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 . . .
With the new openings occurring, I feel drawn even more strongly to do sessions with folks. And yet the way they play out, the techniques I've used are realigning, opening in new ways.
Whenever I've gone through shifts in the past with the healing work, rather than just play new things out with regular sessions, I've created a new format for them, charged a minimal session fee. For a while I did "half-hour shamanic power sessions" for $35 which honed specific skills so they could be done in a super-condensed way, which I liked to refer to as punching a hole through space-time and flinging us through. Woohoo!
Folks usually were disoriented afterwards, with no real integration time at the end of the session, but they were effective, often dramatically so. And they changed the flow of shamanic sessions when I finally let go of the half-hour format and moved into 1-1.5 hour sessions again. The level of intensity stayed up, and also less time was taken afterwards staying connected with folks. In letting go, it helped them find their own way, building their own muscles of integration, their own choice of how to take action based on what they felt ready for.
So, new shamanic sessions are forming, done telephonically, and I'm sending out invitations and details via the Integral Shamanics email list. Some of you are already on it, so if you already receive the emails (with the banner logo of the blog, and a blue email body) no need to resign up. If you're not on the list and would like to be, just send me an email at integralshamanics(at)gmail.com. (replace the (at) with an @ - it's to fool the blog trolling spam bots :)
When the request is heartfelt, and true, Life always says Yes.
In one moment Friday night, a moment that came out of seeming nowhere, after a cascade of moments that showed me where the hole was inside of me, I realized that it had been years since a musician created songs that I felt myself deeply inside of.
And the realization came as I listened to Florence and the amazing tribe she leads. Greenery and grainery singing down my neural pathways. Out in the midst of wind and dark night sky, dancing for stars and the small, brilliantly white slice of moon, I found myself inside a groove that showed me my place in the web that is this world and the worlds underneath and behind and above it.
Shamanic soul retrieval. Florence and her fantastic Machine drilling down deep through layers of No. Calling me to dance the surface of skin and the musculature underneath and the current of prana as it unleashed the Yes inside.
Ten years ago, if someone would have told me I'd be doing shamanic healing work, I'd have laughed at them. I do serious work, I'd have told them. I meditate, do deep energywork, systematically analyze and remove the Untrue from my body/mind/heart/spirit. I don't play head games, do make believe, conjure up fairy tales around talking animals. But then I woke up to the fact that it's all a head game, every single thing we believe is reality, the western and the eastern, the Matriarchal Age, The Patriarchal Age, The New Age, all of it. And I saw the machine that makes it appear so real: mass consensus.
This mass consensus? Wildly popular, but not so reliable. Mayan priests sacrificing hundreds of people a day, the kings personally opening up a small vein as a show of fealty to their gods, because their gods needed blood to survive. Soulmates. Western medicine pharmaceuticals as clinically proven effective method for the treatment of chronic disease. Women, cattle, and people from foreign lands bought and sold to be used as organic machines. Buy Green. Placebo as another word for wishful thinking. All you need is Love. Cancer is born at the nexus of environmental factors, heredity, and poor self-esteem.
Mass consensus, like a virus, propagates itself by saturating us with interpretations, of stories, from the moment we're born, continuing throughout our life, layering on the latest update in the tales called reality, the newest flavor of faux presented as fabulous and/or cutting edge. Why? Because we're built to find meaning at the confluence of our six senses and the ever-evolving consciousness existing in all three brains - the grey matter housed in the skull, the central nervous system, and the digestive tract.
Of course, there's the hard-wiring. The physical/energetic chains of DNA carrying the coding for things like the ability to store fat, or protection of our progeny coded into behavior via hormones like oxytocin. Or the neural mapping we're born with that adapts as we grow, like mistrust of strangers. (There's actually a large portion of the brain that is used for face recognition, which is why we generally feel more trusting of human faces like our own, like we've grown up with, and less trusting of different species.) A behavior like mistrust is the result of a chain of neural connections that rose from animals having more of this short bit of programming surviving to bear offspring more often than those that didn't. And if this behavior is reinforced during childhood, it's ramped up in different ways, and viola: racism, sexism, xenophobia, speciesism, etc.
