Posts Tagged ‘Consciousness’

Green guerrilla actions you can make now!

March 18, 2015

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There are times when the state of the world—especially the condition of your local water, soil and air– can make you feel helpless. Truth is, the little changes we make together can add up to an enormous shift in our collective wellbeing and doing them can be a part of our spiritual practice! I consider the actions I take everyday to take care of the natural world to be part of keeping good faith with those spirits who support my life, with the spirits of my ancestors and also on behalf of my descendants.

What follows here is a list of a few things you can do to make a difference. You may already be doing some of them. If so, look for other ways you can take a stand for sustaining your family while giving back. (I’ve included resource links whenever possible to make your changes that much easier!)

Shedding light on savings:

If every household in the United States swapped out even ONE of their incandescent lights with a compact fluorescent bulb, or better yet an LED bulb, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road. LED bulbs last up to 25 times longer than their incandescent bulb forbearers. Just make sure to recycle CFL and LED bulbs at your local recycling facility or hardware store.

TIP: LEDs have come down in price! This site offers comparison shopping and tips including wattage equivalents and how to buy the right color temperature bulb for different purposes in your home: https://www.earthled.com/products/feit-performanceled-a23-omni-directional-32-watt-2500-lumens-150-watt-equal#.VQl1JkKIUrk

TIP: If you prefer CFL bulbs and want better illumination, use OttLite true-color bulbs. These are the same bulbs used by artists and crafters for decades in situations where good lighting really matters. OttLite’s new CFLs are brighter and more like real sunlight. They’re a bit more expensive but the true-color lighting is worth it! www.ott-lite.com/c-92-bulbstubes.aspx

Tuck in your electronics:

Many electronic devices suck power even when asleep. At night, power down to save your self some money on the electric bill and do something good for the environment in one fell swoop!

TIP: Turn on the computer on the way to making your morning coffee or tea. By the time your morning cuppa is ready, you’ll be all set to read your daily e-newspaper!

Hang ‘em high:

Did you know your drier contributes to the demise of your clothes? Not only does your clothes dryer use a significant amount of energy, it can actually shorten the life of your clothes because of wear and tear on the fabric. Hang your duds on a clothesline outside or drying rack indoors to save a bundle on clothes.

TIP: During the heating season, the extra humidity in the air from drying clothes can benefit you and your wooden furniture!

Colder is better:

…at least in terms of your laundry! If all the households in the United States switched to using warm or cold water cycles for clothes washing, we could save energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil every day!

TIP: Use a peroxide-based bleach to safely sanitize clothes as well as keeping them whiter and brighter. Peroxide is much safer than chorine for your septic system BUT even safer bleach can actually kill off the bacteria that are responsible for breaking down the waste in your cesspool if you use a lot! That means you’ll be paying to have it pumped out more often.

BYOB:

According to the World Wildlife Fund, Americans went through about 50,000,000,000 (that’s fifty billion) plastic water bottles just during last year! Fill up a reusable water bottle at home and bring it with you. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, buy a quality water filter but remember, your household tap water actually has to meet higher quality and safety standards than bottled water!

TIP: We use stainless steel water bottles by Kleen Kanteen www.kleankanteen.com for everyday. They’re made from #304 food-grade stainless steel, are pretty indestructible (one survived freezing with water in it!) and don’t leave an aftertaste in the water.

If you prefer using glass check out these amazing and beautiful miron violet glass bottles: www.surthrival.com/gear/miron-glass-water-bottle.html Miron Violet glass blocks visible light with the exception of the violet part of the spectrum. At the same time it allows in radiation in the spectral range of UV-A, and infrared light. The unique combination offers optimal protection against the aging processes that are released by visible light, thus lengthening durability and potency of products. This kind of bottle is especially good if you’re somebody that adds medicinal tinctures to your drinking water!

Shorten your shower:

According to Stanford University, 
every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water. This is critical as fresh water is a scarce resource. (If you don’t think so, ask folks in California who have only one year of drinking water left in reservoirs or residents of towns in Texas and New Mexico where their drinking water sources have completely dried up!) If everyone in our country saved just one gallon from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every day.

TIP: A five-minute shower uses 10-25 gallons of water. (Energy efficient showerheads use the lesser amount.) Shut the water off while you lather up. Even a 20-second pause can save nearly two gallons of water!

