Passionate Spirituality

In preparing for an upcoming retreat she was facilitating, a very lovely friend of mine asked if I would care to respond to a question surrounding her main theme for the event. The question asked was "What does passionate spirituality mean to you?" Having dashed something off (she asked it be only a few sentences), I thought it would be nice to provide my answer here, with an invitation for readers to add theirs to the comments. I'd love to hear your own thoughts!

To me, “passionate spirituality” is the drive I feel within myself to live life honestly; to make, what is at times, the hardest choice to do what’s right -- even when most inconvenient -- and to live in a manner congruent with what I profess to be my beliefs. Passionate for me means having faith that is strong enough to weather rough seas without capsizing my boat, to smile in the midst of tears, knowing a light will dawn with the new day, and to laugh at myself and my foibles, all the while being able to truly see the beauty all around me. From whence comes this deep desire to be aligned with Light, to behold the world with wonder, and to walk in love and humble gratitude if not from Spirit who created All? 


May you live true to your own Passion,

Happy Earth Day!
I Thank You God for Most This Amazing

I thank you God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping, greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural
which is infinite
which is yes

(I who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;
this is the birthday of life and love and wings:
and of the gay great happening illimitably earth)

How should tasting touching hearing
seeing breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human-merely-being
doubt unimaginable You?

(Now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

by E.E. Cummings
The Key to Everything

The Heart of the Shaman


We’re living in an amazing time, a time when prophecies offered throughout the ages are finally coming to pass. Today, we are witnessing and participating in the collective, transpersonal remembrance that we are so much more than flesh third-eye-light.jpgand blood; that the true nature of ourselves and the universe is more than has been dreamt of in our science and philosophies. It is an age of throwing off historic shackles of mind control, tearing down energy fences that separated us from galactic neighbors, and obliterating spiritual oppression to reclaim our birthright as Children of God. This is the time that the psychics, seers, lightworkers, and pathfinders of the past century foresaw, dreamt of, and worked to prepare for us. This is the age of our coming into Power.


A lot of the people I meet – as with many of you readers out there – are excited about the potentialities we are discovering and the manifestations we are experiencing. And well you should be. It’s truly exciting stuff! As a spiritual guide, however, I want to share my concerns that so much of this “awakening to power” appears to be taking place apart from true psychological and spiritual development.


In the “old days” when I was coming up, there was strong resistance in every quarter toward anyone finding their power. Science wasn’t talking about quantum realities, as it is now, but Newtonian physics. Medical centers didn’t believe in Healing Touch, or even the power of Prayer; they promoted the “unholy trinity” of drugs, radiation and surgery. And people like me, who questioned consensus reality and bucked the status quo, were considered flakes, quacks, and heretics. There were no schools for spiritual development, nor best-selling shamans with programs to be accessed for training. If you really wanted to find out what was “out there,” you had to learn the hard way: through disciplined, individual trail and error, or by finding the rare opportunity to become a real shaman’s apprentice. Such apprenticeships involved a deep commitment of seven to twelve years, during which time one was not only taught a model of the universe and how to access power but, more importantly, was put through a rigorous process designed to heal emotional wounds and purify the intentions of the heart. In short, apprenticeships honed people to be pure vessels for power, not just wielders of it. Today, training programs by “commercial shamans” focus on indigenous cosmology and certain healing skills but do very little in the way of helping students develop as wise, loving, spiritual beings – qualities which were abundant in shamans of old. Just as I found some of the most dysfunctional people in training programs for psychotherapists, I’ve also found some of the most fearful, insecure, jealous, and wounded people in these shamanic programs.


This is not to criticize other urban shamans or any program out there that heartshaped_hands_small.jpgteaches shamanic healing techniques. These programs have their place and are needed in the world today. And people who have been deeply wounded often make the best shamans, once they find their healing. What concerns me, though, is that people are coming out of these programs calling themselves “shamans,” while often lacking that requisite wholeness and balance that title deserves. They are healers, yes. But not shamans in the classical sense.


So what is the point of this little trip down Memory Lane? To point out that, though we are witnessing an unprecedented access to trainings on how to wield power, we are seeing diminishing guidance and apprenticeship on heart-based, compassionate living and being. And it is from this place that all power should, ideally, emerge.


“Without Love Ye are Nothing.”


We are incredible beings with access to Infinite Power. We can travel through time and space, heal with a thought, leave our bodies and travel the stars. We can control the weather, create perfect health, attract wealth, and – dare I say it – manifest world peace…with nothing more than the energy of our thoughts, channeled through focused intent.


