Survival of the sisterhood: working from the inside-out

Women’s march on Washington. Photo credit: IB Times UK

After the historic women’s marches that took place across the world on January 21, 2017, the global consciousness was reminded of what women, when united, can achieve. For those who participated, there was a palpable power, a healing quality to the experience. It was a macrocosm of what many of us feel when we come together as women on a day-to-day level.

This is the sisterhood, a timeless force that draws women together to build communities, nurture each other and stand up for injustice when the need arises.

Despite their power, sisterhoods are also vulnerable to infighting, division and attack from external forces. Since the January march, the question has been asked: how to we keep the momentum moving forward? How can the sisterhood continue to be an effective collective voice and not scatter or become distracted?

Divide and conquer

Studies have shown that women not only enjoy the bonds we form with other women, but they are intrinsic to our health and wellbeing. Yet, there are many pitfalls that are prevalent within female relationships that can make women cautious and mistrustful of each other. Competition, betrayal and soldier gathering are all part of bullying behaviours that occur in groups of women. There is no girl who hasn’t felt the sting of backstabbing friends in middle school or popularity contests that invite you into the ‘in’ one day and abandon you to the ‘out’ the next.

Some of these dynamics are a result of living in a patriarchy where, in the past, we would need a man to survive or have status. Women have been socialized to compete for male attention, stepping over our bonds with each other to secure a social position. While modern life, to some extent, offers us independence in our power, many of these attitudes prevail. Though we know ourselves to be free of the restrictive social rules on paper, many of them still run freely within us on a subconscious or semi-conscious level.

Internalized misogyny

In her bestselling book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandburg talks about how women have internalized the glass ceiling, we don’t even need the bullies to do the work for us! We have learned from years of subtle (and not so subtle) cultural messaging to second guess ourselves, hold ourselves back and not act until we consider ourselves to be ‘perfect’ or good enough. We are our worst enemies, keeping ourselves from success while our male counterparts climb the ladder in the workforce, confident and without any doubt that they have the right to do so.

In our work at the Training in Power Academy, starting with Level 1, we work by the philosophy “heal thyself, heal the world.” This means you can’t really start fixing the world, or anyone else for that matter, until you address your own issues. So when it comes to our relationship to each other, women have to ask some difficult questions of where we play out the negative relationship dynamics with ourselves. This could be defined as internal misogyny: where we dislike, mistrust, judge and malign ourselves because we are women. It may be so habitual and subtle, we are not even aware of it.

Love the woman in the mirror

Maybe it began with messages you absorbed from home or school about being a girl. Maybe it’s from years of viewing disempowered versions of women and their relationships in the media. Maybe the first time we are betrayed in a female relationship, you blamed yourself for being open to it in the first place. Where did you close yourself off and learn to be guarded and watchful of not only other women, but also the female portion of yourself?

Without having a conscious awareness of it, many women will walk into a group of women expecting to be judged. So the question would be, where do you judge yourself? When you look in the mirror, what tone of voice are you using? Who do you perceive looking back? Is your relationship with yourself, as a woman, a safe, nurturing place? Or is it something you struggle to uphold without self-betrayal, judgment and pettiness?

Because of the healing nature of this reality we live in, if we don’t address our internal dynamics, we will feel compelled to play them out with others again and again. So if we want the movement of the sisterhood to sustain and thrive, we must start by fostering a healthy connection within. We need to start honoring and loving ourselves as women and seeing our own innate value. We can use our community as a platform for this process, but knowing that we must be accountable for our own wounds that we seek to heal.

So I present this final question: What if the real fight towards the injustice that threatens our world starts by facing our internal negativity? Imagine the collective strength of a group of women who know themselves and love themselves. And then support each other to become even stronger! After centuries of being kept from our power individually and collectively, it’s time for us to become the resilient force that we know we can be. The world needs the sisterhood and the sisterhood needs each other, may we keep up the good fight and continue striving forward!

 

Elinor Svoboda

Level 1 and 2 teacher

 

Finding the Yin-Yang balance in relationships

Be it romantic, friendship, family or business, relationships are a cornerstone of the human experience. We are all made up of male and female energies, described in the East as Yin and Yang. We reached out to Faye Fitzgerald, founder of the Training in Power™ Academy to chat about how we can better understand Yin and Yang to bring more health into our relationships.

