Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Sharing the gifts of shamanic spirituality.

December 29, 2014

Psychedelic AiChureck JourneyingSMALLA shaman is someone who intentionally traverses the boundary of physical reality. This intentional journey between the realms of the ordinary and non-ordinary realms is what defines a shaman and is the source of strength, power and ability to solve personal and community problems. The process itself also changes your brain to improve memory, enhance creativity, boost the ability to synthesize information and problem solve, heighten intuition and lower stress. In other words, it improves your wellbeing emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Journeying assists you to better interact with the numinous beings that enliven nature. While spirits are nearly impossible to see or hear with your ordinary senses a person who is trained to expand consciousness at will is able to interact with these beings easily by moving beyond their ordinary way of perceiving the world.

Having the ability to gain a deeper perspective and get the guidance and support from spirit allies changed my life in many ways. It healed my depression, helped me to find my true calling, turbo-boosted my creativity and even led me to my beloved. Through my journey experiences into the parallel realms of consciousness/spirit, I developed relationships with the beings of nature, protective power animals and my ancestors. With their steady and loving guidance, I was much more able to move through my life with more wisdom, clarity and joy.

It is for these reasons and so many more that I am grateful to be able share the incredible worlds of the shaman with you. It is why I write my books and also why I teach advanced trainings.

In my Spirit Passages Two-year Initiatory Apprenticeship in Advanced Shamanism, I am able to guide you and assist you in perfecting your abilities to connect deeply with the beings in higher realms who are eager to help you live a richer and more fulfilling life. Through this program, you can be more resilient, more effective and open up beautiful new possibilities for your life.

In addition, the program will give you the tools to be able to assist other people, animals and even land that have become spiritually ill. All of the classic methods shamans use for healing others will be covered in the program. You will also have opportunities to experience initiatory ceremonies that will strengthen your trust in yourself and the loving support of the spirits.

I am truly excited to provide you with the spiritual tools to help you live a truly empowered life and to be a positive influence in the world. As you change, you will create ripples through out the web of life. As each of us makes our own shifts, we exponentially increase our ability to heal ourselves and our planet. Now more than ever before, we need to have people like you who are ready to heed the call of their own souls.

Are you ready to shrug off your small self to become the powerful being you were meant to be?

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.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

Letting Go Into Love

December 4, 2011

As I write this, I am feeling the loss of a treasured colleague and friend who lost her long struggle with cancer. She was fortunate in her life to have a right livelihood, be surrounded by loving people and have the companionship of a wonderful life partner. She was ever ready to focus on the needs of those around her and she brought much comfort and support to her clients, her friends and her family.

Her story reminds me of many people I have met in the healing arts. Like she, many healers are what might be called, life-long “helpers.” While on the surface, this way of being appears to be holistic and harmonious, it can have a terrible dark side. Many times, there is an intrinsic piece of the puzzle missing. That is, having compassion for the Self. For some people, compassion has become an energy that is only outwardly focused. Giving is offered to the point of depletion, disease and even death. While this may seem altruistic, it is actually a distortion or misperception about the nature of compassion.

My spirit teacher insists that for the fullness of compassion to be expressed, it must include the self. Like a glass filled beyond its capacity, giving to others from the place of fullness allows for a constant overflowing of love, healing and support. However, when one gives to others from a state of depletion, the actions create resentment and also physical, mental and emotional dis-ease.

A lack of self-compassion may stem from relational patterns that developed in early childhood. A situation may have existed that left the “helper” needing to find ways to relate to a weak, ill or dependent parent. Since children are wise enough to find creative ways to get their needs met, the child may have developed the pattern of caring for the parent in an effort to receive necessary food, shelter and attention. This creates the perception that the “helper’s” ultimate wellbeing and feelings of self worth depend upon endlessly serving others. This pattern can become so entrenched that the person expends their life in the external quest for self worth, love and peace.

Helping in this dysfunctional way is the antithesis of true caring as on an unconscious level, the “helper” is actually trying to get his or her own needs met. In a way, it is really being selfish not selfless. In addition, by not caring for the self, the “helper” wounds the hearts of those that care for him or her. These loved one witness the healer expending their last drop of energy chasing self-esteem and self-worth, as they continually aid others while their own health, wellbeing and relationships suffer.

Indeed, according to Kristin D. Neff, Ph.D. in her article, “The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion” published in the journal, Self and Identity, the degree to which individuals display self-compassion is what actually determines a person’s health and wellbeing. Self-compassionate individuals experience greater psychological health than those who lack self-compassion. For example, self-compassion is positively associated with life-satisfaction, wisdom, happiness, optimism, curiosity, learning goals, social connectedness, personal responsibility, and emotional resilience.

