A spiritual awakening is simply the awareness that we are more than just a physical body, with a thinking mind. We have a spiritual nature too, that many traditions speak of as a light. Yet lots of us no longer have access to that light. Addicts and Alcoholics have used drugs and alcohol until it‘s covered up. And for others, the stress and demands of a fast-paced, modern world drive us to escape through the compulsions of shopping, television, internet, sex and other things, rather than retreat to the light of this spiritual nature. In short, many of us find ourselves without the grounding foundation of that inner light.

The Shaman’s Journey is one method for reconnecting with this light. It has the potential to heal our spirit, freeing us from the fate of our past and allowing us to live out of our destiny. We first identify our wounds, the root of our emotional or physical problems. Next, we release old beliefs that no longer serve us. These beliefs likely originated as a strategy for dealing with or even surviving those wounds. But these beliefs are now hindering our ability to live fully and presently; or worse yet, have evolved into disruptive and destructive patterns. With these old beliefs behind us, we can now heal our spirit by establishing new beliefs, building new strategies for surviving, and even thriving, as we build and nurture the most important relationship, the one with ourselves. Finally, we begin to experience a holism where we live from an integrated perspective of our self, seeking meaning in life, with reverence and gratitude.

While the Shaman’s Journey is engaged through the non-ordinary reality of a hypnotic or meditative trance, the same benefits can be realized through working the twelve steps of recovery. There is a divine intelligence in these steps that can so naturally awaken our spiritual nature and uncover our light, allowing us to live a full, genuine and authentic expression of who we really are.

There is really nothing to learn in step work. Quite the contrary, there are only things to unlearn and release – those things that have been blocking the experience of our light. As we admit our lives have become unmanageable we let go of the notion that we are in control. We then release the idea that we can fix this situation ourselves. And as we turn our will over to a power greater than ourselves, we let go of the thought that we always know what is best for us or that we can direct the future.

Having completed this important foundation work, we then embark on the most difficult task – releasing our past. Along the way we begin to change, especially as we make amends to those people we harmed during our active addiction. We realize we have a new perspective, acting differently, treating people with respect, and have access to a knowledge our selfish years of addiction and active using had closed off to us. Quite simply, our light has been uncovered.

We have engaged the healing power of the Shaman’s Journey as we identified our wounds, released old beliefs and fostered new ones along the path to a more integrated life of purpose and service. From this perspective we realize our place in the larger world and are in a relationship with our own selves – our light. We honor this relationship with respect and trust through the practice of total honesty as we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions each day and correct in the moment, rather than accumulating karma as we did in the days of our active addiction. And like our other relationships, we nurture this one by engaging a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation. It’s our opportunity to maintain contact and communication with our higher self.

We are now naturally living from our light, which we cannot possibly prevent from shining once it is exposed. We nurture our spirit and share ourselves more freely than we were ever capable before. As individual beings we are limited in our capacity to contain all of God’s love at one time but fortunately we can still experience its unlimited fullness. As we open ourselves to receive God’s love and then give that love to others it must first flow through us. We receive it by giving it away.

Twelve-step work has even greater significance and potential for transformational healing when viewed along with the Shaman’s Journey. The Shaman tell us we can divert the flow of the Amazon with just the back of our hand – when we go all the way back to it’s source, where it’s just a stream. In the same way, change is easiest when we address the original source of separation from our light. For me, that was the inability to love and accept myself just as I am in each moment. By going to this original source of my trouble, all my other problems are solved as I am no longer living from a view of lacking but instead from the wholeness of my spirit.

Author's Bio: 

Barry Lipscomb is a writer, healer and mentor with a mission to empower people to reach their potential. He has been on a life-long spiritual quest and looked in depth at many eastern spiritual traditions, explored New Age experiences in the ‘80s, engaged a path of Shamanism, and studied the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Barry draws from his own personal journey of recovery from substance abuse and compulsive behavior to bring his most authentic self to his work and writing.. For more information visit www.barrylipscomb.com