Reflections post Performance
Light and Shadow: Reclaiming Duality as Divine
As I sit here and contemplate everything that unfolded for me on a personal level over the course of the several months of preparing for this performance, I cannot help but wish I had kept a more ongoing journal about the process. There were a lot of layers. Some got peeled all the way back, others I got a peek of whats possible once I remove them, and others still are creating a comfortable cocoon around my humaneness.
Light and Shadow. Yin and Yang. Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. Harshness and Softness. Playfulness and Seriousness. Cold and Hot. Patriarchy and Matriarchy. Polarities. Dualities. One can only truly exist within the presence of the other. With no reference point everything just IS. But we have reference points. We have experiences that carve for us judgements of what we prefer and dislike, of what feels good and what doesn’t, of how we wish to connect and how we wish to hide. While the desire for everything to just BE and the honest search for full acceptance of circumstances, the reality is, most of us alive today have an ego that supports, damages and sometimes dismantles our decision making and how we choose to show up in the world.
As part of the human experience, we have a choice. A choice in how we are going to interact with others, a choice with how authentic we want to be in our expression. A choice to be with ourselves and face all of us, and a choice not to. While I believe the choice “not to” is not always conscious, I also believe that the choice to stay open isn’t fully a choice, as once we are exposed to our potential, we cannot unlearn that, and once we see the potential of embodying this terrestrial life we would be mad at choosing to not pursue our highest expression of it. And it’s actually when we are in those moments of seeing ourselves not living up to our highest expression that we feel mad, confused, sad and judgmental. We are out of alignment with our soul’s purpose and we feel the discomfort from it. When all is aligned and we are living our truth in our everyday life, life flows, it’s easeful. When the hardships arise, we navigate them with grace and are able to maintain integrity in how we show up through them.
Now what is it like when we live fully expressed? When we not only accept all of our humanness but share and exist from that place? All the while expressing ourselves from a heart centered place, an authentic embodied space and while being energetically respectful of others?
This is what Light and Shadow stirred up inside of me.
How can I connect with the highest expression of myself while staying true to the endeavor and exploring the depths of my authenticity? How do I express my light? How do I restrain it? How do I express my shadow? How do I repress it? How does it show up for me in my life? How did it show up for me during the process of putting on the show and performing it?
My role was to embody the energy of Fire in a Four Elements movement expression piece. In its Light, to me fire is about warmth, sensuality, sexuality, creativity, energy. New beginnings and letting go. Its about courage and will. It is dynamic and strong. In its shadow it is about destruction, anger, rage, unpredictability.
Being the Fire element in this performance wasn’t just an opportunity to put together a fun and expressive choreography, it was an opportunity for me to dive in to the expression of Fire that surrounds me and then invite the influence of the other 3 elements. Because as the theme invites, and as life has it, all elements are equally necessary for full cycles to exist. For death and rebirth to take place. For night and day to alternate. While my stage performance was a representation of my Fire, the journey I took there invited all the elements to be expressed.
Allowing myself to feel all of those in my body first and then inviting them to be a part of my life was a ride. A ride in curiosity, exploration, trial and error, emotional awareness and playfulness.
Inviting anger and rage was a trigger as I tend to avoid those emotions. I’ve been on a healing journey with my relationship to anger and am finding myself much more accepting of their expressions and how I can interact with them. Destruction can have a beautiful impact if funneled towards creativity for the greater good and birth of a new and improved way of being.
Anger is an emotion that many struggle with. Living in its shadow aspect and being either too expressed or too repressed. It’s not yet mainstream for people to be present with their anger and use it as fuel for their growth. Today, anger is too often associated with rage and violence. And it makes people uncomfortable, almost fearful, and understandably so. Yet in order to be more present with the various degrees of the expression of anger in the world, we must be not only present, but also comfortable with, the expressions of anger within ourselves. And damn is it important to be present with all the rage in the world. It’s up to those who can hold that vibration and be with it with compassion and love, to help raise the vibration of the earth and create more harmony. I believe the same goes for pretty much any emotion. Being with the light and the shadow aspect of all emotions and elements allows for us to fully participate in Life. Fully participate and accept and have compassion.
Another embodiment aspect of fire I explored was sensuality.
Showing sensuality and sexuality was a trigger as I have been healing from negative body image projections since I was a teenager. Using my physical body for low vibrational outcomes, it has been a journey to reclaim all of me without fear. I am still on that journey. To reclaim all of me I had to go through a phase of denying parts of me, intentionally, to witness who I was underneath some of the masks. We all have many masks, it’s a part of being human, and I believe its rare to be without one as we are all made of many facets. I don’t see wearing a mask as a negative thing, rather a choice (even if subconscious) to embody a certain archetype that we find the most fitting for the situation. Either a protective or supportive behavior.
When I started looking at how and why these sensual and sexual representations of fire show up socially, I could feel the necessity even more to dive in to those. While still untethering the journey of my own sexuality, I am able to tap in to its social impact and the sensual power it’s expression has. The very expansive expressions of sensuality in human form leaves so much room for creativity yet never looses a similar energy of desire and heat.
