Shamanism: An Ancient Recipe for Modern Living

Shamanism - an ancient recipe for modern living

Jean felt lost. While she was a student there was always the next class to attend or assignment to be done. Her life was  structured by her timetable and tasks to complete. Now that she had graduated life had changed. There was no structure determining her next moves. She was anxious and felt insecure; that she had been set adrift with nowhere and everywhere to go, with no rudder to steer her.

She didn’t know it then, but her life was about to change. As she scrolled through her Facebook feed, she saw posts that ignited her curiosity. The posts were about Shamanism and practices.

Jean Today

You wouldn’t recognise the same Jean today. She has a presence that tells you she knows herself well and will fearlessly pursues the things that she is passionate about. Jean hasn’t just achieved goals that she has set herself, she is tuned in to her environment, compassionate and aware of others and is true to her values. She is confident, self-assured, and above all, happy.

Shamanism

Contemporary shamanism draws from the ancient practices of indigenous cultures across the world. Shamanism is not a religion, but a spiritual way of life that embraces all the practicality of daily living. Jung travelled the world observing indigenous cultures. He observed great similarities shared by cultures that had never had contact with each other. Subsequently, modern psychology has created modalities for treating patients based on his observations. Contemporary Shamanism goes further in that it gives you the tools to live consciously aware; to know yourself well and create a lifestyle that reflects your true nature.

It is a common theme in many people’s lives that they lose confidence, feel unworthy, lost and unsure like Jean. Many also find themselves repeating the same pattern repeatedly; often becoming worse with each cycle. Jean attended several private sessions that in turn dealt with the causes of her lack of confidence and direction. Conditioning from childhood experiences (wounding), ancestral patterns, soul’s journey and past lives all contribute to how we are in the world. With the help of a shamanic practitioner, these were discovered and brought to the light and transformed. In this way, Jean was relieved of the burdens of conditioning and past experiences and could step forward and express her true self.

Self-Empowering

This may sound rather daunting as it sounds radically life-changing; and it can be! However, Shamanic practice is a self-empowering process where you are completely in charge and learn as you grow and change. Shamanism is a many faceted concept and you will be attracted to the things that will resonate with you most. To give you a better idea, this is Jean’s experience.

Jean’s Journey

# Visioning workshop

Jean needed to find some direction so she decided to attend a shamanic workshop with the intention of creating a vision of her future. She was immersed in a safe and sacred space with others with similar intentions. As the workshop progressed, she became fascinated by how the ritual, symbols in many forms, and the Sacred Circle of Whole Consciousness spoke to her, her truth and helped her to vision what is possible in her life.

# Personal Sessions

After the workshop, Jean was aware that she was feeling quite anxious about some aspects of her vision and that she couldn’t bring them to reality. She decided to have some personal sessions. Each session was focussed on a vision that she wanted to achieve; confidence, assertiveness. During each session, she felt healed; that ‘blocks’ had been transformed into the light aspects that she desired, and were now part of her.

# Everyday Living

A core principal of Shamanism is to be consciously aware – in the present moment. As she learnt more about Shamanism, Jean learnt tools for everyday living. She learnt to stop regularly during the day to be mindful, to notice the small things that are usually missed and recognise them as signs of synchronicity. She remembered the ‘rules’ that are congruent with the Shamanic Way – The 8 Ways, channelled by Heather Price – to keep her on track.

In this way, Jean became who she is today – her authentic self. She is confident, happy, fulfilled and positive.

What about you?

Are you living life the way you want to? Do you feel that you are comfortable being yourself in all situations, or do you put on a mask and act as though you must be someone else in the theatre of life? Are you confident and happy? Are your relationships loving and caring?

Life is too short to not be confident and happy in the way you live it. Although changing the way it is now can be daunting, the outcome of change – transforming it – is beautiful as it brings the gifts of confidence, joy and peace and you become the best that you can be.

The added bonus of Shamanic practice is that it not only supports you with vital tools for living. It provides you with ‘culture’; a depth and richness to life that otherwise may not be there, as rituals, symbolism and conscious awareness bring colour and deep meaning to daily life.

If you would like to know more, please explore my website and any questions, please contact me.

