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Transforming Diminishing Energies

Over the past few years, I have used a visualization to help me draw back the harmful energies that I have sent to others through my thoughts, words, deeds, perceptions and inactions. It is a process that allows me to acknowledge the emotions and reactions I have felt, and to reclaim them. It is a conscious choice to not impose them on others and to not add their diminishing and harmful energies to the human collective consciousness.

I use this practice on a regular basis as a way of cleaning up my impact on the human family. Sometimes I focus on one person and other times I consider a certain diminishing judgement as the focus. For example, I once asked to go back through my life to reclaim all the energy of pity or feeling sorry for others. Understanding that pity can be an incredibly heavy energy to carry when you are experiencing a major challenge in life, I didn’t want others carrying it any more. Instead, I invited it to return from the countless people and situations that I had sent it to over the years.

It is central to this practice to trust in the love, light and transforming power of the Sacred. I am not asking you to call back all of the anger, resentment, blame… and then try to find a way to transform it through your own mental or spiritual strength. This is not an exercise in self-punishment. Nor is it a time to make yourself wrong for the ways you naturally reacted to difficult situations throughout your life. The focus is freeing others from anything you have added to their lives that makes it more difficult for them to thrive and live the fulness of their inner power and beauty.


The work of transforming the energy as it returns is done by the Sacred Source. Before it enters your being, you ask that it be transformed back into love, light, and creativity. As it passes through you and back to the Earth it carries only blessing and nurture. It is energy that is available again for creativity, healing, transformation and life.


I hope this video offers a different way of facing all of the negative energy filling our collective experience of life in these days of transition. You can use this practice to call back the energies that you have sent out, or to transform the negativity that bombards you each day through media and the reactions of friends and family.


I truly wish you peace and joy along your path.
Nancy

Healing of Word Bullets

I didn’t feel the aimed word hit,
and go in like a soft bullet.
I didn’t feel the smashed flesh closing over it
like water over a thrown stone.
From Louise Penny’s “The Cruelest Month”

We can all relate to this image. We know the feeling of the judging look; of the bemused smile as though what we just said makes no sense, “but what can you expect.” We know the words of criticism that were meant to harm rather than encourage, to make us stop rather than grow. Some of them were misinterpretations and misunderstanding. When we were children, it was easy to think that every emotional reaction and every angry word were our fault. We believed that something we said, thought or did created these frightening reactions in people we trusted and looked to for truth.

Exterior messages are added. We are told that we are not very athletic; not good at math; not artistic or mechanical. There are spoken questions about our choice of career or hobby; our choice of a life companion or home. These “word bullets” can also come as the quizzical look when we are speaking of something dear to our heart, or the redirecting of a conversation away from something we value.

As we internalize them, “word bullets” become the messages that our conditioned minds use to limit and control us. They become the obstacles that distort incoming acceptance and praise into judgment and criticism. We tease about a compliment bouncing off our forehead to hit the far wall, but we also know the truth of that experience.

Like any foreign object, that does not belong within our being, there is a second innate response to these invading thought forms. We form a protective shield around them, encapsulating them and forming a kind of scar tissue. When deep damage is done, the scar tissue can be new rules we create about how we will live our life to avoid experiencing this pain again. These are sometime called intrusions, because they intrude on the natural flow of our life. They make our lives smaller and limit the flow of love and life through our being.

HEALING FROM WORD BULLET AND INTRUSIONS

Wanting to be free of these limitations, I asked for a journey to heal the word bullets in my own life. In a ceremony, I had written out a few of the “word bullets,” that have distracted me from living my life fully. While it is tempting to ask for all of them to be removed, it is much more kind and healing to release them a few at a time as they come to mind. This allows me to be completely open to the healing work without it becoming overwhelming or triggering a healing crisis.

I met with my healing GrandMother there at the circle of wise elder women. There were many other women in this healing ceremony and a circle of men were experiencing the same ritual, not far away.

