In 2003, while in the process of a shamanic recapitulation, which I have written extensively about in my books as well as my blogs, I discovered something important. I knew that change would not happen, not even consciously-willed change, such as adopting new habits, if I didn’t completely rid myself of the root cause of my problems.
As a practicing hypnotist I became well aware of this. A hypnotist cannot change anyone or anything. A hypnotist only makes suggestions as to how change may come about, but real change only comes from within. Too many times people look for a “quick fix,” but the truth is there are no quick fixes. Yes, there are plenty of techniques for achieving calmness and steadiness, techniques that provide relaxing effects, but longterm change requires patience and deep work on the self.
My discovery—that change can only happen if the root cause is eradicated—is not new, but when I discovered it for myself I felt as if I HAD discovered it. This is a phenomenon of deep inner work, as we tread into the territory of ancient knowledge where that which has not yet been revealed is revealed, as if for the very first time.
Anyone doing deep work has the opportunity to discover such phenomena, in a personally meaningful and pertinent way, making such experiences strikingly unique and helpful. Such phenomenal discoveries, if taken seriously and acted upon, have the possibility to become the great catalysts they portend to be, leading to real and lasting change.
During the recent Mercury Retrograde, which I know many people experienced in very potent ways, I entered the whirlwind of its energy too and barely had time to pause for breath. Confrontational circumstances arose repeatedly, old issues were revisited, changes occurred, and I was given the opportunity to discover a lot of things. How far have I really come? The lessons of this most recent Mercury retrograde were many. It was a good time for all of us to test what we’ve done with our lives and to perhaps discover that we really have changed and we will continue to change because we’re ready to do so.
In 2003, as I was recapitulating my childhood and discovering the root cause of all that plagued me then, Mercury was also retrograde, four times that year. For most of that year I simultaneously and repeatedly faced my deepest core issue: fear. I was afraid of everything, I discovered.
My challenge then was to face and release myself from the clutches of all-pervasive fear, completely eradicating it from my being, for I knew that to embrace any idea of change without that complete eradication was just a cover up, another avoidant behavior, many of which I was very skilled at. How could I truly change if I refused to change myself at the deepest level, if I continued to ignore that core issue? I knew that the intent to change, by itself, no matter how strong, wasn’t going to have any effect without complete and conscious eradication of what really controlled me.
I knew that eradication of the fear would also provide room for change. If I was no longer consumed by fear, I’d have energy for other things. To aid in that process, I envisioned making space inside my body. The absence of fear, I envisioned, would create enough room in my physical body to allow for the change I so desired. Until the fear was gone I was just pushing it around inside me, restocking it, re-encapsulating it in some other body part, not getting rid of it as I should. I also knew that if I continued that habit I would never be free of the pain that plagued my physical body.
Once I became aware of the reason for the fear, I could deal with it. At the time, I wondered: How can you tackle something you don’t know about? I knew I had to continue the deep work of recapitulation, the technique that was proving to be the answer to all my questions, if I was to discover the remaining mysteries of myself and my past. It was the path to knowing myself on the deepest level.
So, as I dove deeper into the recapitulation process and deeper into my inner world, my inner self, and my past, the deeper mysteries of who I was and what controlled me became very clear. At the time, I also knew that I had to find a new way to tackle the fear; not in the old way of holding it in and avoiding or running from it, but by facing it, getting the truth of it, and letting it release, without restriction, to flow out of my body once and for all.
It was the final stage of my shamanic recapitulation, to let go of everything that I held inside me, thinking that I needed it or that it served a purpose. I discovered that fear had no real purpose, it was just an old habit, and that it had a sneaky way of holding me back from fully living. Once I faced, resolved and released the many faces of fear, I advanced into a new reality and new life. In addition, the phenomenal discoveries that punctuated my deep inner work during my recapitulation have never ceased to visit, enlighten, and inspire me.
Everything comes in its own time; what we need and what we are ready for is revealed at the right time. I learned that during my recapitulation too; as difficult as many of my memories were to face, I truly was ready to confront and resolve them so that I could eradicate the fear that I had been bound in my entire life, that had me physically bound in pain and inertia. I discovered that fear was nothing more than a habit, that it only really existed because I was attached to it. Like worry, it was just another entity not worthy of my attention.
Our core issues come to challenge us. What frightens or bothers us generally will show up during times of change, whether change that we instigate or change forced upon us.
As we change and move forward in life, we are able to look back with the kind of clarity that a Mercury Retrograde brings, along with its dizzying energy of confrontation and recapitulation, so that we can come out of it having moved along to a new level on our journeys. As we turn back to look at the distance we’ve come, we notice that we really have changed, perhaps in small ways, perhaps in greater ways, but changed we are nonetheless!
NOTE: Chuck wrote about a similar process a few weeks ago in his blog entitled: Face, Feel & Absorb