Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Facing the Shadow or Not Being a Freaking Whimp
I can't stand the whole affectation of "Spiritual Person," ya know? These people drive me bonkers. They make me wanna scream.
You know the type, and I'm sure you've run into plenty of them in places like yoga classes, meditation halls, retreats. Places the rest of us like to go, too, but sometimes avoid for fear of running into those who have been...assimilated.
They never raise their voices. As if.
They get a dear in headlights look if you display any signs of anger. God forbid.
They spend a lot of time spouting off guru names, playing with the malas on their wrists, talking about their next silent retreat. Not that you even asked.
Here's the thing: I hear too many of them talking about "transcending the body" (Ummm...isn't that really called DEATH!? Literally and metaphorically...) and how they've reached levels of enlightenment (do you have a certificate for that?) and how they used to feel anger but now...just love.
People who don't acknowledge their shadow sides, who don't get mad? They scare the crap out of me. I don't want to be anywhere near them when their humanity finally reasserts itself and they BLOW! Because they will blow and it will be big and nasty and messy.
Humans have shadows and bodies and it's all rather messy and it can be ugly and there is no way to avoid it.
This past weekend, I hosted a Butoh-based body/movement exploration (photo above).
The women who came were brave.
Big time brave. Because Butoh is all about the shadow, all about being true to the whole of your humanity.
All the work I do at Girl on Fire Movement Studio is about this.
It's about getting into the muck of you.
I was watching the recent video interview with Amy to edit it, and I heard myself say to her, "You learn you can take some pain."
Physical pain, emotional pain...pain. It's part of life, and when you push yourself physically through dance and feel some pain and work with it instead of allowing it to freeze into your body, you are learning that you can take what life dishes out.
When you try to "transcend" all of this, become "unattached," you are being a WIMP.
I said that. Yes, I did.
We are built for far better. We are built to be strong and courageous. Not to wimp out and run the other way and call it "spirituality."
Working with your Power is not a bad thing, people. It's what you do with your power that can be either good or bad.
Power is the ability to burn away the monsters. Power is the ability to face those monsters.
One of my students recently told me that she was asked to meet with someone and that this usually makes her feel very, very nervous. Scared.
Then, as she was walking away from being told of the meeting, she remembered the Self that she is in dance class. She remembered that that Self is Brave and Awesome. She decided right then and there to be that Self in this other scary circumstance.
That is the work of getting into the body.
If anything, the point is to transcend the wimp. Go deep into your shadows and you will find your strength.