The Dharma Files: Teresa Miroslaw Interview

We are so inspired by Teresa Monika Miroslaw's journey here at Naughty Shaman. Here it is!

Before Dharma School, Teresa graduated college and decided to travel. She was disillusioned, depressed, discouraged, and lived on the outskirts of society. Living out of her backpack, sleeping in parks, Teresa was yearning for a community. But she never felt it in her travels.

The pivotal moment of Dharma School for Teresa came from the ancestral work and karmic patterns. There was a blanket of guilt and commitment to suffering that she was able to heal. And Teresa was grateful to let it go.

Now Teresa has so much space to breathe in her life, she even feels like a rockstar! As a co-creater in her life, she can “make it happen”… whatever that may be. What are a couple of things Teresa has done since Dharma School? She taught a class at Yale, built a robot, danced, and even did a backflip!

Teresa’s advice to you? “For anybody looking for like-minded people, who are finding joy and recognizing other real aspects of life, I recommend Dharma School. It’s the realest you can get.”

We love that quote! Dharma School: The realest you can get.
Watch the video to see the full Natalie Shope Griffin interview.

The Dharma Files: Taylor Crofton Interview

Natalie Griffin interviews graduate of Dharma School and staff member at the Center for Shamanic Arts, Taylor Crofton. And it's awesome.

Taylor began her spiritual journey on a quest! She learned Reiki, did card and medium readings, and developed a deep connection with Spirit. But something was missing. What was it?

Before Dharma School there was a spark missing to ignite her life on fire. She was just going through the motions. Dharma School allowed Taylor to take off the false mask she was wearing of someone with all of their “stuff” together. She could become a raw, vulnerable, open person... and it was OK! In fact, this new way of living was full of love.

Are you thinking about Dharma School? This is Taylor's message to you: “I did everything... And Dharma School adds a new element that cuts through the Bull Shit. It changed everything.”

 

This is the real deal. Experience it yourself! There are two more Intro to Shamanism and Dharma School workshops. We would love to get to know you.

Your soul is calling. It's time to listen. 

How to Handle a Spiritual 2x4 & all about dharma school

 

What do you do with a spiritual 2x4? What do you do when life really gives you a doozy? If you’re anything like me, you don’t always get the subtleties when the universe gives you messages that something’s gotta change. I’ll give you an example: my life. 

Before I was the owner of Naughty Shaman, I was mastering the art of a double life. While I was promoted and rising the corporate ladder with lots of flash and a mask, a part of me knew it was Bull Shit. As I grew in my career, a festering feeling of falsity inside grew too. This was a message from the universe that something in my life had to shift. But I wasn’t ready to listen yet.

Then came a series of events ending with my mother’s death that led to my unraveling. I was left feeling like I had nothing. I was on my knees. Something in my foundation cracked at this moment. And all I was left holding was the falsity I had created.

Natalie shares her story!

The gift of this smack in the face by this 2x4, was that I could see the Truth of the life I had created. It was that I didn’t like my life very much. It did not bring me joy. And the Truth was hard to choke down. 

So, when you get the 2x4....

If you’re looking at your life and you’re thinking, “This isn’t what I want,” you have a choice. You can continue holding on to the Bull Shit and rebuild a new facade to pretend to feel good. Or you can go in your soul and figure out what it takes to feel good from the inside out.

The Choice:

After the events of my life unraveled me I was left thinking, “What am I only doing because I’m supposed to? What am I doing that doesn’t bring me joy?” I could have stayed with the Bull Shit and died inside. Instead, I chose to do radical high velocity healing to rebuild who I am from the Truth. I studied shamanism, yoga, transpersonal coaching, and personal inquiry. And through these practices, developed Dharma School. 

What is a Truth Based Life?

There is a Buddhist word, Dharma. It has many deep and beautiful nuances, but I am a practical person! So my definition is simple: To live your Dharma is to live a Truth based life. It is a life with less and less Bull Shit running the show.

How many times have you lied about who you are? What feels good? Or what you need? How many times have you felt like you are caught in someone else’s dream for you? Someone else’s life? And that you’ll never be enough? I have. And I found a process of self-inquiry and shamanic techniques that incinerates the Bull Shit, and leaves you with your power. 

Why does Dharma School work?

We combine wisdom teachings from around the world and walk you on a journey to find what’s True inside. We call it your Dharma. We challenge you to go in, to incinerate the Bull Shit false projection of the self you show the world. This is for real.

Through coaching, mentoring, exercises, and shamanic ceremony, you will learn the tools of a medicine carrier. Your connection to spirit will be direct and personal, not through any dogma or set of rules, but from the wisdom found in your soul and bones.

Only YOU know the Truth.

You are the only one who knows what your foundation of Truth is. Only you know your Dharma. I can’t tell you what it is... nobody can! But we show you the way to discover the Truth for yourself.

Join us!

When a 2x4 hits, you can create false castles in the sky, or build a foundation that is real. If you’re ready to create a Truth based life, we would love to support you. We get it. We’ve been there.

Join us in November for the first weekend of Dharma School. Your soul won’t want to miss it. 

 

Playing The Darker Notes of life with Beatnik Style

I have been playing the darker notes of my personality here and there over the last few months.  The brooding, bourbon drinking beatnik examining an existential quandary over the meaning of it all. In soft candle light I wonder about life, love and what does any of it mean?  What is it worth?  Anything?  Like any good beatnik, these moments of playing the darker notes inspire me to write poetry, paint, love and live.

Some of my melodic fairy friends may not understand or appreciate these darker notes as they play notes like that of Bach and Schubert in their life.  While a bit of both musical genres, my soul leans toward the syncopated chaos and passion of old jazz, Burlesque and night time drums.

Don't get me wrong, I tearfully appreciate and enjoy when life is played with the glorious precision of Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite no. 1 - Prelude.  I drink the nectar from these melodic times.  I'm humbled by gratitude, lift my face to let the sun kiss me, talk to the ocean and delight in the way laughter and a hug can cure almost anything.  However, life does not stay in one place for long.  Best to learn to navigate all of the genres it has to offer.

There is a true indulgence in the darkness.  Like 100% cacao, single barrel oak soaked bourbon and messy complicated sex, the darker notes of our personality are sacred and can bring new gifts to life. 

Recently, I have been wrestling with and old friend - Choice.  To truly embrace one's power and grace, a person has to come into right relationship with her/his power to choose.  There is always a choice.  What to do, say, wear, not do, not say, not wear... it's all about choice.

To me, Choice is illusive, cruel in her neutrality - neither good or bad.  I flip the coin of Do-I?-Don't-I? over and over in my mind wishing there was a studio audience that would applaud when I made the "right" choices.  But the truth is, there is no right or wrong.  Just truth.   And no studio audience.  Just you.

Over this year, there are choices that I have made that were brave.  In alignment with everything I believe to be true and good in the Cosmos.  And there were choices that I made that were not.  Choices I made to be safe or to be admired by random "others" who didn't really know me. 

And then there were the worst choices of the lot - the choices I didn't make.  The ones I avoided because I was too ashamed of my truth, or I was afraid to hurt someone else and I just thought it would be easier to bear the burden of being in the limbo land of NO CHOICE, then to bear the burden of being the "bad-gal."  And the ones I avoided because I was afraid I wasn't enough of something to handle the outcomes of my choice. These non-choices are the ones I regret most.  My fears of wasted time and time running out rear their ugly heads as the dark notes continue to play on.

