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The Spiritual Guide to Overcoming Loneliness

18 Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Your Medicine Bag to Use Anytime The Loneliness Is Too Much to Handle

Estimated Reading Time: 28 min

Almost all of the people who I’ve formally interviewed in the past two years (36 people and counting) about their struggles in finding joy and happiness and who I've worked with doing emotional/spiritual work (dozens of seekers) have a story.

loneliness-story

Deep within that story is a defining moment where the pain became almost too much to bear.

A moment where he thought to himself:

“I’m not sure how much longer I can take this.”

“This” suffering may have been triggered by an external event that rocked this individual’s metaphorical boat.

  • A mother, father, or partner who suddenly passed away.

  • The loss of a job that once defined him.

  • A relationship gone awry that leaves him tossed about with no sense of where the ground lies.

Interestingly, the majority of people I spoke to didn’t have this type of external event at the time I spoke to them. That moment was most often, years, if not decades, in the past.

Yet, they suffered.

What they did have was immense pain behind a protective veil that was only a present moment away from exploding into existence. There was no apparent trauma by commission. No traumatic event that involved another person (i.e. observing violence or war, molestation, or rape).

What was present for the majority of these individuals was trauma by omission. It was the lack of being held, supported, loved, and nurtured that caused the individual, usually at a very early age, to take the smallest traumatic event and turn it into a ball-and-chain that he would have to carry around his ankle for decades on the journey of his life until he became aware of that heavy weight and decided:

“I don’t want this ball-and-chain tied to my body anymore. I desperately want to release it.”

What so many of us don't realize is as adults, the lack of love and judgement that characterizes continued struggling and suffering, doesn't come from outside of us.

loneliness-ball-and-chain

We are own worst enemy.

That’s my story too.

One of my loved ones used to say to me:

“You have such a gifted life. What could possibly be the problem?”

I’m clear how privileged my life. All white, male, Americans have a leg up when it comes to the rest of the people on this planet.

Yet, I suffered.

I write this article coming from my own wound. My own memories of how I suffered.

The Greatest Teachers Within Our Stories

There I was, in my bed room, just before I fell asleep.

The lamp was dimly lit.

Charcoal writings of desperation, done at my own hand, surrounded me on the walls of my bedroom as a high school adolescent who just wanted to fit in. Journal entries of self-hatred mixed in between my notes of how to progress and become a better football player lay open in case more self-punishment became necessary. (Interestingly, you can see a small arrow to the right of my name pointing at the words, "He has a story.")

loneliness-failure

On my hands and knees, I sobbed. Deep, heavy, and full of pity like a cloud of flies swarming around an unemptied trash can.

I sobbed from a place of thinking:

“I’m all alone … Please … help me.”

Who I was speaking to, I have no idea.

I had stopped praying to God years ago, feeling like the God I was praying to was an absent one.

My fists pounded the floor in rage.

"Why does this fucking hurt so much?! Why can't I shake this pain?"

Thoughts raced from wondering how the guys who would’ve considered themselves my friends in school were out having fun, drinking, partying, and connecting with girls.

Nobody knew how much pain I had been experiencing because I wore a mask of stability that only the most empathetic of humans would’ve noticed.

I cried. I punched the ground and the walls. I stayed alone.

For years. What I remember now as a decade of my life between the ages of ten and twenty.

If only someone would’ve told me about the rites of passage offered by magic mushrooms or ayahuasca.

I’ll say more about those heart-opening medicines another time.

Looking back, that loneliness was my greatest teacher, a messenger sent from my ego.

As you begin to walk your healing path, it’ll become important to shine light with your conscious mind on those negative emotions and the teachers within them.

loneliness-negative-emotions

For now, we’ll focus on loneliness.
 

The Feeling of Loneliness - Wounds That Never Heal

Tribal living naturally diminishes what we perceive as boundaries between you, me, other people, and the life that is all around us.

Imagine 100 people in a hunter-gatherer group.

When 99 of them agree on moving east, it doesn’t make sense for one to move west. Our power is greatest when together.

The tribe is strongest when 100% of the energy is focused towards one goal. The probability of survival is increased.

Western culture prizes work, doing, achieving, pleasure, and keeping up with the other go-getters.

