Freedom, Beauty and Peace in the Darkness (and Hard Conversations)

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photo – sunrise this morning

When you first shine light upon shadow,

darkness may seem magnified;

keep centering into love, adding more light…

and shadow will dissipate.

How do you feel about the dark?

We have been conditioned via many sources including mainstream media, Grimm Brothers fairytales and “monster movies” to fear the dark. Much of what we receive from external sources reflects that if something “good” happens in the dark, it will surely be followed by something absolutely horrible.

When we are hiding, we usually choose to go to a dark “space” (physically and energetically).

I understand this and I would like to discuss this together.

Why?

Because if you are reading these words, you are interested in the practice of living fully present to possibility with joy. 

And a very common barrier to that seems to be: fear of the dark.

I am not here to discount your fear or the power it may have over you. When it feels real to you, it is.

I am here to share with you a reflection that invites you to consider exploring the dark and discovering what gifts it might hold for you: freedom, peace, abundance.

Freedom, Beauty and Peace in the Darkness

I love the dark!

Night Sailing: My interest in night sailing was piqued when a sailing peer told me that was the only space he had ever felt utter peace. I wanted to know what that felt like so I chose to overcome my fear of dark in general and to learn all that I needed to in order to sail at night. It is true, one may feel utter peace out on the ocean – just you and a blanket of darkness.

From that space, I can feel infinite possibility and connectedness to source energy and all in universe to a depth and range my mind cannot comprehend in any other way.

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Now that my sailing opportunities are limited (since the kids and I no longer live on the boat) I take long strolls at ocean’s edge at night. Some tell me how unsafe this is. I don’t feel that – I feel peace, bliss, joy, wonder, awe, delight – very safe, indeed.

(This is not to encourage you to walk at night, this is simply my experience of walking at ocean’s edge many nights in the last several years and enjoying it immensely).

Black and White Photography: In my professional photography exploration, I share light-filled photos because that is what is “needed in world” – awareness and amplification of light.  However, in my personal exploration, I prefer black and white photography.

I love to capture the essence of sunset and moonglow in black and white because it challenges me to create in a different way – to feel into and gently coax out light while simultaneously portraying the beauty of shadow. (This is also a wonderful metaphor for what I enjoy most about clarity and energy facilitating with clients.)

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I love to take self-portraits in black and white so I can clearly see the angles of my bone structure and the shadowing of my curves.

I also love to play with my shadow in  photography.

Black and White Clothing: I think we are all familiar with the look and feel of a pair of crisp black pants (or skirt) and a white tailored shirt – symbols of elegance, abundance, simplicity, beauty. When I am working with energy, I love to wear all black because (energetically) it is neutral and allows the focus to be on the energy, not the distortion of the association that other colors may bring into the work.

Now, we can read these examples and mind might say “Sure, I get it and blah, blah, blah”.

When we allow our selves to explore in physical world, that familiarity then invites us to journey deeper energetically. So, even if mind is still full of doubt, it has also spent the last few minutes thinking of the possibility of beauty, peace and freedom within darkness.

Familiarity doesn’t mean we agree; it simply means something is not quite as potentially fear-inducing as it once was.

When we fear darkness, we tend to not explore it – and what is in that darkness can become a barrier to abundance and flow. This very short exploration, here together, provides an opportunity to dissolve a bit of that barrier – simply by reading and thinking about light and darkness.

Please note that I am not talking about “good versus evil” – i am simply introducing us to the idea of light within darkness.  

Sandra Pawula touches on this in her very powerful article Good, Evil and the Meaning of Always Well Within:

Yes, there are people who act in wicked, manipulative, and negative ways.  But, we need to separate the person from the actions.  The actions are negative, but the person is not necessarily fundamentally wicked.

Evil is complex.  It’s not just a question of the good guys and the bad guys.  We all have light and dark within, and the purpose of our life is to purify the darkness.  Evil comes from ignorance, and often many different factors combine to bring it about..

Because we are conditioned to believe that evil lurks in darkness…..we stay away from the “dark”. 

What is dark in your life?

“Darkness” tends to be those moments in which we caused pain to our self or to another; when we reacted out of fear instead of created from love; when we hid from reality instead of vesting presence to showing up.

We stay in darkness because we are afraid that if we speak (shine light) we will be shunned, disciplined, cast away, belittled, and feel unloved and unappreciated.

