Jul 26, 2016

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Root of Resiliency

To bring our mature courageous hearts into action in the world we must be resilient. But resiliency is the first casualty in a culture that avoids discomfort through mood altering prescription drugs, escaping through recreational drugs, and learning skills to clear the discomfort away, without ever asking why. The root of resiliency is in the courage to heal the deeps wounds of your past, to risk stepping through fear into a new way of life, and to engage in the mundane daily practices that cultivate a robust inner life. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores why any true path of healing or raising consciousness cultivates resiliency. Living your authentic life is not accomplished by "special snowflakes" who seek to control their environment, but by courageous and resilient, whole-hearted people who aren't afraid to make a mess.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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Jul 24, 2016

An Open Letter to Teal Tribe


Yesterday afternoon, I was kicked out of the tribe for voicing my concerns that Teal’s healing methods could lead to False Memory Syndrome, and for linking to this article by Michael James. For those of you who never got a chance to read it, my post is below, followed by a summary of the events leading up to the removal. For those of you who already know what happened, you might want to scroll down a bit. 



(A side note: A part of me cringes when I read that sentence about the woman being “unstable and delusional.” I wish I had found a gentler, more compassionate way to say that. In fact, I wish I could have made my point without sharing her story at all, but I felt it was too important. But my point is this: She is the victim here. I don’t want to sound accusatory or draw any negative attention to her. It’s about Teal and her methods.) 


(If you haven't watched "How To Heal The Emotional Body," you can do so here.)

I received many thoughtful comments. Naturally, some of you strongly disagreed with me for holding Teal accountable, but every single reply was respectful, and I felt that my words gave way to some wonderful conversations and insights. Knowing that I was bringing up a very controversial and emotionally charged issue, I felt pleasantly surprised and very appreciative of the overall response. Thanks, everyone! 

Yesterday morning, Teal left a few comments below my post. I replied to her soon after. Notice how she refers to Mr. James as a friend. 

I am still not sure how conflicts over the truth or falsehood of abuse memories “ruin” anything, especially when the consequences of such memories and beliefs are so serious. But, anyway. My second reply: 

Immediately after I wrote this second comment, I couldn’t view my post anymore. I realized that I had been kicked out of Teal Tribe. Wow. Why? My post was controversial, but I had been kind and polite to everyone. There hadn’t been any arguments. It happened so fast that I don’t know whether Teal even read my replies. 

Later, I found out that she had deleted the thread and made this follow-up post: 




 Some things to think about... 


I found Teal’s post and earlier comments very interesting, and they inspired the following ideas and questions: 

  1. Teal says she wants a constructive conversation. Why did she delete my post and remove me from her group without responding to me? I presented my thoughts to her respectfully, asked a genuine question, and I even thanked her for commenting. How has Teal demonstrated that she truly is “more than willing” to discuss challenging topics? Can you think of specific examples where she has dialogued openly and transparently with outsiders who do not necessarily share her views?
  2. When she replied to me, Teal referred to James as a friend of hers. Minutes later, she called him a hater and insisted that he was bashing her for publicity. What changed her mind? Does Teal’s follow-up post make any sense to you? How is this hateful? It doesn’t seem like James has anything personal against Teal. The article has nothing to do with her, right?
  3. Teal shared her thoughts on regression in general in response to James’ article, but she only dedicated one sentence to the anonymous woman who I believe has False Memory Syndrome. At the end of her fourth comment, Teal insisted that this woman would not be so troubled if she hadn’t been abused. (This statement isn’t visible in my screenshot. Sorry about that. The post was deleted and I was banished before I had a chance fix it.) Why didn’t Teal address this issue more clearly, or defend the role she played in the woman’s memory recoveries?
  4. Teal loves authenticity and strongly resists those who try to “censor” her, even when her words reveal private information about others and portray them in a negative light. She says that her message is never hateful and her intent is never malicious (though, I’m not sure Ale’s ex-wife and the women described here would agree). Was my post hateful or malicious? More importantly, how radical is Teal’s concept of authenticity if she is the only one in Teal Tribe to reap its full benefits? 
  5. Many people who once worked with Teal closely have fallen out with her in recent years. Cameron. Jared (“Fallon”). Sarbdeep. The couple from the Czech Republic. Michael James. (There are probably more that I’m forgetting right now.) Some of them have spoken out publicly and their stories often match. Are they haters? Are they lying?
  6. If we discover that a spiritual teacher’s techniques have caused unintended harm, if we find out that some of their methods are questionable, is it hateful to warn the community and ask for others’ opinions? Do you want to be a part of a community in which you are not allowed to warn other members about risks, danger, or unethical practices if the warning happens to wound the leader’s ego?
  7. Have you ever seen Teal admit to a mistake or offer an apology? 
Finally, I want to offer a quote from Teal’s blog, “Cult or Movement?” This is one of the ways Teal differentiates her group from a cult: 


“Questioning is encouraged; doubt is seen as normal and a healthy part of expansion…A call to discover personal truth. Dissent does not lead to punishment. People are welcomed in the group even if their opinion varies from my own or other members’.” 


