Eagle Therapies Basics

Washing the Dishes

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DishesSuds and bubbles fill my hands as I reach for another dish to scrub clean. Particles of food drift in the sink, bringing different aromas to my nose. I am aware of the tension between my shoulder blades as I moved my hands from the soap, to the water, to the dishes. As soon as I am aware of that tension, I smile, and I am thankful for this opportunity to wash things away.

When I wash dishes, I don’t just physically clean the dishes. I use the suds and bubbles as a metaphor for cleaning the mental and emotional wisdom bodies. I do a lot of talks about the four main wisdom bodies, but it’s really a principle that a lot of people tend to grasp with ease. When I scrub a dish clean, I set the intention that I’m doing the same thing to my energetic body. As I clean, I’m also sifting through my thoughts and emotions with awareness.

As a contemporary person, I come up against a lot of judgments and critiques. It’s a drawback of being human, and, like you, I’m subject to them. However, this is the reason why I like the suds. They don’t judge; they don’t critique. I’ve noticed that when I start to talk about energy work to a new person, they do one of three things:

  1. Their eyes light up because they know what I’m talking about, and are eager to discuss it with a like-minded person.
  2. They’re unsure of what I’m talking about, but what I said really piqued their interest so they keeping an open mind.
  3. Or, their heart shuts down due to fear and they are triggered by what I say. They immediately jump to preconceived notions of the Salem Witch Trials and assume that what I do is hocus pocus, and all other arguments thereafter are considered irrelevant.

These three categories are the majority of what I face, and most of the time it’s a mixture of them. I always make sure to feel out which category people are in before I divulge more and begin talking freely.

This evening when washing the dishes while Little Bear was in bed, it struck me that the ones in category 3 just have no exposure to the simple joys of energy work. There are too many people out there making things way more complex than they need to be. Even though the majority of people who come to me as clients just want to be better humans, sometimes we forget how to be human and forget to fall back to the basics. It’s human nature to add layers of complexity to things, especially given the fact that, as contemporary Western people, we are a mentally overstimulated society.

But nothing is as simple and pleasurable to me as washing dishes. In this simple act, I don’t have any music playing, don’t have any TV on – it’s just me and the dishes. This allows me to sit with my thoughts and to be able to think about what I’d been doing this past day, or this past week. It’s a chance for me to be good company with myself, and to accept the choices that I’ve made. In this very act of accepting, I am able to let go of what I “should have” done, what I “didn’t get to do,” or the things I “did wrong.”

I feel the tension between my shoulders begin to slip away.

This is where I begin complimenting myself on the things that I did right, and acknowledge where I can make some improvements in life. In this simple act of awareness and gratitude, I shift from my “little thinking” to thinking about the bigger picture and everything as a balanced whole. Too often we get fixated on what’s not working, and in doing so, it sucks us into a negative thought form pattern, where we can run into thought form possession. By shifting our awareness to a gratitude mentality, we can “zoom out” with grace and ease, and quietly sit with our thoughts in a reflective way.

Thoughts are stored in the mental body, and repressed feelings are stored in the emotional body. When we don’t properly express or acknowledge them, they spill over into the physical body. Thoughts/feelings carry energetic weight, and with simple cleansing and restoring techniques anyone can get that “weight off of their shoulders”.

The dishes are finished, and with that last clink of the plate on the counter, I stretch and feel the lightness in my chest. The tension in my shoulder is less. This simple act of doing something without distraction from myself helps me cope and just be at peace with myself. This is the core of my energy work, and how I maintain a healthy energetic body.

What do you do for yours? Interested in starting your own practice? Find out about the energetic bucket and how to begin working simply with a metaphor as a reflection of your own inner workings.

What is Energetic Health?

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For many of those that meet me in person, you will notice that I openly talk about the “woo woo” or “spooky” things, in order to add lightness to the stigma that gets impressed upon people when venturing down avenues of esoteric descent. Energy work tends to be a hot topic due to its various interpretations of what defines “Energy Work”. My personal interpretation is that “Energy work” is pretty much just a blanket term for those who manipulate the other three main wisdom bodies, which will be expanded on later.

There is no “right way” to practice energy work, there is simply the act of doing it. What I write here is my perspective, not the truth. What I try to do is open your mind to the possibilities that are in front of you, not condense them to think there is only one way to “Ground and Center”. Take the classes that you feel drawn to and learn as much as you can, from as many different sources you can. My goal is to get you to question how you think, because your thoughts power your action in the world. As we grow over time, our energetic body grows with us. It is ever changing moment to moment and fluctuates with our feelings/environments. As a teacher, I present my perspective to give you a base to jump off of, and to introduce you to how I think. The quest after reading this is to apply these concepts within your own life in a way that works for you.

Let’s start from the beginning:

What is an energetic body?

I have been taught that there are four main wisdom bodies. There’s the Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, and the Physical. If you notice, there are three bodies that cannot be seen by the naked eye. I have come to term these as the “energetic body” or the “subtle body”. You can call them what you will, but by terms of definition, that is my definition of them so we can provide some clarity for the rest of this article (and also in case you happen to read some other blog articles of mine).

Where a lot of people tend to go awry, is the fact that we know how to care for our physical body. There is physical body hygiene, such as taking showers when we get all smelly and stinky.

But who talks about Energetic hygiene?

This is a relatively new concept that I would like to push people to think about and consider. Even if you know about it, I believe that now is the time to start applying these basic foundations and term them, so that it gets brought out into mainstream culture. I, myself, have had to dance around this subject to people that aren’t as open to these concepts, but I’ve always been “out of the broom closet” and do not hide what I do. People have always marked me as weird, and I’m completely okay with that – but my point is that energetic health applies to us all and we shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it. We shouldn’t be marked as “weird” when bringing up these topics. We should all know about grounding, centering, and empathy – these are basic skills every human should have, and caring about our energetic body should matter just as much as caring for our physical.

