Shadow dancing is the Journey through facing our deepest fears, the places we stumble and walking (or crawling) through the interim time. The first step is knowing our shadows well. Of understanding how they engage in our life.
The inevitable and necessary next step on the Journey to integration, is recognizing and embracing our own light, embracing our own wisdom. We can not have a shadow without the light that creates it. Understanding our shadows, offers us a brilliant illumination of understanding our light.
I am assisted on my own personal Journey by an amazing Jungian therapist, John, who challenges me to dive deep. He asked me to think of a piece of writing that inspires me as a counterpart to ’For The Interim Time’ which for me, represents the difficulty of dancing with shadows. I interpreted the question to ask myself what piece of writing reflects my light, the light that creates the shadow of the Redwolff.
It took me a moment, then the answer appeared in remarkable synchronicity. In the last 6 weeks I have begun speaking my thoughts and recording them. I have never done this before and am finding this to be exceedingly helpful as I am essentially speaking to myself. I listen to my recordings as I seek clarity and the authentic voice of my Heart.
I am doing these recordings on the voice memo app on my phone. After finishing quite a few, I noticed there was one recording from years ago, that I forgotten I had even done. It was me reading an entry from Mark Nepo’s ‘The Book of Awakening’ a day reader with a reflection for each day of the year. That excerpt was special for me as it was the reading for a day that was profound. I was in southern California and I think I recorded so I could occasionally listen to it during my long drive back to the Pacific Northwest.
The synchronicity of a long forgotten recording, mixed in with current recordings of churning through shadows, made me realize that it was the perfect bit of writing in answer to John’s question. If ‘For The Interim Time’ reflects shadow… ‘Burning Our Way Out’ reflects light. If being abandoned and feeling invisible reflects my shadow, the day I first read ‘Burning Our way Out’ reflects my light.
I could write out countless moments of what it feels like to be with the shadow with the Redwolff, rather I will let ‘For The Interim Time’ be that voice. What I need to bring forth and hold present, is a moment of being fully in my light. Fully present with my own Heart and Spirit. I do know exactly how it feels…
The story of ‘Burning Our Way Out’:
It was the culmination of a 6 month Journey to be a certified yoga teacher through The Chopra Center. This was my third Chopra Center certification (which includes Primordial Sound Meditation and Ayurveda) which gave me the designation of ‘Vedic Master’. It was the end of our second residential in 6 months. It was a week of long days of yoga, mediation, practice teaching and exams. Our class of about 60 were deeply bonded and were realizing that Sunday, we would be going our separate ways.
Saturday late afternoon, we went to the beach for yoga and meditation. I was deliciously tired, deeply inspired, proud of my accomplishment and surrounded by Beloved friends. I have been affiliated with The Chopra Center since 1997 and one of my greatest teachers was it's co-founder, David Simon. He was just a couple miles away, close to last breath as he was dying of a brain tumor. I was holding him (and especially David's wife Pam) and my Beloved late husband Joe, gently in my Heart.
We had completed our yoga practice and our teacher Claire invited us to go into savasana (integration pose) in any position we felt comfortable. It was close to sunset and in laying on my back the sun was sitting perfectly on the top of my bent knees. Behind my head was the almost full moon, hanging in the dusk sky. I could slightly tip my head back and see the moon and tip it forward and see the sun. I was surrounded with Beloved friends.
The sun and moon and Mama Pacific and Joe and David and inspiration and Gratitude and grief and love and Love and LOVE… Flowed through and around me.
The flowing powerfully merged into my Heart. Tears of joy were pouring down my face. Saltwater to saltwater.
It was a moment of complete integration of Heart, Mind, Body & Spirit. It was a moment of Grace. I can close my eyes and be right back there. This Is My Light. This is the memory of my Heart Being Wide Open. The memory of wholeness. The knowing of my Heart’s ability to give, receive and create love. I was fully present with The Divine. I was clearly seen, loved, cherished and valued by Beloved friends. I saw clearly the light and humanity in everyone around me... I was flowing love their Way...
I remember experiencing... I... Know... Exactly... Who... I... Am...
While this moment remained in my Heart, synchronicity arrived to remind me. A couple months later, a photo taken by a friend, showed up on Facebook. There it was… My moment of Grace. A soul photo. Heart and tears flowing… Surrounded by love. Sun, ocean and moon meeting in my center. And… If you look at the bottom of the photo… A shadow.
Burning Our Way Out...
From where does our passion come? It is not taught. It is only allowed through. Or not. When resisted, it carves out the Heart daily. When allowed through, it rises and swells and almost drowns us with its heat. Yet somehow the steady tending of it’s release... Not stopping it and not drowning in it... This steady, tender humility of holding our lips open to the rush of inner light, letting the vibrancy of all feeling rush by our open mouths... This is the rhythm of grace. This is the source of all song,
Despite gravity, against gravity in counter point to the weight of the world, a glowing heat that can be blocked but not contained emanates through all beings as love, thought, longing and peace. When letting this vibrancy through we open the common heart that lives beneath all human longing and the fire at the core begins to rise.
This rising forth is what I live for. It is what keeps me alive. if i were a dancer, I would only try to scribe this endless rising against the sky, over and over, giving it away and away. Oh the Heart like a whale, has no choice but to surface. Or we die. And having surfaced, we all must dive. Or we die.
And more than books or flowers or thoughtful gifts that show I know you, the dearest thing I can give... Is to surface with the sheen of my Spirit before you.
And so I look for the truest friendships... Watching the deep for Spirits to surface... All wet with Soul.
~Mark Nepo... The Book of Awakening.
Another photo of that day,
a few minutes after we
got up from savasana,
with my Beloved friend davidji...
Standing fully in the light
the sheen of Spirit before you...
All Wet With Soul...