Archive for the ‘life lessons’ Category

Staying on the Old Road, Part 1

April 28, 2013

If you should not leave the old road for a new one, does that mean you need to spend years in therapy rehashing your past? And do we really spend the first half of our lives becoming dysfunctional? What do I mean when I use the word “dysfunctional” anyway?

The three blog posts on not leaving the old road for a new one elicited comments and questions, some on the blog, others on my Facebook page (to which I copy my blogs), and still others in e-mails and conversations. One reader asked if “dysfunctional” was the correct word to use. She suggested that you live your life and realize at some point that it isn’t working quite the way you planned. You may even feel as if your life is falling apart. You build a road with the wrong materials, keep adding to it with the wrong materials, and even go back and repair potholes with the wrong materials.

Are “the wrong materials” the equivalent of “dysfunctional”? Well, I believe we build the road with the materials we have on hand. And those materials on hand include everything that has gone into making us who we are. We develop strategies to help us navigate our way through life. And some of those strategies become barriers between the persona we create for ourselves and our authentic selves. And that, in my vernacular, is dysfunctional.

If our future becomes our past unless we do something other than keep repeating it, why aren’t a few years in therapy a good idea? They may be for you. My attitude is this: whatever works. But my preferences are clear, based on how I’ve lived my own life. I’m educated in the field of psychology. I have respect for it. I even worked as a therapist for a while during and after graduate school. But I found my way to shamanism and stayed there because I found it a more useful approach . . . for me.

The work of becoming a shaman is very much about working your way back to your authentic self by staying on the road you arrived at to “here” rather than simply leaving the old road for a new one. It is the work of courageously facing yourself as you are, accepting it, healing whatever needs to be healed within you, and making a choice to live a life of integrity—and by “integrity” I mean the kind of completeness you achieve with harmony of mind, body, spirit, and emotions. As it happens, that kind of harmony seems to support “integrity” as most people think of it—a fundamental incorruptibleness.

We so effectively keep ourselves wrapped in the comfortable cloak of our persona that it takes serious excavation to face ourselves as we are. And if you go looking for something buried somewhere other than where you buried it, what do you suppose your chances of finding it are? Exactly. So you stay on the old road.

I’m not going to delve into shamanic practices like recapitulation here. At least, not yet. It’s helpful, I think, to take a look at how we construct a road that takes us away from our authentic selves in the first place. And to do that, I’m going to borrow a concept from Buddhism as I, a non-Buddhist, have come to understand it: the cocoon.

To be continued.

Copyright 2013 by Melanie Mulhall

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Don’t Leave the Old Road for a New One, Part 2

March 20, 2013

Life gives us plenty of reasons to flee. Mostly, we flee from ourselves. Almost everyone has one version or another of a dysfunctional childhood. If they don’t, they make up for lost time as young adults. It isn’t just that we flee an understanding of our own capacity for evil, or small-mindedness, or our baser instincts. Our lives chip away at us and by the time we’re adults, most of us have devised some pretty effective strategies for protecting ourselves and managing our way through life. We put boundaries in place—a functional and necessary thing, but some of the boundaries are not simply between “I and thou,” they are between “me and me.” That is, we work hard to create a persona and we often forget that the persona is not the real thing. It is not us.

We don’t just work hard at creating the persona, we work hard at maintaining it. There is a certain amount of presenting ourselves in the best possible way that comes with that, a certain amount of being just a bit less than honest with others—and with ourselves. We build lifestyles to support our personas. We build defenses—against being abused again, against being abandoned again, against being taken for granted again, and most important, against being “found out.” If we’re not careful, we don’t just defend against perceived threat, we become all too ready to attack, often in subtle ways we don’t even recognize.

But one of the most sacred—not to mention useful—things about being human is that who we really are is always still in there. As Buckaroo Banzai and many others have said, no matter where you go, there you are. The “you” in “there you are” isn’t just the persona. Who you are may be buried beneath the persona, but it’s there. You carry it with you on the journey.

