Jan Engels-Smith

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Soul Retrieval and Other Lifetimes

I have written about soul retrieval many times because it is central to my healing practice and teaching.  I have dedicated my professional career to this process and have done over 3500 soul retrievals.  That amount of experience has given me literally thousands of case studies from which to learn more about the human condition and how we can benefit the healing arts by integrating ancient traditions into our contemporary healing practices.  I feel that with every soul retrieval I learned from the spirits vast amounts of information about life, past lifetimes, karma, the power of words, humans’ energetic systems, empowerment/disempowerment, self-care, wellness, the death process, discarnate beings, the value of relationship, and why we incarnate.

Soul Retrieval is a shamanic technique that is believed to be the oldest known healing procedure on the planet. Many times in the process of a soul retrieval I will journey to a client’s other life experience. A healing can be done in this other life reality that will actually affect my client’s current life; a phenomenon, which underscores that time, is relative. The spirits have repeatedly told me that time is not linear, but holographic, meaning that all things happen at the same moment but in different realities, and that a altering one of these realities automatically alters the others. This makes shamanic journeying for soul retrievals, or to visit different lifetimes, possible. The person doing the journey travels into that particular time dimension. The ability to cross into other dimensions means we can relive or view a past event and find healing in what we thought no longer existed. We can remember a future before it is present.

This multi-dimensional phenomenon is evident in the following story of Jim, who was struggling with a career decision. Jim’s current career had started with the death of John Lennon. Jim was about 18 years old at the time of Lennon’s death, but he had had a powerful experience at this time, which changed the course of his life. When Lennon died, Jim felt him enter his body. He committed himself to John’s spirit, and became obsessed with learning all of his music. Jim is a talented musician and developed a very successful band, which played Beatle standards. This supported Jim, both financially and soulfully. But after many years, Jim felt as if he were becoming lost as an individual. He wanted to develop his own style of music and be recognized for himself. There came a time when Jim was ready to hang up his Sergeant Pepper’s suit, but he had much indecision and remorse about this career change. He felt as though he were breaking his commitment to keep John and his music alive. He asked me to journey to John’s spirit to get information from John about why he felt so devoted to him. That possibly John would know more about this having a divine perception from the other side. Jim also asked me to do a soul retrieval on him helping him with his individual identity.

My spirit helpers almost always show me things metaphorically during a journey, somewhat like a dream. Luckily for me, my spirit helpers also usually explain the metaphors to me, unlike a dream where you must figure out the symbology for yourself. The first scene that came to me in the journey was Jim lying on the floor sobbing into his hands. John walked up and pulled Jim to his knees. He then embraced him tightly. Jim continued to sob on John’s shoulder with John supporting and consoling him.

The scene then changed to Jim and John flying through the air. Their bodies were actually blended, as if they were superimposed on each other. Each of them had one arm and leg free and off to the side, but their inside arms and legs were superimposed. John was about a head’s length in front of Jim.

After several moments of this, the scene changed to Jim and John curling up into a ball, or sphere, that appeared like rolling light. I then saw the Earth off in the distance as if I was viewing the planet from a space capsule.

I asked for an explanation of the metaphors. The first scene, where John was consoling Jim, had a real twist in it for my client. Jim had been a drug addict, and his involvement with John’s music actually was part of his own healing. The Beatle band had kept Jim productive, responsible, and clean. In order to be a success, he had to take care of himself. John was actually keeping Jim alive, not the other way around where Jim had thought he was keeping John alive through the remembrance of John preforming John’s  music.

The second scene, with them flying through the air superimposed, was explained as Jim and John actually being the same soul expressed in two different incarnations in the same time dimension at the same time! Absolutely amazing! John’s head was shown a head’s length in front of Jim because he was about 20 years older than Jim and further along in the expression of his life. I marveled at the meaning contained in such a simple image. I found it incredible. I had always perceived incarnations as linear and that a soul needed to die, go to the light and then come back as someone else.  This journey explained otherwise.  That a soul can have multiple lifetime expressions in the same  time line.  The spirits then went on to explain the imagery of the spherical ball of light that Jim and John became. They stressed again through this imagery that time is not linear, it is holographic. There really is no such thing as past or future lives. Everything is happening simultaneously in different dimensions of time. The Earth was used to illustrate that we can look at all individuals and see different incarnations of our soul being lived out. We’ve got a whole planet of people who are different expressions of us.

John Lennon’s words from “I Am the Walrus” are interestingly appropriate to Jim’s experience, like a message to him across time:

I am he,

and he is me,

and we are all together.

Since this journey, the spirits have expanded their teaching about incarnations. They fondly expressed to me that when we have real attachments to things, such as to a particular writer, poet, artist, or sculptor, and are drawn to his or her work, it is probably because we were actually the creator of that piece of work. If we read something from history that profoundly teaches us, we may have been part of the actual event. Even if we are extremely attached or moved to help someone, perhaps to support a child in a Third World country, then we are probably that child in a different lifetime expression. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself; the other might actually be you!! Now there’s a thought.

I am still processing this information and probably will be for several years to come. It is amazing. The spirits have since taught me to journey to my other lifetimes and to remember the wisdom I gained from each lifetime expression. I have also learned to journey to souls I would like to learn more about. The possibilities available through journeying are unlimited. Journeys to other lifetimes can be extremely informative, and also lots of fun. I highly recommend them for anyone practicing their journey skills.

Learning to journey opens doors of opportunity that is unmatched.  The potentials are endless and you can use the skill in any situation that you are curious about or need help in.  I encourage you to seek out an experienced school such as LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine, take a weekend class and transform your life.  You will be amazed.

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Soul Retrieval Heals Night Terrors

Continuing on the theme of Soul Retrieval I offer this brief introduction of why it is a major interest to me.  Soul Retrieval is a shamanic technique that is believed to be the oldest known healing procedure on the planet. I have dedicated my professional career to this process and have done over 3500 soul retrievals.  That amount of experience has given me literally thousands of case studies from which to learn more about the human condition and how we can benefit the healing arts by integrating ancient traditions into our contemporary healing practices.  I feel that with every soul retrieval I learned from the spirits vast amounts of information about life, other lifetimes, karma, the power of words, humans’ energetic systems, empowerment/disempowerment, self-care, wellness, the death process, discarnate beings, the value of relationship, and why we incarnate.

I have done several soul retrievals that were profound to me. One that still affects me to this day was when a woman called me to make an appointment for her daughter, who was having night terrors. Night terrors are different from nightmares in that the people experiencing them can’t be awakened. In fact, the more you try to awaken them, the deeper they travel into their terror. Often the sleeping person makes bone chilling, eerie sounds. The sleeping person may have eyes open or closed. If open, you can see soul-deep the horror of their experience. The night terror episode is terrorizing for all concerned.

There are many levels of experience in night terrors, but one thing holds true: the people experiencing them are traumatized, as are the ones who are trying to awaken them. Doctors have no cure and drugs are ineffective. When my client brought me her child, she had tried everything else and decided to seek shamanic healing as a last resort.

The journey I am about to describe is one of several revelatory that I have experienced. It not only created a healing for this individual, but it also opened my eyes to the complexity of life, other lifetimes, the power of words, and multifaceted healing.

During the journey I had an almost comical vision of an African scene. There was a little African warrior standing about two feet tall. He had on a grass skirt with grass pompoms around his ankles and wrists. He had on a black mask with grass hair and he was carrying a spear. He approached me, screaming in what I assumed was an African language, waving his hands and spear around and stomping his feet. Even though I had no idea what he was saying, his body language was definitely angry and threatening. I felt like I needed the protection of my spirit allies. I asked my power animals, “What is this all about?” I was told that the night terrors my client was experiencing were because of a black magic, or voodoo, spell that was placed on her soul in a different lifetime. The results of that spell were being played out through the night terrors. I was amazed, but also perplexed and wondered what to do. I followed my spirit allies’ instructions and to my amazement the little African image dropped his spear and was defused and powerless. The spell was broken.

