People are looking for change, yet when change comes the same individual responds with fear. Change is often overwhelming; re-scripting the inner dialogue, establishing and following through with new wished for behaviour, and then remaining consistent. Changing our lives and habits is a big job, firstly for the mind and then for the rest of us. Yet, change is a natural part of life.

Change can look a bit like this- The New Year’s resolution, all good intentions, post-holiday demands of life setting in, backed up by ingrained beliefs followed by the inevitable, “I’ll do it tomorrow” the thought which willingly hammers the first nail in the proverbial coffin!

I’ve done this so many times! But, 2019 was a year of deep thinking her in Dorset. My family are leaving the nest (one down, one to go) and this left wondering me “what’s next for me?” It’s such a huge change now that my time is not filled with full-time parenting. I was intent on not being a total pain in the arse for my kids due to my own feelings of loss or becoming stagnant through inaction.

“Is this good for me?”

I mused on the following;

“What is that I really enjoy?”

“What do I actually want?” This one was tough.

What is it that I really love?”

“What am I passionate about?”

 and “What contribution do I or could I make?”

At first, I was a bit stumped. The last 20 odd years have been so filled with the need of the, now grown, boys, that I’d lost sight a little of what I am about. Actually, if I’m totally honest, I’d lost me completely. Not the Mum me or the Shamanic and Spiritual me but the ME me.

Honestly this was quite a shock and took time, tears, healing and some hard-core ceremony to find my personal ground again. Fear was the main character that I was facing. Fear of going it alone without excuses to hide behind and fear that if things don’t work out, I have full responsibility. Eek! This was a leveller that led me to the aforementioned questions!

Whenever an answer popped up, I followed it with, “Is this good for me?”

Discovery

I realised I’d been suffering even more from empty nest since I released Corvey Crow back into the wild in late spring last year; this release however galvanised my intent and set me wholly on the current journey. His release brought home all manner of things that had been bubbling under the surface and it was time to look at them… but more about the quick succession of powerful lesson another time. (When the bloody book is finally written!)

The essence of my musings and the subsequent answer were as follows:

  • A deepened love of Nature but was hardly ever out there.
  • A rediscovered sense of justice and no way to enact it.
  • The realisation of an ingrained streak of cobweb gathering laziness.
  • Butterfly mind and magpies’ heart (flitting from one thing to the next and easily excited and distracted by shinny things!)
  • An evaluation of my skills and abilities. This I was quite pleased with. The study of Spirituality since my late teens and working Shamanically for over a decade does pay dividends. These are my passions or maybe obsessions but either way this is my path, and I am working a little each day to weave this calling deeper into my actions and assisting clients to do the same.
  • I got honest with myself about various health irritations and above all the realisation that I’ve worked bloody hard to become the woman I am (and constantly discovering), even among the dramas of life, and I was damn well going to live the way I wanted to!
  • The rest? A work in progress.

Action taken.

Health first. I had a host of test both allopathic and traditional/alternative. Bloods, Kinesiology, VEDA testing, massage and reintroduction of yoga. (Gaia TV is fab for the yoga and other things) I got clear on what was missing and causing discomfort, and this was really important part. Otherwise butterfly and magpie would have been flitting here and there and achieving bugger all! Predominantly though, I took responsibility, adjusted the diet a bit at a time and slowly began to feel a rise in energy.

Then nature. I love a walk, but energy had been sorely lacking and I was only getting out maybe every ten days or so to watch a sunset and stretch the legs. Although I was working with the plants (indoors)most days in the form of loose smudges, Palo Santo, bay leaves and herbal teas to ease the aches it was mainly in ceremony, before and after healing and mentoring sessions. I knew this had to stop, so I began tackling the garden which had been unloved for a good few years.

Beginning to pursue the dream.

I’ve always had a romantic idea of owning land, become largely self-sufficient and inviting people to stay for a while and work through their spiritual process when life’s thrown them a mega curve ball. A place to heal, gently and slowly, through working the land, honouring the journey and spending time in ceremony.

