Text from client: "I am fighting to choose me." Renee Baribeau, The Practical Shaman

Reply from mentor: "Stop fighting, surrender!"

The fight will wear you down, and the more you engage in battle with your ego to change the firmer the grasp—no different than pulling out nut grass from dry earth. Changing from the inside out is a process, and it always helps if we soften the earth with love and water, first.

Have you heard the saying, "No pain, no gain," or "Pain is the greatest motivator of change"? We all have. But for one moment, can you be willing put this idea aside? Let's look at this "if I hurt badly enough I can change" mentality. In this model, you remain a victim to your suffering. Remove the hurt and what is left? Change. Inherent in this idea is a limiting belief that without the hurt you would be happy. Once again, in this paradigm we are looking outside, that something other than the current moment or drama will make us ok.

What if you assume for one moment that the hurt is perfect? Right now this is the perfect place for you to be. Not forever, not in an hour, but in this moment, you are getting accurate feedback that something internal needs attention. Become the observer of the feeling, find where it is living in your body, and ask this energy, what is needed right now? Look and see; is there a color associated with your discomfort or a shape? Focus all your attention into your discomfort as the observer not the victim.

Change is the moving element. Life is a constantly flowing river with its bends, rocks, and dams. Perhaps right now you feel like a greasy sink full of dirty dishes or leftover picked through scraps of food from a dinner party. Pull the plug, run the garbage disposal, and watch how easily the water flows.

Putting the discomfort into a new light will allow you to shift naturally. A year ago I decided to get into better shape. I had gained 15 pounds that to me were an unnecessary accessory to my health. However, I did not beat myself into misery. One day I decided to live in more joy. I chose the path of happiness. I am happier when my clothes fit. I was not unhappy, but I did want more joy. Exercise makes me feel better. Slowly, from this place of desire, not disgust, I made a new plan. Eating habits changed as I grew from the inside out. This process took a whole year.

This photo is from day 3 of my personal challenge to find more fun and healthy exercise in my life. Yesterday, I learned the basics of kick boxing. The smile on my face is proof that I surrender to joy.


Renee Baribeau is a mentor, healer, coach, teacher, and writer.  Over the past fifteen years, she has trained with a long list of traditional shamans and modern-day mystics. She has received rites of passage from Q’ero elders in Peru and a Mapuche shaman in Chile, and apprenticed with a Lakota elder in Southern California for nine years. A graduate of the Healing the Light Body two-year program with the Four Winds Society, she then studied directly with Jose Luis Herrera. She has also received the healer’s blessing from Swami Kaleshwar. She works a a coach/healer helping her clients discover balance and passion.  Join her for one of her teleclasses, journeys, or workshops.

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