Please remember, the images in a journey are metaphors; they are used to explain a situation and are usually not literal. The actual truth in this journey was that a spell or curse had been cast, and that we were dealing with negative forces put into action from human intention. (Humans do all kinds of awful things to each other.)

After breaking the spell, I continued with the journey to bring back any lost soul parts. There had been much soul loss and loss of power within my client because of the night terrors. The spirits made sure that all was in order before we left the journey.

After completing the soul retrieval, I spent time explaining to both my client and her mother what had happened during the journey. We then discussed the recommendations given to me by the spirits about how to facilitate her healing by calling in certain healing allies at night before bed. With this advice, the mother and daughter left my office.

After people leave my office, my normal procedure is to clean with sage the sacred items that I used during the soul retrieval. As I was doing this, I heard a loud crash in the adjoining room. The floor shook and a strange energy surged up my spine. With my stomach fluttering, I ran out of my office to see what had happened. There on the floor lay an African mask that had fallen off of the wall. I stared at the mask in both disbelief and amusement. The fear that I momentarily felt surge through my body melted. My amusement came from an understanding I had developed through my longtime work with the spirits. I realized immediately that this mask hadn’t accidentally fallen off the wall, but had more likely jumped off the wall to get my attention. I actually laughed out loud as I bent to pick up the mask, realizing how blatant the spirits can be to get one’s attention. I also was keenly aware that there was a real similarity between the mask that hung on my wall and the one I encountered in the journey.

I found myself saying to the mask, “So what do you know about this black magic stuff I just encountered?”

I took the mask into my office and did a journey with it. During my journey with the mask, it gave me all kinds of information about spells, curses, the power of the spoken word, how to move energy to counter spells, and how to become invisible when I get myself into dangerous situations during a journey. In fact, I am to wear this particular mask in non-ordinary reality when I need to become invisible. The mask was letting me know that it was to serve a very important role in my life. I have since moved the mask into my office space where it serves many purposes. The mask has become a beloved ally in the spiritual realm. Its name is Legba.

I left my office and was compelled to watch television.  This is an odd choice for me since I rarely watch television and more rarely watch it during the afternoon. However this participial day I decided to turn on the television to watch Oprah.  To my amazement the topic of her program that day was night terrors.  She had several guests discussing the topic from doctors to patients. Doctors were stating that they had no cure for night terrors nor did they understand what created them.  Their treatment was drug related which had many side effects especially on the quality of life for their patients.  Patients described the horrors of night terrors. Parents or spouses that were witness to the night terrors expressed the same type of horrors. The entire program was focused on the reality of these horrifying episodes for people and the fact that there is basically no cure that medical science has discovered.

I find no coincidence of the timing of my experience with my client, the spirits that brought me the profound information on the possible cause and cure of night terrors and the topic of Oprah’s show.  To me this is an example of a direct communication from spirit validating the information that I received.  I believe this information is guidance from the spiritual realm to educate any of those that deal with night terrors. Investigating the possibility of a curse or spell being at the core of the night terrors might actual lead to a cure if the curse is unwound and declared null and void.

At the time of the original journey with this client I had no experience with curses and didn’t have any knowledge or skill base with how to handle them.  Now years later I have received much training on the topic and have years of experience in dealing with them.  I have had several other successful cases of night terrors being cured.

Needless to say I was astonished at this information and I had a sudden epiphany. I realized that I had been prepared for years for this moment, for this client, for this teaching. I was prepared not only from my studies in shamanic healing but even in my decorating motif. I have collected tribal or indigenous art all of my adult life and all of my tribal art has been “danced.” Danced is a term that means that the piece is not only original, but has actually been used in traditional ceremonies. This particular mask was the first in my collection. I have had this mask since I was 22 years old and I can guarantee that when it came into my life I was unaware of shamanic healing or of what the mask was capable of doing. I wondered why I was interested in cultural artifacts. Why was I drawn to cultures around the world? Where did this interest originate? The mask came to me in a serendipitous way through various long-forgotten friends who had lived in Africa. I had admired the mask for years and they eventually gave it to me. It had hung on my wall for 20 years and had never fallen off!

I realize now that the mask came into my life for a reason, in preparation for this very moment. It is a reminder of the divine order of the universe. Nothing is out of place and every interaction, every friendship, every encounter, every thing is divinely ordered and interrelated. All this time I had thought I was selecting my own artwork, but in truth it was selecting me.

Since this experience, other things (art pieces, fetishes, altar icons) have spoken to me and allowed me to understand their divine purpose in my life and the part they play in my chosen path. I no longer doubt my own purpose, or question how someone raised in traditional American ways could have such a profound connection to the spiritual realm and magic of indigenous cultures. I accept that it is so.

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Lost and Restored Parts of the Soul

In many individual difficult experiences, as in tragedy or trauma, a person may lose part of himself as a survival mechanism to withstand the emotional or physical hurt. In shamanic terms, this process is called “soul loss.” In psychology, it is called “dissociation.” Psychology does not ask where the lost part goes and how one gets it back. In the practice of shamanism, when a piece of the soul or energy leaves, it goes into another reality and is lost from the person. A void then exists in that person’s soul. Think of the soul as a giant jigsaw puzzle. When you experience a trauma, a piece of the puzzle is lost, leaving an empty space in the puzzle. When this soul loss occurs, a soul retrieval is necessary to restore wholeness. In a process called journeying, a shaman is trained to enter an altered state of consciousness and travel into different realities to find and retrieve the lost soul parts. The shaman then literally blows these parts back into the client via the heart and the top of the head, restoring wholeness to the client.
Soul Retrieval is a shamanic technique that is believed to be the oldest known healing procedure on the planet. I have written about this subject many times because it is central to my healing practice and teaching. I have dedicated my professional career to this process and have done over 3500 soul retrievals. That amount of experience has given me literally thousands of case studies from which to learn more about the human condition and how we can benefit the healing arts by integrating ancient traditions into our contemporary healing practices. I feel that with every soul retrieval I learned from the spirits vast amounts of information about life, past lifetimes, karma, the power of words, humans’ energetic systems, empowerment/disempowerment, self-care, wellness, the death process, discarnate beings, the value of relationship, why we incarnate, and love, love, love!

Soul retrieval in its most basic form is simple to understand. Shamanically speaking, all things are energy. The movement or the transmutation of energy is part of the healing of the soul, which is itself energy. In a healing, the shaman moves out the energy that does not belong to a person and refills him/her with the divine energy that is the essence of that person’s true soul. The theory behind soul retrieval is that there is soul loss when one experiences painful or traumatic situations.
However, soul retrieval in practice is far from simplistic. The human psyche and the powers that oppress us are powerful in their effects on our minds and bodies. To best comprehend these consequences of difficult experiences on individuals, I believe that examples would better serve to assist in understanding and to better realize the positive results that are possible. I plan to give several examples in the next few articles to help readers understand what is available and achievable. There is much to learn and I do believe I have only scratched the surface of possibilities, even with 3500 case studies.

A Case Study

My client was a woman in her forties who came to me because of great sadness, despair and hopelessness. Confronted with any choice, she could not make any decisions for herself. Even trying to decide what way to prepare her eggs in the morning for breakfast was excruciatingly difficult for her.
During her intake, I asked for some of her history. She explained that she seemed happy enough as a child. She came from a good home. When she was in high school about sixteen-years-old, she met her current husband. They both felt cosmically drawn to each other and married as soon as they graduated. However, there was never passion in the marriage; in fact, it seemed dull and unfulfilling. She felt like she was just going through the motions of romance but felt compelled to marry him, never fully understanding where this compulsion was coming from. She then struggled with getting pregnant. She was overwhelmed with the desire to have a boy. She kept miscarrying. She developed huge fibroids and eventually had to have a hysterectomy. She and her husband decided to adopt children but only boys.
What the soul retrieval revealed.

