If we transported ourselves back in time, to, say,
1700 A.D., we would likely find that the medicine men
and women in traditional cultures, were keen observers
of nature, able to interpret weather patterns, the
behaviour of birds, animals and other things important
to their survival. After all, they spent their entire
lives in close interaction with the natural landscape,
and were gifted with wisdom and a deep understanding
of the cycles of nature.

Those men and women were really tribal psychiatrists
and the caretakers of ancient medicine knowledge. As
such, they were called upon to counsel, and their words
were regarded carefully. In some instances, the shaman
would supervise the vision quests of young people who
were on the cusp of adulthood, and were about to embark
upon adult lives as valuable members of society.

While on the vision quest, these young people were
seeking the guidance and aid of spirit allies. The
shaman would interpret the results of the quest, and
give meaning to things that were otherwise difficult
to understand.

The vision quest was also a means of facing fear, real
or imagined, because it took great courage to go off
alone, to fast, and to endure various perils. In effect,
the quest was a means of confronting fear; while the
shaman was there to advise and direct the participant,
and to help the person overcome fear of the unknown
and of the spirit world.

To face and to confront one's fears, or other obstacles
in life, is to gain an increasing measure of freedom.
The result is that external influences or internal
habits have less ability to shape your life. You become
increasingly open to change, to a willingness to move
in directions which change your circumstances for the

In other words, fear loses its grip on your behaviour
patterns and on the way you live your life.

Nicholas Roerich, in his book, Shambhala, (p.151),
wrote these words: "cast away...that ridiculous fear
which whispers, 'This is not for you.' One must be rid
of that gray fear, mediocrity.... all is for you if you
manifest the wish from a pure source."

Yes, face your fears, and visualize a beautiful life
for tomorrow and the years ahead.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Lacey is a writer, painter, naturalist, and traditional plant/tree medicine maker. He is one of the "Wisdom Keepers" featured in the book, Soul Companions, by Karen Sawyer, 2008.
http://www.soulcompanions.org. He is also the publisher of the Natural Healing Talk newsletter. To subscribe, visit the website at www.naturalhealingtalk.com