Shamanic

ADDICTION FROM A SHAMANIC VIEWPOINT

It is becoming clearer to many that addiction is a disease or illness, not a choice we consciously make that we should be punished for. God knows we punish ourselves and suffer enough in this life without “society” and law makers punishing us further simply because we are not well. A very long time ago I read that all disease could be seen as dis-ease i.e. not being at ease or at peace with ourselves. So is addiction to anything actually really just dis-ease? The roots of which lay in learned behaviour?

Addiction is, from my perception, certainly a symptom of a far deeper cause than that which lays on the behavioural, psychological and physiological surface.  Western medicine primarily always looks at symptoms and what can be seen, attempts to treat that solely usually with chemicals or surgery and rarely does it look for causes that to the naked or microscopic eye are unseen. Yet when we find and heal cause within ourselves of physical symptoms, dis-ease, or behaviour we do not find acceptable, would like to not be experiencing or are subconsciously participating in, the symptoms just simply no longer exist. From birth we are taught to seek outside ourselves for what we need to make us feel good – love, encouragement, nurturing, guidance, cuddles, belief in ourselves etc.

As the child of an alcoholic step-father and cigarette smoking mother their addictions became learned behaviour for me so it stood to reason that as they were the two main ways in which I was shown adults behaved and coped with whatever they were trying to cope with, that I would naturally follow in their footsteps. As a teenager from about 14 onwards after a rape situation occurred I began to consume cigarettes. Not long after when I left home due to the situation I was living in there, I began to consume alcohol and drugs to the point I damn near killed myself. Surviving on little food, drugs, cigarettes, coffee and alcohol was not at all healthy, nor was it a good mix, reducing my weight so dramatically after six months, the only clothes I could wear were size 16 children’s clothing and I was so unwell that not even my own mother recognised me.

I didn’t feel that anyone cared about me, so why should I care? What did it really matter whether I lived or not? All I wanted to do was have a good time and feel better. I did not want, at all, to feel the pain and sadness of not feeling loved, cared for, cared about or understood, of being hit, yelled at, controlled, nor the fear of the alcoholic induced, often physical, arguments and abuse I had been living with since about 6 years of age on a regular and totally unpredictable basis.

To say I, like so many people in this world, grew up in a dysfunctional environment is putting it mildly. My consumption of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes lessened for a short while after another whose love for me quite literally saved my life by showing me they were the only person in my life who did care which gave me the gift of hope and I once again started ingesting regular meals.   I then slid back into copious ingesting of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes whenever I got the opportunity to do so after I was involved in a fatal car accident at 17 in which the young man I had been living with for six months was killed. Back in those days there was no counselling available like there is now.

There was also no funeral and no grave for this young man who lost his life to a drunk driver at only 23 years of age. I was seriously injured and it took a good six months for me to learn how to walk again. The only words I heard at the time from my step-father were “Write down how much pain you are in each day so we can get more money.” The only people in my family who even said they were sorry I had been injured and this young man had died was my mother and one of my step-brothers.   For everyone else in my immediate circle it seemed to me to be a case of suck it up buttercup and just get on with your life.

Drugs, cigarettes and alcohol became my friends, they numbed me from feeling all that was going on inside me. They distracted me and they became my “pain killers”, my “feel good medicine” of choice because I simply had no knowledge of other coping skills I could utilise. The catch being, as all addicts know, is that once we start down this path our brains and our bodies tell us we need more and more “feel good medicine” and “pain killers” to maintain that feel good state of being, to actually cope and survive, to not feel all that pain, anger, grief and sadness living within us that is so very real and raw and it is a very slippery slope we travel until eventually we either kill our bodies or our lives fall apart so badly we hit rock bottom.

We have two choices if we actually do survive and hit rock bottom, continue as we have done and physically die, or trawl the depths and start to bounce back from what feels like the bottomless black hole we have been sucked into that also very much feels like a literal hell or nightmare there often seems to be no escaping from.   Thankfully I was one who chose to trawl the depths and bounce back when in 1992 at 28 I was again faced with my own impending physical death.

