Love. Shadow. Spiritual bypassing.
Which is it: A pile of sh*t or a fertile foundation for growth?
These past few months have presented so much opportunity for maturing, and yes I do mean the kind of opportunity like sticky, smelly manure provides to the soil.
My Grandma Redding would have nodded her head and said:
"It's been hard."
Grandpa Redding would have shook his head and said:
"It hasn't been easy."
And I started the season with eyes wide open, asking: "What don't I know?" Because everyone has their own, unique, singular, individual, perspective and experience. White people, black people, red people, blue people...and every other color people; we all want to be heard and understood. We all want be seen for who we are.
But who are we?
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I keep spiraling forward through the conversations (the many many convos about race, class, yoga, life and death, spiritual bypassing and shadow work) to find myself standing squarely back where I started: on the basis of LOVE.
This is not a Hollywood love–not a transactional, conditional, superficial or perverted kind of love. This is universal LOVE–a LOVE beyond all opposites. It is a LOVE that has nothing to do with "Spiritual Bypassing" because this LOVE includes the truth of the experience. It isn't trying to deny the wound or skip over the healing process. This LOVE fully recognizes the life and the death of it, the "pile of sh*t of it" ...the "hard" and the "not easy "of it. It includes your pain, your fear, your own unique manure of it.
This LOVE wants to know you, hear you, see you. It want to live as you–to be you.
I believe–like really, truly know in my guts: This LOVE IS WHO WE ARE.
And I also believe (more like hope, pray, cross my fingers, and imagine) that LOVE will move us forward in systemic healing, active peace and unified individuality ...without skipping over the pile of fertilizer that lays in our path. Keep Going.
Growing Forward. Not skipping ahead.
psychology. love. shadow.
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Natarāja. Creativity. Freedom.
Do You Feel Free? I mean really, truly FREE?
Try these 3 rebel rules to give you unshakable creative freedom.
I am kind-of a rebel. For as long as I can remember, I have questioned authority and squirmed from the grasp of limiting “realities” to find my own way. Yesterday, one of my soul sisters reminded me: “Shakti, you are a dreamer.
I used to take offense to statements like that. I grew up believing that to be a “dreamer” was a bad thing. That to get things done (and stay out of trouble) I had to be grounded like 💯.
…but, then again, I am kind-of a rebel. After much experimentation (think hallucinogens, hitch-hiking, and homeless world travel…) I have learned to keep one foot solidly placed on the soils of the human experience, while the other foot hovers in infinite potential. I’m smiling as I realize that this image is the stance of Shiva’s dance.
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That is one reason I dig this image so much: It epitomizes the crossroads between manifesting and liberating power. It reminds me that creativity and freedom go together like, well, like Shiva/Shakti.
I’m still learning how to freely express all the things that my heart is constantly creating; but these days I feel more balanced than ever: hovering in the grace of effort and surrender.
To shake off limitation, I observe 3 rebel rules on the daily. Here they are for you, just in case you need them. If not, no big deal.
1. Set your expectation dial to 100%, your attachment dial to 0%.
THIS IS KEY. Every day, when you wake up, expect that the day will greet you with unlimited blessings…that the entire universe is conspiring for your greatest good…that you will be propelled forward by abundant gratitude and absolute joy…and you will make all your dreams come true.
Also, have 0 attachment to this.
So that when shit happens (and it will, because it’s another day on planet Earth) you will remain completely open to the next amazing miracle.
Attachment to outcomes is not sustainable. To stay in your full power, you must show up fully (every moment) just to let go completely (every moment). This is the dance of true freedom.
2. Repeat after me: “I care, but I don’t mind.”
It has taken me a long time to recognize the difference between caring for others and running myself into the ground trying to make everyone else happy. Here’s the truth: creative power is realized when you focus on service. Once you identify the people who benefit from your gifts, it sets the whole creative exchange in motion. HOWEVER! While I deeply desire to connect with all my fellow Earthlings, I really don’t mind when I don't. This is just another way of saying “I am not attached to the outcomes,” but it directly aims at the limiting story of “seeking approval.” Shake that right off.
3. Let go ‘the baggage.
We are all carrying unnecessary limitations like:
“You are your ideas.”
“You only get one shot, so don’t mess it up!”
“Stay in your lane.”
and the overall warning: “You can’t do that.”
The most liberating rebel rule is to GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION. Don’t wait for other people to give it to you (because they can’t give you what they don’t have.)
Give yourself permission to
This message has been brought to you by the New Moon: Inviting soul-rebels to release their limitations for 4.5 billion years.
