A new José Stevens Article

Commitment and Preparation for What is Coming

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This article was sparked by a conversation I recently had with Pat Liles, our Powerpath astrologer, about the coming times and possibilities.

This article is about two things that at first may seem quite different but are actually related, commitment and preparation. Let us begin with commitment. When most people hear the word commitment they groan and think, “Oh damn, this sounds like I have to give up my freedom; I have to let go of fun and become ultra serious for the sake of someone else, blah, blah, blah. So let us revisit the word and see what kind of baggage has been attached to it and see if we can liberate it some. We usually think of commitment as something having to do with relationships, like “stop running around and commit” which usually means buckling down to hard work and forcing yourself to be loyal. We usually want our employees to be committed meaning that they work hard, never complain, and want the boss to be very successful and get rich. You get the idea. What if we looked at this word in a whole different way? Do you have a commitment to eating and breathing? Damn straight you do.  That is a serious commitment but you don’t usually fret about it unless someone is stuffing a rag in your mouth or you ‘ve had nothing to eat in a week. Then you start to find out what it is to be really committed. If you jump off the high dive you’re committed or if you ride the ski lift up to the top of the mountain you are committed but these are usually thought of as the adventurous or fun side of things. So when you are committed to something you want to do, it makes more sense to you. When you are committed to someone else or a group you may feel forced or resigned to do so. It just doesn’t seem like fun at all.

So ask yourself, just what are you committed to?  Make a couple of lists. First write down all the commitments that you feel you must do out of duty, the ones that you just put up with. Next make a list of all the things you are committed to that you are just fine with, that you enjoy, that you gladly do. Now make another list of things that you feel you ought to be more committed to but are not now. Just notice what kind of judgments are involved and whatever feelings of shame, guilt, or inadequacy come up for you. Now let’s see if you can get rid of all that and see if you can just sit with the word commitment in a neutral way. Notice that you are being committed automatically even if you don’t seem to be doing anything. You are committed to sitting there, committed to being in your body for the time being. In some important way you are committed to your life. Notice what that feels like, just the raw feeling of being committed. Commitment includes plans so you plan on also being in your body tomorrow and eating food on a regular basis and certainly at some level of commitment you plan to breathe regularly.

So now we are getting into the terrain of preparation, preparation for whatever you are planning to do. However, let’s not leave the topic of commitment just yet. Do you have any commitments to yourself of a spiritual nature? Do you have any commitments that have anything to do with the transition that you are going through or will be going through, and the big one that the planet is going through? Are you committed to making the transition successfully?  Maybe you can’t answer that question yet. That is OK.

We are now barreling toward an extremely intense April, 2014. Astrologers describe it as the fifth of seven main squares that involve Pluto and Uranus over a three year period from 2012 to 2014. This one coming up is the most intense involving a grand cross including the usual culprits Pluto and Uranus and this time Mars and Jupiter are included in the mix. Pluto of course has to do with power and Uranus has to do with sudden change. Mars has to do with conflict and aggression and Jupiter has to do with large scale. Put those all together and you have a mighty intense heady brew that, because of the way it is situated, particularly involves the United States. This combo affects each person individually depending on their unique astrology and this may mean very different things to different people.

The foundation for this scenario was laid back in the 1960’s when Pluto and Uranus were also in play but at that time they were conjunct. Their relationship contributed to the intensity of the Vietnam war, the resistance to the war, the civil rights movement and its backlash, the sexual revolution, the music explosion and more.  Now Pluto and Uranus are squared, a more intense configuration than in the sixties.  Look out!

Once again we are faced with grave dissatisfaction, a collapsing educational system, questions about the United States continuing to be a global police force, huge inequality in income and privilege, government that has ground to a halt, failing infrastructure, a medical system that is on life support, an intelligence organization turning against its own people, a grave sense of loss of security and so on. Are we strangled and locked into a status quo we cannot break? Do we know what we want instead? What are we committed to? Can we take the steps to move out of our dilemmas and forward toward renaissance? How do we prepare? These are questions we face and soon.

