you choose something stirring but not unpleasant, set it for a bit earlier than you need to get up, and use the snooze to facilitate your incubation before jumping up and rushing into your day. Maybe use your time in the shower to focus and retrieve more of the details left to recover. I usually take about 5-10 minutes to “retrieve” or “translate” the dream in the morning, effectively focussing and pulling through whatever details I can manage in the small window of opportunity that my two year old allows me. He is my built-in snooze button.
I awaken to a sudden demand for “milk-juice”, retrieve a non-dairy filled sippy cup and fresh diaper from the living room, and return to the bedroom- deliver the beverage and change my son’s diaper, then reposition myself deep within my cocoon, blocking whatever excess stimuli possible and focusing on recall before arising to begin my day. Meanwhile, my toddler crawls over and lounges upon me as if I were inanimate, the cat begins his chorus of incessant meowing to be fed, and I am frequently engaged in stirring conversations about my hair and other body parts. Rather remarkably, and perhaps a testament to my female brain, hard-wired for multi-tasking, this usually allows me to remember the events of the dreaming for much longer than if I were to simply rise and begin to record them immediately. It can sometimes be hours before I have the time and space to focus clearly on recall and recording. I have tried using an audio recording device before, but I tend to gravitate towards doing things manually or hands on, aka “the hard way”. This option may be something that works great for you, however, and is often suggested by teachers of various dreamwork modalities.
Write down, type or record everything you can remember in a dream journal as soon as possible. Preferably before talking to anyone or reading anything, checking email, turning on the television, or exposing yourself to other stimuli which will cause the details of the dreaming to scramble and fade. But do not be discouraged if this isn’t possible, and if you were able to take the time to incubate before rising, and you have the string of details I mentioned to use as reference, then whenever you can manage the time- you may be surprised how much still lingers and arises in your awareness. It is important to recall as much detail as you can, even if it seems fragmented or unimportant. Many dream sequences may be challenging to describe in 3 dimensional terminology, therefor use the best approximation or closest match to the experience you remember having.
There have been many times when I judged or considered a portion of my dreaming to be trivial or a waste of my time, only to later realize that the exact pair of brown gladiator sandals I had spent much of my dream shopping for, seemingly at random, surprisingly arrived at my house the very same day in an unexpected shipment of surplus from my fashion-loving aunt across the country. This sort of precognitive experience may seem unimportant, but we cannot truly know what is being used as practice to attune our skill and awareness for the eventual receiving of something of greater value. This training actually began in early childhood for me, though I did not realize this was taking place until much later in life. There were many occasions in my youth where I was frequented with bouts of deja vus. Something would occur in my daily life, like standing on a chair in the middle of class, and I would literally see the merging of the present moment and the moment of precognition as if they were happening at the same time before me; like a screen within a screen of my awareness. If I had not learned to accept my dreams of standing on chairs, precognitive shoes and giant octopi (among other things), I may not have been prepared to receive the dream of the Occupy Movement months before it happened, or any number of the far more illuminating sequences I’ve been blessed with. I am still learning how to determine when and if a dream is precognitive before it happens in waking life, so if anyone has any advice in that department, I would certainly be grateful for the suggestions.
Overall, I have come to view and describe my approach to dreaming as shamanic, because I resonate with the dreaming traditions of my own and other native and indigenous cultures. An aspect of dreaming that I have not seen explored as thoroughly in my studies, are the many elements which are not simply aspects of our psyche or reflections of ourself, but actual encounters with beings, either the astral/souls of those currently incarnate here on earth, or beings from other worlds and dimensions, including alternate timelines and past/future/alternate selves. I have participated in discussions and teaching in dreaming that translated into waking life on more than one occasion. The first time that I had a conversation in dreaming that resulted in the spontaneous change of heart of someone in waking life, seemingly “out of the blue”, I was singing the same Monkey’s tune that I was the day that fated pair of sandals arrived. I have also participated in numerous soul retrieval and healing dream sessions, for myself and others- individually and collectively.
I have learned to recognize when I am encountering a projection of some aspect of my own psyche vs. the real disembodied presence of a being beyond my individual soul. There are certain tell-tale variables that signal this awareness for me, though they are somewhat difficult to describe, and would vary for each individual in their own experience. There is an aspect of “you just know” within the entire arena of dreamwork- and life for that matter, as cliche as that may sound.
Sometimes your dreaming will be corroborated by someone that you know, expressing the same or similar images and events as a sequence you encountered. This is a wonderful experience in sharing and validating your own dream life as something other than a random collection of psycho-babble. Though it is rare for two people to experience the exact same imagery and circumstances when dealing with the 4th or higher dimensional consciousness, from what I have gathered from my own perspective and research. Based on the common understanding of the Astral, mental and successive planes, whatever form the energy takes around you is entirely responsive to and created by your thought and intention, therefor even when sharing an experience with a fellow dreamer you are going to recall a variety of unique and personal expressions of the sequence, a result of your particular and unique perspective.
There is no way of predicting what you may encounter once you embark upon a journey of conscious interaction and practice with your dreams. There is as much variation in experience with dreamwork as there are with all other aspects of reality. Your experiences will range from the mundane to the outrageous, as the sheer innumerable realms and levels of consciousness are well beyond description. Working with dreaming is one of the clearest forms of “evidence” available for the reality of our multi-dimensional existence.
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
Another phenomenon that I will briefly touch on, having a wealth of experience in this less-than-comfortable state, is the occurrence of what is commonly referred to as sleep paralysis. My first encounter with this often frightening and bizarre state of consciousness began around the same time that my spiritual awakening was triggered. Though I still have much to learn within this bittersweet pocket of potential, this state of being between levels of consciousness, I now know that this is a great opportunity and launch point for out of body travel, and with practice you can quiet the conscious mind and body’s immediate urge to struggle and learn to “use” this occurrence to your benefit rather than suffer from it. It is this resistance and fear that is responsible for much of the discomfort associated with the typical descriptions of these experiences.
As with dreaming, there are various levels of consciousness which can be experienced with sleep paralysis, and struggling when you find yourself within it can result in physically painful fluctuations in control, leaving you rather drained and disturbed upon finally waking fully and regaining control of the body. The classic hallmarks of this experience are being conscious of your physical surroundings in waking life, while simultaneously dreaming in various degrees, which is essentially superimposed upon your immediate surroundings. If you have never experienced this phenomenon before, it may be somewhat difficult to comprehend, and likewise difficult to relate to just how challenging and mind boggling this experience can be. The more you practice and learn to navigate this and other varied states of consciousness along “Jacob’s ladder”, the more control you will have, and the more rewarding and balanced your experience can become.
There are a variety of contributing factors to why certain people experience this phenomenon, especially the use of drugs and medication, though personally I have noticed that sleeping during the day is when almost all of my experiences have taken place. Some of these recent happenings, as I’ve curtailed my instinct to react out of fear over the years, have been absolutely fantastic- so know that there are possibilities within this seemingly torturous realm of semi-consciousness.
I will also briefly discuss the frequency of relating this experience to mythologies of old, including succubi, demons, etc. It has even been surmised by psychologists that this state is where the accounts of alien abductions originate. I am not particularly convinced by either of these explanations, and my personal understanding is that the fearful encounters with entities while in sleep paralysis are often direct manifestations of our desire and emotional bodies, literally running a havoc and muck as a result of the confusion that results on multiple levels of consciousness at once. The phenomenon is essentially a result of a “normal” biological function going amiss. Therefor it is not unlikely that our consciousness would react chaotically. It would be understandable for the conscious mind to associate the idea of being held down by an unpleasant entity with the literal stuck-ness of physical paralysis, and our typical reactions to struggle and escape with a frantic mentality. However, this does not mean that there are not entities that exist within the various levels of consciousness and dreaming that have less than love and light filled intentions, though I have not found and refuse to dwell on much concern about them, and thus far this intention has served me well. In regards to alien abduction, I do believe in the reality of these occurrences, and also in the possibility of their taking place on multiple levels of consciousness- along the spectrum of dreaming and waking life. Though I have made it very clear to any potential mischievous entities that, to put it bluntly, “Momma don’t play that.”
