to Great Plains: self-discovery, healing and education programs that integrate ancient shamanism and the great outdoors. Founder Jeff Nixa brings 25 years of spiritual care and outdoor adventure skills to this work, begun after a 2009 wilderness vision quest.
Who are you? What brings you alive? What kind of life does your heart really want to be living, and what stands in the way of that life? Great Plains provides the skills and support to begin living a more joyful life you want by walking the Path of the Heart, a practical, non-religious methodology for life change. Participants use the real “power tools” of indigenous healers worldwide, integrated in our fire talks, workshops, extended retreats, outdoor and wilderness programs.
Jeff! Thank you so much! I loved the fire talk yesterday. You are a wonderful guide on the path of the heart. I feel more focused on my goals, like I am wearing armor to guard from negative experiences. Today I found myself using a negative situation as a good reason to continue my path instead of letting it bog me down. I am definitely recommending you to my friends.” -Nick, U.S. Army, Humvee scout/tracker
“The shamanic journey that Jeff led our group in did more for me in ten minutes than a year of therapy.” -Tom. software developer
- Fire talk counseling sessions
- Workshops on shamanic healing
- Retreats for individuals and groups
- Outdoor and Wilderness programs
- Staff/student/faculty/professional retreats for business, education and health care settings.
“I was so happy…even in a group setting I had very deep experiences that have altered my life. Jeff made a group of strangers into a spiritual family. I felt truly accepted, supported and loved for who I am in this world. Thank you Jeff! -April T.
Why Explore This Path?
People who attend our programs are often searching for something: navigating a big decision, new move, relationship or career change. Others feel stagnant in their jobs, or unsatisfied in their relationships or church. Some are recovering from a loss, a divorce, an illness, death or a past trauma.
A few aren’t sure what they are looking for. They are smart, caring people doing their best in family, work and school. Successful even, living lives others may admire. Yet they feel physically drained or uneasy, as if they are not living the life they are supposed to be living. This is confusing to them because others say they should be happy and content with their lives. But they are not happy, and do not know why. They assume there is something wrong with them, and this makes them feel worse.
The shamans of our ancestors called this loss of direction, vitality and power soul loss. Soul loss can result from many things- a broken relationship, a past wound reopened, feeling trapped in a job, or living a dutiful but uncreative life. It can result from losing our connection with nature and the great force of life around us. When these things happen parts of our core self can go off-line, and with it goes energy, vision and creativity. So the “medicine” for soul loss is not just to take an antidepressent- it’s to get your soul back: to find those lost parts of your heart and come alive as the unique artist of life we are each born to be. To live that life, not the life others expect us to live, and walk a more authentic path aligned with our heart and the natural world.
Some people know exactly what has been lost and the adventure begins there. Others have no idea what their heart wants, or that they even have an inner guide different from the unhappy voice in their head. So the journey may begin there: with core question exercises to identify and listen to the deep heart for the first time. Every person is different; every path unique.
“One of the changes I have experienced through Jeff is letting my heart lead in new directions. I have even been writing some poetry. I never imagined myself doing that a year ago! I can sense your prayers and feel your sincere compassion and direction. Thank you!” -Keith A., CPA
Why Shamanism Today?
The wisdom practices of ancient shamanism are reappearing today because modern industrial society doesn’t have a social, economic or religious system that honors the heart, or balance with nature. The word shaman means “one who knows” or “one who sees”. Shamanic healers are ordinary people who specialize in helping people listen and navigate by the heart of everything that is.
The programs at Great Plains teach practical lessons in these ancient heart-navigation skills: How to seek a vision for one’s life. How to find an animal/spirit guide. How to conquer the negative forces of self-doubt, hesitation and guilt. How to retrieve lost parts of your vital energy and soul. How to become a shapeshifter of your life and walk the earth with vision, joy, creativity, purpose and power. How to live in balance with all created things, not just humans and human institutions.
Click calendar to see our upcoming programs; FAQs to learn how our programs relate to Native American traditions, psychology and religion. Read about fire talks and fees, Jeff’s Urban Shamanism.org blog and his own background.
“As we find ourselves at the crossroads of a global ecological crisis, we need more urban shamanic practitioners, for which Jeff is a model. He has the knowledge and experience to guide you on an earth-honoring path of the heart.”
-C. Mikkal Smith Ph.D, Crows Nest Centers for Shamanic Studies, Author, Jung and Shamanism in Dialogue
I teach what I know: how to shapeshift your life by walking the heart path. I’ve redesigned my own life three times in a 25-year search for purpose, and now use the core tools above to navigate and create the life my heart is inviting me to live day by day. This is a lot more enjoyable and rewarding than the old approach! I live with more peace, less anxiety, deeper groundedness, closer relationships and new sense of responsibility to greater society and the earth.
We are each called to be our most fully alive, power-filled self in the world. But to do this one must make a journey downward, into the soul. Society will not teach you how to do this. You go deep, meet both your most authentic self and your most fundamental fears, transform them and return with a gift for the world. You learn to become a shaman of your life: a shapeshifter able to navigate with love and vision in an anxious world.
It’s an archetypal hero’s journey. You will encounter resistance from others in making change, but mostly from within yourself. The negative voices of self-doubt, insecurity and social custom are powerful and you will need tools to conquer these dragons on your path. I teach those tools and will support you as an ally and guide in this adventure.
You can begin the journey to a more happy, authentic and forward-directed life today. To learn more about my programs, my background and client testimonials just click on the tabs above.
I hope you enjoy this web site, and thank you for visiting.
-Jeff Nixa, JD, MDiv, CMT
Founder, Great Plains Guide Co.