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The Eastern concept of Yin and Yang is a well-known method of explaining the two opposing energies in nature and in ourselves. It is often used to describe the unifying or polarizing forces of female and male energy. What is your perspective of these two energies?

Yin is of the non-matter position or spirit frequency and the Yang is the matter position. This includes the bio-matter, which is your own physicality. So you are always both.

We have the symbol of Yin and Yang: Yin is dark because it encompasses the unseen portion of things. Consider the Buddha who described our thoughts as being ‘subtle matter’. This unseen portion is the area of will, which forces our existence to produce or manifest.

This concept of Yin and Yang can easily be applied when dealing with relationships. This includes a male-female dynamic as well as same-sex relationships. The ultimate goal is to find a energy balance between the two individuals.

Sometimes when you have a partner who is only on the Yang, then you’ll have them coupled with someone who is only on the Yin. A classic picture might be a huge, loud guy and she will be small, quiet female. He just finds her lovely and everything she wants to do is just fine by him because she’s Yin and he’ll never understand her because he’s so Yang.

You have counselled many couples and have developed 2 ground breaking relationship courses. What has been some of the key observations you made with how Yin and Yang plays out in relationships?

Every person is a mixture of both energies, but when you have two predominantly Yang people together it can be dramatic and often stressful. That’s because they are butting heads and they act everything out on the external level. For example, a Yang man would be wise to not compete with a Yang woman, but rather give her room to pursue her ambition. She in turn would benefit from not being overbearing or controlling with him. The best position for the Yang dominant relationship is if they join forces and support each other in their respective intensity.

On the other extreme, you can get two Yins together too. That is interesting, because they are both full of ideas, but they keep waiting for the other to take the action. If they don’t take action they will lose respect for each other and it can build resentment between them. If they decide to work together on a creative project and go into action-mode, they are often very sensitive in their approach and can be very successful.

What are some classic archetypes that you feel describe a healthy Yin and Yang placement?

Apollo and Artemis, by Gavin Hamilton (c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Apollo and Artemis, by Gavin Hamilton (c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I think Apollo is a wonderful Yang archetype. He shines the sun and brings fertility and love. He is the beauty of the creative male who understands himself and doesn’t need to berate or belittle anyone to be strong. He is the Yang who comprehends his aggression is for protection, not to harm the beings he supposedly loves.

I would choose Diana, the Goddess of the moon for a healthy archetypical Yin. She is known as Artemis in Greek mythology. She is the huntress and a warrior. She is independent and connected to the mysteries of the universe. Her internal motivation creates a sense of trust and self-sufficiency, so she is not at risk of submitting or buckling to anyone else.

How would you then describe a healthy relationship dynamic?

I would describe it as mannerly, polite and formal. This means being mutually supportive and willing to divide areas of strength and cover areas of weakness. The 100% required for a relationship is required from each party. If you’re only willing to give 60% that leaves 140% on the shoulders of the other partner and there will be a gap. When there is a gap, it tends to widen as time goes on. You can’t owe, otherwise you’ll have resentment and cheating, so it’s best if both parties find a way to give equally to the relationship.

How do you counsel people to get in touch with their Yin and Yang in a healthy way?

An imbalance of Yin and Yang will often show up as the need to control. If people are over controlling on the external, chances are they feel out of control on the internal. The Yang controller will focus on a need for dominance and their behaviour will be visibly dominating.

In contrast, the Yin controller is the one who will “tsk tsk” under the breath. They will give you approval only when they get what they want and there is a passive aggressive dynamic rather than the aggressive of the Yang.

On either side of the spectrum, they’ve got to move out of their fear and find the courage to go inwards. That is a lot of what we teach in our training – the journey inward – where all the answers really are for your life. Of course, if you are busy having all the answers for everybody else’s life, you might be missing out on a couple of things on your own. You’ve got to be conscious, which is what we try to offer our students, a clear path to that conscious living.

Faye Fitzgerald is the founder of the Training in Power Academy, a spiritual education system that offers over 20 courses in meditation, spiritual healing and self-empowerment. She has been teaching and counselling people to their spiritual wellness for over thirty years. Find out more at www.fayefitzgerald.com

 

 

 

 

 

A new world vision: School replaces detention with meditation

A Baltimore elementary school has been getting a lot of praise and web-traction lately for their use of meditation instead of detention. For the past year, children are sent to the “mindful moment room”, when they have misbehaved or need to wind down. Here they are coached to breathe and reflect on their feelings and actions. The school has also integrated Yoga into their holistic program and as a result of their new approach, there have been no suspensions in over a year.