Injalak

How Shamanic Journey Helps Solve a Dilemma

 

Confused ideas and choices entangled stops the flow forward

Confused ideas and choices become entangled and stop the flow forward

Angela’s heart was racing. Her chest contracted and fire burnt from her heart down her arms. Her throat was closed and tight. She wasn’t sure why this was happening, but she had been told it was a panic attack. She realised that for some time she had been worrying over changes she would ultimately have to make in her life and she was becoming more anxious as time progressed. She had heard about the gentle process of  a shamanic journey and how it would empower her to make her decisions.

When Angela came to see me, she was distressed. She was experiencing panic attacks and felt that her world was going to collapse. All this, because she couldn’t make a decision about what her next move would be. Either way, she felt that she would lose; that the change involved would be frightening and challenging. She wanted clarity. She wanted to be able to decide what was best for her from her heart – with confidence and courage.

Angela decided to have a session where she would be guided on a journey within. By journeying within, she would be able to explore the different scenarios of her choices and gain a true feeling about how each one would impact on her – without the distraction of her fearful brain. She would be fully supported and safe as she was guided on the journey.

Injalak

Angela was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to journey; that her brain would stop her with too many thoughts. I supported Angela as she constructed a clear intention for her journey to ensure it would be purposeful. She breathed deep and slow and relaxed. With my guidance and the company of her spirit guides, she journeyed deep into the earth; into a cave.

After her journey, Angela was both surprised and enlightened by her experience. She said that as she visited the nooks and crannies of the cave in her journey, her experience showed her the reality of each of her possible choices. She hadn’t expected to be so connected with her feelings during the journey. She now felt confident with a clear vision of what she truly wanted to achieve and had new creative ideas to grow.

Before her experience, Angela was torn between several choices. She couldn’t decide what to choose because her fears and fearful brain were cluttering her mind, stopping her and leaving her more confused than ever. As time progressed, this became worse and was a continual assault upon her life. When she decided to act, a weight was taken off her shoulders.

The process of the Shamanic journey was gentle and supportive, boosting her confidence and understanding of who she truly is, and opened the way to a new chapter in her life.

When you want to make changes in your life – you feel stuck and yet want to move forward – you don’t have to do it alone. Shamanic journeys provide gentle guidance for you to find your way, and put your vision into action.

If you would like to journey with my guidance, please contact me. I offer private sessions, group healing circles and meditation.

How to clear mind chatter and make space for useful thinking.


mind chatter

Jenny was stressed. She had several projects on the go and the added challenge of organising a family dinner with her partner’s relations. So many thoughts overloaded her mind, with some going around and round creating ‘thought demons’; each demanding attention. There was no space left for thinking clearly about any one thing. She felt she wasn’t capable and was overwhelmed by the constant mind chatter and her anxiety was at a peak.

Jenny decided that this wasn’t good enough for her since she wasn’t enjoying life, so she followed the steps that I’m going to give you here.

These steps are the beginning of a lifetime habit that will quieten mind chatter and make space for clarity, problem solving and creative thought.

  • Make a commitment to invest some time in changing your monkey chatter.
  • Recognise when your mind chatter appears – make a note of what it is.
  • Mind chatter loves attention – don’t fight it. Acknowledge it and change it.
  • Prepare for transformation – ready yourself with positive thoughts (affirmation) to replace the negative busy ones.
  • Create your vision of how you want to be – Have an image of how you are when thinking is clear and productive. It is helpful to have a symbol you can bring to mind easily.
  • Practice – Each time you notice mind chatter, visualise your symbol and say your affirmation.

“But I’m in a hurry”, you say. “I don’t have time for this!”

The truth is, you don’t have time for the mind chatter either. It’s unproductive. By dedicating a relatively small amount of time to commit to and practice this different way of thinking, you will find it will become an automatic reaction to mind chatter and your mind will have the space to problem solve and create.

Why not make a date with yourself today to begin practicing being in charge of your thinking brain?

 

 

Ho’oponopono

 


Ho'oponopono

Ho’oponopono

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

A mantra to change each one of us and to change the world.

