Finding the Courage to Create a New Life
By Kathleen Downey, c.s.c. Shamanic Counselor, Past-Life Therapist



For centuries the Italians have been using the term “chiaro / scuro” to describe “dark (obscurity) and light (manifest).” It has been used in terms of shadow and light in paintings and the quality of bright and dark sounds that create resonance in the singing voice. To define light there must be shadow, and to recognize shadow there must be light.

Because we are spiritual/energetic beings, a fact that our original ancestors in the times of the Shaman were very aware of, we are sound and light and energy of pure love existing in relationship with the physical body. These opposite parts of our being, as described above, are also our messengers. When we break down physically it is a message that our spirit is imbalanced — a void has been created at one point in our lives that has been filled with imbalanced ego energy created from the darkness of anger and fear that doesn’t belong with us.

Oftentimes these parts of ourselves are at odds, or have created a tug-of-war between our authentic selves and our ego selves. How often have we seen the messenger who rides into the enemy camp, be killed and treated with all the abusive power of anger and hate, discredited or ridiculed. Why? Because we do not want to give up our right to fight for what we know, our familiar, and embrace change. Change is scary; it is trusting the unknown.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet the representative of a prescription drug manufacturer. Their biggest seller, at the moment, is a drug which suppresses emotional imbalance manifesting in sudden outbursts of laughing and crying. Sudden outbursts of crying and laughing were a clear sign that an emotional imbalance was occurring that needed to be dealt with, not merely suppressed, otherwise this imbalance will be acted out or manifested in another way.

We are accustomed to quick fixes; drugs that will suppress the messages our spirits are asking us to listen to and face, alcohol that numbs our awareness and keeps us in our illusions and disempowerment. We are accustomed to getting our way, remaining in what we are familiar with and fighting against the tides of change, no matter how unhappy we are.

Fear can disguise itself to look like an ally keeping us from harm. Is it helping us or is fear keeping us from who we truly are and were meant to become? Fear of the unknown keeps us repeating the same situation over and over again. We know well what the familiar looks like, sounds like and feels like — we’ve learned to trust our familiar and readily accept and respect others who have the appearance and energy familiar to us.

When our health, job or home is taken from us, do we consider that the event might be asking us to look deeper into the spiritual aspects of who we are, challenging us to find the courage within to create something new.

Across the planet, cross culturally — from time immemorial our ancestors knew that each challenge which arose in one’s life was an opportunity for personal growth. A lesson that hopefully wouldn’t have to be repeated. They looked at the spiritual aspect of these messages with the guidance of the Shaman, medicine woman/man, pacos, Druids, wise-women and men; each culture had different names for their spiritual leaders. This guidance and profound experience can be utilized today through well-trained practitioners of the Shamanic Journey process, which includes Soul Retrieval, Extraction, Past-Life Therapy and Shamanic Counseling. This is an experiential therapy it is not talk therapy.

With this experience, and the profound knowledge that accompanies it, comes the courage to face the demons of the ego; the denial our fear creates which obscures our possibilities to reach our full potential. It will teach us to trust ourselves and create a new and prosperous life with healthy boundaries. Boundaries keep the familiar from seducing us yet again.

Becoming our own heroes and heroines in our present lives means recognizing the voice and lure of the familiar and energetically releasing the need to keep playing that role that sacrifices our authentic self. Once we stop enabling our familiar in that historical self-glorifying role of sacrifice, our authentic self may rise up and awaken, creating a new future.

Several years ago a woman came to me in need of help. She had been stuck for fifteen years in an unhappy relationship and home where she felt unappreciated and repressed. She had been a single mother for several years, then gave up her career for the security of a man who she thought could provide a home for her and her child.

The man’s behavior indicated that he was very insecure and unsupportive of her personal needs. He needed to keep a tight, controlling reign over her. He asked her to stop her creative work and renovate a large country home and city apartment while cooking, cleaning and entertaining for him, and taking care of her young child.

He could not acknowledge the work she did on his behalf, nor would he compensate her for it or place her name on the properties. She wasn’t allowed to have money of her own, he gave her only enough for the household groceries.

He was unaware that she had come to see a shamanic counselor when she became ill. He had admitted to having a private detective follow her in the past; she was frightened, disempowered and felt worthless.

When she came to me, the man had recently sold the house she renovated for three times what he had paid. Because of his discrediting behavior she didn’t recognize that the increase in value to his house was her doing.

She was still quite young, yet her body was beginning to break down physically. She had spinal herniations as well as asthma and chronic fatigue. It took us a relatively short time to empower her for the first time in her life.

After nine months of Shamanic journey work, Soul Retrieval and Past-Life work, we discovered she had called in her familiar. As soon as she recognized this and owned it on a core level, she was able to release the illness in her body, heal the vertebrae and set forth to make different choices.

Soon after this acknowledgment she began to realize her many creative gifts and her worth. All the physical ailments subsided and she left the illusional “secure” home to start a new life in which she has become quite successful.

Kathleen Downey is a Shamanic Counselor and Past-Life therapist who utilizes the techniques mentioned above to help others create a healthy and prosperous life. She can be reached in Encinitas, CA for private sessions at (858) 646-9808. Please see website for upcoming workshops “Interpretation of Dreams work-shop” at Warner Springs, Nov. 14 and 15, 2003.

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