Why I’m Setting Intentions and Not Resolutions for 2019

It’s that time of the year again – where we commit to changes that we probably committed to last year but got sidetracked by “life” or whatever. Jan is also when I start my new shaman classes and begin working the south wind again. We’ll be going through south wind for the next three months. The south wind archetype is the snake, which teaches us to shed the things not in our highest good like the snake sheds it skin. Like the serpent, we emerge a better version of ourselves. This previous blog post gets into the nitty gritty of the south wind archetype and how it can transform your life. You can also follow #southwind and #southwindchallenge on instagram.
This past year I made huge changes. I’m going to be making more in 2019. However, this year, instead of making resolutions or setting goals, I’m setting intentions. Here’s why:

Goals Reside Outside Our Control

As shaman, we learn to be unattached to outcomes and operate from a place of personal power. That means, we control the things WE can control and let go of the things that we can’t control. We can’t control what other people do. We CAN control whether or not we react to it and how we react to what that other person does. How does this relate to goal setting and resolutions? 
First, lets look at what a goal is. Ahhh…goals…that check list we gauge our productivity by! What happens when we reach that goal? We check it off the list and set another one! It’s a never ending list, isn’t it? Also, goals are black and white. You either did or you didn’t achieve them. Like that saying “Close enough only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”  What happens if we don’t reach that goal? We get down on ourselves for not trying hard enough to achieve it. But how much control did we REALLY have over whether or not that goal was achieved? Did it depend on other people or circumstances to line up? Did you really fail or just miss your mark? When you set a goal that depends on outside influences, you place the control over whether or not you succeed outside your self. You are not in total control over whether or not you achieve that goal. You can put in the effort but at the end of the day, it may not be completely within your power to achieve it.

Intentions Lie Within Our Control

Intentions, on the other hand, live within your Control. As shaman, we know that all things are connected energetically. Intention is energy directed toward achieving a specific outcome. We control where we direct that energy. Living with intention is a lifestyle, not a to do list. We wake up and work toward that end outcome every day. We direct our thoughts and actions in a positive manner that results in arriving at the intended destination. When we live with intention, we’re also leveraging the power of the Universe’s law of attraction by putting out the vibe “Hey, I am living my life as if this outcome has already been achieved.” The universe/higher self/spirit- whatever you choose to call it will line up exactly what you need to manifest that outcome. 
So how do you change a goal or resolution into an intention? Let’s use probably THE most popular New Year’s resolution: To lose weight. Goal setting experts will tell you to get real specific. How much do you want to lose and in what time? What are you going to do on a monthly/weekly/daily basis to reach that goal? You might say I want to lose 25 lbs in three months. You make a plan to go to the gym 5 days a week and eat a specific diet. You download apps to keep you accountable. You are all in and the pressure is on to do it so that in three months you can look at that scale and see it reads 25 lbs less. WOOO that’s a lot of work!
What if instead of all that, you just set the intention every day (when you start your day) to make healthy food choices for your body and to move it at least 30 minutes. Just for that day. Healthy choices can mean anything from eating paleo or keto to just cutting out sugar. Whatever – you consciously decide to be kind to your body, feed it what it needs and not consume the stuff that hurts it.  If you live with this intention, I guarantee you that you will lose weight. And you form a lifelong habit of caring for your physical body. 
And that’s what we’re going for with intentions vs goals: developing habits that result in improving our lives, whether that’s in our career, relationships or physical health. That’s why I’m setting intentions this year and not resolutions or goals. 
I’ve made a challenge for my students that you can join in, if you’d like. I’ve challenged them to pick ONE goal or resolution on their 2019 list and transform it into an intention. We’ll be posting to Instagram and facebook using #southwindchallenge #sacredjourneyhealing

How to Manifest Your Desires

Words have power. Intention has power. YOU have power. You have the power to manifest whatever it is you desire through words and intention. Combined with right (read: good) intention and love, you can attract whatever you want.

