Navigating the Chaos: When the student is ready

It’s no secret that our poor planet and all her inhabitants are treading the currents of unpredictability in a big way these days. I think it’s also safe to say that we’re trying like hell to keep our collective heads above water. While pretty much every system on the planet has slipped into a state of chaos, our response seems to waver between “oh shit” and “what can we do to fix our insert appropriate system here (i.e., environment, economy, oil dependence, political unrest, etc.)?”

I’ve been keenly aware of the growing chaos for the last ten years – particularly as it affects individuals. I’ve noticed in my day job as a psychotherapist, for example, that more and more people from all walks of life are being slammed by really traumatic circumstances. Where I used to hear a heart wrenching tale of tragedy once every six or so months, in the last year I’ve been hearing these kinds of stories on a weekly basis.

So what’s going on? Are we just in the midst of a really tough time that will eventually work itself out or is this the period that indigenous people around the planet have prophesized as the end of one cycle and the start of a new one? My experiences in the shamanic realm coupled with a strong intuitive sense and some research tell me that we’re on the brink of a significant cyclical change.

And change is messy.

It’s easy to slip into a state of fear when things feel so out of control. My observation of humans is that we like to believe that we have a lot more control than we actually do. It’s growing increasingly clear though that the god of chaos has decided it’s time to set us straight on our relationship with control. In fact, I’d like to suggest that the god of chaos is here to teach us some valuable lessons . . . if we’re ready to learn.

In order to try to make sense of the complex nature of the chaotic shift we’re going through I’ll have to take a few seemingly irrelevant detours. My goal is to weave all these elements together by the end of the article. Wish me luck.

A couple of years ago I read an article that suggested that psychic abilities were stronger when a mysterious dark mass in space held a particular alignment with the Earth. Curious to learn more I went on a shamanic journey with the intention of finding the source of this dark mass. I ended up at the center of the Milky Way. I don’t believe the author of the article was referring to the center of the galaxy, but that’s where I ended up.

This was a highly unusual experience so you’ll have to bear with me as I attempt to describe it. I perceived the center of the galaxy as a large dark mass of extremely dense energy. It appeared to be folding in on itself and moved with what I can only describe as purpose. I also heard sound emanating from it – a weaving of many deep, rich tones and overtones that together created a pulsing stream of sound that was both pleasing and dissonant. Stranger still, the sound was simultaneously foreign and familiar. (Perhaps it was contradiction day at the center of the galaxy!) Its intensity made it hard to breathe. This mass of moving energy seemed to have intelligence – maybe awareness is a better word – but I didn’t get a sense of good or bad. It felt neutral.

The spirit helper who accompanied me on this journey suggested that I ask permission to enter the dark mass. I panicked as I thought, I didn’t bring an offering. I can’t just show up at the center of the galaxy without a coffee cake or a figurine of some sort (I like figurines, particularly the dollar store variety). But before I even had a chance to introduce myself I was pulled into the mass.

Getting through the outer layers was extremely uncomfortable and seemed to take a very, very long time. My physical body (lying on my bed at home) felt like it was being run over by a steamroller. Not in a painful, ouch-my-bones-are-being-crushed kind of way, but more in a if-I-was-made-of-rubber-and-was-being-run-over-by-a-steamroller kind of way. I couldn’t breathe. During the entry process, my sense of self became very small (not to the point of complete ego loss, but close) as I adjusted to the oppressive energy. After what seemed like hours, the pressure let up and I felt some relief – i.e., I could breathe, although it still felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. This experience was probably akin to trying to get back into the womb.

The interior was dark but illuminated by moving patterns of colorful lights that reminded me of images I’ve seen of Australian Aboriginal art. (Remember the toy Lite Brite?) These lights seemed to house information. The only overt information I was aware of receiving was that the center of the galaxy was a place of both creation and destruction. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that information must have been downloaded into my wee little brain during that visit because I seemed to have knowledge about some aspects of what’s happening to our planet that I didn’t acquire from any other source.

It was probably six months after that experience that I learned about the astronomical significance of the end date of the Mayan long count calendar. I discovered that on December 21, 2012 our solar system will align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. My crude understanding of this process is that we’ll be passing through the Galactic Equator which is the dense band of cosmic dust, stars, solar systems, etc. that orbits the center of the Milky Way. [To help you visualize this: Imagine that the planet Saturn is the center of the Milky Way. Saturn’s rings would represent the band making up the galactic equator.] Our solar system, which has been kind of floating along sitting on the top of this band like a hangnail, is in the process of moving down through it and will align with the center of the Milky Way on the winter solstice in 2012.

Put your seat belts on . . .

If you consider the effects the moon’s gravitational force has on our planet – and the moon is the cosmic equivalent of a grain of sand, imagine the effects the center of the galaxy will have. I believe, however, that we’re already feeling the effects of this incredibly dense and powerful energy and we’re seeing it manifest as chaos.

My understanding is that the human race is being given the opportunity to evolve. Spiritually we’re coming out of winter and entering into spring. During the long spiritual winter our true selves fell into a deep sleep. In order to survive this dark period without knowledge of who we really are we became a species focused on intellectual pursuits and the manipulation of the external world in an effort to feel like we have control. Along the way we managed to make quite a mess of things.

I feel so corny when I say or write this, but . . .

I believe your true self is a seed of potential that lives within your heart. This seed is a direct link to your higher self or oversoul – the part of you that’s immortal, unconditionally loving and very wise.

The intense energy of the center of the galaxy could be the equivalent of sunlight bringing our oversoul seeds to life. (Although most people would probably suggest that the effects of the energy feel and smell more like fertilizer!) Millions of people are waking up. This is a good thing.

