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A Farmer and the Rhododendron

Earlier this year I attended a class by Dr. Stephen D. Farmer (his books include “Animal Spirit Guides” and “Healing Ancestral Karma: Free Yourself from Unhealthy Family Patterns”). This class was focused on clearing ancestral toxic shame. I have observed Girez doing ancestral clearings for quite a while and from this class I gained the terminology for most of what I was feeling and seeing being cleared; “toxic shame.” Dr. Farmer performed a powerful shamanic journey to clear this ancestral toxic shame. He also suggested a clearing practice where every day you look in the mirror and say to yourself repeatedly, “There is nothing wrong with me.” This practice is designed to release any toxic shame you are holding and will also show you where you are engaged in any self-judgement. And indeed, as Girez points out, for all our shortcomings, supposed flaws, and mistakes, from another level of consciousness there is nothing wrong with any of those things. They are the understandable products of many conditions, choices made influenced by those conditions, and even choices we made prior to incarnating. At the soul and being level of perspective, everything is simply experiences, none are “wrong”. Now to the Rhododendron (and yes, I will tie the two together). I moved to Oregon a year ago, which is a state on the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States. Rhododendrons are not native to Oregon but do well here with the large amount of moisture and the acid soil. They can grow to be 10 feet (3 meters) tall here. This yard has several Rhododendrons in it. One Rhododendron bush in particular is not hearty. For whatever conditions have been part of its life, this bush is small and straggly. We had an unusually hot summer. The normal high temperature here in summer is 94° F (34.4°C), but one day it got to 116° F (46.7° C). Those few hot days, and particularly that hottest one, scorched many plants and trees, and the Rhododendrons seem to get hit the hardest with many leaves burned completely brown. In the mornings I meditate at my living room window which looks out upon the backyard. Off to one side of the window I can see that particular scrawny Rhododendron with its many burnt leaves. Suddenly one morning as I sat there, I looked at it and started repeating, “There is nothing wrong with you. I love you.” As I repeated these two sentences over and over, I felt a deep love for the plant just as it is, nothing to fix or criticize, just love. I realized I had hit upon something I can use for anything or anyone that I am feeling any level of judgement towards, as a means to break free from that learned program of judgement and enter into a state of acceptance and love. Consider trying out one of these practices for a short time every day (or when you remember) and witness what you experience:

  • Dr. Farmer’s mirror practice of saying to yourself “There is nothing wrong with me.” Or do it with my additional sentence “I love you.”

  • Pick a plant or tree that is not in “perfect” condition (as Girez says we hold less opinions around plants and trees). Look at it and repeat “There is nothing wrong with you. I love you.”

  • In your imagination repeat the sentences for a person that is difficult for you – you know, the one that pushes your buttons.

With much love, Karen and Girez p.s. There is nothing wrong with you.