Regret is a thing that popular spirituality doesn't subscribe to.  "Everything happens for a reason."   "There is meaning in everything."  "There are no accidents."  I have said these things and believe them most of the time.  However true, when you are playing the darker notes of your personality, this vernacular does not resonate. 

When you are playing the darker notes, you must light your soul only by a soft candle - not the harsh examination room flood light. 

In this soft light, regret, shame, and heartache can safely exist.  Here in the realm of candlelit shadows and drums, there is a profound safety to confront the difficult. 

Even in the soft light, a soul with very little range will run like hell back to the Angel's Share and sunshine.  As we grow, so does the range of emotion that we can sit with, without judgement.   We learn to sit beside our own darkness.  And over time we see that the Devil's Cut is a part of a well lived life.

The trick is learning to suck the nectar from these darker moments without falling into an addictive lifetime of brooding, eating only dark chocolate, drinking only bourbon and loving less than loving lovers.

Playing the Darker Notes with Style:

Sit still.   When we touch upon shame, guilt, sadness, anger or fear, we often want to fix it.  I do.  And you can't.  You have to sit beside it and be in it until the emotion subsides and the gift is revealed.  All of these emotions are brief house guests.  Sit still and let them run through your house until they are complete.  Playing the darker notes is not a time for doing.  It is a time of being.

Do.  Not.  Judge It is easy to judge what you have done as bad or good or stupid or non-spiritual.  Stop.  Really.  This distracts you from feeling anything.  Stop dead in your tracks when you notice the judgement and say to yourself, "All is forgiven little one.  You did the best you could with what you knew then.  It is done." 

Gratitude for Gifts.  There really was a reason for it.  Now, that you have processed some of the emotion you are ready to look for the gifts.  Maybe you got a few more months of safety.  Maybe you got to meet some really hilarious people.  Maybe you discovered a new boundary that you do not want to cross any longer.  There is always a gift.  Always.  Hunt for it like a starving beatnik jaguar.  If you can't say thank-you-thank-you-thank-you, then keep hunting.

Set a time limit.  "For three minutes, hours (days) I am going to indulge in my darkest emotions to see what they have to teach me.  Then, I am going to bake cookies and move on."  Or, "I'm going to call a friend for lunch so that I can tell them all that I learned and get a hug."

Say Goodbye to the Darker Notes.  You can't live in the darkness or light forever.  Music needs melody, bass, darkness and light.  It is our ability to ebb and flow as gracefully as possible with these elements that make the symphony that becomes our life. 

As we learn to play the Darker Notes, we learn that they are really no different from the Lighter Notes.  Over time and practice, one can become a Master of the Middle Path where there is no dark or light - only now.  Only truth. 

Until then, don't be afraid to dance with all that you are - your magnificence, your shame, your glory, divinity and the mundane boring bits.  It is all sacred.  Good hunting.

beatnik






What is a Naughty Shaman?

Great question.

The traditional definition of the word Naughty is ‘disobediant.’  This begs the question, “To whom are we to be obedient?”  

I am not suggesting that as people on a spiritual journey we abandon all common sense or decency, but I have noticed – often first hand – the damage being obedient to conventional wisdom can cause.

I often sacrificed doing things or being with people that nourished my soul in order to maintain the facade of being good, normal and under control.  Maintaining this false allegiance to being good as measured by someone else’s standards left me frantic, exhausted and trapped in a cycle of insatiable hunger.  

When a person is soul starving, they can not support other people or even see accurately what’s happening around them.  I worried that the foundation of my life had been built upon shifting sand, so I worked really hard to make it seem solid, even to myself.

My soul, at a point of sufficient starvation, became so weak that I couldn’t hold up the facade any longer.  So I let go.  I got messy.  I mean knots in hair, fists pounding on ground, no money, jacked up love life, red-eyed-for-days messy.  

When it feels like you have nothing to lose you get brave.  I looked at truths inside me that I had been too afraid and ashamed to acknowledge ever before.  I learned that when you are finally face to face with these beasts that linger in the dark, they aren’t so bad.  And then you find yourself on solid ground.  On a foundation of stone inside yourself.

From there, you can build anything.

I started to let the the voice of my soul guide me to people and experiences that nourished me.  

And I decided that my soul is to whom I must be obedient.  And I became a NaughtyShaman.

A NaughtyShaman is a wise playful person free of the ‘shoulds’ of conventional spiritual wisdom.  

A NaughtyShaman experiences a direct relationship with Spirit and obeys the callings of the soul.

We are energized by the riotously beautiful, sensual, wild parts of life like roses covered in morning rain, loud music, maybe a martini when the mood hits.  It is all sacred!

We seek the sanctuary of Spirit in stillness, crying or laughing until we can’t breathe.  We have danced or done yoga in sweltering sun until we were diminished to only sweat and breath.  We might tear apart what once was, in order to make room for what’s coming.

A NaughtyShaman celebrates what lies in the shadows because we know that by going into the places we fear, we find strength, compassion and the power to become makers of our destiny.  

We know that the most radiant sunrise will emerge from the darkest of nights.  The dark and the light need each other to be brilliant.  It is all sacred.

If you want a juicy life and to be in service to Spirit, you need to get a little Naughty and follow your own rules.

Join the spiritual revolution.  Love your Naughty.  I do.
 

 

Cosmic Puzzle- By Sean Lanning

Recently, I was trying to meditate.  And in classic fashion, I started thinking. I was thinking about all of these ancient yogic breathing techniques and how some of them are really, well, lets be honest, pretty silly. It dawned on me that they're simply a natural result of thousands of years trying to focus on nothing but breathing.

Given eons you might evolve some slightly wacky ways to try thinking about just breathing to paradoxically induce a state of not thinking at all. Scrolling through all the styles that I've learned, (Inhale RED-exhale BLUE, breath of fire, alternating nostril, hyperventilating and fainting, etc) I eventually just came up with my own. I thought, “What must it feel like to be a lung?” Aware of only edges, expanding and contracting, over and over, magically converting a mostly nitrogen heart-fuel elixir from the sky into a carbony plantfood lungjunk in a divine instant.  I didn't know it then, but "Becoming a Lung" was gonna give me a mind-blowing insight into our place in the cosmos.

"Being a lung" is a state of being, easy to get your head around.  It's a state of being defined only by noticing its own edges, which are either concave and wrinkly or stretched out smooth. Full or Empty. You can feel it.  Taking in life or giving it out. Back or forth. Alpha or Omega, over and over. No more. No less (as far as the ignorant little lungs know).

Are we really all that different from the organs in our body?  Each self-orchestrating a symphony of life that is you, an unknowing priceless part of the whole?

And that's when insight dragged me right down the rabbit hole and into the cosmos.  We are all just a piece in the puzzle! But we don't know we're in a puzzle.  We can't see the puzzle. We're just a flat chunk of paperishness. We probably don't know what a puzzle even is, let alone what the final picture is gonna look like.

What does "look" even mean?! What does "picture" mean? What does "final" mean? What does "I" mean? We don't even have the dimensions to understand what you are or what I am or what is around us, or how big it is, (or how small!)

We can't see where we are or where we came from or where we're going. All we can do is feel with our inside and with our edges. The only sense we have is where "You" end, and the rest begins, and we can't see it, even if we could we probably wouldn't even notice. We can only feel.

Think about it.  Can't you can feel when your edge is up against the edge of another piece?  Up against the edge of the whole, or up against the edge of nothing, which is also just as much something as you? Without the nothing, there would be no edge to feel.