You know how sometimes it happens this way – You learn something new, and you’re sure that you really get it; you understand what it means. And then one morning, you wake up and have a REVELATION that your understanding was only the tip of the ice-berg and the meaning has expanded exponentially

Well, that happened to me this morning.

Resolving events from the past

For a long time now I have been reflecting upon times in my life when something has occurred, and too late, I have realised that someone has felt hurt, unheard, misunderstood or even loved in a way they haven’t been able to receive, or have felt their love rejected.

I have felt powerless to move the energy around these times, since we live in a world of past, present and future and current reality is that we all know that the past is gone. I felt deep sadness and regret and a desire to undo or at least resolve these times.

This morning my REVELATION was that I really understood this. The event and each person touched by it is not everything; there is more. It involves the energy that happens in those moments. Often the energy not only remains but intensifies like Lorenz’s metaphor the butterfly effect as the gentle flutter caused by the butterfly’s wings causes a hurricane on the other side of the world. The energy of the event remains unless it has been adequately dealt with, and it amplifies as the emotions of the event are expressed by those affected – affecting more people and so on.

The energy may be old, in the past but it is still there, added to; growing in intensity even though it may have been forgotten.

Imagine that this negative energy is a cloud that we all have contributed to. See it and make it real because we can deal with real objective things and we can transform them into light loving energy.

Ho’oponopono

Some time ago, I was given the gift of Ho’oponopono, and it has sat with me unused until now. As I reflected this morning it all became clear. I revisited Dr Joe Vitale’s website where he explains his first encounter with Ho’oponopono and everything made clear sense. (Read it after this. It’s a good story :))

Ho’oponopono is a mantra:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

Ho’oponopono is an expression of unconditional love.

Say it I say it to yourself.

Say it to  all your family, friends and aquaintences.

Say it to everyone in the world. 

Now say it into the cloud you hold with the energy of the past event and ask that it transform it into Love and Light. As you do this you will heal myself with love and all others; the love grows and intensifies into a cyclone of love all over the world.

I quote from the note at the end of the article:

“Dr. Len’s message may be quite hard to believe, yet it’s amazingly simple. He states that we are all responsible for everything that we see in our world. By taking full personal responsibility and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world. As related by Joe Vitale in the radio interview, Dr. Len suggests a four-stage process for this ho’oponopono work. Whenever a place for healing presents itself in your life, open to the place where the hurt resides within you. After identifying this place, with as much feeling as you can, say the below four statements:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you. ”

This is the gift that I pass on to you today. Together we can change the world.

I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

Betsy

Positivity: How to change the consequences of things you cannot change.


Emotional responses
I leant into the cupboard to retrieve my art materials. As I came up to standing, I was at first curious and then shocked, as blood streamed across my vision – my eye was bleeding inside. Just like that! I was blind in one eye and even though I knew it wasn’t permanent, my life for the next months would be severely impaired. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t see anything on my left side. Reading was a challenge – to name but a few of many things I now couldn’t do normally. Suddenly I had joined the ranks of the partially disabled. How could this have happened to me?

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional Choices: How do I want to be?

Having a vital part of you taken away, whether it be physical or situational, is a recipe for disaster and deep depression. I was blind in one eye. My perfectly healthy body had let me down. I couldn’t change the fact that my eye was blind. Everything was a chore. Going to the shops was even more unappealing than it was before – dizzyingly so!

Luckily for me, I have had an amazing life where I have been intensely curious about my emotions and feelings. I choose to live my life in a ‘shamanic’ way, and the guidelines of this path remind me to ‘live in the light’ and to ‘create joy’. This is what saved me from going down the depression path. I made a clear and conscious choice to make the most of my situation and be POSITIVE.

How to be positive in a negative situation.

It’s one thing to make a commitment and another to make it happen. How did I achieve being positive in what appears to be such a negative situation?

¨       I made a choice.

I used to think that emotions and feelings just happened to me. I now know this – I can make a choice about how I feel and dissipate the emotions that arise from negative feelings. I decided that I could choose to be miserable, or I could choose to shine the light on all the positive aspects of being forced to live my life differently. I discovered that, although I had previously been excited about my plans for the year ahead, I had quite a few projects I had put off for a long time and needed to complete. I now had purpose – I had found the positive outcome of my situation.