As a medicine woman who wished to practice more of what I preach, I put my money where my mouth is and enrolled on a Small Holders course at the Kingston Mauward Agricultural College. This was supported by a deep calling to live more in line with natural cycles and on reflection is helping with that cobwebby lazy streak. Nature, like the Tax Office, wait for no woman!

Wow! What an absolute delight! Tractor driving first day! Followed by all thing livestock, foul, planting (inside and out) land management, slaughter, butchery, soil and crop rotation. I have loved every minute of it, even the torrential rain and scary bits.

Pig are big, powerful and took a real fancy to me (250kg of pig amour is nothing to trifle with!) Cows are beautiful, strong and intelligent. There are various types of grass and sheep can blow up like balloons if fed the wrong stuff! Who knew? Well to be fair, probably thousand of people but not me.

This process has tested my nerve, I’ve had to seriously get over myself, speak with the fears and allay and acknowledge its concerns. The main thing that sticks out and that is I really, not only think I can do the whole Small Holder thing but KNOW that I can. It’s a real source of enjoyment and packed with rewards. This means that I am a big step closer to living on my terms and providing something of value to others. Realistically the work has just begun but I’m up for it!

We all have dreams and one small step at a time we can realise them.

Now I know that this lifestyle is not the ideal life for many, but I do know that you have an ideal life living inside you somewhere and it’s totally possible to live it!

When our dreams, wishes, goals and choices have meaning I believe they are more likely to realise themselves. When we know our ‘why’, clarity remains. When things get tough, meaning helps us stay motivated. When we are asking what is good for us (and listening to the answer) we can’t go far wrong. It is when we are led by fad, fancy and predominately wounds that when the shit hits the fan.

We are told by outdated core beliefs, dogma and salacious media click-bait that we are not okay and this plays into feeling of uncertainty, at times manifesting as paralysis. “Lose weight yet have a round arse, have straight hair yet natural curls are beautiful, be vegan save the world, yet mono-culture soya crops are destroying the jungle… The list is endless, it’s blah and confusing.

Only we can really decide what is good for us or not. Only we know our inner desires. Only we know our purpose and our passion. And we can, if we take inventory, move towards our dreams one step at a time. A trick I’ve found is to start where I am. Assess what I have. Gather what is available to me and be grateful for it all.

Living the practice…

My spiritual/shamanic practice helps me to navigate the often-strong feelings that come hand-in-hand with change. From the boys leaving home, through working with the lazy streak, to remaining focused and knowing that I can meet whatever the future holds.  I take it all to ceremony, either as an altar to honour how things are or perhaps a fire to burn off some of the old. My favoured and most revealing process is the shamanic journey for gaining insights where I struggle to accept certain realities or resist what I know to be true.

This spiritual lark is not just about ‘church’ on Sunday or the odd workshop where we come home glowing, only to feel shitty again come Tuesday. It’s about weaving your truth deeply into your daily life - "Being the change". Bringing meaning to the mundane and knowing internally that you have all that is required to live and walk your passion and purpose, even if you’re not quite there yet. Plus, all things happen in divine time….

This year, I will live closer to the cycles. I’m building a ‘Tiny Holding’ in my back garden and preparing the ground for the coming year. I’m clearing, digging, lifting, building and recycling so that one sunny evening in August I can sit outside, eat a salad that I have grown, pick warm strawberries from the plant, sip medicinal teas blended from herbs in the flower bed and know that all is right with world… all the while, learning about more about myself as each moon passes.

We can all find the truth, the time and the inclination if our hearts are in it. When we put in the work the Universe really does unfurl in front of us and with the digit 2020 firmly grounded, I’m excited about the adventure and the change!

If you’d like to follow my journey you are very welcome, if you’d like to find out more about some of the topics covered I’d love to hear from you plus a bit of accountability never goes a miss. ?