I was able, without reciting all of them, to relay all the bullets and intrusions I had written down for this ceremony. As I spoke, a circle of women moved around me. First there was one woman who brought a sharp shard of bone and thrust it into my solar plexus. She extracted a “bullet” with the gore that had surrounded it to keep it from killing my body. Soon, there were a number of women working all over my body, removing similar pellets and allowing the ooze to drain from countless wounds.

I was told that the same was being done for many men and women who were seeking this kind of healing.

It felt like it took a while, and I was told that it was time to allow the love and light to now wash in and through these old wounds. It is a process. First, the “word bullets” are hollowed out and the wound cleansed with healing light. This felt like having great boulders removed and the flow of clear, soothing, pure water move through all the now open areas in my physical body – carrying light and sparkle and effervescence. I was told that the healing is complete, and yet the full renewal of the creative and life energy flow will be something I will discover over time. Once these deep places within have been restored to balance, it is possible for our original wholeness to be restored. Regeneration of what had been lost will take some time, but the process has begun.

FORGIVENESS AS PART OF HEALING:
Forgiveness is essential to this process as a means of shifting our perception of the self from that of victim, to that of a whole and capable individual. To release the traumatic impact of word bullets and intrusions is to let go of all that still ties our life to the experience of being wounded. Lack of forgiveness is a tether to the one whose actions caused us harm, so that instead of being free to leave them behind, they continue to be the determining factor in the quality of our life.

At times, we hold onto the wounds and all of the physical repercussions they bring to our life, as though our failure to thrive will somehow punish the one who we hold responsible. Refusing to forgive another is like drinking poison and expecting it to make another ill. At some point in our evolution, we need to stop drinking the poison and cut the cord of holding someone else responsible for the unfolding of our life. Until we do, it is very difficult to truly live from the reality of our own wholeness, health and creative energy for life.

When the source of the wound and its encapsulating gore has been removed, I am not left to “just get over it.” Instead, there in the feeling of having love and light poured over and through my whole being, like a balm. There is no emptiness left where there used to be pain. Instead, in this timeless reality, my original being can be restored as though the wound had not occurred. My ability to allow light and love to flow freely through me is restored.

It is a process and not, at least for me, an instantaneous transformation. As I repeat this ritual, with more and more challenging wounds from my life, I find that some take longer than others to heal. The process seems to unfold outside my awareness and I notice it more in hindsight. My mind will go back to that particular sore spot of memory and can not find the old reaction. It no longer is an automatic hook for fear, anger, self-doubt, or pain. The experience remains, but the wound and the scar both seem to have faded away.

I share these images because this kind of healing is available to anyone at any time, and there are many ways to open ourselves to it. If Shamanic Journey work interests you I hope you will find the following resources helpful.

Resources:

Sandra Ingerman has taught courses on Shamanism for those in the western culture for over 40 years. She has several books on shamanic journey and provides a list of shamanic practitioners who she has trained

Sounds True has provided a number of video workshops and courses on shamanic practice through the years. They are one of my favorite organizations working with spiritual development. You can search their site by topic or through their on-line learning.

 

We Are Grieving Together

In the past week, I have been using the lens of “The Grief Process” when looking at the current chaos in our nation and around the world. I find an understanding of grief gives a vantage point that adds self-understanding, compassion and hope to my experience.

As I acknowledge my own feelings of loss, denial, bargaining, anger, and depression I can stop looking outside of myself for reasons why I am off balance. I can pull back from looking for someone to blame or someone to come in and put life back to how it has “always been.”

I find compassion in seeing that we are all experience multiple losses. There have been over 150,000 deaths in this country which are being mourned by family members, friends and co-workers. There are individuals and communities that have lost their economic base and financial ability to meet basic human needs. Still others have watched long years of preparation hit the wall of there being no way of continuing forward along the old course to their aspirations and dreams. We are going through this grief process together. Each of us has our own unique mixture of losses, but we are all riding the waves as individuals and cultures.

