This post Jonathan Horwitz writes for us about power as seen through the eyes of a shaman.
“Power is such a loaded word, and for many of us, when we hear the word “power”, it evokes a fear response. We think of the misuses of power, perhaps times when we have felt overwhelmed by how others have used power over us, or we feel engulfed by images in the media showing the destructive effects of power.
This view of power can often lead to fear. Power seems strong, controlling, forceful. It can leave us feeling as if there is too much power around us and we need to protect ourselves so we don’t get hurt. The sad thing about this is that we end up protecting ourselves so much that we shut life out. The only thing that protection does is build a thin shell around us, giving us an illusion of security by separating us from our surroundings and even ourselves.
But we are a part of the whole. There is no separation except for the barriers we put up around ourselves, and even those barriers are an illusion.
To cultivate another attitude to power, it can be more helpful to think of it as “life force” – the power we need to stay alive, to be full of vitality, to help us meet daily challenges. This is not something we want to shut out! Instead of protection, we can ask for help to fill ourselves with the power we need. Then when you meet challenging or frightening situations, you do not retreat into a shell, but are more able to stand on your own two feet and face what is coming towards you. To do this, the shaman calls on the Spirit Power of the Universe. Essentially, the shamanic work I do is teaching people how to connect to this power so we have the energy we need to live life fully.
Power, like any energy, is not meant to be static or stored – it is meant to move and flow. If we feel we need more energy in our lives, the best thing to do is open ourselves to the Power of the Universe and let it flow through us. There is so much help around us all the time, if only we remember how to open and connect. A truly remarkable aspect of Power – not as controlling force but as vital energy – is that the more we share it, the stronger it gets. The more you allow it to move through you, rather than trying to hold on to it, the more the power can energise and support both you and others.
Power is in all that exists, and if we fill ourselves with it there is no need for protection because we have all we need. We are made of the Power of the Universe. We forget this, but when we know it, we can step into life with an open heart, steady feet and power in our hands”.
Jonathan has been teaching shamanism in the UK and Europe for over 25 years, including many courses held at Poulstone. He lives with his partner, Zara, in southern Sweden and we feel very fortunate to have him visit us each year to teach. He will be holding an advanced shamanic retreat called “Peace & Power” here from 9-13 October 2013. For more information, you can visit http://www.shamanism.dk/ or visit the courses page of our website: http://www.poulstone.com/courses.php?pageNum_rsCalendar=1&totalRows_rsCalendar=17