A Year's Journey of Initiation

A Year's Journey of Initiation

Focusing Your Journal on YOU

As you learn to record in your journal, you will discover that your journal entries become more focused and have greater clarity as you mindfully observe yourself and observe and learn from Nature. As you take the time to record your observations, your entries will support the lessons you learned, and you will also learn about yourself. This is critical, because it will help you see what you YOU do. As your own actions become clearer to you, those observations you make about yourself will provide the foundation that you will stand on so that you can become a teacher, facilitator, or Medicine Person.


Your ability to calmly and fearlessly observe what is real is profoundly important. You cannot do this with a bowl that is already full. You must be willing to let go of who you think you are, what you expect to see, and what you want to see in order to truly see. To do this, you must hone your ability to observe and be the silent witness. You must not only learn to see, you must learn to listen, to feel, to watch every reaction of the people you are talking to and to sense things using your knowing rather than your intellect.


The journaling exercises and processes in this lesson are designed to develop your ability to observe with ALL of your critical faculties. As you observe Nature and the people around you, allow your perceptions to change your views of the world. Allow the things you used to believe about the world and the people in it to shift and change.


Consider the vastness of Creation and what you might notice around you. What did the birds sound like at this time last year? Are there fewer of them, or does it just seem like it? What mushrooms did I find growing out of my tree last year, and are they the same as the ones growing there this year? Is the weather really that different this year? What does the air smell like? How do I feel about the people I see? What do I imagine they are feeling? What is my reaction to the sounds around me? Do I feel something in my body when I hear loud noises? What do I call that feeling? What emotions does all of this stuff bring up for me? Am I hopeful about tomorrow? Am I still angry about what happened yesterday? All of this is important.


Keeping notes in your journal will support you to be able to answer questions like these and will alert you to notice other details that you might have missed about your own process or observations. Use as many of your senses as possible with as much detail as you can remember. If you can’t write in your journal because of a lack of time in the moment, jot down notes to jog your memory at a later time. After journaling consistently over time, you will notice how your abilities to observe and record become sharper and more detailed as you learn to listen and stand as a silent witness to All There Is.


Journaling can show you where you have been and how far you have come. Through meditation, reflection, and mindfulness, you will establish new ways of seeing, discover what you value, what you are grateful for, and what gives you joy or sorrow. Journaling will allow you to understand yourself in an authentic way. Writing down thoughts and feelings in an honest and meaningful way will reveal where you are stuck and allow you to observe your beliefs and paradigms objectively so you can see whether they serve you. You can embrace inhibitions and blockages, understand why they are there, and release them. This valuable self-feedback allows you to learn what limits you so that you can move forward in life. As you do these reflective processes, journal your feelings and observations so you can learn about yourself.


I embrace my life experience in every right now.                                       

I own that when I come from ego, pain, fear, or emotionally packed old experiences, I am powerless to embrace my truth and change my life.

I know or I believe.

I come to know (believe) that my connection with Great Spirit and myself is the only way I am going to remember my destiny here on earth and fulfill my full measure of creation.

I embrace the power of love.

When love and Spirit are brought together, their power is unstoppable.

I forgive.

I forgive myself and others for all mistakes and shortcomings and mindfully look at all judgement I have of myself and others. I own the judgement as a projection, and I meditate to heal the projection and to transform the negative feelings, thoughts, and experiences. I journal these situations so that I am a witness to my own awareness and deep learning process.

I ask.                                                                                              

I make my specific request with no expectations.

I have a heart full of gratitude for everything in my life.

I show gratitude by spending time in my power hour daily so that unlimited creative ideas and opportunities continually come into my life.

I dedicate my life to my personal growth and the growth of all I serve.

I give thanks that Great Spirit and my Highest Self are mindful of my every need, and I meditate to stay connected and open to every right now with a joyful heart of gratitude.

I dedicate my life.

I now have a covenant in which I agree that Great Spirit is supplying me with an abundance of all things necessary to live a successful and happy life. I surrender how this may look and trust my highest self and Great Spirit. I dedicate myself to be of maximum service to Great Spirit and those around me, and I commit to live in a manner that serves the fulfillment my full measure of creation and that supports others to do the same.


Lesson 1: Feedback Exercise

You can deepen self-knowledge by asking people for feedback about you. Record their responses with a tape recorder. Below are some of the questions you might ask, although you are free to invent your own. Practice listening mindfully and without becoming defensive or interrupting. Invite them to be totally honest, and let them know they will supporting your growth.

