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Suffering Spirits

Question: Dear Kelley, My question is more general.  Is there really such thing as spirit possession?  Does it really happen the way I read about and see on tv?  I’m very curious since it’s become a “trendy”ailment.
Curious, Linda.

Thanks for your question, Linda.  Initially, we all take on other energies around us all the time.  How they affect us is what is significant.  We’ve all experienced being in a great mood then walking into a space that is subdued and typically we notice that our demeanor changes to reflect that heaviness.  This is a base example of taking on an energy that is not our own. From a more personal standpoint, perhaps there is one person in particular that always brings out mischief side, or inversely has a calming effect.  Again, these are examples of being influenced at an energetic level by surroundings.  We can be influenced in an enriching way, or in a manner that makes us feel fearful or sad.  It’s those draining energetic experiences that leave us feeling off kilter, requiring more attention either from ourselves or from someone who can help us feel centered again.  A contemporary term for someone who tends to bring the mood down consistently is “pranic vampire.” In other words, this person is considered a life force stealer.  While this type of intrusion is annoying it rarely affects the overall ability to function well in life.  It’s when energetic interferences do affect the ability to function well that it’s fitting to consider removing those attachments.

The shamanic perspective on such attachments, as they are commonly called, is the condition that arises when an imbalance of energy has occurred.  The attachment may be perceived as a spirit, an object, or an impressionistic block in the life force.  When energy in one place ceases to be effective it is considered a parasite to the whole and it needs to be encouraged to move on to a place where it and its host can again be functional.  The process of removing an attachment is called extraction.  There are many techniques of extraction, the basis of which is facilitating the unneeded life force away from the host so that balance for both can be restored.  Situations that leave one vulnerable to attachments are traumas (physical, emotional, spiritual or mental), surgery, the death of a loved one, illness, substance abuse…  Basically any event creating an energetic vulnerability can create an opening into which attachments occur.  Symptoms of having an attachment may be recurring illness and fatigue, injuries that don’t heal, relationships or facets of life that don’t improve with attention.  Again, attachments can disturb one’s quality of life, but they are viewed as hitchhikers to the host.  They do not seek to overcome the host.  In fact, an attachment may not have a sentient recognition that it is in someone else’s life force.  Given these two descriptions of displaced energy, naturally most people have experienced or are experiencing some level of attachment to a degree.

When an energetic intrusion actually takes over the function of the host body, altering the personality and causing harm to the host and others, this is considered spirit possession.  Most often when spirit possession has occurred external indications of the presence of an unsettled spirit occur, such as seeing and hearing spirits, objects moving.  These sorts of phenomena are typically observed by others, not just the host.  In this light, true spirit possession is rare.  The reasons for it are diverse.  It may occur because a soul has not moved on and doesn’t want to; thus, it is stuck in this realm.  Sometimes a harmful relationship in life carries over into a harmful relationship in death.  As well, it can be that the beings that enter the life force of others were never in form and seek to be by aggressive proxy.  Symptoms of spirit possession may include feeling “haunted”, radical mood swings, addictive behaviour, abrupt personality changes, acute insomnia, hearing voices…  In indigenous and modern cultures spirit possession is often linked to conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolarism.  There are many approaches to removing such spirits, ranging from the Catholic Rituale Romanum to the Jewish Ba’al Shem Tov, and the extraction technique.  While they all tend to bring balance to the host’s life, they don’t all necessarily address the removed energy with the same compassion.

An interesting note about possession is that it rarely occurs by entities outside one’s own world view.  That is, generally speaking, Buddhists don’t become possessed by an angered Yoruba spirit.  People who experience spirit possession display the worst facets of their own belief system.  Contemporary depictions of possession lead us to believe that one can be energetically overtaken by any errant spirit just walking down any random street.  Maybe.  That’s not what is typically observed by practitioners of spirit releasement work.  The phenomenon is very culturally specific in how it manifests. In this light the concept of possession widens, viewing it as a state in which the host is locked into an ecstatic trance (a charged spiritual space) and cannot shift out of it voluntarily. We are certainly seeing more mental healthcare givers opening their practices to the observation that such spiritual afflictions occur, which may be why the concept of possession and the relief of it are more widely known.

Any life force can become imbalanced to the degree that attention is needed–be that in an animal, a plant, an object, or a person.  In some part the importance of learning about the death process and including that information in one’s personal life view can help souls, us, when we die, so that we do not get stuck and suffer.  Likewise, in the comfort of knowing how to die, we would likely live more happily.

