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SPIRITUAL SELF IMPROVEMENT






JOURNALS

The most important step in spiritual development is to purchase a blank book or notebook to keep as a journal. Many people prefer to have several books, or find that looseleaf binders are easier to work with. With the journal you will keep track of your progress during meditations and vision quests, write down all of the dreams you remember upon waking in the morning, and keep track of your mental and physical development (changes).



NEGATIVITY


In order to be an effective Shaman you must be able to break negative connections from your past and present life in order to be balanced. Negative influences can be bad habits, negative behavior patterns, or people that are part of your life.

One of the best ways to eliminate negativity in your life, is to just stop thinking negative thoughts. When you find yourself feeling ill will towards a person or situation, depressed, or angry, stop! Reverse that process, think positive thoughts. See yourself in the positive situation you would like to be in, see yourself sending love to someone you are angry at, see yourself in that new car, or signing the mortgage to your new home, see youself in that home, visualize yourself with all of your needs fulfilled. Visualize yourself, your loved one or your pet healed, vibrant and happy. And then learn to be happy about what you do have. You are alive, you have people that love you, or a pet that loves you. Picture and remember everything that you do have, that is good and be thankful for it, be happy that you have what you have, even if it isn't much!

Then make a written list of all of your negative traits and habits, as if you were an outsider. Take some time with this, be honest. You are the one that will be hurt by refusing to accept the truth. No one can change things for you. You must begin an active program of eliminating self-destructive behavior.

Negative behavior traits include dishonesty, disobeying the law, alcohol and drug abuse, violent temper, stealing, physical abuse of yourself and others; cruelty to animals, cheating, abuse of food (over eating or under eating), mental and emotional abuse of yourself or others, negative thoughts/words, disrespect of others, blackmail, manipulation, threatening, harassment or stalking others (which includes the belief that you have the right to force your religious beliefs or personal opinions on others.).

When you are done writing your list, make another one listing all of your positive traits and habits. Once again, be honest with yourself. Do not allow yourself to be programmed to believe that you are not a good person.

Put both of your lists aside for a week or two, then read them again. Make any necessary corrections or additions. Choose one habit from your negative list, deciding how you are going to correct the problem. Work on the negative habits one at a time until you notice a difference in your behavior patterns. It can take some time, don't try to rush your progress. Some habits (or negative people) that affect you today are the result of actions from a past life. You must still correct the problem by taking an active responsible role in eliminating it. If you have an addiction, then it is best to seek professional help as well.




After you have examined yourself for habits, set aside some time to think about the people in your life. Do you have friends or relatives that are always out of sorts, depressed or ill tempered when they come to visit, but leave happy and refreshed after a visit with you? If you think back very carefully you will also realize that you felt drained, depleted or tired after a visit with this particular person(s). Whether you realize it or not, these people are energy vampires. They are zapping you of the energy you need to get through life, and leaving you unbalanced. You must sever your connections with them in order to spiritually progress. If you feel that you cannot just "dump" that person, then make certain any physical contact is during a period of time when the individual is in a balanced, happy, energetic mood. This includes family members, parents and spouses. You are the one who chose to start a friendship or relationship with this person, and you have the freedom of choice to end it. You are the one responsible for your decisions.


It's not healthy to be involved in a relationship with an abusive spouse, sibling, parent or relative. There is no excuse for continual criticism, attempting to control you, or cheating you. You must decide whether you wish to continue to be abused by these people or whether you wish to sever any further contact.



CORRECTION METHODS

Once you have started to change your negative life patterns/habits, you must work on making these changes permanent. Unfortunately, the subconscious mind does not always accept the fact that you truly desire to make these changes permanent. There are several techniques which can be employed to influence the subconscious. In the astral plane you have already learned to drop your problems into the river . In the physical realm you can perform physical rituals, in which you burn them away. Start with a list of your most annoying or destructive behaviors, don't try to handle all of them at one time.


The best time to perform the ritual is on New and Full Moons. You can incorporate this into your regular esbats, or keep them separate if you are not a solitary practitioner. Take a metal bowl or cauldron*, a white* 1 hour (or black to dispel negativity) candle, write down your problems on a small slip of paper. Light the candle sitting quietly . Hold the slips of paper in your hands while you go over the reasons why you wish to rid yourself of these problems, then affirm your will to release them. Light the pieces of paper one at a time with the candle, drop it in the bowl allowing it to burn. Continue to meditate on dispelling (releasing) the negative habits or influences in your life until the candle burns down. After the ritual you should dispose of the ashes through burial, or by placing them in a paper bag covering them with salt and immediately disposing of them in the nearest trash dumpster. Remember to be environmentally conscious, especially if you live in a coastal area, where the water will wash into the ocean.


