Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shift of Seasons.

I’ve been teaching, lecturing and writing about Shamanism, Sacred Circle Tradition and Indigenous Dreaming for a little over 25 years.  I’ve come to notice that in my field of work the older you are the better it is.

And it makes sense…  Naturally it’s not only about age it’s about the time and the effort consecrated to the understanding of personal experience.  It’s about consciousness.

Shamanism is a field; which specifically requires trusting and surrendering to our personal experience.  It’s about collecting resources through learning, healing and growing. We may all relate to nature and the stars from different angles; but it’s only after 47 years of empirically studying the way of the Wheel that I can finally say: “I get it.” 

I’ve come to understand that in Western Society we are too quick to share.  We’ve been brought up to give a lot of importance to emotional reactions.  As soon as we’re excited, sad or impressed we jump on the phone or computer to tell someone about it.  With texting these days, it’s even easier to react to reactions…  Repeatedly I’ve seen 20 year olds often jump over huddles wanting the resources, respect and authority of 50 year olds.  I think most of us cringe at the idea of earning our place in the world.  On the other hand, how many 40 year olds wish they could go back in time where innocence and immaturity gave way to unlimited potentiality? One way or the other, each of these perceptions unfortunately show us how we weren’t taught to sit still, assimilate and integrate. 

It’s incredible how much you can get from an experience if you can take the time to listen.

From an earlier blog (December 24th, 2010)
Our ancestors used to sit and watch the birds, the porcupines, the deer, the caribou, the seasons, the trees etc…. They had knowledge of nature because they were part of it. They listened. I think that we could eliminate at least 50% of our problems if we learnt how to listen. Many years ago I gave a workshop on hypersensitivity and one of the participants, a young woman in her early thirties had the bad habit of always interrupting me in mid-sentence to share her story. She wanted to show everyone how her story was compatible with what I was saying.

At some point, I stopped her and said: “You are not listening.”

Upset with my statement she refused to ever share her story again.  My statement brought up all kinds of personal issues:  Mistrust issues, rejection issues, and issues of self-value. She understood my comment as implying; that “she was talking too much and her story wasn’t important.”

Listening is a process and a skill that needs practice. It’s true that at first when you learn to listen you need to be silent; but with time, you can become a great listener even when you’re talking. Recently I explained to IL in one of our weekly classes; that “she has a tendency of interpreting what people are saying according to her own experience.”

“Listening” I told everyone “is about being present to the reality of others and to be able to see where they are coming from. It has nothing to do with our story, our experience, our opinions etc…. It’s all about them.”
*If you want to read more of this blog refer to archives in Sept. 2010.


Twenty years ago I was called to walk this path.  Looking back I’m often impressed with where the journey took me.  Now, 47 years later I understand what many elders attempt to express when they speak of their experience as giving way to timeless lessons.  This summer my husband and I shared a table at Five Guys (Hamburger Restaurant) with an older couple.  They very openly shared with us that they were “new grand-parents.”  They seemed impressed with their experience and told us that “they were so much more patient and gentle with their grand-child” in comparison to their children.  Despite a few of their theories they both agreed that “time allowed them to mellow out.” 

“You are not as stressed with everything,” explained the man, “because you’ve been there and done that…”

Both my husband and I nodded to a few of their comments as if we had reached the same realisations.  I just loved the way we all came together: Four strangers unexpectedly crossing each other path over a meal.  20 years ago, I wouldn’t have taken the chance to invite myself at someone else’s table or even believed that such an action could open me up to great opportunities. What was even more impressive was how we managed to enjoy one another and honestly appreciate one another’s experience and wisdom. 

Heck! How many times have I tried to plan these kinds of connections and failed…

With my 47th Fall Equinox, this September I realized how important it is to acknowledge the seasons.   Nature mirrors the lessons we are being called to learn and experience; but it also invites us to grow in wisdom and to become one more natural testimony of LIFE.  It seems Humans are often about unresolved.  When I look at the animals, the trees, the insects etc… around me I often connect to the teachings they leave behind.  More and more lately I want to be one with every other creature out there: not above or bellow them; but one with them.  

P.S.  This blog entry is actually a journal entry I wrote this month.  I know that I what I've written in this text is a bit scattered; but it touches a few different dimensions of influential realities this month.  No doubt it speaks about how nature, the moon cycle and our human neighbors / family / and friends touch our lives.  More specifically it speaks of the seasons and how we are no doubt part of the process.


Emily said...

Lisa I love this.
It is very synchronic as I was just talking about the Seasons with JP this past Friday. We were in the car on the way to work and I felt in appreciation of the Seasons like never before. I have now lived through the 4 different Seasons in Canada, it feels like I've come full circle. I first arrived at the beginning of Autumn for the GG, then moved here in Winter, went through Spring, Summer and now back to Autumn. I see how different it is here from where I came from. I love the change from one to another, I love seeing and feeling the change outside and in my body. It is really magical and beautiful to experience it. I love to feel a part of it also, I see how my skin colour changes also with the Seasons, even my hair. Listening for sure is so important. I can definitely learn from Listening, and not going into reaction.
Listening and observing are two things I need to do more of right now, listening to and observing others, myself, Spirit and all that is around me.

Thank you for sharing. I also like to see what other people are living and exploring.

MaryRose Lessoway said...

Listening is definitely something that I am constantly working on.... I hope to master it some day!!

Michelle said...

I had a beautiful experience this week with an elder in one of the communities, he was making himself a tea and when we were waiting for our appointment with the administrator he made a comment about the weather and noted that we get such long winters here...I sat smiling listening to him and I think because he saw we were not going to interupt him he started into amazing stories about the animals and the relationship with the seasons. He told me stories about the bee hives being higher on the trees means we will have high snow fall, lower means not such a harsh winter. He stated that he was out quading and the hives are not so high on the trees. He commented how the animals tell us how the seasons will be he said if the squirrels are packing in huge piles he said get your parka ready. He laughed and said if the Beavers dams have alot of mud you better get some good boots for the snow. He was so free with his messages and when it was time for us to go see our appointment I thanked him for his information and smiled when I walked into the next office and saw a stuffed wolf with yellow eyes...I felt that everything I had heard was important for me to remember. The rest of the day was me looking at the trees and the animals seeing what I am not observant too. This blog helped me see I have to learn to listen and be aware of who is talking.

annie jackson said...