Stories From the Journey: Transforming Sacred Space, by Kinlen

Stories From the Journey:
Transforming Sacred Space, by Kinlen

From the very beginning of my shamanic journey, I remember loving the act of opening Sacred Space, calling in the Directions. I loved feeling the energy of support and vitality all around me. I practiced with others in my classes as we worked together on each new bit of medicine we learned. We called to the winds of the South, the West, the North, the East, Pachamama (Mother Earth), and IntiTaita (Father Sky). We faced each direction in turn, held up our hands, sprayed our Florida water into the air and whistled to each. We made our invitation for the archetypal energies of Serpent, Jaguar, Hummingbird, and Eagle, to join us on our journey, to protect us, to help us grow in our skills and relationships.

Over the years, Wake and I became more fluid in how we called in sacred space. Instead of following the words from the paper we had first been given, we called in energies specific to the ceremony or work we were doing. I brought in prayers I had learned from fellow shaman that Wake and I had worked with as we taught classes around the world. I loved practicing the wonderful way the Q’ero shaman open sacred space. Instead of turning to face directions, the Q’ero started with their hands extended up, they called in the energy of Wyracocha (the source of the sacred spring), stars and galaxies, the sun and moon. Then opened their hands wide and invited in the energy of lightening, rainbows, and the great Apus (holy mountains). They stretched their hands out, fully open, as they called to the trees, animals, all creatures. And then, they reached down to lovingly touch the earth, and called in their most precious connection – Pachamama. They opened an all-inclusive, full circle of life-giving energies.

After years and years of opening sacred space and then closing it again, week after week, for meditation after meditation, class after class; I began to realize that I had built relationships with all of the energies I was calling in. The elements and archetypes, Earth and Sky lived within me. I realized that I was now walking in sacred space all the time, whether I opened it intentionally or not. I realized that all that practice, all those openings and closings, were helping me to absorb the awareness that the energies of creation and life, the very Love Plasma of the Universe were with me all the time, have always been so. It had taken all those repetitions for me to really grok that I am inextricable from the sacred space I sought.

I still love calling in sacred space. It centers me, settles my mind before starting a meditation, a session with a client, or a ceremony. It reminds me that everything I do in a day matters, that it is sacred because I am part of the sacred web of life and creation.

Stories From the Journey: Let There Be Joy and Laughter, by Kinlen

My first journey to Peru was in 2004. I remember meeting the Q’ero at a small stone shrine in the Sacred Valley. A group of about eight Q’ero men and women came running up to us shouting “Wayqi, Wayqi”. They circled Wake and gave him flowers and tied beads round his neck and wrists.They had met Wake before and had christened him with the Quechua word “Wayqi” which means Spirit Brother — a very common name that Quechua speaking men call other men who they are close to like brothers. This time both men and women called out to Wake by this name. It was musical, and delightful to see him welcomed in this way. The vision and sound has stayed with me to this day because of how joyful the Q’ero were, and how sweetly they treated Wake.

Joy and playfulness was, and still is, a big part of the Q’ero way of life and their relationships. I remember being in ceremony with them many times. Sometimes people in our groups were very concerned about being respectful, and sat very quietly during ceremonies. The Q’ero shaman would sort of look around, “like what is wrong?” And then one might steal the elaborately decorated hat from another and tossed up in a tree, leaving the other Q’ero to jump up and down trying to get the hat back. Everyone in the group joined in laughing and trying to figure out how to get the hat down. The Q’ero said that they wanted the energy of joy, the energy from all of life to be part of the ceremony. Over the years we would see families of Q’ero and other Peruvians circled up for a ceremony on the ground and everything imaginable would be happening… babies crying, laughing, small kids running around, running in and out of the ceremony, along with dogs and chickens, old people would be there for help with infirmities, young couples wanting blessings, and more. All of life was not only welcomed, but needed in the ceremony.

One year on a campout at the base of Quoquequero, one of the Q’ero placed a very large rock in Wake’s pack at the beginning of the journey. The hike was very difficult, and we walked all day. At the end Don Francisco was watching to see when Wake would discover the rock. He laughed and laughed was Wake scoffed and tried to throw the rock at him.

On another trip we brought glow sticks up the mountain with us and tossed them around the dining tent at night. Everyone had a great time. The Q’ero had never seen them before. They loved the sticks and took them to their tents that night. All night long we could see the glow of their tents and hear them giggling.

Let Their Be Laughter and Joy!

The Push and Pull of Power, by Kinlen Wheeler

We have been discussing the second Gateway on the Journey of Enlightenment: Empowerment. Along with new feelings of empowerment in this step of the journey, many people find that they become more aware of the energy of power in relationships.

You’ve probably noticed that in some conversations you can feel the other person pushing energy at you. Typically, it is in the form of trying to persuade you. Think back to a time when someone wanted to convince you that their idea was the best and you should follow it, or approve of it, etc…

Can you feel the sense of pushing? And how about with yourself? Can you remember a time when you were the one pushing energy?

