Being AND Doing

“Blessed are the damn-givers, for they will right-side the world.”

~ Reverend John Pavolvitz ~

On Friday, October 6, 1995, just over 23 years ago, I experienced a seismic shift. Most of us have had such a moment at some point in our lives. It is a place where you have a visceral knowing that absolutely everything must change. Call it a whiff of destiny, an epiphany, or the appearance of Grace.

For me, that moment came when the demands of motherhood (a very sick child needing my love and attention, and a trip to the pediatrician) collided with a legal brief due in Court. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t just that moment, but countless others identical to it, where I had felt deeply torn between my personal and professional lives. That day simply was the straw.

I knew that I could no longer follow the forward momentum of my career, when my heart and my child were calling me to step into my humanity and my own sacred feminine (something I had suppressed for too many years).

Image Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory / Image Credit for Cover Photo on Blog page: “Dona Juana makes a prayer” by Capturing WNC Photography

As of that day, so many years ago, in October, I was a 10-year employee of the Federal government. For the first four years, I was an FBI Special Agent. The last two of those four years, I served as the Principal Legal Advisor for the FBI office. The remaining six years, I worked an Assistant United States Attorney.  

I don’t often speak of my “other life” because I am fully and happily engaged in this one. I loved the people with whom I worked, but my heart was calling me elsewhere.

Elsewhere, as it turned out, was a Masters level training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a practice in acupuncture and herbs. A few years later, studies in shamanic arts really lit my fire. This led to practicing shamanism and to teaching. My love for this work was so contagious, that my husband, my son, my sister, and several friends have all become mesa carriers, too. These new passions came with more time for my son, during his early years.

So, you are caught up. 

On Politics

When I was a federal employee, I could not legally speak publicly on behalf of, or campaign for, a political candidate. To do so, would have been a violation of the Hatch Act. 

Later, when my life became more about healing work, I threw myself into my own personal healing and my work, and avoided speaking about politics. I bought into the fallacy that one couldn’t be both spiritual and political.

Now, that pendulum is swinging back for me toward engagement in the world. Though I volunteered and campaigned for former President Obama (both terms) and for the Democratic Party (in 2016), I have kept my personal/political viewpoints, well…personal. That is, until recently. 

What Changed?

Another one of those seismic shifts.

When one becomes a mesa carrier in the Q’ero lineage, she accepts ever-greater stewardship for the Pachamama (the earth) culminating in stewardship for all creation in the Cosmos. The path that I follow is built on a cosmology of love (munay) and right relationship (ayni). The Q’ero lineage, as it currently exists in living beings, is one of the most generous lineages, I have ever encountered. The Q’ero elders (such as Don Francisco and his spouse Dona Juana) are living embodiments of love and service. They work tirelessly to share their wisdom with us. 

According to Q’ero prophesy, we currently are undergoing a great Pachakuti. This Quechan word means a turning over of the world, back to a more feminine cosmology – to a great time of peace and prosperity.

All of my politics come from this place. Which candidate serves the planet and her people? What laws support both?

It is that simple for me. I am FOR the Pachamama. 

In my work, we talk about the four different perceptual states that govern our beliefs and actions. These are the lenses/filters through which we view the world.  

The first is Serpent – where we only see the details, the facts, the science relative to any situation. This would be from Mr. Spock’s (Star Trek) perspective. 

The second is Jaguar – where we see and act from emotion. An example would be countless guests on the now defunct Jerry Springer show. There is also much evidence of this perceptual state in the news these days.

The third is Hummingbird – where we have the mythic overview of a situation. Think of the most beautiful work of art, or music you have ever experienced. This is a place of no words. 

The fourth is Eagle/Condor – which is energy itself.

My teachers taught me to spend most of my time at Hummingbird and Eagle (in stillness and meditation), so that I could then take wise, spirit supported clear action in the world (working at Serpent).  

What Does this Mean?

This means that I can no longer be silent about my “politics.” I can no longer sit this one out or just “be.” Since the elections of 2016, I have felt compelled into action. I have lent financial support to political candidates, to the Democratic party and to other progressive organizations. I have called Senators and members of Congress regularly on matters that MATTER.

Since August, I have volunteered at my local Democratic party headquarters, and will do so until the midterm elections are over. I will greet voters at the polls, during early voting.

I will be speaking and posting more about politics. I am open to respectful discourse. Kindness and compassion cross party lines, when we remember who we are and that we really are all in “this” together.

All that said, I will admit that it has been a difficult two years, observing protections for humans and Pachamama being eroded by short sided politicians. At times I have found myself with burnout.

Reverend John Pavlovitz, in a recent blog, addressed those with compassion fatigue. He said:

You are in good company, so keep going.  Fight like hell to keep your heart soft….  Yes, the world is upside-down right now, but we can make it right – one beautiful act of decency at a time. 

Get some rest and keep going.  The world needs people like you.

Blessed are the damn-givers, for they will right-side the world.

Amen, Reverend Pavolvitz!

When I can remember and act not from what I am resisting, but from what I am dreaming into being, it is so much easier. The lineage is with me, as are so many friends, loved ones – other damn givers.

My simple prayer for creation is that we all awaken and remember who the Pachamama really is – a blue green goddess Gaia. From that awakening may miracles unfold on behalf of her and all of her children. This is what I want instead.

The Yin and the Yang of It

It is beyond time for the feminine (in each of us – male and female) to rise up and hold accountable the unhealed masculine in ourselves and in our world. We see this in the #Me Too movement, and in the political candidacy of many women this year. The feminine is indeed rising.

At the same time there is a necessary deathing of old unhealed structures. Dr. Jean Houston, a great teacher and mentor, has described what we are witnessing as the sundowner effect of the unhealed masculine paradigm. Like the great sun that blazes brightest, as it dies each evening, the unhealed masculine patriarchy is burning brightest, even as it is dying.

The new world is birthing. We are seeing groundswells of grassroots change. People are showing up politically to make a difference on the planet. New discoveries are being made every day, about how we can lessen our carbon footprint on Pachamama, even as our window to do so closes.

I have hope, dreams and a plan to be in action.  

As Rebecca Solnit, recently shared in a WBUR (Boston’s NPR News station) newsletter, and on her Facebook page, “hope can and must be the basis for an identity and a code of being.” Now, more than ever, this is true.

There is a quote, attributed anonymously to the French that goes something like this:

“If you don’t DO politics, politics will DO you.”

This year, and for the foreseeable future, like many of you who are galvanized, I am DOING politics.

See you at the polls!

How about YOU?

What motivates you to stand in your power and gives rise to your voice?

What are you dreaming into being? 

What are you risking/doing to make it a reality? 

Will you vote in November? 

Head on over to the Condor Journey Facebook page and leave a comment. Please keep all discourse respectful!

With deepest Munay,

Victoria Johnson
Shaman.Teacher.Writer

The Condor Journey: Igniting Your Heart’s Fire in Service ™

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