Women are feeling more empowered and open to showing their sensual side while rebelling against it’s patriarchal imagery of sensual = sexual. There is still a great deal of confusion around the distinction between those two energies. Yet how incredibly different they can be! For so long women have been taught that showing sensuality means we are wanting sex. That showing off our physical body sends off the “wrong message”. Why aren’t we taught that fully being connected to our sexual power, to our sacral chakra, and living an activated life, allows us to not only experience more pleasure, but also to be incredibly creative, empowered and abundant? Embodying sensuality looks the way it feels: pleasurable, ecstatic, light up and joyous! and that is why it tends to attract desire, yet it should not be confused for the more primal, basic needs energy of sexual intercourse.
It is up to us, the women, to help bring more clarity to the difference. The ambiguity men feel is because that ambiguity is still so present within ourselves. How can we embody sensuality and invite respect at the same time? How can we express our physical pleasure of living this earthly life in this human form, and share that with others, while believing we will be safe in doing so?
How can we honor all of us and share our authentic sensuality while holding space for the fact that many people are not taught or even understand how to receive that kind of energy?
Can we share our external selves proudly, through imagery, photos, physical interactions, writing, etc, while remaining connected to our heart mind and our integrity? Can we express ourselves because of how it makes us feel and not how it looks, while still allowing ourselves to consciously engage in the very tantalizing imagery and external expression that can be a fully embodied sensual being?
Still so many women share themselves from a low vibration system, one that fits in the mold of the shadow Patriarchal thinking, and as long as they are there, we will continue to struggle to keep the awareness high on how women thrive in this world.
So many women (myself included) are victim of physical disrespect, and too often much worse than that, and at the same time, so many men do not have any positive role models to educate them on how to treat each other let alone the opposite sex. Too many boys, and then men, do not have the proper guidance in how to be in contact with the Divine Masculine and what that evens means. How to be a man who fully respects and honors not only women but the rest of humanity. Too many boys, and then men, were not taught about their own sexuality let alone how to be sexually with someone else. Very few men I know were given guidance at a young age on how to be a man who honors the Divine Feminine within himself and how to find a safe way to express that in his life. A man who honors the Divine Feminine within himself is a man who honors women. A man who honors women supports women in blossoming in their empowered feminine energy without feeling diminished or fearful of it.
Once the rage is felt we get the opportunity to express deep sorrow. I relate deep sorrow to the element of water. Deep sorrow comes from deep within the soul, we can feel it low in the ribcage, right at the sternum. Sorrow goes much deeper than a heart ache.
Deep sorrow comes from a place of acceptance. Once we fully accept whatever circumstance, we can express deep sorrow for the loss and feel the grief. Sorrow happens because we believe we lost something.
I have felt and still feel it for more things than I wish I did. Yet at the same time, I deeply appreciate the expression of sorrow and sadness. There is something deeply moving in a freeing way. When I fully allow myself to sob, to get the body shakes until I wail, allow myself to deflate that balloon that lives right at the base of my thoracic cage, I feel free. Embracing the deep longing that fills my bones reminding me that I love and care deeply, that I am connected to more than to myself. Feeling emotional pain and allowing it to be, sets me free.
Welcoming the ocean of emotions as a guide, and flowing like water through the transitions. Surrendering in order to expand.
And even when all is well in my life, when I have nothing to complain about, when I have no direct connection to rage, anger, sorrow or loss, it is hard to ignore the energies of the world, the chaos that is humanity, the disrespect that is put upon our Mother Earth.
I feel it for all those children separated from their parents at the border. The breastfeeding babies ripped apart from the soothing comfort of their mothers.
Rage for the gun laws that do not prioritize the citizens safety and deep sorrow for the parents of the all the children who have died from school shootings. Deep sorrow for the parents of the children who were the shooters. Deep sorrow for the shooters themselves. How lost one must be? How disconnected from their source?
I am full of rage at the lack of attention towards mental illness that could possibly be prevented if each child were truly honored in their self expression when growing up. Rage towards the public school system, trying to harvest more humans to their matrix, not honoring the uniqueness of each individual and worrying more about personal agenda than what makes children thrive. Sorrow that so many children’s potential is being lost because they are stuck in the system.
Rage that not more people care about our Planet Earth to make real changes to their lifestyles to help minimize our footprint. Rage that so much of our ecosystems and our natural life is dying because of lack of care from so many humans. Sorrow that so much of our Mother Nature is rebelling at the disrespect she is feeling from us. She is literally on fire with anger.
So much opportunity to feel rage and anger and sorrow in this world.
That’s why its important for us who can, to do all we know how, to BE with all of it with compassion and love and acceptance. There are too many people in this world who don’t know how else to be, who are stuck in rage, in victimhood. And those people express those in various and mostly destructive ways.
