Monday 27 September 2010

What is Shamanic Healing?

Shamanic Healing is something that is so vast, so wide, that it makes this question very difficult to answer. I can only say what Shamanic Healing is for me, how I see it, how I use it. For everyone it is different, so it is important when you are considering going for a healing that you can find a practitioner you trust, someone you feel a connection with. Use your inner judgement – if your intuition tells you “yes” then go with that, if “no”, then find someone else to work with.

Shamans have been using their medicine for over 100,000 years, talking to the sky, the wind, the plants, the rocks and the stones. It’s about connection with Nature, communion with Spirit, respect and honour for all living things. It is about talking to energy in its different forms, on different planes, it is a practice that defies chronological time and space. In the city, we are surrounded by concrete, by glass and steel. There is beauty in it but we need to search for it daily. It is difficult to feel connected to the natural life that is all around us. We are told when we need to eat, we are told what we have to do. Because of society imposing such controls over us, we have forgotten our fundamental connection to nature and worse yet, we have become disconnected from our souls, from our bodies, and we live now mostly in our minds. Shamanic Healing starts by reconnecting us with all three parts of our selves – mind, body and spirit.

We have to break away from the deadness and the dullness and find the beauty again. We are beautiful and we forget that when we concentrate on money and material goods. We begin to yearn for what we do not have, because what we do have is never enough. When we get something that we have wanted for a long time, it disappoints us because it does not fill our need. We have a beautiful energy inside of us, you can see it when you look into someone’s eyes. We are made of both shadow and light. We have everything we need already, here; we have lost touch with it, because we have been told we need more. (How would Society run if nobody bought stuff? – it would, it would just be a different type of economy). Shamanic Healing recognises all of this and allows us to be our true selves, to dream out loud, to shout and scream and dance and be angry, to be joyous, to be whole.

Shamanic practitioners have experienced deep wounding and come from a place of strength, because they survived. They can hold the space for clients as they struggle and come out of the other end of grief and trauma, knowing that it is possible to live in a different, better way.

I understand the human soul as an energy body which is composed of different types of energies, both light and dark, mostly residing in our body. As C.S. Lewis said “We do not have a soul, we are a soul. We have a body”. Our soul holds our life experiences and depending on our personality, we hold onto some experiences more than others. We can lose pieces of our soul during traumatic experiences, and never feel whole again. We can feel both heavy in our bodies, and light, depending on our moods. I believe that our thoughts influence the balance of heavy and light energies in our bodies and through Shamanic Healing, we can release the dark, heavy energies that hold us back and replace them with lighter, bright energies that invigorate and refresh us.

I have had clients come to me that look much older than their years, and leave looking much younger, because they no longer need to spend massive amounts of their energy holding themselves together. I have had clients who have been in pain for months, years even, not knowing why, medications not working for them and them at their wits end. We find that because they were holding issues in parts of their bodies, their bodies were in pain. When they see me we talk to their bodies, find out what is going on and release the issue, release the stress and the tension and they become pain-free. I have had clients who feel disconnected from life, they don’t know what their purpose is and they cannot find joy and happiness. I have searched for and found lost pieces of their soul energies through the Shamanic Journey, and I have brought them back home. My clients who experience this soul retrieval find a new lease for life, a new desire to live, to grow and to enjoy life to the full.

Shamanic Healing for me is about finding magic in the world again, feeling that connection to yourself, to your spirituality, to life. It is about finding the voice inside of you and releasing whatever is stopping it from saying a big “YES!” to life.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

The Energetic Power of Words

I have a friend who is highly intelligent, but whenever she makes a mistake, or cannot figure something out, she says “I’m just stupid”. In fact, I have seen her hitting herself on the head while saying the words “stupid, stupid, stupid”. This really shocked me. I tried to show her what she was doing, reinforcing negative thoughts and putting herself down, but she didn’t get it. I told her if she fills her head with negativity on a continuous basis, it will slip into other areas of thought, other areas of her life, and overall she will have a negative outlook. It could be almost like wearing a pair of glasses that tint everything negative.

WhenI was doing research for a Radio piece on Bullying, I phoned up my children’s school to ask about their anti-bullying policy. They said that when they work with the children they don’t mention the word bully at all. Every September they hold a “Friendship week” across all the classes across the whole school. This reminded me of the famous story about Mother Theresa, she would never attend an anti-war march, but would always show up for a peace rally.  It is about putting energy into the positive, not the negative: not the “bully” but the “friendship”; not the “war” but the “peace”.