I asked the spirits to take me to the root of her problem. What was causing my client this intense sadness, despair and hopelessness? I asked to be shown why it was so difficult for her to make decisions for herself, even causing her pain and agony.

In the journey, I was taken to another lifetime expression of my client. In shamanism, we don’t view lifetimes as past lifetimes; shamanism looks at existence as a hologram where everything is happening simultaneously in different dimensions of time. Thus, any healings that we do in another lifetime expression can resonate into this timeline dimension and create healing here in this moment.

In this particular lifetime to which I journeyed, my client was born into royalty. As a young woman, her marriage was arranged for an alliance not love. She was viewed as property of the country where she lived and was barred from individual choice. In fact, to choose differently could cause death for herself and others. As a young woman, she ached for true love and passion. She desired to be loved for who she was and for another to have intense feelings of love for her. She wanted a reciprocal love that was true and real. She found herself fighting against these feelings of personal need because she knew that satisfying her needs might bring harm to others. Her birth determined her destiny and she did what she did for the sake of her family. Her marriage was arranged and her decision was not true to her heart.

In this lifetime, her vows were taken at the marriage ceremony binding country to country. The royal families gave promises of peace for the countries and bound the families together in this commitment through the marriage of their children. This type of intention and the vow that is involved has enormous import on this life and future lives. This intention energetically carries an enormous amount of power with accompanying repercussions and karma. Vows live on even after death. The more ritual that is put into the vow the stronger and more potent it becomes. Religious rites are hugely energetically binding. They are done in high ceremony with words, natural elements (usually fire), and signing of contracts, which are contractual binding in the current realm as well as in the unseen realms. You literally sign your life over as well as your soul in the contract. Words bind even in the form of a spoken promise, but a sacred vow is an even more potent form of a promise.

Arranged marriages also existed to produce heirs. There was a tremendous pressure placed upon my client in this lifetime to produce a male heir. If no children were produced or if a male heir was not produced, the results of this failure could be life threatening.

The spirits showed me that great fear became embedded in my clients 2nd chakra that resulted not only in a lack of ability to bear children but also, since the 2nd chakra is associated with creativity, with a loss of the ability to create the type of life she desired.

Fast forward to this lifetime.

My client found herself attracted to a man in high school who was the incarnate of the man she had had an arranged marriage with from another lifetime. She married a man she didn’t love but felt that she should. She then became so terrified of not having a son that she developed an inability to have children. She found herself incapable of making even minor decisions as an outcome of not being allowed to have choice in the other lifetime. The consequences of her other life carried great consequences for her in this time.

The soul retrieval for my client had profound impact on her life. The healing that my client received by unraveling the vow and getting back her soul parts altered her understanding of who she was and allowed her to make her soul whole and brought her hope for a new future. This woman is thriving today.

Across the Great Expanse of Time

Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz (1646-1716), a German polymath and philosopher who most scholars believe developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, wrote more than three hundred years ago:

“This interconnection or accommodation of all created things to each other, and each to all the others, brings it about that each simple substance has relations that express all the others, and consequently, that each simple substance is a perpetual, living mirror of the universe.”

The true self in its utter wholeness is a reflection of the universe and when it is restored to wholeness becomes as perfect as the universe.

My pod cast October 2 and October 9, 2017 gives many in depth explanations and examples of case studies of soul retrievals. Enjoy the listen.

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The Power of Belief

I am continuing my commitment to highlight the profound teaching that came through LightSong’s 31st practicum this year. Instead of using precious space from a limited word count for this article, I ask readers to review the last few articles that have been published in LightSong News on this subject.  Also as a shout out to the community, you can tune into my pod cast, which involves dialogue, specific examples, and an exchange of voice and heart to emphasis concepts and understandings.  There are two links to these podcasts for your convenience. http://lightsong.net/lightsong-podcast/  or  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/shamanism-21st-century-approach/id1199333402 As a former teacher, I realize that not everyone has the same learning style; some like to read and others like to listen and some like to do both.

The teachings today in this article emphasize the innate power of human consciousness and the human belief system.   There are several ground rules that need to be defined.  I choose to do this in an outline form because there is an enormous amount of information to share and I wish to provide it in the most condensed form.  If you would like detailed examples, more explicit explanations, and even worksheets to help you discover yourself please refer to my book Becoming Yourself: The Journey from Head to Heart which you can purchase on my website or on Amazon.

  1. Humans are an energy system first and foremost having a human experience.  This energy is composed of high frequency vibrations that are also referred to as your soul, divine essence, unconditional source energy, or compassion. This is a very important concept because your energy system is the core of your existence. Your energy system can also be covertly overshadowed and unrecognized because of your attachments to a distorted reality that is determined by your personality, your physical body, your mental constructs, and mostly your wounds that distort and control how you view the world.  In other words, people tend to look at the reality around them as validating a truth instead of looking within.
  2. Another truth is that the world is reflecting back to you what is actually going on inside of you.  It is the barometer, the compass, the instrument to evaluate and reveal what you actually believe.
  3. Beliefs are in control of both personal reality perceptions as well as collective reality perceptions. Beliefs are an energy broadcast that creates emotion.
  4. Beliefs are housed in the human body in the chakras.  Chakras are energy vortex’s that spin and broadcast.  There are about 147 chakras in the body; however, there are a common seven that most people are aware of and are the major key chakras of the body.  The chakras basically run from the crown of the head to the root between the legs.  The chakras that broadcast emotion are the ones from the root to the throat and not so much in the head. 
  5. In an ideal situation, the chakras would broadcast in their absolute truth of magnificence and wellness; however, when wounds happen to a person, the chakra is storing the wound and the broadcast changes to a person’s personal woundology.  This is where the distortion starts for personal realities.
  6. Thus, beliefs about life and truth are stored in the chakras and most people function from a wounded perspective and they perceive life from this wounded cosmology.

There are some interesting facts about beliefs:

  1. Beliefs are a choice.  There is nothing that you can say to me about what you believe that I can’t respond to by saying that it is a choice. 
  2. If beliefs are choices, then you can choose differently at any given moment.
  3. Beliefs are solidified into your chakras from repetition of thought.
  4. A thought, which is repeatedly reinforced or accepted immediately upon hearing, will drop from your head down into your chakra system and implant itself there.
  5. If as children you listen to your parents’ strong opinion about something and look to them for guidance, you align with what your parents are expressing.  That choice then harvests in your chakras as a belief that you have decided is true.
  6. This authoritative influence can invade into your consciousness from many sources, such as: teachers, coaches, religious or political figures, or friends, but mostly the influence is from the culture and the era into which you were born.  Consider that if you were born into a different country in another part of the world, or in a different era, you would have a completely different set of beliefs that would determine your reality.
  7. The spirits call these blind beliefs.
  8. Most people never question what they believe and yet these beliefs are in total control of the person’s reality.
  9. Also, a very important fact is that beliefs are energy, just like everything else in the universe is a form of energy.  Words are energy, action is energy, dreams are energy, prayers are energy, and thoughts are energy.
  10. You are an energy system that is a broadcast tower of energy that is interacting with the cosmos and all life.
  11. You are broadcasting and receiving energy signals each and every moment of your life.

