We all know how important it is to nurture a sense of belonging within our bodies. The language may register at a certain level, perhaps cognitively in the mind. Yet there comes a time in our journey when things we understand in the mind must be anchored down into the body. Having a felt sense of the concepts that our minds have come to understand, is essential.
For instance, this concept of a sense of belonging. We may understand what this means in our heads; the idea of safety, security, and protection. This can be understood cognitively as a relationship. We have relationships to each other, to our human family, to the larger more-than-human world, and to this beloved planet. These relationships create constellations in which we can feel varying degrees of belonging.
Moving the sense of belonging from a cognitive definition into a felt experience is a process with no end. Like life, it is a work in progress, and we can only continue to deepen into the practices that sustain our health and well being with a strong will.
So, let’s have a look at three different signs that you are experiencing a felt sense of belonging, in order for you to amplify awareness around what the felt sense really feels like in the body.
- Relaxed Nervous System
The first sign we’ll look at is the state of our nervous system. Within a constellation where we belong, and feel that sense of belonging, we will likely be experiencing a relaxed nervous system across the board. We will not be experiencing any fight or flight responses (or at least minimal).
- Muted Internal Dialogue
The second sign that we’re experiencing a sense of belonging has to do with our internal landscape. Sometimes our monkey mind can run a muck. We all know this feeling, when thoughts seem to think themselves and they move at a mile a minute. Well, usually when we’re feeling that sense of belonging, the monkey mind is able to take a rest. There is way less mental chatter, and more spaciousness in our minds for present moment awareness. We experience more inner harmony that is in response to the harmony that surrounds us. It’s a feedback loop, and we feel it.
- Open-Hearted Authenticity
The last sign that we’ll explore together is about our ability to express authentically. When we’re in a relationship, group, space or place in which we belong, it will be easier for us to speak our truth. Authentically expressing comes more easily, due to the air of acceptance and inclusion that would be present. When we accept each other as we are and feel inclusivity toward each other, there becomes more space for our hearts to express their authentic voice. We feel this as a sensation of open-heartedness, where our heart space is emanating a coherence that is in harmony with the field around us.
There you have it! May those three signs serve to support you in celebrating how you fit within your constellations, whether in 1:1 relationships, groups, your affinity communities, or team dynamics.
It feels like a common sentiment to feel time passing quickly, doesn’t it? For many of us, it feels like the days are long and the years feel short. That time sometimes slips by us before we even hear the clock ticking. This feeling of time flying can be grounded in practice. Practicing the art of recognition, of acknowledgement, is something we’re being invited into now.
From one day to the next, one week followed by the one after, and each month continuing to unfold, we don’t often give ourselves a beat to recognize where we are. Well, consider this your invitation. We’re midway through the year, well into Summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps there’s a fair amount of change and transformation worth recognizing. Can you recall any goals you set out toward? Back in January, we entered into a new year and with it, likely felt a sense of commitment to something new. How is it all unfolding? Can you see the unfolding reflected in the people you surround yourself with? There are ways we can see our ongoing progress in the mirror of our friends and loved ones.
Celebrating the Little Wins
We’ve been conditioned to celebrate life’s large thresholds we cross and holidays, like when we graduate from high school or Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Yet, what about the little moments? The ‘little wins’ that are still worthy of acknowledgement. How can we create more space for these celebrations? It’s less a matter of creating a whole holiday celebration around completing your to-do list, as much as it’s an invitation into consistent recognition of the small things.
When smaller tasks are completed, can we create some space to celebrate? Can we pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge the completion?
We know that when things are completed with clarity of closure, it creates deeper and wider space for the next birthing. So, let’s be sure to celebrate and acknowledge each little win, so that our successes will continue to grow into their most expansive versions of themselves!
Self-reflection and Community
Doing this internally, with oneself, is the prerequisite for showing up in community this way. Once we become familiar with this practice of self-acknowledgement and gratitude expression, we are more poised to share this with community. The ecosystems we are woven into are permeated with our deeper sense of acknowledgement on our path. When we acknowledge our own journey, we bring that frequency into our community structures. When each step is acknowledged and celebrated (even the steps where we stub our toes or twist our ankles), we’re able to learn how to carry a rhythm all together, walking in harmony and beating our drums to the pace of our own heartbeats.
Shamanism is all about relationships. In this post, we’re going to explore what a shaman is, what role shamanism has played in different cultures around the world, and lastly, how a shamanic perspective can be integrated into your life.
