There is a rich history of shamanic traditions in our human evolution. I always enjoy returning to these mystical, ritual practices as a means of connecting with Energy Beings. Today I had the opportunity to help other people explore the altered states of consciousness at the heart of journeying work.
As a medium I am used to working with my Guides in an altered state. My transfiguration work takes place in the space between being wide awake and being fast asleep. In this hypnogogic hinterland I can wander to meet the Beings who wish to share their presence, wisdom and knowledge with us. It’s not simply about allowing other Beings to use my physical body. Or to change and alter my appearance so that they can be seen by others. It’s also about my shamanic journey inwards to a different reality. To a place where there is also access to self and other healing. A place I know is flowing with the energy of creativity.
It’s also a place that can be accessed by anyone who is willing to step through the boundary between here and there. I believe that to step across that boundary it is important to step gently. Because unless I know exactly who I am there is a risk. The possibility that not all of me will return the same as it left. So I work to help people take the first steps in a safe place. A place where I can balance the energies required and they can explore their own energies first. To me that is at the heart of any shamanic practice. Learning to walk before I run. The reward of doing it that way is also the help and support that is given by all the Guides. They step forward to assist everyone.
I also like to think that part of what I do is reclaiming the shamanic tradition as a positive, creative way of navigating the energy world. Until we are used to using our intuition, to process the energy we are in, our attempts to manifest a positive world will only be partially successful. Logic has been a useful tool but I know it is time to take back intuition as the way of creating what exists outside me.
I’ve been on a round trip. An excursion into myself. I’ve been to visit Know Thyself Spiritual Centre in Ulverston, run by my friend Maxine, to read my book for other people.
I set this up a while ago when I was thinking about how best to share my book with others. Maxine kindly volunteered her Centre as a place for me to offer snippets of what I had written. Of course I wasn’t expecting the weather to be particularly wintery nor Storm Caroline sweeping in from the Arctic. But driving up to the Lake District this evening I did wonder what the journey was going to be like. Very easy as it happened. But like all things in life a journey to make me think. Because Know Thyself is exactly what all of us are required to learn to do. Only then can we make the journey an easy one for ourselves.
It still feels strange to read my own words aloud to other people. Sitting in the calm and peace of Know Thyself I was listening to my own thoughts and feelings, captured on the page in front of me. Finding more meaning in those words because I could hear how they sounded outside my head. Discussing what they meant to me now with the people who were hearing them for the first time. Writing has been a journey into myself. Driving home I thought about the discussion we had. The questions my words had prompted. Not only in me but in the listeners too. What a wonderful way to search for the secrets inside of me. Inside of all of us. I am sure we contain all of the wisdom necessary for this life. But we have to look deeper inside to bring it into use.
Today I feel I have had an opportunity to get to know me a bit better. I have had space and time to explore what’s inside and discover another aspect of me. Annie the author listening to Annie the medium. Know Thyself is certainly a great name for a spiritual centre. I feel I know myself better after my visit there. After all, that is the heart of my spiritual journey.
I’m doing an early blog today. Tonight I am leaving Orkney so I may not get chance to be online on the ferry. It’s been an interesting process of discovery. Discovering a deeper peace.
Visiting the ancient sites has reminded me very forcefully how little human beings have actually changed. What I want out of my life seems to be the same as the people from so long ago. To live peacefully a full life. To enjoy the fruits of my work. And to see my child grow up to a life of her own. Leaving aside the natural challenges of life – illness, times of famine, lack of water and shelter – the people here seem to have lived that peaceful exsistence. Until it was time for these people to leave their sites. There is no information as to why. But in leaving they also gave us some interesting puzzles to unlock.
I wonder what people will think of our exsistence in a couple of thousand years. Will my legacy to my daughter’s children be lost somewhere down the line? Will I and everyone alive now become a puzzle to the humans of the future? Especially if technology fails and records perish. Leaving behind the drinks cans, plastic bags and remains of the steel in our skyscrapers. What will be made of this time? I hope my desire for peace for all will be delivered. Because that ensures humanity continues. I believe it may also help us to evolve beyond the point we are currently at. How would it be to be peaceable for a thousand years?
That’s the hope I have been reminded of this week. Leaving Orkney I’m taking with me a sense of continuity. Life really does continue no matter what.
That thought has also been challenging my inner world. I feel I will be leaving behind something else when I go. Watching the cruise ships and ferrys dock and leave I’ve been thinking about the way I transport my fear around with me. I know it’s hard to admit, even when on holiday, that I might still be worrying something over in my mind. But it’s true. I feel it’s what most of us do. My conditioning about what is ok or not ok keeps tripping me up. Letting myself relax when there are future bills to be paid keeps catching me. How strange. Because I have no need of this pattern. One thing I do know is that my life will go on bills or no.