Be well, Linda!

Life Anew

Question: Kelley, I feel that my life has come to a standstill, emotionally and as far as what I need to do with my life. I have been a stay-at-home mom, and I need to regain my self-worth and pride. I feel so confused and lost regarding my life purpose. Do you see me getting into the workplace? What field do I have potential in and need to pursue? Regards, R

Thank you for your note, R. I do feel that your life force is a bit fragmented from long facilitating the growth of others around you. Your guides tell me that it’s time to put that level of energy into your spiritual wellbeing. Taking up activities like yoga and meditating to feel the nuances of your life force and learning how to move it will help you greatly in channeling your energy and overall direction in life. I keep seeing the need for you to draw your energy upward through your crown to reconnect with your guides and higher aspects of yourself, and let your guides draw your life force down, root you into this realm more fully. Perhaps visualizing them doing this downward gesture would be helpful, as you see yourself lifting your internal light as high as you can around you. I do see that you are very ready to let your children move on along their paths. You aren’t hiding any intentions of drawing them back in or wanting them to stay as reliant on you as they have been. Your relationship with them is very healthy and they are very healthy as a result of that bond. You are all ready to move forward along your paths with new independence. Having said that, I see you very involved in the spiritual development of children, particularly little girls. There are also very mundane tangents in the instruction your guides are showing me that involves teaching young girls about self-empowerment early in their lives through their connection to Nature. It seems that you have a very easy rapport with animals, the environment, plants, etc, and I see you furthering your “Earth science” knowledge both in your own education and interests, and in a shamanic sense (in that you can communicate with Nature very well), and passing this knowledge and ability on to children. Given the spiritual connotations of that work I don’t see you conveying your knowledge in a traditional classroom. I see that part of your own studies will be conventional as well as focused in spiritual study and initiations with mentors. The arena in which you work with children is very much a private community that fosters environmental care, scientific knowledge, connecting with the spiritual nature of all things, and sees you and your ability to bridge those as a vital contributor to their establishment. I do see that you feel very shy about rising up in yourself and standing firmly in this realm. The education you receive in pursuing your love of all facets of Nature is going to revive your confidence and re-awaken your passion for yourself. There is very much a return to your own childlike being in the education that is coming to you, but this time you can be free to approach it with sheer joy. This time you know exactly what you want and that you can bring this new part of your path into being.
Blessings to you, R!

Final Fantasy

Question:  Kelley,
For the past year and half, I have been in off-again-on-again relationship.  I am a Leo Woman, he is an Aries Man. We have some good earth elements that help us with all the fire.  This man has a problem with commitment, and has never married even at 44 years.  He says he wants to.  We run hot and cold, and I have emotionally moved on.  But yet he continues to try and come back. There is a huge connection between us.  Can you see anything in his natal chart, or our composite report. Thanks, Cathy in Atlanta

When I ask to see the soul manifestation of this relationship, I am shown both of you as children, him riding a carousel and you standing to the side watching him go round.  The feeling I have about this scene relating to the present dynamic between you is he is having a lot of fun, savoring the moment, not projecting the future.  The child aspect of you, though, is not happy at all.  She has no interest in the carousel and is only there because she feels some danger awaits him.  She has placed herself in the position of thwarting whatever harm could come to him.  I do have a sense that the harm is a very real thing, because he is oblivious to the more grounded and fixed world around him.  He’s only seeing the lights, music and dizzying thrill of the ride.  You two are striking contrasts to each other, in that he is very ungrounded in this plane, and you are a bit too fixed in the formed realm.  Ideally you could be stabilizing agents for each other, but he is too submerged in having fun and you are too fixated on your involvement with him being romantic.  Both of these factors preclude a balanced joining in the present.  There is an old bond between you that has carried over lifetimes, and that has created soul friends of you in the spaces between lives.  That said, I feel your presence in his life isn’t about romantic involvement; rather, holding the space to create his wakeup call.  Until now you have interpreted that role as lying in wait for his downfall.  I definitely see you as anam cara to each other, the Celtic soul bond entailing that what he has not chosen to put himself in the path of for growth, you will put him there.  It’s a very ‘tough love’ connection, which is likely an even stronger testament to the soul work you do together than a romantic relationship could deliver.  The thing is, I think he has gotten very used to you holding that space and for now has no intention of getting off the carousel.  It’s become an enabling situation.  I also think it’s worthy to note this is his perspective across life, not just in terms of relationships.  It’s not about commitment for him.  He’s not a baseless user, he just is not willing to fully root into this plane and be present.  What I see being a catalyst to his growth is for you to leave the theme park.  It’s time for you to bring your energy back from him.  That deep level of support that you have been giving him for eons needs to be reallocated.  I realize you have moved on emotionally, but at an energetic or spiritual level you are still holding him up.  You need your energy back.  In a quiet meditative space, ask your High Self to extract your energy from him, to cleanse it, then return it to you for your own support.  Understand that bringing your energy back is not abandoning him, and it is not severing the deep bond between you.  If anything it is showing him more support, in that you are willing to put your needs first, and that empowerment of self strengthens every bond in your Being.

