Source: Tatler magazine, Jo Bowlby with a shaman in Peru.
It’s almost been a year since I went through a shamanic ritual (I wrote about it here). I still have a one pager where I hungrily have scribbled down key insights and advice immediately after I left Jo’s house. Recently a friend asked me to have a go at ‘spiritually mentoring’ her in order to help her overcome a lack of joy she is feeling, the same reason why I sought a shaman in the first place. She asked me how my experience with the shaman changed my life and upon reflection I realised that the change has been significant in the last 8 months. I’ll narrow it down to 3 areas:
- I write more.
- I love myself more.
- I share more.
Other than this blog, I write poetry. I have managed to overcome my writing block and have pages and pages of unfinished poems that I need to work on. No progress on my sci fi story yet, but it is forever in the back of my mind and so either me or my unconscious are busy working on it 🙂 There are many other small writing projects that I started – the trick is to stay focused and actually finish stuff. When I have nothing to write about or limited time or I am just lazy (my default mode in life), I write about small things that happened or interest me (see next week’s post) to explore them more.
In fact, writing more made me realise that I want to pursue writing professionally so while I continue to be terrified at the prospect I started looking at ways of doing it. This reminded me that it is not passion -> action but rather action -> passion -> action. I knew that when you do something you love or enjoy, you inevitably start aligning with your purpose – I knew it in my head but I did not feel it in my bones, in my gut. And now I do. It’s an exciting and very scary realisation.
Loving myself was another interesting exercise. I realised I almost always prioritised others over myself, at home and at work. Being a full time working parent, it was easy to justify not looking after myself properly. I spent 3 years working with an abusive boss and I blamed myself for not being able to make it work (!!). Is it any surprise my energy levels were depleted and there was no joy left in my life? I looked into paid courses on self-love but could not find anything that called to me. So I bought and read Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself which was an amazing decision and better than any course. I keep promising to summarise it here so this is coming soon also.
When you silence (or rather transcend) the inner critic and love yourself more (as in believe that you deserve the best in life), strange things start happening. I switched jobs (my current boss is amazing), negotiated a 4-day week, I went on a food detox (more on this later also, I promise!), I started planning my next crazy spiritual adventure 🙂 A consequence of loving yourself more is that you get in touch with your soul, you start listening to your heart. As if by ‘coincidence’ (on this blog we know there is no such thing), while researching my spiritual animal, I ran into another shamanic blog Loner Wolf which has an amazing soulwork blueprint. It effectively summarised the journey I’ve been on most of my life and outlined the next steps. So much to do, so little time!
Finally, Jo told me I was ready to be a teacher and a healer and advised to look for ways to share what I know and learnt over the years with others to help them become happier. I took this to heart. In April, I am speaking about smartphones and happiness at the Focus Inside in London, spending a night under the stars to raise funds for Battersea Dogs and Cats and attending a volunteer session with the local branch of Samaritans. I am also working on an Action for Happiness event in my local area that we hope to kick off in September.
So has the shamanic experience changed my life? Absolutely. How? Jo helped me unblock my energy, pointed out the ways to bring joy back, gave me practical tips on how to align with my purpose and soul but most importantly she helped me give myself permission to write, create and to teach and I know it sounds crazy that I needed that, but I did.