Help with those less-frequently cleaned areas

Is it just me, or has September been a month of accelerated “gunk shoveling?” I’ve had the opportunity to look at some crappy old beliefs and perceptions I’ve been toting around for decades, and a lot of it ain’t fun to deal with.

A common spiritual teaching is that everyone we meet reflects something of ourselves. It follows that everyone we meet is our teacher. That’s been particularly true in the last week or so, as I navigated powerful experiences of being elated by what I found when gazing into the mirror of one friend, and horrified by what another allowed me to glimpse of my old inner baggage.

I’m grateful to both, but especially so to the one that invited me to address some of those less-frequently cleaned gunk deposits. Even as I got in there with my gunk shovel*, I was remembering that this wasn’t the first time this year I’d been invited to this spot. I’d ignored my January invitation, being more willing to feel hurt than to figure out what was really going on. But September is gunk shoveling month, so into the mines I went.

Feels sooooo good, yet it’s exhausting. I’m needing lots and lots of sleep. Wonder what month October will be…?

*My gunk shovel sometimes looks like meditation, often like my private journal, and last weekend, like an exuberant play session with my cat. What forms does yours take?

Photo credit: law_kevin

Surrendering to the shadow

What is the shadow?

If ever you’ve compared yourself to another or been scolded by a parent or teacher or minister—and who hasn’t?—you’ve got shadow material. These are the parts of ourselves we’ve deemed unlovable. Parts of us that don’t live up to what we “should” be, based on some version of what we’ve heard, observed and finally internalized.

Names we call ourselves

We give our shadow stuff equally unlovable names like selfish, irresponsible, cowardly, arrogant, dishonest, childish, sellout, fickle, etc. One of the most challenging things in life is facing and loving our true selves, warts and all.

Me and my shadow

So this week, on the heels of recognizing Resistance around my unfinished project, came the bigger aha that I was facing shadow material.

The two biggest clues:

  • A dream in which, as a student, I mediated between an affronted Coach and a spiteful Teacher.
  • An email from a friend that triggered an out-of-proportion emotional response.
How I’m working the clues

The dream. Since the characters in most dreams are merely aspects of ourselves, it seems obvious the Coach was the keeper of my “shoulds,” and the Teacher was the part of me that feels the “shoulds” are unfair, but would rather stay stuck—and lash out to others—than change the rules. The way the dream played out showed my waking self I have made progress toward accepting and loving my shadow self. I didn’t have to change the Teacher (or Coach), but neither did I give them ultimate authority over me and my choices.

The email. First off, I was grateful it was email and not a phone call. My friend never needs to know what happened in the first hour or so after I read the message. First, I felt resentful over the “shoulds” that were triggered in my brain. Then I felt threatened. Then guilty at realizing that if I followed the dictates of my “shoulds” and made the generous offer that seemed called for—what a true practitioner of unconditional love “should” do—that I would resent him.

I tortured myself for awhile about being a petty and possessive person (note the shadow names). Then I asked Team Sally to help me find a response I could offer with love. I pulled from my Tarot deck, receiving the Queen of Swords, and pondered awhile longer.

Beyond should and shouldn’t, beyond black and white, lies an open heart

As soon as I opened my heart to solutions beyond either doing what that old Coach said I should or telling my friend to fix his own damn problem, I remembered that there is more to life than This or That. In short order, I had a new idea—I could recruit from other friends to help this one. I sent out an email asking for help.

Minutes later, I had another email from my friend. False alarm, he said. There wasn’t going to be a problem after all.

Heh. That’s the thing about shadows. Once you turn around to embrace them, they dissolve.

Photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt

Finding oneself in a parking lot

All was clear as I began backing out of a parking space this morning, grocery purchases freshly stowed in the trunk. Then another driver joined the fray, backing from a spot on the opposite side of the row. I sounded my horn in warning. Our cars collided anyway, rear bumper to rear bumper.

