Shamanic Practitioner Training: Intermediate Level Course
Self-Healing Project Report: What Blocks Me from Losing Weight?
Ashley Collins Couchois
My personal project began as a way of finding out what was keeping me from loosing weight. I have been through various types of healings in the past (Tibetan Re-birthing, Soul Retrieval etc.) and they have each helped greatly, but there was still something holding me back. I always assumed it had something to do with my ex-'s or my son or my previous job as my weight of course was a way of shutting myself off from others or in my eyes it was. It was a cushion, a safety blanket, an excuse if people did not like me… an excuse for the dips in my confidence at times…
Each stage of this Intermediate Course has given me a release of what needed to be let go of, or a foundation to move forward not only with my healing skills but also with my understanding and reading of people and of myself. I found it amazing how things just seemed to fall into place once the "trigger healing" occurred with the Timeline Healing.
During the Timeline Healing session, after finding the "Happy me", I could feel each little marker that was expected. Then I hit a really big one… which was related to me at age 12. The feeling was so intense. But as I had the preconception that my problems started earlier, I went further. When I reached age 2 I found that I have actually healed for the most part [the problems at] at that age - related to my father going to Vietnam right after my little sister was born and not being able to understand why my father was gone. At this point I realized that the "little girl me" did understand this, and I just held her hand and she walked forwards with me back to age 12.
This is the point where I was bullied and teased by a class of 30 students. It was a very big kick in the teeth for me and I never could understand why they did it… well I did understand, but it was an acceptance of the fact that it was not my fault - which did not happen. I had internalized it as "I had done something to cause it" when in reality all I had done was to be a very good student and help out a teacher by putting up a bulletin board after school. My parents, especially my mom, was very supportive and helped me to go back into the same classroom with my head held high and putting on a brave face. This was a major accomplishment in itself, but it did not deal with what I had internalized and did not speak about. There was such a release when the older me and the younger me worked with the 12 year old me for understanding, comfort and realization. From that point forward I picked myself up along the way… and I felt such a release and surge of energy, confidence and happiness for several days. I do feel very differently now and see things differently, too. I even feel like if I participated in an "Eye to Eye Healing" [a practice taught in the Intermediate Course] now, I would not close the other person out.
Each of the different healing processes we have worked with to this point, has broadened my understanding not only of how to work with empathy in helping others but also in recognizing my own baggage and how not to bring it into the process when working to help someone else progress.
The Soul Retrieval I did for [name A] was different to the one I had done previously for [name B]. At the beginning I was "told" that it would not go too deep as she could not handle it at that time. She had worked through a lot of emotions that day and my Spirit Guide felt it was best to take an easier path that in the end had meaning for her, but was not presented in a scary manner. [name B]'s soul retrieval was completely different. It was more vibrant and the guide was a lot scarier! The difference helped me to understand that you can not always go with what is supposed to occur, but that you are working with spirit guides and power animals in the spiritual realm that can have a greater or different insight into what should occur. Therefore, I went along with the process as it was to unfold. It is not about egotistically accomplishing something… it is about working with the guides or being their instrument in the process.
I found it amazing that, even though I was away when the "Empowerment Dialogue" practice was covered, that it came to me that week, without prior knowledge. [My Boyfriend] was extremely stressed and suffering from exhaustion when he arrived at my parents. It took a lot of giving him his own space and supporting him and looking after him when he was open to it. The Empowerment Dialogue actually happened when we went away by ourselves for two days. It was spontaneous and he initiated it. I still can not believe how I followed the instructions without having seen them. Divine intervention is the only explanation I have for this. The process allowed him to express and let go of things on his mind and for him to understand that he did have choices. It also allowed me the opportunity to understand him better… to listen without judgement or adding my two cents in… and just to guide him along on his own journey to work through a few things. Afterwards he did feel a lot better.
The Advanced Ihahinoor [one of the healing practices taught on this course] was wonderful. I am still amazed at how I can just be there and be a channel. The energy is amazing… and with each person worked with it is different. It was also amazing to feel the energy coming through another person as a channel and into me and the different ways people channel the energy. I also learned that Ihahinoor should never be pushed on someone and you should feel comfortable with whom ever is working on you through this process. I believe we pick up on other people's vibes and can tell when it is ok to go through a process with someone or not to do so. This I think links back to my project as it allowed me to understand you do have a choice and you can not take someone else's baggage on as your own. That is not the reason someone is a channel.
Opening and Closing Sacred Spaces [a shamanic practice taught on this course] has truly helped to ground me before a journey or healing channelling process. Previously I have noticed that a sort of ritual helped me to settle into the groove for lack of a better term. I needed to take this further… having a way of opening my space… smudging… then my breathing… relaxation… journey… processing… and closing the space has really helped complete the circuit. This has provided me with more confidence and security which again links back to my project.
