One of the most important things that I’ve learned in my life and continually utilize is the process of shifting. Shifting might mean deciding not to get drawn into someone else’s drama, even when I feel I might be helpful. Shifting might mean something as simple as making the decision to drive in a different direction from the usual route. Shifting might mean breaking a comfortable routine, allowing the self to encounter something new, even if that something is potentially disturbing or challenging. Shifting might mean asking the self to forego a habit or an emotional attachment, nurturing or otherwise. Shifting might mean asking the self to turn inward rather than project onto another person or situation that which is creating turmoil or incident within. Shifting might mean asking the self to take a big leap into new life, or acquiescing to the inner process, or beginning the process of recapitulation.
The main thing about learning to become a shifter is that it requires action, and action comes from making a decision that, for better or worse, will lead to change. Sometimes shifting means going back and revisiting something that we haven’t quite finished, such as a relationship, an emotional attachment, a fantasy, until we get what we need or learn that what we thought we needed never existed there to begin with. It might mean finally accepting that our dreams are in our own hands, not in anyone else’s, and then making them reality. Shifting—asking the self to move out of one place and into another—offers us the opportunity to experience life differently and more fully.
During my recapitulation process, I discovered that in physical shift, by actually moving my body, I could aid my process. I could cut through stagnancy, repulsive thoughts, physical paralysis, and repetitive behaviors. I could shift out of memories that took over and consumed my energy. But what I also learned was that shifting took work. It required grounding and alertness so that I could maintain enough awareness to know exactly when it was time to shift. It meant daring to allow myself to take back control in situations where I felt I had no control. It meant that I had to forge a steady adult presence that could appear when necessary and make a decision about how to proceed.
This was a growing process that ran parallel to the recapitulation process. So that while I was breaking down and breaking through old stuff—disassembling the protective, defended self I had become as a result of trauma—I was simultaneously building up a strong and independent self, an evolving self. This evolving self gradually learned that it was okay to say no at the proper times, to take back as well as nurture fragmented parts of myself. This evolving self allowed the recapitulating self to have the necessary experiences, even some very difficult and frightening ones, but this self never abandoned the recapitulating self. Even when it was just in the beginning stages of being forged, it had an underlying sense of what was necessary. And so it learned to stand aside so I could have the experiences I needed to have, but at the same time it was busy capturing lost energy, strengthening each time an experience was recapitulated.
Recapitulation affords us the opportunity to become a shifter, in a shamanic sense to know immediately how to act, how to move, how to speak, and how to protect our energy without having to even think about it. For that is the ultimate goal of recapitulation, to recapture our lost energy in the healing process it affords, so that we may have it for impeccable use in this life and in the next. However, to get to that place of being able to act so succinctly and impeccably, we must train ourselves during our recapitulation to become fully conscious and to stay conscious.
Although recapitulation may take us on a journey we had not anticipated, we must forge a self willing to take the journey, not be a slave to it, but a fully accepting participant. Indeed, there are times when in the midst of recapitulation we might feel overwhelmed, taken places we don’t want to go. We might even allow ourselves to go places we know we shouldn’t go. But we must train ourselves to pull our heads up out of the muck long enough to remember that we are recapitulating for a reason, and we must be ready to face whatever that reason is. It might be clear or it might be a mystery, but we must remember that once we begin recapitulation we are surrounded by the ancient intent of recapitulation.
As we take our journey, we must become conscious of how the unconscious guides us, how intent works, and how we are guided in all sorts of ways through our trials. It is in times such as these, when we might feel helpless, that our shifting abilities are honed. In our darkest hour our greatest challenges come to teach us.
Becoming conscious requires acquiescence. Acquiescence may be the most difficult part of the recapitulation process, but once we clearly speak the words of acquiescence—Okay, take me on this journey, I’m ready to do it—consciousness will naturally arise and lead us to hone our skills. In acquiescence, we will gradually experience that which we thought we might never experience, that which we projected onto others or rejected out of hatred for ourselves, thinking we were unworthy of love, of happiness, of a life worth living.
In acquiescing to our recapitulation journey, we accept that a new self is going to emerge, in fact in acquiescing we intend a new self. We become braver and more daring as we recapitulate, as we hone our fragmented self into a new stronger self. As we dare to face what comes to greet us, we hone the ability to shift out of any potentially harmful attachment or experience. We might suffer a few failures at first, but that is just to awaken our consciousness to the reality of the recapitulation process, letting us know how it will steer us along, helping us to see just where our greatest work lies. Whatever our greatest work is—whether getting beyond self-hatred, self-pity, self-doubt, inflation or deflation, negativity or inertia—our final oath of acquiescence offers us a major tool in honing our ability to shift.
In acquiescing to our recapitulation journey we are accepting that we are part of something bigger, far beyond the world as we experience it on a normal day. We are accepting that there is good energy available to us too, and as we take our journey we find it making its way toward us more often than ever before.
Once we decide to take our recapitulation journey we discover that in conscious awareness, in honing ourselves as shifters in both waking and dreaming states, we become aware of the truth of interconnected energy, aware that we are all part of it, that it flows to us and through us. Such energy exists for all of us, but we must work at achieving such awareness and the means to accessing it. The tools are within.
The biggest and most ready tool is what our unconscious brings to us, and the next tool is our conscious decision to go deeper into our unconscious, into our darkness and our light, for they reside side by side, just as our recapitulating self resides alongside our evolving self.
We are all offered, many times in a lifetime, the choice to either go on a journey with our spirit or to reject it. If we make the choice to reject it, I can state that—based on my own previous life lived during the first 50 years of this lifetime—we will suffer. If we make the choice to join our spirit, we will free ourselves of our suffering and reconstruct ourselves according to our deepest truths, our spirit alive in us, taking us into vibrant new life. This I can state from my own decision to do so, and my own experience since then. As always, it’s a personal choice. Do I stay the same or do I evolve?
There is always support as we take the recapitulation journey. Support comes from without and within, from our guides in this world and beyond, from our spirit’s intent and the intent of the shamans, from our unconscious and conscious selves, from our memories as they challenge us to recapitulate and our evolving selves as they challenge us to trust the journey, to sweep away doubt and judgment, the old voices and the old fears, and to keep going. And that is my intention today, to pass on the energy that urges us all to evolve. Keep going! You’ll get there! Life awaits!
Sending love and energy as you dare to take the full journey to freedom,