I imported my old blog posts into my website, and they all got posted to Facebook! I figured–no accidents, so I took another look. If i do say so myself, there is some good stuff here. Maybe I should listen to myself more often!!
Last night I attended a pool party and BBQ for “grads” of a Native American shamanic energy healing workshop series I attended earlier in the year. Before we’re allowed to eat and play, we begin the evening with a review of one aspect of what we learned, taking the teaching deeper and learning new ways to apply it in our lives. So, the evening is a nice combination of learning, remembering, reunion with close friends, meeting new people, and then moving on to food and fun.
These Shamanic energy healing techniques and teachings are ancient, even thousands of years old and have been passed on through generations of medicine men and women. I feel very privileged to be learning them, incorporating them into my daily life, and seeing how they correlate with the other spiritual paths I’ve been studying and practicing.
As we gathered in the home of one of the instructors, seated ourselves on cushions around the room, we began as always by passing the bowl of smudge to clear the energy and our auras. I love the smudge, the fragrant smoke that is mostly white sage. I noticed how much it’s like the incense in the Catholic Church, with the addition of some different herbs. But the process and purpose are the same. We cleanse ourselves and allow our prayers and our intentions to be purified and holy, to float with the smoke into the heavens.
Then we pass the talking stick. I love the talking stick too. Every household should have one, if you ask me. When you hold it, you automatically step into the place of knowing that you are intending to speak your heart’s truth, whatever that is. Somehow just holding on to that stick gives the courage to say the hard things. And the “rules” of the stick are that you can speak safely, and the other party has to listen with their heart and not interrupt. So, we began our evening with the instruction to share something about ourselves that people don’t know, and that it was to be a fairly deep something. We were told to filter through layers of ideas of what to say until we came to something that made us feel vulnerable to share.
As the stick went around the room, we heard beautiful, sincere, confessions, really, of vulnerability and fear and then how these feelings transmuted into goals, hopes, aspirations, accomplishments, learning and growth. I only knew about half the people in the room, so it was a beautiful thing to listen to these men and women speaking so freely from the depths of their souls. And we learned from each other by listening. We learned how much alike we are, how we all struggle with so many of the same issues. And we laughed and celebrated and encouraged each others’ goals and determination in moving forward.
When it was my turn, I spoke about how I’ve played it so safe. Like so many others, I lived according to what I thought people expected of me, deciding what behavior seemed appropriate, and acting accordingly. Of course, I have no idea what people expected, only what I came up with in my own mind. Not a formula for authenticity, boldness and daring by any means.
For a number of years now, my friends have been telling me I have gifts to share, that I’m a teacher and an inspiration and that it is time for me to show that side of myself. I shared with the group last night how the workshops I attended had challenged me, bringing up fear of — well, of what? Being exposed as a sham? Of acting inappropriately? Of looking foolish? I don’t know, all of that I guess.
I’m happy to say that through these workshops and teachings, I burned through all that. I seemed to have a fear of being seen and maybe falling short, so I played it safe and nice. Now I know that my soul wants to show up and play bigger and harder.
So, the question then is—the one that’s afraid—is that the True Self? The Highest Soul? Or is it the ego trying to keep things the way they’ve always been. I think the answer is obvious. So, you could say, I’ve come out. I’ve determined to allow the Light of this Soul to be seen. After all, Whose are the gifts and talents? And if they are of the Spirit, it is Spirit shining through, not this little vulnerable ego, which really is nothing more than a pattern in the brain, not even real.
Today in church our minister, Mark, told a story about finding himself called to stand and speak before and audience, back when he was still in his barely awakened hippie stage. He recounted how a wise elderly woman sitting next to him reminded him that it wouldn’t be him speaking, but Spirit, and the best thing to do is just relax and surrender and let Spirit show up the way it wants to.
That’s such profound truth. If we could live our lives that way, just letting Spirit show up in us, through us, and as us, we would watch in delight as Life unfolds in magical, mysterious, miraculous ways, far beyond anything we could imagine. I actually do that a lot, and it is amazing and awe inspiring. Plus, a lot more fun than I could come up with! Through grace, I continue to discover more areas of life to surrender to Spirit, areas where I’m still contracted, fearful, cautious. Grace continues to show me when I need to challenge the voice that says you shouldn’t, or you can’t, or you’d better play it safe and dull.
So, one of my really secret, powerful spiritual tools is my earrings. I’m now called to let Spirit shine big through me, so I started with my earrings. (Spirit doesn’t expect us to get up one day and walk on water, you know) I used to wear little, conservative, safe, inoffensive earrings. Now I pretty much wear the biggest ones I can find. They remind me to show up and shine.