“Imagine a purple feather,” I instructed the participants who nestled into the cafe’s old chesterfield lounges; eyes closed, breath slowing.
“What does a purple feather look like?”
It was the first One Good Thing Storytelling Circle, and I was telling the group about my passion for shamanism. I’d started my shamanic training in 2010 when I lived in Manly, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Along my shamanic journey I discovered the works of Hawaiian shaman, Serge Kahili King, and loved his tale of the purple feather.
At one of his weekend workshops, Serge wanted to show his students how easy it is to bend reality. So he asked them all to agree upon an unusual object of focus. The group of 14 chose a purple feather.
“What does a purple feather sounds like?” I asked the group as the other café patrons lowered their voices, listening in to my instructions. The energy of focus and intention expanded the longer our circle of storytellers imagined their purple feather.
As Serge King explained in his tale, he asked his students to imagine and focus on a purple feather for several minutes, reserving any form of judgement or expectation. They were then to simply forget about it and go on with their day. The aim of the exercise was to see how long it would take for each of his students to have a purple feather experience.
“What does a purple feather smell like?” I asked, as the café owner delivered my piping hot coffee, its pleasing aroma gently wafting its way to my nostrils.
The first of Serge’s students had a purple feather experience later that night when they found a purple orchid with feather-shaped petals. Another student discovered purple feathers printed on their hotel bedspread. One student found large purple feathers in a decorative stand on either side of the hotel’s escalator the following day. When she returned home, a fourth student – a feather collector – was given a purple feather as a gift from her daughter. Another student found a purple feather on the floor of her apartment as she stepped through her front door. In just over three days each of Serge’s 14 students had some kind of purple feather experience.
“What does a purple feather taste like?” I asked the circle before sipping the smooth coffee, washing away the spicy sweetness of the ginger beer I’d not long finished.
“And finally, what does a purple feather feel like?” I gave the storytellers a few moments to imagine what a purple feather felt like against their skin before asking them to open their eyes, welcoming them back to ‘reality.’
The storytelling circle wound to a close. I bid the participants farewell, asking them to let me know when they had their purple feather experience. Within an hour, one woman contacted me to say, “I was upstairs in the shopping centre and a woman walked past me wearing a t-shirt with stylised feathers in a vertical pattern across the front of it. I can’t testify under oath that they were purple but they looked it. I was stunned enough to stand and debate chasing her to ask if I could take a picture, but I chickened out. She was walking swiftly and with purpose. I decided surely it couldn’t be that easy…” But it is! Even I found a purple feather in my bathroom when I arrived home that day.
Over the next few days I received photos, stories and videos of the purple feathers that participants had found. I was even contacted by the café owners who’d found purple feathers on a bushwalk, and a friend’s hairdresser – who I’d never met – sent me photos of her purple feather earrings.
If all it takes is a few minutes of relaxed imagining to bend reality and draw a purple feather into your life, what else could you draw in? The possibilities are endless. And with this knowledge, it’s important to now consider any negative thoughts that play like a broken record in your mind day after day. Are they really things that you want to call into your life? As the saying goes, ‘Where focus goes, energy flows.’ So, choose your thoughts wisely, and let me know when you find your purple feather!
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This story first appeared at The Triple Sifted Word Refinery.
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