In the past two decades, we’ve become perfectly au fait with the concept of life coaches, and many will attest to there being a vast benefit in seeking professional help when navigating your way to greatness. Superhuman Oprah Winfrey puts much of her success down to her own life coach, Harvard Sociologist Martha Beck. But now there’s a swathe of high-functioning individuals soliciting the somewhat less orthodox services of spirit guides or shamans. Billionaire tycoons, tech entrepreneurs and giants of the corporate and financial worlds are consulting shamans for guidance through their hectic, high-stakes lifestyles.
But what is a Shaman you ask? They’re a bridge between the spiritual and the physical planes, a messenger if you like, helping to connect you with your spiritual side - something that through evolution and modern distractions, most of us seem to have lost. Whereas life coaches might ask you to bullet point your aims or create a vision board, shamans work by summoning the spirits to remove all the negativity that may be holding you back from getting that dream job, making your millions, finding true love or pure happiness. Their ancient healing approach requires a thoroughly open mind when being asked to voice your wants out loud to the ears of invisible ancestors but the end goal is the same; a positive mindset, strong motivation and focused objective setting. So, consider them falling somewhere between your therapist, a high wizard and a bossy Jewish Mother.
Shaman Durek is Hollywood’s biggest spirit leader, counting Selma Blair, Rosario Dawson and Gwyneth Paltrow as loyal devotees, (he regularly contributes to GOOP, Paltrow's multi-million-dollar wellness empire.) But Shaman Durek is a modern, ‘non-nonsense’ healer who takes the spiritual into the social realm and is about achieving measurable results. He describes himself as, “not into fairy tales and fluffy bunnies. I’m into practical and easy solutions that are not convoluted, which is the basis of shamanism: I keep it simple and rooted in common sense.” This guy knows about putting in the hard work and making a making a comeback: at age 27, he was pronounced medically dead. Yes, you read that right. As Durek writes in his book, Spirit Hacking: Shamanic keys to reclaim your personal power, transform yourself and light up the world, he flatlined for a full four minutes and 25 seconds. A result of hypertension and extremely high blood pressure, he was in a coma with his organs simultaneously shutting down and doctors advising to take him off the life support machine. Durek simply explains it as a necessary part of his shamanic journey, that he should die, go to the other side to get all the information and come back again.
Shaman Durek is an authority on the philosophy of intentional living, which is increasingly considered a genuine way of incorporating purpose and meaning into your life. “The way I look at intentional living is to address how we are operating; by being present and knowing what is in alignment to us.” Durek says we can only begin to live intentionally when these intentions are clear to ourselves, to our spirits, and to others. The shamanic perspective is, he says, broken down into three steps: desire, clarity and action. “We do this by identifying our desire, finding clarity within that desire, and finally following suit with action.” Spirit guides can help you to find a direct route to investing in your future self through making conscious choices, holding yourself accountable and manifesting your life goals. Essentially making yourself, your newest project.
Whilst many of us may find ourselves ensconced in self-doubt and the endless questioning of our decisions, Shaman Durek is not. “No question is too much for me to answer,” says Durek with infinite confidence. He’ll advise you on every aspect of your life, up to and including where you’re going wrong with your love life. “When your online dating profile says you’re a ‘sassy girl who likes horseback riding, going to the movies and eating pasta’, do you really think that is going to bring a man to the door? No, it’s not. Because you're not being honest.” What would he advise? “What your dating app profile should say is: ‘At this point in my life, I'm looking for someone who handles their own triggers, understands what it means to have ambition and who is operating in a place of having fun, enjoying great sex and great energy. So, if you feel that you fit within that space of honesty and truth, then let's go on a date’. Connecting into the truth like that gives the universe the opportunity to bring it to you because you have clarity, and clarity is the bridge to manifestation.”
Still not sure if a shaman is right for you? Here’s Shaman Durek’s ten commandments for living an intentional, purposeful and overall more honest life.
