|The Camino de Santiago 2007|
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
We can all be heroes of our own lives!
It a funny thing being afraid of shadows. The one that follows you around, scaring you at corners, sneaking up behind your back, is erm, well, just your own. Funny we should be so afraid of it…its just us, but with much longer legs as the sun sinks in the sky. The shadow is our parts we don´t seem to control so well, the one that has the tantrums or leaves the house messy, or suddenly breaks down over nothing apparently at all, and also contains our hidden talents. But we can´t get away from it; it is still us.
As we yearn to be our true selves, we live in dread of our shadow rising up to the surface, creating mayhem. As we fling our arms about in frustration and cry out, all it is trying to say is “Please listen to me”. In a psychic jail our bad bits are doomed to non-expression, and they often have valid things to tell us, not only about our weaknesses but also about our unheeded strengths. As we break down once again, it is normally not for the reasons we think. What has been going on (behind our backs) that we have simply not attended to?
We find our shadows rubbing us up and down in an irritating ways and quite rightly we become irritable. Take for example seeing an exhibition in an art gallery. Someone always seems to mutter to themselves that “I” (chest puffs out) “could have done THAT!”…in a snort of disgust. Take Miró´s work. He is a genius! And we wonder what would happen if we were to throw paint tins around. So imagine the private comments outside art exhibitions of local civic centres, you know the ones…
And yes, we can scoff…but really, maybe it is more that we are irritated because we know that we ourselves could have given it a go, and if we´d have kept at it, maybe we could have had the satisfaction of showing our creativity too…but the question is: Did we? Did we even try?
Cos it isn´t really the result that matters at the end of the day, but the process.
And I would like to declare my pleasure to the world, that I am pleased with myself. I have gone out there and somehow, squeezing around the voice of my shadow self, I have managed to put myself out there even though I was sure they would think I was a weirdo! I have started to do sessions with people with Active Imagination and to my surprise, people actually, really like it.
Of course they do. Why not?
There is nothing to be afraid of in the world. Nothing at all to be afraid of. If we are being motivated to do good, for our will be the will of His will (His being any superior consciousness that you dare to believe in)…then that consciousness (if we have faith in ourselves to be able to relax enough to connect to it) will guide us. First. And if we don´t flow, if we really put our feet in where our noses would prefer to ignore, if we come out looking like prize donkeys…then tell this to your shadow: you will not be made fun of at all (or whatever it is we are petrified of). People really do see how much effort is put in daring to do something, how brave it is to express to others. Perhaps even it will be a relief for them to see that exposing oneself is not necessarily a perfect show, motivating them to have the confidence to express their own creativity. For we all have creativity, something that we do well that creates with the material of the world…organising, listening, painting, reading, writing, cooking, understanding, climbing mountains, playing tennis.
But the journey through the shadow to be able to express myself, my beliefs, in public was not plain sailing: I SHAT myself. I had pre-session anxiety. By pre-session I don´t mean the hour before, but the week previous full of short breath, mild panic at seeing time advance towards the date and yet despair as time did not advance fast enough to deliver me from this state of general fear, panic and a deep desire to fly away and live on another planet; or die.
Many of us have read “The Secret” or seen “What the @#*€ do you know?” or have come into contact with the idea of manifesting reality. So why would we create such disastrous images in our heads, of the things that really matter to us going absolutely haywire? We go over and over imagines of being made a laughing stock, of it all going wrong, of our deepest fears? We do this to our OWN mind images!!
So this time I tried to control my own images and I stayed strong enough to imagine supportive images for myself. First time! Works a treat. I imagined that people were happy and pleased and were patting me on the back after the session. In moments of panic, I tried eventually to remember to come back to my breath, to come back to this moment, and realise that all is ok, I am still alive. It didn´t work half an hour before while doing a trotting dash to the toilet. But I handled that as well. After the session, surprisingly enough, those supportive images came through true.
You see I can only talk for myself, but these sensations, created by fear, by lack, by lack of self belief, of self confidence, are what have been stopping me in my steps (and I suppose continue to stop me). Fear of unpleasant sensations have acted like brake-blocks on my path, for sooooooo long. What will they think? Can also be translated to what will they make me think about myself?
When I was in the Manoush Jazz Group in L´Hospitalet I realised the power of sensations. It´s all in our head! I was the worst in the group, and apart from being the only one apart from a flute player who didn´t have strings, and it being in a foreign language, and the only one not tuned to C, I have to admit I couldn´t understand a thing. I had no idea what I had to do, so when it came to my chance to solo, I generally made a right mess of it, often giving up in the middle to stop my and the others´ ears from bleeding. I would get SO angry, embarrassed, I would feel my face go bright, bright red, and I would hardly be able to play through the rest of the class. But one day I had a break through…I did the same as I do in meditation. Observe sensations. And I realised that this red-faced discomfort only really lasted a couple of minutes, and then it was over. It was only me keeping me in the discomfort after that! And the others, who knew my talent better than I did, had long ago accepted (as no big deal) that I was as I was. It was just me getting red faced angry over the chasm between what I want to be and what I am.
And there we have it. This fear of acting in life. This week I heard about a German scientist who has revolutionary ideas about cancer. My hat off to him, first for exposing himself so bravely in front of a rather disbelieving and scared world of public, and secondly for doing it so well. Cos, for one, I believe him. He says, paraphrasing, that the brain connects the mind and the body. Often there is a conflict between the mind and the body, the brain sends illness to help reduce the conflict, so that the mind may become conscious of the body and communication may begin. And one of the things that he said made for good health, was having the balls to act.
What is it that keeps us in our straight jackets? What is it about our feelings of lack that make us stay in our safety zones with our slippers on, with our laptops at arms´ reach, or a constant fear of the bank balance…? What is covering over our creativity?
And I think we´ll find it is ourselves.
If we act from the heart there is nothing to fear.
Not even with that shadow lurking around!