When we choose to do the inner work to explore depth of presence, eventually we come to a point where shadow arises. And it might feel big and scary and overwhelming (all restrictions upon flow and abundance).

‘Hard’ Conversations

One way to dissolve shadow is to shine light upon it.

We have thought about it together…the next step is: talking about it. 

You need to speak what truth frightens you. What truth makes you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, nervous, too “vulnerable.” You need to reveal a shred of your soul, your love, your God-given beauty in a way that scares you.

And when you do?

Suddenly, you’re speaking something that’s worth listening to. Because it’s real. It’s raw. It’s loving and genuine and true. It’s truth in which a soul like yours can see himself or herself; they can feel themselves in the honesty and vulnerability that you show when you drop the cloak of politeness that hides your true self from the world. by Dave Ursillo from The Surest Way to Say Something Worth Listening To.

Have you noticed that the moments you choose to share something so incredibly vulnerable, something your mind says will probably cause disconnect somewhere….that the point of connection was so incredibly strong?

In my experience, when I have chosen to speak from my heart and share *that thing that I felt ashamed or afraid to admit*….others spoke up to say they had a similar experience and/or understand and from that connection, doors opened, answers arose, truth was celebrated and healing was experienced.

Ash Beckham calls it ‘the hard conversation”. I invite you to listen to Ash’s very powerful TEDtalk “We’re All Hiding Something, Let’s Find the Courage to Open Up“.

When you are considering this ‘hard conversation” I think it is imperative that you have it with your self first.

After you have spoken it clearly to your self, may you creatively express it in a way you feel comfortable: journal writing, dancing, painting, prayer, music, walking. This invites a centering into your energy, a space of creation.

From this space, you may then choose to share it with someone in world whom you trust – loved ones, friends, a therapist.

(Sometimes we share from a space of reaction or with someone who doesn’t have our best interest at heart and the conversation goes “sour”; these steps invite you to center, create and then connect so that your experience of a ‘hard conversation’ can be one of healing and growth that benefits all involved).

Dear Reader, have you had a ‘hard conversation’ or is there one within that you are avoiding? May you share what does it feel like while you are having that conversation and what does it feel like after it is over? May you share what does it feel like when you avoid that conversation? (when you share, you inspire).

Much peace and abundant love,

Joy

Full Moon Magic:

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50% off a Laser session through March 18, 2014. A laser session is a very direct, on-purpose sixty minute personal session in which we work together to energetically dissolve barriers and open to flow in spaces you may feel tender and/or stuck. For more information, and to schedule your session, please click the title link.

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Comments on: "Freedom, Beauty and Peace in the Darkness (and Hard Conversations)" (4)

  1. What a positively provocative exploration, Joy. Yes, I have had a “hard” and honest conversation with myself recently and I felt such relief. The things we need to see and say to ourselves can be so subtle at times that even though they are pounding at your door in some ways, it can be challenging to open to them. Thank you for the encouragement to do so.

    I’m amazed by your confidence in the physical darkness!

    Thanks so much for sharing my words in this post. I’m honored!

  2. Jean Sampson said:

    Well, I think I have let a lot out of the closet lately :) so I am going to go and look into a few new closets and see what I can find. :) I am afraid of the dark because when the lights go out, every nightmare and movie monster (and other creepy things) crawl out of THEIR closets and I am a 3 year old child again. I never stay at home over night by myself without having many lights on in the house. I know it is OLD stuff but I am not sure how to go about getting rid of it. Lights in the house work pretty well until I can figure out something else.

    • I love that you are willing to share so openly, Jean, and I hope you feel peace and refreshment in the ‘closet spaces you have just cleaned’!

      I have never done well with the idea of monsters – as a young child, there was a Saturday show called “Monster Movie Matinee” and it was in black and white with the original monster “villains” (like Vincent Price). My parents told me not to watch it. But, I did, because I wanted to know what motivation monsters had and to understand them so they would lose their power to scare me; I would watch this show during the day, then spend the night awake and afraid at all that could potentially happen. I realize there is no understanding “monsters” so to leave them be. And to continue to concentrate on my shadow work so I could center deeper into presence.

      I do have an affirmation – when one is afraid, turn on the light; it works in physical and energetic world!

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