"Positive Living with Your Inner Shaman" - June 2009

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In this month's E-zine...

* Simple Secrets To a Happy Life - Finding Joy [video]
* "Peace Through The Arts" Camp [report]
* Holistic Living - UK Courses - June-September
* Medicinal Herbs: The "Gypsy Herbalist"
* Spontaneous Tai Chi for Health, Vitality & Fun!
* Change is Good...You Go First! [article]
* Shamanic Drumming Circle & Nature Practices
* "Owl Crashes In" - Yourself as a Gift to Life!
* "Surfing Stress & Weaving Well-being"
* Shamanic [Holistic] Lifestyle: online FREE resources


Simple Secrets To a Happy Life - Finding Joy!
"Nothing Happens, but First a Dream!"
In a perfect world we hear something once, record it in our brain, and never need to hear it again! Well, I don't know how your life is just now, but my world is far from perfect. I have doubts, fears and disappointments in my life. I also need sources of inspiration to keep me on the right track, and to remind me about what matters most. So if you love inspirational quotes, wonderful photography and beautiful music...you're really going to love this 3-minute video: www.findingjoymovie.com [you will need broadband internet access]

"Peace Through The Arts" Camp August 2009
I have just returned from the annual "Sacred Arts" Camp [SAC] held in the beautiful Chiltern Hills at Britain's oldest holistic education centre: Braziers College [visit www.braziers.org.uk to watch a video of Braziers park and the work and lifestyle of this holistic centre started in the 1950s].

This was my 4th SAC and each has been more uplifting and nourishing than the one before. Partly because the camp continues to evolve and partly because I have become increasingly adept at fitting into the "community camping" lifestyle - the magical way in which a group of open-minded, open-hearted people can fit together like pieces in a jigsaw, where differing talents and temperaments become co-creative assets rather than "bones of contention"!

This year, as usual, there was a feast of singing, dancing, creativity facilities [crafts, art, pottery etc], 5 rhythms movement, healing workshops, yoga, massage, herbal walks - just about anything that can inspire and uplift the human spirit! More info at: www.sacredartscamp.org

A very similar camp, also run by folks from the "Dances of Universal Peace" network will be coming up in August 2009. The annual Unicorn "Peace Through The Arts" Camp ["PTA" - www.unicorncamps.com] will be on an organic farm in Dorset, and has much the same range of activities as the SAC. It will be my own 3rd PTA camp - the previous two have been wonderful experiences via which I have made some magical friendships. Contact me, Michael Meredith, if you have any queries about these camps which are not covered by their websites.

Holistic Living - UK Courses - June-September 2009
"Surfing Stress & Weaving Well-being"
"Energy Level Management & Spontaneous Tai Chi"
"Positive Thinking & Mood-Management Skills"
"Assertiveness & Self-Confidence"
"Anger, Frustration & Depression Management"
Details: www.sunflower-health.com/workshops.htm

Medicinal Herbs: The "Gypsy Herbalist"
About a pioneer of herbal medicine for animals and people:
Synopsis: www.cheal.org/message/1008
Short stories by her daughter: www.ashtreepublishing.com/Luz.htm

"Spontaneous" Tai Chi for Health & Energy-Level
Spontaneous Tai Chi is NOT something that you have to LEARN, it is something you can FIND within yourself, then practise alone, or INTERACTIVELY with a
partner, in a group, or even with ANIMALS, PLANTS or TREES! It is a non-learned, original form of this natural, gentle & health-giving martial art - a spontaneous, creative, energising and fun form of movement
that anyone can find within themself, given the right encouragement. Details of a forthcoming 5-evenings UK course can be found here:
This self-healing art is also taught [or rather FACILITATED, since by definition the movements cannot be taught!] as part of the "Movement Medicine" aspect of our shamanism workshops, see: www.sunflower-health.com/shamanicworkshops.htm

Change is Good...You Go First!
Do you want to change "your world" or even "THE world" in some way?
Change is not easy. But it is simple. Things will always change. We don't have a choice about that, but we do have a choice on how we react to change. The choice really boils down to this...either we manage change, or it will manage us.
If you aspire to being a leader of change, your decision to make changes is the easy part. Getting other people on board is much more difficult isn't it? Why is that? Quite simply, change is an emotional process and we are all insecure creatures of habit, who usually resist the emotional implications of change and often choose the perceived security of "business as usual". Unchartered waters are scary!
In the long run, however, sameness is the fast track to mediocrity and "safety barriers" easily grow into "prison walls" and the safest prison of all is "solitary confinement"! - the secure, but empty and un-nourishing, prison of our own small world of past habits, limiting beliefs and fearful imaginings.
Tuli Kupferburg said it best..."When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge!" And that is your challenge...to convince yourself and those around you that there is a "new world/new lifestyle" that is better than the one you're in just now. Is it easy? Of course not. It takes research, planning, commitment, patience and courage.
The truth, of course, is that change can be a wonderful gift. In fact, it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement. Change is stressful - but stress is energy and handled skillfully that energy can be the creative force for materializing your next dream or ambition. The greatest part of your future lies in your ability to inspire yourself to get out of your comfort zone from time to time; to try out new activities, new connections, new habits, new ways of relating to yourself, to others and to the big world around us.
A few years ago, British Rail had a real fall-off in business. Looking for marketing answers, they went searching for a new ad agency - one that could deliver an ad campaign that would bring their customers back.
When the British Rail executives went to the offices of a prominent London ad agency to discuss their needs, they were met by a very rude receptionist, who insisted that they wait.
Finally, an unkempt person led them to a conference room - a dirty, scruffy room cluttered with plates of stale food. The executives were again, left to wait. A few agency people drifted in and out of the room, basically ignoring the executives who grew impatient by the minute. When the execs tried to ask what was going on, the agency people brushed them off and went about their work.
Eventually, the execs had enough. As they angrily started to get up, completely disgusted with the way they'd been treated, one of the agency people finally showed up.
"Gentlemen," he said, "your treatment here at our Agency is not typical of how we treat our clients - in fact, we've gone out of our way to stage this meeting for you. We've behaved this way to point out to you what it's like to be a customer of British Rail. Your real problem at British Rail isn't your advertising, it's your people. We suggest you let us address your employee attitude problem before we attempt to change your advertising."
The British Rail executives were shocked - but the agency got the account! The agency had the remarkable conviction to point out the problem because it knew exactly what needed to change.
Check out some simple tips about "making changes" in this short video: Simple Truths [you will need broadband internet access]

