Shadow-work is often described as a roller-coaster. There´s the intense ups-and-downs, the emotional highs-and-lows, all the ingredients that regenerate the cycle of emotional psychodrama. We call it the hero(ine)´s journey. We pedestalize it in religion, ritual, myth, movies .. it´s filtered down intensively into popular culture . We use the framework of this journey – and its dependence on shadow – as a framing device to make sense of some of the darkest, hardest, and harshest days of our lives. And what emerges beyond it all.
I have often described shadow work as the means by which the Phoenix dies … in order to be reborn.
But what I find now, at least, in my own process – and I am sure this applies to many others riding the same wave of consciousness: is that we need to re-think the shadow and how we process it.
Shadow was what was hidden, mysterious, not properly understood, feared, secretly coveted, deeply desired (and often taboo). But we have – as a species – changed the benchmark of what shadow is. So much of what was unacceptable or unimaginable just a few years ago is now quickly becoming societal norm. Sometimes that´s progress, and sometimes that´s a nightmare. It´s been a mixed bag.
But what I do see is a rising attachment to the highs-and-lows, the psychodrama that accompanies the shadow-journey. I´ve been there myself, and one of my greatest milestones was to step away from what could have become a lifelong energetic addiction.
I found an essence of myself, something within that stared back at that engaging, heady, and ultimately predictable process of shadow-roller-coaster-psychodrama and went: BOO.
What I´ve been working on instead is understanding and experiencing a slower, stabler and … frankly more boring experience of the same work. But it feels more rewarding.
My work goes well beyond astrology and conventional prayer work and requires a subtler appreciation of forces that emerge from the earth, sky, and the many forms of consciousness that interact with it all.
Dismissing the shadow has never been an option for me in my life. It still isn´t.
I am far less attached to the highs and lows of the process. A certain emotional … shall we call it equanimity has emerged. Some might call it detachment.
What would have once triggered or hurt me has far less influence. And even when it does, the fear of pain or trauma no longer takes over my responses to the world. It´s certainly been a process I´ve been refining for the past few years. And in so doing, transforming myself.
Shadow-work when you are no longer addicted to the drama of it all is a whole other journey. Things take time … you wait, watch and remain centered through the dark night. And when the abyss looks back at you, you acknowledge it with a nod and move on.
The lack of movement, intensity, drama or the need to experience, understand or interpret it all can be terrifying. Especially to a woman with Saturn-in-Sagittarius 😉 But it´s a very different space. It´s certainly changed the way I see people, and my work with them (and this Cosmos).
I wouldn´t call this experience as the Void, or No-Space. But the reminder that the best things take time. Waiting is an effort, being able to be still within and to be comfortable in that uncertain (seeming) stillness is an art form.
To be patient. To not need to know or solve things at the click of a button. To not seek or desire instantaneous transformation (it tends to come when you least expect it). To not need the answers. To not romanticize anything or claim to own, perfect, or fully understand any of it.
To not measure my successes – or identify my essence – by how many dragons I´ve slayed, maidens (including myself) I´ve rescued, deaths I´ve ´lived´through, and so on… Or the many processes I´ve experienced.
To just be. And know that it is enough. And to live that truth each and every single day.
To show up to all that presents itself with that same understanding and sense of being.
So that´s where I am right now. And I expect the journey to continue evolving in its own phases, times and seasons.
The curtain has dropped… there´s isn´t a big sparkly reveal. Or a monster I need to slash or tame.
Just me – and Time – and Space. And lots and lots of Possibility.
Blessings to All.
Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2018. All rights reserved.
Image: Pixabay.com, public domain image.