Tag Archives: Trevor Cowan

Pain and Grief by Franco Santoro

“Pain and grief have been kept buried for ages, bred in secrecy and shame, wrapped by an ongoing conspiracy of smiles and well-being. Pain and grief are most healing and ecstatic emotions. Yes, sure, they can be hard, yet what makes them most devastating is the perverted idea that they are wrong, that they need to be hidden and fixed.

The greatest perversion I can conceive is the idea that illness and pain are a sign that there is something wrong in our life, that we have unresolved issues, that we have made mistakes. In this world everyone is bound to get ill, experience pain and die.

The greatest gift I can give to myself and the world is the joyful acceptance of this. Today I want to be real, I will not hide my pain as well as my happiness. I will not care if my gloomy face or desperate words cause concern or embarrassment in others. I do not need be fed with reassuring words about the beauty of life.

The beauty of life resides in the full acceptance of All That Is.”

pic by dailymail.com

Franco Santoro 

Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.

Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.

Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.

His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.

He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.

As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.

Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).

Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.

For consultations with Franco please click here.

For a list of Franco’s workshops please click here.
See Franco in Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/Astroshamanism
https://www.facebook.com/Santoro.uk

(featured image by theodysseyonline.com)

Healing Communication by Franco Santoro

Healing communication in this world involves a mere and ongoing exchange of unconditional blessings and forgiveness horizontally, amongst human beings. At the same time it implies releasing curses and grievances verticaly, towards those luminous dimensions which can transform them.

Once we start this process we simply keep confirming our blessings horizontally, while releasing grievances vertically. It does not matter how we refine and embellish our language. What counts is that the healing process takes place.

Once we learn to use language for this process, language will not be needed anymore. We will be the process.

I bless and forgive you and me unconditionally.

pic by shamanismsummit.com

Franco Santoro

Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.

Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.

Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.

His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.

He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.

As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.

Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).

Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.

For consultations with Franco please click here.

For a list of Franco’s workshops please click here.
See Franco in Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/Astroshamanism
https://www.facebook.com/Santoro.uk

(featured image by youwall.com)

Confusion and Uncertainty by Franco Santoro

If you feel confused and uncertain regarding your life purpose, this is not necessarily a problem. On the contrary it may be a sign of very good multidimensional health. Perhaps you should be more concerned when you feel absolutely clear and certain regarding who you are and what you are supposed to do in this world.

pic by nomadberlin.com

In this world there seems to be so many people who are clear regarding their identity and objectives in life. Mass media in particular play a vital role in promoting this category of individuals. The point is that this flaunted clarity and certainty is in most cases sheer fiction, mere propaganda aimed at convincing others about what their objectives in life should be.

Have you ever seen an advertising, or a politician or religious authority, expressing uncertainty, confusion and doubts regarding their products or ideas? Most unlikely! There is no market for confusion and uncertainty. This is because people have too much of it, and don’t want more. Nobody would ever sell something that everybody has, and for free.

pic by youtube.com

Uncertain and confused people are the primary consumers of what provides clarity and certainty. Then once these uncertain people are convinced about the certainties they have been sold, they become the main promoters of those certainties.

If you feel confused and uncertain regarding who you are, what you are doing here and what your objectives are in life, accept your condition, do not rush to change anything. Certainty and clarity are the primary drugs of mankind, they serve the purpose of denying our capacity to question who we are, to ask ourselves what we are doing in this world, to open to the mystery of our existence.

If you feel confused and uncertain, if you have the courage to openly admit it, without pretending to be clear and certain, this is probably a sign that you are still alive, that you truly exist. Perhaps you are one of the few human beings who is still real, an endangered species, a glimpse of hope for mankind.

pic by healourlife.com

 

© Franco Santoro

Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.

Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.

Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.

His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.

He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.

As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.

Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).

Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.

For consultations with Franco please click here.

For a list of Franco’s workshops please click here.
See Franco in Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/Astroshamanism
https://www.facebook.com/Santoro.uk

(featured image – thewisdomdaily.com)

Astrology and Astroshamanism by Franco Santoro

pic by astrospeak.com
In astroshamanism astrology is employed as a symbolic and strategic structure aimed at moving beyond our limited perception of reality.
The natal chart, the human psyche, the material world, etc. are here regarded as mere symbols. This means that they are external or visible forms through which I can perceive an inner or unseen meaning. The planets, the universe and all human beings exist at a visible level, yet beyond this context they have multidimensional natures and a core essence. The symbolic key is properly at work when we manage to perceive this essence beyond the visible or material form.
Transformation, meant as healing, integration or expansion of awareness takes place when we establish a rapport with what lies beyond the symbolic form and have a direct experience of pure energy and of its unity with whatever exists. In order to use astrology in this process, astroshamanism considers the natal chart as a reflex of the totality of the inner and outer world, or of shamanic and ordinary states of consciousness, rather than as a device aimed at inflating our separated self and all its personal issues.
pic by nickroney.com
Apart from what we think, or are conditioned to believe, we are, our authentic nature is connected with a specific Intent which represents the foundation of our true potentials and of all that truly makes sense of who we are. During life this Intent develops through various stages of transformation and key events that are fully relevant to our multidimensional self, although they may be incomprehensible for our ordinary personality.
The advantage of astrology lies in providing a codified language able to identify and define some of the basic components and dynamics of human existence. This language, when examined through a person’s inner experience, can promote a wide and clear vision as regards the direction of their cycles. In brief, astrology offers the possibility of understanding the energies at play and the opportunity of identifying, not only the modalities, but also the specific times in which they express and transform themselves during life.
The development of astrology dates back to the first appearance of man on Earth and has been developing ever since. The need of man to communicate with their fellows produced a series of gestures and sounds that was later translated into specific alphabetical languages. The need to transmit deeper meanings and to relate with invisible forces determined the birth and the successive development of the astrological language.
pic by janetritson-astrologer.co.uk

Astroshamanism employs the astrological language in its essential features as a strategic energy grid aimed at reawakening, stimulating and operating our multidimensional nature. In this context it is not necessary to consider the numerous techniques and methods of interpretation on which astrological literature thrives. The essence of astrological language is extremely simple. Its applications can become unnecessarily complex. And here it is important to be clear about what we want to do with this language, i.e. our Intent.

