Shadow Work

Reclaiming Our Innocent Hearts

What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

Let me begin by saying that I have never placed an enormous priority on the value of Innocence. To me, the word has often been associated with the idea of naïveté... ignorant of and unwise to the darkness in the goings on of the world and the human realm. I remember reading William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience in high school English class and picking up on the foreboding undertones regarding the dangers of vulnerability contained in the poems on Innocence. I associated Innocence with childhood, and subconsciously rejected this virtue as synonymous with "unqualified." Especially at the beginning of my professional journey in my early twenties, I was eager to not be seen as “Innocent.”

However, I received some profound teachings regarding Innocence last weekend during a deep meditation ceremony. This gift has since radically shifted my ideas around the quality of Innocence.

Let me share with you some excerpts from my journal about this meditation ceremony:

As I entered a deep meditative state, I began to receive images and information. At first, my guides showed me animals. I connected with (and in some cases, became) a whole array of different creatures, including cats, various kinds of fish, sloths, wolves, foxes, snakes, and so many birds. I noticed as I did so that one quality was ubiquitously present in all of these beings: they lived in Innocence, and in order to connect with them, I also had to be in a state of Innocence. I registered this as congruent with my lived experience of working with animals: in order to engage with animals and connect with them on the heart level and communicate with them psychically, I need to embody my Innocent Heart. I had never consciously recognized the particular flavor of this feeling, but upon further reflection, the energy is unmistakable: being in the presence of an animal (either in the physical or the psychic realm) immediately drops me into my own Innocence.

Following this array of beautiful connections, my guides showed me a series of very dark entities. I saw an enormous, shadowy mask of a being that fed on fear, and I witnessed how these Fear-Feeders cover the Earth, ravenously consuming the energies of human stress, despair, anxiety, anger and loathing… but their favorite food is fear.

I watched this giant shadowy shape with a feeling of detached curiosity. It aroused no terror in me and I felt no need to defend or protect myself. I knew that I was safe. As I regarded it, I noticed at its base the figure of an orange cat walking nonchalantly toward it. The Fear-Feeder had no effect on the cat. I released a gentle breath, and the Fear-Feeder disappeared.

“Fear cannot live in the Innocent Heart.” I heard these very distinct words, and again, I was shown the Earth. This time I saw that the Fear-Feeders easily attached to some people, but not to others. Looking more closely, I noticed that these dark beings hungrily feasted upon the energy of those people who had lost their Innocence, but seemed somehow invisibly repelled by those whose protection came from their Innocent Hearts.

Reflecting on this information post-ceremony, I find myself sitting with this question: What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

As a self-identified Spiritual Warrior, I have long associated this archetype with the qualities of courage, resilience, compassion, grace and the ability to fight and be fierce, if need be. The Warrior of the Light must be willing to face the darkness and work in the Shadow realms, though their ultimate power lies in peace.

Until now, I had never attributed the quality of Innocence to the embodiment of the Warrior archetype. However, after witnessing the Shadow entity have no effect upon the cat in its Innocence and arouse no fear in me as I embodied my own Innocent Heart after connecting with the animals, I realized that Innocence is the ultimate protective force. Instead of banishing the Fear-Feeder with an intention, surge of energy or by invoking my Spirit Guides, I exhaled a gentle breath from a state of Innocence and the Shadow being vanished immediately, without a trace or a struggle.

In addition to acting as a protective energy, the quality of Innocence enables deep connection. In the Innocent Heart, there is no room for shame, guilt, blame or unworthiness. Instead, there resides love, compassion, grace, curiosity, acceptance, joy, authenticity, and plenty of spaciousness to invite shared experiences. Think about young children in their Innocence: they love easily, feel no sense of shame or judgement, and effortlessly invite others to join them in their space of enjoying the world.

Is it possible to reclaim our Innocence once we have seen and experienced the darkness?

