by Amanda Hovey
Glass half empty or glass half full? A common question used to determine perception. Everything that happens within us and outside of us offers a choice as to how we perceive what may or may not be the truth. We function in a shared reality which influences our experience of it. But with the power of Neutrality, and through the practice of Stalking, we are able to observe with fresh eyes, and track down the source of habitual responses and mis-perceptions.
We may all perceive that the sky is blue, and the grass is green because that is what we have been taught: a shared vision. But what if we allowed ourselves to make our own decision as to what color we see the sky? At an early age, when our creativity and imagination run deep, dictating every move we make, would these colors be the same?
Through indigenous teachings we are taught about the power of Neutrality and how we can use neutrality as a way to step out of oneself and observe the scene or situation without judgement, as if watching a movie. This in turn frees us from the emotional connection that may lead us to a habitual outcome.
The beliefs, thoughts and words we tell ourselves create who we are and become. The moment we decide who we want to be or become something else, we open a new door of self-perception. By using neutrality as a foundational reminder, we allow ourselves the opportunity to shift out of self judgement, martyrdom, and even blame into a new way of living.
I have used Neutrality, as well as Stalking, to shift the way I relate to the word “God”. Like many, my upbringing was focused within an organized religious setting. As I grew up within this community I began to observe community members passing judgment upon each other. It seemed everywhere I turned there were eggshells to walk on and mirrors which reflected that I was not enough.
I reclaimed my power and left this organization as a young woman of 13. Because of this experience my connection to the word “God” was not a pleasant one – I used to cringe at the very sound of this word. My body, mind and soul itself would instantly begin to fall into a state of judgment and unworthiness, which in effect handed back over the reclaimed power which I had acquired. Because this program ran in the background from child to teen, the layers were deep and deserved ample time and patience.
It is here that the practice of Stalking came into play. I observed when this reaction arose, and tracked down all the moments when, where and why the trigger reared its invasive head. Although after 13, I remained very “Spiritual” I had created a block for expansion in communication and connection. It is truly remarkable how one can feel once you free yourself from such bondage.
Triggers are here to help us notice what no longer serves for those around us or for Great Spirit. Although stalking can be very uncomfortable, even perhaps a Wakan (a Shipibo word for something that is out of our comfort zone) it is necessary for the growth of our self and humanity.
Frozen perceptions keep us playing out the same experiences over and over. Negative attracts negative,and the same is true for trauma. If we do not start paying attention, we then attract similar experiences as a way to help us remember. Therefore “running away” never really works. You may have changed your environment, friends even your personal outer appearance, but you are still a magnet and until released there is no hiding. Over time humans have become comfortable with suffering and self-sabotage. So much that it is our first instinct. We have a choice as to how we show up. Indigenous teachings support us in shifting our perception with powerful tools like the practices of Stalking, and Neutrality. By opening a new door of perception, we begin restoring harmony and peace for ourselves, family and community. A vital process for the next generation.