For example, if I want to write a text on a computer, I just need to know how to use the word processor programme and this will suffice to complete my task. I do not need to study other features of the programme, the software for graphics and algebraic calculations or the internal functioning of the word processor, not to mention the hardware. What counts is to manifest my Intent of writing a text. Of course, it could be useful to know a bit more about the computer and its various functions, especially when the machine does not work properly and prevents me from writing the text. And yet, if I still intend to write a text, in the event of the computer malfunctioning, I can still do this by hand or with an old typewriter.
The astroshamanic circle, or circle on the floor, is the primary astrological reference used in astroshamanism. Here the natal chart is reproduced on the floor in an ample circle where the person can directly experience the energy of the astrological signs. In astroshamanism the zodiac signs represent 12 energy centres, which strategically make up the complete structure of our multidimensional identity.
pic by astroshamanism.org
Once we learn to retrieve, reawaken and operate those centres then we are able to expand our awareness beyond the confines of our human arbitrary configuration and access what lies beyond. What lies beyond, our multidimensional self is always there, yet the demands of our social identity do not leave enough energy to be intentionally conscious of its existence. The astroshamanic circle serves the purpose of breaking the fixation of our awareness and gaining the necessary fluidity that can allow a tangible expansion of our perception.
© Franco Santoro, info@astroshamanism.org. All rights reserved.

 

Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.

Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.

Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.

His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.

He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.

As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.

Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).

Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.

For consultations with Franco please click here.

For a list of Franco’s workshops please click here.
See Franco in Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/Astroshamanism
https://www.facebook.com/Santoro.uk

(featured image by freespiritedmind.com)

All relationships are multidimensional by Franco Santoro

All relationships are multidimensional, unlimited by time and space, united and whole, part of the same ecstatic web of life.

Every significant individual we meet in our life is an emanation of multiple forces, simultaneously dwelling in different worlds.

pic by pinterest.com

When you see people as static categories, identifying them with fixed roles and functions, based on your trite or refined conditioning, you sentence them to death. And with them also your soul will be ultimately put to death.

Release all the prisoners you have kept in the cages of your separated mind, proclaim a general amnesty, liberate everybody, make them all free to be who they truly are!

Then, relax and finally embrace the ecstatic authenticity of your multidimensional luminous self.

Apart from the above, there is truly nothing else to do here.

pic by classroom synonym.com

 

 Franco Santoro

Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.

Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.

Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.

His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.

He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.

As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.

Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).

Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.

For consultations with Franco please click here.

For a list of Franco’s workshops please click here.
See Franco in Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/Astroshamanism
https://www.facebook.com/Santoro.uk

(featured image by powerofpositivity.com)

My friend John 1967 – 2017

Last year I decided to go to India and John kindly offered to put me up whilst I planned the trip, as I had recently moved out of my home in Billericay. It took about three weeks to organise the visa, tickets, vaccinations, etc and it was during this time that I met John’s sister, Teresa, and her grown up children, Daniel and Matilda.

Teresa had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was back in the UK, from her home in Sweden, to sort out some of her affairs. A difficult time for everyone, but John put on a brave face and tried to be bright and bubbly, however the underlying stress was apparent. As I spent time with John he shared more of his worries and concerns that were depriving him of sleep. Not only his sister’s illness but work and relationship troubles. He had left his job at the family farm and was trying to take stock of his life and find new direction. He even applied for a builders merchant manager’s job, for which he was way overqualified, but was unsuccessful. He had split with his partner, Sue, some time ago but still regularly saw his two girls, Isabella and Ayesha.

John’s house had three rooms that were devoted to the girls, adorned with pop band posters, cuddly toys and the like. Wardrobes and drawers were crammed with their clothes, as they stayed over two, three or more nights a week. In the three weeks staying with John I got to know his daughters a little and saw how he absolutely doted upon them. They wanted for nothing. Both the girls, although quite different in character, came across as intelligent, well mannered and considerate. They could even take themselves off to bed without a fuss.

As young teenagers (almost), that was impressive. At the end of November 2016, with a six month visa and no real plan in mind, I left for India. Some healthy food and exercise, walking and yoga, were as far as my intention went. I swapped whatsapp messages with John and sent the odd photo of my travels but then, in early January 2017, he sent a message saying he had been diagnosed with cancer. The shock I felt must have been nothing compared to that felt by John and his family. From then on I was in regular contact with both John and another close friend, Kevin, who kept me abreast of the situation. Speaking with John on the phone, I was surprised to hear how upbeat he was but understandably that didn’t last. As his situation worsened he became more accepting and reflective.

During one of the many email exchanges we had, John replied with the below after I had written about some of my spiritual thoughts and beliefs: “Hi Trev, That was a very thoughtful message. Believe it or not I don’t think what you have suggested is something I don’t believe in. As I said to you, my body has been out of alignment with its natural state for years. Essentially I realised that I m not a hard-nosed businessman in pursuit of untold riches. I pursued a life that never suited my personality. I m not a greedy and selfish person deep down. I now believe following this path has led to my illness. The stress this has brought has caused me untold damage. I think you knew I wasn’t well when you were here. I was quite sure there was something wrong hence my visits to doctors. It was a virus that triggered the cancer off over Christmas. It was almost like it was waiting to be kick started. If you remember I told you I couldn’t breath in the pool in Sweden while at my sister. Stupidly I didn’t push the doctors for a simple X-ray and just listened to them saying there was nothing wrong. I guess now I’m facing the daunting task of operations, chemo and radiation treatments. Basically, a sledge-hammer to open a walnut. I do now need a deep healing within my body to withstand this onslaught. I’m looking at ways to meditate and find peace with myself. As you can imagine, I have just told my children the news and the devastation I feel inside is a pain I cannot explain. My head at night is in turmoil. Sleep, as you well know, is now a precious commodity.