Let me give you a common example.  If you were raised with the idea that you are a smart, loving, cherished individual, that you are charmed and that things always work out for you in amazing ways, that you can do anything that you set your mind to, and that you are loved unconditionally by your parents and that they adore you, admire you, support you, and provide for you, then this will be the imprint on your life that will produce internal and perpetual optimism. This will be your core belief about yourself.  You will broadcast these beliefs from your chakras and you will attract from the universe experiences and manifestations that support your beliefs.  Remember that the universe is mirroring back to you what you ultimately believe.

If on the other hand, you were raised in a household where you were criticized, beaten down, where love was conditionally based on behavior, where parents yelled, provoked, and competed with you, you were labeled worthless, lesser than another sibling, never good enough or a burden to your parents, you will accept that as truth.  This belief causes a wound in your chakras and you will broadcast your wounds out into the universe.  You will then attract to you the events, situations and manifestations that will match your emotional wounds that will then support your beliefs telling you they are true.  Also, the world will reflect back to you a reality that supports your distorted reality highlighting for you where you need to heal.  In other words, if you see a world that is flawed and ugly, then that is what is stored inside of you.  Your personal wounds are coloring your view of the world.

Shamanism views a person as an energy system and is based in techniques, ceremonies and rituals to sustain and maintain the energy system.  This energy system can also be called your soul.  There are hundreds of different shamanic techniques, but I feel most boil down to a basic concept that proposes to take out the energy that has contaminated your core brilliance of divine essence and put back the energy that has been lost because of the wounds that you have endured throughout your life.

As a tenured shamanic teacher and a practitioner who has done over 3500 soul retrievals, I am relentless in my attempts to help people heal.  If you are interested in more of what I have to offer please continue to read my articles.  You can find them on my web site, http://lightsong.net/articles-by-jan-engels-smith/ You may also purchase my books and CDs, follow me on the “Feel Good Challenge” on Facebook, follow me on Facebook, and listen to my podcasts.  I supply a constant outreach for those that are interested in healing and well-being.

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Choosing Happiness In Difficult Times

Excerpt from Becoming Yourself:  The Journey from Head to Heart

by Jan Engels-Smith

Each summer I have a workshop on Telepathic Communication, outside in a camp situation. Set in Tillamook, Oregon, the land we use is beautiful, with tall trees and lush greenery. The scene is very much like a magical fairy garden, only our garden is 43 acres. I love this land and being able to commune with nature in such an undisputed way.

Most of the people that are attracted to my work have an environmental consciousness and are very pro environment (tree huggers might suffice as a definition).

I usually arrive on the land a couple of days before everyone else, so I can set up and prepare. A few years ago when I arrived, there was a massive clear-cut operation in process just across the river from our camp. The water magnified the sound to a deafening decibel. The beeping trucks as they backed up to the location, the sound of many chain saws, cracking wood, and falling trees all created chills through my body with the destruction that was in progress.

I had always been sensitive to the logging in Oregon, so much so, that I would almost cry seeing log trucks on the street. My reaction to this assault on the forest was overwhelming. I was horrified to think of what would happen in the next few days, especially when 60 tree huggers began to arrive in camp the following day. I was certain that emotional havoc was about to happen. This situation could destroy the workshop. The only telepathic communication the participants were going to focus on was screaming trees.

I sat down to think through this and started to pray. I centered myself and asked for help. The guidance that I received was, “Choose happiness.”

“Choose happiness?” I retorted back to Source. “How in the world do I do that? This is catastrophic!”

I received a very clear answer. “You’ve got the wisdom. You know what to do, so FIGURE IT OUT.” I sat there dumbfounded.

“Okay, I know what to do. What are my tools?” I said to myself.

I centered myself to bring up an intention and brought out my CD, Dream a New Dream, because at least with headphones on the sounds wouldn’t be so distracting. I use Dream a New Dream almost daily and it takes me into an amazing state of joy. I enjoy being led through the guided meditation of unburdening, dismembering, and filling with the light of love.

I declared my intention to the universe: “What I want to manifest is for the logging to stop during the workshop and for the pristine sounds of nature to be the only sounds we hear during our stay.”

I sat down and listened to the CD. When it came to the part of envisioning my desired dream using all of my senses, I went into the feeling of love; how much I love wood products: my house, my decks, paper, neighborhoods, cities, and all the things that are made from wood. I felt the joy of walking around my house and feeling my wood floors and how much I enjoy their aesthetic beauty, listening to people walk in and say, “Wow this is beautiful.” And I imagined myself going out on my decks and enjoying their expansive connection to outdoor living in which I thrive.

This went on for several minutes, as I invested my whole, sensual self in the experience. Then I moved into awareness of the loggers. These men must feel great joy bringing home a paycheck to their family; putting food on the table, shoes on their children’s feet, and clothes on their backs. They are providing for their family, which usually fills a man with joy. I moved into these feelings and felt confident, happy, successful, and sensed the male bonding that many of them might experience.

I was glowing by the time the CD ended and was completely present to the environment. I used the sound of the chain saws as a meditative tool to hold presence and journey through the rest of the day. I sang songs and was completely in tune with love. I felt wonderful because I chose happiness despite the situation, even though an hour before I had termed the situation catastrophic.

The clear-cutting sounds that started at 6:30 am the next day had diminished by about fifty percent, but the sound was horrifically distressing to the now arriving participants. As they gathered, I shared my good message about my experience and I told them what I wanted them to do. Think positively and concentrate on the wonderful qualities of wood products. Everyone participated in a great way and smiles and happiness where the result.

The following day the workshop began. There was still some logging operation noise, but it was minimal. I stood up to do an invocation to the spirits and the chain saws stopped, the trucks stopped, and the logging site became deserted. We all stared at each other in amazement. The silence was loud and made a clear statement of my desired manifestation.

Later in the day, when I had time to meditate and pray about this, I asked Source, “How did this happen?” The answer I received was, “You became the vibration of what you wanted to attract. You wanted joy in camp, you wanted peace in camp; you had to become those things to attract it.”

If I had stayed emotionally and vibrationally where I originally started – scared, angry, and worried – I would have created the situation to stay dismal. If people arriving had tapped into that and added to it, the result would have been harmful to the workshop. Emotional havoc creates emotional trauma, and creates physical difficulties.

“Anti” energy is an angry, frustrated, livid, fearful, and aggressive vibrational broadcast. The feeling might seem to make a difference for a moment, but the problem will usually pop up in some other form. Anti energy doesn’t work according to the laws of attraction.

If you want to be an activist, be an activist of the light. Dream your new dream of reality and then be a match for it vibrationally by being enthused, motivated, excited, appreciative, passionate, and happy. Spend time in altered reality envisioning your dream by engaging all of your senses. Create it in the un-manifest with detail and then feel so excited about this creation that it easily is drawn to you through the power of the law. If you do your part, this will happen.

View Becoming Yourself:  The Journey from Head to Heart here.

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Instantaneous Healing

LightSong Healing center provides extensive training and development opportunities that help individuals to grow spiritually and thrive as well beings. One of the most significant experiences involves participation in a practicum.

This year LightSong had its 31st practicum. The name of the practicum is Telepathic Communication Workshop.  It is part of our second level course titled: “The Practical Shaman: Spiritual Techniques for the 21st Century.”  I teach this course in nature and we all camp together in the Tillamook Rain Forest in Oregon.  It is an aesthetically stunning fairy fern forest and we all thrive in her beauty.  There are usually about a hundred participants.  We eat spirit-filled food and live together in what I feel is a microcosm of the perfect New Earth.  Collaboration, Unification, Support and Love are our cornerstones. As I prepared for the course this year I thought about how I might teach the same thing year after year but with a different emphasis and different approach. Spiritual truths are precise certainties and they cannot be modified, only presented differently. These teachings are ancient and have been taught for thousands of years, and I wanted to make them accessible and impactful for my students.