How many times have we let our best friend cry on our shoulder, and we cry with them. They feel better by the end of the conversation, but we end up feeling drained. How many of us have had a toxic relationship where we have fought with that person and have had no energy left? How many times have you watched that ASPCA commercial late at night feeling like you could adopt one more animal? How many times have you seen some political move upset you so much that you have to dump on your facebook how upset you are?

All of these are examples of not tending to our energetic body. Some people might not feel this way, they may lack empathy, while others might identify with the above paragraph. I tend to be under the school of thought that believes everyone has the ability to have empathy, we just need to tend our energetic body better.

Now… how do we do that?

bucketHere is where we get introduced to the energy bucket metaphor. If we compare ourselves to a bucket, there are three main things that we must look at. The bucket itself, what’s inside the bucket, and the bucket’s stability. Lets pretend our energy body is a container and follow along with this metaphor.

The energy bucket itself is a container. This can be representative of our boundaries. It takes daily “energy cultivation” to be able to discern what shape our bucket is in. Do we have a leaky bucket? Do we have a steel bucket that’s dented but can otherwise still hold energy? Is the bucket made of porcelain and easily breakable? Sometimes we get caught in this cycle where some trauma happens and we can’t seem to catch up because we have “leaky bucket syndrome”. If our bucket has a hole in it, no matter what we do to replenish the energy in the bucket (take a walk in the park, color, take a bubble bath) we still “run out of energy” faster than what we normally think we would.

What’s inside the bucket matters, because this is the equivalent of our energy level. Is our energy clean, or dirty? Is it stagnant, or flowing? Is the energy in that bucket ours or are we carrying a mix of someone else’s energy because we overidentified with their struggles? Or are we simply out of energy and our bucket is empty? Sometimes when we reach the “empty” part, and we feel like we have nothing left to give, we feel drained. If we continue to push even though we know we don’t have any energy left, the energy has got to come from somewhere – and we will begin to take energy from the bucket itself. This can leave us feeling even more exhausted, and we sometimes take days, possibly even weeks to recover.

Last basic thing that matters in this metaphor, is what type of environment is the bucket on. This can be a great comparison to our emotional or mental stability in the current moment. Is the bucket on steady ground? Is your bucket in a hole in the ground and unable to move? Are you placing the bucket right in front someone who you know is going to kick your bucket around? Sometimes with certain situations, we can lose track of where we have our bucket. Which leads us to situations where we can easily “tip over” and spill the contents of said bucket. There is a wisdom in recognizing when the bucket becomes unstable, and when to come back to center to make sure it doesn’t tip over and spill out the contents.

If you happen to journey, then asking your helping spirits what state your bucket is in can be very enlightening so we can actively work with our energetic health. It’s perfect for pinpointing if you have any holes in your energy bucket, and asking how to help fill those holes. At the bottom of this page I have posted guided meditations for people that either don’t know about journeying or have trouble journeying at home, so that they can follow along at their own pace at home.

The metaphor of the energy bucket can help us with our energetic health and hygiene. Our energy can sometimes be very much like working with a puppy. A lot of us don’t have any knowledge in this realm, and that’s not our fault because we weren’t taught. Some people have really obedient dogs, while others have dogs that jump up on you and don’t listen well to commands. The energetic body is the same way, if you don’t control and maintain it, we fall into bad habits like dumping on our friends when we’ve had a bad day, or project our anger onto the next bystander because they remind us of the real person/situation that made us angry. If you work with and train your energy body, it can become obedient so then next time when the ground becomes shaky and our bucket is in danger of falling over, we can simply move the bucket to more stable ground. There are going to be moments where our bucket just get’s kicked, and that’s out of our control – because life happens. But a majority of the time, we do have the ability to control our responses to a degree.

It’s good to somehow integrate this metaphor and do a check-in whenever we feel it’s necessary. Feeling low on energy? Check to see the status of your energy bucket before saying yes to going out after work. Torn between a girls/guys night out and a bubble bath/reading a book? Check on how low your energy in your bucket is, and if you need to do something to refill your bucket or empty it. Notice that new boss at work and how sometimes you are quicker to anger when they are around? Check the stability of your bucket and ask yourself why it has become unstable. By tending to our thoughts, emotions, and spiritual fulfillment – we are able to clean ourselves on a mental, emotional, and spiritual aspect. This is how we start energy body cultivation.

If you happen to be an auditory learner, and you would like to expand more on this concept, feel free to listen to this podcast on Why Shamanism Now hosted by Christina Pratt. Stay tuned, for videos and mp3s are to come.

If you’re ready, listen to the guided meditations to take the next step in energy body cultivation. There is also a journey beat that is recorded so you can go back whenever you need to.

Mastered the energy body and want more? Feel free to see the article on change and transformation or to learn about the crucible of transformation within our own hearts. We have the ability to have these changes in our life stick. Are you ready for it?

Take care, everyone. Blessings to you on your journey!

Journey Outline for Month of July

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The crest of another month is upon us! So many wonderful events coming up, so be on the lookout for a newsletter in your inbox soon. Here we are at the beginning of a Sun-filled and hot month (at least here in Virginia). If you’re new to Shamanic Journeying, and you’re curious about joining us, feel free to find out about the Structure of the Fairfax Journey Group as well as the “What is Shamanic Journeying” page. If you haven’t already connected in to the community, there is a Facebook group as well as a Meetup for support.

Experience is helpful, but not necessary. This outline provided is always a suggested journey topic. Journeying is question driven, and the little forum at the beginning of every journey group is to meant to spark that questioning within us. Distance journeying is available, but please message ahead of time for a spot. The method we use is either Skype or Google Hangouts.

BucketThe main theme this month is going to be taking care of our energetic bucket. All too often we do things, even when we don’t have the energy to. What type of repercussions does that have on our subtle body? This is what we will be exploring this month.

Schedule will be as follows:

Monday July 4th

No journey group! Spend time with your family and enjoy Independence day.

