*DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS A BIT LONG
So. Many. Things.
I can't possibly tell you everything. It's too wide, too complex, too freaking bizarre.
But I can tell you, I saw a shamanic healer roughly two weeks ago, and it freaked me the f*** out. And in its insaneness, it may have just saved my sanity.
Before I get into the shortest version of this story I could possibly tell, let me preface by saying, I'm totally a science geek. I like facts. I like research. I like data. I like explanaitions that make sense. And as I may have mentioned before, despite being a massage therapist named Crystal, I'm not especially new-agey. I'm also not especially spiritual.
But I AM open.
Who the hell am I to declare what is real or not?
Back to the shaman.
I brought an egg (as directed by said shaman) that would be the new keeper of my woes. The shaman would read it much like a mystic would read tea leaves, and then clean away said woes with a feather. And wouldn't you know, the very second the shaman cracked the egg, I, myself, cracked...big time.
Actually, l didn't just crack, I crumbled. I sobbed like a baby.
Ok, so the shaman did their shamany work. My sobbing waned to weeping, and waned again to a place of stillness. A place that felt, dare I say it(?), peaceful.
Woof. I exhausted.
After drinking some water and giving my nose a good blow, it was time to find me a power animal.
Yup. For real.
This is a process that involves something called a journey. My role in this process is very passive. In fact, I got to just lie down on the couch (thank goodness, because I was wiped out) and listen to what the shaman experienced in their travels through realms I'll never understand.
I'm telling you, this stuff is crazy.
To make a long story short, I was appointed a mountian goat.
At first I kinda giggled, but then quickly got a little nervous.
My very first Thanksgiving meal after bravely making a solo move to Alaska at the ripe age of twenty-one, included the sinewy proteins from, you guessed it, a mountain goat.
Shit. Did it come back to haunt me?
I expressed my fear to the shaman, and they assured me that the mountain goat had my best intentions at heart.
Cool. Let's proceed.
The mountain goat came to me because I needed to be sure of myself, of my proverbial footing through life, sure of my voice (somewhere along the way my bravery has turned into doubt). It also arrived because I needed to be more playful (I appear to be very playful on social media, but the truth is, I'd actually become quite serious, anxious, and depressed while I was forcing myself to 'figure it all out'.).
Where's the joy, Crystal?
My homework was to do things like, dance with my mountain goat, thank it for walking with me through the day, trust that my mountain goat will come to me in my times of need. I was also assigned the task of doodling hearts. My heart needed a little extra TLC, too.
*thanks for haning in there, this blog post is a long one.
So, I decide to get to it. I tucked myself up in my little studio and started painting a picture of a heart.
And I labored over it.
I found myself hunched over my heart, clenching my pen, critiquing every line I made. ...guess who showed up.
I'm not even kidding.
In the middle of my first heart exercise, absorbed in my rigid, judgey, mind, came an image of a mountain goat.
It jumped around and shook its ass at me, then spun around and looked me square in my mind's eye.
At first I felt like a crazy person. But then I said, fuck it, and blurted out in laughter.
Lighten up, Crystal.
So, this is where Mountain Goat came from, but what about Big Mama?
As I mentioned earlier, I'm not especially spiritual, and I'm certainly not religious (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not my jam). There are, however, times in life when exexplained greatness has happened. Moments in which one might (dare I say) divine intervention was at work. For these episodes I've appointed a conductor called, Big Mama.
Big Mama feels loving, and strong. She also feels like she's not going to let you get away with any shit. You know, tough love.
God terrifies me. I mean, people are literally killing eachother over the definition of God, so I tend to stay away from it/him/her. The God concept seems too messy for me. If you're into the the God thing, however, kudos! You know, if you're in it for the 'love thy neighbor' stuff and not all the passing judgement crap. Well done. But for me? I've got Big Mama.
Anyway, the times I've tapped into my tiny, minuscule fiber of Big-Mama-ness, she's provided. But for whatever reason, I falter in my devotion.
But this goat...
I've made huge strides in just two weeks with letting go of some stuff that no longer serves me. I'm finding ways to allow joy back into life. I'm practicing being sure in myself and exercising my voice. And I swear, it's mostly because of this goat.
AND THIS BRINGS ME TO THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS BLOG....
For SOME reason I'm having an easier time latching on to this power animal thing than I am to God. Maybe it's because in my vulneralbe state (post egg-cracking-sob-session), I was with a person who I trust, and was told that I can have this creature that only wants the best for me, that believes in me. Maybe the mountain goat doesn't represent anything threatening or judgemental. Maybe it's because the mountain goat is all my own. Maybe it's really truly there. I don't know.
What I do know is that when I'm vulnerable, when I let go of control, when I surrender to the unknown, when I allow joy and love into my life, I'm all the better for it. Life seems a great deal easier and desireable, and I'm totally willing to dance with a mountain goat for that.