The Isolated Animist: Respectful Relationships in Postmodern Individualism
As above so below, within as without, except for with other people. I've worked with others as a modern shaman since 2000, and the hardest facet of that role to impart is creating balanced relationship with All Things--especially each other--and live it in our "I" culture. It's easy to feel interrelated in trance, to idealize it in solitude, but to reach beyond the isolation of how capitalistic culture has created us and fosters us poses significant challenges. We end up living the collective experience alone. In this blog I explore new approaches to being an introverted, suburban American animist in an individualist culture, and living that connection out loud.
Where I Stand - The Sacred I Don't Know
I've been taking time daily, to connect with the spirits of my space, at work, home, the grocery store, the homes of others, and the commute connecting it all. It seems so silly. I've spent all these years focused on THIS totem, THAT guide, THIS space, sacred on/off, despite that intellectually I've known it's with me all the time. I am it. It is All.
What's the expression--the hell you know--to say nothing of the sacred.
I guess I'm beginning to sit more comfortably with not having to name things, less lines, deeper relationships--even if they only last a few moments. The realization that whatever I need is wherever I am, etherically, all the time, no matter what, is heady empowerment. It's also terribly humbling.
One thing I tell students and mentorees all the time is the only trick to whatever technique you're learning or path you're exploring, is remembering to do what you need to do. Pause for a split second, step out of the routine, and remember your goal. How hard that can be to implement in everyday life!
There's another thing, though, that's just as important, and that's forgiving yourself when you finally realize how hard you've been making it.
What is your need in this moment? Take the time, now, to ask and allow whatever life force in your immediate space to meet that need. Bring it in on your breath. You don't have to know what it is, how it works, what it does. Just ask and allow it. Let it do its thing. Let the allies of your external space bring you to a better internal place.
And in that allowance, consider what you can give back. Thanks? A blessing of some sort? A song or dance?
The body is many things, the least of which is how we engage formed being. It is the vessel through which we divine All Things.
"Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place." -Rumi
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