Our collective experience and programming play heavily into what we experience in the myriad nodes that exist along the spectrum of consciousness, and it is no secret that we have been continuously inundated with fear and negativity from childhood through the media, education and religion. These subconscious programs often manifest themselves in dreaming and waking life, and in the various stages of consciousness we may find ourselves in between.
I worked with a client once who shared with me a dream that had plagued her since childhood, of a man she would meet in the hallway steps of her family home that would render her completely terror struck and speechless. She wanted to know what this was about, who this person was, and what she could do about it, so I offered to do a dream journey for her- to explore who and where this “entity” was coming from. That night I was visited by an entity, in a sleep paralytic state of in-between consciousness. This “entity” WAS fear; hairy, bumpy, dark, amorphous but humanoid, coming at me from the doorway with arms outstretched. When I awoke from this vision and calmed my physical body from the fear reaction it was experiencing, I instinctively and intuitively new that the man in my client’s dream, and the visitor I had experienced, was a manifestation of fear itself (and specifically of her fear). Upon re-entering the dreaming I was shown other indications of where this fear was stemming from, including a connection to the medieval imagery of hellfire and damnation associated with her traditional catholic upbringing. Ironically but logically enough, from a psychological perceptive, this person also had an obsession with watching documentary programs about serial killers, and forced herself to endure things frequently which terrified her- feeding the “fear monger” ever more fuel for its terrifying fire. I also realized after working with her case that I would be very careful what I agreed to take on with dreamwork for clients in the future!
As much as I am careful about what I expose my body to physically in the way of nutrition, it is equally as important to nourish the body mentally and emotionally, and exposing yourself to disturbing and fearful images to feed a twisted psychological addiction to being terrified for the adrenaline rush it supplies, is not only detrimental to your waking life, but absolutely havoc wreaking on your dreaming life. If you plan to enter into a practice of active dreamwork I suggest dealing with your addiction to fear and smut television right from the beginning, otherwise you will find your dreams filled with all manner of regurgitated dramas from the media.
Regardless of how much you practice working with your dreams, how much control you gain over your lucidity or how accurate your recall becomes, the energy of the Universe and your daily life will still continue to shift and flow, influencing every aspect of your life and dreaming. Sometimes certain sequences simply will not translate. You may be keenly aware within the dream, and the felt sense may be strong upon waking, but the experience may be happening on a higher plane of consciousness than you can integrate (consciously) into 3D. And that’s ok… let it go. Sometimes there simply is no language to describe your experience, and the felt sense, a single image, or the knowledge that something amazing took place is all that you have to record. Sometimes a sequence may be too disturbing or challenging emotionally to record in detail. These feelings and your reactions and emotions upon waking are as important as the symbols and events you recall when journaling your dreams.
Sometimes you will be too tired physically or mentally to focus on recall at all, and you may hit the snooze button only to immediately pass out and later awaken realizing that you cannot remember a thing. That is good, right and ok, too. There have been days, weeks and entire months that I have taken off of consistent dreamwork. Though consciously working with my dreams has been deeply transformative and enlightening, alleviating a great deal of suffering and confusion from my previous experience, I still consider it a great adjustment to wake up to this “reality” every day, and it takes me a certain amount of time to decompress and prepare myself to interact with the physical world each morning. I give myself a lot of wiggle room when it comes to this and any practice in my life.
Start where you are and work with what you have. I’ve heard more than one person set dreamwork on a pedestal, as if were simply too demanding and high maintenance, or too difficult for them to manage from where they are. The fact is, there are no absolute rules with dreamwork or any self explorative modality, and unless you simply have no interest or resonance with the process, there is no one reason why you cannot begin a personal dreamwork practice. The more that you work with your dreams and various levels of consciousness, certain techniques, intention and methods of recall- the more you will open to engage with a wider spectrum of your experience as a spiritual Being.
I would compare the process of beginning dreamwork to beginning a yoga practice, in that many people are intimidated by the idea of doing yoga because they believe that they are not flexible or balanced enough to succeed. Both yoga and dreamwork are about learning to settle in where you are with what you have, to stop the story that you are telling yourself about what’s happening, and fully immerse yourself into the process without judgement- relaxing into the posture. After a few weeks of practice, with yoga, dreamwork, or any other modality, you will be amazed at just how “flexible” you are!
Intention is the single most important aspect of conscious living and dreaming. Stating your intentions, along with your gratitude for the many blessings in your life, helps to put you into a receptive state as you enter into the secrets of the night. If there are any particular issues or questions that you wish to meditate upon at this time, inviting an answer into your dreaming, keep them as succinct and simple as possible. I have a habit of compounding my intentions into run-on sentences, which is not only confusing for myself and my own consciousness, but no doubt highly amusing for any of my spiritual guides/teachers that may be listening on in the cosmic vicinity. Stating that you intend to dream with clarity, to recall your dreams, or to become lucid (depending on your goals)- with a focus on offering yourself in service of the highest good, are elements of my practice that I would recommend. These are all good ways to set the tone for the dreaming to come. Go with whatever feels right as you spontaneously enter this space for yourself.
Working with your dreams allows you to embrace the reality of the adage, “life is but a dream”, awakening you to a realm of synchronicity and symbolism in waking life that enhances and compliments the insights your dreaming has to share. Themes and images from your dreams will often appear in waking life, serving as guideposts- pointing you in the direction of your intentions and lessons.
Like unplugging from the matrix and willfully and consciously re-entering the game to play with new awareness, dreaming consciously presents an entirely new realm of possibility within waking life. Of course, there are certain physical laws that do not apply to dreaming, but you will also find that there are certain facts about “reality” that are actually un-truths that we’ve taken for granted as a result of continuous indoctrination, and the world is much more open and mutable than we have previously imagined.
As our Universal and Global consciousness begins to shift, secret truths and technologies are revealed to the masses, and increasing shifts in awareness and ability surface from the depths of human potential, who knows what incredible potentials we may uncover within ourselves and our world. The mythologies that permeate so many of our ancient cultures certainly had their root in some level of experience, wherever on the rungs of consciousness these visions appeared, and the idea that Jesus walked on water, for example, or that inter-dimensional beings are ever-present just beyond the veil of our conscious perception, leaves a wide and all-encompassing realm of infinite potential available to be discovered.
After years of dedicated study to the process of dreamwork, I can say that my overall health and happiness has been completely transformed as a result. Actively and consciously working with my dreams has literally changed my life, and afforded me more balance, sanity, peace and understanding than I ever thought possible. Remarkably, I no longer awaken as exhausted as I did in years past, though I sometimes recall as many as 5 or more vivid sequences in a night. There is a deep sense of serenity and comfort that emanates from within my being now, which has allowed me to view waking life with more patience, clarity and a wider perspective than I previously experienced. I feel a sense of solace and communion with the Universe, and I have found the practice to be immensely rewarding and enlightening.
“There are equal measures of mystery in dreams and wilderness… Every dream is an opportunity to develop our relationship to soul.”
