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“It is not death that a man should fear,
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September 28, 2009


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Making ourselves open to receiving the "gifts" that life has to offer sounds like it would be an easy task. Not so for many people who began their earthly journeys under traumatic and damaging circumstances. However, when we reclaim our childlike receptivity, we can facilitate our own healing. To truly live we must release the shackles of the pain we've experienced and come out from behind its banner.

Chelle Thompson

~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

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From the Inside OutFindhorn: Cluny Hill College in Scotland

In the late spring of 1988, I arrived at the Findhorn Community (photo on right) in northeastern Scotland to teach a healing workshop. At that point in my career, the people who came to my workshops tended to be searching for a personal healing. They expected me, as a medical intuitive, to facilitate their healing directly by giving them an individual reading and setting up a treatment regimen for them. (These days my workshops are largely filled with self-reliant people who want to learn how to heal themselves and their lives, or professionals looking to learn how to help others heal.)

Though I myself am not a healer, I was happy to help them, of course, to the best of my abilities. Often in my readings I was simply validating the suspicions, insights, or intuitions that they already had about themselves and the changes they needed to make in their lives. Sometimes these readings ignited an inner physical and spiritual healing process. Even so, at that time, my workshop participants and I all felt that we were on the right track. After all, healing and health had become the main focus of the holistic or consciousness culture as well as the center of my life. Almost everyone I met, professionally and personally, spoke about either wanting to become a healer or needing a healer, being on their way to visit a new healer, or believing that they were meant to be a healer as soon as they had completed their own healing.

I enjoyed traveling around the world and meeting spiritually committed people who needed me as much as I needed them, and I had especially come to love Findhorn, a community of about three hundred people sharing an organic, cooperative life and a respect for all spiritual paths. Some of the community members reside in an enchanting, converted turn-of-the-century hotel; others have made their home quarters in a beautiful park area alongside the Findhorn Bay. The rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, combined with the spiritual focus of the community, make Findhorn a most attractive place to be. Whenever I go there, I seem to receive a special energetic charge that results in some important insight, and this visit in 1988 was no exception. This time, however, the insight came in a rather unlikely way.

Prior to beginning the weeklong workshop, I had arranged to have lunch with my dear friend Mary. Having arrived early in the dining room, I joined two gentlemen for tea. Mary entered a while later, and when she walked over to our table, I introduced her to my companions. She had just extended her hand to greet them when another member of the Findhorn community, Wayne, came up to her and asked, "Mary, are you busy on June eighth? Were looking for someone to escort a guest coming to Findhorn for the day."

The tone of Mary's response was as revealing as its length. She snapped, "June eighth? Did you say June eighth?" Suffused with anger and resentment, she continued, "Absolutely not! June eighth is my incest support group meeting, and I would never, ever miss that meeting! We count on each other, after all. We incest victims have to be there for one another. I mean, who else do we have?" Mary went on for a while longer, but this is as much as I can accurately remember. I was captivated by the instantaneous dramatics triggered by a simple question about her schedule. Wayne hardly took notice of her response, thanked her, and left, but I was astonished. Later, as Mary and I were having lunch, I asked her about her behavior:

"Mary, why, when you were answering Wayne's question about your schedule, did you have to let all three men know that you had suffered incest as a young girl, that you were still angry about it, that you were angry with men in general, and that you intended to control the atmosphere of the conversation with your anger? All Wayne asked you was, 'Are you busy June eighth?' and in response you gave these three men a miniature therapy class. A simple yes or no would have done fine."

Mary looked at me as if I had betrayed her. Her body stiffened, and she emphasized her words in an ice-cold, defensive tone: I answered that way because I am a victim of incest. She drew back from the table, stopped eating, and threw her napkin over her plate, indicating that our lunch together had come to a close. Although I didn't realize it at that moment, so had our friendship.

"Mary, honey, I replied, softening my own tone somewhat, I know you're a victim of incest, but what I'm trying to figure out is why you found it necessary to tell two strangers and Wayne your history when all he wanted to know was whether you could help out on June eighth. Did you want these men to treat you a certain way or talk to you in a certain way? What made you lay your wounds out on the table within seven seconds of meeting two new people?"

