Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hawaiian Shamanism

I have been turned on to a new site that I want to share. Also a podcast on Hawaiian Shamanism. The presenter was a teacher of Steve's I believe. Serge King, author of Urban Shaman. Enjoy and allow yourself to be open and feel and trust. See how much of it resonates with you. Quite fascinating if you ask me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How I got here. I got sick.


I think many people will relate to my experience of what started me down this path in the first place. I had moved to Cincinnati in 2003 for a job. I was turning 40. My life had been a mix of worrywart-ism (from my mom) and stress from working in the high-pressure field of Advertising. Add onto that coming from an alcoholic family with virtually no love, 2 divorces (if you never learn love, how do you make a marriage work?) and a current wonderful marriage but a hag of an ex wife to deal with who was sucking us dry financially and emotionally. WHEW! So I started to shut down. Get sick. First I thought it was a heart issue. Pounding at night so I couldn't sleep. Like I had been drinking coffee non-stop or something. Being a physician's daughter and exwife of a physician, I believed in PHYSICAL only. So I went to the doc. Nope. Heart is fine. Then I started losing weight--a pound a day. My hair was falling out. I felt awful. I was sleeping about 2 hours a night maybe. One day at work, my entire left side felt like it was numb and useless. It was the weirdest, scariest feeling. I could move, but with effort. I was rushed to the doctor who said it was stroke or Multiple Sclerosis. Now mind you, for years leading to this, I had had some weird health events and no one could figure it out. MS had come up before, so I was very nervous. I had an MRI. Nothing. Must be my thyroid. I had blood tests, nothing. Found a doc who did a thyroid scan. Nothing. Maybe an adrenal gland tumor. CAT scan. Nothing. Maybe it was the start of "the change." Peri menopause. Nope. Weird rashes for no reason....ARRGGHHH. Am I nuts?
Regular docs quit seeing me. They couldn't help. I must be nuts.

Meanwhile my husband and I were frantic. How could I keep losing weight and live? I am 5'8" and was at 116 pounds. Finally I found an alternative care doc. I did acupuncture and Chinese herbs with an oncologist who was Chinese and an incredible doc. It started to help. The alternative side started to help. They said I wasn't nuts. I was STRESSED out from 40 years of baggage and worry and no spiritual outlet or beliefs. (I went to the Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine in Cinci. They were awesome!)

Then I was drawn to Vince Lasorso and White Willow Tai Chi. This is probably the single BEST thing I did. I found Vince and tai chi. Not only was tai chi amazing for me and still is, but Vince is special. And I mean it. He has healing abilities like no one I have ever met. And he was my lifesaver, along with my patient and loving husband, Martin. Vince "knows" things. He can touch your body and release not only tension but the emotions and memories associated with it. If you are in Cinci, you should take his classes and read his book on our Suggested Reading list: IMMORTAL'S GIFT: A PARABLE FOR THE SOUL.

Tai chi is a way to calm yourself. Bring peace and healing naturally. Reduce stress. Ground yourself. Create a mind, body, spirit connection. If one or more is lacking or in excess, you are out of balance. And my spirit was essentially gone.

I know this is a long post, but I write it to say to you, if you are "sick" and do not know why. If you feel "wrong" and fatigued and without reason, energy or purpose, sure, go to regular docs if you feel the need. But consider alternative healing methods. I absolutely say do Tai Chi. Try acupuncture. (Ok, it hurts a little if your energy is really blocked up. But it works.) Branch out people. It's ok. You're not alone and you're not a whack job. It's your inner spirit/voice/knowing whatever you want to call it SCREAMING at you. Pay attention. Heal yourself. Live the life you are here to live. Your health is one of the last things that "tells" you something inside is wrong. I believe all diseases come from inner dis-ease. I do. Your years of ignoring what you "know" just manifests as a health thing.

