Shamanic Journey (5th One Posted)

With the intention of inquiring about how I can participate in feeling and being more united with the All, late last month I journeyed deeper down into the Lower World. I flew over hills covered for miles in assorted large hostas, like what grow on one side of my house. Soon, I reached a valley, then mountains, then islands in the sea, all of these lands lushly carpeted in plants and trees.

Eventually, I rose to the Upper World, joined by L_________________, Her peacock feather pattern eyes filling the star-filled cosmos, as if this were Her gaze reflected back from a dark pool. She psychically guided me into a dim forest of trees and ferns, where I’d been with Her before. “Treat others the way you wish to be treated,” She said out of the silence and background drumming.

In my relaxed wandering among this verdancy, I came upon the Green Man, Who stood behind a tree. His form had just solidified into a human shape covered in ivy-like leaves, which also grew like a beard down His chin. He took my hand. I enjoyed noticing the dirt under His leaves, His skin a mix of wood and soil.

I resumed journeying in the air over more landscapes of forest and jungle. At the very end, I arrived at the edge of a city at night, countless lights stretching far and wide below. I then sensed clearly that it is through focusing on engaging with plant life around me how I’m steadily growing more grounded and connected on both Earth and within my body. From there, I can and will focus more on heart-open connection with people and, hence, being more united with the All, of which there are so many layers, domains, realms.

Crescendo of Spring; My Full Cup

Today, on my walk through the neighborhood, I felt a crescendo of the season, which began when I spotted some lavender lilacs in bloom. Finally, I thought, they’re here. Now, May and springtime seemed complete. Turning a corner, there were more lilacs, then more a little further on. I took a picture of a select bush of them standing tall under a clear sky. Further on, trees gently shook in the breeze.

I grew full from all the verdancy around me, such thriving, joy-provoking leaves and blooms everywhere. And the sorrows lingering inside my mind and body welled up, folding like a wave into a stronger, confident fount of thrill and gratitude. Not for the first time, I thanked the trees and plants for their bountiful splendor; the cared-for homes all about (including my own); the big-hearted, gentle man I have for a husband; the meaningful job I have; and on and on. I was not dismissing the mountains of pain in this present, uncertain world or sad and anguished moments strewn over the path of my own past, some of which still overly-inform certain relationships for me to this day. Rather, I felt like a vessel with room inside to hold all of this. I was a container fashioned of gratitude and awareness of the present, beauty-filled moment, soaking in the richness of my surroundings. All of this became like a substance spreading out from the edges into the depths inside me, my bones, my heart. This could and would sustain me now and in the days ahead, this here-and-now sense of presence, a wealth beyond measure.

“Remember this day, these moments,” I said to myself as I gazed upon a Japanese maple, its almost burgundy and rust-red leaves shimmering in the sun.

I wistfully wished I could share this time with some others in my life in addition to my husband. I walked along in this paradox, a sense of joyous unity with everything around me yet awareness of prolonged separation from particular people with whom I share strained histories. Such is life for many of us, perhaps even everyone to some extent these days, this happy moment of clear connection in which we find ourselves that also holds lingering sad ones of disconnection. That is what it is. But, again, all of this was folded into me, bathed and held by an ocean of gratitude, a sense of aliveness, and then, also, I realized, hope.

Today, finally, I understood more clearly a truer, deeper meaning of “My cup runneth over.” And my cup is part of an ever-larger cup.

Shamanic Journey (4th One Posted)

I went to the Upper World, flying into my spiritual guide L_______________’s floating black onyx and obsidian fortress. After soaring through a dark, round tunnel, I came upon a wide circle of grass under a clear dome beneath the stars, the upper center of the fortress.

L_______________ stood by the one tree, likely an oak, in the middle of a small field, thick black hair flowing down to Her feet. I asked Her what I needed to know at this time. She answered, “The rhythms and pulses of life go on regardless of what happens with humanity.” She then merged with the tree, which glimmered with inset jewels. The whole space filled with colorful flashes of light emanating from gems set inside the frame-edged sections of the dome above.

Along with L_________________, I levitated up and through the clear glass expanse, then quickly flew into a redwood forest carpeted with ferns. I grew aware of the network of mycelium along the floor of wilderness, a mighty web within the more vast matrix of all life, matter, and energy. Just ahead of me, L_________________ transformed into a peacock, throwing rainbows off Their feathers. I lay on the cool, damp ground, conscious of how my body after death will decay for new life to come forth. This felt very reassuring.