 

This news led me to reflect, how would have things been different for me if I had been given this knowledge as a child? What if punishment was replaced with an opportunity for self empowerment?

While I was generally a well-behaved student, I was a very sensitive and high strung child. I dreaded going to school most days. I had a hard time sitting still in class. Eventually, my mother sent me to school with a “doodle book” every day to keep my hands busy, where I would scribble and draw while the teacher spoke. This habit followed me all the way until university, until I learned to meditate.

As I learned to be comfortable in my body, present in the moment and focus from a greater part of my mind, the need for constant distraction disappeared. That’s not to say I stopped drawing, this was a constructive outlet that eventually enriched my creative life, but I stopped needing it as a coping mechanism.

In many ways, I believe children are naturally built for meditation. Although most kids are busy and sometimes frenetic, if you watch them when they becoming engaged play and imagination, the same kind of focus is engaged as we use in meditation. Clinical psychologist Dr Lee Pulos has done extensive research on brainwave patterns and has proven that young children live primarily in the Theta and Alpha brainwave patterns, until they are adults when they move more into the logic-based Beta pattern. These Theta and Alpha patterns are the same states that artists, well-practiced yogis and practitioners of meditation achieve in their practice.

If we can catch children early on and give them the scientifically proven benefits of meditation, then imagine what kind of foundation of emotional health, inner wisdom and personal strength they could develop! If we did this as a society, what kind of world might we build? Something to meditate about, no doubt.

Read the full article about the Robert W. Coleman Elementary school here.

Resistance: Know your Enemy!

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Waboom! The epiphany descends, a glorious new creative idea. In a Technicolor flash I see the spectrum of my next great screenplay, sure to be success, the best I’ve ever done. I scribble down the first few lines and resume my day, satisfied I’m still on track towards my dream of becoming a filmmaker of fame and fortune. Then, as usual, life gets busy. A few days pass, I keep telling myself I’ll wait for the right moment to sit down with the project, to devote some real time to developing it. A week passes and then another, I start to doubt that the idea is even worth it. A month later, I find the scribbled page of my notebook with the original flash. Damn, this is an awesome idea. I’d been had, and it wasn’t the first or the last time…

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance”.

Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art

You’re too tired, too busy, too distracted. The idea is so good that you need to just do one more thing before you really really start. It’s too noisy outside, you’re suddenly hungry, the fridge really needs to be cleaned and oh wait, your pants are too tight.

Sound familiar? These are all symptoms of resistance, and you are wise to get to know your foe before it totally derails you from ever knowing the feeling of realizing your potential.

Resistance is an unconscious mechanism that will do anything to stop us from achieving our evolution, be it spiritual, creative or making our mark on the world. Stephen Pressfield’s creative handbook, “The War of Art” goes into great depth of exploring where and how this nemesis plays out. He describes creativity as a war, and as his 5th century predecessor, military strategist Sun Tzu states in “the Art of War”, it is always wise to both know your enemy and yourself before going into battle.

The Many Faces of Resistance

Remember, Resistance is unconscious. Would we stop ourselves from achieving our true potential? Nevertheless it is a worthy opponent and is often fueled by our underlying fears. The antidote? Do it anyway! Call the job lead, go to the event, take the singing lessons. No one is immune to resistance; those who succeed in achieving their goals have often built the strength to forge ahead, to know the many faces of their enemy.

Procrastination, self­doubt, fatigue, drama (getting pulled into yours or others) are all familiar tropes of resistance. It can get tricky sometimes, like when resistance often tells you that it would be easier NOT to do the task at hand, which is probably true. But is life most satisfying when it is easy? Do we grow and thrive when everything is a mouse click away?

And how about when reality doesn’t behave? You finally psych yourself up to go to the gym and a massive rainstorm comes down as you go to catch the bus. Or your computer crashes when you sit down to write the first draft of your book. Is this the universe giving you a sign that it’s not meant to be, or is it resistance? The answer: Get wet and start your first draft on paper. i.e. Do it anyway and see how good you feel on the other side!!