But what is seldom discussed and oft overlooked is the fact that we can just as easily use these newfound powers to destroy as to create. If we are empowered to affect reality through Intent: if we learn how to move objects at will or manifest Something from Nothing -- with just a thought -- then don’t you think our thoughts had better be pure? Do you want someone burning alive when you burn inside with anger? Would you like nuclear missiles to go off, or an earthquake to erupt, because your fear is triggered over global events? Do you want to see someone against whom you harbor unforgiveness become chronically ill? Sounds like a Stephen King novel, doesn’t it? Surely none of us would want that! Yet, all potential – for both creation and destruction – resides within that Power toward which we now draw near. It happened in our distant past. That is why it is crucial that we understand, in an age when we are developing command of our Potential, that nothing less than total, absolute, complete and unconditional love for all beings will allow us to craft the world of Light we so desire. This is not a game folks. We’re not here just so we can feel energy buzzing, get psychic hits on lottery numbers or command a parking space to open up. We are here to become gods. Not petty, jealous, and cruel gods. But participants in the Supreme Love that created all things and holds all things together.


Love is the force that turns on the Light. It is the battery, the powerhouse, the generator that ignites and sustains the higher vibrations. That is why the Ascended Master Jesus taught that we should love our enemies and bless those who curse us. Well how many of us do that!? Heck, we have enough trouble just loving our parents who made some mistakes, or the neighbor with the loud music or barking dog. Don’t we now? How many of us can send a heart-of-light.gifbubble of love and light out to surround the terrorist or rapist? Yet these are the tasks that we’re here to do, lightworker. Think about it. We don’t need lighthouses where everyone can already see. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. No, we need the light where the world is dark: in the dangerous places, devoid of hope. Can you love people who don’t believe the same as you? Can you love people who think you’re crazy for believing you have 12 strands of DNA, or that you get messages from angels? Can you love people who say you’re a heretic, an apostate; an insane person? Can you love people who pollute the planet when you hear Gaia crying out to you? SEND LOVE to these people. They are the ones who need it! There’s no one here who doesn’t need love. Our very DNA responds to it. It goes down into the Earth, creating a repository that assists the Mother to vibrate faster, then comes back up in a feedback system designed to enlighten the planet. Your loving a stranger in New York City could help someone forgive their enemy in the Middle East. All around the world love surfaces from the wellspring you help feed. So don’t be afraid; get your love out there!  


Be Not Afraid


You can love as much or as little as you like. The choice is yours; there is no judgment. But let’s get one thing straight: you can give and give all day long if you want and you will never run out of gas. The biggest reason we don’t give more is because we’re afraid. Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love. In the 1980’s a concept called “codependency” became popular, changing our cultural consciousness around giving. People – even therapists and counselors – began teaching that a lot of the ways we were loving were unhealthy, that we shouldn’t give and give; that there’s something wrong with us if we do. helpinghands.jpgWell, here’s the truth: YOU CAN NEVER GIVE TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF. If there’s such a thing as codependency, it is giving out of fear so that someone will return the favor. When we seek something in return, we are clinging to ideas of separation and limitation; operating from a belief that we need to get “our own” reward or our well will somehow run dry. And in the ‘80’s, they were actually telling us this would happen! But our well will never run dry. How can you run out of gas when your tank is running on God, hmm? Pure Living Waters flow out of the spigot all the day long, day and night, and will never, ever stop. The Source is always there; it’s us who turns off the spigot. So turn it on and leave it on and you will find a never-ending flow of love bursting through for yourself and others.


Where’s Your Heart At?


You may be saying about now, “Oh yeah, I have love. My thoughts are pure.” Or you might be thinking, “Gosh, gee. I didn’t really think this all the way though.” If you’re really honest with yourself, power will scare you at least a little bit. The best shamans and healers I know were often the most reluctant ones. We spent more time running from our power than longing for it because we understood the ramifications of it all too clearly. The old saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely” is true. And the only counter – the only thing that can gird us against that corruption – that can save our society, transform our world, and create what we really want in the deepest parts of our heart -- is love.