In many ways, we are all like that shopkeeper. We all flee the dead body on the threshold. That dead body is, after all, us. Except that it is not really dead. God knows, it may feel like who we started out as when we slid down the chute into this life is long gone by the time we’re twenty or thirty, but it’s still alive and well within. It may feel dead and we may even wish it were dead because owning up to the human part of being a human being is not something most of us are thrilled to do. We’re afraid the body will be found. That is, we’re afraid we’ll be discovered for being exactly who we are. So we flee.

To be continued.

Copyright 2013 by Melanie Mulhall

Don’t Leave the Old Road for a New One, Part 1

March 12, 2013

Some stories stay with you for a long time, having their way with you, becoming integrated within you as you become more integrated within yourself. “Solomon’s Advice” has been one such story for me.

I first read this story in David Whyte’s wonderful book The Heart Aroused. He’d heard it from Angeles Arien, who got it from Allan B. Chinen’s book, Once Upon a Midlife, who may have gotten it from Italo Calvino. The story can, in fact, be found in Calvino’s book Italian Folktales. Clearly, this story has made the rounds.

I’ll let you track down the full story for yourself and give you a very abbreviated version because it is one part of the story that has been opening within me for a time. As the story goes, there is a shopkeeper with a wife and sons. One morning he finds a dead body lying across the threshold of his shop. Afraid he will be accused of the murder, he flees.

Yes. He abandons his family and flees.

Miles from home, he takes work as servant to a wise man by the name of Solomon and works for this man for many years. Ultimately, he decides to return home. Solomon gives him three pieces of advice before he leaves. He charges his faithful servant handily for the advice, too. The first piece of advice is this: Don’t leave the old road for a new one. As annoyed as the servant is about paying for such a simpleminded piece of advice, he does use it. And he saves his own life in the process.

Chinen has an opinion about what this bit of advice means within the context of midlife. So does Whyte. I wasn’t quite satisfied with either—though that might simply be my lack of scholarly attendance to what they had to say. But the notion stayed with me for many years. What did it really mean to not leave the old road for a new one?

Yes, yes. Plenty of people have midlife crises and go off in new directions to their detriment. I didn’t think that part of the story was a symbolic admonition to stick with tradition, or the known, or what society thinks we should do. And anyway, many other people in midlife leave the old road and blaze new trails to their betterment. There was something more there.

Then, in that early morning state of intuitive understanding we all sometimes have before we’re fully awake, a sense of its relevancy to me dropped right into my consciousness, more or less fully formed. It was simple. It fit so completely with the work I do as a shaman. It made sense within the context of my own life. And this is how I came to understand it.

To be continued.

Copyright 2013 by Melanie Mulhall

Life Lessons from the Super Bowl

February 10, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII is over and, hopefully, friends with loyalties on opposing sides have shook hands and made up. Now that the dust has settled and the commentary has been wrapped up, I’d like to offer an observation about the game—and it’s one you may not have heard.

The next time you are tempted to roll your eyes at the idea of stopping the whirling dervish antics, getting quiet, and taking a deep breath (an idea usually served up by shamans, yoga instructors, and mothers), consider Super Bowl XLVII. The game looked like a runaway, right through the first half.

Do you know what a group of ravens is called? A group of crows is a murder of crows, a group of owls is a parliament of owls, a group of larks is an exultation of larks . . . and while a group of ravens is sometimes called a constable of ravens (apparently dating back to their crowding around the Tower of London), these days, it is more often called an unkindness of ravens or a conspiracy of ravens. The 49ers might have given that some thought.

But whatever conspiracy was afoot and whatever unkindness had been served up during the first half, the Ravens’ momentum was brought to a halt when the power went out in the stadium. And they did have momentum before that. The players retreated to the sidelines. The smart ones stretched to keep loose. When the play resumed, the 49ers seemed to have absorbed the momentum sucked right out of the Ravens by the outage.