I returned to my Journey tree, a network of white and long, bare branches (which sometimes are covered in lush green leaves). Rainbows shone from out of me and all around. I’d returned with some of L________________’s wondrous fractal light and energy.

A Shamanic Journey (3rd One Posted)

Part I.

I ascended to the Lower World where I met up with a bat. It soon grew to around my size and transformed into a black winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, the elongated face and head both bat-like and feline. The creature seemed more feminine than either masculine or androgynous. For a brief moment, I felt a little scared by her appearance, though a sense of fascination soon took over. I held her outstretched hand and we flew to the moon. I thought we’d penetrate the surface of this satellite but we flew over it instead. I sensed a transition into the Upper World.

I turned to witness sun and moon communing, both seemingly so close by, especially the moon before me, but the sun was not too far off to my right. I steadily fused with the black winged being, becoming one with her.

I asked about how I can turn my creativity over and through this alchemical union of light and darkness inside and all around me. One of my primary Upper World guides, L_______________, came forth, partly out of me, Her black hair flowing in the gravity-free cosmos. She showed me my back yard, there now before me in my mind’s eye. I could garden. I asked for additional possibilities. Steadily, what came forth is writing about her (L_______________) via my dreams and story ideas. I asked for Her to please help me keep my mind and heart open to Her ongoing nearby presence, she being the embodiment of so much beauty. That way, my creativity can better flow.

At one point, there was an interplay of L_______________ and Light Being (my other Upper World guide, a man-like entity of pure white light) up there in space. They even merged for a time. His light refracted through Her as sparkles, scintillations from out of Her jewel-sprinkled dress of black velvet and accompanying peacock feather cape. Also, His light twinkled in L_______________’s large blue-green eyes, mingling with Her essence, so dazzling.

Part II.

I quickly returned to the Upper World, entering a billowing, gaseous lavender cloud. Inside, I met up with Light Being then L_______________ too. I followed Them as They flew close together to Her floating fortress of onyx. After floating fast through a long hallway, They alighted upon Their huge stone thrones rising up out of the shiny black floor. I asked Them both how I could better focus on my creative expression of this inner understanding and experience of this divine alchemy of light and beauty of the physical world. I then lay down on the stone floor at the foot of the wide expanse of steps to Their thrones. High above, a cathedral ceiling inlaid with jewels shot through with light, fading into transparency. I beheld stars blanketing the firmament.

I heard Light Being and L_____________ say in unison, even as one voice, “Be still your heart, your mind, and trust.” They relayed the importance of me sitting and walking, being with this inner richness from which I could then begin to write about It, as I also live It. And this as a response to my more recent, but now ongoing, sense of urgency to be generative in my life, to leave something worthwhile and significant behind after I am gone.

Two Dreams I Had Before Waking Up Today

I.

I dreamt I was both witnessing and going in and out of being a woman in Hawaii, or some other Pacific island, getting initiated into the indigenous culture’s shamanic swimming cult/association. This was a great honor. The woman appeared Caucasian and was a world renowned champion swimmer, or this was strongly implied. Her hair was long, thick, wavy, and blonde. She sported a tan and thick, excellent muscle tone. I was often beside her, but sometimes seemingly her. There were some fascinating underwater scenes which have already pretty much faded from my memory, as so often happens after I wake up from a dream. Somehow, I think this woman had a special round tattoo drawn on her skin, like the kind the Maori create, but I could be recalling this wrong. She/I had to swim to various places as part of her/my initiation. At one point, there was a row or group of swarthy native men in leaf or grass skirts. I think they were overseeing this rite, ensuring it was all going correctly. The overall feeling was that something of great importance was occurring. The earth would be healed with this great gesture and the woman’s/my life would never be the same. She/I would be part of something big, an old lineage of stewardship of the ocean and connection with mysterious spirits of this realm. Sometimes we/I were on land by the water, sometimes looking up a cliff edge while bobbing along in the waves. We/I saw seaweed covered rocks below the water. There may have been sea creatures, but I don’t remember.

I wake up but then go back to sleep.

II.

