Dear Shamwow Shaman:
I’m a spiritual seeker, always looking to know myself better, and raise my level of consciousness. I’ve recently had a few experiences with practitioners who seemed so highly evolved but turned out to be smoke and mirrors. It seems like everyone has a website, a workshop, great pictures, and great reviews. How can I tell what or who, is the real deal? Any insight would be great.
A Spiritual Seeker
Dear Sincerely Seeking:
Discernment is one of the spiritual gifts and a great one to have. In fact, the first time I can remember using this little blessing was Sea Monkeys. Remember them?
I just knew that those Sea Monkeys, heavily advertised in the back of every Betty & Veronica comic I had, wouldn’t bring MY family the laughter, joy and happiness the Transcience Corporation was promising. No matter how “adorable”, I intuitively knew these minute creatures bringing our family of nine together over the top of a fish bowl would not result in the promised “bowl of happiness”.
So, how can you, a seeker, start developing that gift of discernment when everywhere you turn you’re being offered “Sea Monkeys” that after a little look turn out to be about as adorable as that space thing that was popping out of people and running after Sigourney Weaver?
First, remember that we don’t attract what we want, we attract what we are. So, you’d have to do a little soul searching and figure out what’s all smoke and mirrors about you lately. Dig right down and get to the truth. I know, it’s messy, but everything on the outside is always a reflection of the inside, so you’ve actually got the answer and it’s more than what you’re telling me. Still baffled?
Okay, flex that discernment muscle a little, ask yourself a few Q’s, and get quiet and listen for the answers:
- What’s drawing me to this particular practice?
- Is it the practice or the person I’m drawn too?
- What do I want out of this practice or person?
- Am I willing to practice what they will teach me on my own, or do I just need someone to “do” something to me so I don’t have to do any work myself? (I know that hurts.)
- How will I determine if what I have received is as valuable as what I am giving?
- Am I willing to ask a practitioner why they practice, how long they have practiced, how they see themselves, how they use what they know in their everyday life? If I hear claims that seem impossible or unlikely, am I willing to ask more questions?
If you’ve got friends who are seekers like you, tweak those questions up and get recommendations but remember, we all don’t like the same hair dresser, so how could we all like the same healer? If you look through your friends and the big hot messes (we all have them, and we all love them, we just don’t want to be them) are all using the same person, you might want to believe what you see. Just saying.
Whenever you feel that “oh no” twinge, listen up! That’s your discernment muscle twitching.
Good luck! Oh, and Google too. Don’t forget the Google