We both re-parked and stepped out to take stock. Each car’s bumper showed minor evidence of the collision, and my monkey mind was already wondering what our insurance companies would say. And bless me, she gave me the gift of being fully present. Her calm brought me back to the moment. We agreed the collision had been a Friday the 13th thing and a minor one at that.

She opened her arms for a hug I was happy to return. I asked her name. “Sally,” she said. My mouth fell open. In the next 30 seconds, we not only knew one another’s birthdays, but I found out her son shares mine.

These moments were why we’d literally run into one another. What beautiful proof that we’re all connected. And the world is much smaller than that parking lot.

Photo is ©Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

What does your handwriting say about you?

A colleague of mine enjoys a casual study of graphology, also known as handwriting analysis. And when she offered to have a look at a sample of my handwriting, just for fun, I gave her one of last year’s journals.

Some of her insights seemed to contradict one another. For example, “Head always filled with thoughts, pride, judgments, doubts,” but also “Open and approachable, with a ‘live and let live’ attitude,'” and “Too humble/lacks confidence.”

I imagine this is the kind of thing a pro graphologer could clarify. On the other hand, astrological birth charts are always rife with contradictions. We all have our struggles, after all.

Among her other topline insights  were things I’m currently working on, such as “insecure about showing emotion.” But I also enjoyed seeing validation for things like, “dependable/good under pressure,” “enthusiastic” and even “selective about friends (hard to win over).”

If she offered to look at your handwriting, would you be curious? Apprehensive? What do you think your handwriting says about you?

When feeling good is good for human evolution

I’ve already written a review of the Solving the Mayan Calendar Mystery DVD, as presented by Xel Lungold. I get periodic emails from Mayan Majix and the folks who put together the DVD. Here are the Cliff’s Notes of the period we’re currently experiencing.

We’re in the Galactic cycle of consciousness–the top of the pyramid, if you will. Each cycle is divided into 7 “Days” and 6 “Nights.” In November 2009, we entered the 6th night–the final night of the cycle:

  • Here is usually a troubled time in each of the past 7 Consciousness cycles.
  • It’s when some of the methods developed during the previous “Days” have been jettisoned because they were seen as not being workable toward a greater survival potential.
  • If you are experiencing anything other than pleasure then you are experiencing some sort of resistance to your ultimate survival.
  • Do what you feel is right and you will experience pleasure within that act, no matter how mundane.
  • Pleasure is going to be your compass as far as what to do that is in your best interest over the next few years.
  • So I’d break my pleasure out of its cracked case and start using it if I were you.

(the whole thing is here)

Carl Johan Calleman’s vision of the night is more complex. Read it here.

The 7th day (the final day) begins November 3, 2010 and concludes Oct. 28th, 2011). At this point, the belief is that we evolve to conscious Co-Creation of existence and experience. It’s ultimately all good, but if you read Dr. Calleman’s article, you’ll see it could get pretty bumpy along the way. Fasten your seat belts.

Cutting the cords

Friday, I was with Consciousness Circle buddy Lisa, describing the waves of fear that had had me on an emotional roller coaster recently, especially leading up to last week’s eclipse. To her clairvoyant/audiant senses, much of the blockage between me and a more abundant state was wrapped up in aka cords draining me.

I’d not heard the term before. It’s a name for the energetic threads that connect us in all our relationships (even our relationships to things).

These particular cords had become a negative connection for me. After asking if I were ready to sever them, Lisa led me through a beautiful exercise in which I named the cords I could perceive (I only felt/saw two–one connected to my solar plexus, labeled “shame,” and one at my throat I called “shhhhh”), then saw them cut away, as well as any others I might be seeing that weren’t serving my highest good.

My response is a measure of just how safe I feel with Lisa. First, I wept, then began spontaneously vocalizing–sound that gradually became more pure until I was toning. And hey, I don’t have any training in that. It was loud. Clearly, the “shhhhh” line had been severed. Hee!

Laugher was next. It bubbled up and had me cackling. Very freeing feeling, to laugh spontaneously without any external trigger!

The whole experience made perfect sense to me, particularly in light of what happened the week before the Solstice.

But that’s another story.