Falling in line with sheeple is easy to do as long as the ego allows it. And there’s nothing wrong with falling in line as long as it leads to fulfillment.

But with a really deep wound, the ego will do everything in its power to remind the individual of how it’s separate with a harsh voice:

“Hey asshole up in the skull, don’t you remember how hurt you are?

 

Let’s feel the hurt, not forget, protect ourselves, and stay alone.”

And the protective conditioning continues.

The wound holds us back from identifying with others.

It says:

“No one knows the pain you went through. They don’t understand.”

So, you proceed to keep it inside of you. You never entertain the beautiful practice of sharing as a viable option.

It doesn’t help that most people aren’t taught how to hold space for another human being in a way that allows them to let all of their suffering go.

With the ego running the show, how can you ever expect to feel the presence of a Spirit, God, figure-up-on-a-pedestal, or whatever entity you might like to bow down to? The ego and the wound it uses to fuel it’s sinful (by sin, I mean to “miss the mark”) thoughts and words of being become life-long poison coursing through your veins …

… Until you touch an experience of being naked and present.

loneliness-ego-vs-spirit

Like I’ve done only recently in the past three years.

Meet The Shaman’s Child and Peer into His Medicine Bag

I’m not a shaman.

I don’t know any shaman.

Dozens of psychedelic experiences combined with some light reading of shamanism have produced a small awareness of another way in my brain that hasn’t left me in years.

The one person writing this now defines shamanism as study of how we’re connected with the dirt. The brown, grainy stuff underneath the grass being the lifeblood of a larger, female entity some of us might call Mother Earth or Pachamama.

As a very naive being who has spent most of his life doing his best to get by and survive in New Jersey, I’ve recently begun to look hard for perspective on how to not only stay alive, but thrive. To emphasize how important this “not surviving, but thriving” is to me, my partner Katie and I gave birth to a powerful baby boy named “Bear” exactly 15 days ago.

Meet Bear. <3

loneliness-baby

Exactly 10 days ago, I ate magic mushrooms with three fellow explorers of consciousness.

When they discussed how they constantly contemplated life, my response was:

“I’m attracted to contemplation of death like a bug towards a bug zapper.”

It has been the frame (by frame, I mean “a way of seeing the world”) of the Shaman’s Child that has softly and gently told me that my attraction towards death doesn’t have to be a bad thing. My thoughts don’t have to revolve around actual suicide but an ego or Shaman’s death.

The Shaman’s Child frame has shown me an alternate reality around pursuing death and how by pursuing the darkness so purposefully and with the ease of a child's mind, we can let more light in than we could ever imagine.

With the frame, a shift has occurred in me. I’m no longer just surviving, but thriving!

One of my spiritual mentors has told me on many occasion, “I’m not a shaman.”

For our purposes now, let’s call him a shaman. Sorry Jason.

One of Jason’s tools to break up our cell’s negative conditioning is energy healing or touch. I’ve seen Jason touch people, only to watch them shake, convulse, scream, cry, and release trauma that they didn’t even know they had.

Jason has two sons. One is five years old.

I was talking to a woman in the Catskills who was reprimanding me for behavior I expressed after a spiritual ceremony that was inappropriate. The woman’s comments were justified and I felt naturally guilty and soon ashamed (which has been a pattern for me nearly all my life).

Looking into this woman’s eyes, I felt Jason’s hands with both softness and strength land on my shoulder. My shame started to melt away.

After I completed processing my emotions, I turned to look at Jason to see his five year old son smiling like a silly, little five-year-old into my eyes.

WTF?

Later, I asked Jason:

“Have you taught your son how to do energy healing?”

He replied:

“No, but he’s seen me do it.”

Holy shit, I thought.

The child learns through observation.


The adult who allows himself to learns through observation.

I propose here that the wise, spiritual adult learns through archetypal thought.

Archetypal thought is kind of like putting on a pair of clothes to see how damn good you look in the new bathing suit you bought for summer. If you like it, you can keep it on. If you don’t like it, you take it off and try another outfit.

Putting yourself into different human relations inside of your mind is a magical strategy towards seeing life through different eyes.

Here, you have the opportunity to become the Shaman’s Child and play with your observations the same way a child does.

loneliness-medicine-bag

The Shaman has a medicine bag.

