This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Change, Choices and Decision Making...

As of late, I have found it quite difficult to make decisions and choose that which I feel serves me and expresses my true desires. I find that the more I do the work the more I realize that the term me, myself and I applies on many levels. I find that I cannot always clearly identify my likes and dislikes or identify who I am in a solid sense. Many aspects of who I am seem very polarized. I find that in many ways my likes are not black and white but many shades of grey. The farther along I get in the work the more conflicting, polarized and broad this aspect seems to be and I have to work at finding the middle point. So when life asks that I walk one way or another, my choice is often to want to walk the middle path. Unfortunately the middle path is not always offered up in some cases and this creates frustration on my part when having to make a choice. It is like going into a restaurant and wanting a buffet rather than a main dish. Only a certain combination of a little bit of this and a little bit of that seems to be just what my soul wants for authentic expression. In many ways foods that typically may not even go well together! Wanting the sunny day and the thunder storm all at the same time because that is what creates that perfect expression or seems to truly reflect that which I am longing to experience. I realize that if I choose one or the other, black or white so to speak, there is this deep sense of dissatisfaction and longing.

To make a long story short it comes to a point where I realize that I am neither this nor that but I am all of it. I can no longer stand firmly in one space and say this is me or that is me and the sense of a one dimensional identity is broken down into many many pieces. Having to choose feels like a diservice to myself. Integrating conflicting aspects of the psyche, although powerful and necessary for whole making, can become somewhat confusing when translated into every day decision making in life. Realizing that I am all of it and none of it all at the same time. No true solid sense of identity. It is created moment by moment. Who I am today may not reflect who I am tomorrow and choices shift and change like the ocean tide always leaving room for the desire to create something new. Death and rebirth experienced on a daily basis and life becomes like a Kaleidoscope. Always something to let go of and always a new dream to be born. Wow! What a roller coaster ride this is!


Still Waters said...

I really resonated with this post... as I often find the choices at hand aren't exactly what i want to do. the difficult part for me is that in being between choices.. i find myself VERY detached and to the point where i really don't care what goes on in the muggle world around me. that's a dangerous view, in my opinion, as it leaves me very complacent and seemingly uncaring. something noted by others in my life... i'm not sure how to balance it (and not sure that i care!!) but i know that just "floating" through life isn't living, either. so trying to focus on that middle ground and stay active in my surroundings is my goal as well... extremely hard to do these days!

Walks In Two Worlds said...

Detachment is part of the alchemical process...but it won't be the end point entirely (a part of you will be able to stay here, which is good, while another part can be fully engaged). To detach is to have a dispassionate view, and to know what it means to do something for the sake of doing it, not for an underlying motive or to play into someone else's story.

The detachment is a stepping back (at one point in the process, without even trying) that gives you a chance to breathe, look, feel into things, and calmly judge if the call is yours. Then, when a TRUE call comes to you, and you know it, you jump on it without question. You have tons of energy for what is YOURS. It wasn't wasted on the unimportant, and you don't jump on any tom dick and harry idea that comes along anymore. You don't take up other people's calls just because they are not going to do it and it MUST get done (in your humble opinion!). Nor do you try to get what you need for yourself by looking like a good guy/gal by saving the day and doing all kinds of stuff that is not yours.

In short, you are clear.

So, detachment is part of the process of your growth. Others have a hard time relating to us before we take up the call; even more after! We can't be jerked around, by them or our egos, and we become even more suspect.

In this process, we learn to shapeshift to be FIRST in integrity with ourselves and our calling, and SECOND to meet what the situation calls for (and not more).

For example, say your friend/lover/mother/kid is pulling your guilt strings. Or the world is falling apart before your eyes. The muggle view would say you don't care. Inside, a part of you will say--"hey, what's up, you used to be a caring guy/gal?" BUt a bigger part just watches, detached, wondering what will happen next.

Then you see that the "watcher" within that you've been TRYING to develop has taken over! It gets bigger, and your watcher says "well, yea, but really, will running around with my head cut off help anyonre? Does this guilt serve at all? Do we all really need to get worked up, just to get something done? Does it really matter, in the big picture? And if it doesn't, why the heck should I waste my time on it? I've got bigger fish to fry--even if I don't know what/where they are yet."

Sound familiar? Plenty of room for discussion here! Hugs, Robin

hearsthetrees said...

I think the task is to NOT choose. Quantum physics shows us that partials behave differently than expected when you watch them. Like these partials, trying to be just one thing is too restrictive.

shewhofacesspirit said...

Excellent point Robin, I feel that as I listen , pause TAKE A BREATH before ReACTING , that if we are all one then I do not need to do everything, for if one of my brothers or sisters experiences something, I should be able to have that experience as well without going through it.

shewhofacesspirit said...

Excellent point Robin, I feel that as I listen , pause TAKE A BREATH before ReACTING , that if we are all one then I do not need to do everything, for if one of my brothers or sisters experiences something, I should be able to have that experience as well without going through it.