Get Smart

We all have our weak areas that the opponent will seek out. Get to know how resistance shows up for you and what it feels like when you are in it. I know that resistance comes in as fatigue and even physical pain for me. My strategy: take little bites everyday. I won’t let resistance take a day of writing from me, even if it’s just 20 minutes at a time. And if I miss one, I am more ruthless to make up the time the next day. Know your blind spots and make a plan. I had a friend who was always late for her meditation classes. Her approach? Leave an hour earlier.

Ultimately consider Pressfield’s suggestion to “use it as a compass.” When resistance shows up, it means you’re onto something really good. If it persists, you are really going strong! As you continue to build up your ability to face it and conquer its temptation, the more you will be able to feel your Genius and follow her guidance.

For more tips on living spiritually strong, check my post The 5 keys of the Spiritual Warrior.

Elinor Svoboda

~Level 1 and 2 teacher

 

 

5 essential keys of a Spiritual Warrior

 

Archetype

“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is 
that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary 
man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse.”

Don Juan, the Carlos Casteneda series

As a teacher of Level 1, I always welcome my new students by congratulating them for having made it to the first class. They often nod in appreciation; surprised I acknowledge how hard it is to arrive to the threshold of a quest towards self-awareness. But there is a reason that everyone doesn’t choose to pursue a spiritual path in today’s world. They may not be ready or interested, but they may also know that it requires a level of effort and dedication.

The concept of the Spiritual Warrior is not new to the modern-day spiritual seeker. In fact it has been around for thousands of years in martial arts and many ancient traditions. In Buddhism the spiritual warrior fights self-ignorance (avidya), who is the ultimate source of suffering. The Spiritual Warrior acknowledges that the greatest battle is within, be it between good and evil, or simply towards a state of enlightened awareness.

So how is this relevant to our day to day lives? In the West, we rarely place ourselves in cloistered situations, where can we devote our life to spiritual training. And yet if your goal is to live consciously, it is a commitment that must come from your full self, like a noble soldier takes on battlefield.

In my many years of spiritual training, I have learned there are a few traits that make up the Spiritual Warrior’s armory. As you unlock the path for yourselves, here are 5 few keys to consider:

1. It’s all about you.

The Spiritual Warrior fights their battles on the inside first. What are you fighting? Whatever keeps you from your Spiritual connection. Sure, the conflict can appear to be from the outside world: A tyrannical boss, a demanding schedule or overdue bills. But a Spiritual Warrior realizes they are at the center of their reality, so anything that comes at them has to do with what they are putting out there, conscious or not. If you want real change in your life, it has to start with you. The Spiritual warrior is never a victim; they take responsibility for their part in any of life’s dramas and meet it from their spiritual center within.

2. It’s not all about you.

Many spiritual truths are rooted in paradoxes. Once we address our internal battle-field, we realize our external is full of factors that have nothing to do with us. Our relationships, small and large, challenge us to hold our internal love and awareness steady. Yes, we have our part to play in any dynamic, but once we know what that is, the Spiritual Warrior realizes that there is another Warrior on the other side of the table, with their own battle to fight. It is not up to us to save others or take on their negativity. Through forging our own path, we set an example of love and kindness to the self that radiates to others. It would be wrong to do their battle for them, so it is helpful to remember, their struggle is not always your struggle, even if they try to make it that way!

3. Focus, focus, focus.

How can you know if it’s about you/not you without developing an ability to see through the drama of life? When we imagine a true Spiritual Warrior, they stand with some badass weaponry and look sharply ahead, staring their opponent directly in the face. How do they do that? They don’t have superpowers, they have focus. A Spiritual Warrior trains to hone their perception, to see through distraction and deceit so they can know the nature of their battle. Through the internal practice of meditation and building focus, like an internal muscle, you can hold your inner knowledge steady in the storm of life.

4. Courage

The Spiritual Warrior draws their sword and trudges into the unknown of self, for they know that there is no growth in what feels safe and secure. They crave discomfort because through that tension comes triumph over adversity, and the adventure and fulfillment of self-discovery. It takes courage to go into the dark, to face what is ugly and senseless, to look at the trauma and pain and have the strength to reach for the light. The Spiritual Warrior does not function on bravado. True courage comes from the heart and their connection with the Divine Self for which they fight.

