By Parminder Randhawa
Have you ever had the desire to transform something in your life? Maybe a habit, a relationship, your environment, or some other aspect of your life? I often feel as though I live in a continual quest for transformation––the kind that will improve my life and the world around me. I have had the good fortune to study and practice many different traditions on this quest, and with Shamanism, I hit gold.
For me, Shamanism is synonymous with transformation. Every single aspect of this beautiful path helps me positively change some aspect of my life. Anything from a false or limiting belief, a coping pattern or habit that no longer serves to work that no longer feeds my soul, environments that are no longer conducive to my well-being.
My inner and outer world has been transformed many times over since I stepped foot on this path, and I am eternally grateful for the awe-inspiring joy and fulfillment the practice of Shamanism has brought me. There are so many aspects of this journey that have empowered and enriched my life. Here, I’d like to discuss three principles of Shamanic Wisdom that have completely shifted my view of reality.
The Spirit That Connects All – One of the fundamental concepts of Shamanism is that we exist in a web, a matrix of energy/spirit that connects and unites all life. Any idea of separation is an illusion, and the only reality that truly exists is Oneness. Although I had an intellectual understanding of this unity through the study of other spiritual paths, it was not until I began practicing Shamanism that it truly became a reality to me. The world came alive as never before and I felt my energetic/spiritual connection to all life on a very visceral level.
Not only was I connected to all, I could communicate with all and seek guidance/support from beings I had never even noticed before. The earth became sacred territory and nature/spirit beings became the most powerful teachers, allies, and guides. When we begin connecting to the spirit in all things in this way, we are never alone. We need not feed that myth of alienation, isolation, competition, and scarcity our modern world feeds us. We become incredibly empowered to live life as free, independent and interdependent beings sharing this beautiful creation.
The Self as Co-Creator of Reality – For many years of my life, I operated with the idea that I was a helpless victim of circumstance and my main objective was to do all I could to protect myself and survive the harsh realities of life. It was not until I stepped foot on this path that I was introduced to the idea of taking 100% responsibility for ALL aspects of my life––the good, the challenging, and the downright ugly (or, at least, what I perceived as such). At first this was incredibly difficult. I had no desire to take ownership of some of the pain and wounding that had existed in my life.
But the shamanic path demands that we take complete responsibility and accepts no less. It was not until I started to accept greater responsibility for all aspects of my life and started to let go of my attachment to old wounds, resentments, fears, destructive habits and beliefs that I could truly begin altering my course. Since then, I have come to feel incredibly empowered by this truth. I have learned to rely on Spirit and my allies/ guides to help me create great shifts in my personal and professional life…shifts that come very easily when I let go of my attachment to my limited perceptions and open myself to the blessings and possibilities available to me. Shifts that are way beyond anything I previously thought was possible.
The Unique Medicine Each Being Carries – Perhaps one of my favorite teachings on this path is that we are all children of the Great Spirit and all of us have been blessed with a special mix of gifts, attributes, interests and passions that are unique to us. When we let go of what no longer serves us, we can more fully express the unique power each one of us has been gifted with. Every single being has a special song and a special medicine to share with the world, and it is only by each of us stepping forward and showing up as our most authentic, empowered selves that we can make our unique contribution to life.
This is perhaps one of the most exciting principles for me because it has had such a profoundly positive impact not only on me but also on the individuals I have been fortunate enough to share these teachings and this healing medicine with. Stepping forward and committing myself wholeheartedly to my life task of healing and teaching has brought me previously unimaginable blessings––joy beyond my wildest dreams and fulfillment that is soul deep. I’ve also seen this happen for others as they exercise the courage to own their authentic selves and step forward as empowered beings with a unique gift and mission.
The result is that we come alive and courageously shine our light––thereby doing our part toward the awakening and healing of our world. What could be more beautiful, more powerful, more transformative?