The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. Just the kind of sentiment you'd spot on an eco-friendly car bumper sticker. But this is, in fact, the cornerstone of shamanism.
The original spiritual pathway of all indigenous cultures is shamanism. and the core of Shamanism. At its core, it embraces the fact that we are part of nature and honours the unity that exists between all things.
My first introduction to this ancient spirituality is through world-renowned shamanic healer and teacher Michelle MacEwan.
She holds workshops throughout Australia, America, Canada, Denmark and Ireland. And her father -- who she never knew -- was Irish.
"Whether you're seeking creative expression, desiring a deeper exploration of your spiritual pathway or looking for healing, body and soul come into balance in a magical way," says Michelle.
"In times of stress, trauma or heartbreak, our energy can be shattered and lost.
"This work helps people reconnect with their spiritual resources and learn to integrate their power. Within the shamanic tradition, we see that when you are filled up with your unique power, you are 'power-full' and there is no room for disharmony."
After working as a secondary school teacher for a decade, Australian Michelle knew her true passion was helping people to explore their spiritual pathways.
Now with more than 20 years experience as a shamanic teacher, healer and guide, the essence of her work is the celtic pathway of shamanism.
This is all about connecting with the divine within and creating a harmony between the heart and soul. This is an active path -- she sets you on your way and you do the rest.
What's holding you back?
'Transformations' is the name of the day-long workshop I attend. All I'm asked to bring with me is a journal to write in and a packed lunch to share with the other participants, in keeping with the community tradition of breaking bread.
In the workshop, we start to identify what is holding us back and honestly ask ourselves what we really want to do in our life.
Throughout the day, Michelle intuitively guides the group of 12 of us through various meditations and journeys.
It all sounds very out there but it isn't. Lying on the floor, covered with a blanket and eyes closed, we begin with a meditation into our heart and its chambers, each representing a different aspect of ourselves.
From here, we journey to meet our 'power animal' -- a spirit guide in animal form, who provides protection, guidance and healing.
As I visualise myself walking along a dusty trail, I see a bird hovering overhead. I ask three times and it answers three times. Yes, it is my power animal. It is an eagle.
Probably the most special part of the day for me was a guided meditation to meet my ancestors and to look at the gifts I've inherited from them which, in turn, will help me to express my own unique gift.
Intrigued by the feast of imagery that fills up my senses, I question some of what has come to me during the day. Is it all in my imagination?
"It's a good question," says Michelle. "My answer is always: 'even if you are imagining it, where did that information come from?' Imagination is the language of the soul'."
Verdict: Shamanism feels like a path of effortlessly finding lost parts of oneself. In my experience, it is grounding and nurturing.
It left me with a strong connection to my ancestors -- as well as offering a clarity with which to move forward.
Michelle MacEwan's Transformations workshop takes place in Dublin on Friday, and in Galway by mid-October. It costs €95. Places are limited to 12. To book, phone: 085 713 8983.
An evening with Michelle MacEwan takes places tomorrow in Oscailt, Baggot St, Dublin at 7pm. For more information, visit michellemacewan.com.au