Portaging

 

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

 
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Portaging is about an individual temporarily helping to carry the burden for another while they recover from some issue and/or change the flow of their life. It can be seen analogously two similar ways. One for short term assistance related to an issue and the other for a longer term effort related to changing their life.

The concept of portaging

The concept of portaging is based on a technique the North American Indians used to travel quickly over great distances without having to cut through the thick, dense forests. Traveling the river is the fastest and easiest way to get through the dense forest especially with mountains and hills. The Indians had a way of moving along the rivers within the dense forests and would carry their canoes from body of water to body of water. Traveling the river and carrying their canoe over relatively short distances was much faster that cutting a path through a dense forest over long distances.

Relative to our creative endeavors the concept of portaging provides an overall process to get through what are an analogous thick forest of fears and/or mental obstacles in a faster, easier and gentler way. Instead of cutting through all the fears and obstructions already manifested on the physical plane, a thick dense forest, the traveler can find an easier flowing path of emotional energy to ride the waters of life through the forest. Then with the right individual, the traveler can share their burden and this individual will help them to carry their burdens, over the dry land to the next body of water. Both the traveler and the one who helps carry the burden can follow this portage route, they only need set the intention to do so.

It is not related so much to the ability to solve the problem and cut through all the fears, as it is to learning how to get around them and being "healthy enough" to travel the entire creative journey. The journey through our fears is a solo journey and but it canít be done alone. Also, in any endeavor one can become tired, worn out, and our burden becomes too heavy. We spend so much energy holding our burden and cutting through the forest of fears that we donít have the energy and the strength to make any real progress forward after cutting through the fears. Portaging offers an alternative.

Portaging has two aspects to it. The first aspect is to find the easy flowing path through the dense forest of fears, the river, and then, at an appropriate place to portage the burden carried by the individual to another easier flowing path. Second, while the burden is being carried between the two easy flowing paths, the individual has some time to rest by sharing the burden to heal and regain their strength for the continuation of their journey. .

The analogy of portaging

The dense forest is the world and all the we can face in that world. We can look at our life as traveling through the dense forest. Traveling the river is the fastest and easiest way to get through the dense forest. The river provides a view of the world which symbolically corresponds to our tribal and social perception of reality. Society provides a way to live in the world in a much easier way that if we had to move through life, the dense forest, without the aid of the river.

However, although the path of the river is easier, it does represent a burden for our creative spirit because we are unable to live and freely express the truth of our being. Rather we must flow along with view provided by the river in which we find ourselves. This water of the river is representative of the emotions and our creative life energy which we can or cannot access to recreate our life. It is a river in the sense that our tribal, social and cultural beliefs keep our creative power reflected in our emotions and passion confined in a channel that does not really server who and what we are.

Short term portaging analogy

As we follow the river through life we find that we are faced with the fastest and easiest way for water to flow down hill is over a water fall. However that is not the most gentlest way if we are going down stream in a canoe. Yet, we find what society requires of as we follow that river is to go over the waterfall. If there is someone who can help portage our canoe around the water fall and stepping out of the flow of the river being required by society, our path can be made quite substantially gentler.

The waterfall represent any one of numerous situations we face in life that if done the society expects us to do can be quite damaging to the free expression of our creative spirit and/or it unfoldment. In essence it represent one of the many ways in life we lose the freedom to creatively play. But going over the falls is not the only way. If we ask our intuitive guidance to provide someone to help us on our journey, to get us around what we need to face so that we do not thwart the free expression of our creative spirit, they will be provided. However, the support they provide may be conscious or nonconscious.

When the portaging is done consciously, willingly and enthusiastically by someone who knows the path around the waterfall, it can be quite a joyful experience. Here the one who helps portage the canoe around the falls on a river is one who knows what they are doing, they know the path and the enjoy doing what they do. When one is provided support by another or others at a nonconscious level or in a nonconscious way, an entirely different type and kind of experience is had. Here the individual who helps doesnít really what to help, they donít understand what needs to be done and they donít know the way. Often the help which is provided grudgingly with complaining all the way and by someone who does know or understand the path or what is being done, it is not so joyful a journey. Nevertheless, their help makes traveling around the falls much gentler than going over the falls in the canoe.

A simple example is where we face an exam that could determine the outcome of our life. We ask for help because we know we canít get everything we need to know by ourselves. A form of conscious assistance is where a knowledgeable individual volunteers for whatever reason to help us. A form of nonconscious support is where a knowledgeable individual is forced or coerced into helping us for whatever reason by some other individual. Although they help they do so grudgingly.

