Personal Development

Bridge over the Potomac

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I wish to share a private moment with you. Sit down with me as you read and join me up here as I share this moment overlooking the Nations Capital.

I currently live in Alexandria, and for most of my friends across the states and around the world, I live close enough to DC to say that I live in DC. I’m writing this tonight while sitting on a bench, on top of a bridge that goes across the Potomac river. I’m looking directly at the big penis of America (the Washington monument) and am considering the big internal process I just went through.

I came up here with doubts, fears and insecurities. I can hold myself together pretty well. But while I was up here, I decided to give humble offerings to each of the 4 directions (if you’re feeling lost, this is a perfect way to find yourself again and be your own compass). I don’t have much to give, but I caught myself saying, “I am enough” as I found items on my walk that were pretty and reminded me of the directions. I have to admit, I fell apart and cried up here on a bridge over the Potomac. Good thing I don’t wear makeup, because it was an ugly cry. I fell into my practice and I asked for help from the universe after I gave my offerings.

Right as I recovered from letting go and surrendering, I faced towards DC and noticed a plane was taking off from Reagan airport. It felt like the universe heard my plea for help, and I felt connected to the plane. I felt I was that plane. Full of vision and at the beginning of a long flight. I asked if this sign was for me, and right at that moment a ship came from the opposite direction, directly under me and heading straight for DC. For a brief moment I was simultaneously under an airplane and also over a water taxi at the same time. It felt right.

The only way to grow stronger in your faith is to break it. It is the process of losing it, and then finding it again. I came up here with all my fears, doubts, insecurities, and worries that I was failing. I spoke them out loud and I let myself go. I opened up to the bigger energies out there and got an almost immediate answer. It’s taken me years to build my own vocabulary with Spirit. To be able to see what these messages mean to me instead of looking outside of myself for the answer. Tonight I broke and I was held by the Universe in a safe context. Because I had my practice to fall back on. I did the crucial thing and instead gave time for Spirit to answer me back. I listened. It’s a conversation, not a one way street where you keep asking for stuff. I gave and spoke from my heart. And am walking away with a deeper sense of connection.

I couldn’t begin to find a way to thank Mary Tyrtle Rooker and Christina Lee Pratt enough. For giving me the foundation to really break down in a good way and build myself back up with the context of my true soul self and my authenticity.

So thank you for reading this, and thank you for joining me momentarily on this bridge over the Potomac while having this grand view of DC. Blessings for you to find the courage to break down and get back up again with a stronger sense of self.

Disclaimer: this whole post was written while sitting on the bridge with the view. So you technically did join me on the bridge.

Singing to your food

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I know it might sound ridiculous and you’re afraid people might laugh at you or judge you if they catch you doing it. However, being kind to your food actually helps you in the long run.

Sensitive people can tell the difference when someone makes them food, and they really put their love and care into that food. When we get food prepared for us (especially from a fast food restaurant), it’s disconnecting in a way. Sure, it might taste good, but somehow it doesn’t fill us up like Grandmas Apple Pie did.

We can be magical just like our Grandparents and make amazing food with depth and meaning if we just focus our attention on our food in a conscious way. Most people live to eat. We should be making the switch to eat to live. If we slowly stop overconsuming food because the food that we cook or eat has our intention cooked into it, we can become “full” even easier. Thus learning to stop overeating can become easier.

Many people that are Reiki practitioners bless their food with Reiki. Hey, if that floats your boat then cool! I actually pray by singing. I connect my intention with my voice and singing always puts me in a good mood. I intentionally connect with the food that I’m about to cook and will often sing to it. What does that mean energetically? I am blessing my own food and eating my prayers. I’m not as disconnected from my food and I feel a sense of connection to something bigger out there in the big web of life.

Even if you’re a horrible cook and can’t cook for yourself, try just humming something to your microwave dish. Make the intention to connect to your food and give gratitude for the many hands it took to get it to your table. If you’re also looking to deepen your Shamanic Practice, set a little food aside for the land spirits and ancestors in gratitude for the food that is about to nourish your body.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Pre-Earth Day Celebrations and Fire Ceremony

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During the month of March, in preparation for Earth Day, April 22nd, 2018, we will be hosting an array of Fire Ceremonies releasing limiting beliefs that prevent us from showing up in a good way. One of the ways we can be in right relationship with the world around us is by acknowledging our own contribution to feeding limiting beliefs. Many people use their busy life as an excuse not to focus on themselves. Well, this is an event that will be encouraging focus on the self so we can truly allow ourselves to be the stewards of change.

Let us usher in change and transformation!

There will be 3 different dates/locations in the month of March.

  • March 10th – 2-7pm in Cascades, MD. Event link on Meetup and Facebook
  • March 17th – 3-8pm in Damascus, MD. Event link on Meetup and Facebook
  • March 25th – 3-8pm in Springfield, VA. Event link on Meetup and Facebook

The one I’m most excited about? The one in Cascades, MD. It’s set in a beautiful little mountain neighborhood, and we will be picking up trash along a waterfall earlier in the day. Soolah Hoops is a fire performer with a local fire troop called Pyrophoric. We will be teaming up to combine spiritual/mental/emotional diving with practical application. Fire is a wonderful and transformative tool, and we will be provided fire spinning cord cutting on March 10th. Truly let go and allow those old beliefs and what you agreed to hold you back go up in flames! Literally! We will hold space for you.

Here is the event description and itinerary (basic outline, adjust 1 hour for those participating in Cascades) for those interested in attending:

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we will be laying the ground work for stepping into a new story. The stories we tell ourselves have power, and some of our old stories are rooted in old beliefs that we didn’t even know that we had. We don’t have to justify trying to “be Green” anymore. A vast majority of the population already know we need to change the way we are living because it’s not sustainable. Most people have good intentions about doing good things for the Earth, like recycling, eating green, buying organic, or using canvas grocery bags. However, good intentions aren’t enough. Typically when we are rushed or stressed, we buy food on the run, throw away trash to release the clutter instead of recycling, and forgetting the canvas grocery bags at home. It’s our human nature, and typically the story we tell ourselves is, “I don’t have enough time”, “That takes up too much energy” or “But it’s so hard to remember”. Those are all stories we tell ourselves, and they are rooted in beliefs. 


