Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lucid Dreaming – Anyone can do it!

You may already be familiar with the concept of lucid dreaming, a dream in which you are able to recognize you are dreaming and then control your dream, but did you know that lucid dreaming can be a shamanic healing method?

When you are aware that you are dreaming and you can control the dream, you can create dreams that help you.

I have been studying dreams since I first realized I was capable of out of body experiences (a topic for another time) and lucid dreaming – when I was about 14.  Every time I woke up I would grab my favorite Dream Dictionary and look up everything I could remember. Eventually, I started journaling my dreams, often spending 30-40 minutes and writing 7-10 pages of details which I would later look up.

In my longest lucid dream, I first recognized I was dreaming when I heard myself say “When I wake up, I’ll have to look that up in the dream dictionary.” My practice of always looking up meanings had transferred over into my dream and I was then able to recognize I was dreaming! I spent the rest of my time noting everything in the dream for my journaling later.

The dream ultimately was a “tour” of a Victorian house, where each room represented an aspect of my life which needed attention. I was able to honor those parts of myself that were feeling neglected, a great healing for me.

Once you have recognized that you are dreaming, another tip that has helped me control my dreaming is to focus on my hands, then arms, body, legs, etc. until I was aware of every part of myself within the dream. It may seem easy but it can be tricky, and may take some practice.

Eventually I had a lucid dream where I was standing on my Dad’s apartment balcony instructing myself to step on the edge and then I flew off like a bird! It was exhilarating to control a dream like that, but it was also extremely exhausting. I used a fair amount of mental energy controlling my arms and legs and then directing myself to fly. But if I can do it, so can you!

If you’d like to learn more about Lucid Dreaming, World of Lucid Dreaming is a great resource.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recommended Reading

Throughout my studies, I have read many books which have helped change my perspective and ultimate allowed me to see the world in a different way.

Here are some of my favorites books:

Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

The Four Insights by  Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, Ph.D

Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, Ph.D

Memories of the Afterlife by Michael Newton, Ph.D
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Angel Medicine by Doreen Virtue

Good Faeries Bad Faeries by Brian Froud

The Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessice MacBeth

The Mystical Magical Marvelous World of Dreams by Wilda B. Tanner

Crystals, Colour & Chakras by Gill Hale

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

The Tenth Insight by James Redfield

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Different Way to Paint

Recently, I worked with my friend Carolyn and her daughter Cassie, both of whom are on the same Shamanic path that I am on, and they taught me a new technique for sand paintings.

The version they taught me, which they learned from Wake and Kinlen Wheeler, is much more playful and inquisitive than the traditional method I was taught. Using a series a small toys, Carolyn and Cassie asked me to randomly arrange them on a tabletop, in which ever order I liked, using a border or not, and whenever I felt I was finished I could stop. 

The best thing about the process is that because we used toys, my adult mind didn't try to over think the process and I was able to quickly tap into Spirit and work mythically without any preconceived notions of what each toy could, would or should mean.

When I came to the point at which I felt I was ready to evaluate the sand painting, we did just that. 

My painting included:
  • A Green Winged Fairy which represented me. 
  • The archetype of Jaguar 
  • The archetype of serpent
  • A green bracelet which we discovered represented the ability of my serpent archetype to become invisible, or in other words, to source from the mythic realm.
  • A Llama which we discovered represented the ability to see the true essence of anything and anyone (Because he knew that the green bracelet was really an invisible serpent.)
  • An Owl which we discovered represented the ability to transition into an altered state to work within the mythic realm.
  • A Duck which we discovered represented my interpretation of the innocence of childhood (feeding ducks at the park) and the importance of accessing that childhood curiosity and joy.
  • A Wolf, which at first I believed to be an aspect of myself which needed to be kept in check at all times, but which we ultimately discovered was the ability I have to trust myself in all situations. 
  • A Bear which we discovered represented strength and fortitude in my life, and a tiara which crowned the Bear and which I defined as an increased importance for these values. 
  • A rainbow ribbon that served as the boundaries of my literal world.
When we evaluated the original placements of this items in my painting, the Wolf became the main character. At first I had placed him in the front of the painting with Owl intently watching over him, perhaps to ensure that he was always "the good wolf." But in this placement, I did not trust Wolf, which ultimately is an aspect of myself. (In fact, every item I chose and every definition I gave it is a aspect of myself.) So how could I shift the energy and trust my Wolf (and trust myself)?

At first I believed Wolf needed to be placed with his "pack" the Jaguar and the Bear. But the energy was not right there either. In placing him with his "pack," I was merely changing who was supervising him - no longer Owl, but his "pack." Finally, I realized Wolf did not need to be supervised at all, and he took his place beside me as a trusted friend.

My final shifted sand painting represented the supportive people and qualities that exist in my life and reminded me that I can access this support at any time.

I can't thank Carolyn and Cassie enough for showing me this new and powerful way of creating energetic shifts in my life! I would encourage anyone to try it. You don't need to be a Shaman, you just need to be curious and willing to evaluate your existing beliefs honestly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Everything for a Reason

What possibilities are blooming are in your life?
When I started this blog, it was my intent to honestly share my experiences with Shamanism with as many people as possible in an easy and free way. I have always wanted to be a writer and I thought this was a good outlet to revive a dream that I long ago relegated to my imagination. And as the Universe does often, it reminded me that there are possibilities I haven't even imagined. Possibilities which have existed even before I ever became aware of their swirling around me.

Last November, when I was re-assigned at my day job, to what they then called the "Legislative Reporter," I cried.... a lot. I thought to myself "Why would they do this to me? I know NOTHING about the Legislative process. This is so unfair, I wanted something else."

I tossed and turned it in my mind but finally surrendered to the idea that it was best to go along with it as willingly as possible and be as emotionally stable as possible about such a gigantic shift in my life. Which by the way was really really hard, even for someone like me who always at least tries to find the bright side of any situation.

Despite the fact that the job continues to be grueling, after about 4 months, there are things for which I am actually grateful. For instance this re-assignment has forced me to write, proofread, re-write and edit daily, which has only made those skills stronger and stronger. I also now manage nearly all of our agency's main social media efforts which has allowed me to learn new technology and reach out to people I would have never even imagined. I must also give MAJOR CREDIT to my co-worker Allison Fuller who is my main social media and marketing inspiration and collaborator! All of the work she has done for our agency, even before I imagined I could work in social media, has been an endless source of my professional success so far.

Allison and I also went to a social media conference together recently to learn more about what we could be doing and how to make what we are doing for our agency better. Through that conference, we met Ann Evanston, the Warrior-Preneur, and are both now a part of her Social Networking Coaching Club. One things I've already learned is that I'll need a more comprehensive blogging site. (Which means eventually this blog will have to be transitioned likely to WordPress.)

Through this re-assignment, I have started to see the hidden possibilities in my life. Like, the possibility that my dream of being a writer could be realized. Like, the possibility that through social media I can reach an interested audience, create relationships with other writers, and make business partnerships. But perhaps the most interesting possibility is that the idea that I can inspire others.By using social media to communicate my experiences with Shamanism, I might just inspire them spiritually.

Another possibility is that I could even teach others how to also use social media effectively and inspire them to inspire even more people in whatever way THEY choose. It's limitless! I have been so shocked by the magic of all of these pieces finally coming together in my mind for me to recognize!

So, look around. What's happening right now? Are their possibilities that have been swirling around you waiting to be recognized?