Soulcraft, Bill Plotkin
There are so many facets of dreamwork that I have barely begun to touch on them here, and if you are interested I suggest looking into the subject further from whichever perspective best fits your personality; psychological, shamanic, etc. I would personally suggest researching a variety of methods and reading more than one author, to get a clearer picture of the spectrum of possible approaches you might incorporate into the development of your own conscious dreaming adventures.
During your nightly sojourns into the realm of “All that Is”, you will find doors, windows, classrooms, vehicles, worlds, paths and beings leading you well beyond your wildest imaginings. You will find joy and frustration; seeming randomness and majesty within the endless scope of your interconnected Being. By exploring recurring themes, symbols and images from your dreaming through the use of varied states of consciousness, including others not mentioned here- like meditation and self hypnosis, you can enter consciously into dream states to investigate the source of your inspiration and your challenges. Your guides and higher self are constantly conspiring to send you messages and direction, hoping to engage you in a creative exchange of consciousness, and wake you up to the reality of your dreams.
by. Rachael Ehrlund
my every inspiration
my kindred spirit
my king- my queen
my secret remedy
my true solace
lives in me.
The word God is something that countless religions and individuals have sought to define for millennia. In the English language, those three letters connote a serious tone and strong opinions- worship and reverence… anger and discontent. It has brought many people together- united in a common understanding, in a common faith. And it has driven countless people from one another- divided in the idea that their version is somehow superior to another.
Many of us walk the middle ground between Atheism and Religion, as people who attribute our Faith to something less defined, and more fluid in its formlessness. Agnosticism doesn’t quite capture it either, for to say that we do not know whether or not there is some mysterious and magical force pervading the Universe is inaccurate. Personally, I KNOW it is there, I just don’t KNOW exactly what IT IS. Only- that IT IS. I enjoy my seeking and research, my continued dedication to furthering my understanding through experience and open mindedness… but I am also ok with sitting comfortably with my inability to ever know with the logical mind. The reverence for the journey fuels my enthusiasm and persistence.
This article was a spontaneous arrangement of ideas that originated several months ago with a conversation about Ritual and irReverence with my dear friend, Kim Upton. We were talking together on a weekday afternoon, as we so often do- about the grander questions of Life and Life after Life, about our children and their wild daily happenings, and eventually about Toes- Big Toes. Though I am pretty sure that I’m the one that instigated that part.
Sitting in my living room, surrounded by shelves of disheveled books, tacked up art posters, brightly colored baby toys, vintage furniture, fading flower bouquets, strewn shoes and baskets of randomness- she in her own nook of chaos and artistic confusion- we marveled at the majesty of the Sacred together. Though we live across the country from one another, we were connected in our simultaneous agreement and understanding of everything holding as much God-ness as everything else. I gazed over at our altar and thought about what it meant beyond the confines of its shelf there- about my understanding, my version of God and ceremony.
We have kept an altar in our home for years, a Sacred Space where we gather together bits and pieces of that which we hold to be holy and sacred. Bits of drying flowers from old arrangements, rocks and gemstone crystals, tiny carved figurines and half-melted candles, letters to the Universe, pieces of prayers and Buddha statues, images of deities and culturally diverse religious figures, incense, artwork, a hornet that had passed and left his beautiful body to be found in the corner, a piece of robin’s egg scattered in the garden. Anything that speaks to us as we go about our daily lives- anything that makes us stop and recognizing the spark of Holy NOWness in that moment.
“This moment. Holy” – Caveh Zahedi
For me, God is not as delicate a word as others. I use it in the same way that I use the Universe, All that IS, or The Powers that Be- and all are interchangeable in my writing. Although I was raised Southern Baptist, and part of my journey to self discovery involved the dismantling of this belief structure, the word God doesn’t cause any adverse reactions to my system. It seems rather comfortable and safe- accessing a part of my childhood when the word meant pure Love, before it took on any complex and hypocritical connotations. I never believed in the idea of a floating old man in the sky to begin with, as my intuition always told me there was much more to the equation than I was being told. For some people, the word God is not comfortable at all, and I can certainly understand why. (Admittedly I have this reaction to the word “Jesus”, but it is something I am working through, and hardly has anything to do with the person himself.)
Others may have a similar reaction to other words or indicators of God-ness, finding it perhaps tres New Age, or indicative that there are too many feathers in the writer’s hair. The word gods or goddess are equally as controversial… even I, as a proud and empowered woman, have a hard time with goddess, because I have certain reactions to some of the reading I’ve done which has claimed this word for its own purposes.
And there we have the underlying issue with any word in any language we may encounter: association. We are reacting to the word as it was first and repeatedly presented to us, and those associations have wired themselves into our psyches and now contain an entire realm of unprocessed emotion and reactivity. God, Universe, Great Spirit, All that IS, gods, goddess, etc- these are simply our best offerings, our best attempts at describing something wholly and completely indescribable. The Powers that Be (one of my favorites) are so much more complex (and simple) than any collection of vowels and consonants we can imagine. When you look up at the stars, or into the eyes of a child, or smell the fragrance of an heirloom peony- do you need to use a word to describe that moment. THAT moment is God, et al, and it doesn’t require anything from you. If you are in want of something to give, it will honor your quiet observation and a moment of passing irReverence. (Just as it honors your free will choice to refuse to see it at all.)
There is no cell in your body, no leaf, no rock, no blade of grass, no cloud, no rat, no creature great or small, no moment- which is devoid of God. God, by it’s own nature, and in it’s own ineffable irReverence for itself, shows up in every breathe that it has breathed into life. In every thought, every motion, every possible potential. God will meet You anywhere. We are holders of the same Sacred Space within our very Being that we so often seek to find and attend outside of ourselves. We Are God incarnate.
God is here… there, right inside our big toe.
I cannot fathom passing the color purple in a field and missing its beauty, and what a great oversight if we fail to notice the majesty within our very Selves, our own Reflections, the genius in the construct of our anatomy… of our humanity. And the world around us and it’s very lack of humanity… it’s unbounded enthusiasm for persistence, for self actualization, fully realized without a need to be defined as anything other than what IT IS- the Holiest of Holies lives and breathes within every spark of Life. All That Is is ALL There IS.
Are we truly more aware because we believe ourselves to be, because we practice at it? The tree stands tall and mighty, and it knows itself to be God, perfectly imperfect, completely sacred and sufficient in its own majesty. The hawk knows its place in the Universe, and within our Mother Earth- the Hawk knows that it does not know, but it knows EXACTLY what it NEEDS to know. The whale song is a mantra of self empowerment and righteousness not unlike the hymns we sing in worship, but those songs are true originals, as if we had spontaneously created those very rhythms for ourselves!
Ritual is another aspect of God that tends to complicate spirituality for people. Here we find another vat of emotional reactions to certain approaches, meditations, prayers, habits, ceremonies, etc. What may work or fit for one person in one form, may be a complete deal breaker for another person. Just because something is ancient and revered as holy of holy, doesn’t mean that it is any more relevant or sacred than the personal and spontaneous, or the (gasp) New Age. There are so many techniques and options available for someone seeking to connect with the divine- individually or collectively. The single most important aspect of any Ritual is intention. If you are intent upon opening yourself up and connecting with Higher levels of Being, that intention IS the “rainbow bridge” (Arguelles). Your presence makes it so.
There is no wrong way to connect with the Divine, and there are no qualifications necessary to get you there. I always suggest experimentation when it comes to navigating the realm of ritual. Try new things- seek out others who think and feel as you do, and engage in conversation that will challenge you to think outside any boxes you may still be holding on to. Try spending time alone and with groups, finding someone to facilitate for you, or stepping into a role of facilitator yourself. As with any other aspect of your life, allow yourself to get excited about your connection to God. Look for new ways to connect with all that IS, and see what magic you can discover.