For those that don’t know, a fire ceremony can be used as a transformative tool to effectively dive down into our psyche, manifest what our old beliefs are into power objects, and then release them to the fire to be transformed. Energy can neither be created, nor destroyed – only transformed. If you are trying to create a fundamental change, but are unwilling to give things up, how can you welcome more onto your plate when your plate is already full? By being able to discuss, share space with other like minded people, and craft power objects – we will lay the groundwork for a true transformative process that involves our mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

The schedule will go as follows, but it subject to change. This is BASIC OUTLINE:

3p – Gather and begin building a community altar. Introduce ourselves with one another, and get acquainted.
3:30 – Set the container, weave the circle, and set the intention
4:00 – Explanation of what we will be doing, and go over the plan/itinerary so everyone is on the same page
4:30 – Diagnostic journeys to see what the limiting beliefs are that we will be releasing into the power object. How do we make these objects? Share and discuss if called to. Sometimes the act of sharing helps us become more concrete about our answers.
5-6:30 – Arts and crafts time! This is where we will be intentional with our crafts. There will be a space to dance, hoop, and spin if needed in order to get into our bodies and have a more clear sense of what is happening/going on. Embodiment is key!
6:30 – Sit in silence with our power objects. Now that we have manifested them into physical reality, they no longer hold power over us in our mind/emotions/spirit. Now is the opportunity to thank it for allowing us to get this far, but acknowledging that it is time to let go. Here is where we ask what the true nature of this object is, and how we can release it in a good way.
7:00 – Fire cleansing, cord cuttings, and lighting the big fire. Last minute releases before we truly allow ourselves to experience the full “release” of tossing in these power objects
7:30 – Gathering around the fire as a group and releasing our power objects into the fire one by one. We support each other, and we become sacred witnesses for those going through their process.
8:00 – Sing one last song together as a group and begin closing up our circle, releasing the energies we called forward.

Potluck after!

Things to bring:
-Journal or something to record experiences with
-Leftover crafting supplies (scissors, paint, glue gun, twine))
-Things you’ve been meaning to burn for a while (letters from an ex, old photos, *burnable* things – ie please no plastics, make it fire friendly)
-Drum, rattle, didgeridoo, sacred objects
-Food for potluck. There will be people there with food allergies or dietary restrictions, so please if possible – list the ingredients on a note card or bring the packaging.
-Ceremony run off of donation and sacred reciprocity. Suggested donation is $20-$40 to help offset costs of running Ceremony.

Things to be mindful of:
-NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL prior or during Ceremonial space, ESPECIALLY because we will be dealing with fire. Please be “clean” and try to refrain from drugs or alcohol at least a full 24 hours before. Prescription meds (especially if you need them to live) are an exception.
-Pay attention to boundaries and space. Not everyone is a hug-filled person. This Ceremony can get pretty intense, so please ask for consent or permission to give someone a hug/touch someone unless you know them well.

Life Compass Group

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What is the Life Compass Group?  No, it’s not associated with a Health Insurance Company.

CompassGroupI have found that the Internal Guidance System by Zen Debrucke, or what is also known in some circles as a “Truth Chord” is of vital importance of learning how to navigate your life in a graceful and easy flow. The Truth Chord is a skill that we can learn how to hone, and it becomes of utmost importance when we begin (or deepen) our shamanic journeying practice.

This group is something that arose out of a need for people to come together in a community to support each other as we begin to deepen our own practice. It is important for us to be within our own bodies as we live our life, because our body is what holds the wisdom of why we are here. Most don’t even know how to be in their body because their body is generally associated with pain.

When we focus too much on what is in the past because something is triggering us, or worrying about the future because we are worried what might happen – little do we realize we are not in our body. Our attention drifts to those past experiences, or the future possibilities and we get lost in that emotion/chaos of it all. When our focus drifts, that is when we are not here in the Now. This is an embodiment group where we will be able to clear the stuck or stagnant energies in our bodies so we can connect with it (typically with movement or singing), and then using that immediate clear channel of a body in order to gain insight on which direction we should be going in life.

This Meetup will only be an hour long, and schedule will go as follows:

7:00 – Gathering, setting up community altar, getting to know each other

7:10 – Weaving Circle, introducing ourselves and why we’re here

7:15 – Chakra clearing and balancing. Involves either movement or singing. Neither is required, but both encouraged.

7:45 – Going over different techniques for using the IGS, and having exercises to practice on our own or in a group

7:55 – Clean up! Saying goodbye

Bring your journal! This will be a fun and interactive group. If there is enough interest, it is possible this could be bi-weekly like the Journey Group.

Joining From a Distance

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The biggest thing we are facing today as a society is feeling isolated. Many spiritual leaders, guru’s and mystics have already uncovered that our Western Contemporary Society has a large wound of separation. In a shamanic cosmology, we are one with everything, and there is a sacredness in all things. If one believes that God/Goddess/Spirit created the world, then by that same definition, doesn’t that mean that God/Goddess/Spirit is in everything that was created? When we feel separated from this great “web of life” as some call it, then things within our inner landscape become out of balance. If the imbalance progresses, illness or a dis-ease of the Spirit can take place. Many traditional Shamans believe that if a spiritual illness (such as soul loss) were to perpetuate and set in, it can (over time) lead to physical ailments. If you’re interested in exploring this more, there are two Shamanic Podcasts that I highly recommend which talk extensively of this perspective. There is Michael Stone with Conversations, and Christina Pratt with Why Shamanism Now.

One of the ways we can counter this illusion of separation is to remember that we are one with all things. This is where daily spiritual practices and coming together in community are especially important. The daily spiritual practice will help reinforce your own personal connection to a higher power, while the community aspect allows you to be on this journey of inner awareness with others who are trying to accomplish the same thing. The law of attraction states that like attracts like, so pay attention to what you are surrounding yourself with.

Oh no… but what if you see great events and can’t participate in them because you can’t make the commute, or you’re too far away/live in a different state?!

This is where the beauty of the internet comes in handy! I can’t speak for all people that hold distance events, but here are links to the basic guide/overview of how we will run things at Eagle Therapies so if you do not have a local community – you can still participate in one!