I find hope, because I know grieving is a process that leads to healing. It is messy, unreasonable, uncontrollable and unpredictable. Even so, history shows us how the human family has moved through grief in all its forms and intensities. All of us will know grief sometime in our lives. It is part of our common human experience.

We are all in this process together. Each one of us is experiencing loss in a unique way because of our cultural, economic, psychological, spiritual and physical setting. Not to mention our specific gifts, strengths and outlook on life. Every day, some people are raging with frustration and others have pulled the covers back over their head not able to get out of bed. Some are busy trying to get other people to behave in a more controlled and logical manner, and others are banging off the walls not knowing which direction to turn to find solid ground. Multiply the emotional turmoil of one grieving person by millions and is it any wonder that we are crashing into one another and finding it hard to find balance.

We will make it through the grief. As individuals and cultures we will begin discovering the small steps that allow us to walk forward into a new was of living. It will not be smooth or quick, but it is inevitable. In the meantime, we are all sharing this most human experience of grief. We are all grieving together.

 

The Speed of Change and Healing

Change and healing happen at the speed at which we are willing to see the truth, accept the truth, and find the courage to live that truth, regardless of the complexities it presents. Caroline Myss spoke about this concept in one of her workshop “Entering the Castle,” from 2009, and it resonates with me.

As we long for healing from CoVid 19, one of the challenges in this country is that there is so much Truth that still needs to be acknowledged and accepted. We will not begin to heal until we stop viewing other people as enemies to our way of life. One place to begin is to stop calling other people by names that are meant to divide us.

I am also choosing to look within to see the truth of how my own thoughts and perspectives add to the fear and alienation I see reflected in our culture. I am working of becoming one who tells the truth; to myself, about myself, and to other people. Living with integrity requires having the courage to call my perspectives into question. If I am to live from the belief that all human beings are equal and worthy of respect and honor, I have to release all that makes me feel different from and superior to other people. Each of us is unique and worthy of being seen as a individual, rather than being classified and dismissed. I am a work in progress, and the process is worth the effort.

Blessings and Peace to you all.

 

Qi Gong as Moving Prayer

My daily physical practice has also become a spiritual practice for me. Using Lee Holden’s Qi Gong course on Flow, I begin with stretches and then add prayer as I do what he calls “slow flowing movements.” In the video I share the mini-prayers or mantras I use with each of these movements:

 

Soaring Crane:
I open myself to the love and light of the Cosmos.
I offer myself back in service to the Web of Life.
I receive the love and honor of the human family.
I give back to the human family, love and respect.

Great Bear Swimming:
Gathering the healing, light, and creativity of the Cosmos.
Offering it to the whole human family.
It fills my own being as I offer it on to all humankind.

This is one way I embody being a vessel through which love and light flow to all beings.

Returning to Heart:
Drawing in the wisdom and the energy of Cosmos,
It scatters throughout the Web of Life.
Gathering the sacred light of the Universe,
I feel it raining down on all life, throughout time and space.

Single Whip:
All living beings love Mother Earth.
Mother Earth blesses all living beings.

My soul draws me into union with the Divine.
The Divine guides all aspects of my life.

Gathering your energy back to yourself:
Aligning the sacred nature of all of life with your own inner integrity.
Coming into the present moment.

Movement is prayer. Prayer is movement. We all breath together.

Getting Ready for School

We do not know how all of the factors will come together for children and teachers returning to school this year. I do not want to try to convince anyone of the relative safety or risk of children being in the classroom, since every setting is unique.

Being faithful to my own inner guidance that we are not ready for children to be back in the classroom, I turn to two responses. First, the spiritual practice of being light, healing and nurture to the whole human family to bring us all to a more whole way of life. Second, to share a few ideas for outdoor and other settings for teaching.

 

Beacons Through Time and Space

starryskyOver the past few weeks, I have been waking up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. For me this waking comes from my spiritual ancestors inviting me to have time with the stars. This morning, it was 4:30 and I was just in time for the last bright planets in the dawning light.

