I spent this past weekend teaching a roomful of students about the shamanic beliefs around death and dying. We went very deep into the work and explored the ways in which we might be present and helpful with a person who is actively dying.
The most challenging love to practice daily, in my opinion, is self love. Caregivers of any genre are particularly susceptible to forget about themselves. Loving ourselves is an essential factor in our ability to be fully present and loving with those we serve, and yet, self love is often an illusive fragment of our lives.
In the midst of these dark days as we approach the Winter Solstice, it can be challenging to see the light in others and in ourselves. I believe it is because of the lack of daylight in December (in the Northern Hemisphere) that we have historically celebrated the birth of new life/light. Our ancestors created all manner of ceremonies and rituals to dance the Sun back to them. It does give us a boost of hope and peace, doesn’t it…just believing in the return of the Sun and gathering with family while holding fast to our traditions and rituals.
This month, we are featuring a guest blog post by Carrie Bancroft, former student and frequent guest teacher. In addition to being my marketing shaman, she is also a spirit worker and shamanic healer. The following post is about her favorite spirit holiday, the Day of the Dead.
As within/so without! There is no separation.These words describe in simple form the rather complex truth that we are never energetically separate from other living Beings. We live in an envelope and that envelope is called Weather! Our weather is influenced by the amount of sunlight, the temperature of tidal waters, air temperatures, degree of moisture in the air, speed of the wind, the rotation of the Earth on its axis, and the movement of the Earth around the Sun.
Today’s chilly Maine morning awakens me to the truth that fall is around the corner. With each passing year my impression is that summer is more and more brief. The consequent sorrow about its departure is at the tip of my heart. With aging comes the realization that there are limitations to life in a body and the experience of precious Maine summers is not infinite. For readers who do not live in the immersion that is a Maine summer, imagine that feeling of emptiness and loss following an intimate and joyful visit with a loved one. That is the good-bye feeling of the waning summer in Maine.