Dear ones, I realize in my work that many of us don’t know what our real needs are,and it becomes increasingly difficult to truly see, and even more so create environments that respond to these needs when we remain unaware of them.
Because many of us are experiencing dramatic shifts on an individual and collective level that are giving rise to a sacred and feminine realm of experience (Yes!!!), I am sharing again with you a practice to grow in awareness and ease our way into exploring our essential needs, those buried underneath superficial trends, wants, shoulds and woulds, those needs hiding behind afflictions, addictions and wounds.
Everything carries medicine, a lesson, a message, a teaching to steer us in the direction of our truest path. It is time to release and dispel the lies & obscurations, to peel away the layers of the self and experience the luminosity of our being. But before you let go:
Did you absorb the nourishment, harvest the message, receive the gift?
Demons as wake up calls
We all got soul work to do dear ones. Yes, all of us. Here are some questions to contemplate:
- Are there parts of yourself you wish were not there?
- Are you fighting fear, anger, doubt, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, illness, difficult relationships?
- Are these demons getting stronger the more you fight them?
- Do you feel you battle them to exhaustion without success?
- Are we paying attention? Are we taking the time to understand the messages?
These inner afflictions bring so much suffering in our culture. These parts of ourselves are calling our attention on a daily basis, pointing to something deeper. If you feel frustrated, there is another way of engaging dark and repressed areas of our being. There is a gentler approach that seeks to shine light on these obscure and neglected parts by integrating them. These demons are often disowned part of our being that create havoc in our lives. In a culture of aggressive mentality that fights anything foreign and threatening in the effort to conquer and defeat, we might be surprised to hear of a more feminine and peaceful alternative.
An ancient & feminine way of healing
By befriending the areas that scare us most and coming face to face with them, we learn what needs lie underneath their troubling demanding requests. Like peeling the layers of an onion we can slowly and gradually increase our awareness of our core issues.
Tsultrim Allione is a revolutionary female Buddhist Lama dedicated to sharing sacred feminine teachings with the west, including ‘Chod,’ an ancient practice of deep wisdom from Tibet. She translated and reinterpreted this ancient shamanic ritual into a process for discovering our deepest needs seeking sustenance, expression, and flow. In her beautiful book Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict, Tsultrim Allione skillfully explains this practice rooted in compassion to facilitate the healing of deep wounds on an individual & collective level, and the realization of our true nature.
She suggests seeing our demons as wake up calls with something to offer rather than just mere obstacles to overcome. They are strong and only respond to kindness and love. Her approach is compassionate, wise and ultimately liberating.
Transforming your demons into allies
Please see a qualified therapist if you need support through this process. Otherwise, follow this brief summary of Allione’s step by step technique to feed your demons for healing. Consistent with her feminine approach is having an embodied process, using the wisdom of your body to heal. Trust the wisdom of your body responding to life. And give yourself the freedom to use your imagination freely. Place an empty chair in front of you in a quiet space where you may not be interrupted.
Feeding your demons with kindness:
- First, find the demon you are working with and locate it in a part of your body. When selecting the demon, you can choose the demon that depletes you the most. (Is it worry, fear, anger?) Where do you hold the demon in your body? (belly, heart, head?) Ground and visualize it. What color, shape, temperature, texture, etc. does it have?
- Imagine demon in front of you and ask: What do you want from me? What do you need from me? How would you feel if you get what you need from me?
- Exchange places with the demon. Now answer the questions as if you were truly the demon.
- Come back to your chair. Imagine you dissolve your body into nectar and feed the demon until it is completely satisfied. How does it look now? Now you see the demon turn into ally. If you see nothing, invite an ally to appear. Ask: How will you help me? How will you protect me? What commitment do you make to me? How can I access you? Change places with the ally and answer these questions. Change places again by returning to your chair and feel the help from the ally. Now feel the ally dissolving into you. You and the ally dissolve into emptiness.
- Dwell in awareness. Stay in this space for as long as you need.
Liberating your true nature
I agree with Allione; these demons are multi-generational and ancestral. They are more than just part of our personal story; we inherit them. You may have to feed your demons on a regular basis to see lasting results and may also find more demons underneath demons as you excavate layer upon layer. Trust each step on your path and know that at as you heal, you send ripples of healing in all directions, energy that can very well reach your ancestors, the earth, and generations to come.
This practice opens us to the experience of vastness and clarity in our minds and love in our hearts. As the notion of self and OTHER dissolve, we enter this magical realm of spaciousness and luminosity. A practice that facilitates dialogue and receptivity within us also has great potential on a larger scale for groups, communities and global peace.
Please let me know if you feel inspired to explore this practice in your life. This practice can help us align with and embody our evolving nature. Wishing you a healing & liberating journey. And as beloved Priestess, friend & mentor Luisah Teish says:
“Who would you become without your pain?”