"Amara is simply wonderful. She provided me with insight and guidance to a very serious situation I was facing with my grandson and daughter. I'm incredibly thankful for her abilities and know that she is guided by love."  ---- Sandy B.

I DON'T KNOW (WHEN YOU'RE UNSURE OF WHAT YOU NEED)

I have received many, many emails from seekers who are unsure of what they need, want, or what is involved in spiritual services. Yet they are aware that something seems off, incomplete, or missing in their lives. I refer to this innate feeling as "spiritual distress" because we have an inner knowing that something spiritual is affecting our mind, body, and/or soul and, therefore, our quality of life and ability to fully grow into who we are meant to be

How Does Spiritual Distress Happen?

Spiritual distress can present for many reasons as varied as each individual. For example a:

 

  • Challenging life circumstance.

  • Loss of something important in your life.

  • Spiritual awakening.

  • Newfound conflict between old beliefs and new beliefs.

  • Situation that challenges your morals or values.

  • Life altering experience.

  • Burden you've been trying to work through. 

  • Chaotic situation that arises when boundaries have been broken.

  • Struggle to find or maintain hope.

  • Deep yearning for something more from life.

  • Struggle with grief or loss.

  • Difficult time coming to terms with guilt and self-forgiveness. 

  • Sensation of wanting to more deeply understand your existence.

  • Situation from your past that is affecting your present life.

These types of situations -- as well as a myriad of others -- can influence your entire being. 

How Do You Know If You're In Spiritual Distress?

I believe we are all intuitive and you will innately know if you are in spiritual distress -- mainly because you will feel ungrounded, unbalanced, stuck, and/or empty inside. A few signs happening on a spiritual level may include:

  • Pondering questions about the meaning of life.

  • Questioning your own belief system or suddenly losing spiritual or religious beliefs.

  • Thinking negative thoughts like, “Why are bad things always happening to me?”

  • Feeling anger or despair.

  • Suffering from sadness, depression, and/or anxiety.

  • Feeling isolated and alone.

  • Feeling lost, without direction, a flag in the wind. 

  • Questioning the purpose of pain and suffering -- possibly not just about yourself, but also on behalf of world suffering.

  • Feeling the Divine is not listening or has abandoned you.

  • Sensations of inner emptiness.

  • Having difficulty falling asleep (many times due to racing thoughts). 

  • A yearning -- a knowing -- to seek spiritual assistance and guidance. 

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Physical Distress

Pain and other physical symptoms can also be expressions of spiritual distress. In core shamanism, we have a concept we refer to as "dis-ease" -- and it's exactly what it sounds like. We are not at ease in our lives, something has upset our grounding, harmony, balance, peace, and calm. When we have "dis-ease" that remains unresolved, it has the potential to turn into a physical issue we hold in our bodies -- "disease." If a physical issue is bothering you that has manifested seemingly out of the blue, or past medical treatments have not helped, we can also discuss working with spiritual practices that might alleviate issues as part of our action plan. 

Where Do I Start?

My suggestion is we start with a spiritual direction session. This will give us a chance to talk and begin to develop a plan that helps you move through whatever it is that you're experiencing with wisdom, grace, and discernment.

This could take a number of paths as unique as you are. Your situation could: 

  • Be as simple as having a discussion(s) with a person outside of your situation who can help you see things from a fresh perspective.

  • Incorporate a combination of learning new contemplative practices, time to integrate them into your life, and paying attention to your growth and transformation based on these practices of moving inward. 
     

  • Involve reconnecting to the positive aspects of your old beliefs and how to integrate/ combine your new beliefs by getting back in touch with the things that gave you strength to cope with the more difficult challenges throughout your life.
     

  • Include discussions and ideas about developing a support network and practicing self-care. 
     

  • Be about implementing creative expression into your life as an outlet for your inner work -- like making time for music, writing, poetry, art, or dance.
     

  • Involve spending more time in nature.
     

  • Implement shamanic healing practices. 
     

  • Be worked through by walking the labyrinth with me as we journey through this ancient contemplative tool together to find what we can discern. 
     

  • Be discerning what type of connectedness you may need in your life -- nature, personal, friendships, religious, creative, meditative. 

Plan of Action

As you can see, there are a number of paths to take. And many, many more not written here. This is what I love about this work -- there is no stringent, written-in-stone protocol or a book with actions plans laid out for us. Rather, we talk, work through it, create a plan, and adjust that plan (if necessary) each time we meet. The plan of action can and does change based on your own transformation and what is most needed each time we meet. For example, your action plan may look like this:

 

  • We have a session where your emotions are holding you hostage. We work together to get to the root of the problem -- or at least chip away at the problem -- so you can find peace and calm.
     

  • Our next session may be a breakthrough from the previous session's suggestions and we celebrate a victory and plan the next step forward.
     

  • Next, you may find that working through the practices we've discussed have brought forth old memories of heartache that are stalling you and need resolve. We work through this with inspired conversation and contemplative practices.
     

  • Our next session, you may feel exhausted and beat down -- perhaps we switch gears that week and work with sound healing using the ancient practice of Tibetan singing bowls. 
     

  • Next, you're feeling there's something deep within you that wants to be heard. Perhaps we work to get those words down on paper or use a creative practice that gives you a way to place the feeling of those words creatively rather than verbally. 
     

  • Our next session, you may have a deep question that needs answering, so we walk my five circuit heart labyrinth together -- an ancient practice for contemplation.
     

As your sessions continue, we can go back and forth with different spiritual tools and discussions until you feel you have arrived at a place where you not only feel really good about who you are and who you are becoming, but also have a deeply felt connection to your soul and how amazing you are.  

 

Shamanic and spiritual direction practices are meant to be used as tools to discern and heal the causes of spiritual distress to help you move into wholeness and grow into who you were meant to be in this world. So let's start with spiritual direction and take on -- together -- whatever comes next.