Shaman Of My Own Life: How I Learned to Trust the Heart Flame that Guides Me to My PurposeJane Large March 4, 2021
(Updated May 5, 2021)
I am learning to dream a new dream. I am remembering, realizing the truth at the centre of my being. And for the first time, I am taking full responsibility for my life and my choices as my own guru, my own guide. I am the Shaman of my own life.
It is a pretty magical place to be, to realize I have an infinitely wise guide within my own heart. A place where my inner world becomes my guide, my strength. Where my inner voice, my heart, my inner wisdom and connection to all there is – to the ONE WHOLE – is my compass. It is also a place where I choose to connect, share, and learn, instead of needing or demanding that someone else ‘fix’ me and figure out my mess. It is a place where I choose the way in which I will shape and live my life.
For a long time I had forgotten about my inner compass. My inner light and guidance system became clouded by pain, fear, loss, and the influence of the outside world that I let in. As I continued to move away from my truth, my inner light got smaller, until shadow was living my life and ‘I’ was almost gone. There was just enough left, the tiniest speck of light, the spark that I now realize can never truly be extinguished, no matter how dark human life becomes. That tiny spark of light lead me to the beginning of my journey.
Just before this journey back to my light began, everything I thought was important began crumbling around me. I was an accomplished athlete, a straight A student, and a super overachiever. The pressure I put on myself was immense. When I achieved a goal there was no celebration, only a feeling of needing to achieve more.
Crisis as Catalyst
But I was miserable, dying inside as I avoided and bottled up years of painful feelings. Within 6 months, I went from being the strongest I had ever been physically to hardly being able to walk. My goal of completing an Ironman triathlon evaporated before my eyes. I was involved in a car collision and developed excruciating migraine head-aches that never went away. And to top it all off, my coach banned me from swim practices because he knew I was on a path of self-destruction.
Then the feelings that I had bottled up swept in. The physical and emotional pain was almost unbearable and I just kept wishing and begging for it to all go away.
My family doctor recommended Reiki, which I found relaxing, and which assisted me in beginning to release years of bottled up emotions. My Reiki practitioner invited me to hear her speak at a local health conference. There, I ended up sitting in on a talk about meditation and learned that a class would soon begin in my area. Something within told me to sign up for this class. I knew something needed to change or I would not survive.
For five years, although I could barely motivate myself to get out of bed, I attended that meditation class once a week. These classes put me on a path of remembering, of realizing my truth and my Light.
After a few years of crying and meditating in a circle around a candle flame, a flame that represented our inner Light, I began to feel stronger. My teacher encouraged us to gaze into the flame as we began our mediation; this invited the light of the flame into our hearts and was a means to centre and still the mind.
She also often provided us with a guiding question to focus our meditation practice each week. I would gaze into the flame and invite it to assist me in answering that question, or to quiet and still my mind so that I could look deeper within. Fire-gazing, a powerful art of elemental divination, is a practice I use frequently today with candles, or when I’m in the presence of a natural flame source – a practice I now recognize I used unknowingly as a child to centre and still my mind and alight my imagination.
Igniting the Heart Flame
Then one night the most miraculous thing in my life happened….I felt my heart flame re-ignite. A feeling of lightness and joy burst in the centre of my chest. It took me by surprise because I did not remember a time in my life when I had felt lightness and joy in my heart. Before, there was always pain and tension behind my smile.
Tears streamed down my cheeks and I sobbed with joy. The elemental spark that ignited my heart flame of life in the womb, the Spirit light that brought me to this human life on Earth, came to life again within my chest. Although I did not know it then, it alighted my inner guidance system and began turning my life course out of the darkness and towards the Light again, my Light. I also now realize that is the moment that saved my human life, when I chose on some level to turn the corner, and there was no going back.
Through meditation and shamanism, I claim my ability to connect with my Spirit, to the ONE WHOLE, to Spirit guides, to Power Animals, to ancestors of this life and other lives, to other realms, and to nature and the elements. I have the response-ability to ask questions and receive answers, and to take action as a human to better my life – based on the answers I receive.
My heart flame re-ignited for a purpose. I am meant to live, and trust where my heart flame leads me as it guides me towards my purpose, the reason I am here. I look forward to a lifetime of being my own Shaman, following the Light that guides me to where I need to go, what I need to do, and how I need to do it; a life of connecting with nature and the elements, receiving the guidance and the messages they have to share.
When we open our hearts to the Shaman within, the miracles of healing, of connection, of love, of growth are possible. When we are willing to be the Shaman of our own lives, we open to a life that is waiting for us; to dreaming a new dream as the Shaman of our own lives. Individually and together, we create a new dream for our lives and for all of Creation.
Autumn invites us to turn inward where we can deeply tend to our heart flame within. Connect with a natural light source – a campfire or a candle flame – and allow its light to guide you into your heart flame’s wisdom within. Using your soft gaze to peer into the flame, ask the following questions and see what images appear to you as answers:
1. How am I yearning to change now?
2. What repeating answers have been coming to me already?
3. What simple, next step can I take to nourish my heart flame within? What action helps me be freer, lighter, and brighter?
Jane Large is a teacher, writer, artist, and outdoor enthusiast who lives in North Bay, Ontario. She is a collective member of the Way of the Circle Centre, where she has participated in many programs. For more information visit: <a href="https://www.northernedgealgonquin.ca/">www.northernedgealgonquin.ca</a>