What I came to understand as I started to walk the path of the Shaman which was a path that at the time I had no clue I was even walking, was that I, like so many other folk in this world, was actually experiencing what in Shamanic terms is known as Soul loss.

Soul loss can best be described as us becoming like the walking dead, merely surviving, not living and thriving as was intended, simply because who we truly are is not fully present in our bodies.  Parts of us that have not wanted to feel grief, trauma, fear, shock, loss or pain have fragmented off into the subconscious abyss and in very simple terms it is like we are not fully at home in our bodies when we are ingesting substances or distracting ourselves with addictive behaviours or by external means in order to make us feel better or not feel our pain. It is literally like we have huge energetic holes in us, great gaping wounds that we defend, need others to fill, or don’t want to feel the pain of because they are so raw and we are so very vulnerable.

These energetic holes we have, we attempt to fill with external substances or means which consequentially then just make our bodies and our minds very sick indeed. We behave in ways not previously known to us once we start on the road of addiction and it is also not behaviour that those close to us know from us as being “normal”. How many times does the drunken or high person just not seem to be themselves? It is like we become totally different people, often aggressive, angry, totally uncaring and hurtful towards others simply because we are hurting and we just don’t give a damn. We become harmful to ourselves and others and we often have absolutely no memory the next day of our behaviour.

Our behaviour however is NOT us, it is a symptom or cover up if you like hiding whatever we have experienced or been conditioned to believe. How many times does the drunken or drugged person lash out in Jekyll and Hyde fashion?   You never really know what to expect but you just know that who you know that person to be is no longer present in the body in front of you.   This is because we are definitely NOT ourselves at all. Who we truly are is no longer contained in our bodies. What primarily happens with ingesting alcohol and drugs is that when who we truly are checks out of our bodies it’s like an empty house and other “darker” energies with perhaps not so good intentions take over.   This may seem like a very strange and far-fetched concept to many but perhaps for those who have lived it, seen it in others, you will know precisely what I am referring to.

So… how do we heal these gaps and holes we try to fill by external means? How do we stop this happening? How do we change our behaviour? How do we become fully present in our bodies and become whole, well and healthy again?   There is only one way I personally found and that was firstly to make a decision I didn’t want to be that way any longer given that I was so out of control at times, often very re-active, aggressive, defensive, angry, miserable, depressed and more times than not, suicidal.

I did not do the whole re-hab thing, nor did I do AA or have any other types of support in place similar to those, I just said enough when I was faced with my own impending physical death, for the fear of death at 28, which I no longer carry, put the wind up me, literally, and I prayed like I had never prayed in my life prior to be free of it all and to feel nothing but peace, love and acceptance within me.

What ensued was 10 solid years of feeling ever so much grief, trauma, pain, confusion and sadness as I firstly turned to alternative therapies to help heal my body because all the doctors I saw over a six month period all said there was nothing wrong with me – here have some Prozac, meanwhile my body was shutting down more and more each day.   I uncovered and discovered all my physical symptoms were due to constant abuse and unfelt emotions, which I also discovered did not just come from this lifetime but past lifetime experiences as well, all of which had resulted in symptoms associated with having a blocked small intestine and kidneys that were barely working.

I trusted all I was drawn to and underwent attunement to Reiki/Seichim, learnt how to work with my dreams, attended many courses, began walking, meditations and yoga, ate better, studied for two Diplomas in Counselling, one Holistic, one standard that also included some alternative modalities. I read all I could get my hands on, discovering along the way many fragmented parts of me, along with many gifts and skills I never even knew existed within me. Gradually my addictions abated but always there is work to be done.

Physical pains were always linked in with emotional pain, the true cause and source of which came to me either via dreaming or during meditations (which is really the same state of consciousness) and it truly was only in the fully feeling of ALL the emotions that bubbled up from within me and by integrating/re-membering i.e. bringing into being, the fragmented parts of me I re-connected with in The Dreaming, that eventually there was peace. I came to see that time did not exist as we know it to exist, that past definitely has an impact on the present until we heal it by fully feeling it and releasing it (shutting the door on it and just saying past is past, forget it and get on with your life, simply does not work) and that the emotions which came with memories or in the dreaming, meditations etc., were just energy passing through.