Local is better:

There is often a considerable amount of pollution created when transporting your food from the farm to your table. To offset the carbon load this creates, whenever possible, buy from local farmers, fishermen and ethical foragers of wild foods. This supports your local economy and reduces the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in. Here in Maine, we can access locally raised vegetable produce, meats, eggs, dairy products (from cows, goats and sheep), poultry, locally sourced fish and game, foraged vegetables, mushrooms and other treats too numerous to mention. Tap into the local food scene in your area to

TIP: Local Harvest can help you to tap into local resources for food: http://www.localharvest.org as can Local Dirt: http://localdirt.com. You can also contact http://www.eatwild.com/PRODUCTS/index.html.

For an even better positive impact, remember to buy mostly organic! Organic farms don’t use chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, which are often made from petroleum products. They also refrain from sterile GMO seeds. Organically raised animals are more humanely treated and their meat, milk or eggs are not laden with unbeneficial antibiotics or hormones. Your body and your planet will thank you!

Bag it!

Never mind the “paper or plastic” conundrum as neither are good choices. Keep reusable shopping bags in your car for your trips to the market. Washable bags are best as they can be sanitized easily. Bags are a great second-hand store purchase! We keep our market bags folded up inside one bag. The handles of that outer bag are clipped together with a super-size karabiner. This assures that all the folded bags stay neatly inside. When we get into the market, we just clip the karabiner containing all of our bags to the shopping cart handle. That way they’re handy but not taking up room in the cart.

TIP: Bags are a valuable second-hand store purchase! If you’re handy and want a personal touch, you might want to make your own beautiful bags: http://tipnut.com/35-reusable-grocery-bags-totes-free-patterns. Here is a link to purchase the oversized karabiner clip: www.coghlans.com/products/large-biner-carry-handle-1152

Recycle–everything you can!

Most everyone is getting on the recycling bandwagon, but do you know you may have some things that are easily recycled and can bring you a few dollars, to boot? Your electronics (mp3 players, computers, cell phones, etc.) can make you money or be used to benefit a worthy cause.

TIP: My old, iPhone 3 earned me a $120 Amazon gift certificate, which made this book-aholic very happy. I used Gizelle who also will pay cash for old iPads and Mac computers. http://www.gazelle.com It pays to do an online search as there are other reputable firms who will buy back your old phone and even a broken one can net you a few bucks. Some charities also take old electronics. Here is a list from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/04/29/donating-electronics

Save a back!

Get off catalog and other junk mailing lists to help relieve your postal carrier’s daily burden, reduce your household waste and contribute to saving a whole lot of trees. In addition, you’ll be contributing to reducing the amount of energy savings used to print these unwanted things.

TIP: Here is a site with tips to reducing your unwanted junk mail: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/reducewaste/home/junkmail.htm

Let your fingers to the walking–on your keyboard!

Stop your phone directory delivery. Now. It is estimated that up to 10% of all waste at municipal dump sites is comprised of old telephone books! Not only are they cumbersome to use and impossible for middle-aged eyes to read, in most cases they are far less accurate than online sources.

TIP: Recycle your old phonebooks or shred them for garden mulch. Use online telephone directories to search for numbers such as http://www.anywho.com/whitepages

Become a part-time vegetarian:

Just one less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. (For example: It requires approximately 2,500 gallons of fresh water to produce one pound of beef.) Adding veggies to the diet also boosts the amount of phytonutrients you ingest which are beneficial for good health.

TIP: Here are a few vegetarian burger recipes you can experiment with: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veggieburgerrecipes/Vegetarian_Veggie_Burger_Recipes.htm

Lose the lawn:

The typical American suburban lawn is a toxic monoculture that is detrimental to the environment. Indeed, A new study from the University of California at Irvine has determined that maintaining grass lawns produce four times the amount of carbon naturally collected and store by the lawn itself.  Lawn mowing, leaf blowing, irrigation, lawn fertilizer manufacturing, and the nitrous oxide released from soil after fertilization all contribute to an overall degradation of the environment. Not only that, the monoculture of grass is detrimental to healthy biodiversity.

TIP: Let weeds grow in the lawn. We have edible plantain, dandelion, clover, chives and other yummy “weeds” that look very nice when cut! The benefit of these plants is we can harvest them for salads or other treats. Our local beneficial insects, birds and animals are nourished by the natural browse, too. Another option is to invest in easy-care native plants or carve out a part of the yard for an organic vegetable or herb garden! 

Go native!

