Singing with the Robins

Here’s some of my singing attempts…

’cause I haven’t seen Barbados, so I must get out of this

Holocene (Bon Iver) Cover

 

Me and a Gun (Tori Amos) Cover

 

Pissing in a River (Patti Smith) Cover

 

Professional Widow (Tori Amos) Cover

 

Blood Roses (Tori Amos) Cover

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Shamanic Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval

vultures
vultures

Life takes energy from us violently and traumatically at times. Why this happens is a human question that no human answer will really satisfy. Suffice it to say that suffering affects us all, and when it does, a piece of our personal energy – a piece of our soul – can be severed off from us. We experience this as a piece of ourselves going missing. Losing pieces of ourselves chips away at our power and truth, as well as keeping us from any real healing until the parts are recovered.

For this reason, I advocate a “search and rescue” approach. This means actively seeking our lost parts and working to heal them. I believe it is nearly impossible to get through life without some kind of soul loss, and that people can suffer from deep, crippling soul loss even if they haven’t experienced what they would define as a traumatic event. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and our reactions to events vary from person to person. Also, since I believe a traumatic event can cause soul loss, it follows that until that soul part is found, healed, and re-integrated into the self, one’s memory of that part’s trauma may also be obscured or lost.

How can you know the extent of your soul loss? Consider how you relate to the following symptoms:

  • Constant feelings of sorrow, darkness, or fear
  • Emptiness
  • A driving need for distraction (addiction issues, materialism, avoiding alone time)
  • Feelings of having no purpose or reason to live
  • Lingering, haunting pain from old memories
  • Feeling that something is very wrong with you
  • Symptoms of PTSD (anxiety, depression, hyper vigilance, fear, avoidance of life’s activities), even if you don’t remember a past traumatic event

It is likely that the more you relate to these symptoms, the greater your soul loss is.

Shamanic practitioners who practice soul retrieval might offer instant relief from your suffering and require only faith from the sufferer. I believe that healing and other magic require both faith and action. A practitioner ought not to merely tell someone about the soul part(s) they retrieved, but help that person connect with them personally. As I mentioned, my way of healing advocates “search and rescue” first. I believe finding and building a healing relationship with your lost soul parts is more important than trying to integrate them into yourself immediately. Finding a missing part is the first step towards healing, and beyond that, it’s best not to push. You might end up pushing the lost part away without realizing it. Instead, build a relationship with this soul part just as you would with a spirit guide, and strive to be as honest with yourself as possible.

If you would like to work with me to begin healing, check my About page to see what I have to offer: https://wherespiritstops.wordpress.com/free-shamanic-readings-and-healing/

Honour the Emptiness

I was doing a shamanic reading for someone today when the following thought stole into my mind, spirit-sent and magical:

All empty places, be they barren wombs or chasms ripped from our souls, are also places of infinite potential, for nothing yet exists within them, and thus these places represent an infinite hope.

I have, in my life, experienced the debilitating emptiness of depression and pain. The best thing I could do at the time was to find the agonizing beauty in this pretty sorrow and honour that fiercely. This got me through nearly impossible things, but now I have a different perspective. Places of emptiness and sadness can be conversely defined as places of desperate hope. Realize that you are not merely feeling empty, but in fact desperately hoping to feel something, because you truly care that much about at least one thing in this life. Realize that you are not merely feeling sad, but desperately hoping for change and transformation of a sort, because you recognize and care so deeply about at least one thing that is wrong in this life. If you can see this even while you are seemingly trapped in an endless nothingness, you will be brought back to how much you are full rather than empty. You are full of values, desires, hope, and potential even when you feel the most devoid of all. Especially when you are walking in that dark void of soul.

Doing the Work of Healing

One of the most difficult lessons in acceptance lies in the fact that we encounter situations that may not have been our fault (like a car crash) but which have consequences that require us to do painful, difficult work (like physiotherapy for injuries) in order to get through the experience and ultimately overcome it.

Any lack of acceptance of this fact will leave one stranded and stuck in one’s own life journey, asking why me? and protesting that this isn’t fair. Of course, this attitude doesn’t accomplish anything except to prolong and potentially exacerbate the problem at hand.

The work we are required to do in life never ends; in fact, life has a funny way of finding something for us to do if we have too much stagnant time on our hands. But one can easily find ways to avoid doing the work, especially when it comes to healing one’s own soul from past hurts. This is the most important work we can do for ourselves and the potential for growth, renewal, and reward is exhilarating.

Yet all too often we resist. Because it doesn’t seem fair that we should have to do the work, and perhaps because we fear both how hard it will be, and also how much responsibility for our life we will be claiming as our own. After all, if we believe we can’t heal ourselves, then it’s not our own fault that we’re unhappy, right?

No.

It is terrifying to accept full responsibility for our physical and spiritual lives, and many people are devotedly determined to avoid that responsibility. By claiming responsibility for our own lives, we have the potential to create our own present and future selves in ways that, when we were stuck in our pasts, we could not have imagined. Unfortunately, this thrilling truth is overshadowed by our fear of failure, because if we are solely responsible for our own healing and growth, any sense of failure leaves us with nothing to blame but ourselves.