I feel than my entire home and life is an altar to God’s presence, as much as any intentionally made collection of fragments of faith would serve to be. As our scientific understanding begins to re-merge with spirituality, we find that those tiny atoms we learned about in elementary school- the bits of vibrating mass that make up every visible piece of our existence, turn out to behave differently and are dependent upon our observation. They are in essence, performing for us- a grand cosmic play of pure energy dressing itself in form, and we are playing our part as it unfolds.
Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments with water crystals are an excellent and beautiful example of this phenomenal fact.
As a parent I find the subjects of faith, spirituality, God and religion to be of particular importance, because we are responsible for passing on a greater version of the Truth than was handed to us in centuries past. We are responsible for putting an end to suffering through separation and discrimination, by admitting that our well intending religious organizations have gotten carried away with their exclusivity, and there is no longer a time or a place for leaving ANYONE out in the cold. Race, Creed, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Age, Number of Legs or lack-there-of… we are a United Whole. And a Loving God- my God would never discriminate against any of its creations based on the name that it was given or called by. As a parent, you learn to respond to whatever Loving name your children call you by. (Even if at times, it’s not so very loving. God responds to that, too.)
“How do you feel about the question?” “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God,” I blurted out, and looked down, red in the face. My embarrassment was contagious. No one said anything. It happened that we were not far from the statue of Gandhi on the esplanade. Stick in hand, an impish smile on his lips, a twinkle in his eyes, the Mahatma walked. I fancy that he heard our conversation, but that he paid even greater attention to my heart. Father cleared his throat and said in a half-voice, “I suppose that’s what we’re all trying to do—love God.”
Excerpt from Life of Pi by. Yann Martel
I believe in teaching our children to Love unconditionally, and to be the best version of themselves that they can Be. I believe in Being a light unto others by shining with Love and Faith from within. I do not believe in limiting my relationship with God. I believe in Peace. I believe in finding the best possible version of Truth for oneSelf. I believe in Tolerance. I believe in the beauty of the diverse cultures of our world and the stories they have passed down for centuries to their own children. I believe that God exists in every crevice of every corner of every piece of the Universe, and therefore I believe that all beings are Blessed- and all beings are Loved. Salvation is not reserved for any one person of any one belief. Heaven is available to anyone who believes that a life without suffering is possible, and who recognize that all of life is a gift to be experienced, and to learn from.
I also believe that we live in a world full of good people. In fact, I believe that everything is essentially good at it’s core, on a quantum level, at the bottom of the rabbit hole- where all the mysteries are explained into order from chaos. I believe that all things originate from the same light, and are sensical in their harmonic origins, in some reach of understanding that eludes my present ability to comprehend. I’ve always been just as reliant on scientific evidence to justify my beliefs as I am intuition and psychic nobilities. I like to know how and why things work, and like so many others I prefer it to be proven to me visually. To see something with “my own eyes”. But even My Three Eyes don’t see it All.
As I continue to grow through this mysterious and complex life that is so filled with unpredictable beauty, I find that my range of visions has widened, my dreams have become more palpable, my concepts of reality looser around the edges and more open to interpretation. I find that meeting God in any building with a predetermined leader holds less credence for me than meeting God beneath a giant Oak, or down on my belly in the green grass to observe an almost microscopic flower. But I also revel in communion with others who resonate together on a Soul Level- in Friendship. I find that my understanding of God has shifted to include the Universe, Great Spirits, The Powers that Be, gods, goddesses, and my firm and comfortable statement of un-knowing. Sometimes we can sit together in our un-knowing, and harmonize therein, bridging the space between gnosis and confusion.
I used to frequently say, “I believe in everything and nothing”, and I sort of got a kick out of the look on people’s faces. The God in my big toe and I, we sit and laugh at nonsensical contradictions. We bow ever so irReverently at the majesty that is each passing moment. And we spontaneously dance, sing or paint our way to personal rituals in new ways every single day. We rather like it that way. Maintaining (or reconnecting) with our sense of humor is an essential part of the journey to self discovery and personal spirituality.
“Laughter is the Language of the Gods”
Letting go of any pretentious ideas about having all of the answers, or having any of the answers in a way that you aren’t comfortable with surrendering if the situation presents itself as having shifted (which it will)- helps to keep you balanced on your journey. Finding joy in moments of certain uncertainty, laughing with yourSelf- the Grand Self that IS, and venturing to see the Trees and the Forest at the SAME TIME… that is where the stuff of milk and honey flows.
God WILL meet you THERE.
by. Rachael Ehrlund
The Blind Men and the Elephant
by. John Godfrey Saxe
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -”Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
I met myself in a dream last night
I was 5
I was alive
I remember smiling
We talked of things
I can’t recall
I held my hand
And it was small
We walked for hours
Or maybe moments
I stood still
And met my own gaze
I was amazed
I was beautiful
I am beautiful
I met myself in a dream last night
I was 5
I am alive.
Writers always wonder where they should start a story, and inevitably they arrive at the conclusion to start at the beginning. I will start exactly where I am- a practice I would suggest to anyone on their own path of self realization.
Today I am on the cusp of another major life change- possibility peaking its head over the horizon. Having spent years learning how to cope with my anxiety in the face of a future that I cannot control, I am making an effort to focus on my breathing, the bouquet of flowers on my table, and the sound of the fire crackling in the fireplace. This meditative focus is an excellent tool for coping with a sea of uncertainty. In the face of a life which we undoubtedly cannot control, but posses a remarkable ability to contribute to the creation of- tis better to be centered and hopeful than running up and down the aisles of the airplane, thinking that will make it land faster.
Admittedly, the world has always seemed like a virtual reality game to me. Or even more honestly, like one of those vintage tetris games, where the whole world falls apart if you don’t sort all of the pieces in the right order before your time is up. These days, meditative focus and deep breathing helps me to slow the pieces down enough to sort them into place and keep the holodeck from completely dismantling. Though I have also gotten more comfortable with co-creative dismantling over the years. Sometimes the best place to begin is a new beginning.
It’s taken me more than a decade of practicing and exploring how my mind works, (and observing the behavior patterns of others) to realize that we are all every bit as capable of genius as we are of insanity- and most of us display portions of both in near equal measure.
To some degree we are all crazy. Having developed varying degrees of personality disorders from very early in life, as adults we find ourselves a collection of opinions, beliefs and thoughts that often contradict and disagree with one another. This is also when we set about dismantling the bits of Truth that were handed to us by our elders, rebuilding ideas of Truth according to our sense of Universal Understanding. It is confusing for anyone in these circumstances- it can become disillusioning. As a result many of us develop a dependence on switching parts of ourselves on or off, as a way to cope with the internal contradiction we encounter when trying to sort Self from Self.
I realize now that being an artist and poet has prepared me for the sort of abstract thinking necessary to construct my own reality consciously. I know that my choices affect the outcome I’m creating, and that depending on the intention behind those choices, we can end up at an infinite number of places along the spectrum of possibility.
I’ve learned that the external world is a reflection of the way we feel about our divinity, and the love and acceptance that we have for ourselves. The amount of freedom that we allow for a work of art to exist within, is relative to the amount of space we give ourselves to blossom into. If we doubt our art’s validity before it even takes form, how is it given its fair chance to blossom? How often does the resonance between what we truly are and what we think we are, end up less accurate than a convoluted funhouse mirror? I believe that we are all much greater than we appear to be in our generally accepted reflections, and that we are all much more deserving of acceptance, love, forgiveness, and joy than we have opened our hearts to receiving. We can always be more open to our beauty- as the works of Fine Art that we Are.
