I was recently asked about my shamanic practice, and how it relates to my work as a yoga therapist. My Camino post of the past year-to-the-day “Quantum Shifting Camino” is a good example of how I integrate shamanic paradigm with life, and ultimately with my healing practice; and the intentional engagement of metaphor sums it up.
Two years ago today, I walked out of a valley of darkness, sat and wept at the foot of Mary, and eventually crossed the “Queen’s Bridge”, in Puenta La Reina. Of course, as fate would have it, I’m also from the “Queen’s City”, Regina (sounds like Ra-ji-na…not Ra-gee-na), which is home to the longest bridge over the shortest body of water. What does all of this mean? Well, the beauty of self-empowerment is that what is means to me is what truly matters, as it was my Camino, and to engage metaphor for transformation I am the one who needs to perceive my life in a transformative and resourceful way.
Life is loaded with metaphor, in fact, perhaps life is only metaphor. Current science informs us that particles/waves of information are sensed, and then interpreted by our consciousness, and the resulting translation being what we understand (or stand on) reality with. Seeing/sensing is believing, AND pre-conceived notions/rut-sacks/beliefs can also determine what our consciousness translates as seen/sensed. (Remember the “count the number of basketball passes” video that had a gorilla walk through the screen and you completely missed it because all you were focused on was PAYING (or investing) your attention to counting passes…this is a great example of collapsing on the reality you were expecting/looking for/investing in).
Shamanic work is an conscious and intentional engagement with the unsolvable, but responsive mystery. What is spirit, subtle body, soul?? I don’t know, and I would never assume to be able to solve the essential nature of that mystery. But, I respect it and am willing to learn how to responsibly engage with the reality of it. For me, metaphor is my best way of understanding and engaging with spiritual/subtle layers of reality. I appreciate that using my imagination/active thinking mind to construct through imagery and story-line, I am participating with the seed of reality: engaging creativity. I also respect the laws of nature, and the dynamic tension, that pre-fabricated/woven/dreamed reality (aka matter) demands. We can dream all we want, with a certain level of consequence, but if we do not marry it with choice-in-action, than that the dream/thought/seed struggles to find ground, take shape and come to fruition.
If I’m struggling to sound clear, it is likely because I am still working at finding language to frame what still generally feels elusive and lucid to me. And I accept that.
Anyhow, today when I reflect on my Camino-in-Writing, even more so than I saw last year, I see the profound magic of the metaphors along my walk. I see that today I was walking THROUGH shadows, greeted by the divine feminine I was waiting to claim in myself, and eventually embodied that integration by crossing the Queen’s Bridge.
We could live life void of metaphor and meaning…but for me, it would be a soul-less one, and I’d be left starving. Considering the abundance of beauty flowing from the cornucopia of life, I see no need to go hungry.