My best to you, Cathy! Be well!

Alchemy is Ecstasy

Question:  Kelley, I’m in my late 20s and have never experienced an orgasm, alone or with a partner, not for lack of trying.  I have been in longterm relationships, to no avail.  I believe I was missing true chemistry.  I’m dating again now and am fearful of the whole situation—telling a new person about my problem, and just the idea of being anorgasmic for the rest of my life and that it will prevent me from having a happy relationship. Can you provide me with any insight as to why I’m this way and how I can become orgasmic?  Thanks, Sagittarius

Thank you for your note, Sagittarius.  I value your trust.  If there was a past personal trauma that has influenced a lack of orgasm in the present, you are far past processing that event and are in a space of clear decisive action.  I feel you have carried a lot of collective feminine wounding at a spiritual level.  To that end you are at the point of realizing you can be a healthy female and feminine being in this plane without participating in the collective pattern of suppressing Divine Gender balance.  The feeling I have in the present is of an aspect of yourself choosing how she is going to expend her power, fully realizing that she does not have to buy into the biases against the feminine at a personal level anymore.  This distinction is not about pretending such bases aren’t there, or to sound a rallying cry against their foes.  It is more about acknowledging such biases face on and saying, “I see you.  I know what you are.  I respect you, but I am not you.”  Also at center of this is not the raising of one gender over the other, but the understanding that in this plane it takes some combo of all of the above for there to be true balance.

I see your current position is about the transmutation of energies.  The aspect of you that has come appears as a blue flame with a feminine face.  By choice she has been collecting and holding energy that works against the feminine polarity in this plane.  She feels like a lighthouse haven that has been attracting forces on a collision course through the murky waters of gender for eons.  That said, most of this is not yours—you’ve simply been a vessel to hold it.  It is important to understand that you are very sensitive to the topic of Divine Gender balance, that you have a natural ability to bring this balance into place, and that this work is very much tied into your purpose for being on this planet at this time.  But you can only hold so much tension for so long without it starting to have effects on your personal quality of life.  It has to be released, and this aspect of you is aware enough to realize she can’t just release it back into the world.  It must be transformed into something productive, and what of it can’t be transformed needs to be carried away from this part of you by hands stronger than ours.

What has to be learned at this point is the transmutation of energies into something that is functional for you as an individual and for All.  The way in which you create this alchemy is not something that I can help you with at this point.  I am clearly here to relay information only.  To that end, I highly recommend that you check out the works of Pema Chödrön pertaining to the practice of tonglen.  I feel this simple approach in meditation will be very useful for you in converting the energy you’ve stored up into productive motion and release.  You can find info on this practice and her works online.

Now.  BlueFireWoman is very significant for reasons other than her storage abilities.  As you may already know, the life force in the body is often referred to as a sleeping fiery serpent, until it is intentionally awakened and directed.  Two books dealing with feminine sexuality and how to move the life force that I found tremendously enlightening and helpful are:  Don Juan and the Art of Sexual Energy:  The Rainbow Serpent of the Toltecs, by Merilyn Tunneshenede, and The Magdalen Manuscript, by Tom Kenyon.  Both of these books elaborate on the spiritual qualities of the feminine and masculine forces at work in us and during sex, and how to use life force to improve health and happiness.  What is promising for you is that your life force is already awake and burning.  She just needs a little attention and relief to sizzle.  In your ministrations to this release and opening, pay attention to your second chakra.  I feel that is where a lot of this energy is being stored, and also where your life force is not fully moving through the rest off your form.  Blocks in the second chakra are quite often involved in sexual energetic concerns.  This is the chakra that teaches you how you are distinct from your tribe.  This energy bridge focuses on personal expression, regardless of how your tribe feels about it.  It is about standing up for yourself.  You have chosen to be a conduit for shifting poorly held feelings about the feminine.  Those feelings have gotten stuck and must be moved through so that you as a balanced being can blossom and prosper.  In doing so you will become more powerful in your alchemy, affecting this transformation collectively.  Rising to this task will challenge you to let go of some of your own gender biases, as well as to stand up to your tribe.  It won’t be easy, but it will be a lot easier than the stagnant energy you’ve been experiencing.  When that energy moves through, you are going to be able to feel, hold and direct sexual energy in your form better.  Focus on releasing this energy and learning more about your role as that conduit.  Create the space for a physical release and expression of your own sexuality.  It will come, and so will the partner who can balance it.