We use Zoom for people to interact with each other in a virtual space. Please email us at info@eagletherapies.com, or FB message us before just “showing up” virtually. This helps us prepare how we will be running the event. Here is the login information for when you do join us at a distance:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/6685467347
Or iPhone one-tap :
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 929 436 2866  or +1 669 900 6833
    Meeting ID: 668 546 7347
    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/pZtS4

Shamanic Journey Group

There is a bi-weekly Shamanic Journey Group that meets every other week at various locations (check out our Facebook or Meetup for up to date lists). There are some people that wish to practice their journeying skills with others, and this is the perfect way to do so – whether in person or at a distance. The Journey Group has been running steadily since 2014, so there is a solid structure to hold people as they engage in the “Journey Tracks” that are posted as we find explore a topic to journey about together. For a link to an in-depth explanation for the structure and format, click here. For support for journeying at home, click here.

Ancestral Healing Circle

Once monthly around the New Moon is a Ceremony called the Ancestral Healing Circle. This is a Ceremony that welcomes both the new as well as the experienced. It is where we gather and work on the unresolved issues/patterns within ourselves, the ancestors, as well as in the land itself. The Ancestral Healing Circles have been apart of the Shamanism Without Borders community and follows the code of ethics set by the Society of Shamanic Practice. Before involving healing of any kind in our circles, we must first ask permission/consent for those that we are praying for. This is why most of the time (especially for beginner ceremonialists), we focus on ourselves and our connection to the topic at hand for the month. As Sandra Ingerman says, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and any inner work that we do has an effect on the greater web of life. A post is coming for a more in-depth explanation for the structure and format of joining at a distance.

If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@eagletherapies.com or call/text 571.306.3197. And please also don’t be shy about leaving a message. We are here to help support a growing community of people that want to help each other. We’re all in this together.

40cean Blessing Bracelets

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As some people have been following the blogs and newsletters, they might be aware that for the month of June, I had an offer for people to get recycled bracelets from a company called 4Ocean. To look back at the previous blog post click here. These bracelets are made of trash that has been picked up from the ocean. There are several sites all across the world that have “Ocean clean up” days, where volunteers just pick up trash. The glass beads are made from the glass bottles, and the string is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The fun thing is, that over $400 was raised in order to donate to 4Ocean! I am so proud of those that support our community and the love that was raised for the Ocean <3 The bracelets arrived just in time for me to bring to my first shamanic training in the 4 year training program that I’m in. While I was in Arizona for the Masks of Illusion and the Authentic Self (It’s a 4 year program that teaches how to live a shamanic lifestyle), I had put these wonderful bracelets on the community altar – so the proud owners of the bracelets will walk away with some powerful transformative energies as well as some personalized blessings. These bracelets also came along with me as I traveled and camped in the wilderness of the desert.

I happen to be an introvert, and I knew that training was going to be intense. I was right, it was. And I really needed to heavily process. Sometimes in order to process I escape to nature so I can reconnect with myself and the bigger picture of what I came here to do. I camped at Picacho State Park overnight, and in the morning I gave gratitude and blessings to the Land Spirits that helped hold us during our powerful transformational processes. I will tell you a really funny story… because as I was giving offerings to the land, I happened to give gratitude to the desert by pouring some water on the ground. As soon as I said, “I give this to the Land Spirits and the Spirits of Place” and dumped the water on the ground, there was this little ground squirrel that came out of nowhere, scampered up and shyly drank the water that I just poured. I guess the Land Spirits come in all shapes and sizes 🙂

 

Big bump I climbed

I climbed that big bump you see right there. While I was up at about 2,000 feet above sea level, I had built myself a little offering altar and placed the bracelets up there while it absorbed some really expansive mountain/desert energy. I played a couple of songs on the flute, and sang on the drums. Some of the other hikers appreciated the drumming/singing. It was quite comical because I had found a little shady spot under a cliff, so you couldn’t really see where I was sitting unless you walked past me. I had some hikers comment that they were worried there was a ghost around here, and we had a good laugh as I chatted with some of the good natured folks who also decided to climb Picacho Peak.

I shall start planting the seeds of blessings in them this month. June was a pretty bumpy month for me, and the training took a lot more out of me then I expected. I had to take a break from clients and even cancel a few social/community events I had planned. Thank you to those that are patient in receiving the bracelets 🙂 They shall be delivered soon! With a cute little bag and post cards that say “Thanks for cleaning up the ocean!”

Much love and many blessings to all of you <3 And thank you for caring about the state of our ocean and helping contribute to a cause that is helping clean up the mess humanity is leaving on our planet. We shall do right by the world. Gotta leave it better then we found it so our children and our childrens children can enjoy it.

Fire and Passion

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If you have found this page, there is no coincidence that you are on a path of self discovery.  Even if that wasn’t your intention, you somehow still wound up finding this page.  This post directly deals with the Fire as an element, and how we can journey to find out the depth of our relationship with this element.  It can be a direct reflection upon us and how we function in this world.  We will be going through these journeying topics at the Shamanic Journey Group of Fairfax, however this can also be a “follow along at home” directional for those that wish to take this slowly and in a step-by-step process.

I shall update the table of contents as the blog posts get written.

Table of contents:

Purity and the Elements – Main post, Introduction to four element system and why

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air – Representation of our Mental Body

Fire (this post)

Water (coming soon)

Fire is one of those elements that requires the right balance in order to burn in a way that is healthy.  Previously in other blog posts, we have discussed that Earth represents our physical body, Air represents our mental body, water represents our emotional body, and fire is the pivot point of all of these elements – representing our spiritual body.  Our Western Contemporary culture doesn’t value (or in the past has not valued) our spiritual body.  We do things that go against our integrity all the time: not fully being “present” and in the moment, falling back on what we said we were going to do, not being realistic about our expectations and overestimating the energy that we have left before we commit to a task, etc.  In order for our metaphorical fire to burn well, the other three elements have to be in balance.