So what does this have to do with stopping the whirling dervish antics, getting quiet, and taking a deep breath? Everything. Moving at twice the speed of life has become the norm instead of the exception in Western society. Accompanying that warp speed lifestyle is a level of distractibility that has made sound bite, techo idiots of so many that, put on an island with their ilk, they might die before it occurs to them to rally together to build shelter, find potable water, and hustle up something to eat. Why? Because they’d all be trying to text their buddies back home or tweet the experience.

It’s hard to persuade folks to stop long enough to become aware of the world around them. Pausing is a major life skill, and a critical one if you’re in a fix. Momentum will keep you going, often down a road that has a Mack truck coming straight at you from the opposite direction. But if you pause, take a deep breath, and become aware of the natural world around you, something quite magical just might happen. You might be able to gather in a bit of energy and move it for your own behalf.

Shamans do this all the time—consciously. Of course, shamans have also usually done the hard work of clearing and healing their internal landscapes, which makes for a place to actually hold that energy. And, of course, when the shaman talks about power, she’s talking about energy. When the shaman needs to accomplish something, she pauses, gets still, becomes centered and grounded (more or less instantaneously), consciously harnesses a bit of energy, and changes the energetic dynamics around her.

I’m not an expert on Shambhala Warrior Training (for that, I suggest you search out Cynthia Kneen’s very fine audio series by the same name), but what I am describing is, I believe, sometimes described as “riding windhorse” in that system of spiritual warriorship. We all have the capacity to experience the world around us directly. That includes taking it in, responding to it, and initiating action. This capacity is what is known as basic goodness. Windhorse is the energetic nature of that capacity and riding windhorse is to consciously tap into this energy. Which, as I said, is exactly what a shaman does.

It is difficult to sense the energetic quality inherent in all things when you are unconsciously moving for the sake of moving and when you allow yourself to be jerked from one thing to another, changing directions endlessly, drawn by the next shiny thing . . . and the next . . . and the next. It takes a moment of pause. It takes the kind of conscious interaction with your environment you get from placing your attention on your breathing (if only for a moment).

The 49ers got that chance when the power went out. Have they been in Shambhala Warrior Training? Stranger things have happened, but I rather doubt it. Still, very good athletes have always understood, at a visceral level, that they can place themselves in a heightened state of consciousness and tap into the energy of . . . something. So whether they understand what shamans do or what Shambhala warriors do, they have been known to step into that same stream of energy. And when they do, magic happens.

Unfortunately for the 49ers (and fortunately for the Ravens), they didn’t ride windhorse to victory. But the next time you’re in a fix, exhausted from the lack of results associated with whatever you’ve been doing, try pausing for a moment. Take a deep breath or two. Become aware of the natural world around you. Maybe even do a few stretches (like the players did). And then gather in a bit of energy and make a tiny shift. You might find yourself shifting the energy of whatever has gotten you into the fix. You might make a little magic for yourself.

Copyright 2013 by Melanie Mulhall

How Others Responded, Part 2

July 22, 2012

“Counseling wisdom is that it takes five years for life to start feeling normal again after the loss of a spouse,” a woman I knew said.

How do you respond to a statement like that? My husband had been gone for more than fourteen months at the time. Her statement was not unlike a curse. It came hurtling across the internet and into my email inbox as a prison sentence she seemed bent on imposing: three years and ten months more before you will be okay.

But I already felt okay. I’d experienced an energetic shift at the anniversary of Howard’s death. There were still moments of sadness (as there always are in life), but I was back. The concept of “normal” seemed ridiculous to me, not simply because I’d never aligned with statistics for the “normal” person, but because what normal is changes with major life events. Including the death of a spouse.

Actually, there was something more to her pronouncement than a sentence. It felt like a judgment, a way of saying, “Don’t try to fool yourself. You’re in denial and you’re suppressing grief if you think you’re okay. I’m a member of the psychology community. I know better than you.”