Monday July 11th

We will be delving into the “Energetic bucket” and finding out exactly what state our bucket is in. We will be sharing self care techniques as well as any helpful advice for finding out when to recognize when our energy is running low. One of the other topics that will be introduced is the concept of Energy Hygiene. We clean our physical bodies, but how about our other 3 wisdom bodies (mental, emotional, and spiritual)?

Monday July 18th

Further working with the metaphor of our energy bucket, we will be exploring boundaries and what healthy boundaries look like. There are many times when we subconsciously place our bucket on the ground right where someone is about to kick, how much of that is our own control? Yes things happen in life, but when do we start recognizing that we might potentially be caught in the Victim mentality or the Martyr mentality? It happens to the best of us. Learn from others who join in our circle as we discuss boundaries and what they mean to us.

Tuesday July 19th

Year of Ceremony satellite option. For a more extended version of this digital broadcast, visit the meetup for more information. Connection with ancestral spirits is an essential part of shamanic traditions worldwide. Like us, our ancestors experienced suffering and healing and —from the shamanic perspective—they remain connected with us through the life energy they share with us. While this dynamic association can provide us with wisdom and support from our forebearers, we may also inherit their unresolved sorrows and pain. When our body’s defenses are down, when we are under stress or ill, it is easier for an ancestor’s energy to affect us adversely.

Monday July 25th

There are some times when our intentions mean well, but we don’t realize that our actions are being guided by something else. Here we introduce the concept of “whose driving the bus” and who is really in control? Are you letting your emotions drive when you just want to key someones car out of anger? Are you letting your ego drive the bus when you’re too proud to turn down an offer that you know you probably shouldn’t accept but feel you have to anyway because of social status? What happens when our unresolved wounds come to the surface and react before we have a chance too? Join us as we share our coping techniques or our self awareness techniques, and then ask our helping spirits about it and what works best for us individually.

 

We hope to see you out at one of these! If not, then maybe either digitally or in spirit 😉 Happy July, everyone!

 

F.A.Q. for the Heart Centered Sound Circle

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These frequently asked questions will continue to be added as time goes on. If you have additional questions, feel free to email eagletherapies@gmail.com

Q: What typically happens at one of these events?
A:  For the long Heart Centered Sound Circles that happen on Sundays, they are scheduled for 2 hours. We arrive at 1, and together we socialize, catch up with each other, and set up the community altar. Around 1:30 we start the ceremony with the opening song. After that, it becomes very fluid, and we all get to pick and choose what songs to sing. Sometimes we go off of the song sheets, sometimes someone introduces a new song, sometimes we make up our own songs. After we’ve sung ourselves silly for about an hour (break adjustable), then we sing the closing song, take home excess energy/send it into the earth, pack up the altar, and head on home.

Q: What is meant by “Heart Centered”?
A: There are many different ways to look at this, but to break it down simply, there are three “main” consciousnesses that we have. There’s the head, heart, and gut. The head is where we go to think, to plan, to dream, to create. This is where inspiration comes in and how we communicate to others in the world. The gut is where we react, we manifest, we respond (most people talk about having a “gut feeling”). The gut is also where our safety and security come in, as well as feeling grounded. When we feel “off center”, our gut is usually not in alignment. The heart is the connection between these two. We can communicate with others, but we can lack empathy until we connect our hearts. We can create meaningless things in the world that we pour our energy into but don’t get “enjoyment” out of it because our heart isn’t in it. All great power is mediated through the heart, and the process of awakening our hearts is to find out who we truly are in the world. To not know who we are, what our gifts are, and to live a life that is “half hearted” would be considered an abuse of power in a shamanic civilization. Our job is to find what makes us full hearted and to take off those layers and to live fully in the moment. That’s what heart centered means.

Q: I really don’t have any experience and I’m intimidated on coming to this, but I want to try this out because it sounds interesting. Do I have to have experience?
A: Of course not. There’s many different experience levels that come to these events. You don’t have to be a music major, or even a drum master. The main thing is that you’re always welcome to experience and ask questions. We will try to explain things as they come up, because occasionally we will have many people that show up from different religions or pantheons. Once we started singing mantras, and even though I’m not versed in them, we attempted them anyway. We’re all open to new experiences, just come and have fun. Meet new people.

Q: Can I bring other instruments besides drums and rattles?
A: Sure! We’ve had someone bring a didgeridoo and talk about bringing in stringed instruments. Just as long as you’re able to play it and “zone out” with the rest of us, and still keep an ear out for the change in tempo when it comes up.

Q: Why do you guys keep singing songs that repeat the same lyrics over and over?
A: Sometimes when we get so stuck in our head or stuck in one area consciousness wise, it’s hard to break us out of that paradigm, and we need help shifting our consciousness. Using sound, or music is a wonderful way to do that. Repetition is a great way to bring us to a light (alpha) brain wave state (see this link if confused) to induce a light altered state of consciousness. Some other chant circles will sing “rounds” for hours. This is obviously an abbreviated version with songs lasting anywhere between 4-10 minutes.

Q: Is it okay that I choose not to sing along directly with the lyrics?
A: As more and more people join in, the main thing that this group focuses on is to enter into our heart consciousness. A lot of people won’t sing the main chorus and overlay another chant they know, or they will add harmonies. If singing isn’t your jam, then shake a rattle and dance to get in your body. The point is not about escapism, it’s about living. If you choose to hum, or dance, that’s your process. And it’s honored here.

Q: What if I feel really weird and awkward and I don’t know what you guys are doing?
A: No worries, you can sit in a corner and draw/paint/journal. Being in the same room can be just as impactful on the energetic body even if you’re not participating.

Q: Is this a pagan ritual or something?
A: Although a majority of people that come happen to be pagan, no this is not a pagan ritual. The only intention is to hold the space for us to honor ourselves and what makes our heart sing. How many times in life do we do things half heartedly? The intention here is to find out what makes our heart happy. Even if it’s just meeting other people that like to bang on the drum all day. It’s more a ceremony to honor our heart. No religion needed. We do give honor to the ancestors and helping spirits and set up circle so that as we expose ourselves and become vulnerable, no bad juju will enter the circle.

