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What’s All This About Shamanism?

When Harpers Bazaar, a fashion and beauty magazine, ran an article last January about women forgoing psychologists for shamans to help them find the key to happiness, we took note. And with turkey feathers, sage smudges and talking sticks currently sold alongside the Venice Beach Boardwalk vaporizers, temporary tattoos and Jim Morrison t-shirts, it’s clear that shamanism is more than just an emerging trend.

According to Sandra Ingerman, an internationally known Shaman teacher, it is “the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind.” Archaeological evidence dates the practice dates back at least 40,000 years, with some anthropologists believing its more than 100,000 years old.

At its core, shamanism works from the essential understanding that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things.

A shaman has the ability to see “with the strong eye” or “with the heart” to address the spiritual aspect of illness, retrieve lost power and remove spiritual blockages.

What does that mean for the modern day westerner looking beyond traditional psychotherapy to find mind and body harmony? While it’s effects vary from person to person, Ingerman’s research is intriguing:

Some people feel that they are more grounded in their body and feel more solid. Some people feel lighter and a joyful way of being returns to them. For some memories of the past traumas might be triggered bringing up a variety of feelings that must be worked through. And for some people the effects are too subtle to notice a change until further work to integrate the soul is done.

As people feel more present in their bodies and in the world, they become more conscious of behavior that might be out of balance and disharmonious. When we are numb we might be aware that things in the world are not right but we can easily distract ourselves from feeling a need to change. When we are fully “inspirited” there is no place to retreat to and we are more inspired to change our lives.

Any practice that jolts our creativity, speaks to a sense of interconnectedness and leaves us feeling a little, well, gladder, has to be worth exploring. Tell us about your shamanic adventures at:  Glad.is/forum

Read the full description of Shamanism HERE.

Image: This is Nikolay Oorzhak, a practicing shaman in Russia. Your local shaman will probably not look like this.

To read more on Shamanism and Sandra Ingerman’s work, visit http://www.sandraingerman.com

If you’re in L.A. and would like to learn from one of Sandra’s local teachers, Glad.is recommends Val Farr: and check our  healers directory for more Shamanic Healers in your area.

 

 

 

 

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Animal Spirit Guides in Your Life

We are all familiar with the phrase “One love”.  If you simmer on the phrase long enough and apply it to enough circumstances, you will come to a place where all the different relationships in your life that embody love come to a common intersection.  All love, regardless of the point of affection is rooted in the recognition of yourself in another.  The love for your best friend and their unwavering devotion also celebrates your own dedication.  The love you have for your partner embodies the esteem you share when you, too, become compassionate and vulnerable in a mental, spiritual, and physical way with another.  Even the love for our multi-dynamic family shows the appreciation we have for our own layers.  All love routes back to how it teaches us to love ourselves.

One of love’s special teachers is the animal kingdom.  It has been said that we are not “pet owners,” we simply rent time with those we love (be they in a human or animal form). Scientific evidence proves our animal companions offer health benefits, longer and happier lives, and even serve as natural antidepressants.  But perhaps the most significant benefit of opening your life to an animal companion is a soul awakening.

Do we choose each other on some level? Many spiritual teachers say we likely have shared a past life together with our pets and arranged this reunion of our souls for spiritual evolution reasons.  We learn certain virtues, heal, and grow spiritually through our new Earthly relationship.

Animals offer themselves as simplistic spiritual guides and soul companions.  They embody a focus and balance with the natural flow of life that brings us back to center. Animals know how to accept and show love. They never ask whether they are worthy of it, but simply accept and bask in it. And they in turn give us an opportunity to experience their own unconditional love, thus see how love radiates out and joins an ever-widening circle. Their loyalty, endless forgiveness, constant presence, and ability to believe in us even when we doubt ourselves are other traits animals purely exemplify and deposit into our conscious living.

Our furry counterparts were born equipped to resonate with us on a deeper level than other humans can offer. This is largely due to the fact that animals do not have an ego. They don’t have “stuff” in the way of their love and their connection with the Divine. They love unconditionally and are constantly doing service for us in ways we often do not recognize. We may feed them, groom them, take them to the vet for shots, and in return they soothe our souls in a subtle, but perceptible way.  The more we are open to the spiritual gifts our pets bring to us, the more they can share those gifts.

Pets also connect us by demonstrating the things we long for in our relationships with others–acceptance, faithfulness, unrestricted love and companionship, to name just a few. Just ask the inmates who work with shelter dogs to train them and make them adoptable for another family. Ask the troubled adolescents working with untamed young horses. When there is mutual trust, we can love animals in return, knowing we will never be rejected for how we look, what we say or for our imperfections. Even in our spiritually attuned community of healers, animals offer great blessings.  Healers love their talents and the joy those talents bring to others, yet they often feel drained by a lack of reciprocal energy. They give so much away and don’t receive as much back. Animals, by their nature, transmute the disharmonious energy of stress, mopping up the spills the emotional turmoil of the day leaves behind.

Remember that God is in all.  If you are a metaphysically oriented person, you can trust that your pet’s soul has been drawn to you in order to benefit from your level of consciousness.  You are supporting that animal in preparing for its next transition. In return, your pet is serving you tirelessly on a subconscious level. There is wonderful natural and harmonious balance that exists between you both. 
Connect with creation and the creatures in your life. Embracing the beauty of nature in all its forms gives us the opportunity to be in awe of the complex and wondrous world in which we live.

How have special bonds with the animals in your life changed you? 

If you dug this article, you will appreciate this one, too:A Dog’s Purpose (From a 6-Year-Old)

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