Help to sustain the birds, animals and beneficial insects around your neighborhood by sowing organic, native seeds. We sowed over 100 native milkweed seeds last Autumn to benefit the endangered Monarch Butterfly by using seed bombs/balls. These are small balls of clay, compost and vermiculite with two or three native seeds inside. In some cities, the same “technology” is being used to turn abandoned urban lots into organic, edible plant gardens. They are a blast to make and fun to toss. Work with your neighbors and property owners to “adopt” a growing site and then do a community seed bombing of that area! By seed bombing empty fields, along roadsides, the islands in parking lots and your own backyard you will help to create healthy, native wildflower meadows for you and other critters to enjoy.

TIP: Here is a site with great seed ball info: http://seed-balls.com They offer kits and supplies to arm your family, school class, scout troop or neighborhood with plenty of seed ball ammo! http://seed-balls.com/shop/supplies

Don’t want to get your hands dirty? This site offers 100% NON GMO seed ball packs that have been premade for your region of the USA: http://www.americanmeadows.com/gardening-gifts/seed-bombs gclid=CjwKEAjwxKSoBRCZ5oyy87DimEcSJADiWsvgDuVlt4mk3dK-9nZlBpo7MSdG_k5jzz_22wsea3sHURoC66jw_wcB

Give away and trade!

Before you toss something that is still useable, think if someone else might need it. You can donate to Goodwill or other charities to get a tax deduction. Another option is to post it on the web as a trade or give-away.

TIP: This web-based community organization is a terrific resource for getting goods into the hands of people who can use them!  http://www.freecycle.org 

 

If you have other great environmental ideas, use the comment section to share them with our readers. Together we can keep working to save this marvelous world for future generations of her inhabitants. And bless you for ALL that you already do!

Blessings to you, Evelyn

© 2015 Evelyn C. Rysdyk 

Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Spirit Walking a Course in Shamanic Power,A Spirit Walker’s Guide to Shamanic Tools, Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, and contributor to Spirited Medicine: Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare; Evelyn C. Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is. Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. Her web site is http://www.evelynrysdyk.com.

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Breaking the Chain-Rejoining the Circle

April 1, 2012

In my healing and teaching practice, I am fortunate to meet many marvelous people who are choosing to change their lives. Each of them has a different and very personal story that may speak of illness, tragic or abusive beginnings, deep emotional wounding or lack of feeling strong or even worthy of love. Indeed, we have heard stories of truly heinous things human beings have done to one another. The most heart-wrenching stories are the terrors of childhood abuse people have experienced. We have born witness to those who were beaten, burned, humiliated, abandoned, tortured by cults and abused sexually beginning as early as six months of age. And yet, in the face of having such terrifying traumas, these people have the courage to do the work of becoming whole, happy adults. My partner Allie and I have even had the privilege of working with people at the end of their lives who choose to use their last days on Earth to heal their past so that they can move into the next world emotionally and spiritually intact.

How different these people’s lives might have been if, during their childhoods, the adults around them had attended to their own healing?

In the shamanic worldview, a person’s power may be stolen or lost through trauma. It is often the case that those who have had their light diminished through abuse choose to try and steal the light from others. Whether through sexual, physical or emotional abuse, the wounded person seeks to “fill the hole” left inside of them and often perpetrates the same kind of abuse they received in a vain attempt to reclaim their power. Some others perpetrate harm upon themselves in an effort to eradicate their pain. The cycle of suffering continues unabated until one person has the courage to stop it. That person breaks the chain by healing their wounded places inside.

Since people are usually wounded at the hands of other human beings, it is especially necessary to have loving help of professionals who are trained to assist in healing trauma. A good psychotherapist can help their clients understand the nature of their wounds and heal their psyche. However, as a shamanic healer, I also know the critical importance of also restoring a wounded person’s spirit. A person who is whole and feels their intrinsic power and preciousness has no need to steal another person’s light. They have no reason to wound another in a vain attempt to feel stronger. They have confidence. They are able to keep good boundaries. They are those who are able to contribute to the health and wellbeing of other people, creatures and our world.

Indeed, having the courage to dig in and attend to your healing is the greatest gift you can give the world. My primary spirit teacher told me many years ago that the changes we make inside of ourselves change the world around us. Since that time, science has proven that this is indeed true! Who and how we are in the world–much more than what we do–has a profound effect on all living creatures.

We’ve learned that our emotions have a profound effect upon our bodies. Emotional states such as anxiety, fear, anger, rage, blame, shame and apathy contribute to lowering the immune response. They negatively impact the endocrine system by increasing the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline while lowering the beneficial hormone DHEA, which contributes to our feelings of wellbeing. However, the effects of our emotions impact us right down to the molecules that make it possible to continue living.