Q: Why is there an altar or shrine?
A: The key to having an altar is to have a focal point for grounded energy to come through. We make sure to honor all of the elements, the ancestors, and any deities that call to any of the participants. This is a community altar that you can feel free to add to 🙂 If you believe in ghosts or the things that go bump in the night, then that means you believe somewhat in “spirits”. We give honor to the spirits, because even though we can’t “see them” doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

The main thing about the sound circles is to HAVE FUN!! Where are we in life if we can’t laugh at ourselves and join in fun with other like minded people?

Heart Centered Sound Circle
Artwork by Kristin Hansen of August Moon Farms

Purity and The Elements

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Winter is typically a time to go within and to rest, reflecting the Earth and how it gets covered by a blanket of snow. As we enter into the spring in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a tendency to emphasize a theme that leans toward planting seeds and beginning to emerge from the slumber that is winter. As we unfold and begin to awaken, the Journey group shall reflect upon basic foundational understandings and go back to the simplicity that is the elements. What are the elements? How do we relate to them? Can we harness the wisdom inherent in them to find deeper meaning within ourselves and others?

There are many cosmologies out there that deal with the foundations of the elemental systems. They span anywhere from a three element system, to a seven element system (sometimes even more). They are akin to an operating system on a computer, and each works better for different individuals and for different purposes. There’s nothing wrong with preferring a Mac over a PC, or vice versa. The problem that we encounter most is that a lot of people are running on autopilot, not aware of how they operate on a foundational level. All of these systems are right in their own way, and the purpose of these journey groups is to find out what your personal foundation is, and to create/maintain an operating system that is right for you.

MedicineWheelI will be introducing these concepts from a four element perspective because that is what I am most comfortable with. I do not want the individuals attending to limit themselves to condensing to my viewpoint of how I see things. If you follow one of the other numbered element systems, feel free to read through these blog posts and take what you need. Come to the groups and share your knowledge. Find the hidden gems to deepen your own practice. All paths are welcome, and I encourage others with different viewpoints to come. It brings diversity and a clarity of shared vision to the whole.

If we go back to the elements, we go back to the simple nature of the way things used to be before humans even got here. Human beings have this tendency to add layers of complexity. I have seen many of people anthropomorphize the elements in a negative connotation, because interacting with another human is what makes them feel more comfortable. This creates a complexity that sometimes muddies the clarity we receive from the oldest of ancestors. By not opening up to allowing the river to interact with us as just a river, we can sometimes project human qualities onto natural forces. What that does is add the “baggage” in association with being a human. Human beings are beautiful, creative messes. But humans are fallible. Not all anthropomorphizing is bad, because there are underlying archetypes that relate to our psyche on a subconscious level (Mother, Father, brother, sister, etc.)

The reason why I work with the elements? Because they’re pure and simple. They just are. They do what they do and there’s no motivation to be anything different than what they are because they have been that way since the beginning of time. There is a story that I will tell, that one of my Shamanic Teachers first taught me when I was learning from her. This is a shared story by a lot of shamanic cultures, and these are the roots to a lot of “creation” stories.

Back in the beginning, there was nothing. There was a void. For us as humans, it’s hard for us to understand the vast nothingness because we are something.

But for some reason, this nothingness dreamt. And out of this dream was birthed a spark of fire, and crystal of ice. As the first two manifestations of these dreams emerged from the great nothingness, they began to dance.

The spark of fire grew bigger, and it began to melt the ice crystal. The ice began to melt, and the water began to flow. As the water flowed, it began to put out the fire. When the fire was almost out, it grew cold and the water began to crystallize. When the water crystallized, the fire began to grow stronger again.

This was the first dance of our oldest of ancestors. Grandfather Fire, and Grandmother Ice. And because they were born of the great dream – they too had the ability to dream. Because all dreamers that come from the big dream have the same ability to create and have dreams of their own.

When the water and fire grew, they needed land to support them. That is when Mother Earth was dreamed of, and then birthed. When the rivers had a place to run, the fire found that he needed more fuel to grow. Father Sky was dreamed into being and we get the introduction of air. From the dreams of the earth, air, fire, and water, the first ancestors began to dream of the things to be grown in the ground. They dreamt of plants, of trees, of mountains and landscapes. The dreams of these natural landscapes gave birth to creatures that walked the land, swam in the water, and flew in the sky. Eventually humans were dreamed into creation. And because we come from that dream, we have the ability to dream ourselves. We can create things that still carry that spark of dreaming that comes from the great dreamer that gave birth to us all. This dream weaves us all together, as we are all a part of this Big Dream. Nightmares happen when we feel we are apart from this dream, and there is this lie of separation where we feel disconnected or isolated. The simplest way to connect the closest to these dreams and to have our dreams synchronize with the big dream – is going back to the first ancestors. The elements.

The reason why I shared the story of shared story/concept of creation is because we are all born out of the big dream, and we have the ability to return back to the big dream if we align our thoughts, actions, and behaviors with simplicity. In this creation story, we are introduced to the concept of complementary dualism. In a lot of Eastern Traditions, it’s best explained as yin and yang. Most westerners get confused between the concept of dualism because there is a difference between antagonistic dualism and complementary dualism. Most are accustomed to an antagonistic dualistic perspective, so it’s hard to sometimes see the flip side of the coin without bias. Antagonistic dualism is believing that there is a concept such as good and evil, and that they constantly battle each other. Antagonistic dualism feeds the “lie of separation” because the sides tend to be clearly distinguished between good and evil, and there becomes this “other” that people view themselves as separate from. For a lot of westerners, it’s hard to wrap their minds around the concept of complementary dualism when their major core beliefs and values uphold the lie of separation. They may grasp these concepts in smaller doses and say that the concept of duality can be applied in certain aspects of life, but it is a process of opening up to this system of philosophy that encourages a state of “one-ness”. In a lot of shamanic cultures, there is a core belief that we are all a part of this bigger unity, and everything is connected to each other in ways that are interconnected and interrelated.