Even as I write these words I realize that my own ability to share this message with you is as much therapeutic for my process as it will hopefully be in your own. I know that in choosing to help others, in giving as freely as we can of ourselves, we are releasing blockages and receiving benefits far beyond the reaches of our wildest expectations. Love is exponential like that. Just as the Universe is expanding ever further into the reaches of it’s creation, so are we expanding deeper into the depths of our own uninhibited capacity for experience.
“We Teach What We Most Need to Learn” – Richard Bach
“Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are.”
― Joseph Campbell
The joy of surrender transcends time and space like all great works of art can. When you hear a fantastic piece of classical or contemporary music, or you see a piece of art by one of your favorite visual artists- you are transformed and transported simultaneously. You do not feel inadequate or unworthy of it’s affections for you, or undeserving of the love that it has shared with your unique perspective. You find yourself with no other option than surrender. Pure, blissful, nearly indescribable resonance with a part of your soul that feels like weeping, orgasm and elation- all in the same spark of a single holographic moment in the grand epic of universal exaltation. You find yourself believing in the moment so completely, and accepting it so intrinsically, that no matter how it may look, sound or feel to others… to you, it is the definition of magic. That is what I believe that truly loving and accepting yourself would feel like. The moments which I’ve glimpsed into the Truth of THAT reality, the picture ceases to be about the details any longer- and “the bigger picture” emerges.
The first time I ever saw a van Gogh in person, I wept. My eyes fill with tears even thinking of it now. His paintings were my definition of Art growing up. I wasn’t extremely educated about Art or Culture as a child, but I knew who van Gogh was… I knew about Starry Night, and the Sunflowers. I knew about the pain which his story conveyed. Perhaps it was this mental/emotional difficulty which created such a strong resonance for me as I journeyed through my own shadows in years that were to come. Vincent van Gogh will always be beautiful to me, and when I stand before the creation of his heart and soul, built up in staccato swoops of pure emotion, of Truth… I will always weep. I will always see the reflection of my own humanity in those fluid forms.
We are all creators at heart, and we are all beautiful angels with souls of gold and rainbows, just like we imagined as children. Yet over the years we have been told this was something embarrassing to believe in- naive, immature, childish. And yet we still believe. Secretly, inside our hearts, there is no man or woman who is not moved by the sight of a spectacular rainbow, or the beauty of a field of flowers, or in the belief that purity, innocence and magic are something worthy of dreaming of forever. Even if that part of us resolves never to let on to another living soul that it exists.
We all have an inner child, looking for comfort, forgiveness, friendship, and understanding. We need to hear from others that we are worthy and important to them, whether we are told too much or too little throughout our lives. We seek acceptance more than anything in the Universe, just as long as the love we seek comes from what we see as existing outside of ourselves.
For years I though psychology had it pretty figured out, and that a+b=c because a and b were the important part of the equation. What I now understand is that a and b were only present to give us c… c is the pathway to learning our grandest lessons, and a and b are infinitely variable.
We have come to this world, on this planet, at this time- to learn a series of lessons, and to learn to accept ourselves and others along the way. We come here to love, to laugh, to cry and to imagine. We come here to experience that which is exactly what we have chosen, because we are all experienced and well informed scientists, creating our own life experiments before our own 3 dimensional eyes.
I do not claim anything is true absolutely, and I believe that asking questions, thinking abstractly and experimenting are the keys to finding the answers to everything you truly desire to know. But I also believe that there are certain laws in the Universe which have been passed down for countless generations from cultures and mythologies all over the world, which if accepted, dramatically widen our field of perception.
There is no dogma or absolution necessary to take the world and science and religion and cross examine them for consistencies and fallacies. In fact, the more pieces of the puzzle that you are provided, the more complete version of the picture you will have to reference your position by.
If you build your world from only the pieces of the puzzle which you are handed, then the picture is intrinsically limited. It would be like trying to climb a mountain without knowing which end was up, or trying to find buried treasure with a map that was missing where x marked the spot. No one can tell you where your personal treasure lies… you have to figure that out for yourself.
I feel that life is a dedicated effort to finding the pieces of our own unique puzzle- our holographic portions of the “bigger picture”, the micro to the macro… our holy province within the spectrum of the Universal puzzle. I believe that we are the Artists creating our own reflections in each tiny yet infinitely vast piece of the whole we encounter. Each portion serving as a mirror in which to examine our own ideas of self… and to cast a light within- where our deepest hopes and dreams of flight remain.
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh
With Love and Honor- for each and every one of You,
I want to know if you belong,
or feel abandoned,
if you know despair or
can see it in others.
I want to know if
you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need to change you,
and if you can look back with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand …
Processing Emotion for the Collective – Stepping into our Strength by Acknowledging our Challenges.
My introduction into the realm of “all that is” was the exploration of my empathic ability. Upon reflection, it was evident that I had always displayed the traits most commonly associated with an empath, and it was important for me to learn to understand and cope with the gifts and abilities that this implied. It was a bittersweet relief to know that so many of my mental and emotional challenges were attributes of my energetic sensitivity to the world… knowing this gave me the strength to face the issue and empower myself. For years my sense of overwhelm had brought me to a place of doubting my own sanity and struggling to maintain my balance. The understanding of my empathic nature offered me something once elusive- answers! An explanation and a set of tools to navigate the complexities of my experiences.
Something that many empaths may be less aware of are the sensory and overstimulation aspects of our sensitivities. Chemicals, foods, light, sound, textures, sensations, etc. SENG (see links) has excellent resources for Giftedness and Sensitivity, which I suggest for anyone who falls into this category. With the combination of these qualities, the life of the sensitive individual can certainly be overwhelming… especially at times of collective unrest for the planet, or transitional times of cosmic proportion.
Over the past few weeks, and increasingly in the last few days, I have been receiving clear messages about the challenges empaths are currently facing as a result of the tension surrounding the Occupy movement, and the general state of metamorphosis transforming the world. Regardless of which side of which fence you are sitting on, this is a challenging time for all of us. I am reminded of how the acorn must feel as it begins its transformation into the mighty oak.
Many people are struggling to find a balance between their warrior natures and their deeply loving selves. I know that many of us also resonate with the personality traits associated with “Indigos” or “Starseeds”, and while I do not subscribe to any particular label or genre of being, I also identify with many of these traits myself. I believe that many of us ARE here to stand up for what we believe- to be of Love and Light, and by this standard we are warriors for that cause. We are here to change the status quo, to break down old paradigms by refusing to conform, and by setting an example of our inescapable authenticity and innate goodness. Anger is a part of this dynamic, and it is understandable that there should be frustration associated with perceived injustice in the world to which we were born. Many of us have experienced harsh in-acceptance from, and confusion in response to this world, feeling very much like aliens from another planet in a society that “just doesn’t get” the very basic qualities of our soul. The source of this tension is completely understandable, but it must be addressed and healed so that we can collectively move forward.
WE WERE BORN for this reason. To recognize that which we do not agree with, to see that which we consider unfathomable, and to hold the sacred space of that which is of a higher vibration. We have come here to process the lower energies for much more than our individual karmic learning process, and depending on the individual, we are processing for tens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of people – every time we address the emotion and energetic tension (fear) that arises in ourselves.
I believe that every spark of divinity is sentient and sacred, and that every conscious spark selects their own circumstances. The rock, the tree, the bird, the ape, the human… the star. I know that I chose to bring the gift of empathy into this life with me, and I know that it is one of my greatest strengths, and at times has been my biggest challenge. I spent most of my childhood overwhelmed by the energy and emotions of others; parents, peers, community, society, plants, animals… myself. I had no idea that I was picking up on and processing other “stuff” until sometime in my early 20′s- and this revelation changed the entire perspective through which I approached emotion.
