You are not the worst thing you have ever done. You are not the worst thing that has happened to you. You are not who you used to be. You are none of that. You are free right now.
We have trained ourselves into an identity, a memory, a thought. We are practiced in being this identity. We are related to this “I” as though this is who we really are.
We are not our identity. We are right now.
It can feel impossible to forget ourselves. It takes practice to undo a lifetime of pretending.
The breath is the guide. Trust the breath to reveal who you are; the breath will lead to truth.
Be honest. Fail. Try again. Fail. Try again.
You do not matter. So your failure does not matter. Honor this as Truth.
Follow the breath. Be unimportant with dignity.
Follow the breath. Watch the identity thrash for what is familiar.
Follow the breath. There is truth behind each door.
There is no one home. No one is home. No one is calling. So stop looking for someone.
One day you will wake up and they will not be next to you. The life you knew will no longer be there. The one you loved will no longer be beside you. You will know that there is no going back.
Making peace with the new reality can feel impossible. The aching in the heart can feel endless. The only calm the soul finds is in the brief moments of morning twilight; moments when the mind does not remember what has happened. But then it does remember, and there is no going back.
The world keeps turning. And one day we will no longer be on this planet. But that day is not today. Today we need to get dressed, respond to emails, and feed the cat. We need to show up for the others and we need to show up for ourselves.
As much as we might wish it weren't true, it is much more difficult to lie down and die than we would like.
So get action. Inertia is real, so move. Go on an ugly run. Force yourself to dance for five goddamn minutes to some terrible white girl pop. Rearrange your sock drawer. Call your grandmother. Just get action. This break up isn't going to kill you, but it can be cripple you if you don’t get up.
Get off the Netflix. Only watch YouTube for DIYs that you will actually do, or stupid meme compilations that help you remember the silly in the world. Pray to whatever powers you hold dear to see you through. Please, just get action.
There is quicksand in the mind, watch yourself if you start to sink on the tides. There are shadows in the night; let the voices wash over you without paying it mind. Never feed the trolls. The people who love you will support you; know which ones who can hold your grieving and cry with them. Do not seek help from people who will try to distract you. Seek help from those who can see you through.
Courage my dear. This will be rough. This will be painful. This will be confusing. This too will pass.
The drama of this life is a love drama. We are the mammal kind, we are hardwired to connect. We are the human kind; we are deeply flawed people. Do not fight it. Let the crazies pass through without identifying as them. This too will pass.
One day it will be different. But not today. Today is going to keep hurting, and tomorrow will hurt, and next Wednesday will hurt. But remember love; you are not the hurt. The hurt is moving through you, so let it pass on through.
Use your tears. Use your dance. Use your art. Move the hurt and the hurt will be moved. Ignore the pain and the pain will own you. We must have our hearts break again and again and again. We must continue to stand up and thrive. We all hurt. We all must wash the dishes.
Breathe. Forgive yourself. Forgive the Other. Not because it is the right thing to to, but because it is the only medicine that is worth a damn. All else is moonshine.
There will be a time when this does not matter like it matters now. There will be a time when gratitude will begin to shine through. There will be a time when this experience anchors the pattern of your life. Today is not that time, but one day it will be.
Until then breathe. Get up. Move your body. And don't forget to grieve.
One of the most important practices for energy workers is to fully arrive at a location before engaging with the world. Whether from traveling, running errands, or arriving at a party, too often we unconsciously scatter, deplete and dispel our energy without taking the time to integrate ourselves to face the day.
Follow these easy 7 easy steps to integrate your energy and arrive to feel more centered, grounded, and energized in any location.
1. Set Your Intention
Intention is the most important piece of any energy work. As a sentient piece of the Universe, you are responsible for directing your creative force through clear and focused intention. When arriving at any location take a moment and clear your mind before starting with your entire being, “It is my intention to fully arrive at this time and place in the highest and best way. I am arriving now.”
