When a smokescreen of poisonous gas has already killed many canaries and the reality of living in a frightening reality show only provokes a mere "meh" in the masses, it's because all of the front and center narcissists and sociopathic peacocks parading by in flamboyant fake feathers have started to look and sound the same. Equally entertaining, numbing, distracting, intoxicating, ridiculous, and deluding, slowly seeping into the consciousness of paralyzed bystanders, engaged spectators, trapped miners, hopeless survivors, and enraged protestors who lack options what to do.
Surviving, sustaining, thriving, and leading in today's world requires more from us than we imagined possible. Those of us who hear our canaries singing songs of great alarm are being called to step up and we can do this. Just because there are fewer of us doesn't necessarily mean it is harder to do his in terms of the actual skills involved. It seems harder because the negativity and suffering shrouded in the dark smokescreen becomes clearer and is harder to look into the face when we keep our oxygen mask on, but we as individuals get healthier, more powerful, and more effective in helping ourselves and others resist and effectively fight the distributors of the poison before it's too late.
Where do we even start when most people crave stronger and stronger dosages of this invisible, toxic drug to infuse a sense of aliveness into their deadening insides that simultaneously numbs their alarming true pain?
Most important: don't wait until the world has changed before turning your attention to your own sanity and well-being. Layers of what we see now have been in the making for decades if not centuries, and it will probably take just as long to fully dismantle them.
You need to make it your priority to keep your canary alive so it can puncture through the illusion, and fiercely protect you so that the power of this "reality" doesn't take over or shut down your mind, body, actions, and emotions.
There is a very subtle but crucial difference between energizing versus exposing this dangerous spectacle that is just getting warmed up for the real show. It all comes down to putting and keeping your own oxygen mask on and understanding what happens when you don't. Most mental illness (except for severe personality disorders, psychoses, OCD, substance abuse, degenerative disease, and the like) is much less fixed and rigidly ingrained in the genes, biochemical glands, brain patterns, hormonal imbalances and other material aspects of the body than most of us realize.
They are the result of forgetting or underestimating the importance of wearing our oxygen masks on a consistent basis, a pattern that may have begun many generations ago. Still, if learned, it can be unlearned. My clients, who rank their depression, anxiety and other symptoms a 7 and higher on a scale from 1-10 (and attribute the high numbers to "out-of-their control" external and internal causes) more often than not are willing to partake in an experiment when they first start working with me.
If I am able to sit with them, tune into their body's energy and their mind, redirect what they do, and have them try and succeed to have the symptoms drop to a 3 or less within 15-30 minutes, their symptoms are still malleable and due to underused healing potential, skills, and power that they can practice and reclaim. I wouldn't be able to have any impact on someone with dementia or some other severe physically ingrained mental disorder, so the fact that I can shift their well-being and inner felt states proves that it's not set in stone—yet.
And I have yet to work with a client (including those with clinical levels of depression and anxiety) whose symptoms didn't significantly drop in number as a result of this meditation, sometimes faster and more significantly than their psychotropic meds and without side-effects (this doesn't mean that I discourage the use of meds if the client finds them to be helpful. They can certainly support the healing and are only tapered off when the client wants to replace them with new skills).
My physical presence, spiritual guides, the energy in my office, and moment-to-moment tracking have grounding impact, but I will nevertheless attempt to write what I do and have you try this experiment on your own, because all that supportive power can be recreated and tuned into if you are very sensitive.
Rank your symptoms (that are the result of your misalignment of your inner wisdom and whole self thrown off by the toxicity around you) from 1-10.
Situate yourself in an inner sanctuary that functions like a greenhouse. You have the key and you control the temperature, barometer, moisture, humidity of this greenhouse. Unless a real bomb falls on it while you are doing this, it's as far as I'm concerned intact or fully reparable (even if bombs have fallen on it in the past).
Imagine yourself sitting in between the above and below dimensions, and bring an inner scape that exists in nature into the middle of your sanctuary. Place yourself within this scene and soak up the natural elements. Sit back and allow the above, below, and within dimensions to clear all energy, thoughts, and feelings that are not aligned with this present moment. Take your time in doing a body scan and discover the magic in regulating your inner experience.
Surround yourself with the four elements and spirit guides - air, water, earth, and fire - by imagining them in the four sacred directions, north, east, south, and west, just outside of your field. They are your wisdom (highest truth), soothing/clearing, grounding, and protection guides. If you have a ton of guides, this is an easy way to keep things simple and organized instead of getting distracted with an bombardment of ideas and messages from them which can actually prevent you from grounding first and better.
Invite your protection guide into your sanctuary and boot out all fear-based misalignments, constrictions, blocks, limiting beliefs, and empty blindspots that don't belong. Sit back and have this done for you rather than direct and sparse out what your ego-mind thinks you need for protection.
When done, work with gravity and imagine yourself as a sack of rice. Allow the connection between your bottom and the seat/ground/earth underneath you to dissolve, your muscles to relax, your heart to open, your mind to quiet down. Put your overactive and hyper-vigilant third eye and intuitive knowing on pause. This is not the time to scout around when your grounding skills need strengthening. Allow your mind to ONLY focus on your parasymptomatic process, your breathing, the tingly sensations of energy, your heartbeat, your muscles relaxing and your blood and energy flowing evenly through your entire system, keeping your body bottom heavy.
Allow soothing water and the waves of the ocean to flush out all toxins and patterns from your head and heart and rest of your body, soaking parched areas in your soul, especially where you feel the symptoms and imbalances, tightness, rage, emptiness, desperation and fear the most.
Spend at least 15 minutes regulating your physiology and give it all you've got as if your life depended on it. Like a wild animal would attack you if you reeked of fear, hesitation, self-doubt, aggression. See how long it takes you for a significant shift to occur.
Rank your symptoms at 15 or 30 minute intervals and let me know if you were able to reclaim your inner sanctuary and inner healing power. And if not, what created a block? Continue to deepen your focus into this and get professional help if it doesn't budge before the toxicity embeds in your body into some kind of physical disease. Professional help could be in the form of therapy, online groups that use creative expression and writing for healing and support, yoga, tai chi, meditation classes, and so many other ways of taking care of ourselves today. In times of chronic and peak stress, more is needed to protect ourselves from harm. Venture beyond your comfort zone and try something new.
Be on the look out for my Full Moon Soul Stretching online course. In the meantime, check out: www.womenofwondercircle.com led by GinnyLee Taylor, healing arts facilitator
Loraine Van Tuyl, PhD, CHT, holistic psychologist, depth hypnosis practitioner, and shamanic healer from the Sacred Healing Well, is devoted to helping wisdom keepers, seekers, healers, and teachers dive deep into their self-healing potential and carve out their sacred dream paths in service of their dynamic whole self and the greater good.
Her memoir-in-progress, Amazon Wisdom Keeper, is an eye-opening account of her spontaneous shamanic awakening and initiation during her graduate training in the mental health field. What gives her story an added twist is her ability to anchor into her rich cultural background and mystical upbringing near the edge of the Amazon rainforest when standing her ground, challenging the indoctrinating double-binds in her field, and placing all bets on her spiritual integrity, intuitive wisdom, and clarity—each one severely tested after escaping the chaotic aftermath of a military coup in her native Suriname and losing almost everything that she knew and loved at the age of 13, including herself.
Join a growing wave of deep-divers and wisdom keepers who are yearning and learning to BE at least 1 degree MORE PRESENT in WHOLENESS than in wounding, and be the first to get blog posts and book updates by signing up for her monthly newsletter.