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Every day seems more challenging than the one before, right?
Shooters kill, wild weather slams us, “leaders” ignore democratic institutions, and the poor wander the world without a place to call home.
Bearing witness and staying present are not easy. You forget. You get overwhelmed. You don’t want to hear any more bad news. You try to wipe it all out through your addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, shopping—whatever you use to avoid the realities of the world. You shut down energetically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Yet bearing witness—opening your heart to all the bad news, the suffering, the unfairness—is the only viable way I know to keep going, stay strong, and continue to advocate for a more beautiful world.
My long-time Andean Q’ero teacher, don Humberto Sonqo Quispé, tells us “Worry causes heavy energy. Avoid it.” The Buddhist rule about worrying is simple: don't. As Shanitdeva said, "If it can be fixed, why worry? If it can't be fixed, what's the point of worrying?"
But how can you avoid worry? Stop worrying?
It’s not easy. And it’s possible!
After all, worry is just one kind of energy.
Love, rage, despair, narcissism, and radiance are other kinds of energy. We humans assign positive and negative to these responses, but really they are all just energy.
You always have a choice about which energy to feed and what lense to look through. Most every culture has understood and taught this. (See “Feeding the Wolf” story in Weave the Heart of the Universe into Your Life , page 39)
My daily practice is creating sacred space by rattling to the four directions. While I rattle, I also release my worries to the elements with my breath, and breathe in/fill up with the energies of fresh air, clean flowing water, transmuting fire, rich grounding earth, and reconnect with places I love in the world. Another practice I use is transmutation, a beautiful way of healing with light.
Also—and this is not shamanic, just good sense—I strengthen my core daily with yoga, Pilates, or Qi Gong so my physical body can be strong and fluid, and my energy body can flow and bear witness.I teach some of these practices online through my Earth Caretakers Wisdom School. If you don’t have good tools of your own for letting your heaviness and despair go so that you can be present, I encourage you to learn some. This beautiful world needs your wonderful, radiant energy!
Grief arises. Experience it. Open your heart to it.
Then you will notice that your reactions shift: the tears stop after a while, the despair flows away, and you are breathing more deeply. Everything changes, as Vipassana teachers say, so let yourself move on: don’t clutch or wallow. Use your deep love to fuel your resolve.
Let me describe a recent experience to give you an idea of how this flows…
Transmuting in Ceremony: An Example
I was doing a morning rainforest cleansing ceremony with tobacco.
My eyes were closed. The light behind my eyelids became bright orange-red. All the fires burning in the Amazon arose in my consciousness.
I let myself see all the images from the news. I felt my sorrow for creatures, indigenous tribes, the planet. The heaviness filled my heart and tears flowed.
Eventually my tears stopped. I breathed deeply, filling my body and vision again with connection to earth and trees, bright sun, vultures gliding overhead. Slowly I came back into the present moment, here, now.
This presence gave me the courage to step back into the world again in my full power: supported, engaged, and connected. I could return to writing, healing, doing the dishes, leading a meeting, or listening to a friend—whatever is on the day’s agenda—doing the best I can.
That’s all any of us can do, day by day.
Meg Beeler—Author, Shamanic Guide, and Spiritual Mentor—helps clients heal soul and spirit, find luminous presence, and move energy to remove blockages through mentoring, training, healing, and ceremony. She is a lifelong explorer of shamanic, animist, and meditative consciousness who practices Earth-centered, nature-based, ancient wisdom ways, and studied Andean mysticism extensively with the Q’ero in Peru. Meg is the creator of Energy Alchemy™ & founder of Earth Caretakers Wisdom School. Author of Weave the Heart of the Universe into Your Life: Aligning with Cosmic Energy, she is a contributing author and photographer toWhere the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Story and Image. Meg lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. megbeeler.com
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Shift from density in your life—problems, worry, sadness—into the beauty of connection with all that is. Discover shamanism. Talk to Meg!
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