Am I healed and happier than a pig in slop? Heck no. This is my work here. But it pays back in incredible ways.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Trust your gut


Susanne and I had our second "installment" in our catch-up class with Steve. This class was, for me, a lesson in trust. To trust what you know. And I mean "know." We all have heard or felt that little voice or tugging in our gut, right? Well, that's something to pay attention to and to be open to more and more. I tend to be more doubting of my intuitive gifts and I hate to be wrong, which together can lead me to be less than open or believing in my true, natural abilities to know answers on the spirit/inner voice level.

We learned how to read auras, among other things in this class, but because I know Steve can read auras (or the energy field around the body that often shows up as colors: see this link for more on auras.) I would second guess myself and not believe I had the "answer" when asked, "What color is Susanne's aura?"

I let my conscious mind get in the way, stumbling through with sweaty palms. It's not that I'm not open, because I am. It's my feet that are so firmly planted in this "reality" that tend to get me. While Susanne is not so quick to judge herself and blurts out the colors she "sees." Which also makes me less able to give up my answers. Ahhhh. My lessons are many, I am seeing.

But what I have taken away from this class is to truly BELIEVE what I sense or see or hear from my inner guide. Why not? Who cares if Steve sees red in an aura and I sense green? I have to start somewhere and the less closed off I am or worried about getting it "right," the better I will tap into what is and always has been, mine. (And what you have is YOURS.)

Here's a quick story that happened right after I had this class.

I went to pick up laundry and a sandwich place was right next door. Something in me said, go in and get something for lunch. But me, trying to save the money and not listening to my inner knowing, literally pulled myself away and forced my body into my car. Home I went to prepare a sandwich. You guessed it. No bread, no lunch meat, nothing to eat. My husband had cleared the cabinets! If only I had listened to myself.

And I know this seems trivial. But I think your inner guide works no matter the perceived importance of the issue. It knew (ok, I knew) and I chose to not listen. It happens all the time to all of us. My plea to you, is to LISTEN. It's your God-given right and your God-given gift. Don't ignore what you "know," just because it comes as a little voice in your head or a feeling in your stomach. Follow it. Why not at least try it? I am. And if I can suspend disbelief in myself and abilities, so can you.

Trust me.
Because something inside me says so.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I was drawn to this blog

I tried unsuccessfully to do a "journey" for guidance this morning before I got out of bed. Work was on my mind, so perhaps that is why. I admit that it is frustrating or discouraging to feel you haven't been able to connect with your inner knowing/spirit. I'm new at this though, so I'm trying to cut myself some slack. But as I was on my computer working away—I'm an advertising writer—I got this urge to search for blogs. And I typed in the search term, "healing," to see what came up. A lot of course. But I was drawn to this one site for some reason. Now Steve and other healing teachers I have known will tell you NOTHING is a coincidence. And I believe this. So here is an excerpt from what I found. I included the link (Hope for Personal and Planetary Healing in 2008) so you can read the whole thing if you choose. It's from a woman named Mashubi Rochell.

"You feel a calling within, this is the voice of spirit urging you forward to new levels of self expression and sharing with others. Listen to the calling in your heart, which will lead you towards not only your own personal healing, but towards those new directions that can contribute positively to a new world. There are now multiple avenues of expression available to you, both by joining your consciousness with others to effect change, and also by offering inspired action towards a worthy cause. Go forth now and share with the world your beautiful and unique vision. Your positive thoughts, intentions and actions will bless others and bring great benefit to the world."

WOW. How is THAT for timing? I think it's cool how things come to you when you need them to. Start looking for these "coincidences," in your life. It's amazing when you see the puzzle coming together and you see how you have manifested things in your life. Susanne and I have started this blog as a way to, just for us, chart our progress, but also as a way to perhaps help others. And so Mashubi's post was "sent" to me with the perfection only the universe can offer up.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Woo-woo stuff

I found myself talking in a roundabout way to a fellow employee about one of his office tribulations today...trying to "talk" him through some stress by offering breathwork and grounding in a way that might not make me seem too "nuts." I find I am careful who I discuss any of this with because I fear the "look." The "she's a nut job" look. I suppose as I get more comfortable and confident in this alternative view of health, spirit and mind, I will not care what anyone thinks. But for now, I almost feel the need to apologize or frame things in what I consider a less threatening way for those who haven't embraced these ideas.
I offered him the scientific reason behind taking good, full breaths. He seemed ok with that. Then I treaded on thinner ice and suggested when he felt stressed out to think about his feet. "Why," he asked. "Because it brings all that swirling, um, frantic kind of, you know, energy, down and um, balances you a bit better. You know, grounds you," I said slightly mortified. "Right," he said backing away. "I know it sounds weird, but just try it...for me," I laughed it off.