¨       I made a commitment.

Making a clear and determined commitment is needed to help you follow through. This is true for any changes you choose to make. When make a commitment, there are two main things to consider. Firstly, write it as though it has already been achieved, and secondly make it concrete – write it down and put it where you can see it.

¨       I had a vision.

Every morning I take time to vision my day or something of my choosing. In my situation, I came to vision myself feeling contented and happy doing the things I wished to complete. Visioning is traditionally thought of as having a visual image, but it is more than this. When you vision, bring your feelings into your vision – so visioning myself creating a dreamcatcher became – me feeling the joy, curiosity, serenity, inspiration as though I was present, doing it, in my vision – focus on the positive feelings.

¨       I transformed the negative.

Shamanic practice has taught me to be consciously self-aware. This is such a great tool. It means that I notice when I’m feeling negative before it can get too much of a hold on me. I have learnt to feel into it; acknowledge the feeling and its details. Acknowledging it brings it to the light – out into the open so that I can choose that this is not how I want to be, and change my direction.

¨       And looked for positive.

In her book “Positivity”, Barbara Frederickson says that moments of positivity come in tiny windows. None of us are positive all the time, or we wouldn’t be able to operate in this world. What I have learnt from her research, is that you can catch the fleeting moment when positivity occurs. (conscious self-awareness) MAGNIFY it. CELEBRATE it. CREATE JOY with this moment.

Taking action.

Throughout life things happen to you that you cannot change. It is easy to fall into despair and become immobile.  If you’re feeling like you’re falling into a great hole, falling often feels like the path of least resistance because you have no resources to do it differently. Doing it differently requires you to step up and do something to change the consequences of those things that you cannot change. Stepping up means that you have made the choice to find the benefits and illuminate them and bring them into being. The steps above are designed to help you to act to become positive – in small do-able parts.

Because it is difficult to action new ways of being without knowing what it feels like to be that way, Life Healing Journeys provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in this process with compassionate guidance.

Life Healing Journeys come in many forms; individual sessions, small group circles and workshops. These are advertised on lifehealingjourneys.com.au and by newsletter.

Shamanic Wisdom ~ Walking in the East with Spirit.


horse - symbolism

I woke up feeling sad this morning.

The reason for it is one I don’t need to share except to say that it involves the behaviour of another…. and discussing it is not an option at this time. So, what to do? I could, as I have in the past, spiral downwards, become more upset and try to manipulate the situation with my emotions, or I could draw upon all my Shamanic wisdom and resources and be responsible for myself and my reactions.

How I took action.

I decided that the best thing to do was go for a walk. Walking shifts the energy in my body while it gives me the opportunity to ask Spirit to help me out. In the past, I would have indulged in my thoughts; they say this, they said that and I felt this and that etc. and in this way, put things into perspective in my mind. I would become very emotional and allow my emotions to fully expand and explode. Now I find I do it somewhat differently. Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be.

On the Sacred Circle Map, I was walking in the East; in Spirit. Previously I would have been in the South, indulging my thoughts or the West with my emotions or maybe in the North looking for practical solutions. The North was helping me out with physical activity of walking to help me connect with Spirit. This means that I was walking mindful of my surroundings with my mind quiet and the issue resting with Spirit. I breathed in the air, the scents, sounds and sights and felt and acknowledged the great sadness within me, while feeling gratitude for the beauty around me.

Message from Spirit.

When I arrived at the field where beautiful horses graze, I found my solace. Today there were five horses (the number for my name) – usually there are four. Four of the horses were standing facing away from me in the shade. Sitting on the warm gravelly sand next to the small pond was a dapple grey looking straight at me, as though to say, ‘Yes, this is it! Take note!’ Then he proceeded to lie down and relax in the warm sand, then sit up and look at me again. Then he did it again but this time he turned his tummy to the sky and lavishly wriggled in the sand before sitting and looking at me again.


Horse symbolism

The Meaning.

