About Ross

ross bishopI am sometimes asked why I became a healer. I don’t know many people who set out to do this kind of work. Actually, I think that the work picks you out and draws you in, often in spite of your better judgment. The work is very demanding. It’s tough day after day to deal with people’s emotional pain, with their resistance to change and with the dramas they create around themselves in the process. It is also immensely satisfying to watch someone quit living in fear and begin to bloom and emerge into life after years of living in the darkness of pain, denial and repression.

I became a healer as an outgrowth of my own need for healing. My pain and dissatisfaction with my life brought me to leave the corporate world and begin a journey to find and root out the sources of the considerable pain I carried within myself. I found western psychology to be woefully inadequate to help me and so I set out to find more meaningful answers.

My teachers all encouraged me after working on my own stuff to go outside myself and help others to heal, not as a humanitarian service but as a way to deepen my own healing process. I found that I had a gift for the work and that my teachers were absolutely right. Serving others is a remarkable learning process. My clients over the last 25 years have taken me to places I could not have gone on my own. I am deeply grateful for the gifts of personal growth that our work together has given me.

One other reason I do this work is the incredible success I have had with people over the years. People make real, honest to God life altering changes when they work with this stuff! It’s great!

What Others have to say about Ross:


“I was fortunate to connect with Ross during a very difficult time in my life, when I was dealing with a tremendous amount of grief and loss.  From the very first shamanic healing session I had with Ross, I was able to connect with aspects of myself which were wounded and shut down.  Through his innovative process utilizing inner child work with shamanic healing, there was an opportunity to go back and heal much of the pain I had experienced in earlier parts of my life. Ross helped me to uncover and release belief patterns that were holding me in limitation and tremendous suffering.  This allowed me to move into greater awareness and connection with my true self, letting go of my ‘story’.

Ross is able to facilitate and teach this process in a way that is both simple and profound.  After several years attending Ross’ group workshops, I participated in an long term apprenticeship program with him to train as a shaman.  Through in-depth training and facilitation, I was supported in accessing my core wounds to prepare myself for the work of a shaman.  This was a powerful and transformative process.  I would not be the practitioner and person I am today without the patient and caring support Ross offered through this process.

One of the major themes that comes up in working with Ross is that through sharing our individual stories and issues, it becomes clear that we are all on the same journey, although the details may vary.  Ross is a master at bringing understanding of the “Big Picture” into one’s consciousness; this shift creates a major step forward in our individual healing and that of our world.  Through sessions, workshops and three amazing books, Ross offers deep insight, understanding and accessible tools that support growth and healing on many levels.  I feel honored and blessed to have him as my teacher, mentor and friend.” Beth, Annapolis, MD.
“Ross is able to gently, yet potently hold compassion which creates a warm safe space, while simultaneously pushing to do the deepest possible inner work.  Each session allows the heart to open to life just a bit more.  This work allows gentle change at a fundamental, transformative level.”  Selena, Portland, OR.



There are two kinds of Shaman. Some people have a gift and study for years to develop that gift into a healing art. Ross Bishop is what is called a natural Shaman, someone who seems to have been born blessed with a gift for healing.

Ross has brought the core of the ancient traditions of Shamanism into a form and practices that can be easily used and understood by the Western mind.

In a former life, Ross was president of an advertising agency and a communications executive for the former Northern States Power Company (NSP) in Minneapolis. After leaving NSP, with a colleague he founded Creative Power Workshops and traveled the country teaching creative thinking to advertising writers and art directors. Seeing the limitations fear placed on people’s creative passion led Ross to undertake a spiritual journey in search of answers. That journey covered many miles and several years and brought him to many teachers. Finding some answers, Ross also found he possessed a natural gift for shamanic healing. He returned to this country and conducted vision quests for spiritual pilgrims throughout the Southwestern United States. Today he concentrates his energies on writing and on an active healing and counseling practice in Santa Fe.

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Feeling Inadequate – The Albatross

by Ross Bishop

In school you may have read Coleridge’s, “The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner.” It is a poem about a mariner who, in his arrogance, killed an albatross that was believed to have brought his ship and shipmates good fortune. Being a superstitious lot, the mariner’s mates made him wear the stinking carcass of the albatross around his neck as penance for his intransigence. As long as he wore the albatross, things went badly.

Coleridge’s albatross symbolizes the role of the ego in our lives. It shows us how we can close off the loving and compassionate voice within us and replace it with the rotting carcass of our ego. Why do we do that?