Inside of his medicine bag, you won’t find penicillin, needles, blood pressure cuffs, reflex hammers, or thermometers.

You’ll find rattles, crystals, tobacco (or other plant medicines), spirit water, matches or a lighter, and a gratitude rock to remind him to be grateful.

The medicines he holds can be used passively, with minimal exertion, or actively, with more exertion. Using his intuition, the Shaman feels for a specific “medicine” in his bag. When he grabs an object and has a feeling of “this is the right one”, he pulls it out of his bag and uses it.
 

18 Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Your Medicine Bag to Use Anytime The Loneliness Is Too Much to Handle

All of the following “medicines” have been used by me at times when the feeling of loneliness made me want to escape it in anyway possible.

  • Do I have a drug?
  • Is there booze in the cupboard?
  • How about putting a new hole in the wall with my fist as I did as an adolescent?
  • Should I heat up a metal coat-hanger on the stovetop like I used to in my 20’s and brand myself?

I label the above behaviors “poisonous behaviours”. You and I can both agree that harm comes to my body by the consumption of those poisons.

loneliness-poisonous-behaviors

Medicines have the advantage of doing the opposite. They make our body healthier, not sicker. We cope more effectively and invite more health when we use medicine.

You can use the Scale of Happiness to assess where your mental state is right now. From 0 - 10, 0 is whatever suffering looks like to you. For me, when I’m in a shitty place, my mind goes to suicidal ideation and “I want to kill myself”. On the opposite end of the spectrum is 10. When I’m feeling good, my mind says “This is heaven on Earth”. The medicines are things you can do, immediately, to +2 your mental state and drop the ball-and-chain of your old ways of being to feel a little bit lighter, learn to cope, and lift yourself up out of your old ways over the months to years.

loneliness-scale-of-happiness

As you experiment with medicines, write down those you deem more potent for you and develop an ongoing list that will become your own personal medicine bag. When “what works” is written down, it becomes harder to forget when your mind becomes scrambled eggs in the chaos of your ego’s ramblings.

The list starts with passive medicines that require minimal effort. It ends with active medicines that need more effort on your part. I’ve found both passive and active medicines to be helpful at different times. With time, your intuition will tell you which medicine to grab at any time.

1. Man Make Fire

Lighting a candle is my default medicine.

loneliness-fire

Grieving a failed business and newfound debt this past winter, my depression was heavier than it had been in years.

I lit candles all around me and sat down in the presence of the fire’s glaze. Immediately, the loneliness left me.

There’s a reason why some call sitting around a campfire “Caveman TV”.

The presence that comes with fire has been so strong, so comforting, and made me feel so safe that I’ve come to call it what Native Americans call it, “Grandfather Fire”.

Light a candle, sit, and stare.

Check in. What do you feel?

2. Smell a Natural Scent

Smells change your brain.

 

When you're ruminating in a stuck thought pattern, smells can seduce you out of the mental groove.

Different smells bring about many different outcomes:

  • Increased spending 
  • Good or bad dreams
  • Lowered insomnia or stress
  • Reduced blood sugar levels (Roger Dobson)

Most people have heard of essential oils. I keep them on our nightstand in our living room, by my computer, in my book-bag, in my car, and at my office.

When I light incense, I feel like I’m attracting a little piece of India which connects in my mind to the idea of Buddha or an Indian guru.

Over the past 6 months, my go-to smell-maker has become the seashell that you can get at most spiritual shops. (Thank you for the shell and the spirit bait, Teddy.)

You’ll need:

  • A seashell and stand
  • Charcoal
  • A lighter
  • Plants to burn

At any time, I usually have on hand:

Sage and palo santo: These are good for “smudging”, or energetically cleaning yourself when you’re stuck in a chaotic mental state. Native American Black Elk said, “When the spirits see sage burning, they come.” This line has given me enormous comfort when in the depths of my loneliness.

Copal deepens awareness and cultivates pure thoughts by being linked with the crown chakra. It’s useful when stressed or to help alleviate depression.
Cedar is used for purifying and protection. It is used by Native Americans in sweat lodges to release heavy emotional energies.

Sandalwood develops the psyche and makes one more spiritually aware.