But with those edges you can feel.  You can feel whether or not you fit. That's all. You can try to look and measure and analyze and chart and graph and document and compare WHY you don't fit. But the answer never comes, the equation never totally balances because there is no why, nor does it even matter. All that matters is whether or not you fit. Whether or not this is your place, your spot, your space.

Because you don't belong over there, or over here, regardless of what you think is good for you or where it looks nice or smells nice or seems nice to be that piece over there. You are just a flat chunk of paperishness, you don't have a clue!  And even if you did, you wouldn't understand. You're just a piece. The same as all the rest, yet totally different. You're meant to be separate, until you fit.

But, each piece is completely unique, and without even one of us, the puzzle is incomplete, it is not whole, even though it is never NOT whole. Whatever that means. But when you get out of trying to think about it and just feel it, you KNOW it. There's no hesitation, there's no questioning, it's a flash of perfection, bliss and calm freedom. True North. This is where you fit, it's where you belong, and it doesn't matter what you thought it would or should look like, this is it, right where you are, right now.

You've arrived home, and from this place your are not flat. You gain infinite depth and from up high and very low and all points between you can see. Now you can see what you've only touched the edge of before.

The full picture comes to life, to fruition, to display with all its masterful glory the plan that once seemed infinite chaos to the lonely flat chunk of paperishness, the return to unity, to singularity.

Now, all that's left is to break it all up, piece by piece, put them all back in the box, (or frame it over a toilet) dump a new one out on the table and start all over. With a Big Bang, of course.  Isn't that where all of these puzzle pieces were created in the first place?!

There is something about space.  Distance.  Wild changes in perspective.  That makes this all make sense.

“From the moon, the Earth is so small and so fragile, and such a precious little spot in that Universe, that you can block it out with your thumb. Then you realize that on that spot, that little blue and white thing, is everything that means anything to you — all of history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, tears, joy, games, all of it right there on that little spot that you can cover with your thumb. And you realize from that perspective that you’ve changed forever, that there is something new there, that the relationship is no longer what it was.” - Rusty Schweikart

-Astronaut Rusty Schweikart, on Apollo 9, was the first man to step outside the Lunar Module into space to test the protective space suits that would one day allow man to walk on the moon. He had a moment to just stare back at tiny Earth and the rest of the Universe. He didn't know what he was seeing when he was looking back at all of us, but he could feel it, deeply he felt his connection to the Whole. He felt the shift, the importance of humanity separating from the Mother Earth, only to look back and see that we aren't separate at all.

We can shift that perspective too.  Let go of trying to get it "Right" and feel your way into where you fit.  We are all a piece in the puzzle, but if we step back, way back, and look INSIDE, we can see the beauty, the Whole and remember that there is more to life than bumping against edges.  We can remember that we are a part of something much greater than ourselves.  By going inside, we remember that we ARE not alone at all and much greater than what we think of our our Self.


Your Calling is Calling

"I feel like I have a larger purpose for being here, but I don't know what it is."  or "I know what I want to do, but I can't make money doing it, so I am stuck here in this job."

I get this alot.  People are hearing their Calling.  But many have forgotten how to listen to the language of the heart and soul, which is of course, the language of your Calling.  Before we get into how you know your Calling is calling, let's talk about the Calling.  (That's alot of calling!  Isn't it amazing how often we hang up the phone and don't listen!)

What Is A Calling?

1.  Something your soul came into this life to experience and heal. This is important.  When shamans say things like, "Your deepest pain will become your greatest medicine."  This is what we are talking about.  You came into life and had some experiences.  Some joyful, some gut wrenching.  The gut wrenching things typically provide the most opportunity for change and growth.  We become more compassionate through pain and often more awake.  When we heal those achy wounds, we have created a map out of the darkness.  Then we can be supportive to people who find themselves in similar struggles.

2.  Something your soul came here to express fully.  Once we make our way through some of these 'dark nights of the soul' we access a confidence in ourselves that one can not find from surface living alone.  Joseph Campbell (RIP), the world's great mind on mythology and the hero's journey, says,

                                     “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

For the brave people who listen to the soul's siren song and follow the Calling often find themselves in the cave of their greatest fear.  While it can be painful, it is to be celebrated.  Because here in the cave you will go through a rite of passage.  Move from being a boy to man, girl to woman, doormat to warrior, shielded heart to passionate lover. 

In the cave you will battle the great dragon of your fear.  YOU WILL MAKE IT OUT.  And you will be different.  You are strong enough to face your own stuff, I promise.  I mean honestly, it's You vs. You!  You will win. 

After the battle, you will remember how capable you are and with a springy confidence in your step, you will yearn to come back to your village and share yourself on a deeper level, without fear.  THIS is what your soul is yearning for - FULL EXPRESSION of all of it's wonder, worry, love, curiosity, insights and truth. 

How Do You Know Your Calling Is Calling And Not Your Ego?

To be able to tell the difference you have to get out of your mind.  Literally, out of the thought process that is like a ping pong match inside your head.  The ego will spin you round and round in your mind because it's such a fun way to keep itself alive and in the poll position!  You have to find a way to get into your body.

Legends say that our bodies are made of earth, some legends (And NASA scientists) say that our bodies are made of elements found in stars.  There is a wisdom in the body that once you start to listen to, can be your very best friend and guide.

So try this:

Recall a moment when you felt alive, fully expressed and of service.  Go ahead - you have moment like that.  Recall that moment.  Maybe you were speaking, helping someone cross the road and talking about life.  Maybe you were listening to a loved one share secrets.  Often these are simple things.

Now, notice how your body feels.  Yeah.  That's some good stuff.  We call that True North.  Its your Calling.  That FEELING, is your Calling.  What you were doing, what you were saying, what you were feeling is igniting the Calling. 

The Calling gives you clues through your body.  It lights it up!  So now, you have a compass.  Bring that compass point online every day so that you remember.  Recall that single moment or all of the moments every day in your meditation, in the car, where ever!  Just do it!  You are teaching your body to remember.  When you recall this feeling, vibration, or Calling, you are sending out an invitation for more moments like this to find you.

Follow the feeling, follow the people and experiences that bring that feeling to life.  And keep going.  Before you know it, you are on the yellow brick road back home to your Ruby-Slipper-Wearing-True Self.  Home to all that you came to experience and express.

Your body will also give you signals when you are not in alignment with your Calling.  Chronic headaches, reoccurring accidents, chronic intestinal pain or leaky gut, chronic anxiety, addiction, or depression.  All beautiful messages from the Universe that some changes could be made.  I find that the Universe is not bossy, she won't tell you what to do, but she will give you feedback.  You can listen or not, that's the bugger of freedom.

A Calling is not about a job - or even a purpose or mission.  

          Answering your calling is about being the kind of person you came here to be. 

Support yourself with time and loving inquiry into what is going on inside.  What wants to be expressed through you?  You have something to share, simply by just being you.  So, be curious.  Learning about you, remembering you, growing you, sculpting you, and being You, is exactly what you came here to do.

 

FIats and Eggs - What to do when S*%T Hits the Fan By Sean Lanning

Magical things are happening. I promise. I can tell you right now, here, from the trenches of the thickest shit of all, magic is happening. This is no nightly news fairytale, this is LIFE, and it can suck, but magical things are constantly happening. I can feel it. I dared the Universe to bring it on, and she listened.

In the last 6 months some shit has gone down. Reality changed hard and fast, and hasn't slowed down since. First, my best friend in the world finally overdosed and died after flirting with it for years. I drank and smoked and slept and yelled and cried and fought and my way through the holidays. My mortgage application was denied because I ruined my credit nomadically selling crap door to door all over the country for 5 years, living in motels and crack neighborhoods making a 100 bucks a week but rockin' a 3 piece suit everyday.  "But only poor people need credit, and I'm going to be rich.  Mwuahahaha."  Those old beliefs cackled maniacally.