Rather than numbing those emotions, once felt and released, with each and every process of integration and release, a strength, love, acceptance, understanding and peace began filling me up like nothing I had ever experienced before. There is an old saying you may have heard of – The cup must be emptied before it can be filled.   This was certainly the case for me and I began to live by the motto which Jamie Sams brought into the world “To feel is to heal.”

Emotional pain is the LAST thing any of us want to feel – we do everything we can to avoid it yet it is only in feeling it, that we truly do heal it and are free of it. Was it easy work?   Definitely not.   Was it lonely work? It certainly was. Was it worth it? Without a doubt. For I learnt the hard way that no matter what I chose to ingest that was external to me, no matter how much I sought love and acceptance externally from others, no matter what I did to feel “better”, and no matter how “strong” I had been to just carry on Columbus and survive it all, the real strength came when I turned fully inward to find, eventually, all I needed was already inside me for me the love, peace, wisdom, knowing and acceptance I was seeking only came when I paid attention to what my dreams and daily life were showing me and what my memories and emotions were telling me about myself and about life. As I uncovered who I truly was I also discovered there would never be a need again for me to re-cover my Self.

To free ourselves from addiction is a huge undertaking as there is so much in this world we can become attached and addicted to. It is however achievable if we have the courage, faith and trust needed to turn inward, face our fears, grief, pain and trauma, feel it all fully and be free of it once and for all. Many of us are so busy telling our stories, which whilst important, does not enable us to actually feel the emotion contained in those stories for our stories come from our heads.

No-one can do this work for us, it is something we all must do for ourselves for it is only in doing for Self that we become more Self-aware, more Self responsible, heal and become more Self empowered. It is not at all selfish to do this work for it brings about self-centeredness, balance, peace, love, acceptance, respect for all life and an awareness of our wholeness with all life, like nothing else we have ever experienced can, all of which is then reflected back to us in the world.

The choice whether we do this work or not is entirely ours to make. We can keep going as we have been or we can quite literally turn our whole world and reality around by coming from the inside out and in doing so move out of the nightmare of externalism, blame, victim mentality, attack, defence and addiction.

Much love and peace to all.

Cheers, Cheryl.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

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#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

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THE SYMBOLIC NATURE OF WEATHER

How often do you really notice the weather and its’ reflection of what is going on inside of you at the time?

It never ceases to amaze me how often I hear folk saying what a horrible day it is when it is raining, or it’s not going to be a good weekend due to rain.  Have you ever noticed this?  Does everyone really expect to walk only in the sunshine?

To me many people seem to become thoroughly miserable when it rains and I often wonder why folk choose to run for shelter and protection when it does rain.  Are we all going to melt or something if we get wet? Or… is this running for protection and shelter symbolic of people really not wanting to do the inner work that would bring about cleansing and change by fully feeling their emotions?

If you stop and pay attention to your feelings when it is raining you may just find that you are going through some sort of emotional releasing process yourself.  Frogs always call out in the rain and generally speaking frogs symbolise transformation and also cleansing, as does rain. Sometimes the rain can just be a drizzle, other times a damn good downpour – how does this relate to your emotions?

When the rain stops so too do the frogs.  The Sun then comes out again representing warmth and light and everything on the Earth is fresh and clean again.  Sometimes we may even see a Rainbow – symbolically speaking the colours of the Rainbow are a reflection of the colours of our Chakras – now all shining brightly due to our internal cleansing.

Floods are symbolic of major emotional releasing within human beings – if emotions aren’t released prior to one occurring by all of us being aware of and listening to our inner life then our emotions will certainly be released with the damage a flood causes.

Fog represents emotional cloudiness and many times when fog appears if you look at what is going on for you, you will soon notice that perhaps your mental and emotional faculties are not as crisp as they usually are.  Perhaps you are in a state of confusion over something.

I’ve also noticed that Wind is not only related to “the winds of change” but in some instances anger.  So perhaps cyclones, tornados and hurricanes are symbolic of the collective consciousness needing to release that energy from themselves and the Earth.  The Earth symbolises the physical body.