5. Discipline of Love

The Spiritual Warrior fights for consciousness, healing, truth and ultimately, Connection to their spirit. This requires a discipline to maintain that divine connection. As discussed in my previous post, Why is Self First so hard? Tending to the Self first is of upmost importance to creating a sustainable spiritual practice. Another aspect of the discipline of love is to know when to ask for help. Sometimes Spiritual Warriors get knocked or wounded on the battle-field and require assistance from their teachers and fellow Warriors. Be humble and know when to reach out for support, your vulnerabilities are part of your strength. When you reach out for others, then they may feel safe reaching out for you next time they need help.

 

“For the average man, the world is weird because if he’s not 
bored with it, he’s at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is 
weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. 
A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this 
marvelous world, in this marvelous time.”

Don Juan, Carlos Casteneda series

 

Go forth and fight the good fight Warriors!

 

Elinor Svoboda

~Level 1 and 2 teacher

 

The Art of Precision or, Be Careful What You Wish For

We all have natural abilities. Sometimes we are conscious of them and use them well. Sometimes we don’t ever fully discover them. Some people have the gift of being able to make anything work. Others can tell stories that keep you listening for hours. Everyone has something – some have many things. I can shape the weather. As much as this is a natural ability, I’ve had the chance to enhance it since taking Level 2 – Ancient Shamanism.

You may remember my story of how I became truly aware that I have this talent. (Rain Rain Go Away…) Since that time, I’ve consciously practiced and honed it, to the point where I can now simply place my order and my request is delivered. The trick, I’ve found, is to be precise and specific.

For a few years, I prepared detailed reports that required the inspection of buildings. Our goal was to take inventory of building, electrical and mechanical components. Roughly 25% of the inspections were outside. An important part of these on-site visits was taking photographs for use in the report.

When photographing the exterior of buildings, the weather has a profound effect. Rain makes things difficult. Lack of light is the least of it – rain drops in the foreground obscure details and puddles cover up whole areas. Bright sunshine makes things difficult also – there are many shiny parts on a building, and bright light makes the photos seem over exposed. Recent rain combined with bright sunshine is one of the worst scenarios.

One day, I had an inspection in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver, British Columbia. We always worked in a team – an inspector and a data collector. Both the inspector and I were driving from the North Shore. I was amazed at how little visibility there was in the heavy rain. Just then, the inspector called to see if we should cancel the inspection – due to the rain.

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But wait … I forgot to mention that I’d already placed my order. We’d been having a lot of heavy rain in Vancouver so I had started preparing the night before. I knew we only needed a two hour window with no rain. I also was very specific – I only wanted the rain to stop. I did not want the sun to come out during that time. The flat roof was bound to have pooling water and photographs would be impossible if the sun was shining. The time frame? 9am to 11am pacific time, please and thank you very much.

I was confident despite the deluge. So I joked with the inspector about already placing my order. We’d be just fine, I told him. Of course I had a backup plan…. Just to be sure, I reiterated my order, with an extra does of gratitude, just to quiet my own “monkey mind”.

When I arrived at the building, it was 20 minutes to 9am. The rain had slowed to a spit. By 9am, all precipitation had stopped completely. The inspector seemed a little dazed. He couldn’t quite process the shift from torrential downpour a half hour before.

I decided we’d start our work from the top down so we headed to the roof first. But we’d leave the interior until the end – just because I was confident in the delivery of my order, it didn’t make sense to waste the grace.

The sun started to break out briefly so I did some quick clarifying. I even said it out loud, “Thank you but no sunshine until after 11am please. ” It only took a few minutes before the clouds moved to block out the few rays coming through. It was almost cartoon-like how fast this happened. The inspector gave me a puzzled look, and made some wisecrack about talking to myself. What could I do but smile?

We finished our inspection by five after 11am and decided to go to a coffee shop a few blocks away to debrief. As you’ll recall, my order was for no rain until 11am. So I suggested we drive even though we could have walked in a few minutes. I told the inspector that my order had run out so we needed to be prepared for the rain to return. He just shook his head in that way that people do when they’re convinced you’re simply not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

When we left the coffee shop 20 minutes later, it was pouring rain again. We stood under the eaves for a few minutes and laughed at how perfectly timed it was. He was sure it was all a coincidence. I know full well the Universe delivered exactly what I had ordered.

The best part? I’ve practiced using this power tool so much now that as long as I’m precise and specific with what I’m asking for, and as long as my request is made with gratitude, the Universe delivers my order first time, every time.

