SDD: Spiritual Deficit Disorder
Although I don’t care to make New Year’s resolutions, I do set intentions and write them out at the beginning of each year. One of these is to do a shamanic journey at least four times a week or more. Though I occasionally have lapsed with this commitment, this year so far I’m on target. In a journey I did on the morning of December 28, I had quite a conversation with Ana’o’oto, whom I also refer to as Grandfather, one of my main “spiritual consultants.”
I was talking with him about how I’d been lax recently about communicating with him or any of my other main spirit helpers. Of course I had my reasons—or more accurately, excuses—the holidays, busy-ness, family responsibilities, etc. I was feeling a little guilty, as I know that doing journeys like this helps keep me grounded and clear about my purpose and mission. Whenever this has come up in the past he has never chastised me, but merely reminds me of the importance of staying consciously connected to Spirit by whatever means possible. This is what he told me:
. . . there is need for you to be in place. Once again I remind you to check in with us more frequently. It is not laziness; it is human forgetfulness and distractibility. Spiritual ADD.
Spiritual ADD? Hmm. That made a lot of sense, particularly as to how easy we can get distracted with other things that seem to take on greater importance than our spirituality. When I spoke to Jesseca about this, she commented that it might be more appropriately called Spiritual Deficit Disorder, which implies not only distractibility but also a broader lack of attention to doing what we have to in order to remain consciously aware of Spirit.
One of the areas where this deficiency is most commonly found is in our relationship with the world around us. We may accept philosophically that Spirit exists in and expresses as everything on this planet, yet still relate to plants, trees, and animals as objects disconnected from our own being. Or we may objectify Spirit in the abstract as some sort of invisible being wholly separate from us and removed from all of life on this planet. The more abstract notion of an invisible Spirit becomes tangible when we look at the world around us and really stop to see it and breathe in its majesty and tempestuousness.
In this contemporary renaissance that is now occurring, one where we are being called to be increasingly in tune with Spirit, many are coming to terms with this forgetfulness and distractibility through various disciplines and practices. We’re gradually recognizing that God/Spirit expresses as everything on this Earth and in the cosmos, and we are not separate from that Source, but are merely an expression of that Source, intertwined with every other aspect of Life itself. We are recognizing that Spirit communicates with us in so many ways, ways that do not require a human intermediary but rather is known through direct revelation.
With direct revelation, it’s the experience of Spirit, not some intellectual/philosophical notion, that lets us know in our heart of hearts the truth of this reality. There are many possible ways to facilitate this knowing—or perhaps more accurately this remembering—and it’s important to find ways that work for you. Here are a few ideas that can help you overcome Spiritual Deficit Disorder and stay tuned into Spirit’s Voice.
1) If you get stuck in a distraction, once you become aware of this gently bring your attention back to your breathing and take four slow deep breaths, noticing the expansion and contraction of your chest and stomach as you do.
2) Get outdoors and sit with a tree and breathe along with the tree.
3) Go barefoot on the land. Stand on the ground, take a few deep breaths, and imagine the etheric roots that extend from the soles of your feet into Earth Mother.
4) Go outside and gaze at the stars on a moonless night.
5) Make music. Sing from your heart.
6) Dance without concern for anyone judging you.
7) Spend time with a child and stay fully present with them.
8) Offer a blessing at each meal.
9) Laugh as much as you can. Don’t take anything seriously except for those things that are truly serious.
10) Gratitude. When you wake up each morning, state out loud those things in your life for which you are grateful. Say thanks a lot during the day. Before you go to sleep review the day and note what you’re grateful for.
Granted this isn’t an exhaustive list, but I do invite you to try any or all of these and see how you feel. It makes it much easier to meet life’s challenges and receive life’s bounty when you stay consciously connected in this way.