Take Your Shoes Off

I am still that little child that found security in having his feet bound by a warm pair of socks and tight-fitting shoes. That little kid had the occasion to see the feet of older individuals who preferred the barefoot life, and to him, this visual impact of seeing those feet was tragic. So unlike the beautiful feet, he had seen in advertising and on the television. He vowed his feet would never look like that.

The appearance of a well-disciplined and cared for, perfect foot, he decided at this early age, would be the feet he would sport for life. This is a commitment to his feet he would maintain throughout his adult life.

Later, in his late teens, he adopted a preference for the ministerial sciences from a Christian perspective and heard stories about Jesus and His feet. In loose-fitting sandals, he walked over 21 thousand miles. His feet must’ve… ee-yeww… what a sight they must’ve been.

Then, there’s the documentation of the washing of Jesus’ feet. This story has a different effect depending on the recipient of the data (if you know what I mean) but for me it was icky. Then there’s the whole foot-washing fest with the disciples… Really?

By some act of God, I made it to the ministry with my feet safely and securely bound tightly in my socks and shoes, even safe in the house always with my feet hidden in slippers or at the very least fully socked.

I continued my journey, evolved and expanded, all without having my bare feet ever touching terra firma. I have been through many different spiritual trainings and disciplines since then, and it has been quite a journey, all with my feet covered (except for baptism, one foot-washing escapade, and a firewalk, which I pulled off successfully, and no one knew how truly traumatic these episodes were for me). There is no courage without fear.

I have been living in what might be considered the wilderness, surrounded by acres of magnificent forest in the Pacific Northwest, and three weeks ago, my bare feet wandered outside, and now I am having glimpses of something that was missing from my past.

Yes, this was the first time my feet ever actually touched the earth that I can remember. And since then, I can barely keep my shoes on.

Now, mind you, I still care about my feet and I have no intentions of going off the rails, like some kind of wild Mick Dodge, but I get it now.

I share this story with you, because there is hope for you.

It is highly unlikely that you have issues with your feet and shoes, like me, but there is something that you have resisted along your journey, that for whatever reason, due to social programming, or some other personal blockage, has been keeping you from moving forward in something that continues to call your name.

You do what you can to avoid it, but keep moving forward, thinking this is unnecessary, even ridiculous. Nonetheless, it harkens to you.

I took my shoes and socks off, on my own terms, knowing it would not kill me. I tried it, and it was lovely.

I am smart and take precautions in my bare feet, for I must have the tenderest of all feet, yet here I am taking bare baby steps to “earthing,” connecting to the energy of our planet intimately, in a way I had previously been unable to experience.

I have heard and known about this for many years, and I have literally danced all around it, until this time in my life when I feel like the time has come for me to engage in Mother Earth’s mambo.

So, what is your barefoot moment?

Is now time for you to

Take your shoes off

And try something new?

Religious Recovery

You’ve suffered at the hands of clergy who you’ve entrusted with the keeping of your very soul. You’ve pledged your allegiance to a religious order, given of yourself in service, sacrificed for the benefit of the organization, then found out it was not what you thought it was. Now, you’re in religious recovery.

Religious recovery is not to be confused with AA, which assumes that you’ve failed if you ever take a snort of alcohol again. No need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

There is hope for you.

You have had a relationship with God, and you can keep your relationship with your higher power without having to submit to your previous religion. God is not the God of any particular religious organization. Individual religious organizations are stepping stones to a greater relationship with the source of all life.

Had you not had this experience, you might not have been aware of the existence of a higher power. Now that you have been introduced to God and started to develop a relationship, you can keep growing and expanding as you keep pursuing a greater relationship with the creator of all life on your own.

You’ve taken the first step. You’ve exited the influence of an organization whose intent it was to control you, which has held you back from moving forward and beyond the capabilities of the faction you had associated with in the past.

