Navigating Your Lifepath: Reclaiming Your Self, Recapturing Your Vision

Section VII: Negotiating the Landscape

Cézanne’s Refuge, Mont Sainte-Victoire, Provence. ©2013 Carla Woody.

In Section VII, the material and assignments are focused on the areas below to support your process.


— Kenosis



How do I practice reciprocity?

How does this honor me?


We exist in systems that affect each other.

Behind every behavior is a positive intention.

There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.

The Art of Reciprocity

In the Quechua Indian tradition of Peru there exists a very different practice regarding winning. There is no loser. If one is better somehow at a particular thing than the other, it is their pleasure to teach the other one how to increase their skill level. The other gladly receives the learning. There is no competition. They recognize they are all parts of the same whole. If you realize there is little difference between any of us and all benefit when we are collectively operating at our full potential, the entire Cosmos is affected. Competition is nonexistent and community is present instead. This is true relationship and the completion of what the Quechua peoples call ayni, or reciprocity. But this is reciprocity without conditions or expectations.

There are areas where any of us can use support, assistance and learning. What would it be like to recognize the truth we are all equal in that respect? If ayni is operating in the true sense, in giving you receive just as much as when you’re the receiver. You teach and validate each other.

Somehow though, the natural cycle of giving and receiving can become convoluted. Sometimes people give but do not receive. Perhaps there’s something operating where the person is afraid to ask for what they need. Instead, they give in hopes that others will psychically be aware of their needs and respond. When that doesn’t happen, the giver eventually becomes resentful because their needs aren’t met. The giver may become passive aggressive but continues to give — becoming an effective martyr. Then there is the person who gives to maintain one up, one down and refuses to receive in return. In either scenario, it’s control or misguided power that each is unconsciously pursuing, and the core element has to do with lack of self-esteem.

Additionally, if someone is receiving all the time without returning the gift in some fashion, there’s probably an underlying belief: The world owes me. Then it’s more like taking than openly receiving. Victim mentality is present. It’s also common for a person to eventually resent receiving if he or she is unable to return the favor somehow, and shame can enter the picture.

In any of the above situations, there is lack present. The internal experience of the structure of prosperity is generosity and gratitudeayni. Prosperity understands that giving and receiving in the true sense is an equal exchange. At this moment, you may have what I need and you give it. In another time, I may have what you need and I give it. We both give and both receive, even in the same exchange. The cycle completes itself naturally and the truth of existence is proven once again.

The Principle of Seed Money

The basis of seed money is stated in various ways in spiritual teachings throughout history: Give and you shall receive. The biblical principles and citations are laid out in the booklet Seed Money in Action by Dr. Jon Speller. It’s been reprinted many times over 25 years. This is the basic practice.

1. Give an amount freely to someone who needs it, or to an organization that supports good works.

2. As you give the amount, claim that it will return to you ten fold. Make this claim to yourself and tell no one. Hold an attitude of openness and gratitude.

3. Track the claim you made and how it returns to you.

This practice does indeed work to bring abundance into your life. Here’s the underlying secret:

It works via intent and expectancy!

Aside from these important factors, it also focuses your mind on what is coming your way not what’s absent. Remember: Whatever you hold in your mind comes true in your experience. Additionally, if you’re unattached to the way things come back to you, you’ll begin to notice how much you receive in a good number of ways beyond sums of money.

Giving and Receiving in Relationship

There wouldn’t be such a thing as counterfeit gold

if there wasn’t real gold somewhere.

— Sufi Proverb

An aspen appears to grow on its own. But in reality, its roots run underground to other aspens around it. This is the way they spread and grow. A stand of aspens is actually a family, interconnected and intertwined. The prosperity of one depends on them all. Introduce nutrients to one and all will receive some value. Initiate disease in one and all will be affected to some degree as well.

You can say the same is true of the relationships in your life. In effect, you have a system around you — an interconnected web — and to a greater or lesser degree, the health of one is related to the health of all.

There’s an interesting phenomena that often happens in more intimate relationships, whether in a marriage, partnership or friendship. Close relationships typically tend to polarize, although it doesn’t have to be that way.