  1. What are my weaknesses or blind spots?
  2. What do you see as areas I need to improve on?
  3. What are my strengths and best qualities?
  4. What can I do to be more effective, supportive, or sensitive?

s painful as this process may be, own as much as you can. Look deeply to see what you might learn about yourself. Inner growth is like peeling an onion: it can make you cry. Know that this “peeling” process can take months. Also remember that no one has the final word on the truth about you except you. This is the road to maturity. Through understanding, you can learn to soar to new heights.

The Sufi master, Rumi, one of the many geniuses wrote about the geniuses within each of us, had this to say:


“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.

Say yes quickly, if you know,

if you’ve known it from the beginning of the universe.”


Lesson 2: Reflective Journaling

(This journaling assignment is written so that you can read it as though you are the author. Please read it aloud and note in your journal what feelings come up as you do.)


A journal supports me to embrace the lesson or awareness I might not be cognizant of in my everyday life. My journal will become a historical record of my life, a place to record thoughts, feelings, ah-ha moments, accomplishments, sorrows, blessings, and disappointments. My intent is to build skills that allow me to reach my full measure of creation as I stretch, grow, and transform, and I realize that journaling can assist with this growth.


Every area of my life has become a spiritual experience as I have applied the skills that are taught here in this journaling experience. My plan is to continue to grow as I strive to reach my full measure of creation. My goal is to support myself to view the world from a new point of view in the present moment, to inspire me to create new ideas that allow insight and growth. This journal is for me to do with as I may and make of it what I must. There is no “right” way to use it. I will treasure each step of the way, perhaps savoring the wisdom in these pages over many months, or I may prefer to take my pilgrimage at a breathless pace. Both are uniquely valuable.


The processes I will read about here will expand my perceptions of human interaction and will encourage me to journal truthfully about what this process shows me about myself and others. The observations I make will teach me useful skills that I can apply in my life so that I grow and learn. From this expanded perspective on my own life, I will be better able to see how I can support others to grow beyond the things that limit them.


Lesson 3: Your List of 100 Questions

This exercise may take you all year to complete. Avoid rushing through your answers. This exercise is to help you get to know yourself by telling the deepest level of truth to yourself so that you can understand other people. Come back to these questions later if something else comes up for you.

In your journal, make a list of 100 questions that are important to you. Your list can include any kind of question as long as you deem it significant. Stay in the flow as you write your answers, and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and don’t worry if you repeat the same question in different words. You will answer these questions in your journal throughout the year.

Review for themes: When you have finished your list, read through it and highlight the themes that emerge. Did you discover anything you didn’t expect? Consider the emerging themes without judging them. What are most of your questions about?

Top ten questions: Now choose the ten questions that seem the most significant and write them in a list by themselves. You can add new questions or change the order at any time.


                                   Lesson 4: The Art of Asking Good Questions

To get to the bottom of an issue, write down your question or problem and then ask yourself—and answer—the following questions in your journal:



What is the problem?

What are the underlying issues, perceptions, prejudices, or paradigms that may be influencing my answers to the questions or problems?

What will happen if I ignore this question or problem?

What problems may be caused by solving the problem or answering the question?

What metaphors from Nature can I use to illuminate the problem or question?



When did the problem or question start?

When does the problem or question happen?

When doesn’t the problem or question happen?

When will the consequence of the problem or question be felt?

When must the problem or question be resolved?



Who cares about the problem or question?

Who is affected by the problem or question?

Who created the problem or question?

Who perpetuates the problem or question?

Who can assist to solve the problem or question?



How does the problem or question happen?

How can I get more objective information?

How can I look at the problem or question from unfamiliar perspectives?

How can the problem or question be changed?

How will I know that the problem or question has been solved?



Where does the problem or question happen?

Where did the problem or question begin?

Where haven’t I looked for the answer?

Where else has this happened?



Why is the problem or question important?

Why did the problem or question start?

Why does the problem or question continue?

Do not allow yourself to get stuck at why something happened!



When: “I am powerless when I believe I am an addict.”

What: “I acknowledge my habit energy that enslaved me to my addiction, which created a life that has become unmanageable.”

How: “I stop and become mindful and present. I empower myself to manage my own life. I am honest with myself and others.”

Why: “I am a Spiritual being.”


                                           Lesson 5: Affirmations


This list of positive affirmations can be memorized if you find meaning for yourself and others. These affirmations support you to support yourself and others in changing a negative belief into a positive one. Also, you can display them where you will see them daily—such as on your desk, refrigerator, or mirror—or write them in your journal. The act of putting something in writing can be powerful, so feel free to rewrite these to make them your own.