When receiving messages, it is important that you have a clear intention in the first place so that you know what it is referring to! Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be. Here was a clear message to ‘Chill out and relax!’ Tummy to the sky – vulnerability – I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and this is important; now things will have the opportunity to shift. Sitting by the pond – look at your reflection; know who you are and what you want that will serve your higher good. Also, be aware of the other’s reflection – it is different from yours. Take care of yourself, enjoy and relax. Horses are earthy and grounded. They take us on journeys as they take us for a ride. They are playful, intelligent, independent and yet giving. These are qualities that I also bring into my message.

Further along the track, a little stick called me to pick it up. It is a beautiful wand and reminds me of the magic within me and that I am responsible for making the magic happen.

Wand symbolizes the magic.

Conclusion

On my return journey, the horses had dispersed and were munching grass in the sun. I had my answers and will take time to allow myself to process how they will manifest from in my life.


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Walking in the East:

  1. Make a clear decision that you are going to walk with Spirit and that you will release your mind/brain.
  2. Set a clear intention.
  3. Walk mindfully, noticing if your brain engages in deep thought. If it does, thank it and tell it you are looking at nature in this moment.
  4. Notice what grabs your attention and take in all the details.
  5. Sit quietly, breathing into your belly and this will help you absorb the meaning that arises from the symbols you’ve collected.

Are you connected to your culture? What does that mean?


View of Gunbalanya from the top of Injalak
Coming home from my adventure in Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory, I didn’t experience the usual let down one often experiences after travelling and experiencing new things. For days afterwards my body had a ‘buzzing’ quality about it. Every night I dreamt about just being there, immersed in the richness of that place.

Identifying with Culture

I have often wondered what it would be like to belong to a definitive culture. Like many people who identify as being from ‘Western’ culture, I had little idea about what that means. The language I speak doesn’t feel unique or special as English is far from being unique, the clothes I wear are generic and it’s only when I’m singing nursery rhymes to my grandchildren that I am reminded that they, well some of them, hark from my ancestors.

I need to explain here that my childhood experience was that of living in England, Australia in the 50’s and 60’s, in New Guinea, and in boarding school in country Australia. I was blessed by the fact that my parents arranged our lives in a way that we met and played with indigenous children which was unusual at that time. People like to mix with those of their own culture where they feel they belong and are unchallenged in their ways and beliefs. So I am blessed with not having these barriers and at the same time wonder about my culture!

It seems to me that I mustn’t be alone in feeling disenfranchised from my ancestors and their culture as people migrate to other lands and adjust to the ways of their new home.

Connecting with ancestors


The Downs, Guildford, Surrey, England.
As my life progresses, I become more aware of how important it is to know who I am and where I come from. So it is that I recently returned to England to walk on the ‘Downs’ of Guildford where I was born, and soak up the energy of the circles at Avebury; conscious of my desire to connect with my ancestors. I returned with a greater sense of feeling my feet upon the ground and a knowing of who I am.

Immersed in a ‘definitive’ culture.

Sitting on the age old rocks at Number 2 Waterfall near Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory, the ancient spirit of the place seeped into my very being. The water in the waterhole lay still, only now and again rippled by the breeze. The trees protected us as we sat with our lunch in the open cave of rocks. Christine and Priscilla and Sylvia were stripping pandanus and I urged them to tell us some stories.


Christine at Number 2 Waterfall

With some hesitance at first, Christine began to tell us the story of the three-legged dog and her mate who made this place. One story led to another … Number one waterfall was made by her mate who dug so deep he released a water spout which shot him up into the air, trapping him into the rocks above …. and another….

When one reads these indigenous stories published in picture books, they are children’s stories; simplistic, colourful, explaining creation or giving a lesson. …. But as I sat there entranced, feeling the spirit of everything around us, I sensed a much deeper connection in the stories.

In ‘Western culture’ stories are fiction and fiction means that they aren’t true. We reassure ourselves that this is a fantasy world that we can only enter in dreams and even then, they aren’t true.


Storys shared at No 2 Waterfall.

Christine sharing stories.

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Sitting here in this very place that holds the spirit of all that has happened over thousands of years, I could see the conviction of belief in the tellers’ eyes. They, and also myself as I listened, were connected deeply to the stories and, I believe, to the deeper meanings not revealed to the uninitiated outsiders. Many of these same stories that are published as children’s tales to entertain have more detailed versions that contain deeper meanings and truths relating the culture and memories of the people and the ancestors who own them.
Later we visited Number 1 Waterfall where the three legged dog’s mate dug a hole so deep that a waterspout erupted and shot him up and trapped him in the rocks above – can you see him in this picture? His head is in the corner where the angles meet.

