There is not much to say on this page, but it can make a huge difference.
But only if you apply it.
The work I talk about is demanding. The charge held in overwhelming experiences must be matched by your presence. There is a simple arithmetic of awareness that goes like this. Events we didn’t get over contain trapped, frozen pieces of our being that remain unavailable to our present-time life. This is what is referred to in the shamanic concept of soul retrieval. When you first engage in this work, you are least able to perform it, because your available awareness is at its lowest point. The first substantial result in healing is the hardest. Every time you free up a frozen bit of soul, it becomes available to contribute to the continuing work and it makes it easier. Its availability allows you to contend with a slightly more challenging demon. This is the virtuous circle of transformation.
With entheogenic medicines, the amount of available attention is a commanding factor in the quality of your experience and the effectiveness of your work.
Like many before me, I found great power in completion. To test it, try this simple experiment next time your energy feels low or sluggish.
Find several small incompletions in your life — cycles of action begun but not finished, such as bills to pay, phone calls or emails to returns, small-scale projects, minor repairs, upsets or misunderstandings not cleared up, dishes or laundry to wash and other housekeeping tasks. They must be small so that you can complete several in a short time.
Do them. Do several in a row without pausing. Then watch your energy level. Try to remember how you felt before you started.
Incompletions hold our attention out of present time. Completing increases our presence. It works with emptying an ashtray. It works with completing my relationship with my mother, on a different scale.
There are several ways to benefit from this understanding.
One is simply to handle obligations as they come up. If it has to be done and you don’t do it the moment it comes to your attention, you end up handling it twice. Within common sense — don’t write emails while driving — it works. It increases your presence and power.
In relationships, applying this principle yields even more spectacular gains. Incomplete communication eats at and erodes the quality of our relationships as surely as any force of nature. Handle breakdowns fast and thoroughly. Perhaps more difficult, being related to other people who understand this will pay off immeasurably.
If we are serious about personal transformation, we need to go further. We need to dig these things up, go on a treasure hunt for cycles to complete. Scan our lives and connections and take the initiative. Call or write people, fulfill promises (especially those we made to ourselves), finish projects.
This is not something to do once or once in a while. This is a lifestyle.
A word of caution. When you are dealing with important relationships that have serious or old fractures, the goal should be to have the experience of completion. Sometimes it is not appropriate to stir things up. People move into new spaces and may not understand — or worse. Often a good practice with this type of situation is to write the completion letter but not send it. When in doubt I pray for discriminating wisdom.
This approach will also develop a crucial attitude in healing: the willingness to be cause, also called responsibility, accountability or simply ownership of your life. Extreme healing — working with the heavy stuff — brings you face to face with moments of overwhelm and helplessness, moments in which you made the decision to be effect. That decision is the main source of the limitations you are experiencing in your life. Cultivating the countervailing attitude will pay off big.
A notable result will be a greater control of the physical universe. Time, money, real estate and other resources will become more abundant as you work on transforming your relationship with the demands of your embodied life. Needless to say, these are important contributors to your healing work. Having time, a peaceful place where you can control who shows up and does what, easy access to nature and of course money, you at least get the opportunity to deal with the heavy stuff.
Here is an exercise that may prove relevant.
Write a short autobiography — roughly one page or 250 words — briefly listing the main events of your life so far. Leave it alone for at least an hour and do other things. Do it before you read the next step.
Now pick it up and read it slowly, marking every statement about being effect — “I had to…,” “it made me…,” “because of this…” and so on. Pick up a new sheet of paper and rewrite the story as cause in every one of those situations. Even if it seems totally absurd, like “I caused a car accident that disabled me,” write it anyway and put yourself in the identity of the person who is perceiving her/his life that way.
Finish the new version and leave it alone for a while. When you re-read it, notice how you feel and whether any insights come up.
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