Spiritual Practice

I am a shamanic practitioner and I feel called to do more than I’m currently doing, spiritually. Right now, I do readings and healing maybe once a month, for a smallish fee. I have tried doing free readings but after a few years of this the constant demand burnt me out, as well as leaving me occasionally unsatisfied (like when people made requests purely for entertainment purposes, not taking it seriously). I’m not sure what to do next with my path. Does anyone have ideas? I don’t mind practicing for free but I can’t figure out how to do it without opening myself up to be overwhelmed again.

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Inner Space

She shut her eyes to see
a universe within, stunned
at her own second coming
home.
Here, she was the artful creator;
here, she reigned
by her own decrees:
she imagined joy, and thus was joyous
as a newborn god, enthralled
by making herself
happen.

Creating Space for New Possibilities

By changing your perspective, you can make new models of reality emerge. The benefit of doing this is to prevent an unbalance of mental “closure” – a word Kenneth Smith uses in his book “Shamanism for the Age of Science” to describe being stuck or too rigid in one way of thinking. Closure is like fundamentalism in that it closes off your capacity to see potential and transform or awaken yourself to new levels of knowledge. So I have a few exercises to offer that I find useful, which can open you to new experiences, new insights, and expand your awareness in all directions, pushing against any limiting boundaries you’ve perhaps unnecessarily accepted.

These exercises are actually fun – to me, anyway – and they stimulate your imagination and challenge your attachment to particular models of reality. They are meant to tease your perceptions of being, creating room for new possibilities.

  1. Walk as if you are not moving forward, but actually turning the Earth with your feet. When your feet glide over the ground, push a little and imagine that you are bringing the environment directly in front of you closer, rather than walking to it.
  2. Imagine reality is merely what you see, exactly as YOU see it. For instance, the distant trees are really that small and objects are fully solid (not full of mostly-space and atoms). Perhaps the Earth now seems flat; or try to come up with a new experience of perception other than the examples I’ve listed.
  3. Consider: everything you can imagine must be real. What does that imply? If everything you imagine must exist, can you therefore imagine a spirit, decide it must be real, and have a whole conversation with them that must also be real? If you imagine a future self that can communicate with you, are the thoughts you imagine your future self saying therefore real?
  4. Imagine yourself pulling the future against you in order to experience the present moment. You are not helplessly flowing forward along with time – you are pulling time past you.

After these exercises, where you go next is up to you, but I think it creates a prime stage for self-reflection and creative work.

You, a Palimpsest

You author reality with metaphors

and verb to make a living

while the ghost writers circle

like carrion birds, waiting to rip

your soul from your flesh.

You, a palimpsest, have shed

covers, switched genres, crossed out

every adjective you used to be;

and I, your avid reader, await

your next page, enthralled

and close to tears, overlooking

your plotholes.

Imagination’s Wormholes

She shuffle-sways up and down
the train’s aisles, the lurch
a warp in space, a tug
on time. Waiting
for Mongolia, she leans
out a window, her thoughts streaming
loose from her skull, wind-swimming
behind her, each wish armed
before it tears away into air, into freedom, to change
the present, the past, and the future.
Spirit has wormholes too, she thinks,
getting down from the chair,
still imagining Mongolia and train-sway
in her own domestic kitchen.

Our Soul’s Purpose and the Higher Self

The higher self can be viewed as a fractal, of which you are one single iteration. I believe the higher self ultimately transcends space and time, containing every possible version of your soul in every possible circumstance, across all possible realities and parallel universes. The essence of your soul, the one thing that ties all these potential versions of you together, is thus revealed in the shape of the fractal and describes your soul’s purpose.

Yet if you’ve ever played with the scale of a fractal image, you can imagine how only an infinite being could perceive its ultimate complexity and shape. So how do we even begin to approach an understanding of the higher self and our soul’s purpose?

I think it is important to allow for evolution here: if you’ve come upon an inkling of your soul’s purpose, or even created a statement about it, don’t call it a day and stop. Your soul’s purpose looks different at different scales and the scales represent your levels of conscious awareness, your ability to see and know what your soul’s purpose is. So as you develop your awareness, your concept of your soul’s purpose will evolve, perhaps even completely change, like any living thing, so why not allow for this growth?

My point is that the higher self is infinite and your life can be a journey of exploring it, learning deeper and bigger truths. It never really ends. If today you think your purpose is to teach, allow this statement some room – or else be stuck forever at one level of seeing and knowing yourself.

 

You, a Fractal

You pull yourself in, deliberately,
abruptly peaceful in your fate: being
a minuscule point of space, a short line through time.
You call it progress but I resist,
caressing the dials of my perceptions 
to watch you bloom
in all directions, infinitely, like a fractal-soul,
which is, after all, just a point, a line,
multiplied forever. Or
in other words, your full potential.