First, let’s talk about what manifestation really IS. From an esoteric standpoint (and physics backs this up), everything at it’s particle level is comprised of energy. Energy is a frequency. Like radio waves are frequencies. X Rays are frequencies. We can’t see them, but they exist and they perform functions that result in a physical result such as hearing a radio station or seeing the image produced by the x-ray machine. The key to manifestation in the physical world is aligning your frequency with the frequency of what you wish to attract. And to be fully aware that you are ALWAYS manifesting through thought, whether you are aware of it or not.

That said, let’s talk about how that works. The universe in neutral. By that I mean, it does not see things as good or bad, negative or positive. It is a neutral, non-judgemental observer that assumes what you dwell on is what you want more of. When you bring something into being (via a thought, a wish, a desire), the universe says “HEY they must want more of THAT!” and it sends it to you. When you stress about <strong>not</strong> having enough money, you are putting out the energy of lacking money – and that’s what you get more of!

Taking a side trip here – fear is the worst emotion to sit with. Fear is a low-vibration false ego that makes you focus more on what you are afraid of and less on what you want to move toward manifesting. When you find yourself in a moment of panic, fear or worry – take a minute to just let it go and think about what you DO want. Imagine the outcome as if it’s already occurred. Do not let fear trap you! Get with the universe and co-create what you want!

We Are Co-Creators of Our Own Existence

We have free will and the universe work with our thoughts to send us what we dwell on.  Have you ever told a little white lie that came true (like called in sick then actually got sick)? That’s you manifesting! You put that thought out there and the universe – in all it’s neutral glory – made it happen.

Adding a ritual to these thoughts brings that intention to life in the real world. A ritual is a physical act that can reinforce your thought, wish etc. Going through intentional (there’s that word again!) physical actions while focusing on a particular thought or outcome is a powerful manifestation tool. Here is a ritual to help you attract more of what you want.

Ritual to Attract What You Want:

Start from a place of gratitude. Give thanks for all the things that are going right and that you are thankful for. This mindset sends the universe a message that you want more of these good things.

Send love to all four winds – use the compass app on your smartphone to find south, west, north and east. Face each one and send love to that wind. You “send love” by stretching out your arms and simply saying “I send love to the South Wind” while projecting love to that direction. Repeat for the other three directions. You can also send love to Mother Earth and Great Spirit/God (whatever you call the higher power).

Create a representation of the item or outcome you seek. If it’s a house, find a picture of a house. If it’s a loving partner, find a picture that represents a happy, loving couple. A cautionary note on manifesting money: THE US DOLLAR IS BASED ON THE DEBT SYSTEM. Using dollar bills could represent debt, not income. Therefore, I recommend you focus on manifesting what you would use the money FOR vs money itself. So if it’s financial security, use images that represent being worry and debt-free. If it’s an exotic vacation for the family once a year, use images that reflect that.  We’re going for the end result and we don’t want to limit the universe in how we get it (other than harming others to get it).

Light a candle. I prefer white, but it can be any color. Typically, green represents financial security, blue health and red love. I like white because (to me) it represents pure intentions.

Say 3 times: “I bring ___________________ into my life. I bring it now.”

Now, I modified this for my own use. I say “I bring _________________ into my life with the highest good of all involved. I bring it now.” I do this because I am powerful at manifestation and I don’t want to get a check for two million dollars if it means it’s an inheritance from one of my parents or siblings dying. Feel free to modify this ritual to fit your particular religious faith.

You can repeat this ritual as often as you like.

South Wind Spiritual Transformation

If the sight of a snake gives you the shivers, I ask you to reconsider. The archetype of the serpent rules the south wind and there are many positive things “snake medicine” has to offer. The shamanic path works through the four winds — south, west, north and east, with south being the first wind. I’ll be spending three months writing about each wind as I go through them and I invite you to work through them with me.

About the South Wind and How I’m “Working It”

First, let me denote that there are several different shaman lineages one can study and each culture has it’s own interpretations and symbols (Peruvian vs Lakota, for instance). My particular path is Peruvian shamanism in the Andean tradition so the interpretations of the winds will follow the Peruvian teachings. My training started in the South Wind direction and you will see why that’s a natural place to start.

