I am very fortunate to be a participant in Betsy Bergstrom’s 2 year shamanic training in Middle World shamanic skills.  Betsy’s training is designed to help shamanic practitioners like me to sharpen our disciplines, learn new skills to support our work and find fellowship and replenishment among our colleagues. Betsy has dedicated a lifetime of work to studying the Middle World, and sharing what she’s found with those who are living a shamanistic life and to those who are just beginning to learn. Betsy’s work is also shaped by one of my favorite human qualities: compassion. Studying with Betsy you will learn how deep and effective compassion can be as strong a force in this World and others. Participating in any of her classes is life-transforming.

In this Middle World work we strengthen our relationships with many helping Spirits of the Middle World, using various techniques. One of those is the art of Mediumship. In Mediumship, we agree to “share” our consciousness and, sometimes, our physical bodies, with other Spiritual helpers. This is beautiful and powerful work, and must be undertaken within carefully planned and supported places and processes. In such a carefully planned way, I was able to share my consciousness recently with a helping Spirit who brought many lessons for me. This helping Spirit is one who manifests Joy in this world; she expresses herself and the Joy she carries in the form of the element of Fire. Sharing my physical self and my mind with her was an experience beyond my ability to describe. And yet, she charged me with sharing with you, and all who will hear, her lesson of how to manifest Joy in your life.

Joy, she explained, is born of the union of both Love and Passion. This isn’t necessarily the love and passion of human sexual realtionships, though that, too, can be part of it. This Love is the Greater Love for all beings, we humans are capable of. This encompasses our love for other humans, but also our love of the earth, all the things on it, and all the forces that move it. Similarly, Passion can include strong feelings of desire, but it is intended here in its larger manifestion, which is the strong feelings of elation you feel when you are fully engaged in where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with. So, the passion of the run, the dance, the song, the story. All of this and more is what true Passion embraces.

Obviously, in order to manifest Joy, we are encouraged to bring more Love and Passion into our lives. Of course, we say, who wouldn’t want more of that? The question, however, is HOW? And this is where the answer from this compassionate being surprised me. She said: You build an edifice of Joy in your life by inviting in the foundational bricks, the sources, of Joy:

  • Surprise
  • Sweetness
  • Delight

I’ll be writing more about what she means by each of the “bricks” you can begin collecting now to build a solid foundation for Joy in your life.