Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Easing Off of Sugar, Caffeine and Other Mind-Altering Substances

by Guest Contributer, Laura Wolf

Someone asked me recently why we recommend easing off of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other mind-altering substances.  As a general rule, we ask people not to ingest substances that alter our minds and brain chemistry just before, during and after Shamanic Breathwork™.  Just using the breath and the music creates powerful altered states.  Using other substances along with breathwork can interfere with your connection to yourself and muddle your messages from your Inner Divine Source.  Basically, the reason we generally ingest things like sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other substances is because we are feeling something we don't want to feel - sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, lethargy, boredom, dis-ease, apathy, lack of purpose, lack of connection, etc.  Shamanic Breathwork™ helps us to feel whatever it is that we've been avoiding inside of ourselves - and in this way we can release and heal those wounds and blockages that steal our life-force-energy and prevent us from living our passion and purpose.  Getting off of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other substances is a path of getting our power back.  It's a one day at a time journey for most of us and having support from other people on a similar path is essential. 

I personally came to understand about two years ago that I have been using food all my life to mange my feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.  Thinking that I had hypo-glycemia, whenever I would feel "panicky inside," I would eat until I felt better.  Food stopped working as an anti-anxiety control method for me about two years ago and I have been learning to face and embrace my anxiety, and my healing around that, ever since.  For me, it is related to a very young part of myself.  I learned very early to soothe myself with food when things in my family felt chaotic, scary, and out of control.  I was not taught to nurture myself in any healthy kind of way.  I was taught to eat fast, eat a lot and to compare my body to others constantly.   Looking at the messages I received as a child around food, nurturing and body image have been an important part of helping me to shift my relationship with food and with my own body. 

Learning to sit with whatever feelings come up that I may want to medicate away with sugar, carbs and chocolate  has been extremely challenging.  I dialog regularly with the Inner Child aspect of me who feels so panicky.  She and I are learning together, one day at a time, how to help her feel safe, loved and connected to my Divine Source.   I have learned that the key to healing any addictive pattern in my life is strengthening my relationship my Inner Divine  Source.   When I am eating or ingesting anything as a way of avoiding myself and my feelings, I am not trusting my Source.  I choose to go to a weekly Conscious Eating and Body Image meeting.  Having that source of love, support, understanding and accountability helps me to remember who I really am, what I really want for my life, and the importance of nurturing my relationship with the Divine in a daily way.

Laura Wolf is a Shamanic Minister, Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator, Shamanic Theatre Artist and the Shamanic Yoga Teacher at Venus Rising
Contact Laura Wolf:  laurawolf@shamanicbreathwork.org

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Star Wolf's Welcome

My journey in life has been a spiral path of wholeness that continues to move through cycles of change taking me through many symbolic death and rebirth experiences, which I refer to as “shamanic portals of transformation.” I have learned more than I ever thought possible through a process I will share with you in my future writings, called the Shamanic Breathwork™ process, and the five initiations process called S.H.I.P. Once I have made sense of the lessons on my path and discovered the bigger picture, I am ready to pass on and share both my stumblings and my leaps along the way. In my own spiritual quest, I have always appreciated most those who shared their struggles and victories in an authentic way. That will be my humble attempt within the context of this blog.

I believe that we are all indigenous to this earth. I respect all my relations, whether they be human, animal, plant, mineral, visible or invisible ones. We are all related by the great web of life and sent here from the great beyond. Everything we say and do touches all parts of this magnificent web of creation. If I treat myself or anyone else unfairly, we are all affected in some way. Fortunately, the converse is true, as well. I am not perfect. If I am honest and have humility, I can admit that I will make mistakes as I seek to further evolve my conscious awareness. I can also make living amends by striving to change my negative thoughts and behaviors, and live from a more open-hearted connection to others and to myself. I have learned over time that all the changes I seek in the outer world must begin by looking within myself first. I have also learned that it is imperative that I have the courage to be honest with myself and to look at the “shadow” side of my personality. When I have had the courage to truly know myself better, the light and the dark, I have found the inner strength to change my life and shape-shift myself into the light of my true soul’s image.

From time to time I will share different programs and events that are being offered through my non profit organization (Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts) in my blog, as well as photos, videos and teachings, etc. But the main purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet to share the inner musings of my shamanic spirit and journey, and to hear yours as well. I look forward to connecting with all of you who intuitively know that you, too, are a valuable part of the shamanic process of conscious co-creation and evolution on the planet at this time. We each have a role to play and a soul purpose in the drama unfolding in our world today. Together we can create a better place for all beings on earth to live and leave a powerful legacy for those who are yet to come.

I believe we will all be remembered by future generations for the choices we make during this time of huge evolutionary change. In the words of the wonderful poem, “Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

In Love, In Service, In Gratitude,
Star Wolf
Feb 2nd 2009