Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Language of the Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me; and what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
                                                                                  -Robert Louis Stevenson


We all want to create a future for ourselves and our families and our communities where we can live fulfilled lives with happiness and prosperity. We want to live connected to others and yet independent. This is our true inheritance. So often this is not the future we do create. 

We often live in the shadow of our unconscious and compelled to make similar mistakes as our parents, and their parents, and so the patterns we see that keep repeating, keep repeating.

Our shadow side controls us until we can make conscious what has been hidden from us. As October rolls around each year, I am so much more aware of the colder, darker sides of us as the shorter and cooler days make their appearance. Even so, there is so much beauty in the month of October, just as there is inside of us. 

As I explore the Body Presencing model which integrates body work and Chiropractic work with Family Constellation work and brain work, I have developed a hologram. The hologram takes us on a journey from the past, where we frequently get stuck, to the present, and then to creating our future. I do this through a series of words, meditations and visualizations which help us to navigate through our internal terrain. Our future becomes one of hope, love, connection, inspiration, clarity and acceptance.

In order to navigate this journey, an important part is listening to and really hearing our language. I was sitting with a patient the other day and listening to her words and realized that her words were very special in showing us her internal experience of her mother when she was very young. She was describing to me the trip she was planning in visiting her mother. Her mother was much on her mind. She had a goal and an agenda to arm herself for her visit. In fact, she was very clear that to be with her mother she has to have an agenda and a goal. This trips goal was to take her shopping for a sofa. I had suggested to her that when she goes she might want to create a distance so she feels safe as she visits with her mother. She then told me that her mother does that very clearly. She said that her mother puts everything in her own mousetrap. In addition, she said she wants to go and really be with what she is. She didnt say, who she is, she clearly said what she is.

As I listened to her I suddenly felt something similar to what she must have felt when she was with her mother as a child. Those words she used were so descriptive of her early experience. She was in a mouse trap, and she experienced her mother as a what, and not a who. As an adult, my patient has spent much of her time trying to be close to her mother, and trying to be seen, and to be helpful, and her mother kept her at a distance. She yearned for closeness with her mom. Her mother wasnt able to do that. How painful that must have been for her as a small child. Those experiences shaped her as a person and as a woman who cant get close to those she cares for, and needs to arm herself or even numb herself in order to be with her mother. How small and trapped she felt at a very important time in her life. 

Her words gave us so much information. Her words are a language of the shadow which now has come up for air. Now that they are heard, she has the ability to work with them and with her feelings and her experiences in a way she couldnt when they were buried inside of her.

We all have this idiosyncratic language; a language of our soul. Taking the time to really listen to ourselves is very important, and also having someone who can help us to hear ourselves is also important at times.
As we do, we can develop the tools to create a future we want for us, for our families and for the world.


Shift Your Story Shift Your Life: Meditation/Visualization

We are going to do a short meditation/visualization:

Get comfortable and have both of your feet on the ground. Begin by closing your eyes and taking 2 or 3 deep breaths. Tune into your breath. 

Now think of a saying you find yourself saying, or words you hear yourself repeating. If you cant think of your own, think of someone you know who has an interesting saying or sentence they repeat; it could be, sweet, or the early bird gets the worm, or boy was that stupid, or that is dumb, or anything you find you keep repeating to yourself about yourself.

Take a few minutes with this. Think of something, and let it go. Think of something else and then let it go. Let something just pop in your mind. Sit with this for a bit, and invite the words or saying that resonates with you the most to be with you. See the words in your minds eye, and feel the words, and hear you saying them to yourself or others. How do they feel, and where do you feel them in your body? How do they sound? 

What do those words make you think of? Who else do you know who says those words or sayings? 

Now, let them just be with you for a few minutes. How old do you feel right now? Is there a memory that comes up for you now, unbidden, but you find yourself thinking of this old thing that happened? Who is saying those words around you? What was it like for you at that time in your life? If nothing comes up for you, that is fine. Just do the first part of this mediation where you feel the words and hear them and see them. 

Now, ask you, do they really resonate with me and who I really am, and what my real life experience is now? If not, then, in your minds eye, just let them go. As you let them go, just let yourself be and feel and breathe. Just breathe until you become aware of your breath, and then gently open your eyes. 

If it is helpful for you, lastly, write down the words or saying that came to you. They are yours to work with until you can just let them go.