The process I've been going through the past few years with the Integral Shamanics work has been paralleling the Waking Up/personal dismantling. I'm constantly questioning, asking: is this true? is it genuinely helpful? what does it really do? how can it be done better? clearer and more easily translatable? more usefully? is there bullsh*t involved? how can it be pared away to reveal the Yes?
The IS email list of ~200 people, a list collected over the past decade, has been a gift. It's a mash-up of a few lists started, maintained haphazardly, then set down when I went through transitions where the holistic work was let go of for a while. When I pick it back up again, I start a new list, but then eventually send out an email to the old list, inviting anyone who wants to rejoin the new to let me know.
200 doesn't seem like a lot of people, but these are core folks - they open the email newsletters, reach out for sessions or to give updates or just say howdy. They are a lot like this blog, which has honed itself down to about 50-75 readers - again, not a lot of folks comparatively, but core people, many of whom have been following DG for years, some since the beginning back in 2003. About 20 of those keep in fairly regular contact, either through comments or email, but most show up once or twice a year, when a post triggers something for them, and they feel to de-lurk.
I'm happy with both circles of connectivity because despite the changes of the past decade, and the comings and goings, both provide a sense of love, of respect and acceptance, and also a safe place. Inside that safety I get the deep blessing of growing in the presence of family, of tribe who knows I'm a bit of a problem child, but that there are also waves of adulthood that come with gifts for the folks who feel to tune in.
They are also a kind of laboratory, a place to send out invitations when I'm trying something new, when another deep transformation is under way. I bring the underpinnings and basic architecture of these first to this blog, and then when some of the kinks are ironed out, and the flow is a little clearer, to the IS email list.
With the blog, it's more of my own personal action. With the list, the action beyond the personal takes place, where whatever gets triggered via the blog or the newsletter moves. The folks who want to engage in sessions, who want to take the conversation started digitally and move it to analogue, who are engaged in their own conscious process of transformation, feel to reach out for some assistance. In the land of minimal connection that has become my living, this is where the deep fun begins.
Once or twice a year, I contact a psychic or shamanic practitioner when I feel to reach out for help. It happens when I'm good and jammed up around some issue and the suffering has gotten red line and I need a little perspective outside of my own brainbox. Usually there's a fair amount of fear going on inside me, but even with that, it's always a dang good time.
It's fun to get info around a thorny issue scratching up my living, but it's also great fun to watch another deepwork practitioner do their thing, to see what sort of tools they use, what sort of story they wrap their data in for presentation to both their psyche and mine. Most access some sort of guide or guides who tell them what the deal is, which they relay to me. Some just see an entangled path in the living and get to clearing it.
Most have a truly wonderful sense of humor - a delightful mix of la-la-la lightness and pitch black dark humor around the horror, man, the horror. Some are all business - they go in, do whatever it is they do, come out, give the facts, ma'am, just the facts, like they're working a conveyor belt, if that conveyor belt were worked by someone very, very skilled at watching and tweaking and assembling the shamanic widgets gliding past.
And with every passing day, I watch more and more closely what it is that I do in session with my own clients. There is the part of me that is doing the work, fully engaged in the healing process being done for the person. Then there's the aspect of my consciousness that is receiving personal healing and messages, a sort of parting gift from The Almighty Yes for the work being done. And then there's the overarching witness, who watches and notes everything occurring.
This witness is sort of like a recorder - for everything, all aspects - probably some sort of personal awareness of the Akashic Records in motion. This same recording that's utilized to analyze layers and details post-session can also be used if a client asks a specific question weeks or months down the line about something that occurred during a particular session. Or even years later, such as the email I received yesterday about how I'd said during a psychic session 8 years ago that her business would franchise in 8 years, and how as I read the email of how she was now franchising, the energy of that session, her response, rehydrated back into my conscious mind with clarity.
For the past year I've been working on a proposal for an Integral Shamanics Healer training program. It's grown to around twenty pages of outline on all aspects of it - content and flow, and also how to structure it so it can be web-based. And as I've worked on the proposal, sorting out what it is I actually do and how to teach it to others, going through all of the syllabi and materials for classes and workshops I've done over the past 15 years, it's fed the session work, and vice versa.
And then there are the sessions themselves. For the past few weeks I've been hyper-conscious of exactly what happens in sessions - how the information comes in, how I translate it and relay the info to clients, how it's received.