So, what is a shaman?
Tracked back to the late 17th century through Russian etymology, the term shaman most likely originated in North Asia, where the Manchu-Tungus language described a personified version of the verb ‘to know’ (sa); the shaman is ‘one who knows’. Now, you may be thinking…the one who knows what? Perhaps we can think of it as the one who knows what we may not know.
What sorts of folks are there in your life that you look to for something you do not ‘know’? Perhaps a mechanic, or a doctor…you could think of anyone that you go to with trust. You trust that they know something that you do not. Now, when thinking of someone like this, there are aspects of training and experiential wisdom that are essential to trust building. This experiential wisdom, across pretty much every culture, looks like deep service in healing work for their communities.
Shamans are found in many different traditions, spanning across each continent, often sitting at the intersection of healing, arts, medicine and ritual. Within many traditions, we see correlations between shamanism and community health; bridging art into medicine and healing into ritual can make a big impact on a culture.
So, back to relationships. Bridging these oftentimes segmented and compartmentalized portions of society is the work the shaman does. Why? Because it’s important to understand (and tend) the relationships between and amongst all things.
The Here & Now
Alright, so maybe now you can feel more of a sense of what a shaman may be, and what role they’ve served their communities. Other than being vital contributors to the health of their community ecosystems, shamans are super connectors. They bridge realms, through and amongst dimensions, between and across species, and within many timelines. This is a way of being in relationship.
Is there an animal spirit that you feel a strong connection to? How could you strengthen this relationship? Perhaps it’s drawing the animal, or doing a dance to embody the feeling that this animal evokes in you.
At the end of the day, we are at a point in human history where it’s important for us to trust ourselves. We can begin to start sourcing internally what we’ve traditionally outsourced because we hadn’t invited our innate gifts to come fully online.
The time has arrived to empower our inner knowing, so that we can walk through life in the right relationship with the part of us that ‘knows’. In essence, there is an aspect of us that is shamanic, and that has shamanic abilities. It’s time to invite ourselves into trusting what comes through, feeling empowered by our inner knowing, staying surrendered to the fact that oftentimes the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know…
Humility is key, let’s keep expanding, friends!
This is an exciting time of year as Summer turns into Fall and we begin to reap what we sowed earlier in the year. Looking back to January, I had no idea we would be where we are today.
Today, we boost a growing community of Life Activation Practitioners and Ritual Masters who are generating more light and bringing more positive energy to Portland than ever before.
A whole new generation of Lightworker is emerging in Portland. They are savvy, experienced, and have lots of options to choose from since there are many high-quality holistic energy practitioners in the area.
If there are so many flavors of bringing in the New Paradigm, how could you NOT get involved? The commitment to service by this Lightworker community continues to floor me.
It has taken many years of growing and nurturing this community to get here, but finally the time has come to open our new Lightworker center in SW Portland at 1308 SW Bertha Blvd. behind the Fred Meyer—Burlingame!
We are calling it ‘Eternal Eden’ to capture an Earthy metaphysical feel of sophisticated luxury. Curious?
You’re invited to join us for a soft opening of our new Lightworker center in SW Portland. We’re excited to create a space for Lightworkers and others bringing in the new energy to come together in community and share their gifts.
We are greatly looking forward to this opportunity to celebrate and spread awareness of the work we do in the world as well with Love and Light!
Schedule of Events:
- 5pm – Doors open—Enjoy beverages and snacks as you meet and mingle with like-minded community.
- 6:30pm – Raffle prizes are drawn, must be present to win!
- 7:30pm – Evening with the Experts talk on “Ghosts”
- 9:30pm – Closing
Register here to let us know you’re coming Oct 30th!
Last weekend I had the pleasure to join the Landmark Advanced course in Portland. I haven’t done a Landmark program since 2009-2010 when I completed their first program in the Curriculum for Living called the Landmark Forum, and then their two advanced communication courses: Access to Power and Power to Create.
I gained a lot of personal empowerment from these courses, and as you know, personal empowerment is the name of my game. I dork out on this stuff. So, I wanted to share a bit about how difficult this advanced course was, and how glad I am that I participated, through a bit of case study example: let’s call him Charles.