Be well!

Making the Transition

Question:  Dear Kelley,
My mother died recently, under questionable circumstances.  She had been ill for several years and was hospitalized at the time, but some facts around her death have left us questioning if it was her illness that was the cause.  Can you give some insight into this?  Thank you, T.

T,
A guide of your mother’s tells me that your mother had a seizure at some point prior to her death that caused some pretty serious injuries.  I ask point blank if there was any foul play that would have either made her uncomfortable prior to death or caused her death itself, and I am told that there was neither.  I feel that she had a severe seizure suddenly—a first and only–that surprised her and the staff around her.  This seizure either caused an injury physically that brought on death, or it created a spiritual opening for your mother to be ready to die.  Most likely it was a combination of those things.  Humans are quite naturally trance oriented beings, but when they slip into altered states as the result of seizure or coma, they can’t usually fully return into their bodies on their own, or don’t want to.  Often seizures are the effect of a greater portion of the soul that normally remains in or near the form attempting to leave it, while coma is the soul already mostly gone from the form.  I have the feeling with your mother that she knew she would not live much longer and the seizure was a sort of spiritual foyer for her to sort out some karmic aspects of her life before she fully stepped out of this realm and into her next.
Your mother is OK.  She’s moving on.

Be well, T.

Education of a Deathwalker

Question:  Dear Kelley,
I have been very concerned over my son Ian. He has been troubled with symptoms of depression for about a year or more. He seems like a different boy and I am very worried. Can you give me some insight? I would really appreciate your help.
Sincerely, Elissa Ray

Thank you for your note, Elissa.  Initially meet an aspect of Ian sitting in a small dark pit where he is staring straight ahead.  I ask him what brings him to the pit and he says, “I don’t have to think.”
Although I don’t really expect an answer I ask, “What is it that you don’t want to think about?”  He stares ahead, nonresponsive.
I ask him if he will let me take him to another place that has a lot more color, but he doesn’t have to think and feels better.  Agreeably, he takes my hand and I lead him up to Spirit for healing.  As we near the Source Realm, he starts to cry.  He lets go of my hand and looks back at me but moves into Spirit space eagerly.
I ask his guides to lead me to a place that will feel comfortable to him when he is ready to talk with me.  After a few moments he returns with the gold-tinged souls of three older people (two women and one man) following closely behind him.  He seems to be very happy that they are with him, and they seem to be souls of the dead that he somehow knows.
I ask Ian what his depression is about and he replies, “I feel sad all the time.”  I ask him what the source of that sadness is and he does speak, but I feel very clearly that it is related to the death of someone significant to him.  This person is a teenager, but someone that Ian views as in his own age range, and the death of this young man was very distressful to him.  I do not have the impression that this young man was someone that Ian knew very well, but could likely be a soul that came to Ian after he had already died.  The significance of this teen seems to be that his death was Ian’s first brush with his own mortality and that of those he loves.
As we sit in this very uplifting space I ask Ian if he experiences death a lot, and he says that he does, and that it scares him to the point that he is afraid to live.  He is afraid everyone that he loves will die.  We talk about that for a bit, about how everything in form eventually moves out of that form to be formless, yet still exists.  Then we talk a bit about how he has had the opportunity to reunite with souls of those the dead that he has felt close to in this Higher space, and that he always has that availability.  He understands from this that he can revisit this space and those that he loves.
I ask him what he needs to feel a connection to his own ability to be in form or out of form, and a young man approaches us then.  It seems as though this is the soul of the young person for whom Ian has felt the most sadness, and Ian hugs the teen.  They talk privately for a while.  The young man looks over at me and smiles reassuringly, and after a bit Ian returns to sit by me and the three souls that are waiting.  Ian’s life force feels different to me now, more willing to flow and participate in life.  I ask him if he is ready to go back to Thinking Life now, and he says that he is.  I leave him in front of his house, where he walks gingerly inside.
I ask his guides what else I need to share with his mother about his close proximity to the dead, and one replies, “Ian is well protected.  He needs creative outlets—art—to express his feelings.  He is sensitive to the dead and the death realm and needs validation for his experiences with them.  When he hears them or sees them he needs to be able to tell his mother about them and receive acceptance of his abilities and perceptions.”
Ian is in possession of a very special ability as a communicator with the dead, and possibly  as a Deathwalker—one who leads the dead to shift out of form peacefully.  Some people refer to it as ‘midwifing the dead.’  As you can imagine, without a really healthy perspective on that shift, the reality of death can be very daunting, particularly to a young human.  It’s not something that many in our culture will admit to or have an operative framework for understanding, let alone be able to explain to someone else.  Being receptive to the plight of the dead can also take an incredible emotional toll when one can’t sift out one’s emotions from those of his or her formless visitors. Nonetheless it is a powerful ability that can also create an empowering depth of compassion and self-assuredness.  A book that may be of interest to you is Shamanic Guide to Death and Dying by Kristin Madden.
Be well, Elissa!