All my dreams, hopes and plans are distant memories. We talked about riding across America on a Harley, finishing my flying course etc. Now I face the fear and emptiness of this long dark road. Time suddenly feels like it has stood still while I watch everyone move forward past me. It’s almost like you have stepped into God’s waiting room. To make things worse I had to break news to my sister who is dying that I cannot give her stem cells to fight her disease. We both get cancer within months of each other. I was already suffering her burden in my mind and now she is staying looking after me! If you believe in fate then I left work 5 months ago and maybe something has given me this time to reflect before I face this trial. I just hope I can face this with dignity and not let my daughters suffer watching me waste away. I hope you find that peace and end the pain of the Tinnitus. I can assure you my sister and I knew you were going through hell with it. Again unless you live it for a day you cannot understand the torment. I want you to have a good life and find a woman to share life with.

At times like these you realise only love, friendship and happiness really matter. Enjoy your trip and hopefully I’ll still be around when you come back. The girls are here and they said hello as does Teresa.”

I held a couple of shamanic ceremonies for him on the beach and upon a cliff top, where I was staying in India. They seemed to make sense to me and I got confirmation back from the universe that I was on the right track in the form of acknowledgment sounds and sights. A local man asking for a photo with me just as i finished the small ceremony on the beach (I had been discreet and he had not seen me conduct it), a bell being rung when I completed the cliff top work with a multitude of eagles.

During this period I spent a week in the city of Trivandrum in Kerala, southern India where, as serendipity would have it , Amma “The Hugging Mother” was holding an event. I went along and took a sacred stone that I was using in the work I was doing with and for John, said prayers for him, and left it in the temple. Again this felt right. However after a few weeks working shamanically it felt as though I could do no more where I was and, as I had been thinking about flying back to the UK to be with my friend, I booked a ticket back. I returned early February and stayed at John’s house. Teresa was nursing him as best she could and many other family members and friends came to help and offer their support.

But John had deteriorated rapidly. I worked with John using my teachings and was there to help out as necessary, even if it that only meant making cups of tea for the many visitors. My ideal, of course, was to be able to help him battle the disease and cure himself, but that seemed out of the question now as destiny had other plans. The decision was made to move John to a hospice and I agreed to spend the first night with him, so that he was not alone in a strange place, and Teresa could try to get some rest, as she had been in constant attendance since coming over from Sweden. As night fell the hospice became quiet and all I could hear was the sound of the oxygen machine, rhythmically pumping out life to a slow morbid beat. I lay awake on the bed in John’s room as he drifted in and out of a medicated consciousness in the chair just round the corner.

I may have grabbed some sleep but mainly I lay and meditated and prayed. I did some more work with John, again hoping in some way it will help him, at least to try to overcome any fear of death but there was little, if any, energy left in him. Around noon the next day Teresa returned with her dad and brother, so I left, saying my heartfelt goodbyes to John, in case I didn’t see him again and returned to his empty house in Southend.

I did more shamanic work that night and realised I needed to do some anger releasing work with him when I returned to the hospice the following day. I have a piece of broken mirrored haematite in my mesa, or medicine bundle, that represents anger which I use with clients. This healing was confirmed when I noticed another smaller piece of haematite stone under John’s empty massage chair, a stone given to him by another friend, who had offered his spiritual support. The next day I packed my mesa and shamanic “tools” into my backpack and made my way to the hospice.

But John had passed earlier in the morning. When I arrived I tried to support the family in their grief as best I could without being intrusive. Whilst sitting talking with his Teresa, I offered to conduct a shamanic style soul release ceremony for John, to send his spirit off to wherever it goes next, even though I had never done one before, I’d only ever been taught it. I told his sister this but she asked me to do it anyway. So I did. His whole family came into the room where John was laid out and I carried out the ceremony. Teresa and other family members thanked me afterwards and said how beautiful it was. Sometime later I walked along the beach near the hospice and had the small piece of mirror like haematite in my hand.

I knew I had to release it into the sea and was drawn to a monument, an obelisk about thirty metres out from the shore, but reachable due to the low tide. I think it is a World War II monument but I’m not entirely sure, however I knew the stone had to be placed there, for the tide to come in and wash away. It was also within sight of the hospice so the connection was strong. As I walked out on this wonderfully becalmed day, I looked down to see a small toy mirrored heart lying there on the stoney foreshore. I knew that this was to come with the stone and I placed both of them on the side of the obelix, said goodbye to John in spirit again and left feeling somewhat lighter amidst such a tragedy. Farewell my friend. Safe travels wherever you are.

Note: It didn’t go unnoticed to me that the place where I received most of my shamanic training was almost directly opposite the hospice in Westcliff and my dad’s wife, Margaret, also volunteers at the same hospice. Yet more synchronicity confirming to me a connection to something bigger.

With Johns sisters blessings I published this article!

 

My name is Trevor Cowan and I am a Shamanic Practitioner. Following university and a few years travelling, I have spent the majority of my twenty five year career in engineering working for a number of years in Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong. However, like most on a spiritual path I knew there was something more I needed to be doing, especially as my health began to suffer as I developed digestive problems coupled with acute tinnitus which in the end forced me out of my job, and let’s say, encouraged me to find my own healing path, as the mainstream medical profession could not help me. So for the past fifteen years I have been working consciously on myself, beginning with yoga and meditation and leading on to the study of shamanism, completing a two year training course on the medicine wheel and qualifying as a Shamanic Practitioner.

