We live in Shamanic times. Change is the name of the game and things are speeding up-sometimes way out of control. Each day I have contact with people from across the country and abroad who are asking the same questions. They want to know how they and their loved ones can make major life changes with more consciousness and less suffering. People are struggling with confusion, depression, anxiety, grief, anger, relationship issues and a variety of addictions.
My heart goes out to each and every one of those who contact me, and I place all of these people on my altar of prayers every morning. I am no stranger to change and I have suffered through many a loss in my lifetime. I have tried many approaches, attempted many shortcuts and used various techniques, all of which eventually led to the creation of Venus Rising, the Shamanic Breathwork Process™ (SBP) and my present work. The foundation of my work as a teacher, as well as all of my personal growth, is based on a model I call the "Five Cycles of Change." This model of how change happens is a useful road map for surfing through the tumbling waves of chaos that often accompany the transition from one way of being to another.
The Five Cycles of Change consists of five very specific energies. The first cycle is related to water and is a time of rest and nurturing and preparing for the journey. The second cycle is related to earth and is a time to sort out what is not working and to get some grounding and support. We then move into the third cycle, which is related to fire and involves taking the actions needed for transformation.
You might think that this is all that is needed, but in my own journey I have found my so-called will and actions can often be motivated by my ego mind and fear. The fourth cycle is most important to me-surrendering my life to my sacred source and higher power to guide and direct me to the highest outcome. This requires that I let go of my control. This is where the rubber meets the road. Many folks are with me until we get to this part of the journey and then they balk. It is understandable why any of us would get stuck here, but make no mistake about it…if you cannot let go and you continue to hold on to the old…you are stuck!
This is like the old saying my Mammy used to say to me when I was a little girl, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink." We can take action and move into the fires of transformation, but at some point we must surrender to God, Goddess, Higher Power, or whatever you call it, and allow that magnificent, loving force to bring us our highest good. I learned this many years ago after several mis-creations along the way. I wish I could say it was a lesson I only needed to learn once, but perhaps the lessons have deepened over time and contributed to the teachings I offer now. I remember to affirm to my higher power what I think I may need or want and then I add in this phrase, "Creator…this or something better." With this affirmation, I am opening myself to the highest truth.
The fifth cycle births us into a new way of being-or seeing-and relating to ourselves and the world around us. It is called rebirth and can be a place of extreme vulnerability. It is also a place of feeling high…of renewal and wisdom. We look out into our world with new eyes and a heart full of loving gratitude.
As we find ourselves spiraling more and more through these cycles, we can become accustomed to the process and the changes we will need to make along the way. The Shamanic Breathwork Process™ is one of the most effective tools that can help us see more clearly where we are headed and what is needed to get there. The Five Cycles of Change are amplified through the SBW process and the process of change can be accelerated with the development of Shamanic Consciousness.
To live in Shamanic Consciousness is to live consciously through these Five Cycles of Change rather than going back to sleep and resisting the constant process of death and rebirth. We all have a future self calling to us much like the caterpillar is called by the future self, or soul, of the butterfly. It is our destiny to become over and over again something new and if we allow our ego minds to control us then we begin to die one way or another. When we become locked in fear of what we will lose we often look for an easier, softer way. I understand…I have made many attempts to avoid the void…They never worked-or at least not for long-and they delayed the inevitable. It is much like drugging a mother to slow the process of delivery, or even pushing the baby into the womb. If that happens for too long both the mother and the child’s lives are endangered, and so are our hopes and dreams.
The Five Cycles of Change apply from the smallest of changes to the greatest of transformations. Integrating an understanding of these cycles into one’s life makes the process easier. This is a path of higher love and wisdom, and like any spiritual path it involves the practice of remembering to incorporate these concepts into our daily lives. As we deepen our faith and trust the process of death and rebirth-and hold conscious awareness as we move through these cycles of change-we struggle less and move through the birth canal and into a new phase of life more quickly. This is Shamanic Consciousness.