In the past, I have approached shamanism and telepathic communication through the lens of the Creation Laws, commonly known as the Law of Attraction, which is a metaphysical approach. I often reference the quantum science of these laws.  However, I have found when you have an audience of metaphysically-minded people, the science qualifiers are not usually needed.  These folks accept the teachings without the science, because they feel it’s true.

Because I have a strong science background and I like to be a bridge between the two worlds of science and spirituality I decided to look up and read some of the experiments that would validate the metaphysical beliefs that we already hold.  My research led me into some of the ancient texts, much of it through the Bible. The way most Christians have known the Bible is in an abridged and changed version. But some of the ancient texts written many years or even centuries before the Bible weren’t included in the book form or the original text has since been changed. Many of these documents have been stored in Tibet and Egypt and are available to read on the Internet, some of them scanned and in their original form. 

When you read the original writings about prayer and manifestation from Jesus’s teachings, as well as the some of the writings in the Torah and Koran, you will discover a commonality across cultures and ideologies, especially in the entreaties in how to achieve and attain the things we desire.

Most people pray with supplication, like they are trying to evoke something to happen or become.  The prayers usually fall into one or more of these four categories: ceremonial, meditative, petitioned, or informational. In each of these styles, prayer indicates you want something you don’t have and you need a divine intervention to help you bring it to you.  This style of prayer implies you’re not being in your full power as the creator of the universe. If you are the creator of the universe, who do you ask for assistance? How do you empower yourself to create at the level you want and desire?

The quantum experiments that I read through showed that humans are creating the universe, through FEELINGS or EMOTIONS. I know when I first started studying energy medicine and telepathic communication I thought we created through thought. I believe many people have been and still are confused in believing that thought is the power source for humans. Many people studying metaphysics misheard what contemporary teachings such as “The Secret,” “What the Bleep Do We Know,” and other recent information were saying. Many concluded that if they were to “think” or “say” certain things, they could get whatever they desired. However, it is when you truly feel the emotion of your desired outcome of your prayer that you broadcast in a vibrational emotional frequency that the universe recognizes; and that is when you attract positive results into manifested form. When you embody the feeling, you are then in the place of empowerment, because it is your feeling that then creates or manifests.

A well know scripture verse, John 16:24, in early translation, reads: “Ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.”

The original text in translation suggests more: “Ask without hidden motive and be surrounded by your answer.  Be enveloped by what you desire that your gladness may be full.”

The clear difference between these two writings is the importance of the word enveloped or to FEEL as if the desire/prayer is already complete and it is all around.  Another thing to notice are the words “ask without hidden motive”.  Energetically if you have a hidden motive that motive will override any words that you may speak; the vibration of the hidden motive will always dominate an energetic broadcast.  To fully embody a feeling, it needs to be a pure feeling— complete and whole in its agenda.

Just before practicum I got very sick. I seldom get sick. This is abnormal for me, for I went nineteen years without getting sick on any level. However, I was so sick that I couldn’t make the last pre-practicum meeting or the sweat lodge that I usually pour before we all leave for the land. I was doing shamanic journeys around this asking my spiritual allies why I was to be so uninvolved with the standard pre-activities.

I knew that my students would be praying for me especially in the sweat lodge, a sacred place of prayer.  I realized while reading the ancient text that I didn’t want people to pray for me because praying for someone was immediately putting them in a disempowered disadvantaged state.  Pulling from the original words of Jesus I wanted people to “FEEL” my vitality. So, I sent word for the people to “feel my vitality for me and it will telepathically transfer to me.”

Now you might be wondering why I didn’t feel my vitality for myself to manifest it for myself? I realized that when you are sick it is very difficult to embody the feelings of vitality even if you are very familiar with them.  In fact I usually live in a state of vitality, but in this weakened state I couldn’t find or even remember the feeling.

I told Lauri, the woman that was to pour the lodge for me, to have people in the lodge feel vitality for me, then telepathically transfer it to me. This was an effort that we have been practicing at the practicum for 31 gatherings.  Lauri gave the teachings exactly as I asked. I went to bed that night about 6:00pm still extremely fatigued and when I woke up, I felt completely different; I felt like something had really changed. I felt alive and vital, although still displaying a few symptoms of my illness. I was feeling quite good and kept getting better as I rekindled that flame of vitality in me that had been reignited.  I was now able to do it for myself.

I learned so much in my illness:

  1. I believe there is always a bigger picture in the events of our lives.  I believe that I got sick to help me teach others how to heal telepathically. 
  2. It gave the participants of the lodge a pre-activity to practice before we went to the land for the practicum.
  3. Sometimes, when people are in a bad way, they can’t find the feelings we’re asking them to find; but we can, as compassionate people, feel it for them. Our feelings instantaneously create.
  4. Telepathic communication implies that there is a transfer going on.  A person sends a feeling to another.  However, the truth is that the effect is instantaneous and not delayed by transfer or transmission. 
  5. We need each other because we are different expressions of each other. As we feel something, another person can immediately share in that feeling without delay or compromise.

I’ve been unfolding this information for myself for quite some time. In my article last month, I wrote about how I asked my spirit allies why my soul retrievals have always been so successful. The spirits gave two reasons: 1) I have the ability to see the wellness in someone; I don’t listen to their problems and identify them by their problems, and 2) I feel their true self totally. In other words, I could embody their wellness in every cell of my body. My embodiment of their wellness serviced them to obtain wellness.

During my preparations and research into the science of healing, I watched a video about a medicine-less hospital in Beijing. The physicians focus their intent and embody the feelings of the patient’s wellness. I watched a film of one of these “surgeries.”  The doctors and nurses were dressed like physicians in scrubs and operating garb and were standing around a sonogram machine. The patient was a woman with a three-inch tumor in her bladder that was inoperable. The sonogram was imaging the tumor and took a still shot of the tumor which was displayed on the left side of the screen. The surgery was then filmed in real time while the healers were watching the sonogram screen. The practitioners (doctors and nurses) had agreed before hand to what feeling they were going to hold during the surgery; they decided it was the feeling of  “already done.” This surgery had no incisions, instruments or anesthesia but was done by chanting and embodying a feeling; the words weren’t important, but the feeling the practitioners could conjure up in their bodies was. Then the chant turned to “now, now, now.”  And within three minutes the tumor had disappeared out of the woman’s body. This is the way this medicine-less hospital works. They do this every day for all kinds of maladies.

Important to the operation was the patient’s feeling that he believed in the possibility of the healing and that it would be successful. The doctors were trained to be focused on how to hold a feeling powerfully and to expect an instantaneous healing. When the power is there, the universe responds instantaneously.

Some of the research in quantum physics suggests that the speed of light, which has been long held as the maximum velocity attainable, may not be the limitation that it had once seemed. Instantaneous effects can be achieved, apparently, across vast distances in space and even appear before the transmission of the event occurs. Our perceptions of time must change if we are to understand such phenomena. In the metaphysical world, the connections across time and space are not limited by a mind restricted to artificial boundaries. We have come to understand that our feelings and deeper sense of reality can shatter the restrictions that we have placed on ourselves in ordinary reality. Science and metaphysics may arrive at the same conclusion, however different may be the journey. Feelings and emotions may be the bridge that supersede the limits of rational thought.