On the other hand, those that do not practice self-compassion are much more prone to severe self-criticism and more likely to experience depression, anxiety, rumination, positive thought and action suppression, perfectionism, and disordered self-care attitudes. People trapped in this cycle often ignore their own needs for good food, appropriate health caring, and nurturing relationship. They push loved ones and the nurturing aspects of life away in the vain hope that their constant helping of others will someday, somehow leave them feeling full and complete. The unending quest to help one more person or help out with one more project will never bring satisfaction. It is quite literally, in the case of my friend, a dead end.

In other words, one-sided compassion that is only externally focused, is unbalanced and incomplete. It does not hold the notion that all of life—including the self—is sacred and therefore deserving of caring.

If you have recognized yourself in these words, it is time to find a new way. Our planet is deeply into her process of balancing herself. For this to occur in a way that will also allow human beings to survive, we need to develop wholeness and balance in our own selves. Never before has the adage, “as within, so without” held such importance for our individual and collective futures. If we want to have a world that is peaceful, harmonious and vibrantly alive, we need to attend to our inner realm. In other words, if you really want to see that others are helped to heal and change, you must express the fullness of compassion for yourself first.

In finding a new, more self-compassionate way of being it is necessary to remember that the pattern that traps you was not developed in isolation. It was the result of a dysfunctional relationship. As a result, it is best resolved through a therapeutic relationship with those who have been trained to help people resolve unbeneficial patterns. Getting free from the old, dysfunctional way of being is not something that you can or should figure out yourself. Let go of the idea that you must do it on your own. That notion is also a part of the pattern that must be released!

People who have successfully broken this unbeneficial pattern have relied on the work of a trusted psychotherapist or have chosen to regularly engage in therapeutic practices such as our Shamanic Inner Body Healing process. Whichever therapeutic method you choose, it must include identifying and healing the unconscious root cause of the pattern. The therapist provides the necessary container of a safe, guiding relationship that gives the vulnerable inner self the courage to let the old way of being go. You must be willing to devote time to your healing. Since the pattern has been entrenched for a time it requires more than a quick fix to change it. Therapeutic support must be accessed on a weekly or biweekly basis to make real and steady progress. Remember, you are retraining your unconscious mind and changing the behaviors that originated from the misperceptions you held about yourself and the world.

Along with a therapeutic relationship, it is important to place yourself in a supportive community. Like-minded souls can help to reinforce the positive changes you are striving to make. Again, since the dysfunctional patterns were developed in relationship, it is important to have healthy people to reinforce your transformations. Just as importantly, make sure to steer clear of people who want to sap your energy, are dependent or who are actively engaged in addictive behaviors as these individuals will trigger your old desire to want to “fix them.” In essence, their draining energies will work to negate your forward movement.

Another critical component is to develop a strong, daily spiritual practice. This can be as simple as taking time to pray aloud or make entries in an intentional gratitude journal every day. Another spiritual practice for which I am personally indebted is the shamanic journey process. This method offers you access to transcendent spirit teachers who can provide unique support. Their soul-level perspective on our process can be incredibly helpful when we are in the midst of tackling a life-long, unbeneficial pattern. Journeying everyday can help us to stay on track and give the kind of support our inner children need to feel strong enough to follow through.

Rounding out the supports that are necessary to aid in transforming old patterns is time in nature. Nature offers a backdrop of both stability and constant change that helps us to understand on a deep, visceral level that we, as a part of nature, have the capacity to remake and renew ourselves. Just as seasons follow each other and rain or snow eventually give way to sun, we have the ability to rework the perceptions and behaviors we developed in our earlier life. Like the seeds slumbering under the snow, our Light is there, just under the surface waiting to be discovered and brought into the world.

The last element is the need to fully attend to the work. Don’t put it off another minute! Your life and the hearts of those who love you are held in the balance. Getting free of the illusionary burden you have carried for much of your life and realizing your own intrinsic preciousness is possible for you if you chose to follow through. That means not just ruminating about it (which is a part of the dysfunctional pattern) but rather actually taking the concrete, physical steps that are necessary to make the change. The shifts in consciousness and behavior to ones of healthy, self-compassion are essential, not only for you to be able to survive but to truly thrive.