Lightening and Storms are my favourites because they produce incredible energy and transformation for the Earth and all who live on her.  I like nothing better than to watch a damn good storm.   There is a Native American story I read once where a storm is described in a similar way to what follows:

Mother Earth and Father Sky (being the feminine and masculine aspects of Creation) show their love for each other in a storm.  The Thunder Beings announce the prelude to the love making session between the two, sometimes it’s a slow rumble other times it gets extremely noisy.  The Wind being the element of Spirit and Life Force plays a major part of the foreplay and can start off being gentle, soft and caressing leading up to wild and turbulent as the passion between the energies increases.

As the intensity of this beautiful lovemaking performance gains momentum and reaches a climax the lightening begins to strike the Earth Mother, charging the Earth’s energy grids with new life force – bit like sperm in a sense with the Earth being the ovum I suppose.  Then usually comes the rain which just like sperm impregnates the Earth Mother enabling her to nourish new life and continue growth.

Bet you’ll never think of a storm in the same way again.  I know I don’t.

Hail would therefore, to my way of thinking, represent cold long held onto emotions which need releasing.  Usually when a storm hits, again if you pay attention to what is going on in your life you may just realise that it is a marvellous reflection of what is happening for you.  We often use the terms “The calm before the Storm”, or “A storm in a teacup” when referring to personal circumstances but do we actually realise what we are truly saying?  We all know that with any big storm there is the “eye” – “I” of the Storm where peace and calm exist.  Again a beautiful reflection of our own “I” or centre where no matter what is going on around us externally peace and calm can be obtained by focussing on our breath and centering ourselves.

Whilst in some cultures the Sun represents the feminine, for me it represents the Masculine – “God/Great Spirit shining “his” light on the World.  The Moon again in some cultures represents the Masculine – for me it represents the feminine.

Not only do we hide from the rain but many of us hide from the Sun in fear of sun cancers.  We spend millions if not billions of dollars world-wide buying skin protection creams that are full of chemicals.  We believe we will get burnt by the Sun if we are exposed to it for too long.  We then dump the containers of the protective sunscreens into the Earth.

I have to wonder if perhaps many of the skin cancers that have only been developing in recent times aren’t in fact due to the fact that many of us have become extremely lazy, spending most of our time indoors in artificial environments, or if perhaps, just maybe the skin cancers are occurring due to all the chemicals that go into the production of our food and drinking water which we then ingest.  We also put an endless assortment of chemicals into our bodies in order to try and “heal” it and “protect” it.

Without a balance of rain, sun, wind and storms there would simply be no life on this planet.  So next time it’s raining perhaps instead of complaining about it we could all just actually stop and enjoy it fully whilst giving thanks for the gifts of cleansing, growth and change it actually brings us.

How long has it been since you stood barefoot on Mother Earth and let the gifts of rain wash over you and through you?

Cheers, Cheryl.

Copyright C. O’Connor 2014.

 

•*´☾☆☽`*•

‪#‎Cheryl‬ O’Connor.
‪#‎Holistic‬ ‪#‎Counsellor‬, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in ‪#‎Dream‬ ‪#‎Analysis‬/‪#‎Conscious‬ ‪#‎Dreaming‬ & ‪#‎Shamanic‬ Journeying.
* ‪#‎Reiki‬/‪#‎Seichim‬ Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis ‪#‎Meditation‬.

Newsletter Subscription @ bit.ly/CheocoNews – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 10 pages of awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering the language of your Soul, your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.

Website @ www.cheocoenterprises.com
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

FB: https://www.facebook.com/cheocoenterprises
Skype: cheryloconnor333

Twitter: Cheryl O’Connor@Cheoco99
Email: cheoco99@yahoo.com.au

WOLF MEDICINE

Image

Wolves in general over time have been given a rather bad name and many fear them, simply because they do not understand them and I doubt our perception of them in stories like Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs etc. did much to endear them to us as children.

Highly intelligent creatures and for me extremely beautiful animals they exist within a pack that has a very definite hierarchy.  Each Wolf knowing its place within that system.  Whilst this system exists there is also a certain amount of democracy to the way they function.  Just depends on the circumstances of the moment as to whether the rules are followed or freedom of choice is allowed and all know what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour and the consequences should they choose to break the rules.

