Our past emotional traumas in life are akin to a deep and massive oceanic underworld where our darkest moments are preserved under intense pressurization sometimes never to be discovered but somehow surviving without light or other forms of life. It isn’t until we become our own mental explorers and squeeze ourselves into a claustrophobic subconscious submarine of sorts that we begin revealing the undiscovered creatures of our dark underworld, exposing our mental underbelly for investigation. It’s frightening, overwhelming, treacherous, physically painful and yet absolutely exhilarating when we make it back to the surface and are able to fill our lungs with the breath of renewed life.
- excerpt from Pencil Safety, Memoirs of an Engineer’s Daughter by Margaret Lindgren
That above excerpt is from a book I began writing a couple years ago after my father passed. Both my parents are gone now, my mother having passed when I was 18. The chapter this excerpt came from is called Shift Change and reflects on a moment in my childhood when I realized more concretely that my parents were just humans, struggling with their own issues and difficulties, and could NOT be the super heroes I had put them on the pedestal to be. This particular memory was a bit more serious than this simple explanation but the point is the same - it was a moment that changed me. I remember going a bit dark then, like a shadow had come over me, my trust faded and thinned and I began in many ways to take matters into my own hands as a kid. It shaped me and played a big role in who I was to become as the adult Margaret. But what I experienced is nothing unique or different it’s just a recording of a moment in my life that at times plays itself over and over again, bubbling up old bad habits and conditioned responses.
Have you ever heard the story about how a lobster grows? As a lobster grows - its shell does not and eventually the shell becomes too tight. Can you imagine? That would be like wearing shoes that are two sizes too small for your feet and then having to run a marathon in them! Except, in this case, your feet in this metaphor would be your whole body! It’s painful and uncomfortable to the point which the lobster must seek refuge into a sea floor rock outcropping where it can safely shed it’s shell and grow another to accommodate it’s expansion. This process repeats itself over and over - discomfort, pain, refuge, shedding, growing anew - discomfort, pain, refuge, shedding, growing anew.
This lobster would probably never put itself through this painful and arduous process if there wasn’t the stimulus of discomfort involved. In fact, its the adversity of the lobsters’ pain that is the very stimulus that helps it grow.
And here’s the kicker ... Lobsters don’t have a doctor so when the pain gets bad they have no choice but to deal with it. They don’t have a pill they can take or a glass of wine they can drink, a pizza they can eat, someone to yell at, or ice cream to ease the pain. So theirs is an important lesson: That we can use our own adversity to stimulate positive change to free us from the burden of our inner chains. If we live life aimlessly and just plow through it to get through it then we don't live and we are not happy - and if we don't know any better then how is better ever to come?
So what does this all have to do with this NEW MOON IN SCORPIO coming this Wednesday, the 7th???? Oh, yeah, discomfort! This New Moon will be one of deep emotion that is bound to stir our inner discomfort. It is a time to be careful of those things that can trigger our same old negative patterns that drives us to focus on things outside of ourselves, to externalize our wounds, rather than focusing within to resolve our inner conflict.
In an earlier blog I mentioned the topic of hidden agendas and how, like it or not, we all have them. So what are they, exactly? Remember that moment I explained about my parents? They are the things that shaped us in our early, formative years of life. Experiences stored in our subconscious mind and played over and over again. And those experiences stay in the subconscious realm as we get older and create reactions in us to ensure our needs are being met. Ultimately what this does is undermine our ability to appreciate life, to be happy and fulfilled. Without greater self awareness of this aspect of our subconscious we sing the same song to that recorded tune over and over throughout life.
That's not to say hidden agendas are a bad thing. It is only natural that we do what we can to have our needs met, to survive and to be loved but it is striving blindly through this process that creates habits and karma. Some examples??? The need to control or be controlled, to be the center of attention, of wearing a mask to convince others we are something other than what we really are - but because we fear that we are nothing without that mask we continue the charade anyway. Or maybe its binging on foods or other substances for comfort. No matter what it is, the problem with these conditioned “solutions” is that, ultimately, they are not sustainable and not a path to true fulfillment. Yogi Bhajan called this the Reactive Personality or Hidden self.
This is exactly the time for Kundalini Yoga because it gives us the opportunity to play out a lot of our “stuff” internally which helps us to heal our wounds and gives us greater clarity and self awareness to make better choices for our happiness & love in life. And we can do this (through Kundalini Yoga) without the consequences of Karma.
Practicing Kundalini Yoga is the tool kit for greater Self Awareness & Acceptance/Acknowledgement of “self” (lower case self, that is, the finite version of ourselves) where we can accept our choices in life and know they all serve a purpose. That our adversity, like the lobster's, serves a purpose! Kundalini can actually help us forgive ourselves and shed our shells.
The title of this blog is Culling Gifts from the Garbage. That GIFT is our Sat Nam - our true Self (infinite Self). And to flow connected we have to struggle against something in order to grow. That’s why in class I work to inspire others to take their efforts to the next level. To aspire to go higher because there is always opposition in stretching and moving the body. Like an electric current, we cannot flow without opposition. LIFE IS A STRETCH that is ever deepening. Our gift, our SAT NAM, is the pearl from that discomfort - it is the beauty of Self.
Like the lobster, a pearl begins its life from irritation, a piece of grit that has made its way inside the oyster. Over the course of many years, that irritation transforms into a seamless, radiant pearl. In fact, the more imperfect oyster shells are, the more ideal the environment for pearls to form.
So, feel it, be it, release it. Use the tools given to us by the grand masters to manage the conditions of our mental environment. When you see that Hidden self come out - and you fall back into that negative pattern be firm about the following:
This NEW MOON is an excellent time to venture & dive DEEP into the underworld of ourselves, to learn to love the creatures of our deep that play such a crucial role in the flow of all that makes us whole and to accept ourselves for ourselves. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. It is understanding ourselves that is important to our growth and for the compassion of self.
It might seem frightening, overwhelming, treacherous and physically painful at times but to rise to the occasion with the pearl in the hand of Self is absolutely exhilarating!
Sat Nam! See you in class - Wednesday Evenings 6:30 - 7:30PM @GualalaDanceStudio
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!