Of course, I’m overeducated in the field of psychology, with two degrees in it. Psychological generalizations and labels had been among the things that had disenchanted me with psychology. Too much of the field seemed divorced from the “psyche” in psychology—the soul of it. When I became a shaman, I realized that while I couldn’t deny the impact of psychology on my thinking and life, it was shamanism that spoke to the soul-based way I lived.

That woman’s reaction was a bit more blatant that others after my husband’s death, but it was one of the classic reactions I got: Know that you will be devastated for a long time. In fact, you may never get over it. There were four other reactions: Discomfort over the death; heartfelt sympathy for my loss; surprise that I wasn’t over it yet; and, genuine acceptance of however I was dealing with it. It was a relief to be with people who were grounded in that last response and could radiate it. These four basic reactions remained the fundamental reactions I got from people throughout the first eighteen months after my husband’s death.

Many people expressed heartfelt sympathy when they first heard of Howard’s death, and they expressed it again when they were face-to-face with me. A few people avoided me. A few rallied to support me. But over time, it seemed to me that the fundamental mindset that a person had about life and death came oozing out when I responded to their question, “How are you doing?” Some people seemed permanently fixated on the pain of loss. The woman who pronounced that it would be five years before I felt normal again appeared to me to be one of those. Others projected a kind of fearlessness about life, an understanding that tragedy happens, but life wins out for the survivors of death—if they let it. Maybe because I fall into that latter category, I appreciated that reaction from others most.

It wasn’t that this latter group pushed me to be perfectly fine when I wasn’t. On the contrary, as a whole, they were better at assessing exactly how I was feeling and accepting it more than others. More than anything, they didn’t lay a judgment on me about how I “should” be responding to the death. Their response to my response allowed me to relax into exactly who I was when I was with them.

If there is something to be learned from all of this, for me, it is that we cannot really make assumptions about how anyone will handle the death of a spouse. And the person who has experienced the death cannot make assumptions about how others will respond to them, as survivor, or to the fact of the death.

So what can any of us do for another when they lose a loved one? We can bother to pay attention to how they are and what they need—reading it in what they say, what they don’t say, and what they project—instead of making assumptions. And we can send them waves of love, from our heart to theirs. Does anything else really matter, anyway?

Copyright 2012 by Melanie Mulhall

The Organic Nature of Grief

February 5, 2012

When my husband died, I had many a conversation with friends and family members about the grieving process. The term “grieving process” was one most people seemed to understand, and I thought I had at least a sense of it, myself. I’d had a fair amount of time to get used to the idea that Howard was dying as he made his pilgrimage through cancer treatment. I expected to be heartbroken but also a bit relieved when he died and I expected to be my old self, whatever that was, fairly quickly after his death.

I was right about being both heartbroken and relieved when he died. I was wrong about being some version of my old self quickly after his death. I wasn’t even sure what my old self was when he died.

My “self” had been on its own pilgrimage for a dozen years or more. I’d transformed and transformed again. I was familiar with transformation and more comfortable with it than most of the people around me seemed to be. My friend Cindy Morris, a gifted astrologer, explained this by saying, “Well of course! You were born with Pluto in your eighth house.” My own take on it was that I’d experienced enough transformation to know there was little use in fighting it. Ride it as if riding a surfboard on a mammoth wave, that was my attitude.

But in February of 2010, I’d gone to Lake Titicaca in Peru to join with other shamans and many pilgrims in the reactivation of the Solar Disc. That experience had changed me profoundly. Many years earlier, during my shamanic apprenticeship, I experienced a change right down to the level of the DNA. That was profound. When I came back from Peru, though, I felt like someone who had reincarnated into the same body. I looked like the same person I’d been, but I wasn’t.

During the remainder of 2010, something in me opened further as I accompanied Howard on his slow march to death. After his death, when I could sort myself out from that part of his energy field still hovering about me, I realized that one of the blessings of having been with my husband as he was dying was that it further softened me, further opened me to what it meant to be human. One side effect of the transformation triggered in Peru was that I was better suited to accompany my husband on that march as it quickened its pace, and one side effect of having done so was that many of the barnacles and unidentifiable encrustations of life had been worn away. What was left of me was someone I actually wanted to know.