Photo credit: patrick.verstappen via Visualhunt.com

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Awaken Unburden Create

Many years ago I was working with a client that was a doctor.  His main clientele were patients that had spinal or brain injuries. They were mainly quadriplegic or paraplegic and were suffering on multiple levels—not just the loss of mobility but the sudden dramatic change in life style and livelihood caused by this severe disability.  Many were suffering from depression.  It is hard to imagine how difficult such a life would be.  My client was enthusiastic  about  the soul retrieval process that I had just performed on him and wanted to bring this healing modality to his patients.  The question was how do we reach these men and women?  They were not capable of coming to me for a session and in many cases their situations were so dismal that learning shamanism seemed overwhelming.  My client kept asking me how could we reach these people because he felt that they would heal and acclimate to their new lifestyle much more rapidly if they received a soul retrieval.  I pondered and prayed about this.  As I reviewed the process of soul retrieval, I realized that it is a ceremony of retrieving energy and that anyone could retrieve their soul parts if they knew the method.  A soul retrieval is designed to bring back the pieces of you that have been lost, given away or taken from you. Through individual experiences, usually some sort of trauma, a person loses part of himself. In psychology, it is called “disassociation.” Basically, it is a survival mechanism to withstand the pain of a traumatic or intensely uncomfortable situation. What psychology does not ask is where the lost part goes and how one gets it back. A void then exists in that person’s divine essence. Think of your divine essence, your energy system, as a giant jigsaw puzzle. When you experience a trauma, a piece of the puzzle is lost, leaving an empty space in the puzzle. A soul retrieval retrieves the lost puzzle pieces, bringing about a wholeness of your true self and your divine essence.

Along with that, I believe that all energy follows particular energetic laws of the universe.  The law that I feel governs human life most profoundly is the creation laws, commonly known as the law of attraction, which says, “All energy is liken to its own kind.”  What this law means is that there is a resonance of attraction that pulls like frequencies together. For example, if you hit a tuning fork that is tuned to the note A, a tuning fork across the room will start to vibrate, if it is also A. If the tuning fork across the room is tuned to the note G, nothing will happen.

I believe that all things are made of energy, and so all things vibrate at particular frequencies. Words are energy, thoughts are energy, action is energy and beliefs are energy.  Some energy is high frequency and some energy is low frequency.  Human souls are high frequency energy systems, as are certain words and feelings such as love, laughter, joy, brilliance, radiance, and thankfulness.  The reasons these feelings and words “feel” so good to humans is because they “match” a resonance of our divine essence. Words and feelings such as loss, hate, betrayal, regret, depression, and scarcity are very low frequency vibrations; they are not a match to the true self of the human energy system and they can bring about difficulties for a person.  Good health—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually—comes about when lower frequency vibrations are removed and higher frequency vibrations are instilled in ceremonies such as soul retrieval. 

Energy systems are in constant motion. Energy moves and flows, and energy systems must be maintained.  Just as a battery can get corroded and stop working, so can a human energy system become corroded and break down.  However, with maintenance and recharging, our energy system is sustainable and high-functioning. 

Our indigenous forefathers understood this, and there are many ceremonies and rituals that are used to attend to maintaining the energetic systems of human beings. Soul retrieval is one of these ancient ceremonies. I believe that is why these cultures are notably contented, happy, and crime-free. People who are whole or feel good about themselves handle the ups and downs of life in a wholesome way. When people feel fearful, threatened, or fragmented, their responses to life are extremely different from those who feel trustful, optimistic, whole, and complete. In our culture, we have very little experience with sustaining trust and optimism.

My success as a shamanic practitioner has been extraordinary and I often wondered why I had such amazing results. What was I doing differently from others that created such consistently good responses to the ceremony.  I asked my spirit allies about this.  My allies informed me that one of the things that I am able to do is to see beyond people’s issues or problems and see the divine in them.  The divine that is, of course, healthy, vital, and full of divine essence.  The brilliance of each person. The high vibrational energy of each person. Because I was able to “see” the person this way, it opened the door for this reality to express. In other words the creation laws of attraction were activated. The spirits see us this way, just our divine nature, but rarely do humans gaze upon other humans this way. The question that I pondered was can others find this for themselves. Finding, experiencing, and feeling your own brilliance is healing. Many people are so out of touch with their own true self, their own radiance and brilliance that they have no idea what the true self actually feels like. Once the feeling is “re- membered” of felt, learning how to live from this place of brilliance will become easier.

I also realized that people need to be able to practice this and if their injury or soul loss was extensive they probably would need several soul retrievals.  The event will cause soul loss but then the continual thinking about the event will cause repeatedly more soul loss.  In the ideal world, a person would receive a soul retrieval and then never revisit the harmful event again in their mind.  They will move forward in life dreaming a new dream for and of themselves. Technically we are energy broadcasting towers. We are creating from our emotions with every thought, word, action and belief and broadcasting these emotional energies into the world. If we think more about what is wrong and what we don’t like, we will create more of the same. In fact, most people are creating more of what they don’t want instead of what they do want because the negatives get most of their energy. Manifesting is a cumulative thing. Whatever gets the most energy will win.

The other thing that I did before each session was I did a guided imagery meditation with each client.  The meditation was designed to bring great relaxation and opening of the heart. The meditation also was designed to help shed burdens and remove energetic blocks. Behavioral patterns handed down through family systems are gently removed and dismembered.  I found that the more I could get a person released from their attachment of their wounds, aches, pains, body image, and their perception of themselves the more easily the soul parts returned to them.

I decided I needed to take the sacred shamanic rituals that have been understood and used for centuries and makes them user friendly in today’s contemporary world. They needed to be available for those that were unable to seek out shamanic healing such as my clients patients as well as anyone else. The benefits, the healings and the results of these age-old healing rites need to be available to anyone.

I decided to create and record guided meditations that are based in the ancient shamanic rituals for healing.  I took out all reference to shamanism so the meditations fit in our contemporary world.  I now offer these recorded meditations to the public.  The title of the 3 pack of CD’s is Awaken Unburden Create.  These can be used daily for maximum benefit to maintenance your energy system in a conscious way.  I use them myself regularly.

My intention is that you are happy and that you live life fully from a place of divine radiance and brilliance.  That there is joy and excitement about each new day.  That you are empowered to take care of yourself and to create your life consciously. 

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The Meaning of Life

We all seek meaning in life and we have different reasons to believe that we have found it or we resign ourselves to an existential belief that there is no meaning to existence. I cannot subscribe to the latter because my life has meaning and it is significant.

As a shamanic healer, I have witnessed many miracles in the transformations in people’s lives in their health, relationships and future prospects. The one common factor in these events has been a return to happiness or an expansive appreciation of existing happiness. In the challenges of life, we are often traumatized, damaged, or assailed by forces we believe are taking our feeling of contentment or empowerment from us and leaving us mourning our loss. Shamanic healing work seeks to restore soul loss and a greater sense of wellbeing. The universe’s message for our restoration is in love and relationship. The work I have done returns continually to first finding the power to recognize one’s own worthiness, to love oneself, and to find the importance of the individual in the unity of the cosmos. When we have restored our lost soul parts, we can come to understand that we are not simply a part of the universe but that we are the universe. The arbitrary act of seeing our existence as an individual part of a vast space fails to appreciate the fully integrated and interdependent nature of all things. We are as vast as the cosmos and the cosmos exists within our heart.

Quantum physics emerged in the twentieth century in quest of elucidations beyond our prior Newtonian arbitrary explanations. The spiritual idea of a mystical connectedness of all things in a singular unity suddenly seems plausible in the scientific realm. Furthermore, quantum physics theorizes that experiments are influenced by the observer of the action, which undermines the basic scientific “fact” that there is an objective world, irrespective of us. And what of the mystery of consciousness? The universe exists within our perception of it, and we exist not as a part of its being but actually as the universe itself.

Seeing all within ourselves and seeing ourselves within all of existence compels us to consider the importance of relationships. In one respect, we are not our brother or sister’s keeper; we are our brother and our sister.

There is no greater joy to be found than in the pleasure of a loving relationship. We feed off each other in a symbiotic association that constantly restores us and vitalizes the bond that we have with family, friends, and, I would dare say, strangers. In these connections, we begin to exist as we were intended to—a part of one entity called the universe.

