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The human experience offers us the freedom of choice in

that we are liberated to choose how we will respond

to life and the experience of living.

 

Life is the engaged, interactive, interconnected and improvised dance we are all choreographing and also moving within. In this dance, the ever present and spiraling nature of all that is life invites us to become whole and empowered in its integrative and regenerative dynamic.

 

We can and do choose, this we know.

 

We have options when we open to the possibilities before us in how we direct our attention and energy. In each moment, we can acknowledge that we are co-creating a new story for ourselves and for one another and for our home planet, Mother Earth. In those moments, how will we choose and then choose again? This is our dynamic freedom to explore.

We live stories. They play out, evolve and unfold in our relationships and in the collective field. How do we pivot from one kind of story into a new one? In my experience we must have the consciousness to identify that we may be in a chronic or acute state of contraction and restriction  – an experience that reflects oppression, depression, anxiety, separation, divisiveness, competition, scarcity, blame, and of course victimhood.  We do live in a world experiencing injustice and inequalities. Are our individual and group experiences of fragmented separation and actions of othering projecting out energetically and manifesting in the collective field thus perpetuating divisive drama and unwanted outcomes? 

 

Bad things happen to good people, and certainly there is much we come to understand as being within our power to control and out of our ability to control. What perceptions do we hold and carry?

 

When we can begin to see uncomfortable experiences in neutral ways, not as identifiers of who we are, but as feelings and thoughts we are able to experience as human beings, we can begin to integrate them instead of resisting and pushing them away as unwanted and undesirable bad character defects that we are forever bound to. We can give those lived experiences our intentional care and self compassion by welcoming them into the whole, and affirming we are more than the constricted awareness we have identified.

 

Some of us will ask the higher power – that we believe in or know be, to show us mercy and to help us return to a state of grace and gratitude, connection and belonging. 

star bloom by elizabeth izzo 2018 7 x 7in panel mixed media on paper

STAR BLOOM, one of 6 panels in a new series of Mixed Media, & paper on paper.  This work is Shamanic Art-making as an intentional ritual practice for soul retrieval and (re)integration of wounding. 2018 by Elizabeth Izzo.

 

A Revelation on Victim Stories: Victim stories are narratives we tell ourselves and energetically perpetuate through our choices and actions that are based on our own unconscious and habitual patterns.  They separate us from our true purpose, our soul’s desire and each other by re-enforcing that the personal and collective wounding we carry is somehow distinguishing us, separating out our experience as uniquely isolated or associative of a distinct group. The perception that we are special in this way can undermine us and present us with feelings of separation introducing motifs such as being different from, less than, and less worthy of than others. This can also maintain – just as feelings of superiority can, a false and (reversed) hierarchy among our fellow humans further disconnecting us form one another and other natural life forms and living systems. We cannot stand in our power for transformation, and also in our victim stories. Therein lies our choice. 

“The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world, will be born of our creativity”.  Brene Brown

In order to integrate a wound or trauma, and to move through unresolved grief, we must find a way or let a way be shown to us that allows for the energy of the wound to be transmuted.

 

“Shamanic healing is a journey. It involves stepping out of our habitual roles, our conventional scripts and improvising a dancing path”. Gabrielle Roth

Soul Retrieval in the Shamanic traditions-

Sandra Ingerman writes:

“It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a part of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The definition of soul that I am using is soul is our essence, life force, the part of our vitality that keeps us alive and thriving. The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be any kind of abuse sexual, physical, or emotional. Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorce, or death of a loved one.

Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another.

   It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.

   In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return”.

As a shamanic artist and one that has received soul retrieval from a practitioner, and one that practices shamanic ritual, I am currently facilitating an intentional practice for my art-making as a path of (re)integration for soul loss, or an intentional integration of all wounded parts of the soul and embodied being. I will continue to explore and honor this gift for returning to wholeness, and for bringing forth as form – works of art, from the experience.

As a psychiatric survivor (a survivor of interventions by psychiatry – and in my case with iatrogenic outcomes), I choose to be in my full potential  – shedding limiting beliefs about myself – whether self-inflicted, or inflicted upon me by others. I choose to allow for new stories to unfold in my life.

It is after all, a Creator given right.

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