In a word, we are afraid to be seen. We fear that the inadequacies we feel in ourselves will be exposed. But that”s something of a game too. If I really am “inadequate” in some way or other, there really isn’t much I can do about it anyway. So what’s the problem? And besides, if everyone else feels the same way, what’s the big problem?

It’s a bit of a game played by the mind. You see, there is a “soft spot” in your consciousness. That’s why you have come to earth. That “soft spot,” when pushed on, leaves you feeling inadequate, leading to shame. It keeps the fear alive of always feeling rejected or rejectable.

Your “soft spot” became exposed in childhood. All children grow up feeling as though something is (missing, wrong, defective, unworthy) in them. You probably felt like that. This is your albatross. Parents get blamed for creating these issues, because your awareness of them surfaced in childhood. This is a failure of parenting on your parent’s part, but it is also intended to be this way. Each party is given the opportunity to address issues they hold that need attention.

You created coping mechanisms (ego) to compensate for your “inadequacies,” and to deal with your family situation. Since those behaviors got you through childhood, you tend to continue them today. You say, “I feel inadequate, so I’ll compensate by (fill in the blank): (efforting, denying, rationalizing, being invisible, not remembering, being aggressive, feeling inadequate, blaming myself, collapsing into failure or any of a hundred other compensations). You build compensation on top of compensation until you are so deep in the muck that there doesn’t seem to be any way out.

But of course, living like that you never feel quite whole. There is this nagging feeling that, “Something isn’t quite right,” and of course, that’s true. No matter what you do, there’s this “thing” hanging around your neck and the stink of it won’t go away.

When I first work with a client, I have them create an “Albatross List.” The list gives us a starting point for our work. It’s a list of the things they do that are not really themselves. You know, things like jealousy, selfishness, dishonesty, etc., and then the things they feel that also aren’t them – like feelings of worthlessness, undeserving, shame, etc. People will sometimes say, “But I don’t know what’s me and what’s not me.” I tell them, “If it doesn’t create harmony, it’s not you.”

Here are a few things from one person’s Albatross List:

Feel like rotten minced meat inside.
Analyzing things, always living in my head.
Make myself small.
Push good things away.
Stay hidden.
Keep my feelings hidden inside.
Isolate myself.
I am not enough.
Live to please others.
Cannot be criticized.
Focus on the appearance of things.
Feel lonely.
Bottle up my emotions.
Self sabotage to keep myself down.
Feel ugly, fat.
Feel dark inside.
Feel guilty.
Life is for others but not for me.

Anything on that list feel familiar? Go ahead, make your own list. . . I’ll wait. . .

The thing about the beliefs that lie beneath the albatross (ego) list is that they control your life. Whenever you become anxious, you’ll retreat into those behaviors. Fortunately, living from the ego on a permanent basis is very difficult.

The ego, based in fear, creates conflicts both within yourself and with others. You can go along for quite a while letting it run your life, but sooner or later the roof caves in. Perhaps your relationship fails, your business flops (or never gets started), your health fails or maybe the inner conflict simply gets to you. Whatever happens, you are then challenged to look at your assumptions about the things on your Albatross List and see if they really are true.

And you know what? They’re not. In every case. You can believe these things and can act on them, but that’s the illusion. There is nothing wrong with you (other than your beliefs)! There never was! Seven billion people, all struggling with the same issue. Doesn’t that tell you something?

The Universe needs you to decide for yourself that you really are intact and lovable. It wants you to see that there are no defects. It will bring you situation after situation until you see through the lie and get it. You aren’t being punished, you are being taught. Although some of us can be pretty stubborn, that just makes the process take longer and be more painful than it needs to be.

But the ego believes in punishment. “Poor me,” it cries, desperately hanging on to any position of leverage it can generate. “We are being punished.” And so long as there is significant doubt in you, that gives the ego all the leverage it needs.

And yet, there is this place of knowing, this light that draws you to the truth. That pull, we sometimes call it faith – (not faith in a religious sense, but faith in The Creator) – is going to save you. This thread ultimately re-connects you with The Truth, and no matter how angry you are at being “punished” or how ashamed you feel for your transgressions, the connection, which can be ignored for a time, can never be broken. But first you have to get over the belief that you are being punished for your inadequacies.

So, this is all about your coming to realize that you are not exactly who you thought you were. This is so you can release your fear-based beliefs and embrace the truth. It means letting go of the life you created out of fear and replacing it with one filled with love and compassion. This is what Christ was referring to when he spoke of, “being born again.”

copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016

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