As a mesa (medicine bundle) carrier following shamanic healing practices handed down by the Q’ero shamans of Peru interwoven with teachings from other shamanic traditions I offer sessions for personal development and growth, past life healing, soul loss, facing and overcoming fears, rekindling the magic and joy in life or providing a clearer vision of what life means. All manner of ailments and problems can be looked at and helped with, including childhood issues, parental relationships, sibling rivalry, sexual and intimacy issues, wounds and traumas, anger and resentment, loneliness, lack of direction, career changes, life blocks, financial and abundance issues, greed and guilt.

The one to one shamanic session normally involves the client laying on the therapy couch as I work. This work can include the gentle laying on of hands, utilising rattles, drums, voice or bells or allowing the background music to bring peace and calm to the healing. A variety of feelings, emotions or physical sensations can come up and I ask that the client be open to whatever happens and allow it to unfold knowing that he or she is in a safe, protected and loving space. This is a very loose outline and the details will always depend upon the client’s needs

At the moment I can only offer distant healing sessions because I am travelling. But these sessions are as powerful as One-to-One Sessions and can be very life transforming.

For more info or if you have any further questions send me an email to trevor@blossomofthesoul.org or have a look on my website here….

(featured image by pinterest.com)

The Healing Power of Women (read)

 

In the heart of every woman beats the longing to sit with her sisters, to crack open, connect deeply and share her vulnerability, her joys, fears and her dreams. In ancient times the unfettered magic of the sacred feminine flowed freely. Her abundant fertility and creative power was in harmony with the principles of nature and flourished.

For over 2000 years, the dominant paradigm in our world has been the masculine impetus. This has caused suppression and wounding of the feminine force in both women and men. With all the advances of today, women are still secondary, in decision making, in influence and in terms of their access to power. Yet, women shape the generations to come, women have tremendous creative power to generate new life, to heal communities, create peace and so much more.

While sisterhood is rising and becoming a powerful healing force, many women are still healing their own wounds. Like most women, I have had my share of feminine wounding. I come from an ancestral heritage of splintered and wounded femininity. Adopted at birth, I have a dual lineage of birth parents and adoptive parents and in both of these families there is the tremendous loss and alienation from giving up children for adoption and the rupture of the primal bond between mother and child, which is so core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.

The primal bond between mother and child is core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.The primal bond between mother and child is core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.

My own journey with sisterhood has been interesting and not always easy. But so much of my healing has been through sisters and learning to receive feminine nurturing and be present to my own femininity and power. Being adopted left me with feelings of abandonment, low self worth and trust issues. I’ve spent years restoring the dislocated feminine in myself, healing my heart and my ability to love myself and others and learning to create strong bonds and relationships. Much of this journey has been through the passage of motherhood. I have four young children, three of them daughters and with each pregnancy and birth I healed more of my own pain and disconnection from myself. I feel a sacred responsibility to initiate my daughters into sistership and to give them a legacy of whole female relationships and feminine power. Healing the female line and freeing my ancestors has been an important initiation in my life and women have been vital in supporting this journey. The more I’ve sat in circle with women over the years, shared my vulnerability and opened my heart in trust, a kind of entrainment has helped heal the wounds of abandonment.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. –  Helen Keller

Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community. These special moments lift the spirit and melt the heart. And science has shown that sisterhood also has wonderful benefits for women’s health.

Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community. Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community.

Ancient Sisterhood Traditions

The magic of sisterhood fills the longing for authenticity, deep connection and the expression of our wildness that was expressed so freely in ancient times. In some indigenous cultures, this tradition is still alive and increasingly it is being revived by women across the world. Traditions like the Red Tent, honouring rites of passage, healing circles, fertility rituals, and other indigenous women’s business nourished women and kept the whole tribe strong.

The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time. This monthly cycle is far more than just a physical cycle, it is a cycle of transmutation, offering the potential for rebirth each month. It is a time of renewal and letting go.

Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle has long said that the pain body is more active just before a woman menstruates. According to him your pain body is a kind of reservoir of accumulated pain, a field of negative energy. It can be both personal and collective and is made up of all the energetic residues of your pain from childhood. The pain body can either be dormant or active. When it is active it can take you over and feed on pain, which could explain the blues during or just before your period. If you approach this time with awareness you can stay present to emotions that intensify and see it as a healing opportunity to dissolve the pain body and heal past traumas.

At this moon time women would retreat together, as their cycles would be synchronised and they would sit in the tent together, being nurtured and cared for by the other women as they went through the healing process of shedding their womb. A woman is more psychic and the veil is thin between the worlds for her when she is bleeding. Taking the time to be still she can easily open to higher inspiration and dreaming at this time.

The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time. The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time.

“Sister, open your heart, fling your hopes high and set your dreams aloft. I am here to hold your hand.” – Maya Angelou

In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom. They maintained harmony and balance in the natural world and their communities. Due to their emotional openness and connection to their instinctual nature, their vision and ability to tap into higher wisdom was revered and used for the advantage of the whole community. Women’s bodies were seen as sacred alchemical vessels of creation and transformation. And in many traditions, women were the personification of the Goddess on earth, channels who could bridge the worlds with sacred rituals.

Traditional ways women kept their bonds strong were through honouring the rites of passage in a woman’s life, which were linked to her sexuality and fertility. In the Native American Tradition and many others, the onset of menstruation in a young girl was celebrated with a ceremony of huge significance that welcomed her into womanhood. These rites of passage were a major event and  to celebrate a young girl becoming a woman, or when a woman entered motherhood, as well as the passage of a woman into her crone wisdom at menopause, were shared with their sisters.

