It seems like most people I talk to these days are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and burned out. We live in a time where it feels like time is speeding up, yet our lives keep getting fuller.
I am challenged with this same phenomenon and keep looking for solutions. I keep journeying and reflecting on whether this is all my creation that I must change, or if the time we live in calls on me to be a “worker bee”.
The place that I do not want to get to is feeling like the spiritual practices and teachings I am sharing have become just more work for me. As life becomes busier even the good things that we do for ourselves can seem like work. This is a trap none of us want to fall into.
In looking at this issue I reflected on my summer. I had written in the Transmutation News how bad the summer draught was and is in Santa Fe. But what I was not focusing on was some of the gifts the draught has brought into my life.
When I moved into my house eight years ago there was a garden with six fruit trees. The draught was just beginning. I had made a decision not to plant anything new and just try to the best of my ability to keep what was there surviving.
When the draught got bad I started putting up collection tanks for rain. One of the tanks stores hundreds of gallons of water.
This summer when the temperatures were up to 100 degrees with no rain in sight, I knew I had to augment the water the trees and garden where getting from the drip system.
Every morning the first thing I did was haul buckets of water I had been collecting to the fruit trees. I started noticing after a few weeks of doing this that, as I would come to each tree the leaves would begin to move as if a wind was blowing. The air would be still and none of the leaves on the other trees would be moving. Each tree seemed to be responding to me as I would come to bring it water.
This continued throughout the summer and the deepening connection with the trees and plants in my garden brought me great joy.
The reason I am sharing this story with you is that as we perform our spiritual practices and also connect more with nature we are participating in a dance with the spirit that lives in all things. This dance feeds our souls on all levels and reminds us of the beauty of life.
When we journey and when we perform ceremonies we are dancing with the spirits. This is a joyful dance. When we go out and commune with nature this is also a joyful dance. It taps into a cellular memory of why we came into bodies to be on this planet.
With all that is going on in the world today I don’t know how many of us remember the dance part of our connection with the spirit world. I understand that many of us use shamanism and other spiritual methods to communicate with the spirits to ask for help with problems. And I know that this is a wonderful way to work with personal and global issues.
I want to encourage you to also use you spiritual practices to bring joy into your life. We know how much sacred play and humor can heal.
This month as you continue your journeys, meditations and ceremonies let’s focus on the dance with the spirits and the spirit of water. As we keep looking at healing our waters inside and outside as well as the rest of our environment, let’s look at how sacred play and loving communication can be part of that healing. As we become loving and happy partners with the elements instead of “working to fix” them I do believe that we will see positive results.
As you continue to connect spiritually with the bodies of water near you as we have done in September and October (look at the last two Transmutation News for more info) let’s add the element of play and humor into our practices. Notice how it takes some of the heaviness off the environmental problems. We can communicate on a deeper level with nature when we are not focused on fixing a problem.
Recently I had a dream where I kept on hearing how beautiful life is. I heard the message over and over again and also felt this in my body. The last message of the dream was how people have forgotten this and how we have to teach people step by step how to get back into the beauty of life.
For me bringing play into our spiritual practices is one way of doing this.
November 8 is the full moon. Let’s designate this day as “a play day” with the spirit that lives in all things. Set your intention in the morning and ask that you be shown omens throughout the day that will help you see how the spirits are responding. In working with omens you must become very observant to what nature shows you. For example, you might notice a change in behavior of the animals, birds, and other life around you. You might find that you meet people whose words hold a different kind of meaning for you that tie into your intention for the day. The wind might change as you have different thoughts and feelings.
As thousands of us around the world set our intention to engage fully with the spirits of nature we will activate a new kind of relationship with the living beings we share this earth with.
This will inspire you to keep up your spiritual practices from a place of joy instead of seeing them as one more thing you have to find time for in your life.
I was visiting with a descendant during one of my journeys. As I have written I have found journeying to the descendants a valuable way of learning how to evolve my spiritual work.
During this journey I met with one descendant verses the community I usually meet with. I asked her if she had any advice for me as she watched me teach.
She reminded me that the transfiguration process I have been teaching must become more of a body process and less of a mental process. As many people who transfigure do this in a shamanic journey it is important to make sure that you are not trying to visualize your journey.
Transfiguration is a cellular experience accessed by the sense of feeling. To deepen your transfiguration process the first step is to journey or meditate on how you can unburden yourself from earthly concerns. It is important to take a time out from what your mind is engaging in and perceives as important. In other words we must remove mental distractions. There might be times of the day when you can practice transfiguration before your mind becomes filled with thoughts. You might journey or meditate on a short ritual you can do to set your burdens aside temporarily.
The next helpful step will be to do some deep breathing before and during your transfiguration meditation/journey. Start by placing your hands on your abdomen and inhale slowly through your nose so that your hands are rising. Then pause for one breath and then exhale slowly through the nose. Pause again before taking the next inhale. Make sure your abdomen is rising and lowering so you are breathing deeply and that you are not taking shallow breaths.
As you transfigure keep your hands on your abdomen and continue to breathe slowly and deeply. This will create more of a body/cellular experience verses the energy being in your head.
As this practice becomes more of a body process you will continue to raise your vibration of your cells and your light will shine through you without having to put conscious attention to doing this. Your ability to effect those around you will become a passive non-doing practice. But first your body must change its vibration.
Add deep breathing into your regular transfiguration practice and notice how your vibration changes. If you can add toning to this you will wake up your cells even more.
If you are new to the Transmutation News, please look at the two chapters on Dismemberment and Transfiguration in Medicine for the Earth.
“The Beginner’s Guide to Shamanic Journeying” CD produced by Sounds True is available this month. You can go to www.soundstrue.com or call 800-333-9185 for ordering information.
I hope you will let people know about my new website www.shamanicteachers.com. This website lists local teachers who can teach on the CD.
I am excited by the alliance of teachers and being able to seed our communities with local teachers making spiritual practices available to all who would like to explore ways of evolving consciousness.
Please remember if you are looking for the Transmutation News in another language besides English go to the Important Links Section listed on the homepage.
My 2004 calendar is now up. Please check it out under the Trainings and Announcement Section.
November 8 is the full moon. As we declare this is a play day with the spirits of the land and all living beings, let’s remember to joyfully keep weaving a global human web of light.
Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, and Shamanism