Shamanic Drumming Circle & Nature Practices
A range of events coming up for both beginners and experienced folks interested in finding and following their personal Shamanic Path....

** Shamanic Drumming Circle & Movement Medicine
** Basic Shamanism Principles & Practices Course
** Shamanic Nature Practices Workshops

Details of all these at:

"Owl Crashes In" - Offer Yourself as a Gift to Life!
[From "Owl Crashes In" by Cecile Carson, MD]
It is the very beginning of spring, and in the melting snow a few days ago my eye caught a bright reflection on the ground: chunks of broken glass along the wall. When I looked up, I saw that the outer window of the classroom above the garage had been shattered. The window was double-paned, and on the inner pane was a startlingly complete outline of a huge owl, spread winged and tailed, made by either the dust or oil of its feathers on impact. There was no owl body to be found, so miraculously it appeared to have been spared.
A few days later, I noticed that the inner pane had chunks missing, and I assumed it too must have been cracked during the original impact. I went upstairs to find that several pieces had fallen onto the carpet inside the classroom. Impressive! The power of the owl had crashed through 2 layers of glass and opened up this inside space, where I regularly teach shamanic courses, to the great outdoors.
Owl has been a major spirit ally of mine for 23 years, and is the Being that first heralded my entry into shamanism by flying out into a large cow pasture one hot Oklahoma afternoon and landing 20 feet in front of me on the dirt path I was walking at the time. This window crash was equally dramatic, and I knew I needed to attend to the message it was bringing.
I sat quietly in the classroom, taking my pulse as a drumbeat to carry me to the spirit realm. It didn’t take long for Owl to fly into my heart with its message: MAKE MORE ROOM FOR SPIRIT in my work. What had happened to the physical classroom was a clear metaphor. Although I thought that much of my work was already guided by spirit, Owl was asking that I not only talk about spirit and see spirit at work through the metaphoric glass panes – but that I also drop any unnecessary barriers to the direct experience of spirit and its ability to use me in service.
A friend of mine recently observed that in the initial phases of working with helping spirits, we often compartmentalize: now I am doing shamanic journeywork, now I am tending to my regular life, “Oh, I haven’t connected with my helping spirits for a while,” etc. But as we develop and deepen in our understanding of the shamanic path, we recognize that there is no separation: to live in our Truth means to experience the Divine within us and around us at all times -- no separation. Owl wants to make this clear to us all!
A young woman I know is working on this issue in a particular way, and I think sums it up for many of us when she writes....[READ ON AT: www.shamansociety.org/essay.cecile2.html]

"Surfing Stress & Weaving Well-being"
Stress Management [1 day] Workshop: Sunday June 28th 2009 in beautiful, rural Dry Drayton, on A14 5 miles from Cambridge.
After a hectic, stressful day, or a heated argument, or a personal loss or failure, or a setback to our dreams we often find that we are miserable, tense, agitated or weary and it is all too easy to fall into "comfort eating", "comfort drinking", drug-dependency (medicinal or recreational) or "couch potato" lifestyle to ease our suffering. Unfortunately, over a period of time, these short-term fixes can end up adding to our problems instead of reducing them.
In this workshop you can learn and practice simple holistic techniques that empower you to "bounce back" from the effects of a hectic, stressful day (or a personal loss or failure). We will be practising tried and tested techniques to relieve uncomfortable feelings and move us towards a more harmonious, integrated and skilful state of being.
More info:


Shamanic Journeying & Music CDs [NEW!]


A Shaman within you? - Dance your Inner Shaman:

FREE On-line video guide to finding your power animal:

Recorded Clips of "Healing Circle Dances"

Soul Loss - Soul Retrieval:

Psychic Protection - Energy Stealing - Evil Forces:

Principle of Universal Oneness - All Things Connected:

Directory of Animal Totems and Power Animals:

Shamanic Journeying & Drumming- Beginners Guide:

Nature Art Therapy: Totems Medicine Shields:



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