All living beings are born with and develop hundreds of thousands of these small "programs", programs that are part of survival (survival defined as permission to be one of the select organisms that gets to breathe and eat and cruise around long enough to propagate). Supposedly, humans are at the driving tip of evolution, with the pinnacle of humanhood - a kind of Human Adulthood - made up of qualities we value as most highly evolved, a kind of Higher Programming, such as kindness, selflessness, humility, joyfulness, humor, emotional intelligence, etc.
And from what I can gather, from my own experience, what I've witnessed, Waking Up/Enlightenment is breaking out (or being ejected out) of the programming, all of it. Here, the rubber meets the road, the Human meets Beyond Human. And at this place, a few years ago, at this edge of Human, where hardwired programming is seen for the intellectual and emotional coding it is, I found myself dumped out on the front lawn.
And for a very very long time, I sat there on that front lawn, sat there and wondered: what the f*ck happens now? When all of "reality" is finally seen as only story, as something we all got together and made up, what the heck do you do? How do you eat? How do you keep a roof over your head? How do you interact with the billions of humans crawling all over this planet, with their varying hardcore beliefs in This or That portion of the made up story? What's the point in any of it? There's no more striving for dominance or mating for biological superiority or even trying to make the world a better place. So what do you do? Do you just lay down and die?
There was no one for me to ask. The ability to connect with other humans, even so-called Enlightened Folks, had been severed (by Fate? Life? God? I've no clue - only that it did, that it dang skippy did) I could hold no conversations, sign up for instructional classes, read applicable how-to books, throw myself on the mercy of Seasoned Teachers. I spent several years looking for something, anything, anyone. Then I Got It. There was only one direction left: Inward.
And so I turned inside and asked: so what the f*ck? What the freak is going on? What the heck do I do with this body, this mind, this time? And in a series of alternating hilarious and horrifying 3-D experiential images, what I saw was story, all the story collected inside of me, clinging in clumps to organs, crackling like downed power lines along nerve pathways, tucked away in tiny packets, hiding amongst the fat cells. And at this point, I picked up the only remaining tool I had left to go ferret these stories out, the tool known currently as shamanism, which is a Siberian word for "one who sees in the dark" but what really just means Someone Who Heals By Telling Stories.
This delighted me! So perfect, so full of Yes! Because I love stories. I'm obsessed with them. I have been all my life. Seeing them, hearing them, creating them, passing them on. Stories? Really? The last piece is about simultaneously observing, deconstructing, and swimming in the stories? Awesome!
Because I'm built for stories. To read, to tell, to watch, to write. Observe: I have a memory of a past life (although I'm not sure whether past lives exist, only that I have memories of dozens of what appear to be past lives). In the memory, which is no more than a few moments, I'm walking through a forest, but not as I would now. In it, as I walk, I'm reading the forest, as if it were a book, listening to it as I would to a person telling me an intricate tale of adventure, every single seemingly minute aspect telling me a story about what happened yesterday, the year before, what the present story of the forest is. I can tell from the color of the bark on the tree what precise time of year it is, what the rainfall has been like, the quality of sunlight. The sounds, of birds and wind, the rustle of branches and forest floor, tell me who is there, what they're doing. All of it, the layers of sights, smells, sounds, the feel of the soil underfoot, all of it like words, sentences, chapters, full of meaning that connects deeply inside of me. In the memory, it's thousands of details, bits of data, and I'm assimilating them all in a hot second, because that is what I do automatically, after living my whole life in the forest. I know the language of the forest, and I read each new moment, eagerly and efficiently, with an open mind and heart and body.
In this life, by the age of thirty-one, I'd become the type of Serious Granolahead who was pointedly going about erasing her story, because she was told and she believed stories were bad and unelightened and stupid and a ruse. There was a rigidity to it, thundering judgment about every single tale coming out of my mouth, ridicule for the sorts of tales other people told. My way was the best way, the only way, and other people were deluded, less than. I was more spiritual, would be enlightened first. They were still telling themselves silly stories of The Sky God or Archangel Michael or The Ancient Alien Arturis from the Pleiades who gave them accurate information on what vitamins and supplements they needed to take. I was beyond all that bullsh*t, and I righteously displayed my sneer to those I deemed Sadly Lost In Their Story.