I firmly believe that there is no experience so terrible that we cannot heal from it and release the wound completely. In light of the messages received during this meditation ceremony, this conviction now includes the belief that part of our journey is to reclaim our Innocence, not from a state of denying or forgetting the darkness, but from knowing that it is there and choosing not to be afraid. When we can accept that the darkness, shadow beings and Fear-Feeders are an ever-present part of the energetic balance of the cosmos, without succumbing to fear or despair, we shall be truly free and empowered. In this case, the Innocent Heart is not naïve, but makes a conscious choice to embody its original nature. It does not deny the existence of the shadow, or engage it in battle, or fear it—the Innocent Heart is simply immune. Its protection is its very existence.

As I sit with this information and integrate the teachings, I invite you to join me! See below for a suggested meditation and journal prompts. Together, let’s explore our Innocent Hearts and find more ways that this quality of Innocence appears in our lives. The Innocent Heart chooses the path of love, and love liberates all beings.

From one Innocent Heart to another, you’re doing great out there!

Here is a suggested meditation ritual for you to explore your own relationship with Innocence:

(For the suggested altar arrangement, please do not choose items that you think “should” be associated with innocence! Let every selection reflect a specific intention and invoke a genuine sensation of enjoyment. If you need some support, call in your Child Self to help you choose those things that reflect your authentic Innocence.)

Find a beautiful candle in a color and scent that is the most pleasing to you. Let it be something that you genuinely enjoy and appreciate. (Bonus points for a beautiful candle holder or dish.) Set the candle, along with flowers, crystals or any other items of your choice, on a sacred altar space. If you do not already have an established altar, please consider this an opportunity to create one!

Place yourself in front of the altar, light the candle, and offer this prayer:

“I call upon and invoke the presence of my own Innocent Heart to guide me in love, grace and compassion. Please help me to fully embrace and embody my own Innocence and reclaim this natural state of being. I ask my guides and teachers of Innocence to please reveal themselves to me, so that I may learn from them and receive the wisdom of their teachings. May my heart be forever pure, and love forever shine.”

Allow yourself to drop into a meditative state and see what comes to you. I recommend sitting with this for at least 10-15 minutes, although please feel free to stay with it longer if you like. When you feel complete, you may close with gratitude:

“It is with so much gratitude that I integrate the wisdom of these teachings. To all the guides and teachers who made themselves available to me for this work, I thank you, I honor you and I lovingly release you now.”

Make sure to journal about your experience! See below for additional journal prompts. Feel free to repeat this meditation and see what comes up as you continue to connect to and build a relationship with these teachers of Innocence.

Journal prompt:

What is my relationship to the quality of Innocence? How can Innocence support me on my path?
When do I feel most connected to my Innocent Heart? How can I more easily embody my Innocence and share it with others?


Grab a journal and a pen. Don't overthink it, just write and see what comes out!

Emotional Alchemy

EMOTIONAL ALCHEMY IS A POWERFUL TOOL.

During a session the other day, I enjoyed witnessing a client move herself through the process of some pretty impressive emotional alchemy. She has been working with identifying and transmuting a lifelong shadow pattern for quite a while now, and during our session, with a few nudges, she took herself through a powerful journey of redirecting her behavioral structure and programming.

She was able to shift her heavy shadow pattern (rooted, like so many of us have, in not-enoughness) and fully recreate her lived experience of this belief. With a little guidance, she formulated a new belief structure based in empowerment, self-trust and service. When she breathed this new system into her body, she felt her heart glow with the strength of this belief.

This process she experienced the other day is an example of emotional alchemy: applying the art and science of transformation to the way we feel about the world. In this case, she was able to transmute her wounded feelings and trigger response into understanding, compassion and self-love. As she practices and integrates operating from this new paradigm, it will shift her relationships, her confidence and her way of being in the world.

What would YOU like to alchemize? How can you apply these ancient practices to your own Self and way of being? What does emotional alchemy have to teach you?