1. Respect the power of the individual
“We all have our own signatures. Just because someone operates in one way of living versus another way of living, doesn't necessarily mean it’s wrong because it’s based on what’s right for each person. Not everyone loves Gucci, but I do. Some people say I can't be a shaman because I love Gucci but you know what? I do. I'll meditate with my Gucci bag because it will give me energy, and because that's how much my connection to Gucci is real and authentic to me.”
2. Don't get distracted by others.
“Human beings are so busy looking at what other people are doing. That comparison is a precursor for destruction, depression and only leads you to a place of not realising what is right for you. Ask yourself, what is my signature? Am I doing anything that goes against my original desire? We go into scepticism, into fear of the unknown. We ask if what we’re feeling is even possible. We do everything we can do to discard, reject and push away the energy that’s present, so we can fit into the idea of society.”
3. Actively expand your intentions
“The easiest way to expand your desires is to communicate directly to your spirit. Say something that you dream, then ask your spirit to expand that dream and watch what happens. You spirit will show you more doorways, more opportunities. Wake up every day and say out loud how excited you are about your vision coming into reality. That generates energy and creates magnetic energy charge, which is what attracts things into your physical world.”
4. Failure is not real
“Failure is a disillusionment created by the idea that you say it's real. You only say it's real because you've learnt through example, not because you've gone through failure yourself.”
5. Ignore phantom impulses
“Phantom impulses are generated from peer desire, based on the idea of being liked, valued and respected. They’re why people make the wrong decisions in life because they’re not from pure intentional desire. Most people spend their lives caught up in the quantum loop that they can't identify their real intentional desires because they're still trying to figure out the desires of those around them.”
6. Don’t be a dysfunctional wizard
“When people say they’re just going to go with the flow and see what happens, I refer to them as a ‘dysfunctional wizard’; someone who has so much potential power but are holding onto beliefs of lack or limitation, and not claiming responsibility. When you say the sentence, ‘let's see what happens’, observe what you feel. Is it like new things are opening or is it like limbo? You won’t feel any sensations of excitement or generation of energy and nothing will happen because you’re operating against yourself by not choosing what you want to happen.”
7. Desire. Clarity. Action.
“If you're not clear, then the universe isn't clear and you're going to create distorted ways of making choices and visions for yourself. Communicate clearly to your spirit and that will send energies into your central nervous system, to your vagus nerve and affect your endocrine system. That's why when you speak your true desires, you experience a sensation in your body because it’s shifting the impulses to align with the vision that you've asked to be expanded.”
8. Embrace your inner weirdo
“Every human being can only proceed as far in their vision on the information that they're able to grasp and step into. Putting yourself down - and presuming there must be something wrong with you - is simply time wasting, because you'll be caught in a toxic loop of always yearning, never being in a state of fulfilment. Meditation, opening yourself up to the unknown ,and doing things that are ‘not normal’ will open doorways of greater emotional intellect and your evolution.”
9. Make people uncomfortable
“We have to understand that we didn't come to earth to people please or make everyone happy. We're here to make people uncomfortable, and that uncomfortableness comes by you living your truth. When you live your authenticity, people will have an issue with you because you will be reflecting to them the possibility of growth and evolution. On our planet, people don't like growth or evolution. They like comfort and security, which is false and fake, because genuine comfort and security comes from being well within yourself.”
10. Intentional living is true success
“True success is not based on material gain, accolades or your position in society. It’s being open to the space of setting intentions that enliven you, filling your life with joy, energy and happiness. If someone saying something negative to you gets you bent out of shape, you're still not living in pure intention because if you were, you wouldn’t be affected. You'd say, ‘thanks for sharing’ and move on. The greatest success you could ever achieve is to live guilt-free, shame-free and able to be fully liberated. That is the highest level of achievement.”
Originally published Oct 4, 2021.
Written by Jessica Lacey.