An important contributor to this understanding originated two years after the death of my mother. My mom came from the “other side” and she appeared to me in her most radiant self. The love that emanated from her was spellbinding. We greeted each other with hugs and kisses and I was overwhelmed with memories of special moments we had together. My life and relationship with my mom unrolled before me and the years passed in my mind’s eye in vivid recall. The experience was more holistic than chronological and all my senses were activated by the memories. The time from my birth until her death seemed to engulf me in warmth and love. In time, I gained my composure and we spoke. I asked her what she wanted to share with me. She said that life is all about love and relationships. She told me that what we don’t bring into alignment in this lifetime, we will repeat in other lifetimes until we get it right. She said that life was but a moment in time and that we must strive to foster loving relationships if our lives were to be fulfilled and that we should share this wisdom with our children and grandchildren.

The meaning of life for me, therefore, is defined as existing in compatibility with the oneness of the universe and in life that translates into loving relationships that bring us all together. It is all we know and all we need to know.

Jan Engels-Smith is an author, a Shamanic Practitioner (ShD), an Usui, Tibetan and Karuna Reiki Master, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist and a Hypnotherapist.

Jan founded LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and LightSong Healing Center. Jan has performed over 3500 soul retrievals and considered a leading expert in her field of shamanism. Jan has authored two books; Jan’s book Becoming Yourself: The Journey from Head to Heart, won the Reader’s Choice Award and Through the Rabbit Hole: Exploring Energy and the Shamanic Journey.  She is a diamond level author with Ezine Articles and writes a monthly article for Sedona Journal of Emergence. Jan also authored two CDs: Take Your Body With You a shamanic drumming CD and Awaken~Unburden~Create a meditation CD package of shamanic healing practices.

Contact Jan: www.lightsong.net


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Healing Yourself and the World

Years ago, the spirits said to me that every person born has the capacity to heal the world singlehandedly. That means that YOU and I have remarkable powers. The important lesson for each of us is to understand how to recognize and employ the influences that we can bring to bear to change ourselves and our world. I would like to share some things about myself so you might understand how I approach life and the experiences that have convinced me that we can all have an amazing influence in the universe.

I started my career as a biology and chemistry teacher, teaching science in high school for ten years. I acquired an advance degree in psychology, worked as a counselor, and eventually began a private counseling practice. 

I then had a mystical experience that turned my life upside down and inside out.  I have spent the last 25 years exploring this experience and how it relates to all of us. I had a vision where an old Native-American woman appeared to me. In my vision she approached me and I asked who she was.  She replied:

I am you,
I am your mother,
I am your sister,
I am your grandmother,
I am the Earth.

She had gray hair pulled back tightly in a bun and her skin was wrinkled and weathered by life. She was wrapped in a wool blanket and was smoking a pipe. She asked if I wanted to join in the sisterhood, but warned me that my life would be forever changed. I was doubtful.  There was a crow cawing outside my window but instead of hearing caw, caw caw I heard trust, trust, trust. I nodded my head and spoke the word “Yes.”

I remember being extremely nervous, but there was a peculiar kind of strength surrounding and supporting me. We sat down and she handed me the pipe and we smoked it together, passing it back and forth. When we finished smoking the pipe, she spoke again. “Your guidance will be provided. Your medicine that you carry is North—Wisdom, Healing, and Love. Begin now to start reading and learn to understand the Ways.” This propelled me into the study of shamanism and energy medicine, where I became preoccupied with wellness and how to be well. 

The part of this exploration that I would like to share with you concerns my discoveries. My mystical experience compelled me to move out of the box of what current research explains about these types of experiences and to study, interact with, and learn from indigenous peoples, cultures and mostly my own spiritual ally’s in the invisible realms. In these studies and explorations, I learned “the ways” that the old Indian woman had referenced. I came to understand that indigenous peoples and cultures view mystical experiences as the norm not an anomaly.  I learned much about mystical experiences, some of which date back several millennia. In these past 25 years, I have performed some of the ancient healing ceremonies, including more than 3500 individual soul retrievals, primarily to promote wellness—emotional, physical, and spiritual.

I learned how to contemporize the process so that I could bring these ceremonies to my clients in my private practice. The essential practices remain the same but the context and language that I use with clients allows for clear communication and connects to the spiritual enlightenment that we share today. My practice eventually led to my creating a school that teaches these approaches to spiritual healing that honors the ancient wisdom of our elders, which I believe is pertinent to everyone.

In shamanism or energy medicine we view a person as a spirit, soul, and energy system having a human experience.  Every part of you is energy, just as everything else that exists in the universe is energy.  Therefore, maintaining your energy system is primary to wellbeing. The practices that we share are beautiful examples of living the truths of caring for oneself and others in the realms of the physical, spiritual, and philosophical.

I want to encourage you to look at yourself as an energy system and how to heal, live a longer life, and be healthier in all your natures by simply thinking about yourself as energy and believing that you are in control of your energy.  You are at the helm of your wellness.   

Remember every person can heal the world singlehandedly because as you heal yourself, you heal the world. Positive energies in individuals multiply out into the universe and alter all that is around us. Each positive energetic vibration affects all that it touches and our energy is infinite.

Another thing the spirits have consistently taught me relates to a question I always pondered in the study and teaching of biology. Why do we die so young, when we are perfectly designed to live at least twice as long as we do? Again the answers seem to relate back to the maintenance of your energy system.

Think of yourself as a jigsaw puzzle.  When you are born, you have all your pieces of the puzzle.  As you age you experience trauma and other difficulties.  When this happens, we tend to dissociate, which is the psychological term for what we in shamanism would refer to as experiencing soul or energy loss. In the pain that we encounter in difficult times, we experience a numbing condition that is natural and a biological survival mechanism. This loss of energy can be an effective way for the mind to cope and endure pain. However, we need to ask ourselves, “Where did this energy go and how do we get it back?”

This energy is yours, your signature, and your divine essence, and in these traumatic conditions you come to have less of it. In thinking of yourself as a jigsaw puzzle, imagine that you have lost a piece of yourself. Throughout your life, you will lose more and more pieces, which equates to losing energy and potentials.  Sometimes the energy loss carries personal qualities with it, such as the loss of confidence, worth, self-esteem or significant values.

You now have “holes” in your system, just as the jigsaw puzzle has open vulnerable spaces.  These spaces will then fill with energies that aren’t yours.  Remember everything is energy.  Words, attitudes, and opinions can infiltrate into your system when you are vulnerable. We call these intrusions. These energies, which are often negative, are intruding into your energy field. Soul loss makes you more susceptible to these invasive forces.

The beautiful thing about the soul, another term for your energy system, is that it is considered a very high energy vibration.  It is vibrant, magnificent, brilliant, curious, and creative—the epitome of wellness.   Complete wellness is reestablished when the intrusions can be taken out of your energy system and the divine essence can be brought back.  This can be done professionally with a shaman; however, I believe that you have the power to do this for yourself, especially if you develop a maintenance program for yourself.

As a licensed professional therapist, I didn’t want to work with clients longer than necessary. It is important for every individual to achieve personal success and not to be perpetually dependent on others.  I always wondered why people are in therapy for years; it just didn’t make sense to me.  I realized that with therapy a person could cognitively understand what had happened to them, and possibly even why it had happened, but they couldn’t seem to own the healing fully in their body, mind and soul.

When I learned about shamanism and soul retrieval I understood why.  The part of the client that needed to own the healing wasn’t even present within the person. Divine essence had floated away in soul loss and the energetic program of the intrusions in their system were having a major influence on the person’s wellbeing. That is when I converted my private psychotherapy practice over to shamanism.  The treatment involved clearing out the intrusions in a person and then bringing back the soul pieces, one’s own divine essence. The return of their own divine essence appropriately filled the void and a feeling of completeness ensued. When you fix the energy system then everything else adjusts accordingly.