Dog trapped in the corner of the rocks.

We are all one.

Indigenous stories are a large part of their culture especially because these were not ‘literate’ societies but ‘orality’ societies where information is memorised with the help of stories and paintings. I heard more stories when we climbed Injalak; a rocky outcrop viewed in its magnificence from Injalak Arts Centre in Gunbalanya. A beautiful place where women’s ceremonies are held, Injalak has at least 15 rock art galleries and is the place where long ago people went during the big wet to live out of the way of the flooding rains.


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Gabriella was our special guide. As we sat below the image of the Creation Mother with her dilly bags, Gabriella told us how Creation Mother came in from the North bringing her dilly bags each of which contained all of the information that described each of the groups of people; their names, their skin names, their moiety to name a few. What struck me was that she shared with us that these were for all groups, white people included.


Gabriella telling the story of Creation Mother

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The Creation Mother is for all people. For me this was the moment when my culture merged with the indigenous culture of this land. We are all indeed one. The creator created all of us. It was absolutely confirming and beautiful to hear this from Gabriella as she told the story.

The shift in Universal energy that people are talking about describes how we are moving from being separate to coming together as one. This story, belonging to indigenous culture includes me; it changes me from being an outsider to being included, recognising the whole of world peoples as one.

The impact of the experience

The impact of being immersed in another culture as deeply as one can be, even if for a few days and when they are an outsider, was profound. For a small wink in time, I was embraced into this ancient culture. I felt and breathed the spirit of the place; the rocks, the water, the plants, the wind, the people. I connected with the ancestors of these people and the land; with my breath, my presence and through story.

 Where to now?

Back on home ground I am aware of how I will bring my experience together so that it enriches my personal culture on a daily basis. I feel that my ability to sense the environment around me; to be able to ‘read’ the energy, be conscious of it has become part of the way I am. I have learnt more about being at peace, taking time to absorband listen, and to connect with my ancestors too. … and as I’ve been writing a peewee bird, symbolic of my ancestors and those of this land has been walking beside me on the grass!

I said to our indigenous guide and companion, Christine, when I bade my farewells, “Our ancestors have met. We will always be connected after this beautiful experience.” and I believe this to be the truth.

Finding your personal culture is empowering as it is the outcome of really coming to know yourself. You may discover that some of the things you hold onto are fear-based beliefs that have been instilled by your family’s culture. When you know that what you truly believe serves you and your personal goodness and wellbeing you will find that you have come home to your personal chosen culture.

Here are some steps to begin the process.

  1. Learn to breathe. (Go to Http://lifehealingjourneys.com.au for this information)

  2. Practice sitting and being – feeling and awareness of each element in your surroundings.

  3. Examine the things in your life that you take for granted. Decide whether they are true or have been imposed as the truth for someone else’s benefit. You can change your beliefs.

  4. Be aware of your values and check to see if your actions reflect them.

In Conclusion

Culture is what we choose to connect with and what resonates with ourselves personally. Some of us come from strong cultures that may overbear and dictate what they do in life and I wonder if this is all really culture? Culture is such a big word. For me, returning to my ancestral place in England and then experiencing connection to the land through the generosity of the indigenous people in Arnhem Land, I have a greater sense of my culture through my deep seated beliefs around Oneness, connection and the Spirit in all things. This effects the way I am, and in turn, the way I am with others with the intention being for the good of all – or One.

As always, if you think I can help you find your way, then please connect with me through phone, Facebook and website.


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Injalak rock gallery

Lightening man

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Some References:

  1. Injalak Arts Centre http://injalak.com/
  2. Lynne Kelly, “The Memory Code”  Allen & Unwin: 2016
  3. Louise Hambly, “Containers of Power: women with clever hands.” Utber&Patullo Pub: 2010.

Collecting Colour Reveals Hidden Treasures.


Rene and Priscilla digging out 'yellow dye' roots.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outward purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Collecting Colour in the Bush.