With the shamanic sessions, the soul retrievals, it's like watching tv, but without sound. There's often a cartoon kind of feel to it, as if I'm watching an animated version of real life. It comes across visually as real, but with slightly blurred edges, like watching a streaming net video of less than stellar quality, which causes the moments and images that broadcast in hyper-High-Def to come through with an almost psychedelic quality, so multi-dimensional it takes my breath away, jolts the mind a little, like a few seconds of a Mystical State.
There's usually a mythic feel to the sessions, grand and sweeping, like a high-budget movie with A-list celebrities, with the client as star, and me as the character that walks around for a bit, sometimes interacting, but mostly watching, collecting. But rather than a movie's straightforward dialogue and visuals, the scenes that unfold in the sessions are what I've come to call "emotional gestures", a kind of highly dramatic heuristic of a person's issues, beliefs, their personal wounds - emotional, physical, mental, spiritual - as well as their ancestral wounds, passed down from their family, tribe, the planet.
It's common that scenes from past lives come up, a sort of how-to of how the wound began, how it was carried into and is being expressed in the current life. And the "missing soul pieces" are also pointed out, by the lens of whatever it is that points the camera of my witness, that brings the mystical states in and out, sometimes to stop motion, rewind, play it again, sometimes several times, often at different angles or levels of close-up or wide shot.
The incoming flow of information and scenes seems to have nothing really to do with me. I don't create it or shape it, just witness. I'm not striving to make anything happen, just releasing into the unknown, staying relaxed so as not to squeeze, think or flex away from the flow of energy, information, data.
The real work comes toward the end of the session, when the journey into shamanic reality downshifts into four-wheel drive, when the actual real-time healing part begins, where the soul pieces are integrated back into the bodies, resistance and blocks to healing played with, toxins/No/imbalances healed. After this flows into conclusion, I come out and speak with the client, telling them what I saw, what happened.
This final fifteen or twenty minutes of an hour session is the most challenging part because it's often not what a person would prefer to hear, and it's usually around things they'd rather not talk about or want seen. More and more though, the sorts of folks who've been doing session seem more ready, more willing, are stronger, their hearts and minds more flexible, able to take in more info.
The psychic readings follow a similar path, but because I'm not going into "shamanic reality", it's more of a conversation, a back and forth, the client stating what they'd like to look at, a sentence or two around what they feel the issue is, like going in to a physician's office and saying: it hurts here. And then I go in and look around, watch the flow of information that arises.
There's very little mythic feel to psychic readings. They come across as more practical. It's still like watching tv, but they often have sound to them, and the visual/audio stays in the background because the two layers are occurring at the same time: watching the scenes and interpreting them to clients as the scenes unfold in the moment. During a psychic session, I'll sometimes stop and go silent for a few moments so to better tune in, go deeper, before I come back to the surface to relay the info. How I picture it is that there is this world, and then there is the psychic/shamanic/dream layer beneath it, and to do this kind of work means to move between the worlds. Shamanic sessions are immersing in the world beneath this one, then coming back and speaking about the what was seen and done. The psychic sessions are a quick moving back and forth, surfacing and immersing depending on what needs to be done and where.
In a psychic session there's more time to go back and forth with the interpretation. As the info is being relayed I can watch how the client receives each chunk, and energy levels can be readjusted- tools like kindness, firmness, languaging, metaphor, backstory, pauses for their commentary and insights flowing in to tweak the reception.
I use to say that the psychic readings were more informational, and the shamanic sessions were more experiential, but I've come to see that the only real difference is how the client feels to receive the information. Not everyone can or even wants to wrap their brain around a shamanic session's contents, but most folks can engage in a psychic reading as it appears much like a deep conversation between two people.
But the psychic readings usually only take a person so far. They're like pointing out tools to a person, and whether they choose to use them post-session is up to them. During the shamanic sessions, actual healing takes place, sometimes fully, often as a jump-start, a clearing away of enough debris on the path so that they can gather up some speed. I'm much more conscious of the fact that this is their gig, and my presence is as tech support, cartographer, editor for film quality and selection of content.
Realizing that's it's story, relating to it like story doesn't diminish what it is. Because it's all story. Western med, Korean applied Chinese medicine, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy - all story. We're all on an adventure called Being Alive, and knowing the story is half the fun.
And I'm so grateful to have one of the best seats in the house. To tune in and watch shows on the billions of channels that is Life in motion. To witness the flow of Yes, and the seeming No that blocks it. To have the vantage point of seeing that it all fits together, an infinite mosaic of Beingness living out each sliver in full-on prism.
You do, too, sweet Tribe of Yes. You do, too. All that has to be done is Open Your Eyes . . .