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My inner bıg cat

The ancient spiritual tradition of shamanism connects us to nature’s forces, and those lying dormant deep within us. Lisa Jackson signed up for a retreat – and awakened her sleeping jaguar self


While a drum beats in the background, a jaguar stalks majestically through the jungle, its powerful muscles rippling. It emits a throaty growl before ambling playfully over and lying down at my feet. ‘It’s far too big and mighty – this can’t represent my Authentic Self,’ I think, desperately trying to conjure up more appropriate, less ferocious animals. How about a tortoise? As a slow marathon runner, I am convinced its ‘persistence pays’ persona is more me. Or a raucous macaw, embodying my fondness for chatting? But no, the jaguar keeps returning until, eventually, I am forced to acknowledge it as my Authentic Self.

I signed up for the Celebrating Life and Being Alive Retreat, which promised all manner of shamanic rituals, because I’ll be turning 50 later this year. Although I feel that having lived for half a century is cause for celebration, I was sad too, knowing that no matter how young I still feel, I’ll be entering what may prove to be the final third of my life. I thought this retreat would be a great way to take stock of the past 50 years, but also give me an insight into how I should approach the future.

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About Psychologies

If you're feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page dossier on how to renew your strength shares scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full. If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, turn to page 46 and learn about the new mindset to adopt to finally find peace with your body. This month, we invite you to train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play. Why? Because it’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your health. Learn how the arts can help you live a long, happy life. Here’s to a long, happy summer!