Long term portaging analogy

As we follow the river through life we find that we are faced with the fact that we are in the wrong river. We need to recreate our life and follow a different path in life. To recreate our life, what we need to do is we need to pick up our canoe from the current "tribal" river in which we find ourselves and move it across the land a short distance to a river which channels our energy and passion in a direction that more appropriately serves us. Here we can use the help of a guide and someone to help carry our canoe to travel the think forest between these two rivers which represent our life. Usually carrying a canoe across land, plus baggage, is at least a two person job. We need to carry transport our vehicle (the canoe representative of the identity we give to ourselves) and baggage (our past experiences which create the identity) from one emotional stream to another, to one the better serves us. In this transition, we may need to shed some baggage that is no longer useful and fix and/or rework our canoe.

In shedding some baggage and reworking our canoe, it is often appropriate to perform an "initial transition ritual" representative of stepping out of the river where our tribal beliefs and social conditioning are channeling our creative power, passion and energy and transiting to a new way of being in the world, that new river. The transition ritual allows us to symbolically take our canoe (our vehicle for the physical experience and perceptions of Creation) and all our baggage (the memories of our past) and moving into the dense forest and potential fears of the deep forest where wild and hungry beasts reside to go to a river - a set of beliefs - which better serves our passion. It provides us what an emotional filled memory to catalyze our action to create a new life.

When we make this transition, one or more individuals may assist us in portaging though this dense forest. This individual helps us to sort through our baggage, (the past we carry) only to take what is useful and help us to give us a new vehicle (the new perceptions of Creation we shall use ) To find such an individual, we need to ask our intuitive guidance to guide us to the most appropriate way and someone will be made available. Often it is our own intuitive guidance which will lead us to the them

The one who helps to portage

What needs to be understood, it is not always easy for the individual who helps to carry our load.

There can be some pain associated in the methodology for the one who shares the burden with the traveler. But the pain is only holding onto that which must be released. As in any creative endeavor, something must be sacrificed to create the new creation. To help another recreate their life something in our life must die to create the new space for their creation. If we desire to help another but resist the changes we must make for their creative spirit to become free, we will experience some type and kind of pain. Although there are changes the individual helping to carry the load must make, they can only help to carry the burden can only point the traveler to the next body of water and the true way. The traveler must be willing to make the journey.

However, some of the travelers for unexplained or non-obvious reasons will not be able to continue the journey , even when it is pointed out to them and someone is there to assist them. The person who shares the burden with the traveler cannot go downstream with the individual as they continue their journey. They can only go over the dry land portion where everything must be carried. One can lift the burden off the traveler only for a short time relieving the pain and allowing the individual to heal themselves, regain their strength and energy and rise again and to go forward. Eventually the traveler must take their full burden back, for only the traveler can ultimately resolve their issues and release their burden so their creative spirit becomes free. We can only give them the space. We cannot intend to do the work another must do and must not become trapped in their story.

All the one who helps can do is ease and relieve the pain temporarily. We can walk along for a while carrying anotherís burden and identifying what needs to be done and assisting the process. We step alongside, we carry, we identify, but we must ultimately release the other into their true path. Here can be another source of pain for the one who helps. There can be pain in carrying the burden of the other but there can also be pain of having to give the burden back and sometimes, in spite of all our efforts, the traveler sometimes cannot continue the journey. But again, the pain is our only holding onto that which must be released. All one can do is carry their burden for a short while so they can heal and regain their strength for continuing the journey. We do no favors for the traveler when we hold onto their burden for whatever reason, when we need to give it back. We keep ourselves in pain and keep the individual from continuing on their journey.

Relative to creating the possibility of a gentle phoenix experience, portaging involves finding that easy flowing emotional energy route that is normally accompanied with play, a simulation, metatheater or alternative way of doing that takes one out of the normal world to gain a new perspective in the emotion energy of play or something that taps in some way into that strong enthusiasm an individual has for living. During this time, by creating the appropriate space one can actually carry anotherís pain and burden to free the individual to find that enthusiasm to help the individual to heal and regain their strength. In some way the process is analogous to taking oneís karma that one can read about in the literature from the Eastern tradition. However, one can never take the karma and prevent the individual from learning their lesson. All that occurs is that the burden is carried by another long enough to allow the traveler some time to heal.

A conscious or unconscious process

In needs to be pointed out that portaging anotherís burden can occur consciously and nonconsciously and, in fact, it is something people try and do all the time without realizing it. Those who are able to sit and be with another in times of great pain are helping to carry the otherís burden whether they realize it or not.