In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom.In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom.

In Indigenous cultures many of the activities of daily life were shared. Women gathered the food and cooked together, while singing and sharing. Women, like the ancient Maya, created textiles, clothes, spinning and weaving together, and were also responsible for tending to the spiritual aspects of day to day life. Australian Indigenous women cared for each other’s children, as if they were their own and the children often didn’t know which woman was their birth mother as these bonds were so close. In today’s fragmented society, some women feel alienated and alone, longing for this connection with other women that was such a natural part of everyday life.

Women also gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon for ceremony and rituals to heal and support one another. Many feminine traditions included the honouring of the earth and the Goddess. In Europe before Biblical times and the suppression of women, these traditions celebrated fertility and the power of the Divine Feminine.

In the temples of India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Sumeria, and ancient Europe, women were taught to develop their powers of perception, intuition, and how to refine the powerful energy of emotion. They learnt how to awaken nurture and enhance their feminine gifts. Today, women are reclaiming their spiritual power and innate wisdom, creating community and taking up leadership.

Women gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon for ceremony and rituals to heal and support one another.Women gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon to heal and support one another.

So what is sisterhood?

Sisterhood is not an exclusive group, or an anti-men symposium. It is a way of being. It is a celebration of all that is gloriously and potently feminine. It is foremost a choice to be alive and luscious in your female mystery, and it is a path of the heart. There is sisterhood between friends, between a mother and a daughter, a grandmother and her grandchild, a teacher and her student. Sisterhood is a movement of kindness. It encompasses all women, no matter what their shape, nationality or beliefs. It is an energy that encompasses men too and is healing for the planet.

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” Louisa May Alcott

The archetypes of the priestess, the crone, and the goddess runs deep in women, but is buried below the crushing responsibilities and daily demands women put on themselves along with the taut dictates of society: to be the perfect mother, or model wife, amazing lover, and career woman. When women come together, this falls away and they create magic, an atmosphere that is potent and transformative, and a field that is magnetic.

Sisterhood is a movement of kindness.Sisterhood is a movement of kindness.

Sacred aspects of True Sistership

Equality

The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being. There is no elite, no division, but a warm acceptance of all the colours, shapes and sizes of our sisters. Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. Each is unique and important to the whole. As we appreciate and support each other in our individuality, in beauty, body shape, dreams, life choices, or parenting choices, we create incredible freedom in ourselves and others.

Mastery

Sisterhood supports the expression of our full power as women. It is a supportive journey of mastery over our deep instinctual nature, our thoughts and our physicality. As we mould our inner world, we discover the power to manifest our dreams in the world around us.

The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being.The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being.

Stillness

The feminine principle is receptive. In stillness we open to inspiration, we connect deeply with ourselves, so that we are able to hold space more deeply for our families, children, and communities.

Honour

Sisterhood is a path of honouring our sensuality, and our beauty as women, of self acceptance of whatever that form of beauty takes, and of loving the unique divine expression of our bodies and faces. We have a responsibility to care for and love ourselves. When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way. The true nurturing potential and power of love is free to flow to everyone when it comes from a well of potent and integral love for yourself.

When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way.When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way.

Fertility

In each womb, there lies the creative potential of the universe. While we have the ability to birth new life, women also have the capacity to bring their dreams to life out in the world. We have a sacred responsibility to express this creativity, be it through creating a family, a connected community, harmony, works of art, dance, music or anything of beauty. When we create we keep our feminine energy balanced and the unfettered flow of creative expression stems the tide of competition, jealousy and comparison with others. It ensures our relationships with our sisters are alive and happy and our creative urges are fulfilled.

Now more than ever these sacred principles are needed if women are to shine and impact the world around us.

Our own family trees are filled with teaching situations and with tragic examples that may have blinded our own Ancestors to the values of truth as it is found in love. Now, the destiny of wholeness of the human race falls to the Sisterhood because all things are born of woman.

When women are no longer lost, asking others to tell them what they should do or how they should live, there will be great changes in our world. This is not to say that the friendships and bonds of women are not to be used; on the contrary, the support of other women who have walked the same path is paramount. – Jami Sams, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers

For our world to heal, each woman needs to rediscover herself, find her light and shine it out into the world. We need to guide each other home and now is the time.

By Azriel ReShel

(Featured image from upliftconnect.com)

An Indigenous Approach to Healing with Water

For the Desana people, singing to the Water is a key to healing

 

The science of cymatics literally shows us that sound influences the structure of water, but there are many who believe in the scientifically controversial idea that water can hold a ‘memory’ from the influence of light, sound and even human intention. In recent years many people have been captivated by the work of Masaru Emoto, with his images showing the world precise details of how intention may be affecting water on a structural level. For the first time we were able to clearly visualise what a particular intention, such as gratitude, may look like in the form a single snowflake-like structure, photographed under a microscope.

The list of different photographs that could be taken using Masaru Emoto’s technique is as long as as the list of different emotions and all the different sources of water on planet earth combined. In fact people have believed in our ability to influence water since the days of antiquity, with the Christian tradition being the obvious example, with the ongoing performing of rituals they claim turns regular water into holy water. Vibrational essences and the water from flower baths are just a few other examples of people believing in the capacity for water to be affected intentionally for healing purposes.

Alt text hereDr. Emoto’s water blessed by gratitude (left) and Holy Water (right)

Indigenous Healing With Water

We shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there have been cultures who have held this understanding since long before microscopes and cameras existed to show them that their prayers or intentions were having some kind of tangible effect.  Verification instead came to them in the form of efficacy in healing.  Water was charged with healing intention, and then given to someone who was sick, and when their health was restored, the practice was deemed useful and it’s use was continued. In this way, this practice has been carried through to the present day from ancient times.  One such culture which has found this practice effective is the Desana tribe who continue to reside in the Amazon on both sides of the Colombian/Brazilian border.