Remember that you are often drawn to what you need the most. You are attracted to something in someone else that you would like to develop, or is present but underdeveloped in yourself. Perhaps the unconscious aspect of you hopes to develop through modeling, or understanding how the other person does what attracted you. But more often than not, you allow the other person to be the mainstay of that way of being for you. Infinitely, there’s an innate facet in most of us that prefers to have someone else take care of what’s unfamiliar to us.

An additional way of polarizing in a relationship is this: You disown a part of yourself because you don’t like it. Maybe you don’t care to see your own warts. But someone else can display them and you can dislike the behavior. It’s safer than looking at yours.

In a healthy relationship you support each other in what’s optimal and encourage expression in yourself and others. You take responsibility for yourself rather than having that other person take some responsibility for you. This means taking charge of your own growth as well as healing.

If there’s not some true foundation to hold it together, a partnership that has polarized will dissolve or degenerate over time whether the people involved continue living together or not.

This is sometimes the most difficult part of being authentic in your life. It has to do with understanding and owning where you have been inauthentic then choosing to move toward authenticity. It’s paramount to understand that relationship involves giving and receiving. But what is the quality and health of the exchange?

For example, you need to step into your own self-confidence, but your partner makes your decisions for you. In this case, it’s unlikely you would ever know your own true nature and act on it. It is equally unfair if your partner has always been the strong one or the decision maker. It doesn’t allow a sweet vulnerability in that person to be exposed and nurtured.

Keeping the masks in place creates stress on the relationship and the people involved. This kind of stress adds to the dis-ease at the core of a relationship and impacts health in ways that are detrimental.

If both people involved are invested in the relationship and there is a foundation holding them together, aside from roles they may have been playing…a relationship where both people are growing into their own…not only survives but flowers beyond belief.

If dissolution does happen, understand that it’s an aspect of your path and learning in life. When you no longer need the other to express for you, or that hidden part of your psyche is accepted and healed, your relationship with that person will shift. If a relationship is unable to evolve, expectations are the culprit and beliefs around scarcity and self-worth are at issue. Giving and receiving is conceived with conditions instead of unconditional love and the understanding of abundance. There is no real ayni anyway.

Widening Perspectives

1. Refer to the Feedback Loop exercise in the previous session. Review what you experienced from that exercise.

2. Put yourself into a meditative state in order to explore your relationship with that particular person further.

3. In your mind’s eye, see or sense that other person in front of you. Explore the following areas related to that person.

What do you give to this person? Is it freely given?

What do you receive? Is it freely received?

What do you withhold?

What conditions, if any, are you seeking to put on that person?

What are you looking to the other person to do that you need to do for yourself?

4. Now become that other person looking at that you over there. From that person’s perspective, explore the same areas directed toward you.

What do you give to this person? Is it freely given?

What do you receive? Is it freely received?

What do you withhold?

What conditions, if any, are you seeking to put on that person?

What are you looking to the other person to do that you need to do for yourself?

5. Now become the observer standing off at a distance. See or sense these two people who have a relationship. As an observer, you can have a deeper understanding of the relationship because you are not involved in it. But you can also see who these people really are at the heart level. Be aware of the following areas.

How are these people the same? How are they different?

What do they learn from each other? How do they support each other?

What conditions, if any, do they put on each other?

How can their relationship grow into something even more loving?

In what ways are they truly connected to each other?

What archetypes are active in the relationship?

6. Journal about your new perspective and points of growth.

The Energy of Money

Money is a good servant but a bad master. — Alexandre Dumas

Perhaps nothing is so visible as the cycle of exchange related to money and your beliefs about that commodity. Delving into this area can often prove a springboard to understanding and transforming additional areas related to the cycle of giving and receiving.

Money is a bartering instrument. It’s not the only way to barter but has become the most common way in our culture. If you think of it as a bartering agent, you can begin to sense how money is simply energy of a sort. It completes a natural cycle of reciprocity.