Mary told me that I simply did not understand because I had not endured what she and numerous other incest victims had gone through, but that she had expected me as a friend to be more compassionate. I replied that lack of compassion had nothing to do with what I was asking her. I could feel the separation of energy between us as I realized that in order for our friendship to continue, I needed to speak wounds to Mary, to follow some very specific rules of how a supportive friend was to behave, and to bear always in mind that she defined herself by a negative experience. In addition to her painful childhood history, Mary also had a history of chronic ailments. She was always in pain — some days emotional, some days physical. Though she was kind and always ready to support her friends, she much preferred the company of people who had also had abusive childhoods. That day at our lunch, I realized that Mary needed to be with people who spoke the same language and shared the same mindset and behaviors.

I immediately began to think of this attitude as woundology. I have since become convinced that when we define ourselves by our wounds, we burden and lose our physical and spiritual energy and open ourselves to the risk of illness.

That day I felt as if I had been catapulted out of the surrounding healing culture of Findhorn and the general consciousness movement and was viewing it as an outsider. Although I had not previously noticed this pattern of thought and behavior in Mary or in anyone else, the very next day, curiously, a miniature version of the Mary incident took place in my workshop. I had arrived twenty minutes early to get ready for my presentation and noticed a woman sitting alone. I sat down next to her and asked, What's your name? That's all I asked. Yet without even looking at me, she responded: "I'm a victim of incest, but I'm fifty-six years old now and I'm over that trauma. I have a wonderful support group, and several of us get together at least once a week, which I believe is essential to healing."

She still had not told me her name, so I asked again, And what's your name? But she still didn't answer me directly. She seemed to be in a daze. It felt to me as if she had been preparing for a long time to say something publicly, and now, given the opportunity, she couldn't hear any questions that didn't relate to her agenda. Instead of telling me her name, she said how much she enjoyed coming to workshops like mine because a person was free to speak openly about his or her past, and she hoped that I would allow time for people to share their personal histories. I thanked her and left the room, needing a few moments to gather my thoughts. Meeting this woman the day after the incident with Mary was not a coincidence. I believe I was being directed to pay attention to the ways we expect to heal our lives — through therapy and support groups.

So many people in the midst of a process of healing are at the same time feeling stuck. They are striving to confront their wounds, valiantly working to bring meaning to terrible past experiences and traumas, and exercising compassionate understanding of others who share their wounds. But they are not healing. They have redefined their lives around their wounds and the process of accepting them. They are not working to get beyond their wounds. In fact, they are stuck in their wounds.

Now primed to hear people speak woundology, I believe I was meant to challenge the assumptions that I and many others then held dear — especially the assumption that everyone who is wounded or ill wants the full recovery of their health.

~ By Caroline Myss, Ph.D. (Bio & Blog HERE), excerpted from her book
Why People Don't Heal and How They Can (Find it HERE)

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Moisture dripped from soaked branches and thick mist hung like a veil over the face of the forest. It had an eerie feel, even for a nature-lover that had hiked this mountain over 100 times. I walked the familiar path until something strange caught my eye - a new trail of some sort. Intrigued, I followed it and within minutes stood underneath a deer hunting tree-blind. With that question answered, I decided to continue walking through the forest without a path rather than retracing my footsteps. I am good with directions and knew the general bearing in which to head. The further I walked, the stronger the feelings grew - unrest, discomfort, anxiety, fear. What a curious thing to notice.

I stopped and did a quick assessment. I know where I am and where I need to go, I don't know exactly where I will come out but I am not lost, I know I won't become lost, I am just as safe here as on the trail, yet I am uncharacteristically afraid. Knowing that I was perfectly fine, I did not panic and kept going. I also kept noticing, the environment, myself, and my feelings. I saw this as a powerful awareness exercise and used this occasion as an opportunity to learn.

The further I walked into the unknown the more clear it became that this was a metaphor for life and the human experience. We know where we are and where we need to go, we don't know exactly where we will come out but we know we won't become lost when we trust ourselves, we are safe, yet we are afraid. We are so afraid that we will cling to any path, especially the well-worn path, just for the sense of security it brings us, albeit a false sense of security. Sometimes the path that we stick to is not even a path that is headed in the right direction. Paths like addiction, dependency, and shallow spirituality are not fulfilling or healthy paths, yet we desperately cling to them because their familiarity gives us a sense of safety.

This is a trap that we must recognize and free ourselves from. To do so we need only stop, look at our lives, and notice where we habitually act. If we are entrenched in a deeply grooved trail we do not need to remain there. We will not get lost if we wander the forests of our heart and soul. We are just as safe, or unsafe, bushwhacking through new territory as we are on the well-known trail.

