Archive for October, 2012

Emotional bullies show up in all walks of life, and can be psychologically immature or very sophisticated.  Whether you’re a shamanic practitioner, a bus driver, a school teacher, doctor, office worker, or waitress, it’s important to maintain healthy boundaries while you’re working with other people.  It’s not only ok to have healthy boundaries, but it’s crucial if you want to maintain your own health and sanity, which you’ll need if you want to be able to continue to be of service. 

A tree without healthy boundaries can’t be a tree.

“You can’t reason with unreasonableness,” a dear friend once told me.  If you’ve considered another viewpoint and still come back to your own as true for you, some will call you stubborn and close minded.  But it’s not stubbornness to have a point of view.  And it’s not stubbornness to walk away from anyone in your life, including clients, who belittle you for not agreeing with their point of view. 

Because I’m not talking about pretending to be infallible or never stepping outside our comfort zone, but about claiming our right to not engage in any relationship that’s not mutually respectful and heart-centered (unless for some reason you choose to).  And if you do find someone starting to bully you, you don’t have get down in the dirt with them.  You’re not better than them, but it doesn’t help anyone to engage them in that way.  It’s important to be aware if your reptilian brain is getting triggered, but you should deal with those issues later, at an appropriate time.

If someone does cross the line, do whatever you need to do to respect your boundaries and keep yourself safe.  End the session if you need to.  If you feel physically threatened, call for help.  Whatever you need to do.  Let them have the last word and get on with your life. 


  • If someone says “I don’t mean to be rude but…” it’s ok to say, “Then don’t.”
  • You don’t have to accept “brutal honesty,” especially unasked for and especially from people with whom you don’t have a close relationship.  Even beloved friends and family can be honest with us in a loving way.
  • Just because someone wants something from you doesn’t mean you have to give it (also see http://wp.me/p1FkFN-1w, “Just because someone gives you something doesn’t mean you have to keep it.”)
  • Some people are like monkeys and just enjoy throwing their crap around.  If you let them, they’ll throw their crap all over you and then claim it’s your own. 

 Some thoughts for shamanic practitioners:

  • It’s ok to not take on a client if your helping spirits don’t want to work with them or if, on a human level, you don’t feel it would be appropriate to work them.  Sometimes it’s appropriate to work with a bully or manipulator, sometimes not.  Use your common sense, intuition, and the guidance of your helping spirits and the counsel of trusted friends and teachers.
  • Don’t go into spaces you feel uncomfortable in, or practice techniques you don’t feel comfortable practicing. If you don’t make house calls, don’t be bullied into making house calls.
  • Even if you have a sliding pay scale, keep the process respectful.  Don’t haggle over rates. 
  • Don’t let clients or any of the other entities you’re dealing with get abusive, even if anger is one of the issues being dealt with.  You don’t need to be a doormat just because you are there to help. 
  • Be power-filled (with your True Self and Helping Spirits) before beginning to work with clients, including via email or on the phone.  Keep as clear as possible during the session, and afterwards, do whatever personal clean-up work you need to do – de-cording, extraction, etc.
  • Even if someone is unhappy with your work, you have the right to be treated with respect.  Hear their grievance, give them their money back if you like, but you (and your Helping Spirits) have a right to be treated well, as you treat your clients well. 
  • Honor your clients, yourself, your helping spirits, and your process – all of the above.

And I’ll close with a version of Dr. Kent Keith’s “Paradoxical Commandments” (http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/mother-teresa-connection.html) that I love. 

I wish you many blessings on your day.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

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I had been going through some difficult situations recently, and the other night, I put in a yoga DVD to try to work out some of the stress that had been building up in my body.  It had been too hot lately to do as much walking as I usually do, and that had been adding to my lack of clarity and my emotional turbulence.  At the end of the yoga session, in final resting pose, as I started to think again about the unresolved situations on my plate, my Higher Self asked me, “Do you trust me?”  Her gentle forcefulness pierced me to my core.  Do I indeed trust my Higher Self?  And do I spend enough time getting to a place where I can truly hear her?

We need to do whatever we need to do to make sure we DO hear our Higher Selves, to clear away the debris on all levels – mental, physical, spiritual, emotional – so that we can hear the voice of our connection to Spirit.  It can be so easy on this plane, in the heaviness of physical form, to get sucked into the vortex of despair and short-sightedness, to lose sight of our true nature and the true nature of our life here. And that doesn’t do anyone any good.

So I encourage us to daily do whatever it takes to find balance and connection and peace.  To honor the directions and the other beings we share the planet, the universe, and our lives with.  To unplug from our electronics and gaze at the stars.  To feel our hearts swell with gratitude and appreciate for those we love.  To exercise, eat well, sleep well, read well, have some fun, meditate – whatever it takes so open up space in our lives so that we can hear our Soul.  So we can hear its wisdom.  And not just hear, but listen.

I realized the other night that I do trust my Higher Self, and together we will get through our current difficulties.  I know if I listen to her – to her yearnings and wisdom, her warnings and praise – I will know what the right thing to do is, moment to moment.

From Sandra Ingerman’s wonderful Transmutation News this month:

“…the more we can sink into simple daily spiritual practices that allow our own inner wisdom to lead the way the more we can create positive change for all of life.” (http://www.sandraingerman.com/tnoctober2012.html)

And don’t forget to breathe!

Many blessings on your day.

Camphor Tree, © Lynda Skeen

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