Creating from the Void

Question: Dear Kelley, I am a Leo and I am halted by an unfulfilled desire for love, intimacy and relationship. I live in Japan (I am American) where the M:F ratio doesn’t work in my favor. My career is growing at light speed and I am improving my finances. How can I reach my partnership goals. What am I doing wrong? Is this apart of a bigger process? Leo Lisa

Hi Lisa. Thanks for your note. When I enter the Dreamtime with your intention in mind, I am led to an aspect of you that is incredibly faerie-like. She is quite small in stature, dressed in a simple dress, and has small wings. She is talking with flowers and makes her rounds doing deeds that help Nature’s smaller wildlife feel better. What stands out about this aspect is that she is very demure and nurturing, and to the unfocused eye she would seem to be an ineffectual child spirit. In reality she is quite powerful and wields a sharp incisive ability to care for what the rest of the world would likely overlook. I am struck by the common contemporary assumption that powerful archetypes of women are usually “Xena” warrior heroines, decisive maternal watchdogs, or crones of speculative alchemy. The culture we live in wouldn’t see this little wonder of nature as the empowered being that she is.

I observe that she works her way through a little dome of nature, which is held separate from other realms that I see in the distance. I step out of her dome into a space that is very bland and unattractive, characterized by the feeling of a complete lack of feminine influence. It feels like a space in which many women are trapped in masculine roles, unable to express their true Selves. I have the distinct feeling that this aspect of you wants to avoid this space. I see another division just beyond that one, a wall of dark blue water in which I see women in their 40s-50s wafting through, some just floating. This space feel very womblike and maternal, and yet smothering at the same time. My feeling is that this fae aspect holds a reluctance to grow through all the phases of the Feminine and as such keeps herself locked into an adolescent idealistic state of being. The results of that restriction are limitations on attracting other energetically mature people and limiting relationship possibilities. Nonetheless, she wants to grow.

She takes my hand and I lead her out of the pastoral fae realm and into the blank strata. “I don’t like it,” she says, and she stops walking.

“I’m not sure that anyone does,” I tell her, “but passing through this space is part of our human cultural heritage and can’t be avoided. No one has to stay here. It can be transcended.” She smiles, and holding hands, we move into the watery blue wall.

“I don’t really like this one either,” she remarks.

We continue to move through this one, though it is much wider and takes us quite a while. Our passage through the Maternal realm leaves us standing abruptly on the edge of a cliff looking out over oblivion. Literally, this ledge leads to nowhere, barring dark star-speckled space. I feel the fae aspect panicking, hear her breathing turn ragged. I tell her that I will go into it with her and see what we find. Gently we step off the cliff and begin our fall, hands still clasped. Soon, though, we are not falling but gliding, observing the void from which all things are created—from which we create ourselves as we wish to be. We do not speak, but I feel that she has begun to realize the freedom she has in choosing how she grows into her Chosen roles as Woman, and soon she flies off on her own, confident, still fae, capable, caring and assured.