Lavender smells fucking awesome.

Choose the smells that speak to you.

3. Take a Warm Bath

When I need to be completely passive or feel held and nurtured, the warm bath is my go-to.

I fix people’s annoying and frustrating pains with Barefoot Rehab during my day job. Two days a week, I see patients from 2:00 - 7:00 PM.

I’ve been known to, when feeling shitty, to take a bath in the summer at 12:30 PM for 45 minutes to pull myself out of a stupor.

Feeling self-conscious, I asked on Facebook:

loneliness-warm-baths

A few of my smart-ass friends replied:

loneliness-daily-washing

It’s funny, I have been known to skip showers on non-work days. Sean knows me well.

loneliness-visit

LOL.

As more people commented, I realized I wasn’t alone. In total, 11 people said that they do take warm baths in the middle of the day (5 men and 6 women).

loneliness-serendipity

Yes, yes I did Tierney. I used Young Living’s “Stress away”.

For bonus points, here’s a trick to increase awareness of your heart.

Submerge your ears under the water. Now, listen. After 5-10 seconds, you should notice your heart beating.

I’ve used this technique to detect where I’m not listening to my heart’s wishes. Ear submersion is the reason why I have the LOVE tattoo on my fingers.

loneliness-love-tattoo

I had a vision of the LOVE tattoo a few weeks before I got it. It scared me immensely. I’m a pain doctor in a fairly affluent area where people have expectations as far as what their doctor looks like.

As I thought about the tattoo, fear seeped through my veins.

I sunk my ears under the water and heard my heart beating. I immediately knew that no matter how big the fear overwhelmed me, I had to get the ink on my fingers.

What has your heart been trying to tell you?

4. Take a Cold Shower

I learned about cold immersion through Wim Hof Method.

An honest truth, I don’t do the cold shower often. I have to be in a better mental state than the other medicines.

But, when I’m feeling fairly good and I turn the warm water off and make it as cold as possible, I’ve found that the cold water hitting my skin combined with what looks like “fire breathing” and my hands going up and down in the air (as seen in Tony Robbins “I am not your guru”) leaves me feeling wide awake when I get out of the shower.

The breathing help makes the cold more tolerable.

The hand movement is mimicking a posture of strength as seen in Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk about how Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

The cold reminds me of old nordic warriors who lived in more frigid temperatures than I’m blessed to live in New Jersey.

loneliness-cold-showers

FYI - Cold water at 57 degrees fahrenheit has been proven to increase dopamine levels by 250%. If you're not familiar with dopamine, it's a neurotransmitter involved with motivation behind behavior. Certain drugs release dopamine, making people less likely to do what they need to do. The classic "stoner" is a good example of a person who smokes cannabis and doesn't get much of anything else done.

5. Bathe in Nature

Something happens in our body when our skin touches the dirt or grass.

In Japan, they call it shinrin yoku or “forest medicine”.

In The Nature Fix, Florence Williams observes how nature is the only place where we engage all 5 senses, bringing us firmly grounded into the present moment.

Remember, it’s the present moment that causes us to face our trauma, separate from the ego, get naked, and connect with oneness.

Here are a few ways I bathe in Nature:

  • I walk outside, barefoot. Sometimes, I even lie down on my back with my shirt off. (Be warned, you will be itchy.)
  • We live on a lake, so we’re truly blessed to be able to sit by water on a daily basis. When I was younger, I can remember adults complaining about house prices near a lake or beach and how they’d never pay it. I must say, the price is well worth the return if identify with the label of being spiritual on any level.
loneliness-lake
  • We have trails 5 minutes from our house. I take our crazy dogs, Sweet pea and Ninja, a few days a week to hike for 90 minutes. It’s a rule that no phones are allowed on this hike. I take deep breaths, I breathe deep into my belly, I look up at the trees and search for cancer-fighting turkey tail mushrooms (which I manage to find every single time I hike thanks to the teachings of the Bad-Ass Mushroom Farmer Rob of Chagtown Mushrooms), and immerse myself fully. When I’m done, I always feel re-charged.

6. Listen to Healing Music

A friend asked me a few months ago, “What are you listening to lately?”

It was the first time I can remember answering, “Nothing that you know or that has a popular name.”