So while you’re working to develop all your skills, while you’re bringing forth your abilities, celebrating and dancing with joy at your own magnificence and experiencing your power, take the time, also, to ask yourself some hard questions:


  • Is there anyone at all, in the entire world, who I have not forgiven?
  • Is there any person against whom I hold any grudge; any anger?
  • Is there anyone I blame for any of my pain?
  • Is there anyone I envy?
  • Is there any person, thing, or situation that elicits within me jealousy?
  • Is there anything I am afraid of?
  • Do I harbor any beliefs that I am anything less than 100% responsible for how I feel?
  • Do I understand that I am as happy as I choose to be?
  • Am I in any way careless in my caretaking of the earth and her creatures? Do I control or manipulate it/them for my own benefit or amusement?
  • Am I lax in recycling, conserving energy, and other things that can protect Gaia?


If you can answer any of these questions in the affirmative, it’s time to do more work on getting clear. Make a list and keep adding to it. Every day, pay attention to yourself. Like Sherlock Holmes, stalk your every thought and feeling for clues to your own hang-ups and triggers. Do not be dismayed if the list grows long. The more honest you are, the better. If we want a world full of light, that is truly IN-Lightened, then it must start with the person in the mirror, as they say: with our own purity of thought and intention. Then, use that list to go back and systematically remove every imprint, rewrite every story. Forgive every person, including yourself, who you think caused you pain. Face your fears, be gentle with the earth. Some people go to healers like me to facilitate the removal of imprints, a few practice Recapitulation, others go into therapy, while still others use ritual or bodywork to release their inner demons. However you choose to do it, whatever technique(s) you prefer, just to do it. Take the time; commit yourself to the process of purification.


The Place of True Giving


True giving comes from an expanded heart, a place of unconditional love, and occurs so that others -- and the world itself -- can expand. Love does not expect praise, thanks, acknowledgement or anything else in return. The only thing love wants is to see its effects brighten the world. The result of giving is its own reward.


If you can love every day like that, you’re going to be shining a very bright light indeed: on the world, on your own body, on places of darkness you’ve never even been. Perhaps you’re saying, “But how do I do that? If I’m honest with myself, I notice that I do want something back when I love. When I’m nice to someone, I want them to be nice in return. When I do something good, I want to be thanked or noticed. I want someone to tell me I’m good and nice and beautiful. I want to be loved. How do I get away from that?” The answer is in connection with Spirit.


There is no substitute for experiencing the love and the light that is there for you personally. When you taste that Living Water, you’ll have no need for payback birth-of-majeston_cropped-enlarged.jpgfrom others for no one could give you anything so sweet. But to get there, you must make the time to go within yourself, asking Spirit to pour that love through the interdimensional layers of your DNA up into every part of you. Visualize the Pure Light flooding every layer of your being, coming through the Void that is in your DNA, expanding far out past the edges of your aura. Feel it permeate you, saturating your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Make your desire and intentions to be a pure vessel known, and the love will come. It will. It won’t happen overnight, but you will experience a growing awareness of your short-comings and witness them as they easily fall away according to your intent.


Bountiful Benefits


Once you do this work, I guarantee you will feel lighter and freer. You will have less compulsion to overeat or drink. You will cease to attract the wrong kind of lovers, or to attract them for the wrong reasons. You will stop creating a role for yourself as a victim. You will use your skills and powers more naturally and easily, and, most importantly of all, more beneficially to yourself and the planet. As you consciously release all dense energies from your being and invite in Pure Love, you’ll be more comfortable in your skin, whether alone or in a crowd. You’ll be free of the need for attention, of any drive to feel important; free of any agenda at all except to bring love to this planet. You will know pure joy and deep satisfaction. And that is true freedom, my friend, and that is why we are here.

Copyright Ashandra-Aah 2008. May not be copied, sold, or reproduced without author's permission.

Glorious Goals

Happy New Year friends! 


Every year, about this time of year, you no doubt hear people talking about their “New Year’s resolutions.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Next year I’m gonna do _____.” Next year I’m gonna lose weight, next year I’m going to quit smoking, next year I’m gonna exercise more, etc, etc. Yet, once the new year rolls around, how many people actually follow through? Not many, I’m afraid. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. Frustrating, isn’t it? Then, after “failing,” confidence is deflated, your energy around it wanes, and you feel even less likely to succeed than you did before! Not exactly what you had in mind, is in?


The word resolution means to be resolute, to be firm and unwavering in one’s position. When you are resolute, you have a powerful intent. When one is truly resolute, one will not fail. Clearly, we’re having trouble with the resolution part of our New Year’s resolutions. Being resolute is hard. It takes the deepest commitment. And if you’re that ready to make a change, you won’t be waiting for New Year’s to do it. So maybe we need to view New Years resolutions in a different way. The advent of a new year is, after all, an opportunity to make a new start. Any excuse to wipe the slate clean and do better is a good one, right? So how can we make the most of this new year? Here’s some suggestions I hope you’ll find helpful.