I place myself back in my Lower World and ask Lisa’s guides how moving through the various archetypes of Femininity enhances her ability to fulfill her partnership desires. One of her guides indicates that by not growing, Lisa had not met “grown” people who could meet her where at a wise and mature place, who also know how to fly into the void to create themselves out of it. Her guide leaves me with the sense that having moved through those realms of herself and the Feminine in this journey, Lisa has freed up aspects of her life for like companions to come in.

Shortsightedness and Seeing

Question: Kelley, My niece, Sarah, is 3 years old.  Right now, she’s suffering a sight problem and it doesn’t look good. Can you tell me if there’s any chance she’ll regain her sight?  Sad and in despair, Bob McKinley

Hi Bob.  Thanks for your note.  Upon calling in a spiritual aspect of Sarah and her guides, it is my understanding that she is choosing to experience the manifest world in a different way.  What that means is it is up to her whether she chooses to perceive this plane visually.  At this point in her life she is very pleased with her sensual understanding of how she both relates to and interprets the world around her.  I also see that the grief of the adults regarding her “condition” is impacting more her ability to interface with the world the way she is choosing than the fact that her choice is to do so without sight.  I see that on an energetic level she is incredibly visually gifted and in that has a much higher perception of how to interact with the spiritual Unseen world than most.  When I view her etheric form she is quite healthy and happy, and I see that she interacts with colors aurally.  That is, she hears colors.  She interprets the color patterns she sees through her third eye into sound, and in that ability nothing is absent from her experience here.  Sarah doesn’t just hear colors, she interacts with them.  We have long known that different colors travel at distinct speeds of light, and that these speeds also correspond to tones, specifically certain notes in musical scales.  It is this connection that underlies most of what we call ‘energy work.’  Sarah is naturally tuned into this color/tone connection in a way that most sighted humans can never completely learn.  She also seems to be able to perceive what color something is by touching it, not because she sees the color in any figurative way or knows what we say its name is, but because every color has a unique Unseen vibration and she is quite attuned to that field of energy.  Most children are very connected with the Unseen and they express that in ways such as invisible playmates or through information that they ‘could not have known’, often to the chagrin of their parents.  As children become learned in the denser lessons of Earth, they forget.  We forget.  The process of forgetting can be very traumatic for some children, as the crux of it is their truths are no longer validated (or tolerated) by the formed world around them.  Sarah is a bit different in that she has a direct relationship to this “between” space, and she does not have the clutter and confusion of perceiving an object’s form as being different from its Unseen manifestation to distract her.  Nonetheless, as she ages and has to become more independent, the outside world is going to demand that she be more tactile, herself.  It is going to feel very threatening to her to think she has to let that go to be productive here.

Sarah always has the choice to regain her sight, though I do not see her choosing to. She is content to be in that between space of interpreting the world a different way.  I also see that she has great artistic and energy medicine contributions to make to the world from working in that space.  The Hurdles for Sarah right now are not actually her own.  Rather, they are more centered around her parents releasing guilt and sympathy regarding her not being sighted and her parents expanding their understanding of how their daughter really is perceiving the world, which is very nonconventional.  There is some emotional release needed for them, as well as some ethereal education.  Sarah very much wants to please her parents, and if they show shortsightedness in their beliefs of Sarah and her perceptions, so will Sarah.  It will be an interesting challenge for the adults around her to foster her growth in that way, and help her develop this ability–which seems to bring her great peace.  Sarah’s ability to have that connection with things seems to be a grounding force for her, helping her to continue to feel good about being here.  It helps her to feel connected to All That Is.  Allowing Sarah to develop this ability is akin to any one of us developing our intuition, or learning a specific technique, such as Reiki or Animal Communication. As you well know, she can learn to be very externally productive despite not seeing, but cultivating this ability goes much further than that.  This ability it a natural part of her being and is key to her ability to thrive here.  She is not going to learn to develop her gift in a conventional setting.  This teacher will have to be sought out, and will come when Sarah is ready.

Sarah has some powerful animal spirits working with her right now–a giraffe, a crane and a plecostomus (yes, a plecostomus).  The giraffe gives her a higher vantage point to “look” over life, and I suspect this animal has been with her for a very long time.  She has a particular affinity to him.  The crane is bringing her stability, especially in situations in which it seems she has none.  This animal also seems to have a soothing maternal air about her, which I suspect is connected to Sarah’s own mothering of herself already.  The plecostomus operates as a personal janitor, taking in Sarah’s less than favorable feelings and reactions to life, giving her a place to vent them out.  He is very fond of her, though they do not seem to have been together long.  She may really respond to having stuffed animals of these near her.