To consciously carry anotherís burden, one can knowingly siphon off the pain and anguish in a directed and focused fashion to allow for a more rapid healing process. One only needs to think of a small child who hurts themselves and desire to be held by their mother. It is surprising how fact the pain goes away when held closely by their mother. Similarly, the nurturing feminine creative energy that heals pain can be provided by both males and females if they have done the inner work to be able to hold another. If they have done the inner work, holding another may be draining but debilitating. Without doing the inner work holding another can be self destructive.

Most look to make the journey transform their life easy with no pain and no difficulties. Pain can be minimized and dispensed with if one freely and willingly releases all that needs to be released when it needs to be released. However, we tend to find a myriad of excuses why something cannot be released. The difficulty of the journey cannot be removed because we must burn off and remove the enculturated beliefs that prevent the free unfoldment of our creative spirit, speaking and living our truth naked and fully exposed in that truth and to choose our life freely without prior conditioning. We must develop the strength and will to live in our own truth no matter how difficult it appears. What is more difficult that standing naked and exposed before our God, telling God that we freely and willingly choose to live our life other than the way God or anyone else chooses and that we accept full responsibility for all that happens because of that choice? But remember, can the results be worse than if we donít? Were we not giving a free will to use as we wish? Do we do justice to the Creation in not exercising that free will. Besides, we have already tried not living our truth and doing what everyone demands of us. Why not try something different?

Similarly we can hold anotherís pain and burden without realizing it and we all can carry anotherís pain. First we need to remember we are all interconnected. Nonconsciously we call carry each others pain and that is part of the problem with the human collective. If we open ourselves to the depth and breadth of our sensitivity which some would call our psychic powers, we would feel the pain of the collective. Much of it would like that described in the pained female archetype. So rather than feel the pain of humanity, we raise our threshold for feeling and turn off our ability to sense another.

However, in our compassion, we open our being unknowingly to share anotherís pain and often we hold their pain. In fact, in compassion, two individuals tie themselves together without then realizing it. It is why people should be whole and complete unto themselves if they enter a relationship. Otherwise, before we know what has happened we have two individuals connected in way they fail to understand and neither is served by the connection.

More often than not, one on the journey seeking to change their lives gives their burden and their problem to another. They typically give it to a a parent, a spouse, a friend, but they donít want to take back the responsibility for their own life, their own pain and the direction they set for their life of their own free will. They tend to blame another in some way. The one who was compassionate and has taken the otherís pain and burden finds they canít get rid of it. In their compassion they fear pushing or hurting the traveler. But the burden must be given back because one cannot take the journey for another. They must point out the way and make the traveler choose. Choose to either accept their burden, make the choices and decision to take responsibility for their life in all ways and continue on their journey, Or, sit on the shore, going nowhere in their own self-pity, lack of acceptance of self, and the pain of holding on to that which must be released.

Parents, especially mothers, are the worst offenders. It is sad to say, but many hold the pain of their children, spouses or family. Someday, the mother bird must kick her little fledglings out of the nest. So too human mothers must learn to do the same. One of the primary reasons why one cannot do this because they have not learned to trust the universe that all is cared for, even their young fledgling that seems so ill-equipped for this life.

We need to remember that we all come fully prepared to live the life we ourselves at some level have chosen to live. We can go into the discussion of those who have disabilities and the like, and have our myriad discussion points on who is responsible, why and the like. But in viewing duality from above duality from the perspective of a creator/Creator, there are no mistakes. Everything is as it should be for the beliefs we carry and what we intended for our incarnation.

Either we accept that we intend our life at some level and we are experiencing everything we somehow chose to experience or we donít accept it. If we donít accept it, we will continue to look outside ourselves for truth. Then the question becomes, whose truth do we believe and live? If everyone is looking for someone external to themselves for truth, who do we listen to, who do we follow? How do we know the other to whom we listen has really found truth? We wonder why and how demagogues and dictators arise and obtain such tremendous power. It is easy. Everyone in a society is looking to someone else for truth and the demagogue decides to live the truth of their. As such, it is natural they speak with authority and get their way - because people listen to them because they are the only one who speaks and lives their truth, no matter how perverted or damaging it may be in the eyes of others. So whose truth do we follow? Can we stand naked and exposed in our truth before our God? Our choice. But why not? If it is our God, it is our Creation and does not necessarily reflect the truth of what is?

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