Additionally, the waning moon is a great time to focus on burning your problems away. Take a small black candle (preferably one with a burning time of 1-2 hours), place it on a table or altar. After invoking the Goddess, or God, anoint your candle with oil, light the candle, then write down your problems on a small piece of paper as before. Concentrate on releasing those problems, and your desire to be permenantly free of them, then burn the paper as before. It is best if after you burn the paper to continue to concentrate on release until the candle burns down. Close your circle thanking the deity, then dispose of the ashes as before. Continue these burning rituals periodically until each problem has disappeared from your life on a permanent basis.





*You may also employ this method using your fireplace a circled fireplace in a Park (which allows you to build fires) or a bonfire at the beach. The important thing is to find a way to dispose of the ashes away from your home.

*Some practitioners prefer white candles for purity and positive energy. I prefer to use black as it signifies negativity--which is exactly what you want to get rid of. Just as the paper petitions are burned away, the candle further signifies the burning and melting away of your negative habits. I also recommend burning Sandalwood incense. We have used Sandalwood in our home for years to dispel negativity whenever there seems to be a giant obstacle in our path. This works for anything that is in your way or causing you problems (such as: bickering, arguing, financial problems, illness, depression, unruly house spirits, car problems, etc.) The moment we take the time to burn Sandalwood incense along with a brief meditation, the problems or obstacles clear away within an a few hours.






REALIGNING THE BODIES



METHOD #1



As Humans we have several bodies outside of the physical self we are aware of. As Shamans we will encounter these various bodies while on our travels therefore, we must be able to recognize, as well as know how to work with them.

The Mental Body - This is a collection of the mental vibrations which make you who you are. When you are off center in your thoughts, opinions, or fanatical in your outlook, it is because the mental body is off center and must be realigned with your physical body.

The Emotional Body - This is the emotional self, both positive and negative. This body changes frequently because our emotions often change frequently. This body projects it’s current state of being into your aura, and may cause bursts of color to shoot out.

The Astral Body - When you travel into the astral plane, this is the form you travel in. The astral body is a duplicate of your physical body, with the ability to travel through time and space.

The Spiritual Body - This is also called the “soul.” It is the most subtle and etheric of all of your bodies. This body very rarely becomes off center, if so it will only be slighly off center as this body stays within the vicinity of the physical body until death.

All of your bodies should line up with the outline of your physical body like layers. However, one or more of these bodies can get out of line, causing you to feel out of touch or displaced. On the lighter side you may just feel out of it, if you have been jolted out of a meditation, astral journey or a deep sleep. Most of the time they realign themselves after a brief period of time through your meditations and spiritual work. When they do not realign themselves it can cause mental, emotional, physical and spiritual problems. However, you are definitely in need of realignment if you have experienced an emotional stressor such as changing/losing a job, breakup of a relationship, death of someone close to you, or you have been ill.

To realign your bodies go to a quiet place in your home where you won’t be disturbed. Take slow deep breaths as you slowly relax your body. Use your third eye or imagine yourself stepping out of your physical body. Check for signs of a blurred or hazy aura. The normal aura should have a deep smooth glow.

Start with the mental body which is closest to your physical body. Visualize yourself pulling it over your body like a dress or a shirt, then even it out with your hands until it is snugly back in place.

Your emotional body is the next to pull back into place. This body will be pulsing, glowing , multi colored and full of energy due to emotional flux. Realigning your emotional body will be more difficult, especially if you have undergone an emotional stressor. Pull your emotional body over your physical and mental bodies, remembering to even it out until you are comfortable with the results.

Now you need to pull your astral body into place. Although the astral body is the easiest to realign, it can also be very problematic if you have a subconscious will to escape this life on earth. If this is the case, then you need to do some serious work on yourself before you will be able to realign the astral body. You should also consider therapy or Shamanic counseling. If your astral body is out of alignment it can cause headaches, stomach problems, attitude problems and listlessness. Realign your astral body the as you did the others.

Your last body to realign is the spiritual body. This body is subtle it has a warm, bright, glowing/shining appearance, it holds the very essence of creation connecting us to the universe and our creator. You will only need to smooth this body along the exterior, unless you have recently undergone a severe trauma or have been in a coma. *
from Oak Ash & Thorn by DJ Conway



METHOD #2













I use the egg method for aura healing and alignment in combination with the Chakra Meditations.








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