On a molecular level, our genetic material is responsible for such vital processes as regulating cellular function and cell repair. Indeed, during our life the composition of our body changes continuously, as during each second 50,0000 cells are being replaced in our body. Our DNA, is responsible for gene regulation which gives the cells control over all structure and function, and is the basis for cellular differentiation in a developing fetus, the appropriate continuous control of healthy cellular growth in the body and the ultimate versatility and adaptability of any living being. To do its work well, the DNA must continue to function is the way that it is meant to and replicate itself without any “mistakes” in its code.

The energetic and physical environment in which our DNA exists has an enormous impact upon its ability to do its work well and replicate itself correctly. Research has shown that the conformation of our DNA, that is the shape of the molecule itself, affects gene expression. Specialized “Immediate Early Genes” or IEGs have a particularly important role in this gene expression as many of them are regulatory genes which turn on other genes that affect specific aspects of our immune system, such as the production of white blood cells that destroy attacking bacteria and viruses.(1.) The proper function of these IEGs can be altered by changing the shape of the DNA molecule.

The conformation of our DNA is affected by our feelings which, in turn changes the epigenetic environment within our body—that is, the environment in which our genetic material functions. Since our emotions have the ability to change the structure of our DNA they can either enhance or interfere with our genetic material’s ability function properly. “Negative” feelings can cause changes in our immune response, our endocrine system and the ability to regulate cell growth and repair. These changes not only cause us to be sick more often, they also contribute to the onset of severe illnesses such as autoimmune disorders and cancers.

In addition, our feelings do not remain within the container of our bodies. Research has proven that our feelings are radiated from our bodies both as measurable electromagnetic fields and also as quantum, non-local energy fields. These feeling energies have the capacity to affect changes in DNA molecules outside of our bodies. These effects have been measured over a distance of at least a half a mile. This alteration of another’s DNA by our emotional energy is also instantaneous, as our emotional energy is not bound by the limitations of time or space.

That means that the way that we feel about ourselves, other people and our circumstances not only impacts our health and wellbeing, it affects all Life. It is of particular concern that the beings closest to us are constantly bathed in our emotional energy, receiving the measurable electromagnetic energy as well as the non-local quantum energy. If we are conceiving children, the development of their bodies, brains and future potentials are being affected by how we feel. As they grow, our children are directly at the effect of our feelings as much as our actions.

As a result, it seems that we have a moral responsibility to address our emotional states and the underlying perceptions that influence how we feel about ourselves and the world. Plainly put, if we want healthy children, a healthy local environment and a healthy planetary ecosystem, we need to dig in and do the work of alleviating the misperceptions of ourselves and the nature of our lives that originated in our early life.

As we do so, we create a kind of spaciousness within ourselves that allows us to be able to more easily experience the feelings of gratitude, appreciation, compassion and love. These feelings provide the energetic salve that keeps the DNA in “perfect shape” to be able to do its work in a reliable and healthy way. These feelings actually assist our bodies to function at their best and project their healing influence far beyond.

Greater than any “good” actions we take in the world, the way we are and the way that we feel about who we are, creates an enormous impact. Our positive feelings—set free from the old burdensome patterns of thought caused by our early history—are a miraculous, transformational force. No longer trapped by feelings of low self worth, or anxiety, or blame and shame, we are set free to be an agent of positive change and nurturance.

The DNA of the next generation and the ones to follow–of all species on the planet can be transformed by changing yourself NOW. In this springtime, make the commitment and follow through with doing the work of healing your wounded self. Break the cycle of abusive thought and behaviors. Transform the negative perceptions that you hold. As your spirits lift, you elevate those around you on a non-local wave of sustaining energy.

Attend to the health and wellbeing of your spirit, too. By tending the garden of your spirit, you have the ability to create a gift that will keep on giving. Our spirit/consciousness is the aspect of us that continues beyond our physical existence. When finally released from our body, this eternal part of us is set free. If a person has not been able to heal their wounds releasing their anger or pain they risk being trapped in this realm. As a lingering spirit, they may wander the human world as a suffering soul unable to complete the journey to rejoin their loved ones in the Light of All That Is.

On the other hand, when our spirit is healed and whole, we can easily release our hold on the physical world and flow unfettered into the Light. In that place of incredible, loving energy that feeds all life in all places, our spirit is free to merge into the enormous circle of ancestral consciousness that sustains those who are in physical form. Radiating love and compassion, our soul continues to nourish others even after our death. Unbound by time or space, we are able to continue blessing the world and the generations that will follow us.