But that person I had become was grieving and it became very clear to me very quickly that grieving was not a process—at least not a process as most of us have come to think of the term. It was neither rational nor linear. It had an almost unidentifiable beginning, but a beginning sometime before Howard’s actual death. It could not be flow charted, Gantt charted, or PERT diagramed. There was no chain of events as predictable as Kubler-Ross suggested in her theory on dying and death.

No, grieving was far more organic than that. It seemed to flow according to the laws of nature, as opposed to following models structured by man. In everyday terms, that meant, among other things, that I could not predict what would take the wind right out of me, nor could I predict when that would happen.

I also couldn’t predict which days would be inexplicably sorrowful any more than I could predict which days would be filled with pure joy, just because I was alive. I couldn’t predict whether I would want to see others or be alone, nor could I predict who I might want to see. Much of the time, though, I did want to be alone. What I felt most of the time when I wanted to be alone was not unhappiness, but something more like curiosity about the very air around me and interest in my own internal landscape.

Grieving, it seemed, was filled with surprises—some of them pure astonishment and others numbly shocking. And it was as organic as fertile earth.

Copyright 2012 by Melanie Mulhall

Widowhood 101

January 22, 2012

“Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll be fine.” The naïveté and hubris of those words are breathtaking. But, then, I’ve had some time to learn just how wrong I was about it.

I had lost both of my parents, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and lovers, beloved animal companions. I thought I had some experience with death. In fact, I did have experience . . . I just didn’t have experience with losing a husband.

I made that pronouncement within days of Howard’s death. I used it as a shield against the pain I saw reflected in the eyes of my friends and acquaintances. Even when they said little or nothing, their eyes were a mirror of the grief I held and refused to admit to others. I’d already been through the hard part—the long process of his dying. If I’d handled that, I was certain I could handle what came next. As it happened, I was right . . . and also just a little wrong.

Within twenty-four hours or so of my husband’s death, I’d packed up most of his clothes and shoes (with my sister’s help) and handed them off to my friend Gretchen Minney for donation to the Birds of Prey thrift store. If anyone but family and close friends had known how quickly I divested myself of his clothing, they would have been stunned. But I’d had a long time to plan the chain of events following his death. Months later, I saw the wisdom of it. If I’d waited, I might have clung to more than the few things I kept. It was a good move.

I also wasted little time rearranging the house. It was a relief to have the hospital bed, oxygen concentrator, and other accoutrements of end-stage cancer out of the house. Just looking at them made me weary. I moved furniture around, too, and got rid of a few pieces. I needed to reclaim my home for the living, so I bought a comfortable reading chair for my bedroom, moved Howard’s leather wing chair from the living room, replacing it with something new and comfortable, and rescued my small secretary from sickroom status.

Within a month, I held the post-death party I’d promised to have at the house. It was something of a homecoming for Lakewood PD people with whom Howard had worked in the 1970s. Many others came, too, including some of my friends, colleagues, and clients. I was grateful for that. Still, it was something of a blur. I fortified myself with champagne to serve as hostess—rather than crumbling widow—and got through the day.

My friends and colleagues in Boulder Media Women sent cards, many with checks. It was more than a thoughtful gesture, it was a gesture that saved me from worrying about the cash I needed to live on for that first month following his death, a time when I was completely unable to even contemplate work.

For the first several months after Howard’s death, I moved through my days, attending to the administrative and mundane details that had to be managed. I filed the will. I got Howard’s name removed from the vehicle titles. I battled with the annuity company to distribute the funds coming to me in a way that would benefit me optimally over time.