It was early Monday morning and I’d been out in the garden painting, what seemed like the endless garden fence and was listening to an Audio book as I find painting to be laborious… I’m not sure how long I was doing it for, but at one point during the mundane dip and wipe, dip and wipe, I noticed that I wasn’t listening to the audio book at all, but rather, chuntering enthusiastically in my head like some fuckin’ crazy woman!

The chuntering topic, last night’s dream! The dream… an ex turns up with a new girlfriend, (she seemed very nice) but he was insistent on pursuing me right under her nose…! Shall we just say, that a few years ago this individual and myself parted on shitty terms and judging by my dream last night he’s lurking somewhere in the attic of my psyche… waiting to pick his moment and right enough, Sunday night was the night.

Social media had previously informed me that during Mercury retrograde (currently underway) the past can turn up (silent eye roll) … an opportunity in fact to revisit, review, rewrite perhaps? Or have an ex visit in a dream so it would seem!

Anyway, to the enthusiastic chuntering! There I was painting the boards playing out scenarios in my head about what would be said and how I would handle any unsolicited visits. I could feel myself getting het up and nauseous… I could feel the churning of old hurts, clearly unhealed pots of goo bubbling and popping… then another internal voice joined the conversation… “Stop! Just stop!”

Questioningly the interjecting voice continued, “Why are you doing this? You’ve missed sections of the audio book, you’re not present and can’t take pleasure from having just completed the fence, (I’d hardly even noticed!) this nonsense is taking up your time and energy and none of the things you’re ‘planning’ in your head will even happen! Just stop!”

I took a step back, admired the endless fence and packed away the paint and brushes…. Sitting on a log next to the fire pit I got quiet… “Why did I feel nauseous?” Was the first question, secondly was “WTF are you doing?”

I was feeling nauseous because the totally made-up mental scenario was out of my control, I was feeling nauseous because I thought that this part of life was dealt with, I felt nauseous because once again I felt I would have to defend and protect myself…

In that moment, I spoke to the Universe, “I hand this to you Divine Beloved, I hand you this ‘maybe scenario’, I hand you this potential cluster-fuck. If said individual were to arrive, I know it would be for a purpose, I know there will be knowledge to gain and wisdom to add to the trilogy of life lessons…” and relief came

In answer to “WTF are you doing?” I was being violent, violent to myself.  I decided to go for a shower, wash off the splashes of fence paint and any remnants of the ‘maybe scenario’ bullshit…

Showered and sitting on my bed I began thinking about the violence towards myself and the Munay Ki Rites, (shamanic rites of initiation, the energetic upgrades if you will, that I was gifted many years ago) these rites came with 5 principles, teachings that this morning resurface and helped me to remember and care for myself once again… the first principle is Non-Violence. Sitting there the words echo around my mind, ‘non-violence to self and others’.

In life, among thinking individuals, non-violence to others is obvious… right? But what about violence to self? In thoughts, in behaviour, in poor boundaries, in low self-esteem?

 ‘In the more consciously self-aware areas of life there’s much talk of self-care… many a floral bath accompanied by the obligatory salt lamp pop up on Instagram, followed by manicures (this I will never understand; pumping all those chemicals in through the nailbed can never be self-care), massages, retreats, yogaing yourself into a pretzel  etc…. many of which have their place, I guess.

But is there a point to all this stuff if there is still internal violence? The ranty, angry voice…What if the internal dialogue is “Is my juice green enough?” “Is my yoga pretzely enough?” “I’ll tell her about herself when…!”  “I shoulda been better or stronger in that situation…”

This is not only negative self-talk but violence to ourselves… If we find this within us, as I did this morning, here are few things we can do….

You always have a choice to stop

Stop, take a moment, change your activity.

Congratulate yourself for stopping, taking a moment or changing your activity (the thought process has been interrupted)

Stop 'shoulding' on yourself

Assess where these ‘ranty-maybe-scenarios’ are coming from.

Write the story and place in the flames.

Shower and wash the granules of old down the drain

Find the root cause

But, when you have some real time to invest yourself, some real self-care moments put aside for sacred contemplation and healing…. Investigate further and see what is left unfinished.

