Excellence Reporter: Jan, what is the meaning of life?
Jan Engels-Smith: We all seek meaning in life and we have different reasons to believe that we have found it or we resign ourselves to an existential belief that there is no meaning to existence. I cannot subscribe to the latter because my life has meaning and it is significant.
As a shamanic healer, I have witnessed many miracles in the transformations in people’s lives in their health, relationships and future prospects. The one common factor in these events has been a return to happiness or an expansive appreciation of existing happiness. In the challenges of life, we are often traumatized, damaged, or assailed by forces we believe are taking our feeling of contentment or empowerment from us and leaving us mourning our loss. Shamanic healing work seeks to restore soul loss and a greater sense of wellbeing. The universe’s message for our restoration is in love and relationship. The work I have done returns continually to first finding the power to recognize one’s own worthiness, to love oneself, and to find the importance of the individual in the unity of the cosmos. When we have restored our lost soul parts, we can come to understand that we are not simply a part of the universe but that we are the universe. The arbitrary act of seeing our existence as an individual part of a vast space fails to appreciate the fully integrated and interdependent nature of all things. We are as vast as the cosmos and the cosmos exists within our heart.
Quantum physics emerged in the twentieth century in quest of elucidations beyond our prior Newtonian arbitrary explanations. The spiritual idea of a mystical connectedness of all things in a singular unity suddenly seems plausible in the scientific realm. Furthermore, quantum physics theorizes that experiments are influenced by the observer of the action, which undermines the basic scientific “fact” that there is an objective world, irrespective of us. And what of the mystery of consciousness? The universe exists within our perception of it, and we exist not as a part of its being but actually as the universe itself.
Seeing all within ourselves and seeing ourselves within all of existence compels us to consider the importance of relationships. In one respect, we are not our brother or sister’s keeper; we are our brother and our sister.
There is no greater joy to be found than in the pleasure of a loving relationship. We feed off each other in a symbiotic association that constantly restores us and vitalizes the bond that we have with family, friends, and, I would dare say, strangers. In these connections, we begin to exist as we were intended to—a part of one entity called the universe.
An important contributor to this understanding originated two years after the death of my mother. My mom came from the “other side” and she appeared to me in her most radiant self. The love that emanated from her was spellbinding. We greeted each other with hugs and kisses and I was overwhelmed with memories of special moments we had together. My life and relationship with my mom unrolled before me and the years passed in my mind’s eye in vivid recall. The experience was more holistic than chronological and all my senses were activated by the memories. The time from my birth until her death seemed to engulf me in warmth and love. In time, I gained my composure and we spoke. I asked her what she wanted to share with me. She said that life is all about love and relationships. She told me that what we don’t bring into alignment in this lifetime, we will repeat in other lifetimes until we get it right. She said that life was but a moment in time and that we must strive to foster loving relationships if our lives were to be fulfilled and that we should share this wisdom with our children and grandchildren.
The meaning of life for me, therefore, is defined as existing in compatibility with the oneness of the universe and in life that translates into loving relationships that bring us all together. It is all we know and all we need to know.
~Jan Engels-Smith is an author, a Shamanic Practitioner (ShD), an Usui, Tibetan and Karuna Reiki Master, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist and a Hypnotherapist.
Jan founded LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and LightSong Healing Center. Jan has performed over 3500 soul retrievals and considered a leading expert in her field of shamanism. Jan has authored two books; Jan’s book Becoming Yourself: The Journey from Head to Heart, won the Reader’s Choice Award and Through the Rabbit Hole: Exploring Energy and the Shamanic Journey. She is a diamond level author with Ezine Articles and writes a monthly article for Sedona Journal of Emergence. Jan also authored two CDs: Take Your Body With You a shamanic drumming CD and Awaken~Unburden~Create a meditation CD package of shamanic healing practices.
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