When I first started working with shamanism, my teacher, Berenice Andrews, gave me the assignment of writing down every major event that had occurred in my life (both kind and unkind). I had a very organized story of all the times I had been hurt by my family or wounded by someone else’s invasion . My list included the old man at the park who became my “friend,” only to later attempt to attack me physically and sexually when I was eleven. Where was God in those moments?
This old man had worked me at every angle—for instance, telling me he knew my grandfather Johnny. He said very nice things to me as he prepared one week to seduce me. Where was the love of God in those moments of my life?
It was one of the most amazing exercises because as I started to list each and every event in chronological order, I began to see how everything had been perfectly orchestrated, time and again, to develop me on my path. I began to see that each time I was wounded, when I declared that God was busy and unavailable, the Universe had actually been working overtime to protect and connect me with my path. I was the one who was shielded and part of the walking dead, who was unavailable—God had nothing to do with it.
This is key to putting your whole self in.
Cut some sheets of paper into small pieces (about three square inches each), and on each piece write down an event in your life when you felt disconnected, saddened, or compromised in any way. Do not get into analyzing the moments that took your energy away; simply write the headlines of the moments down. List each event on a separate piece of paper. Do not spare yourself from anything you can possibly remember.
When you finish writing down all the events, go through them all, and rather than seeing them and feeling them as something that happened to you, look at them in terms of how they shaped you. See in the events how they created within you wisdom, insight, courage, and tenacity. Begin to bless the events, and rather than holding on to them for how they hurt or damaged you, see ultimately how they have defined and shaped you
into the amazing being you are today.