Let’s start at the base.  Imagine your place of power, or the place you have visited with your guides before.  Go back to that same place to see you relationship with these elements and be open to the images that pop up.  If our metaphorical “ground” is too shaky, porous, or wet, and it not well formulated – is that a good place to build a fire?  Is it wise to build a fire on top of a whole bunch of dry grass?  Here is where I introduce the concept of judgement, because I know this has come up in previous journeys. When viewing our metaphors, we must not ask is “Is this wrong or right?” because that puts us in a mind frame of judgement.  If we label something as “Good” or “Bad”, then we will automatically categorize things into polar opposites for us.  Maybe having something a particular way can be beneficial, but we can’t see the value of it until we appreciate it later.  Sometimes the biggest miracle is God’s unanswered prayers.  Perhaps someone does need to build a fire on top of dry grass, because that dry grass represents a lot of the “burnt out” challenges they have had in their life and they need to clear it all out. Yes, it turns into a fire storm, and that can be chaotic for a time – but perhaps that drained state once the fire burns out is exactly what they need to be receptive for the next lesson. Sometimes we need to be under pressure before we can grow.  For example, conifers are a type of tree where fire is vital in their life cycle.  The seeds cannot germinate unless they have been cracked open by fire.  Everything has its learning opportunity, and learning to ask the right questions of Spirit is key to understanding ourselves and how we operate.

Now to deepen this metaphor.  If we go back to our earth element in the form of wood instead of just the ground, we can equate the wood to our materials for consumption.  Do we have too much wood?  Do we not have enough wood?  The wood can represent what we use to feed/nourish ourselves.  If we don’t feed or nourish ourselves properly, then how can we have enough physical stamina to burn the wood?  If we happen to sleep really well, eat right, and then wake up with a full stack of logs to burn, do we have a tendency to set everything on fire at once?  Usually what that looks like in physical reality is the person getting really super excited about an idea, then they proceed to go forward with many different tasks, throwing all of their logs on their fire and expending all of their energy at once.  Before they know it, after they get through half their day, their energy is depleted and they are dragging by the end of the day.  The question is not “Is this method wrong or right” but “Does this method serve me?” or “Is this a healthy way for me to expend my energy”.

If our mental state is out of balance, perhaps we might have too much wind to add to our metaphor.  If there is too much air (too many thoughts circulating), then sometimes our fire can burn out of control and we can run out of fuel (wood) faster then what we normally would.  Because of this excitement of ideas, we can burn through our resources so quickly that we still become drained.  Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if we don’t have enough wind, our metaphorical status could be “stagnant” and it could be hard for us to burn anything at all, because there is a lack of air.  This lack of air could be a feeling of hopelessness, dread, or depression that we can’t seem to kick ourselves out of.  If we happen to fall into this category, then some questions we could ask ourselves are: “What is my right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how does it affect my element of fire?”; “Show me how quickly I burn through my resources when I become too over excited about my ideas”; “What is right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how can I stimulate/calm it down?”

If our emotional wisdom body is out of balance, then our metaphorical scene could either be too wet, or not damp enough.  If the air is thick and humid, then it could definitely be hard to start a fire because of how wet/saturated the wood is.  If there is little to no emotion at all, then it could be too dry – and again, our resources get burned quicker then what we can throw on our fire.  Most people in our society have a hard time with our emotional wisdom body, because we either suppress our emotions (because boys aren’t supposed to cry, or crying is seen as a weakness) or we over indulge in emotions (those prone to gossip or drama and feed off of it).  It’s hard to find balance within ourselves, but again, we see how this very vital wisdom body can influence our element of fire.  If we consider ourselves to be “sensitive” and feel more than some other people, then sometimes some protection against another person emotions could be the key.  Perhaps someone is “raining on your parade”, and you find yourself drained and can’t build your fire after interacting with a certain type of person.  What that can look like, is someone with a lot of ambition, but then after talking with someone, can become really disheartened because that person does not believe in them or their dreams.  Sometimes filtering out these people that weigh you down is the type of protection you need to help protect your fire.  Great questions sometimes come from this, “What is the right environment for my fire to thrive?”; “Show me how my emotional wisdom body affects my spiritual wisdom body”; “Show me the type of protection I might need to protect my fire, and how my fire gets influenced by others”

All of these things factor into our relationship with Spirit.  If we are imbalanced in any of those three areas, it could be hard to keep our energy going.  Fire typically represents our passion, our influence, and what drives us in life.  If we feel like we have no passion, if we lack creativity, or we stop short – then what are you doing to feed your fire properly?  This is a direct reflection to ones spirituality.  Our sense of purpose and what drives us is directly enhanced by our relationship with our spirituality.  If taken into context, we begin to see that many people can be out of balance with their spirituality, because all of these things are connected and inter-related.  The point is not to have a fire that burns too terribly brightly, or out of balance with all the other elements, because too much “fire” can lead to arrogance, aggression, and ambition.  How many times have you been bull dozed by someone with a fierce determination without a lack of care for who stands in their way?  There is a such thing as too much fire. If we have too little fire, do we feel stuck, depleted, or feel like we are lacking a sense of purpose?

Fire is perfect for those who feel like they have too much on their plate.  One of the best things about the element of fire, is that is serves the purpose of purifying, as well as bringing the gift of instant transformation.  It is a universal law that energy cannot be either destroyed nor created.  So what happens if you’ve got a lot of baggage?  If you learn to utilize and work with these elements properly, we can begin to reflect on some of the things we’ve got going on in our life, and bring it to the fire so we can transform our thoughts/perspective, and then “let go” of anything else that doesn’t fit.

I will bring up a few patterns I see most common these days, that are standing in ones way to accessing their full potential of their spiritual wisdom body.  One is that people are using life as an excuse not to get spiritual.  Many people say, “Oh, I don’t have time to meditate” or “Yeah, I’m a really stressed out person, and I know I should do something for stress relief” and don’t take into account their spiritual health as well as their mental, emotional, and physical health.  On the opposite end, I have seen many people take on meditations of “letting it go” and clearing the stress of the moment, but don’t into account why those stresses pop up in the first place or why it triggers them into an emotional/reactive state.  If a person is constantly “letting go” and not diving down to why something is making them upset, it is termed a “spiritual bypass” so then they don’t really get down to the core of what makes them upset.  Both can be an abuse of our spiritual wisdom body, and can lead to a superficial relationship with our own spirituality.

