A lot of my time is spent working with students of Reiki, Shamanism, or general energy work and one of the thing that I am kept constantly aware of is how often some of them expect to understand everything immediately. I’m sure this is a product of the society we live in. It’s fast paced, and if we are not careful it can be difficult to give ourselves time to stop and think yet alone reflect, but this is exactly what we need to be doing.
One of the most useful things I have been made to do in my life, the thing that has helped me most in my own development and understanding, is to have been forced to keep a journal. It hasn’t always felt like this of course. I fought against it tooth and nail, paying lip service only, to what I was asked to do for a long time, but now I am grateful for it is the best tool I could have in helping me understand. By writing I have to stop and think, by reading back I get chance to reflect, by reflecting I begin to develop some understanding.
When I first began writing down random things that made no sense at the time, I was in a place where understanding seemed elusive. Slowly though these random things began to connect up and as they did my understanding grew. Ok, so some things took years to connect but I also learnt that that was as it should be.
In my shamanic work I record my journeys. For me this is an important step for although I may often think I have a little understanding at the time, because everything in a journey is symbolic it can take time for the real meaning of symbols to slot into place. If I have not recorded a journey then it can be difficult sometimes to make the connection, between what I was given at the time and what I later have.
In my OBOD Bardic training I have kept a detailed journal not only of what I have been doing but what is going on in my life, after all it is all connected. Here I can see the synchronicity that otherwise I might have missed. Over and over again I find myself looking back and going ‘of course!’ as something clicks into place.
In the wheel of the year, Celtic wheel, or a Native American medicine wheel, for example, as well as in my own Web of Life, there is always a time for going within. Often this time is placed in the West, a direction that for many of us, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, connects to the Autumn or start of Winter, and to Bear. This is a time of hibernation, of stopping and allowing ourselves to just be. It is in the doing of this that we allow ourselves time to reflect and to gain insight, to have those eureka moments. This is the time when things begin to fit together and to make sense. Only by stopping, by being still, by reflecting do they occur. Without insight we cannot have understanding. Understanding comes with the next turn of the wheel as we move fully into Winter and let old ideas die, to be replaced by the new.
This does not mean of course that we only gain insight in the Autumn and understanding in Winter, nor that they only occur once a year, but that we need to ensure we give ourselves the time to gain insight and understanding. We live our lives with constant cycles around us, cycles of projects, relationships, work etc. This means that during each and every day there are things happening where we need to be still and reflect on them even if just for a few minutes, in order to reach any level of understanding. Then there are going to be times during a week, a month, a year where we need to do so for longer. Sometimes it may even feel as if we have become stuck in one place and this can make us feel impatient, but it is just us being given time to allow things to process and be understood. It is important that we recognise this and allow ourselves the time we need rather than believe we should be constantly on the go, trying to grasp things in an instant.