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From Becky Hirsch, Israel:

Have you ever felt as if you are carrying a heavy burden of responsibilities on your shoulders and that the increasing speed and demands of today's dynamic life don't leave any room for you to breathe? I did. 

Being a positive, thinking-strong woman, who's happily married, a mother of three loveable teenagers, successful in my job, appreciated by my friends, I was able to juggle multiple tasks, but I was spending a huge amount of energy just to keep my head above water.  Though I was accomplishing much in my life, something was missing. 

I imagined myself stuck at a crossroads, not knowing which direction to take for quite a long time, looking for something I was unable to define. Then I heard about Tom Lake through a dear friend. After meeting him, I knew I had found my teacher.  Tom is a gifted Shaman. He has proven to me that love and acceptance and sacred reciprocity are a profound truth.  At his workshops Tom creates a harmonious and safe environment, guiding you wisely and gently through each phase.

"I consider myself blessed to have participated at several   workshops offered by the International School of Shamanism.
I have and still am learning to pay attention to my much neglected spiritual side."   

Apparently an intelligent and physically competent and healthy woman doesn't need any healing. So, I thought.  I was surprised how my healing unfolded. During the workshops, I have been able to safely confront my deepest fears. What makes it so satisfying is to know that I have the ability to overcome my own fears and dissolve my burdens. 

Some issues unfolded, only long after the workshop, allowing a different perspective and enabling me to cope, whenever I am ready. This work has been an ongoing process of growth for me. 

In between workshops, I was diagnosed with a lump in my breast. All the horrors of breast cancer went through my head. I was terrified. Doctors wanted to take a biopsy and wait for the results. With Tom’s help, it became evident the lump was not cancerous. In an instant, I calmed down. It took my doctors quite a while to reach the same conclusion.

During this period, my family and friends were worried sick and I was steady as a rock, trusting completely in what I felt was right. After a few months, much to everyone’s relief, the lump disappeared.

Attending Tom's workshops is about much more than just facing your fears. I now have tools to improve myself, a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful and sincere friendships, and a deeper and wiser understanding and compassion for the needs of others and it's fun! The joyous, loving atmosphere is heartfelt and encouraging too. Amazingly, it has also had a strong and very positive impact on everyone around. It's like a stone splashing into the water – the waves expand in ever growing circles until they finally affect the whole pond.  Good vibrations indeed.
Submitted by:  Becky Hirsch, Israel

How I came to be a Shamanic Mesa Carrier

Submitted by:  Megan Mellon, USA

I guess the best place to start is at the beginning of my journey which started in 2004. What’s that saying? Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can see where we are in life… Well if chaos, fear, drama and anger are the emotions you choose to feed your spirit with, then just imagine how far from the path of peace I was living.

I gave away all my power in my marriage, lost my father, my job and witnessed the slow death of my favorite horse. Needless to say there were lots of additional bits and pieces of drama that I attracted without even knowing that I was creating this magnetic field of despair.

I was a cowgirl hell bent on riding anything or anyone that gave me a good buck. Actually I got so good at the bumps in the road that the thought of a gentle ride down a country road could only mean I was getting old. I thought to myself, “Who would want to hang out with someone that was quiet, peaceful and dare I say…relaxed?”

When did I fall into the mire of hurtful relationships and disdain for people that had more than me? Yes, even envy…that slippery green snake that can find a home in-between the closest of friends? How could this be happening to me? I’m smart, hard working; I want to be loved and to be a good person. I wanted to scream!!!

Actually I screamed quite a bit. I screamed at my husband, myself, at my boss and at my family and strangers. I even remember screaming in my car at the top of my lungs just to release the anger that was overflowing in my body.  I can see now that I had never really learned how to deal with emotions and how to not let emotions control you. I thought the best way to deal with anger was to let off steam.  I was a child with my emotions so I addressed them like a child.

I thought enough is enough, I’m going to build a wall around me and you can bet nothing is going to get through this fortress of protection. Well, it worked. I had created an impenetrable force that blocked out just about everything. The problem was that my wall also blocked out love, joy, acceptance and peace. I admit now that I wasn’t smart enough to get rid of the pain, fear and self-hatred before I built the wall. I built the prison and locked myself away from all the good things I desperately wanted on the other side of the wall.

Thankfully, a dear friend introduced me to a man named Tom Lake. I had no idea he was a Shaman or that my life was about to change with this meeting. I thought I was going to have my fortune told!

That first meeting was not what I expected; I thought I was fooling him with my usual words I’d repeat to the outside world. You know…”I’m happy; love my home, husband and work, lalalalala.” Tom saw right through my mask and warned me about something I would do. I didn’t understand at the time, but he was telling me I was going to leave the world I created to hide my unhappiness.

What he didn’t do was tell me he could see my pain or offer any shortcuts to the self discovery I was about to embark on. Instead he offered me a question. To this day the question resonates inside me because the simplicity of it has become my greatest tool to making positive changes in my life. Tom asked, “What are you willing to give up to get what you want?”  At the time I was irritated with his question.  Was it a riddle? What the heck does he mean about willing to give up? I thought, "Haven’t I given up enough already?” Needless to say I left very confused about my life and how to go about creating positive change.

We all have at some point in our awareness heard the inner voice or at least acknowledged we were hearing a force that seems to have the guidance of a guardian angel. Well, my voice was so faint; I still can’t believe I could hear the words with all the drama and chaos I conjured around me. The voice seemed to be an echo of the question, “What are you willing to give up to get what you want?”

Thankfully soon after meeting Tom Lake he invited me to a Mesa workshop.  To be honest, I said I would go but what I really wanted to do was run in the opposite direction. I didn’t want to share my thoughts and feelings with people I didn’t know. I was raised to keep all that STUFF inside, it was my STUFF and it was after all private STUFF.

For me the Mesa Carrier Program was like a blind date. I was going to meet this amazing person that everyone knew except me. The best way for me to get to know this person was to ask questions. It was through the process of asking and being asked questions that I was able to face my deepest fears. I learned what self love means and how to incorporate unconditional love and acceptance into my life.

The Mesa Carrier Program offered by the International School of Shamanism has taught me how to step outside of the drama I created and to release what no longer serves me. The beauty of the program was not feeling alone doing the work.  There was tremendous power when we came together in the group. Seeing others willing to share their feelings, fears and dreams is a very healing process. I have such gratitude and appreciation for all those that walked beside me during this program of self discovery.

I am still a simple woman but today I am tethered to the earth with peace and the understanding of what it means when I’m asked, “What am I willing to give up to get what I want?” Since completing the Mesa Carrier Program I have had the pleasure to attend many different workshops with the International School of Shamanism.  Each time I have walked away with a greater understanding of the person I am and my purpose here on earth.  I know I have changed because people now comment on my relaxed personality and the wisdom to know that I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.

I hope you will take the time to answer Tom’s question and explore what the Mesa Carrier Program can do for your Spirit.

Submitted by:  Megan Mellon, USA

My sincerest gratitude for your gracious patience, I can't tell you rapidly my life and experiences are changing and I know it is a result of all the wonderful experiences I've been exposed to this year.  The Mesa Carrier program was absolutely one of the most powerful of those experiences and I truly enjoy working with my Mesa and am very excited to see you two again soon!  

Submitted  by a Mesa Carrier Student, USA

Sacred Reciprocity:  Today for You; Tomorrow for Me;

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