The patriarchy is getting such a bad rap, feminists are gaining strength and popularity but not always for the betterment of society. We show our anger towards political, environmental and societal structures and opinions yet how much is coming from a reaction to what we fear and not a reaction towards how we can heal?
Be angry, I say. Be very fucking mad as there is some fucked up shit happening all around us. And then feel that anger deep within your soul and you will find that your anger comes from deep sorrow. Once we reach the deep sorrow we can move towards healing. Staying stuck in anger only generates more of this fiery destructive energy. Using the fire energy to burn down outdated ideas and systems in order to rebuild with an emphasis on unity and harmony is where healing can take place. Within ourselves and eventually within the world.
I invited, and continue to invite, the spaciousness of air though all of my unfoldings. Releasing, and releasing again, the idea for anything needing to be any which way. Allowing for my personal expression to flow and shift as it needs to in order to find the focus that I am searching, that I loose, and then I find again. I am learning to fine tune my connection to air, to the breath and to the mind, in order to grow stronger in my commitment to an excellent life, in order to show up in life with grace and ease, connected to my power source, in the midst of chaos. Fluidity of mind and body are an acquired skill and one that helps in navigating this world with less stress and everyday damage.
I invite the focus of air in my endeavors as it is with focus that I achieve greatness. I sharpen my mind and clarify my expression.
I stayed strongly rooted and grounded in my earth power. And I continue to show up that way.
Using my body as my guide to all my expressions, embodying from a place of personal truth. Not denying myself of fully FEELING my physical being, and moving in it with dedication. While allowing myself to be fully expressed I choose to remain sovereign, to express in order to inspire and not to demolish. I keep my energy leaks in check so I can remain deeply connected to my earth source while participating in the expansion of my consciousness.
Only when we are truly grounded can we fully ascend. And to deny honest contact and connection to our bodies while being on this earth is to deny a portion of how we are here.
By inviting, working with and accepting Fire, Water, Earth and Air in to our lives, we can heal ourselves, accept all of the expressions of the elements within ourselves, so we can have more compassion to that of others. Love and acceptance are always the answer.
And sometimes love is fiery and acceptance is watery. And sometimes love is earthy and acceptance is airy. Love and acceptance live in all things if we choose to experience it that way.
Light and Shadow
One of the stronger pulls I had to want to perform in this piece is the raise in the collective consciousness around healing Masculine and Feminine energies and their relationship with each other; the increased awareness inviting us to find balance between the Light and Shadow energies in order to improve unity and harmony.
It’s been a personal journey of my own to reclaim all the of the parts of me, the ones I associate with masculinity as well as the ones I associate with femininity. Both the light and shadow of those. I’ve been on his journey for several years, and after having spent hundreds of hours with women, in circles, in ceremonies, in sacred space, with love and support and deep authentic connection, I have found myself ready to embrace the masculine energies within myself in a new and improved way and to connect with the Divine Masculine energy of the world. Both the light and the shadow Masculine. Now that looks different for everyone as we all have unique life experiences, challenges, traumas and karmas.
Through that I came to realize that in order to fully embrace the Divine Masculine I need to accept the shadow masculine. How ever that shadow has been expressed in my life that’s the part that needs healing, not the version that the media or the news or my friends say it is.
What does the shadow masculine look like to you? What does it feel like? What does it taste like? How is it expressed within you? How do you shun it or welcome it?
What does the Light masculine look like? Feel like?
Ask yourself the same questions for the Divine Feminine.
Because we all are both Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine.
There are major shifts happening now. People are waking up, people are stirring. Real conversations about how to be more united as a species are really happening. More men are having conversations. More women are having conversations. More conversations are happening within the sexes. This is progress. And today more than ever, transgenders and all other sexually fluid beings have a relevant place in society. We are making lots of a progress as a species to be more kind and generous with one another, and there is so much more to be done so that we can feel more harmony around us.
The inquiry to how we can be better at relating, connecting, expanding and accepting, and how we can do it together, is an honest and growing inquiry. We want to feel more united.
Yet in this process of creating more unity, there needs to be an acceptance of the anger that can be felt when shadows are being revealed so they can be alchemized. The rage is sometimes a necessary step to burning that which no longer serves us. Where and when do you experience rage? Can you be with it when it shows up and are you aware of how you can alchemize it?
Can we hold each other through the rage, through the sorrow, through the rebirth? Can we hold ourselves?
Our world needs healing right now. We need to create more harmony and fluidity between those parts of ourselves so we can contribute to the healing of the world with more compassion and grace.
And healing doesn’t mean not feeling angry anymore, it doesn’t mean not being sad and having it all figured out. Healing doesn’t mean we don’t hurt and we don’t cry.
To me healing means we embrace all the expressions of the human experience the way we know how, we allow ourselves to be with them and not taken over by them, believing that we are only faced with what we can grow from and live with. I believe it means that we have contact with our Divine Source and we know how to access it’s wisdom when we need it.
Healing means we are strong enough to not only help ourselves but strong enough to also support others.