In just the last ONE MONTH, I totaled my sexy, new, juuuuust barely what I could afford car that I bought for myself because I thought I was finally getting back on my feet.  Since I needed a new car, I rented a tiny white fiat 500 (during the worst CT winter in 100 years). Out of pocket, of course because who the hell pays for rental coverage? And gap coverage? "You only need that crap if you crash your ride, which clearly only fools do." Days later, en route to teach my first ever regularly scheduled [paid] yoga class, someone slammed right into that fiat, likely mistaking it for a snowball on the road. You guessed it, Enterprise picked it up. My mom picked me up.

The following week, in not the classiest fashion, myself and 30 others were suddenly laid off and walked out of our once dreamy job selling guitars. That was the job that paid for that that cool sexy car and not so sexy rental (RIP fiat).

So obviously I just chuckled when the next day I drove my recently unemployed ass an hour in a blizzard and checked into the Valentines day jacuzzi tub room -booked months in advance- with an arm full of roses to surprise my beloved, (the big blue star on my calendar, wink wink) to find no such jacuzzi. But of course, lovely Meg, the overworked front desk girl who judging by her expressions did not have anyone trying to spatter a hotel room hot tub in rose petals for her, comped us breakfast.  Breakfast!  It was small, but felt like a gift from the Universe.  Free breakfast is magic, isn't it?  Case Closed!

The point is, there's more. I promise. There is way more to life than just the shit you are swimming in right now.  You just need to look for it, or stop looking for it, I suppose, it depends on how you look at it ;)  There is a woman giving you free breakfast, a beloved holding your hand, a hilarious thought running around in your mind.  There is more.

I can't explain it, (pardon whilst l try anyway).

Every time my mind starts to think "My life is completely falling apart", my heart immediately, without hesitation, chimes in singing "Silly Sean, you're life is completely coming together." And I just laugh.  Because things have been shaken up so much, there is room for new people and projects in my life.  Things that are more in alignment with my actual soul have started to make their way into my life. 

They say that when you don't listen to what the Universe is trying to tell you, or see what its trying to show you, that it will get louder. And if you still don't listen, it will start beating you over the head with it, or start hurling motor vehicles at you. I can tell you with zero hesitation, that much is true. There's a reason why we have cliche sayings like, "When it rains it pours" and "The hits just keep on coming." It's because they're ALL true.

It used to be that breaking the yolk in my over-easy egg would instantly ignite a fiery rage of a thousand suns that can (and has) lead to thrown pans, broken glass, and burned skin. Over-easy my ass!  But today, I failed a flip miserably, I mangled that thing into a scrambled mess like I was having a seizure at the stove. And just laughed.

As the hot molten golden goo that once almost housed a future chicken flowed and bubbled into solidity on the hot cast iron (#yolkporn), I remembered that I has asked for this, for all of it, and then, it hit me.

If you're gonna shake your fist at the sky and tell the Universe that you're ready for anything and everything that she's got.....you'd better mean it. Because your deck is gonna get shuffled.

Things have to fall apart in order for the Universe to better align your life with your soul.   So go ahead, shake your fist.  What is beyond the scrambled eggs is worth the trip.

 

VINTAGE NAUGHTY! I Am Gagöhsa.

From 2012...  An honor to work among the ancestors and with the Seneca Nation.

A few months ago, I got a call inviting me to work with a family from an Iroquois Indian Nation in NY.  I said, “Are you sure you don’t want to work with my mentor?”  She said, “Nope, you are the one to work with my father.  He is sick and no one can figure out what it is.  He said he needs the “Old Medicine” and all of our shamans are gone.”

Gone?

The word hit me between the eyes like a bullet.  The second round hit me in the heart as I traced back the history of how it had come to pass that in this great Nation had lost it’s Wisdom Keepers.   It had been my Anglo-Saxon ancestors who came and conquered.  I knew this call was much more than a call to help a man who was ill.  This was a call for ancestral healing.  An Anglo-Saxon woman would be going to work with a Seneca Elder to remind a family of the Wisdom teachings.  I knew I would need some help for this heavy hitter.

I went straight into ceremony.  I called in the ancestors of the Peruvian lineage of my training because now, they are also my lineage and I thank them every day for the gifts passed down to me.  I asked them to support me in what I was called to do.  They cleared me of some lingering doubt and fear I held regarding my age old question,

“Who am I to be doing this work?  Shouldn’t someone better be doing it?  I am just a white girl from Ohio after all.”  

The ceremony helped me remember that Wisdom Keepers come from bloodlines around the world and my Scotch/English/Irish/Gypsy heritage was more than enough.  I then called on my Ancestors, thanking them for all that they did to bring my family here so that we would survive and find freedom.  I asked them if they would be willing to walk behind me for the healing of their people.  They agreed.  

Finally, I called upon the Seneca Nation ancestors, thanking them for enduring and adapting so that this strong family could go on and be prosperous.  I asked them to join me for the healing of this man and his family and also for any greater healing necessary between our ancestors.  After six days of ceremony I finally had everyone on my team and I booked the flight to the Res.

Three weeks later, I sat across from the old man.  His skin was the color of sunset on red cliffs.  Although he was 82 he looked more like 60.  Broad shoulders, bright eyes, straight back and legs.  He owned and still ran several successful businesses all over the Midwest.  And although he was too weak to rise from bed very often, he commanded great respect and power.

I think my blond hair and high heels arrived before I did because it took me a while to establish conversation with the family.  I even heard one of the old women make a whispering reference to “Barbie.” 

It would have been my worst nightmare, but today, I had work to do.  The old man looked me up and down like he had Soul X-Rays for eyes.  I could almost hear his thoughts, “YOU are a Shaman?”  He gave me a skeptical glance and peppered me with questions starting with, “You are a Shaman – how?”  and ending with “What does a shaman do?” I was humbled.  And instead of answering I said, let me show you.  And for three days, I did.

I opened Sacred Space to help us step into non-linear time and call upon my Ancestral Super Team to join us and make all of our interactions for the highest good of all involved.  As I talked for an hour or so explaining to the elder what a Shaman does, we were joined by three powerful lineages.   Standing behind me were the Anglo ancestors, some of whom carried the guilt of conquering and were filled with fear.  Behind him were a Nation of people grieving for the lost ways and some still filled with anger.  My Peruvian lineage joined by medicine people from the other lineages encircled us holding us all in an arena of light and safety where truths could be seen, and healed.

As I listened to this man’s life story, I recognized his story as an archetypical story of a hero.  Despite many challenges, he rose to meet them, created and prospered.  His children, like many in our generation, had married people from other cultures, from other bloodlines.  The traditions and language were getting lost.  And while the father was proud of his family and honored the choices they made, this heavy loss of the old ways was literally clogging the old man’s bloodlines.  The illness that was plaguing this man was in his veins and arteries that were no longer able to flush out toxins and his little toe was being amputated the next day due to a “blood disease” and infection that wasn’t quite diagnosable.

The Ancestors did a majority of the work on behalf of this family as we all honored them in ceremony - all of them.  As each lineage was healed and freed from the guilt, fear, anger and shame that plagued them, they were able to see that the cosmos has always unfolded in perfection, even in the most difficult moments.  As they healed, the Ancestors were releasing the binds that held this family to tightly to a past filled with deep grief and loss.  As the wisdom, trust and forgiveness started to flow through both ancestral bloodlines, the old man was able to release an ancient anguish that he was not aware that he had been carrying.  I could see the oxygenation of the blood become more efficient and the blood-flow to the extremities increase as he was released from this ancestral bind.  He was free again.  No longer carrying the burdens of previous generations.

