Feeling Blue

A Soul Gift

I practice shamanism and try to journey as much as possible. During the pandemic I am dearly missing my monthly drum circle connection. There is some contraversy over whether you should share your journeys with others or keep them to yourself. I don’t plan to share all my journeys or even all that occurs in them in my posts and yet, I do believe that inviting you to experience some of them is somehow “the right thing to do”.

I went on a shaman journey in search of my grandma Campbell. She is one of my spirit guides. In life, she was a formidable no nonsense kind of woman with a strong mind and a loving heart. I wanted to ask her some questions. What is a soul gift that I could use to help others was the first question. The second question centered around how best to use this gift. I was hoping she would demonstrate the gift for me or show me the best way to use or interpret it also.

I struggled to focus on the journey. Lots of false starts, distractions and obstacles which usually indicates the approach of deep learning and understanding for me if I can just press on.The drums had been beating for a while when I finally reached my desitination. I found myself on the back steps of my grandparents old homestead in Hillspring. I sat and looked out at the yard. The corn was nearly 6 feet tall in the garden and the bees were buzzing around grandma’s favorite geranium pots. I soaked up the sun as I waited for grandma to come. Grandpa appeared at the bottom of the steps. He was wearing a lopsided knowing grin, baseball cap, grey work clothes, checkered jacket and suspenders.

One version of clothes that suited him. His eyes were filling me with so much warmth that I couldn’t help but smile back. He didn’t speak. “What do you see?” I jerked a litte at the sound then realized it was grandma behind me coming out of the old screen door. The door made a WHACK as it closed and gave me some time to peer back at grandpa. What did I see? Home, love and an amazing creative man who worked hard to support his family. An interesting artist too who tended to paint with neon colors no matter his subject matter which included mostly images of the Mormon temples and nature. I had learned that my grandpa was color blind. It didn’t seem to slow him down at all. If I hadn’t been told that fact I probably would have never considered it the reason for the vibrant hues he used in his art. “How do you think he knows what the colors will look like together?” grandma nudged. I hestitated to think and was a bit puzzled. “ I am not sure” I replied. She smiled and sat down beside me still looking up at grandpa. “He feels them” she said. Still puzzled grandma I thought “What do you mean?” I replied. “Blues, purples and some reds feel cool when applied to the canvas” she explained. “Yellow, oranges, pinks and some other reds feel warm to him”. The concept wasn’t lost on me. I seemed to intuitively know that this was true. My uncles, who are also deceased,Walton and David appeared on the steps. David asked me if I wanted some raspberries. Of course I did! I took a few bites and enjoyed the sweetness. They drifted off into the yard puttering around the gardens and shed. We all had grown up eager to come to the homestead, raid the gardens, pick a few weeds and devour their rapsberry patch at every opportunity. Grandma and I enjoyed the sun and the closeness for a bit.

I almost forgot my task and the drums seemed to beating so far off in the distance it was easy to believe they were just part the universe keeping time with my experience for the moment. My uncle Blaine appeared suddenly. He had passed away in the fall of the previously year. He sat down on the steps and took my hand. I started to cry and was swallowed into his big bear hug. “Why are you here?” I asked when I could regain my composure. “You asked about soul gifts?” I nodded. “Like grandpa knowing which colors to use, you know things by associating images to how they make you and others feel”. “That gift has to do with who you are and where you came from. Within you are generations who have felt when to provide a sanctuary for others. How to open a space for comfort, relief from grief and support. Your mom fills that roll for your family and for others. Her loving reach has touched so many lives and changed the future of many a stray for the good during her lifetime. I could hear the drums calling me back from my journey. I had spend so much time getting here and now had to leave without all the answers to my questions. It figures, I thought bemused. “You have our soul gifts and those of previous generations.” “What makes this different, in you, is the combination of the sight and the feeling. Sometimes what we see doesn’t match the energy we feel is being manifested. The images that form when others talk help you to process the meaning behind their words. This is part of the soul gift and it enables you to fill in the spaces with intuition and intent”. “Our hope is that your learn to use it to help yourself, family and others you encounter”.

I had to go quickly. I waved back to my ancestral guides and followed the drums back to the present.

A few minutes of reorientation took place when I come back from the journey. I was laying on my mat on my side in the drum circle processing what I had experienced. I sat up and started trying to write in my journal what had occurred.

Even now it’s a struggle to practice the soul gifts offered by those that have come before and yet I try to honor the opportunity.

If you are interested in more blogs about my journeys or experiences please let us know by liking our posts, subscribe to our site and follow us on social platforms.

For Every Action

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I went for a walk today. In my head I had planned the route, decided I would not listen to a podcast and just concentrate on moving. I needed a clear headspace to just think and home wasn’t providing it. I parked, got out of my car and was instantly distracted by my three eagle friends circling high over the coulee edge. I had intended to go the other direction but soon found myself chasing the eagles and their flight path. I tredge up the side of a cliff with my head down and feet forward. My mind now consumed by sighting the eagles once again. As I approached the top of one incline I began to see there were rows and rows of up and down paths. I looked up to see where the eagles were so I could choose an optimum path. They were gone. I zig zagged up and down the mounds and kept looking towards the horizon in hopes they would reappear.