I learned a thing or two in that battle with the annuity company. Those who have just lost a spouse are easy prey for questionable behavior on the parts of those who have something to lose by that death. If I had folded in my grief, it would have cost me a good deal of money—at least a good deal of money for a simple woman with limited funds. Howard had worked hard for that small bit of money he’d tucked away and I refused to allow it or his efforts to look after me with it to be disrespected by problematic practices on the part of the annuity company. Besides, I knew I would need those funds over the next few years.

They gave IRS citations I knew didn’t apply. They blithely argued that they simply couldn’t do what I asked. The agent who had sold the policy—one of Howard’s oldest friends, a man who considered him a mentor—had difficulty believing that if the company said they couldn’t do something, they could be wrong.

I called in my own version of the “big guns”—my longtime broker and financial advisor. I’d always been a minor client, but he rose up to offer support as if I were a major account. Ultimately, I didn’t have to press my broker into service. My tenacity got the case taken all the way up the chain of command to the highest levels of the company for a decision. They agreed to distribute the funds as I requested. I wondered how widows and widowers with less tenacity dealt with these things. I was sure I knew the answer: many didn’t—and got run over by big companies during the most vulnerable time of their lives.

But I didn’t expect the fog that hovered over me. Hadn’t I removed the cords that connected Howard and me during the death ceremony before he died? What was this miasma enveloping me? I was a shaman; I read energy. What in the world was I experiencing? It took a while to understand. Howard’s energy field and mine had overlapped more than I had ever guessed. He was gone, but remnants of that field remained and the part gone felt like a black hole. It felt a little like being blindfolded, spun around, and set loose in a room that was completely familiar but disorienting because it wasn’t being experienced in the usual way.

I couldn’t even bring myself to use the word “widow” yet, but I was beginning to understand what it meant.

Copyright 2012 by Melanie Mulhall

Sami, Hucha, and Clearing

January 20, 2010

Jorge Luis Delgado is a practical man. He is a chacaruna, a bridge builder, in many senses of the word. Does he bridge the worlds of ordinary and nonordinary reality? Yes, of course. Is he a bridge between Father Sun and Mother Earth? Again, yes. But he is also a bridge to healing for those experiencing disharmony and a bridge to understanding for those who sense that something is afoot on planet Earth, but cannot quite put their finger on it.

As a shaman, I sense and explain the world around me as energy. In the Incan tradition of Jorge Luis Delgado, the life force energy that animates everything is called kawsay (COW-sigh) and it has two forms: sami (SAHM-ee) and hucha (WHO-cha). Sami is considered “light” energy, while hucha is considered “heavy” energy. It would be a mistake to translate that as “good” energy and “bad” energy and Jorge is very clear about this. Hucha is simply heavy, dense energy. Humans (but not plants or other animals) create and accumulate hucha in our energy bodies, called poq’po (POKE-po) in Quechua and hucha is problematic because it is incompatible with the optimal functioning of the energy body. 

A part of Jorge’s work, and that of other chacarunas, is to move hucha so that it can be cleared from the energy body. But his work also consists of educating people on the nature of both sami and hucha and how to foster the former, avoid the latter, and clear hucha when it accumulates. 

From my own perspective as a shaman and energy “reader,” I can say that as long as we are in human form (at least in the present version of human form we are experiencing at the moment), we will accumulate hucha. We are humans—not Ascended Masters—and while we are both thoroughly human and completely divine, enfleshment in human form carries with it some obstacles and those obstacles impact our vulnerability to hucha

Jorge would say that while we are children of the sun, we don’t shine like Father Sun because we are carrying hucha, accumulated during this age of darkness and more specifically, accumulated from early childhood on. This heavy energy affects the ego but it is not who we are. Within Incan cosmology, it can be said that we each have an “inner sun” that is, in essence, our inner integrity, our love—or what I would consider (with apologies to don Jorge if my assessment is off) our enduring spirit, that which connects us with and is a part of the divine Oneness. The inner sun endures. It is who we are. It is Truth and, as Jorge says, “Truth is forever, while the lies disappear after a time.” 