Setting Goals


Instead of thinking about resolutions, I like to think of it in terms of New Year Goals. Goals aren’t something you can succeed or fail at. They’re things you choose to work on, that you’re moving toward. So, as Jack Frost drives us to hunker down indoors in search of warmth and comfort, we quite naturally move into a time of reflection and assessment.


My own “looks within time” each year often begins with reading my old journal entries for the past year or two. If you journal, this is a great thing to do on an annual basis. I start by reviewing my previous goals, evaluating how I have grown, what has shifted, and the accomplishments that are manifest. This is important. We don’t want to be so wrapped up in looking for where we fell down or what’s next that we fail to appreciate where we have been and the good we have wrought. We need to rejoice in those things, pat ourselves on the back, and thank Spirit for each healing, shift, and accomplishment. Have a party, go out to dinner – do something nice for yourself!


Reviewing the Year


As I review my notes, I stay aware for any patterns that may want to be uncovered, scanning for weaknesses as I go, and looking for areas in which I have not yet climbed the lofty heights to which I may aspire. Lastly, I scan the spiritual practices, activities, and activations I have performed or engaged in throughout the year, reviewing how those worked out for me, how they may have changed over time; reminding myself what direction I was headed. If you don’t keep a journal, you can do the same thing by just setting aside a good chunk of quiet time to mentally review your year, making notes if wish. As you do so, recall your ups and downs, how you reacted to each, what came out of it, and what you learned. As you review, stay open to Spirit, listening for impressions, intuition, and guidance.


When I’m done reviewing, I spend time just listening to Spirit. Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks or months. Some years the listening process starts as early as September or October. Sometimes it doesn’t start ‘til the last week of the year. It’s a process initiated and guided by Spirit and, since I do it every year, I am aware when Spirit begins triggering the transition into the energy of the new year. You’ll know when the energy is right so, when the guidance comes, start your own “looks within time,” regardless of the time of year. 

Listening Time


Then, when the review is done and you’ve allowed time for contemplation and synthesis of what came before, ask Spirit (which includes your Higher Selves), “What yet needs to be done and what still wants to be healed?” Hold this question in your consciousness for as long as it takes. Remind yourself at the start and end of each day that you intend to receive an answer. After a while, you’ll begin to receive guidance, usually through your strongest “channel.” For some, that may mean flashes of intuition, for others it could be unexpected emotion popping up around a certain activity, event or issue. For others it could present through synchronicities or body awareness. Let these “hits” come without trying to be intellectual or rational about it and, slowly, you will see them begin to form into goals.


The Quest for Goals


Goals for the new year can be anything from minor projects to the most far-fetched spiritual maneuvers. I’ve been doing this every year for decades, almost as long as I can remember. Some of my goals in past years have included:


  • I will and intend to hold Love and faith where fear and doubt now live.
  • I will and intend that I AM a successful healer, helping others to break free of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual patterns that hold them back from their full potential.
  • I will and intend to experience increasing awareness, knowledge, growth and understanding regarding the relationship of food to my entire well-being and to have the desire and commitment to live in accordance.
  • I will and intend to find an artist to do cover art for my book.

When setting goals, look for three things:


1.      What have you already accomplished? How can you go deeper into those areas where you have already been successful? How would Spirit have you broaden those horizons?


2.      Look for areas of weakness in your life. What still troubles you? Do you lose your temper or get hurt easily? Do you still fear committing to love? Do you have a health problem you’d like to see vanish? Do you need to change your diet? Can you improve your practice of forgiveness of yourself and others? Do you need to change a belief you hold?  Look at these areas, asking Spirit for a direction in which to move in order to resolve these issues.


3.      Get in touch with your deepest desires and passions. My deepest desire is to be the master I Am, to ascend on earth and help it move to a place of love, and my mission is to help others come along with me. What is your deepest desire? To manifest the right livelihood, to find a partner, to have a spiritual breakthrough?  Let this passion infuse your goals with energy and guide your priorities appropriately.


