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 the Journal of Shamanic Practitioners and a board member. 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.
Have you ever been speaking to someone and listened incredulously as they told you something that revealed how seriously they were deluding themselves? Perhaps it is a parent whose child is in a lot of trouble abusing drugs or has severe learning disabilities and you hear them talking glowingly about how their child is going to go to Harvard.
Stubbornness is one of the two main dragons or obstacles for 2008 (along with self-destructiveness) and therefore it is good to understand how it operates in our current times. Stubbornness is both personal and global and influences almost everything, being a favorite strategy of the false personality to maintain control.
Just about everything in our experience has positive poles and negative poles, something that determines whether those experiences are enjoyable, satisfying, and joyful or painful and disconnecting. Positive and negative poles impact roles, goals, attitudes, modes, centers, levels of perception, needs, and values.
Lena and I returned from Peru just a week ago, so these observations can best be described as preliminary and have yet to be integrated over the next weeks and months. Nevertheless I feel compelled to write about the journey because it has been so extraordinary, mysterious, and life changing.
“The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, an Australian television producer, has become a runaway best seller along with the DVD by the same name. You know something is making a splash when it manifests in a five-page article in Newsweek magazine.
In October 1998, I had the unique opportunity to go to the Australian Outback to visit a group of Australian Aborigines from the Pitjantjatjara tribe. These are people who have been particularly willing to dialogue with white folks and share their culture and stories to a degree.