The Little Selves Seen

Today I was sharing with a group the value of employing power animals to help us in our daily lives. I have a great egret that I call in to help me manage my energetic boundaries in a group setting. I see her fly in and then dance, wings flowing, around me to help me stay clean and clear about what is mine and what is that of the people I’m negotiating with. I have a red fox that helps me look for something, or someone, I’ve misplaced. When I see him run out after the prize I trust that what I am missing will come back to me, and it does.

I love these spirits and have an intensely intimate bond with them. I cannot imagine my life without them. At the same time, I understand that my attachment to them is the same as my attachment to my role as a wife, animal mother, herbalist, shaman; the same as to my attachment to my ego. I love who I am in the world and I trust that it is not me.

I am the witness. As Ken Wilber says in the introduction to Caroline Myss’s Entering the Castle, “we have at least two selves, or two sorts of selves – there is the self that can be seen and known, and the self that cannot be seen or known. There is the unknown seer, and there are all the little selves seen. ” This unknown seer is considered our “true self” and is referred to in many meditative practices as the “witness”.

How can I view my power animals and my roles as “little selves seen” and hold the truth of the witness that is me? Do I hold one over the other?

The one that judges the little selves as less than the true self is just another little self. When we judge our power animals as mere projections we are not speaking from our true self. When we dismiss our role as a woman we are not acting from our true self. This is one little self judging another. In our polarized world we fragment into these multiplicities to have the experience that is human. These selves are what make our lives so unbelievably rich. Their judgements create our experience.

All the while, our true essence remains intact watching, accepting and learning from all the little selves do. Our true essence does not know how to judge, only watch. We have access to all the forgiveness and love that is the witness at any given time. Whenever a little self feels defeated she can release the shame to the witness and be overcome with an overwhelming sense of relief. Whenever I am asking a power animal for help, I am stepping outside of my role as a wife, employee, boss, etc. and becoming the faith that is the witness.

This goes against many teachings that encourage people to release their ego for the sake of the true self. What I’ve found is that we all are a work in progress and to expect any one of us to be free of ego is asking a lot. It is a tough road to follow and not fit for everyone. I am here to suggest another path. Instead of struggling through all the doubt and self-judgement that comes with severing oneself from the ego, I have chosen to instead honor the value of the little selves seen. The more I love them, talk with them, and share them with the witness, the more I find they align with my true nature. In the end, that is the ultimate goal, unity with all that is, was, and ever will be.

Quote from Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul by Caroline Myss

Stacey Couch

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch is a Spiritual Advisor who supports creative seekers learning as they go on the spiritual path. She serves beginner and life-long students of the soul. Her compassionate and collaborative approach honors the humanity and value of each person. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. Through meeting with Stacey, lost souls find refuge. Connection to the Divine is realized. Belonging comes. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. Learn About working with Stacey
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