My adventure begins with collecting colour. Priscilla is our guide and as she sits in the front seat of the four-wheel drive, her sharp and practised eyes are scanning the bush for signs of plants that will become dyes for our fibre. The bushland here is different from where I live in Queensland and the types of trees seem to be in pockets; changing as we drive along.

Priscilla directs us to the visitor centre where she knows there are some ‘pink dye’ plants. Armed with bags, we set off into long spindly dry looking grass with bunches of tiny seeds at the top. This is what we are collecting to make pink dye. When we have collected as much as we can find, Priscilla uses the shovel to show us how to harvest the roots. As they are lifted, the shovel grazes the surface to reveal a rich red/orange colour. Such beauty hidden in the earth! These roots will make ‘brown dye’.

This is only our first stop in collecting colour, but already I have the sense that this is so much more than the ‘outer world’ story I am telling here. I am aware that whereas before I wouldn’t have noticed the little black seeds, my eyes are open and are keenly seeking them out. I am aware of the environment around me and how my body feels as I work with my companions. I am grateful for the feeling of awe when I see the truth of the colour of the roots as they are lifted from the earth.

Driving on towards Gunbalanya eyes are peeled for kapok trees with their spindly tall thin trunks with green pods riding at the ends of the branches. “There’s some! … and some more!” …  but I can’t see them! It isn’t until we stop and walk a little way from the road that I see what has been described to me and now they appear everywhere.

Harvesting is as easy as shaking the tree or pulling the branches down and plucking the pods – that is, unless they have been colonised by stinging green ants. I noticed that the pods on this kapok plant look rather ‘hairy’, being covered with the ants, and Priscilla is timely in rescuing me from their stings as she says it’s better to choose one with no ants!

With a dilly bag full of kapok, we are now looking for yellow dye; the root of another spindly looking plant with yellow flowers. In the Northern Territory heat digging out the roots is no easy task, but we dig down to the roots and follow their contours to chop out the biggest parts. Black dye comes more easily in the shape of shiny green leaves nearby.

 


Kapok pods

Crushing kapok seeds turns the white fibre inside bright yellow.

Roots of 'pink dye' plant

Kapok Pods

The white fibre and seeds from inside the pods are crushed exposing a brilliant yellow colour.

Sylvia is chopping ‘pink dye’ plant roots for brown dye.


Cooking up dye

Pink Dye -photo Renee Bahloo

Dyes simmering over the fire

Dye cooking on the fire.

Pink dye seeds. Pink dye cooking on the fire and pink dyed pandanus fibre.

Yellow dye and green dye cooking on the fire.

Connections are being made. With the Earth, the plants, each part of the plants and so too we are connecting with each other; local women, guide and adventurers. Helping each other, watching, listening, learning, accepting, enjoying each other’s joy and enthusiasm; sharing heart connection.

Treasures Revealed

Being out in the bush collecting these resources was new to me; different from the walks I love to take in the bush. We were there with a clear intention, and the dyes we would be able to make depended upon what we found and could collect. But it wasn’t only the feeling of achieving our purpose and learning about the plants and how to collect.

Driving past nondescript bush and taking it for granted is no longer an option. I know there is a treasure trove of things to be discovered there! I have acquired an acute awareness of ‘being’, of feeling grounded and feeling connected to the land and people. It is as though the very earth has become ingrained in my spirit and will stay with me forever.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outer world purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Interested in Rene Bahloo’s journeys? You will find all the information about her workshops and journeys to Arnhem land on her

website: http://weavery.com.au/ or join her on

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weaverywork

Injalak Arts has cultural information: http://injalak.com/

Look out for my next story of Arnhem Land !

Blessings to you

Betsy

 

Raging Waters Have Symbolic Meaning

Have you ever noticed how the nature reflects the pattern of your life?

Have you noticed how the weather affects your moods?

The recent deluge of rain caused a very significant flash flood in our local creek with the water inundating the park and walking track. Tonnes of gravel was shifted from the creek bed to cover the path and river sand covered the park. Trees had been undermined by the force of the water and some had fallen. Their branches and other debris remained where the water had left them; choking the bridges and wrapped around the plants and posts that had caught them.