For me, this trigger this morning, was related to things that were left unsaid, anger left unexpressed, hurt still to tend and forgiveness withheld…

So, maybe social media was right… maybe my ex did visit, in my mind at least, that I could investigate the relationship once again, at my own pace, while I painted the fence, in safety while I showered, dried and remembered, and in writing this short story….. some real self-care and not a luxurious insta-tastic pic in sight!

With New moon in Leo coming in the next few days, I know what my ceremony will involve now… forgiveness of the past, forgiveness of myself and a handmade herb bundle of gratitude for the remembrance of non-violence and the opportunity to practice this sacred self-care during my not so mundane Monday.

Reclaiming Wise Woman Healing.

I'm feeling so delighted to have been asked, once again, to contribute to Grey Areas Journal - For Creative and Intellectual Perspectives.
This 4th Edition is dedicated to International Women's Day 2019. I download a full copy of the full publication HERE


Wise Woman Healing brings a wholeness...
The following article is a little insight into my own personal healing path and the benefits I found in the Shamanic Way. I found the Wise Woman, she lives in me, she lives in all of us.

Feel inspired to get in touch?
Please email me at charlotte@shamanicway.co.uk

To find out a little more about Charlotte's work, reclaiming the Wise Woman & Healing you can do so here

Shamanism in the 21st Century - How we can heal communities.

Check out my most recent article! The relevance of Shamanism in the 21st Century; including little things you can do everyday to contribute to improving your world and the world around you.

When one thinks of shamanism perhaps the mind is drawn to indigenous tribes shown on National Geographic or perhaps the Medicine man that casts the bones – divining the destiny of the tribe, foretelling the good hunting grounds and the ceremonies needed to bring rains to replenish the lands. These images may seem distant or even superstitious nonsense, furthermore, a far cry from Western European 21st Century life but it’s not really as distant as you may think….

Download the full article via The Grey Areas Journal - the link is below... Find my submission is in the Focus on Faith Section - pages 23-26

Grey Areas is a beautifully eclectic, multi-cultural, open publication. Actively encouraging its writers to visit the areas of life that are 'grey', because realistically, it's never simply black and white. Seems like SunBird are on to something amazing with these beautifully written, subjective pieces, giving a window in to the lives of others, how they fill their days and what gives their lives meaning.

The world is often presented as a fear-laden place, filled with those who wish to do you wrong. I feel Grey Areas challenges this by welcoming differences of opinion, debate and an intelligent forum for those who wish to share.

Also, I'm privileged to have been offered, and subsequently accepted, the offer of Resident Writer for all things Shamanic. This makes me even more excited about the publication! So, look out for the 3rd Edition coming in the late Autumn where you will find more pages of gorgeousness

The 2nd edition of the e-journal ‘Grey Areas’ By Yann W. Tanoé and contributors. Edited by Antoinette Hewitt.
(Courtesy of SunBird Journal Publishing)

<img aria-describedby=

" width="410" height="410"> Grey Areas Journal Cover - Shamanism in the 21st Centuary

Grey Areas 2nd Edition August 2018 click here...

 

Or you can download the magazine directly from here...

https://sunbirdenterprise.wordpress.com/

Follow on Instagram: @sunbirdjournalpublishing and @greyareasjournal

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Grey-Areas-Journal-181005160236663

Finally, for similar articles on Shamanism & Ceremony click here 

If you allow it, the mind will chat shit from morning till night!

P.S…it lies too!!

There are ways to over-come self-doubt and you can do this by hosting a special kind of party.....

Caught in your head?

At times we all get caught in our heads, right? Trying to figure out perceived problems and jump the next set of hurdles. Oftentimes there are opposing thoughts and opinions, like characters in a play. Each character attempting to force its way to the front of the stage, improvising as she goes, in a bid to steal the spot-light, dreaming of breaking through and once more, igniting some momentum. You see, these characters are often well intentioned, they don’t really mean to create chaotic opposition but can help you over-come self-doubt by clearing the chatter if you give them a chance!