Then, six years ago, the time release bomb began going off, lighting up every single aspect of this story called Katherine, this world called the twenty-first century, this nothing called Enlightenment, this fallacy called reality. It broke me down in ways that peeled my brain like an old potato, shattered my heart like a shorted out light bulb, tore my mind apart as if it were cobwebs, wracked my body with illnesses, injuries, painful structural misalignments. Save for enough of a sliver to stay alive, it destroyed every single aspect of my living, what I knew as reality. And when, in exhaustion and defeat, I let go, when I finally stopped fighting and let freefall take me, where I ended up was loosely draped across the remaining timbers of my structure, this life and personality known as Katherine. What was left was a kind of elemental way of being in the world.
I'd done thousands of shamanic journeys, visualizations, meditations, etc., over the past 25 years or so, but they were never more than a kind of spiritual weight-lifting, designed to Power Me To Enlightenment. But after The Bomb, I began journeying for survival skills, as a way to literally get info and insight on how to stay physically alive after The Kaboom, after all ties with other humans were cut off and I had no way to get help outside myself. And it turned out that shamanic journeys were in perfect alignment with how basic, how elemental my experience of living felt. The basic premise of journeying is that you close your eyes, listen to drumming, and let it take you where it takes you. Behind your eyes, out of the darkness rises color, movement, then story. It is the story of you, of the world, of the ancients and the aliens. It's fascinating and magical, and it's practical and cut and dried. It's a place to go for answers.
I do the Shaman Thing because at it's core, it's straightforward story, told in a way that any brain can wrap itself around. It's birth and death, sensation and intuition, sun and moon. It's animals and people and strange and beautiful hybrids. It's visions of past lives that fit so precisely, so intricately as a mirror to the present that it's breathtaking. It's the dark forces of living that try to f*ck with you, spiders with thick sticky webs and snakes with deep fangs. It's light forces of Yes beaming love and sweetness, smiling skeletons, spiders that show the web of All Life and your place in it, caduceus snakes that twine together to show how duality works, or the ouroboros eating its own tail to reveal secrets of renewal and re-creation.
Of course it's created story. It's the remaining bits of Katherine connecting to the stories of all Creation. It's taking vibration (a quality of energy like whirring or imbalance) and translating it into a material that can be worked with while still cruising around as a human (stories!). And from this elemental place I operate out of, it's the simplest, most straightforward connection between the Nothing and Being On This Planet.
I don't identify much with people anymore. When I get a shock of recognition, I'm most often looking at my nettle plant, or into Emmaline's sparkly eyes, or at one of Malcolm's dastardly deeds, or at a bee pulling nectar from a flower, or feeling the sun on my face. But I no longer have contempt for people. The sneer is gone. I feel an incredible love for them (even as I still may feel a bit skeeved at particularly noxious ego runoff they fling around, but this is only because of those leftover chunks of stored past inside of me, and they're less every day, and it sort of feels like an occupational hazard, like being a nurse and encountering bodily fluids, no way around it, it's just the dealio).
I do the Shaman Thing because it acts as an outrageously effective translator. It's a place to go for answers, have a few laughs about What The Heck Is Really Going On behind this thing we called the world. I also do it because it utilizes the odd mix of expertise I've developed that still remains - the psychic ability, the energywork healing skills, the knowledge of both holistic and scientific languaging and images - intertwining them in a way that enables me to make a living (which we all need to do), contribute to the Yes (which is fun, like dancing), learn more about the Human Adulthood of evolution (which is fascinating). Mostly, though, I do it because it's the only thing left to do that I can do. Everything else has fallen away. Hiveworld, psychic readings, this blog, life with kitties, soul retrievals: it's all the Shaman Thing.
Supposedly, enlightenment means the end of story. But from the (supposedly) enlightened folks I've met, read about, their story goes on, even if they're not attached to it anymore. And for now, the story of Katherine is elemental, pared down, growing more simple and straightforward every day.
Integral Shamanics. Standing in the world, but diving into the worlds behind it. Soul retrievals using a hybrid of shamanic reality and high-technology. Resident feline power animals and those furry and feathered and scaled friends who meet me in shamanic reality. Doing deep transformative work with film makers and house painters and psychologists and restaurant managers and government agents and stay at home moms and mortgage brokers and accountants and writers and healers and stylists and carpenters and on and on and on. Who knows why we end up with what we have left? This, for now, is what's left in this life. The Shaman Thing.
