This time of the year, many of us reflect upon 2017 and consider what we would like to change for 2018. We may make a resolution around an area or aspect of our life we would like to change for the better. Perhaps we want to lose weight, or exercise more often, or feel less stressed out, or spend more time in nature, or be more loving to our family and friends. Whatever our intention, often we discover that despite our best efforts, the change we want doesn’t seem to ‘stick’. We may feel a failure since we did not achieve the goal we had set for ourselves.
Why is it that healthy change can be so hard to achieve despite our best intentions? We can also observe this same phenomenon in our family and/or community sometimes.
According to Ancient Toltec (Aztec) wisdom, this is largely due to the existence of what they call ‘Underworlds” that create and re-create these situations/experiences. These ‘Underworlds’ include:
- The dreams that created the situation or experience in the first place. “First you dream it, then it happens.”
- Ancestral patterns of our bloodline that can hold an unhealthy issue or situation in its sticky embrace generation after generation.
- The energetic imprint of the land where we live and/or were born can also influence us deeply.
- Our heavy emotions play a role: anger, despair, resignation, anxiety, fear, etc.
- Our fear of change also comes into play – we may think we want to change, but change is always risky and a bit scary.
- Our beliefs of what can or cannot heal or be transformed is also relevant and important.
- And finally, and very important, is our addiction to suffering.
Yes, we often think we want to change, to get better, and we really mean it but – at the same time – there is a certain comfort, consistency and familiarity with how things are already working in our lives, even things that might not be healthy or productive for us. In some cases, we may even get a certain amount of attention for our maladies and issues; being the victim is one way to get noticed and find support from others.
The ancient Toltec call this ‘walking on a mountain of knives.’ Interestingly, before I recently learned about these ‘underworlds,’ I was practicing a sustained, long-term exercise to shift my attitude related to prosperity when I literally saw in meditation many slivers of transparent-looking but very sharp shards of something that looked like clear glass all over the sole of my left foot. It was a sobering sight. Now I understand that I must have perceived the energetic knives I walk on related to this realm of challenge in my life.
Gratefully, the ancient Toltec did not merely elucidate these underworlds for us. They also offer concrete ways to severe our connection with these underworlds so that we can experience true and profound change. Interestingly, they use obsidian, or volcanic glass, as one of the primary tools in this healing practice. A ritualistic obsidian knife coupled with a trained healer can help a client cut away the cords that keep them tied to repetitive, destructive patterns of body, mind and spirit.