The will attempt to deploy all the fear-based intimidations they can to make you feel like you are unworthy, unwanted, and may even threaten your survivability, tell you you’re going to hell, or decrease your own will to live, and you may occasionally feel like you can’t go on another day.

Your initial reaction might be to rebel, and judge the organization for treating you badly, deciding,

If that’s the way God is, I want nothing to do with it.

But remember, your problem is not with God. It is with the organization run by the people who are doing the best they can to serve God in the only way they know how. They have been programmed by the generations that went before and they live within the confines of a religion based on fear. Fear of doing it wrong, fear of punishment, fear of eternal damnation.

God is not a God of fear. God is a God of love. And you know it.
Now that you’ve taken a step toward your own religious recovery, you have the wherewithal to start your own relationship with your higher power without having to succumb to the heavy-handed mechanisms of religion.

You are empowered to follow your own path to enlightenment in any way that you see fit, sort of like a modern-day shaman. The traditional path of a shaman is more structured, not unlike an organized religion, but the modern-day shaman is widely expanding and evolving along with the rest of the human race.

The times are changing, and the whole planet is evolving from a fear-based system (which is not sustainable) to a love-based system which is heart-centered and seeks peace and harmony for all.

God is loving you, so excited about your finding your own way, and waiting for your awakening.

Are You a Shaman?

A Shaman is a spiritually evolved individual who bridges the gap between humans and the course of all life. They possess spiritually advanced sensitivities are often considered to have psychic abilities and are referred to as seers and healers who access the energetic source of all life (God).

A Shaman serves the local and greater community to see life as it is, not as it is presented by social or governing bodies. They possess a higher divine perspective on all things of the earth, the cosmos and are multi-disciplinary explorers of consciousness.

Depending on where the Shaman is located on the earth, he or she may be referred to as a minister, priest or priestess, healer, psychic, medicine man/medicine woman, conjurer, sorcerer, and the like.

Commonly they practice their faith-based spiritual and healing arts outside the realm of academia and outside legal or governmental control as serving a higher authority (God) embracing the separation of church and state.

Natural abilities are inherited or handed down generation to generation and the current spiritual evolution of the human being is seeing these gifts as more accessible by the masses who, if so inclined, may expand their own potential shamanism via study and practice.

Shamanism espouses a greater connection to source with the ability to offer instruction, counseling, transfer insight, messages, or healing via energetic dissemination or exchange with others.

Shamanism is no respecter of sex as women or men can be equally empowered to embrace their shamanistic abilities and to answer their individual calling to such a spiritual mission.

Traditional shamans spend many years as an apprentice with commensurate training in a wide spectrum of religious, spiritual, and esoteric influences along their shamanistic journey, which often include a series of uncommon initiations, rituals, and experiences.

Many a student of shamanism does progress to the stage of being a full shaman but seek only to study shamanistic ways in an effort to expand their own consciousness and connection with source (God).

The study of shamanism is not without risk, as some who have aggressively sought out the ultimate shamanistic experience have crossed-over to the other side leaving their lifeless body in the wake.

Shamans have a special ability to look at things differently, to foresee potential obstacles, and have the ability to pre-navigate to circumvent things that would otherwise be problematic, so they often function in society as advisors, coaches, counselors, consultants, and therapists.

You also see them active in traditional healing arts using their gifts and abilities to augment the healing of their patients, either secretly or openly, depending on their circumstances and local religious, social, legal, or governmental constraints.

Shamans are also able to channel source energy to create individualistic works of art.

They may find their home among any of the arts, including public performance, or more private expressions of art. They may be artists, singers, songwriters, dancers, painters, digital artists, filmmakers, actors, actresses, documentarians, writers, etc.

You may also see them successfully thriving amidst the sciences as researchers, forensics, psychologists, physicists (quantum and otherwise), professors, as well as amidst the therapeutic sciences.

They are highly intelligent, intuitive, sensitive and connected to nature, drawing information and may be in communication with the spiritual world, earth’s elements, flora, and fauna.

What do you think?

Are you a shaman?