Little bear chronicles
Last week I went off the grid for about a week. This is a practice that I wish to normalize because I would like to distance myself from technology and go back to the nature more and more as a teacher.
There is no WiFi in the forest, but I assure you will find more connection 😉
My favorite moment from this past week is of sharing this week with my son. Little bear and I are hiking in the Shenendoahs and I’m building cairns everywhere because the rocks are so happy. After about the 5th one, he goes, “Wow, Mom, some of the ones you build look pretty impossible”.
I reply, “They’re not. You just have to listen to the stone people and they will show you how they want to be stacked. It’s an act of joy and love to stack rocks, and it’s fun for them. When you breathe and share joy in your actions, it becomes a prayer to share that joy in the world”.
I remind him that he used to do it too when he was younger, but his perfectionistic tendencies kicked in and he became discouraged because he kept comparing himself to me instead of focusing on the fun.
There was this magical moment where he sat next to one of the fresh cairns I built and decided to try again. He breathed and picked up a stone, then without even trying goes, “I feel like the stone wants to stand up on its side” and effortlessly places it on top of the big rock next to another one I put on its side.
With surprise and excitement his big eyes turn to me and he goes, “Mommy!! I did it! I talked to the stone people! I just had to slow down because I was moving too fast to hear them!! Maybe I should slow down in ALL areas of my life!!!”
And thus began my tears of gratitude, for this is an ancestral pattern I’ve been working on healing in my own life. It’s amazing how without even trying, he’s feeling the grace and ease of the work I’m doing and just follows suit because it’s natural.
If you continue working on your work, the next generation feels your work naturally. There is a need to heal ourselves so we can pause and listen to the natural voices all around us again. Do things that make you feel connected and slow down. The ones who are coming will thank you, because they will feel that ease as you embody it.
It’s been a while since I wrote anything about Little Bear. It’s because he honestly did drift away from me and my practices. But all paths of love, you sometimes need to let them go and just walking your path of truth and if it fits them they will walk back with you for a short time. If you’re interested in this, you can catch up on the Little Bear Chronicles in the archives.
Little Bear Chronicles – Journey of Love
I know I haven’t written about Little Bear in a while, but that’s mostly because of the business and the way that life becomes so distracting at times. This past Monday night was a very unexpected night for me, and I wish to share what unfolded because sometimes Little Bears wisdom surpasses my own.
There was a period of a few months where there was some turmoil, and Little Bear had actually distanced himself from the shamanic world. He went away for a week with family, and after he came back I had to work long shifts, so it was almost like I didn’t see him for a while. When we finally started spending time together, he didn’t want to journey, he thought it was pointless, and he got disappointed because other people/kids weren’t talking to their “helping spirits”. The way that I explained it to him, is that there is always someone with us all the time, watching over us. “Helping spirits” are like guardian angels to some people, and we just happen to see them as animals. He was sucked into the wetiko and lost his way a little bit. I held space for him and never really forced him to be spiritual. I just merely continued being who I am, and kept exposing him to it. Gradually over a month or two, he came back to accepting again. Over time, he realized there was a difference between when he did talk to his helping spirits and when he didn’t.
When kids journey, it’s really quick. For adults, the average journey tends to last about 7-10 minutes. For kids, they’re so innately connected that their journeys tend to last 3-5 minutes. I can’t say that’s the same for all children, but for the children I have worked with (including my own), that tends to be the average in the DC metro area. I admit that I’ve never forced him to journey along with the adults at the Fairfax Journey group. If he wants to participate he can, but for the past few months he colors or plays with toys, and everything works out. He’s quiet, respectful, and tries not to make too much noise when people journey.
He’s been back on track the last 2-3 weeks, and tells me wild stories of what lessons his helping spirits taught him that day. However, this past Monday was a different story. He actually wanted to journey today. Well, admittedly I was late in posting about the journey group on the internet and didn’t create the events until earlier that day (hooray procrastination) so no one showed up. That gave me the beautiful opportunity to spend one on one time with my son.
We started talking about power songs, and then he said that he loves listening to the recordings from the sound circle (the past two months he hasn’t been able to go because he’s been visiting with family). He wanted to record a power song too, because he told me that “I want to be as powerful as you when I sing”. I asked him what his power song was, and he replies the compassionate heart song. I explained that I have a different song for different helping spirits of mine: bear, eagle, spider, and otter, etc.
He replies, “I know. But all of them say that the heart song is my power song. It’s because my helping spirits live in my heart.”