The practice of charging liquids, particularly herbal medicines with intention is widely practiced throughout the Amazon basin among many different language groups, most often done with whistling or song, and/or the blowing of tobacco smoke over the liquid.

Members of the Desana TribeMembers of the Desana Tribe

Imbuing Water With Healing Intention

One term used in spanish is curar, to cure – used in much the same way we use this word when referring to clay tiles curing in the sun, or salted meat being cured, inferring that the intention is perhaps preserved in the structure of the water molecules. It has a double meaning in that one cures the liquid etc. in the preserving intention sense, in order to cure the patient in the healing sense. This is likely part of why a healer in the amazon is most commonly known as a curendera or curandero: one who cures. Another term for this practice in the Amazon is icarar.

The verb icarar means to sing or whistle an icaro [medicine song] over a person, object or preparation to give it power; water over which an icaro has been sung or whistled and tobacco has been blown, for example is called agua icarada

Anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna tells of how [mestizo shaman] Don Williams Vasquez deals with difficult childbirth, singing icaros [medicine songs] of slimy fish, demulcent and mucilaginous trees, the slippery boa, and the ray, which can give birth in any position. He sings these songs over a glass of water, which is given for the woman to drink. – Steve Beyer, Singing To The Plants

Alt text hereBlessing water with sacred tobacco

The Desana Tribe Of The Vuapes River Region

The Desana stand as a particularly good example of this practice because in their culture exists a field of specialisation in this exact art. The Desana are unique in that they have three distinct types of shamans and the ones that work with incantations, usually over liquids, are known to be capable of healing with water and intention alone. This person is referred to as a kubu or kumu.

The kumu cures by the inaudible recitation of highly formalised therapeutic spells over a liquid the patient then drinks.’ – Steve Beyer, Singing To The Plants

A term that isn’t loaded with quite the same negative connotations as ‘spells’ is the Desana word bayi, which speaks of curing in both the healing sense as well as the encoding of intention into a liquid.  Bayi also brings with it the same kind of reverence and sacredness as the word ‘pray’.

For the Desana, this object [often water], which gives the incantation a material support, functions as a “medium”; it transfers the incantation to the patient. – Domonique Buchillet, Portals Of Power

Alt text hereThe Desana Tribe of the Amazon

Why Not Simply Sing Or Speak The Incantation Over The Sick Person?

According to the kubu shamans of the Desana, their incantations when used without some kind of physical carrier like water have more precision and are able to target the exact cause of the illness with more accuracy, but work more slowly. Perhaps the effect is slower to arrive, or slower to manifest into some kind of physical change, or both.

When reciting their incantation over a physical agent like a liquid for drinking or a plant for rubbing on the person, the Desana claim that the cure is faster acting, more penetrating, has more materiality and permanence, though it not as precise.

Cultivating The Ability To Encode Water With Healing Intention

If Dr. Masaru Emoto is right then we are very likely accidentally affecting the environment around us with our thoughts and feelings every where we go, every single day – and water seems to be particularly conductive and sensitive to the emanations of our consciousness. If we wish to more actively affect the quality of the water around us the following lessons can be learned from the kubu of the Desana tribe.

The apprentice kubu, kudu pegi, is literally ‘the one who listens’. – Domonique Buchillet, Portals Of Power

Alt text hereLearning the practice of deep listening

Deep Listening

For the Desana, much of the listening required is the listening to the incantations being passed down in a lineage, so I’m sorry to say that those reading this article are unlikely to gain the powers claimed by a kubu. What we can do however is examine the qualities that they are trying to cultivate while they are learning the incantations of their ancestral line. There is a depth to the type of listening that they are trying to cultivate. The Desana speak of learning to be able to sit still on a bench that in their tradition is ‘intimately tied to thought and reflection’. Their term for intelligence is partly derived from a word that means: to listen, to hear, to comprehend, to understand, to know.

Indigenous Australians, Kalahari Bushmen in Africa, Apache Indians, Indigenous Hawaiians and many more traditional cultures place a profound level of focus on deep listening to nature. For example the Lipan Apache philosophy as taught by Stalking Wolf / Tom Brown / Jon Young, is that as we listen deeply we develop threads of connection to the living world. This could explain why deep listening allows for more powerful incantations as the person is able to call on the aspects of nature he has formed strong threads or even ropes of connection with.

Alt text hereIndigenous Australians have a deep connection to nature through listening

Purification and Fasting

Another aspect of gaining knowledge and the ability to focus and transfer intention powerfully and accurately is the practice of purification and fasting. Purification through emetic plant purges apparently removes blockages preventing knowledge from coming in.

One of the fundamental methods of shamanic training in the Amazon is the practice of self imposing strict limitations on diet and spending time in isolation in the forest, listening for the songs of the plants that one is trying to establish relationships with. Perhaps it is the mental and physical discipline gained from fasting that hones the ability to focus intention in a powerful way, however the deepest lessons come from actually doing the practice yourself and receiving knowledge and experience directly. If you choose to explore fasting, please do extensive research and proceed with care. Getting a checkup and speaking to your physician is advised before exploring this path.

tambo
A modern day Tambo for isolation diets and fasting

 

How Is This Helpful In My Daily Life?

Whether you believe fully in the possibilities outlined in this article or whether you are a more sceptical, it can be helpful to remember that in recent studies science has found that even when a person knows they are receiving a placebo it is still effective in a statistically significant way.