When one begins to drop the “lie of separation” and see everything from a more “holistic” sense (and being a part of that whole), then they understand that everything in life is a balance. Yin is a word used to describe the inner aspect, while yang represents the outer. Everything has a yin and yang aspect. When there is too much yin energy present, that leads to a stagnation. If there is too much yang energy, that leads to a depletion. When looking at the elements in this four element system we will be exploring, the elements that represent more of a yin quality are water and earth. These are the elements that are restorative, that which we lean into when we feel tired or exhausted. They are replenishing. The yang elements are represented by the fire and air. We typically go to these elements to carry out certain actions, or to be viewed by other people in a larger setting. They are how we interact with each other (one of the main archetypes that air typically brings is communication). Fire is interesting because it’s an element that requires the other elements to even be initiated. The environment has to be right, and the right potential for combustion needs to be present. Fire needs to constantly be fed, and all of the other elements need to be in balance for a fire to be more properly utilized – otherwise it burns out of control and causes chaos.

There is a simplicity to the elements, but there is also an implied complexity that is intuitive. The four element system correlates to the four wisdom bodies of the human consciousness. Earth is directly correlated with the physical body. Water corresponds with the emotional body. Air corresponds with the mental body. And finally Fire corresponds with the spiritual body. When we apply the four elements to these four wisdom bodies, we can harness our own elemental alchemy for personal transformation. When we bring these questions of self discovery to uncover our own “operating system” to spirit – we get personalized answer back from our helping spirits through journeying.

Journey track as follows:

Month of March: Earth/Wisdom of the physical body
Month of April: Air/Wisdom of the mental body
Month of May: Water/Wisdom of the emotional body
Month of June: Fire/Wisdom of the spiritual body

Remember that even if you are in a distant location and cannot make it in person, there is the option of joining us through Google Hangouts 🙂 Hope to see you there!

Sense of Purpose and the Open Heart Path

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Eagle Therapies is about empowerment versus enabling – and the point of Eagle Therapies is to point people to the tools and resources that most resonate with them. There is a core group of teachings that are based off of my experiences and what has been taught to me – but I am still a student myself and do not claim to be an expert on anything. My teachings and events are fueled by my motivation to get people exposed to more holistic ways of living, as well as finding ways to connect more profoundly with themselves on a deeper level.

One of the consistent things that Eagle Therapies offers is a weekly journey group.(If you are unfamiliar with journeying please click here) The groups themselves only meet for about an hour once weekly on Mondays to make it easier to fit into one’s schedule. They can be a-la-carte and people can drop in whenever their schedules allow, without fear of missing a “curriculum”. I offer “suggested journey topics” that are broken down into 15 minute learning tidbits, followed by a discussion between fellow journeyers before we actually journey. These journey topics rotate based off of the themes that I see present in society, or just good introspective tools that might be useful.

IMG_7617
Drawing: “Walk With God” by Stephanie Seger

As Eagle Therapies is still new to the scene of offering a safe and sacred place for people to explore their individuality, there is questioning from participants as Eagle Therapies comes to discover itself. This questioning is valuable because it helps the small community forming around the Eagle Therapies events to define itself, while Eagle Therapies shapes itself to fit the needs of the community. This article is meant to provide a brief summary of the Open Heart Path and why it’s a good tool for cultivating personal development.

There is a lot of movement in the growing spiritual community in terms of getting people to “awaken” somehow. A lot of these ideals and concepts are too large and grandiose to condense into a short blog post meant to provide highlights and a general summary for the Open Heart Path. I mean no disrespect to some of these movements, and I encourage you to research them if they intrigue you. However, they are pretty much the same thing but called by different names. You may have heard of the New Earth movement, the Great Awakening or the Great Turning. There are many other names that it goes by, but it is all a matter of how you resonate with either the message or the speakers that have stepped up as leaders in this movement. This movement encourages disengaging from the mass unconscious and becoming more aware of our actions, empowering our sovereignty/how much control we have over our choices (like choosing to be happy despite horrible circumstances). It can be as small as realizing your impact by supporting local farmers, or aligning your purchases to buy from companies that have values that support fair trade. We are realizing as a society that when we feed the illness, we are starving the cure. Slowly we walk more in our authenticity and become an advocate or steward for the Earth by caring about the environment and turning around the pollution that humans have inflicted upon Mother Nature. Every great movement starts with the individual, and these are what the movements focus on.

Sandra Ingerman is a wonderful example of a leader that is an advocate for this movement. She is an author, teacher, and Shaman that encourages focusing on ourselves, advocating for personal development and living in a way that is in good relationship with nature and all that is around us. If interested, there are many good books that she has written on the topic. Walking in Light is a wonderful introduction and provides direction to the path.

There are many wonderful teachers that are out there participating in this movement, and each has their gift that they bring to the greater community. The path that resonates the most with me is Christina Pratt’s version of the movement called the Courageous Heart. Christina is the founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Studies and she has a podcast called “Why Shamanism Now”. Her teachings have come from her lessons that she has received from her Guides and Teachers. Medicine of the Courageous Heart is based off of Angeles Arrien and her work called the Four Fold Way. These teachings have evolved in a way that is great for standard application with contemporary people. It’s not too “far out there” in terms of hard to grasp or understand.

I strongly believe that the medicine of this time is the medicine of the courageous heart, or the Open Heart Path. So many people have grown weak hearted in their actions, and their integrity does not match what is within their hearts. Our consciousness as a culture is in our head, and we need to be able to bring that consciousness down into our hearts. The heart has four chambers that work in tandem with each other, and all four of these chambers should be functioning properly in order to have a strong heart that is not easily seduced by things that distract us or draw us away from our paths. In order to work with these four chambers in a tangible way, there are four main archetypes that represent these chambers.