Is it true? 

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you will consider these questions. Though I have spoken critically of Teal, I do wish her the best. It saddens me that she is so easily hurt, and that she seems to bring so much drama upon herself. 

I haven’t posted this to complain about the injustice of my removal. I no longer want to be a member of Teal Tribe, though I hope to keep in touch with many of you. I just wanted to document the incident and and share my perspective, to provide some contrast to Teal’s deflection. Many of you won’t agree with me, of course, and that’s okay. 

Be well. 
Have a wonderful day. 
And remember...



---------

Update: Why am I blaming Teal? How serious is the risk of FMS? Who is Barbara Snow? 



I’ve realized that I haven’t backed up my claims about Teal’s methods very thoroughly. A few people who have commented in Teal’s defense seem to think that I’m jumping to conclusions and “slandering” her. For those of you who don’t feel that Teal should be held responsible, I want to say that there is no doubt in my mind that she played a major role in this. The woman I mention in my original post has stated in Teal Tribe that Teal’s advice (“What if I told you there’s a hell of a lot more you don’t remember?”) actually caused her to wonder whether a particular family member had abused her as a child. This post should still be available in the group if anyone doesn’t believe me. I have no doubt that Teal’s words affected her deeply.

We meet with spiritual teachers because we trust their guidance. We believe in their wisdom and power. As followers of Teal, we believe that she is a special soul who has overcome enormous obstacles to find happiness and stability. We believe that she can see our thoughts, our energy, and our futures. Because she tells us that she can. Of course this woman took Teal’s advice seriously. Of course Teal’s words influence her followers. Is it so wrong to expect her to use that influence carefully?

I also feel as though the people who are still defending Teal are underestimating the danger and prevalence of false memories. So, here are some resources:


  • The Problem of Leading Questions explains the risks of asking leading questions to a subject under hypnosis. Teal goes much further than asking leading questions in this video. The woman I refer to in my original post was not in a state of hypnosis or meditation while Teal was giving her advice, but Teal’s guidance was obviously intended to directly influence her conclusions about her past. 
  • Current Scientific Understandings About How False Memories Can Form, from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
  • Making Memories is a documentary on the dangers of Recovered Memory Therapy, a practice that appears to have a lot in common with Teal’s process. 
  • Why Recovered Memory Therapy is Bad Therapy. Some key points that I feel also apply to Teal’s methods: 
    • “Some RMT therapists over-attribute common psychological complaints as signs of forgotten childhood sexual abuse. In their zeal to find memories, these therapists overlook any and all alternative explanations for the patient's complaints.” 
    • “RMT therapists ignore basic psychological principles that all individuals are suggestible, and that patients in distress seeking psychotherapy are particularly likely to adopt beliefs and biases of their therapist.” 
    • “Many RMT therapists have studied neither basic sciences related to memory, nor the diagnosis of actual diseases of memory. Their knowledge is often based on a single weekend seminar, as opposed to years of formal training in any graduate program they attended to get their licenses.” 
  • Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) on ReligiousTolerance.org. 
    • “About 15 to 20% of persons with memories recovered via RMT went on to recover memory of ritual abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA)” 

One therapist named Barbara Snow allegedly implanted false memories of satanic abuse and military testing into the mind of her sister-in-law and persuaded her niece that her father had molested her, in addition to several other forms of unprofessional conduct. If the name Barbara Snow sounds familiar to you, it may be because she has already been mentioned here and here. Because Teal Swan was her patient. The fact that Snow treated Teal has been verified in private conversations, which can’t be published, unfortunately. But I am certain that Snow treated her. And it appears that she may have inspired some of Teal's techniques.

Thoughts?

Jul 19, 2016

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Highly Skilled Wounded Child

The highly skilled wounded child arises when an adult learns an assortment of excellent skills to move out of the pain caused today by their unreconciled childhood without healing the wounds of that childhood along the path of that journey. The highly skilled wounded child tends to over-react and under-react regularly and then take responsibility for using their skillset to clear the painful reaction without investigating why they over or under reacted in the first place. They learn to clearly communicate to others how the others need to behave differently without seeing their own righteous positionality. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the growing phenomenon of the highly skilled wounded child, how to recognize this behavior in your self, and most importantly, how we can use our shamanic skills to heal the wounds of the past, cultivate resiliency, and bring our mature courageous hearts into action in the world.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

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Jul 12, 2016

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Cultivating Discernment with Mary Shutan

Discernment, the ability to accurately tell one thing from another, is a necessary quality of wisdom, along with objectivity and clarity. Cultivating discernment is critical for living an emotionally and energetically healthy life. It is even more essential when we engage in the invisible worlds as we do in shamanic practice. Until we learn to discern we will not be interpreting energies, messages, or experiences accurately. "At the most basic level discernment requires differentiation of self from other," explains our guest, Mary Shutan, creator of "The Discernment Course." Join us this week as Mary joins host, Christina Pratt, to explore the steps to cultivate discernment and the issues that arise when we skip that basic step in our development. When we reframe our lack of discernment as super sensitivity or empathy we undermine our health and the development of our true gifts.