Later, shortly before I woke up for the day this morning, I dreamt I could fly, though awkwardly at first and not very far. Around and below me stretched a green field for miles in every direction, mountains in the distance. Some man was narrating the scene, explaining how if you shrink to a small size (about a foot in length or even smaller) and become wispy like the fairies, you can fly with ease and very high, up to ten thousand feet with no safety issues (re: atmospheric pressure, oxygen sufficiency, etc.). I began to see the sky fill with wisps, people venturing to fly high and free. I consciously made myself shrink, lighten, and promptly rise up on the wind currents. I stretched out my body and flew high with grace and confidence, the tips of tall evergreen trees growing increasingly far below me.

I awake and soon get up for the day.

Another Shamanic Journey (2nd One Posted)

I went to the Upper World into a mass of warm white energy in the cosmos. I met up with Light Being, a tall male figure simply comprised of white light, one of my main spirit guides. I asked him how my own inner light comes forth. He responded by transporting us to a place of redwoods with pristine, red-topped Amanita muscarias carpeting the deep brown forest floor. He told me my open heart holds much light, expressed through care and empathy of others, allowing them to heal. I also got the sense of how my love of beauty all around is light. Briefly, Light Being then telepathically showed me some (likely/possible) alien humanoids issuing forth from a giant tube made up of organic matter, like a hollow vine. These were beings, teachers, comprised almost entirely of pure light, mixing with the rest of humanity, helping to evoke the unique inner light from each of us. Perhaps they are invisible to the naked eye.

My attention returned to the surrounding redwoods. Through the trees ahead, I gazed out upon a sweeping valley and mountain range beyond, all under a bright sun in a clear sky. A cluster of butterflies flew by. Clarity and unity spread before me in this crisp, fresh day, bringing me both calm and excitement. The play of light from the sun and shading from the forest embodied my love of joy and beauty found in nature, particularly now that it is spring. The wondrousness of light was held next to shadow and form, as it is in each of us.

I returned from this journey feeling a sense of completeness and satisfaction.

On Living From My Heart

My work gives me a pulse on where a cross section of people are at during any given time. Many are tired and emotionally frayed more than they were just a few weeks ago. They’re also valiantly facing each day doing whatever needs to be done as best they can. I’m honored to witness, support, and otherwise heal where I can. The burden of this pandemic is a heavy one to bear for a lot of us, no matter the amount of silver linings there are to be found from out of this crisis, and there are indeed many.

One thing for sure has happened for me recently: I finally more deeply understand the true meaning of living and speaking from the heart. And, thanks to this pandemic reminding me of how fleeting life is, I fully intend to get better at doing these with every passing day.

I wish everyone reading this safety and wellness.

Keeping Perspective, Staying Open

Previously, I wrote about the economic strain the COVID-19 virus is and will be causing across the U.S.A. For me, as a psychotherapist in private practice, I’ve had to stop seeing people in person, per the need for social distancing to remain uninfected, towards “flattening the curve” of overall infection rate. This week, I’ve just started to feel the economic effects of doing this. Even with the remote/teletherapy option I’m offering to everyone on my caseload, more of my clients than usual are canceling their appointments. This is to be expected, given how the pandemic is upending people’s lives. In response to this precipitous drop in revenue, I’ve already started to tighten my budget where I can. I’m not a big spender, so there hasn’t been a lot to trim back. Fortunately, I’ll be able to pay a smaller amount for my next quarterly tax installment, due in June, since I’ll be making less money. Still, anxiety about my financial future lurks around the edges inside me, reinforced by the knowledge that my retirement savings in the stock market have been shrinking of late. I know these money worries are arising for many people.

Others have it a heck of a lot harder than I do. There is still so much I have to be grateful for.

This new normal is bound to go on for months. What is already quite challenging is the restriction in movement to which I’m having to adjust. My husband and I would probably still be out to dinner somewhere on our Tuesday date night. Of course, this can’t happen anymore, except at home. Just watching Petula Clark sing “Downtown” on PBS a short while ago felt oddly sad.

I’m curious to see how I evolve in response to these big changes in life and routines. I think a key plan here is to do all I can to live from that place of open curiosity as much as possible. And I need to remember to treasure the small and large expressions of beauty to be found everywhere, including what the advent of spring offers. I just need to keep my eyes and heart open to readily notice it all.