I got his call a few hours later. "Wow, I thought about my feet and I think I felt better."

Wow. Now I feel better. Stronger and more confident. I helped someone. And I helped me at the same time. I think something is working here--all this woo-woo stuff as one friend likes to say--and I like it.



One of the first things Steve taught us was something simple and extraordinary at the same time. It's called grounding. He describes it in detail in the book. As you breathe in and out, you envision a long cord anchoring your body to the core of the earth. In subsequent breaths, you imagine releasing any negative thoughts or energy down that cord into the earth. With just a little practice, it can be done in a single breath. Grounding immediately brings calm and focus.

Being a type-A, adrenaline-junkie, always-gotta-have-her-Starbucks kind of girl, grounding is a beautiful thing. Really, beautiful.

With just a breath, the anxiousness, the pains in my shoulder blades, the nervous twitching of my left foot come to a peaceful stop. If I am surrounded by others who are really negative or angry or upset, I can ground and feel safe and comforted in knowing I don't have to take on their "stuff." It's a beautiful thing.

Grounding gives me the confidence to enter any situation knowing I can CHOOSE to be calm and strong. Grounding is a choice.

We always get to choose how we react in any given situation, no matter how trying. Victor Frankl's memoir, Man's Search for Meaning, is the most famous exploration of the power of this choice. The key is remembering to choose even in everyday situations - particularly in everyday situations.

Now, I still love my lattes, but I choose to enjoy them with both feet on the ground.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Our first class

I am very open to this, even though a year ago, I'd have said you're nuts if you even mentioned I'd be doing any Shamanic anything. But I suppose life directs us to these things and so I am here. Susanne and I came together as a universal fate and her ties to Steve and Marcia got us started.
So our first class is simply the two of us. We're catching up since we missed the beginner's classes. Steve starts us off with learning to trust our intuition and inner knowledge. I am somewhat skeptical that I have any of either of those things. But I am game. He starts by showing us how to breathe. Yes. You need to breathe and while it seems a no-brainer, I soon realize I have not been doing it very well at all. Your breath is your life and sitting up straight, taking in breaths from your abdomen and filling in upward all the way into your shoulders is how it works. Then releasing the breath in the exact opposite way from top down. I already feel better. More relaxed. We do this quite a few times and I am in what Steve calls a "trance" state. Really? Hmm. We each are given a photo of someone that we do not look at. We hold it and ask for insight and information about the person. Steve has given us a sheet that tells us a few things to ask, like "what feeling do you get about this person?" "What color comes to mind for this person." Things like that. I, again, go along and amazingly enough, images pop into my head. I write them down, not knowing where this is headed. At the end, we tell Steve what we have "seen." And he reveals the person in the photo. I had Steve's son. And he proceeds to explain how many of the things I felt about him were right on. Up to an image of a boy with blondish/brown hair on some type of a surfboard. (Steve's son snowboards!) So this is where we start. Trusting that we each have knowledge and knowing inside if we allow it show up. If we allow ourselves to listen. Sitting quietly is key. Believing is key. Here I go. My life will never be the same.

Like Water...

The ancient Tao Te Ching speaks often of the idea of living like water. Nothing is softer.

Yet for overcoming the hard or unyielding - like the stone in a mountain - nothing is more powerful. Water can carve out rock and flow beyond any obstacle.

Today two women embark on a healing journey to nurture ourselves - and those around us who are drawn to the same path. We do not know where the path is taking us - only that it is taking us, compelling us, to move forward and to tell our two stories.

And so with some deep breaths, we move ahead, we flow like water...