In all natural things there are cycles, like seasons. There is an ebb and flow. For instance, you have a biorhythm in your own physical energy. You have peaks, valleys and the places in-between. More than likely you’ve learned to accept that fact and work with it. Perhaps you are normally at your peak performance time in the morning, and you tend to schedule your most important work to be done during that time. You may find that you experience a dip in mid-afternoon, and so find ways to rest or otherwise nurture yourself at that point. Afterwards, you discover your physical, mental and emotional strength to be regenerated for the next undertaking. This is the way of all things.

How you experience the ebb and flow related to the money in your life is an indication of the beliefs you hold about that commodity. If you are comfortable in the midst of the cycling, then you understand the ups and downs, ins and outs, contractions and expansions of life.

But there’s something else as well. So much emphasis has been made through the ages about what is means to have money or not to have it; how much of it is “okay” to have; and who you are as a result of having the amount you have.

Money in and of itself is a neutral substance. It’s like the food you eat and the water you drink. What you do with it and how you think about it will impact its toxicity or nutrient value to you.

Pay attention to your language and how you speak of money to others. This will alert you to the inner beliefs you hold if you’re not already aware. Also be alert to how you feel in your body when you think about money, another indicator of your internal patterns. You tell your story all the time to yourself and others and further reinforce your state of being and beliefs.

In part or in whole, you most likely inherited much of the way you experience money from your family of origin, other significant others and the community in which you grew up.

However, do not assume that if someone was raised where there was little money available that person automatically has a scarcity mentality. There are plenty of people the world over who started and may have continued in that situation but see the world as giving and abundant. The reverse is also true. There are many people who have literally had more money than they know how to spend all their lives. Yet they experience instability in that arena.

It is possible for a belief that was generated within a particular context of your life to generalize to other areas. For instance, take a child who was highly creative, usually innate in most children. That child was not only supported in self-expression but also encouraged to “color outside the lines.” If the child colored on the wall, the parents or teachers praised the drawing and gently guided the budding artist to a large sheet of paper they then taped on the wall. As a result, the child became incredibly secure and open to risk-taking.

The child ingested the beliefs: “I deserve,” “I am capable” and “I am safe.” These beliefs related to creative self-expression generalized to feelings of abundance and the natural exchange of money. That child became a financially successful muralist later in life.

Take the same child who was highly creative, who toiled over a special gift for a cherished parent or teacher. And after having spent days daydreaming and creating, the child gave the gift to that loved one. But the receiver criticized the gift as not being “right” for “not coloring inside the lines.” Or barely looked at the gift and tossed it aside. Or the child was spanked for using some material without permission.

This was the first event that was then reinforced over time by that same significant other. This child ingested any or all of these beliefs: “I’m no good,” “I’m not capable,” “No matter what I do, it’s not good enough” and “It’s not safe to express myself.”

These beliefs related to creative self-expression generalized to feelings of scarcity and a fear of money. This child started and stopped projects or procrastinated, was confused about assignments in school, and later in life drifted from one job to another never quite finding fulfillment. As an adult, this child found that when, miraculously, there was money in the checking account, it somehow disappeared quickly.

Money is a by-product. It’s generated through some kind of exchange process. Even though it’s a by-product, it still needs attention in order to maintain and grow.

The amount of attention you pay to your money or finances is also an indication of your belief patterns. Do not presume that if you ignore the money in your life you have a high comfort level. It could be fear creating avoidance. Also don’t presume that if you spend a large amount of your time pouring over accounts or projecting income level that you necessarily have an abundance attitude. Again, it could be obsession related to fear of scarcity.

Look beyond your behaviors and ferret out your beliefs regarding the meaning of money in your life. Determine what aspects are serving you and what aren’t.

1. What is the level of money you have based on your needs? Do you have enough? Too much? Too little?

2. Look back in time. What are the stories you’ve told about money? What are the stories you tell today?

3. What does it mean to have money? What kind of person are you that you have or don’t have money? Or have just enough money?

4. How was money handled in your family of origin? Talked about?

5. How do you treat money? Do you pay attention to it? Ignore it? Let it flow through your fingers? Hoard it?

6. What changes are you willing to make in order to serve yourself better?

Now take a broader perspective related to your beliefs and practices about money. Notice if there’s a correlation elsewhere in your life.

