Achievement versus Soul Integrity
As we walk the shamanic path, we are gathering our medicine and hopefully building strong, resilient medicine bodies. This can at times be a tedious process because it means that we constantly need to look within and sift through what is ours and what is not.
Simultaneously, we have to do this within a state of emotional neutrality. This takes practise and patience, and in many ways is so contrary to our lifestyles these days where we have almost instant everything.
Spiritual integrity however, is not instant and many times, neither is healing. Many of these processes run at the sensible and organic speed of our dear Mother Earth. Take a walk outside into Nature and sit quietly for a mere five minutes. Listen and be! It won't take long before you experience the slower pace of Nature. Consider now that your body is made of the elements of the Earth. Now consider how it is for our bodies to be running at a speed so much faster than that which we are built for. I am not suggesting that we stop, but I am suggesting that we slow down and that every now we have to agree to a sprint! This means of course, that we need to let go of achieving it all... now!
Angeles Arrian talks about reaching mid-life and then the second half of life being a process of moving from achievement into character development. This is a wonderful concept! For those of us on a shamanic path or called to a spiritual pilgrimage, this process of moving from achievement into character development needs to happen when the call happens, whatever age that may be. Without character development and with a conscious or unconscious drive for achievement, we can become vulnerable, and with that vulnerability can come energy overload, or chaos, or we may find ourselves surrounded by life situations riddled with strife wondering what happened, and forgetting to ask, "Did I have a part in this?"
So how do we stay in integrity? How do we build strength of character? Well, like so many other trinity motifs in the Celtic way, the ancestors believed that spiritual wholeness, power and strength came primarily from the unity of the soul, the heart, and the mind. By taking care of these as a unit then we can be in our strong medicine to face life and all its trials and ordeals. This means that we take care of our soul and the strength of our soul by tending to our soul, our minds, and our emotions. In addition, tending to the soul-shrine (our body) is also essential.
Here are the ingredients that our soul, heart and mind need in order to remain strong and healthy:
The soul needs trust or devout observance and love. Look today, observe your soul and how you feel on a soul level. Are you tending to your soul? Do you trust your soul? Does your soul trust Spirit/God/Goddess? Does your soul experience love? Love of life, love of your life, love of Nature?
The heart needs belief or consent. This means that you need to have your heart's consent when you are making decisions and taking action towards those. Are you listening to your heart? Are you engaged with your heart's desire? Is you heart full of passion? The heart needs desire and passion to feel full and strong.
The mind needs faith or pledge. Do you have faith in your mind? Is your mind focussed and clear? Are you able to still your mind and listen to your thoughts?
Here is a prayer I created and that we use in the Shaman Woman apprenticeship to weave this trinity together and come to a place of centeredness.
By the healing waters of Brigid
Three waves of consent for my heart
Three waves of faith for my mind
Three waves of trust for my soul
Heart and mind and soul as one