Why Not to Fix a Broken Window {Shamanic Journey}

The beat of a drum called me to a familiar place. I step through a waterfall caught within the lip of a cave. The water pours downward but I choose to rise, higher and higher up a chasm I go until I stretch through the clouds and beyond the atmosphere. I rise beyond all I know until I'm at a place that stops me. There's a partition here, and I cut through the sheath that separates me from the rest of the sky and climb through.

I look to my left and see a grandmother waiting for me. Her face is old and familiar, painted like a medicine wheel. Her fingers stretch out to me. They're long like the branches of an old oak tree. My steps are slow and rhythmic, matching the beat of my heart.

"What is wrong, child?" She asks me.

"Abuela, I just don't know. I thought I was okay. I thought everything was fine, but it's suddenly not okay, and I don't know why. Can you help me understand what's happened?"

She points one of her long fingers to a four pane window that stands in front of me. "What do you see?" She asks.

"It's a window," I say. Abuela nods and prompts me to go further. "...to see the world," I add.

She nods again and tells me that I am correct, the window is representative of my perspective and how I see the world.

"It's broken," I add, pointing to the pane in the bottom right corner. "Why is it damaged?"

This Grandmother spirit glides over to the window, her feet never appearing to touch the ground. She waves her hand over the broken pane, and it returns whole again. "Now what do you see?" She asks me.

"Well, you've mended it. It's fixed. But what is that all over the glass? Is it made of lead? It's wavy. It's hard to see clearly through." Another gentle nod affirms that I am correct.

"What's changed?" She prompts me.

"The state of the glass has changed, but it didn't make anything clearer. I can't make anything out through it. Everything looks distorted."

"That must be so if indeed that is your perspective." She presses a long tendril of a finger to her lip. "How concerning." I hear a smile in her voice.

I step up to the window and press my face up against the glass. I can see figures behind it and life happening beyond it, but nothing is absolute. The scene changes and I turn into a ghost in an attic, doing nothing more than watching the world pass by. My emotion overcomes me, and all I can focus on is the brokenness of the window pane. I leave her council wondering who was responsible for throwing stones.


This journey set me back emotionally for quite a few days. Dreams immediately followed, gifting messages to each member in my household. Unsurprisingly, each focused around windows. We struggled with the weight of this energy, each feeling like our ankles were shackled to a bomb. Halfway through, I relent and seek the help of my Grandmothers again.

"We could tell you the answer to this," she says, "and we will certainly help you remove the energy on your family, but you are in a lesson that we feel would be learned best within' community." I respect their advice, but I feel defeated.

Why was I not able to do this on my own?
Why did I still require outsourcing?
Just who in the hell do I think I am, anyway?

But like so many of my clients who grapple with their indecision, I too was clouded by the details. My Grandmothers in the sky, they are sagacious. They knew I couldn't hear to their wisdom at that moment, so instead, they not only sent me to just the right person, but they also sent just the right person to me. I am so thankful for the aid of both.

Perspective is tricky.
I would love to believe that I am viewing the world as it was meant to be seen but the reality is our point of view shifts as frequently as the weather. Sometimes our greatest challenges can occur with just a heavy knock on a window.

What my Grandmother was trying to show me was that in my perspective, I am separate. I feel the ghost in the attic looking outward. This sense of separateness is a feeling with I've battled my entire life which makes it even more fitting that I was asked to take this lesson to my community as both teachers immediately responded with their perception of my value and placement within our community.

When I witnessed the shattered window pane, had I looked to see the gift before it's brokenness, perhaps I would have noticed that my vision of the world was no longer obscured. Maybe I would have even dared to venture through it. Had I done so, I would have found myself in the position of being among the crowd, looking up from below, and marveling at how beautiful leaded glass can be.

Although this is a lengthy telling, it's not hard to see how easily our perceptions are under fire right now. Perhaps some of you may be able to relate to seeing the brokenness before the beauty, too. If so, allow me to be that person to tell you that what can seem very forlorn and ugly may be nothing more than an opportunity for fresh air and clarity.

May we granted fresh perspective to see through it all.