Embracing the Shadow of Our Times

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On a personal level, embracing the shadow of your soul is one of the most challenging and powerful journeys you can make. Fear of what you might find holds you back, but shadow is an illusion, obscuring the beauty of your inner being and the illumination of your soul journey.

This scales. It is what we are now seeing played out globally. It can be fear evoking. Fear can be debilitating and cause us to withdraw. When we transcend our fear, we can breathe, we can see the beauty that is being evoked by the shadow that has descended in many places where authoritarianism has risen and where there are attempts to silence freedom of speech. We can see the scale of movement, the rising up that has been evoked in response. Embracing the shadow of our times does not mean accepting a new emerging status quo. It means we can begin to see beyond, make intentional choices and keep moving toward the light. For ourselves, individually, and on behalf of all who yearn for a different future.

Shaping Our Experiences Through the Stories We Tell

 

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We are shaped by our experiences and, more importantly, by the stories we tell that help us make sense of our experiences. We can tell the story about how worn down we are and how awful it is or we can focus on the grand adventure of where and how life sprouts and how it sustains itself no matter what. The circumstances we encounter shape us. How they will shape us is up to us.

In these days when there often seems more bad news than good (at least in my worldview), remembering there is a positive story too – that things are awakening as well dying – can help us remember that nothing ever stays the same, everything changes, all the time – imperceptibly or dramatically and everything in between.

Where do you want to focus your attention so that you have an intentional hand in shaping your experiences?

Moment to Moment

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This moment is but a small grain in the sands of time. What happens in the next moment is unknowable but this too shall pass and a better moment shall arise. In your life, in the history of the world, of various civilizations, moments have come and gone. Some have been better. Some have been worse.

If you are in a moment of overwhelm, if world events are weighing you down, turn solidly to this moment. In this moment, you are okay. As this moment turns to the next, you are okay. Maybe tomorrow or next week will be a different story. However, as Mark Twain said, “Worry is the interest we pay on trouble that never comes.” Trouble might be imminent but until we are actually in it, worrying about it is a drain on energy that could be available for something else – something productive or even relaxing.

When you notice you are worrying, anxious or fearful, remind yourself, in this moment, you are okay. And moment to moment you will make it to each next breath.

Give Yourself Permission to Feel

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Emotions are your guidance system. They tell you when your boundaries have been violated. This could involve a violation of your values, your way of life, your sense of integrity or your sense of what is appropriate. Even things that are happening on local, national and international scales can result in a sense of personal violation.

Right now many people are expressing many conflicting emotions and, even still, it may be hard to acknowledge and speak the depth of them. Sometimes we want to diminish our emotions so we will speak of anger but not rage, of disappointment but not betrayal. We might need to expand our emotional vocabulary.

In these days and the times leading up to these days, many people have felt, do feel, betrayed – by people, by systems, by government, by institutions, more – and have lacked the language and the means to express it. If we do not know how to language it, it can be hard to discover how to move past it. Sometimes it is not through language that we find the place of healing, it is in other forms of expression – tears, wailing, howling at the moon.

Sense into your emotions. Let them rage if that is what is needed now. Find language or other means to express it and look for healthy outlets – exercise, activism, hugging loved ones, joining a circle or support group, or whatever it is that allows you to channel your emotional experience in ways where you can stay in your own integrity.

Give yourself permission to feel, even if that feels scary. The only way to is through.

What Gives You Hope Now?

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These are tumultuous times. It can be easy to be swept away by the currents of fear, anxiety, overwhelm and hopelessness. But hope resides within, fuelled by things that catch your attention and seep into your being. It can be a heartfelt question. Look around. What gives you hope now?

For me, it is the groundswell of people rising up in ways I have not personally witnessed before. It is the Mayor of Halifax last night at an impromptu peace rally he called to invite people to come and be together because, he said, what else do you do when you do not know what else to do, deep in his own vulnerability as he spoke.

It is my fourteen year old child already finding ways to stand up for values held dear. It is each individual expressing sorrow, grief or outrage. Saying when there is hate we need to respond with love. People making phone calls and sharing the result. Lawyers who sat in airports pro bono. Rising up. Showing up.

What gives you hope now? List every single thing you can think of. And then keep showing up in the moments you feel called. Courage might just be finding the way through the day.

Moving Through Overwhelm One Small Step at a Time

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With all that is happening in the world right now, it is easy to be consumed by overwhelm so vast that it makes it almost impossible to do anything. It is important to stay informed, to look for things that are true, but the search can be all consuming and then debilitating. You might wonder what you, one person, can do.

The first is to retreat. Only long enough to find vibrational harmony with that which is at peace within you, to find vibrational harmony that will allow you to act with intentionality. That action need not be large in the world. Any small step will do. Yesterday I published a post on connecting with yourself. There are some ways to do that listed here.

Small steps you could take today:

  • A moment of quiet
  • A small act of kindness for someone
  • Consciously sending love and light out into the world
  • Remember the things that bring you joy (it is okay to experience joy in the craziness of these times – in fact, it is essential, it might contribute to keeping you sane)

Today, I will post on social media mostly things that hearten me and this week I will publish as many short posts as I can focused on messages to keep us strong and openhearted.

In a world that is going crazy, we need all of us to find our internal light to shine it out into the chaos.

Connect to You This Week

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We each have access to infinite wisdom. We have channels to the greater universe. One way access it is to take a few minutes to connect to yourself, your inner knowing and wisdom. To do this, take a moment to turn off or tune out distractions.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

And another.

Breathe in until your whole body expands.

Breathe out until your whole body relaxes. This will slow you down and for some, that is all it will take.

Additional suggestions for those who need gentle nudges:

  • Light a candle and be fully present as you do so
  • Reflect
  • Invite images to come into your awareness and trust in what arrives
  • Journal
  • Drum, sing, dance
  • Pull tarot cards
  • Drink tea
  • Go outside, put your feet on the ground (even with shoes on), take a walk
  • Notice the beauty around you (yes, it is there too)
  • Tune into positive messages
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Turn off social media
  • Reach out to a friend

It does not need to take a long time. A moment can make a big difference. However you choose to connect with yourself will be lovely.

How will you connect with yourself this week?