Nope, they were gone. I had filled my space with lingering thoughts of more messages I could use in upcoming decisions I need to make. I wrote about a shaman journey in a previous blog. In that journey, the eagle had given me explicit instructions, heck even hand gestures to use on how to sort my chaotic mind.

So why was I still looking for more?

Newtons’ 3rd Law is not lost on me here. It can relate to decisions we make in life just as well as physics. I had asked the eagles for help they had given it. Now I was just being greedy and I suspect eagles are not big on needy types. So they had decided to move in the opposite direction from me to get me back on track and focus on why I needed a walk in the first place.

I applied for a residency at an Ashram in BC. It’s for two months and I will be totally cut off from most of my social media and communications. It’s an opportunity to grow in my yoga practice, my meditations routines, “Karma Yoga” character building and being in a community of like minds and souls. I am excited and thrilled.

I am terrified and second guessing my sanity and judgement.

For this action, I know there is an equal and opposite list of reactions. My husband and I have never agreed on this type of stuff. He doesn’t get it, though mostly he just says whatever he is going to say and then knows I will do whatever I feel I need to do. I have gone away on trips for up to a month before but never this long. I am nervous about this big of a change in both our lives and yet, I need this in order to be “Me”. The book, on our podcasts, talks about “You do You”. It doesn’t say “Doing You” will necessarily get you points with others or disrupt their lives and routines.

So, do you step forward on a path not knowing if it leads you to Shangrala or the “River of Sorrows”? The eagles gave me tools to guide me if I choose to ask and honor their method of sorting my chaos. The book “The Magic of not giving a F#” gives me a way of understanding what I value and the limitations of my”Fuck Budget”. I am sure the yogis at the Ashram won’t appreciate my choice of words here but I do know they will understand the language of my heart. Nothing like big open spaces to clear your core.

I was on a good path of clearing space. As I worked through my shit, I soon understood that it wasn’t enough. I needed to go deeper to unpack past trama and triggers. I know two months isn’t very long and yet, to some, it’s a very long time.

I started the “action” my wonderful readers by accepting the residency…stayed tuned to learn what equal and opposite reactions are yet to come…

Untethered Space

In this blog I am going to do something a little different. I have been on numerous hikes through the coulees that surround where I live in Southern Alberta. I have heard many times that the area is situated on a unique number of vortex’s and natural energy throughout the rivers habitat. I have found that to be the case.

I invite you into one of my shaman journeys today. I always find the practice full of useful information and guidance. I hope you do too!

Meditation in Pavan Park Lethbridge

It’s more a Life guide than a religion…

Life long discipline of practice

I grew up in an extensive Mormon family with a mom deep-rooted in the beliefs and a dad willing to go with the flow as long as he could research genealogy. The religion is fine and does teach some useful values on how to raise kids and stay humble. What rubbed me was the definitive roles of men and women. I am not going to explain this deeper right now (maybe in another post) as it doesn’t pertain to this conversation. I would call myself agnostic as I believe in energies, karma and connections to the universe. Through my searching, I came across Shamanism and signed up for a weekend workshop. As I sat in the opening circle with 13 other people, I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of the situation. The workshop was being hosted in an annex connected to a Catholic church. There were pictures of popes lined up on the walls. Here I was an ex-Mormon in a Catholic church about to experience journeying with a shaman practice that predates Christianity. Hah! The universe has one hell of a sense of humour and the irony wasn’t lost on me.

I love the fact the word ‘shaman’ some say means ‘he or she who knows’. It’s actually a practiced discipline instead of a religion and has many variations depending on the culture and country. The workshop I first attended was a contemporary western version. Which, in short, is a type that tries not to be too specific about meanings or practice. That way, you can experience the discipline before getting detailed protocols based on culture and beliefs. Our first journey involved a quest to find our spirit animal. For non-believers it seems a bit strange to lay down on the floor, cover your eyes, listen to the sound of the drums and focus in on your cleverly crafted question of what animal will guide you as you start this trek. I consider myself an intuitive person. I meditate on occasion and sign up for workshops that will push me into all sorts of uncomfortable situations.

This was different for me though. As I took some slow, easy breaths and listened to the instructions, I had the feelings of rightness. The spirit animal was waiting for me as I opened my mind and the animal was not what I expected. I always assumed I was a deer or grizzly kind of being. Nope.

Spirit allies in animal form (The Shamanism Bible by John Matthews). I like that explanation of what a spirit animal is. As I grow in my practice and partake in many journeys, I have gathered quite a collection of -not only animals – but guides that help me with various challenges and questions I can’t seem to figure out on my own. It’s been a life saver for me in many ways and has helped me get through some very dark moments in my life.

If you are curious about learning more on the practice or the subject, here are some suggestions to explore:

The Foundation of Shamanic Studies -Calgary Chapter

The Foundation of Shamanic Studies -Main site