In this time of seasonal darkness, it is appropriate to take steps into the Light. Make the appointment to interview a therapist, start your gratitude journal, let go of relationships that drain you and reach out to those people that are honestly supportive of you and your changes. You’ll know who they are as they aren’t emotionally standing there with their hands out but their arms and hearts spread open and ready to embrace you.

Are you ready to embody this new consciousness and live every moment of every day in the fullness of compassion for yourself and others? Make this transformation your holiday present to yourself and the gift you give those who love you. This auspicious turn of the calendar into 2012 couldn’t offer a better time!

© 2011 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.

Light on the Water

October 6, 2011

Our shaman ancestors understood that everything around us is alive. Of course, it is easy for us to see that the plants, animals and birds are living. Yet, the rocks, the river, the clouds, the rain and the winds are as inspirited as you and I. Every aspect of our world is humming with enlivening energy. This indefinable “something” that continually breathes everything into existence is described in many ways. Physicists talk about infinitely tiny, vibrating Super Strings creating the particles of matter from which the visible world is formed while we shamanic practitioners honor that everything is filled with spirit. Whatever unique language we use to try and explain it, it is clear that we all are part of a marvelously interconnected fabric of Life. Each of us is enfolded by and in constant interaction with it. Our actions, thoughts and feelings create ripples that impact the others in the fabric.

In family systems therapy, the family is described like a group of people held together by an enormous rubber band. When one member of a family makes a move forward, the band that connects them naturally pulls the other members of the group forward as well. Initially, this produces a kind of chaotic rumble of movement that is a series of actions and reactions bouncing the family back and forth. This uncomfortable jostling prompts the family to initially fall into chaos. If the members of the family unit are willing to look at what is changing, shift the relational dynamics and then work out their issues–the entire group can begin moving in the same direction.

A similar process is going on in our larger family of human beings. As some of us change and move forward, the rest of our human family is feeling shaken up. Some people will resist the shifts and create chaos. In the face of this turmoil, the individuals in the group have a choice. They can either choose to succumb to the turbulence around them and stay in that anarchic state or they can choose to work on their own inner resistances and wounds. In family systems work, as individuals in the group attend to their inner environment and experience their own healing, the benefits impact every member. Eventually, through the irresistible force of connection, everyone is moved forward.

It is clear from the daily news that our human family is deeply immersed in the chaotic phase of change. While we are experiencing the pandemonium that is occurring in our larger family, we have a choice. We can contribute to the agitation by being resistant, remaining polarized and staying stuck in our old dramas or we can refocus our attention to our own inner healing. The latter choice is the one that can contribute to a more rapid and positive shift in the outer world.

If we are honest with ourselves, each of us can see places inside that need loving attention. Perhaps we have old wounds that have caused us to believe that we aren’t as good or as important as others. In our early life, we may have been taught that we weren’t loveable. Perhaps we are feeling controlled by the fears of being abandoned or being unworthy. Maybe we have tried to cover over our wounds with alcohol, too much work or other addictions.

As we have the courage to unpack the old, unbeneficial perceptions and behaviors we have lived with for years, we have an opportunity to not only free our selves, but to unleash a powerful series of vibrations across the energetic web that unites us. These changes contribute to all the waves being made by other people of courage. Eventually, there is an irresistible upwelling of transformation that carries all of us to a new, higher way of being. While that sounds like an impossibly huge shift, all each of us needs to do is our own part.

Often, the hardest part of the shift is to recognize that each of us is a precious and remarkable aspect of the divine Wholeness. No part of the All That Is can possibly be more or less important than any other. My Nepalese shaman friend, Bhola always greets people with a shallow bow. While bowing, his hands are pressed together with his palms touching and his fingers pointed upwards, in front of his chest. This namaste gesture literally means that, “I bow to your form.” When two people greet each other in this manner, it is both a recognition and a reminder that each one is a transcendent, sacred being clothed in human form.

This understanding of our divinity is grounded in traditions that are hundreds of centuries old. While in their shamanic trances, our ancient ancestors were able to see that every aspect of the inspirited world is connected by a numinous radiance. In reaching beyond the ordinary way of perceiving the world, those early explorers beyond the realm of the senses grasped the nature of reality that is only now being discussed by the discipline of higher physics. That is, everything that is or ever existed, is first and foremost Light. Everything we understand as physical, is simply a standing wave pattern in that Light.