As I walked down the path after the event, I felt the great power that had been unleashed and I knew that this was significant for my life. I felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders and the emotional confusion that I have been feeling had been washed away.

When you walk in conscious awareness you come to notice everything around you and you notice significant things; symbols that will add meaning to your life. The unconscious part of our brains is many times larger than the conscious part and we aren’t able to access this information directly. When we dream our brain waves have slowed down allowing messages in symbol form to rise to our conscious brain. This is why dreams often entertain us with their funny or fearful stories. In the same way that we can interpret these dream symbols, we can also interpret the symbols that we notice through conscious awareness.

To walk in conscious awareness, I first decide upon a question or a problem that is troubling me and ask for guidance around it during my walk. I ground myself, breathe, call my guides, and ask my question. ‘What can my walk tell me about what has been happening in my life?’ I then walk, with my mind relaxed and open to anything that presents itself.

The day after the flood there were several significant things that presented them to me. Water is often described as symbolic of emotions. As I have mentioned already, the atmosphere, the energy surrounding me, was very powerful. It contained the power that had been expressed by nature the day before and had a strong feeling of everything being flushed clean and renewed.

Gravel was swept in a small mountain range across the path; fresh small rocks piled into a form that I had to step through and over as I couldn’t go around. For me this symbolised fresh new things coming across my path that I can’t avoid. I will experience them and emerge on the other side better for the experiences.

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The evidence of the power of the water was everywhere. The flattened grass and weeds showed the ‘going with the flow’ of the water and surviving. The debris under the bridge and against the trees spoke to me of holding onto the old and the message to release and let it go with the flow – keeping only that which will serve me well.
Ducks were in their element as they paddled happily in the tranquil ponds left by the flooding rains, finding lots of juicy grubs to eat. Ducks work hard paddling under water while they look serene as they glide along – hard work creates serenity through organisation and planning for it. Enjoying the flow, the emotions both overwhelming and calm, seeing out the storm and reaping the benefits are other messages here.

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Walking in conscious awareness this way connects me with my guides and intuition. The messages are very confirming about what is happening in my life, give me some clear directions for moving ahead and hope for the future.

Here is a pattern to follow.

  1. Breathe and ground yourself and ask for your guides to be with you.
  2. Set a clear intention for your walk
  3. Walk with your mind relaxed, not thinking or wandering; allow it to take in your surroundings.
  4. Notice anything that presents to you.
  5. Write these down on completion of your walk.
  6. ‘Listen’ to how each of these sound to you when you write them. What do they mean for you with regard to your intention?
  7. How do these come together to make a story to answer your intention?

So, next time you go for a walk, why don’t you set your intention to find answers to something that’s been bothering you and see what happens. I wonder what you’ll discover?

Manifestation is a breeze for Seven Year Olds!


Manifestation

Are you having trouble manifesting your dreams? 

My advice is to watch how it’s done by the children around you!

I was highly amused by the conversation I had with my seven year old (nearly 8) grandson the other day when I picked him up from school. Later I took time to digest what had happened and marvelled in the wisdom of it.

The conversation went like this:

Ma: What do you want for your birthday?

A: Well, it’s on Tuesday so we’re coming over to your place after school and having dinner together.

Ma: Oh, are you? That’s nice; sounds like fun! But what do you want for your birthday?

A: Well I’d really like to have Sushi but if you don’t want that we could have something else. It’s ok.

Ma: Hmm not sure I know how to make sushi – we might have to think about that …. but what do you want for your birthday?

A: There’s this Ninja lego with 2 bikes that I’d like to have because I haven’t got it and it’s about $22

Ma: Do you use your lego? You’ve got a lot of it.

A: Yes I use it nearly every day after school.

Great exercise in manifestation. Do you think he will manifest his dreams?

He knew what he wanted and imagined it exactly as he wanted it to happen; lived it in his mind.

He brought his dreams to the light to the right people and spoke of it as though it was a done deed already planned; to Ma and also to his parents later.

He also knew his audience as he made everything even the present a possibility; flexibility and price!

No doubts or fears or negativity here!

Manifestation here it comes!!

Love him to bits.

We learn so much if we just take a moment to observe.

Blessings

Betsy