It's different to go off-trail. Different is scary, different is also freeing and expanding. When was the last time you took a different way home, or went off-road down the two-track that you've always wondered where it goes? Didn't it feel exciting and just a bit scary to do so? Why don't we do this more often? We are busy, sure, but we are also programmed to follow the trail. We have herd mentality. We are like cattle following the leader to the barn, or to the slaughter house as the case may be. This is the trap of our society - conformity without awareness. Through things such as wanderings, ponderings, and questionings we can free our souls and expand our minds.

This mountain journey revealed many treasures. A beautiful stream and meandering deer trails, areas that looked ripe for spring dryad saddle and morel mushrooms and autumn hens-in-the-woods. I found inner power to travel on through fear, trust in myself and my senses, adventure, and I didn't get lost. Eventually, I wandered onto a trail that led to a hidden intersection with the main trail. I marveled at what I had missed, and what I had found.

I realized that things are not always as they seem and that we are quick to label, categorize, and dismiss things. We place it in a mental box with our past experiences and then move on without really experiencing this new thing. I thought I knew that mountain, but in fact, I knew very little of that mountain. Amazing things await our discovery when we go wondering and pondering through new territories. Cool stuff is missed when we merely plod along the path. It's the "missing of this cool stuff" that steals the life force energy out of our soul and our life, leaving us feeling unfulfilled, searching, empty, lost, tired, and bored.

Now you know, and you can choose. Keep doing things the same way hoping for a different outcome, or get off the path and look around. Free yourself, free your mind, and free your soul! Just think what might be out there, and "in" there, just beyond the edges of the known path.

~ Colleen Deatsman is the author of Seeing in the Dark (below), Energy for Life: Connect with the Source (Next Step)
and Inner Power: Six Techniques for Increased Energy & Self-Healing. She holds a Masters Degree and is a
Licensed Professional Counselor, Energy Movement Healer, Reiki Master, Certified Hypnotherapist,
and Certified Alternative Healing Consultant. Colleen is also an expert by personal experience.
She has healed herself from chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome (CFIDS),
fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism and asthma


Claim Your Own Shamanic Power Now and in the Coming Age

The word “shaman” means “one who sees in the dark.” Shamans consciously choose to live in two different worlds at the same time. They have one foot here in the everyday world and one foot in the world of the spirits. The fact is, we all live in these two different worlds, but are commonly not aware of the other, less visible one. This world does not exist in some other place, but is right beside us, just outside of our usual perceptions. Seeing in the Dark is a definitive source for personal shamanism and not only provides the tools and techniques of the shaman, but presents the wisdom tradition, awareness paradigm, and shamanic way of life.

By Colleen Deatsman and Paul Bowersox
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Exciting News!! ~ Here's The Latest Book From Dr. Barbara Sinor:
Addiction: What’s Really Going On? Inside a Heroin Treatment Program

Addiction: What’s Really Going On? Inside a Heroin Treatment Program contains powerful true-life stories woven together to form a tapestry filled with pain, joy, defeat, and success. The entire book is molded around Deborah McCloskey’s heartfelt desire for her clients to be free of drugs. Her counseling methods both endeared her as “the counselor to get” and locked her into a decade of searching for better ways to help those she felt were stuck on the merry-go-round of a methadone system. This book should be read by teachers, hospitals employees, college students, government officials, and our general adult population whether addicted, sober, or straight.

It is evident throughout the book that Deborah’s passion for aiding those in addiction became her focus, as well as, to help redirect the way we as a society handle our drug addicted population. This passion led her to write the fascinating stories which pose the compelling question: What’s really going on? The book addresses this question and others surrounding the need for change in how those with drug addictions are treated in our society. One of Deborah’s goals was to manifest this vision and to bring the reality of addiction out-of-the-closet.

The stories are true, the people are real, as are the life threatening incidences and tales of pain. To balance the darkness, Deborah used her candid sense of humor to reel in the reader until he can no longer resist. Once he enters, he will not leave until he finds justice. But is there justice? The reader will search for illumination within the intriguing stories of depression and defeat, but find it rarely. Only in a few select brave souls who have struggled to become drug-free will the reader find the answers to the manuscript’s questioning title. The book instructs us all to ask questions surrounding those we love and those we do not know — our addiction population.

Barbara Sinor, Ph.D. Counselor and Author ~ Visit my web site for more details:

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