Here are some more suggestions to get you started:


  • Make a list of everything you want and believe you need. Then let it lie for a while, listening to Spirit over time about the items listed. What things seem to fall away and which continue hold your interest or begin to feel more urgent? Move them around on the list. Keep doing this until you feel like the things on top are what’s really resonating for you at this time.
  • Use the words “I choose” or “I intend” when writing your goals. Appropriate goals are not things you think you should do; they are things you choose to do, so take responsibility.
  • Sometimes it helps to organize your list by issues or areas of life so you can better see what you’re doing. For instance: material goals, task-related goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals, and emotional goals could all be separate groupings.
  • When finished listing all your goals, summarize those in each area down to one or two over-arching, general goals. This is helpful if you have a long list. It makes the goals appear more manageable, more do-able, and gives you an abridged version to tack on your wall where you can see it every day, reminding yourself of what you’re working on. For example, if you have a lot of goals around your body and health, your general goal may be something like, “I choose to be healthy in all systems, organs, cells, and molecules of my body.”


Breaking it Down


Once you have your yearly goals sifted out of your dreams, desires, and weaknesses, you can further break them down, as appropriate, into weekly, monthly, or seasonal goals. For decades, for example, I have had a monthly goal to always perform a full-moon ritual. The ritual changes with the years and seasons of my life but it does, nevertheless, continue to be a monthly goal. You can also have goals inside of goals. Every month, for example, I determine what I choose for my body, mind, spirit, life and relationships for that month. With each new month, I decide what I need for the next month and consciously intend for that.


Describe your goals to the smallest detail possible.


Again, this helps them feel more realistic and do-able. For instance, if you write, “I intend to quit smoking,” that’s fine and good but that’s a tall order! How about if you intend, instead, to a) check online and with your doctor about aids for quitting, b) find a support group with others who wish to stop smoking, and c) make new friends that don’t smoke? This way, you’re setting up goals that you understand and can implement. If you don’t know what to do to reach your goal, include a goal that says, “I intend to diligently look into how I can stop smoking. I intend to do this by Jan. 31th, 2009.” This is the date by which you will know everything you need to know to help you quit smoking, not the date by which you will quit. Now you’ve reached step 1 in your goal. The next goal would be something like, “I intend to synthesize that knowledge and choose which aids I will use (ie. how I will quit smoking) and to begin to implement them by Feb. 28, 2009.


(Note: If you set date goals for yourself, make sure you transfer them to your calendar, appointment book, and/or online reminder program. Set them up with reminders for 2 weeks before the deadline, 1 week before, 3 days, etc., to keep you mindful of getting it done.)




You now have a precise, spirit-inspired, comprehensive list of what you want to learn, heal, achieve and acquire. Good for you! You’ve done some nice work! Now it’s time to get the ball rolling by announcing your intentions to the Universe. Ritual strengthens intent, deepens resolve, and sets energy in motion.


You can do this by yourself, with your family or close friends. Sharing with a group, that agrees with and supports each others’ goals, further compounds intent. (I don’t recommend it as gathering, however, unless it is with people you are comfortable being quite intimate and vulnerable with.) Call in any guides and helpers you wish and/or do whatever you choose to set apart this space and time as special.  Now read your goals for the next year aloud, concentrating on each as you do so. If you are sharing the event with others, it usually works best if each person reads their entire list before moving to the next. This allows you and your witnesses to more strongly direct focus and intent on each individual’s goals. (Whether you are alone or with others, it is important to read them aloud, for this brings an added vibration to bear, and your body hears it as well.)


After each person has read his/her list aloud, getting oriented to the ideas and energy they represent as a whole, now go back to the beginning. This is your time to declare to yourself, your friends -- the entire universe – that you can and will accomplish these goals. So instead of just saying the goals, you now get to restate each one, with full intention and intensity. This is no time to be a wimp. Now is your time to access Power, channeling it through the Void, to bring each of those things into being. State loudly and clearly – put all on notice – that you “will, command and intend that ______.” State each goal separately and powerfully in this way, letting the joy, the excitement; the anticipation of each fill you up. When all are done, then jointly declare “It is so. So be it, so be it, so be it!” and release it all to the universe. Thank Spirit and all your guides and helpers for being present, close your sacred space, and have fun!


Be Mindful


Finally, make sure the goals are somewhere you will see them every day. Post them on the wall to read while you brush your teeth, set time aside to meditate on them daily, read the list before you get out bed, whatever works for you. The important thing is to intend beforehand how you will stay mindful of your goals, not letting them get buried in a drawer, metaphorically or physically. These are the things you choose to work on, your own dreams and desire. It’s up to you to honor yourself enough to allow a growing consciousness around them to evolve. Then, by the time the end-of-year review rolls around, and you once again begin the process for a new cycle, you may just be surprised how much you’ve really gotten done!


Today is the first day of the rest of your Life!

 Make it Count!

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Copyright, 2008 all rights reserved.