Staff of Caduceus

The South Wind is all about healing, transformation, shedding and renewing. Why do we need to shed? It’s simple. You can’t fill a vessel that’s already full. From a physics perspective, two things can not exist in the same space at the same time.Not physically, not emotionally and not mentally (that’s right, there is no effective way to multi-task). We must be willing to empty out all the people and things not benefitting us physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally so we can have room for the people and things that WILL benefit us. We shed that stuff like the snakes sheds it’s skin.
It’s where all healing starts. When you’re ready for some hard-core personal transformation, snake is the one you want to call on. Even today, the snake is recognized as symbolic of healing.

Rod of Asclepius

If, like me, you’re a fine purveyor of “useless” facts, right now you’re wondering why the medical staff is snake(s) on a stick. This article goes deep into that.  And this one goes into the origins of the one serpent staff vs the two serpent staff.

Back to the south wind– while working in the South Wind, I’m working with the intention of shedding on multiple levels. The essence of it involves intention as a lifestyle. Intention is non-tangible, but carried out, it manifests into the physical world. I don’t set goals. I live with intention. Why? Because a goal is a destination that resides outside myself and is dependant on moving parts that I may or may not be able to control. Read: I INTEND. Those two words bring that goal inside of me, where I can control the outcome. An intention is an ever-evolving lifestyle built around what I want to accomplish. I “intend” to go to the gym and workout. Manifesting it is the physical act of me getting in my car and driving to the gym then working out. While in the south wind, I am reinforcing and manifesting my intention through action via lifestyle changes. All these little changes will ultimately physically manifest through outward actions that allow me to complete my life’s purpose. A year-long transformation on all levels.

Update: I am re-writing this blog in Dec 2018. Since I initially wrote this blog post in mid-2016, I have lost 103 pounds, gained muscle, no longer have diabetes or sleep apnea. My life has improved a thousand percent. THIS, my friends, is the power of intention and the South Wind.

Emotionally and Mentally, I’m Intentionally Shedding

I’m letting go of limiting beliefs about what I think is possible. People, if you learn nothing else from my chronicles or my journey:

  And now I’m going to pull out my soap box. The universe has so much goodness, so much abundance, so many things for you to claim that you deserve — you just have to be open to accepting it without conditions! To make room for those things, you have to shed the bad things occupying that same space!

Do not limit yourself to the goodness the Universe has for you. When you become a control freak and specify EXACTLY how, what, when you want something, you are limiting yourself. How? Because if I said I want to win a million dollars from the lottery this weekend — I just condemned myself to ONLY a million dollars from ONLY the lottery that would be won JUST this weekend. What if God wanted to bless me with $100 million dollars in six months from a raffle ticket I bought?

See, you have to say it in a way that doesn’t limit you. Like “I want a million dollars or something better in six months or less in way that’s in the highest good of all involved,” (that last part is verrry important). Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen (as in don’t expect to win the lottery if you don’t buy the ticket), but it does tell your angels, teachers and spirit guides what you’d like to have happen and the universe will put things in your path that will lead to that outcome, whether it’s a business deal, a raffle ticket orrr…….a life insurance policy payout because your mom died (see what I’m saying about for the highest good of all involved). OK rant over! Onward Buttercup!

I am letting go of what I think is possible for me as a business owner, as a teacher, as a healer, as a communicator. I’m deciding to let my full potential play out through trusting Spirit will put just the right leadership, the right books, the right teachers, the right situations in my path to achieve my purpose of awakening as many lightworkers as possible. I am letting go of the limiting the belief that I will never be a household name like Oprah or Deepak or Ghandi. Why can’t I? Or for that matter, why can’t YOU?! They all started out as “commoners” and someone has to be the next Oprah, Deepak or Ghandi.