First, for all the Landmark naysayers who complain about it being a cult or begrudge them for enrolling their participants in asking you to join them for a special evening where they try and sell you their programs: GET OVER IT! You get marketed to everyday by brands you that don’t even remember, and don’t begrudge them. You just ignore them. So why do you have a problem saying ‘no’ and ignoring these requests for your attention, if you aren’t interested?
By the way, many religions and sports are by definition cults too, so apparently being in a cult is socially acceptable. In other words, please don’t make Landmark Education wrong for asking for your business. It’s what American businesses do.
Speaking from the perspective of a business owner, asking your clients to refer you business is the most respectful form of marketing to you, the prospective client. One of my clients must think that my service is valuable enough that you might get something out of it. That’s a compliment to you and to me, the business owner. Not to mention that referral marketing keeps programs like Landmark’s incredibly cheap and accessible to everyone, compared to the value you are getting. How much do brands pay to advertise on T.V., radio, the internet, etc.?
Not to mention the fact that parts of this curriculum are also taught in some of the best ivy league schools in the nation, for those of you that need some other authority (besides yourself) to make things OK. If it’s good enough for Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc, it’s good enough for you.
Sorry, but had to get that off my chest…Ok…moving on.
The Problem with Saying No
There’s no problem with saying ‘no.’ I know, I know; that’s a contradiction with the header leading into this section, but I was setting you up on purpose. What I have to share about my evening is that I had a guy in my group, let’s call him Charles for anonymity, who was on a mission to say ‘no’. He got very angry and, dare I say ‘agro,’ about saying ‘no’ too.
Remember, you get what you’re looking for, and if you’re looking for people to be out of integrity, you WILL find that. We all say and do contradictory things. I’m not defending that, I’m just saying look at yourself too, Charles. You are out of integrity all the time. At others have the balls to admit it. If you look for it, you WILL find things you don’t like about how people are. So Charles, why not look for how the others out of integrity are contributing to you? That’s what I’m doing with my case study below.
How Charles was a contribution to me
I once had a music teacher say, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it big.” My first thought Charles was: you knew what you were getting into, you knew Landmark was going to ask you to enroll people in a possibility of taking their programs, that’s made abundantly clear in the experience before you got here (this is the second course), so why get so upset about it? After all, you chose to be here.
My second thought, and I didn’t see this until after a number of interactions with this guy where I knew he was going to say no, and he was clearly perturbed that I asked him anyway. It was like he didn’t want to have to say ‘no.’ Now that’s my story, but follow me here if you can. If your intention is to say ‘no’ as your context for being in a space, which is what Charles stated, and someone asks you a question, and you say ‘no,’ why are you getting angry about that?
So it gets better…after numerous aggressive ‘No’s from this man: once at the mike where he told everyone to F*#@ off, and once where he stomped out of his seat stepping on someone’s foot in the process, to the last ‘no’ where instead of saying ‘no’ he says, “Will you have sex with me?” The woman answers, “No.” and starts crying, and he looks at me with the message on this face “See, I told you so.” I realized something very profound—this guy’s really not OK with saying ‘No.’
If ‘No’ were no big deal, then why get so angry about saying ‘No’? Especially when you’ve setup the expectation that you’re going to say ‘No’ to everyone about everything! I mean, I expect it dude, no need to get aggressive.
The Final Touch
After this last, obviously hurtful interaction, Charles got up and left. It was then that I had my deepest realization. The guy didn’t apologize. I couldn’t help but think, this guy can’t forgive himself and he doesn’t trust us to forgive him either. He hears us continue to invite him back, but he can’t really understand that we love him despite his No’s and his aggression and that we’re willing to forgive him. But until he lets us forgive him, I don’t believe he’ll ever learn to forgive himself. And this is the highest form of love—the ability to forgive yourself.
By the way, if you’re going to be a tall, aggressive man in our culture, you have to be responsible for your impact on others.
So despite the praise my group gave me as their group leader, this was my failure of the Advanced Course. I didn’t call this guy out on his B.S., on hiding, on being a coward. I didn’t call him out for not apologizing when he hurt someone in my community, even if he was fully justified in declaring his right to say ‘No.’ Leaving after you hurt someone without apologizing means you don’t care about them or yourself.
I didn’t call him out on his unwillingness to let others be wrong and let himself be wrong, to recognize and be with that he hurt people, and invite him to let them forgive him anyway. To be forgiven is a courageous act. To forgive yourself requires even more fortitude.
But I will call out not him, but this behavior next time…for the benefit of our whole community.