~ Nancy Marsh, Level 1 Teacher

Our Empowering Dreams

Our dreams are tremendously powerful. If you take the time to recall and monitor your dreams, they can give you great insight.

Modern science doesn’t give much credence to dreams, but our ancestors considered them to be messages from the Divine. Many tribal cultures still consider the dream world to be real and the physical world to be illusionary.  Nearly everyone can recall with great clarity some significant and vivid dreams they’ve had, even years after they had the dream. These dreams often occur during transitional times of life. I refer to them as ‘God is talking to you.’

Many people have prophetic dreams. I have had many of them, including a premonitory dream a day before the September 11th terrorist attack.

Dreams can give you answers or creative solutions when you are stuck. Paul McCartney got the melody and words to the song ‘Yesterday’ in a dream. I always preprogram what I want to know about. If I’m starting to date someone, my dreams will give me the scoop on the person even if I haven’t consciously realized it yet. You too can learn to program in what your wish to dream about.
woman in a dream

Your dreams can help you know yourself better, when you learn how to interpret them and apply their lessons to your life. Once I asked for a dream to help me decide whether I should take a job or stay self-employed. I wasn’t prospering at the time.  I dreamt I was in the den of my condo which is my home office. I saw the outline of a door that I never knew existed. I opened the door and walked through to a large beautiful rooftop deck garden with a magnificent ocean view in full colour.

Keep in mind that I live on a ground floor unit with no view of the ocean. I thought in the dream, ‘This can’t all be mine – it must belong to the whole building.’ Then I realized, ‘No, it must be mine. The only entrance to this patio is from my den.’
This dream was telling me about my untapped potential. It made it clear that I was ready to face the challenge because I walked through the door of opportunity. It also told me that on an unconscious level, I did not quite believe I had the potential and it was time to claim it as my own.  I’ve had many years of successful self-employment since then.

Dream dictionaries are of little use when it comes to interpreting dreams. You need to determine what the symbols mean for you. Many things need to be taken into account, including your emotions in your dream and waking life, and recurring themes and metaphors. There are some guidelines but no fixed rules for dream interpretation. You will know when you interpreted the dream symbols of your dream correctly because it will just feel right.

Keep a dream journal. That will help you log recurring themes and emotions, as well as train you to focus on a dream when you first wake up. After awakening, dream recall falls to about 30% after 8 minutes and falls rapidly to 5% after that.
Lucid dreaming experience is remarkable, unmistakable, and seems so real you may feel like you are awake. I can literally go in and interpret a dream while I’m dreaming it. The more spiritually evolved people are, the more lucid dreaming occurs.  The power to manifest what we want in our lives is enhanced by the ability to control our lucid dreams.

So open your door to your dream world. By doing so, you can improve your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

By Jean Shelemey, Level 5 Teacher
Email: metajean@gmail.com

Jean teaches workshops in Dream Interpretation, as well as courses in Training in Power, Levels 1-5.

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again – When I Say

One of my favourite power tools is weather control. Throughout the ages, Shamans have practiced various methods of controlling the weather. Often shrouded in ritual, there are invocations, ceremonies, dances, purifications, and sometimes sacrifices. When I took Level 2 – Ancient Shamanism, I felt like my teacher was just reminding me of things I had forgotten. I didn’t know it then, but as I’ve worked with the Level 2 power tools, I’ve remembered many experiences of being a Shaman.

Some part of me has always known I had influence on the weather around me, in the way that I know when I allow myself to believe in those things that have no logical explanation. But I didn’t really own it.

Fast forward a few years – I was living in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I was renting a room in the basement of a level 9 colleague’s home. We had a level 13 housemate. The three of us were an odd assortment. I learned a lot about myself during that time, including being witnessed in the act of creating a weather shift so precise, there was really no denying it was my doing.

Please understand that I love the rain. I love the sound of it in the trees. I love the smell in the air. I love the softer quality of light. I even love walking in the rain, especially in the woods. But there are times when I just don’t want to get wet.Nancy and Nootka

I was taking a fast-track certification course for dog trainers. The program was physically challenging and overall, quite demanding. We worked outdoors 80% of the time, rain or shine. In this beautiful rainforest we got more than our fair share of rain that fall. I was constantly drying off myself and my canine counterpart, Nootka.