I began by asking myself in moments of overwhelm, what was it I was feeling? Was it cosmic – the moon, a solar flare, planets in alignment? Was it something global – was the collective experiencing something significant? Was it local – a parent, friend, partner, co-worker… someone within the physical vicinity of myself… someone in another location? I began to learn blocking and processing techniques – how to create energetic barriers around myself whenever I would go into a place of emotional vulnerability, like a crowded store or event. I would do visualization techniques to imagine the energy grounding into the earth, to recharge my own field and cleanse whatever I had internalized. And I learned to manage my sensory issues by listening to what my physical body was telling me, and giving it the nurturing it needed when it asked for it. Silence. Darkness. Stillness. Proper nutrition, rest. More rest.
As I got older, and my process began to develop, I found that there were times when it was simply a matter of opening myself- or not, to certain people and situations. I also learned to detach and to block out certain stimuli all together, which has made the single biggest difference in my life, and I emphatically suggest it for any empath struggling to find balance. I stopped watching or reading the news, I refuse to participate in negative conversation, I look away from disturbing images, and I refuse to read negative language. And yes, this can mean plugging my ears and humming loudly as I walk away if someone insists upon perpetuating their negativity. I do not say things that I do not believe, and I do not tolerate this sort of conversation from others – I call them on their negative banter, by simply asking them if they really mean what they just said. Without exception, they always reply that they did not. I never use the H-word. I make a conscious effort to set an example by meaning what I say and choosing my words as responsibly as possible. I avoid exposing other people to my energy when I am “in it”… choosing rather to work through it before I reach out and spread it around.
A friend asked me how someone could remain informed and speak intelligently on certain subjects, if they avoided exposing themselves to negative energies. My response would be to say this: use your intuition. Trust yourself. Only YOU can discern where your calling lies. There are so many variables involved that it is impossible to categorize any of us into one group or another. We are here as individuated consciousness for a reason. This is how we process our own stuff, and this is how the needs and roles of the collective are handled… because there is someone who is the perfectly imperfect fit for every space. Personally, I do not find that certain subjects resonate with me, therefor I do not feel it is healthy or productive to expose myself to them at length. This does not mean that I am ignorant, quite the contrary, but what it does mean is that I selectively choose my sources of information, and I do not force myself to endure something that will cause me suffering.
Martyrdom is not a productive use of ones energy. If you are repeatedly exposing yourself to stimuli that you know is detrimental to your mental and emotional well being, you are perpetuating your own wallowing. There are many shadow workers who take on a portion of this path, but if the choices you are making to expose yourself to disturbing stimuli are affecting your physical health – then it is time to re-evaluate your approach. We are all a composite of light and darkness… just as the many beings of our earth can be found in the deepest, darkest depths, as well as in the brightest, constant light. So then do we exist in every nook and cranny of possibility. But we have also agreed to be responsible for ourselves, and in many cases, for the collective, and we cannot positively effect change while wallowing in despair. (I suppose it is possible, but its not a path that I would choose.) Don’t subject yourself to mental and emotional torture, or spend your precious energy “fighting” something which has already happened- something which you cannot change. Focus instead on participating in a proactive way.
This doesn’t mean that I can look at an injustice and validate it, but it does mean that I choose to focus my energy on something that I can do, something that I can change. What injustice can you prevent? What positivity can you nurture?
I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that everything is perfectly imperfect just as it IS. But I also believe that every person has a different role, and has come here for a different reason. I am part of a generation who has come to earth for the specific purpose of facilitating this major shift. I have been participating in this work here on planet earth since at least Ancient Egypt -approximately 10,500 years ago. (See the Edgar Cayce Connection).
Some of us are here to hold the sacred space of divine acceptance, operating from a space of complete non-judgement. Others are here to be system incompatible. We are here to ruffle feathers, to disagree with that which causes suffering, and to journey towards a more holistic dualism than we came in experiencing. The vast array of purpose within our human family is beyond definition… each of us holds a different space, walks a different path, and has a different role to play. And we all need to fulfill that role, as we agreed to do – to keep the Universe in balance and to help the earth and the collective conscious to reach the positive future they are headed towards. There are definitely some observable generational differences in where these tendencies lie, though this is far from absolute.
Life on earth is challenging and immensely rewarding. It is the spectrum of experience here that offers us our greatest opportunity for growth and Universal exploration. The greatest highs and positive experience are directly connected to our lowest and most challenging experiences. We know great joy because we have known great loss. Any person who studies ufo or extraterrestrial research knows that many beings are not reputed to display the depth of emotional capacity that we humans display – though they may be more highly developed psychically or mentally. From what I’ve gathered, this is why it is such a great honor to come here. This is a great place to learn, because it is such a challenging and unique place to be.
As empaths we have agreed to a phenomenal responsibility, and been given a very great honor. We have been given the gift of healing. Simply by being who we are, and by processing everything that comes through our awareness to the best of our ability, we are transmuting the energy of consciousness for the entire planet… for the Universe! We are giant antennae picking up transmissions from many dimensions and directions, translating and disseminating truth and understanding from the higher levels, and cleansing and healing fear from the lower levels. We are literally the anchors between worlds.
There are many great techniques for processing energy and emotion, regardless of where you find yourself in the spectrum of being that we inhabit. I find that music can be very helpful when I am “in it”, as can having raw conversations with the Universe. As long as you are respecting your own well being, and the well being of others, you are free and should express your emotion honestly. There is no reason to pretend to be something that you are not. It is ok to not be ok sometimes.
I recently had a very fulfilling meditation where I proceeded to yell at the Universe in my head. Then I tossed around in bed a bit, cried, and I felt better. Sometimes I write letters to the Universe. Sometimes I watch uplifting television programs, or comedies. Other times I start reading a new book, paint, write poetry (this was my mainstay of emotional processing for years), meditate, stretch or do yoga, cook something, go for a walk outside… the possibilities are endless. Though DEEP BREATHING is an important element of any and all approaches – guaranteed to bring you back down to terra firma. I also suggest dreamwork; dream analysis and keeping a daily dream journal.
I spent many years of my life being diagnosed with everything you can imagine, and convinced that there were innumerable things wrong with me. Realizing that I was experiencing the physical, mental and emotional manifestations of a cosmic sensitivity changed my life. I was able to claim pride in my experience, to take responsibility for my reactions, to courageously embrace my ‘symptoms’, and to begin the process of nurturing and healing all of the little parts of myself and my personality that needed attention.
When I am having a rough time, I say it. I let those around me know that I am struggling, or feeling challenged, and I tell them that I love them and apologize when I am reactive. It usually has to do with my picking up on the intensity of energy and stimuli around me, but I do not make excuses for my reactions or my behaviors… I embrace the physical processes I may be experiencing. I breathe, and if necessary I give myself a time out, or something to focus on – to engage in a proactive method of healing in that moment, without self deprecating, blaming or giving myself a hard time because I am where I am.
As SARK so eloquently puts in Succulent Wild Woman, sometimes I get really crabby. It’s empowering to say “I’m crabby!”
Don’t run away from your present, embrace it, take responsibility for it – FACE IT. Process it, and LET IT GO.
The fact is, this is where we ARE, individually and collectively, so that means it is time to step up to the plate and get to work. There are many great resources online for people looking for someplace to start or more information; articles on star seeds, indigos, light workers, rainbow warriors, ascension symptoms, empaths, emotional processing, sensory processing, anger management, etc.