© 2012 Evelyn C. Rysdyk
Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, Evelyn C. Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is. Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. In joint practice with Allie Knowlton as Spirit Passages, her web site is http://www.spiritpassages.com.

1. The Genie in your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention by Dawson Church, Ph.D.

Sustaining spiritual patience

August 3, 2011

Sometimes it feels as though the transformations you want to experience are arriving too slowly! When you stumble in your evolution, lose your passion for the process or just have times of feeling “stuck,” it is useful to receive support so that you don’t become impatient or lose faith in your inner wisdom. I find that a good focus to keep yourself on track is to begin thinking of your life as a “playground of transformation” and to experiment with the following ideas!

Cultivating compassionate curiosity

To better move through the times when you don’t feel as connected, it is important to cultivate a willingness to stretch into places that feel “beyond your comfort zone” and lovingly “investigate” yourself!  I am referring to developing an ability to observe yourself, your thoughts and your actions. Each of us have many aspects of Self–an inner wise person, the inner child/children, an inner critic, and so forth.  You also have a part which can observe you with compassion.

This part of yourself is can be an essential ally when something disturbs the rhythm your practice. Often we run up against some kind of inner interference that temporarily throws us off course. When we wear the eyes of the compassionate “inner detective,” we can recognize that these disruptions are actually calling our attention to some perception, thought or feeling that needs to be shifted so that we can move forward again. Since you are creating your world through your perceptions and their resultant thoughts/actions–being willing to become more conscious through self observation is a key to changing not only yourself but through you the outer world as well.

Eliminating Inner Interference:

Many of the inner stumbling blocks we encounter in our lives are unconscious perceptions, outmoded beliefs and habits. In order to understand them, it is useful to begin to look at what energies motivate our behaviors. Fundamentally, all human behavior is either based in love or fear.

The motivation of LOVE produces:

gratitude, compassion, appreciation, caring, wonder, mercy, sympathy, harmony, admiration, thankfulness, empathy, benevolence, exhalation, patience, tenderness, courage and thoughtful regard, as well as actual love.

FEAR on the other hand expresses itself as:

anxiety, anger, jealousy, envy, doubt, judgement, blame, shame, depression/shut down, bitterness, holding yourself back, feelings of being a “victim” or “inferior,” power abuse, impatience, emptiness, cowardice, suspicion and actual fear.

In the larger culture, people use many methods to avoid feeling their fears and so are  not able to identify or clear them away. These unbeneficial coping mechanisms include such things as: procrastination, distraction by keeping “busy” or staying involved in other people’s “trauma-dramas,” blaming the situation or other people, using substances such as alcohol, narcotics or food and/or behaviors such as sex, excessive watching of TV, playing computer games or hoarding to stuff feelings or shut feelings down. People also try intimidating others in an effort to feel more “powerful,” hold onto emotional pain because it provides a kind of “excuse” for not moving forward or even identify others as “enemies” who then become the focus for what are actually a person (or culture’s) inner, unconscious fears.

Since your unconscious mind can be such a strong motivation for your actions and thoughts, it is useful to begin observing yourself so that you can get a clearer sense of what is happening below the surface of your mind.

This means being willing to engage your compassionate inner detective to observe how you are in the different aspects of your life. This is important as many of us behave very differently in different situations. Take the time to notice how you are at work and at home. Notice how you behave in relationships. Begin observing how you think, what language you use about yourself and others and observe the times that you are judgmental.  Also look at how you deal with disappointment and notice what is happening inside when you forget to be engaged in your spiritual practice. Pay attention to what you learn and see how you can begin to become more conscious about your thoughts and actions. As you pay attention, you may begin to notice that many of your difficult moments involve strong feelings. Conscious and unconscious perceptions held in your mind blend with the input of your emotional body and exit you as feelings. Sometimes, the feelings you express have little or no connection to what is actually happening in the present moment! Indeed, often they are often connected to past events and the perceptions you developed then.

Many of our interference patterns are actually connected to our anxiety or fears. Often, these fears are actually unconscious so that they are difficult to recognize. With the assistance of your compassionate and curious “inner detective,” you can look at the ways your fears reveal themselves.