These ancestors who were seeking healing in this family line and causing all kinds of problems, were stalking more than just the old man.  I worked on many other members of the family, listening to secrets, removing old energies, angry entities, generational curses, and grief that were no longer necessary for the family to carry.  I helped them clear their land of lost and grumpy Spirits and other entities that needed to go home. 

We honored deeply the lineages for assembling for this moment of healing and thanked the illness that brought us all together for this powerful work.  I talked to the adult children about the practices of the modern Shaman and encouraged them to seek training and bring life back to the old ways.  I shared many tools that they could use that would reconnect them to the Old Medicine.  They have kept honoring the ancestors through altars and through fire ceremony and the old man is regaining his mobility, strength and happiness.

When I was getting ready to leave, the mother said to me in her broken English.  

”You look like nice soft Barbie.”

“Don’t let that fool you!”  I laughed.

She stared right into me.  Pointing at me with her cigarette, she said,

“No. You Gagöhsa. You Seneca.  I see you, you Gagöhsa.”

Tears burned my eyes because I could tell it was an honor what she was saying.  We hugged and I left the beautiful Bear Clan as family and as Gagöhsa. When I got home, I looked up Gagöhsa.  For me it marked a turning point of letting go of the power of beauty and humbly stepping into a deeper layer of this work where ugly is beauty and power.  It is an honor of going from Barbie to Gagöhsa.

false face 3.jpg

The Gagöhsa – the Story
The Gagöhsa, or False Face Society, is important to the heritage of the Iroquois Nation – of which Seneca is a part.  Legend and lore tell of the Creator who was one day enjoying the creation he had made here on Earth.  He had not populated yet with people, and so was enjoying the trees and mountains, wind and sun.  But then he saw another walking toward him and said, “I am the creator of this place.  Who are you?”  The stranger said, “I am also the creator.”  To determine who was the most powerful, and therefore the true creator, they decided on a contest.

They would each try to move the mountain.  Whichever person moved the mountain the farthest was certainly more powerful and therefore the true creator.  They would turn their backs on the mountain one at a time and whoever moved the mountain the furthest was the one true Creator.  The stranger was going to go first.  With their backs turned, the creator decided to play a trick.  He willed the mountain to move closer to the stranger so that he would have to move the mountain really far.  Before they could turn around, there was a great noise behind them.  The stranger turned around so fast to see what was going on that he smashed his face into the mountain - and it moved!  The creator had brought the mountain so close to the stranger that when he turned around, he smashed his face right into the side of the mountain and broke his nose!

Gagöhsa Mask

Gagöhsa Mask

The creator was impressed that he moved the mountain at all, but recognized that he couldn’t let this guy live with his people – he was too powerful - almost as powerful as him.  Just as he was about to send him off to the underworld, the stranger begged and said, “I will help protect and heal your people.  I am connected to the wind and waters and can heal and protect them.”

And so it came that the one with the crooked nose can be called upon for healing.  You must create a sacred mask or false face in his disfigured image and the powers of the Gagöhsa would be yours.
The Gagöhsa is thought of as the Great Defender in the Iroquois Nation.  They were a group of sages and medicine people who would put on masks, make noise, chant and chase threatening spirits and illness from the people.  To this day, some Iroquois believe that Gagöhsa protects them in times of need, redirecting fierce winds that threaten them and giving healing those who are ill.

Gagöhsa mask

Gagöhsa mask

When I was 13 years old I broke my nose.  I was leaning down under a picnic table and someone yelled my name.  I turned around so fast that I cracked my face on the wooden table making a hairline fracture in my nose, which has never been straight since.  I am a white girl from Ohio, and I am Gagöhsa.


VINTAGE NAUGHTY! Voices in the Attic - Tales of a House Clearing

From my "Gunsligner days" in 2010.  (Oh the joys of the ego.. hahaha!) I have since updated the way I work in the Underworld, but this is a great story!  Enjoy! BTW - the boy is still doing great...

I love my work as a Shaman.   Over the years,  I have developed my "medicine" (my skill) in a few niche areas.  I have a deep love of bringing back the gifts from the Underworld - the dark shadowy place of the subconscious and the past.  If there are voodooy curses, confusing booby traps, spells, demons, poltergeists in your house, or inter-galactic shenanigans going on, that is my realm.  I suppose healing my own demons has lead me to appreciate the jewels that lie in the darkness.   So when I see these snarling, bloodthirsty, dark, malevolent forces, I feel compassion - even these guys deserve it.  Compassion or no, they are coming out of my client's life and going where they can receive healing one way or another.  They can come with me nice or naughty, but they are coming with me.  It is non-negotiable. 

My 2010 altar ego in the Underworld.

My 2010 altar ego in the Underworld.

So when I had a 7 year old client last week suffering from what his mother could only call "Not himself" symptoms that lead him to growl, bite, hate, hit and fear most parts of the house in which he lived - I was honored to get the call.  I called my mentor and discussed what I was tracking.  It involved some curse woven through the bloodline, the land being kind of pissed off and some other mysterious shenanigans with the house.

About a block away from the house I switched on my ShamanVision to help me see the unseen world really clearly.  Perched on the stone walls in the neighborhood were souls watching me - some wanting to go home some angry.  Yep, pissed off land - lots of death and unresolved things lingering here.
The neighborhood land needed alot of healing.  But ethical shamans only work where they have permission, and I did not have permission to clear the land in the entire neighborhood, so I worked with my clients to set up protections for their land.  Between three trees a spell of some sort had been woven - with the best of intentions - by a loved one.  My clients confirmed this actually happened.  However, because this person was not trained well, he inadvertently opened a portal - an energetic sinkhole where all kinds of entities could enter and do as they pleased.  Given the nature of the surrounding land, this was not working out well for my clients.  I cleared the land and closed the portal, but knew that whatever was bothering the boy, came through here.

Next we walked the house.   There was a sad lonely entity from another time wandering around in the play room - where the kids never played despite awesome toys.  The temperature was about 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house and energetically like a vacuum - no air.  There were a few other lost souls just waiting for someone to show them the way home.  Many of them died on this particular piece of land by surprise (or heavily medicated) and just didn't know it was time to go or where to go.  I lovingly sent them all home to the light.  So far, a pretty standard house clearing.  The electrical systems were jumping with some angry energy and several light switches hadn't worked in a while or shorted out when you put the lights on.  The staircase going upstairs was frightening.  I wanted to run up it and then hide under a bed to avoid being seen.

In my client's room, there were roots like you would never want to see in a horror movie.  I won't even describe what I saw and have found that the somewhat annoying word "Shenanigans" covers alot of ground with clients.  The mother saw my face switch to deep concern and asked, "What do you see?"  I simply said, "Some strands of energy, they look a bit like roots."  And proceeded to clear what I could.  Knowing these roots must belong to something I asked, "Do you have an attic?"

"Yes, but it's really just a small crawl space, there are no lights up there and we have to go get a ladder from outside..." said the parents.

"I need to see the attic."

On my way up the ladder, I felt a swoon coming on, as if sticky warm water was poured down my head and melted my bones.  I popped up through the plywood hatch into the pillowy razors of uncovered fiberglass.  I crawled into the darkness on hands and knees grateful that I for some reason decided to wear yoga pants and the tightest black turtleneck I own.  Not attractive, but the cat burglar suit was perfect for this tight space.  They yelled up, "Do you want a flashlight?" I smiled and said, "No thank you."

