Certified Shamanic Healing Practitioner
Of Belgian and French descent, I ascended to the UK as a freshly qualified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 1992 in order to practice Veterinary Medicine. As the experiences of working life unfolded it led to additional training with the Open University to obtain an MBA or a Masters degree in Business Administration.
When that goal was reached, I stepped into a new adventure at great cost.
It had been my ultimate dream to practice veterinary medicine in my own veterinary business. At this juncture in life, I didn't have the experience let alone the resources to run my own business. All I had was the freshly acquired business degree and about £3000 to my name.
Still, as things go in life that need to happen, the seemingly impossible and improbable met and a 100% business loan was granted in the purchase of a failing business. I had set my eyes on a business I had worked at before as I wanted to take over an existing practice and manage it singlehandedly. This practice had been managed by a sole owner before the transfer of ownership. Despite it being a failing business and several warnings not to touch the practice with a bargepole, somehow instilled with a sense of confidence and not a leg to stand on to explain myself and prove my reasoning for this confidence, I set off on the journey of self-discovery.
The first step taken into the discovery of what I was capable of, having nothing much to loose and everything to gain, it was pretty much a swim or sink scenario that wasn't unfamiliar in a way. I had felt terrified before and yet had managed against all odds.
There was more to life than what the eye meets in life.
At 16, I got a first glance of this and remember the bewilderment the experience brought as well as the impossibility of piercing through the mystery of it all.
It was back in the 80s in Belgium and there were not many resources in those days; no internet, not many books nor people to turn to to make sense of what happened. It was exhilarating just as much as it was deeply mysterious and real. It sounded silly and enviable too to some I shared the experience with.
Nevertheless, I had the experience of what I know now to be Dream Time and Lucid Dreaming. I dreamed at 16 the score results of an essay I had written in French and for which we were graded. That was the night before we finally received the long-awaited results. In that dream I saw myself get an astounding 92% score as the essay was laid down in front of me by the teacher in the classroom. The quality of the dream was very different than the other dreams I'd had and there was a very serene, deep, detailed quality to it. I could not contain my excitement the following day on receipt of the 92% mark on my essay.
This was the preambles to a lot more to come, later at University, the Open University and beyond.
With gratitude to Andreas Wagner UNSPLASH
After that first experience, the Lucid Dreams now started happening more often, especially when I felt terrified that I wouldn't make it through an important step in my education. I would dream exactly enough questions to get me through with a pass for those exams I was fretting about failing.
It was mysterious how that worked. It was awesome too. Funnily enough, I never had to resit any of my exams and I know I am not the brightest tool in the box on a measurable IQ scale. It seemed to be a learning process in trusting that which cannot be grasped by the mind alone.
Over a very long period of time, the repeated, benevolent supportive experiences of Lucid Dreaming in Dream-Time built a strong sense of profound trust in this inner guidance, which fell completely outside the interference and influencing noise streams of people outside my experiences and their opinions of what's possible or not. The Lucid Dreams were profoundly life-supportive and were showing a depth of life that was missing in awake, ordinary life.
None of the Dreams were meant for 'others' in their detail and application. Dreams, even Lucid Dreams are personal and this process was for my own learning and also seemed to act as my safety belt through the stormy tracks of life.
In this process of learning, I was slowly, imperceptibly, gradually guided to where I needed to go and what I needed to do to resolve that which had happened at the earliest point in life and which was also seeking resolution. It would become clear at some point what this was all about.
My past and my future were somehow on a collision course.
"In the stillness of my presence and aliveness, you'll see death staring back at you and you'll fear it, you won't like it. It'll be subtle and you may not feel the fear, you may not notice death and you may not even become aware you don't like it.
You'll fear anything death could possibly hold in meaning for you. You may not have noticed death staring back at you, but death will have felt the aliveness in me and my aliveness will have noticed death.
You'll risk despising everything in me, which you see as not representing life for you.
Remember that, when you'll see death in the stillness and aliveness of my presence, you won't see me.
Instead, you'll see the reflection of all those places in you which are dying or are deadening; those perceptions of life which are deadening your aliveness and your dying awareness of the depth of life.
As you react and rage inside at seeing this reflection of death, this feeling of the death of you through the aliveness in me, the need to compete and defend, remember it's a reflection of you when you start believing the image to be me in this mirror of your life - believing that I am projecting to be more and that you are less - when what you really just want to feel is more alive and less dead.
