For more than a dozen years, I have been searching, as a writer, for the words to adequately express what shamanism has given me. When I am asked what shamanism is, I find myself saying, “Well, it can be many things. It can be a spiritual path, a healing modality, a source of personal strength or wisdom, a tool for personal growth, or a way of becoming a healing presence in the world.” It has touched me in all these ways and more.
I think now it is most accurate to say that shamanism is a “sustaining” path, when we will let it be one. It anchors us, not only in the Earth and Life, but in the vast solidity of the Universe.
For me, shamanism is an entryway into understanding, “feeling,” and participating more freely and consciously in the world. It holds its comfort in showing me, in so many ways, the patterns of the Universe and how we are each an integrated part of such vast power, mystery, and “rightness” in the world, where so many of the little pieces of life I encounter, day-to-day, feel wrong.
Shamanism gives me words and images to make sense of all I feel.
When we have this “knowing” in our gut, the world becomes a much more blissful place to be, even in the midst of despair and pain from within us and around us. We are part of something larger that holds us and nurtures us beyond the boundaries of Earth and this life existence. This wisdom allows us to “roll with the punches” and to live from a higher perspective that sees the larger, peaceful pattern beyond the shards of pain and pleasure, givers and takers, successes and mistakes, of our ordinary little world. It allows us to move beyond our limited, shared reality and trust our own grace beyond the fears and beliefs of others.
We are part of a vast Universe of adventure, mystery, and miracles waiting to hold, sustain, and even entertain us in its ever-changing, ever-evolving, and ever-constant pattern. For me, it is touching the force and pattern of the Universe that fills me with awe, a sense of place, deep peace, and love and gratitude for all that is.
A friend of mine has called this “being grounded in spirit.” I also call it being anchored in the Beyond.
I am only in a human body for a little while, and while it seems like the world to me now, it is only one part of my own ever-changing, ever-constant energy of existence. This means, on a good day, I can stop looking through the magnifying glass of all the little things that touch me every day in such volatile and unpredictable ways, and simply know in myself what is right for me, how I feel, and that I am sustained. And whatever comes next, whatever lies Beyond, whatever form we take, it is another grand adventure, another experience of the unending force of the Universe that always carries us along and always is.
When we are able to look upon the world as a safe place, for all its pain and unpredictability, whenever we feel… immortal, we can begin to accomplish great things, feed our soul, and live the richest life we can imagine.
So, if shamanism has given all this to me, where am I today? Well, no one is perfect, and I daresay very few of us, if any, achieve perfect bliss in our lifetimes. But we can achieve perspective and good humor. The last time I asked for an “anchor” in my life, thinking I needed a mentor or a friend, I awoke the next morning with all the tools I needed to write about The Universe. And for a writer immersed in shamanism, life doesn’t get much better, or more humorous, than that!