Join me on Thursday for the FREE master class! You must register to receive the login information. All registered attendees will receive a link to the recording after the live class.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Master Class: Alchemy of the Soul

Alchemy, an ancient body of knowledge originating thousands of years ago, is not only the origin of all modern sciences but also a profoundly Spiritual practice. While popular understanding of Alchemy centers around the transmutation of lead into gold, this belies the core principles of Alchemical philosophy: in short, the transformation from Spiritual immaturity into enlightenment through harmonizing with Universal life force. The procedural steps of Alchemy, which eventually led to the foundation of modern chemistry, were merely the physical representation of the Spiritual journey of the practitioner.

Today, we apply the principles of Alchemy in the context of personal actualization and empowerment in order to transform ourselves and our lives to embody a state of grace, harmony and freedom. We employ ancient practices, surrender to the cosmos and align with the Universal Cycles of Power. We consciously ground Spirit into our bodies and our lived, human experience for the benefit of ourselves, of all beings on Earth and of the Earth herself.

Join me for a Master Class as we delve into the philosophy of Alchemy, its role in the modern context and ways that you can begin to awaken your own, inner Alchemist to align with the process of true transformation!

Come prepared with a journal and questions! There may be some opportunities for individual coaching.

Eleven attendees on the live call will receive a FREE gift from me!

Upon registration, you'll receive a confirmation email with login information for the class. I look forward to seeing you there!

Register here to reserve your space!

Politics, Spiritual Awakening and Dark Teachers

Originally published on Eagle Song March 7, 2016.

This is not a post about politics. This is a post about looking at the current political climate through the lens of a Spiritual seeker/mentor.

Throughout my whole life, politics have never interested me. I don’t really understand them, I have never followed election season (except at the last minute to do just enough research to make an informed voting decision), and I definitely don’t involve myself in discussions about policy.

This election season, however, I find myself absolutely fascinated. Not by the ravings of a racist, misogynist businessman-turned-politician, but by the clear duality between two very different ideologies that is presenting itself for examination, and the opportunity that comes with it.

I should say at this point that I am pro-Bernie all the way. #feelthebern #berniesanders

When I first found out that Drumpf was running in the primaries, I was amused. “Yeah, right. That won’t last long. There’s no way that people would vote for someone like that,” I thought.

I have since been watching the primaries with a growing degree of incredulity. I wondered how on earth it was possible that a person who embodies so much hatred, manipulation, deceit and a total lack of ethics could be gaining so much support.

When I consider the voting pool and how many people out there have yet to delve into their Shadow work, it makes sense to me that they would vote for a person like Drumpf. Imagine all the unexamined wounds, the ancestral traumas, the pain and hatred and blame and self-destructive tendencies that live inside us until we are ready to look at and release them. Most people aren’t willing to do so, and so these Shadows continue to reside and grow within us. All of a sudden, this person comes along who is using his public platform to say all the things your Shadow has ever wanted to express. Of course you would resonate with that message, because your Shadow is running the show! Through his hate speech, this candidate is offering validation to the inner Shadow of all these deeply wounded people.

Let’s take things further and look at the situation from the cosmic perspective. Why is it that this person is appearing now to bring so much hatred and violence to the surface of our collective consciousness?

I believe that Drumpf is here as a Dark Teacher to catalyze within the general population a massive movement toward Spiritual Awakening.

Let me give you a brief personal example. I encountered another such catalyst in my own life a few years ago. At that point, I was already well on my path of Spiritual work and investigation. I had been a practicing Reiki Master for about five years and was in the process of developing my work with Channeling and stepping more deeply into consciously working with Shamanic energies. Nonetheless, when I met a charming, beautiful narcissistic sociopath, I ignored all my intuitive warning bells and fell into relationship with him very quickly. I was with him for only a couple of months, but that was plenty of time for me to step away from my guidance and become deeply drawn into an abusive, manipulative relationship full of coercion and me wondering why I didn’t feel connected to Spirit around this person. Thankfully, I figured it out in time to leave with no lasting damage and with rock-solid commitment to always staying in alignment with my Highest Self and my guidance. I refer to that experience as one of my Underworld Initiations and to that person as my Dark Teacher.

After ending that relationship, it came to light that this person had followed a similar pattern of abuse and manipulation with several people in the community. Long story short, examining the collective Shadow was the catalyst that led to healing for many, and my Dark Teacher was later arrested for domestic assault. My healing process included a lot of asking how a person like that can exist in the world, and what the cosmic purpose is behind it all.

