The consciousness we develop in ourselves in each lifetime extends beyond the physical body. It exists prior to being born and after we die. Therefore, our obligation is to live the truth encoded in us to the best of our ability, and our contribution is to evolve our individual consciousness in a way that uplifts humanity’s collective consciousness.
Given the decisions we make as we stumble to evolve, we can chose to exhibit either the best or the worst of our humanness. The foundational teaching of all my mentors is that in order to live as conscientious human beings we must hold ourselves accountable for our inner state, and thus for what we project back out into the world around us. And so, as we learn from and acknowledge those weaknesses and frailties that have broken the bonds of loving ourselves, we can stop blaming others and instead choose to do our best to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of loving ourselves as we move forward.
When we live authentically in connection with Oneness, we do not need to take from another, be the target for others’ problems and insecurities, or make ourselves small, as many of us do. To be in alignment with Oneness guides us toward two major realizations: we are able to glimpse, if only momentarily, the capacity of our personal power, and we get a peek at the reality that humanity belongs to the Legions of Light.
When we live with the awareness that our actions affect not only us but seven generations forward, we can more easily shift from the selfish, narcissistic me to the magnanimous we. I struggle to live this promise day to day, not only for myself and for my daughter, Nyssa, but for all those who will follow, who will inherit a world fashioned from the impact of my—and your—decisions and actions.
I have been blessed to have had many extraordinary mentors, some have touched me profoundly, albeit momentarily and we have never crossed paths again. Others have lingered longer and been powerful examples of generosity and dignity as they shared their cultural teachings.
I am sure each one of you, once you look around, will recognize those who have helped guide you. As my teacher Maya Perez suggested, “Everyone is a teacher for someone and the teachings can come in the simplest of ways if we listen with our hearts.” The lifelong journey of restoring the Self requires maneuvering between the known and the unknown, the expected and the unexpected.
In some regard, the signposts on my personal path have been deaths: of people I’ve loved, relationships, and beliefs. All of these breaks in the fabric of life have forced me to walk between the darkness and the daylight, through the terrain of the middle distances. The teachings can be crystallized to one core message— something we all know in our hearts but tend not to live so well—and it is best stated by Rumi:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The way toward opening ourselves to love is through forgiveness, although the path of forgiveness can be strewn with rocks. All of our feelings, as we learn to forgive ourselves and others, become stepping-stones toward finding inner peace, because the definition of who we are and what we experience comes from what we choose to release or what we choose to hold on to. As Maya once said, with every person we forgive, including ourselves, we heal another cell in our body.
Being able to forgive those who we feel have hurt, disrespected, or betrayed us—or even died to us—starts with the realization that something we desired has not happened for us, but has instead provided the mirror for a lesson—a very human lesson. Many times throughout the years, I railed, cried, and placed blame, but the truth is that the only person I had to open my heart in forgiveness to was myself. Ultimately what I had learned to forgive was how I had chosen to experience my life’s lessons, and realized that this Earthwalk is merely one of many on the path to evolve the Self. As Maya had reminded me many times, “Everything is perfect just the way it unfolds.”
When we lose our personal connection to our truth we are at the mercy of learning from pain, a process Gram Twylah called “learning from opposites.” She taught that “if you avoid your inner truth, it affects your inner love and your inner peace, and the pain will last longer.” The charge we carry energetically when we don’t release our pain, our sins, each other, or even our fear of death holds us from the experiences our soul incarnated to master.
As human beings we often project our separation from Self onto someone or something else. Projection has its basis in self-justifications, distortions, and even acts of injustice and cruelty—which are the reactions of the ego—and, at its worst, supports unconscious living. Although we need a healthy ego to negotiate our everyday reality, the wounded ego can confine us within a false, fixed reality.
As Oh Shinnah has suggested, our ability to “confront fixed realities” demands a practice, not necessarily a shamanic one, but some kind of discipline that allows us to develop the sensitivities to trust our inner knowing and to be responsible, accountable adults; and to surrender to the challenges that may guide us towards personal change, and ultimately more fulfillment. Gram Twy’s words still ring in my ears,
“If you are not living your truth, open and humble to learn, you can’t be in service to others, because you have not been in service to yourself. As human beings we need to learn to face our challenges in increments; this is not always convenient or comfortable, but learning is better than not trying at all.”
Impeccability is something we have to continually strive for, doing our best moment to moment, not lying to ourselves or to others. This also means reaching for objectivity and balance, over self-serving beliefs and actions.
As Gram taught, our gifts of birth help us to discover the truth of the meaning in our individual Earthwalk, whereas our fears serve as a warning system about what we still need to awaken to in that walk. Angst is a lie put forth by our emotional body when we don’t recognize that our fear of separation is both a wound we carried in with us when we separated from our divine memory and a forgetting of our connection to Source.
As religion, spirituality, and metaphysics teach, the way to divine radiance is through the intent to work from unconditional love: first, because it is based in the collective unconscious and, second, because our thoughts are what cause our reality. Gram suggested, “We have to start wherever we find ourselves. We, and all life, are part of Great Mystery, and the Mystery loves all equally and unconditionally in every moment.” This present moment is the point in time in which we create our future reality; it is our gift to the Universal Self in each Earthwalk.
Gram Kitty once said, “When fear or darkness comes into your life, look past your confusion to your options and find the path that contains heart energy. The path of the heart is the only road home.” While it is true that in a relationship we are responsible only for our half of the equation, it not quite accurate energetically, for, as grandiose as this might sound, the condition of each of our hearts in a cumulative way affects the web of the world.
Imagine what we could finally accomplish if we committed to coming from the power of the heart to alleviate our own suffering and that of those closest to us before we tackle it in larger spheres of relationship. How can we possibly expect opposing countries or diverse religious groups to honor and respect each other if we can’t find the means to accomplish that within the inner circle of our partnerships or family units?
The intimacy we seek with anything or anyone cannot evolve honestly or fully become manifest without first finding it within the Self. That is cosmic law. Thus our outer world is shaped by each of us doing our inner work, and although that is not easy, it is necessary because our life is the prayer we offer while here.
As we approach the shift of the ages, it is our success or not in learning the Language of Love that will either move us toward unity consciousness or keep us in separateness. Over the years, I have come to the realization that no matter how often I slip off course, it does not mean I have failed myself, or the teachings, but is just one more opportunity from the universe to honestly show up and participate in the game. It is a cliché in metaphysical circles to say we are all both teachers and students, but there is real truth to that. And that is true for all of us—we are either teaching or being taught.
Just as there are no mistakes, only learning curves, there is also no right or wrong way to live your Earthwalk as long as you are moving forward in a way that does not contribute to the chaos. To enrich our lives none of us need crystals, a mesa, ayahuasca, rosary beads, sacred sites, or anything else. Any shamanic or spiritual practice shows us, ultimately, that the richness of this life is found in the living of it. We are asked to cultivate compassion, first for ourselves and then for others, removing the patterns or restrictions that separate us from both our self and each other, instead of learning how to merge.
Living through compassion is both the service we offer each other and the challenge we face as we walk between our personal darkness and daylight.
©2012, 2014 by Sandra Corcoran. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
Bear and Company. www.InnerTraditions.com
Shamanic Awakening: My Journey between the Dark and the Daylight
by Sandra Corcoran.
Sandra Corcoran, M.Ed., is a shamanistic counselor trained for thirty years in traditional and esoteric healing techniques throughout the Americas and Europe. She is cofounder of the STAR Process soul retrieval method and offers workshops and sacred journeys nationally and internationally. She has a private practice in Natick, Massachusetts. Visit her website at www.starwalkervisions.com