I trust Great Spirit and myself to triumph over all obstacles.

Life is exciting and full of adventure, and I live my life with enthusiasm.

I embrace the flow of life and feel the passion of being alive.

Spiritual warriors, visionaries, healers, and teachers keep their commitments through tough times and good times.

I am a spiritual being!

Unlimited creative ideas and opportunities continually come into my life.

Great Spirit’s love fills me, and I share my love with everyone.

Positive attitude, effort, preparation, and planning are my watchwords.

Practice and patience are my teachers.

My potential never ends, and I am on my path to fulfill my full measure of creation.

Joy, happiness, and cheerfulness are my constant companions.

In my enjoyment of life, I reflect my love for the world.

Today I embrace my victories and triumphant spirit, and I have enough for everything in the world.

There is no thing, event, or circumstance that I cannot rise above.

Great Spirit is the highest and best in me.

I meet the challenges of this day with a spirit that overcomes all obstacles.

Before I do anything, I will set a new, never-before-attempted goal for the day.

I give thanks for the gift of a new day and the awakening of my mind.

I imagine the fulfillment of my dreams, feel their reality, and watch them come to pass.

Peace and harmony govern my mind at all times.

Today I will appreciate each moment and enjoy my life to the fullest.

Happiness is a habit, and I choose the habit of happiness.

I am an energetic, healthy, active, radiant person.

I go forward with this day embracing the positive expectancy of a winner.

Big or small, my personal victories are the key to my growth.

Positive thoughts and ideas are my constant companions.

I rise above my challenges.

Every moment of this day is an opportunity to give and to receive goodness.

I have a positive self-image and I nurture myself.

I concentrate on the bright side of every situation and learn from what didn’t work.

I have inner strength and power.

I have a glorious capacity for living and loving and giving.

I am a Spiritual warrior!

I now feel and express the joy of living in this world.


Lesson 6: Meditation and Breathwork

Why Meditate or Do Breathwork?

Meditation and breathwork provide an opportunity to observe reality from every angle from inside of ourselves as the Silent Witness. Instead of editing our self-image, we observe and confront the whole uncensored truth, seeing things as they really are instead of the way we think they could be. Certain aspects of what we observe in ourselves are bound to be hard to accept. When we keep meditating, difficulties begin to pass away, and we can apply what we learn about ourselves to our daily lives. Over time, our dedication brings a deep sense of peace that words cannot describe. Remember to breathe and center yourself every day, and journal about how breathwork and meditation make you feel and what gifts they have given you.


Lesson 7: Questions to Support Mindfulness

Please journal your answers to these questions. If the question requires only a yes or no answer, write your feelings or observations about it. Feel free to revisit them as you see yourself grow and change. It is only through mindful balance within ourselves that we are able to teach mindful balance to others.

  1. Do I accept that I cannot control or change another person’s addiction or behavior?
  2. How do I recognize that part of me that is addicted?
  3. How do I recognize when anyone is running a habit energy?
  4. How do I become mindful and develop behaviors and patterns that enhance my personal well-being?
  5. Do I accept that addiction is a dis-ease in my whole being?
  6. Am I willing to do the inner work that is required to assist me in becoming conscious of the patterns? Am I truthful about them so that I can work through the issues that are creating the dis-ease?
  7. Am I willing to have conversations with those people in my life who allow me to be accountable and take ownership for all my stories, so that I am in the now and not locked into patterns of yesterday or dreams of tomorrow?
  8. Do I accept that I must do inner work such as ceremony, breakthrough, mentoring, skill-building workshops, journaling, meditation, breathing classes, and other things that assist me in looking deeply at myself and my patterns and energy?
  9. Do I also acknowledge that I may need to build life skills in many areas of my life to assist me to get more conscious of who I am?
  10. How have I tried to change or blame others in my life, and what were the consequences?
  11. Can I acknowledge that every human being is doing the best they know how?
  12. What means have I used to get what I want and need?
  13. What might have worked better to get what I think I might want?
  14. What might happen if I were to stop judging others and instead focused on behaviors I felt drawn to judge in them and then looked deeply inside of myself to see how the behavior is really about me?
  15. How can I let go of other’s problems instead of trying to solve them?
  16. Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
  17. In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?
  18. In what situations do I feel shame and responsibility for other people?
  19. What brought me to ceremony, and what did I hope to gain at the time?
  20. Who has expressed concern about my behavior and patterns? (Give examples.)
  21. Who has expressed concern about my health and spirituality? (Give examples.)
  22. Who has expressed concern about my children? (Give examples.)
  23. How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
  24. How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
  25. Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”?
  26. Who is the person in my head with undue influence?
  27. What happens to my ability to manage my life when I allow others to influence me?
  28. Do I find it easy to take care of others and find it difficult to care for myself?
  29. How do I feel when life is going smoothly?
  30. Do I continually anticipate problems instead of staying in the now and letting the problems come as they may? (This is called “creating my own growth.”)
  31. Do I feel more alive in the midst of crisis?
  32. What are the differences among pity, empathy, sympathy, love, and hate?
  33. Am I attracted to addicts and other people who seem to need “fixing”?
  34. How have I done my best to “fix” such people?
  35. Do I trust my own feelings?
  36. Do I even know what I am feeling?


