Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweating It Out

I have in the past been in sweats myself, and no one got hurt, no one died. I have led sweats myself, and no one got hurt and no one died. I have also been to firewalks. I have walked on fire and saw many others do it without getting hurt or dying.

I used to lead drumming circles and there were always people who came because they liked the energy and the feel of the circles, but had no training or experience with percussion instruments and drums. And yet, eventually, they all participated.

In each case, I always gave people permission to quit if they did not feel like they could keep up with everyone else. It was always my experience that they would get some value out of it even if they had to withdraw and sit out for the balance of the event.

If they were in a sweat and they said they needed to get out, they were let out so they could get fresh air, water and something to eat. They would sit with the firekeepers. When people were at a firewalk and didn't feel ready to do it, they were encouraged to simply sit on the side and watch other people. There is a lesson for people in that way too.

Drumming circles posed no possibility of physical danger as did a sweat or firewalk, but it was my experience, and I led drumming circles for years, that if you let a person join in when they are ready to join in, or leave when they want to leave that they will get value from the experience, and in most cases, when they felt ready, their energy would blend into the circle beautifully.

I no longer facilitate such events simply because I am focused on other things now.

Tarot readings, tarot teaching and dealing in tarot decks is my public activity right now and that is very rewarding. The daily challenge I set for myself writing on this blog is another.

I do a lot of one-on-one coaching and consultations which I offer in a private setting, and you can read more about those on my website. Some people do great in big workshops and others flourish in the one-on-one environment.

The key to all of these personal development challenges is to know what it is you really want to do and to give yourself permission to quit if you feel that it is time to quit. Focus your attention on what it is you really feel most important to do.

Nobody needs to walk on fire, spend hours in a sweat, climb mountains, go on vision quests, fast in the wilderness, jump out of airplanes, deep sea dive, drink ayahuasca or eat mushrooms. These are all just tactics we use to break through limitations.

We have all kinds of challenges in life and our first task is to decide which ones we need to meet.

For some people letting go of their concerns about not having the most beautiful voice, or not knowing the finer points of music will allow them to listen to others, join in, let their energy flow, experience joy and visionary states. It was said by another drum master that a person who does not know how to drum is one who does not know how to listen.

When I used to teach creative writing, one of the comments I heard often from new students is that they did not know if they could write. But after I told them that they had permission to write whatever they wanted and not to censor themselves, suddenly those very same people were writing good stories. They just had to let themselves go.

For some people, decluttering their own home and office so that they only have what they really want and really use would be a far more cathartic and valuable experience than walking on fire or sitting in a sweat.

There are those who hold onto every souvenir, every scrap of paper, old magazines, old newspapers, clothing that they have not worn in years, equipment from sports they no longer play and will never play again, broken appliances, and other things they have never gotten around to fixing. A person in this situation is really needing some coaching and support in the art of letting go.

For some people, learning to let themselves experience the ecstasy of orgasm on a regular basis would be far more beneficial than walking on fire or sitting through a sweat.

Each of us has different challenges to sweat out. Which one is most important to tackle first? Choose. Now if you want help doing it, ask.

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