Sarah is very fortunate to have loving adults around her, such as yourself, Bob.  She can be a profound teacher in your life and the others around her.  You have an angel in your midst.  Help her fly.

Be well, Bob!

Confessions of a Reformed Depressive

Question: This week the question for my column comes from myself. I haven’t featured a personal inquiry in my Q&A before, which after some thought made no sense. I’m on as much a quest for insight as anyone, and somehow in opening myself up to that observation, I decided to share.

I’ve been wondering why I’m not very emotional lately.  In fact, life has been so level that I wondered if I’m depressed.  Except that life is good.  I’m relaxing into it.  I’m challenging myself in needed directions and flowing with the insecurities and jubilation such new territory brings.  So why am I not overrun with emotion about this newfound stability? I am feeling. There is no lack of feeling…

Then I considered…  what if this is the way life is when your Endocannabinoid System is finally balanced?  What if this balanced state is the way functional polarity feels? Given my history of chronic depression, it would make sense that I don’t recognize it. Whatever it is, it’s manifesting in livelihood,  productivity,  motivation,  the ability to feel comfortable creating myself as I want to be and not as I feel I should be, for others or for my contrived self.  Life really is pretty good.

Realizing that fact, I’m left pondering:  how much of depression is habit?  How much of it was me getting to this point of balance before, sensing the lack of drama, and creating one to fill the FEELINGS void?  What I’m noticing is that I don’t act out of emotion anymore.  I no longer REact to everything predominantly at an emotional level, and that is saying a lot for a Moon girl (I’m a Cancer).  I spent my early life’s development priding myself on my ability to feel beyond  empathy (to feel others as if perceiving their feelings) to connecting directly with the feelings of others. I took on so much crap that wasn’t mine, and what was mine I dressed up in lace and had tea parties with (I’m dead serious here– I used to personify my feelings as invisible playmates and talk with them).  For me sliding into the feeling state of all things and walking around in their shoes  (I do love shoes) was a way of life. Even my own emotional dynamics I played and replayed so many times my synaptic response couldn’t have been anything BUT a seratonin rut.  I gave it nowhere else to go, even when it asked. I don’t fault myself too much for that masochistic behaviour.  That learning  process  and heightened state of being sensitized me to parts of life and myself that I would have been too insecure to feel otherwise.

Other aspects of an All-Feelings existence are becoming very clear too.  Quite often I have thrived on the feelings more so than the person, the situation, or the occasion.  The result of being more tuned into the sensation of an experience than with the experience itself is not living in the present.  This sinister technique delays feeling until after-the-fact. It’s a means of staying caught in the cycle of processing and recycling the feeling, and never really connecting or knowing the person, the event, etc. In truth, it’s a means of never connecting with real feelings, and  an elaborate way of saying I was a drama queen.  I’m not anymore.  I’m lighter, leaner, burning on at least more cylinders, and living really well.  So it is no wonder that at this very balanced place in my life I am looking around and seeing that I am not re-creating any drama to thrive on.  I am connecting with the people, the places, the events, the situations.  All there is is Now. And in my self-obsessed history of dramatic flare, I find I have the nerve to consider it dull.  The extreme highs and lows I always thought were inspirational, motivational and cathartic (and they truly were) were also gutting me from the inside out.  I don’t have to split myself open  to be creative anymore.  I don’t have to have my life upheaved, or be constantly bowled over by passionate waves to realize how good I’ve got it or how deeply in love I am with my personal life.

It’s ironic that when I reach the mental health goal in life that I have wanted, my reaction is to assume that because it doesn’t meet a projected (and inflated) outcome, something’s wrong. Hypnotherapy has it right-on with the idea that we play tapes over and over until we learn:

  1. that the pattern is indeed a tape,
  2. that we can stop playing the tape, and that
  3. we can either come up with a new program to follow, or *gasp* pursue free will

I am catching myself in the act of putting in the same tape.  Because there is no drama, I think I must be cutting off from my feelings, when in reality I’m very happy and choosing to live out of more of my Self than just emotion.  I am living out of sensation, intentional thought formation, co-creation, my soul…  Most of us can recognize the point where we have the option to go in a different direction.  It’s the point that feels like freedom and sheer panic all at once.  It is the greatest moment of power we can have as humans.  The ancients called that moment alchemy— the magickal point of integration between opposites combining to produce something new.  The thing is, because we don’t arm ourselves with the knowledge of What Comes Next, we stick the same tape in and keep on going. Why?  It’s familiar.  It’s easy. It’s comfortable, even if deep down we know it’s not working.