Many people can be in many different aspects of these relationships, the main point to draw out of this blog post, is what state are YOU in?  This is not a linear path where you can “follow these steps and get this result”, but this is part of a guideline that is more holistic in application, and how you can pick up the pieces to strengthen the weak aspects.

Some questions we can ask our guides in regards to our relationship with fire are:

  • What things am I refusing to acknowledge at this point?
  • What are the challenges blocking me from accessing the full potential of my spirituality?
  • What things can I transform within myself to establish a deeper relationship with my spiritual wisdom body?
  • What things are standing in my way between me and living my life’s purpose?

As with any archetype, the shadow of fire is the wildfire (if you are confused at what the shadow is and what it represents, scroll down to the bottom of the earth post).  The wildfire comes when we become too arrogant, sit on top of our high horse, and put all of our eggs in one basket.  A more common expression of the wildfire is when our emotional wisdom body runs out of control, and the archetype of the “Wounded Child” drives the bus.  Some people may or may not be familiar about it, but I tend to have a pretty unpopular view of the “Wounded Child”.  What this usually looks like is someone who is fired by jealousy or their repressed emotions, and does something out of spite.  They become “alive” and “on fire” because they feel like they need to get back at a person, or a group.  Another thing is that we could have false passions that can drive us.  Sometimes our addictions can fuel our motivations in the world, and we can become feverish to fulfill these desires we have.  The wildfire is an example of chaos that can be used to drive us either into a state of madness where we destructively burn things without meaning to, or we can use it constructively in a way where we set forth fire in a way that allows for clear, concise break down so we can emerge as seedlings of a conifer that has been through the flame.  The earth is generally extremely fertile after a fire, depending on what was burned.  Could this be a new beginning for you that you can be proud of?  Or is the wildfire a result of your repressed/unresolved issues that you continue to project on your surrounding situation?  All of these are good questions to ask.

If you are an auditory person and would like an alternative way to listen to some of these ideas, feel free to listen to this podcast by Christina Pratt and Why Shamanism Now.

Other valuable links:

Journey Track Outline – Lost and need a refresher? Go back to the basics before moving forward

Purity and the Elements – Need a reminder on the element system and how these all play together?

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air – Representation of our Mental Body

April Journey Group Outline 2017

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Hey guys! I sure have been busy this past month, with my recovering from deaths doorstep and heading out to Standing Rock and all. I somehow managed to write up a Journey Track outline for beginner journeyers because my inbox was becoming full with people who had questions about doing it by themselves at home. With all of that being said and done, the next few months are probably going to blow by fast for me. I’ve taken up training with an indigenous teacher, as well as going out on my first retreat with Christina Pratt in June (I’m in her four year training program and starting year 1 this year). So that means that we are going to move a little bit quicker in the journey group.

The last two months we have been working on the topic of earth as an element, and exploring that relationship as a metaphor of our physical body. The rest will be as follows on this big medicine wheel we will be taking a dive into 😉

  • Main Post: Purity and the Elements – Exploring the four element system, what it means, and the inter-connectedness/inter-related aspects of it all
  • February and March: Earth – getting the grounding, boundaries, and centering under wraps. This is a crucial part to understanding the element of earth
  • April: Element of Air – Exploring the mental wisdom body and how to bring about the clarity of the mind
  • May: Element of Fire (post coming soon) – Exploring the spiritual wisdom body and how we can use passion to fuel our drive in the world
  • June: Element of Water (post coming soon) – Exploring the emotional wisdom body and how we can use our emotions as a useful processing tool instead of drowning or being numbed by them.

Along with the basic journey group meetups, there is also a Shamanic Journeying Basics class on April 8th, as well as the Open Heart Path class on April 18th. Hooray for fun events this month!

Event listings for Eagle Therapies:

April 2nd – Heart Centered Sound Circle
This is the extended version of the 5-10 minutes of singing/chanting we do before we journey. It’s a ceremony that lasts for an hour. Begins at 1pm.

April 6th – Element of Air: Shamanic Journey Group
Today we will find the inter-connectedness and inter-relatedness of the element of air, and see how it fits in with the element of earth. Earth helps us cultivate a sense of wellbeing, as well as a sense of place, presence, and grounding. Earth helps us ask the question, “What do I stand for, and why do I stand for it?”. As earth helped pave the ground work, now we can step into the realm of air and be able to take on responsibility and power. The element of air helps us connect to vision as well as clarity, clear sight, and truth.

April 7th – First Friday in Fairfax – Drum Circle!
This is just a fun get together with drums, rattles, and shaky things 🙂 Come join in community!

April 8th – Shamanic Journeying Basics – The Bare Bones
This is meant for everyone from beginners who know nothing about journeying, all the way to experienced journeyers who want a refresher. This will also include a journey group right after, as well as a question and answer.
Cost: $15 – Please bring cash or paypal ahead of time

April 18th – The Open Heart Path workshop
This is one of my favorite workshops to teach, because the Open Heart Path is very near and dear to my heart (pun intended). Come find out what it means to live in todays world full of courage, and to bring your medicine to the table.
Cost: $15 – Please bring cash or paypal ahead of time

April 20th – Element of Air: Shamanic Journey Group
Whenever there is a light, if the light falls on an object of attention, it casts a shadow. The shadow aspect of the element of air is the tornado. Sometimes in life, we reach a point of hopelessness that it feels like an aspect of ourselves is suffocating. We feel stuck and can sometimes feel like we cannot move forward without being restricted in some ways. The tornado can help breathe a breath of life back into the stagnation that was there.

Fly high, everyone!

Journey Track Outline

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This post is an at home journeying guide, which will either guide you into your own journeying practice, or deepen the practice you currently have. If you are interested in joining the Shamanic Journey Group at a distance, click here. If you stumbled upon this page because you would like a little extra help framing your journey practice, then feel free to peruse at your own pace. This is a helpful guide that pieces all of the journey topics from the past two years, and compiles them from basics to more advanced.