In our house on Rainbow Trail (yes, that’s the name of our street), we play spiritual, instrumental music almost 24/7.

When I started attending spiritual ceremonies, I began a Youtube playlist of the songs that made me feel extra giddy. I wanted to re-listen to them so that I could be reminded of the Godly state that I found in ceremony.

7. Get Touched, Held, or Hugged

I had an older, female patient several years ago.

When she came in for her new patient visit, I hugged her.

She started crying, which surprised me.

I said:

"Are you OK? Did I do something wrong?"

She replied:

"I haven't been hugged in years. Thank you."

And I’ve been hugging our patients ever since.

If you have a dog or cat, call them over to sit on your lap.


If you have a son, daughter, or partner, call them over to hug you or even to hold you like you are a baby.


If you live alone, book a session with a massage therapist or energy healer who resonates with you. It’s not an immediate fix, but it can help you feel even more supported by the time you’re done with your session.

8. Practice Breathing

Meditation advice is rampant.

Instead of the word “meditate”, I’ll call it “practice breathing”.

The breath is this almost unbelievable tool for anchoring to the present moment and working through trauma or ego.

There’s nothing you can’t do when you focus on your breath.

I watched my partner, Katie, labor without pain medications for twelve hours by focusing on her breath. When she began wiling out or pushing when her cervix wasn’t dilated by 10 cm, the doula and I cued her, breathe. And she immediately resumed following her breath.

In medicine ceremonies when plants begin digging into a person’s darkness, the #1 tip for helping someone suffer less is the breath.

With the breath, anything is possible.

When practicing breathing, it’s generally best to keep your mouth closed with your tongue lightly pressed to the roof of your mouth, and breathe in and out through your nose.

My default breath when I need a simple intervention is:

  • 5 seconds in
  • 5 second hold
  • 5 seconds out

If I can’t handle any sort of stress at the moment, my focus will be: “Take one breath.”

Then, Ill say, “Take one more breath”.

I’ll continue this focus until before I know it, I’ve been “meditating” for 15 minutes.

9. Practice the Wim Hof Method

Wim Hof is known as The Iceman.

His methods combine a specific breathing pattern with breath holds and cold immersion.

The purpose of his method is to stimulate the immune system and help release emotional trauma.

With your mouth open, take a deep breath in, followed by a full deep breath out. Repeat forty times. Then, hold your breath for as long as you’re able. When you can no longer hold your breath, exhale. Finally, take one more breath in, hold for 10 seconds, then let it all out.

That’s one round.

I’ll do anywhere from one to four rounds depending on how I’m feeling and how strong I am to overcome my resistance to do the work.

Try not to let Wim's homey Dutch voice put you to sleep.

10. Say Affirmations: We Create Worlds With Our Words

The stronger one’s identification with their trauma, the less likely affirmations are to work.

If you gave me the affirmation, “I live a longer, prosperous, joy-filled life” in high school, there’s zero part of me that would’ve believed it. I was so convinced I was going to die an early death that I wouldn’t have even entertained it for a second.

Once there’s the smallest glint of hope, affirmations feed off that hope to inflate it with possibility.

As one moves further along the healing path, the self-aware individual clearly knows that truth and abundance are our pre-destined gifts. When asked to use an affirmation, he might say, “I know what you’re saying is true, but my conditioned mind won’t let me say it right now.”

That statement, when compared with “I don’t believe it,” is a signpost that progress is being made on the healing path.

To find an affirmation that speaks to you, you can google “affirmations for (money/love/success/prosperity/health)” and use your intuition to find one that resonates with you.

Liking to keep things simple, I’ve been using “I move forward with ease and clarity in my heart.” It’s on sticky notes near my computer and in our bathroom.

loneliness-affirmation

This affirmation resonates with me because:

  • I have a history of making things really difficult, whether it achieves my desired goal, or not.
  • I’ve used my head to trek through life with very little attention to my heart and it’s caused a lot of suffering.  

As time has progressed, my world has been becoming more easy and clear. Changed started with my words.

11. Write: Perform a Mental Dump

In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron discusses the Morning Pages.

Every morning, write 3 pages, without stopping, whatever is on your mind. The only rule is don’t stop.

