Review: Shapeshift Into Higher Consciousness9 comments
A year ago, I decided to do something to nurture my soul. Working hard to build my practice, study and teach Narrative Therapy, and attend to my family and home, I had been neglecting myself. Looking for a retreat that allowed me to pause my hectic life and spend time inside my heart rather than in my head, while at the same time supported my mission to help others, I signed up for a course at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Starting with a weekend program: Shapeshifting Consciousness with John Perkins, followed by a week long workshop (A.K.A.”play”shop) with him and Llyn Roberts, I jumped into my inner self and danced with Spirit for a while. It exceeded expectations and reflecting back now, I wonder: Did the teachers or time with Spirit make it a special week? Yes.
The program was structured around Shamanic Journeying (guided meditations) each beautifully building on the next, where we traveled to sacred places within our souls to receive information and energy from the Spirit world, bringing it back to the physical world to exact some change in ourselves, (i.e., a physical or emotional healing) or in our world (i.e., a commitment to carpool so as to decrease our carbon footprint.) On the journeys we connected to earth and cosmic energy, learned about ourselves and others, found understandings to previously perplexing problems, rejoined lost parts of our soul, met new spirit friends and teachers, and made ceremony so our learnings were sustained. In between journeys, we shared stories, communed with nature, ate mung beans, and generally had a lot fun being silly about it all.
Did you ever feel as though something was orchestrated just for you, because you were meant to have a particular experience? This is how the seven days felt. Like I was supposed to learn what I learned in the way and order I learned it, since I would understand it better that way. Also, I had experiences that brought something up that was part of my next lesson. As if a situation was placed before me to confuse me and unravel me, so the next day, I could learn what I had to in the journey that I wouldn’t have learned without that situation. And it felt as if I was supposed to meet the people I met. (I even met a doctor who taught me about Lyme Disease, which has coincidentally helped me so much this year with clients with Fibromyalgia.)
In fact this whole year following the workshop has felt orchestrated. The energy and work that I did at Omega last summer catapulted me onto a fast pace journey into the fall, where everything was a learning experience.
In general, I am a happy, cheerful and optimistic person. It could be the narrative therapist in me, (or perhaps what attracted me to narrative therapy in the first place): my eternal hopefulness. Actually, I was in the best emotional state I had ever been in my life when I went to these programs. On the first weekend, I felt free, expanded, and blissful and confident that there would never be anything for me to complain about ever again. Just for good measure, I made a silent prayer to be shown whatever else I had that was blocking me from God-Consciousness (even though I did not see it now) so that I may let that go, too. Committing to the shapeshift in whatever form it came, I set an intention to release whatever else kept me feeling separate, guilty or afraid.
Spirit honored my request this year, showing me issues I had long forgotten. (Be careful what you wish for…) I fell hard, but I am so much better for it. Sometimes it is not so easy to see these things, but the arduous lessons gave me opportunity to heal old emotional wounds and feelings about myself that I had been holding since childhood. Difficult as it was, I had to see these feelings in order to release them. The strength and connection to Spirit that I made during the workshop was paramount to this process by giving me endurance to forge ahead. Understanding that my own intention set the wheels in motion and knowing that I had tremendous spiritual support allowed me to welcome this “coming back to myself”, rather than fear it. After a grueling while, I requested that my lessons remain effective, but be brief and gentler and they were. (Did you know you can do this?)
It was a worthy experience where my ‘play’shop-mates and I benefited on many levels. Besides the bonus of staying on Omega’s campus, (where their environmentally friendly attitude is an inspiration), eating wonderful vegetarian food and having access to a beautiful landscape, kind staff, yoga, tai chi, mediation classes, lectures and performances, the Shapeshifting workshop was so fun! It healed us, taught us how to help others heal, had us laughing and playing, encouraged us to express ourselves, infused hope in our hearts, relieved us of feeling alone on the journey and gave us needed tools to take the next steps in our life. Higher Consciousness is where our kindness, love and influence can affect the change we want to see around us. The ceremony and community support imbued in us the courage and energy to take these steps. (In fact starting this blog was one of my action steps.)
I highly recommend this experience is for anyone who wants to shapeshift themselves or our world. Would that everyone could take time out of their schedule to do this.
Jodi Aman / /