The journey is always about our own behavior, and not others. However, we can typically see in others, what we cannot quite see in ourselves.  So no need to try to help a friend become less pushy with power. It’s about recognizing how you use your energy in relationships.

How about pulling energy? Can you think of a time when you tried to get attention or energy of support from another person? Surely you can think of someone who is an energy drainer. Can you think of a time when you were drawing on someone else’s energy?

Another energy exchange can be giving your power away. When you don’t share an opinion you’d like to share, or you don’t participate in decision making, you can be giving your power away. For people who have suffered physical or psychological abuse, giving power away may be the only option for survival.

Giving power away can persist into adulthood, even where there is no threat. It can be a habit, or a learned behavior that becomes unconscious. I had a client who was terribly afraid of her own power, because she didn’t want to become abusive like her father. She didn’t realize she was choosing to give her power away, even in the loving relationship she was currently in.

When moving through the Pathway of Enlightenment, it is really important to become clean with our energy. That means to own our own energy by not giving it away to others, and to not push or pull others energetically.

The push and pull of power is a fascinating part of human behavior. Congratulations if you can see where you have pushed and pulled, or given energy away. That is a huge step forward in the journey to a happier, healthier life.

Next Blog post will be about Clean Energy.

The Gateway of Empowerment, by Kinlen Wheeler

As you become conscious of the choices you are making, you may find yourself asking, “Where did that choice come from?”  Maybe you are looking at changing jobs, and you find yourself looking at jobs that you don’t really like, but you think are the right way to go.

Ask yourself, what is right about the job?

You may find that you are leaning towards it because it has certain qualities. Maybe the job would be secure, or makes a lot of money, or has high prestige. Feel into what is underneath the initial reasons to consider that job.

Also, ask yourself, “Where did the importance of that quality come from?” You might find that your parents valued security, or some other aspect of the job. Or some other person who you looked up to in your life.

From there you can ask yourself, “Do I really believe that security is important?” Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, you are finding your way closer to owning what you want.

If, for example security (or some other quality) isn’t that important to you, or you don’t really believe security is that real these days, then you can decide to release that aspect of the jobs you are looking at. This will free you up to look for qualities in your new job, that are more meaningful for you personally.

This practice can help you through the new experience of making choices for yourself.

It’s the same for any choice you are making… job, relationship, behavior, how you load the dishwasher!

Enjoy watching your choices this week, and becoming more conscious of what the underlying values are for each choice.

My next Blog post will be about the Push and Pull of Power.

Taking the Reins in Your Own Hands, by Kinlen Wheeler

So we have started down the path of the Journey of Enlightenment.

Let’s take the next step, into Empowerment. It has multiple aspects, and will be worth spending a few posts on.

As we come through the portal of growth into Empowerment, we begin to really understand that the world isn’t just happening to us. We are making choices about partners, parenting style, jobs, how busy we will be, how we treat friends, and more. Everything really.

Many of us would have been following the shoulds we learned growing up to make those decisions. The rationale is, “If I follow the shoulds I should be happy”, or “if nothing else, no one can blame me if I’m not happy”.

Taking the reins in your own hands, making your own decisions can be intense. Some of your choices may not be popular with your friends and family. Some of your choices will certainly impact others. For example, if I make a choice to find a new job, my partner may also be impacted by having less money around until I figure it out. Or if I start reading about another parenting style, my family may not be supportive.

You might be asking, “What if I don’t like what I choose?” My answer to that is

You can always choose again

In my household we call it do-overs. We make room to try on something new, and see how it works. It can even work in talking with each other. If something comes out of my mouth that is not as kind as I would have liked, I will say, “That didn’t come out right. Let me have a do over”. Then I can recalibrate my message and my manor, and try it again.

Look at the choices you are making today. Ask yourself, “What do I want to see happen here?”. “What do I want for myself?” Then take baby steps: one decision, one choice at a time.

If you’d like to see my film, The Journey of Enlightenment, it is on our website here. Currently, I am writing a book about the Journey, which is even more in depth and interactive.

The Journey of Enlightenment, by Kinlen Wheeler

The new website is up! And with it I am happily sharing insights about the Journey of Enlightenment.

What an amazing unfolding of personal growth we are all on. And while it is personal and unique for each person, there are also milestones or portals of growth that each of us must master in order to continue.

In the first portal of growth, we begin to move from thinking the world is happening to us, to recognizing that we are making decisions that impact what comes into our life. Taking responsibility for those decisions sets us on an exciting path. If we choose, we can continue on that path, to discover our personal freedom and power in the world.

You can recognize that you are in a portal when you know what you are currently doing is not working, or not a big enough a way of understanding, that you must look for something new, bigger.

If you have been through some of the portals, you may have also experienced some uncertainty as you leave the comfort of a known way of being; to taking steps in a whole new way.

Often, as we leave old patterns behind and begin to step through the portal, we do not know where we will find ground on the other side.

Many of you have probably already taken this first step, and come into empowerment in your lives. Hopefully putting it into words helps solidify your understanding of it, and gives you language to share the experience with others.