#Quest2015 - The prompt of the day from Eric Klein:
How will you face your shadow bag and stop the stink, so you can bring
forth what is best within you in 2015? What can you claim right now?
What I can claim is that I do this work all the time, constantly. In fact, dragging around the bag tired me out years ago. What wears at me now is actually the work of scooping it up. I am ready to let some shit lie there and let it stink.
I find I am tired now because I have dug a bit deeper recently than usual, and pulled up some plugs that I knew were keeping my drains from flowing freely. Now that the fluids are rolling out again, I need to lay back and let myself go out with the waters.
My only shadow is what I keep from myself, whether out of survival/protection or in some kind of saving face/flying under detection manoeuvre. For awhile now I have had recurring neck issues, and worked through them with Hakomi therapy and also chiropractor work. These have both been useful, but as some recent deep re-configuring of grief over my mother's death has arisen, I had suspected that my neck and my sadness were deeply entangled.
At a meditation instructor training I found incredible palpable energetic evidence that they are. In situations, repeatedly as we practiced and trained, I tracked as my body tensed and mind became righteous, worried because "the person in charge" (not me) was "not doing their job" and so "someone had to do something" and "the only person who could/would do it was me." In these tiny interactions, the teachers detected my aggressions before I did, mirroring back a struggle I didn't realize I was having. My peers, the other students, mirrored back gratitude that I interrupted unhealthy situations. But my body felt exhausted, like it had been climbing uphill all day.
I had to ask myself, once I saw how clearly I was triggered, then reacting to my sense of lost power with incredibly controlling behavior, what was really going on? The answer was clear as day: I was taken back to a place, the place I visited so frequently when my father died (I was 12) and my mother didn't know how to stay alive - the place, the era, the state of mind of unpredictability, drinking, incredibly hostility at home. It only lasted a few years - and in fact, got better in the last few years of her life - but I was so traumatized that for a long time all I would feel was shock, tension and control whenever a situation seemed at all unstable for me.
So this is the current shadow. They get subtler over time - when I told one person what I was wrestling with, after our group meeting, she screwed up her face and looked at me oddly. What? I hadn't been controlling, she said. But my body told me otherwise. I use "controlling" not to be judgmental but to get to the core of what that energy-draining background program has been trying to do, unconsciously, for over half my life now.
I am ready to pull the plug on this shadow beast, but of course that's not how it works.
Instead I am using this darkest time of the year to rest, and to merge a bit, with long moments of deep breaths, with this inner core pain.
Hello in there, dear shadow.
Let's air you out and maybe you won't stink so much.
Let's go for a walk together, get you out and about.
Let's get you more familiar with life so it doesn't freak you out so much.
We are about to do some flying and I need you to be willing to let some shit lie so we can take off together into the huge sky of 2015.