Dark and Light: Coming to Trust in the Source of Creativity

Share

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. — T. S. Eliot

 

 

Just as the moon becomes fully eclipsed, I enter the center of the labyrinth. It’s about 5:00 am. The labyrinth is lit up a bit by the lights surrounding Grace Cathedral, offering a bit of light to this very dark moment.

As I stand in the center of the labyrinth, I gaze at the moon for quite a while.

 

I stand there, simply feeling.

Something is being remembered.

It feels as if my soul is reaching back into time, and back into other layers of existence or understanding or something such as this. It’s a feeling, and along with it are images of dark passageways. Not literal passageways, but passageways that seem to be showing straights of time and existence.

 

I know I am remembering something, but it’s not a remembering of something in this life or something my mind might understand. Rather, it’s a remembering of the Soul. I can feel the ‘meeting’ between knowing and my Soul. I feel it down deep in the darkness, down deep in the cells, down deep somewhere that I cannot see, but can see by feeling.

And so, my opening to the darkness as beauty, darkness as wisdom, darkness as rich soil of the divine comes in waves of knowing and realizations of not-knowing, too. My mind cannot figure out what this all means, and believe me it is trying to figure it out. It wants to sneak into these divine moments of darkness. It is trying, yet the pull of this deep feeling space is so sensual and so deeply loving.

 

There is a beautiful cauldron of creation from which all is born. And for women, this universe of becoming also resides in your female body, deep in the waters of the sacred center that is held so artfully and lovingly by the pelvic bowl

Our relationship to the dark is how we relate to our own creativity. Creativity is born out of this cauldron of creation. We can’t see what will be born from the dark. We must come to trust in the dark, in creation itself.

Perhaps what we’ve been taught to believe about the dark isn’t true at all, anymore than what we’ve been taught about light. It is out of the darkest darkness that the most brilliant light is born. And brilliant light eventually finds its way back to the dark.

It’s easy to label things light and dark, good and bad, right and wrong because in a world where we are taught that everything is either/or, we come to believe this way of thinking is the only way. But standing in the labyrinth, feeling the moon and earth and sun deeply affect the deep regions of my psyche, I come to know that nothing is as it seems to the mind. And, it is here in this rich stew of remembering that I settle down into my bones, into the center of a matrix that holds me.

If we truly want to live in harmony with life, and with the earth and moon and sun, we must come to know this aspect of ourselves – the brilliant darkness from which light is born.

Notice how many times you hear dark being used as something bad, while light is seen as the good. Notice how you have learned to shy away from the dark while persistently trying to ‘stay in the light’. Just notice. And, notice what you begin to remember when you allow the darkness of your internal world to welcome you home. Notice how it feels.

Stand in the center welcoming this remembrance, however it shows itself. You don’t need an eclipse or a labyrinth to do so. Simply stand in your own center.

In the stillness of noticing, see how what-you-truly-are is already dancing in divine harmony.

::

I’ll be teaching again next June (14th – 20th) at Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena Montana.

Feathered Pipe is a beautiful place, with wonderful people, delicious food, and land that welcomes you even before you arrive. I’ll be teaching with Michael Lennox, whom I co-taught with last year. Over our week at Feathered Pipe, we’ll explore this beautiful darkness within from which all is born. I’d love to have you join us.

If you register by October 31st, tomorrow, you can take advantage of two discounts. If you pay in full, both lodging and retreat, you receive 10% off the entire cost. If you register with the $300 required deposit, you’ll pay the 2013 price rather than the 2014 price. You cannot combine the two. Correction: You CAN combine these two discounts.

::

I want to share these wonderful interviews with you that I did with three good friends. I love it when good interviewers get you to share some nuggets you’ve never shared before.

  • Rachael Maddox is the ‘ringleader of the Traveling Soul Circus’. Take a look at what Rachael does. She’s truly inspiring. In our conversation, Rachael and I talk about Bringing Ourselves to the World Situation: Natural, Organic, Real :: Age & Meaning’
  • Evelyn Kalinosky is a catalyst and mentor for business women in midlife transition. I loved getting to know Evelyn and the great work she does with women.This interview was for Evelyn’s Conversations That Matter series. Evelyn asked me to share some of the moments of my life that have been big catalysts for my evolution. I’ve shared some personal stuff here.
  • Nikki Groom has been touted as THE copywriter to watch. She writes exclusively for  women entrepreneurs and believes that words should speak to the heart–not just to the head. Our conversation was fun and is deeply engaging…as is Nikki. She’s fun and has a wonderful way with words.

 

Share

The Wildest Place

Share

I am, at once, both a wild being and a soft open vessel.

I rise to meet you and I shy away from being seen.

Wildness does not necessarily mean big and loud and fierce. Sometimes it is the wildest place in me that is the most shy, most hidden in the shadow, most afraid of being caught.

Wild @ Heart

‎Jeanette Winterson writes

“What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free,
and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don’t want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don’t want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you.”