(I have been helped recently by Eugene Gendlin’s Focussing techniques.)
You are not defined by your challenges, you are defined by your ability to rise above them. Be kind and patient with yourself and others, and give yourself room to breathe. Empower yourself and renew your faith in our collective potential. Your strength and perseverance are more appreciated than you know.
A Call to Awaken to Our Responsibility and Potential as Creators of the Future
Excerpt from Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin:
“There are three phases to the butterfly’s life cycle: the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa or chrysalis (in the cocoon), and the imago (a mature adult, a butterfly). The transformational chrysalis phase is one of the greatest mysteries of biology. No one knows exactly how the caterpillar changes it’s form in such a dramatic way. But this much is known: inside the caterpillar’s body are clusters of cells called, of all things, imaginal buds. Imaginal refers to the imago, the adult phase, but it also means “to imagine”, and psychologists use the word imago to mean an idealized image of a loved one, including the self. The imaginal buds contain the idealized image, the blueprint, for growing a butterfly. While the caterpillar goes about its earth-crawling business, these cells, deep inside, are imagining flight.
The caterpillar’s immune system believes these imaginal cells are foreign and tries to destroy them, not unlike the way the uninitiated human egos and their egocentric cultures often try to destroy the soul, nature, and the feminine. It’s as if the caterpillar doesn’t realize it’s own destiny is to become a butterfly. Likewise, the uninitiated ego doesn’t realize its destiny is to become an agent for the soul. (It’s no coincidence that the Greek word for butterfly means “soul.”) Once in the cocoon, the buds link up, the caterpillar’s immune system breaks down, and it’s body literally disintegrates. The buds then build a butterfly from the fluid contents of the cocoon.”
© Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft
My husband awoke today from a vivid dream which he shared with me. In the dream, he was in a large crowd of people and there were two characters in the center – one smaller man who wanted to fight, and another larger man who wanted peace. He awoke concerned and shaken, wondering if this was indicative of something playing out in waking reality.
This dream was very timely, as I had been working on a new article on the underlying tension surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement, and my feelings about the faction of people calling for the necessity of revolution (in the archaic sense of the word). I am very sensitive to emotive negative language, and to the words that people choose to send out into the Universe to represent their ideas and opinions. These thoughts are the seeds of our future, being dispersed into the ether to take root in the collective conscious and formation of our reality.
My interpretation of his dream, and the situation being formed out of the consciousness of the onlookers and participants of this movement, is this:
In the dream there were two people in the center, two main types of characters involved. The “Bigger Man”, who wanted Peace. And the “Smaller Man” who was insistent upon fighting. There was a large crowd of people watching these two men closely, just as the world sits on the edge of their seats wondering what will happen with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Are you rooting for the Smaller Man? Or are you sending your Love energy to the Bigger Man?
(Note: Upon further consideration, I believe the Bigger Man and the Smaller Man to be aspects of the Every Man, and the potential within all of us for choosing how we will participate in this movement, and in life. Every part of Everyone needs and deserves love. But where you choose to send your energy- what cause you choose to empower- makes an astronomical difference.)
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” – Richard Bach
Please remain aware that we are dealing with the very basic building blocks of Universal law here- with this situation, and with every other. Your thoughts are your “Vote” towards the future you wish to see, and your words are powerful indicators of where this Vote is being cast. Your words have influence over everyone they come into contact with, and the energy behind them is palpable.
You have two choices, in every moment- always. Fear? Or Love?
Please choose wisely.
We must recognize that we are all responsible for contributing to this Awakening. This is a collective rebirth of consciousness, there is no room or time for waiting on the sidelines. This is not a spectator “sport”. This is not practice. This is the time when all of the lessons we have learned over innumerable lifetimes help us to reach the pinnacle of our creative potential. We are on the precipice of the emergence of the true future we wish to see, but it is WE who will CREATE this future. You are already actively involved, so please participate consciously.
I ask that you each make a manifestation list – outlining your hopes and dreams for the future, and a statement of intentions about how YOU plan to contribute to getting us there.
If you are one of the people standing in the crowd waiting to see what happens between the Little Man and the Big Man, please make higher use of your time and will by choosing to actively participate in something you believe in. And if you are someone finding yourself speaking words that you don’t really want to hear, but believe to be true based on years of programming and bombardment from an illusory and distracting timeline that is ON ITS WAY OUT- please reconsider where your energy is going.
There is no violence necessary in the rebirth of a butterfly, and the caterpillar mustn’t be destroyed to actualize this process. Metamorphosis is a mysterious and magical process of one thing becoming another, it is alchemic in nature, and it is this very quality which defines the metamorphosis. It cannot exist without the magic and the mystery- and neither can any significant change that we hope to see within ourselves, the planet or the Universe.
It is we- who’s egos stand in the center between our potential and our fears- that represent the caterpillar’s biological reactions to the imaginal cells waiting to become the butterfly. But just like the caterpillar cannot resist their own becoming, neither can we resist the change which is upon us. We must realize that our perspectives are limited, and that the possibilities on the horizon are much greater than we can postulate from the vantage point of the caterpillar.
It is time to grow up, rise up, spread our wings, and fly.
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King Jr.
*My own precognitive dream guidance (from July) gave me a clear message about this movement, and what is required of us in our participation. Love : Unite Within Our Hearts – Precognitive Dream of Occupy Wall Street
By. Rachael Ehrlund
“… dissecting. analyzing. labeling. attempting to explain. attempting to control. to master. to understand…i want to experience something, and not immediately set off to put it into a neat folder somewhere in the vault of my perceptions… i have to stop trying to understand myself. and just be myself.” – Excerpt from Journaling 9/13/2006
of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god
Whenever we decide that we are not fulfilling our spiritual potential, we set a wall between ourselves and the reality of our divinity. This wall does not negate the Truth of our Divinity, but merely clouds our perception of its permanence. For there is no moment, incarnate or otherwise, when we as sparks of all that IS, could ever be separated from our divine natures, or find ourselves living anything less than a ‘spiritual’ life.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that our behaviors are unacceptable. That our reactions, or our difficulty ascertaining intuitive guidance is a lack of fulfillment of our capacity. But how could we ever, truly, be lacking presence in any portion of our capacity. Our capacity for divine expression is as ever expanding as the Multiverse itself. There is no version of God, no theory, no explanation, that reaches far enough into the nooks and crannies of possibility to be as ‘enough’ as we expect ourselves to be.
If we cannot even begin to define divinity itself in a succinct and complete way, leaving always room for improvement, building upon, expansion and exploration of… then how could we ever think to expect ourselves to have reached capacity- enough to give ourselves the credit we keep ever waiting over the horizon.
The truth is that in every moment, in every experience, we ARE fulfilling our capacity for divine self expression, because that is where we are when it happens. If we were able or meant to be anywhere other than that exact space, at that exact time, that is where we would be rather than where we ARE.
Imagine if the Universe were to think upon itself in the same judgmental manner that we treat ourselves. Thinking that one day, outside of the present, in the future, or perhaps in the past… then the Universe would reach its potential. Then it would be fully itself. But we read something like this and we think, “Outrageous. The Universe is complete in every moment. It is the Source from which we spring, it is the moment itself, how could it ever be anything other than complete?”
How then, could we?
A hologram exists as a collection of its entirety. There is no part that is not fulfilling its potential, because within that part lies the fullness of the whole. Divine expression is not limited to some imaginary point within a spectrum of possibility. It IS the spectrum of possibility. And it is our judgement that gives it rank along the way.
The rainbow does not look upon itself and think, “I like this color more than that color.” Or, “I could have shined brighter today.” A rainbow simply shows up, as it is, rain or shine, existing in a multitude of places… sometimes where you least expect it, and not always where you think it “should” be.