2. Collect and Exchange Energy with the Earth
Once your intention to arrive is set, take three deep breaths drawing energy up from the Earth into your body. With the first inhale, draw up the energy from the Earth’s core, mix it with your own energy before breathing it back down into the core. With the second breath, breath in the energy of your general geographic location, mix it with your own energy and then breathe it back to where your are. With the third breath, draw in the energy of the exact location where you have arrived, mix it with your own and then breathe it out again stating in your mind, “I am grounded in this location.”
3. Collect and Exchange Energy with the Cosmos
After you have connected with the Earth, repeat a similar process with the cosmos. First inhale the energy of our solar system, mix it with our bodies and then exhale it out. Next, draw in the energy of our galaxy, mix it and then exhale it out into the milky way. Finally, we inhale the energy of the entire cosmos, mix it with our personal energy and then breathe it out to the universe as a whole stating in your mind, “I am connected to the force of all that is.”
4. Gather the Support
Next, inhale the support of the universe into your back and spine. With each inhale feel and see specific ways in which you are supported in your life from health to relationships and exhale out genuine gratitude. Repeat this with three breaths and notice your spine feeling energized and supported while stating to yourself, “I am strong and supported.”
5. Draw in the Love
After collecting support, use your directed intention to draw love into your heart center with each breath. Focus on specific memories or instances in which you received love and breathe out different people/places/things that your love in this world while staying in your mind, “I choose love.”
6. Collect Scattered Energy
Using three breath, collect energy that you have scattered into any relationship, situation or negative belief using clear and focused intention. See your energy begin drawn back to you from where it has been scattered before clearing and cleaning it in white light and reintegrating it into your own energetic field while saying in your mind “I clear and reclaim my energy that I have scattered into BLANK and reintegrate it into my field.”
7. Zip Up Your Energy Field
Finally, zip up your energy field by using a hand and making a gesture drawing a line up from your navel to the crown of your head while stating in your intention, “I have arrived.” This will anchor in state and create a boundary from interference with your continued state.
Follow these 7 easy steps whenever you arrive at a new location to show up as the best versions of yourself in any situation.
6 Tips in Cultivating the Discipline You Need to Succeed
All of us have dreams. We want a better body, a more loving partner or more financial abundance. And while there are 10,000 ways to manifest everything we possibly desire in our lives, nothing we hope for will ever come into our lives unless we exercise discipline to make it happen.
Discipline is a dirty word in our culture. It invokes images of controlling teachers, unfair rules, and work. It is a shame that we have been trained to resist the word discipline because in truth discipline is the only thing that can set us free.
Here are six tips in re-framing discipline to become an ally instead of an enemy.
1. Discipline is an act of self love
Love is a choice, and discipline is the highest act of self love. When we truly choose to love ourselves we acknowledge that our time on this earth is both priceless and fleeting; we realize that it is our duty to make every moment count. When we mismanage our time we are subtly displaying our lack of self love, feelings of unworthiness, and fear. By taking responsibility for ourselves in this moment we are exercising discipline and are freeing ourselves to make the choice of love.
2. Trading what is good for what is better
Once we understand that discipline is a deliberate act of love, we see that discipline is not a punitive attitude of sacrifice but a conscious choice to trade what is good in this present moment for what is better in a future present moment. Sure, mindlessly perusing social media can be a good time, but what is that in comparison to the stillness of meditation or the thrill of creating art? Discipline asks us to be rigorous with our present moments by understanding that in each moment we are making a choice, what is good or what is better?
3. Discipline is work
Make no mistake, love is effort-ful and effort is work. We have all been brainwashed into eating the narcotic of sexual romantic love; but true love, lasting love - both in relationship and personally requires real work. No one ever became liberated through a regiment of Netflix and chill, and fewer still have fallen asleep one night ignorant to awake the next morning enlightened. It is only by showing up again and again and pushing through the inertia of our laziness that we can actualize our potential as human beings.
