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Chapter by Chapter

I wasn’t always this way, connected to All Things this way. I certainly never asked for it. I never longed for god-stuff or sought some spiritual Something or Other. It just showed up in a way, repeated ways that I couldn’t ignore for long. I don’t remember how long it was that I tried to ignore it but once you know you can’t forget. And what you can’t forget won’t let you pass it by entirely.

There was no way to deny it once I’d been introduced to it, to knowing myself and the rest of the world in this way. I never used to hear voices, have conversations with the ‘dead’, or see things that just ‘aren’t there’. One day I was living in a particular way then, suddenly, I wasn’t. I called the Before-Time ‘regular’, but not normal. I’ve never considered myself *that* but in the Before-Time, I had a regular job, a regular husband, a regular house—two even. I had regular friends (though a few might scoff at that descriptor), a list of regular bad habits and did good deeds. There were regular desires and something resembling ideas for a future.

I had and enjoyed my regular little world until it was suddenly snow-globed, shaken in such a way that all the life-bits that I thought I had figured out, that I had a grip on became a chaos that was absolutely irregular. And not that ‘irregular’ of the off-brand clothes our mothers could somehow, mysteriously, find—only off a little bit so that others looking at you can’t tell but you know things are riding just the wrong way enough to make you have to discreetly rearrange crotch bits so you don’t obviously walk funny.

The switch that was my life was flipped so that anything I’d ever considered regular or coming something close to normal as I’d ever get became absolutely irregular and there was no way to discreetly rearrange any bits.

I walked away from a job, ran from my husband, and ultimately, the only sense of community I had ever felt. I didn't fully know why but it was all, in one a moment of clear understanding that I can’t recall now, became absolutely wrong for me. I had no way of knowing that when I fled my husband and all that I knew (or thought I did), I was running toward a way of being that I had never imagined.

Although I now consider this way of experiencing and expressing the world the only possible "normal" for me, my only saving grace in the two year process it took to come into this way was a certainty that I was not crazy—there were no delusions, no hallucinations, no disassociations; despite the fact that I asked myself and my therapist with some regularity, “Am I going crazy?” Everything was as it was; real and right and true and I could feel it at each threshold and fought it at damn-near everyone of them.

I was being made into something for which I had no preparation other than some sense that following the universal bouncing red ball that kept smacking me in the head, bringing newness to me was something that *must* be followed. And I did… I followed it from Denver to rural Virginia, from bureaucracy to the farthest thing from it, from the criminal justice system to a life outside of any system. I did so cursing and crying all the way. Through a lot of snot and a string of “Oh, shit!" moments I became shaman and healer.

In all my previous life, all of the Befores, I’d never had any interest in spiritual anything, no established relationship with religion, and there's nothing of my world was related to indigenous peoples. Then, suddenly, everything in my world was steeped in it. Spirit and associations with religions in the midst of agnosticism and a host of not-exactly dead Indians were my world. One minute, not there. The next fully present in my conscious world with no preparation, warning or manual.

These days, it seems like I am running toward a way of being that I have also never imagined. In this, though, there isn’t a mad-dash, there’s a pacing of it as if the marathon we began ten years ago was the preparation for what’s next, a life-skills manual via living life in the most unexpected and inexplicable (to most, anyway) manner.

Let’s walk a bit together while I tell you my story. I’m going to share things here for a while that tell the story of how all this came to be. I’m aiming for something of a flow rather than a drip or two every now and again. You may not believe it or it might parallel your own world in striking ways. Either way, we’ve not crossed paths accidentally. Even in disbelief, read on. Roll your eyes, use your own favorite swear words but read on because this is for you, too.

Ask questions or comment if you’re inspired.

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