Back when I was a high school senior, in “Honors English” class we were to memorize 1000 new words, including the word “indigenous.” The way I remembered this word was to think of “digging potatoes,” an activity ubiquitous in my home state of Idaho.
Then there was the talk I attended by Gary Snyder, during my 30s, a time when I took pride in feeling “free as a bird,” landing on branches of trees in various places, taking off again whenever . . .
Pick a place, Snyder said, and stay there. Dig in.
We are the new Indigenous.
When I was asked to write an article on Indigenous people from a modern day Shaman’s perspective, I thought, what could I possibly say that everyone does not already know? So then, as I often do, I began to think outside the box. Why are we so interested in Indigenous people? What is so special about them? The thought of Indigenous tribes takes us back and connects us to another time and space, a time when we trusted our intuition and knew how to be stewards of the earth. It was a time when we felt a deeper connection to everything. In today’s world we are losing our connection, with so much information coming at us all the time we have lost touch. I think we love the Indigenous peoples because we can feel they are still in touch with something much bigger than themselves.
There is a certain vibe when we hear the word Indigenous. It conjures up images of a time long ago, ancient civilizations, different cultures and traditions we could never understand. It also makes us think of jungles and plant medicine, unfamiliar territory to most. But this territory is where people are finding their way back to themselves. Those who are noticing something is missing from their lives are seeking ways to get in touch with their soul’s purpose. The people who want to connect and come back to the Mother are what I call “New Indigenous Tribes.” These tribes are yearning for something more. We see them popping up everywhere. All religions, all walks of life, are joining together to make a difference in the world. Permaculture, sustainable living, communes and more, are sprouting up all over the country. Occupy “whatever” is the fad of the day and people are joining in force saying enough is enough. And, because of this, things are changing.
I believe this is the time to take control of your destiny. If things are not working, fix them. We can no longer stand by and allow the lies to fill our day. One way to do this is to begin to clear your life of all that no longer serves you. I say, if it makes you feel bad or is negative, it is a lie. If it makes you feel good and is positive, it is the truth. As the old saying goes, “The truth will set you free,” and freedom is what we are all seeking.
In 1991 when I began my path I remember making the decision to be honest in all my affairs. That meant absolutely no lying. It was not easy, and even harder for those around me. But I told my truth and to this day I do not lie. I feel this is one way for others to dial in to their intuitive nature. Speak your truth no matter what.
All of us are connected to every living thing. Once we tune into the planet and listen, all our questions will be answered. It is a waste of time to sit around and beat yourself up over things. To tell yourself you are fat, or not good enough, or stupid. Allow these thoughts to melt away and fill your mind with love. Love is the answer, especially at this time. We are in the middle of a great change and I feel this change can bring us back to our Indigenous state of being.
So, what if we took the word Indigenous and created our own culture, our own tribe, our own world? What if the word Indigenous described us as, the people of the new world, the world we have all been talking about, one filled with peace, love and light, compassion and solidarity. How would that make you feel? Imagine it now. Let that image spread all over your being.
We are all feeler healers and once we clear our minds, learn how to tell the truth and trust ourselves, we will be ready for the next step, using our connection to the Mother and inner guidance to assist us on our path. The inner guidance system, what I refer to as “my very own tracking device,” is that intuition we all possess. When you are open and dialed in to your heart and the planet, magical things can, and do happen.
Shamans are extremely tuned in to the Mother. They can feel her heart beat as if it were their own. Very simply put, Shamans are conduits between the physical world and spiritual world. They commune with nature and speak with spirits to assist individuals, communities, and the planet. They’re grounded in earth medicine and live between the worlds. Shamanism is not a religion, it is a spiritual practice, and can be for just about anyone, no matter your religion. People come to me from all walks of life to deepen their understanding of themselves, and grow.
In 2010 I was asked to speak at the 6th Annual Shamanic Conference in Iquitos, Peru. Each July Alan Shoemaker brings people together in love to meet Ayachusca Shamans. Here they learn about plant medicine and herbs so they can explore their subconscious minds and get in touch with their souls. Speaking at the conference was extremely enlightening. Here I was this white Shaman with blonde hair from Orange County, and they accepted me. After I finished giving the Shamanic healing on stage I could feel they appreciated my work. It during this time they named me the Golden Condor Healer. It was an affirmation from the universe that I was on the right track. Although plant medicine is not for everyone, when used correctly with a trained Ayachusa Shaman it is an experience like no other. Talk about expanding your consciousness, and healing your soul! These Indigenous Shamans made me feel like I was one of them, there was no difference between us. While there I discovered a sacred piece of land where I now lead groups on spiritual journeys. Connection to the land is vital if we are ever to get past the trauma of our lives.
We have spoken long enough of worry and fear. The time is now to fully shift into this new light, this new consciousness, and we need to do it with such confidence and determination that we never look back again. It is time for us to step forward and become the new Indigenous peoples in our communities, shining our light for the world to see.