Alchemy. Solstice. Tantra.
This weekend’s Solstice eclipse marks a powerful moment of sacred marriage, or the reunification of all opposites.
The sun and moon will appear as one.
I am not an astrologer...
But as a Contemplative Mythologist, Psychologist, and Yogini, I celebrate the rich symbolism of this weekend’s stellar events as an invitation to honor the Father archetype.
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The Marriage of the Sun & Moon
Much of my work–study and teaching–draws from the symbolism of esoteric alchemy because these images and rituals are foundational to the mystic spirituality of both Western and Eastern religions. The alchemical process is one by which the finite and infinite aspects of reality are differentiated and purified so that they might be fully recognized. Then those elements are consciously reunited so that, together, they create something new.
In esoteric alchemy, the MOON is the symbol of the feminine principle: the queen, the egg and womb–the Mother. The SUN is a symbol of the masculine principle. It is the king, the seed–the Father.
The alchemical process is a symbolic marriage of everything that is considered opposite. For the Deep Psychologist in me, this means the reunion of conscious and unconscious contents of your psyche (or your ego and your soul.) This alchemical process means gathering up all the projections that you spill onto the world around you, to recognize them as aspects of your own mind.
This alchemical narrative (the marriage of the sun & moon) is echoed in the teachings and practices of Tantrik Yoga. In Tantra mythology, the merging of duality is envisioned as the sacred marriage of Shiva and Shakti (the Infinite Potential and Creative Power, respectively). It is a story about the coordination of body and spirit, the harmonization of God, Nature, and Humanity. It is the sacred marriage of subject and object…the reconciliation of “Self” and “Other.”
You are called to recognize the finite and infinite aspects of who you are: your body, mind, and spirit. You are invited to know your Self as whole…to remember your entire being as an expression of the Creative Source of Life. That realization gives birth to a whole new way of Being in the world: an awakening to your infinite potential and, ultimately, a recognition of God/dess. By "God/dess," I mean "the essence of God in all things."
By "God/dess," I mean “the essence of God in all things.”
"God/dess" Does Not Mean "Woman"
These days I share a lot of God/dess teachings because, from where I sit, our culture is seriously lacking in its recognition of “the essence of God in all things.” I see a ton of disrespect going around–toward Nature, our bodies, and each other. There seems to be a deficit of qualities that history has attributed to the feminine principle: unconditional compassion, courageous interconnection, a balanced celebration of uniqueness and equality.
But I want to make it very clear that what I consider God/dess teachings are not necessarily teachings about women, women’s rights, or female activism. While that is, in itself, a valuable and necessary topic–one that naturally tends to follow Tantrik teachings–the conversation around God/dess is a conversation about the sacredness in the human experience at large. It is an invitation to all people…no matter how you identify in gender, sex, nationality, race, class, or religion…to realize the essence of God in all things…to remember the intrinsic value of LIFE itself, to honor the divine spirit that animates Nature…and to recognize the significance of relationship.
This weekend, we celebrate the Summer Solstice as the fullest expression of the sun. I’m also thinking about the Solar principles that have been associated with the Father archetype–that penetrating power that plants new seeds. That piercing wisdom that leads to clear vision and decisive action…and a keen balance of discipline and freedom. With all the God/dess talk in our spiritual communities, it is more important than ever to celebrate the value of the FATHER in this equation of one + one = ONE.
During the annular eclipse the sun will appear (in some places) like a vibrant ring around the new moon. I will be contemplating this cosmic artwork as a poetic representation of the Father’s radiant embrace. Our culture needs conscious fathers as much as we need powerful mothers. We need the Father to exemplify awakened consciousness. We need him to be a beacon of strength and flexibility...a role model of the courage found in true compassion; and the balanced expression of humility and dignity.
We need the Father to exemplify awakened consciousness:
We need him to be a beacon of strength and flexibility...
A role model of the courage found in true compassion,
and the balanced expression of humility and dignity.
I am grateful to all the fathers who claim their responsibility in remembrance of God/dess. To all those fathers who rise as heroes to realize beauty, equality, and reunification. To all of you who have been knocked down again and again…to you who rise again and again, to remember the essence of God in all things.
THANK YOU, DADS.
solstice. tantra. archetypes.
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About The Author
R.R. Shakti, PhD
Founding teacher of Inner Power Yoga®, Shakti is a Contemplative Mythologist, ritual facilitator, and writer who presents a Tantrik approach to personal empowerment and social action. Through contemplative story-telling and mind/body practices, she offers a vision of deep peace and radical freedom.
PSYCHE + SOUL