When we wonder about how much we bring in ourselves and how much comes from Spirit.
Yesterday during a coaching session a new spirit guide came in. She was so real, I could see her, feel her, smell her, and hear her voice. It was as if she was right next to me. Spirit guides aren’t always this visceral for me. Sometimes there is just a knowing or I hear them, but every once in a while they come in fully-formed. Later in a meditation a young wounded version of myself came forward. She was taken by the new guide and held and washed and cared for; she was loved. Together, it all made perfect sense. I felt so lucky to have this wonderful new guide in my life, and so happy that she could help with this wounded child in me. The guide was the personification of a caring non-mother mother-figure - a devoted nanny of sorts.
About four hours later the doubts crept in. The guide stayed with me strong and “felt” for about an hour and then she was harder to sense. I thought it was because she was taking care of the child so I didn’t think much of it. I asked and she said “yes” from somewhere far away, down a corridor and in a closed room. With that distance between us I started to wonder why this shape and form? Why now? Nothing like this had ever come to me before. It isn’t something I would usually think of. You see she was a large black woman who was not my mother but she was emanating unconditional love and care for me. She was strong and loving and there for me. Everything felt safe and right with her. But why this throwback to an outdated and often unjust southern lifestyle archetype? I had never related to plantation life or even life in the south. On an emotional and an intellectual level this made no sense.
Then I started to connect the dots. I had been to a gospel brunch two mornings before, my first ever and it was incredible. I sat there surrounded by amazingly strong black women singing the praises of Jesus and I thought how wonderful it would feel to be in their family. How amazing life would be if I were born a strong black woman with strong black mother. (Yes, I know of the disadvantages I would face, the racism, the hate, the lack of opportunities and everything else that goes with being born black in America--but I was focused on the strength and the love of the Lord--one moment in time.)
So there was the link. I had imagined this new spirit guide because I had just been to the gospel brunch. So, how much of it is real and how much of it is my imagination bringing in something I want? I really loved this woman so I was not ready to give her up just yet. But I am not one to trick myself and I do not shy away from investigating the validity of anything—even my own beliefs. So it needed to be examined.
Later that night I was listening to a video lesson from Dakota Earth Cloud Walker (Gaia Wisdom School), one of my favorite teachers and people, and she touched on this exact dilemma. People often ask “how do I know if it is real or if I’m just making it up.” Dakota explained that our intuition and our imagination work together to provide us the guidance we need. I loved the simplicity of her words. You see our guides will show up in a form that we can relate to at that time, something we will understand. Really they don’t have form, but it is much easier to learn swimming from a dolphin than to learn it from a glowing ball of light. It is much easier to understand and feel unconditional love from a large, strong, but soft woman than from an energetic vibration of unconditional love. So I gave the Universe something to work with. When Spirit needed to show me unconditional love, there was something to work with--an opening had been created when in my heart I said I so enjoyed the gospel brunch and wished for that energy in my life. I didn’t make it up so much as I opened a door to another room filled with even more associations for Universe to work with.
And don’t for one second think it is coincidence that I was at that gospel brunch before I went into this coaching session and was asked to look at this aspect of the wounded child in me. It was all set up in divine order. I encourage you to trust your intuition, allow your imagination to expand, and embrace the growth and change that will naturally occur when you are living in Spirit. Sometimes a headache is just a headache, but often it is a sign of something deeper.
This new spirit guide is welcome in my life and I hope she stays around a very long time. The next time you wonder about how much you bring in yourself and how much comes from Spirit, know that EVERYTHING comes from Spirit. Every little thing, every big thing, every imagined thing, every lucky incident, every streak of bad luck, just everything. It is all from Universe, Spirit, God, Goddess, Source, whatever you are comfortable calling it; and it is all here to teach us something. So pay attention to the big and the small, the imagined and the ordinary. Pay attention.
Full Moon Shamanic Journey
March 2, 2018
Here we are at this time of the full moon. I can feel it pulling me inward toward reflection. It’s light is shining into those shadow spaces that I usually like to keep hidden and dark. We all have these shadow spaces, mine often center around feelings of inadequacy, not being enough, and conversely, feeling so strong that I can tend toward isolation. I can do everything and anything on my own. I don’t need anyone.
But shadows, once the light has been let in, can compel us to be better. The shadow that leads me to prefer to do everything on my own, never asking for help, leads me to work closely with my community. In order to keep the light in this space, in order to avoid slipping back into the shadows, I lead community healing circles. I try to be available for anyone who wants to come in and talk or share or learn. I am a better person because I looked deeply into that shadow and was willing to bring light to it. I still struggle at times, but I put myself out there and it gets easier and more natural to work in community the more I do it.
This month at the full moon shamanic journey circle, I had planned to discuss the shadow sides of each of us personally and of Us as a collective. The recent tragedy in Florida is weighing heavily in the ethers. We see and feel the pain and suffering for all parties involved. Energetically, it is a very intense time. Many of us are struggling with the shadows. Family issues are coming forward, societal issues are coming forward, personal issues are coming forward. February can be an intense time for those in the Northeast. The winter months seem to have gone on too long and our natural seasonal introspection is at its peak in February. This feels like a good time to shine some light into whatever shadows we are dealing with.
The journey formulation I was planning on offering goes something like this:
I hope you will find a space in this snowstorm to spend 20-30 minutes following one of these journeys into the shadows. Your situation may be very personal, perhaps you had an argument with your partner and you want to understand it from a different perspective. Your situation may be very global, perhaps the lack of safe drinking water across the globe just hurts your heart. Your situation may be community based, perhaps you wonder if it is good or bad to allow affordable housing into your area. Whatever your shadow or your conflict is, please take this opportunity to shed some light into it from a higher perspective. Widen your vision, be the Eagle and fly high above the earth to get an expanded view of what is in the shadows.
Doing a shamanic journey is natural to all of us--we all have the ability to journey. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. You may want to play a shamanic drumming track or some soothing music (available from the internet and many phone apps), you may prefer to rattle or have silence. Really it’s whatever is needed to help you get to an altered state of consciousness, a prayer space. When you are in that space, invite your Spirit Guide or Teacher to come in, greet them as you normally do and state your intention clearly. After that just follow what unfolds. Some people like to state the intention three times, others just say it once. The intention is important, so know it well.
Remember to fully embody the journey. Feel the temperature, notice the surroundings, listen, taste, feel. You might ask yourself what do I hear, what do I see, is the sun out or is it dark? Look down at your feet, are you barefoot or wearing shoes of some kind? If you find yourself watching things from above, try to slow down and get embodied. The healing and the teachings will be much more profound when you embody the journey. It may feel like you are just imagining things at first. That’s ok. We all use our active imagination to launch a journey. It is in the journey space that this shifts to a state of higher consciousness. You notice this when things unfold in ways you never dreamed of, when you see things that would not occur to you, when the answers that you were struggling to find suddenly are so clear. The revelations that come from our journeys are where the magic is.