Slowly, bit by bit, the world is falling away, but what's still showing up is the Shaman Thing. When Katherine is completely ferreted out, smooched and said adios to for the final time, the shell that remains will probably be the Shaman Thing. I'm so grateful. Because it come with tremendous freedom and versatility, but mostly because it's so much dang fun . . .
I just sent an email out to all the folks on my holistic email list, then realized: there are folks out in blogland who aren't on the Integral Shamanics email list and so won't get a shot at the free webcam sessions I'm doing to help work out the final kinks on doing sessions this way. Now you can. Here's the pertinent parts from the email:
Phone sessions can now be recorded, with a copy of the session emailed to you as an mp3 file after the session. It's high quality input and output, so it'll be like reliving the session, getting a chance to go over all of the info to make sure that you didn't miss anything, a chance to keep hitting pause to write notes, write your thoughts and insights, etc. (as well as give your subconscious a chance to manuever around that pesky mute button the ego sometimes uses in the face of some of the more intense Truths :)
Sessions can also now be done via webcam, and also recorded, with a copy of the session sent as a Quicktime video file (or another type of video file - just let me know and I'll convert it for you). If you want me to use the Soul Cards during your session, I can hold up the pics so you can see the cards as we go along.
Any of the sessions can be done this way - Psychic and Medical Intuition sessions - even Soul Retrievals, though the part of the session where I journey and go in to do the actual retrieval won't be captured on the webcam . . . because the only visual on my side will still be occurring behind my eyes!
There's no charge for any of this new stuff. It'll all be part of the sessions from now on. I can call any landline or cell phone, no problem, no charge, and record the session. I'm using Skype, but you don't need to have it for phone calls. (If you live outside the United States, though, we'll need to use Skype). (For in person sessions, I hope to have a digital recorder in the next couple of weeks so that I can record and email your session audio to you.)
For webcam sessions, you will need to download Skype and have an account. It's safe and Skype to Skype calls are totally free. And awesome. Deeply, deeply awesome . . .
And, as this is still a new technology for me to be using with holistic sessions, *three people will receive a half-hour webcam psychic/medical intuitive session for free* That way we can try out the new technology together, no worries. (Phone sessions using the audio recording are easy - I just press play, and then email it to you . . .) The only thing I ask in return is that after the webcam session, you'll let me ask you some questions about how the session went for you, what you feel might make it better, etc. To put yourself in the running, just send me an email. I'll draw three names using a randomizer program, and contact the winners Wednesday by mid-morning to set up a time for you.
I had an amazing day yesterday.
Maybe this would have been a more or less normal day for some folks, or for others, with the economy the way it is, a freakin joyride on a magic carpet. For me, it felt like everything that's going on is a confirmation of the hard ass, bone grinding work I did the past few years.
But then I think: maybe I'm just having a streak of good luck. But I remember I don't really believe in good luck, or at least good luck in the form of Yes just randomly zipping into a life, then zipping back out. And then there's the fact that this "good luck" always always seems to come in the wake of doing hard time in the inner mines of spiritual work.
Then I think: maybe this is just what happens when someone quits being all erratic and flighty and buckles down to a regular "normal" job. I've been working seven days a week - five days in Hiveworld, then shamanic healing work clients for three to five hours on Saturdays, then shamanic journeying class on Sunday night. A phone session or two on the weeknights. Keeping my apartment clean. Being on time.
And then I get: this is the beginning of Human Adulthood. This is what a life is like when a person drops the emotion, the batsh*t crazy rage and judgment and addiction and depression and hopelessness and victimy blame and romantic love and delusion and belief that anything means anything (the ones most people pretend they don't feel, but which all but the tiniest percentage of members of our western civilization tribe indulge in). It doesn't mean these vapors don't still come around - it means they are so much less attractive that a person doesn't stare at them, reach out a paw to grab them as they whirl past. This is what happens when a person stops buying into the insanity of the demons that nip at their heels, not turning to fight them, just flinging them off, keep climbing, further, always further. This is the beginning of Human Adulthood, and it isn't something that is achieved so much as surrendered into.