I am not more, I am not less, I more or less just am and All is well. (N Declunder 25 December 2021)"
Against all odds, I managed to run this tiny little veterinary practice, surrounded by large practices and large corporates, for 16 years. As the waves of change hit the practice head on, at times it felt like I was barely capable of holding my neck above water. If I hadn't had all these experiences of Lucid Dreaming and Dream Time, of this inner guidance which allowed for a sense of detachment from what was playing out in my experiences, I might not be in this position of sharing my story of a path walked. Veterinary life has its own, very dark shadows and it's not for nothing that there are concerns in the veterinary profession about the very high suicide rates amongst veterinary professionals, something which the medical profession is equally plagued with.
Life wasn't smooth at the time to say the least and amidst the storms of life, the somewhat vague repetitions of old patterns started to stand out against the background of this struggling.
I had ventured into acupuncture, an interest I hadn't been able to shake off since my student days. The study raised more questions than answers but it was enough to start practicing acupuncture on pets. I wanted to know more about energy or Qi, which hadn't been covered so much in the veterinary acupuncture course. I enrolled on a four year journey at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing (BBSH) in which we experienced firsthand how energy healing worked within a strong ethical framework, receiving guidance and teachings on human interaction dynamics. I had read the Brennan books but that hadn't cut the mustard. I knew I would only understand it more by experiencing it. Actually implementing what has been learnt is different than just reading/learning it without integrating it, without a lived experiencing of it.
The old, conditioned, long-forgotten and hidden patterns of beliefs and emotions from a long time ago found their way into awareness at school. Once they were seen and felt, it became easier to see how they were playing out in life.
Sill, the sense of missing something strongly presented itself towards the end of the training at the Brennan School.
Unplanned, I suddenly experienced my first shamanic healing and Soul Retrieval during a planned regular healing session. It was a profound experience of something that I had sensed that was missing before, unexpectedly coming back during the Soul Retrieval. Two months later, it became obvious at school that something had shifted in a big way in the way the large group at the school played out.
This first Soul Retrieval led me into Patricia White Buffalo's three year transformational program in which we learned to walk the Shaman's Path. We learned about Shamanic Journeying and Soul Retrieval Work. Over the three year period we not only learned about this type of healing work but experienced for ourselves how it was changing us from within.
After the Shamanic Vision Quest in the Californian desert, I returned to the US to receive help from PKYC or Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care in Tennessee, US. A prior consultation had highlighted the root cause to my experiences and I felt so fortunate to hear the most soothing words I have ever heard, uttered by Joan Harrigan at PKYC, on this long tumultuous journey towards being more mySelf.
"There is nothing wrong, just something is incomplete". Suffering from a deflected Kundalini Rising since birth, having lived with the effects and difficulties of that my whole life, I found out nothing is ever irretrievably lost within the tapestry of life, it just became unreachable for a while. In receiving the benefit of PKYC's knowledge and expertise through the yoga discipline prescribed to correct my Deflected Rising, my life changed in the most profound way which was also sustainable and was sustaining me all at the same time.
Within a year and a half of receiving this expert help from a 500 year old Indian/Vedic specialist Kundalini Vidya lineage, my veterinary practice was sold and I had stopped working in the very stressful veterinary industry.
The path keeps unfolding in ever more subtle ways which are more difficult to discern. Being blessed with a lovely space and quiet time, this unfolding can now be more noticed and tracked.
The way I walked this path is but one way. There are many ways of finding the depths of life.
In telling my story, I follow in the moccasins of the old traditions. Sometimes a story needs to be told for the rest to unfold.
"Narcissus was promised a long life, provided he never identified himself with his physical self.
As he fell in love with the reflection of the beauty of his self on the surface of the lake, he pined away and died a sorry death; never learning about the depth of his Self, never learning about the meaning of Life.
He had been given the opportunity of Life through the knowledge of his Self and yet he preferred the reflection of his physical self on the surface of the lake.
In this subtle choice, he suffered the irony of the curse of pining and thirsting for Life whilst staring at and drinking up Death through reflecting on the surface of the lake.
Unlike Icarus, it was not the doing that was his undoing, for Narcissus it was his perception that was the deception.
(Nathalie Declunder 25 December 2021)"