I’m shedding the limiting belief I have to achieve all this myself. I can delegate. I can network to expand my message. I’m emotionally shedding the things that drain me. Like the drama queens on facebook, the news (I still stay informed but don’t spend hours with it playing on the tv in the background), the soul-leechers (you know who they are — just being in their presence depresses you), the energy vampires (15 minutes around them and they’ve sucked the life-force right out of you), the tasks I hate (bookkeeping, house cleaning – I get the family involved, laundry folding)….basically anything and one that does not bring me joy or contentment, I avoid. Let it go, my friends! You don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t have to do all things, either. Some things are better outsourced..like laundry. : )

I do all this with the intention of creating empty mental and emotional space to fill with things and people that are congruent with my life’s purpose. And that brings me JOY. Empty space is the key. Two things can not exist in the same space – whether it’s physical like a couch or ethereal like a thought. You have to get rid of one thing to make room for another. So if your life is consumed with drama and noise, there is no room for peace and quiet until you – like the serpent – shed the things not serving you so something new can emerge.

This week I challenge you to make a list of the people, situations and things that bring no benefit to your life. Shed them! It will take strength and courage to confront them. Hit me up on Instagram and tell me what it is you’re shedding using #southwindchallenge. You can find me on instagram @theamycarroll or @sacredjourneyhealing. Inspire me!

It may be painful but when you clear that space, you’ll have no time to feel the pain because all the good will come flooding in!

And if you need a little energetic clearing after you’ve tossed out all that useless gunk, I do offer shamanic energy clearing.

What Is Shamanism?

What is Shamanism?

In short, shamanism is an ancient healing modality based on spiritual principles. Before modern medicine, the tribal priests WERE the medicine men and women. There was no delineation between what was healed spiritually and physically. They believed that all physical, emotional and mental dis-ease was tied to a spiritual imbalance.  This could be past life trauma, soul contracts with others or even curses. Modern shaman hold these same beliefs.

Not a Religion

Contrary to popular belief, shamanism is not a religion. It predates all religions and co-exists with all religions from Christianity to Buddhism. There are Baptist ministers who are shaman. There are Buddhist shamans, Wiccan shamans, Gnostic shamans and people you would never imagine would practice shamanism are shamans. An emerging classification is Celestial shamanism. I am a Celestial shaman, which I will talk about later in this article.

This article by Paul Sivert does an excellent job of showing the differences between Shamanism and organized religion.

Shamanism is not an exclusive practice. Meaning, shaman work with multiple healing modalities alongside shamanism. These can include Reiki energy healing, Angelic healing, Esoteric healing, mediumship  and many other methods that compliment shamanism. I incorporate mediumship and Reiki with my practice. As a Celestial Shaman, I work in multiple dimensions, with different types of energies and spiritual beings. I open and close portals. Many times I will work on a client and a loved one in spirit or spirit guide/animal comes in to assist or to deliver a healing message.

How do you Become a Shaman?
There is a misconception that you must be a member of the First Nation tribes to enter into shamanism. That is not true. Most Native American tribes refer to their healers as medicine men and women – not shaman. For the native healers, it is their birthright that is passed down generation after generation.
Those of us who are not birthright shaman, are what I term “spirit-called” shaman. It is a spiritual calling, much like a priest or other holy servant has. Out of respect for the Native Americans, I don’t refer to myself as a shaman. I use the term shamanic practitioner or shamanic energy healer or Celestial Shaman. We learn the modality from other teachers. We must also do an enormous amount of self-healing and releasing of false egos before we are allowed to work on others. The type of shamanic healing I learned is called Incan or Peruvian shamanism. It comes from the original descendents of the Inca tribe that took residence in the Andes mountains. Later, as I incorporated various other types of healing, my guides taught me new terminology that resonates better with today’s technologically-advanced civilization. Later, I was told this was called Celestial Shamanism. It accomplishes the same thing, but uses terms that millenials and the younger generation can better relate to. This is important because the next generation needs healers, too. If we use concepts that are foreign to them, they may not want to pursue shamanism even if it is their calling.
How Does Shamanic Healing Work?
Simply put, we work in the spirit/energetic realm to achieve a physical effect. Science has proven that at the atomic level, all things are made of energy. We are all connected through energy. We have energy strands that we attach to people, places and things. Emotion is energy. Every be thinking about someone then run into them in public, get a call or get contacted by them? That’s an energy strand that activated when you thought about that person. It’s like a tap on their shoulder, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.” That makes them think about you and viola’ you make contact. Energy healing works the same way. Your soul is energy. I carries energetic strands from past lives into every consecutive lifetime. Shaman clear these energetic imprints. Science has made strides in proving the efficacy of energetic healing. Mike Sententia at The Healing Lab is doing some fantastic work on his version of ethereal healing, which integrates spirits with consciously directed energy healing like Reiki and biofield healing. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike. You can listen to his interview with Greg Carlwood, where he gets in depth on his research. Amazing work to scientifically measure and validate energy healing as an effective healing tool.

