Shamanism can’t fix you, because you are not broken
This dirty, messy, muddy life...
When we hurt, when life gives us the best she has to offer, and we are struggling to keep up, most of us experience moments that we feel broken. Our souls ache, our spirit struggles to hold itself together and can feel like everything is working against us.
When we are within the thick of it, it can be very challenging to remember that even in the most challenging times, that the mud, the mess and sometimes the even challenges are a part of the natural order of things. As it is in these times that it seems the universe is asking us to stretch, bend, grow, evolve enough to prepare to bloom. Yet it is within these extreme times, most of us forget that we, like blooming lotus, require mud to bloom. Thick, messy, mucky, stinky, mud.
I know the idea of no mud, no lotus is not a new concept to most, and most of us know the necessity of the muddier aspects to living are a near requirement for growth. But oddly enough, it is often a somewhat unusual concept to apply to way we approach and work with energy, intuition and shamanism. So many of us are so quick to try to clear the mud, release it, and it tidy up. All while forgetting the vital nature of the mud, the necessity of the mud.
"No mud, no Lotus." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Over the years of working with shamanism, my view of how it can help has dramatically changed. When I first began offering shamanic healing in my 20’s, I was on a mission to “fix”. I wanted to “fix” and take away as much of the hurt and discomfort I could from those I was working with so they could feel better, as quickly as possible. As I grew and evolved, I began to see that in doing so can at times, actually do more harm than good. By offering the “fix” I was in essence. scraping away all of the noticeable mud from the roots of the lotus to prevent the lotus from getting messy. Offering only, a momentary sense of relief but also aiding in the postponing of the bloom.
I am grateful that my shamanic allies have taken the time over the years to teach me that my role is not to take the mud away, but to help the lotus and the mud communicate and play well together. To give the lotus and the mud the tools I have to share to help them collaborate.
I am grateful that my shamanic allies have taught me and reminded me of the many reasons we need mud to bloom and given me tools to share with others to foster the transformation of how we see, feel and work with whatever mud it is we are struggling with in our life. Tools to help us hold the muddy struggles we are in with reverence as a teacher and a catalyst for healing and change, rather than something that solely needs to be cleared and released. While clearing is sometimes helpful, as often we need the mud to hold our roots strong and steady to the earth so we don’t topple under the weight of our blooms. We need the ancient wisdom and nurturance and moister the mud offers us. And we need the mud to help us remember that our blooming is only one aspect of our cycle. When we resist the mud, or label the mud as being bad or toxic we are missing out on a massive opportunity to grow.
What I have come to learn and love about shamanism as a healing modality has been transformed greatly from my original roots and ideas of it being a path to helping “fix” the messiness of the mud; to being one of seeing it for a holder and keeper of the tools it has to share in how to support our ability to really get to know the mud we each in our own way struggle against and resist. Tools that can help us understand the mud, and transform our relationship with it that open up doors for the blooming. I am grateful for the tools that also offer to help us see a deeper story that solely our resistance and struggle. The nutrient rich wisdom and keys to help us transform and heal that the mud is ready to tell when we are able to steady our self and listen.
“Life is mud-luscious and puddle wonderful” E.E. Cummings
When we have "mud" that keeps us up at night, trips us each time we interact with someone we love or has us turning our self inside out it can be helpful to ask our own intuition... "What is this mud I am struggling with, right now? How is it helping me grow and bloom?", "What can I transform within that will allow me to “make-nice” with this mud?" and "What am I actually in resistance to that is allowing me to be stuck between mud and bloom?"
Joanna is the author of Energetic Boundaries 101. She is a shamanic practitioner, animal communicator and mentor. She works, writes lives and tends to the important matters of spirit-energy with playful, transparency and honesty.
She works with clients all over the globe from her healing studio that is lovingly nestled between Mt Baker and the Salish sea, in Bellingham, WA.