Monday, March 15, 2010

Finding Inner Equilibrium

When I was walking at the beach the other day I spotted a pelican "frozen" in place by the wind currents. He seemed relaxed, waiting for a shift. He had the ability to to maintain his equilibrium. He hovered for some time and then suddenly the wind changed, allowing him to move forward quickly. With this shift he soared ahead, enjoying the ride.

Stability is defined as the capacity of an object to return to equilibrium or to its original position after having been displaced. This is exactly what the pelican was able to do. He didn't fight the unseen. He understood that relaxing into the air gave him a period of rest that would give him more energy to fly when the situation shifted. He was completely free. I've been thinking of this omen all week, wondering how I can apply this insight in my own life.

In alchemical writings and shamanic traditions, animal symbols give insight into spiritual wisdom. These animals may appear in dreams or in real life. The important point is to consider the deeper meaning. When I walked on the beach that day, I was looking for answers, looking for an omen to appear and that pelican was the first creature I saw. I knew that the pelican's message was important.

One esoteric perspective on the pelican is that it teaches us that we can consciously use the forces of the etheric body to maintain our equilibrium and stability in the world.

The pelican is at home in the air and in the water. Groups of pelicans can be spotted flying effortlessly in formation high in the air or skimming the ocean's surface. It's magical to watch. Despite their size they are light and buoyant and can float like a schooner. Pelicans can suddenly plummet into the water and then pop up to the surface. They have this ability because of a system of air sacs under the skin that make the pelican unsinkable.

According to Ted Andrew's book, Animal Speaks, this hints at being able to be buoyant and to rest on top in spite of the heaviness of life's circumstances. The pelican can teach us that we can plunge into life's challenges, trusting that we will be able to pop up to the surface again and again.

The shifts that so many of us are experiencing currently are taking us to the core of our fears and even asking us to reevaluate where and how we live. When we find ourselves caught up in the instability around us, we must find our inner equilibrium. It is during the challenging situations that the invitation to apply the lessons learned appears. When we can trust Divine Love and willingly plunge into the inner realms, we will find ourselves popping up to the surface with new insights and "nourishment." It is through this ability to shift our perspective and maintain our equilibrium that we create stability. 

I don't always recognize this opportunity but am ever grateful when Spirit is finally able to get my attention and I call upon Divine Love. Then I am able to regroup, find my equilibrium, and wait for the current to shift and a resolution to present itself. God's plan is always better than any of the ones I come up with!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


One of my shamanic teachers, Sandra Ingerman, says that it's what we become that changes the world, not what we do. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we want to see.” In these evolutionary times, it becomes a challenge to maintain faith over fear in all situations. Sometimes the situations we encounter push us off course and we experience old, uncomfortable emotions.

It seems that I have been confronted lately with an old emotion, in new ways. Judgment. However now it's not as blatant and in-your-face as it used to be. Now this emotion has taken on subtleties of its own and I seem to meet it daily in some form or another. Judgment about how another person is choosing to live their life. Judgment about someone not taking responsibility for their actions. Judgment about how a friend is dealing with a challenge in their life. No matter how I look at it, my "judgment" is not a healing emotion for another person or myself.

As I've prayed and explored my heart, I recognize that the only antidote is love and forgiveness. Whatever I am judging in another's behavior affects me because we are all connected. I desire unconditional love from others. That means I must choose to express unconditional love as well. When I am uncomfortable about a behavior or choice that a friend or family member makes,  it's because they remind me of an old behavior of mine or it brings up old wounds that I thought had healed. Layers of the onion. One layer at a time, delving deeper and deeper. It's not the other person's responsibility to change. It's mine. Hard!!

I think one of the most difficult things in rectifying this attitude/emotion is to identify it, to admit that I'm judging another. Then the resolution comes from seeking forgiveness. God's love is perfect and unconditional. That's the model. We are human and imperfect but saying "I'm sorry," seeking forgiveness, is a powerful healer.

In the Hawaiian shamanic tradition there is a spiritual practice called ho'oponono. Ho'oponopono means to make right. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships. It is believed that the original purpose of ho'oponopono was to correct the wrongs that had occurred in someone's life.

For example, let's say your five-year-old grandson punches another five-year-old intentionally with hate in mind. If asked, then the one who was punched would forgive the other immediately, because it is inappropriate for anyone to carry guilt any longer than necessary. This is called the Hawaiian Code of Forgiveness, and it's an important thought, because when we forgive others, who are we forgiving? Ourselves, of course.

Throughout Eastern philosophy, there is a tradition of being aligned with and cleaning up relations with the ancestors. In Japan and China, as well as the Hawai'i, it is thought to be important to align and clean up any past problems that you've had in relationships, especially with relatives.

At the same time, perhaps there are family patterns you do not want. Certainly you have heard the saying, "We just don't do that in our family," or "That's the way it is in our family." What happens then, is that certain generational themes get passed along in families, like depression or any number of different traits. Ho'oponopono will allow you to clean this up.

One theory is that we carry inside us as parts of the unconscious mind all the significant people in our lives. (These parts of us often look very much like Carl Jung's archetypes.) Ho'oponopono makes it "all right" with them. The process of ho'oponopono is to align with and clean up our genealogy as well as to clean up our relationships with other people in our lives.

The Process of Ho'oponopono 

1. Bring to mind anyone with whom you do not feel total alignment or support, etc.

2. In your mind's eye, construct a small stage in front of you.

3. Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head (from your Higher Self and God/Source/Creator), and open up the top of your head, letting the source of Divine Love and healing flow down through your body, filling up the body, and overflowing out your heart to heal up the person on the stage. Say:

I'm sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
Thank you

4. When the healing is complete, have a "discussion" with the person and forgive them, and ask them to forgive you.

5. Next, let go of the person, and see them floating away. As they do, cut any cords that connect the two of you that feel inappropriate.

6. Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned. The final test is, can you see the person or think of them without feeling any negative emotions. If you do feel negative emotions when you do, then do the cleaning process again.

“You have two ways to live your life - from memory or from inspiration. Memories are old programs replaying. Inspiration is the Divine giving you a message. You want to come from inspiration. The only way to hear the Divine and receive inspiration is to release all memories. The only thing you have to do is clean.” ~ Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len