Daily Life of a Shaman

We are normal people. Yes, we wear crystals and are typically crystal hoarders. No, that’s not marijuana you smell, that’s sage. We commune with and honor nature.

I did not start out that way. I would kill a spider in a heartbeat! After I started my training, I saw things from the spider’s perspective and now it literally hurts me to needlessly kill an insect or animal (like a snake). As a medium, I learned that animals do have souls, but we have it backwards. The question ISN’T if animals have souls, but did a soul choose to be an animal this lifetime? I was also never a “tree-hugger”, but now they talk to me. I listen to their stories and write them down. Some I share here on my blog. Imagine if you could talk to a HUMAN that’s 200 years old! That’s what it’s like to talk to a tree. The stories they can tell!

When we start a healing session, we open Sacred Space. But our values go with us outside that space. As a shaman, you don’t clock in at 9 am, do your healing sessions then clock out at 5 pm. It is a 24/7 way of life. Just as the monk commits to a life of purity and impeccable living, so must the shaman. We must live with integrity. We will only ask for the highest and best good of all, because the truth is (whether you believe it or not), we are ALL connected – the plants, animals, earth, sky, rivers, forests and us. What affects one, affects all. We are very mindful of being helpful without enabling. There is a fine line between helping someone because YOU need to feel needed and helping someone learn the lesson they came to learn. One can not learn to swim if the lifeguard keeps jumping in to save him or her (wink). The shamanic lifestyle requires a non-judgemental point of view. That means we are unattached to the outcome of whatever we do and recognize your journey is your own. Yes, I want to help you heal but if YOU choose not to, I must respect that. That, I think, has been the hardest aspect of my training.

Caring for the Shaman

Healers naturally give to others more than they give to themselves. It is hard for us to receive care…and sometimes even love! However, self-care is critical. We are called the “wounded healers” because we’ll heal everyone but ourselves! If you are considering the shamanic path, know that you MUST practice self-care or you risk infecting your clients with what I call your “bad ju-ju”. You must clear yourself of any past issues and going forward you must stay vigilant to resolve any future issues as they arise. For this reason, during shamanic training, we are not only taught the shamanic methods for use on others, we do these same healing methods on ourselves for self-healing. We undergo the soul retrievals and all the work necessary to clear ourselves so that we do not bring it to those we will be healing in the future. This self-healing is life-altering. Just as it is for many of our clients.

Is There a Shaman Near Me?

We are everywhere. The best part is, you don’t have to be near us to be healed by us. It’s all about energy, remember? We work at soul level. That means we can access your energy body without you being present. I do the work then I have a one hour video call with the client to go over my findings and what they need to do. You can schedule a distance healing with me here.

I find working with people who need to release false egos (fear, powerlessness, depression etc) works better in person. I also have more loved ones in spirit show up when I work on someone in person. If you are willing to travel to the Greer, SC area, you can book an in-person healing with me here.

How You Can Benefit from Shamanism without Becoming a Shaman

Luckily, you don’t have to become a shaman to incorporate shamanic principles into your everyday life. You can start by reading my blog. In fact, I kick off a new Transformation Challenge every Jan 1st. It always starts in the South Wind, where the archetype of the Serpent asks us to shed the past the way she sheds her skin so that we can emerge a better version of ourselves tomorrow than we are today. But why wait until January when you can start now?

Click here to journey to the South Wind.