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How See Through the Eyes of the Shaman and Align Yourself with Joy

Mar 10, 2008
A breakthrough in our understanding of self comes when we learn to perceive as shamans do: not only with the mind, but also from an energetic standpoint. Through working directly with the life force, and with the four basic energies of air, fire, water, and earth, we reclaim the keys to healing and open ourselves to deep connection with all life.

These four interwoven elements manifest and sustain all creation. They are the core manifestations of our own life force. They offer a new framework to guide our travels back to our true, vital center. We can call on the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth not only as a means to perceive and make changes energetically, but as four aspects of the complete self: the mind, spirit, emotions and physical body.

Air symbolizes the mind. Our thoughts, words, visions, and mental creations are all aspects of the air energy within us.

Fire is our passion and desire, our will. Our sexuality, our sense of play and our action in the world are aspects of the fire energy.

Water represents the fluid, changing nature of our emotions. Our emotional body, sometimes like the gentlest of rain, other times like a wild storm, is one aspect of our water energy.

Earth is our physical self, the bones of flesh of our being. Our material structure and its intimate connection to the cycles of life and death is an aspect of the earth energy.

Embracing these four aspects of self allows us to reclaim our natural energy, and rebalance all parts of ourselves into a greater, complete whole. These elements are natural gateways to our own essence of truth. When we encompass all aspects of our self, we align ourselves once again to the pure joy of being alive. Using these four elemental cornerstones as a new foundation, we can reclaim our own essential being.

Reweaving the Self

To begin our journey of realignment, we need to first understand energetically how we went out of balance. From an energetic viewpoint, how did we lose our original vitality and centeredness?

I see humans as weavings of energy. When we are young, our energy is open and unstructured. As we grow, this free flowing energy begins to solidify with agreements and expectations of how we should be in the world. The people who are responsible for our safety and guidance educate us based on their own life experiences. We naturally learn the customs, beliefs, limitations, and expectations of the human society we were born into.

This structure is important for children. The difficulty comes if we become habituated to looking outside ourselves for answers and approval. As we learn to look outside, we often lose touch with our own center and our instinctual connection with Spirit. Over time, the opinions, agreements, love, and fears of those around us become threads in our weaving of self. We pull on these external threads and weave them into our own conscious and unconscious. Slowly we forget our own seed of truth and began to live from the beliefs and fears of others. We learn to seek approval, respect, recognition, love, and happiness outside of ourselves. We weave the fabric of our life believing that love comes to us from the outside. Where we once knew our own center of joy, we stretch the threads of our original fabric to reach out, attaching to others from a place of fear and a need to be filled.

Right now it is easy to see what your own internal structure is woven of. Imagine looking over the last week, the last month, or the last year. Were your thoughts and actions based out of trust in yourself and your own sense of connection to a greater source, or were they based out of fear? Do you compare yourself to others, believe you are not enough, or fear revealing your true self? Do you worry or doubt yourself? What percentage of the fabric of your being is woven in love, and what percentage is based in fear and scarcity?

Any belief or action based in fear pulls us out of our own center. When we are honest, we discover that the majority of our conscious and unconscious mind believes in scarcity and a need to get love or approval from the outside. We see that even the threads of connection that are based in love become contaminated by fear and grasping.

Making a commitment to seek your own center and innate power begins a journey of unraveling. When you take responsibility for your own weaving, you can take action to begin unweaving and reweaving the threads of our lives. You do not necessarily need to see the source of each thread in your fabric. By tracking your own behaviors, responses, and thoughts in the moment, you can see how the fabric is held together, and which threads need to be rewoven, removed or replaced.

Seeing ourselves as artists of this tapestry creates a perspective that is crucial for healing. Instead of looking at the fabric of our being as a horrible injustice or a tragedy, we can learn to witness the incredible creativity that went into our own becoming. Each individual is a complex and wonderful work of art. We are each unique. We took the raw materials around us and used them to the best of our ability. No one forced us to choose a particular thread, though the choices we were offered may have been incredibly limited.

When we become artists of our own lives, we learn that there are no wrong colors of thread, only choices. We gain a place of witness that allows us to observe, with compassion and love, our choices. Without judgment or feeling victimized by our choices or circumstances, we can watch how our actions create the reality around us. Using our awareness in action, we can begin the journey of untangling our old creation, and reweave a new way of being, based in joy and a deep gratitude for the life force pouring through us.
About the Author
Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and Toltec Tarot. She co-authored Spiritual Integrity and runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Get more shamanic tools form Heather Ash.
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