When I graduated high school, I did not walk at commencements. I did not view my high school diploma as much of an accomplishment. When three years later, I received my bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, I again did not walk at commencements. Although I enjoyed my college years and was happy to attain my degree, I felt there was something missing. I had a deep desire to learn more about myself and real life that seemed beyond what formal education could teach.
For the next two decades, I studied with various spiritual masters and took umpteen writing courses. All were wonderful experiences that helped me grow and flourish as a person and a writer, but most importantly, they led me to an extraordinary school, Lynn Andrews’ four-year shamanic school. I had initially signed up to the school to find my literary voice which had gotten lost by the pains of witnessing the Iraq war and by my enormous responsibilities as a wife and new mother.
I had no idea then that the school’s ancient teachings would not only heal old wounds that had muffled my literary voice, but that it would also improve my relationship with the Great Spirit, with myself, and with my family. The work was mystical but also very intense and challenging. I had to put my heart and soul into my family, home and career while doing the schoolwork because the purpose of these teachings is to incorporate what we learn into every aspect of our daily life.
Last month, I flew to Arizona to join other apprentices in a gathering where we graduated from Lynn’s school. This time, I walked at commencements in a most sacred ceremony. I had taken a life-changing journey and was now surrounded by amazing women from all walks of life. For me, this was a real milestone that was worthy of celebration.
This Thanksgiving, I give special gratitude for graduating from a school that had, not long ago, only existed in my imagination.
For more information about Lynn and her school, you can visit her website: http://lynnandrews.com/