My smile gets so big and I say yes to the recording (it’s down at the bottom of this post). After we sing it, he tells me about how good he feels and how much love he feels. My heart melts.
And then he states, “Mommy, I’m going to journey about love and what lesson love can teach me right now.”
I think my heart exploded with cute, as well as awe for this beautiful child. I wish sometimes I could craft questions like that when going to my helping spirits. The way he said it with such confidence, and how he wasn’t ashamed of being different any more… that really hit a sweet spot down in the recesses of my soul. It hurt a little bit, but a good type of hurt that lets you know your heart is expanding.
We did the drumming and he did the little bells. When we came out of it, we told each other our journeys. His eyes were bright and he was excited about sharing his adventures with his helping spirit. Finally I asked him, “So what was your main lesson that you learned about love.”
Without hesitation, he looks up at me with the biggest smile, “To love everyone.”
But then I threw a monkey wrench in his state. “But what happens if someone is mean to you. Do you still love them then?”
He paused and looked down at the bells. Obviously thinking and checking in with his helping spirit because he didn’t consider that. “Mommy… my bear told me yes, but that seems like it’s really hard.” His big eyes turned up. “What if someone makes you so upset you cry?”
With big bear arms I took my Little Bear into my lap. “Baby… there are going to be people out there that will make you cry. But one thing to remember is that the people that hurt you are hurt themselves. Half the time they don’t even realize they’re hurt. It takes a lot of courage to love the people that hurt you. Sometimes they mean it, but most of the time they don’t. Have compassion for them. You can still be sitting next to someone and be far apart from them emotionally in order to protect yourself.”
He is still looking down, obviously thinking. “How can you be far from someone emotionally? That doesn’t make sense.”
“Well, do you tell the nearest stranger everything about your life?”
“…. No, I don’t.”
“That’s right. Sometimes you need to not open up to someone when they hurt you and to put up protection so their hurt feelings don’t hurt you. It’s like when someone falls and they hurt their body. Sometimes people fall emotionally and their feelings get hurt. And sometimes people give voice to their ouchies, not realizing that it’s not their true self speaking. Throughout life you’ll be close to people that hurt you a lot, and you do need to learn to protect yourself. You’re a beautiful kid, with so much to give. You can choose to get hurt, or you can choose to protect yourself. Realizing when someones ouchie is speaking helps me get out of my own ouchies when I talk to someone that hurts me. Because when we fall and hurt ourselves, we can sometimes stay in that ouchy place and hurt others. It’s sometimes hard to love everyone, including yourself.”
By golly, this kid just soaks this in and I feel his little brain turning. It’s almost as if I can feel the last puzzle piece click into place when he grins this big grin. He hugs me with the biggest hug and tells me he loves me. I of course, love him back.
This kid… sometimes I don’t have words. And I’m surprised at the depth of which he gets what I’m saying sometimes. I can tell whenever he gets something that I’ve explained, because he gets quiet and his actions reflect his pondering demeanor.
Anyway, here’s the video I was talking about. He has given his permission and was admittedly a little nervous when recording this video. But he wanted to share his power song with the world (is what he told me). I have to give thanks for my Alchemical fire family, for I picked up this chant at one of the all night drumming ceremonies. Little Bear always loved it when I sang to him, and this was one of the first songs he learned by himself.
Could this be the healing
That we share this feeling
And find a compassionate love
Flowing from my heart to yours
Flowing from my heart to yours
As a lot of stories start with Little Bear and I, this one starts in the car.
We are driving to our next destination when Little Bear starts talking in the backseat.
“Hey Mommy. I know what type of bear my little bear is going to grow up into!”
I smile and jokingly said, “A bigger bear?”
I hear him giggle and he responds with “You know that one movie we saw about the land of the giant bears where they eat the salmon in the summer? My bear is going to turn into that one.”
This sense of pride fills my chest as Little Bear and I have watched many a bear documentary – and this one sticks out to him. What makes me all the more excited is that he happened to pick the same species of bear that mine is. The Kodiak bear that I have has been with me since childhood, and has grown as I have grown. My heart melts because my son gets to be blessed with the same experience.
As this pride washes over me, I hear rustling in the backseat. He speaks again, this time remorse leaking in. “I remember when our bears were lost and we found them. And then they became our spirit guides.”
I know why I can hear the sadness in his voice. He has had trouble connecting with his guides.
