There are different ways to be vulnerable. I always thought vulnerability was its own thing. That you were vulnerable period and there was no nuance to that. I am discovering through personal experience, that I am so wrong. There are probably, I don’t know, hundreds of different ways to show up vulnerable. Sigh.
There is the vulnerability of going beyond, stretching and moving outside your comfort zone. The vulnerability that goes with learning a new skill like skiing or surfing. Being afraid that you can’t do something but reaching for it anyway. Being afraid you can’t have something but going for it. Being afraid you won't be good at something, but willing to learn anyway.
What did you need to hear as a child that would have helped you shape your wounds into a gift?
I was asked this recently in a (virtual) workshop space (check out Philip McKernan, he asks the best questions!). It got me thinking, what did I need to hear that I wasn't hearing?
I love you.
You are beautiful.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
You are special.
You are enough.
I love you.
All these and more! Then a lightbulb seemed to go off in my head. Yes, it really was like that, a lightbulb.
One thing I do consistently, religiously, happily with everyone I meet is encourage them. I am a huge believer in encouragement. In feeling into the question of what did I need to hear, I discovered a path to healing a childhood wound. Pretty neat, right? Look at that question, think it over, feel into it and see what you come up with. Where are you intuitively
Walking the shamanic path gave me support and tools to meet everyday challenges with ease and grace.
It liberated me from conventional thinking and elevated me to an endless-multiverse-level of wisdom. It gave me resources beyond what society, my family, even higher education had given me. It freed me up to live more authentically my soul’s purpose, less focused on the smaller purpose of this single lifetime and cultural expectations that go along with who I am in this life.
I’m far more interested in your soul purpose than I am in your life purpose. Knowing your soul purpose is much bigger than how you express that in this one lifetime.
I was the corporate 60-hour a week, no vacation, always on call, financial analyst in NYC. Before that, I worked in law in a major bank. I understand that life.
I was also the busy mom with a hundred things happening and a partner who traveled all the time. So, while I wasn’t a single-parent, I was doing the hands-on alone. I understand that life too.
I remember when the kids were little, we had moved out to the country by then—which had its own isolation issues—but I remember wanting to find a place of my own, just a room to meditate in for 10 minutes a day. Back then I thought my spiritual practices had to be something set outside of my ordinary activities. Something special and separate.
I can't tell you how many times I say this to myself and my community! That and "hands at your back" are my support mantras.
“You got this.”
“I believe in you.”
“I know you can do everything you’re dreaming of, and probably a whole lot more!”
It just feels right to wholly believe that the people in my tribe got it. Whatever it is they are thinking about, working on, creating. They got this.
“Hands at your back.”
“I’m right here.”
“I will support you, encourage you, assist you, whatever you need.”
THIS is the community I want to live in. This is the only circle, tribe, network I am interested in engaging with.
2020 has taught me so much about priorities, purpose, self-worth and risk taking.
We have encounters with unseen energies around us all the time. Too often we doubt them. We might even think we are a little crazy. It’s okay to ask if you are crazy. I get that, I’ve been there. I remember sitting with a shaman teacher one afternoon and hearing her say that even she sometimes wonders if she is a bit crazy.
What we don’t have is a place to talk about these encounters. A tribe of people or a learned elder who can guide us in understanding what we’re encountering. That’s why we doubt.
Our culture is set up to foster only what science can validate and what the five physical senses can perceive. Intuition and hunches, the foundation of the unseen energies, are not spoken of outside of “new age” communities. But that is changing.
Today I'm going to ask you to wrap your brain around two big concepts. Two very large spiritual concepts. The first is that all things are simply energy. The second is that all energy comes from Creator, from Source, from God and therefore all energy is divine. Coming from the higher place, there is no good nor evil. Vibration and energy are neither good nor bad. It is all just energy.
Now let me give you an example.
In shamanism there is an understanding that at times, usually times of trauma, a piece of our soul may be fragmented, it seems to go into hiding. It does this to protect us. In the shamanic community we call this “soul loss.” Now we know that the soul piece doesn't actually leave the soul. The soul stays intact -- however, it very much feels like a piece of you is missing. It’s as if the soul piece goes into hiding and is lost to you. You feel incomplete as if something was taken from you. You might feel broken or damaged.
What type of trauma can cause a soul loss or soul fragmentation?
Since mid-March, when we all began spinning our cocoons, I’ve had to reconcile the woman I became in the last few years with the woman I used to be when my family was home more. I needed to readjust to an earlier version of myself just when I was really happy with who I had become. I struggled with boundaries and resentments, with hurt and fear, and yet, I loved being together and the light and joy that returned to our home. I struggled with equitable work distribution and the desire to nurture. I struggled with loneliness and togetherness all at the same time. I have had to reconcile life without friends, then life with friends (virtually), then the realization that it’s all really the same.
It’s been difficult and I haven’t done the best job of it. I want to find the meaning in it all. I want to do the deep inner work and discover new truths about myself and my life. And yet...I don’t. I’m exhausted and empty most of the time. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin (the 9 extra pounds don’t help). I’m doing my best and some part of me keeps saying it’s not enough.