Words have a vibration and an associated energy, positive or negative, heavy or light.  We can use this knowledge to help heal ourselves, and the world around us. Here’s an exercise you can do to capture the positive energy of words and bring it into your life:

Create lists of words that have the energy that you want to manifest. Try to use these words throughout the day. Notice how speaking these words out loud helps you feel more positive and creative. See which ones are strongest for you, and use them more often.

You can choose the most powerful words you know and write them out on Post-it notes, print them out and put them on the wall in your home where you can see them – Love, Joy, Light, Magic, Happiness, Gratitude, etc. When you see them, stop what you are doing and feel their energy. Breathe it in, and release any negativity you might be feeling at that moment. Surround yourself with these words so that you have access to them in situations where you might experience negativity – at work, in the car, by the phone. 

Remember to be responsible for your own behaviour. You can choose to respond to a situation, not to react. Let the positive energy of the words guide your response.

Sunday 5 September 2010

Take it to the Sandbox

A sandbox is a safe space where you can play. Yes, just like the ones you see the kids in, they crawl in and sit in the sand, get sand up their legs, in their shoes, between their fingers (and then treck it into the house and mash it into the carpet)... Not always a clean place to be. But a safe place. A place to experiment, to build things, to create things, and of course, to destroy them. All the sand stays in the sandbox, in an ideal world!

In software development, a sandbox is the name given to an environment where new computer programmes can run without affecting any systems that are already in place. A computer programmer creates the computer equivalent of a safe space, and then they can run their programmes that are in development without the worry that there will be a knock-on effect. There, in the safety of the sandbox, programmers can discover what works, what isn’t working (i.e. a bug in the programme – or a glitch, in normal-speak). They can find and fix the bugs by running and re-running the programme until they are confident that it is working the way they want it to. Then, after the sandbox play, they can take the programme into the big wide world to start the next phase of testing its functionality.

Why am I taking about sandboxes? Well, as an adult on a healing journey, we can use them too. We can create a safe environment where we can try out new things, see what works and what doesn’t work, and play with it, tweak it, change it until we get the effect that we are looking for.  Take writing for example – a writer has to write a specific piece, a blog, a play, a short story. They sit with the blank page and know exactly what they want to say (or not), but don’t know how to get the words out. Don’t know where the beginning is, the middle, maybe they know the ending but they don’t know how to get there. Then the mind kicks in – they start thinking about the audience, will they like it? Will they hate it? Will they still like me if they hate my work? Why am I bothering doing this? Then what happens.... the writer is spending too much time in their brain, and not enough time actually writing anything.  That’s where the sandbox comes in.

The Sandbox = a space where you will not be disturbed + a time limit.

Whether you are a writer, a computer programmer or a wishful thinker, there are many things you can do in a sandbox that you might not allow yourself to do out in the real world – such as dancing freely, painting, singing out loud.... Even trying on a dress you’d never wear or swirling around and around in a room until you fall down breathless!  The Sandbox is about connecting with the energy that you are, about getting in touch with your essence, all in a safe place. And a safe place could be in the middle of a busy street, in the centre of the city, if that’s what you want it to be.

And the time limit?  Yes, you need the time limit because just as you need a place to sit while you play in the sand, you need walls around the sand to contain it and make sure it doesn’t spill out everywhere. So pick a place, decide on a time limit and set an alarm. Then what?

Well, you need to know what is stopping you in the real world before you can remove it to play and learn in the sandbox. What types of things are stopping you from accessing your full potential? Self-esteem? Old patterns of behaviour? The echoes of voices from the past telling you that you are not good enough? Voices telling you that you don’t deserve it? You shouldn’t do it? Worse still, you can’t? These things do not belong in a sandbox and so must be left outside.

Only for the time limit you have set, so don’t worry, you can pick them all up again once the alarm you have set, goes off. (Why would you want to pick them back up again? Well, hey, that’s what we do isn’t it?)

So – safe space, set alarm, then drop the voices that say no. Drop the repressed part of you that doesn’t give you permission to perform. Say “I can” out loud, several times. Give yourself permission to be you. Breathe. Open. Go into your body, feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the light above you, and if you need to, give your inhibitions to the universe to hold for you, just for a small while. You will know when you are ready. Then jump right into the sandbox. Get messy! Throw some sand around. Get sand in your hair. Nobody is looking.