Stars are beacons through time and space, showing us a process happening millions of years ago, so far away that the numbers boggle the mind. They have been shining on this planet all of Earth’s lifetime, linking us in their light with all living beings, everywhere.

I have had several shamanic journeys that included messages about the stars. One of my favorites was to a circle of people, sitting under the broad night sky in early aboriginal times in what is now Australia. One on my helping spirits took me there to show me where stars come from. As I watched, each individual began with a gesture near their heart that brought out a thread of golden light. They each worked this glistening substance in their hands, rolling it into a ball. Next, they used the same gesture at their brow to draw a strand of light from their mind. This was wrapped around the ball to coat it. Finally, they drew light from the area of their navel, and as they stirred it at the surface of the ball, it became a swirling light within it. Finally, when all had finished, they held the ball of light in their hands for another moment, and then gently tossed it into the sky, where it remained as a new star.

I was told that the light used did not come from the individual, but through them. The light of the infinite love of the Universe from the heart; the light of ancient wisdom and insight from the mind; and the light of connection to deep integrity and original purpose from the navel are brought together in each star. They are placed in the sky to offer illumination, inspiration and guidance for all future generations.

The other day, during a drumming circle ceremony, I received another star focused journey. I had been feeling overwhelmed by all of the teaching, information, and spiritual practices from various traditions which have filled my last couple of months. In the journey, I was again led out under a star-filled sky and invited to look up. I was told to remember that each of the billions of stars holds light, love, wisdom and purpose as gifts to humankind. Right now, we need as many of these gifts as we can receive to help us navigate the current transformation of our way of life. “It is okay to let your mind boggle,” my guide assured me. “What you need to take in will resonate within your soul. Let everything wash over you and then turn inward to see what is yours to live from your heart.”

In that spirit, I write these words and share these images. These are overwhelming times, but we are not alone. The love and light from throughout time and space are here to guide us safely as we find our way ahead, one step at a time.

Canyon Land Ceremony

Canyon at SunsetI would like, in these days of turmoil, to offer images and ceremonies that I have received through my shamanic journey practice. Shamanic journey is an ancient way of leaving the ordinary, problem-solving mind behind and finding the deeper wisdom of the timeless non-ordinary realm. I am often surprised by the beauty, love and grace of what I experience. I hope that what I share gives you encouragement along your path.

This first ceremony came as an invitation to release what I felt needed to be forgiven in my life. In these days, I am glad to be able to return to this place to find courage to face my fears, suffering, shame and regret at my complicity in the perpetuation of prejudice and inequality within the human family.

My notes from Canyon Lands of Healing:

This journey took me to a glorious canyon of red rock, etched and textured to catch the sun. We were at the base of the canyon and there was a gathering of indigenous people around a bonfire..

There were drummers and dancers, but my focus was drawn by a woman elder, who fixed me with her eyes and invited me to a smaller circle – a mixture of people of all races. She was my partner, while there were pairings of each seeker with Elders of the People. She told me that this ceremony is available to anyone at any time. All seekers are welcome and those who have held this space and performed this ritual for eons, work beyond all time and space.

The purpose of the ceremony was to allow me to pour out my sense of shame and embarrassment – to ask for forgiveness for my failures in life. This was actually done very quickly and non-verbally. I just looked in her eyes, and she could see all that I was releasing. It was not the snapshots of memory, but the feeling states that go with them that were the outpouring. Her eyes remained calm, accepting, understanding. She did not interrupt, it was purely my process of revealing the pains of my soul to her. She was there to listen to it all – to let me pour out my whole story of myself and of my need for forgiveness. I sensed that she would have remained there with me for lifetimes if I had needed her to.

When I was at last finished – all shame, humiliation, penitence, sense of abject failure having been revealed, she invited me to sit in the circle with the other seekers who had had this same experience with their own listening Elder of the People.

Several figures came forward carrying empty wooden bowls their hands. One of them came to me and held the bowl near my heart. I watched as what I had released poured into the bowl as a thick, rich rust colored liquid. At first I thought it was blood, but I was assured that it was just the color of my sorrow/shame. As it poured from me it became a paint or pigment. The other seekers had similar experiences, with each one’s heart releasing a different colored essence: a variety of the red, rust, sienna, orange, gold and tan that are familiar in canyon lands.

