Your Body is the Earth
My work as a shamanic healer brings me a wide variety of clients with an even wider variety of issues – from sexual abuse to spiritual struggles from depression to disease. Although the issues vary, the root cause can normally be stripped down to lack – lack of self love, self worth and self esteem. The problem is for most of us that we forget who we are, we forget our magnificence as spiritual beings and all too easily get caught up in the victimhood that humanness often entails. We get caught up in our stories; we become our stories, and then complain when the Universe brings us – via magnetic resonance – situations which reflect our negative affinities. Like attracts like, as the saying goes and how true that is. One of the most surprising realisations for me has been that people treat themselves far, far worse than their ‘abusers’ ever did. Last week I saw a lady who believes she has been depressed since birth. She told me that she doubted I would be able to help her as she now barely existed, cared about herself, or her life. She seemed determined to hold on to her depression at all costs. Similarly, a few months ago, I saw the most beautiful young woman, who sat hunched over herself, claiming her life was ruined because one breast was slightly smaller than the rest, therefore precluding her from happiness or any amount of self-love. Other clients blithely mention their drug habits, as if they were of no consequence, or drink to excess. I am in no way judging these people – just observing them – but as I look at them I see so clearly the correlations between the state of our bodies and the state of the Earth – for these are inextricably linked. We are one and the same, we are made from the Earth, and we treat her as we treat ourselves. Yes there is pollution, imbalance, unrest, and abuse happening to the Earth, we can all see the effects of this. But there is also pollution, imbalance, unrest and abuse happening within ourselves. Many spiritual texts will tell you that nothing exists outside of ourselves, and I believe this to be true. We cannot heal the Earth without first healing ourselves – without first loving ourselves and the bodies that we have been gifted with. Yes, many of us watch what we eat and try to exercise, but how much time do you give yourself to be. How much time do you spend just being instead of doing? How much time do you spend outdoors, or doing what you love to do. How much do you nurture yourself, mind, body and spirit? In the course of my work I can ask many difficult questions, but the ones that go largely unanswered are the ones such as, “What brings you joy and bliss?” “What do you do for fun?” Many people look at me blankly and say, “I guess I have never really thought about it?” We can spend an awful lot of time thinking about the past, or what is wrong in our lives, but we spend very little thinking about what constitutes fun for us? What is our joy? And we spend even less time exploring and doing those things. Yes, the days seem to be passing ever more quickly, but at some stage we need to put the brakes on, take ourselves away and look at our lives and the joy in them. And if there isn’t enough, we need to take steps to rectify the situation. We ARE worth that. We cannot care for the Earth until we care for ourselves. Everything external to us is a reflection of our inner world. When Gandhi said “We must be the change we wish to see in the world,” he spoke great truth. We must become the peace and the joy, we must find the balance and harmony within.
I remember a freezing, sleepless night on the island of Amantani, on Lake Titicaca, Peru. Giving into the cold, I staggered downstairs to try to find something to warm me up. It was about 4.30 in the morning, and I was shocked to find the great shaman Don Gregorio and his son sitting at the dining table chatting. They saw how cold I was and laughed, rummaged around in their belongings and produced a bottle of brandy, pouring a glass for each of us. I pressed mine to my blue lips and sipped, noticing that instead of sipping too, they murmured a quiet prayer and tipped a little of the brandy onto the dirt floor of the room, giving the first sip to the Earth. I realised they were practising “Ayni,” – living in recipricosity, harmony and balance with the land. The land gives to them, they give back to the land. If they pick a flower, they will make a small gift to the plant in order to remain in balance with it. I recalled stories of how whole villages come together at harvest time to help each other, and at the end of the harvest, a huge search is made for the two most perfect ears of corn. In great ceremony and festivity, these two ears of corn are gifted back to the Earth, buried in the fields, as a thank you for the abundant harvest, and a prayer for future healthy crops. It is by being in balance and harmony with nature that nature becomes in balance and harmony with us. A shaman embodies the land, he becomes it, and it becomes part of him, allowing him access to its great power, knowledge and wisdom. I once heard a story about the great shaman Don Manuel Quispe. In spite of his advanced years, he was taken from the mountains of the High Andes to New York in order to perform a great healing ceremony there in one of the big cathedrals. A few short hours before the ceremony he went missing from a downtown restaurant and no one could find him. Panic assumed and all involved believed him to be lost somewhere in the streets. He was later found safe in his hotel to the relief of all concerned. When asked how he found his way back in this alien land he simply said “The trees showed me the way.” We can all live in beauty and harmony with the Earth if we so choose, once we are in balance with our own selves. Don Manuel used to say, “Power is to do with your ability to master yourself.” And loving yourself is part of that mastery. Nature can talk to us as it talks to the great shaman. How could life be if we worked with the land rather than against it? If we practiced living in Ayni?
Religion has had a helping hand in separating us from ourselves and the land. We have been told we are sinners and also that within the Earth lie the fiery reaches of Hell. After all, how can we love something when we have been made to fear it? But the medicine person knows that this is untrue and loves himself and the land. He honours the land as he honours himself. We have lost our relationship to the land. Modern life, with the Internet, X-box, Wii, Email, and all of the endless chores at home have cut us off from that which we need the most. Ask a depressed person how often they go outside and the answer will be, “as little as possible,” or “never.” But the land gives us everything we need, including a feel-good factor. Years ago it was found that the first astronauts became sick and unbalanced after prolonged absences from the Earth. A scientist name Schumann discovered that the Earth emits a low vibration electromagnetic pulse of 7.83Hz, which is known as the Schumann Resonance. This pulse was mimicked by a device and placed into later spacecraft and the astronauts remained well. We need the Earth –“Pachamama,” – our great mother who gives us all so much. We have to stop taking without first giving. We need to connect with ourselves and the Earth once more. To sit or lie on it, to be with it and appreciate all that it gives us. But first of all we need to love ourselves, start treating ourselves with love and respect, and love our beautiful bodies, regardless of how they look. A new year is upon us, a perfect time for change. What will you change? What do you need, body, mind and spirit? What is bliss for you and how can you bring that into the world? It is time to change our ways. We cannot wait for someone, somewhere, to make things better. It starts with us.
Dawn Paul works Internationally as a Shamanic Healer, Theta Practitioner and Spiritual Coach. More information can be found about her work at www.liberate-online.co.uk or you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01727 845514.