Along the path I have wandered, our main teachings come from four weekend learning experiences that are done in the name of the four cardinal directions, and the spirits that are associated with each. They went like this:
- South: Hatun Amaru (The Great Serpent)
- West: Otorongo (Jaguar)
- North: Huanacauri (Dragon) & Siwar Qenti (Royal Hummingbird)
- East: Kuntor (Condor)
Each one of these directions is another step down the rabbit whole of understanding the path a bit further. They build off each other, yet also work together as a cohesive whole.
After I completed the South work, I was speaking to a friend of mine who has a practice as a Psychologist. I explained some of the efforts, and the challenges that it brought on, he commented: “Wow, that sounds like my entire Bachelor’s degree in Psychology…”
My wife and I frequently have conversations about the psychology and spirituality, and how they seem to walk the same paths… But when my friend made the statement above, it really hit home for me that our conversation was more than just a joke.
As I have more and more people reach out to me, I am walking into areas where I do not know the beliefs of the person with whom I will join. I do not know if I will be able to speak to their beliefs in the spiritual. And it got me to thinking about, will the help that I can offer actually be of help, if they believe in nothing? If they have absolutely no belief in spirit, energy, ghosts, ritual…
Yes. Yes it will.
Now, it is important that I note that when you believe in nothing, you tend to get the zero feedback. As with all of us, your belief perpetuates the response you are willing to hear. So there are some tools I utilize that will go unfelt. (Or maybe not felt in a way that is attributed to my efforts) However; when I work with someone, it has nothing to do with their beliefs, nor mine. The individual beliefs we share or do not share end up carrying no value. There are affects of this work that are completely in the realm of psychology, if not spiritual.
There is remarkable power in a few very simple things.
- Listening to someone. Truly listening. Where your goal is to hear their words, and understand their feelings and meaning. Without judging or thinking about how to respond. Hearing enough of what they are saying to you to be able to echo back what you have heard, and offer connections they might not see.
- Ritual. In the morning, I wake up, I grind the coffee, I boil the water, and with those actions in place, and knowing coffee is on the way, I can pack lunches, and get the kids snow gear ready for school. At night before bed, I read with the kids, we brush teeth together, settle into bed with an audio book. These little rituals we add to our daily lives offer comfort. By creating a ritual space, you create a space of comfort and connectivity with one another.
- Making someone the target of your care. Having someone with you, and know that they are working for your betterment is a healing experience in itself.
The more I do this work, the more power I see in the ability to change someone’s life, by being the one person who has heard them, the one person who has validated their feelings (even if you do not agree with their judgements), and let them know that they are OK.
Here is something that I recommend for you. Go to a mirror. Stare into your own eyes, and say, “I don’t like *** about myself, and I am ok” Pick anything that you have a hard time thinking about with yourself, or something you are aware you don’t like. Acknowledge that feeling. Don’t try to invalidate it. Your feeling is valid. But no matter your feeling, add, “and I am ok.” Say it twice. Say it three times. And you will see a difference in how you feel about it.