Meanwhile, you sit with your head in your hands, having given-up on ever re-establishing any semblance of order! Another stamp on the Merry-go-Round loyalty cards, stacking up reward point to purchase, yet a few more bags, of self-created stagnant madness.

We can focus on 'improving', we can focus on projecting, we can focus inward, outward, upward or downward, undertake all manner of practices and therapies to get ourselves straight- these may include wine therapy, shopping therapy, hypnotherapy or if we're really fortunate we will happen across the newest of all New Therapies, that advertises itself to realign the soul and raise your vibration to highest known dimension in just 90 minutes!

Inner opposition - fighting with yourself...

Marshaling this inner opposition can be exhausting, dis-empowering and on the worst days paralysing. It takes great amounts of energy, energy that we need to pursue our goals, energy that we need to live our present ‘moment by moment’ lives and there are no short cuts…

There is a better way…. What if you just stopped? (Humour me…)

Ya know, just got off, ditch the loyalty card, grab a cuppa and took a big sit down?

During this tea-sipping moment figure out how many characters are living in your head. How many aspects of you are vying for the spot-light? Is there a Good Girl who just wants to do things well? Where's the a Wild Woman who feels restrained? Is there a Lazy Lizard who just can’t be arsed? Or, my favourite, a Hedonistic Helper who just wants to fuck it all off and go on another adventure?

What are all these apposing characters trying to tell you? Which ones make you smile? Which ones make you feel guilty? Which ones are ‘socially unacceptable’?

Society tells us that Love is acceptable, and Anger is not, that honesty is honourable and lying is cowardly. So, are these parts of ourselves okay? Or not? Fact is, irrespective of societies opinion, we have them whether we or they like it or not. These characters are going no-where, they are part of you!

We are a mixture of all things, some nice, some not so, some socially acceptable, some not so, some parts strong and other parts not so.... So, if they’re staying, how could they actually help you? We can start by befriending each and every one of them.

Picture this....

You are hosting a party.... a little bit exciting, a little bit nerve racking.... you invite all of your characters, .... yep even the Social Hand-grenade and her Total Bitch of friend....

EVERYONE IS ON LIST, EVERYONE IS INVITED....those who you choose not to invite will crash it anyway!

Your job as the host is to work the gathering....to host the most legendary party of all time......to offer each character the same courtesy, greet, kiss, welcome and embrace them all.... It's a lot of work, they'll be times when you wonder if inviting all these apposing aspects was such a good idea...you may feel drained and overwhelmed but you may also have the time of your life.

Maybe, just maybe, all these perceivably disparate characters will find their place.... Wild and Good Girl may be in the garden burning the Autumn leaves, Good likes tidying and Wild likes Fire! Warrior and Damsel may be on the stairs deciding how they will make it down to the bottom together. Efficiency may be getting ahead with washing all the glasses while Lazy watches, chats and keeps her company, offering advice on time saving techniques.  Perhaps the Bad Girl now mingles confidently ensuring everyone's security and the Thief learns about giving from Compassion and his friend Generosity.... who knows????

But, whatever transpires during this rich process.... the experience is yours, you are the awesome host.... you may end the night with slightly messy hair, wondering who ate all your lippy then slip into bed with a warm soothing contentment that you did it!

The following morning if you're really lucky your Good Friends and Ever-faithful Lover will help you clean up the aftermath, drink tea, recycle bottles, open all the windows and doors and allow the fresh air to breeze through...
Then together, recount the highs, funny awkward moment, times when you 'lost it'....and before you know it your planning the next event....feeling confident that you did it!

Perhaps this view is madness perhaps not...who knows? It helps me, maybe it'll help you?
Journeying inward to meet with these characters, offering love and understanding, forming relationships and giving them each a time to party in the spotlight can bring about lasting peace. If you’d like a little help with this stuff let’s start a conversation here.

Over the years I have found effective ways to deal with the internal chaos. I now share these in the form of Spiritual Mentoring. It is possible to over-come Self-doubt, learn to listen attentively to your Intuition, release anxiety and become more empowered to guide your own life. If you'd like to book free initial consultation to see how it could work for you get in touch.

