The Dark Side of the Shaman

Shamanism is not for the weak. Nor is it something one dabbles in. Shamanism is a spiritual path that one takes because they are called. And once called, and you accept, it’s not always a bright shining path. People see me now and they think “wow you have such great energy” ~ but it took awhile for me to get there. And a LOT of darkness and loss along the way.

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For a very long part of my life, I suffered from severe anxiety and deep depression.  I struggled to “fit in” ~ and not on a social level. On an every day I live level. I always liken it to feeling like I was a visitor on Earth, someone on the outside looking in. An observer. It wasnt until I was in my twenties and started meeting people of like mind that I started to feel “normal.”  In any case, meeting like-minded people, continuing my spiritual studies and finally finding Shamanism….I started to…..unravel.

From December 2011 to March 2014, my depression and anxiety got worse. In fact, I was having frequent panic attacks and my depression was so bad that I would spend days on end sleeping, crying and not eating. Sometimes not going to work for days. I found little joy in things, though I was able to put on a smile when I had to. I eventually ended up seeing a therapist and going on medication. IT was the ONLY way I could function. I am not, against medication when needed to HELP you see clearer. While digging my shoes deeper into the path of the Shaman, I began to loosen the strings and ties that had held me down for so long. It was a dark and scary. I had to acknowledge deep pain — emotional, spiritual, mental and physical. Barriers I set up a long time ago to protect myself. Pain I didn’t want to acknowledge. Past hurts. Present hurts. Things about myself that made me not a good person. It was like standing in front of a bunch of fun house mirrors and seeing myself warp into different people–yet remaining the same. So many layers of skin shed away. Things I thought I wanted and needed—I realized were a lie.

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As the weights slowly came off, the depression lifted. And while there was still a fog around me, I was able to see a bit clearer…..I was finding out WHO I was and WHAT I wanted….Because of that, I started losing people close to me….Phone calls stopped. Emails stopped. Chats stopped. People I considered family simply vanished from my life. I  was okay with that. They were there for whatever time they were meant to be there. I know that now, though at the time, it felt like my world was shattering. I got divorced and realized the things I needed in a relationship were not just things based purely on the idea of love. My perceptions of relationships, love and friendship changed.

I quite literally, became a whole new person.

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Shamanism is not an easy path. It’s a path that forces you to accommodate the LIGHT and THE DARK. I always explain to those interested in the Shamanic path…that you are like an ocean: you have your deep dark parts and your clear sparkling parts–the catch is being able to allow the two parts to flow together not apart–they are not separate. These two worlds, the dark and light, must be constantly fluid. Moving together.

As I began my career as a Shamanic Reiki Practitioner, more things came to “light” — more gifts opened up that once again forced me to look at myself. I had to learn how to deal with my new abilities and deepening intuition. I had to again, deal with the light and darkness that resides not only in the world around me, but in myself. Friends came and went, relationships changed…..But I went with the flow.

Being a Shaman is about becoming a master of the balance of light and dark.

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Learning To Trust Cosmic Change

We are all starseeds–we are literally–star dust. We have, in each of us, the massive expanse of The Universe. It’s there. Coiled somewhere around our heart chakra and solar plexus–and illuminating our third eye and crown–are all the stars, the moons, the suns, the planets. We just only need to be strong enough to let go and trust.

Last week, I recently found myself hanging on a thread. Walking away from corporate America — and the stability that I had had for nearly 13 years. I was done. I knew I was done. I just couldn’t continue waking up every day to work for CEO’s, CFO’s, and the big versus little people. I worked in health care, primarily internal medicine. To me, what I was experiencing, really wasnt about the patients–but the money the patients brought in. I was so tired of hearing about volume, and Press Ganey surveys and mystery shopper calls to critique you. Hearing that depending on how well our efforts were — we were not good enough. Not in the eyes of the big money. I was offered a “better position” that took nearly a month to forumlate because of red tape.  It was a constant barrage from the “people upstairs” to work and work and work and get shit on daily. Despite being offered something “better”–I knew it would be a change with something else to follow-to add more non-sensical stress and free floating anxiety. I reached my breaking point and I just couldn’t deal.