Our fears/anxieties are usually expressed in some form of the fight/flight/freeze response. While it is easy to recognize a literal “fight” or “freeze,” we may not readily notice these responses when they are wrapped in our behaviors. For example, if you become controlling, blaming, argumentative or bossy in certain situations, it is a form of the “fight” reaction. On the other hand, if you becomes vague, withdrawn, confused or emotionally immobile you can think about it as a “freeze” reaction. If in response to a situation you easily lose patience, give up or repeatedly don’t have “enough time” to do something then you may be expressing a form of “flight.”  Notice these reaction with deep compassion as they are very human!  Catching these behaviors is the first step of disabling the fear which is behind them. The prize is to relinquish the grip your unconscious fear’s have on your life!

As you compassionately observe yourself, make notes about when feelings come up and under what circumstances. Developing a picture of your reactions will support you to want to dig a little deeper. An excellent method is to journey to a teacher or power animal to ask questions such as “What fear is underneath this behavior?”  A deep meditaion on this queston may serve you in a similar way. As you bring the fears into the light of consciousness, you begin to disempower them and loosen their grip on you. Once on the surface, fears can be healed far more easily than ones that are hidden in the depths of the unconscious mind.

As your fear becomes clearer, see if it has a message for you. By finding out more about the fear, you can begin shifting out of your old, disfunctional behavior and learn new ways of being that are healthy and can contribute to moving you forward.

Using gratitude to make you more resilient

Making changes in your life can be stressful but gratitude has a healing effect on the body. Research by the Institute of HeartMath has found that people who practice gratitude regularly are able to sustain their positive biochemistry and regulate their moods even when stressed! In other words, the continued practice of gratitude allowed individuals to have a physical and emotional resilience that was not accessible to those who didn’t practice gratitude.

Feeling gratitude helps you to nurture the seeds of your new dream of yourself. The time in which we are living offer us an opportunity to shed the old, outmoded ways of being human. As each of us changes, we in turn help to rocket human evolution forward and so transform everything and when you commit to being grateful in spite of personal struggles, fears, illness or other “disruptions,” it becomes much easier to be peaceful and loving even in difficult times.

Expanding possibilities–Shamanic Imagination.

The shamanic journey process is one very ancient method which can expand you beyond your ordinary way of perceiving the world and help you to move beyond your mind’s limitations. While you are in the journey state, you are able to FEEL experiences and new possibilities before they are physically realized. This in turn, supports you to stretch into new places of consciousness and help you to shift out of old beliefs that limit you. Expanding your perceptions of what is possible, actually helps you to realize new ways of being. This can support you to grow!

In addition, the unconditional love and guidance that the transcendent spirits offer can buoy you up and give you courage to keep going forward. Their expressions of compassion can also support you to have more compassion for yourself.

Getting support from the human world

We human beings are social primates. There is a reason that solitary confinement is considered a harsh punishment. In the psychological theory referred to as, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, after the need for physiological support–such as food, water and shelter–and the needs for safety, the third layer of human needs are social and involve feelings of belonging. Without the close connections of family, friends, and larger social groupings, humans become much more susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression.

Especially during those times when you are engaged in making changes in your life, it is important to become an active participant in supportive communities. This may mean that you need to be willing to stretch into places that feel uncomfortable by meeting new people, going to gatherings and taking classes. Supportive, social relationships can help you to integrate all that you are learning and experiencing as your new life continues to unfold.

On the other hand, you may also find that you may have to let go of older relationships that do not support your growth. This is usually something that occurs organically. In the course of our changing and evolving, some of our relationship naturally “grow apart.”  While it can often be emotionally difficult to experience this kind of shift in a relationship, it is also true that as one person leaves you, you become open for others to enter into your life.

If at any point you need even more support than your “friends and family network” can provide, give yourself full permission to seek out a professional person, such as a therapist or counsellor, who is especially skilled at assisting people on their life paths. A good counselor is worth their weight in gold in helping to sort out feelings or untangle patterns when they feel too overwhelming to deal with on your own!

Being compassionately persistent

There is no substitute for being willing to pick yourself up when you falter or stumble on your path. Indeed, our journeys through life are seldom straight. They are usually a long series of starts, stops, twists, turns and restarts. When you falter, stall or get lost along the way, remember to repeat all the steps I’ve outline here. So long as you give yourself permission to look at all of your life as exuberant explorations on the “playground of transformation” you can keep making progress with no limits upon how far you can go.

© 2011 Evelyn C. Rysdyk

(Excerpt from the soon to be published book: Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power)

Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, Evelyn C. Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is.  Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives.  In joint practice with Allie Knowlton as Spirit Passages, her web site is http://www.spiritpassages.com.