To be confronted by the countless injustices and the deep suffering going on around the world shows what a trying time it is for many, watching our sisters & brothers around the world being confronted with topics such as genocide. These challenges create great levels of fear and fear creates tension, physically, mentally and emotionally.
A world very much divided; a world very much depending on the laws of the pendulum, endlessly swinging from one end of the spectrum to the other from ease to unrest, from love to hate, but also from ignorance to information.
There are those of us who are able to enjoy plenty, there are some of us who have not much and there are those who are in the process of loosing it all. And yet most of us regardless of wealth or status, will feel the impacts of stress and the need to survive, fix or perform in one way or another.
There's a great little story about a man who has all the wealth in the world and yet is still unsatisfied, so he asks the monks in the monastery to come up with something that will help him when he feels sad. After much deliberation the monks find a solution. They create a beautiful ring which has a reminder inscribed into the ring; this too shall pass. And so whenever the man is unhappy he could look at his ring and read those famous words.
But of course it also works the other way....
The fixing reasoning part of my brain wants to believe that we are going through these dark hours, in order to get to the light, but deep down I know that all of it is temporal. The dark and the light, are one and the one cannot be without the other.
Facing the unknown is terrifying, yet the unknown has always been there, it was always a part of life.
What we see happening in the world again right now is both an enormous amount of fear and an even greater reactivity to the fear.
Change creates fear.
If we look at the most basic ways of the masculine form, we find it is ruled by a circadian rhythm, 24 hours on repeat over and over again. Man is a creature of habit. The feminine on the other hand is subject to change, from the moment her body begins its monthly cycles of bleeding in preparation for creation. A woman learns to adapt throughout her life as her body faces many hormonal changes. From not bleeding to bleeding in the teen stage of life, from bleeding to child birth for those that have taken that path and finally to not bleeding as she goes through the menopause. It is no wonder then, that it is generally men who wage these terrible wars, so intent on fixing and defending their families, their land, their livelihoods, their religions and or their belief systems. They are forgetting to tune into their more lateral thinking parts of their brain lying often dormant within the frontal cortex and the right supramarginal gyrus which actually could help these men to listen to the other side of the story, rather than trying to fix or defend.
Strange times call for new ways of looking at things.
In order to rebalance the pendulum swinging from the unrest side of the spectrum, could we say that what is really needed is time for nurturing the feminine parts of our nature, the undoing quality of resting in awareness?
If you consider the opposite quality of un-rest would be de-pressed. Recently I heard someone say that really what depression is, is nothing other than deep rest.
I love that. Wouldn't it be strange if we weren't depressed by what is going on?
To observe, you yourself, within the laws of the pendulum, through empathy and wisdom, you need to have the space to be, to find neutral ie not taking a position, finding middle ground. Very difficult to do with so many heated emotions involved, but you can't be running a rat race trying to perform, fix and or achieve when really you are being called for creating states of reflection. This deep reflective work requires conscious effort, plenty of deep rest, brutal honesty and yet also a sense of playful lightheartedness, otherwise it just gets too much.
Could you make space for yourself to do some lateral thinking?
Awaken the creative brain by writing, painting, cooking, eating, dancing and or having heated discussions with friends?
Could you take time for undoing and letting go of these restrictive ideas or belief systems that keep us so tightly bound and so tense?
Working with my shadow...
An unresolved topic that keeps coming up for me personally when doing the work on my dark side is; what is stopping me from speaking up?
This is a reoccurring theme, I often hold everything in, keep it together, so accustomed to hiding my-self that I often don't communicate what is bothering me. I hate nagging and yes I do expect my people to read my mind, partly because I am so good at reading theirs, haha.
Jokes aside, I have discovered that I do so, because I do always try to see the other persons perspective and I often ended up favouring theirs, over mine. Perhaps I am the opposite of a narcissist and yet I have often wondered if I am one, the irony. This is a mechanical behaviour pattern of mine, that was very unconscious, I didn't even know I was doing it. The dark side of it is that I am terrified of saying or doing the wrong thing, an ancient wound that I didn't even know existed until I began my journey with my psychotherapist.
Favouring someone else over yourself should ring alarm bells.
There are a great many wounds we have all carried with us, most of ours very tightly wrapped up in bandages, invisible to the eye, that run so deep. The unravelling process of removing those bandages, so that we can see the wounds clearly for the potentials they hold -from dark to light- is immense and not for everyone.
Notice when you are being pulled from one end of the spectrum to the next to the different moods you have;
from your likes and dislikes
from love or lust to indifference
from bliss to unrest
If we are able to stay in neutral observation without getting pulled from one end of our spectrum to the other, we learn to zoom out, to be lighthearted with ourselves, we can stop giving ourselves such a hard time, we can begin to heal all those years of generational trauma.
It all begins with us, it all begins with me and you.
Life is change. We are the change we have been waiting for.
The day transforms from light to dark in a matter of hours, just as winter slowly begins to take its hold.
Our ultimately life practice is learning to let go, to not cling or attach, because clinging to something, especially if it's an idea or a belief system will only create more tension.
We can see that happening right now. A world so full of tension. If we have become so accustomed to clinging to certain aspects of ourselves and blocking out the others, then it is no wonder we are in the mess we are in.
When we allow certain aspects of our personalities be very conscious, whilst keeping the other parts within us unconscious, it creates that great divide within, the pull you feel; you make yourself a promise and the next morning you've already decided to not listen to the promise you made and once more you are completely stuck in the affirming and negating parts of your life, helplessly swinging from one end to the other.
You only have to look at the news and read your history to understand we are living at times of great divide, in order to bring back the harmony, we have the one option to do the work on ourselves, so that we do not fall subject to the unconscious and that we can begin to accept all the conflicting and paradoxical parts of our nature.
Allowing yourself to settle back into the unknown, to the feminine quality of awareness within, I am especially calling upon my male readers and all the women who spend way too much time in their masculine energy to reflect on this, because I think there is much unlearning to be done here.
Work on yourself before working with others.
If you are interested in starting the inner work on yourself, let me know.
So much love,
Watch Dr. Gabor Maté speak up compassionately about the situation between Israel & Palestine. Gabor being a holocaust survivor, has researched the history and the situation and talks openly in the most intelligent way, honouring both sides of the story, yet urgently asks for ceasefire
Listen to the Ram Dass podcast episode 192 on the possibility of unconditional love. Ram Dass, also known as Richard Alpert, was a Harvard Psychology professor who experimented with everything from psychodelics to yoga, to meditation, to meeting his Guru. I am very attracted to the way he can explain the work and his use of humour throughout these podcasts. I highly recommend!!!
Read the Culturally Curious Zine; Fire for which I have written an article on the subject Fire, makes a great little xmas pressie at only £7.00 it's a bargain ;-) Emma and I have a long history of creating works together, she is the brain behind Brazilarte which is a beautiful community in South End, Essex, UK. Together with her partner Biscuim they hosts drumming, capoeira workshops and much more. Please do check them out.