Finding the Courage to Create a New Life
Kathleen Downey, c.s.c. Shamanic Counselor, Past-Life Therapist

For centuries the Italians have been using the term "chiaro/scuro" to describe "dark (obscurity) and light (manifest)." It has been used in terms of shadow and light in paintings and the quality of bright and dark sounds that create resonance in the singing voice. To define light there must be shadow, to recognize shadow there must be light.

Because we are spiritual/energetic beings, a fact that our original ancestors in the times of the Shaman were very aware of, we are sound and light an energy of pure love existing in relationship with the physical body. These opposite parts of our being, as described above, are also our messengers. When we break down physically it is a message that our spirit is imbalanced, a void has been created at one point in our lives that has been filled with imbalanced ego energy created from the darkness of anger and fear that doesn't belong with us.

Oftentimes these parts of ourselves are at odds or have created a tug-of-war between our authentic selves and our ego selves. How often have we seen the messenger that rides into the enemy camp killed, treated with all the abusive power of anger and hate, discredited or ridiculed. Why? Because we do not want to let down our right to fight for what we know, our familiar and embrace change. Change is scary, it is trusting the unknown.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet the representative of a prescriptive drug manufacturer. Their biggest seller, at the moment, is a drug which surpresses emotional imbalance that is manifested in sudden outbursts of laughing and crying. I was told that numerous people have been prescribed the drug. Sudden outbursts of crying and laughing are clear signs that an emotional imbalance is occurring that should be dealt with, not merely suppressed. If not dealt with this imbalance will be acted out or manifested in another way. The liver, under stress, for example will effect the heart and the joints working it's way to the kidney functions.

We are used to quick fixes; drugs that will suppress the messages our spirits are asking us to listen to and face, and alcohol that numbs our awareness and keeps us in our illusions and disempowerment. We are used to getting our way, remaining in what we are familiar with and fighting against the tides of change no matter how unhappy we are.

Fear can disguise itself to look like an ally keeping us from harm. Is it helping us or is fear keeping us from who we truly are and were meant to become? Fear of the unknown keeps us repeating the same situation over and over again. We know well what the familiar looks like, sounds like and feels like, we've learned to trust our familiar and readily accept and respect others who have the appearance and energy that is familiar to us.

When our health, job or home is taken from us do we consider the event might be asking us to look deeper into the spiritual aspects of who we are, challenging us to find the courage within to create something new.

Across the planet, cross culturally; from time immemorial our ancestors knew that each challenge which arose in ones life was an opportunity for personal growth. A lesson that hopefully wouldn't have to be repeated. They looked at the spiritual aspect of these messages with the guidance of the Shaman, medicine woman/man, pacos, Druids, wisewomen and men, each culture had different names for their spiritual leaders. This guidance and profound experience can be utilized today through well trained practitioners of the Shamanic Journey process, which includes Soul Retrieval, Extraction, Past-Life Therapy and Shamanic Counseling. This is an experiential therapy it is not talk therapy.

With this experience, and the profound knowledge that accompanies it, comes the courage to face the demons of the ego; the denial our fear creates which obscures our possibilities to reach our full potential. It will teach us to trust ourselves and create a new and prosperous life with healthy boundaries. Boundaries keep the familiar from seducing us yet again.

Becoming our own heroes and heroines in our present lives means recognizing the voice and lure of the familiar and energetically releasing the need to keep playing that role that sacrifices our authentic self. Once we stop enabling our familiar in that historical self-glorifying role of sacrifice, our authentic self may rise up and awaken creating a new future.


Several years ago a woman came to me in need of help she had been stuck for fifteen years in an unhappy relationship and home where she felt unappreciated and repressed. She was a single mother for several years, then at twenty seven years old, the year of Saturn return, a time when we energetically feel a need for security in our lives, she allowed herself a relationship that served to meet only this need for material security. For the security of a man who could provide a home for her and her child she had given up a career that was just coming into its own.

The man's behavior indicated that he was very insecure and unsupportive of her personal needs, he needed to keep a tight, controlling reign over her, a younger woman. He asked her to stop her creative work and take care of all of his needs.

She did all he asked yet he could not acknowledge the work she did on his behalf nor would he compensate her for it.

He didn't know she came to see a shamanic counselor when she became ill, he had admitted to having a private detective follow her in the past, she was frightened, disempowered and felt worthless.

She was still quite young yet her body was beginning to break down physically, she had spinal herniations as well as asthma and chronic fatique. These ailments can be energetically associated with holding onto past ideas about who you are, grief and worthlessness.It took us a relatively short time to empower her for the first time in her life. After nine months of Shamanic journey work, Soul Retrieval and Past-Life work we discovered that she had called in her familiar.

Soon after this acknowledgment she began to realize her many creative gifts and her worth. All the physical ailments subsided and she left the illusional "secure" home to start a new life, making different choices. A life which she quickly become quite successful in.

Kathleen Downey is a Shamanic Counselor and Past-Life therapist who utilizes all the techniques mentioned above to help others create a healthy and prosperous life. She can be reached in Del Mar, Ca for private sessions at 858 646-9808. Please see website for upcoming workshops - Interpretation of
Dreams, Nov 14th-15th, and Soul Retrieval in Dec. at Warner Springs, CA. For more information, go to:

Copyright 2003, Kathleen Downey