A Myth about Shadow Transformation

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A big myth about shadow work is that shadow work is hard. I admit, I fell into that trap myself in the beginning. I worked so hard transforming these warped and twisted aspects of my selves that it was almost masochistic. Then once I got enough of my shadow transformed and was living my ally, there was a massive change in my perspective. I realized I was making the experience harder then it needed to be.

I found that it was this combination between addiction to intensity as well as some ancestral patterns that progress is painful, and the “No pain, no gain” story. This idea that personal work was hard was playing as a constant background drum, like the drum used to keep rowers in tune on a big old ship. Once I broke that drum and stopped pushing myself so hard, I finally found joy in my process.

Now, it’s not so much about causing myself pain, but it’s about looking forward to what juicy aspect of myself I’m ready to live. The reason why we PUT shadows in the closet in the first place is because this part of us twisted by extreme fear. We still have access to it, but it’s almost completely unconscious. It’s that part of us that acts and we immediately think afterwards, “Jeez!! Why did I just do that?!?!” These parts of us are just looking for liberation, and now I’m actively welcoming that transformation if it comes up in my process.

Are you looking to welcome self sabotaging parts of you back home? Join the courses available through the Last Mask Center! I promise, you’ll have a much easier time navigating the chaos of the world after your transformations if you do 🙂 I won’t be taking this course this year, but one thing that I absolutely loved about it is that there’s a beautiful community of humans that get to hold you during your messy process. They’re there for you as you untangle all the ways you’ve betrayed or abandoned yourself/your dreams. You get to engage in fun elemental rituals, and dance your butt off! It can be terrifying at first, but what’s a little transformation without the terror that turns into excitement? Check out if it’s right for you.

And even if you DON’T take the class, the free webinar that explains the course is really great this year. Christina Lee Pratt goes into the difference between marginalized selves, shadow selves, dissociated selves and lost selves. The first hour is really educational. If you click on the above link, the password to get to the recording is z2z.5MeP

I don’t know about you, but even though my life is fast paced, I don’t get overwhelmed as easily as I used to. This course helped me become the eye of the storm and give my all to the different things in life that I love, adore, and want to have thrive in this world. Blessings for you to find that same joy and abundance in your own life!

Soul Compass Path 2022

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It is with a quiet excitement that I am announcing the 2022 Soul Compass Path for this year. I have updated the dates here. If you’re interested in the Soul Compass Path and what it is, click here for more information.

I offer a deep gratitude to the multitude of clients that have been patient with me as I spent the last year and a half recovering from getting hit by lightning, and then contracting covid. I juggled the option of not continuing journey groups or offering healing modalities, but over the winter and a much needed break I experimented with a few clients to find that my skills were slowly coming back. I am quickly finding that my passion is for healing the ancestral lines. I am excited by that work, and I feel very accomplished that the journeys I do for others resonate with them deeply.

I also offer gratitude to the 2021 Soul Compass Path cohort. They helped me experiment with the reformatting of the course. I had a few people retake the course from previous years, and they were also happy with the switch up. With my experiences living in community, off grid, and organic farming, I am happy to extend that education out to this class.

Last years Soul Compass Path was hard. Not just because of the pandemic, but due to a number of reasons (both personal and societal). We did manage to get through! However, it highlighted to me how much in-person teachings far out weigh the “online only” learning experience. I truly believe that in person connections help foster a deeper sense of community, and selfishly I want to be able to create a local tight knit community where we can practice these skills in person to work on wider societal challenges. I certainly witnessed and was apart of this across the year. Hence why I am deciding to reopen the doors to having in person classes and journey groups once again.

Some guidelines and protocols we will follow:

  • Name and contact information from each participant for all events. There will be a sign in sheet. I will not sell information to anyone or use them for marketing in any way unless you have indicated you want to stay in touch.
  • Completion of a survey either online or verbally before the event to screen “at risk behavior” or vaccination status. Personally, I have a mother in an assisted living facility, and I want to be responsible for my actions.
  • Please stay home if you happen to have any covid symptoms so that we can keep all of our guests safe. If you are showing symptoms, you will gently be asked to leave.
  • Sign a waiver understanding the risks associated with being in a group at this time
  • If you start having symptoms after the event, please contact me so I can contact the rest of everybody who attended that particular class/event. The more we can minimize the spread, the better.
  • If these guidelines cannot be followed, please choose the online only option. If guidelines are not adhered, admittance to future events will be prohibited.

I hope to have the office in Richmond opened by March, so stay tuned for more details! I would love to organize ride shares, so that we can cut down on how much traveling each individual is doing. If you are open to carpooling, please send me a message.

