Report of a shamanic journey into self-love and healing the inner child
Many years ago, around the same time that I started kundalini yoga, I joined in a shamanic ritual that was truly life-altering. But it also put me at a crossroads. Would I continue the shamanic or the yogic path?
From the yogic point of view, back then, it wasn’t possible to do both. I opted for yoga almost by accident, but the shamanic approach has always continued to attract me.
Recently I engaged once again in a shamanic ritual. A ritual that was so healing for me, and I don’t use that word lightly, that I could shout it from the rooftops.
Normally one shouldn’t speak about these things too much. But I want to share it with you in writing as an act of love.
It was about the inner child.
At the beginning of my kundalini yoga journey, I was once massaged by a close friend. And I couldn’t take it.
I felt like a child. And I felt so ashamed of that little child that I could no longer face my friend. Our companionship withered soon afterward. So ashamed.
She said: “Often something tiny is touched through the massage.” But I put that little boy away then, and did away with childish things.
Why this little boy inside is so connected with shame, I have no rhyme or reason. I don’t know. Don’t know if anything happened. But the pain seems to come from miles away. And this was almost twenty years ago.
Last year I did a coaching session with the amazing folks from Realize Us. Again the importance of my inner child came up. It became crystal clear to me once more that I need to work with him. And with ‘work’ I mean: love.
But the connection I established with the help of these friends/coaches was a thread too difficult to follow on my own. My approach is often cerebral, and I just couldn’t connect. I couldn’t find a way to him.
Until, as I said, I engaged in this shamanic ritual about a week ago.
I did not go into the ritual with the inner child especially on my mind. But I had meditated a lot in the weeks preceding the ritual, received the healing rays, followed a special diet, and felt very very clear.
When we began, the shaman asked us for three words to indicate our intention for the ceremony. Mine were:
In that order.
I had spent a lot of time before the ritual refining my intention. I wanted to get rid of self-destructive behaviors. I mean, since I live a healthy yoga lifestyle, self-destructive behaviors are no longer the ones that will potentially kill me.
No, these days, they mostly consist of distractions that don’t serve me; actions that fulfill mental and emotional needs but have little to do with actual underlying biological needs, or even spiritual ones.
I realized that the more I ‘need,’ the less I can do what I ‘want.’ In my case, it is a more prolific production of music, text, and teaching. I wanted to use the ritual to change that balance and inhabit my power more fully.
On the first evening of the ritual (I won’t go into detail), I became aware of the boundless needs of my flesh. Became aware of the hunger, the raw desire for being loved, and held. It was suddenly so present, such a gasping lack of love. I also wanted to go to sleep, to no longer be present. But of course, I could not sleep. The medicine was coursing through my veins.
In my quest for self-love, what the medicine showed me was this exasperating neediness, the cry of the wanting flesh: love me, hold me, embrace me.
The second night was completely different, yet a continuation of what went before. In the ritual, I went deeper and deeper inside, until I found myself at the wellspring of life. It was like a luminous lotus flower, and I felt like a wondrous child, present at the mystery of the beginning of life itself. And everything was light. And rather bubbly.
At the same time, as I connected with the origin of all life, I was also connecting with the little boy inside. And for a moment, I could hold him, like a father would hold his son. I could love him, and I no longer felt shame. He was me, and I was him. And we merged for a moment, although theoretically, we had never really been apart.
And at that moment I realized, perhaps for the first time in my life: I AM LOVED.
My eyes get wet still, remembering that moment, and my heart goes soft.
But after that came the shock. “But I thought that was IMPOSSIBLE.”
I don’t know how to overstate this. After realizing that I am loved, I also realized that I have literally believed, for all of my life, that it was impossible to be loved.
I never understood that.
Sure, I sort of vaguely knew that self-love was important and that my wrestling with it was the key to my success (or lack thereof) in multiple dimensions of my life. I got that.
But I never realized that I LITERALLY believed that I could not be loved.
Funny thing is, I have always been interested in ‘beliefs’. Even wrote a thesis about it. How we come to believe things subconsciously. And how we continue to act upon these unexamined beliefs.
But never have I experienced and recognized a subconscious belief so tangibly and concretely. How, if such a belief can come to light, if the light can shine on it, its stranglehold on a person can be loosened.
I suspect the shockwave of this realization of self-love will continue for a while, and my heart will open and close a few times again. But this experience now, is another solid signpost on my journey home, and I am so grateful to have been able to receive it.
What a weird newsletter, huh? Not many wares to peddle. I just wanted to share a remarkable experience.
I wish you well on your journey. I love you.
If you want to read some stuff that we have published lately, here are some recent texts:
A reflection on the workings of the mind written by me.
A a piece about the yoga of emotion by Guru Deva.
And here another commentary by me on the Yogi Bhajan scandal and the business of Kundalini Yoga.
For those of you that want to receive the Universal Healing Rays (it is a great approach to reveal AND get rid of beliefs that put you in limitation and separation), Guru Deva is now offering it as distance healing over zoom on donation basis. Please contact her directly for an appointment.
Finally, I want to recommend the music of my dear friend Maneesh.
Here is a beautiful track called Mother of All: