There are so many single words that can be talked about from a shamanic perspective, and change is one. Wise quotes abound:
"The only thing that stays the same is change," or as Heraclitus so much more elegantly is purported to have stated, "The only constant in life is change."
"Things do not change; we change." (This one attributed to Henry David Thoreau.)
And so on.
So, change. Here it is.
Spring is upon us. Here in the Rocky Mountain West, we have had temperatures that have melted snow into huge puddles that then freeze at night. We have seen snow- for some the most snow of the season. But as the snow melts, little green sprouts are showing in the mud: daffodil, tulip, snowdrop, crocus. How often we look to Spring with hope- a season of new growth- change. And we call this "good." (More on this another time.)
Change is sometimes easy- but not always. And so often change is self-focused, all ego.
Think about it! Something happens. Maybe we are thrilled about it. "Wow! This is the best thing that's happened in a long time!" Maybe we shout in anger. "How could this happen to me?!" (Full disclosure: When I first heard Russia had finally invaded Ukraine (again), my first thought was, "There goes my trip to Kyiv and Chernobyl this fall." WHAT? Did I really say that?)
We live day to day in Ordinary Reality (OR). All of us on this planet in this moment live together and share some aspect of any situation of change that has as large an impact as the recent invasion. And we bring the event into our own narrow perspective, if only to get our heads around it. Then, depending on how we approach OR personally, we begin to look outward and perceive other impacts outside our own direct experience, much like the concept of The Butterfly Effect, a ring of circles expanding outward.
When change occurs it can mean a minor adjustment or a major shift. Last week the latter occurred. My best canine companion had broken his leg, and when he went in for surgery, a second break and strong indication of bone cancer were discovered. My life changed. And boy, so did his.
Tuesday I drove straight through from Salt Lake City to Laramie, WY, and Wednesday morning brought the dog to a specialist in Windsor, CO where his leg was amputated later that day. Thursday we were cleared to go home again. Thankfully, it is said, dogs bounce back better than humans, and sure enough, he was up in the wee hours Friday morning following me on 3 legs to his water bowl. I was shocked and elated. He was healing already! However, he disappeared from the backyard just 24 hours later, and we spent 5 hours roaming the neighborhood and radiating out over this end of town searching, certain he was hurt, cold and confused.
Boy were we wrong! When we received a call at 7:30 Saturday morning from a neighbor four blocks away, there was my social butterfly, tail wagging, making friends. His spirits have been higher ever since. He knows despite having only three legs now, he certainly will be mobile again!
Change. Big change. Little Change. Naturally we feel our emotions, and will react. We have a choice in how we act subsequently. Yes, my trip to Kyiv is on hold indefinitely. But in OR I have been able to think further, and have joined the Peace Laboratory initiative through the European Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Weekly I have the opportunity in OR to meet with other practitioners to work in both OR and Non Ordinary Reality (NOR) to do our part to aid peace efforts.
Yes, my best dog friend is facing new mobility challenges. In OR I went to the computer and did more research and ordered a rear support wheelchair that I think is the right size for him to supplement his movement. Until it arrives I can work in OR with friends who will help me help him move, and my healing circle in OR and all our helpers in NOR can extend and radiate healing to him.
How any of those actions manifests is NOT my choice. Shamanic practitioners do not work without permission and do not automatically know what the results of our work will produce- or when. But there will be change. And what we can choose is how astute we are at seeing and understanding that.
Are you ready for change? Are you filled with hope?
I wish you many blessings in this new season.