I highly recommend it. I give my stamp of Yes approval to turning toward whatever horrible awful No is vibrating in your world. I support and encourage you, as the No begins to surround and then consume you, to chant the mantra "Yes, yes, yes, Yes." And then as the No changes into Yes, and you begin to laugh at how hard you fought all these years against the supposed No, when you see how it always was and always will be Yes, go sit in a chair, and watch the wind move the trees, and watch the movement of your mind downshift into floating, and the pointlessness of your life to reveal itself as quiet joy and sweetness and hilarity.
It's not your life. You just travel in it.
What a beautiful day . . .
What a strange life I'm living. After spending three years as a classical actress-in-training, then four years as a hardcore ashram-living, guru-adoring granolahead, then seven years as a serious lycra-wearing, bartending, X-dropping hedonist, followed by another seven as a seriously hardcore Barry Long-loving , emotion-shunning, all-stimulating-substance-avoiding-including-coffee-and-sugar-and-fun granolahead, I then proceeded to rack up $65 grand in student loan debt in tribute to the god of unsmiling science.
Now, I drift.
I have several credit cards that are in rotation. I make a couple or few hundred each week heading up the shamanic journeying class for 10 bright, deep shamanic-healers-in-training, as well as doing shamanic healing and soul retrievals for four or five people a week. I still have a grand left over from the salary I made during my five week stint as a mental health professional, down from three grand left over from the final student loan I took out back in August. My sister gave me a hundred or so pieces of designer clothes (given to her by the wealthy women that she works for cleaning their homes) that I'm proceeding to figure out how to unload on ebay.
I do about 25 or 30 hours a week of straightforward work each week. About 5 more hours "jobhunting" for things that fit with the degrees I now have, those letters that now follow my name when I list my bio. Another 10 or 15 spent doing reading and research on all things shamanic. Fire In The Head anyone? But as a single woman with no children and no mortgage and therefor no other consistent demands on my time other than taking care of two weasely kitties, albeit one that receives a double daily shot of insulin, mostly I drift.
This drifting. Drifting to see where the tide takes me. This waking and sleeping based on cues that signal from deep inside of me, that leads to 6 hours of sleep one night, and 13 for another. Random baths with mineral salts steeped in jasmine and sandalwood during the day smack dab in the path of the setting sun. A Doing of Stuff based on what needs to be done, the rest of it falling away with the fervent repeated mantra known as "f*ck it".
Some hours it feels like a crushing weight of nothingness where I find that I want to cry from how little I am needed or seen or desired, how passion has vamoosed for younger and thinner and more enthusiastic pastures. Other hours it is a soft, full, warm throbbing that is the tide of Nothingness, muscles vibrating gently, this burbling heart of mine gentle and sweet, the hum of Life a distant vibration in the silence of Yes. Sometimes it unfolds as a lusciousness that leads to 9-mile bike rides of circular routes to get a coffee, pick up my master's degree diploma from my sister's mailbox, buy a bottle of wine, as I play frogger with pickup trucks and SUVs on Shipyard Blvd. Othertimes it is the odd pastimes I've taken up.
What is this purchasing and studying and drinking of wine I've become enamored of? Especially now that my income is so limited? But great joy is found with a bottle of shiraz, ecstatically sipped in between bites of three kinds of whooshing, bitey cheddar and thin slices of black Arkansas apples, and really, who can argue with that? Or how many hours a week I sit in front of my computer, taking advantage of the major networks' full-episode players they make available to we cableless souls as I sew moss green alpine fleece and leather medicine bags for the people who come for soul retrievals each week.
Sometimes it's the creation of playlists on iTunes comprised of Rufus Wainwright's soaring "Across the Universe", James Blunt's "Beautiful" where he says "f*cking high" instead of the sanitized "flying high", Jason Mraz's version of "The Joker" and how hilariously he says he speaks of the "pompatus of love", Mika sucking on his "Lollipop", Stuart Davis climbing our "Ladder" of DNA and singing of the one hand slapping in "AC/DC", Madeleine Peyroux laughingly insisting that she's "All Right", and "Mad World" by both Tears For Fears and Gary Jules.