So the next time you sit down to eat a meal, think of all the cultures that give gratitude for their meals and consider that almost every piece of food you are likely to eat contains water.  What would the image look like if Dr Emoto took a picture of the water in that food now charged with gratitude?  What would the image look like of the water in our body that had come into contact with this water from our gratitude charged food?

The next time you’re cooking soup for a loved one who isn’t feeling well, you could consider singing it a song that warms your heart.  When you run a bath for yourself at the end of a long stressful day, consider the affect the epsom salt crystals, the essential oils and music may be having on not only the water in the bath, but the water in your body that makes up approximately 70% of who you are.

Alt text hereCan we positively affect our water before we drink it?

Healing With Water On A Global Scale

If water is extremely conductive of electricity then this conductivity could also extend to more subtle levels of energy that science is now only at the edge of being able to measure.  Remember also that water has also been observed by eastern traditions as perhaps the best example of being able to adapt and change to any situation. Conductivity and adaptability.

We may not be masters of encoding water with intention like the Desana, or masters of focus like buddhist monk, but what we lack in depth of focus we may be able to make up for with sheer volume of people. What excites me is the idea that millions of people may be able to collectively use their intention to take advantage of the conductivity and adaptability of water, by coming into a space of deep listening and receptivity and then focusing our intention on sending their blessing to the waters of this planet. This may be to bring healing to the waters themselves, but like this practice of using the water as a carrier for healing individuals, a large enough and focused enough collective may be able to bring about healing or re-alignment in not just the water but all those who come into contact with it – and there is nothing this planet needs more than that.

(featured image from upliftconnect.com)

The Four Agreements (read)

Modern Psychology Agrees with Ancient Toltec Wisdom By Tanja Taljaard

 

Most ancient cultures have timeless spiritual wisdom from which we can benefit today. In fact, science and psychology acknowledge the advantages of various age-old practices like meditation, mantra, and yoga, on our overall well being. Many eastern philosophies are incorporated into modern therapies.

There are countless ways to connect with a sense of inner peace and divinity, and the ancient Toltec wisdom embodies many of the universally accepted truths adopted by spiritual traditions around the world.

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago. They were known as spiritual scientists and artists who explored esoteric knowledge and practices. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy – material or ethereal – is derived from one source and governed by the same universal laws. The Toltec understood the way the mind functions as dreaming reality. They described the mind as that which controls our dream. With awareness of the source of our dream comes the possibility of changing it.

“Life is nothing but a dream but that dream is alive; you are creating that dream, and that dream working for you is pure magic.” Don Miguel Ruiz

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago.The Toltec civilisation thrived in Mexico from around 900AD and still informs its spirituality.

The Four Agreements

Almost 20 years ago, Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements. It explores the modern meaning of the Toltec teachings as a way to personal freedom and spiritual empowerment. Many people have found that committing to these four agreements have changed their lives and made them happier, more loving human beings.

Dr John A. Johnson, professor of psychology, believes that most of these ideas are highly similar to concepts used in modern psychology. He claims that Ruiz’s book could be a primer for congnitive-behavioral therapy, which treats problems and increases happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It encourages patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behaviour.

In his book, Ruiz explains that children do not know any better than to agree with the adult realities into which they are indoctrinated. All children are born perfectly loving, playful, and genuine. Parents, however, teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow in order to receive love and avoid criticism. These standards eventually become internalized into an unconscious set of instructions for living life. Ruiz says that the reason why people from shamanic traditions in America call themselves ‘warriors’ is because they’re in a war for independence and the right to use their own mind and break free. Dr Johnson agrees that as we mature, we can become warriors breaking free from the shackles of agreements with our fixed, false ideas. We can accept healthier agreements.

Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow to receive love.Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow.

Be Impeccable with your Word

Ruiz claims that this is the most important and most difficult agreement to honour. Committing a thought to word brings the thought to life. Being impeccable with your word means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself and, by extension, others. “Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt.” It’s like poison. We use the word against ourselves through negative self-talk, and we use the word against others through gossip; trying to gain support from others to support our point of view. “Tell yourself how much you love yourself. Use the word to break all those agreements that make you suffer.”

Don’t take anything personally

We all have a unique way of looking at the world. When we say and do things, we are doing so directly through our view of the world. When you take things personally and feel offended, your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflict. Those beliefs are a reflection of your own agreements that you’ve made with life. Your point of view is personal to you; it’s no one’s truth but yours. Don’t take anything personally, even if someone tells you how wonderful you are! The opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true either; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. We have a choice of what to believe and agree with.

You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

Don’t make assumptions

There’s a well know saying that goes with the word assume… Ruiz states, “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe that they are the truth. We could swear that they’re real. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.” We often start gossiping about our assumptions. We have agreed that it’s not safe to ask questions, and also that, if people love us, they should know what we want or how we feel. Find the courage to ask questions until you’re as clear as you can be. Also, find your voice to express what you really want. With clear communication, all of your relationships will change.

Always do your Best

“Best” does not mean perfect. Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Sometimes your best will be high quality, and other times it won’t be as good. Your best will be different when you’re healthy as opposed to sick, feeling happy or upset. Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best. When you overdo, you deplete yourself, and when you do less than your best, you subject yourself to self-judgment, guilt and regrets. Support and encourage yourself.” If you’re doing your best, you will feel good about yourself even if you still make assumptions, take things personally, and still are not impeccable with your word. If you do your best always, you will become a master of transformation.”

“Best” does not mean perfect.“Best” does not mean perfect.

By changing the foundation of your own agreements, you master your own dream.

“Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. Everything has consequences and a dream master is aware of the consequences.”