There is a wild nature in women. Of course it is so. The deepest darkest mysteries of creation dance their dance in a woman’s womb. Blood flows; milk pours forth; a woman’s body is creation made manifest.

And, I know that womanhood is a vulnerable experience…especially where so many images, sound bites, and representations all would have us believe women’s bodies are simply objects to be dominated and controlled. How do we come down into the power and heart inherent in this female body, when there are subtle, and not so subtle, messages that our bodies are not our own, that our sensuality is for others, that our deepest nature is suspect?

I am no longer interested in being held by one who does not, and cannot, honor the entirety of this female nature.

I am no longer interested in being seduced by those who offer love only if I hand over my personal power.

It no longer interests me to be with someone if I must shut down, turn off, trade in the very nature that is at the heart of the wild feminine.

I know now that I will no longer turn away from either the wild or the tame, or anything in between in me. I know that it is I that can no longer seduce myself into handing over my personal power, or holding myself in a way that does not honor the entirety of this female nature.

I will no longer turn away from this vast dance that repeatedly calls me to enter.

The cauldron of the vast space of creativity pulls me down into it, into a force both fiercely loving and infinitely empty. In this dark place, I am becoming. I turn and turn again in this becoming. I am destroyed and created. I am torn apart and perhaps I will be born anew.

I have tried to avoid this. I’ve tried for years to avoid the inevitable. In the words of a brilliant teacher, “Resistance is futile”.  At some point, this becomes perfectly clear. And as he also offers, resistance is the doorway in. Go directly into that which you most resist, and go with an open hand willing to receive what that resistance offers.

I’ve loved and I’ve been loved, and I am learning that love is not what I believed it to be. I am learning to listen to the poets, the mystics, and the teachers who, over and over, point to a love that is an infinite ocean, wild and chaotic. Rumi, Oliver, O’Donohue, and Adyashanti all speak of a love that our minds cannot even begin to fathom.

To me this is one of the hardest questions to live: Can I open to real love, not the projection-filled romantic love we’ve been conditioned to think will fill the hole inside, but true love, a love that is asking to pull me into its vast ocean without a life preserver, because it has no desire to preserve the false self that fights it.

In the end, the deepest places in the heart answer to no one except the One who weaves the threads of our existence.

::

wild@heart by mademoiselle louise on flickr Some rights reserved

Share

A Mystery to be Loved

Share

“So the darkness shall be the light,
And the stillness the dance.”

~ T.S. Eliot
{}
Tonight I danced.
We began in darkness, and ended with light.
We began with flow, and ended in stillness.
Life is cyclical.
Life is rhythmic.
Life is mysterious.
Perhaps the unknown can be opened to as a mystery to be loved,
not a problem to be solved or a demon to be feared.
{}

Happy Solstice!

Share

Flowering Darkness

Share

Profound words for the Grandmother in each of us…

Surrounded by my shields, am I:

Surrounded by my children, am I:

I am the void.

I am the womb of remembrance.

I am the flowering darkness.

I am the flower, first flesh.

. . . In this darkness, I am

Turning, turning toward a birth:

My own – a newborn grandmother

Am I, suckling light . . .

I am spiraling, I am spinning,

I am singing this Grandmother’s Song.

I am remembering forever, here we

Belong.

~”Song of the Self: The Grandmother”, by  Alma Luz Villanueva

image  by Flickmor, shared under cc2.0

Share

Your Beauty

Share

“It does not pay to cherish symbols when the substance lies so close at hand.” ~ Audre Lorde

::

Why do we look for God out there, up there, outside of us, when all that exists is the sacred made manifest?

The substance of the sacred is so close you can touch it, so close you can breathe it, in fact closer than your breath.

I am filled with the light of the sacred.

You are filled with the light of the sacred.

All is filled with the light of the sacred.

A shadow hovers over this light. We fear seeing it.

We fear our own magnificence.

We’ve been taught we are not worthy. That is not so. We are the sacred made manifest in form.

Hide not from your own light.

Hide not from your own darkness.

Turn to look within.

See the light of the sacred shining from the very center of your being.

See the darkness of the mystery, where what is yet to be lies waiting to be known.

I can tell you one thing: I see your beauty and it is breathtaking.

I will not be silent about your beauty.

I will not be silent.

::

image  by Flickmor, shared under cc2.0

Share

The Great Mother

Share

“How might your life have been different, if, deep within,

you carried an image of the Great Mother?

And, when things seemed very, very bad,

you could imagine that you were sitting in the lap of the Goddess,

held tightly…

embraced, at last

And, that you could hear her saying to you,

“I love you…I love you and I need you to bring forth your self.”

~Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

::

The Great Mother is here. Her way is not the way of visibility. Her way is dark and deep, down in the darkness where life gestates, where life springs forth from the primal belly.