It's heading into the backyard to throw balls for Hoochie, the red labrador, and Bosley, the six-month old pitbull, and Lola, the fat-bellied chihuahua. They lick my face and leap into the hammock to snuggle with me, and not a whiff of dog phobia is on the wind. I take them on walks and agonize as the walk turns to a jog, at the bummer that is boobs grown as obese as my belly. It's the flopping down in the front yard to hang with Granny Myra, the 12 year old tabby, or Oscar aka Orange Crush, our neighborhood tomcat Cassanova, whose freckled face makes me smooch him until he gives me the paw of Cease and Desist.
It's doing my laundry in the small nautical washing machine here in my apartment and then hanging the clothes to dry on the oversized rack I set up in my bedroom, turning the ceiling fan on high to combat the humidity that is coastal living. Or lifting weights, 15 minutes at a time, my back, the vertebrae, cracking and popping back into place. Or making essential oil batches, each more witchy than the last, to bring into the soul retrievals, add to the medicine bags. Or eating organic, Nature's Path toaster pastries with big frothy glasses of locally produced whole milk. Or spending an entire morning researching raising chickens for eggs and meat and all sorts of whatnot.
More and more frequently I find myself in a sort of hyper-conscious reverie where I repeat over and over: thank you Life, thank you, thank you, thank you for this time to let my Doing and Doing and Doing soften, for this unstructured time, for the freedom to let go of Who I Am Not so that Who I Am can make itself known again. Because, really, who the f*ck am I? Do you know who the f*ck you are? And oh how I long for more Who I Am. Don't you?
Two nights ago I awoke over and over and over as the lyrics of "Mad World" circulated round and round between conscious and unconscious mind.
"And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had."
While I was asleep, I watched experiential explanations of the wheel of karma, and of exactly what it means to get off of it. I'd been in that place before. So simple to just stop participating in the Doing and it's Almighty Kickback that is Living as we currently know it. It was what I let go of last month - that precipice that I once again walked up to where I saw that I have to let go of the good, not just the bad but the good. That place where Krishna fell down. That place that has kicked many an ass before it got ahold of mine. And how I said, "I'm not ready yet. I see a few bits left and I want to squeeze these last few drops of happy, please, of joy and love with folks who still see me and love the me that radiates behind the weird ticks and vacant smiling and stern blankness that is so often "me" these days, those sweet folks who still radiate Yes for me when I get the privilege of their presence." And I saw how death is my sweetest friend, how it is the calm beyond the storm, the vibration behind my yearning for money and romantic love and success and relief.
And over the past couple of days, the remnants of the monster of To Do dies in the face of this wash of Nothing. And I see that more and more,
"I find it hard to tell you
'Cos I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very
So, not sure if you noticed, but the real absence in my world these days is people. Not much interaction going on these days unless necessary for work, living situation, or day to day living, and even then it's awkward. I just have no freakin idea what the social protocols are anymore. So very, very weird.
I will do a deep, successful soul retrieval, but oh how I cringe at the before and afterward that has to take place, the dealing with money and pleasantries and such. I will pay my rent on time, but how dealing with my sweet landlord/neighbor's social network makes my skin shrink two or three sizes in the dehydrating air of Too Much Freaking Talk. The exception seems to be my family, especially my sis, who get a pass based on her uncomplicated way of dealing with most of her living, her laughing and cutting up and and sweetness and generosity and how we fight, eyebrows raised and ready for battle, over who paid for the check when we last went to the country cooking buffet. Silly, sweet, simple stuff.
As you may have noticed, I don't return emails or phone calls unless I freakin absolutely have to. I barely read blogs anymore. I read no novels, only shamanic tomes. The occasional desire to return emails from friends, engage in a new email friendship asserts itself every month or so, but something always happens to clip it off posthaste, and I drift back into the tide of Nothingness. Noting personal, just doesn't make sense.
It's as if I'm allergic to most human contact. I just want to be left alone to drift. And Life seems to support me heartily in this. What else can I say and still be truthful? If you want nothing from people and they find nothing in you to want, what keeps you together? . . . Really?
It's all just flows out in front of us. We create and live out these rolling energies that are our lives. And then, one day, death says howdy, and off we go, leaving every last single thing and person we've come to know and love and invest so utterly and completely in.
So I leave you with the echoing words of Mika: "sucking too hard on your lollipop, love's going to get you down". Whatever that means. :) It makes me want to purchase a small cache of Blow Pops or at the very least take up dating again. Heh.
Or maybe I'll just keep drifting . . . :)