Response to Vision Quest

I have done many vision quests over many years, in different traditions and nations. Two of them were ten-day quests. Today I did a 40-minute quest as part of a teaching event by Muriel McMahon, a Native-American teacher from the Six Nations in Canada and a Jungian Analyst.

I think often of William Blake’s words that “the universe is in a grain of sand.” It doesn’t take hours of meditation to go to where you need to go, that journey can happen in a split second. It doesn’t take a 10-day vision quest, or days of fasting to get your vision either. It can happen in an instant.

Today as I lay on the land, loving the blue sky and watching the spiders and little bugs crawl up the reeds and fly about, spider webs glistening, and the sounds of leaves being moved by wind, I was resting and not worrying or straining for anything, but was just there, intentionally listening, feeling quiet. Then a cloud of energy moved into me as distinctly, clearly and as sweetly as anything I have ever felt. I have worried and felt intense concern for our young men and women coming home from war, suffering the effects of trauma and a psychological disorder called PTSD that can overwhelm a life, while almost no one knows how to treat it. I was diagnosed with this disorder after some serious traumas in my life by three doctors, but it’s just a name they throw out. Not one knows how to treat it apparently. I have lived painfully inside of it, I know it from the inside. I am a doctor of depth psychology who has been treating herself as an experimental patient for a decade, and have learned very much.

Today’s vision that moved into me clearly, strongly and sweetly said, simply , “Do it.” Find the way to help these young men and women and work with them. It didn’t give details or say how to find the way, but only moved into me the sturdiest sense of – just do it. That’s your answer. The ancestors have spoken. It’s is a mission. A calling. It came from this quest.

I call for the inspired, deeply loving helps of ancestors and spirits who can help me find the way to answer such a call. I have much to learn but it feels like what I am trained, destined and desirous of doing.

4 Responses to “Response to Vision Quest”

  1. Darita-Rose Alden Says:

    Oh, Tayria, thank you. I too suffer from PTSD, and I also share a concern for these men and women coming home. What a numinous experience! I am sure you will be led, as we say in Quakerism. I am sure that doors will open. I am very excited for you and will offer up prayers in support of this beautiful calling.

  2. joyparker Says:

    Dearest Tayria: What a beautiful lesson, that we do not have to suffer for days in the wilderness when our hearts are open to receiving the calling and the guidance of Spirit.

    I too have been working with the effects of PTSD. You know my story. I was fine while I was receiving chemo, but as soon as they told me the cancer was gone, I slowly began to fall into deep deperssion and fear that it would come back and kill me. It did not help that I kept hearing of people who were dying or had died of cancer, including my neighbor Sandy. It would throw me into a panic and I would roll into a ball of terror.

    I too have been my own experiment. May I humbly offer what has helped me to overcome these feelings and actually pretty much stay in a place of strength (a recent development). I’m going to blog about this, but let me just list my “life savers” here. Also, all of this is becoming my ongoing practice. I keep at it and at it, every day doing things to keep myself from backsliding.

    1. Writing. Writing is like self-hypnosis. I have been consciously choosing and building a “story” that can enable me to not just survive but live. What’s most significant, it’s the one and only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do and I’ve been blocked from it. I’ve never finished one of my own books, I’ve almost never written a magazine article. I’ve given my talent away to others ghost-writing. I probably can’t talk now because I gave away my voice. To actually allow myself to write my blog, to share what I’ve learned with the world after all these years, has been one of the most healing experiences I’ve ever had.

    2. Love. Opening my heart to giving love to others. This ties in with the writing because I have had two experiences recently where, in a white heat of love and passion, I’ve written blogs for others. One was the poem “My Body Is an Archangel of Love” and the other was ” A Prayer for Those I Call Beloved.” Both times I felt healing energy coursing through my body while I was writing. What was interesting was that a couple of people mentioned that they felt the same healing energy pushing through their bodies while they read the “Prayer” blog. That taught me that anything done with great love can heal not only onself, but others.

    3. Reassurance. All I want at times is just to be reassured. A friend of mine sent me a link to a guided meditation CD called “Immune System Health.” I listen to that every single night. It makes me feel safe because I know my immune system is being activated. The CD also includes 17 Affirmations that help one cope with the problems of life.

    A former client and friend of mine has sent me two hypnosis CDs he designed to deal with my health concerns and fear. They are also very reassuring. To hear him say “You are all right. You are safe. You are healthy. You know you are” makes me feel all those things. Again, the power of words.

    4. Reading books that make me look at the world differently. I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love for the second time. The way Liz shares her terrible pain with humor and humility and hope has made me feel like I’m not a freak. We all feel pain. We can overcome pain.

    I am also reading Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief. This book, written by a scientist, has given me a whole new perspective on how I actually do have control over my own body. In fact, I can’t remember feeling happier about anything than what he’s saying in this book. The first time I read a few chapters, I felt like I’d been pulled out of the water after the boat capsized.

    It’s been a bit of a struggle to read Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotions, but again, she’s a scientist and she offers reasons for why we feel bad and ways we can begin to choose happiness, as well as how our bodies produce the hormones and chemicals that make us feel unhappy and happy. She offers a prescription, new hapbits, things one can do that make sense. I know I can change a little at a time, and that will lead to bigger changes.

    I don’t know how any of this would relate to war veterans, but it seems to me that we all want to feel that our life has purpose, we all want to feel safe, we all want to feel love, we all want to feel that we have an iota of control over our feelings, that there is hope we can have more, that we are not just leaves being washes down the canyon in the terrible flood waters. We all want to give something to life.

    You probably know all of this already. You are such an amazing woman and have overcome so much. I bless your work and will pray that you will find your way. You have so many gifts and so much wisdom. Goddess go with you.

    • Tayria Ward Says:

      Joy, I want to keep these notes and also distribute them. It is so important that we share with each other, and not feel alone. You are so generous. Maybe this could be one of your articles now that you are writing? You are a passionate, honest, generous and elegant writer.

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