Feeling stuck, depressed, anxious about the future, not knowing what’s next and sometimes not even knowing one’s purpose in life… are among the most common conditions faced by individuals who come to see me for a shamanic session. This is even more common in the current period while uncertainty and a profound economic crisis are forcing many of us to live in the unknown and sometimes even on survival modes.
Part of the shamanic healing process is to help each person lift and release those blockages that different circumstances of life have put in our way so that we can start dreaming our life again and let go of a story based on suffering, inadequacy, and self-depreciation. This ultimately is often the way ego has found to feel important. Not that we like to suffer (even though it can become dangerously addictive) but as one of my clients recently put it, it is hard to get “out of our usual way”. Here I would like to share one simple tip that I have learned from my own experience and the experience of supporting others: you can start again dreaming your life (and dream big!) but don’t forget to do it… one moment at a time!
Indeed, figuring out our life’s “big picture” may at times feel more paralyzing than anything else. It may also seem artificial or unreal when “everything sucks”. Although I often recommend to start taking notes of dreams (including vivid dreams) and ideas of things (big and small) that the person would love to do and that would make her happy in the long run, I often add: “Don’t forget those small things that you want to do right now, today, while you are still sick, tired, hopeless, and in a survival mode.” There is one first main reason for this: we truly only have this day, this moment as nobody can say for sure what tomorrow will hold and if we will even still be alive… So why not start right now identifying those little things that make us happy in the moment, and on a daily basis?
Every morning, while you are brushing your teeth or in the shower, find one thing that is going to make you feel happy today. It can be as little and mundane as buying your favorite ice cream, calling a friend, reading that poem that you like so much, taking the time to smell a beautiful rose, enjoying the kids playing with water in the public park. These are examples of small moments that reconnect our lives to joy…one joyful instance at a time. Then, if you can, at night, try to remember this moment and maybe also other unexpected moments that have shown up during your day and have made you smile or even feel happy. If possible, journal about the process, and start to make a “reconnect to joy” list. It does not have to take too much of your time. And if one day you forget to do it or don’t feel like doing it (although I recommend sticking a post-it on the mirror in the bathroom!), don’t blame yourself; just start again the next day. Remember: one moment, one day at a time…
By doing so, you will not only start actually living your life again but you may realize that, progressively, a different image of your life and of what makes you happy will come to light. I have also found over and over that those little things of our daily lives are what nurtures us and opens up doors within we did not even know existed… In other words, they are often the pathways to the bigger road.
The sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. The same is true for our life: we are the creator of our own life and sometimes it is wise to focus away from the whole figure, just for now, in order to re-connect with the small joys of our daily lives. And guess what: before you know it, you will discover that you actually have re-connected with Joy and can feel moments of Happiness before you even have a reason!
Béatrice | Contemporary Shamanic Healer
Allowing The Light