4. Your ego-machine will lie to you
The ego-machine will lie to you to get you to choose what is good right now over what is better in the future now. It will tell you that you are too tired to meditate, that it is too cold to exercise, or that you are not in the right mood for art. These are lies. Expect them, do not believe them, and make the better choice anyway. Notice these lies for what they are; a manipulation that your ego-machine is using to avoid often very minor discomfort or pain. Do not be seduced by these lies, choose self love, accept the temporary discomfort, and exercise discipline now for the payoff in the future now.
5. Stepping through the fear of failure and success
One of the greatest roadblocks in exercising discipline is the fear of both failure and success. All of us have fear of failure and success whether we are aware of it or not. We are afraid that if we fail it will confirm all the worst things that we secretly believe about ourselves. If we succeed, it will mean that we will have to step out of what is familiar into the discomfort of the unknown. Our ego-machine is threatened by change and will use these half-conscious fears to undermine our efforts in discipline to keep us where we are. As long as we believe on some level that there is a benefit with things staying as they are, then we will never grow. Instead, choose to bring these universal fears to the forefront of your mind. Journal about, “What's the worst that can happen if I fail? If I succeed? And what is the benefit in me keeping life as it is?” Only through bringing these fears into awareness do we have the ability to move through them!
6. Kill the victim
A victim mentality is a mentality of justifying limitations. Self stories like “My mother did this to me so I am like this,” or “When I was six this horrible thing happened to me and now I am a broken human,” or “The political system is so corrupt that there is no point in anything,” all succeed in keeping you exactly where you are and entitle you to think and act in ways that are harmful to you and your relationships. Recognize them for what they are: lies the ego-machine is using to keep you disempowered and imprisoned. Discipline is the conscious effort to fully hear the victim story of our ego-machine and take responsibility to choose something else. “Yes this happened, and no it is not going to stop me.” Denouncing the victim inside of us is work, it can be painful, but ultimately it is the only thing that can set us free.
Discipline is not sexy. It is not quick, it is not interesting, and it won't get you likes on Facebook. What discipline is, however, is effective. It is truthfully the only thing that can get us anywhere. It is our salvation. It is our momentum. It is what will ultimately set us free.
There is nothing new about being a shaman. Humans from different cultures for thousands of years have discovered and practiced the shamanic arts of connecting with spirit. Indeed, the word shaman is just one iteration of the multitude of words humans have used to describe this naturally occurring phenomena. What we currently refer to as shamanism is so common cross culturally that it would appear that humans evolved preprogrammed with the ability to spiritually connect with many different unseen forces of our world.
We modern humans live in a very different world than our eco-centric ancestors. We are living during a time of self domestication, a time where we are raised outside of the rhythms and patterns of the natural world. Our culture has become so disintegrated from the spiritual connection to nature that those still lucky enough to hear the call of the shaman are often looked on as being touched or unstable by family and peers. It can be nearly impossible for any modern day seeker to find the authentic spiritual headwaters of a shamanic tradition as nearly all the ancient lineages have been broken by conquest, disintegration, and disease. Luckily though, shaman is in the blood, and the spiritual arts reveal themselves to those who listen. And although the ties to our shamanic birthright have been severed and the old teachings lost, we can reform the ancient path of our ancestors for the modern world. We can become the new shamans.
5 Basic Patterns of Shamanic Theory
1. The Web That Binds All Things
Shamans throughout the ages have discovered many similar patterns in the expression of reality. One of the most fundamental understandings of the shaman is the web that binds all things. The shaman knows that all matter and energy are connected in an infinite and ever changing web that can be accessed by practicing shamanic arts. In old Norse shamanism, the web that binds all things is known as the wyrd, in Nigerian shamanism it is called Ifa, and in Hawaiian craft it is called aka. Shamans often experience and describe this web as a weaving, whereby different energies and patterns can come together to form groups of interdependent consciousnesses and realities that can manifest to form anything from ecosystems to ancestral spirits. The shaman understands that everything is connected through the web that binds all things, and through that connection anything within our Universe can be spiritually contacted.