Lesson 8: Seven Ancient Mirrors of Relationship

There are seven ancient mirrors of relationship that I use to project onto others things that are really about me. These mirrors me show seven things:

  1. Reflections of the self that are hard wired as my belief system from the past that affects each new moment
  2. Reflections of what I judge in other people in the moment
  3. Reflections of what I feel I have lost, given away, or had taken from me
  4. Reflections of the Dark Night of the Soul
  5. Reflections of my greatest act of compassion
  6. Reflections of what I judge about my parents as a mirror of what I judge in the Divine that is really the lesson I came to Earth to learn about myself
  7. Reflections of what I judge as not perfect that is really perfect as I learn to accept and honor my imperfection and the life lessons I co-create

Projections will be discussed every day if you attend the week-long ceremony. You can learn more about projections by going to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Vol5SL5wU. If you need help understanding any of this material, please call us for mentoring. Understanding your own projections is immensely valuable in your journey, both as a teacher of others and to have a more fulfilling life. Journal about what these mirrors teach you.


Lesson 9: The Seven Steps of Self-Invalidation

Every time you break an agreement, or “dump someone in the soup,” there is a price to pay. When you do this, you will automatically go through these seven steps, and you will continue to go through them until you interrupt the process by cleaning up the mess. (This brilliantly insightful process was adapted from work by Gary Acevedo.)

  1. The first step is when you say something like this to yourself, “I shouldn’t let them down, but oh, FORGET IT!” In other words, you sell out. (Guess who you’re truly saying “forget it” to?)
  2. The second step is to JUSTIFY the behavior. You say something like “I had to because, you know, I just had to,” or “I just didn’t feel like it because the kids were whiny,” or “I was worried about what the neighbors would think” (enter excuse HERE). The bottom line is that it’s a justification, an excuse, a story.
  3. The third step is to MAKE THEM WRONG. You say, “He’s a jerk! He knows that I don’t have any money!” All of that stuff that lets you off the hook is suddenly right.
  4. The fourth step is to AVOID THEM. For example, you borrowed a book from someone a year ago, and you used to be such good friends, and you don’t know why you don’t see that person anymore. How come? Oh, yeah! I didn’t return their book.
  5. The fifth step is to GET AGREEMENT. You say to someone else, “Don’t you think he’s kind of a jerk? I think he’s a jerk!” You get someone to agree with you that he’s terrible. You gossip, and you get a lot of glee from gossip!
  6. The sixth step is to PERCEIVE NEGATIVES. The moment you are in this state, you see things like this: Yesterday was a rainy day and it looked beautiful, and today is a sunny day, and everything looks terrible. Everything is irritating and stupid. Everything looks negative. No matter what’s going on, it’s all terrible.
  7. The seventh step is to DO IT AGAIN. It’s the ultimate justification. Automatically, without even a thinking about it, you must do it again!


What you must understand is that this is all machinery. You don’t get to vote about this, it’s just biological machinery. And if you don’t interrupt these seven steps by owning your part in it, you will go through these steps every time. If you don’t interrupt this process by cleaning up your mess, somewhere along the line, these steps will happen automatically. The last step is that you have to do it all again, and because you don’t see that jerk anymore, you have to find a new “jerk” to do it to. (Do you see who is getting “jerked around” now?) Remember: self-awareness is what leads us to self-discovery and healing.


Lesson 10: Seven Steps to Eliminate Internal Formations (Sankhara)

  1. I bring internal formations into my awareness though meditation, breathing, and observing myself.
  2. As we shine the light of mindfulness on an internal formation, it begins to reveal its face.
  3. An internal formation may be an image, feeling, thought, word, or action.
  4. When we are not mindful in our daily lives, we plant the seeds of suffering in the people we love.
  5. When partners are still light, and not filled with too many knots, the practice is not difficult.
  6. Together we can look at the misunderstanding that created the knot, and then we can untie it.
  7. If we discuss things right away, we can come to clear understanding, and the knot will be untied easily.