Beginners

If you are still relatively new to Shamanic Journeying, then I would highly suggest that the first journey that you take is either one that establishes a place of power where you always start off, or to meet a Spirit Guide/Helping Spirit. Whenever learning a new skill (such as journeying), it’s very much like working out a muscle to make it stronger. Some people are innately going to have no problem lifting heavy weights, while some might have to work at it a couple of times in order to produce some results. Remember to not judge the experience of others, and remember that we all have different strengths when it comes to interpreting messages from the other side. Some might be able to hear things better, others might be able to see things, while yet some others tend to just “feel” or “know” that they’re going down through a tree or sitting next to a river. The point about journeying is to be as into the experience as possible. See if you can get as much detail as you can. If you see a waterfall, what does it sound like? What does it taste like? Where are your feet? What type of ground are you stepping on? Do you hear any other things in your environment?

Preparation for:

  • It is helpful to turn off all electronic devices and either let other people know that you’re doing it so they don’t disturb you, or choose a time when no one else will be home
  • Call up protection, or set the intention for safety. There are many people who put up sacred space or set up crystal grids so then that way their bodies are protected.
    • This is a small advisement that some people still don’t know what it’s like to be “fully embodied” and tend not to be fully present. Traditionally in an indigenous culture, they would take their body with them when they journeyed (trance dance states, singing, chanting, etc.), but many individuals in this society have to peel off so many layers just to have an authentic spiritual experience that experimenting in different techniques (such as laying down, sitting, rattling, etc.) would be good to find out what works best for you. This is an experience based skill that is based off of what is best for you. What works for some people might not work for others. The main thing, is to try and stay fully embodied while you travel to the realm of spirit, otherwise if you leave open a space – then that could leave room for another entity to come in. Light some incense, dim the lights, and shake a rattle 🙂
  • Try to sing, dance, or do something that will get you into the right brain state. The left brain state is about words, communication, and invoking. Leave space for repetition, and conscious trancing. All of these things (especially singing, chanting, and dancing) will help get you into an altered state of consciousness, which typically will mean a deeper journey.
  • There are some people who lay down when journeying, but I don’t typically recommend this when first starting out. This reminds us of sleeping, and even though there is a such thing as lucid dreaming – that is a different avenue and is very different then shamanic journeying. Get a comfortable chair or if you want to try dancing your journey, put on an eye curtain (piece of fabric that goes on over the eyes so you can’t see ahead, but only where your feet are), and put a hula hoop on the ground so you stay in the confines of the hoop (this is a purely practical thing, so you don’t bump your shins into the coffee table – nothing takes you out of a journey faster then pain).
  • Don’t forget to grab a journal! It’s always good to have scraps of paper lying around if you don’t have a journal. It’s always fun and interesting to read them later after you have digested the message a little bit. Remember that when coming back from the journey state, short phrases or simple words that will bullet point your journey are best. If you write in full sentences, it put you into the left brain state, and that will take you away from being in the right brain state (which makes journeys harder to remember).

Journeying is a question driven activity. If you do not have a focused intention while going into the realm of spirit, most often our guides will just take us on a wild imaginative ride that might not make sense. Remember to have an intention and to really feel what your question is – other wise your answer will be as non-productive as your question was. It helps to not ask a yes or no answer, because it will not be as open ended and you could potentially trick yourself into hearing something you want to hear.

Great beginning journeying questions:

  • I would like to meet my entrance to the spiritual world, as well as find my place of power
    • It always helps to have the same visualization that will bring you over to the realm of Spirit. It will help even more if this starting point is a real place in nature that brings you comfort. Start by finding a small hole or opening, and then imagine yourself going through. You should feel a going up or down sensation, and then you will be transported to your place of power. Explore your place of power, and be as into it as possible. This is where we will be doing a lot of work (if you will be following some of the journey tracks listed below). It tends to be a place we’ve either visited before, or a place that we’ve always dreamed of being (like a beach, lake house, mountain cottage, etc.)
  • I would like to meet my non-egoic connection to spirit at this time
    • There are many different types of spirits that we can encounter in the journeying state. It is my belief that we are all born into this world with at least 1 to 2 non-egoic helping spirits. These are the helping spirits that we do not need to feed, we don’t have to hide their identity, and they often change form as we learn and grow as individuals. Non-egoic helping spirits are directly connected to Source/Universe/All that is and only care about our own personal development and teach us to be better humans. I have run across many different individuals that practice different forms of Shamanism, and some might call this aspect a “higher self” version of a spirit guide. But this is a very big difference then working with an egoic spirit. A spirit that has an ego is very much like us humans here on the physical reality. They have their own personalities, their own likes/dislikes, and they definitely have their own opinions. These helping spirits tend to be specialists, and can offer very unique advice that non-egoics sometimes cannot give a clear opinion on (because they only care about character development and see everything as a lesson). There is a benefit to working with both of these types of generic spirits (for example, I primarily work with about 80% egoic spirits, but have 2 constant non-egoic helping spirits that I use to vet everybody else), but the benefit of working with a non-egoic helping spirit is that they cannot be fooled because they are directly connected to source. An egoic spirit can be tricked or lied to, possibly bribed to work against you (hence why some traditional cultures do not share their helping spirits identities). The trick is, that working with non-egoics is more about asking the right questions because they are not as opinionated as an egoic helping spirit. Which is why I have the journey tracks listed below, so that it can be easier to ask non-egoics some of these questions. The reason why “at this time” is added on at the end, because we want to be present about what will be beneficial to us right now. I have had a person get a past guide or a future guide that they are not meant to work with, or have had past debts with, so it made journeying challenging for that particular person. These are just suggestions I offer.

After repeating those journey questions to yourself at least three times, I would then listen to a good drumming track with anywhere between 180-220 beats per minute. Here are some good ones that are out there right now:

Of course there’s shameless self promotion for the journey track that I created. It’s on the sound cloud. But in case you can’t access that or have trouble downloading it:

  • 12 minute track – Has whistling in the beginning to call in protection and the ancestors by Sandra Ingerman
  • 30 minute track – Single track drumming by Michael Harner
  • 30 minute track – Single and double drumming tracks by Michael Harner
  • 30 minute track – Beautiful Taiko drumming with Nagado drums, Odaiko, and rattles by Sandra Ingerman featuring Taiko Sol

If you would like more information, follow Sandra Ingerman for up to date Shamanic Journeying Basics courses. She is the person who I learned from, and her online training’s work quite well! Sounds True also has a lovely website dedicated to all things Shamanic Journeying. I will also hold a once monthly Shamanic Journeying Basics class with a journey session afterwards so you can try out what you just learned. Sign up for the Newsletter for up to date events.