This week's guest:
Mary Shutan

Mary Mueller Shutan is a Spiritual Healer who focuses on helping others work with their spiritual awakenings, spiritual callings, and psychic abilities. She is a painter and the author of The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and The Conditioned Layers of Reality from Findhorn Press. Her focus in all of her work is on the understanding that the spiritual is part of our daily lives, that we are meant to have emotions as well as physical bodies, and that we can have deep compassion and love for even the darkest aspects of ourselves.

Since she was a child Mary has been highly sensitive and creative, with the ability to see, sense, and interact with the spiritual realms. Over a ten year period she focused a tremendous amount energy into finding out how to work with her sensitivities and abilities. This led her through four years of Chinese Medicine school and certifications in Upledger-style and Biodynamic CranioSacral therapy, Asian Body Therapy, Massage Therapy, Zero Balancing, Reiki and Energy Work, Rootwork, and Meditation. Mary also has intensive education in different forms of bodywork, energy work, folk magic, occult practices, and shamanic/spiritual healing.

Mary is particularly known for her distance healing work. Her focus is on Dark or Middle World work- trauma and emotional release, spiritual clearing and protection, spirit release, past life and ancestral healing. She also teaches individuals who are called to this type of work to become safe, effective, and powerful practitioners.

Mary runs a personal blog (www.maryshutan.com/blog) that covers a variety of thought-provoking spiritual subjects and offers email based programs and individual consultations worldwide to people experiencing Kundalini, Spiritual Awakenings, Psychic Abilities, Shamanic callings, and other spiritual experiences to learn how to understand and navigate their experiences and abilities.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Jul 5, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Soul's Purpose: The Cornerstone of Your Well-being

In shamanic cultures around the world the individual brings a unique soul's purpose to the world and living that purpose is the cornerstone of the individual's well-being. Early in life we each must forge that original relationship with our soul's purpose and later, use the wisdom of our four bodies to find good vehicles for the expression of our purpose in the world. Join us this week as host and shaman, Christina Pratt, explores the relationship between chronic illness and cultivating the energy needed for the ongoing expressions of our soul's purpose. The expression of our soul's purpose gives context and meaning to everything else that we do. When we live in this way our thoughts, words and actions cultivate well-being. When we don't our life and our soul conspire to bring us back into alignment with our one true reason for existence.

This podcast originally aired June 1, 2010.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Jul 1, 2016

My Central Issues with Teal Swan's Brand of Spirituality; an In-Depth Discussion with Teal's Supporters

Appearing at The Truth About Cameron and Celestial Reflections.



Since my decision to speak out publicly regarding my experience with Teal Swan, I've had some fairly in-depth private discussions with people who have taken it upon themselves to message me over the past couple of years. My goal with this blog is to: (a) highlight some of the central issues I have with Teal Swan's "work," (b) challenge some of the popularly held attitudes and philosophies found in the spiritual community in general, (c) clear up some of the misconceptions many people seem to have about me, and (d) eliminate redundant messages from people who may try to contact me in blind defense of Teal in the future. To serve public interest, what follows is a compilation of paraphrased excerpts from back and forth exchanges with various people:



What is your motivation to build your life around the mission to destroy the person Teal Swan? Is it malevolent intention, or is it for a good cause?



It is in no way my “life’s mission” to destroy Teal Swan or anybody else. My intention, and I’ve stated this repeatedly, has been to tell my own story and let people make up their own minds from an informed place. My objective in making my experience with Teal public has always and only been to inform the public. It’s my hope that when people make decisions about whether or not to work with or follow her, they have as much information as possible, not just the spin she and Blake provide.

I am motivated to speak out of concern. I am concerned about Doc’s safety, I am concerned about the state of our world, and I’m concerned about the way humans have been programmed to blindly follow authority. I am motivated by my desire to one day live in a world with fewer followers, and more rational, independent thinkers. I think Teal’s audience is only one small example of the ways people around the world are being manipulated, fed false hope, and led astray by “leaders,” every day. In the US, one doesn’t need to look hard to see the same issues being mirrored in our political system; we have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as our next presidential candidates. Enough said. I am very concerned about the deleterious effects gurus and celebrity idol worship have on people’s minds.
It seems that most people believe they need to follow someone stronger, wiser, or richer, in order to “succeed.” It seems that many followers think that they need to hear what gurus like Teal have to say, in order to understand how to live their lives to the fullest, in some way. It is in this way that I see people actually giving away their power to others, under the guise of becoming more empowered.

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