Many years ago, as I was fumbling my way through my chaotic life, I asked the Powers That Be a question. I asked...how will I ever learn what my life is all about? Why am I here? What can I do to change? When will it happen, and where?
I was told, in a dream, that my teacher would come. I waited; I stewed; I searched the eyes of each new person I met.
Much time passed. My daughter died, my marriage disintegrated...life went on its chaotic way, it seemed, and still no teacher appeared. I studied the Tarot for inner understanding, and went a long way in my journey. Still no teacher. I studied the Wiccan way of life, and although a great deal of what I was taught resonated within me, something was still missing.
During this time, I met many people who took me in hand and taught me different ways, but eventually they drifted away. It seemed as soon as I took and assimilated the lessons and teachings these mentors gave me, I moved on to wanting more. Sometimes the teachers moved on because I was searching for more than they were able to give.
Some of the teachers I found are still in my life; others melted away. It seemed the more I learned, the more the learned found me. I spent many years after my marriage break up with a counselor who taught me to really see myself and who I was. I spent time with a Shamanistic practitioner who taught me the world outside the bottle, as I began to break the hold of alcoholism.
During this time, I had a friend who battled mental illness. She eventually took her own life; yet during the time she spent with me on the voyage we took together I learned an immeasurable amount. I learned compassion, I learned understanding...and then I learned how to deal with grief and mourning, when she decided to end her life.
I learned that death can bring guilt to the living. Her death was the precursor to the death of my daughter; I battled guilt for many years, wasting enormous amounts of energy as I tried to make everything all better for everybody else. But guilt was also a teacher; guilt made me look hard at myself and others. Guilt made me change.
At some point, I realized I was constantly surrounded by teachers. When I was told a teacher would come, my image was of one person, one enormously wise being who would take me in hand and teach me the proper way to live. I was wrong...there are teachers all around me, some for only a moment. Awareness was the key; I had to watch very carefully throughout the days for answers to my convoluted questions.
And then, a suggestion from another student of life...perhaps I should look into Shamanism? Many of my thoughts and ideas were Shamanistic in nature. I was hesitant; how on earth would I find a Shaman who could teach me what I perceived Shamanism was? I remembered my Shamanistic practitioner, who taught me so much about myself when I was drinking. She did not teach me Shamanism; she taught me to look at myself...her Shamanistic background was not a subject for conversation. She tended to hide it, only allowing those close to her to know the secrets she had learned.
I soon found out my ideas of what Shamanism is were clouded...I did not really know anything about it. The few books I had read on the subject confused me even more. It seemed the ones I read were fixated on drug/alcohol use to reach the Inner Worlds. Even though the thought of journeying to find the answers was fascinating to me, how would I do it when I no longer drank?
Surfing the 'net one day, I came across Shaman Elder Maggie Wahl's site. I sat reading it throughout the entire day, sometimes with tears coursing down my cheeks. I could not believe Shaman Maggie would teach me about Shamanism for only $135, with unlimited access to her knowledge. Was this lady for real?
It turned out she was. Shaman Maggie took me under her wing, as she did with all her students. The energy she has is not of this world; she receives much guidance and aid to do all the counselling and writing and contact with students that she is able to do in a day. Throughout her course, she never hesitated to tell me about better ways to live my life, ways that brought peace and joy to me. And she never hesitated to tell me when I was heading down a wrong road.
She truly is an inspiration. She is now in the process of building a Life Healing Community, with only her faith as guidance. She does not receive grants; she has little funds to build this place, she depends on donations... but she has the land, situated in Winona, Mo. Clearing the property for building has been largely done by Shaman Maggie herself, with a few volunteers who are able joining in. This is on top of her lessons and counselling and writing. I did not think there were that many hours in a day.
Maggie reminds me of the energizer bunny...she keeps going and going. She allows nothing to deter her from her mission. With that in mind, LHC will be built for the use of all...already students and people in need are flocking to her, even before any buildings are up. She just has the ability to draw beings in, for sustenance under her giant wings.
She has taught me a whole new way of life...of looking at it from a different perspective. And so have all the previous mentors and studies. When I was at a stage in life that required guidance, someone who could lead me further appeared. It's happened over and over.
I believe when I was ready to go on another parallel voyage (with many sidetrips...Shamanism is full of them) the teacher appeared...and that goes for all the paths I have taken in my life. Living is a series of steps to me...as soon as you have mastered one, the next step is slightly easier. And sometimes, I had to stop to take a breath.
With my memory being the way it is...that dream I had way back when was perhaps telling me that some steps are harder to reach. That, during this time, many teachers will come.
I can count on it.