What if I told you – what if I outright promised you – that you have the power to dream yourself into a new state of being simply through faith and doing the work? What if I told you that by surrendering to your own responsibilities you could actually guarantee a better, happier, healthier, more fulfilling and infinitely free life for yourself? And, you can’t fail. You’ll make mistakes and life will still throw things at you that you’ll have to figure out how to handle. But if you are doing the work, you can’t actually fail at all. It’s a win-win situation where what you’re really doing is claiming your soul’s purpose and living for it.

The only thing you have to do is surrender to the fact that you are responsible for your own life’s happiness and achievement. After that, you will be comforted to know that there is little else to surrender yourself to.

I am writing to you as a survivor of abuse of every sort, beginning as early as I can possibly remember. As a result of this, I suffered a multitude of symptoms of various mental disorders – PTSD, social anxiety, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, and extreme dissociation. I experienced constant body memories, a type of somatic pain that could be excruciating, as if the past abuse was happening in the present moment. I came to identify as a multiple, meaning that I knew my soul was fractured into countless pieces due to the trauma I experienced. The wounds and consequences of my past gripped me in an iron fist of pain and fear and a complete lack of personal power or hope.

I thought I was broken and couldn’t be fixed. I could not recall a time when I had ever felt whole and sane and strong. But by taking complete responsibility for working my own healing, by definition I also claimed all the power over it and am now achieving more than I could have ever dreamed possible.

In the last six months especially, I have been freed from almost every  debilitating symptom that I used to experience daily. I’ve been doing hard, relentless work, every single day. It’s not an easy road, but it is my road and to give up healing would be to give up my own personal power.

The most instrumental concepts behind my work towards healing can be summed up in two statements: 1) I am not morally responsible for anything that happened during the years of my abuse, due to the young age at which it began and the way I was kept controlled. 2) I am completely responsible (both causally and morally) for my soul’s purpose now.

To me, it is a simple fact that nothing that happened to me throughout my childhood, and even into my adulthood, was my fault. I did not deserve the abuse I suffered. Further, I had no choice and no freedom during that period of my life, being as much a captive as anyone can be. You can’t blame a prisoner of war for things she was forced to do by her captors under threat of death. I did a lot of unpleasant things under force, and those things aren’t my fault either.

Is it fair that these things happened to me, or that the work I have done has been so difficult, even deeply unpleasant? I don’t think in those terms. I might as well ask if it is fair that my heart must continue beating on and on without rest.

The heart beats because it is the work and purpose of the heart’s existence. Likewise, I heal because it is my soul’s purpose to do so, at least in part.

I believe I can achieve a complete transformation of my body, mind and soul — simply because no one else can do it for me.  This is my life’s work, and I accept it with grace and gratitude.

Metamorphosis

I’ve mentioned before that I’m going through a very physical metamorphosis alongside my mental and spiritual healing. It is actually quite shocking and startling, as I’ve lost a ton of weight (while eating plenty of great food), and new curves, shapes, and definition are appearing all over my body. My body is dreaming itself a new appearance. Willow says that as I release body memories of trauma, my body is physically “catching up” to being 34. It does feel like a kind of delayed, sudden puberty.

 

 

Honouring the Truth

I want so much to be eloquent.

I greatly prefer to express my fury and pain in poetry, because simpler expressions and standard phrases just don’t feel like they carry any weight. Like they can’t possibly pack the punch I want to throw.

I had the second part of my psychiatric assessment this afternoon, but there wasn’t time (or much reason) to tell the fullness of my story. The psychiatrist caught on very quickly that my story was overwhelmingly intense and complicated, so she took care to ask only for the most basic information. What I said could probably all be summed up in a single sentence.

It didn’t do us justice. In hindsight I don’t know how I could have said it better, and yes, the psychiatrist’s eyes widened and she lost a bit of her professional edge. She faltered, uttering things like “Really?” in a quiet, astonished tone. I guess she was at a loss for words too. 

I like poetry because my story isn’t a bullet list of facts. It’s visceral.  Writing poetry based on my abuse is not about presenting pretty words and metaphorical insights. It’s about getting this feeling that’s in my chest out into the air, and maybe — just maybe — into someone else’s mind. Not to shock anyone and not to spread negativity or distress, mind you. All I want is to bring to being my truth, which had been so violently silenced all my life, and give it a little space to unravel, the way an apple seed opens to the earth and is nurtured into something much stronger.

*

Child of secrets, your world confounds

you as a test, laid out

without truths or falsehoods. They’ve drawn

gaping blanks for you to fill,

and the possibilities haunt

your every hour, because this is trial and error,

this is life and death.

You keep learning

how wrong the answers can be, how true

the nightmares are

of monsters and the unknown,

which has always proved worthy of fear.