One of the gifts of shamanism is that it gives us a direct path, without intermediaries, to communicate with compassionate healing spirits. These spirits help us out of their love for us and offer wisdom and healing power for our lives. A common practice for taking a request to the healing spirits is called the shamanic journey.
When I first began to journey, I was given a wonderful gift. Knowing nothing of shamanism, I was shown, spontaneously, how to travel to the spirit world in the shamanic way. In the first two weeks of my adventuring, I received a profound healing, was given wise words of power and encouragement, and was initiated by the spirits into their world and way of being.
And then it occurred to me… What if this was all in my mind? What if I were making all this up?
I also had the gift of an Earthly shamanic teacher, and so I asked him, “Why is it that if I believe all these good and wonderful things have been given to me by the spirits, they are precious gifts, but if they are just in my mind, I am embarrassed and afraid?”
His answer was, “It only makes a difference if you are small. What if you are big?
“What if you are…. God?”
“Then there is no difference,” I said.
“Yes. Science has shown that we are always creating our own reality all the time. So whether it is ‘God’ or ‘Mind,’ Spirit doesn’t care what we call it. Ask yourself if your journey was helpful to you. Did it bring you hope or joy or gratitude or love? Did it bring you compassion or wisdom? Forget about what is ‘real.’ If it is useful, allow it into your life!”
These words were the beginning of my ‘awakening,’ a sense of waking up into the world after a long slumber. It wasn’t just that there was a spirit world – so much to explore beyond my everyday life – but the realization that somewhere along the line I had given up my responsibility and authority for the planet. Where had I gotten the idea that only certain special people – the ones who were elected or had social standing or religious eminence – were somehow the only people on Earth who had the right to determine how Earth was going to be? We all have that right. We all have that responsibility. We all have a birthright to be a part of the ongoing creation and evolution of the planet on which we live – simply because we have been given the precious gift of our life on this Earthwalk.
More than a dozen years later, that simple conversation remains the foundation of my spiritual life. We are all divine. We are each divine. We are each a part of Creation, and we each carry all of Creation within us.
For those of us who feel we need “permission” to speak or act, this is a grand, empowering thought. It is enough to drive any dream, any compassionate ambition, any act of courage as we walk, step-by-step, along the creative path we hold within us.
We aren’t just rulers of our own household or our own lives. We get to be co-creators of our community, our country, and our planet. We get to step up and make a difference. And the best part is it doesn’t have to be hard! When we stop trying to be like someone else, and we use our own gifts, it gets to be win-win-win.
There are many ways to create, to build, to mend. There are many paths leading to the same place. The shamanic journey is a powerful way to find our path – our purpose, creativity, gifts, and way of being – in this life existence and beyond.
More than twelve years after that first spontaneous journey, I find I am still learning and growing in a highly creative and life-giving path. And my teacher was right. Whenever I allow it to be, it is an amazing adventure in Spirit-Mind.