However, as I mentioned earlier, change is messy. Based on the information I received during my trip to the center of the Milky Way, my understanding is that the energy of the Galactic Equator is exerting pressure on every system on our planet, as well as all the planets in our solar system. For us, the pressure is bringing weaknesses to the surface so that they may be clearly identified and addressed. On a global scale we’re seeing this environmentally, geologically, politically, economically, etc. For the individual, weaknesses that haven’t been addressed emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically are manifesting like hives. Here are a few ways we may see or are already seeing this unfold: Imbalances in nature will make themselves known; corruption in government will be revealed; poorly run businesses will collapse; strained relationships will fail; unhealthy immune systems will create disease; etc.

I subscribe to the belief that what you experience in your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. The recipe for this concept was articulated brilliantly by the ancient Hawaiians. They believed that “The world is what you think it is” (perceptions color your experience of reality) and that “Energy flows where attention goes” (what you focus on becomes a reality). Now if you take into account that much of what we experience in our inner worlds is unconscious – that we are going through much of our waking lives on auto pilot based on our habitual beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and reactions  – then you start to get a clearer picture of what’s happening. Particularly if you notice that much of our habitual patterns are unhealthy and are the result of trying to survive in a world where you don’t have knowledge of who you truly are.

Could it be that the chaos we’re experiencing is a product of our unaddressed business . . . and that the oppressive energy of the Milky Way is simply acting as a catalyst?  In other words the Milky Way isn’t causing the chaos . . . we are. The neutral energy of the Milky Way is just giving us the opportunity to address the stuff that’s gone unaddressed.

Here’s another way to look at it:

One person + unaddressed stuff + galactic equator = personal crisis

6.7 billion people + unaddressed stuff + galactic equator = yikes

To me, a symptom exists to get your attention. A headache, for example, might be your body’s way of saying, “Hey, drink some water.” If chaos is a symptom, then what is it trying to tell us? Let’s break it down: The nature of chaos is unpredictability – and guess what humans hate? Unpredictability. Like I mentioned earlier, we like to believe that we have control – that if we prepare for the worst we won’t be surprised. Throughout history we’ve attempted to prepare for the worst by trying to control the world around us. If we have the right technology, the right vaccine, the right “how to” manual, the right resource, the right safety equipment, the right anti-aging formula, the right god, the right weapon, the right law, the right amount of money, the right insurance policy, the right plastic surgeon, the right job, partner, house – no matter what the cost – we’ll be alright.

What if the god of chaos is trying to teach us that we’re screwed no matter how “prepared” we are – that trying to manipulate the world around us is not the way to go. Perhaps chaos is trying to get our attention about our relationship with control? To shift our focus from the outside world where we have no control, only influence, to the inner world, where, with some discipline, we have complete control. If it’s true that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world, wouldn’t it make sense then to exert control over our habitual thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behaviors instead of trying to bend the outer world to jive with our habitual thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behaviors?

Amazing things can happen when you shift your focus inward and begin the process of connecting with who you really are. One of the most important outcomes is increased self awareness. With increased awareness you can make choices and exercise the control and power you actually do have to address and begin the process of changing unhealthy habits to healthy ones so that they’re more a reflection of ‘who you really are’ rather than ‘who you think you are.’ The more you start living a life with integrity, the less unpredictability you’ll experience because your outer experience will begin to reflect your inner truth. Although this won’t significantly reduce the amount of chaos on the planet right now, it will enable you to better navigate it. Not to mention, living with this degree of integrity has a powerfully grounding effect that will help you quickly gain clarity about any circumstance you’re faced with. And the bonus: Living from the inside out has a tremendously healing effect on everyone around you without you having to do anything but just be you.

Interestingly, more and more people are intuitively turning towards practices that bring their focus inward. Yoga studios, meditation and spiritual retreat centers are popping up all over the place. There’s also a growing interest in the study and practice of shamanism. To me, learning to consciously dream like a shaman is not only easy, but it’s the perfect way to shift your focus within, increase self awareness, and to develop a direct relationship with your oversoul/higher self. It’s hard to find a practice that allows you to do so much so quickly. Perhaps that’s why the inner technology of the shaman has survived for tens of thousands of years. It works.

If this resonates with you, try experimenting with practices that bring your focus within and see what happens. Take a yoga class, buy a meditation CD or take an introductory workshop in shamanism. Last year, insert shameless self plug here I released a workbook/audio CD that teaches readers how to consciously dream for this very purpose.

Although what we’re experiencing on our planet is complex, the good news is that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be in this process. Every action, every reaction, and every decision every individual has made during our long spiritual winter has collectively led us to where we are right now. Of course, it’s not pretty. We’ve been asleep. And when you’re unaware, symptoms typically have to get bad before they get your attention.

The shift we’re experiencing is not about figuring out how to do things differently. ‘Doing’ is old school. This shift is about “being.” If, in the face of this mess we’re in, you decide to take the god of chaos up on his offer to help you heal old wounds and bust through the layers of deceit and illusion by waking up and being the person you were always meant to be, you’ll soon see how your decisions, actions and reactions become a reflection of your oversoul/higher self. And this is when you start consistently living in harmony with the outside world. This is how you take responsibility for your part in this mess we’re in.

The chaos is a gift in many ways. It’s not just helping us to re-examine our relationship with control, it’s giving us the opportunity to shift from being a species that operates from the head to one that lives from the heart. I can’t think of a better gift to give ourselves.

© 2008 Wendy Halley