They are very strong animals, extremely protective of their young, they work together – bringing in a strong sense of community.  They travel great distances in order to catch prey gorging themselves fully and wasting nothing of that prey once they catch it.  They are also very loyal to their own kind taking one partner only for life and having a very strong sense of family about them.   Yet there is also a strong individualistic urge within each.

Whilst they are assertive, they do not fight for the sake of fighting, or attack unless threatened, they are very territorial but often just a look or a growl is enough to be a deterrent to anything threatening them or annoying them.  (Just ask my daughter and those who know me well and they will tell you how true this is.)

I recently experienced the last group sleep over for my son’s birthday, requesting that the 5 boys entrusted in my care please not wake me when I went to bed.  Around 2am I was woken by their loud chatterings and yelled out asking them to please keep it down.  They agreed but about 10 – 15 minutes later I was again woken, this time more fully and as I walked through the lounge area in the Bat Cave towards the kitchen I just looked at them all and totally unplanned and unconsciously let out a rather loud Wolfy growl.  I’ve honestly never seen 5 boys move so quickly in my life into their respective sleeping spots for the night and I never heard another peep out of any of them.  I was later told my Wolfy growl scared the crap out of them.   Who knew a growl could be so effective and so, being part Wolf does indeed have many advantages.

Their main prey is Deer and they only take on that which they know they can handle.  Generally speaking they only kill that which is already sick or weak.  Their senses are also very keen – particularly their sense of smell and hearing.  Having Wolf as one of my main totems I also find Wolves to be rather fearless, curious creatures and extremely loving and compassionate, yet firm and decisive.   There are a few stories throughout the ages that come to mind about how human children have been adopted by Wolves – The Jungle Book for one.

Wolf is associated with the Moon – which in some cultures is the energy of the feminine, psychic energy and the subconscious.  I personally see Wolf as being a symbol of the Wild Feminine Spirit within each of us here on Earth due to its nature and strong connection to the Moon.

Native Americans refer to the Stars as “The Great Star Nation” – within The Great Star Nation exists the Dog Star – Sirius – which represents Wolf.   In Egyptian times Sirius was known as the home of the Gods and during my research on Wolf I read that a tribe in Africa still believe this to be so.

For Native Americans their legends also speak of Sirius being the original home of their teachers in ancient times and therefore Wolf people form part of the Clan of Teachers.  Wolf being the tribe’s greatest teacher as those with Wolf Medicine often carve new paths for the betterment of humanity and are known as Path Finders.

Wolf’s Medicine brings us all the attributes of Wolf and one of the main tasks I have found with Wolf as my power ally/totem during many life times is to share my knowledge by way of writing and giving talks in such a way that it helps others to understand themselves more fully – their own unique beauty, individuality or path in life and their connection to all that exists.

Wolf Medicine is also about making and taking time to be alone – seeking out lonely places in nature – in order to become more aware of the teacher within, becoming more aware of our intuition, our wild feminine spirit and listening to it, as well as contributing to the betterment of humanity and finding balance between the two.

Whenever Wolf appears to you in any form a good question to ask yourself is “What are you teaching me about myself?”

Hooooowwwwwlllllll

Namaste.

© C. O’Connor 2014

•*´☾☆☽`*•

‪#‎Cheryl‬ O’Connor.
‪#‎Holistic‬ ‪#‎Counsellor‬, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in ‪#‎Dream‬ ‪#‎Analysis‬/‪#‎Conscious‬ ‪#‎Dreaming‬ & ‪#‎Shamanic‬ Journeying.
* ‪#‎Reiki‬/‪#‎Seichim‬ Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis ‪#‎Meditation‬.

* Proud member of The Wellness Universe – www.TheWellnessUniverse.com

#‎WUVIP

Newsletter Subscription @ bit.ly/CheocoNews – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 10 pages of awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering the language of your Soul, your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.

Website @ www.cheocoenterprises.com
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

FB: https://www.facebook.com/cheocoenterprises
Skype: cheryloconnor333

Twitter: Cheryl O’Connor@Cheoco99
Email: cheoco99@yahoo.com.au