Lynn Andrews: Early in my work with Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs, two native healers from the north of Canada, Agnes said to me, “Lynn, every thought you think in your lifetime has a life of its own and a will to live and survive.
This is particularly true when your thoughts are unresolved. Thoughts are like people. They have to be buried properly. If a thought is negative or unresolved, it is lurking around for you to finish what you started and bury it in the right way, make it complete. When your thoughts are contradictory and have no clarity, you create a universe of thought forms that actually live off your energy. And why not? You are their mother in a strange way.”
This was to become a theme that would be repeated over and over again throughout our work together, continuing even to this day, so great is the power of thought in our lives. Agnes and Ruby are members of the Sisterhood of the Shields, a society of forty-four native shaman women from four different continents who are the inheritors and guardians of a sacred feminine spirituality that is thousands of years old, having been born of our great Mother Earth, herself. Theirs is the observation, study and application of the natural rhythms of life force throughout the entire universe toward a life of balance and harmony here on earth, a life that is in oneness and alignment with the Great Spirit for the higher good of all, and I have been profoundly blessed to be their apprentice, friend and, ultimately, the only non-native member of the Sisterhood of the Shields.
During the course of our work together, I have had to restructure my beliefs as to who I am and what the world is. I came into this work from the perspective of a modern American woman, successful in the world of business but not so successful in my marriage, actively seeking a closer relationship to God but not really finding the abiding spiritual satisfaction that I knew deep within me is there for all of us to claim. In the way of my culture, I was very outward oriented and relied heavily on the conditioning I had received for my cues and clues in life. And like so many people in our chaotic and confusing world today, I was positively riddled with fear, which I generally thought I did a pretty good job of hiding … until my work with these remarkable women.
“When a medicine woman looks at you,” Agnes said to me, “she sees what’s going on. Most people invite the guests and furnish themselves as the meal. Fears always manifest themselves to the one who creates them. I can see when your spirit is food and what entity is eating you. You have many fears around you, and that is why you are so heavy; that is why you get tired and depressed. Without your food-gift of energy, the entity would waste away and perish.”
Any time we have negative thoughts, they steal our life force to some degree. When we hold onto those negative thoughts, we create parasites which live off our life force. And because of that, our negative thoughts have the potential to kill us.
It is a matter of personal choice: Holding onto negative thoughts is always a choice we make. We may not always choose the events and circumstances of our lives, but we certainly choose what we do with them. Everything that we experience in life contains mirrors which reflect back to us both our own innate power and beauty and the things that we most need to learn in life. The sudden experience of fear to a specific happening is an important part of what tells us to get out of the way of danger. But fear is a fleeting entity, one that pops up in response to a specific stimulus. We are the ones who choose to hold onto that fear, usually when we aren’t sure what to do in the situation and don’t want to take the responsibility that has been given to us. When we do that, we furnish ourselves as the meal. Then we end up in a muddle, paralyzed by fear and all that it spawns in our lives.
Learning to stop choosing fear is one of the most profoundly important lessons that we face in life. The women of the Sisterhood of the Shields often tell me that people were never intended to live with all of the chaos, confusion and destructiveness that we face in our world today, but here we are. And the question that exists for each and every one of us is this: What are we going to do about it? What am I going to do in my life so that I stop offering myself up as the meal and instead, do something about the problems that I face in life?
Agnes Whistling Elk always says that Earth is a great schoolhouse; we come here seeking enlightenment, yet it is the one thing of which we are the most afraid. We have all chosen this time to be born into the physical realm for a very good reason: To learn how to deal with the elements of the physical world and learn its lessons on our pathway towards enlightenment. Any time that the events of your life hold up to you the mirror of fear, you know that you are at a time of personal reckoning, a time to be accountable for yourself. You do this by picking up the bow of authority and learning how to use it. The way to rid yourself of fear is by taking responsibility for it instead of complaining about the situation and becoming its victim.
As Agnes said to me, “Lynn, you are being given the opportunity to become a medicine person, a person capable of seeing and knowing and piercing through all the layers of illusion. You must be a warrioress. Your growth is a process and you may not cut out any step of the journey. Accept the lessons, harsh as they may seem to you. Then you become spiritual warrior.”
In this time of great global and individual reckoning, become a true warrior of spirit.