Each of these figures then took their bowl of pigment, and flew to the walls of the canyon, high above our circle and began painting minute details that added to the richness and texture of the canyon walls.

We were told that what we released with shame, would add to the glorious beauty of sunrises and canyon walls and wildflowers in the ordinary world, as it did here. Our released energy was transformed back to its original creative state to become a rich gift to the worlds above and below.

Whenever I imagine myself back in that place, my wonderful Elder of the People is there to me. I look into her eyes and know that I can not lie to her, and that I will hear the truth in whatever I tell her. And then the bowls appear and the pigment emerges and the painters use my dross as luminescent paint to add another subtle touch of vibrancy to the canyon. As I face the truth of my own heart, I add beauty to the world.

This can be a journey of imagination for you any time you are ready. I wish you a blessed experience of truth and healing.

Reconnecting

IMG_6230For a couple of months now, I have been in an intake mode in my life. I have listened to two or three hours of inspirational material each day, including the Avalokiteśvara chant from Plum Village and lectures by Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sandra Ingerman and Lee Holden.

Jean, Marianne and Caroline have emerged in my life since January. They share a spirituality and perspective of us all being “One living breathing spiritual, biological and environmental organism.” Their lectures give me new words and images to use as the current shift in human consciousness makes some of my old ones wobble.

Qi Gong has taken on new depth for both Bill and I. Its meditative nature is emerging as I find the movements expressing the patterns of nature and the energy which unites all living beings. Images of the life energy and the love of the universe flowing into Mother Earth and from Mother Earth outward to nurture the web of life, are now part of my movement practice.

I have been doing daily drumming and journey practice. (I always hate to say that I do something daily, because once I release this to the world, there is usually a counter pull and I stop doing that particular thing for a while. You probably know that experience.) Sometimes it focuses on “Welcome and Tender Release,” which I wrote about in April. Other times, I add my drumming and singing to the vibration of all who are doing ceremonies for healing and renewal. I have begun doing a brief shamanic journey each morning before getting out of bed, to seek guidance for the day. This morning the message was, “Look with a long view.” And “It is time to go back to writing.”

From the outside, these weeks of “stay at home” look much the same as our life before. We had been hiking with a group once a week, taking occasional excursions to Medford or Klamath Falls, and making more frequent trips to “pick up a few things” at the store. I remember in January not being sure how I would keep a commitment to use the car only 5 days a week to ease our carbon footprint. Now, I go out to the grocery store once every 10 days, and make one other trip out each week to walk/hike and do errands.

On the inside, this time hit me at a soul level. In the early days of the crisis, I was nearly exuberant with the possibilities offered by the whole world being forced to pause and breathe.  Bill decided to create a “retreat in place” until the end of the year to aid him in turning his focus from the outside world to his inward journey. Our practices are different, but we have the same goal: to allow the spiritual nature of life to sink from head and heart, into bones and blood. My life has been leading to this moment, but not in terms of some special outward gift I could offer to others. Instead, my life-long spiritual journey has led to a new call to trust the mysterious and unexplainable connections of Web of Life and Web of Light.

I can not define that for you because I am only starting to discover it myself. I sense that it reveals itself to everyone in terms and images with meaning for each one, so there is no need for me to even try to describe the indescribable. For me it is  “Earth-centered living,” rather than ego-centered living. It calls me to remember my place within the flow of the love of the universe, and rejoicing in being a single cell in this amazing organism which breathes together throughout time and space.

I cannot promise to write often. I cannot promise that I won’t post something every day. I just do not know. That may be part of the shift. I feel less in charge of planning the course ahead and more at ease allowing this whole glorious being of Earth to heal me of my separateness and teach me the ways of love.

I would love to hear how your journey has been unfolding in these unusual times. Please use the contact link for your comments and sharing.