So without further ado! Here are the links you most need to know if you’re interested in participating this year:

If you would like an in-depth resource, there is an online course by the Last Mask Center called Energy Body Mastery. It begins this coming weekend! We cover similar things in the Soul Compass Path, but for a more in depth exploration, we highly recommend the course.

A good resource if you are anxious to get started is through the free, listener supported podcast, Why Shamanism Now. There are over 400 archived hours, and a teaser to what is available both within this course and beyond. A great place to start is the Basics of Living Well series and the specific podcasts below:

An excellent book which talks about this process mentioned so often in this course is by Langston Kahn called, “Deep Liberation: Shamanic Teachings for Reclaiming Wholeness in a Culture of Trauma“. Highly recommended.

Any questions? Please email chenchira@eagletherapies.com or call/text 571.306.3197

Valuing Limited Resources

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Overnight and the morning of January 3rd, we had so much snowfall that it ended up crushing/collapsing our cold frame greenhouse. There was a big part of me that didn’t want to go out into the cold to try and salvage what we could, but lately I’ve been doing so much healing work on myself that I found it hard to stop myself from putting on my ass kicking boots.

I wasn’t mad or upset at the fact that it happened. We should have taken it down sooner, so it was partially my fault for this happening. As I was starting this task, I heard a firm voice speak in my head, “Don’t worry, just leave it. We can buy another green house.” My immediate reaction was incredulity because if we didn’t have the resources to go out and just “buy another greenhouse” then we would have been out here sooner. As I got at least a hundred (if not more) pounds of wet snow off of this poor greenhouse, I spent the time really pondering that fact. If we valued it more instead of it being a simple commodity one could buy…

After living in poverty for most of my adult life, I was still able to scrape together a relatively good life for me and my son. But the ancestral healing work that I’ve been engaging in with the Last Mask Center has really opened my eyes to how I can pass as a white person, and that affords me certain privileges that don’t come easily to others. I’ve spent time on a few reservations and live in the intentional communities network where we purposefully try to live with less for this very reason – to value what we have. Now that I’ve had more of a cash flow into my life, I notice and catch myself not valuing the things that I have as much because it’s so easy for me to go out and get a replacement. For the past few months I’ve been cleaning out my moms house and preparing to sell it. I have seriously unloaded about 4, twenty-foot U-Haul trucks FULL of stuff out (redistributing them to other communities, charity organizations, homeless shelters, etc), and that doesn’t even include the hundreds of contractor bags that were filled with trash (I’m serious, I counted the amount of boxes we went through).

It impacts me and I feel physically ill whenever I see waste piling up, or things (or humans for that matter) being treated as expendable resources. I was under the impression that with healing work I would be numb to the amounts of non-recyclable trash that piles up. I thought that with good boundaries I wouldn’t feel the heart break of the train wreck that humanity is creating by growing dissonant with living in right relationship with the earth. Instead I have found myself growing more angry. But instead of taking that anger out on other people or internalizing that anger to toxic patterns of self destruction (I was really good at crippling anxiety and self guilt to motivate myself), I was able to find ways to use this anger to create change and action in this world. Even if it’s salvaging the plastic from this green house so we could get a new frame instead of a completely new one.

All of this passed through me as I was able to find that I had healed enough of my heart to hold my experience of heartbreak, and yet still find joy in getting snow off of the green house. Even laughing joyfully as I flopped around making snow angels, or throwing snowballs at little man while I was taking breaks.

I’m grateful for community, because obviously I didn’t do it all by myself. But I’m also grateful for the Last Mask Center and Community because I feel as though I would have either not done anything or have done it resentfully without as much joy. If you happen to be interested in learning more tools for processing emotions, Energy body mastery is starting up again soon. Would be happy to be in a study group with you! That’s the biggest thing that has helped me heal the most. Check it out at energybodymastery.com

My dream is that one day I will live in a community of a bunch of us who know how to live in right relationship with both the earth and each other. I firmly believe that the clearing practice has helped me navigate challenging relationships, including those with my family. It has helped me shut up and just get the work done without being resentful about it, or holding it over people’s heads. We all make choices in life, and we just need to learn to live with our choices, then learn how to make better ones in the future.

Many blessings for all y’all finding joy amidst the hard work that is before us this year. May we find the strength to do the things that bring us out of our comfort zone, and the community to help us hold these topics that are way bigger than ourselves so we can piece together a bright future for the ones that are coming. Happy Gregorian New Years! (My New Years already happened a few months back)

I’ll be posting the newsletter relatively soon announcing the plan to open an office in Richmond so that I can have people sign waivers to join journey group in person again. It would be nice to connect with others! I managed to contract covid, and it hit me pretty hard, so I’ll still be taking a break from hosting the Journey group until February. Looking forward to connecting with all y’all soon!