Intermediate

Alright, so you’ve got the basics down. You have a place of power and you have a guide that’s willing to work with you. What’s next?

The first step is learning about energetic hygiene. What is energetic health? This is where I introduce the concept of the “energy bucket”, and I refer to this quite often. This is meant to be a daily practice, as well as something that is to be maintained whenever life starts to go awry. It can change from moment to moment based off of what is happening to you in the moment. When we get exposed to different triggers, and enter into a reactive state – our bucket can sometimes become a little unstable. There are many things which can change, but remembering to take care of yourself as well as your energy level is crucial/critical to having a good foundation for shamanic journeying. When we have these introspection’s about ourselves, then we can be of better use for those that we help/serve/love.

The energy bucket meditations are guided visualizations that can help, and I also have a link to a journey track that you can listen to at home as well.

These are optional, but are good starters to anyone that is beginning to step onto a more shamanic path. I also digress slightly when I say this – but the purpose of me putting all of this information into one space is not to promote more shamans out there. Shamanic Journeying is a helpful tool that is very valuable. It can be added to any practice, and is not a religion. It’s a way of looking at life, and it is completely okay to have one helping spirit that constantly helps us rather then more “facebook friends” that we don’t really know that well. On that note…

  • Change and Transformation – Why do we care about these things?
    • Some good journey questions that come out of this article are:
      • What is the greatest challenge that is preventing me from transforming?
      • What aspect of myself is standing in my own way when allowing a change to happen?
      • What is a habit that I can begin to transform so that I can have a healthier relationship with myself?
  • Creating a Container for Transformation – What if we are a little over our heads with the difference between change and transformation. How do we start?
    • Some good journey questions that come out of this article are:
      • What does my personal/inter-personal container for transformation look like now?
      • What does my personal/inter-personal container look like for __(name a particular event you are having difficulty with)____?
      • What is this particular container supposed to look like?
      • What is missing from this container so that this transformation can be a powerful one?
      • Show me the steps to take so that my container for transformation aligns with my path and is healthier for me
      • Show me an example of a transformation that tried to take place but it backfired instead

Courses to Take and Expand Upon

The most basic one that is helpful for anyone wanting to deepen and enrich their inner world/landscape is exploring the elemental system. Each page has it’s own suggested journeying questions and follow through.

  • Purity and the Elements – A beginning introduction to the Four Element System, how they are inter-related and inter-dependent, and a wonderful tool of introspection which can provide clarity to any spiritual practice.
  • Earth – Metaphor for our relationship to our Physical Wisdom Body. Our physical body contains the innate wisdom of how to heal, and how we can live well in this world.
  • Air – Metaphor for our relationship to our Mental Wisdom Body. A lot of people in our society are prone to an excess of this element, and can become subject to headaches, migraines, and anxiety. This is how we begin turning an unhealthy relationship into one of balance.
  • Fire (coming soon) – Metaphor for our relationship to our Spiritual Wisdom Body. Fire is one of those elements that really depends on the other elements to thrive. If its too damp, a fire can’t burn. If it’s too dry, a fire will burn out of control.
  • Water (coming soon) – Metaphor for our Emotional Wisdom Body. Many people in this society tend to have a very unhealthy relationship with our emotions. There is either a tendency to excess and drama – or the complete opposite which is not having emotions at all.

 

This is a lot of information, and hopefully this all helps and fits together! If you have any questions, concerns, or are just lost – please feel free to text/call 571.306.3197 (just leave a message, please) or email info@eagletherapies.com

Fly high, everyone!

Inspiration and Air

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If you have found this page, there is no coincidence that you are on a path of self discovery. Even if that wasn’t your intention, you somehow still wound up finding this page. This post directly deals with the Air as an element, and how we can journey to find out the depth of our relationship with this element. It can be a direct reflection upon us and how we function in this world. We will be going through these journeying topics at the Shamanic Journey Group of Fairfax, however this can also be a “follow along at home” directional for those that wish to take this slowly and in a step-by-step process.

I shall update the table of contents as the blog posts get written.

Table of contents:

Purity and the Elements – Main post, Introduction to four element system and why

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air (this post)

Fire – Representation of our Spiritual Body

Water (coming soon)

As we have found out through previous posts, all of the elements are inter-related and interconnected. Through earth, we have cultivated a sense of who we are, why we are here, what we stand for, and why we stand for it. If we don’t cultivate these things first, then we can get very overwhelmed in the element of air. Many people in this society have an excess of the air element. Because the air element represents our mental wisdom body, that means that we can have an abundance of ideas, but lack of follow through. Have you ever heard of the phrase “air head” or thought of the meaning “building castles in the sky”? That is because without the earth quality in balance, we can become very “ungrounded” and can begin to think with fantasy thinking, allowing our brains to run away with us. Air in excess can be manifested physically as anxiety, migraines, and headaches because we are up in our heads all the time. Air in and of itself physically is made up of smaller, less dense molecules then that of earth. The molecules tend to bounce around a lot faster, and sometimes when they are “heated up”, they move at lightning fast speed, bumping into each other and causing all sorts of chaos. Have you ever noticed that when someone gets excited over new ideas they trip over themselves trying to write them all down, but then they burn out before they begin to enact any of the steps? Excited air energy is great and wonderful, but being grounded and methodical is how we begin to plant these seeds that we get from the air. Right relationship with earth helps remind us to take a step back and breathe.

When working with the element of air, it is a direct engagement of Spirit. If we think about it, the first element that we are introduced to as we are born into this world is the element of air. A baby is not marked as fully alive until they “take their first breath”. Air is the element most taken for granted. The same air that we breathe now is the same air that was once breathed by our deceased relatives, animals, as well as ancient beings – including dinosaurs! When we breathe the breath of our ancestors, we can restore ourselves back to the original dream. We commonly engage in ceremony with words and speaking. Air is the energetic driver for taking a particular vow (which most people don’t take seriously anymore because vows are often broken in this society).

