I recently took a workshop with a fabulous shamanic healer by the name of Myron Eshowsky. This particular workshop was special because my husband actually joined me. I’m an experienced shamanic practitioner so the shamanic journey comes easy for me, but my husband was just starting out and found it intensely frustrating. Every time the drums started beating, he’d tense up, certain that he’d draw a blank. He told himself he wasn’t doing it right, he was only just imagining, he was making it all up, nothing was happening. Except for anger. He experienced a lot of that. This isn’t a rare exception to learning the ancient technique of the shamanic journey. In fact, it’s common. But this time it was my husband and I wanted to fix it for him, make it better. That was my instinct, though I know better. The struggle a shamanic journeyer has in the beginning stages of learning is all part of the process.
For those who aren’t familiar with shamanism, the shamanic journey is a technique to bypass the ego by attaining a theta-brain wave altered state of consciousness physically brought about by the repetition of drumming or rattling, and then traveling to one of three worlds. The Lower World is the nature realm, where animal and nature spirits dwell. The Middle World is a carbon copy of our 3rd dimensional reality although discarnate spirits hang out there. And the Upper World is where the higher dimensional beings reside- the angels and ascended masters. Depending upon where a person needs healing or guidance on any given day dictates where they decide to go on their shamanic journey. The wisdom of the Collective Unconscious can be found within these worlds and great insight can be obtained through this ten thousand (plus) year-old practice. For me, it’s a super-charged form of meditation, a place of rejuvenation and recovery, and a sacred tool for cultivating and harvesting intuition.
Myron is a brilliant and skilled healer. He knew Aaron was frustrated. He had us partner up- I with my husband- and he had us take a journey to the Upper World in order to retrieve information that would assist our partner in their journey process. The drums started beating and I asked my Power Animal to take me Up.
I laughed when I got there. I guess I was expecting someone more angelic to appear. Nope. It was Steve Jobs. He had just died. Steve showed up to deliver the message Aaron needed to hear, which was wisdom for all of us.
He said, casually and relaxed, that we have lost our ability to imagine in this world. Aaron needs to let go and give himself permission to pretend. “Tell him to make it all up, if that eases his mind”, he said. “What are the odds that out of a million scenarios his imagination could construct, the one that presents is insignificant? As soon as he opens the door to imagination, his creativity will take over, and his frustration will dissipate.”
It worked. And I can think of countless scenarios in our world where this wisdom applies.
Seth Godin says this is what is wrong with our innovation today, “We’re trained to fit in, not to stand out, and the easiest way in the world to fit in is to never initiate. Don’t speak up. If you see something, don’t say anything.” A formula for failure, he writes.
And Albert Einstein joked, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted on imagination.” He cites his creativity and imagination as leading him to the Theory of Relativity.
Visualize how it would be if we all gave ourselves equal time to imagine as we did to logic. If we allowed ourselves the permission to luxuriate in the what if. Think of the innovation, the creativity, the spiritual freedom that would accompany such a luxury. Just imagine.