I have never wanted to settle for anything less than my highest dreams for my life. Fifteen years ago, when I was making the radical decision to leave my academic career to finally become a shamanic healer and spiritual teacher, I emailed a small group of friends and family to explain to them why (since at the age of 46, it seemed like a pretty crazy thing to do). I somehow had to reclaim the narrative and reverse the idea of what it means to be crazy. I wrote: “I refuse to live a half-life, entrained to old habits and patterns like a madwoman. I want, instead, to live a life of empowerment and purpose.”
I contrasted my choice with the example of my mother who sadly died at the age of 69 after living a life of unfulfilled longing and pain. She suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder—a condition, I assumed, that resulted from unhealed complex trauma. Unfortunately, she was born a generation too early to have had easy access to therapeutic and healing modalities that could have transformed her life into one lived with psychological health, passion, power, purpose, and creativity. Don’t get me wrong: she wanted that life. But there was just too much stigma and shame attached to getting help. So many skeletons were kept closely guarded and ignored in the closet. They ultimately destroyed her.
So, when I wrote those words in 2007, I was making clear my intention about what I didn’t want: I didn’t want the wounds, unhealed trauma, and conditioning of my past to determine who I would be in the future. I wanted a life that was joyful, creative, and purposeful in every domain: work, relationships, service, and play.
By then I knew it was possible because upon discovering shamanic energy medicine in my early 30s and tapping over the next 15 years into its powerful map of transformation, I could make observable and concrete steps to achieving the powerful vision I had for a life of creativity and service to others in healership.
I call them the 6 Shamanic Pathways for Stepping into a Powerful Life.
Pathway 1: Intention is everything. This phrase is at the heart of the shamanic path. Energy follows intention. What this means is that what you visualize, whether consciously or unconsciously, will then determine the outcomes both internally and externally in your life. The key here is to become fully conscious of your Great Vision for your life and embrace it fully with feeling and visualization. This will begin the activation of the destiny line that reaches upwards and outwards to your highest potential.
You will be energized.
Pathway 2: Once your vision is solid, start with gratitude and connecting through a prayer to open Sacred Space with love to Mother Earth, the Great Beings of Light, Powers and Helpers of the 4 Directions, our Cosmic Mother and Father, Creator/Spirit. You are surrounded by so much love. There are so many beings existing in other vibrational planes who wish to be in a direct and beneficial relationship with you. They want to help. In doing so, they also further their own evolution. Gratitude is one of the most powerful, heart-opening, and mind-expanding prac
tices available to humans. It taps into the eternal cycle of reciprocity that is natural within our dynamic dance of interconnection with all beings. Add to your assertions of gratitude for all the goodness in your life and around you, prayers to the 6 Directions—East, South, West, North, Earth, and Sky/Creator. This further builds your elemental, vibrant communion with all the beings who love you and want to assist you in stepping into joy, peace, and abundance. These prayers also thin the veil between the worlds. This allows the magic of messages and synchronicities to happen.
You will be amazed and delighted.
Pathway 3: Celebrate your strengths, triumphs, and gifts, as well as those people in your life who have seen and supported you. I call this your Medicine Basket of Love. Why do you do this? Because so many of us carry a deep sense of unworthiness or “not-enoughness.”
This is scarcity-trauma that arises out of generations of unhealed traumas. It results in a pattern of negative self-talk and distortions in thinking about self and what is possible. You focus more on what is lacking, rather than what is abundant. Now, some might say that doing a practice like this is just building up ego. I assert that there is a difference between narcissistic navel-gazing and self-aggrandizement versus re-anchoring into your essential goodness, accomplishments, and talents. This is what true love is all about: even as Mother Earth and Creator loves you unconditionally, you must embrace and love the unlimited potential within you and how it has always been expressed in your personality, thoughts, actions, and deeds. Therein lays the creative and life-affirming foundation for the manifestation of your highest vision for life.
You will be empowered.
Pathway 4: Carrying your Medicine Basket of Love in your heart, enter courageously into the darkness within you with shamanic journeying, accompanied by Condor Spirit. Here you dance with the wounds and blocks that keep you stuck in old habits and patterns. Condor carries the powerful medicine of transformation and healing. These birds eat the dead and
then fly high in the sky, close to the sun. Journeying can be done with a rattle of a drum in a quick, syncopated rhythm. You can also find a recording of the same. After saying prayers for opening Sacred Space and naming the intention of your journey, call for Condor and follow the imaginal process as you fly together. He will take you to the deep roots of the wound—individual, ancestral, and even collective—that keeps you bound into negative manifestations in your life, even while Condor transmutes them into gold.
You will be made courageous.
Pathway 5: Rising up and out of the shadow, you then journey with Hummingbird to catalyze and harness the energy pathway to your highest possible destiny—that Great Vision you started with. Hummingbird Spirit is this amazing, brightly colored, luminescent bird who twice yearly makes a mythic, heroic journey across the globe. She is also attracted to the nectar of flowers and so teaches you how to harness the medicine of beauty out in everything that you touch. Once again, open Sacred Space, state your intention for the journey, and, while rattling or drumming, call for Hummingbird. She will arrive and lead you up to the Heavenly Realms to meet your Divine Parents. They will then point the way to the intersection of many possible and probable destinies. Hummingbird has the skill to see the brightest, most fulfilling, and creative future. She wi
ll lead you along it as you internalize all that you see and do. This journey is then imprinted in your Luminous Body. You will begin to notice first inner shifts and then outer changes over time. It will give you the courage and confidence to believe utterly and unequivocably in your Great Vision.
You will be transformed.
Pathway 6: Now it is time to stand in your Spiritual Sovereignty as a co-creator with and in Spirit. One of the things that you lose when you are caught in trauma spirals and blocks is your natural essence as one with the Spirit Within, Through, and Around All That Is. You are Divine. You are thus a Creator-Creatrix Being. When you are born into a physical body, you have Free Will. This means that there is no such thing as fate; there is only
that which you choose to make of your life out of the raw material of your soul and spirit. Your Medicine Basket of Love contains everything you need to dream forth the life you wish to lead. To remind you of your absolute unity in Spirit, you can do the Ceremony of the Flower Circle of Mother Life. Purchase 12 yellow flowers. Place them on the ground in a circle large enough for you to stand and move in. Say prayers to the 6 directions. Then, taking a deep breath, step into the center of your flower circle. Standing there, allow a single “I AM” statement to emerge that encapsulates your Great Vision and the journey you have been on as you have undertaken the 6 Pathways for Stepping into a Powerful Life. For example, “I AM Love in Action” or “I AM a Beautiful Healer.” Keep it short and sweet. Then dance and move inside the flower circle to manifest your I AM statement bodily awareness. This allows Spirit Energy to move powerfully through body, mind/emotions, soul, and spirit.
You will be spirit.
Shamanic prayers, ceremony, journeying, and intention for the most powerful pathways to dream forth the life you wish to lead. Any time you need to reenergize your Great Vision, you can go use all 6 Pathways or reach for one or two of them. Whatever feels right.
I believe—no, I know—it is absolutely within your power to manifest your Great Vision. I have manifested my own. It’s not that there haven’t been rocky times or ongoing twists and turns. But that’s the nature of living in a human body: the challenge is to remember with every breath you take