Mirror Gazing

I took a rather extended hiatus from the Warrior Goddess Training, at least the writing about it. I did get the workbook. Then promptly left it sitting on a shelf for a few months.

It’s dug out now, and I have gone back to the beginning.

The first lesson is all to do with the commitments we make to ourselves, for good and for bad. And the first exercise is one that I really don’t want to do. Which is probably a good sign that I need to do it.

I’m talking about looking at myself in a mirror for a few minutes each day. Letting the self-talk flow over me and seeing where I am running myself down, and ways I can change that voice into one more positive.

Here is what I wrote in my journal the first night, just thinking about doing the exercise. Before I actually got around to doing the looking.

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Working in the Shadows

Emergence

Emergence created by NanLT at http://www.silkweave.com

In recent years I have seen more and more Energy Healers referring to themselves as “Lightworkers”. They’ve even gone so far as to call me a lightworker, and I have gently corrected them.

I am not a lightworker.

We have a tendency to want to pretend that the shadows don’t exist, they’re too dangerous to venture into, and as beings of light we must stay forever in the light.

We talk of awakening into light. Moving from darkness. As if the light is inherently good, the dark inherently bad, and neither the twain should meet. We assign different human experiences and emotions into either “light” or “dark” categories. Those experiences and emotions deemed bad are ignored, stuffed down, and denied at all costs. Usually, the cost ends up being our own mental health. From personal experience, across my entire life, I have learned that refusing to feel and experience an emotion because it is deemed bad doesn’t cause that emotion to cease in being. It just manifests itself in other, less healthy ways.

Anger can be a sign that our personal boundaries are being crossed. In life and death situations a burst of anger can send a surge of adrenalin through our body that enables us to fight off whatever is threatening our life, or the lives of our family/clan. Granted, most people don’t find themselves in such life and death situations on a regular basis any more. Personal boundaries can still be crossed though.

When we are asked or told to do something that is not in our best interest, when someone behaves towards us in a manner that shows they are not concerned with what is in our best interest, we can feel anger.

Like many people, but women especially, I was taught by the elders in my life while growing up that anger was not an emotion that I was allowed to have. (Actually, I was taught that having any emotion was not allowed, but I am going to focus on just this one emotion today.) Adults could be angry, and they could express it through yelling and lashing out verbally or sometimes physically. But as a child, and as a female child, I was not allowed to be angry. I was not allowed to express my anger.

As an adult woman, anger is an emotion that I am terrified of. Terrified of expressing it, terrified of feeling it, terrified of others expressing it around me. But, as I came to grips with the mental and emotional abuse that I had been subjected to within my marriage, I also started to feel the anger and the utter rage inside me.

Rage that had been growing and filling me up for far longer than the 13 years I was married. I described is a black hole deep in my belly. Even thinking about this blackness would cause it to grow and overwhelm me. My biggest fear was that if I allowed this anger to come out it would utterly destroy me. I would not be able to control it and I would destroy everyone around me as well.

Energy Healing that focuses entirely on light would tell me to release this anger, to flood the black hole with white light. The girl I had been would totally agree with this idea – release it, don’t feel it. Don’t allow myself to anger.

The woman I am today who wants to be fully healed knows better.

Healing and wholeness cannot come from denying the shadow. In order to fully be healed, we need to honour, experience, and release with gratitude the shadow, and integrate it into ourselves.

We release the hole that these shadows have on our lives. The black hole in my gut gradually shrank as I allowed myself to first admit that I was angry, and then to feel it. Right now, when I think about that black hole, I cannot sense it at all.

Today, I can express that anger when it comes up, in ways that are not destructive or damaging towards myself or others. I still have my moments, after all, I’ve had 49 years of conditioning. Those moments over time though, as I continue to learn to meet my needs and establish solid boundaries, I expect to become fewer and fewer. And hopefully I can be a better example to my own children, and not pass down the lessons learned from the elders in my own childhood.

This isn’t lightwork, shining a bright light into the darkness to drive it away. This is shadow work that brings a person safely to their personal black holes, and allows them to acknowledge and embrace that part of themselves with love and gratitude.

Yes, I said love and gratitude because invariably, through honouring that part of our self we learn that it once had a purpose in protecting us from harm. The black hole where all my rage went was a form of protection – expressing anger was not safe as a child so instead it went inwards. If this had happened once or twice, it would not have become so ingrained. Had I then learned safe and appropriate ways of expressing anger, it would not have continued to build in that dark shadowed hole.

Releasing that black hole has not been a matter of pretending it is no longer there, or surrounding it with light. No, it has meant allowing myself to feel that rage, in a safe and appropriate place and manner and to honour that black hole for the protections it gave me. Only then was it able to release itself from my being.

Only then will you be able to release your own black hole.

After several years of personal healing I was finally ready to help others find healing. When I looked inwards to my healing guides to ask where my healing work needs to be focused, I was told – work in the shadows. Become comfortable holding sacred space in the muck and the mud as well as the bright and the clear.

This is now manifesting in the service I am providing through Sacred Visions.

In future it will become a new form of Reiki which I have been shown I will be teaching others.

I am excited about these new opportunities that I see coming into being. Thank you for sharing them with me.

 

 

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Initiation is Just the Beginning

I was recently asked about initiations as they pertain to shamanic healers. There is a lot of talk in some areas about “What was your initiation like?” “How were you initiated?” “He isn’t a real ______ (fill in the blank) because he didn’t undergo the correct or a real initiation.” This has got me to thinking about my own initiations both as a healer and in my Pagan religious practice.

I have been through many initiations, some planned some not planned. So expected, many not expected.

When we think of initiations as healers, I think we can be blinded and expect that these initiations will be like those we have experienced as a rite of passage through school. Stand in a line, wait for your name to be called, and collect your diploma from the guy on the stage.

We think we can plan, and anticipate. I will have my initiation on this date, at this time, and it will last for 30 minutes. And afterwards I will be all changed.

But… But initiations aren’t like that.

Initiations can’t be planned or prepared for. They’re not happy times come and poof! you’re a shaman, or a healer. These kinds of initiations are messy, and they can last weeks or months. Initiation is a birthing process, and birth can be painful and slimy and yucky. It can also be very rewarding, but you have to get through the messy bits first.

Initiations are wailing and crying so hard you have snot coming out of your eyes and blood coming from your nose.

Initiations are losing everything that made you who you are in life. Your home, your job, your family, your sanity. Being left broken and alone, and not knowing if you will be able to survive the next hour let alone the next day, or week, or year.

Initiations are trying to pick up the broken pieces of yourself, and being told – No.

Initiations are having to leave behind eveything that you thought was you, and allowing your self to be rebuilt.

Initiations are letting go of the need to control, the need to know exactly what will happen and when.

Initiations are stepping off the edge of a figurative precipice and trusting Spirit to catch you. Even when you don’t fully trust yourself.

Many view initiation as being the end of a journey. The culmination of hours, days, weeks, years of study. My own experience has been that initiation marks the end of one stage of being, and the beginning of another.

When you are at the beginning of any stage of being, it doesn’t matter what wisdom you bring with you or previous life experience, you are a beginner. When I say – I am initatied in this practice I do not say it to indicate that I have mastered it, I say it to indicate I am a student, I am learning, I am experiencing. I am becoming.

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