If you’re interested in the source of these teachings, please click on the links above or below to lead you to Christina’s Podcasts, or to Dr. Angeles Arrien and her book the Four Fold Way.

Courageous Heart Part 1: The Healer – 45 minutes

Courageous Heart Part 2: The Warrior – 45 minutes

Courageous Heart Part 3: The Teacher – 45 minutes

Courageous Heart Part 4: The Visionary – 45 minutes

 

This consciousness that is beginning to form is based off of a collapse of vision. Most Americans live in a very mentally stimulating society. We have cell phones and are constantly plugged into social networking, emails, and constant flows of information. We are encouraged to multi-task and skim the surface of many different topics at once so we can move at a faster pace. The last chamber of the heart is the Visionary, and the archetype of the Visionary has grown weary of untruths. The relationships that we have established with money, housing, and politics have grown too complicated with too many clauses in the contract. The contracts are falling apart, which (in my opinion) is the source of more people stepping into an awareness of their own actions and the actions of their communities. People are waking up because they were caught up in this superficial “big vision” that society has helped weave together. A lot of people are realizing that there is no depth to it, and instead are reaching inside to deepen themselves. The way I have deepened myself is with an open and courageous heart.

When we move through our lives with an open heart, we are able to communicate our boundaries effectively, interacting with others in an open and aware manner. Life happens to us, and I’m one of those people that believes that life is a mixture of things that happen for a reason, and sometimes things just happen. That’s the beauty and process of life! Things happen! Our job as we navigate through this life is to be able to be in control of our actions and reactions as these life processes happen. We are human, and being able to have an open heart while moving through these life processes enables us to get more out of the experiences that life provides. When we are living with an open heart, our passion and our unique genius is able to flow through us. We are able to live our lives in a way that is good for all living things, and to communicate effectively with others because we are aware of our actions and the impact it has on others.

The problem comes in when we come across a life process, and our heart shuts down due to fear. When fear gets in the way, then we tend to have our life force energy moving through what is called our “Shadow”. The Shadow is an archetype that was introduced to Western Contemporary culture by Carl Jung. When our life force energy moves through our closed heart or shadow, our good intentions don’t matter and we instead do things for the right motivation, but our actions speak to something else or just “come out wrong”. It can sometimes be a compulsion or an easy fall back pattern to become the victim in a situation – to see how everything is working against us. We can fall into the martyr where we feel we have to sacrifice in order to get what we want in life. Sometimes when we see a leader or someone in power, we subconsciously project our power onto them, making them “even bigger” in our minds in terms of us never really reaching to that level of awe. When we pedestalize, we give away our power because we subconsciously are down on ourselves since we cannot reach that “level” the person in power has. These are all examples of meaning well, but our intentions being shifted by our shadow.

The medicine or the remedy to this is by realizing when our heart shuts down, and doing the work to open our heart back up. We do this by stepping into our sovereignty and realizing these patterns that we move into subconsciously. The archetype of the healer helps us realize these patterns so we can do something about them and work on them. The archetype of the warrior helps us to be in the moment, and fully present with our experiences in hand. The teacher helps us draw the wisdom out of those experiences that we move through. The visionary helps us see the bigger picture and how we fit into it. All of these chambers work in tandem, building on the other for strength. If one chamber is weak, then we will encounter these “Shadow” aspects of ourselves, and our actions that mean well are instead misinterpreted by either society or those we care about.

As we become more present and learn to live with an open heart, we begin to uncover the wisdom of the heart – which is our own unique genius. Everyone has a different medicine we bring to the table that no one else can bring. We have been incarnated into this life for a reason – and that reason is to express our own unique genius, or to express our lifes purpose. To wield the power of the medicine we possess, we need to step fully into the path of the open heart. We are not here to meet the needs of other people. But as we learn to step into our own sovereignty, we realize that our gifts meet the needs of others. This is the core belief of the Great Awakening. To know that everyone has a purpose and that their own unique genius is what is needed in order to fit into the greater community.

This is why I work hard as a networker, to provide sources for people to uncover themselves on a deeper and more profound level that works for them. My journey groups may not resonate with some people – and that’s okay. However the reason why I host these weekly journey groups is to have space for people that wish to explore this framework of personal development. To ask themselves these fundamental questions as we explore the archetypes in a way that is personalized by them, with their own sets of teachers. When we ask these bigger questions of ourselves, we are able to receive insight that is more impactful. This is the path of direct revelation. And I stand firm in offering the space once weekly at the Cardinal Center for people that wish to delve deeper into their own work.

You are more than welcome to journey at home, and are even encouraged! But for those beginning, it can be easier to do it in community and not feel as “alone”. All of these are “suggested” topics, and you are always free to bring your own questions to the journey group. These journey groups are run off donations to cover the cost of renting the space. A distance option is also available through google hangouts. Visit the Eagle Therapies Facebook page for more information or visit the calendar section on the website.

Little Bear Chronicles: Directory of posts

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The series of blog posts that I write called the “Little Bear Chronicles” are based off of my experiences of raising a son with an aware and open spirituality. I know it was a possibility that I might face criticism and harsh judgement from closed minded people – but so many have come to me telling me that they are inspired by our story. That drive to get our story out there and to share our experiences to connect to others, is what is fueling this series of posts.

My son has come to be known as Little Bear, and I am the Momma Bear. These aliases will be for those on the internet that these stories leak out to. I am well aware of the power of the Internet, so if you know us, please be respectful and don’t mention his real name on these blog posts. When I started writing these, he was seven and he gave me consent to share our stories and experiences. Besides, for a while his dream was to be a YouTube star.