“Well baby, it doesn’t always work that way. My bear has always been with me, and he has always been there because he is me. I know sometimes it feels like they are lost and they try to find us again – but that’s what happens when we don’t talk to our guides for a while. The less we talk to them the harder it is to feel them. It’s like a muscle, you keep using it to make it stronger. And sometimes” I glared into the rear view mirror, “the baby bear gets lost and comes to my bear when I’m traveling and I return it to you. My bear travels over to you a lot just to check on you. So if you sometimes see my bear, it’s not because he’s lost. I know you haven’t been talking to your bear that much these past few weeks because I keep getting a little visit. And I can tell because you start to get scared more easily when you forget to ask your bear for help.”
This also happens with children when they get distracted (in my experience). Eventually the time will come when Little Bear gets older and I will teach him about mindfulness and introduce daily practices. But for right now we stick to the basics and nail down each lesson as they come.
I’ve been trying to drive the lesson home of relationship. Having a helping spirit is very much like having a relationship. The more energy we feed into the relationship, the stronger that relationship becomes. I’ve been trying to impress that on Little Bear because he saw how many helping spirits I had and wanted to mimic it (which can be done but a lot of care has to be taken). I cautioned him against it but I still gave him the choice to do what he feels best. At one point he had five helping spirits, which wasn’t a bad thing – but it was the fact that he wasn’t deepening his relationship with one, so he found it was easier for them to “get lost” until he found them again. The gift of deepening one relationship is being able to establish trust in the realm of spirit with one friend who you keep going back to. If we blindly trust the information of anyone that comes along, how do we know if it’s the right information for us at this time? By working with one helping spirit and deepening that relationship, we are able to get insight and information that is specifically curtailed to us.
I am blessed enough that Little Bear wants to come to the once weekly journey groups. He loves the opportunity to play with his helping spirits. Since our conversation last week (helping spirits getting lost), he has now only brought up Bear outside the journey group when instead he used to bring up his list of five friends whenever we talked about helping spirits. He still talks about them, but they’re like old friends when he journeys to them.
I write this with a happy heart, and a contented sigh as I stare at my son with all of my love that I posses. It took a while for me to debate wether or not I should begin writing my adventures with my six year old son. 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 us and our story. That drive to get the story out there and to connect to others is what is fueling this movement.
My son shall hence forth be known as Little Bear, and I will be 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 here.
The reason why I’m beginning to document these chronicles is because Little Bear is so full of wealth and knowledge, and raising my child in a profoundly sick society is hard. There’s a lot of injustice, fear, and harsh judgement. I can’t protect him from it all, and that’s where all of this began. 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.
It begins with the core of the teachings I am teaching him. Whenever I see his tiny little heart slip into fear, I call him out on it and ask “Are you thinking and listening with your heart? Or with your head?”
It took him a long time to understand. I began teaching him how to get in contact and maintain contact with his helping spirits (some might call them guardian angels, others might call them power animals). It’s been a learning experience for both him as well as I. Not a lot of people that I know of shamanically teach their kids these skills, but I am one of the first within my friend circles to do so. I did so with the guidance of my helping spirits, and hope in the future to find more parents doing this with their children. I have a dream of doing this on a bigger scale, but that is a tale for another time.
For right now we begin in the back seat of a car. Little Bear has been annoying the Momma Bear with sighs and protests of “I’m bored. What can I do?”
My response, “What do your helping spirits say?”
He grunts and kicks his feet in the car seat. “…..nothing.”
I smile sweetly in the rear view mirror. “Son, are you listening with your head or with your heart?”
A smirk. “Baby, sometimes this can be a tricky question. Because we can be tricked by the head to think we are thinking with the heart. Take some deep breaths and see where your attention is, and if you find its in your head, switch it to your heart.”
There was silence as we continue our drive.
All of a sudden I hear a gasp in the back seat, “Mommy! My helping spirits showed me a game that I can play! And my heart is now happy!”
Curiosity perked my ears. “You weren’t happy before?”
“Well… I was. But I lost my happy because I was in my head. But now that I listened with my heart I found my happiness again because I was able to feel it and not just listen to it.”
I don’t think I could smile bigger then what I did. It seems when he gives me those golden gems, he always stretches the capacity of my heart to love him even more.
“I’m glad you found a fun game to play with your helping spirits, baby. And I’m glad you found your happiness.”
May happiness find you, and may this be the beginning of a wonderful blog series to add to the Eagle Therapies vision.