People are afraid of the dark, but some things are better to see in the softness of shadow.

The attic was lit only by the small hatch I had left open behind me and a small square window that faced east.   In the corner, just a few feet in front of me was what I was looking for, the cursed entity/thing that had taken over this house - and the weakest member of the household, my 7-year old client.  My hairs stood on end and I wanted to wet my pants and run screaming down the ladder, but I couldn't.  I had a client who needed someone to work with this truly unbelievable stuff on his behalf.

I wept.  It knew my darkest secrets and lulled me for a few moments into complete self doubt and self loathing.  I was almost convinced that I should just lay down in the fiberglass and go to sleep.  Then it tried literally to take a bite out of me.  Honestly!?  I even find this hard to believe had I not experienced it.  Then it vanished.  I heard a voice say, "You're crazy,  you are making things up."   "Oh God."  I thought to myself.  "It's true.  What the hell am I doing in some strangers attic?"  Then came the low growl that shook the floor of the attic.  The parents heard the growling and yelled up, "Are you OK?!!"  Me: "Yes, thank you!  ...be down in a few minutes, it's just grumpy."  

This entity snarled at me, "He's mine!" And that is when I lunged forward and grabbed it.  I pulled with all of my might to get those roots up out of the walls in the boys room and in the hallway.  I was surprised that it took about 10 minutes of sweaty heaving in the dark attic to get it all up and out.  When it was done, I crawled back down the ladder shaking, white and covered in fiberglass.  So much for my altar ego.  They brought me some of my sparkling water.  Mandarin flavored bubbles of happiness slowly brought me back to life.  The mother looked at me and said, "OK, I am trying to figure out Natalie Language...let me guess... It was just a grumpy entity doing some shenanigans?"  We had a good laugh and headed down stairs for the last stand.

When he came home from school, my 7-year old client ran under the table screaming. He didn't want to see me.  He proceeded to cage himself in with four chairs locking himself under the table.  I slowly walked to the kitchen so that he and I were separated by a the breakfast bar and said smiling, "Hi.  My name is Natalie Griffin and I am a Shaman.  Let me tell you a secret..."  The boy interrupted me and screamed, "I don't want any more secrets, you lie!! You all lie! No!! I'll never talk to you!" And then he growled like a feral dog.  I said, "Ok, a deal then.  You don't have to do anything you don't want to do today.  You don't even have to talk to me.  I'll leave if you want."  I could see the boy and this thing inside him vying for energy.  I knew the source of what had been plaguing this boy was now removed from the house.  I had the total upper hand and so did the boy.  I walked out of the room and started to pack up, trusting the boy would win this quick battle.  Sure enough, the boy resurfaced and bounded out from under the table and said cheerily, "What are those?"  Pointing to my shiny Extraction Crystals.  I said,  "Just some special stones do you want to touch one?"  His eyes got so big and he said, "Yes!" I grinned and I thought - I bet you do.
Quick as a flash I pulled the remaining mischievious energies out of my client.  Dazed as if he had just woken up, his eyes focused on me and he said, "Hi.  Wow.  Who are you?"  And his mother fell to her knees and wept for joy.  It was done.

I drove 3 hours home that night exhausted, exhilarated and covered in and coughing up fiberglass.   I knew I could never stop doing what I do.  This family had renewed my faith.  I don't tell too many people the details about what I do and even here, I have omitted quite a few things.  But this one needs a voice.  This experience was beautiful because of a family so in love with one another they would do anything to help it heal and feel whole again.  They were so in tune they knew when things were off kilter and they had the intuition to know that some unseen forces were at work and that they had some healing work to do.  Each parent did a healing session and reclaimed playfulness, vision and power for their family.  And the boy reclaimed his body and his playroom.  And the house is filled with light and the attic sealed in an awesome new woven light/kevlar sort of thing I was given by my "peeps".

Now, even reading this, I think to myself - wow.  That is unbelievable.  Nonetheless, we are surrounded by an unseen world that affects us, some of us more than others, but it affects us all in a variety of ways.   It is such a startling concept to people that last week someone that I love mentioned that he thought what I do is silly and not real.  Then I remembered that is what that awful voice in the attic was telling me.  In many ways, that voice in the attic was my voice.  My doubt.  My Shadow.  Despite my occasional doubt, the techniques work.

I got a phone call a few days later and the mother told me that the only way she can explain what happened was that it was a miracle.  She thanked me and said that the change in her son was remarkable - a miracle.  She begged me to never stop doing this work because I was doing God's work. Imagine, me doing God's work.  As audacious as it may sound, I am.  We all are.  I am a person on a divine mission that I can't quite explain with words.  But I know it.  It's important.  And voices in the attic won't stop me.

Printed with client permission 2010.

Creating Your Dream Life With Madness and Music

I love traveling alone.  Don't get me wrong, I love being with people too, but it's hard to find people who travel like you do. 

Alone in the airport, I take in a deep 5-sense-breath of the terminal.  All the sights, sounds, and smells.  The feel of air in my lungs and coffee on my tongue.  I love it.   I have everything I need in two bags, I am light and mobile. 

I also have a uniform when I travel.  Favorite jeans, messenger bag, Danskos and red leather jacket.  It sounds strange but this small constant provides me with the freedom to never worry about where things are.  My passport, in it's place. My cell phone, boarding pass and laptop all in place.  No belt, minimal jewelry.  I can get through security in 3 minutes flat. 

Every time I leave, I notice a few people are shocked (even I am sometimes), by the kind of things I do with my life.  They ask me, "How did you?"  They say, "I never could."  And I feel so grateful, that when I had the chance to say 'Yes' to what life was offering me, that I did.  I am also grateful for the many things that I said 'No' to.  I have found that saying "No" can really be a BIG YES to your soul. 

I plug in my headphones with my soundtrack for the trip.  Every step I take closer to the gate I feel the roles and responsibilities of home fade.  Here in the terminal, I am just a nameless woman wandering through the terminal.  I could be anyone.  I am no one.  I could go anywhere from here.  Almost drunk on possibility and fueled by the trancey beats of Whilk & Misky, I allow my creative mind to play with all the possibilities of who I am and where I could go.  "Free Yourself.." the lyrics invite me into my own daydreams.  Some people say daydreaming is a waste of time, I know differently.  The key is, that the daydream/fantasy can't stop in your mind.

Daydreams and fantasies are the most critical step in creating a life that you enjoy so much that you envy no one else for the life that they have. 

Imagine!  Imagine not worrying about catching up, or getting more, or just feeling bad because what you have is not what you really want.  Feeling bad and stressed, is the start - the awakening - but then you have to allow yourself to dream of new possibilities without letting your mind shut it all down before you get to create. 

How to Dream Your World Into Reality (Cliff Notes)

I prefer to create in layers, rather than blow everything up all at once.  With patience, it is possible to create your whole vision layer by layer with ease.   Like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, first things first.