My dreams have been sketchy lately, but I believe that my inability to recall a lot of them has to do more with stress than with anything else. I was still looking for a new job, telling my parents finally that I had been made redundant, I was going to my parents for a week, [My Boyfriend] was meeting my parents for the first time and even I had not seen him since Christmas Eve he was stressed, I was also dealing with my sister when I was home, then with my parents being here for 3 weeks… then job interviews while they were here… and dealing with their aging process and medical conditions.
My journeys were also limited in a way as I was not able to do them as often as I wished to or within the process that was developing for me. I did however notice trends, topics, people, and after the Timeline Healing a change in my journeys as I had healed an aspect. My visions have returned also. I do not have as many of them out of the blue now, but they are occurring. I may be wrong but I believe the frequency of them links to my journeying. It seems the more I journey within a specific time the fewer "blind visions" occur. I am really enjoying the progress I am making in interpreting my dreams or journeys. They are becoming more "real" and at times physical (as in feeling like my ankles were being physically held by two hands each time I asked a specific question). I am feeling more confident in talking about my journeys or dreams with others. Progress… (Smiles) - People do not have to judge you to listen to you… again linking back to my project.
I do have to say that drumming a Shamanic Journey for others was amazing and even through it occurred prior to the Timeline Healing it had its place in the healing process. Normally I would have been nervous about doing something so important for others especially as I have not drummed very much at all. But in this case, my nerves subsided when I started drumming… I just placed the beater in my hand and let it flow. I could feel the energy entering and taking over the stick to produce the beat. It was not me playing, but the energy felt so good. I could feel it… I could feel its power… its compassion… its empathy… its connection within the room. It left me feeling wonderful and confident. Confident not in my playing ability, but in the fact that I was able to be used as a channel successfully for the energy and spirit to come through as it was needed to assist others on their journeys. It was a true highlight of the course for me.
Coming to the end of the course, I would have to say that it has helped me to move forward and to heal, which was my goal. I do not look at myself or my weight in the same way. I have not held onto my weight over the past few years or drastically lost it like when I was younger through eating too much or through starving myself. There has been more to it. I could not lose it until I was healed or allowed myself to let go of the feelings of blame that I had internalized on myself. I have found going to interviews after starting this process that even if I did not get the job for one reason or another that people did like me and my personality. And when I have been offered jobs, it has been because of my experience and personality and not weight-related. Also, I have realized that while [My Boyfriend] would prefer that I lost weight, it is not because of what I look like, but for my health. He cares for me just as I am. I have not been able to use it as a wall in between us or an excuse. I have started a new exercise routine. I will be fine. I am fine already.
Sunday's "Shamanic Re-birthing" practice was so different to the Tibetan Re-birthing I had experienced in the past. It was more physical than metaphysical as you had explained to me. It is funny to me that I did not feel it violently as I has expected, so I wondered at first if I had gone through it completely or had not gone into it deep enough. But the feeling of completely being spacey afterwards told me differently. I think that everyone experiences it differently. I remember the breathing… I remember hearing your voice and the drum… I remember the tingling sensations of energy… the pain in my forehead… the movement (contracting in my body)… and hearing others. I remember the feeling of calm when it all quickly subsided. It was easy for some reason to stay in my body with concentration. (Maybe that is because I have gone completely outside of my body before and re-entered it on my own accord.) I remember singing along with the Native American Indian music afterwards… very clearly… completely attuned with the words.
The feeling of being spacey still continues not to a certain degree. Some of the simplest things like holding a fork felt completely new. I am aware I need to eat, but even all of this seems new, though I still know I am veggie and have limitations. It is like I am seeing things with new eyes. It is all amazing… emotions are so deeply felt, but in a good way. I do not feel cut off. The universe is opening up for me or to me. I was so glad that we did the re-birthing before the trance dance! I felt completely free while dancing… completely connected. I danced to the elephant's dance… or at least it felt that way… Elephants are wonderful in the fact that they are so massive and easily heard on land, but they are also closely linked to air and clouds. In Thailand they believe that at once the elephants flew… like what I saw in my journey at the start of this whole process with you, which seems in a way very short as progress has been made so quickly. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and I believe this has happened with the re-birthing. Journeying in this state has been amazing. It as if I am truly there… truly a part of it… even more than before. It is hard to completely describe the transformation of everything at this time, but I feel as if I have expanded into the universe. I feel very light… very compassionate… very caring… very positive. .. so comfortable with me… so expressive and creative.
Mentor comment: Healing is the journey towards living more fully - living with a richer, fuller, more harmonious experience of life and of ourself. Congratulations, Ashley, on making the self-healing journey you have so richly and fully described. .
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