Weeks of almost non-stop rain left me unprepared to accept getting wet on my day off. This one Saturday I’d arranged to make up some credit by doing extra work with Nootka. I woke that morning to pouring rain. I don’t mean just a little rain – I mean pelting down. This type of disappointment was enough to set me off in those days – I was feeling pretty worn out and very soggy. But I held steady, decided to change my attitude and just get it done.

My girl Nootka lived about 10 minutes away. By the time I had her in the car ready to go, it was only spitting. Another 10 minutes to get to the back lawn of the Parliament buildings where I was meeting my teacher. By then the rain had stopped and the clouds were starting to clear. By the time the group of us had gathered around our teacher with our dogs, the sun had come out.

Seriously. Within 15 more minutes, we had clear blue sky above us and we’d all peeled off various layers to shorts and t-shirts. There was quite a lot of smiling going on (dogs included) – I wasn’t the only one who was tired of the rain.

We worked for an hour or so, with only an occasional cloud passing. In the time it took me to drive Nootka home, the clouds started coming in. By the time I got home, I didn’t need my sunglasses at all. And that’s when I lost track of the weather. I took a quick shower and a half hour nap. And when I woke, it was pelting down rain again.

I remember thinking how grateful I was for the sunshine earlier. But I didn’t really give it much thought until I was talking with my Level 9 housemate over coffee. She was so happy I’d done such a great job clearing the weather. She’d had two peaceful hours in the garden, no rain at all, and almost an hour of bright sunshine. She chuckled as she told me that it had started to rain again right after I went downstairs for my nap.

And, just like that, she’d turned on the light. I realized that yes, I had done that. I made the rain stop and the sun come out. It stayed clear for the entire time I had to be outside. Once my need for dryness was done, the rain returned. It took up right where it left off.

It was a dramatic demonstration really. Almost unbelievable that the timing was so precise. Except that I’d witnessed it too. And I set my intention right then to practice using this power tool often so that I would be able to wield it with confidence and precision.

~ by Nancy Marsh, Level 1 Teacher

Gotta Love Those Power Tools

I’ve been training in this energy-based system for over twenty years now. The number of “Power” tools that I’ve added to my “tool belt” is impressive. I am so grateful for the safety these tools provide me.  And I feel so much appreciation for the new ways I’ve learned of loving – myself and others.  But, mostly I can’t wait to share how much laughter and joy there is for me in doing this energetic work.

About eighteen years ago, I traveled to Peru by myself.  Did I mention how grateful I am for the safety and protection I experience with my Power tools? It was an amazing journey for me. And I still laugh out loud when I remember this part of my trip.

I was staying an extra day and night at Machu Picchu.  The second day at the ruins I ran into a fantastic tour guide who had led my Cusco city tour.  Her name is Marcella, and she is a full descendent of the Incan tribe.  She saw something in me that she really connected with. She was especially interested when I was working flat out in energy, really using my power tools. Magnetic Compass

This day, Marcella was leading a tour with a group of engineers. With her group’s permission, she asked me to join them.  And this is how I came to be in the Temple of the Sun, where the famous sundial is centered.  On each side of the sundial, there is a smaller rock that the Incas believe holds the energy for the sundial. Marcella asked if anyone had a compass.  I did, and I readily volunteered its service.  Marcella asked me to place the compass on one of these “guardian” rocks. As I placed it, I thought it behaved quite nicely, even if I said so myself. As I gazed upon its stillness with pride, Marcella leaned over and whispered in my ear, “What are you doing, Patreecia?  It is supposed to spin very fast!”

I realized that I was using several of my favorite tools to hold the compass still. I had thought that was what a compass should do. As the meaning of Marcella’s words settled, I consciously relaxed my power tools. Immediately, the compass needle started spinning very fast.  And Marcella finally exhaled.

It took all my self control not to laugh out loud with joy!  After the tour was over, Marcella and I had quite a talk over a cold soda.  We found that we had the same kind of energetic insights.  And yes – we ended up laughing till we had tears of joy streaming down our faces.

Joy.  That is a gift I always take from doing this work and using these tools.  Not only is the joy always there, but there are joyful surprises as well.  Thank goodness the Universe always keeps me in awe of the possibilities that are created from each event.  And each event is grounded in an exploration of light, love…..and of course, joy!

~ Patty Ferris  – Public Speaker www.pattyferris.com
Level III Teacher and Spiritual Counselor