The reason why I’m documenting these chronicles is because Little Bear is so full of pure wealth and knowledge, and raising my child in a profoundly sick society is hard. There’s a lot of injustice, fear, and harsh judgement and I can’t protect him from it all. The least I can do, is to begin to teach him how to protect and care for himself, so then when Momma Bear is not around – he is empowered and not enabled. The lessons I teach him are lessons of love, and sometimes it’s tough love. I feel as though whenever I share with him some of the teachings I want to pass down, his reactions are just as wise and he gifts me with an intelligence that is untouched and pure. I’m doing the best that I can, to the best of my ability. Together we push each other to grow in ways that a child and Mother should.

I did publish an article for the Society of Shamanic Practice, and if you’re interested you can see my overall scope of working with my son in a shamanic way.

Words: 2,700 Reading time: 9-10 mins

These are the tales of Little Bear that are on this website:

The introduction, and difference of listening with your heart instead of your head.

Words: 700      Average reading time: 4 minutes

The importance of maintaining relationships, and how if these relationships are not fostered they are not as strong. It can appear as though we “Get Lost” at times.

Words: 750          Average reading time: 4-5 minutes

A beautiful little story about appreciating the things that we have, and what that feels like from the perspective of a 7 year old.

Words: 600          Average reading time: 3-4 minutes

Lessons about being in the moment, and how sometimes “sorry” doesn’t fix things. Realizations on my own behalf as my role as a parent in his learning development.

Words: 1200          Average reading time: 7-8 minutes

How a few months away from living a spiritual path can affect a wee one, as well as how they choose to come back when they’re ready.

Words: 1200     Average read time: 7-8 minutes

  • A short snippet of when we went hiking. A beautiful little read about how when we slow down we can listen to nature around us.
  • Words: 500 Average read time: 2 minutes
  •  

    This will be updated as more blog posts get added. Stay tuned for more adventures!

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    Original drawing and outline done by Stephanie Seger. Stippling and detail done by Traci Hylton.

    Combined January and February Journey Group Outline

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    What a wonderful and fast paced month January has been! So much so, that there was significant delay in me creating the Journey Group outline for January and February 🙂 For those that are not familiar Journeying – follow this link. February is the last month that we will be exploring the Open Heart Path.

    The topic for the four months we are currently exploring are inspired by the lovelyAngeles Arrien. She wrote a book called “The Four Fold Way” and if these teachings resonate with you, please read the book. I am only supplying the suggested journey topics based from her book as well as my experiences. If something strikes you, then I highly encourage you to go to the source of these teachings.

    We began this venture of exploring the four chambered heart a few months ago. The heart we are dissecting is the open heart. In order for us to be people who live in this world in a good way, we need to cultivate an open and courageous heart. There are many reasons why our heart can shut down due to fear, and different weeks will highlight different possibilities. The four chambers are represented by four major archetypes. These archetypes are roles that we naturally fall into, and life calls on us to express ourselves in these four major archetypes. The four archetypes are the Healer, Warrior, Teacher, and Visionary.

    In November we talked about the love of the healer and how we figure out what is in our path to discovering our own self healing – eliminating what stands in our way of being who we truly are. In December, it was about the warrior and about how we stand up for who we are, what we believe in, and take our experiences to turn them into wisdom. January was about the Teacher, and how to be more aware and in the moment. Some of the deepest lessons in life come from being able to be present and in our bodies. Mainstream contemporary western culture actually encourages multi-tasking and constantly being stimulated. Because we are so overstimulated, it can be hard for us to slow down and be in the moment. We talked about and explored addictions to perfection, and to be open rather then attached to outcome. For the month of February we will be exploring the Visionary and what it means to speak the truth without blame or judgement. Blog post is pending for the Visionary, and I will update this post as soon as I post it.

    These are the suggested journey topics to break down these large ideas into pieces we can digest. If you would like to bring your own journey topic, then you are free to participate in discussion and bring your own journey question.

    January 25th – Last week of exploring the Teacher and what that means to us. How do we begin acting more like the teacher and bringing this archetype into our lives in a good way?

    February 1st – The Visionary. What is this archetype and why should we pay attention to it?

    February 8th – Finding a vehicle to express your souls purpose – how the Visionary plays into it.

    February 15th – Misuses of the Visionary and how it appears in mainstream contemporary culture.

    February 22nd – Visionary heart gone into fear – The doubting heart.

    February 29th – How do all of these chambers fit together? How can we best live all of these archetypes in a way that doesn’t allow our hearts to slip into fear?

     

    Please arrive or login on time for the pieces you wish to be present for. You are free to come in or leave at any point, but please arrive no later then 5:30 PM. I have had people that just want to come for the journey and leave before sharing. It’s completely up to you, this is just a safe space where people can learn how to explore their personal development skills with like minded people. We do have opportunity for people to write down their journey, so bring your pen/journal. Sharing is optional, and you can choose not to.

     

    These times are fluid, but the time frames that we generally work with are as follows:

    Journey group begins at 5:00 PM

    Group discussion begins at 5:15 PM

    Heart Centered Sound Circle begins at 5:30 PM

    Journey begins at 5:45 PM

    Journaling and discussion begins at 5:55 PM

    For more information on the journey group, please visit this link. We are working in partnership with the Cardinal Center in Fairfax.

    This group is run by donations. There is a basket out for donations on the community/ancestral altar. If you are not a person that brings cash, then you can click on the link below to generously contribute to keeping the journey group alive, or you can paypal eagletherapies@gmail.com

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    As always, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to call/text 571.306.3197 or email eagletherapies@gmail.com

    Fly high! See you this month either virtually or in person!

    Payment

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    If you have stumbled across this page, then that means that you are either curious about the prices of services I offer, or may be in a position where finances are tight. My modalities are available on a sliding scale. I understand what it means to be in a difficult financial position, but cannot give away sessions for free. If of the healing modalities offered resonated with you, then do not let price be a factor. You can’t place a value on your own healing.

    I am comfortable knowing that the universe takes care of me, and am confident in the fact that you will find the right price to pay for the services I offer. I am placing my trust in you by asking you to decide what the right price is for you. However, I ask that you please keep in mind that I have to make a living too. Owning a business takes money, and if you do not adequately value the work, that robs me of my abilities to help others.