The Mars aspect moves fast so we are bound to experience conflict first. That is typical. If we can contain and manage the conflict without it tearing us apart we can move forward. We will know if we were properly prepared by how we manage the conflict as it comes up. We will know if we are prepared by how well we can handle an intense period of unknowns and lack of clarity before we are able to see through the smoke and dust of the construction zone.

Now, as of right now this combination of four planets is still in the near future and has various probabilities for its outcome. Many astrologers are predicting catastrophe, war, and big time international mayhem and that is understandable given the nature of these influences but then, nothing is set in stone. Is it possible that these same planets could have an extraordinarily positive outcome because we determine that to be so. What if we were to commit to change in a way that the changes could be embraced instead of fought over and resisted. What if? Remember that the quantum field cannot resist a question arising from curiosity. It is compelled to answer because the quantum field contains all possibilities and when a human being poses a genuine question, the intention of the question galvanizes the quantum field to respond. That is how all technological breakthroughs and scientific discoveries are made. What if we were committed to constructive change and prepared ourselves for that change?  When you ride the ski lift all the way to the top of the mountain you had better be prepared to ski down or you will end up sliding down on your butt all the way down like I once did. Being prepared in this case means having the skills to ski down difficult terrain. If you get behind the wheel of a car and turn the key you had better have prepared yourself by learning to drive. Hopefully you get the point here. Commitment and preparation are intimately intertwined.

The question that arises here is, “What do you need to do to prepare for such intensity as is arriving shortly? At first it may appear that these events coming down the tracks are out of our control. Other people who run governments and organizations seem to be determining what will happen and it appears there is nothing we can do to stop them from using very poor judgment and endangering us all. That is our typical habitual response and it is also very passive and martyred. Now more than ever we need to keep in mind that we are the context of life, not the details. We are the world, are the events, are the decisions, and are the others that we condemn. We have just split these things up in parts, identified with some and not identified with others in a pretend game of clue, “Who did it? The butler with the knife or the maid with the gun.” The time for playing that game is over. We are all responsible and we are all in the position of power to determine a new course and that starts right here at home.

So how do we prepare? Very simply of course. Commit to letting go of the drama. No matter what happens, like the Buddhist monk, form the habit of saying, “Oh, is that so.” Remember the Native American story where the elder asked his nephew, Which wolf will you feed?  The one on your left or the one on your right, the I can or the I can’t. Commit to the ultimate vision that no matter what happens it is happening by us and for us, not happening to us by them.  Prepare by daily practice: Open your eyes and commence the shamanic practice of seeing. Look and see that you are out-picturing everything. See that it is all you. What you are looking at is a mirror. Next open your heart and practice compassion and forgiveness. Remember that compassion and forgiveness starts with oneself. Remember that paradoxically there is nothing to forgive. When the master shaman Jesus said, “Go in peace, your sins are forgiven you” He did not mean, “You’ve been bad but I will be magnanimous and I will forgive you. Now straighten up and fly right.” That is patronizing and downright wrong. What he meant was, “Your sins are imagined. You were made perfect. Remember that.”  So practicing compassion and forgiveness means seeing people as they were created, perfectly, as brothers and sisters in Spirit. Look past their false personalities that are so annoying. They are just part of the false dream.

When you see the world for what it is, it is beautiful and becomes more beautiful as you see it. Everything wakes up a bit.  This is the way to prepare. This does not mean you gaze at your navel and deny world events. You do what you can to help using your skills and talents to the utmost. In your heart you know that your personality is in over its head and you ask for help from Essence, from the Inner Shaman. You continue to move forward one step at a time. Before too long the whole world is transformed. Remember the butterfly effect. Quantum physicists have noticed that if a butterfly moves its wing on the other side of the planet, everything on the whole planet has been influenced to shift to accommodate that slight movement, and in the long run the outcome for everything may be phenomenally different.  Your thoughts count, your feelings count, your actions count.



José Stevens

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.