Our movement into the cycle of light will help with that. But we needn’t wait. We can clear hucha now, on an ongoing basis as we accumulate it. One can, of course, go to a chacaruna (like Jorge) who will help you clear your hucha. I have observed don Jorge performing a healing and if you have the opportunity to receive one, you will likely find it extremely helpful. But not everyone in the U.S. has the opportunity to work with a Peruvian chacaruna. Heck, few do!

Some of the shamanic work I do with people clears hucha, as can Reiki and other forms of energy healing. Jorge teaches a simple way of clearing hucha, one he developed. Stand with your arms outstretched to your sides (facing East if you wish). Then place your right hand over your heart (heart chakra) and your left hand over your solar plexus (solar plexus chakra). As you do this, know that your right hand is taking in love and sending it down to the solar plexus, helping to clear the heavy energy there. Now sweep your left hand down and away from your body, releasing the the hucha down to Mother Earth, who will transform it into sami and make good use of it. 

That’s it. It is a simple but powerful method of self care. Can you remove hucha in another? Jorge counsels against this. Instead, if you wish to help another, plant a seed of light within them. That will help get things moving so that they can release their own dark energy. Good advice for all of us, but particularly for those who are tempted to try to “save” others from themselves. In fact, Jorge does not talk about “removing” hucha in others during his healing sessions. Rather, he speaks of “moving” energy. 

But what of sami and of facilitating the movement into the light cycle? That will be the topic of the next post.

Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

Delgado, Braden, and 2012

December 29, 2009

Want to start a conversation that will make some people roll their eyes and others engage with passion, one that will incite controversy and maybe even heated discussion? Just say, “2012,” and see what happens. Some believe that 2012 is the “end times,” others believe that it ushers in a new age, and still others just think it is another year on the calendar. Among those believers are those who will argue their belief, those who await 2012 with curiosity, and those who plan to have a cup of tea and take a nap when the time comes. Shamans, mystics, religious zealots, spiritual seekers, and even scientists have something to say about 2012. 

I was interested in what Gregg Braden had to say about it, so I attended a conference last May to hear him (along with Alberto Villaldo and Bruce Lipton) speak on what he considers to be a powerful moment in time. Braden isn’t just another wild-eyed purveyor of New Age gobbledygook, he’s taken the time to develop some serious spiritual muscles and he has both a scientific background and scientific mind set.           

And among the things he had to say about 2012 (in the simplest of terms and my own words) were the following:

  • 2012 represents the end of one 5125-year cycle (which is, itself, part of a larger cycle) and the beginning of another;
  • These 5125-year cycles can be further sub-divided;
  • Akin to fractals, there are repeating patterns within these cycles;
  • By knowing what the conditions were during one point in a cycle, we can predict the return of those conditions at another point within the cycle.
  • Some moments in time hold powerful opportunities to impact, by belief and intent, the outcomes impacted by these predictable conditions.
  • We are in such a moment in time right now, during the period of transition from one world age to another! 

Interestingly, Braden’s take on 2012 meshes nicely with the Incan perspective, as explained by Peruvian chacaruna Jorge Luis Delgado. In the Incan cosmology, time is broken down into one thousand-year cycles, each divided in half with one five hundred-year period being the “dark cycle” and the other being the “light cycle.” We are nearing the end of a dark cycle. When does the cycle turn? Yep, 2012. 

But what does “dark cycle” and “light cycle” mean? According to don Jorge, the dark cycle is the time of the night. During this period, we are confused. Conversely, the light cycle is a time when we are clear, when we are filled with light. And this time is a powerful time of transition from one “age” to another. This is the time of the new pachacuti, the return of the light, and a time when a new vibrational frequency is possible on Earth and both personal and group consciousness can be raised. 

Between now and December of 2012, it is important for us to remember who we are and be clear about what we believe about ourselves. Who are we? We are children of the sun. We are the sun. We are its rays. As we remember that we are children of the sun, children of the light, we will come to understand—viscerally—that what is important is inside each of us. 