    This boils down to two basics. The first is the willingness to heal yourself, and the second is an acknowledgement that you are ready and committed to healing. If you are committed to healing yourself, then think honestly about “what would this session mean to me?” Money is energy, and based on income, $50 can be a significant sacrifice for some, but not for others. I can accept barter, but it is to be discussed strictly on on a case-by-case basis. We live in a contemporary world, and unfortunately sometimes energy does equate to money. It’s finding the right payment within your budget as well as in your heart. This is the basis for sliding scale payment.

    Please know that I do not simply turn away people simply for lack of funds. The only people turned away are those people who are halfhearted about their healing. To clarify, I am speaking of the individuals that are either unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary in order to commit to their healing, or who want me to do all of the work. I am not looking for people who want me to “fix” the same problems week after week.. That is not what I am seeking, and I will refuse your money if I see this pattern occurring.

    One of the main goals of Eagle Therapies is to help empower people to want to heal themselves. I give people the tools to be able to handle the problems that arise within their own healing process. What I provide is a basis of a clearing that leads one back to a homeostasis, because sometimes we reach blockages within us that are difficult to remove by ourselves. Sometimes we reach a point where the mountains atop of us are too much for one person to handle alone. To be clear, I will not remove the whole mountain, but I will give you the tools that you need to have in order to climb it. My purpose, and the purpose of Eagle therapies, is to help guide you along the path of your own healing, and to be able to listen to your own heart and guidance that is within you. Sometimes all that is required is a sacred witness. Sometimes when we fall, we don’t need healing – we just need someone to remind us of our strength. And sometimes when a session would greatly benefit the situation, then my purpose is to remove the obstacles to your own healing. The key point that it boils down to is you doing your own healing.

    Healing requires that we fundamentally change our story. That we change the life we are living. Those who have had miraculous healing, have walked out of a life that logically resulted in their illness or distress, and allowed it to change. For those that say they are willing to do anything to heal, but then don’t get better – it’s because they do not want to transform in order to change the relationship with their illness. For those who are willing to make the commitment, I am here, and I would be glad to help you.

    Structure for Journey Group in Fairfax

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         Journey Group of Fairfax is run out of various location in Northern Virginia. Follow us on Facebook, Meetup, or sign up for our monthly newsletter for updates.

    Journeying is different then meditation because meditation is about going within and listening to the wisdom of the body, as opposed to journeying – which is traveling outside of your body to non-ordinary reality with a specific journey question in mind in order to gain wisdom from our helping spirits/guardian angels/power animals. For more information about journeying, there is a good book by Sandra Ingerman titled “The Beginners Guide to Shamanic Journeying“, another called “Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power” by Eveyln Rysdyk, and there is also this video to watch if you are curious to see how it can impact your life.

    Basic structure of journey group:

    • 7:00 – Arrival and settling in. It’s good practice to “fully arrive” and make sure you’re in your body and here for the experience
    • 7:15 – Suggested journey topic and Discussion
    • 7:30 – Heart centered sound circle
    • 7:45 – Journey
    • 7:55 – Writing/recording our experiences of journey
    • 8:00 – Discussion of our journey and what it meant to us

    For those that are interested in joining from a distance, we do both Facebook live as well as Zoom. Please preregister and contact ahead of time for the distance option if you would like to participate live instead of just “watching it” via FB live.

    There is a suggested journey topic, but you can always bring you own. Sometimes it’s just discussion about what has been going on in regards to themes in people’s lives. If you are not on the newsletter, please click here. If you’re on Facebook, this link will bring you to the Journey group FB page. This is where I make announcements to what the suggested topic of the week is.

    The heart centered sound circle is a way for us to honor our connections to ourselves as well as to shift our brain waves. Journeying is specifically a right brain activity, so dancing and singing is a way to shift us out of that left sided monkey brain and into the brain waves where we can have a deeper journey experience. Yes, we have drums and rattles – but we also use our power of voice. In my cosmology, the most ancient of ancestors is the air itself.  Air is very powerful and so is the power of sound and vibration. Singing and drumming is one of the ways we honor this connection. Singing, drumming, and chanting is a way we move our focus from our brain to our heart. This is also that shift in thinking and mentality. When we experience journeys through the heart, we have a deeper experience with less of an influence by the trickster (which lives in the mind). There are some that come to the journey group that are shy and just shake a rattle. Then there are some who come and lead the chants. We all overlap each other, and each is free to open up their heart and to sing what comes to them. Even if it’s just chanting a word that comes to your mind like “peace” or “joy”. All of these experiences are honored and valid. You can put as much or as little into it as you want, but it’s all about the experience and what makes you feel comfortable.

    From the heart centered sound circle we move right into the journey since we are nice and juicy from the energy raised with the circle. After we journey we take some time to write our notes and record our experiences. It’s best to use short phrases or single words that remind us of our journey, and also good to draw. Writing full sentences takes us out of the right brain and into the left brain where language is.

    After the journaling, we discuss. Anyone is free to speak and share, or if you want to keep the journey to yourself – you can. There are people in the group who are not shy about sharing, so don’t feel the pressure that you have to share.

    Anyone is free to come and go for the specific parts they like. If you want to come for just the heart centered sound circle, feel free to leave before the journey. It is asked to not show up past 7:30 because the entering in can disturb some while in a trance like state. Leaving after the journey is also acceptable – sharing is welcome but is not mandatory. We just ask that you ground yourself before driving a car. Distance journeying is an option, message before hand so we can know ahead of time to set up the equipment.

    If you are not able to attend this journey, there are two others in the area that I know of. Mary Tyrtle Rooker does them in Takoma Park on the Fourth Saturday of every month. Visit her website here for more details.

    If there are any other questions or concerns, please feel free to give a call/text to 571.306.3197 or to email info@eagletherapies.com