My pursuit of understanding wellness and how to restore it became an integral part of my life.  I was doing two soul retrievals on many days for years, booking out four months in advance, with each person requiring about seven hours of work.  After 3500 sessions, I learned a lot!

A doctor once participated in a soul retrieval with me and after he had gone through the procedures told me that many of his patients had brain or spinal cord injuries.  Their lives had changed dramatically and some were either paraplegic or quadriplegic and often suffered from extreme depression.  He wondered if these methods could work for them?  I believe that they can even in these most extreme of circumstances.

There are many dynamics to consider in a healing practice: the individual’s belief systems, the desire to learn something like shamanism, the availability of individuals to receive help. I wanted to bring this healing modality to as many people as possible and I turned to my spiritual allies for help. They suggested that I create guided imagery and provide the major components of wellness from a shamanic perspective on recordings for many to access.  People could then listen to them daily and receive the benefits of continual maintenance of their soul. That led to the creation of Awaken, Unburden, Create, a compact disc that I have distributed for several years.

I also devised follow-up steps for clients to employ on their own after our healing sessions.  The goal is for the individual to maintain the healing, to make the changes necessary in thinking, and to believe with confidence that they can return to the divine essence they were created with.  That was the reason for writing my first book Becoming Yourself, which offers not only explanations but several activities to practice for a well being lifestyle. 

I realized that when a person is whole and complete they broadcast an energy out into the world from their chakras and their auric fields that is also whole and complete.  That energy is invasive and it connects to every other living thing, since we are all energy.  You literally heal others by being in your radiance.  To change the world, you don’t need to attend rallies or be on the front lines of protests; although some may find such practices energizing.  What you do need to do is focus on yourself.  Notice your broadcast out into the world.  Is it from a wounded soul or from a wellbeing?   Whatever your broadcast consists of is what you are contributing daily to humanity.

How important you are, how influential you are, and mostly how incredibly brilliant and magnificent you are.  You are the key to wellness for yourself and for others.

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Fire Walk

In 1992 I was introduced to a native elder and he changed my perspectives about life and truths in amazing ways.  I remember him saying that Christians believe miraculous stories out of the Bible, such as the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, the dead coming back to life, but they don’t expect miraculous things to happen in today’s world.  I have pondered that comment for the past twenty-five years.  During that time, I have immersed myself in shamanism and energy medicine, which dwells in the realities of miraculous norms much like the perspective of my indigenous elder.  I have witnessed countless occurrences that boggle the mind and fall into unexplainable categories.  The spectrum is vast in its “awe and wow” factors.  Things that I now experience as normal still shock many acquaintances of mine when we chat and to me these are minor in comparison to the reality that I live.  I experienced this the other day when I was sharing some photos on my phone with a friend and I came across photos of a fire walk. 

To me fire walking is normal and something that I do regularly and I had forgotten that this is still not understandable to many.  When my friend asked how do you do this, I realized there is a chasm of personal realities that separate us.  I thought back to my first experience of fire-walking in 1994 to remind myself of how he must feel.

“Earth, my body,

Water, my blood,

Air, my breath,

And fire, my spirit.”

This tune rhythmically repeated over and over in my mind. The excitement and energy swirled around the others and me. I felt connected to nature, to the fire, and to my spirit allies. My bare feet were tingling from the immense amount of energy running through my body. I felt a force vibrating in my muscles and deep within my being.

I had participated in the building of the fire, embellishing each log with my prayers. I ignited the corn oil soaked logs and watched a blaze leap and dance fifteen feet into the air. We danced and sang for two hours as the heat intensified, burning the wood to its hottest point. I participated in raking the burning embers into the sculptured runway that we would walk across. My hands burned from the intense heat rising up from the sizzling wood and the rake handle grew hot to the touch. My face was flushed and hot, sweltering from the heat. The whole process brought me intimately close to the intensity of the heat, to the fire, and to the reality of my quest. I had become invested in the fire and felt a kinship with it.

As I stood there ready to walk, I called to my spirit allies and felt them swirling around me. I set my intention; it was simple and precise, “I am walking to the other side.”

I stood at the threshold of a moment of truth. The heat of the embers and the smell of the smoke intruded momentarily into my senses, but they seemed overwhelmed by the faith that had built within me. I found all the scientific laws I had learned to be replaced by the natural laws of the universe I had come to know. What was to prove true in this moment was not a part of the “truths” I had been taught by the world, but those I had been taught by Spirit.

When I raised my foot from the coolness of the dirt edging the pit, I did so without hesitation or trepidation. I had anticipated a test of wills between the fire and myself. I had expected to draw on my inner and physical strength to resist the intensity of the heat. It was to prove otherwise.

I stepped out onto the burning wood and started across. I was immediately surprised that I felt no heat on my feet; not just an absence of burning, but actually an absence of any heat at all. The only physical sensation was a hard, crunchy feeling as I placed each foot one before the other as I moved across the burning wood. I was not competing or resisting the fire—our strong spirits honored and respected each other. There was no contest of wills, only a merging of the fire’s powerful spirit with my own.

A fire capable of consuming flesh did not deny me. It invited and understood the changes in my soul—the vanishing of learned fears and the growth of courage and confidence. What the spirits had been teaching me about faith, about transcending physical law, about willingness, had just become a physical reality. Concepts became real and tangible and set into my cells as experience—unexplainable perhaps to the mental mind, but real just the same. The walk was exhilarating, an empowering journey without fear or pain. I made it to the other side.

My faith soared in the process. I was elated and high on life from what I had just done. I had to do it again. That night I went over the fire several times. With each experience, I built tremendous trust in the process. At the end of the night I was completely empowered.

I thought, “Just look at what I have done!” 

I felt that anything was now within my grasp.

These feelings held true for everyone in my group. A buzz of conversation ensued. Everyone laughed easily and shared the excitement and sense of accomplishment. There was giddiness to the occasion—all earlier efforts at focus and preparation were now replaced by giggles and laughter. The energy remained high, but there was an almost audible release of tension. It was like moving from holding one’s breath to squeals of delight. The initial sense of apprehension was replaced by elation at having mastered one’s fear. All were ecstatic.

Fire-walking is about love, intention, willingness, and mystery. The outcomes of this experience were happiness, trust, faith, and empowerment. Not a bad set of results! Fire-walking is just one way the spirits have physically taught me that all things are possible. I learned firsthand that fire-walking cannot be explained by the rational mind, and to attempt to do so is a waste of energy. I also learned that intention and belief alter physical law, even the law that says, “Fire burns, fire kills, fire disfigures.”

The spirits again brought home the fact that we, as humans, are only limited by our own minds, our belief systems, and our fears.

Since this experience, Spirit has taught me much about manmade laws and physical laws. We need them to help us understand our world and to explain why things work the way they do. They provide a tremendous amount of safety to our frail humanness. However, when working with Spirit, we are capable of altering any of our frailties. Spirit is not limited by gravity, fire, the speed of light, time, or locality. All is possible. Belief in such feats is non-rational, requiring that one be able to move beyond rational thought to understand that the universal consciousness dwarfs our rational minds.

The Native Americans have a term that is used for Spirit, for All. They refer to the Great Mystery. It is a perfect expression. Spirit is a mystery and should stay that way. Some things are not to be explained. When we explain, we limit. When we believe in the Great Mystery, we see the possible in the impossible and understand that which cannot be explained. The rational mind limits possibilities, growth, discoveries—it limits you.

Spirit wants us to change from the question, “How can that be done?” to the statement, “I can do that.”

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