In an age of overstimulation, focusing on the essential can be elusive. I explore the intersection of conscious leadership, mindfulness + spirituality to enable overall health and wellbeing.
I spent 17 days on an island in the middle of nowhere (seriously!), by myself, and it was a truly blissful experience I'll never forget.
Being alone for the first few days was a dream - I woke up when I wanted, ate when I was hungry and had the luxury of longer yoga and meditation practices to do on my own. After about a week that freedom started to feel like a burden, as there really isn't much to DO in Graciosa (um, that's why I went there!). And then after two weeks it started to feel a bit isolating.
What is so interesting about dedicating time to be alone is that you get to meet yourself where you are, ALL OF YOU. It felt like diving to the depths of the ocean floor, to the places inside me where the light didn't reach, to the places I knew I had to go to be with all of me.
We all have dark patches, parts of us we have exiled or dismissed.
Here's an excerpt from the Heart Chakra chapter of the draft ROOTsilience book on this: "Over time the open and expansive space of our heart becomes a maze of walls (parts of us we want to hide or exile) or a minefield (deep seated resentment and anger). While it may seem at first like they are protecting us, these barriers are blocking us from feeling the expansiveness of this powerful energy center....
The path to liberation then, is taking down the walls and clearing the mine-fields; it’s opening the doors to the parts of ourselves we’ve locked away or exiled, and in a safe and grounded way, bringing ourselves back to our whole selves.
And so I remembered. And it wasn't easy at times. However, some deep and powerful writing came up from the depths of these shadows.
Dancing with your Dark
Standing in the corner She fidgets, uncomfortably staring at Her feet. She is your Loneliness. Your Not Enoughness.
She is your Exiled Inner Child, your Drowned Adolescent, your Unmet Expectations and your Crossed Boundaries.
You see Her. And She sees you.
Tears stream down Her face and you quickly avert your gaze.
You are easily swept away by the handsome Pressure to Perform, who bedazzles the crowd leading you in grand gestures across the room.
You steal a gaze at Her, in the corner still. You can feel Her pain like outstretched arms, reaching and grasping for you.
So you turn to the punch bowl. Savor your accomplishments with the taste of (spiked) cherry tang and then back to the dance floor.
Gettin’ jiggy with the cool crew of Image, Falsity and Fame.
It’s nearly the end of the night, and you can't help but glance over to that dark corner.
She is slumped over in despair on the floor.
GO! Be with Her! How bad does it have to be until you ask Her to dance?
As you lift Her up you feel the ropy embrace of Her solitude.
The weight of Her prisoner’s chains. You want to let go.
Hold Her in your embrace.
See Her. Feel Her. Be with Her.
Maybe it’s a Lullaby of Longing.
Maybe a Rap of Rage and Regret.
Let Her lead you, guide you, into the shadows.
Let Her in.
*Photo by I.am_na