The creation process is a simple one.  I mean, babies are born everyday to people who have no training in how to create things.  Creation happens with or without consciousness.  WE want to be conscious of what we create so that it is awesome and in alignment with our soul.  Daydreaming is the way we become familiar with the powerful archetypes of our soul's yearning for expression and experience.  Here are the steps:

  1. Dream - dream madly wild dreams!  With no filters, don't be scared - you aren't making decisions yet.  Allow the impossible to be visually anchored.  See yourself moving through life, serving people, moving through landscapes, with types of people that really feels amazing.  Visions rooted in service seem to take root the fastest. 
  2. Feel - when you visualize some dreams, your heart will race and body feel alive.  Or it will feel at peace and whole.  Pay attention to these feelings and the vision that brings your body to life.  That one is a keeper.  Anchor your dreams in the feelings you want to create.  Surrender some of the outcome, you may not get the Mercedes, but you will get the freedom and recognition that the Mercedes symbolized.  (AND you may get the Mercedes too.)
  3. Choose - this is the magic moment.  Choice.  This is where things can fall of the tracks.  Many are afraid to commit to themselves and their dreams and so become swept up in the subconscious creating again.  I see people quit here because once you choose to take the reins of your life, you can no longer blame others for the way things turn out.  Some won't give that up.  NOTE:  This is STILL not an action step.  It's an energetic choice.  A knowing and a clarity.  This is the proverbial 'stake in the sand' so that the Universe will know how to conspire on your behalf to make your dreams and choices a reality.  This is big. 
  4. Imagine the First Step - still no action.  Get grounded.  Get underneath the fear of your new choice and the 76 future action items and choices.  Stop.  Stay here. If you are freaking out, allow yourself to imagine, "What would be the first step that I would take if I do this?"  Visualize and feel the first step.  You are getting your nervous system, emotional system and physical body used to something new.  It's like working out a muscle.  You start with small things. 
  5. Plan the First Step - this is where the rubber almost meets the road - really pen meets paper - hand meet keyboard...  Who do you need to talk to?  Do you need to save money? How much?  By when?  What will you do differently to create what you really want?  Who has more information?  Plan the dates and times of all that is required for the first step.   Always identify people who can give you soulful support in your planning.   These people will save your bacon when your motivation runs low.  Plan in layers, manifesting can take some time.  Then allow the second step to come into view, and the third, by now, the excitement will be flowing.         
  6. Take the First Step - finally, some action!  Make the phone call.  Book the class.  Buy the plane ticket.  Write the first chapter.  Work your plan.  After all of the internal work that you did, this is the easy part.  The Universe will also drop a few surprises all for the love, so be ready to receive!

When I first dreamed of a life where I could be with my kids, have my own business and work part-time.  It took 4 years to manifest.  When I dreamed a life of Spanish speaking friends, palm trees and soulful workshops, it took 3 years to fully manifest.  My new dreams will likely take 2 or less.  It takes as long as it takes.  Your process will be your own, but I share this to illustrate why you need a plan and support.  It's easy to get lost out there with all the shiny new distractions.  It's also easy to get consumed in your own fear and unhealed stuff along the way. 

Keep healing what is in the way of you living your dream.  Keep going.  Don't let your daydreams merely be a method of escape.  That is useless.  Rather let your daydreams fuel new possibilities for your life. 

"We are the way the Cosmos experiences itself." - Neal deGrasse Tyson, Physicist

If we believe Neal's words, then the yearnings of our soul need to be expressed and lived because if we don't play our part in the cosmic musical, we all miss out on a great experience. 

Winter Sun - How to Turn Worry into Hope

It was a hell of a year.  For many of us 2014 was a year of exciting nail-biting change and risk-taking punctuated by huge swells of emotional upheaval.  So many clients lost loved ones either through divorce or death.  Many lost hopes and dreams as the flow of life turned an unexpected left instead of right.  Still more unearthed hidden wounds buried deep in their psyche that surprised them after doing "so much work" on this stuff already.   And those are just people that I know. 

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Kill Bill - A Case For Occasional Swordplay

I love Quentin Tarantino movies.  Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 are my favorites.   Together they are a modern retelling of the most sacred text in yoga, The Bhagavad Gita.  I could write 25 pages about why I see a sacred journey in this bloody film, but here is the gist of our heroine's journey to Soul Freedom.

Beatrix Kiddo is Black Mamba - the deadliest member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad lead by Bill - her ex-lover.  The movie opens with her having hung up the blade in an effort to have a 'normal' life for her baby.  She is pregnant in a wedding dress when she is beaten by the Viper Squad and shot in the head by Bill, her teacher.(Doesn't a good teacher get you out of your head one way or another?)

Beatrix wakes from a coma with a razor sharp focus, similar to Arjuna's - the hero in the Gita.  She wants sweet bloody revenge. 

She first kills Copperhead, who gave up the blade to play the role of Perfect Suburban Housewife.  Then in an hematic display of lethal swordplay, she kills the Crazy 88 who guard Cottonmouth.  Cottonmouth traded in the blade to become a heartless Tokyo crime boss who earned her opulent lifestyle by terrorizing everyone.  Quite spectacularly, she dies under Beatrix's sword in the snow.  (Quentin is a god.  Amazing scene soundtrack...)

To the average eye this movie might just seem an excuse for Tarantino to get his sanguinary freak on.Looking deeper, Beatrix's journey, like Arjuna's, is symbolic.  She is slaying her inner demons.  The housewife, the Crazy 88, and the heartless opulent terrorist.  

 

In Volume 2 she kills Sidewinder, who traded his blade in for booze & strippers.  Finally she takes on her rival California Mountain Snake, who represents everything that Beatrix used to be. Rather than weep for the past, Beatrix plucked out California's eye and left her to die at the hands of her animal totem - the Black Mamba.  (Quentin is bloody brilliant)


At the final meeting with Bill, he injects Beatrix with a truth serum and forces her to see the whole truth of who she is.  She is a mother, her child is alive, she loves Bill and she still has to kill him.  And when Bill asks, "You liked killing all those people didn't you?"  Beatrix tearfully admits, "Yes."  

Upon claiming herself as a mother, a lover and a deadly slayer of the false and a ruthless seeker of Atma (True Self), Beatrix can now step beyond her teacher.  She makes his heart stop in the most loving death scene I've ever seen.  

She powerfully and symbolically steps out of normal and into her Truth.  She is free.  And drives off into the sunrise with daughter and Samurai Sword beside her in a kickass convertible.  (See end of video to the left.)

Many of us seek this Soul Freedom in various ways.  And there are times we avoid the sword.  Or hang up the sword to regroup, be soft, or figure something out.  But there it hangs on the wall waiting until it is necessary for us to go even deeper within ourselves and get closer to our Truth.  
 

The sword is a valuable and sometimes uncomfortable tool to use when seeking the truth of who you are.  While I wouldn't recommend it for every day use, it can be used with grace and compassion.  In fact, it must be.

In most depictions of Hindu Deities, there is some element of sword, as well as some element of compassion.  Together they are quite powerful.  So don't be afraid to use your sword when you need to.  Remember, if you are wise, you will always use it with heart.

Legends Of My Father

Legends of My Father
 

My father taught me about the stars.  When I was young we would bundle up in sweatshirts on the beach at night and watch the Perseids meteor shower in August and he would fill my imagination with the legends of the sky.

He told me stories of Castor and Pollux the great twins in the constellation Gemini who watched over sailors like him.  He told me how Poseidon himself turned Cassiopeia upside down for boasting that she and her daughter, Andromeda were the more beautiful than his sea nymphs.

He taught me the names of the Red Giants in the eye of Taurus and in the shoulders of Orion.  He said, "Everyone thinks Orion, the great hunter, is up there chasing Taurus.  But what he's really chasing are those Seven Sisters to see if one of them would marry him!"  Sigh... The romance of it all caused my 11 year old heart to swoon and I loved Orion for his strength and relentless pursuit of love.