Lesson 11: Thirteen Steps on the Red Path to All of Me

Step 1: I center myself.

I use deep breathing with my eyes closed to get into a meditative state. (The purpose of centering is to separate from your thoughts and connect to intuition and Spirit.) I clear my mind of all thoughts and prepare to receive answers.


Step 2: I identify and express the turbulence belief.

I ask myself the question, what is the number one limiting belief coming up for me? (Listen for the intuitive answer, and trust that whatever comes up is exactly what you need to work on in this moment, especially if it doesn’t seem to make sense.)


Step 3: I explore my memories.

I ask myself, what is the first memory that comes up when I think this thought? (Trust that whatever memory arises is the perfect place to focus your breakthrough work.)


Step 4: I identify the deeper limiting belief.

I ask myself, what did I decide about myself when I experienced this? (What comes from this is the deeper belief that you found in Step 2; it is the one you really need to work with. Tune into the sensations in your body that you are feeling. You will either notice that your breathing is not relaxed or/and you will experience uncomfortable sensations in your body.)


Step 5: I identify my emotions.

I tune in to my current experience and identify my emotions, thoughts, and feelings surrounding the events. (Start now, and go back chronologically through your life and inventory all the times you have thought or felt this way. Allow yourself to go back to the very first time you thought or felt this way.) I recall my story and express the turbulence. Start and finish this sentence: “I feel just like when….” and recount the experience by answering the following questions (and if you can’t remember any specifics, make it up):

  • Is it daytime or nighttime?
  • What am I wearing?
  • How old am I?
  • Am I alone? Am I with someone? Can I describe them?
  • What are they saying, or what did you think they were saying?
  • What decision are you, as your younger self, making about yourself, God, or the Universe right now as a result? (This is usually in an attempt to seek or avoid a feeling, as interpreted by the young child, or as my imagination dictates. For example, “I decided I was unworthy,” or “I decided I was stupid.”)


Step 6: I examine the cost of the untrue belief.

I ask myself, what is the cost of believing this thought? I examine how this belief is showing up in my life. How has it affected my results in the past and present? How will it affect me in the future if I don’t change this belief? (Consider how it impacts other aspects of your life, including finances, physical health, relationships, and personal power.)


Step 7: I give myself permission to shift.

I consciously choose to shift my beliefs and make a change. I declare the truth and create a new empowering belief that was masked by my decision at that young age. I claim the part of me I have left behind. I am a (insert an adjective) little boy/girl.”


Step 8: I rewrite my story.

I go back to the memory from which I created my false belief. I imagine reinterpreting the experience in a way that serves me better and that is more aligned with the truth of the new belief. (If necessary, in your imagination, solicit the help of your Higher Self or someone whom you deeply trust to support and assist you in rewriting your story. What words of support, encouragement, love, wisdom, and power would they offer to help you heal the pain of this experience and rewrite your story?) I progress at each age through the years to the present time integrating all the parts of me into the present moment.


Step 9: I claim my new belief.

I state my new belief out loud with confidence, conviction, and power. (Say it repeatedly. Declare it in a way that feels most authentic to you. This will shift the energy and the emotion anchored to the memory to a strong positive emotion.) I embrace this “truth” in my present self and send this true message to all of the cells in my body. I state, “I am a (same adjective) woman/man. I commit to living this new belief and finding evidence to support it. I will find a way to celebrate this new belief in my present life.


Step 10: I ground.

The purpose of grounding is to support you in being fully present in the now so that you function at your highest capacity.


Step 11: I open myself for alignment.

I align myself in my community by listening to feedback from “all my relations,” myself, and others in my community. This part of the step allows me to focus on results in relationships.


Step 12: I continue to notice.

I notice and acknowledge myself in my truth each day by:

1) Sharing with others as I experience my truth in them

2) Sharing with others as I experience my truth in myself

3) Sharing missed opportunities to be mindful and correcting slips into old behavior by

declaring my new belief in myself again

4) Doing my best to do this at least three times each day

5) Choosing to be gentle with myself and others

6) Being mindful and doing my best to embrace new beliefs and behaviors.


Step 13: I choose to master this technique for myself and to support others.

I am a master at creating a fresh point of view.

Sweet Mystery that is at the Sacred Center, and all Divine Energies, thank you for holding us and cradling us in your protection as we bring wholeness to our hearts and to our world! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is good.

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