This technique amplifies what is happening in your subconscious mind. It’s enormously helpful to become aware of what you’re unaware of.

You can read what you wrote down immediately after or wait after a week or month to go back and observe your path over the previous month.

12. Do What Society Tells You to Do: Exercise

Exercise is generally healthy for all of us.

Except when it’s your only form of a stress management and more stress means more exercise. If you keep going along this line of thinking, you inevitably come upon more exercise leading to joint injury.

Problem is, once you injure your joints, then you're dealing with that joint damage until the day you die.

Best to not over-do the exercise.

loneliness-exercise

I played football from third grade through my senior year of college at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. I began going to the weight room every single day after school in the seventh grade. Football and fitness were my emotional release and I’m not sure where I’d be today without them.

But my fitness came at a price.

I was 29 years old (about 4 years ago) when I was doing the Smolov Squat Program to improve my squat. It's 4 days of heavy squatting per week (that's a lot). I’d already injured my shoulder enough that I couldn’t keep up with the CrossFit classes at the gym I owned. With a bum shoulder, I thought:

“I’ll just put more stress on my lower body so I could continue getting my sweat on.”

I increased my one-rep max for my squat (a marker of how strong I was in the exercise) more than it had ever been, even when I was playing football in college. During the second phase, I tore the labrum in my right hip. A week later, a disc in my low back blew out worse than it ever had causing me to limp around for a month.

My hip and my low back haven’t been the same since.

Moral of this story: Exercise is good for health until it’s not (due to permanent joint damage). We need other forms of stress management.

Today, I do 1-2 days/week of lunges and push-ups with some pre-habilitative exercises mixed in. The standard prescription at 33 years of age for myself is 10 rounds of:

  • 9 lunges/leg
  • 9 push-ups
  • 10-15 reps of a prehab exercise

Move your body, but do a normal amount of exercise. Not an excessive amount.

13. Tapping to Untangle Your Story Around Your Suffering

I’ve never been officially trained to do Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) aka tapping.

I can feel shame and a lack of self-worth coming in as I type this because of the lack of official training.

Embracing the Shaman’s Child’s Mind, I continue on. Remember, this is shameless play, the same way a child observes, learns, and acts.

When you’re experiencing any negative emotion that is tough to deal with, take your middle finger and ring finger (I call this Qi Gong Hand. I’ve observed martial artists using this hand position when they practice slow moving routines) and begin tapping on the points below. Some of the points are actual EFT points, other points are chakra points I’ve used on myself and other people.

  • Bottom of your sternum (heart chakra)
  • Top of your sternum (throat chakra)
  • Each SC joint
  • Chin
  • Each cheek bone
  • Each eye brow
  • Your forehead (third eye chakra)
  • The top of your head (crown chakra)

What you might notice is that the tapping seems to distract your body from what you’re feeling and helps to dissipate the negative emotions.

You can experiment with telling yourself what’s happening and how it makes you feel.

“I have a twelve hours of work to do tomorrow and feel super anxious about it.”

It may amplify your emotion, which means a release is coming.

Or you can try an affirmation.

"I am strong."

Remember, our intent here is to deal with the negative emotions around being alone. Whatever feels like it’s working, go with it.

Below is a beginner course for actual EFT in case you’re interested, courtesy of Youtube:

14. Energy Cleanse Yourself

Some of us spend way too much time in our heads and not enough time in our hearts.

When my mind is racing, it can feel like there’s a mouse on a treadmill inside of my skull and he’s going so fast that the treadmill might combust into a wildfire.

At these times, use your hands to cleans yourself with any of the following - be mindful of what you feel through your hands:

  • Put your hands on both sides of your head.
  • Keep your hands on both sides of your head, but about 1” off your head.
  • As if you had leaves on your head, use your fingers to pick off the leaves and throw them off you.
  • As if the mouse on the treadmill were creating too much heat, fan your head with your hand.

I’ll often feel like I just took a shower after energy cleansing myself.

15.Qigong and the Grand Opening Movement

Qigong is a beautiful movement practice that combines slow, intentional movement with meditation.

At 33 years old, I have more injured joints than uninjured ones. Both my body and my emotional mind love the way Qigong makes me feel.