(featured image from upliftconnect.com)

Ikigai – Finding your reason for being

Chip Richards shares a simple method to look deeper into yourself.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

 

When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical doctor Oscar Serrallach answered without hesitation: having a sense of purpose. Serrallach went on to describe that while some of his patients have developed great regimes of nutrition, lifestyle activities and movement to support their wellbeing; those without a clear sense of purpose in their life experience continuing struggle with physical health issues. The distinguishing quality of many of his healthiest patients – those who  transcend common health challenges despite not having lived by the book, in terms of healthy lifestyle factors – is that they seem to be the most aligned or ‘called’ towards some primary focus of meaning in their life.

Japanese culture actually has a word which addresses this focus. The word is ikigai and translates simply as, ‘reason for being’.

What is Your ‘Reason for Being’?

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. To find it often requires deep enquiry and lengthy ‘search of self’ – a search which is highly regarded.

Ikigai diagramFour primary elements of ikigai

The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”. Unpacking the word and its associated symbol a bit further, ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

  • What you Love (your passion)
  • What the World Needs (your mission)
  • What you are Good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get Paid for (your profession)

The word ikigai, that space in the middle of these four elements, is seen as the source of value or what make one’s life truly worthwhile. In Okinawa, Japan, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. Interestingly, while certainly incorporating the financial aspects of life, the word is more often used to refer to the mental and spiritual state behind our circumstance as opposed to our current economic status alone. Even if we are moving through a dark or challenging time, if we are moving with purpose, if we are feeling called toward something or have a clear goal in mind, we may still experience ikigai. Often the behaviors that make us feel ikigai are not the ones we are forced to take based on the expectations of the world around us, but rather they are the natural actions and spontaneous responses that emerge from a deep and direct connection to life.

Feeling called to somethingFeeling called to something

The Question of Purpose

Many ancient indigenous cultures took time to honour the question of purpose through ceremony, vision quest and rites of passage in order to help reveal the essential role that each member was born to play in the greater tribe and story of life; though the space and reverence for this question does not always seem to exist today. For many, our decisions around life-focus unfold in a more reactionary way, propelling us into educational, professional and life-directional paths based less on deep inner calling or soul-inspired vision, and more on societal expectations, so-called ‘practical reality’ and what is required to survive in the systems we’ve created to live in.

The truth is, if there was ever a time on our planet where a sense of true purpose was needed, required, or desperately called for, now would be that time. But amidst the multi-layered pressures of our modern world, how do we peel back the layers and discover why we are here and what we are really supposed to be doing?

American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell shared his view on fulfilling our purpose when he said,

My general formula for my students is, ‘Follow your bliss.’ Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.

Follow your blissFollow your bliss

Sacred Activism, encourages us on the other hand to find our purpose by ‘following our heartbreak’. Andrew Harvey calls us to discover that which is most deeply disturbing in our world and to use this as a catalyst to propel our actions and discover where we can make the biggest difference.

Meanwhile, philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman said:

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that… Because what the world really needs is people who have come alive.

While each of these viewpoints are powerfully compelling in their own right, whether we are following our bliss, following our heartbreak, or that which makes us come alive (or a combination of all three!), for many of us there is also an apparent need to follow that which pays the bills each month and allows us to cover the basic necessities of life. So how do we balance all of these factors in the creation of a life which is meaningful, purposeful and aligned with our true calling? Is it possible to have it all? The essence of ikigai gives us a framework to balance these elements into a cohesive whole.

Slam poetAsk what makes you come alive and do that

Passion as a vehicle for change and contribution

As the world moves through massive change on many levels, more and more people are feeling called to align their skills and gifts with a higher cause or sense of contribution. Beautiful examples are emerging in many arenas of social change and activism where people are not abandoning their passion for the cause but rather channeling the thing they most love doing in the direction of positive change – and discovering inspired ways to support themselves along the way.

Sixteen year old rapper, dancer and global youth director of Earth Guardians Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a living example of ikigai, blending his creative gifts and passion for the Earth in the rise of a world-wide youth-lead revolution in support of future generations.  Poet/rapper/Facebook sensation Prince Ea has woven his love and concern for humanity and Earth with a gift for capturing profound messages into powerfully creative 3-5 minute videos – an expression of ikigai which galvanises the energy and support of millions of people online each week. Visionary art therapist and yoga teacher Atira Tan responded to her “heartbreak” witnessing child sex trafficking in Asia and has discovered incredible passion and aliveness through the sharing of her global foundation Art2Healing, bringing justice and transformational healing and movement arts to those who have suffered from this experience.

Youth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigaiYouth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigai

The truth is many of the challenges we face in today’s world are not simple, technical challenges. They are complex, multi-dimensional issues which will require expansive, multi-dimensional thinking and action. The type of thinking, action and energy that emerges naturally when we are in the throes of creative expression or connection with others. When we are immersed in any endeavor that brings us into our hearts, that makes us come alive – and we are bringing ourselves fully to it – instantly we become more generative, more magnetic and more dynamic in our ability to navigate challenges and discover pathways of breakthrough.

IkigaiWhat is your ikigai?

What is Your Ikigai?

Take a moment to draw your own version of the overlapping circles of the ikigai symbol and consider the following:

  • What do you Love? What aspects of your life bring you into your heart and make you come alive?
  • What are you Great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What talents have you cultivated and what do you excel at even when you aren’t trying?
  • What Cause do you believe in? What breaks your heart or pulls at your gut? What change would you most love to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What do people Value and pay you for? What service, value or offering do you bring, or could you bring, that brings real value to others? Something people need and are happy to pay for or share some value in exchange?

Take a few minutes to write whatever key words, phrases and ideas come up for you in each circle, then look for areas of natural overlap. Reflect on the sum total of these elements and how they may relate to each other. Bring yourself quietly to the centre of the circles and leave space in your mind for whatever impulse or calling may emerge naturally in the coming days… What is one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your ikigai?

featured image from upliftconnect.com