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I will not cancel you.


I will not cancel you.

In the last few weeks, several clients and collaborators have thanked me for not "canceling" them when expressing perfectly benign personal opinions. Some have apologized to me for innocuous comments regarding current events, trending news items, or just harmless (and funny) jokes. When I look at twitter or the news, I can't help but notice the open letters addressing the suffocating blanket of cancel culture, with high-profile journalists quitting their jobs at major news publications and outlets because they can't function within this landscape where thoughts are criminal and speech is violence.

So, I just wanted to say that I will not cancel you. As a shaman, we learn early on to accept paradox and divergent points of view. That's kind of the spiritual model of shamanism in a nutshell. Over the past decade I have facilitated journeying workshops with literally hundreds of participants, learning over and over again that the multiverse is a unique, personal experience for every human being- not a standardized, rigid, or singular script informing group think.

As an individual, I have personally grown because of the discussions with others who did not share my opinion or had a different point of view. These friends, colleagues and clients have educated me, expanding my mindset and giving me new data to consider as I learn and grow as a practitioner and as a human being.

I am terrified at the thought of how this current climate of fear and intimidation will impact everyone's personal growth, limiting us as individuals and a collective species. This climate can create dark, secret, unseen pockets for fear, evil and ignorance to fester. The best disinfectant is sunlight, so I say we drag it all out into the public square to discuss it.

That said, I do believe in standing up for what's right and establishing boundaries, particularly with the "system" that programs and abuses us, but I pick my battles. Why spend precious time and energy berating a friend for not passing an intensive, subjective purity test when I can use that same energetic currency to work to take down the control matrix that enslaves us. Berating someone on social media isn't the same as taking a stand, a step towards building something tangible or creating a positive solution for the future.

You are welcome to talk to me about anything. Ask me any question. Bring up any issue. I am not sensitive, and my worldview doesn't get rocked by the smallest hint of cognitive dissonance. I don't need to agree with you to respect you or listen to you. I find our differences interesting, enriching and enlightening.

Besides- I'm the most inappropriate, unfiltered being on planet earth. No one has darker humor. And if you know me at all, you'll agree that my humor does not reflect my actual inner thoughts, inclinations or behavior. It's just funny, and sometimes we need a good laugh...especially in these tense, challenging times.

TOTEM is a safe space to be yourself, completely. I promise to be the adult in the room, ground the space, and manage the crossroads of our one-on-one and group sessions. No one will be allowed to get out of pocket, but everyone will be invited to come as they are and feel free in their own thoughts and feelings.

There are going to be a lot of big, strange changes coming in the world. Be kind to yourself and others, and- if you're interested- please follow TOTEM on Facebook and Instagram. We'll be posting little nuggets as the spiritual scavenger hunt unfolds, asking you to engage with us and the broader TOTEM family if and when you feel inspired to do so.

In the interim, be kind to yourself. Let yourself be human, having a human experience. None of us are perfect all the time, but this shouldn't prevent us from really living.

-Rachel

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