Once he told me I was one of the Seven Sisters - a Pleiadian princess with the ocean in her eyes who fell to Earth looking for adventure.  And when I looked in the sky I always hoped that Orion was watching over me.  Maybe one day he would fall from the sky too.  

As time passed and the rigors of life took over, the legends of my father grew as foggy as my childish hope that one day Orion would find me.  Until last week when I was in Chile.

More than 5000 miles south of home nestled in the Andes I looked up into the sky and Orion was looking down on me.  Orion chased me all the way to South America!  In that instant I was with my father and all of his stories came back to me as clear as Betelgeuse.I was overwhelmed with a sense of belonging and safety.  I knew that everywhere I go, I am at home.  I am a global citizen.  Maybe even a cosmic citizen if I take the legends of my father to heart!   

Chile suffered an intense earthquake just after our workshop was over and my heart ached for all of those who were afraid or lost loved ones.  My heart aches for the war torn and tangled countries and for those around the world who are going through their own war torn and tangled moments of life.  
 

It's the night sky that gives me hope
 

Our ill equipped minds are barely able to comprehend the mathematical perfection of the Universe and how it unfolds.  But our hearts understand in an instant that when we look at the stars, we are experiencing the Divine Order of things.    

We are all a part of that natural perfect order.  EVEN when we don't understand.  If the Universe is going to make sure that the earth rotates at the precise angle, distance and rate of speed relative to the Sun to ensure the teeming beauty of life on our planet, can't we trust just a little that we are in good hands?

My father had cancer for "13 Moons" as he counted time.  One night I dreamt that he and I were looking at the stars and we finally saw the elusive Iridium Flare shining it's blue flame across the sky.  I turned to see if he had also seen it, and he was gone.  

I woke up and drove all night to my parents beach house.  When I walked in the door just before sunrise, he said, "I know you know, Natalie.  It's time to go."  And he pointed up.  He died 72 hours later under a spring night sky and I hope by now he has finally caught up to those sisters.

The Birth of Naughty Shaman

Once upon a time, I labored like a mad woman to carefully construct facades that I hoped would make me loved and accepted in “normal” society. It was a lot of work! In reality, all that work was rooted in a horrible fear in my soul: that who I was, naturally, wasn't lovable.

My life changed in so many ways that one day (well, several days) I couldn't get out of bed because I was exhausted and filled with grief. I didn't have the strength to keep up the facades so they started to crumble. That was the day I started the journey back to my Natural Self.

I studied yoga and shamanism to heal my body, heart and soul. During this time I learned a process to explore the territory of my Natural Self and discovered two things: that she is quite quirky and that I am totally crazy about her! It was in this torrid love affair with... well, myself... that I became the Naughty Shaman.

It is this process back to the Natural Self that I am here to share. This journey is the most important of our lives. It is the most valuable map we can leave for our children. To make the brave journey inward, you need people who will support your trek and sometimes you have to get naughty and follow your own rules. The original definition of the word “Naughty” is “disobedient.” But to whom are we to be obedient? The dominant culture? Our parents’ expectations? Who exactly? I decided to be obedient to my quirky soul.

So Naughty Shaman was born: Along with others who are excited about living according to the beat of their own soul’s drum, we are building tribes of people all over the world who unite to celebrate their Natural Selves. We believe that by encouraging these free souls to use what they learn with us, they will create more innovative and practical ways to govern, lead and love in our communities around the world.

Valentine Rule #1 - Red Silk Ties Stay in the Bedroom

Red Silk Ties Stay in the Bedroom

I enjoy a red silk tie as much as the next woman. Playing with power in the bedroom can be exhilarating. I'm in charge! No - you are in charge! Wait, I might still be in charge even though I can't move my hands? AH HA! I know, some of you are thinking to yourself, "I don't know if I am into bondage!" But I bet you're into it more than you know - just maybe not in the bedroom.

Most relationships experience a high degree of what I call Soul Bondage. A series of strapping and trappings that collect over years of unspoken and often unconscious agreements that leave partners feeling powerless.

Agreements like,

  • Now that we are married, you can never change. (Strap!)
  • I don't want to deal with any unpleasantness, so put a lid on your thoughts & feelings (Strap!)
  • You are capable and positive and you need to stay that way so that I can stay grumpy and withdrawn because it makes you feel useful to rescue me. (Double Strap!)

The problem is that this kind of unconscious Soul Bondage is so common that it is considered a a normal relationship.

The "normal" relationship starts off by hiding all qualities about yourself that you have judged as not loveable thus hooking your partner with an illusion. We only want to see the best in the other and dream of a perfect future with our insecurity-based needs at the epicenter, like a child playing games with dolls.

After years we can become buried under so many bindings that we become a flat & irrelevant character in the story of our own life.

We get stuck playing the role of "Good Wife" "Strong Person" "Patient Martyr" or "Devoted Family Man." Over time, we can mistake who we are with the role we are playing. Everything becomes dependent upon our ability to play these boring flat characters and an incredible anxiety of being discovered as a fake takes over.

The only way out of Soul Bondage is become the free wheeling multifaceted hero of your own life story. I mean really - isn't that so much more fun?!

Start the exciting journey to grow, discover and
share the truth of who you are as it changes throughout your life.

Explore the many facets of yourself with the curiosity of a fevered lover!

  • What feels good to your body?
  • What makes your soul sing?
  • What makes your mind ponder?
  • What makes your heart ache?
  • What makes you laugh 100% every time?
  • How much can you feel at one time?
  • Where are your limits and boundaries?

Go find out! You are changing every day so it's worth asking these questions often.

The greatest Valentine gift you can give your partner is to share the intimate details of your inward journey. Share all of the messy, quirky, delicious details!

The second best gift is to invite your partner to do the same. This is a spiritually grown up relationship where each is free to discover, roam, grow and celebrate the wild journey with each other.

So, keep the red silk ties in the bedroom, and play games of discovery with reckless abandon.

But don't tie up your partner in roles and expectations - it totally ruins all the fun! 

Why Your New Year’s Resolution Won’t Work

True North

I am over New Year's Resolutions. They don't stick because they are not soulful enough and usually ego driven. Get richer, get skinnier, etc. Frankly, it bores me. As a Naughty Shaman, I like to go deeper beneath the surface.

I go to what my soul is craving and let that chart my course for the coming year alot like True North on a compass. Every year at this time, I look for my soul's True North.

Your soul's True North is rooted in a feeling that you want to create more of. A few years ago I was feeling so alone in my spiritual trek and what my soul really craved was company. That year my True North was "A year of finding my tribe."

All year I asked myself, "Will this choice put me in position to find my tribe?" Now, I have a groovy soul tribe with members all over the world. True North works because every time you get to a choice point personally or professionally you can go to True North and ask, "What will bring me in more alignment with my soul?"

This year my soul is craving freedom and wild self expression. I feel most alive when I am talking about artistic expression, soulful connection, love and purpose. I can't stop writing, drawing, moving, talking or creating!

So this year my True North is "Courageous freedom and expression." So when faced with choices and I bump up against my fears, I will ask myself - What will create soul nourishing freedom? How can I courageously & lovingly express what is in my heart?

When we align with True North, we can't lose. When we stand on the solid ground of the soul's truth, we can weather and often dismantle any external storm that may have been created by us standing in our truth.

Because we eliminate the internal storm.

Like the hindu deity Lord Shiva dancing joyfully in Truth untouched by fire as the world around him is engulfed in flames, aligning with True North is the only way to move through the world with a soul on fire without getting burned.

So, Happy New Year from the Naughty Shaman. Skip the New Year's Resolution crap.

Go for a New Year's REVOLUTION!