Yet it seemed, when I was chatting to others, that we all seem to share the challenge of stepping back. Some of the people from the cruise ships wanted to pack in as much as they could. They didn’t want to waste time or money. Because taking time out seems like shirking a responsibility. Leaving everything aside seemed to be hard for them to do. Yet they told me that they enjoyed rushing from place to place. Taking photos for when they got home. Half and hour for this place. An hour for that. I felt their pace was fast and furious. Not at all peaceful. What will they really remember? Would it be peace?
Our ancestors in the Neolithic times worked when they had to and rested in the seasons when they couldn’t. Will the people of the future go back to that pattern? I’ve been working on inner peace. Stripping away another layer of conditioning. Leaving behind more fear.
On the third day of my Open Studios event I got a chance to reflect on how I’ve changed. It was quiet this morning. I sat down to proof read my first book. And my past opened up.
It’s a bit strange proof reading about myself knowing that what I’ve written will be going out into the world. Not because I’m worried about what people will think. But because I can see how much I’ve changed. I know that we all change over time. And understand that my ‘me’ isn’t set in stone. My life experiences have pushed me through changes in a big or little way. It’s that I was seeing those changes from this point in time. And recognising the inner journey I have been on. It’s even that I’m different now to the me who began writing the book.
As if to make it really clear and give me more proof my first visitor started talking about the journey he was on. He had been helping a friend and realised that his friend was stuck. Trying to avoid making changes. But complaining about not getting anywhere with life. I listened as my visitor talked about his realisation. That making changes only happens when we are ready to shift our outer world around. I understood what he was saying. Having an inner journey of change has got me to where I am now. Because I changed inside my outer world changed too.
I guess that old saying ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ applies. I can only check if the ingredients of my life have ‘baked’ a good life by experience it.
And that is where his friend was stuck. Intuitively recognising that change was needed. But doing nothing to make it happen. Because I know that trips most of us up. Wanting the dream yet stepping back from taking the necessary action. It’s as if I am frightened to imagine the ‘me’ I will be when the dream becomes a reality. Or to make the changes to ensure that the ‘me’ then enjoys the dream that’s been manifest. As I read about my journey I recognised that in my dream for the future I hadn;t thought about the ‘me’ I would be.
I’ve written a lot about wanting proof from Spirit in my book. How much I pushed for evidence. And how that evidence pushed me to change my beliefs. Because experiences I’d had couldn’t be dismissed. So I had to change inside so that I could keep following the path my intuition, and my Guides, laid out before me. Today I started to wonder what the ‘me’ will be like when my next set of dreams comes in. Who am I becoming? What parts of me have yet to emerge? I find those questions a little bit scary. Also a little bit exciting.
I’ve decided that whilst I take some time away from my desk over the next week or two I’m going to ask myself about those questions. Even allow myself to write down the ‘me’ I’m becoming. The one who will make the best of the dreams when I get them delivered to my doorstep.
One of the things I loved today was a chance to talk about Life Counselling. It’s the work that started me on my inner journey to discover who I am.
It’s also the reason I discovered my intuitive abilities. And have been able to tap into the wisdom and guidance of non-physical Energy Beings. But when I set off on my counselling journey I had no idea how much I would be tested by my own life experiences. I guess most of us watch what happens to other people but don’t quite expect it to happen to us. Then it does. And somehow we have to deal with what has happened. I feel that I had extra help. I knew that in the background there was a team cheering me on.
When I was hit by bereavements, relationship challenges, moving homes and finding that there wasn’t enough money to go around I struggled. Physically tired, emotionally drained, mentally stressed out. All of which got me asking why I was here in the first place. Who was I to have so much going wrong in my life? The saving grace was my counselling ability. And the way it had led me to a connection with Spirit Guides. There were a few times when I wondered if it was all in my head. Had I made things up just to escape from a life that had got too stressful? Over time I found the guidance I got was clear and consistent.
Better still, when I followed that guidance it seemed that my challenges became less about despair and more about hope. That’s when I understood about Life Counselling.
It’s not about me telling people what to do. Or about listening to them being stuck and unable to find a way through their challenges. My Guides helped me to see that my intuitive knowledge of someone’s energy could show them a different picture of what was keeping them stuck. I can surface the old energies and present them to my clients in a way that helps the energies be released. In other words I can help someone leave the baggage of the past well and truly behind them. I love this way of working. It enables me to start with where someone is yet lead them to where they want to be. Often in a surprisingly short length of time.
Life Counselling has become the backbone of my work at the Centre too. In the sessions I can apply the same intuitive techniques to tune in to what someone needs. Most often it’s about me being a listening ear. Sometimes I am putting into words the stuckness for the person concerned. Or I am passing on the wisdom of their Guides. Even if they don’t believe in Guides or Spirits. Now and again I can suggest techniques that enable someone to become their own counsellor. Especially if they learn to listen to and act on their intuition. I’m so glad that I took up an opportunity nineteen years ago to learn about counselling. It has enriched my life. It has helped my life to be a hopeful one. And I know who I am and why I’m here.