joy-being able to laugh at yourself




one of the primary teachings of shamanic practice is that we learn how to take the work seriously while not taking ourselves seriously. whoa. 

as someone who took themselves very seriously, well suffice to say, this was a challenge. how differently did i have to look at my life, if i didn’t take myself seriously? how much would my story of my past, present and future have to shift? how would i achieve, get anywhere-i mean, isn’t that what being an adult is all about-taking yourself and all the other selves in the world seriously? isn’t seriousness just another word for respect? i mean, when people didn’t take me seriously, i didn’t feel respected by them. period. i felt my perspective and my voice invalidated. i mean, what i thought and said was serious right- i had a good heart, i wanted to change the world, i wanted us all to take so much more, way more seriously, than we did. i mean look at how fucked up it all is right?

even writing all this right now brings a slight tinge of nausea to my solar plexus and belly. i actually have a sick feeling inside. and wow, let’s talk about reciprocation, pendulum swings, and the laws of the universe. every action has an equal and opposite reaction. many of us might remember learning this phrase in physics 10 or something. and when limiting it to the workbench, in a science classroom, it can seem just another thing to catalogue, memorize and move on from, not relevant to day to day life, i have found that every law of physics i was forced to remember, is actually a way to understand, energy, the universe, and how to move through my life in this physical body.

every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 

one story: i used to hate LA. as a vancouverite, i’d always related more to san francisco, sort of like a big sister city to us northern ports of seattle and vancouver. i thought LA was toxic and big and car riddled and crazy spectrumed in it’s wealth-poverty scale. i thought it was the vipers nest of so much of what was leaking out into the world as bad story-story that perverts us. then, through call of spirit, i was brought down to LA. again. and again. and again. and in each and every visit i fell more in love with a place that i had just never taken the time to understand, to get to know. i couldn’t see the vast magic of this place and it’s people, through the laid-like-law narrative i’d embedded, thrown, stuck on it. this is the law of reciprocation. watch out for your nevers, your ever afters, and any place you hold to, because there are natural laws in effect throughout this magic world, that supersede any of culture. as with so much in my life, i experienced the pendulum swing, the energetic forces of all that is, calibrate me, my experiences, my exposure.

and another place i have experienced this sweet ride, is through this teaching of not taking myself too seriously. twelve years ago, not being taken seriously would have had serious consequences for anyone who didn’t take me seriously! it would have consequences on the level and tone of my voice, my physiology, my breathing, my sleep and dreamtime. it would have had consequences because of how strongly we cling to ego to sustain identity, the way in which we choose to see the world, the place or position from which we choose to orient. and through all my experience in this spirit work, that ego, any time it has cling-ed, has gotten bashed down to where, i remind people all the time, that i live-in the mud!

a story to share, that was a profound example of this teaching around seriousness, was an experience that i had in the middle of lake titicaca in the great and profound country of peru. i was there with a crew of guys, 1 girl and 9 men on that journey, staying with an elderly couple, who, with their granddaughter, ran one of the only lodgings on the island. my brother and teacher Puma told us that a woman was dying that evening on the island. we asked why and what there was we could do to help. he relayed that she had been beaten so many times by her husband that now she was letting go, dying. and my perspective-he seemed so nonchalant in sharing this story, that was happening, while we were just sitting there!  i had a physical and very strong mental response. in my body, i had to hold myself back from rushing down the gold coloured hills to find her house. i had anger fill me at the audacity of a man who would choose to harm a woman, anger at the community for knowing and not changing anything, angry that she was dying, angry that she was choosing to die. and mostly, angry that i could not in any way relate to puma’s nonchalance as i read it. i also had a massive ego cry out that i could heal her, that i could bring her back, that if i’d known, i would’ve and could’ve done something! and all the while, puma sitting there, letting us know that, if we wanted to help her, we could blow prayers into the despachos we were preparing for ceremony that night.

now i have learned a lot from time spent with my brother, i believe we have learned a lot from each other. but this was big. this was death. and this was my witnessing of so many many of the andean teachings, indigenous teachings, in action. if everything is just what it is, if there is no right or wrong, good or bad, but simply places of organization and places of disorganization. if i didn’t take anyone too seriously but  took their work seriously? well holy shit-how much was i going to have to reorganize the entire way i experienced reality.

i am so grateful for that experience and moment of my own arrogance and judgment. i am so grateful to my brother puma for his neutrality. he wasted no universal or personal energy in the story. he went to where he could experience heart, meaning and transformation. he did not slip into a triangle of victim, perpetrator and rescuer. he maintained who he was, lovingly sending this woman off to her next form. and i diatribe-d, in my head, through the next sacred morning of the sun rising and initiating the andean new year, for days and possibly even months later as i miquied (andean word for mastication or chewing up) this experience. and in all ways invisible and not, i slowly grew corn from it, that has nurtured me ever since. it has enabled me to laugh through tears, to like myself more, to be more authentic, to radically reduce wasted energy, to grow to grow to grow, and to recognize the absolute creative power of story.

all our words, our ideas, thoughts, feelings, actions are energy. they go out into the world and make the world what it is. our story is our reality. it is what we choose to live. heaviness begets heaviness, joy cultivates further joy. and the ability to laugh at oneself-well that really, truly, changes the world.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha- i’m blogging!!!!!!!!!!