Monday, September 6, 2010

Sept 11 - Create Lasting Peace

By Stephanie Schwinn - aka White Tiger Woman - Shamanic Minister and Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator

We will all remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11th 2001 as well as the emotions we experienced that day.  In the years since we have all struggled to make sense of those events and determine the best response.  Although I am not sure how to make sense of those events I believe the best response is determined by the desired outcome.  Do we perpetuate the cycle of violence with more of the same or work for peace?

There are those who believe that a violent response is the most appropriate response to a violent attack. What are the consequences of this choice to all of us? War leads to destruction of life, decimation of the earth, destruction of entire countries, economic ruin and because it breaks down the social fabric of entire cultures, makes the vulnerable more easily recruited for future violence. How would some of the worlds best peacemakers respond?   Jesus Christ said that if your enemy strikes you, you are to offer him the other cheek.  Buddha taught on the principle of doing no harm through right living and right choices.  Ghandi, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dali Lama and Mother Theresa are all examples of peacemaking through non-violence.  

If we do not desire the consequences of war how do we create peace? Violence is  primarily a spiritual problem. I believe that violence is a consequence of being separated from the divine, separated from our own sacredness, the sacredness of others and that of the earth. When we inflict harm or injury on another we damage our own spirits, our relationship with others and our relationship with the divine.  This cycle of separation will continue without conscious intervention on all of our parts and so will the cycle of violence.  I believe that we bring peace by first honoring our own sacredness, the sacredness of others, the sacredness of the earth, our relationship to the divine and by recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings. Once we understand this and take into our hearts we are no longer capable of inflicting intentional harm on another.

Practically speaking, ignorance and fear are the genesis of hatred and violence so overcoming them is key in peacemaking. Openness, love, respect and understanding are the anecdotes to ignorance and fear.  Listen with an open mind and an open heart to those who are different.  Actively seek opportunities to learn about and befriend people who are different.  Learn to respect others based on our shared humanity and shared interest in leaving the world a better place than we found it.  Remember that different doesn’t mean better than or worse than.  Remember that we are all part of the same human family.

As we remember the events of Sept. 11th and mourn all who were lost there, the thousands of US service members killed and injured in the subsequent wars and the thousands of innocents who’ve been killed or injured let’s also remember that not only is peace possible it is necessary.  Creating lasting peace is a powerful way to honor the sacrifices of all who’ve died in the cause of war.  It starts with each one of us in our own hearts, minds and lives.  May love shine and create peace. 

Stephanie Schwinn has a healing center in Iowa.  You can contact her at:

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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