Father Sun is a portal . . . and so are we. Life force energy flows from Father Sun. So, too, it flows from us—as love (munay), service (llancay), and service (yachay). 

This is a powerful time to clear heavy energy within ourselves and welcome in the light. But what do I mean by “heavy energy” and how to we clear it? That will be the subject of my next post.

Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall

Meeting Jorge

November 29, 2009

If you ask Jorge Luis Delgado what is life is about, he will likely answer, without hesitation, “Love, service, and wisdom,” or munay, llancay, and yachay in the Quechua language. 

In North America, Jorge would be called a shaman. But Jorge is Peruvian of Incan ancestry, born and raised near Lake Titicaca.  He refers to himself a chacaruna, a “bridge person.” A bridge person is one who helps others navigate from one state of consciousness to another (an apt description of what shamans around the world do). The bridge that Jorge provides has been forged by years of service, a loving and humble heart, and wisdom that comes from communion and respect for both Mother Earth and Father Sun. And those journeying across that bridge come to a state of consciousness in which they recognize that they are, and always have been, enlightened—they just have been resistant to embrace it. 

I first heard of Jorge when a close friend of mine met him while on a tour of Machu Picchu. There seem to be shamans behind every bush in South America and I am always a bit skeptical when Americans return from trips to the southern hemisphere with stories about the power people they have met there. It isn’t that I doubt that there are powerful shamans in South America. There are. My skepticism is of the same variety as that I have when people tell me they have crowded into a sweat lodge with forty other people to participate in ceremony led by someone whose background they have only sketchy information about. It’s the same skepticism I have of those who call themselves shamans but cannot quite explain their path to the work, apart from a couple of classes in shamanism and a interior pull. There are many seekers of mystical experience and, it seems, just as many purveyors of that experience who are selling mysticism as if the experience could be pasteurized and bottled for easy consumption. Motor oil passed off as snake oil passed off as enlightenment. Altered states for those who want to be able to TiVo it. 

So I didn’t really give the fact that my friend had spent time with a Peruvian shaman much thought—until she called one day to tell me that the same shaman was hosting a gathering of elders at Lake Titicaca to activate the Solar Disc in the lake, and that those who wanted to lend their energy to the process were being invited to join in. I knew at once that I was supposed to be there. 

It was the same kind of knowing I’d had many years ago when I asked a shaman if I could work one-on-one with him and he replied with a question, “Journey work, or do you want to be an apprentice?” At the time, I had no conscious thought of becoming apprenticed to a shaman, but my brain was bypassed by the part of me that knew it was time to step into my destiny and I answered, without thought, “Apprentice.”

Now I had the same kind of visceral knowing about Lake Titicaca and the activation of the Solar Disc. It was as if I’d finally received an invitation sent out before I’d ever stepped into this body in this life—and I’d sent myself that invitation, as part of an agreement made between many souls to be at an appointed place at an appointed time. Somehow, the fact that I have a husband with cancer and limited income were irrelevant. I’d agreed to be there long ago and I was going to fulfill that promise.           

The name Jorge Luis Delgado came into focus the instant I answered that invitation saying, “I’ll be there.” 

As luck would have it, Jorge was going to be in the United States some months after I made that commitment and I set about to help my friend (and others) publicize this first visit to and workshop in Denver. I wanted to meet the man whose interior ley lines seemed to be intersecting and activating my own. 

What I encountered in that meeting was a man of humility and humor, of wisdom and wit. A practical man, Jorge seems to see love as a verb and practices the active side of love without stress or pressure . . . but also with the unsettling ability to see right into the core of a person. The man is no tourist shaman. He’s the real deal.

There is a great deal to say about Jorge, the Incan cosmology, and the new Pachacuti—the return of the light—and it cannot all be said in one blog post. But Mother Earth and Father Sun have been waiting patiently for the end of the age of darkness, so I’m hoping my readers can apply just a bit of patience, too, for the next post.

 Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall