By Aaron Mitchell, MS
I was recently emailing back and forth with Chuck of the Chuck and Sandy duo of Canada. The link for one of the council meetings worked once but when I went to finish watching the meeting the link stopped working. It said the ‘video was unplayable.’ I then had a website I used for work suddenly give me a nonsense response when I logged in and it said, that I tried to ‘log in too fast and I was temporarily blocked.’ Earlier in the month my computer had a major crash and I had to rebuild it from scratch. Add the virtual problems to the real-world problems and I’m hitting a major wall.
Every time I host a Vision Quest or run Seven Levels or Protector Training, it feels like something is trying to stop me. Some of you may remember that first talk the night the questors arrive for a Vision Quest. The challenges leading up and getting to the quest are common. However, these challenges are not necessarily dark.
A Muskogee elder told me this is just getting us ready. Some of these challenges provide us an opportunity to display to the Creator how committed we are. In other words, the challenge is there to help rather than impede.
But what if the challenge is truly there to impede? Not to say that it is but what if?
For those who have taken Seven Levels, what quest could be helpful? Often, I hear of folks “shelving” these tools until they remember them. We are faced with aspects of life that need the use of these tools every day. There are so many reasons to use them, we could be using these quests non-stop.
I decided to take the onslaught of virtual and real-life hinderances to the Creator. How did I do this? Well, the Death Quest seemed to be appropriate given that it is for blocks in life. Growing tired of the non-stop hinderances in my life, I decided to take the issue to the Creator.
After following the steps and sitting in the silence for a bit, I realized there were a few things I needed to know about. I needed to accept what life was giving me. Whether the hinderance is from the light or dark, it is irrelevant. The hinderance has arrived because there is something to learn, heal, and grow from. It is preparing us even if the hinderance has malevolent or benevolent intentions. Yes, sometimes it’s about your level of commitment. And sometimes it’s about learning, healing, and growing. Whatever it is, it is always a gift. The hinderance had somewhere to land and it was irritating me. It was pointing to something in my past that hadn’t healed.
I have been working with the Spirit Quest, the Oneness Quest, and the Final Walk Quest a lot lately and I’ve been learning about acceptance; becoming one with things. I’ve noticed that I pray for a lot of things that appear to be lacking. But when the Creator responds to these prayers, I haven’t been accepting the gifts. Why, because I’m afraid of what that might mean. I feel inadequate and too small.
I’ve learned that walking our personal vision takes courage. Each of our paths are unique and this can create a sense of value and importance as our unique gift is essential to the greater Grand Vision. However, there is also a sense of solitude and loneliness as we live our unique purpose. Not one person in the world has been through all the experiences we have. Each one of us are on a unique path that nobody has been down before. This can be very isolating feeling as we heal and grow. At least, this is something I have noticed.
What I needed to remember is each unique path is tied to the Grand Vision. We are like spokes in a bicycle wheel. The spokes represent our unique personal visions and the wheel represents the Grand Vision. Each spoke provides a unique strength specific to an area of the wheel. When we live our unique personal vision, we see how we are important to that specific area of Grand Vision. But it is Grand Vision that connects us all. We are not alone. At least, this is how I understand it from my Spirit Questing.
So, while we appear alone on our unique path, we are surrounded by loads of other spokes working through the exact same issue of loneliness. It would seem wise for us to lift the other spokes around us up so we all can support Grand Vision. We are all part of this same Grand Vision. However, there are some things that will simply be part of our unique vision and the challenge will take courage, acceptance, commitment, and faith to heal and grow. As of late, acceptance and courage have been my challenge with personal vision. However, I can share with certainty that when we lift each other up, we lift ourselves up too; as cliché as it might sound. We are one.
I’ve also been learning a lot about responsibility; what is my responsibility and what is not. This has come from my Spirit Questing. It has been very relieving to ‘mind my own business’ and start giving my responsibilities some attention.
I’ve also been learning about confidence with the quests. This has been a remedy for my issues with courage. I found the Final Walk Quest to be really helpful and I wanted to share this in case someone else was struggling with confidence. I look for the beauty in everything. So, I found beauty in the smaller areas where I felt confident. One of these areas for me was cooking up some cream of mushroom scalloped potatoes. Nothing big but I know I am confident at it. In my Final Walk Questing, I’m attending to this small confidence by simply remembering it during times when I felt less confident. Since starting this, my confidence has moved on from things like cooking up scalloped potatoes. But something interesting happened. I was able to see clearer the many things that I did on a regular basis that held great confidence. For some reason, I blinded myself to these important experiences. I wasn’t accepting who I was.
I am recognizing that confidence and courage are essential if I wish to fully accept my unique personal vision. I also had to work through the differences of courage and confidence versus humility and arrogance. It’s a messy process but the Silence Quest and Spirit Quest have made it simple. Keep in mind, our unique spoke in the wheel is not better than the rest; we are all spokes of Great importance.
I share this personal part of my journey not to overshare my personal stuff. More so, I share this so we can see how the quests can be integrated into everyday life. We all face unique challenges in life and we have the tools to work through them. Why would we shelve the gifts the Creator has given us? And if we haven’t learned the various quests, why haven’t we taken the time to learn them if we value these things?
It isn’t always easy accepting the path the Creator has laid out for us. We can feel inadequate, afraid, and very lonely. But I am recognizing that this path is a gift that supports us all. Yes, it has been littered with chaos and nonsense that is nothing but hurtful but this is not who I am, it is just something I’ve experienced. This doesn’t have to be a hinderance. We can turn any situation if we Death Quest and accept the gifts given to us. The Oneness Quest has been vital in the acceptance piece.
I’ve learned to look to the spokes around me that I can support be it: plants, rocks, animals, streams, kids, people etc… By attending to these things, I am feeling the support build and the loneliness subsides. If we use the lineage’s analogy, the puzzle pieces are coming into place. I’m still healing, learning, and growing but this has been my experience with the quests lately.
I can’t imagine my life without any of these 7 quests. Not to be dramatic but they have saved my life. My life has truly been enriched from these beautiful gifts. What has been your experience?