The spoken word does have a lot of power, because many words together begin to tell a story. We often tell ourselves stories about ourselves and can portray others and ourselves in a certain light. This is human nature and happens unconsciously. An example of a “story” that we tell ourselves is the story of being “a good husband/wife”, or “being a good daughter/son”. We often get a perception of what is good/bad from the people and community that raise us, so if we grew up in a very dogmatic household – it can be very difficult to unlearn certain behaviors, and we can have trigger reactions when a story that we are telling ourselves is being challenged. For example, if we keep telling ourselves the story of judging our own self worth, it could restrict our decisions. Because we could have a low opinion of ourselves and we see a dream job, we could potentially restrict ourselves from applying to that open job position. The “story” we tell ourselves often comes as a soft whisper that speaks to us like, “Nah, I’m not going to apply for that job. I don’t have the credentials yet”, or “Well, if I apply for the job, I won’t get it anyway”. In the end, that story boils down to our worthiness. Maybe in the past we were told that we couldn’t amount to anything, and over time if things like that keep being told to us – we believe it.  When we begin cultivating a healthy relationship with element of air, we begin to challenge these stories and ask if they are grounded in reality, or based in fantasy thinking.

There is a difference between doubt and critical thinking. Doubt is paralyzing, we lose our sense of connection and we only focus on what is wrong. With critical thinking, we are finding what is valuable in the situation and come at the situation from an open place of curiosity and discovery. When you follow the lead of critical thinking versus doubt, you can begin to discern the difference between delusion and imagination, and then begin to make progress forward on how you can move forward with the resources available to you now and in this moment. With a healthy relationship with air, we can begin to cultivate the qualities of truth telling. How often do we lie to ourselves when we think we can accomplish some grandiose task but don’t realize how much energy we really have in the moment? How often do we overstretch ourselves because of the dreams of others and their projection of how we fit into the picture? How often do we lose our sense of boundaries because we really just want the approval of others and try to make ourselves fit into their dream instead of dreaming our own dream? This is where we begin cultivating a proper relationship with air – by asking ourselves these questions. Many times when a person first journeys to find out their relationship with air, they will either find out that they can’t breathe, or that the air is filled with a thick smog. A healthy relationship with air is one that is crystal clear – like unpolluted mountain air.

Within this same vein, there is a difference between stagnation and suffocation. With earth, things feel very heavy – almost as if you can’t move. This is stagnation, when things are unmoving or you are too unwilling to let go of your own beliefs. With suffocation, you are living in something that is dead. Have your dreams died? Have you lost sense of what your dreams once were? When you feel suffocation, it is because we lose our sense of hope, or we drift away from the things that are aligned with our true path. This often leads to fast paced moving thoughts because we keep “spinning our wheels”. When we connect back to our dreams and our passions, that is how we can “breathe life” into a particular situation – by bringing in new ideas from our mental wisdom body and being able to discern which ideas will really be able to take off with the resources we have available (earth based realization). By flowing into this relationship between air and earth, we must realize the choices that we are making. Every time we say yes to something, we are also saying no to at least 10 other things. Earth can help us realize what is important to us, and how to prioritize, while air can help inspire us to take care of the situations we already have growing. We can ask vital questions such as:

  • By doing this particular action, what am I feeding?
  • What possible actions can I take in this situation that help feed what drives me?
  • How is this aligned with my path and does this stray from who I am?
  • Show me with clarity the choices I have available to me that I can reasonably accomplish

The element of air is very strongly connected to the element of truth telling. Truth can be a double edged sword in the fact that is can cut both ways. The hurt comes in the fact that it cuts, and the wound can hurt very deeply when we find out a truth. However, the blessing is that it’s a clean cut and it heals faster. How many times have we been fed lies, and the lies feed a blister or an abscess that just keeps growing. Many times people try to ignore the sore spot, lying to themselves that this abscess is not really forming underneath the surface. Doesn’t a clean poke hurt in the beginning but drain the abscess, leading to wellness? How many times have we allowed the abscess to pop because we didn’t realize/ignored that it was there. After it bursts on it’s own, note the length of time it takes to heal as opposed to when it was cleanly cut. This is a metaphor of a healthy relationship with air, and being able to have the wisdom of asking what the “spiritual antibiotics” are so that we continue to not get sick from our choices. When we cut with the sword of truth, it can help breathe life into things that were once dead. It can hurt at first, but it helps with the awareness and healing of it in the long run.

To help cultivate a strong relationship with air, we need to focus on truth telling and find out where we are lying to ourselves. Once we have this sense of awareness about the reality of a situation and begin to move from fantasy thinking (imagining that we are some place instead of actually realizing the state we are in) into a grounded sense of who we are, what we are, and the resources we have available – we become so much more productive in this world. This in turn helps us become more grounded and more efficient in fulfilling our lifes purpose. When our mind and heart move through with intention, we can begin to discern where it is we are really going. By cultivating a place to stand with earth, we can step up and grab some of these ideas from the mental wisdom body. It has no power unless we ground it in physical reality.

As with any archetype, the shadow of air is the tornado (if you are confused at what the shadow is and what it represents, scroll down to the bottom of the earth post). The job of the tornado is to dismantle. Perhaps a new perspective is needed because it’s being encumbered by your limitations, expectations, and views. Because of some of the stories we tell ourselves, we can lead ourselves into set patterns of thinking, and sometimes these thoughts swirl in our head so fast that we can challenge ourselves to question our ability to think. When we have such a strong degree of suffocation where we feel like we have no hope in a given situation, we might need a tornado to come in to “wake us up”. What are you feeding? What are you giving life too? How can we be thankful when a new perspective brings to light a huge story that we tell ourselves in regards to how connected we feel to other people, as well as how worthy we are to receive something. Remember that a shadow is neither good nor bad. It is a natural disaster that can have the positive aspects of wisdom once we clear out the debris/rubble.

Some journey questions we can ask ourselves based off of this article:

  • What is the quality of my relationship to the air element?
  • What shape is my mental wisdom body in?
  • Is there a particular area of my life that is suffocating right now?
  • Show me an aspect of my life that is in excess, and how do I calm this down?
  • Show me what right relationship with the air element looks like

If you are an auditory person and would like to listen to these same ideas in a podcast, feel free to listen to it on the Why Shamanism Now podcast.