Monday, October 31, 2011

Darkness and Destruction

There have been several times in my life where I experienced a breaking point; a feeling that I am up against a wall, or that everything I thought I had I must lose. When facing death or loss, my survival instinct sometimes places me in a position of wanting control or being possessive. 

 "What you resist, persists". This is a truth that I have experienced several times in my life. I have tried to muscle my way through, forcing solutions that don't suit the situation.I have even imploded and turned it in on myself, wreaking havoc on my own body and emotions by resisting that truth. 
As a child, I was so afraid of the wicked witch (the epitome and personification of darkness) that my mother cut all the pictures of the witch out of my story books! We are generally taught to ignore the darknesses, both out in the world and within ourselves. Some worry that even if you entertain a negative thought you will bring it upon yourself, or it may be contagious. I have found a better way. What if it is okay to not be at the top of your game 100% of the time? What if these phases of darkness and destruction, loss and death are actually there to help us to experience release and surrender, to see that we are indeed powered by something far larger than our mere desires?
Letting Go Into the Unknown is challenging for most (to say the least!).The process of letting go is extremely intimate and personal. Each individual has a path and a way that only they themselves can find. This can be scary for a control freak like me, who wants the answers and the quick fixes, however this process of letting go can lead us to an area of mysticism where we may find some sort of transcendence from the earthly world. Many people find this magical place through the practice of yoga or through some type of transformational ritualistic work. I have found many different ways to explore the reliance on a power that is greater than myself. Astrology has  been a good guide, giving me a blueprint of insight into my own journey.Life moves in cycles and destruction is an integral part of life. We must sacrifice certain attachments in order to change and grow.  If I can see my life as a symbolic journey, it begins to give meaning to these archetypes that feel unsafe or unfamiliar.

ShivaThe god SHIVA is a symbol of destruction. There is a DESTROYER archetype that exists. I had an altar once with all kinds of symbols. One day I came home and my house was on fire and the entire chest had been burned. There was nothing left on that altar that was recognizable except the symbol of Shiva. Though I did not know it at the time, my old self, was dying and I was becoming an entirely new person. My job is to channel that destructive energy and to aim it towards the aspects within myself that I need to annihilate. Throw it all into the mix and use every bit of it as fuel.

True yoga is including and honoring even the darkness and destruction. Even exercise is a destructive process, the muscles are broken down, in order to repair and  rebuild themselves during rest. Flexibility can come from creating micro tears in the fascia. So make no mistake. We need this aspect in our lives. 

The process of transformation is incredibly powerful, but it is not easy. There is a quote that I love that I used in my VISIONMAT that says:

Make no mistake about it - enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the facade of pretense. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true. 

During my lifetime, I have gone through many little deaths in order to shed my skin and experience rebirth. Collectively, this is happening all around us. In the west, it seems our entire system is turning upside-down. Mostly because we are taught always to be number one; at the top of our game. Even within the new age spiritual community, there is a fear of the dark and an addiction to light. I have found that my deepest, most intimate moments with myself, have given me the most power. I have come through the very darkness that I have been taught to disclaim. As long as I perceive it as “out there”, I can blame it on everyone else and be a victim. When I claim it, I own the power that comes from facing it within and developing the skills to use its power to transform.

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