I would consider Drumpf to be another Dark Teacher who is offering society an amazing opportunity to confront our individual and collective Shadows. Knowing that everyone has a purpose, and that ultimately everything works for the Highest and Greatest Good, I have to believe that people like Drumpf and my ex are here to offer themselves in service by embodying the Darkness so deeply that they catalyze transformation and awakening in the masses. In my own case, even though I was already “awakened,” I can credit that situation with cementing in me the certainty that I will always work in service to the Highest and Greatest Good, always stay attuned to Spirit, and always work for healing for myself and others. That was the medicine I needed to receive to bring my Shadow into the Light for healing.

So I have to ask how many people out there, especially those who might be considered more “moderate,” or those who haven’t yet found a reason to examine their beliefs more closely, are being catalyzed by Drumpf’s hate speech into Awakening? How many people like me are there, who may not generally prioritize politics as worthy of my attention, who are called into action in the face of such darkness to use every opportunity available to invite people to connect with each other in love and compassion? How many people see (whether consciously or subconsciously) the choice with which we are presented, and are seizing the opportunity to step into alignment with community, Truth, accountability and togetherness? How many people are experiencing their Spiritual Awakening as a result of this Dark Teacher’s work and the political climate?

There’s a video I like of an interview with Bernie Sanders, where he says, “My Spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me.” In my mind, this quote epitomizes the duality with which we are presented: the choice between separation and connection, between violence and peace, between manipulation and accountability, between hatred and compassion. Watch the video here.

Let us choose connection, peace, accountability, compassion, community, Truth and Love. Let us choose to Awaken, offer gratitude to our Dark Teachers and forgiveness to our wounds, and stand in alignment with our Highest Selves. Let us receive the medicine we need in order to commit to working for the Highest and Greatest Good of ourselves and of all.

I am currently accepting clients for my three month long intensive transformation healing program, New Moon Rising. In our work together, you will receive energetic healing, coaching and practices to help you through your Spiritual Awakening or Deepening. Together, we will examine old wounds, ancestral traumas and offer gratitude to your Dark Teachers for their medicine in helping you confront your Shadow. We all have one, and it’s time to bring yours into the Light to be healed.

Contact me for a consultation to work one-on-one and commit to yourself and your journey.

Many blessings,

Michelle

Even Warriors of the Light Must Work in the Shadow Realm

Originally published on Eagle Song October 1, 2015.

Between the Autumnal Equinox and the Lunar Eclipse, last week offered plenty of opportunities for review of the last few months.

I had a really challenging summer, and I know I’m not alone in that. Starting right around the solstice, I found myself confronted with manifestations of the Shadow Realm in every facet of my life:

I faced the fear of losing my home when the lease ended on my house and my landlord became completely unreachable.

I broke my heart ending a relationship with someone I love dearly, then faced the emotional turmoil of beginning new connections while still moving through the pain and sorrow.

I grew increasingly alarmed as I watched my savings account dwindle to almost nothing as I barely worked for three months.

I butted up against antiquated, dogmatic ideas that directly challenge my work and the manifestation of my life purpose.

I suffered two rounds of a dry, grief-based cough that lingered for weeks and drained me of my energy.

I spent sleepless nights feeling as though I was being shredded into millions of tiny fragments as the energy ripped through me.

And yet, throughout it all, I knew that I was fine. I was able to surrender to the Shadow work completely, knowing that every challenge was temporary and within my capacity. I am so proud of myself that I was able to move with grace through one of the most intensely difficult periods of my life thus far. And after all that, I still have my house, I am building new, loving connections, my calendar and bank account are filling up, my physical body feels healthy and vital and my conviction in my work and my path is stronger than ever.

This is truly the path of a Warrior of the Light: to move through the Shadows with grace while practicing radical trust. I know that every step I take for myself ultimately puts me in a better position to facilitate the same journey for others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so happy and grateful to do this work, today and always.