Not this time.  I have nothing to recreate.  I have battled depression my entire life for a plethora of reasons.  Not one of those reasons is as powerful as I am. Throughout my life I experienced a space that my spirit teachers referred to as The Great Sadness, this fiery well, the overwhelming presence of all emotion of all beings at once consuming. This space felt like tapping into the collective consciousness of all suffering. I realize now that this dimensional space is a place we all pass through on the way to What Comes Next, and that I do not have to contribute to that well anymore.  In that wisdom I  create the space within myself to welcome new healthy ways of processing my feelings and living the experience of life through All That I Am, not just All That I Care To Perceive of Myself.  Moreover, instead of discarding my feelings now for being less because they are not so charged, I value them more because I am in a more level place to find my truth through them. I am in a more stable place to honor the truth around me.

Depression is nothing if not a refiner of perspective, and I can now raise my teacup in toast to my having an abundance of that. I know now what feelings are mine and what ones aren’t. The world inside me and the world outside me are finally safe enough places for me to experience The Present.

Cellular Music Man

Dear Kelley, This question is for my husband, Mark. His career in music has been a roller coaster for his whole life. Now that he seems to have more skills and experience than ever, the business has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last few years. He recently finished a solo project, that seems to be hitting roadblock after roadblock, and other types of work in music is way down. He seems to be confronted with a midlife crisis where his achievements don’t necessarily add up to being in demand or making a living. Is there a message or lesson he’s missed that’s preventing him from progressing?
Mark

Initially I am greeted by a fluffy white male rabbit. I ask the rabbit what he needs Mark to know at this time, and he says, “that he’s not following his path.” He goes on to tell me that Mark is on a path of fulfilling needs, rather than on the path of his heart. I ask the rabbit how music fits into Mark’s heart path, and he says, “it is the language he knows and best relates to.” According to the rabbit, the ‘roadblock’ that Mark perceives in not manifesting a living with music is that his heart is incongruous with his body. When he says this I know that he means on an energetic level, Mark is trying to create music outwardly without cultivating it inwardly first. Music is part of Mark on a cellular level, not just an emotional or artistic expression. Viewing it as only those things is creating a lack in the true power that music can have in his health, his perspective, his viability as an artist, his expression as a healer, and his ability to provide for himself at the level needed. It isn’t about Mark’s talent being able to support him financially, but about Mark’s ability to fully support his musical gift in how he honors it.

Mark’s form is very influenced by music, in that it activates and revitalizes him. Music must be in all levels of his being, not just in selected parts of his being. In essence, that commitment and honoring of music being a vital part of his life force has not been there on a structural and energetic level. Without that full integration, Mark’s cells aren’t completely speaking to each other. Certain synapses never get to fire, because they are not being energetically connected to music. The rabbit describes this as a case of “the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. While this is organic, it’s not a dynamic approach for Mark’s whole.”

I ask the rabbit how Mark can infuse music throughout his being, and he tells me that Mark must learn to feel the music and rhythm in all things—the food he eats, the air he draws and releases, even of the Earth’s resonance. There is an element of observing the wonder of music in these acts, as well as an element of humility. The ability to feel the pulse of all things at that level is his heart’s source. Mark can connect with this ability and music that is in all things by toning his chakras, meditating to draw that light and color into his body and moving it up the chakra system. The rabbit says that light and color are sound, and for Mark to learn to recognize the unique sound in every color.

I ask the rabbit how he is significant to the music in Mark’s life, and he tells me that rabbits are low and close to the ground. They feel the pulse of the Earth in their whole bodies at once. He says that when rabbits run, they are carried by the rhythm of the wind. As well, he says their ears tune into the star’s songs. Walking with Mark, the rabbit can help him to do the same. The rabbit is a powerful ally to speak with in meditation.

The rabbit says that Mark can work with him as a means of feeling the music in all things by honoring the simplicity of all things. He encourages Mark to allow the connection with what he perceives is blocking his abundance through music, and realize these blocks are friends and teachers. They do not impede his musical path. By being able to find and connect with the music in all things, including in himself energetically, Mark can draw that connection up his chakra system and life force, and allow it to not only strengthen his inspiration and ability to create, but to draw to him the people and situations who can help him further develop this connection.
Music abounds for you, Mark, as well as the support of it! Be well!