Big loves

C x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ago, having a spiritual interest, I set an intention that, 'This time I'm doing 'IT!' not knowing what 'IT' was....I would not undertake another incarnation, get to the end and think, 'Shit! shoulda, woulda, coulda'....I was aware of previous incarnations where, things were cut short!....not this time!!! I was 100% committed!

The motivation behind this?

I'd reached my early twenties and to be honest, I'd already had enough of being on this planet. I knew enough however, that if I were to jump ship, I be spun round on the wheel of Karma and promptly spat back in! I resigned to the fact that I'd chosen to come here and in order to survive it I had to find and live my purpose.

Some may think this brave, some, stupid, but hey, that was the message that I sent out. "I'm here, I'm committed, please show me what I'm supposed to be doing here this time around".

I had a couple of 'no thank yous'....I would not lose my children, I would not go to jail and I would not become consume by an addiction......funny though, I've come very close on a couple of the 'no thank yous'... one more thing.....I never wanted to be an 'if only' person, sitting on a sofa all middle-aged, thinking the guy next to me is a dick, watching some shitty soap thinking, if only.......!!! There had to be adventure.....

The unknown 'it', the purpose this life-time turned out to be the Shamanic Way.....How? WTF? Really? you're joking right? ...eye rolling, despair and or laughter, however it turned out that adventure was included!

Social Expectations

Committing to my purpose was all well and good......a shock came for me when I met people and they asked the standard question, "What is it that you do?".

This, "What do you do?" helps the person to establish a few things.

One 'where you fit' within consensual reality.

Two, where you are subsequently categorised in their own 'roller deck' of life.

When the questioner is presented with '"I'm a shaman" their heads often tilt to one side, social-worker fashion, (fruitlessly flicking through the internal roller-deck), attempting, unsuccessfully to hide their confusion  ...mentioning terms like 'Witch Doctor', Native Americans and a documentary they may have watched on Discovery Chanel, and then it comes....."But, what actually is it that you do?"

I've taken to stating the following....It's somewhere between counselor, teacher and priest. That tends to satisfy most. Occasionally there are those who genuinely would like to know more.

So, for those who would like to know more, here goes....

Traditionally the Shaman would be the spiritual guide for the village and it's tribe....from birth, everything that happens in between, to death and beyond.  These days our networks are often global, those in our 'village' are varied and dispersed...our tribes look very different to how they once did.  The role of the Shaman however is much the same....Births, Deaths and everything in between.

The ability to commune with the unseen brings a little something to most situations, working with nature is a free resource available to all and the combination of the two is just magic.

Many who work shamanically are guided or choose to specialise in specific areas.....some choose to pass on the knowledge in the form of training others, some are drawn to the darker end of human existence and have an aptitude for working with the shadow, others work with delicious rich plant medicines, others walk the dying over to the next world, and some welcome souls back in, some work with the land alone lifting patterns of times past, some work with those who are trapped between the worlds, many simply 'be', finding themselves always in the right place at the right time. Many however, do it all.

I find this way of life to be the most diverse, challenging, rewarding, perpetually eye-opening learning cycle, that I have ever had the regret and privilege to walk into. This way of being has changed my life from the core out and that of others too.

Purpose 

It can be odd to find that your purpose has no 'roller-deck' section but these days I kinda like it... our purpose is exactly that, ours....it isn't for anyone else to approve of, undertake or understand. We each have a unique set of gifts and talents and our own special way of using them.....let us not be limited by other peoples or even our own ideas of what life 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' be/been like'.....for me true happiness came from being myself, following my own inner voice, doing what feels right contrary to popular opinion, speak my truth and doing the work that I'm on this planet to do. This is the true path of freedom.....paved with many commitments.

Big loves

C x

 

Shamanism is ultimately about following our true nature, not the one we are told is best for us or the one we inherit from our family or culture.  In this modern world of huge expectation & chaos we need to find & maintain balance.

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