Those early shamans who called that radiance “spirit,” also learned that each of us impacts this Light as we are irrevocably connected in it. Physicists, too know that our connections interact with the Light of all potential. How we think and feel produce different vibrations and those vibrations have a direct impact upon how Light “crystallizes” into matter. Our thoughts, feelings and the actions that flow from them change the nature of our physical reality. While this may seem hard for our minds to grasp, it implies that you and I are participating in creating and recreating the world. Right now. This also means that we have the ability to impact the wellbeing of our selves and this planet. We just need to remember our inherent magnificent power–stepping out of the false illusions that keep us feeling small.

It is only our ordinary mind /personality that sees us as anything less than powerful creator beings. This is because we have believed the limited perspectives spun by our senses. Our sensory organs can only perceive the smallest aspect of the suite of vibrations that constitute All That Is. We can only see visible light and hear audible sound. This is a tiny portion of reality and even less that what many insects, birds and animals can perceive. Yet, we have based our fundamental foundations about what is real or true wholly upon our sensory input. As a result, we have fallen completely under the spell of illusion.

This illusionary world creates the belief that we are separate. It is the illusion that contributes to our belief that we are small, powerless and without value. This misunderstanding does not serve us nor does it serve All That Is.

When a shaman is initiated, they often experience a kind of tearing away or destruction of their old self. The ordinary person with limited perception must fall away so that the initiate sees her or him self as a person of power. During a spiritual dismemberment ritual the person would see their body burned or eaten away. This often times terrifying experience helped the initiate to understand that the true self was eternal and existed both in and beyond the ordinary world. In essence, the initiate was liberated from the perceptions of their limitations while experiencing that everything in the surrounding world–including him or herself–is radiant with spiritual light. Rather than creating a longing for the world of “no form” it helped the shaman to see that, since that light pervades everything, all of life is inherently precious.

This same kind of understanding underlies the Medicine for the Earth work of Sandra Ingerman. Grounded in the most ancient practices of shamanism, it is a method that helps a person understand that—like the tribal initiate—he or she is a being of light. In addition, each of us can use our heart-felt intentions and focus to alter physical reality through experiencing ourselves as that radiance. In other words, when we bring our consciousness into the full experience of our Light, we create a harmony that transcends the limitations held by our ordinary mental state.

In our Medicine for the Earth monthly gathering, we have witnessed water that was poisoned with a strong alkali become completely harmless. The water came back into a balance in the presence of a small group of people who released themselves of the illusion of their ordinary perceptions and then experienced them selves as pure, radiant Light. No one focused on or touched the water.

As the people remember their true nature, their inner harmony supports the beaker of water, to remember its harmonious wholeness and balance. Amazingly, this happens in just a few minutes of ordinary time. This process is completely unexplainable by using scientific means. Ordinarily, the same this shift in Ph would only be possible if the polluted beaker of water was placed outdoors in sunlight for several days. It is scientifically “impossible” for it to happen in minutes. Yet, perhaps this is the very way that the shamans of old were able to perform the miraculous healings and transformations that are attributed to them.

When we are experiencing our true nature and the nature of All That Is, we are transcending our ordinary limited self. In this transfigured state, we naturally generate healing and harmony. You see, our ordinary, limited perception produce disruption. The consciousness that functions from limited beliefs is in constant opposition to the true nature of reality. When we shed that old, unbenefical way of being, the world around us returns to harmony.

The analogy of a swimming pool works well to help understand this idea. Every person in the pool disturbs the water as they move. When a group of individuals are each moving around, their waves crash into the next person’s waves and the water quickly begins sloshing around in a disorganized and turbulent manner. Once the people in the pool become still, allowing them selves to be upheld by their natural buoyancy, the water quickly returns to calmness.

When we think about the fabric of reality, the chaotic patterns we see around us a result of people acting from a place of illusion. In their feelings of separateness and smallness, they “splash around the pool” causing turbulence. When even a small a group of people remember that they are radiant beings who are upheld by and part of the radiant “waters” of reality, everything returns to its most harmonious state. That is because the group that is transfigured transforms everything and every being around them. This change occurs because harmony is not only conductive to creation it is the natural state of All That Is.

At no place in our long, human history has their been so much support for us to be able to live from this understanding. There has also never been so much riding on our being able to “get it” and remember our place as divine, creator stewards of this beautiful world.

Autumn is a perfect time to allow the illusions that keep us small to fall away like the dying leaves. As those unbeneficial patterns go away, we allow the energy of growth to flood back. We are able to experience life around us changing for the better. In dismembering our selves of those limiting beliefs or behaviors that keep us small and re-membering our place as divine co-creators, we not only step back into the flow of creativity, we co-participate in creation. We “calm the waves” and finally begin to manifest a better world for our selves and all beings.

© 2011 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.

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.