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So I quit. I literally said “I am done.” And then I walked out. I went home. Got some texts from my boss—and then sat down and realized–I could not go back. I physically and mentally could not go. Corporate jobs, despite whether they mean well or not, are not for me. I wanted a job where I could care for patients without the puppetry of the big boys and girls upstairs. And I was scared shitless. No job. No insurance. No idea of what was to come. I had anxiety so bad. What the hell did I just do? How was I going to pay my bills? How long was it going to take me to find a new job? The first three days I cried and had non stop panic attacks. Then, I remembered: I CREATE my REALITY. This was certainly not the worse thing that could have happened…..And I have the power to bring what I need.

I just needed to trust.

During a meditation, I kept repeating “Unto the Universe, I release all things.” An affirmation. Something EVERYONE needs and needs daily. I repeated it over and over and over again, until I *believed* it was so. That the Universe would take away my anxiety and do exactly what it had planned for me. Whatever that was. And then, I got a phone call regarding a job that I wanted that would fit my needs and allow me to serve a higher purpose. It was an offer, which I accepted. Although it had only been a week, I learned a valuable lesson. While saying “trust the Universe” is easy–it’s not easy to believe. I had to remind myself to believe it. To know it was truth.

Now when I meditate, I  repeat my mantra, and add “I cleanse my subconscious.” It’s there, in the subconscious that we have negative self talk, doubts, anxiety, fear. It’s there where the disbelief and non-trust form.  We do, really, have everything we need inside us. I think of it like this: You are just a little shining star that’s landed here on Earth, and your home (The Universe) is just waiting for the phone call.

You really are not alone. The Universe is right there, inside you, around you, next  to you. Holding you up and guiding you along.  You just need to trust the cosmic changes.

Stop Standing, Start Walking

Its not always easy to walk away from things. But when you reach a point–what I call “the saturation point”–its time. I always believe that a persons self worth is far more important than money or position. Integrity is worth more value that any dollar bill you receive. Its why I have a hard time with hypocrisy. People are either in or out–but cant be both. You cant change your  position on an idea to suit whatever team you decide to play on that day. It doesnt work that way.

I read a quote which inspired this post, “to know where you stand with someone, you need to start walking away.” I started walking. The dust on my shoes just bits of my past ending as dust. I move forward.

Starting the walk is scarey. Mostly because of the unknown. I have no idea where the road is taking me. I have no idea where I am going. Its the unknown that scares me.Not the actual thought of progression.

I have new mantra whenever I start to feel scared, “The Universe will provide for me.” I know it will. I always remind myself that the earth will still turn and days will still come and go. And I will be a part of them. Of course I am scared. Of course I am afraid. But I also know, everything will work itself out somehow.

I keep my integrity. Its what I value the most. I stay honest and true. I dont waive side to side to fit the battle.

What my point is in all of this, is to remember, that when your heart and soul are saying “enough” you need to listen to it. Its time to move forward. Just keep your values.

Wrap Yourself in Coils: You Are NOT A Healer

I have been guilty of it myself. I have let it slip in the heat of the moment. “I am a healer.”

 Well, no…I am not actually a healer—and neither is anyone else who uses that phrase. We are conduits for healing energy. Like a giant Tesla coil, we allow the forces (Universal Energy, God Energy whatever you want to call it) to flow through us for the benefits of healing. It’s a gift from The Universe. It was The Universe (or Creator if you will) that is allowing you to be the instrument of healing. Gifts are given and can easily be taken away.

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Maybe it’s my years of practicing Earth based magick and religions. Years of working with various Deities in various forms. Truth is, what is given can be taken away. If The Universe feels you are abusing that what is granted-it can just as easily be abstracted from you.

Sadly, I have met a lot of conduits of healing energy who taught the “I am a healer” phrase—who use it as a means of projecting some form of supremacy over someone else. You are not a healer. You are merely a channel—nothing more.