Okay. I am going to let go of deer hunt part II, since it's been sticking in my craw for the past few months without any movement. Instead I offer this train of consciousness clearing of my virtual "throat" to kick out the jams and get the juices flowing.
Ahhhhhhhh! So much happening. So many little discussions, distractions and destinations to explore. I am currently engaged in an on-line workshop in Tibetan Meditation. Yes, I know. I was a bit leery at first as well. On-line workshop in meditation? Really? But it does seem to be working and - like anything else - it's really all about what you put into it. I've been getting up at 6:00 AM in order to sit and practice my QiGong before Meghan (my adorable and demanding almost 1 year old daughter) gets up in the morning – otherwise it just doesn't happen.
Patricia, Meghan and I spent a couple of weeks at the end of March over in Ireland, which is a great place to be at just about any time, just outside Kenmare, County Kerry. We walked an average of 1.5 hours a day and actually did very little that we had planned, instead staying close to "home" and making sure that we had Meghan back at the self catering Holiday House for her afternoon nap and bedtime. This did not leave time for my planned hike around the Ring of Kerry, or any of the other mildly ambitious ideas I had for how we would spend our vacation. Mind you, I am NOT complaining. This was possible one of the most enjoyable and relaxing vacations we have had yet - and that's really saying something.
But I really said all that just to set up for something only vaguely related. Our friend Lisa flew over from Germany to stay with us in Ireland for 5 days and we got a few decent chats in. On one of those chats she managed to stir up some shadows I've not had to deal with for awhile. She was pointing out - in my own mind - that I have the capacity to be extremely successful as a shamanic teacher, writer, etc. She believes that I could teach over in Europe and I know that she's right. So I had to ask myself, why am I not pursuing this?
Okay. There are a few layers of answer here. The most immediate reason is that I am very involved in being a new papa, and that is not a process that I want to be any less engaged in than I am...usually and for the most part. Workshops and conferences in other cities already take me out of town approximately every other month. I think that's probably enough for now. That easily brought the consideration to a halt, at least on a superficial level – but I gradually became aware that it was still ticking away at deeper levels. When I hear about a wildly successful teacher who is offering essentially similar or even lesser material than what I do, I sometimes find myself struggling with my decision to put my "work" on a back burner for awhile.
Initially I saw this as my ego feeling jealous that it wasn't getting its just deserts for all the work it was doing. (My ego/I can sometimes get rather full of myself.) So I passed it off with a compassionate smile, assuming that it would dissolve, as such things tend to do. Instead it stuck around. It took me a couple weeks to realize this. It came to me just recently as I was reading about this recently disrobed zen monk/priest and feeling torn between righteous indignation at his sexual misconduct and compassion for the hungers and shadows that have driven him there. It suddenly occurred to me that I am not being entirely aware of my own process here.
I tend to be rather good, or so I allow myself to believe and pride myself in, at paying attention to what my soul, spirit allies, ancestors and teachers want me to be moving towards. This is probably more true than not, but in this case, I realize that I am actually cowering from what I see as "success." While my reasons are perfectly reasonable, they are also allowing me to avoid something I fear: That if I actually become "too" well known or well paid, my shadows will start chewing on me as well. And so maintain a pretty low profile, make sure I don't do anything that would attract "too much" notice, and tell myself that I am showing integrity by being a good husband and father.
It occurs to me now that, while true – this is also a pile of crap. If I was really ready to face my demons, I would easily find ways to move my work of Post-Tribal Shamanism forward while still having quality time with my family.
Not a comfortable place to find myself it. Just goes to show you, as soon as you start resting on your laurels, they will start poking you.