2. The Sentient Source of All That Is
Nearly all shamanic cultures refer to the web that binds all things as a sentient source, that is, the web of connections is self aware. Just like the neurons that join together to make a brain, the different threads of matter and energy in our Universe are connected in a network that forms a sentient consciousness; a consciousness that can be interacted with and directed through the shaman's intention. Our human minds utilizes several hundreds of trillions of neural connections to generate self awareness in a biological form. The Universe has an infinite number of more connections creating a network for self awareness that is vastly more sophisticated than our human brains. Indeed, the shaman knows all of this, for the shaman has the experience of being a web within the web; the shaman knows that she is just the universe experiencing the itself.
3. The Layers of the Web
Within the web that binds all things, different patterns of energy can come together to form bandwidths of consciousness like clusters of neurons within a brain. But unlike the brain, sentience within the web that binds all things is not limited to biological matter. The shaman knows that all bandwidths of energy have a level of consciousness; some limited and some vast. Even a relatively simple organism such as a tree contains a multitude of vibrational frequencies that can be accessed through shamanic arts and influenced through the shaman's intention. For example, a shaman can call forth the unique vibrational spirit of any specific tree, but the shaman can also call forth the many other vibrational layers that comprise that tree. The shaman can call upon the larger bandwidth of the spirit of the species of that tree, the vibration of arboreal trees in general, the pattern of photosynthesizing plants, the ecosystem or forest, the frequency of green, of carbon and oxygen, etc. Within any expression of physical matter there are untold levels of vibrational threads and bandwidths that a shaman can access and interface with to shape reality.
4. Connecting with Entities
The shaman knows that to interface with a specific bandwidth of consciousness within the web that binds all things she needs to be in right relationship with that energy or entity. The shaman is fundamentally an animist at heart, meaning that she experiences all patterns that comprise the web of having a level of sentience. She knows that the threads that comprise reality are not to be commanded from a place authority, but rather invited from a place of humble friendship and authenticity. For the shaman to connect with the spirit of the deer, she needs to be in good standing with deer spirit-energy, and so she might do a ritual, make an offering, or create a piece of art to draw her spirit energy and the deers spirit-energy into harmony. A shaman knows that the aid of sentient bandwidths of energy (i.e. deities) is necessary to accomplish any spiritual goals and so proper relationships need to be cultivated for the shaman to be effective in his work.
Accepting and celebrating the mystery of our Universe is one of the most important tenants for the Shaman. Recognizing the limitations of our own understanding of the world cultivates a sense of humility that can save the shaman from the dangerous and myopic attitude of, "I have the answer" or "I know why" while at the same time opening us up to new possibilities and outcomes. Our modern science teaches us the physical matter is mostly empty space, with tiny atoms bonding across relatively vast expanses to empty space to make molecules. The holographic nature of our three dimensional reality reinforces the shamanic principle of mystery, and the new shaman knows that his brain does not have the hardware to grasp the full expression of realities within our Universe. Just as the human eye is only capable of perceiving .003% of all the light expressed on the electromagnetic spectrum the brain is only capable of experiencing a small glimpse of the nature of reality. The new shaman understands and accepts the limitation of understand and so chooses to engage spiritual ideas and energies from a perspective of openness, first hand experience, and diversity. The word “impossible” is not within the vernacular of the new shaman because the new shaman believes first and foremost in a religion where anything is possible, the new shaman believes in a religion that is unbound, the new shaman experiences a religion of mystery.
The New Shaman: You
A healthy grounding in Shamanic philosophy is paramount for anyone intending on walking the path of our ancestors. While every living tradition has a myriad of differing practices and belief structures, the foundations of philosophy remain the same: Everything is connected, the web is sentient, the web is multi layered, the web holds consciousness, mystery is truth.
Follow these guidelines and trust your blood to lead you where you need to go. Hold the intention for the highest and best unfoldment and stay humble; the path will reveal itself to all those who seek. Even in the times of broken lineages and confused teaching we can find our way home. We can become the new shamans.