I'll be doing more and more Qigong as I get older.

Here’s my go-to Qigong Exercise.

It’s called the Grand Opening and has a feeling of expansion and oneness when you perform it. I’ll normally do it 5-10 times. I learned this from Yang Yang of the Center for Taiji and Qi Gong in New York City.

16. Drink Tea and Grab a Toothpick

I never understood when spiritual people used the term grounding until I was in my double digits for psychedelic experiences.

If grounding or energy healing sounds woo-woo to you, skip these tactics or consume psychedelics in a safe setting if you really want to understand what they mean.

With that said, there’s something about a warm cup of tea or a toothpick that brings you back to being naked in the present moment.

In our house, we have a never-ending crockpot of Turkey Tail mushroom available for tea.

If cancer is a concern for you like it was for this 83-year-old woman with breast cancer, look into Turkey Tail.

The next time shit hits the fan, try some tea or a toothpick and see how it makes you feel.

17. Heart Pounding

"Follow your bliss." ~Joseph Campbell

So many of us suppress our deepest dreams and desires trying to fit into the world.

In the U.S., the focus is clearly on:

  • Achievement in sport and at work
  • Money and the things that it buys

There’s a place for achievement and money, but it feels one-sided and overly “masculine”.

In middle school, I didn’t want to wear khakis and a button down shirt. I wanted to wear sweat pants.

In high school, I didn’t want to learn history or geography. I wanted to learn about biology, psychology, video games, and football.

In chiropractic school, I didn’t care about grades like many of my fellow studients. I cared about learning how to fix people.

Decades of spending my time and energy conforming to society felt like I put my heart in a tiny little, sound-proof cage where even a scream would be inaudible.

Anytime I behave in a way congruent with my heart’s whispers, it feels like I did when I’d walk out to meet the opposing team’s captains when I played football at F&M. I felt alive!

My bet is that this feeling is my brain releasing a hit of dopamine and adrenaline in the same way it does when you check off a thing to do on your checklist.

Facilitate your body juices release the next time you’re meditating or sitting still by taking your right fist and pounding it over your heart.

Energetically, the right side of the body is the masculine side. The “masculine” is associated with action and aggression.

Or if you’re feeling it, pound your heart with your left hand, the "feminine" side. It doesn’t matter what’s right or wrong, remember, you’re a Shaman’s Child. Go with the flow and the feel.

Take it to the next level by chanting the way the Native Americans do.

18. Pray

I grew up Presbyterian. I believe Presbyterian is a form of Catholicism. We prayed to Jesus to ask for him and say “I’m sorry” for our sins.

Being whole, complete, and perfect, I've learned there's nothing we need to say "I'm sorry" for.

In high school, because I didn’t hear anyone on the other end of my never-ending apologies, I stopped praying.

Identification with a different “God” and a different “presence” along with a different relationship than I had known as a child, caused me to start praying again.

The subconscious mind can help.

But we don't ask.

Whether it's our own subconscious mind or a God, archetypal figure, hero from a movie, fairy, spirit, or nymph heeding our calls, does it matter?

The practice of praying (or just asking for help) became a magical practice for me to connect with the world.

It was the talking and asking that was the most important part.

Whatever you believe, talk and ask as if someone or something is listening.

Or say "Thank you."

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." ~Meister Eckhart

Once a day is good.

More is better.

Let me know who or what answers.

Dream Up A New Story

loneliness-new-story

Your story is important.

Memory of what happened to you is what helped you learn from events, experiences, incidents, traumas, allowing you to survive.

But most of us don’t live in warzones. We don’t live in caveman days where a nearby tribe of bandits might come steal our only pot or take our women.

The loneliness is no longer serving you. It’s time to let your wounds heal. Dream up a new story so that you can be free from the negative emotions that suffocate you and step into more joy and light than you can ever imagine.

Don't forget to hold yourself with love and non-judgement. Catharsis is not possible without those prerequisite ingredients.

Before you start on your journey, grab your medicine bag so that you’re prepared for whatever the path might throw at you.

New coping skills means new ability to see the world through new eyes. Just like the shaman’s child dreams a new dream and plays himself into the role of the hero.

Today is a new day.

What will you dream of AND write in your story, today?

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