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The Wolf Within

Oftentimes we get stuck seeing ourselves only in one dimension. The truth is that all of us are multifaceted, multidimensional. There are pieces of us that we gain or lose throughout life and those that stay dormant only to be brought out in certain circumstances. Each one of us has to acknowledge and integrate these pieces to give us the whole picture of who we are. Keep in mind this isn't easy nor is it ever “really done.” Understanding and learning about ourselves is what brings us closer to achieving that highly sought after ‘inner peace’ and balance.

Now that you have an idea of where I’m headed with this - I know you’re thinking “What? I have no idea where you’re going with this!” - I want to share a deeply spiritual and profound moment in my life. And even though I'm writing this many years after it happened, it's remained vivid in my mind and, with time, I've processed and understood it with more clarity and meaning.

Many years ago, I attended a shamanic meditation with the intention of connecting with my spirit guides. It took place in an isolated room with walls tiled in shungite. For those who may not be familiar with it, shungite is a black stone composed almost entirely of carbon and found predominantly in the Shunga village in Russia. It is said to have many properties including the ability to purify air and water, block EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies), and entrap and eliminate dark or malevolent energies.

For more details on shungite visit here:

The shaman had us sit down and close our eyes while listening to rhythmic drum beats. We began with a guided meditation starting in an above ground natural setting of our choosing - one where you should feel safe. I chose a familiar and personally important point - a stone tower on a hiking trail I’d been to many times over my adult life.

Next we were instructed to imagine ourselves as energy and enter the underworld and continue downward. Now, keep in mind that this wasn’t some sort of vision quest to Hell. The underworld in this sense is more the realm of spirit - a world between worlds and not a dark or evil one. I continued my journey downward, entering a crack in the base of the tower. I proceeded to enter what I can only describe as a mine shaft - although it allowed me to move like a waterslide - and I could see and feel the dirt and roots around me.

This wasn’t some sort of vision quest to Hell

I then plunged into a cavern filled with water. Soon after it morphed into a lake with pine trees all around. It was night and I could see the stars. The shaman instructed me to call my spirit animal who would then lead me to my spirit guide.

A wolf appeared. At first white, then black, and finally after shifting back and forth turned to grey. We looked into each other's eyes and there was mutual acknowledgement, understanding, and respect. The wolf led me into the forest to a smokey fire where a seemingly old Native American man sat with his back to me. My wolf laid down by the fire quietly and I took its lead and also sat. Suddenly and without warning, the man stood up, turned, and cast off the blanket reminiscent of what Gandalf The White does in The Lord of the Rings when he appears to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in Fangorn Forest. Trust me, this imagery wasn’t lost on me - and since it was my meditation it made perfect sense.

Surprisingly, the man wasn't old at all but vital and ripped and his very presence commanded respect. His head was entirely shaved except for a little on top and a long, black ponytail- like Magua from Last of the Mohicans. He had no shirt and bore a metal arm band above each of his biceps.

He spoke little if anything to me. He approached me, sat, and began to rub dirt on my face, chest and arms. Then he gestured with both hands hitting his chest and implied that taking care of my body would be a way to honor/acknowledge him - and myself. Clearly my health was on my mind as I had gained about 25 lbs up until that point - and in the coming years would gain another 25 lbs on top of that before initiating a big change. Then the drumming changed, becoming more rapid and distracting. It was harder to see or hear my spirit guide and before we parted ways he blew a large cloud of smoke engulfing me signaling to me that it was time to go back.

At this point the shaman instructed us to return to the tunnel to regain entry to our world. My spirit wolf, who had been lying quietly by the fire, stood up and together we ran back to the lake. I dove into the water and all the dirt came off of me. I swam until I found and climbed a rope ladder leading me back to the tunnel entrance where I was turned back into energy and was whisked up back to the base of the tower concluding my journey to the underworld.

After the meditation, I spent another hour with the shaman telling him of my journey. There were so many interesting things about my spirit guide, the ceremony of dirt and smoke, and the cleansing in the lake. But the shaman was most interested in my spirit animal and not that it was a wolf. He was interested in how it changed from white to black to grey. He felt that this was not me simply being indecisive (which is what I thought) but rather that I walked in two worlds and that I had to learn how to bring them together for my own balance and harmony.

And what were these two worlds? It was clear to us both that one was the spiritual world that I was drawn to after my divorce and that the other was predominantly the corporate world where I worked. Not very often do you find someone who truly walks in both worlds. The white wolf and the black wolf were not at odds with each other, they had to find a way to coexist and they did by becoming the gray wolf. The shaman explained that I too had to find a way to allow both the sides of me to coexist and benefit from each other. How could I take my experience in the corporate world and marry that with my spiritual nature that has been with me since I was a child? How could I turn that into something meaningful and give back to the world?

The white wolf and the black wolf were not at odds with each other, they had to find a way to coexist

It's an interesting thing to think about. Where do you see yourself in your life? Are you torn between two worlds as I am? Or do you live in perfect harmony with yourself? I doubt the answer is the latter, otherwise you wouldn't be reading my blog right now.

The beauty of it is that we don't have to kill one side of ourselves in order for the other side to exist or flourish. We need to facilitate a way for them to coexist. To take the parts of each side that are beneficial and useful and find their counterpart/match in the other side. My example of this would be taking my background in marketing and content creation and mixing it with the things I've done over the last several years whether that's Reiki, tarot reading, ice baths, past life regression, and meditation and bring that all together. The purpose of this isn't simply to make myself happier - although that can be a great side benefit - it's really about honoring and respecting the parts of you that make you, you. Keeping parts of yourself isolated eventually leads to siloing and fracturing. What that can eventually lead to is having large parts of your life being left unfulfilled as mine were. My “career” up until this point had given me a wealth of experience and knowledge but never satisfied my soul.

Keeping parts of yourself isolated eventually leads to siloing and fracturing

I also felt like my spirit guides seemed like another version of myself in some other time and place. This particular meditation was very powerful and also held a key to melding these two worlds to help heal a broken heart and mend a broken psyche. I couldn't bury myself in work or bury myself in spirituality and neglect. What I'm trying to say here is when you're going down your path you can't neglect big parts of your life. You can't neglect a marriage and expect it to last. You can't neglect your body and expect to stay healthy. And you can't neglect vision and expect to be happy.

So what did my spirit animal and my spirit guide give me? They told me that even in the spiritual world you have to focus on the physical world. They also showed me that it was not either/or, but that it would be possible to blend my unique career experiences and varied interests to bring something valuable and unique to the world. They didn't show me the path, but showed me that I would be able to create a path that no one else could. text here

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