You know, I go and I teach these classes, and folks pay me for them, and I so often think: are they getting their money's worth? I am so often all splayed and cranky, only half-buy this stuff anymore. But I have the knowledge, I have the info. And so I pass it on. Leave it to them to figure out how to bang some use out of it in their world.
But the past few weeks we've been doing psychic work. I've been teaching them basic skills, sort of like showing someone how to play the piano, but all the keys are inside of you. The advanced class is a bright bunch, energy flying all over the place, energy they are just barely conscious that they've got. And so I proceed to herd them like cats, towards some semblance of psychic order, of protection for themselves, of trying to find ways to get to Real Reality (as opposed to that Fake Reality we're breast fed on and never weaned from).
We worked tonight on protection. They've been raising their energy, beginning to play with sending out tendrils to pick up data, running info through various psychic antenna. And been feeling the kickback. Been experiencing what it feels like to change their energy, both what they send and how they receive. And depending on what sort of "reading" they've been doing naturally, and how this is shifting as they read more consciously, it's been lively.
Tonight I showed them the Way of The Empath, that lovely way of reading energy that is mostly done using the eyes as the connection point, where you both reach out and into someone, and let them climb inside of you as well. Makes for incredibly accurate reading, but can get you seriously sick. It has amazing perks - you can get people to simply give you things, offer them right up with a smile and a hug, but you pay on the other side when they come around again and again and again for another hit of that energy stuff you radiate, when you empty out to abject hollowness.
I spent the better part of my teens and twenties lost in a fog and shatter of empathing. It enabled me to see things I never would have, meet people, go places, experience things. But it also made me so very sick. By the time I met Fiona, my teacher of eight years, I was drunk most of the time, smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day, living on sugar and coffee, and crazy as a kitty mainlining catnip on a steady IV drip.
But she taught me how to manage it, how to organize it into a way that was helpful to people, and didn't make me sick.
And it's been a long long time since I did the wanton empath thing. But tonight, to show the class what empathing was, I had to actually show them, as in demonstrate the difference between "This is pulled in and contained" and "This is outside and empathing". Three people were out with the flu so I got lucky and only had to show six people, but I had to do it several times with some of them, and so it was Out Out Out Out OUT OUT OUT side of myself so very many times that when I got back in my car at the end of the night I just felt . . . . sick.
I had forgotten how sick it made me. Sick as in all of my insides had been stripped bare, all of the good and lovely and sweet drained out, leaving behind only ache and a faint nausea, stomach cramps and a headache. And I thought: I used to live like this.
And yet as I went around to each of these lovelies, connecting in that deep way that only empathing does, I remembered how deliciously lovely it was in the moment, how sweet and intimate and Yes. I remembered why I used to do it.
And I looked around at the innocent faces and I thought: I have no idea what your path is, no idea what you need. And over and over deflected their questions of "so what should I do?", "what should I think?" and kept looping them back so that the questions continued to swirl inside of them. Much more uncomfortable for them, yeah, and makes me look like less of a Teacher. But much more honest for them.
They have to flail their way through this. Decide for themselves what is true for them. I hesitate in telling them the real truth. Which is that it's all a bunch of hooey. Not just psychic stuff, but success and meaning and validation and money and love and connection and spirituality and god and you know: All Of It.
But I get that what I'm showing them is closer to the truth than they've been living. I get that I can show them skills that will help them open their eyes a little more. And I'm happy to share what I know, what I've learned. But mostly I'm just happy for their company, for their often fierce and sweet intensity.
I wish I could invite them out for a bottle of wine and some wild soaring talk. But it isn't my role. I've been down that road hundreds of times and it never works out okay. In our culture, a teacher is supposed to be in some way "perfect". And the role of the student is of "talker", and the teacher's of "listener". And I'm no longer open to any of that outside of a classroom. Friendship, yes. Pedestal and Perfection and Receiver of Complaints: pass.
But I'm sure I'm to blame as well as I never really stop teaching. I even do it to myself, though I'm used to it and sort of roll with the changes, the never ending influx of new info I bring upon myself on a daily basis.
I'm even Back In School. Yep, yet again I enter into the student role. This time: Beekeeping. It's an eight week class that will allow me to be certified at the end of it, to know the way of the bee enough to have hives and steward the bees that call them home. The bad news? Where I live isn't conducive to having a hive. The good news? The guy who's teaching the class, a serious master beekeeper with a wicked sense of humor, called me today and said he'd take me on as an apprentice. "I'll mentor you", he said. "You've got a stillness about you. People who work best with bees know how to be in the space on the other side of time."
The Shamanic Way of The Bee. Always. All Ways.