SJG: Stories

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The topic of this sessions suggested journey group is about stories. How fitting for the last time we end up recording the journey group topics. What stories lay the foundation of how we see ourselves? How do we honor the story that is trying to unfold as we express our unique genius instead of allowing our mind or our own inner judge/critic to tell these demeaning stories about ourselves? Some good suggestions come up, and it’s only a 15 minute recording!

Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.

Link to the recording

Link to the video recording

SJG: Nurture

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The journey topic for tonight is Nurture. I know i did say we were going to explore the elements, but it didn’t feel like it fit any more. We will be having a discussion around what does nurture mean, and formulate journey questions based off of our needs so that we can nurture ourselves during this time of transition into summer.

Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.

Some helpful references:

Link to download the audio

Link to download the video

Update to the Soul Compass Path

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I know it’s a bit late in the game to announce the changes coming to the Soul Compass Path, but it felt necessary even though we are a little over a week away from this 9 month program taking off.

The first big change is that I will be breaking up this 9 month program into two sections.

  • Part 1 – The Foundations: Months 1-4
  • Part 2 – Coming Home: Months 5-9

Part 1 will pretty much be the same, where it’s the first four months of discovering and practice using shamanic tools so that we can be ready for the second part of the program. It will still include a group soul retrieval, void ceremony, dancing, divination, and shamanic journeying skills.

Part 2 will be crafted out of my own experiences as a shamanic practitioner to help one come back home to themselves. In my own shamanic community, the Last Mask Community, we are undergoing a community wide death ritual. You can read a little more about how it’s affecting me here. But one major shift is the changing of my identification, choosing to go by my first name of Chenchira instead of Stephanie in celebration of coming back to my roots. The second half of the program will be a reflection of this shift.

My year of living on an off grid organic farm have truly changed how I look at the world. We, as a culture, have grown so far away from our sources of food that many don’t know what the plants look like that grow our food. We only see the results of the harvest on the grocery shelves instead of helping with the harvest. It’s hard to feel gratitude for something we give a monetary exchange for, but as all gardeners know – there’s a sense of pride that comes in knowing where our food came from.

America was founded on uprooting homelands, both the migration from many ancestral homelands, as well as the displacement of indigenous people already living in harmony with the land. This sense of distance from our ancestors constantly migrating, or having set down roots for only a handful of generations can sometimes generate a sense of not belonging. The second part of the program is specifically designed to address the lack of belonging, lie of separation, eco-justice, and bringing grounded practices into our contemporary lives with a framework of living in harmony with the earth to support a framework to position ourselves to better handle changing the wider systems of oppression without drowning in overwhelm or numbing out.

There’s a growing sense of hopelessness that arises, and the grief that bubbles out of the heartbreak of our broken culture. As we feel the effects of the pandemic still within our culture, the effects of climate change, and the harsh reality of internalized racism – a need for change is calling to us. Not just a temporary change where we can feel okay with marginal improvements – but a true transformation that can fuel a regenerative change in a grounded way.

There is a change that is coming, where we can no longer look towards “sustainable” as a way of life. If we settle for being “sustainable”, then we will have already lost the battle before it has begun, sustaining a broken culture. We need to look at practices that are regenerative, repairing the damage or bridges we have burned to come back home to ourselves.

For those who have already registered and paid their deposit, no changes need to be made to your registration. For anyone interested in just the second part of the program either need to have completed past iterations of the first four months of the program, or their equivalent.

Any questions? Feel free to email me at chenchira@eagletherapies.com

SJG: Tending Shrines

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The journey topic for this meeting is tending shrines. We will talk about the pitfalls and challenges around manifesting our relationship with spirit and what that looks like in daily life. I loved that we explored how we all each individually tend our shrines, as well as possible ways that we could tend it. It’s a lot simpler then you may think! And it really is about being more mindful about our actions in the physical world, not what goes on in our head.

I mentioned a podcast during the group, it is this one by Christina Pratt and Why Shamanism Now. Some different shrines or altars one could tend could be the main working altar if you are just starting, to an ancestral shrine, an earth shrine, water shrine, or even a spirit of the land. The options are up to you, just make it sacred and make it beautiful!

Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.

Some helpful references:

Link to download the video

Link to download the audio

SJG: Friction/Ease

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The journey topic for this go around is friction and ease. This is a very tight time when many things in our lives are simply not working like they used to. We know that things must change, but how can we navigate this friction with grace and ease? Today we will discuss and come up with some good journey questions together.

We did talk after the journey group and we discussed that the next few journey groups that we will do are around shrine tending and working with the elements.

Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.

Some helpful references:

Link to download audio

Link to download video