shamanism story

Over the last few years I’ve been reconnecting with the many healers, artists, and spiritual visionaries who made up my community when I was in my teens, twenties and early thirties. Amidst the grief of hearing about those who checked out early, the stories of those of my generation who not only survived the transition into adulthood, but honed their vision and made the sacrifices necessary to embody it with maturity, have surged to the fore as the song of my community. It is not those who have fallen, but those who have arisen, that are beginning to define my generation.
We are a group that has taken a long time to ripen. Not only did we have to survived the wounding of being deeply inspired in a culture that often rejects or eats alive the inspired, we then had to figure out how to support ourselves and perhaps our families, all the while feeling the pull of a deeper calling. Many of us chose to pursue traditions that required many years of intensive immersion to master with little hope of financial reward, others of us walked creative edges so sharp, they threatened to cleave us away from life entirely.

Ripe Harvest

Yet here they are, when I wake up in the morning. They’re in my email inbox, on Facebook, calling me on the phone, and sometimes meeting over coffee. “Be the change you want to see in the world” – yes, but make lots of friends along the way and THEN YOU’LL BE SURROUNDED AWESOME AGENTS OF CHANGE WHEN YOU HIT MID-LIFE!
Seriously though, these are the people that make me feel good about the future.We’re all ripening nicely, about to really hit a new stride. This feels like a special moment to me, the quiet before a new voice arises. I don’t think we have an easy road ahead of us, but whatever comes I’m happy to be here with these amazing beings. These are some of the inspiring people that lift me up every day, these are my heroes:

Aninha Livingstone – awesome Mom and healer/bodyworker went on to get her PHD in psychology focusing on ritual, spiritual processes for women transforming their lives. When I knew her back in our 20s she was one of the brightest, lightest people I’d ever met. So much more has emerged, including a razor sharp, incisive perceptiveness. She’s been offering ritual transformation processes for over ten years:

Chris Mays – I did not know Chris in my youth, but felt him to be a kindred spirit almost immediately. In addition to being Terence Mckenna’s official Bibliographer, he’s pursuing training in shamanism and a path as a freelance medicine practitioner/trip sitter. Sacred work is not often rewarded in our culture, yet he is dedicating himself to it. His fledgling blog:

Heather Hirschi teaches writing in the US and abroad and has written an awesome book about getting published! I remember witnessing from afar what I perceived to be a consciousness explosion happening within Heather when we were in high school. She’s blossomed into an awesome woman of power, and has never stopped educating herself and raising hell. I look forward to reading more of her writing.  No website…yet!

Bridget Bell – I found her ritual performances in our graduate program to be deeply, hauntingly transformative. I can still feel the black velvet room she lived in, its fabric is part of a cherished ritual mask I still use. Her work has continued, interweaves her photography and still more awaits. When I think of honest ritual that ropes in the universe like a magic web, I think of her. Check her in-progress site out, a good spot to start:

Terry Ellis – Of course I had to mention my wife, the great manifester of my life. Not only has she given me the most precious things in my life, our children and our land, she inspires me with her vision of art and life. Mother, artist, homesteader and now enrolled to train as an organic farmer. She is a partner who is always on fire, always challenging herself to bring more healing to the world. or .

Diane Sherman healed from debilitating injuries received when she was hit by a car as a pedestrian through her own yoga practice. Finding power within to transform her life has become her hallmark. She now teaches, mixing yoga, writing and art to help others find their most empowered, healthy, authentic self.

Julien Dubrow – Writer, healer and conscious healing activist she has transformed her own suffering into a practical vision of personal and planetary healing. She, Aninha and I were part of a close knit spiritual circle of friends in our post college years. Her spiritual healing began long before that and has evolved into a way of supporting others in embracing their highest self without compromise.

There are of course many more friends who have achieved success in other fields. Hospice workers, architects, teachers, musicians, writers, cinematographers, poets, the list does not end. I’m highlighting a few of the luminaries in my corner of the universe to remind us all how much transformative power is waiting out there to really catch fire. I’m also giving them props to remind me how blessed I am by these gentle, incredible, creative allies from my own generation. WOW!!!

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