A rainbow in the parking lot is still a rainbow. It is still reaching into the depths of its potential to show up as fully itself as it can be in that moment. Just as much as the double rainbow on the mountain top finds itself reflecting the light cast upon it. There is no difference. The circumstance is entirely circumstantial. The heart of the rainbow knows that it is divine. There is nothing that can keep it from expressing its current portion of self-ness… even if the world around it calls it less-than.
We are NEVER less-than. We are always rainbows shining fully and gloriously in the moments that we find ourselves, and in every moment before and every moment after- we will shine as divinely as any other. The spark of divinity within each of us is incomparable. There is NOTHING that can cloud or diminish it.
Just as the Universe will continue its expansion through the cosmic tide of eternity, so shall our souls continue their journey through the dance that is Creation. We will forever be exactly where we are. The Universe will eternally be mirroring our very presence. And it is up to us to decide if when we gaze up at the stars, or look into a rainbow… do we see the reflection of our divine self, as perfect as the imperfection of the multidimensional tide we flow within. Or do we judge ourselves as other-than, and find a wall erected where our fullness resides.
“I give thanks that the walls of Jericho fall down and all lack, limitation and failure are wiped out of my consciousness.”- Florence Scovel Shinn
Please Read Aloud:
In this very moment, I am enough.
by. Rachael Ehrlund
Personal Insight Into My Experience as a Shaman
Excerpt from Fishers of Men by. Adam Elenbaas
“The traditional role of a shaman or medicine man is ambiguous because the position of the shaman is not a stable one. The shaman is a shapeshifter. Accordingly, shamanic talent lies in the ability to address multiple needs and navigate multiple dimensions of consciousness at the same time. A shaman will intuit archetypes and patterns within the worlds of the personal, societal, and the universal (perhaps all at once) and then relay his [or her] findings to others as a form of instruction, ritual, healing, work of art, song or ceremony.
In order to perform teachings and healings a shaman generally undergoes an initiation experience that breaks open his boundaries between these personal, societal and universal layers of existence. The history of shamanism demonstrates that most shamans suffer tragedy, loss, sickness, fear or near death experience as some point during their initiation, most often unexpectedly in childhood or young adulthood. The difference between a traditional shaman and a layperson is that a shaman can lead others safely through psychic crisis or has received the vision of a structured ritual to be used for healing.
In past times a shaman’s sense of self could be so foreign to a tribe or community that a separate teepee or village was erected solely for the medicine people. Shamans are sometimes aloof and hermetic figures who interact less with the tribe and more with solitude and nature. Given their psychic initiations, shamans do not need to identify themselves as just one type of being. As a result shamans can bring balance and harmony to the diversity of dimensions within their life-forms; humans, animals, ecosystems, concepts, pathologies, so forth. Through the initiation and training process, a shaman learns to manipulate the structures of energy/spirit to create new life. A shaman is a self-regenerator. A shaman makes things new. This is why shamans can heal people. Shamans lead people safely through psychic or spiritual death and into a new form of self-identity.”
Copyright © 2010 by Adam Elenbaas
I personally identify with the role of a Shaman more than most other spiritual descriptors. Adam’s perspective on shamanism accurately mirrors my own experience with navigating the divine.
On any given day I perform a myriad of magical roles. I am a poet, a painter, a wife, a mother, a dreamer, a visionary, a channeler of cosmic consciousness, a therapist, an herbalist, a pain in the you-know-what, and depending on the moment, any combination that webster can tangle. I am beyond the confines of societal norms and limited paradigms. I am firmly planted in a realm where there are no boxes. And if a box is thrown in my direction, I will turn it into an origami seagull and help it learn to fly. A Shaman knows that it is useless to pretend to be anything other than their true and higher selves, and that they cannot survive (and thrive) if they intend to fight for their normality.
As a child I remember driving down the road and looking out the car window at the people on the street, and experiencing moments of merging with their consciousness. I remember looking back from the street at myself in the vehicle passing by, and wondering what it was like to be that girl.
A Shaman is often referred to as an old soul by modern society, indicative of their unexpected wisdom and their uncanny ability to change the energy of a situation just by showing up. However this does not mean that life is any less challenging for the Shaman, on the contrary. As Adam mentions, most Shamans undergo intense struggle in their early life, which serves as training and initiation, equipping them with the necessary tools to perform their role in society. The role that they were born to fulfill.
Emotion has always been a challenging realm for me to navigate. Most people identify this phenomenon with being empathic, or sensitive, (or if they wound up in the psychiatric system like I did, heaven knows what other terms they’ve endured) but the space between sensory perception and physical reaction is far too visceral for me to label as either of those exclusively. And my physical body wasn’t particularly keen on most other stimuli either. I spent much of my childhood in doctor’s offices of one kind or another, on medications, and being diagnosed with more illness than you can shake a rain stick at. But even in the midst of these experiences, I felt that something had to be going on that all of these professionals were missing. I was filled with questions, and a budding interested in psychology and the human spirit. I devoted all of my energy to figuring out what was going on inside myself and others. Why am I sick? Am I crazy? Is there something wrong with me? What do I believe? Why does this person act one way, and that person act in a different way? Why doesn’t this world make more sense?
In my early twenties I had an epiphany. The Big One. My understanding came as a result of an a-typical “near death experience”. Suddenly all of the beliefs and structures that had been handed to me by the ruling paradigms and exhausted elders of my community shattered before my eyes, and light began to pierce through the muddled state of my confusion. The Shaman understands (in retrospect) that breakdown leads to breakthrough. And there I was, standing on the edge of one of the biggest self discoveries of my (current) life. I knew that all of my experiences up to that point were there to teach me specific lessons for a reason, and I was ready to move on to the next phase of possibility. Though at the time I had only the slightest idea what I was going to do with it.
I can also identify with Adam’s description of a Shaman as removed from society in a hermetic environment. As much as I feel intricately connected to other humans and their experience, I have found myself drawn to privacy, solace and inner reflection- necessary for my sense of stability and home. I spent much of my childhood relating more with animals and nature than with other people, and as an adult I interact remotely or intermittently (as needed) with the mainstream world, motivated by my sensory needs and intuitive guidance. This is not however, to say that I am anti-social. I would likely be described as the exact opposite, and one is usually shocked to find upon meeting me, that I would prefer anything other than constant conversation.
I have come to realize that a Shaman is not just a wise old medicine man in his native jungle somewhere, administering healing herbs to a fallen warrior or chanting down visions from heaven. A Shaman is a person; man, woman, child… who comes into this world with one purpose above all else. To help people, the earth and the cosmos in whatever way they need or can be helped. To serve the highest good. To offer wisdom and understanding from their own wealth of human and celestial experience, usually acquired through lifetimes of learning and trial, just like everybody else. But a self aware Shaman is intent on mastering his/her own creation, and a keeper of the web that weaves the Universe together.
It is well within the capabilities of every human being on earth to step into their own role of Personal Shaman. When you open yourself up to Divine Intervention, to being guided and receiving truth in every moment. When you release the need to quantify experience with worn out definitions and useless judgements. When you find yourself on the precipice of rebirth into a world much grander and more real than any outside force can define. This is the creation of a Shaman.
When you come face to face with your own potential; your potential for light, your potential for darkness, and your willingness to navigate the cosmic waters with courage and commitment to yourself, your fellow human, your planet and the Universe. When you find yourself driven by the sheer desire to heal and help heal the world. Then you are in good company.
We’ll leave the Shamanic light on for you.
By. Rachael Ehrlund