Saturday, November 5, 2011

53. Spiritual Check-In

“Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him.” - The Sufi Path of Love : The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (1983) by William C. Chittick

I don’t consider myself to be religious. I am not a church-goer anymore. But I do consider myself to be spiritual. I do believe in the human soul and that there is energy beyond the physical things that we can see, touch and quantify. 

Getting better acquainted with the spiritual aspect of myself has brought me strength, more emotional balance and a sense of purpose in my life. All good things. 

I think there’s value in having some kind of spiritual practice in your life, religious or not. I respect and appreciate all religions and spiritual philosophies and the healing and sense of connection that they have brought to the peoples of this world. Not that they've been perfect, but people need beliefs to give life meaning.

Each belief system has great value and gives purpose and structure to the lives of the believers. That is a beautiful and powerful thing. 

No one belief system is superior or inferior, in my opinion. They are what they are… and certainly some resonate with me more than others, but that’s just ME. Somebody else may find value where I find cultish-hypocrisy. So who am I to judge? 

Worship/practice/believe as you will and I shall do the same. There’s room for us all here. 

God bless America.

That said...

I would like to introduce you to one of my monthly spiritual practices… reading the monthly shaman forecast from

Skeptical?  Yes… me too. 

It may sound a little “woo-woo”…  but go with me here for a second…

Never judge a book by its cover, right? Didn’t we all learn that in 1st grade? 

Well, in order to embrace reading the forecast as a monthly spiritual practice for myself, I had to let go of my resistance to the idea of “shamanism” and simply evaluate the content of the message…

Was it loving? ... Yes. Did it make me feel good to read it? ... Yes. Did I find it helpful? ... Yes.

Well, then… just get over your freakin’ self and read the thing every month, Wilcox.

Okay, fine… I will.

And I have.

Do I necessarily BELIEVE in Shamanism? I don’t know that I do.

But I do READ Lena’s forecast every month because I have found that her questions and reminders help me to focus on spiritual ideas that will benefit me and bring me greater clarity, greater peace and greater happiness in my life.

So, if that’s the result… then I don’t really CARE if I believe in Shamanism or not… or even if I UNDERSTAND what she’s talking about half the time… I’ll read it anyway, take what I can get from it and leave the rest.

So let's get to it...

The shaman forecast by Lena Stevens is published online around the first of every month and gives spiritual themes and guidelines for your consideration and contemplation.

This is how I do my monthly spiritual check-in with the forecast:

1.       Print out a hard copy from the website.
2.       Read through it and highlight all the passages that “resonate” with me as true for myself.
3.       Copy down some of the most relevant sections into my monthly calendar book that I look at every day, so that I will inevitably stumble across these quotes as reminders throughout the month.
4.       Carry the highlighted copy of the forecast in my journal, so that when I am feeling discouraged or unfocused in my day, I can pull it out and read it and remind myself of some positive things to focus on.

Here are some of my "highlights" from November 2011’s forecast, the one’s that resonate most for me:

“What is necessary now is to trust the inner navigation, your inner radar. This inner radar is your own intuition and sense of self, sense of what is right and sense of where your path lies. Your inner radar is your own heart.”

“…this time frame will begin to create a huge gap between how one person experiences life as opposed to another person. One person's reality will definitely be way different than another's depending on their level of consciousness. These times require a great allowing and acceptance of others to be just where they are and acknowledging that the experience of life will be as varied as each individual.”

“Remember that others view things through the lens of their own experience and what ends up being right for you may not always make sense to them. It is always a good idea to run things by someone you trust but the final decision will have to be yours alone.”

“In this time you all should be renewing your commitment to taking responsibility for your own lives. No one is going to fix it, make it better, get you out of debt, improve your health, give you a better job, remove your addictions and co-dependencies, or make anything stop except you, yourself. This is the time of growing up. It is your life. Stop whining and complaining and renew your commitment to yourself to create the kind of life that you want. Not what someone else thinks you should be doing, but what you want. Renew your intentions and honor that this is a time of renewal when anything becomes possible. Dream big.”

“What is working for you? Where do you feel a bit lost? What about your boundaries? What's missing? Who do you want to spend time with? Who not? Don't be afraid to make changes even if you think you will be disappointing others. Never make decisions based on how others may react. And be sure that your decisions are also not made out of personal reactions of your own.”

“Since there is the opportunity for a great deal of clarity this month, wait with major decisions until you reach that clarity. This is clarity of heart not necessarily of mind. You should feel right and good about your direction of renewal and your renewed intentions… The plan should include disciplined practices and constant reminders to be neutral, to let things go, not to feed drama, and to watch your reactions.”

“Beware of wasting any time around those that you should not be around. You know who they are. Occasionally there is the karmic exception, but even karmic circumstances are now up for review and renewal.”

“November will be a combination of much needed alone time within your own boundaries and clarity, and social time connecting you with others. Keep a balance so that neither area gets overloaded.”

“…look for a new sense of stability in the instability and unpredictability. It is as if we have finally become more comfortable with not knowing or needing to know and predict everything.”

“The most important thing is not to define, diagnose or settle for whatever you are feeling on a particular day. The quality of experience in these times is that that you can be feeling one way one day and the next day things can be completely different. It is crucial to renew your commitment to caring for your body, and to renew your intentions and your communication with the body. The physical body at this time is capable of miraculous healing and instant changes. What is required is trust and communicating your heartfelt intentions to your body. Make a practice of talking to your body every day with love, compassion, enthusiasm and inspiration. Treat your body as if it were a child eager to learn, to try and to succeed.”

“The situation of the economy has very little to do with what energies are available and it is best to separate yourself from the collective fear pattern in this case. We are not suggesting that you go into debt and throw caution to the wind. We are only suggesting that you do not put any energy into the fearful collective belief of recession, lack, debt and constriction. It would be much more useful and highly beneficial for you to be putting energy into gratitude for the abundance of what is available for the asking from the quantum field and spirit.”

“…gravitate towards communities of like-minded people…”

“Set good boundaries and face the truth about what is in your life that is no longer tolerable.”

“Stop everything, cancel obligations, take some time and revisit, review and question. Where have you become distracted? What is yours and what isn't? How are your boundaries? Where did you slip? What needs to die?”

“It is definitely worthwhile spending some time in contemplation and making yourself available to spirit and to your practices. There is a good potential for higher centered experiences.”

“Great compassion for self and others is needed now. Watch your reactions, stay neutral and keep your face to the sun.”

Don't go out and drink any Kool-aid or anything, K? Just some November food for thought.

If you read the forecast for yourself in its entirety this month, I am sure you will have totally different passages that will stick-out to you and will make your heart/mind/conscience go… PING!

I am curious to know your selections. What’s resonating with you this month?

In spirit,

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.” – Franz Kafka, novelist (1883 – 1924)


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