Thursday, June 2, 2016

Renewal: A Path of Purpose

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog entry and it isn’t for lack of life experience.  Where do I start?


Spring came late this year; but when it did finally arrive it was beautiful, incredible and sweet as it always is.  The lilacs bloomed, the bushes were filled with flowers, the cedars sprouted through the fence, and the fresh perfume of grass and moss filled our nostrils.  So we couldn’t breath without sneezing for a month:  So what? The sunshine, the warmth and the flowers; they were all worth it.  Every year Spring is different and yet, every year Spring is Spring.  


Gérard and I give circles and dreaming workshops every year and when our regulars (students / dreamers) arrive we always tell them “how much they’ve changed.”  We may recognize their faces and their mannerisms; but their life story can be recognized through their attitudes, their body postures, and their eyes even. They are always surprised when we approach them with a word or comment that summarizes the last 9 to 12 months of their lives.

“How do you know?” they often ask.

One of the greatest complaints people bring to us (Gérard and me) is that of being “meaningless or invisible” in the lives of others.

“They don’t care, I don’t count…” are phrases we often hear. 

There seems to be this collective need to be heard, to be understood, and to be important to others.  Who doesn’t want purpose?  It’s not so much about “belonging” as it is about “being safe and secure” the way we believe we were in our mother’s womb.  We want to be welcomed, wanted, celebrated, and most of all accepted; but unfortunately we’re not given the path to purpose.   We agree we are all in search of the same experiences, yet even after all this time (250,000 years or more on Earth) we still don’t teach each other and our children the way to resolution. 

I told a friend / student today:  “Perhaps it’s because we don’t want it to end.  Perhaps the soul is so entranced with the endless potential of renewal that it has created an experience that can hypothetically always exist.”

Too many people create drama these days because they are looking to play centre stage in their lives and the lives of others.  I believe we are all born for a reason. We are exploring a story that hasn’t quite given us the ending yet.  Every incarnation gets us closer to understanding what the soul is pursuing.  I have no doubt we are all “seekers.”  Why else would we persevere through so many ordeals, challenges, and hardships? 

When people ask me: “What do you do in life?” 

I’m always somewhat surprised by the answers they expected.  People identify themselves to jobs and schooling.  They are conditioned to do two things:  Attempt to impress you or over power you.   Once they have done both, they are completely comfortable to tell you “they are mess”.   They were told and then, come to believe they are “worthless;” and yet they want YOU to believe they are “better than you.” It’s the constant inconsistencies; which throws us off…   

“We are all fucked up right?”  said a client once…

I believe the “World and a good number of the people in it are fucked up”; but I’ve never believed I was… 

The premise of our work (G and me) is to recognize that we all came into this World to live a story and that LIFE gives us an opportunity to experience and to react to this story.  Nothing is random and without reason.  My particular story fits me and in that attitude I feel gratitude and I feel blessed. 

Today a friend and elder thanked me for sharing my story with others. 

She said: “I don’t know if you realize how much your personal testimony gives courage, faith and hope to others?  You are important to people.”

I have two adult children and since the age of 23 years old they both chose to journey spiritually through a shamanic path.  In other words, they have joined the “flock” (so to speak).  I’ll admit that at first I was a bit worried about how they would integrate our shamanic community.  I was pleasantly surprised when they took their place like anyone else and accepted to do their work and explore their story with open curiosity and sincerity. 

In one of our Moonlodge circles / workshop my daughter openly admitted: “I do not come from a dysfunctional family.” 

In tears she explained how despite her happy family background she still struggles with attitudes, behaviours, and relationships. 

“I’m not happy” she acknowledged, “and I have to figure my shit out like anyone else. I fear that my story and my life’s challenges won’t be taken seriously because I can’t justify them by referring to a dysfunctional home setting.”   

Through her testimony several people realized that “blaming trauma, our parents and our upbringing” may not be the answer behind “why we are so discontent, lost and knee deep in addictions.”  There comes a point where it’s about truly exploring one’s inner basic nature.  What’s our story and what is it about it that brings us here and now?

When I call my adult children these days I always ask them: “What’s new?” 

The Medicine Wheel has 12 elements: 

  • Clarity, knowledge and illumination (East)
  • Growth, trust and love (South)
  • Experience, introspection and strength (West)
  • Renewal, purification and wisdom (North)

·        Out of the 12 elements we rarely speak of “renewal”.  Actually, clarity, growth, trust, love, experience, strength and wisdom over shadows the remaining elements.  The fact remains that these elements are steps in the journey and if we jump from stone to stone we inevitably explore every piece of the puzzle; which ultimately leads to “renewal.”   

By asking my adult children “what’s new” I ask them “what changed in you and in your life since the last time we spoke.”  I open the door to their stories; but mostly I open the door to the lessons learnt and the “renewal” it brought forth.  I want to know about “who they are becoming.”

‘You’ve changed” we tell them showing them that we’ve been watching, listening and following their journey. 

It’s so important to be each other’s witness.  

I’ve always told my children: “You don’t have to work over time to be included in my World or my story.  I chose to bring you into my / our story when you were born and I make sure every day to let you play your role.” 

It’s the same words that I use with my students as they become part of our growing family / community.  Teaching people how to step into their story and understand the connection it may have to my story and the story of others is what I do in life… I’m good at sharing blessings and I believe we can all learn to become generous with the LIFE we’ve chosen to explore. 

P.S.  At the end of every blog I feel like I could write so much more about so much more….  Leave a comment and you may get me started all over again!


Wheelkeeper said...

There is so much in this blog Lisa that I could cherish as you words are inspiring to me.

I love this part... I believe we are all born for a reason. We are exploring a story that hasn’t quite given us the ending yet. Every incarnation gets us closer to understanding what the soul is pursuing. I have no doubt we are all “seekers.” Why else would we persevere through so many ordeals, challenges, and hardships?

Being seekers is a better way to look at things rather than seeing ourselves as broken and fucked up. Changing this program and attitude seems to be a full time job!!

Wheelkeeper said...

I also like the idea of seeing people and myself as being Renewed constantly and to let go of the old stories or our old perspectives, judgements and opinions we have of each other. I know that it takes presence and listening in order to hear people's stories, what they learned and what has changed for them and in them.

It is also important to see what has changed in me and honour it. I never saw renewal as so important, but the way you put it, it is an important stone on the Wheel.

Anna Langelid said...

Thank you for this perspective Lisa it has brought a new clarity to me.