7. How is there a parallel between your experiences of money and the parts of you that have been locked in internal conflict? How can you create ayni between those parts?

8. Be aware of any correlation between the money in your life and any aspects of your relationships. How can you create ayni effectively in your relationships?

9. Is there a correlation between your beliefs and practices regarding money and any other context in your life?

Section VII Assignments

1. Continue to:

a) Take steps toward your outcome(s);

b) Perform your chosen practice;

c) Journal your dreams, experiences, resistances, learnings, etc. Continue to note any common themes.

d) Take steps to transform a limiting belief.

e) Take steps to own those parts of yourself that you previously disowned.

Journal about the effects.

2. Begin your seed money practice.

3. Complete questions exploring your energy with money.

4. Read: Standing Stark — Chapter 11 “Living with Contrast” and Chapter 13 “Unconditional Being.”

5. Listen to the audio teaching of Setting the Direction and bonus audio:

Note: Access Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark in serial chapter format in the publication Illumination on Medium for free. Chapters in assignments are linked above.

If you need assistance with the material or outcome you seek, please refer to consultations.


Carla Woody is a spiritual mentor, writer, and visual artist. She is the founder of Kenosis, an organization based in Prescott, Arizona, supporting human potential since 1999 through life enhancement coaching, retreats and spiritual travel programs working with Indigenous leaders and healers in the US, Mexico, Central, and South America. In 2007 she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to help preserve Indigenous traditions threatened with decimation.

Table of Contents


Section I: Preparing for the Journey

Jack London Quote

Questions We Live By

The Re-Membering Process Model

Presuppositions to Support Your Journey

Our Work

Tenets of Intent

Setting Intent


The Cycle of Fulfillment

The Threshold

Understanding Your Values


Journaling as an Ally

Section I Assignments

Section II: Setting the Direction

Life Energy

Whole Life Balance

The Bright Hope

Setting The Direction

Setting Outcomes Worksheet


Voice and Expression

The Juxtaposition

Building a Foundation

Section II Assignments

Section III: Entering the Forest


Mining Resources

Panning for Gold

Learning Discernment

Section III Assignments

Section IV: Transforming the Dragon

How You Fulfill Your Destiny

Emotional Freedom Technique

Uncovering Limiting Beliefs

Clearing Limiting Beliefs

Understanding Homeostasis

Elements of Reformation

Evolutionary Dimensions of Archetypes

Section IV Assignments

Section V: Uncovering the Jewels

Doing and Being

Striving to Surrender

Activating the Witness

Telltale Signs

Creating Space

Starting Within

Paving the Pathway of Your Future

Spiritual Travel: Destination or Process?

Section V Assignments

Section VI: Engaging Your Allies

Hafiz Poem

Embracing All Parts

Relating to Relationship

Section VI Assignments

Section VII: Negotiating the Landscape

The Art of Reciprocity

The Principle of Seed Money

Giving and Receiving in Relationship

The Energy of Money

Section VII Assignments

Section VIII: Bringing It All Home

The Outcome of Intent

The Point of Re-Entry

The Disney Creativity Strategy

Sorting and Behavioral Styles

The Importance of Acknowledgement

The Nature of True Community

The Stages of Learning

An Autobiography in Five Chapters

Walking the Edge

Your Legacy

The Despacho Ceremony

Excerpt: Portals to the Vision Serpent

Section VIII Assignments

Copyright 1999–2021 by Carla Woody. All rights reserved. No portion of this manual, except for brief review, may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. Inquiries may be directed to: Kenosis Press, P.O. Box 10441, Prescott, AZ 86304,

Also by Carla Woody:

Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage. Read in Illumination Book Chapters.

Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. Read in Illumination Book Chapters.

Portals to the Vision Serpent. Coming soon to Illumination Book Chapters.



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Carla Woody

Carla Woody

Explorer of landscapes, ancient traditions, human condition and elements overlooked. Mentor. Artist. Writer. Peacemaker.