I first became conscious of Her presence a number of years ago. It felt as if someone was pulling me down, way down into my body, into the depths of the darkness that the descent illuminates. I could feel Her pull, and I knew, instinctively, I was being called to feel, in their most raw elements, all the dark emotions I had been avoiding all my life.

I can’t say I was excited by her invitation. Quite the opposite. All of my spiritual learnings had taught me about transcendence, guiding me to find the Light of Spirit, the masculine aspect of God. This invitation was not about Light, at least that’s what I first thought. It was about darkness, and Her pull was relentless, yet also loving.

It’s easy to want to avoid this dance with the dark. The mind thinks of so many logical reasons why I should’t follow her down. I can’t see Her. And, where is down? Where is this darkness? There is nothing on the outside that would indicate She is calling. It is inside that I hear Her call. It is in the interior of my own experience, that I know it is Her. It is in my body that I know what I know. It is in my heart that I feel Her love for all of life.

I’ve come to know this rich inner life quite well. I’m the only one that knows this interiority; and, you are the only one that can know your own interiority. But, there’s something we have in common. If we are to bring forth ourselves, we women must leave the known outer life, the conditioning that has taught us well how not to trust our own knowing, the conditioning that has caused us to know ourselves only in relationship to others.

If we are to find our own voice, our own inner authority, we must turn inward and begin to listen to our own self. Of course, we are always at choice. That is, until we aren’t, because at some point, it may become more painful to ignore Her call than to heed it.

One of the most important things we can offer each other, as women, is a reverence and respect for this inward journey of women. Perhaps, as we become aware of our own inner life, and all the tugs and pulls and longings we feel to know who we truly are, we can begin to realize that other women we know are also feeling a similar calling. Perhaps, when we each treat the other with reverence, knowing the Great Mother is calling her, too, then a bond of strength and power will begin to nourish our connection to each other, supporting us all in bringing the sacred feminine forth into consciousness.

I can’t say I know for sure why She is asking this of us (although I have my own ideas); yet, she is asking. Don’t take my word for it – or Judith Duerk’s word. Get quiet and take a moment to ask yourself if you hear, in your own world within, Her calling to you.

I do know one thing. As I become more at home in these beautiful depths, I fall more deeply in love with women and all they offer to this world.  We are the gestators of life. Whether or not a woman gives birth to babies, she is always a mother, designed in the image of the Great Mother. As Rumi says, “Woman is the radiance of God; she is not your beloved. She is the Creator —you could say that she is not created.” It is time we come to know our own radiant feminine selves, and see it reflected in all of life.

And, you?

What have you experienced in your inner life? What do you know of the sacred feminine in your own experience? How have you shared this interiority with others? How might you begin to trust this knowing even more deeply? I’d love to know what you’ve experienced.

Share

Growing Whole in the Darkness

Share

 

“All beauty contains darkness.” ~ Daniel Odier

Learning to see, and then act, outside of the current patriarchal structure has been a journey of ever widening circles, much like a spiral. It is the journey of living the feminine, a way of life that is very different than that which I was taught to know. It means trusting what is revealed in each moment of present awareness, and feeling for what is ripe with the promise of birth. I go in and out of living this way, but as the circles of understanding grow, I find myself opening to the darkness of the feminine to receive Her guidance.

When this guidance is revealed, the only thing that lies ahead is darkness, the darkness of the unknown. The only thing known is that one choice, the one thing that is the most obvious choice. My mind struggles with the darkness, wanting desperately to know what lies ahead, and yet I also know in my heart that this darkness, this unknown, is the mystery of life waiting to be revealed. The divine mystery is the new, is this darkness from which all emerges.

What I am learning to trust in is the strong pull of this knowing. You might call this intuition, but for me, as I live deeper into the cells of my own body, it is knowing.

I found, what I guess you could call the ‘best’ book of 2009, this way. I saw it on a friend’s desk and knew I must read it. The pull was unavoidable. A friend had given him the book, for reasons he couldn’t understand. He had no intention of reading it, but for some reason had not yet given it away.

I would call this book a gift. A gift given and gratefully, and voraciously, received. Not all of the book kept my rapt attention, but the parts that did carried me deeper into the darkness, deeper into the parts of myself that were thirsting for light. I was yearning for gnosis. Through a marriage of the wisdom of this book and my own willingness to allow a new kind of knowing to emerge from within, I began to deepen my trust in this darkness.

The book that has so many dog ears, cracks in the spine, lines underlined, recommendations to others, is Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness. The authors are Marion Woodman and Elinor Dickson. In my knowing, this book can be a guide book for the journey into darkness that we all, and most especially women, must take. As Woodman states, “The evolutionary imperative within the collective unconscious is pushing us toward a new level of consciousness.” We must learn to stand alone, in our own wholeness, if we are going to survive. And, learning to stand alone means diving into the darkness, to come to know ourselves again in a whole new way.

As Odier shares, there is beauty in darkness. It is the rich soil from where all of life emerges.

Today’s post is Day 4 (best book) of Gwen Bells’ Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Share