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The shaman understands that all problems that we face are caused by our unhealed emotions, which distort our perception of reality. We mistakenly perceive a situation as real, and then the Universe, in its infinite wisdom, proves us right! To solve any problems in our lives, we must heal out emotions. Otherwise we will continue perceiving ourselves as victims of circumstances, and not as heroes embarked on an epic journey. We cannot simply change our minds and see the world differently, because our way of perceiving the world is rooted in emotionally charged neural networks buried deeply in our primitive Neanderthal (limbic) brain.


Changing our minds without changing our brains is merely wishful thinking. Only when we exchange our toxic emotions can we establish new neural networks which can change our perception. Then the Universe will prove us right once again, but this time in a life affirming way. Until then, we will continue attracting to ourselves people that share the same wounds and stories we believe to be real. When we re-wire the neural networks programmed for faillure, self-sabotage, shame and fear, we can redirect our life force and free ourselves from our self-created suffering.


Initiation is the shaman's art for transforming emotions such as anger, fear, and despair, into love, purity, compassion. Initiation is the way the spiritual warrior heals her emotions, lets go of the need for growing through adversity, and becomes a creative force in her own life. Although many cultures design elaborate rites for the initiation of young women and men, true initiation is always internal, a private act of courage between you and the Divine. In fact, all initiations are an invitation from Spirit to discover the significance of your existence and play the game of life at a higher level.


Initiation heals the emotional wounds that keep us inflicting pain on ourselves and maintaining a state of stress, crisis, and denial. It is a natural process that requires the death of the old and the birth of the new. Once our initiation is underway, we can recover the passion and vitality that we once squandered in rage, lust, or greed, and invest it in our well-being, discovering our power to create instead of feeling continually beleaguered.


Life invites us to be initiated through many means: tough love, or the death of a parent or friend, or when we give birth to a child or face a health crisis. When we refuse Life's invitation to initiation we become trapped, like a moth in the spider web, battling our way out of a medical diagnosis, or a bad job or relationship, only to create another predicament for ourelves. The spiritual warrior knows that such crisis can be an opportunity for rebirth, the doorway through which we can step onto an illumined path that leads to a life of passion, authenticity, and grace. But it requires that we say yes to life, and step into unknown territory.


In Peace, Alberto Villodo

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